Things to Know While Dating a Tattoo Artist—Five Years In

After Five Years, This Is What I Have to Say . . .

It has now been five years in and let me assure you that not much changes in the way of dating a tattoo artist. After five years together we still erupt in the same battles we had when we first started dating. Like any other couple, we fight about normal things. Money, jealousy, petty crap that should never have come to be an argument in the first place . . . but when you date someone in a field like tattooing, there are other issues that arise and make themselves known.

The biggest that I have found after five years is not something you would expect. It is not the other women, who will come in spades, believe me, and it’s not the long lonely nights, which also will come in spades. The main issue that I have with this man is the way he volunteers himself to be taken advantage of.

Someone is always looking for a free tattoo, or a twenty dollar tattoo, not taking into account the cost of supplies, or the fact that only the owner of a shop gets to take home the full amount he charges you, and even then he has to pay for rent, electric, and all the other things that make a shop run.

People who call themselves true friends to a tattoo artist typically accept the price they are given simply because a true friend knows that the artist is more than likely already cutting him the “friend discount,” but there are people, friends of friends, or even total strangers that will expect a tattoo artist to completely rape himself so they can get a tattoo for the price of a few gallons of gas.

Watching someone you love lower his price to the point of accepting what you know is too low for what they have to offer only to please a customer is enraging. You feel that they are being taken advantage of and that they should have fought to keep the price at what they know their work is worth. It will take everything in you not to shake the customer to try to make them realize the amount of work it takes to make a tattoo beautiful and vibrant, especially if the artist you are dating has real talent, as I have been so lucky to find.

But you cannot do that. You will have to sit idly by and watch as your man or woman constantly gets beaten down by customers, society, and sadly, other artists. Some customers will complain no matter what the cost of the tattoo, some even get rude. But my man, typically, stays strong and professional, and will usually work with people with good attitudes. But even then, you as their support and cheering squad will not feel that they have been done right. You will feel as if they are being taken advantage of even though they truly do have final say-so on their price, and can say no if they chose to.

You have to realize what your man or woman is doing. If he/she is a good tattoo artist, someone that is not only concerned with his/her next dollar, then his/her main goal is to make sure the customer is happy.

When Jesse prices his work he does his best to keep it as low as possible. Not because he thinks his work isn’t worth it but because, in today’s economy, people cannot afford to spend the sort of money on ink that they used to. He also enjoys (too much) the pleasure he gets when he realizes how happy he has made someone. Believe me, when someone cries tears of joy over the work that your significant other just did for them, whether it was a memorial or whatever, you will understand why the good artists are willing to haggle a little bit, and it will fill you with pride in your lover.

But even when he is almost cutting his own throat, there are still people who want to cut him down further. When I see this, my blood boils. Let me go back to the very old saying, “A good tattoo isn't cheap and a cheap tattoo isn't good."

A good artist that is more concerned with your ink than he is his next dollar is a good artist indeed, and instead of taking advantage of that, respect it. Twenty is not acceptable for any tattoo, no matter how small simply due to the cost of supplies. So if you want a tattoo for twenty bucks go to your buddy’s basement and get one, and when you want it fixed come to my man, pay a real price, and have a real tattoo.

Now that that is out of my system, there were a lot of comments on my last article that involved infidelity and a lot of trust issues.

One of the issues that I read was one about a male tattoo artist in a committed relationship that was tattooing another female for free, as a way to “advertise” his work. This is something that I would appreciate comments on.

My opinion was posted clearly in my comment responding to the post, and I will add it here as well. I am not okay with my boyfriend tattooing another female free of cost for any reason other than a close friend or family member’s birthday, holiday, etc.

Even if the man does not feel any sexual attraction to the aforementioned woman, it will still raise too many issues. As a woman, I am going to tell you that if a woman tells you, “No baby, that wouldn’t make me think the worst thoughts ever and I wouldn’t immediately jump to the worst conclusions,” is lying.

My first thought, instantly, was "What did this woman offer him that he was willing to tat her for free when I’m right here ready, willing, and wanting him to put his work on me. Why can’t I advertise for him just as well as she can?"

It was my first thought, and I am telling you, artists, it will be your significant other’s first thoughts as well, no matter how stable a relationship you have.

Even if you truly think of this person solely as a human billboard, or you simply don’t want your love to be covered in ink, you need to take the time to talk about it with them clearly and calmly, and expect that you may need to find a human billboard of the same sex.

I know that most tattoo artists are men; in fact, there is a great shortage in female artists that are truly worth their salt. However, for the men who date female artists, don’t constantly be accusing them of flirting, or cheating with their male co-workers.

I want to address this clearly because I have seen it happen over and over. Men seem to be worse at accepting the terms of dating a tattoo artist than any female I have seen.

Somewhere along the line, men got it into their heads that a woman cannot be hit on without having her big man around to protect her. Men assume that if a man is good-looking and starts coming on to a woman, that the little woman is just not going to be able to resist temptation. Since a tattoo shop consists of mostly men, a sole female in the mix becomes the center of attention, which tends to drive any sort of relationship into the ground.

So to the men who want to date a female artist: Grow a pair, please. Realize that yes, she is going to be hit on just as much as, and sometimes more than, her male counterparts. It does not mean that she is going to be falling for the rugged artist in the next booth, or for one of her clients.

And yes, this does apply to women as well, jealous bitches that we can be, but I wanted to significantly address the fact that I have watched many women who had talent quit this profession to keep a man that wouldn’t support her in it.

If you don’t agree with my opinions on the relationship with someone in this field, please feel free to comment and call me out on it. Tell me your story. But you will not be able to deny that both articles, whether you laughed or took them seriously, have good points.

Being with a tattoo artist can be very lonely, enraging, and may feel like a never ending road of what-ifs, whys, and whatevers.

The road is not an easy one, in fact, it’s harder than most. I have trust that my man is not in his tattoo chair humping some young thing into oblivion. I know when he comes home at 3 am and tells me his back hurts from tattooing that he is telling the truth. I am sure that when I call him and he doesn’t call me back for five hours it’s because his hands are gloved and on someone’s skin, and he cannot use a phone.

If you cannot handle not knowing when you will talk to them or see them next, when they will come home, if they will be there for dinner, or watch “your show” at 9 o’clock, then you should probably move on.

It took me five years. It took five years of fighting at 3 am every time he wasn’t home. It took me crying every time I cooked for hours and no one ate it, and it took many fights over phone calls not returned for us to get to where we are.

Break ups are high in this field because no one does the work for it. As soon as it gets hard, people run. It’s the same in relationships in every way; divorce rates are up for the same reason. People do not believe in “for life” anymore, no one believes in commitment. As soon as the puppy phase is over, and fighting starts people turn and run. We chose to fight for what we knew we had. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and sometimes my understanding is lacking and we fight over something I know we shouldn’t be fighting over, but hey, I’m human and I am still a jealous bitch. :)

But we get over it, we make up, and when it really comes down to it, we know we can trust each other.

Every day I struggle with the issues his job brings, with biting my tongue over ungrateful customers, and with believing stories that would seem ludicrous if it was anyone but him telling them.

Not everyone can live the life I live, and not everyone can handle the style of relationship that a tattoo artist brings to the table. If it breaks you down, get out. If it makes you feel low, run. But if you’re running simply because you don’t believe he was tattooing a fat guy named John at two in the morning, you’re probably running on false fuel.

Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
My birthday gift by Jesse Baker.
My birthday gift by Jesse Baker.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.
Jesse Baker of Middletown, Ohio.

Comments 52 comments

Ashlei 2 days ago

I have been dating my tattoo artist boyfriend for a year and just found out today he's cheated on me with two women multiple times for several months. Don't date them! They are usually emotional souls that have had a hard last and the celebrity gets to them and you have a hard time in the relationship and next thing you know you're making an appointment to check for AIDS and STD's. Not worth it.

daisymay 7 weeks ago

My boyfriend is a tattoo artist. We've been dating for almost 4 years now. We met when we were just 16 so you could say that we're highschool sweethearts. He started doing tattoos when he was 19 and he's opened up his very own shop. We have argued countless times because he's always busy doing his work. We even broke up once beacause he ditched our plans to hang out with his clients. He explained that he only did that to maintain a friendly relationship with them which would be good for his reputation as a tattoo artist as he's still struggling. What worries me the most is his surrounding. All of his friends are tattoo artists as well and most of them have cheated on their girlfriends/wives several times. I'm afriad he might cheat on me too. Also, he works with a female tattoo artist and they're in the shop together all day. Another guy used to work there too but he left for personal reasons and now it's just the two of them. I know she's in a relationship too (a long distance relationship) but what if...? I try my best not to get jealous and insecure but sometimes I just can't help it. I love him very much and I admire his work. I just wish he had more time for us too. I'm not a clingy person at all but sometimes I feel very lonely. I hope I won't have my heart broken.

Angel Emiko Zimik profile image

Angel Emiko Zimik 4 months ago

Hello everyone, m little late here, but, while I was googling what to birthday gift my tattoo artist bf I found this article....I went through everyone of your comments and the problem u faced. I can pretty much relate to every point u guys made.

Its been 1 year m dating a tattoo artist guy... initially, I also faced all these insecurity feelings. At times, i use to cry to sleep. He does tattoo on the upper or below part of the boobs. he does it on the back of the girls, just the upper part of the ass. the lady will sit there shirtless while he tattoos on her rib part and much more. its not that I don't trust him. Of course, I do, that's why i am still dating him, there been break-ups, fights, shouting. I totally understand its his part of the work. he always says that, but what worries me is that his circles are not like him. One thing good about him is, he is not into smokes and drinks..but his friends are all addiction. and we all know how guys are. they can fall easily when the girl starts... How can he keep his mans part calm when they are in one room and the girl is shirtless sitting. or in another case when she starts doing something on him, like flirt or etc etc. anything can happen behind my back. That is the weakness of all male being in the world, we cannot deny that. That's what worried me more than anything.

It is not easy dating a tattoo artist. you have to compromise, bear, the heartache many times. Tell me, how can you be sure he is tattoo at around 2:00 am ? if he says so, is it true? even if he send the photos, is the photo genuine? or false photo from another day? while if he doesn't answer my call for 3-4 hours, what goes in my mind? yes, I know his hand is gloved and his hand is on someone's skin, and he cannot answer. but is it? we have no proof or so. TRUST is all I have when I encounter this kind of situation, and i have encountered this countless of times. I convinced myself that yes, he loves me and he would not do stuff i won't like.

at times, he would cancel our date plan or dinner plan because of his sudden appointment. well, i understand its his work. but c'mon m a human being i get angry and disappointment. lots of things more.

So, far, we are good. I have access to all his social sites, I maintain his FB page. I know all his phone password. he tells me whomever he tattooed, what he tattooed. when he have an appointment. so, its cool when it come to this part.

but we still fight at a time. we tried to balance our time, day for dating. funny thing is, dating a tattoo guy, you wud never go on a date during the day, its all about night. what all i have to adjust to let things work.

But yes, I love him n he loves me.

Sarah 7 months ago

I'm married to a tattoo artist, we've been together for 5 when I met him tattooing was his side job and has since improved an incredible amount and now works at a shop and is the one that is mainly being requested. I have trust issues I always have (honestly I think it's because of my mother) I've had three long term relationships two of the three have cheated on me and damaged me a great deal one of those being my husband. He's never cheated on me with a client (it was an ex) but my husband is good looking and I'm sure there is lots of girls who would love to sleep with him (there is always clients that tell him how sexy and good looking he is). Long story short I'm a very jealous person but I pick and choose my battles. I can't be mad at him because someone thinks he looks good. However I'm finding it such a hard time dealing with him tattooing girls in private areas!!! Like underboob, or butt tattoos you know just private areas. It's not that I don't trust him I do to an extent, I don't feel he's cheating on me now and he claims he wouldn't now that we have a family he understands and wouldn't want to lose what we have for a piece of ass as he says. I don't think he'll feel on the girl either. But I do think he'll check her out and it's just the fact that he's touching another woman in a private that drives me crazy (animalistic nature) he agreed not to tattoo those areas but since he's been in the shop his boss is pressuring him to tattoo anywhere and not care about my feelings. So how can I deal with being OK! Is there anyone else who Hates it or was that way? How can I be more supportive of all of his work. What worked for you?

Tattoowife 8 months ago

I have been with my tattoo artist for almost 10 years now, even tho we aren't married I consider him my husband...I have known him since we were 12 years old and he is my high school sweet heart and the father of my 7 year old son...i can honestly say it isn't easy being with a tattoo artist especially when it's a man cuase we all know there are those women who doesn't give a fucks if he has a family or not all they want is to be part of that life and get free tattoo...yes I am one of those victims whose bf cheated with their client...when I found out I left him and stood away and cut him off...I did that out site out of mind thing and it helped a lot but it wasn't easy to forget what he did...I couldn't understand why he did it and what I did to deserve it...I mean once he found out he wanted to be a tattoo artist I gave up my dream to be a hair dresser for his dream to come true...I came into this Industry with him and supported him in anyway shape or form...he is a amazing artist...when he wanted to give up cause his clientele wasn't great i didn't let him cause I knew his time was going to come all in good time...I mean I have been there for him through all the good and bad and yet my worst fear happened he cheated and broke my heart and family up...after time had passes and he realize what he lost he did everything he can to get me back and he even admit to me he got catch up into the life style of a tattoo artist and told me everything that happened...I knew what we were getting into and what kind of life style it was but I trusted him...well he has changed and has been faithful since that mistake happened but now I can't see this man is lost once again...he doesn't know how to be a family man anymore...he doesn't know how to balance out me and his son from tattooing and it kills me so much that I have to fight for his time when it should just be given...I mean all I ask for is once in a while spend more time with me and his son but it never happens until I cry my eyes out to when I notice the pattern again I confronted him and just called it quits...I didn't want to go down this road again but after a week he calls me say I was right and he needs me to help him balance his work and us out...he tells me he wants me to be part of his tattooing again cause at one point I was but then at a blink of an eye I wasn't...I don't know how to go by this or deal with it...does anyone else have this problem??? How did u deal with it and how did you get them to see they don't have to separate their career from their family???

Renee 11 months ago

I started a face book group. It is private but please feel free to search for it.

It's for people dating or married to tattoo artists.

Tat2mum 14 months ago

I agree with alot of the stuff on here, i guess i googled and this came up, its so stressfull at times. Ive been with my man for over ten years we have a child and he opened a tattoo shop 3 years ago he runs it solely and is the only artist so all day into the eveings its just him and his client in the chair. I trust him but its the other girls i dont trust, ive seen messages that are obviously flirting and he acts obvlivious to it and talks back in a manner that if it were me he was talking to i would consider flirting. He would get mad at me if i acted the way he does, towards other guys i spoke to. But "its just buisness" aparently. I dont know what im trying to say, just, i guess yeah dating/living with/being married to a tattoo artist is hard! I guess if your other half was a model it would be hard too! Like someone said above, they come home to you at the end of the day. Like any other guy who is just out doing their job, earning a living for you and your family. Be proud that your tattoo artist other half is making a decent living and has a lot of respect for from complete strangers, (their egos may be big!) But at the end of the day, like any relationship, expecially in todays society with social media taking over our lifes, if its meant to be it'll work cos you both will make it work, by respecting each other, caring for, communicating openenly, trusting and loving.


Nicole 14 months ago

His tattoos aren't good though.

Alexandria907 17 months ago

So I am 22, and my tattoo artist boyfriend is 44. I have a two year old daughter and we live in interior Alaska. He works long hours some days. For a while I thought he was cheating on me, but I honestly don't think he is. It's hard to accept him being a tattoo artist but I'm slowly and surely getting there. I trust him but sometimes find myself questioning him, sadly. I fear he flirts... He first met me in a bar and "fell in love with me at first sight." And we never talked before we were just introduced by a mutual friend, so a month later I go in and make an appointment and he tattoos me and flirts with me. He apparently has a strict rule never to date your clients. I'm just scared and paranoid it seems for no reason. He is a good man and a well respected tattoo artist. I fear he will find someone else in the chair. We are pretty good at being honest with each other, which is key. We constantly remind each other that we trust and love each other with respect. Dating a tattoo artist is not easy, and probably never will be. But, building that foundation is key for his profession to be tolerable. He is a very good, funny man. And I hope we last honestly because I love him, my daughter loves him and he LOVES my daughter and claims her as his daughter. So some days I will accuse him of flirting and cheating with no real tangible which is childish on my part and learning to stop it asap because it's not fair. I love him with all I have and hope it lasts forever. For the women/men who are dating a tattoo artist...just warning you it is not easy, but its about trust, honesty, and kindness.

krista 17 months ago

Omg i need this Facebook group. I have been with my man for 7 years and we just had our son 1 year ago. Its so hard. I'm so glad I'm not alone.

Laura 17 months ago

Do you still have the facebook page ?please respond.

Daideflu 19 months ago

Omg lady you literally took it out of my mouth. I love your post it truly shows how it is out there. When I started dating my man he always charged me, my friends kept asking "why is he charging you", "you guys are going out he should do free ink on you". Hell no I didn't even think about it and tip him as much as I could when I went to the shop. Some people will never understand this business and what tattoo artists are going thru every day. Between trying to make some decent money and being blown off by people constantly, it makes me angry every day. We gotta support our men and be there for them they are sensitive and beautiful people and others need to understand it.

ready2talk929 20 months ago

I dated a tattoo artist for 3 years never again. I myself have a very high profile career and have never been tempted with many of the offer that came my way from celebrities because I was deeply in love in a committed relationship. Well not mt tattoo artist boyfriend. How many time I caught him cheating on me....I lost count a long time ago. Screwing women in the shop.I have never been an insecure woman , know how it is to have to deal with someone in this field because I have had ex boyfriends who had to deal with me being with celebrities all the time. He has tattooed every stripper in town so every where we go it's hot sexy women speaking to him and being very friendly. Im thinking no problem they pay him good money and he taking care of home so be friendly....that is until I happen to scroll through his phone and see exrated videos and pictures of him and several of his conquest that I spoke friendly with in the shop....of course after the big break up I find out he was screwing several students at the nearby college where his shop is located...Oh silly me thinking oh they just like hanging out here because the shop is cool.... He was the most trifling thing I have ever dated and yes the other artist in there were hoes also but not as bad as he. If you choose to date a tattoo artist like someone said earlier its like dating a celebrity ....women throw themselves at them frequently and many times they decide to catch more tattoo artist for me

rachel 21 months ago

So glad to see Im not alone in struggling through this relationship. I love my bf so much but im worried about the person he'll become by spending all of his time surrounded by the people in the tattoo industry-people I can't really seem to connect with. I definitely trust him but my biggest issue right now is that i hate hate hate the way the shop treats him. I worry that they are killing him! Every time he starts to handle the work load better they pile more on. The hours are ridiculous. I understand this is part of it but it's so hard. he's been apprenticeing over a year now (still no tattooing just shop upkeep/bitch work) and i have no idea how to deal with it. I want to talk to his boss but I know that's the worst idea. I get that there's this hazing aspect he has to go through, but how am i supposed to sit idly by and let it happen? He's my boo and i care about his well-being (and right now he has none) And i have had to learn to keep my opinions about how insane they treat him to myself and just let him vent. But its terrible and creates a wall between us because i can't be honest with him. I used to be honest but then we'd just end up arguing so now I keep my mouth shut (around him anyway.) I hate tattoos. I hate the shop. I think it's all so petty. But I know that's a very juvenile way to feel because he's getting the opportunity to make a living as an artist and that's absolutely the best thing for him-better than having me in his life. I would never let him pick me over tattoing but i really want him to...i guess I'm just wondering where our limits lie. And how long he's going to be treated this way. And how long im willing to put up with it. And how long he's willing to put up with it. Sorry for the rant. Does anyone have any insight into how they coped? i Want us to make it, but it can't go on like this for much longer. It appears from your comments that its not changing any time soon..

Petra 23 months ago

Thanks so much for this! Glad I'm not the only one... I do have trust issues, even though he's the most trustfull guy there is. I try to work on that 'cause I hate the feeling. I just have this HUGE urge to check what the women look like on facebook while he is tattooing them. I think just to give me some peace of mind but sometimes it makes things worse in my head.. Also have this urge to show up at the tattooshop to show him some love so the female client knows there's someone in his life already. If I'm honest, I'm worried more about being "stepped on" or "feeling passed" by those women who I know try to flirt. 'cause I know deep down inside he won't flirt back. He has proven that over and over. I just canmt stand the feeling of being passed by another women, most of them know he has a girlfriend. They just don't care, think they're better than me, can offer more than me. I would love to teach them a lesson and tell them a thing or two but can't since they're paying clients... *sigh* any tips on getting rid of that feeling and urge?

Julee Allen profile image

Julee Allen 2 years ago

Hayley, please read this.

"He wants to travel and up and leave whenever , also broke up with me in the fear of he may cheat on me. Now we don't live together anymore, but are back together. I try to trust him but have horrible insecurities due to his past with his ex and the "breaking up cause he may cheat" we are doing more together now like conventions ect together. But he's not as open now about being back together. Also he broke up with me cause I wasn't "good enough ".

Now imagine your daughter/son came home and told you that someone they loved said that BULLSHIT to them. What would your advice to them be?

Now, TAKE THE ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE YOUR CHILD and get away from this jerk!!!

Hayley 2 years ago

I'm gonna try to keep this very short. My boyfriend work at one of the most well known shops in central fl. We lived together for 5 months and HE broke it off cause the family life (I have 2 kids not his) and tattoo life don't mix. He wants to travel and up and leave whenever , also broke up with me in the fear of he may cheat on me. Now we don't live together anymore, but are back together. I try to trust him but have horrible insecurities due to his past with his ex and the "breaking up cause he may cheat" we are doing more together now like conventions ect together. But he's not as open now about being back together. Also he broke up with me cause I wasn't "good enough ".

Amber 2 years ago

Thank you for this really interesting article, I have been with my boyfriend who is tattooist for almost a year and I had been wondering why we have so many squabbles. You've worded everything I've ever wanted to vent out about my frustrations. I get really jealous as he's had to tattoo many of his admirers, followers and even models before which for someone like me (who isn't a model) it's quite disheartening.

Jade777 2 years ago

Thank you so much!! (((hugs)))

Julee Allen profile image

Julee Allen 2 years ago

That rocks!! Congratulations on your shop!!! I wish you unlimited success!!! I think the industry is beginning to change, although very slowly, as more women enter the field.

One guy's broken jaw at a time. lol


Jade777 2 years ago

Thanks Julee! You are absolutely correct that not all tattoo artists are pigs and that not all tattoo shops are run this way, but look on average how many men cheat on their women who are not tattoo artists and who do not have constant temptation being thrown in their faces. Plus men can very easily separate having sex with someone and loving their families and their wives. Which is uncomfortable to think about but the truth of the matter is that men view sex very differently then women do. Anyway, with as many different tattoo shops that I have worked in and with the experiences of almost all of the other female tattoo artists that I have met from across the USA they mirror my own so much it is frankly scary. What I have noticed is that if a girl has either a family member such as a brother, husband, or a boyfriend who works or owns the shop then she will not be harassed, but if none of your family is in the industry expect this behavior. I think that more women in the tattoo industry need to talk about it more and they need to fight harder for changes and not have the "oh well it is just how the industry is" mentality. Fortunately, I have already took care of all of that nonsense and now I have a fully state licensed private tattoo studio :-) I am looking next year to move into a larger building and to employ a couple of other tattoo artists with me. And thank you for your cyber hug :-)

Julee Allen profile image

Julee Allen 2 years ago


I am sorry you work(ed) in a shop with a bunch of pigs. BUT not every shop or every artist behaves like that. I know plenty that respect their female employees and artists that respect their girlfriends/wives enough to be faithful. There IS a lot of sexual harassment in this industry, but that's the nature of the beast, My boss has a sign in his tattoo room that says, "Sexual harassment won't be reported, but it will be graded." That's pretty much the attitude of this industry. Some day, I hope you will be successful enough, that you'll be able to start your own shop and you won't have to deal with that. This is a very flirtatious industry. No, that doesn't excuse the bad behavior you've had to deal with, but if you swim with sharks.......eventually, you'll get bitten. Take it with a grain of salt and punch the ones that can't take "NO" for an answer. There are amazing things about this industry. Don't let a few jerks ruin your perspective. ((hugs))

Jade777 2 years ago

I am not dating a tattoo artist. I will never ever date a tattoo artist ever. Not EVER. I am a professional female tattoo artist and have been for many years I have worked in lots of all male tattoo shops and let me just clarify things for all the women out there who want to or are considering dating a male tattoo artist. DON'T DO IT! 99 % of all male tattoo artists are total whores. Ok to put it into perspective do all male rap stars or male rock stars cheat? No not all of them do but do most of them? Absolutely! The same is with male tattoo artists. Do all of male tattoo artists cheat? No, but sadly most of them do. So when you get into a relationship with a tattoo artist treat it like you are getting into a relationship with a hip hop star, and honestly ask yourself will this hip hop star that has naked women being thrown at himself all the time will he be faithful to me? The answer most of the time is no. From personal experience I can not tell you how many married male tattoo artists that I have worked for and with that have leaned over me while I was tattooing or drawing up a stencil and have literally whispered in my ear that they wanted to f**k me or my personal favorite this has been said to me on more than one occasion "While I was banging my wife last night I kept on thinking of f**king you." While I was going through my apprenticeship I told a married tattoo artist to stop touching me three times before I finally slapped him so hard that it gauged his conch piercing up a couple of sizes blood was just poring from it. And one of these guys that literally said he wanted to do me has been married for 14 years to a very beautiful woman. He has 3 children with her and they attend church every Sunday morning together...Oh and the whole time I was being sexually harassed they all knew that I had a boyfriend and still they tried like hell. Also at many points they would forget that I was at the shop in the back scrubbing tubes and the things that they would say about their wives and their girlfriends on the side and the hot female tattoo client that they just totally banged and they have pictures of and do all you guys wanna see?...well it is almost enough to make a straight girl a lesbian lol All I am saying is that expect him to cheat on you cause he probably will.

gce1 2 years ago

Perfect. My bf is a tattoo artist.

jeanshelby 2 years ago

@K8ypie07 I tried to get on your page with no luck. Is it still up?

Julee Allen profile image

Julee Allen 2 years ago

Ladies, all I can say is if you feel you aren't good enough to keep him from cheating, then walk away.

Self esteem is a HUGE turn on. Insecurity.....not so much.

Like I said before, being a tattoo artist is a constant temptation for some people. You are putting your hands on people and sometimes in an intimate manner. We all like it when someone finds us attractive. There is nothing wrong with appreciating a few nice words that come from your clients. Flirtation is NOT the same as infidelity. With that being said, if your man or woman can't resist the temptation to bang a tattoo groupie. LEAVE THAT ASS-HAT and find someone that makes you feel like you are the only one in the world for them. No one deserves any less that to feel wanted, valued and appreciated by their significant other. ;)

Lindsey 2 years ago

I've been with my boyfriend for about a year and we are both in our mid 30's. He has been struggling with his career path for years and becoming a tattoo artist is his true dream and I've always supported him with it. Literally today (mere hours ago) he was offered an apprenticeship with a semi famous tattoo artist/shop. Im so happy for him and proud of him but deep down inside I'm really scared for our relationship as I know the strain its going to put on us as a couple. He's either going to be at the shop or at work and i fear I won't really fit in anywhere. I work a regular 9-5 and i fear that we won't ever see each other and i will miss him and be lonely and he will be so consumed that he won't miss me. I trust him but I also get jealous knowing he will be working with female artists and on female clients. I just wonder if our relationship will survive this or if I will eventually be phased out bc i don't really fit into this new lifestyle. Any tips from any veteran girlfriends about how to make it work during this tough transition time? like i said I'm over the moon happy for him as his dreams are coming true but I'm selfishly worried that this is our imminent demise :(

futuregirl 2 years ago

Right now my bf is a tattoo artist.. going on 3yrs... n the further this relationship goes... the sadder I become... feels as if im breaking down... we are both young but he has his mind made up... he is an artist for life.... I just wish tht I could some how feel as if I comes before tattoos n money... but idk if tht will ever change... I pray things get better tho... cuz we are mad at each other right now..n im here lonely af... :-(

Jes 2 years ago

try being a single mom as a tattoo artists.

tatt2girl 2 years ago from Vancouver, Washington

Im starting to understand what u mean. Before my child, my ex and i owned a shop together for 5yrs till i left him. It was easy, we were together, it was fun. After becoming a mom, everything changes. My man does not have kids, but he is stressing out so much because we miss each other!!!

Jaybird 2 years ago

I had been with my tattoo artist husband for four years and we have two kids. He works an hour out of town so with the extra commute and the long hours it is beginning to be unbearable. I work part-time days and he is home between 10-12 at night. I feel like a single mother. I am worn down and not the best mother I would like to be because I am so tired. So so tired.

I am thankful for the good income that tattooing provides but if I have to have this schedule much longer I going to snap. This is no way to live. How can we have good family time and stay in the tattoo industry? We just can't seem to figure it out. It seems like so much falls on the wife to suck it up and be the parent 80% of the time, keep the house running, have a job, etc. We are both getting so worn down. :(

tatt2girl 2 years ago from Vancouver, Washington

I just read your 2yr n then this one back to back. Im struggling bad. Im a woman, and i have been a tattoo artist since 1995. Owner, employee, even worked from home. I know the life as an artist. After i had my son in 2001, it was manditory i picked him up from daycare no later than 7:30. we closed at 7pm and i ALWAYS made sure i gave myself extra time in the book for the last tattoo of the day. 8 years of doing it that way i made it possible to maintain consistency. Some weekends i got to stay late when he went to grammas. Its been 19 yrs now and do it on occasion. My back just can't take it anymore. I told myself i would NEVER date a tattoo artist again. Well here i am. I hooked up with an apprentice, even moved my son 300 miles to be together. I have become to hate facebook. He becomes friends with every single person, on his personal and his tattoo one, but let me tell you, this is a salon as well, with only atteactive, killer body hairstylists, and upstairs is the artist. His boss will not allow anyone there to be friends with me on facebook, as he thinks im trying to "spy" on my man. As having the jealous psycho sickness already, HUGE RED FLAGS. since he is the apprentice, his boss tells him he has to stay late if he himself chooses to stay after hours. It's a 99.9% female clientele and im not welcome there. I know what it's like to be a tattoo artist and the flirting and the one night stands. Jealous is an understatement!!! I was actually googling to see if apprenticeship is considered a job and if his boss can make him stay late, because his boss made it very clear it be known to me that, that is his "JOB" n the shop closes when he says it does. (btw, he has only been tattooing 2 1/2 yrs). What the hell am i supposed to think? His boss just got married has like 3 kids n flirts rediculously with the stylists. Of course im gonna ask my man if he is. Duh! I know the answer. But my man has taken it to another level and talks about our...sorry, my issues (jealousy). When i brought it to his attention that i think this was his idea and or at least likes it this way. Its gone from, "i can handle this, just work on my insecurities" to "really, ur boss wont let u take a day off for my sons bday party?" (or did he even ask or want to go?) To, "wtf is really going on!!??) He said come hell or high water he is taking my bday (v-day) off n going to a wedding with me this weeken back home, he is not missing my bday. Thing is, he is so terrified he will get fired if he stands up for himself. He let alone cannot stand up for me, he said he has to think of a really good lie, like someone died. I told him he better not. I thought it would help me reading these...but it didn't, cause i have been there. This weekend is the true test, if he can't make it clear that he wont be there (n of course i told him to tell him almost 2 months in advance, he waits till the day before), and stays in town instead.... I don't think i can continue to carry his load (just apprentice means no money coming in) sincerely, jealous, unworthy, and disrespected girlfriend.....

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kpelkey 2 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

I agree with the last two comments. I am older now, and in a relationship with a tattoo artist for over 2 years. If I tried this while I was in my twenties, I don't think I could have done it. It takes maturity and trust. The only thing I am having a hard time dealing with is the "cute, sexy women batting eyelashes constantly". And there are hordes of them! Never ending supply. I also feel like I can't compete with them because they are 20 years younger than I am. I think I lost my cute bubbly sexiness - if I ever had it. So what I do: I trust him completely as far as cheating. There is no reason for me to not trust. If it turns out that he has cheated and I find out, it will be over. We cannot do this without the trust. He helps out by talking to me about his clients. The other thing I do is work on myself. This situation is a great motivator for that.

felicia 2 years ago

Agree with julee. Trust issues from my last relationship.. constantly distinguishing between my unrealistic paranoia and what's legitimate double crossing. My bf is the best artist in town, and he' also hott so I deal with cute, sexy woman batting lashes constantly. Last year I stayed away from the shop because it made me feel low, but over time not being around was like watching a stick slowly float away from the shore. He drifted and I just let him go until it was going to far. Once I made an effort and getting downtown for lunch breaks together our relationship got much better... so obviously gotta support your artist /bf /hubb but on days like today when I know someone is in who flirts hard at him its better for me to just make him an awesome breakfast sandwich to take and go back to bed. He lets me use his phone anytime, gave me the password to his fb when I felt insecure. Find a medium for yourself if you trust him. If you're not sure if he /she can be trusted you're just going to fight so soits better to carefully think about why you feel the way you do and have a discussion about how your feeling. If its love, they'll do what it takes (within reason) to keep the relationship rolling.

Julee Allen profile image

Julee Allen 2 years ago

Being insecure doesn't bode well for you, if you are in a relationship with a tattoo artist or body piercer. We are in an industry that demands we get all "touchy, feely" with strangers. You either trust your significant other or you don't. Plain and simple. I don't understand women/men that get all jealous over their boyfriend/girlfriend tattooing a chick, regardless of where the tattoo is being placed. Now, if your lover is a cheating piece of crap, then yes you have every right to act suspicious. I have been in this industry for going on 13 years and I have seen so many relationships ruined over insecurity and jealousy. Establishing boundaries is one thing, but when those boundaries prevent your partner from making money then they hurt more than help. And you have done nothing but show how insecure you really are. Yes, the tattoo groupies come and go but if you don't act like a jealous psycho, it's easy for your lover to turn them down. Nothing ruins a relationship faster than unfounded accusations. And nothing makes someone cheat faster, than constantly being accused of it. Jealousy is an ugly emotion and just shows that you don't trust your partner. If you don't trust your partner, why are in a relationship with them?!?!

Just a little advice from a woman on the inside.

2 years ago

I met him before he was a full time artist. I trust him but then I don't know at the same time. Reading all the posts made me feel not so alone. I see flirting done in front of my eyes he says he doesn't see it and I know he's very busy but it drives me crazy. He's gotten busier but I'd say obsessed. It's like dealing with a drug addict. Things used to be good but it's increasing getting to be non existant. I love him and he loves me but I'd almost rather cut the cord so i can just move on with my life. What's the point if they aren't there. Time will tell. I love the shit out of him. 4 years

helllloooo 3 years ago

My boyfriend works with a female artist, and though i talk to her shes complete trash. she has videos out of her sucking off guys and everyone in his shop knows it. so honestly im not worried about it at all, but what i am worried about is he is too scared to move on to a better shop. They hired on way to many people a lot of competition and he has been barely paying his bills with only his clients, hardly any walk-ins. I'm not worried about girls he tattoos, he seems to be out of the normal and a very good guy. I think if a guys a douche, then he's a douche period doesn't matter what job he does.

ally 3 years ago

bfs a tattoo artist / piercer i mentioned getting a piercing done by someone else bad idea now he says sometimes he don't even know why he talks to me guess what i said hurt him like to him its basically like saying hes a crappy artist when hes not idk how to fix it and no idea how to tell if were still together or not

3 years ago

do you go visit him at the tattoo shop? is that okay to do? I know it's work I don't want to invade, he has mentioned I can't just hang out there and would like to know if that's something you do or do not do, thanks

Tattoo wife 3 years ago

I'm one of those crazy tattoo wife's a young one in fact. We have been together for almost 5 years and I still don't trust him he has cheated in the past. I got over it once we opened our own tattoo shop by surprise we started a family sooner than expected. I stopped going to the shop 12 months ago I give a surprise visit every now and then I thought I had nothing to worry about and to my surprise I got told he was sleeping with another girl that I actually met her in one of my visits he denies it but I'm not sure what to believe.... Best advice I can give is don't date a tattoo artist. You will never truly be your own normal self all type of craziness will come out of no where

Heather 3 years ago

My husband is a tattoo artist and a damn good one, we've been going at this for three years now and sometimes I want to beat him to death over his decisions to tattoo people for free because he's friends with their parents or sister or neighbors dog walker, it doesn't matter the point is, I want him to realize that his work, time and effort are worth more than that. He's made so many "friends" over the years and 90% of them wore his work for free until recently. He still does the more than occasional free tattoo though, I witnessed one the other day on this adorable little 18 year old who he knows due to his relationship with her parents. It's these "groupies" that he gives free work to that drive me up the damn wall. Most of them are under the age of 21 and all of them know he is married and has a baby girl but that doesn't stop them from dry humping his leg every chance they get. Now as a man I know he secretly loves this attention but as his wife and mother of his child I have beautiful dreams of ripping their hair out and pushing him down the stairs, sue me I'm a jealous bitch especially since having the baby. Anyway, I have learned, on most days what's worth fighting over and what's not. He comes home to me at the end of they day, no matter what time that is and since realizing this our fights are far and few between when it comes to his work. I also understand that a small amount of flirting does go a long way, especially in his field. That's something I've come to realize which has also helped a lot . However, he has to constantly remind me that by hooking up someone to the point of craziness it brings 20 more people in to see him, since its not my work or my job I try really hard to lay off the awful nagging when it comes to this issue. I will tell you I've found that if I'm super nice to his groupies and explain to him a hundred and one times how it makes me feel that this sexy little 20 year old is getting tattooed for free on her hip bone, it finally gets the point across and his groupies tend to move on. I think being in a relationship with a tattoo artist, a good one at that who's easy on the eyes as well, is unbelievably difficult but you learn, along the way, how to support him and encourage him, essentially be his cheering squad while marking your territory and maintaining the head cheerleader position with class and without chasing away any customers, it just takes time and confidence in your relationship. I love this man and what we have IS worth fighting for and admitting when I'm being crazy :)

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ms jessica marie 3 years ago from middletown ohio Author

dan, i don't know what goes on your relationship, and i wont claim to. but if you trust her the way that you say you do, then other men flirting with her shouldn't be much of an issue. my old man flirts with his customers right in front of me while i laugh. it is all part of the game darlin, that is part of being a significant other to someone in this field. and as far as any other job goes, i was a waitress and i flirted with every male customer i had to get better tips, so do hairdressers and basically any profession that has a tip involved. i would say that unless she gives you real grounds to worry, trust her that she can handle a bit of harmless flirting. men will always hit on her, even if she isn't a tattoo artist, its just that now you get a front row seat to it. its hard to deal with man, but you can get through it if you really trust her.

Dan McCreary profile image

Dan McCreary 3 years ago

I am a boyfriend of a tattoo artist, and honestly it's really hard, I trust her more than anything, really I do, and it started out as an apprenticeship and everything was alright until guys who came in for a tattoo started getting pretty relentless and just flirting one after another and just became something to worry and stress over, I mean I can be jealous but this was crazy, and I know it's her job but I mean does being a tattoo artist mean you can't stick up for yourself or be talked to the way you are just because of where you work? Is there no self respect? I get that you have to be nice for customers and such, but this isn't a brothel and in any other job flirting wouldn't be something to worry about. Like I said she just disreguards the flirting and name calling but the main issue is that she doesn't just say "she understands why i'm a little worried" she thinks i'm just souley jealous and insecure and childish, and if she worked any other job i'd be just the same, and it's harsh and she doesn't see anything. Thats all.

AMari21 4 years ago

Just read this response...few months later lol! thanks..clearly i was reminded of this and looked it up again for a reason... I appreciate your words and everyone elses imput. Hope all the significant others of inkmasters are doing well :)

k8ypie07 4 years ago


I started up a facebook page for girlfriends of tattoo artists. I thought it would be a good place for us all to talk and share thoughts. Feel free to join


Darlingx 4 years ago

I need more tattoo girlfriends/wives as friends! Reading this made me feel a lot better. I should make my boyfriend read it too.

Darlingx 4 years ago

Ugh. Dating a tattoo artist sucks. All the trust in the world still won't stop you from cringing when you see the girls who dress up and spray perfume in their panties to get a tattoo, and hopelessly flirt to get a discount. Plus, who doesn't want to sleep with a tattoo artist? Haha obviously it worked on us girlfriends at one point. The boundaries should be firmly set between your boyfriend and his clients, however clients tend to try and push it. Too many times I have had to tell someone that it is unprofessional to ask if it was necessary to "take my top off for the tattoo :)" or to text their artist at 130am. I trust my boyfriend, otherwise it would not work, but sometimes I wish he was an accountant.

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ms jessica marie 4 years ago from middletown ohio Author

If he is going to tattoo conventions as an apprentice, don't be too worried. if he is only an apprentice he should not actually be tattooing anyway, and will more than likely be to busy with the "bitch work" to be doing any flirting lol. apprentices usually are shop bitches till they get their papers signed..especially with an old-school master artist. as far as giving clients his number, plenty of my ol mans clients have his if he is only giving his number to the female clients and not the males id be a little curious as to why. all in all darlin, most of what u describe is typical to the shop world. my suggestion is to learn what YOU can to help out ur man. try not to get in his way but ask if there is anything u could kno or do to help him. even if ur not going to be helping him with clients or in the actual shop (and most shops don't allow gf's or bf's cause of jealousy issues) u should still at least try and learn what u can about the profession if only to answer the many questions others will ask when they realize ur dating an artist :) thank u for reading, i hope this helped a little. 4 years ago

Ive been dating my bf and he's working for a tattoo shop with a top tattoo artist... He's aprentacing now but he gets to travel n go to tattoo convention... I'm proud of him because he's reaching his dreams... I love him very much but idk if I can handle dating a guy in the tattoo indusrty... Dealing with him going out of town "groupies" having his girl clients text/call him.... Or him working late tattooing on a female..I know it's part of the job but I hear all the guys there at that shop have relationship i want to know if how other wife's/ gf deal with this issue????

We plan being together and starting a family in the future but if I can't handle all this now idk how I'll handle it in the future when he's going to be traveling more,more female clients..etc.

Please help :'(

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ms jessica marie 4 years ago from middletown ohio Author

sadly, any advice i would give would probably only enlarge the situation, honestly. although i will say, there is a new/slightly old insight that states "a boy will keep a lock on his phone, a man will say , 'baby can u answer that?' " if he was hiding something from u, there would be signs. no matter how well we believe we hide things, we are always reckless as human beings. my only advice would be to trust until there is something that tells u otherwise. maybe try telling him that u trust him with the other women in his life, but ask if there is any reasons he doesn't trust YOU with certain parts of his life. maybe a previous girlfriend was very deceptive and had a tendency to snoop through his emails and facebook account. its hard for us women to believe our men could have ever been hurt in the past like we have...because its hard for us to believe men feel as deeply as we do. it may not be a physical trust issue with u...perhaps its an emotional trust issue from him? but again, i am no advice columnist and i would suggest u don't take all my words to heart..think of them as the opinions of one who has been there herself ;)

AMari21 4 years ago

My boyfriend is a very talented tattoo artist. Since it is his 2nd job that starts right after his 9 to 5, nights and weekends are busy. We've worked on finding balance..(scheduling once a week date night and not to fill whole weekends all the time). One thing that is tough for me, is knowing that he's constantly talking to new people (ladies ;)) all the time obviously due to his work. He is very attractive and I actually feel flattered when girls see that too. The trust issue is not knowing who's texting or emailing him and if lines are crossed behind my back and I would have no idea. I don't pry into his stuff..but it is frustrating when I see a password on the phone and never see him emailing or go on facebook in front of me. I've mentioned in a variety of ways if we can find a way to include me on what's going on when it comes to his tattoo life, without seeming..phsycho! He just gets angry and focuses on the fact that I don't trust him..however..he hasn't done anything to make me feel more confident..I still feel left in the dark about that part of his life. Any advice that maybe I've never tried before...We have been together for almost 3 years..

Vitality 4 years ago

Thank you for including that part about female artists. As a female artist myself, I feel thankful that my man doesn't accuse me of cheating all the time. I feel so thankful to God that he's managed to stay with me when I'm hardly there at all anymore. But I make sure to let him know I'm thinking about him. I think his jealousy is lessened though, due to the fact that there are 3 females working at the shop, and he knows most of my coworkers. He's the best, and I know our relationship will only grow stronger.

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