My special guest today is Sidney Bristol, fellow Romance Diva and author of Under His Skin. Since Under His Skin is part of the Pricked series, featuring tattoos, I asked Sidney to do a TT all about tattoos. So, grab a drink from the cabana boy, sit back and enjoy! Over to Sidney…
1. Tattoos are something we see every day as the social acceptance becomes greater in all parts of the world. But why are tattoos called – tattoos? The origins come from a Tahitian word, tatu, which translates roughly as, ‘to mark something.’ Tatu is also a rough estimation of what the hammer hitting the tattoo needle in the original process, ta, a light tap to set the needle in the skin, and tu, a harder tap to inject the ink under the epidermis.
2. Some of the oldest found humans have tattoos. Otzi the Iceman, the oldest European man ever found, had a collection of geometric tattoos on his body. After studying his bones and finding the areas under the ink degenerating, it’s believed that the practice of tattooing was to help relieve pain. Otzi is estimated to have been alive in 3,300 BC. Since he was discovered, a body dating back 8000BC has also been found with tattoo markings.
3. Every culture has a tattoo tradition, and almost to a one, tattoos tell nothing of their history. No one knows how the first person thought it would be a GREAT idea to put this bit of soot or dirt under their skin to make a design. In researching, the general consensus is that the first tattoo happened by way of an accident, someone had an injury or open wound, rubbed it with a hand covered in soot or dirt and when the injury healed, the marks stayed.
4. The 1%. Long before Wall Street and the battle of the 1%, motorcyclists held court over the 1%. In 1950’s, the American motorcycle Association made a statement that 99% of motorcyclists are good people, and only 1% were the outlaws people feared. This was in answer to a growing fear of motorcycle gangs and violence. In answer to this statement, many of the motorcyclists who saw themselves as outlaws went out and got the 1% tattoo, proudly proclaiming, “We are the people our parents warned us about,” a popular motto of the Bandido gang. It is common now for a member of a tattoo gang be required to earn their 1% tattoo by doing something worthy of an outlaw. How hard do you think they’re laughing at Wall Street now?
5. The most tattooed man in the world has 92% of his body covered by leopard prints. This is commonly referred to as a body suit, and may or may not include feet, gentiles, hands, neck and face.
6. The world record holder for more tattoos had about 14,000 individual tattoos on his body.
7. In the 90’s cosmetic tattoos became a staple. The most popular cosmetic tattoo is eyeliner, the second is lipstick. I would tattoo lipstick. Talk about the ultimate long-last-no-smudge!!
8. The first tattoo machine was a device created by Thomas Edison. It was modified in 1891 and though it’s not known for sure, the resulting tattoo on Thomas Edison’s forearm of a collection of dots were probably made by this machine. The dots are in the same formation as a five on a set of dice.
9. In the 1960’s tattoos were banned in New York City after a person was infected with Hepatitis B. This is why it is very important to know and talk to your tattoo artist. Don’t be afraid to ask for health certifications and have a look around to determine your own comfort. Despite the known diseases transmitted due to tattoos, there has yet to be a case of transmitting HIV due to a tattoo.
10. A good tattoo artist will undergo years of preparation before setting up shop as a professional. This generally begins with a low-man-on-the-totem-pole job to learn the ropes of how the shop works, or straight into an apprenticeship. Though in recent years tattoo schools have been created in a school room environment, the way artists have learned for generations is from watching a master and spending hours drawing, doing general shop labor and working their way up to tattooing pig skins, themselves and friends before taking their first client. In addition, since tattooing is considered a health care field because of the process of injecting substances under the skin, many artists will get certifications and training in dealing with blood-born pathogens and biohazard care. They want to do a good job, and they want to do it safely.
12. Currently it’s estimated that one in four Americans between 18 to 50 have at least one tattoo. I can say that the number of people who approach me the most about liking my tattoos are over 40, and typically say that they wish they would have done the tattoo they wanted when they were younger. Though tattoos have always been popular among the younger set, the largest growing age group for tattoos is 40+.
13. Pregnant women and tattooed individuals lose the rights of personal space. Where a pregnant woman will undergo nine months of being felt up by random strangers, tattooed people will always have strangers approach them and examine their tattoos, with or without permission. I’ve had my clothes partially removed by complete strangers wanting to get a look at my back tattoo. Another time I was wearing a dress and a complete stranger looked down the back to get a glimpse of the art.
QUESTION FROM SHELLEY – Do you have a tattoo?
It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.
A woman who doesn’t believe she deserves love…
Toe-curling kisses and enough sex to fill a weekend were all Pandora wanted from a fling with her teenage crush. She’s never forgotten how he played the knight in shining armor to her damsel in distress. She’s ready to say thank you in several naughty ways, so long as she can walk away when it’s over with her heart intact.
A man moving on from tragedy…
Brian has no intention of allowing the feisty tattoo artist to leave him after one taste. He hasn’t had enough of her inked curves. The packaging might have changed, but Pandy is the woman he hasn’t been able to excise from his memory. He’s ready to put together a new life, one that includes her. But he’s not the only one vying for her attention. Someone else wants her, dead or alive.