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Like I said, do what you will do, but pain that you choose willingly, and that no matter how much we complain, we still GET THROUGH and then CHOOSE AGAIN, is not the same thing as pain that comes from something being wrong with our bodies. Like these conversations need a little goddamn perspective. If you want to dope yourself up, feel free, but don't pretend it's a necessity.

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Yes. It's people's personal choice what they do, who are we to judge right? But, let's say not too long ago, when I started getting tattooed in the 80's, ya never heard of anyone seeking anything to manage the pain of getting tattooed. It would never have been a deciding factor. Times were so much more simpler...one either got tattooed, or one didn't, and if one didn't it was because of one of two reasons. They didn't like tattoos or they were too scared of the pain. Simple.

My personal belief is, seeking to mask the pain is kinda cheating. It's like the phrase, no pain no gain. It's like going on a diet of ice cream and cookies, it's like becoming fit by going for a stroll. We all do it at some level, seek the easy way out...every single one of us in some kind of format, it seems to be human nature. There's too many options out there. Slowly wins the race. Take the time, tough it out, the hard experiences in life earns us insight and adds to our knowledge.

Yeah, I've used opiates in the past while under the machine, but not to try mask the pain...a lot more simpler than that, just because I liked to get loaded on drugs and alcohol. That's it. On top of that, I can assure you, it does nothing for pain management. All it does is fucks you up and the local pain is the same...at times even worse because of how fucked up you are, ya can't shift the pain.

By far, I find the best way to pain manage is focus, straight with the good prep we talk about.

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Couldn't agree more Mick, I have a coworker who's been trying to talk me into using numbing cream because "it's awesome, I can't feel anything". I've been going out there and took the pain as part of the experience, it's satisfying after 9 hours when your artist tells you you earned it... and it wrecked me when I tapped out after 7 and a half hours on my 2nd appointment, felt some serious shame and now, 6 days later I want to kick myself for not sitting the last hour and a half.

I was just saying that ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, if some people can't take pain but still want tattoos, they'll do whatever they gotta do to get it done, that's all.

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I agree, but at the same time, if you were to get plastic surgery, or have your tonsils removed, you're not just toughing it out because that's something you want... I understand why some people chose to take medicine to help with the pain... it comes down to personal preference and pain thresholds.

You can't compare a medical procedure with getting a tattoo.

...and I will add...I had my tonsils taken out (as an adult). And I would re-tattoo my stomach w/ no painkillers over the 2 week post-tonsillectomy healing period with painkillers, any day of the week !!!

Now I've tried a bunch of things to take the edge...somebody called me the Hunter S Thompson of tattoo clients (LOL) for my investigative work earlier in this thread (in the name of science!). But shit that's just bactine, nyquil, pot cookies and booze. I've never tried the numbing cream that makes you feel like your wearing a leather jacket. Maybe I will try that when I finally get going on (the ass section of) my backpiece. Or maybe I won't because I want to feel every second of that fiery fury that I've heard about (thank you LST). But I haven't even heard of half the pill cocktails people are talking about here. I can understand if people want to medicate/numb to push through long or back-to-back sessions, party on your ribs or knee ditch. More power to you. But if you need to default to numbing cream and a handful of pills to get a 2 hour banger on the side of your neck, c'mon. This is tattoo! My point is if you are that scared about the pain or can't take it, maybe reconsider why you want to go through with that tattoo in the first place...tattooing isn't for everyone, but holy shit this new age is using every trick in the book to make it accessible for everyone.

You don't need to be a hero...but you also don't need to be a pussy !

To each their own. Maybe I'm being a bit brash. My $0.02 /flameon

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...one either got tattooed, or one didn't, and if one didn't it was because of one of two reasons. They didn't like tattoos or they were too scared of the pain. Simple.

I may have got into this tattoo mess much later than you Mick, but I couldn't agree more!

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Couldn't agree more Mick, I have a coworker who's been trying to talk me into using numbing cream because "it's awesome, I can't feel anything". I've been going out there and took the pain as part of the experience, it's satisfying after 9 hours when your artist tells you you earned it... and it wrecked me when I tapped out after 7 and a half hours on my 2nd appointment, felt some serious shame and now, 6 days later I want to kick myself for not sitting the last hour and a half.

I was just saying that ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, if some people can't take pain but still want tattoos, they'll do whatever they gotta do to get it done, that's all.

7 hour session is NOTHING to feel shame about, that's a mega-sit :)

You are bang on @Swifty - we the people, we love tattoos. And people will do whatever it takes to get what they love.

peace

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No to painkillers here. I think taking them and having them wear off mid-tattoo would be awful and not a fun way to spend the rest of the session. I'd much rather let my endorphins do what they are supposed to and have a reasonably steady pain level to get my head around and deal with. It's worked for me so far.

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felt some serious shame and now, 6 days later I want to kick myself for not sitting the last hour and a half.

Ya know mate, this is how I see it. Weather you sit for 8 hours or 2, the thing about being tattooed is there ain't no short cuts. It's all time under the machine. If ya working on a 30 hour back tattoo, or a 10 hour rib panel, ya still gotta come back to it, ya still gotta work for it, ya still earn it.

There ain't no shame in in any time under that hammer man. :)

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Ya know mate, this is how I see it. Weather you sit for 8 hours or 2, the thing about being tattooed is there ain't no short cuts. It's all time under the machine. If ya working on a 30 hour back tattoo, or a 10 hour rib panel, ya still gotta come back to it, ya still gotta work for it, ya still earn it.

There ain't no shame in in any time under that hammer man. :)

That's a very good way to look at it, thanks!

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That's a very good way to look at it, thanks!

Not only do I agree with Mick totally, but also, 7.5 hours is still a very long session! Definitely no way you should feel ashamed of tapping out there.

Edit: also, to answer the original topic, no painkillers for me. I took ibuprofen before, during, and after getting my elbow cap blasted, but that was because I had to go to work an hour after the session and needed to be able to move my arm. It was a shitty day at work!

Honestly I think being pilled out would be a very uncomfortable feeling while being tattooed. And I would always feel as if I cheated; that tattoo would be slightly tarnished for me.

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Just wanted to add that for my last session I took an antihistamine prior to getting tattooed as it's hayfever season at the moment and I have quite a severe allergic reaction if I don't take one every day, and had very minimal swelling and redness, although that was a quick lining session. Will be interesting to see how todays colour session goes with the antihistamine.

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I think the pain in a tattoo session is not always easy to predict. Got my hip smashed by El Monga a few weeks ago and it was after a night of 5 hours of (bad) sleep, weed and wine and also I barely had breakfast. And this guy is relentless, no pauses and went hard. And it was totally fine, considering. Other times I've bed the best preparations possible and the spot was easier, still it was twice as hard for me to sit through. The mind works in mysterious ways, and I think so much is in the mind and mindset. When I got the back of my right knee redone (didn't heal black, too gray) I knew what to expect and it was a walk in the park compared to the first session. Even got two more tattoos (done at the same time) that day, to top it off. All in the mind.

I tried some kind of painkiller once, because I really wanted to sit for the last of 6 or 7 hours with Peter Lagergren on my thigh and I was a bit interested to see if it worked. It was interesting and helped us finish but I wouldn't do it again if not cause of trying to finish a tattoo I travelled for in one sitting and the tattooer urged me to.

I think it has a lot to do with what people have brought up all ready. For me it's a sort of pride to know that even the 2 horrible hours of two machines lining my whole back was something I didn't cheat. And it is an experience on it's own, and interesting to live through the sensations and mind games. As @Pugilist was saying, it's really not that horrible if you compare it to other types of sickness and injuries that people suffer through. Embrace it and if you can't take it, don't do it.

(Small "but": BUT people have been telling me it gets much worse once your body is older than 30 years old, for some reason. So maybe 2 years from now I will have a different opinion. Hope to be done with feet, armpits and ribs by then haha..)

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I don't know about it hurting more after your 30's.

I've been tattooed through my teens, 20's, 30's & 40's.

I think I've handled the harder sessions later in life better because of that stronger mind set. @daveborjes. Jameison eh? I'll have to give that a belt! Cheers.

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When it comes to pain and tolerance I think it's important for you to find your sweet spot. The longest I've ever been tattooed was roughly 5.5 hours and I realized right afterwards that I never wanted to go through that again. It wasn't bad but unless your getting tattooed by an artist that isn't local or traveling great distances there is no need for it. For me I've learned that 3-4 hour sessions are the sweet spot depending on location of the piece. It isn't too short and it isn't too long.

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When it comes to pain and tolerance I think it's important for you to find your sweet spot.

This is a really good point. And I think a sweet spot changes from time to time, location, preparation and mental fortitude. Mine is around 5 hours although often I can sit longer. For me, it's more a sweet spot for both the session and how I am the next day because we don't start until 9pm-ish. I have to ask myself, is it better to brag I sat for 7 hours and be destroyed the next day, or sat 4.5 hours and feel reasonably decent, just tired. Sometimes he says he's at a good stopping point, but if I'm up to it, he could work on a different area and give me a duration. Like I can choose to turn a 4 hr into a 6 hr for example. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I like that sometimes I get that choice.

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I know this is a really old thread, but it has so much good info for noobs like me. I was curious to ask those of you with alot of work about any techniques you might share. I had my first sit for a 3/4 sleeve on friday. It is also my first tattoo, so I closley followed the advise on this thread about proper sleep, food and hydration. I was happily supprised that a good portion of my sit was really OK. I tolerated the first three hours very well....Until the last hour where he hit my under upper arm right below the pit. It was bad. Now, that I have that pivotal first sit under my belt. Im trying to figure out HOW im going to finish that under upper arm. So my question is....Have you found it easier to sit for those tougher spots when your fresh in your sit and your endorphins are really pumping then move onto the easier areas? Or is it just what it is? I have another 20+ hours ahead of me and am not sure the best way to proceed. Any help is appreciated!

Thanks Nina

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Painkillers are fine. You just have to take a lot and make sure to mix them with alcohol. I'd rather be a sissy with a lot of big tattoos than a tough guy without. Another good combo is nyquil and red wine. Heck even ibuprofen works if you take 1000mg.

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Have you found it easier to sit for those tougher spots when your fresh in your sit and your endorphins are really pumping then move onto the easier areas? Or is it just what it is? I have another 20+ hours ahead of me and am not sure the best way to proceed. Any help is appreciated!

Thanks Nina

I've been going to the same guy for a while now. I feel like, whether by process of elimination or on purpose, I feel like my artist does the most painful stuff towards the end. If we're doing a spot that's mostly the same pain grade with a few exceptions, then I feel like I can stay in the zone longer if we hold the most painful areas til the end. Just my two cents. It's always gone that way for me - the feather in my armpit was towards the end, same with the snakes tail coming to my elbow, and almost the same situation with the drowning hand on my ankle. That and the fine lines in Poseidons hair felt like hot fire, but since we were over the halfway point, it was a good fire!

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Painkillers are fine. You just have to take a lot and make sure to mix them with alcohol. I'd rather be a sissy with a lot of big tattoos than a tough guy without. Another good combo is nyquil and red wine. Heck even ibuprofen works if you take 1000mg.

LOL, IDK. But I did take several advils since my artist was all for it. I'll skip the drugs and keep those for fun ;)

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I've been going to the same guy for a while now. I feel like, whether by process of elimination or on purpose, I feel like my artist does the most painful stuff towards the end. If we're doing a spot that's mostly the same pain grade with a few exceptions, then I feel like I can stay in the zone longer if we hold the most painful areas til the end. Just my two cents. It's always gone that way for me - the feather in my armpit was towards the end, same with the snakes tail coming to my elbow, and almost the same situation with the drowning hand on my ankle. That and the fine lines in Poseidons hair felt like hot fire, but since we were over the halfway point, it was a good fire!

Well, I guess there is a method to their madness, so to speak. Fortunately, over all the arm is fairly easy and the bad spot relatively small. So, maybe thats why, they can get more out of a sitting doing it that way. I guess i wont rock the boat.

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3 hours remain until my 4-hour session today. Drinking lots of water, but will be bringing my usual compliment of opiates to my appointment. As long as she keeps out of my armpit, all should be well.

I was there a couple of months back, there was another regular with the other artist... would not STFU for nothin'... meanwhile I am in a sea of discomfort. I later learned that the guy was sipping vodka from a water bottle.

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On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2014 at 7:08 PM, marley mission said:

its funny how polarizing such an issue can be - i am def a whatever floats your boat guy on issues like this - that said - i couldnt imagine blunting the pain - it would diminish the experience for me as i see it as such an amazing part of the process

anyway just my .02

Agreed with @marley mission

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