Exquisite Pain


I am lying on my back. My blouse has been unbuttoned, hanging unceremoniously (yet revealingly!) off of one shoulder. My breathing is ragged, my pulse races with anticipation.

It sounds like something from a bosom-heaver novel, right?

Actually, I’m getting tattooed.

Having an ageing punker inject ink into your skin with a motorized needle that’s set to jab you hundreds of times in a split second might not be the first thing that comes to one’s mind when one considers erotic experiences. But for me, consensual pain has always been a huge part of eroticism. The focus it affords, the rush of adrenaline, the sense of release when the pain stops – it’s not entirely unlike sex, in and of itself.

Except it’s a hell of a lot more expensive.

In my case, I think the prohibitive expense is ultimately a good thing – if it didn’t cost upwards of sixty dollars an hour (significantly more than sixty for a really experienced artist like the one who did my chest piece last weekend), I’d be covered head to toe in ink by now. As it is, I have no idea when or how I’m going to be able to afford the full sleeve tattoo I’ve been wanting for two years… but I know that until I can make it happen, I’ll be fantasizing about the thrill of anticipation and the buzz of the tattoo needles.