How To Figure Out Where To Get Your First Tattoo

Deciding whether or not you should get a tattoo is a huge deal, and once you know what you want, the next challenge is placement. If you're totally stumped on how to find best spot on your body to get your first tattoo, I've rounded up a list of factors to consider that should help you narrow down the choices. I'm totally biased toward upper inner arm since that's where I got mine, but you might end up coming to a different conclusion entirely.

When I knew I wanted to get my first tattoo, I'd originally planned for it to be on the inside of my left foot. I'd always thought the spot was super elegant, would be easily hide-able, and probably wouldn't hurt too much. However, the night before the actual appointment, I had a wave of "It's not supposed to be on your foot!" panic and scanned Pinterest for alternative ideas. I calmed down once I saw several pics of girls with gorgeous tattoos on their inner upper arms and knew that was the spot I wanted. I know following a freakout impulse isn't necessarily the best advice when it comes to to tattoos, but I personally have no regrets on picking my arm over my foot!

If you're at a loss to get your first tattoo, scroll the factors below to find the very best spot for you.

1. Your Tolerance For Pain


Tattoos are going to hurt, period. But going for slightly fleshier parts of your body (think upper arms, thighs), will hurt a little less than somewhere more bony like your rib cage, hands, or feet.

2. Your Workplace


Another factor to consider is whether or not your job is going to mind. Is getting a super visible tattoo really worth getting possibly let go over? Ultimately, that's your call. My personal favorite "sneaky" tattoo spot? Thighs! Like, how often do you wear booty shorts to the office?

3. Your Love Of Symmetry

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"Customers with tattoos focused on one side of the body will sometimes come into the shop wanting a tattoo on the other side to even it out," said Alex McWatt of Three Kings Tattoo Parlor to Buzzfeed. If you think you might fall under that category but don't really feel up for eventually getting another tattoo, consider somewhere symmetry isn't an issue like your back.

4. Maintenance Level

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Tattoos naturally fade over time, but McWatt told Buzzfeed, "the skin closer to the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands regenerates a lot faster," meaning you'll need touch ups more frequently.

5. Your Tattoo's Shape

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Want something horizontal? A tattoo on your arm might be perfect. Thinking vertical? Consider a nice, long spot like your calf.

6. Your Moles Or Freckles

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If you have certain body parts covered in freckles, they might impact the way your design turns out. This could be a good or bad thing depending on your preference!

7. Your Tattoo Size

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Your back will naturally suit a much larger tattoo, where as you can play up something small and delicate by getting it on your inner ear or fingers.

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Images: Annie Spratt/Unsplash