Monday, 24 March 2014

Getting your first tattoo

Ever since I turned 50, bearing in mind that neither my later mother nor sister ever made it to the age of 50, I try to do at least one thing every year that is exciting, adventurous, outside my comfort zone or just something I’ve always wanted to do.

And along those lines I recently had a tattoo done! It is about 3” on my lower right calf – this was taken the day I got it. Ever the researcher I asked lots of questions and carefully noted the procedure for inclusion in a future book.

I did have a character with a tattoo in ‘Retraining the Dom’ who had one to cover up a scar. In the light of my research for having mine done I would probably have added some extra lines or comments stating that some artists won’t do tattoos over scars, particularly raised ones like keloid scars, as the ink doesn’t always stay there and the lines of the tattoo might be distorted.

Thankfully I didn’t have that problem and I deliberately chose an area of my body that will be less affected by wrinkle-age as I get older (ah ha! I’m not a fool!).

The first question everyone has been asking me is, “Did it hurt a lot?” The answer is not overly, more stingy than painful. Like someone pressing really really hard with a sharp biro into your skin. Again, I deliberately chose a fleshy area for that reason. What I wasn’t expecting, that I hadn’t read about in my initial research, was that some people having calf tattoos suffer from ‘blood rush’ to the area when standing after sitting or lying, or standing still after walking. It was agony for up to thirty seconds! I was ready to chop my leg off.

However, this sensation dissipated as the tattoo healed (phew!).

I was concerned about possible scabbing that some people seem to have had after their tattoos were done. It seems to vary from person to person and possibly depends on the skill of the artist. It is two weeks since mine (two weeks is the initial healing period) and I have only suffered from some slight flaking. So either the artist did it well, I heal well, or my aftercare was excellent.

This involved washing the area with antibacterial gel three times a day and washing the gel off with luke warm water with my hand only (no rubbing with a cloth).  Patting it dry with a paper towel and after allowing it to air dry for 10mins or so then putting on some expensive tattoo cream (which looks more like lip balm) that I got from the tattoo shop. I alternated this with tea tree cream as they said to start using non-scented creams (because the alcohol can draw out the ink) after a few days.

I am delighted with – and am thoroughly enjoying shocking everyone! I’ve had comments from “My life is so boring in comparison” to “You never cease to amaze me” to “Well done, you. I’m still traumatized from having my ears pierced nearly 40 years ago!”

For those that want to read more about Olivia's dragon tattoo (and where she got her scars from) in Retraining the Dom it is available on Amazon.



  1. Love your tattoo! Your tattoo artist did a great job!! I'm glad that you had such a good experience with your tattoo. I have never heard of tea tree cream and will have to look into that when I get my next tattoo.

  2. Thank you, sweetie. Tea tree is soft and gentle and antiseptic.