Tattoos – Part 2

I confess. I don’t entirely understand the allure of tattoos.

There are some adornments and accessories I can get behind. A simple stud in a nostril can transform a woman from unnoticed by me to powerfully desired by me. Tasteful earrings can draw my eyes to the back of a woman’s neck, her shoulder, her ear, in a way that’s sensual and subtle. There’s something sexy, if presumptively slutty, about a tongue stud. (It invites anyone who sees it to imagine its wearer with a cock in her or his mouth.)

Tattoos rarely have this effect on me.

That’s not to say I object to them. I don’t. I don’t have a blanket position on them one way or the other.

I’ve seen tattoos that were totally hot, and I’ve seen tattoos that made me want to vomit.

If you’ve read more than a post or two here, you know that I’m kind of a word guy. Words are, as I’ve written, my currency. They’re the lens through which I most powerfully experience the world, and, even when I have bodily experiences, it’s often my attempt to put them into words that makes them real to me.

So it’s not surprising that it’s word tattoos that most often turn me on. A delicate word or phrase on the underside of a wrist? Showing strength and vulnerability at once? Yum. A powerful verse from a poem, story, or book, on a shoulder, back, or forearm? Hot.

But what about non-verbal tattoos?

The ones that do anything for me are simple, spare – barbed wire around an ankle, a rose between the shoulder blades. The elaborate, multicolored, swirling tramp stamp? The detailed (or simple) panther head, dominating a back? The pastiche of colors, designs, images, all distracting me from the look and feel of your skin, your flesh? Not so much.

It’s not, as I said, that they turn me off. They just are a distraction, not an affirmative plus.

What do you think?

Postscript, 7.5 years later (2020-07-23): Um. I got a tattoo.


  1. I love tattoos. This may be biased… I have ten already. I am only drawn to tattoos that have something more than face value to them and are more than flash art from a wall. Specifically, like you, I adore word tattoos (and have several myself). One of my favorites I’ve seen was a bold semi-colon on the inside of the elbow– not quite words, but my favorite punctuation all the same.


  2. I’m a huge fan of tattoos (and piercings), but I have a few. They have to be tasteful though. Tattoos on women can be overdone and detract instead of add to beauty, but it depends on the woman.

  3. I have no tattoos but I do love some of them. I think it totally depends on who they are on and what they are. I have a thing for firefighters.. a good one placed on a bicep.. my panties are wet, add in wood smoke and someone is getting laid period. I have a thing for wolf or big cat tattoos if done tastefully. I don’t want run of the mill, make it stand out and be YOU not what every other person has..

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