The Lowdown on Penis Tattoos

Updated 03/20/19

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While admittedly not for everyone, some people want to tattoo their genitalia, and that includes penises. This tattoo placement conjures up a variety of thoughts, images and questions—especially for those who haven't researched. Do you have to be erect during a penis tattoo? What are some design ideas? It's not a great idea to opt for a penis tattoo for your first tattoo, instead, build up your pain tolerance and knowledge with the following facts and tips.

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Some people tattoo their penis because it fits into their overall body modification theme. Others do it because tattooing the penis, specifically, feels a little rebellious and they want to add that element to their body art. The choice to tattoo the penis is highly individual. Some people may tattoo this area in part of a couples theme design, while others go it alone, maybe even with a silly idea. The reasons, and their complementary design suggestions, are endless, but the facts remain the same. 

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Finding an Artist

Finding a tattoo artist that will do a penis tattoo will be your first challenge in getting one. Due to the sensitive nature of this tattoo placement, not every single artist will be willing to honor your request. Others may be happy to do it, but will charge accordingly, meaning they may ask for more compensation than they would for a tattoo that's placed in a less intimate area. Remember, your artist has to feel comfortable performing the work, and that burden may cost more than a tattoo placed on your bicep.

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Pain Tolerance

Yes, a penis tattoo will hurt. Some people enjoy this part of the process—some even seek it out for this reason alone, as a manifestation of a fetish. Others simply like to add an element of surprise to their genitals. As with all tattoos, pain is relative. Practicing breathing and relaxation techniques while focusing on something other than the needle will be the best way to cope. As stated before, it's ill-advised to opt for a penis tattoo as your first tattoo, instead, figure out your personal level of pain tolerance before you book the appointment.

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Do I Need to be Erect?

There are no silly questions, especially when it comes to penis tattoos, which can feel kind of inherently silly at times. Your artist will hold your penis taut, and it should not be erect, rather firmly held and stretched so that the artist has full control for proper needle placement. If you do become aroused, don't worry. Just apologize, carry on, and try to relax. Your tattoo artist should expect this occurrence due to the sensitive nature of the location.

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Tattoo designs should always be well thought out, particularly if placed on the genital area. Whimisical penis tattoo ideas include a Hammerhead shark, a pencil, a mushroom, a wad of money, a train, or an arrow. More obvious animal-based tattoo choices for this area include fire-breathing and dangerous dragons, a snake, or a grand elephant's trunk. Any sort of design that mimics the natural positioning of your anatomy will be fitting. If you have any genital body piercings, try to design an idea around your other modifications for added style. One of the most popular ideas is a lover's name tattoo. Whether to prove your commitment ​or make right of a past wrong, think twice before you ink a name on any part of your body.

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Full Disclosure

Finally, after you've scoured the facts, made the decision and had the work, what do you do? Show it off? Penis tattoos are not at all common, so you can expect anyone who sees it to have varied questions and reactions. Some partners may be turned on by it, while others, not so much. If you're entering an intimate relationship and things have begun to head South, you may want to disclose your body art, and be prepared for any response. You may pleasantly find that a penis tattoo enhances your sex life as it unleashes the wild sides of both you, and your partner. You also may not.

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