Remember when grandma, auntie and/or mama—don't even get me started on the First Lady of your church—used to say that one of the worst things that a person, especially "a lady" could do was get a tattoo? Especially if we wanted to get a job? As with most things in life, seasons (and culture) change. On the work tip, from what I've read, many employers are not as hesitant as they once were. According to one study that caught my attention, around 35 percent of prospective employers said that hiring someone with tats depended on the position they were trying to fill, while 28 percent of them said that it all depended on how many tats a person had, along with where they were on their body. Something else I found interesting about the study was, when they were asked whether or not they took someone with tattoos less seriously, 49.39 percent of people said body ink didn't faze them in that way (very cool).
Because I've worked from home since 2000, maybe that is why I was well into my 20s when I got my first tattoo. It's on my hip and, to be honest, it's so small that it really wasn't all that big of a deal. It wasn't until I was in my 40s that a sistah got bolder and put some semi-large Hebrew letters on that same hip and also one of my favorite bible verses on the inside of my lower right arm. While I have absolutely no regrets when it comes to getting any of them, I can't really say that I am on the "tattoos are addictive" bandwagon either. They ain't cheap. They do hurt. Plus, there's nothing's worse (to me) than having to go back and get an area filled in after the initial healing process (Girrrl…girl). Not that I'm trying to discourage any of you who may be thinking about getting a tattoo for the first time. I just want you to know what you're getting yourself into.
Although I will say that I recently discovered a silver lining to having body ink that I never knew before (hmm…).
What Tattoos and Sex Actually Have in Common (Who Knew?)
It never fails. At least 10 times a week (sometimes a day), I will read something in cyberspace that'll have me be like, "What in the world are folks doing out here?!". A recent example came from an article on Revelist's website. The title? "People Are Giving Themselves DIY Stick-And-Poke Tattoos During Quarantine". Tattooing yourself. During a pandemic. Geeze. Shoot, let me tell it, going to a tattoo parlor right now is risky enough. I mean, have you ever read what you're—well, we're—actually signing up for with body ink? Mayo Clinic provided a pretty graphic description when it said, "Typically, the tattoo artist uses a hand-held machine that acts much like a sewing machine, with one or more needles piercing the skin repeatedly. With every puncture, the needles insert tiny ink droplets." Yeah, that's a lot.
So, why do so many of us do it? There are a myriad of reasons. To document a particular time in our life. To represent our own sense of style. To make a permanent declaration about something. To cover up body imperfections. To have a better sex life.
Hol' up. Is that last one for real? According to a study conducted at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Canada, it very much so is. Some researchers there decided they wanted to test the stereotype that women with tattoos are more "sexually open"—you know, more willing to explore and experiment than the average individual. What they discovered is, of the 814 women who were interviewed (some had tats, some did not), the women with body ink were more willing to engage in casual sex; they were also greater sensation seekers.
How does that even make sense? Think about it. There is a certain level of confidence that it takes to get a tattoo. You've definitely got to have a certain threshold for discomfort in order to get one. From a physical standpoint, you are taking somewhat of a (health) risk (which is the case with any permanent body modification, by the way) by having a tattoo as well. Yeah, we might not like to think about sex in this context, but when you really stop to take all of this in, all of these reasons translate over to coitus pretty seamlessly, don't you think?
Something else that the study pointed out was, another reason why women with tats might be more sexually open is because, when you make the decision to get a tat, whether you realize it or not, you are challenging contemporary views on femininity and sexuality. You are basically saying that you don't follow the status quo when it comes to how you look or what you want—including in the bedroom (again, it makes total sense).
So, how many folks are out here feeling this way? Well, 40 percent of people around the globe have at least one tat on their person (Italy has the most, then Sweden and then the United States). 45 percent of those individuals are between the ages of 30-49, and 32 percent have a higher level of education than the norm. That's a lot of "sexual open-mindedness", y'all.
Not to say that those without tattoos are automatically sexual snooze fests. Shoot, some of my fondest sexual memories came from guys with not one tat on them. But I will close this out by saying that I remember when I was in the room with a friend of mine who was as sexually shy (when it came to talking about sex) as they come. As she was undressing, I was shocked to see two hearts on each side of her pubic bone, right above her vulva. When I made a joke to her husband about them, he grinned, winked and said, "You have no idea." They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe a tattoo is worth a thousand orgasms—and then some.
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