2014: Year of the body mods

I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo since I was about 12, I reckon. I didn’t particularly see an appeal in getting an earring, but tattoos were cool.

I’m turning 28 this year, and I still don’t have a tattoo. This is in part because I haven’t confirmed for myself what I want to get, but I have some ideas. More on that later.

What I have done though is started getting piercings. In April this year, I got my first piercings – a left helix CBR and a barbell in my left nipple; I like the asymmetry.

I still don’t like the idea of a regular ear piercing though my lobe (maybe it’s a bit too “mundane” for me), but I’ve started thinking about the idea of getting a flesh tunnel in my lobe.

Last Monday I got my third piercing – an RPA. I don’t think I’d really considered a PA or an RPA as something I’d go for until earlier this year, and then I just decided I was going to get one. For those not familiar with acronyms, an RPA is a Reverse Prince Albert – which is to say that currently I have a ring going down my uretha, through my glans and back to the urethra again. Feel free to Google if you want to know what this sort of piercing looks like.

Getting it didn’t hurt because we took the wise decision to use anaesthetic. My nipple and ear hurt more, so that’s a good sign on how good the anaesthetic works. It didn’t bleed much at first, but I did go out and buy some panty liners when I realised that the inside of my boxers were covered in blood after wandering Edinburgh for the early afternoon.

There’s been some pain – mostly discomfort from the ring shifting around, but the bleeding has stopped, and it’s getting better. I’m no longer waking up three times a night because the ring moved in my sleep.

So, back to tattoos. Nearly. I’ve gotten three piercings this year, and that’s probably all the ones I will be getting this year – maybe ever. I’m not sure I want any more after all. But I’m still thinking about tattoos; more than ever now actually.

I have a few ideas for ink. After a discussion about Futhark runes with a friend, I remembered the associations I’ve long had with the Dagaz rune. The problem with that particular idea is placement and style. I don’t want it to be mistaken for an hourglass, which means that it should be somewhere where orientation will be clear; this kind of nixes the idea I had of having in on my upper forearm. I could have it at the top of my spine, but I’m less convinced by that every time I think about it. I’m not sure how prominent I want it, so having it on the upper arm seems wrong. Maybe somewhere on my upper torso? I don’t know.

Another idea I’ve been considering goes back a decade to when I was part of Warbird Wing. It was a time where I got a start on things I’m doing now, and where I could boast knowing and talking to people on five our of seven continents. Sadly I’m not in touch with many of them, but I’m still proud to declare myself a Warbird. What I’m thinking for this is probably a hawk emblazoned over the Imperial symbol with an outer ring that says “174th Warbird Wing – Hawk Squadron” in Aurebesh. In case you hadn’t got it, there are some Star Wars links here. So the idea with this would be a unit patch-style tattoo on my upper right arm, I think. I want to talk to some of the other Warbirds about it, but I’m feeling pretty happy about the idea.

I think my main thing is that currently my skin is a blank canvas. Like with any blank canvas the trick is knowing where to start. I want the first tattoo to feel right, and I think that’ll free up a lot of the hesitance about getting more because the first one was right. This is part of the reason a small tat like the Dagaz rune appeals – it’s not a big thing, and it breaks the ice as it were.

But this is me thinking out loud now. My goal, I think, is to decide on a tattoo and get it done by the end of the year. That seems reasonable, and a good goal.