8 Things Nobody Tells You About Getting the Backs of Your Thighs Tattooed

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I love my new tattoos more than I can possibly express. It gives me great joy on the daily to spot them peeking out of my skirts or shorts in the mirror, or to hear the squeals of delight when someone notices them for the first time. They are exactly what I wanted and look even better than I had hoped.

However, the healing process has been an ordeal, y’all. I took good care of my tats, washing them once or twice a day with Dove soap and moisturizing obsessively with unscented Lubriderm, so I didn’t get any infections or complications, knock wood – but infections aren’t the only thing you have to worry about when you get tattooed. The body part you choose can affect your life in lots of areas. Here are some things I wish someone had told me about getting the backs of my thighs tattooed…

You won’t be able to sit properly for a while. For some reason, when I pictured getting my upper thighs tattooed, it didn’t occur to me that that’s what I sit on when I sit down. My thought process was, “The tattoos won’t be on my butt, so I’ll be fine.” Nope. Your thighs are directly implicated in the sitting-down process. Some of this issue can be dealt with by just sitting less, e.g. working at a standing desk, which I did. But in my day-to-day, I didn’t want to subject my fresh or healing tattoos to scratchy couch cushions, filthy bus shelter benches, or fancy theatre seats – so I adopted a sitting position for the first few days post-inking that involved pulling my knees up so my thighs wouldn’t touch the surface below me. Not only does this look super weird (especially in more conservative environments, like the theatre), but it also started to feel not-so-great after a while: my bad knees didn’t appreciate being bent for that long, and I needed to take pain pills to get through those first few days. Yikes.

Using the toilet is risky business. Time for some real talk! What I just said about your thighs being involved in the sitting process? That’s true for sitting on the toilet, too. I experimented with sitting really far forward (often resulting in spraying the bathroom floor), sitting with my knees up (effective, but requires flexibility and impeccable aim), and even straddling the toilet so as to pee into it from above (hard on my knees, hard to aim, and looks goddamn ridiculous). This isn’t so much an issue at my own house, where I know the toilets are more-or-less clean; it was more a concern in public bathrooms, which are, as you know, a festering cesspool of bacteria. If I had this process to do over again, I would invest in a stand-to-pee device.

Spanking is off the table. I don’t think I fully realized just how integral spanking is to my sexuality until I got these tattoos. I took a spanking hiatus that lasted from a week before getting the tattoos to a week after, and that felt like forever. During that time, I read books about spanking, watched spanking porn, researched spanking physiology, sexted with beaux about the spankings they would give me once they were allowed to… I was a girl possessed. And in fact, I wish I’d waited longer to get spanked again after getting inked, because the people topping me, while well-intentioned, didn’t always have the best aim and sometimes smacked me right on the tattoos. I found, oddly enough, that spanking other people scratched that particular kink-itch for me – not completely, but enough that I could get through those spankless weeks without going off the deep end.

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Your sex positions are limited. Do what I say, not what I do: avoid getting doggy-styled for at least a couple weeks post-tattooing. I am an idiot and got fucked from behind three days after Tattoo Day – in a park, no less – because I was drunk and just wasn’t thinking about the health implications. I’m extremely lucky I didn’t scratch or irritate my new tattoos on my partner’s thigh hair or pubes, and that I didn’t get any dirt, dust, or lube in there. When I got inked, I initially intended to take a break from any kind of sex involving my genitals (BJ Week, woooo!), but I have zero self-control and that didn’t happen. Still: if you must get boned after getting your thighs tattooed (and trust me, I understand), just be careful, choose your positions accordingly, and wash your tattoos after, just incase anything got in there that shouldn’t have.

Dudes think they’re extremely sexy. I guess I knew this on some level. My tattoos are explicitly meant to be sexual, after all. But, wow, I still managed to underestimate just how much attention they would attract. Whether I’m in a sex club or just walking down the street, fully flashing my tats or just letting them poke out the bottom of a skirt, they certainly get me noticed. Sometimes this level of attention is welcome, and sometimes, less so. I think I’ll be careful from now on to keep my ink covered if I’m in a “please, nobody touch or talk to me” kind of mood.

You will end up showing a lot of people your butt. Your tattoo artist, for one. Your friends. Your partner(s). Your relatives. Pretty much anyone who’s heard about your new tattoos will want to see them, and if you oblige what they ask, that will involve turning around, bending over, and pulling up your skirt/pulling down your pants to show ’em what you got. I’m not normally too bothered by showing people my ass, but I did have a couple of close calls – for example, the time a conservative family member wanted to see my tats and I accidentally gave her an eyeful of fresh spanking bruises along with the ink. Whoops.

They’re hard to get pictures of. This is not a joke: you should probably buy a selfie stick if you’re about to get the backs of your thighs tattooed. I consider myself fairly skilled at taking butt selfies – it involves a lot of spine-twisting, arm-reaching, and clever angling – but your thighs are even farther away from your hands and your eyes so there is even more contortion involved. Do yourself a favor and pick up a selfie stick, because even if you don’t intend on taking “sexy” photos, you’ll probably at least want some pictures of the healing process for posterity. (Posterity… Posterior… Get it?!)

You can’t really even see them. Wow, I didn’t expect this! Without the help of a mirror or a smartphone’s selfie mode, I literally can’t see my tattoos at all. No amount of twisting and rubber-necking allows me to see any part of them. That might be due to my particular body (thigh size, lack of flexibility, and so on), but still: if you want tattoos you’ll be able to see all the time, the back of your thigh is a bad spot. As for me, I’m okay with it – I don’t mind looking in the mirror to see my ink, and I suspect I’d get sick of a tattoo faster if it was in my sightline all the time.

What do you wish someone had told you before you got a tattoo?

  • I have a large octopus shoulder tattoo and a Gallifreyan tattoo on my upper back. My Gallifreyan tattoo was my first, and I got sick and threw up an hour into it. They said that happens pretty often, and it’s your body’s reset button. i was fine for the rest of that tattoo, and for the octopus, I brought a whole bag of Tootsie Roll pops to keep my blood sugar up. That one was five hours of tattooing, a whole day.

    Everyone asks if it hurt, and my answer is “Yes, but I like it.” That’s what surprised me the most: I was much more in tune with my kink self by the time I got my second tattoo, and I found the “pain” quite meditative and lovely, especially when he was going over my collarbone up near my shoulder. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it so much.