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Are Tattoos Addictive?

Summary

This is a short article on why I think tattoos may be addictive, plus some other thoughts on my foray into the wonderful world of tattoos including what my current ones are.

Article

Being fairly new to the tattoo scene I'm surprised how quickly I've managed to "get into it". I thought before I started that I'd just get one or maybe two tattoos and leave it at that - I certainly didn't want to be covered in them or have "sleeves". But little did I know that I would be hooked so easily. I've got my first two done and now I'm desperate for my next one, although I have got to save up some money before I can get it done.

Where does the addiction come from? Well I don't think it's the masochistic thing - hey I'm a man we don't do pain do we? There is the adrenaline rush that comes about when the artist has finished the piece which could be something to do with it. Plus, apparently, endorphins are released as the ink is injected beneath the skin and its well known that rushes of endorphins cause addictions. But I believe it's more to do with the collecting thing. I suppose I already have that streak in me as I'm a birder (that's ornithology / bird watching to the layman) I already collect lists and lists of birds, so why not move on to collecting tattoos as well? However, because you are committing to this piece of art you really need to be sure and, as a consequence, it is really really personal. So the permanency and pain does come into it and psychologically seems to make you want more of the same.

I had my wife's name tattooed in Japanese kanjis on the inside of my right wrist - it seemed like it would be less conspicuous there - being an IT Consultant and out at customer sites on a daily basis I didn't think I should get one across my knuckles or neck or anywhere else that is really visible. I know if I roll up my shirt sleeves and do my usual talking with my hands as I speak then it will be visible, but then that's generally only with people I know, and they already know about the tattoos so that's ok.

My other tattoo is another set of Japanese kanjis but this time on my back (right shoulder blade to be precise). It's the second of Gishin Funakoshi's 20 precepts and says "karate ni sente nashi" or (loosely translated) "in karate there is no first strike" - yes I do karate as well. Again, it's not visible to anyone unless I take off my shirt, which I generally don't do in the workplace!

The next one is going to be a Japanese dragon on my left bicep. The big question is... will I be able to leave it at that? Well I think you all know the answer to that one!

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