That’s One Way to Celebrate the Anniversary of Leaving Seminary

Well, I won’t be getting a tattoo anytime soon (*phew*)… but Dustin Williams got one to mark the fifth anniversary of when he left the seminary:

All I can think of when looking at that is “Ouch!”… how the hell do you tattoo people do it?!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Basementmatt

    It only hurts for a little bit. I’ve been pondering this design for my left forearm since both upper arms are covered.

  • http://www.dwnomad.com Dustin Williams

    When you get stabbed with needles a few thousand times over the span of an hour and a half, of course it hurts. However, it’s more than tolerable. On the pain scale it was no more than a 2 or 3.

  • http://katherinosaurus.tumblr.com/ Katherine Topping

    It doesn’t hurt very much at all, actually! It hurts less than, for example, being scratched by a cat. It kind of feels like someone with long nails scratching your skin, and afterwards it just feels like a sunburn. Of course, it can get a little more intense if it is placed over a bony area, but with more fleshy areas like arms and legs it’s not much more painful than getting rug burn. 

  • johnkeippel

    I just got a very similar tattoo last Wednesday.  Similar in the fact that I used the same symbol, about the same size, on my arm, but had them fill in part of it with a representation of the Pale Blue Dot photo from Voyager 1 instead of the A. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed the pain, but it was more than tolerable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1162328886 Diane Klug Peltier

    I got a bracelet last year – 20 flowers wrapped around my wrist to commemorate 20 years of sobriety - the pain wasn’t too bad – I’m planning another tat . . . after I get my nose pierced . . . 

  • Revyloution

    I get a new tat from my wife every year as a birthday present.  I don’t find them painful at all,  more of an aggressive itchy feeling.  Just a little meditation and I hardly notice it at all.

    So far,  Ive got Pi to 16 digits in a circle around the symbol,  the Golden ratio as a shell inside the expanding rectangles,  the Schwarzchild equation,  a straight razor with ‘Occam’ on the blade and the Latin ’Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem’  above it,  the Tree of Gondor with ‘not all who wander are lost’ in elvish, a Star Fleet badge on my left breast, Don’t Panic written below the smiling green guy from Hitchhikers Guide, a bass clef,  and the star and man from the band Rush.

    Planning my next one right now.  Im thinking of a train, and its number designation as F=M*A

  • Sfsdf

    I fell asleep getting my arm tattooed there. Guess us ladies can tough it out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=687121933 Carrie Looney

    My husband has a very similar tattoo in the same place – it just has a colorful nucleus instead of the A.  I have… rather a few. :D   I’m very proud to be in the Science Ink book.

    (It’s more aggravating than painful, but it’s worth it in the end, if you have the services of a good artist!)

  • Mazz

    Beautiful design! Nice work too! :)

  • advancedatheist

    American Atheists’ atom symbol has a kind of retro-future coolness about it, back when nuclear physics had a better reputation than it does now. For example, L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950′s and 1960′s falsely represented himself as a nuclear physicist to try to make his hocus-pocus sound scientific and futuristic. Today’s Scientologists apparently don’t invoke Hubbard’s phony nuclear physics credentials because they know that the shtick stopped working. And nuclear physicists simply can’t compete with celebrities in Scientology for gaining the attention of the world’s dumbasses.

    I don’t know what would work as an equivalent symbol for atheism which would make sense to people born since 1990 or so. Any ideas?

    • Sindigo

      I’m not sure it needs to change. It’s definitely my favourite of the proposed atheist “logos”. And the one I’ve been considering as a tattoo. Even though I’m not American.

      Maybe an “A” inside a Higgs Boson. If we ever get to see what one looks like.

  • Ashley Will

    that one doesn’t look like it hurt since it isn’t over bone. My tattoo just hurt the most when it went over my hip bone. I held my roommate’s hand as she sat next to me real tight! I think the worst would be getting it down on your chest like one of my friends has had done or your stomach.

    • http://www.dwnomad.com Dustin Williams

      Much of it felt like I was getting scratched, so that was more annoying than anything. The top of the vertical orbit just barely hits the socket and that part hurt. Surprisingly, a few other spots hurt, even though their over muscle, for some reason those spots were just a little more sensitive. About half way through it started hurting worse, but by then he was going over spots for the nth time.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    You grin and bear it.  It’s not that bad, and your body naturally numbs to it.  And it’s not lasting.  A typical kid’s knee scrape is much worse.

  • Alchemist

    Love it Dustin. One could even say it’s righteous. *sheepish grin*

  • http://twitter.com/catdumpling Cat MacKinnon

    yeah, i’ll agree with everyone here. aside from a few VERY tender places, tattoos generally don’t hurt nearly as bad as most people assume. usually after the first ten minutes or so, it kinda goes numb and you just feel a sort of “buzzing” sensation. the outline hurts much more than the shading and filling-in, since outlines are generally done with a single-needle. shading is done with a “needle bar”, which has several needles and spreads the puncture area out over a larger area so it’s even less painful (same concept as a bed of nails.)

    on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst), i’d also agree that, for the most part it’s usually about a 3, with the very occasional (and usually quick) 5 or 6 on an especially tender area. the under-arms, ankle, directly over the spine or other boney area and the shins are by far the worst areas. i have one on my back, between my shoulder blades: it wasn’t too painful except for when the artist went right over the edges of my shoulder blades and right over my vertebrae…that was pretty unpleasant, but far from the worst pain i’ve ever felt and it only lasted a couple minutes. conversely, places like the upper arm, calf and buttcheeks are probably the least painful places to get a tattoo, since they’re so “meaty”. it’s probably no coincidence that the upper arm is the most common place for people to get tattoos, especially their first ones.

    i think getting stung by a bee or having a toothache both hurt more than getting tattoos.

  • Chimako 27

    It feels like when you touch a light sunburn with your fingernail.  It’s not as painful as it sounds.  Although I’ve heard that if it’s done closer to the bone, less padding and more pain.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephenjoiner Stephen Joiner

    It’s not so bad once you get used to it. I think the first time hurts the LEAST since you are so hopped up on adrenaline. Here’s my science tattoos… for science! http://imgur.com/a/3T8mp

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/KNS2UDSXYOFR5C3KCW2SYW3FLI Dolly Dagger

    I’ve had my eyeliner done twice — the first time and a touchup 7 years later.  It felt like someone was dragging a lit cigerette across my eyelids, but the results are very much worth it if you like the look of eye makeup but hate to be bothered with putting it on.

    The only tat that hurt nearly as much was a fairy dragon on my right foot.

  • http://northierthanthou.com/ northierthanthou

    Very cool!

  • Miss Meaghen

    All I can think when I look at that picture is that I wish he was wielding that sword in the background! 

    • http://www.dwnomad.com Dustin Williams

      Yes, that would have been cool. That was at a friend’s house, but I have a broad sword at home and might need to get a picture with it… we could call it “The destroyer of faith”.


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