What is the Best Place on the Body for Your First Tattoo?

It is entirely up to every single person where on the body to place their first tattoo. However, often people ask where the ‘best spot’ is. And while aesthetics certainly play a huge role there are a few other things to take into consideration when planning for your first piece of ink. Things such as pain tolerance, work situation, and whether or not you like to plan for more tattoos in the future all come into play. Let’s take a look at some of the more user-friendly locations for your first body art design. 

Go for the ‘meaty’ bits

Notorious BIG

By Liberty from the Sutton Coldfield studio

Of course, ideal placement will depend a lot on the design that you have chosen as your tattooing rite of initiation. However, as it is your first time you may feel a little nervous about what to expect in terms of pain levels and sensations. As such, it could be a good idea to go for one of the – subjectively yet anecdotally consistent – less painful spots on the body. These generally include places with more body fat or layers of muscle. 

Relatively comfortable placements include upper thighs (front and sides), outside of the upper and lower arms, as well as upper back and shoulders. The meaty part of the calf is also pretty forgiving, but can get more unpleasant the closer you get to the back of the knee. Oh, and the glutes are reportedly pretty comfortable, but it is quite rare to hear of someone choosing their butt as the spot for their first tat. 

Areas that tend to be popular but is perhaps best to stay away from for your first go include ribs, ankles, feet, wrists and hands. The inside of the arms are also surprisingly sensitive, particularly the upper arm as the skin is super thin and it has a ton of nerves running through it. Elbows are very boney and uncomfortable, but those are less popular on the gram than the others, so less temptation. 

To show off or not to show off

Leopard and flower thigh piece

By Mel from Vivid Ink Stafford

There are two ways you can feel about your new tattoo. One is to want to show it off to the whole world. The other is to keep it to yourself and your closest people for awhile, and share it on only special occasions with a broader audience. If you are part of the latter club, places like the wrist or lower arm may be a little too conspicuous for you to feel absolutely comfortable.

Other than visibility, you may also want to take into account if you are into sports of any kind. While you need to stay out of the gym and away from strenuous activity for the first few days after getting a new tattoo, the healing process could be disturbed if it is continuously chafed by clothing. Meaning, if you wear cycling shorts, maybe your thighs can wait until you have a holiday. If you golf – and are part of the tattoos-in-golfing rebel crew – and wear polo shirts, perhaps leave the upper arm alone until after the season. 

Ultimately your (and your artist’s) choice

Generally speaking though, the important thing is that you choose a placement that will best showcase the design that you are going for. It is a decision of a lifetime, after all, and you need to feel content and happy with your choice. The pain will always fade. And most likely, you will be itching to book your next appointment before too long.