Yes, tattoos are painful. The sensation is very difficult to explain and changes quite a bit in different areas of the body. There are generalisations but it’s different for everybody. Pain is temporary and the sensation is manageable, the want for your new tattoo will help you sit through it.
Tattoos anywhere on the body are quite bearable up to 90 minutes worth of work. Anywhere up to 4 hours can start to wear you down and so we suggest you have had a decent meal beforehand and bring something sugary with you for during the tattoo. You may require a break or two during the later part of the tattoo – just ask your artist for a breather. For larger work multiple sessions may be required. In this instance it’s more about making your tattoo journey an enjoyable experience than an endurance test – sit for as long as you can during a session but don’t feel you need to push yourself past your limits. You want to leave looking forward to your next session not dreading it.
Don’t be discouraged - if the sensation was that bad there wouldn’t be thousands of people across the globe dedicating hundreds of hours to their inked skin.