Piercings and Tattoos

Nevaeh:  Athol any thoughts on body piercings?

Athol:  Let’s expand that to tattoos as well.

Permanently marking your body is always a strong personal statement. The more intense the markings are, the stronger the statement. So something like vanilla earrings are pretty tame, and genital piercings are very strong.

Heck if you want to toss in cosmetic surgery that can get even stronger still. Half the reason boob jobs end relationships is because the new boobs can sometimes quite dramatically improve her visual appearance, but getting a boob job requires a mindset of commitment to outcome. Once you know someone has fake boobs, you know they are quite prepared to do whatever it takes to get the sexual outcome they want.

So if you want a basic rule of thumb, the more dramatic the body modification, and the more intimate the location it’s in, the stronger the statement of sexual impulsivity is. A little fairy tattoo on a woman’s ankle is one thing, a tattoo of a sexy bunny rabbit with it’s ass up in the air right next to her vagina… well that’s another.

In terms of economics, crappy tattoos brand you forever as lower class. Under no circumstances get anything other than a really top notch professional working on you. A tattoo that costs $100 is NOT cheaper than a $650 one. You’ll pay for the difference forever in disdain and repulsion. Shitty work means you’ll be dating from the lower end of the gene pool. Seriously good work is a conspicuous display of disposable income… and naturally… pain tolerance. Which is fairly Alpha.

The one thing that really sets my hairs on the back of my neck up in terms of getting into a relationship though are tattoos of names. I think whoever that person the name belongs to is, they will always somehow loom larger than you. I mean if your name is Mike, and your girlfriend has the word “Steve” tattooed on her left breast… I’m thinking no matter how bad things were with Steve… he’s getting out of jail eventually. If you’re getting involved with a single mom and she has the names or faces of her kids tattooed on her… that’s a much stronger statement of commitment than anything you’re going to get.

Wives getting a tattoo or piercing as a “surprise” is a classic Fitness Testing routine to throw on their husbands too. It’s always something they know he’s not going to be happy with in the slightest. “But it was meant to be a surprise for you! I thought you would like it! Waaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!”   It’s pretty much the opening salvo in what’s going to be a sustained campaign of testing and boundary pushing. If he fails to Alpha up fairly quickly, she will blow up on him and the marriage will end… badly.

It’s a completely reasonable expectation that permanent body markings are going to be agreed on by both halves of the couple. After all, you’re both going to look at it forever, so you want to be sure that your partner is going to like it. It’s not like a haircut that can grow out again.

If you’re casually dating someone, and she surprises you by showing up with a tattoo of your name on her… she’s Batshit Crazy. You may as well just go to the police station now and ask if you can pre-fill an assault report.

So in the end, if you’re getting something done, think carefully about whatever you’re getting because it’s going to last forever… and make it look like it cost a crap-ton of money. You want it to be something where people say, “I don’t actually like tattoos… but I like yours.”


  1. Someone once explained the appeal of tattoos on women, as markers of a tendency to make really bad decisions. That’s like catnip to a certain type of man. So I’d say no on the tattoos. But I think piercings can work for LTRs and marriage, as long as you stick to ears and you already look kinda innocent to begin with.

  2. So, I shouldn’t get a playboy bunny tattooed on my face? Well, that’s good to know! I almost made an awful mistake! lol

  3. After all, you’re both going to look at it forever, so you want to be sure that your partner is going to like it. It’s not like a haircut that can grow out again.

    That doesn’t apply to piercings. The ring can just be taken out.

  4. Trimegistus says:

    Piercings say “REALLY high pain threshold plus strong urge to show the world how kinky I am.” As a rule of thumb, among non-Indian girls piercings anywhere but the earlobe means easy lay plus she knows all the weird stuff. Wants to live out her “50 Shades of Grey” fantasies. (Among South Asians it doesn’t mean anything except “look at this gold ring — my parents can pay a dowry.”)

  5. As far as tattoos on women go, they’re neutral at *best*, and far more often they can take a toll on one’s SR. The one exception is that they may be able to provide a minor boost to one’s SMV in the short term, with certain types of men (usually those of low class)… the whole sexual impulsivity thing mentioned above.

    But idiots who tat “Dat Good Good” across their ass (or other poorly thought out tattoos) are branding themselves for life as someone who is incapable of making good decisions and has a complete lack of future time orientation.

  6. Meh. Piercings say “I love pus!”

    I don’t have a tat — yet — but I’m planning one. As Athol says, the artist is everything. But so is the design. Paying several hundred dollars for the privilege of walking around with something your spouse doesn’t like and turns them off permanently on your body is just poor mating strategy. My rule of thumb is that if you’re thinking about a tattoo, think about it for five years. If you still want it at that point, it might be a good investment. Then try a temp mock-up for a while and see how your spouse reacts. It’s no guarantee of their permanent reaction to it, but it might point you in the right direction.

    And as for porn . . . ten years ago tattoos were racy expressions of sexuality and piercings were edgy signs of your dedication to your sexuality, or something like that. Now they’re just mostly slutty and, as Athol points out, low-class. Good porn directors wince at the problem, because it’s hard to do a convincing porn parody of a classic 1970s sitcom or a vignette of Victorian scenes when the star performer has an Angry Bird poised over her bush. Yes, there is such a thing as body make-up…but if you have aspirations of porn stardom, skip the ink and keep your hide unpunctured. It just expands your job opportunities.

    (If you want to experiment with your body in a way that might be shocking and potentially exciting to your spouse but not potentially expose you to Hepatitis, then just spontaneously shave your junk. The increase in sensation is temporary, but delightful for both you and your partner, and a lot more sex-positive than a couple of months of disinfectants and pus. The only downside is stubble. NOT sex-positive. But that’s a temporary issue as well.)

  7. I can see now why dear husband was ok with me getting my nose pierced… Hmmm.

  8. In case any of the women are wondering about this:

    Men generally get tattoos/piercings as some kind of personal statement.

    Women get them so they can show them to other people.

    Draw your own conclusions as to how this affects placement.

    Also note that tongue rings are difficult to see at the best of times.


  9. “…but if you have aspirations of porn stardom, skip the ink and keep your hide unpunctured. It just expands your job opportunities.”

    This made me laugh way more than it should’ve. Oh, it’s totally true, but I love the context of putting it here.

  10. @Vicomte:

    This might be of use:


  11. Boob tattoos. NEVER NEVER NEVER. Having trolled various online dating sties recently, I’ve seen far more of these than I ever wanted to see. Trailer Park ahoy! To be honest, there were some I wasn’t sure if it was a tattoo or a pre-cancerous skin discoloration.

  12. whatmeworry says:

    Some of their best work and spot on.

    In general, tats on a chick are an immediate disqualifier for anything more than a romp. Like flip-flops, they’re they brand one as Wal-mart trailer trash. They don’t call them tramp stamps for nothing. On a man, I suppose they’re Alpha for low-mid SES circles but certainly less so for higher than that. Unless it’s your military emblem, skip it.

    These tatted millenials are going to look really freakin stupid once their flesh starts to sag. I predict related flickr/instagram pages posted by nurses and nursing home workers in a few decades.

    Regarding boob jobs (cosmetic not reconstruction), rarely do you see a set that aren’t out on display, pushed-up and with cleavage. The girls I’ve known that have gotten them know what they’re for and why and do their best to get their money’s worth. Not the sort of thing you want your wife doing, unless you’re keen on being cuckolded.

  13. The thing about permanent art is … my tastes change. When I was a messed up emo teen, I lived and breathed Depeche Mode. Now that I’ve had therapy and Prozac? Not so much.

    So a permanent application of skin art is a demonstration of loyalty and fidelity to … whatever it is. The art is also a statement that they are committed to not growing as a person.

  14. I look at tatts now as red flags for trouble. Everywhere I look these days tattoos seem to be on late 30’s to mid 40’s women who have recently ended their marriages, like it’s some kind of right of passage. They are generally in a visible location rather than the areas one used to find them in the 1980’s and 90’s. True to form, I’ve been told by my kids my stbxw just got one.

    In regards to the boob jobs, I can see where this can be a problem, women with low self images will stick to a man thinking she can’t do much better than him. The sudden attention from men she gets after she goes from a A- to C+ cup is sometimes all that’s needed to get the ball rolling, it’s like a drug. A friend of my stbx had her’s done about five years ago, she was so proud of them she tried to get me alone on more than one occasion to show me her “New Ones”. In retrospect maybe I should have given them a close inspection.

  15. Killa Hertz says:

    Whether your tattoo brands you as trailer trash depends on what and where it is. I’ve got a couple of tattoos, and they’re both images I came up with myself that have special meaning to me, not flash that you’d find on a studio’s wall. Homer Simpson on your ass is a trailer-trash marker. The iris that reminds me of my dad because he used to grow them, I see otherwise. (And if other people don’t, frankly I don’t give a crap.)

    I did the surprise-piercing thing twice. It wasn’t consciously intended as a test either time, but in retrospect, I guess there wasn’t much else it could’ve been. The first time, I told my roommate/ex-gf-who-I-was-still-sleeping-with that I was getting a certain piercing, then changed my mind at the last minute and got a different one. She reacted horribly, there was a nasty fight that got physical, and it was one of the many reasons we no longer speak.

    The second time, I was on study-away and got an HCH (genital piercing) without telling my man. He saw it for the first time when he came down to visit me and got my pants off. He wasn’t as thrilled as I hoped he’d be, but he didn’t get too upset. He likes it now and it never turned into a big relationship issue, although I did agree to not pull any more body-mod surprises in future.

  16. To each their own I guess… but just I don’t get the whole tattoo “To remember my……..” thing, especially if it’s in a prominent location. My Dad’s been dead since 1971 and I doubt I’ll ever need anything to remind me of him or of anyone who made a difference in my life. I might get one later though to remind me of who I am, my family has a history of Alzheimer’s….

  17. Thursday's child says:

    I will start by stating that I do not have breast implants. However, if the money was there and I had the courage to; I totally would. I don’t want them bigger, just want them how they used to be.

    If man’s dick got smaller, saggy and softer with every child he fathered; I wouldn’t fault him for wanting to try to fix it/restore what was his beforehand. I don’t think it’s fair to say that every woman who wants implants is on the prowl.

    And I will also say that if my hubby showed any enthusiasm at all for my breasts as they are (which are not awful; just not Playboy-worthy) I would probably not even think twice about altering my body in that way. But that’s a whole other issue, isn’t it?

  18. I’m curious:

    What is the woman’s rationale for the clit piercing?

    Personally, I can’t think of many things more off-putting.

  19. RedPillNewb says:

    The only tatoo I’d ever consider getting would be a seal on my forearm. But you have to earn that one, and I haven’t. So no tattoos for me.

  20. Tattoos on women, especially those close to an erotic zone, are fairly reliable slut tells. Check out the teens tweeting nude pics of themselves to Hunter Moore and “Is anyone up” (google it). Three quarters of them have tats. I’ve never seen a tat make a woman more attractive. At best they are neutral, and they advertise that this chick makes poor long term decisions for short term fun. Not wife material.

  21. Some interesting comments here.

    One reason why you’re seeing tattoos on women who are recently separatated/divorced is probably because they’re finally on their own and no longer with a partner who freaked out at the idea.

    And they’re not only for the trashy and less educated. I got one recently after 30 years of contemplating it and I’m an educated woman (accountant), 50yrs old and I’ve never lived in a trailer park or anything close. My current partner was very supportive and loves it. It’s a symbol that is personal to me and only visible if I want to specifically show someone.

    If for some reason my current partner and I don’t stay together, and it bothers a new person or they deem it as a red flag or reason not to be with me, then so be it, they’re clearly not the person I want to be with then either.

  22. JellyBean says:

    I used to have a tattoo. I actually lost most of it in a surgery a few years ago. I have always really liked the look of *well done* tattoos on both men and women. Sadly, most of the tattoos I see on display tend to be of the bargain variety.

    Here is a photo essay about a tattooed bride. I think she looks great — very pretty, confident, and happy.

  23. If you’re ever considering a tatoo, you can always “test drive” it with Henna. Getting it done twice might be expensive, but it’s way less expensive, and more effective than laser removal.

    Also, despite what may people here seem to be implying, there is such a thing as a classy tatoo. This for example:


  24. Another entertaining post, thank you.
    Would you please post a few pictures of what you consider expensive-looking tattoos?

  25. I have both nipples pierced and will get aVCH (clit) piercing soon. DH was with me when I got my nips done and was fully supportive of it as well as getting a VCH. Although not into tattoos on my body I enjoy the beautification the piercing did to my self image. I have a rather large bustline and have never ‘liked’ my boobs. That is until I found some pretty bras that actually fit and got my piercings. I like how they make me feel. Call it flair for the dramatic but that’s my thought. DH has alao noticed a change in my attitude for the better. As for the VCH I just think its sexy and so does the hubs. Heals quickly and enhances the ‘moment’. I’m also a banker and tattoos aren’t really cool to have. So piercings are like a dirty little secret DH and I have.

  26. Sort of off topic but this conversation reminded me of a reality TV show I saw a couple years ago about a guy in his late 20s who was covered in tattoos and his fiance spent the entire episode trying to convince him to get all of them lasered off. Her rationale was that he needed to “grow up” and get a better job so they get married and all that.

    Truth be told, he was working at a pizza place and had some tattoos that were jeopardizing to any future upward movement (neck and hands) but it still seems like a massive shit test on her part. Most of coercion involved tears, pleading, etc. She didn’t just want the visible stuff gone, she wanted it ALL gone.

    I mean, why start dating a guy who is that inked up in the first place? He had all the tats before he even met her. In the end, he caved and one of the final scenes was of him getting lasered, clenching his teeth and moaning. The cost and sheer pain he had to go through just to keep this chick made me feel sorry for him.

  27. Women who get tattoos also seem like they follow the crowd too much, and could be coaxed by a queen bee friend to do other unsavory things.

  28. taterearl says:

    Tattoos on a woman signal they are promiscuous…or they hate themselves.

    Because to a man…tattoos aren’t attractive on a woman. It’s like throwing watercolors on the Mona Lisa.

  29. Vicomte – apparently piercing the clitoris leads to stimulation and increase in desire for sex. Perhaps extra stimulation during sex? However, I am sure there are better explanations that are less practical and more to do with psychology/culture.

    Not judging at all, but reporting only – I met quite a few men while dating and they never actually expressed a liking for body art or piercings except the culturally acceptable ear rings. Several found them abhorrent. One man with a lot of dating experience (and a very, very good job and income) said he noticed women in their 30s/40s getting tattoos to “jazz up” their image. He found tattoos indicative of “low class” and advised against them. Thus, I’d not advise body art for mature aged ladies looking for a good match, but suggest paying attention to other things like fitness, overall presentation etc!

  30. Killa Hertz says:

    Tinker: It’s not to remember my dad in a general sense. It’s to remember the good times. He was an alcoholic, so of course I have an awful lot of negative memories of him. The iris specifically reminds me of the older memories, back when things were good and I felt like I had a dad, rather than a drunk man living in my mom’s house.

    Vicomte: The one I have is just for looks. It provides no extra stimulation. I just like knowing it’s there :)

    taterearl: In some cases, sure, but not all. I’ve slept with exactly one man – the one I’m going to marry – and I have a pretty healthy self-image. I see my tattoos as a collage of my past and the things that have made me who I am. I just happen to prefer my art on my body. A large percentage of my female friends have tattoos, and they are all over the map in terms of promiscuity and self-image – just like my non-tattooed friends.

  31. Killa Hertz says:

    And my fiance happens to be quite fond of my tattoos. He’s been supportive of my getting all of them.

  32. The only tattoo I can imagine getting would be a machine readable barcode of my SSN on my butt.

  33. I can empathise with Thursday’s Child on the post baby boobs. Mine are also B cup/C cup lopsided, and if money was there i’d love the chance to change that. I’ve considered getting my nipples pierced so i can wear beautiful jewellery there. This is a really personal thing to me and i couldn’t see myself turning into a tit flashing slag because of it.

    Tattoos and piercings are so popular now it can hardly be claimed them to be a lower class indicatior, i read an article not long ago about the ‘nerd tattoos’ of computer geniuses, scientists and doctors. One was a geneticist who had his wife’s name encoded in a diagram of a DNA helix. Even if you hate name tattoos you have to admit that’s pretty cool lol!

  34. Really people?
    I hear that if a girl smokes cigarettes that means she will do it with you.

  35. “Tattoos and piercings are so popular now it can hardly be claimed them to be a lower class indicatior,”

    Eh… Lowest common denominator, race to the bottom, coarsening of the culture… take your pick.

  36. Peregrine John says:

    Woah, hang on there, kids. Missing the point of the article, and especially the direct warning’s unsaid solution: What specifically is meant by “to Alpha up fairly quickly” after the fact of permanent ink as a fitness test? Yeah, in general, step up; but for the test itself, what?

  37. Hohn Q Galt says:

    When I lived in the South, I agreed that tat’s were a lower class marker, Now that I’m in Colorado, I think they are actually pretty common. Our fortysomething head of HR, a very successful, articulate, well dressed and well spoken professional has one on her ankle and I’ve obviously never asked what else she has.

    Tats are also VERY common among our twentysomething employees – again, college educated engineers and accountants. Interestingly…I also know of several cases where they are getting tattoos removed!

  38. Joe_Commenter says:

    I love seeing women with pierced tongues. Yes, of course I know, all women who have pierced tongues are not experts at oral sex. On the other hand, I have a hard time coming up with any other possible connotation to this piercing location.

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