Archive for “signs & symbols”

my current dilemma…

Posted in Arts, Gay & Lesbian with tags , , , , on May 1, 2009 by urban crawler

While catching up on my blog reading, I came across this post and learned something new today about the secret code of lesbianism.  Who knew that sporting a nautical star tattoo on your wrist is the universal signal for lesbians?  Well, apparently it is:

Since the 1940’s and 1950’s, a nautical star tattoo has been used by some homosexuals to indicate their sexual preference. Lesbians started this practice among themselves during an era when homosexuality was frowned upon and not spoken about. Many lesbians chose to get a small nautical star tattoo on the top of their wrist, which could easily be covered by a watch if needed.

I had no idea!  Too bad I’m not too fond of the nautical star, or any other stars for that matter…which brings me to my next point, my current dilemma.  I have been thinking, talking, and debating about getting a tattoo for a long while now.  My birthday is coming up and it seems that each year right around this time is when my tattoo desire starts to flare up again and I always seem to get stuck on the same issues of, what and where.

As far as where to put the tattoo, I have managed to narrow it down to somewhere on my upper body, which still doesn’t help a lot.  Everyone I’ve talked to, whether they have a tattoo or not, all seem to have different opinions.  My attorney friend M, has suggested a more discreet location like the lower side abdomen or the inner chest area, for reasons of it not interfering with your “professional image”.  As plausible as it first sounded, I had to think twice about her logic when I asked her to show me her tattoo and she nearly forgot where it was and literally took her 20 seconds to find it!  My artsy friend T, is more of an advocate for “going for the dramatic statement”.  Well, her tattoo is the size of Alaska and it spans her whole upper back, wrapping around to one of her shoulders…not sure if I want THAT much statement.  Another friend L, who’s in the health care field, is all about where it’ll hurt the most and least, lecturing me on body fat concentration and nerve endings…she pretty much ruled out 95% of the human body…no small wonder then that she has no tattoos.  Finally, there’s my most systematic and “I love clean lines” girlfriend, who prefers the upper back shoulder or the lower back because it’s “more subtly classy” that way, but it makes me wonder what the point of having a tattoo is if you can’t see it without the aid of a mirror.  Oh, and she also opposes any tattoo that is on one side of the body only, like the arm, because it “creates a visual imbalance”…well, I guess I could get two matching tattoos on either side of my body then…

The bigger and more important question is of course, what?  The idea of something permanent going on your body is very nerve wrecking  and I truly do envy those that are able to get tattoos rather effortlessly.  It may seem exaggerated, but if you can see the bare walls in my house due to my indecisiveness in choosing artwork, maybe you’ll understand my neurosis better.  So, I’ve been searching for that perfect image with the perfect meaning behind it and that hasn’t been easy.  I’ve done enough research now on different symbols and signs of every culture out there to earn me a PhD and I even toyed with the idea of designing my own tattoo, but quickly decided that I did not want to be my own critic every time I look at it…yeah, that was definitely a bad idea.  So, the search goes on and right now I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be the year…or not.  You’ll definitely hear me blog about it when there’s an update…stay tuned.

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