When I dated a guy with a slightly younger brother, we used to cue up disgusting porn as his screen saver just for shits and giggles because we thought it was wicked funny to do that kind of stuff to him. Because wouldn’t YOU want to cue up your computer to a picture of a woman having The Sex with a snake or a dude humping a couple of sheep? You know, standard stuff, really. One day, on my travels through porn land (like Disney Land, but BETTER), I found a site that showed women with remarkable tattoos…on their vaginas.
At the time, of course, I had no tattoos because my mother would have rather sold me into white slavery than sign for an illegal tattoo (you had to be twenty-one at the time in Illinois to get a tattoo, although the age has since been reduced to eighteen) and I wasn’t exactly sold on the idea anyway. Most of the tats I’d seen weren’t well executed and I couldn’t exactly think of anything I wanted to commemorate for longer than a couple of weeks anyway. But I’d never seen anything quite like this before and I had to say that I admired their dedication.
Particularly striking was the woman who’d tattooed Fidel Castro’s face onto her lady bits. The beard was, well, her pubes. That showed a level of commitment I simply couldn’t fathom, especially toward a political figurehead, but then again, I wasn’t Cuban. Oddly, she wasn’t the only one who’d tattooed something large onto her crotch. There were butterflies and dragons, and some of the work was actually quite lovely, although I noted somewhat gleefully that none of the women had given birth yet. I just didn’t understand what would possess someone to get an area like that tattooed, but I had to admit that it looked kind of cool. Painful, but cool. Kind of like vagina bedazzling before it was in fashion to do so.
Then, because I am a masochist, I followed a link that lead me to another site. A site that I still cannot, no matter how hard I try, unsee. A site that showed me many, many more pictures of tattoos. Tattoos that men had chosen to have done. On their penises. On the vagina, I could sort of comprehend a tattoo, but on a penis, an organ I didn’t even possess, I couldn’t begin to understand. There were many more dragons here amidst the tribal bands and shapes.
My mouth hung open in abject shock and horror. I’d seen some pretty fucked up things in my day and I was no stranger to tattoos and piercings and people who shot heroin and I’d hung out with some shady characters and been some places that would make my mother’s hair curl (should she ever find out. Please, Mom, don’t find this particular column and ask me about it) but nothing prepared me for the gut reaction that seeing a giant, poorly executed tattoo on a penis would.
First, I clenched my legs together as tightly as I could because while I had no penis, I’d been around enough of them after they’d been kicked to know that they were kinda…sensitive. And to imagine them being shot up with a gazillion tiny needles was physically painful for me to imagine. So then, because good pain is ALWAYS worth sharing I called my boyfriend and a couple of his friends over to show him. Their reaction was similar to mine. They each cupped their hands around their own set of balls (because it would be weird otherwise) and winced.
Not shockingly, most of the tattoos that I saw on the Gallery of the Abused Penises weren’t very good, which made complete sense to me. Logically, it seemed damn near impossible to get a good rendering of ANYTHING in a place known for both immense growth and considerable (hilarious) shrinkage and to remain in precisely the same state throughout the entire tattoo process would be damn near impossible. When I read up on it while “researching” this article (and I admit that I use “researching” very loosely here. More like “lazily googling for things and then occasionally looking at pictures of cats with wacky captions. Because there’s nothing not hilarious about TALKING CATS), I found out that most reputable tattoo parlors won’t agree to tattoo anything on a penis other than a shape or a design. So asking for, let’s say, a picture of my smiling face on your penis in full color, most GOOD places will tell you that you’re insane. And not just because it’s creepy to put someone’s picture on your penis.
Even now as more of a tattoo aficionado, while I understand it a bit more, after two intensely painful foot tattoos that left me nearly crippled in pain for a week afterward, I can’t see the appeal of a dick—or, let’s face it, a vagina—tattoo. Maybe it’s because I don’t like horrible stabbing pain in my private parts, or maybe it’s because I’ve seen what naturally happens to those areas of the human body given some time and a couple of highly common diseases and it ain’t pretty. But whatever floats your boat. There’s all kinds of weird procedures to nip and tuck your cootch and maybe even your dick. I don’t know because I can’t bring myself to google it and frankly, I don’t even want to THINK about it.
But for as aghast as I am by their dangly dick tattoos, I’m sure they’re just as aghast by my mini-van (which makes two of us, actually) and the fact that I haven’t been in a bar fight, well, ever. So it goes to show that you never can tell, I guess. Anyway. I like to consider myself to be an International (wo)man of Mystery, but I’m going to have to be honest with you Toy With Me-ers, you’ll never see Your Aunt Becky with a Fidel Castro tattoo on her snatch. And not just because I’m not Cuban.