Top 15 Most Painful Places To Get A Tattoo – Where It Hurts The Worst
Everyone carries a different tolerance for pain, and ardent tattoo enthusiasts tend to believe that pain is a small price to pay for a permanent piece of living, moving art.
However, one’s tattooing experience shouldn’t feel like torture, and it’s only natural to want to avoid certain areas in favor of comfort.
While fleshier regions of the body–such as the arms, upper back, shoulders, and thighs–are relatively low on the pain litmus, bonier areas can be more problematic for some. The elbows, spine, chest, knees, ankles, and feet are famously more prone to pain, with the sides of the torso also susceptible due to delicate nerve endings.
Where the skin is thinner and closer to the bone, the needle’s movements will reverberate at a more intense volume, resulting in potential discomfort. It’s typically recommended that one get their first tattoo in a pain-free zone to avoid a negative introduction to what is sure to be a lifetime passion.
You can also request that your tattoo artist take breaks throughout the procedure to allow you to catch your breath and rest from the adrenaline rush.
A tattoo is a lifetime commitment, and while memories of pain may fade by comparison, there’s no shame in wanting to spare one’s self any unnecessary duress. From start to completion, a tattoo is an experience to savor, rather than endure.
With that said, go ahead and explore the top 15 most painful places to get a tattoo below. You’ll discover where it hurts the worst, alongside where bone and nerve endings will plague you with plenty of pain!
Anyone who has ever bumped an elbow and experienced the fireworks of nerve pain down the entire arm knows this is a sensitive spot. Because there’s no protective muscle between the skin and bone here, the elbow ranks fairly high on the pain scale. Without any cushion between the needle and the bone, when getting the elbow tattooed, you’re going to feel the pain of the needle pressing into the bone, along with the sensation of the needle getting dragged across your skin. In addition, the vibrations trigger a response from the ulnar nerve—the one responsible for the pain that shoots down your entire arm when you hit your “funny bone.”
While the back is generally one of the less painful areas to get a tattoo, the spine is the exception. The spine is ultra-sensitive to begin with, so getting inked directly on it will produce a pretty intense level of pain for anyone on the receiving end of that needle.
Just like any other bony area of the body, getting a tattoo anywhere along the ribcage is not a whole lot of fun. While some people have described the pain as a sharp poke, others have likened it to being stabbed. In addition to the intense pain of the needle over the bone, the spaces in between cause a lot of discomfort, too. As the needle moves between the ribs, the vibration causes a combination of sensations that include an uncomfortable burning tickle. Its seriously no laughing matter!
The knee stands out as possible the most painful location to have inked. Regardless of whether you choose the outer kneecap area, or the soft, nerve-laden inside of the knee, you’re in for an experience as bad as either the elbow or the armpit.
With very little skin or muscle covering the kneecap, the pain of the needle vibration is pretty severe. The back of the knee is considered one of the most painful areas to have tattooed. It is comparable to the armpit, as far as sensitivity. In addition to the pain of having the knee tattooed, it can be a difficult area to heal properly, as it is difficult, if not impossible, to entirely mobilize the knee to allow the skin to heal.
Think about one of the more ticklish spots on most people’s bodies. While there is adequate padding over the bone the armpit is, literally, a bundle of nerves and anything done to that area produces all the feels. In the case of a needle inking the area, that translates into a good amount of pain. If you are someone who has a difficult time with being touched there (very ticklish), you’re going to have an unbearable time sitting through the vibrations produced by the needle.
Because this is another bony area of the body, it can be a very painful place to get a tattoo, though far from the worst.
In case you are wondering, there’s little difference between getting inked on the inside or outside of the ankle – both spots hurt a lot. However, the placement of the tattoo relative to the ball of the ankle bone will make all the difference as far as how much pain the procedure causes. A tattoo placed just above or below the protruding bone registers much lower down on the pain scale than one inked over the bone. Another thing to consider, is that the ankle can be rather painful for some and relatively pain free for others; it varies person to person.
While the chest is a common (and not terribly painful) spot for a tattoo, be aware that the sternum, located in the very center of the chest, can be a different story.
Pain from a tattoo on the sternum can vary, depending on how much “meat” you have covering the area. With its thin covering of skin and muscle over the bones, can be a pretty painful spot to have worked on, especially for thinner guys. If you’re considering a larger chest piece tattoo, it is recommended that the artist begin the work on the sternum and radiate outward, in order to get the worst pain over with first.
The inner arm (inside bicep) is not a particularly painful spot to get a tattoo.
There’s plenty of muscle and skin to shield the bone from painful contact and not many nerve endings centered there. As long as the tattoo artist keeps the needle from inching too close to the armpit or the inside of the elbow, getting a tattoo here is relatively easy, compared to other places. If your design covers the areas close to the armpit and inside elbow, though, be prepared for a world of pain. These are both extremely sensitive areas, with nerve endings that will shoot the pain far beyond the areas being worked on.
Getting a tattoo anywhere on your neck is no walk in the park, for sure. But, with this body part, the location really matters. The side of the neck has very little muscle or fat, and plenty of nerve endings, which makes for a lot of pain. In addition, our brain’s survival instinct means that having someone apply sustained pressure to an area needed for breathing can induce some pretty strong reactions. In comparison, the back of the neck is an easier place to get a tattoo. There’s more muscle and fat covering things there.
The pain level for a hand tattoo is similar to the foot in that it is mostly bone with very little skin covering it. This means it is fairly painful. The fingers and palm are also highly sensitive as they contain tons of nerve endings. One other thing to think about if this is a spot your considering getting done is this: hand tattoos, and especially finger tattoos, don’t always heal easily, and the quality of the art seems to degrade more quickly than on other areas.
If just the thought of getting inked in this area makes you cross your legs uncomfortably, congratulations! You have the right idea!
Remember what we’ve learned about places with lots of nerve endings? As you can imagine, getting a tattoo on the penis or testicles is not for the faint of heart. It is an almost tortuous experience, and definitely shouldn’t be the location you choose for your first tattoo. In addition to the pain involved, keep in mind that the healing process requires you to avoid getting the affected area wet for a couple of weeks, as water carries bacteria and increases the chances for an infection. Is this really an area you want to shortchange to when showering for too long?
This area is a doozy, as far as pain. The combination of some key nerve endings being located there, as well as just the thinnest layer of skin standing between the needle the cervical vertebrae located there makes this area super sensitive. A tattoo here is very painful.
Just like all the other bony areas in the body, the collarbone is a very painful location for a tattoo. The vibrations can also cause you to feel like you are actually getting your neck tattooed. Choosing to have your design place just above or below the most prominent point of the bone can help with making it slightly less painful.
Side of wrist
While a tattoo on the wrist, in general, registers as only average on the pain scale, the side of the wrist is a different story. The prominence of the bones to the surface skin there can make for a pretty excruciating experience for anyone getting inked. Similar to the ankle, the exact placement of a tattoo here can make a big difference as far as the level of pain involved.
With little muscle or skin to buffer the pressure of the needle, the head is an extremely painful location for a tattoo. In addition to the pain, the sensation of hearing the procedure taking place inches from your ear makes the whole process that much more unbearable.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather WatchCheck Price
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.