We were all young once.
What a thrill it was to get cut up and bloody and then mash our dripping wound with a buddy’s to show our undying loyalty, trust and bro-love (yeah, I never did that). A few friends of mine (who shall remain nameless) have a similar bloody pact with their SnP needles and ink. They SHARE. Gasp! Although I think they are real sweet stand-up people, I can only attribute this behavior to ignorance about a little thing called Biology. There also may be confusion about how BBPs spread from one person to another. I am a former HS biology teacher, so let me break it down fo’ ya.
PEOPLE! We are not living in the 1800’s when blood was a magical red fluid that played tricks on doctors. Oh, blood! What ARE you?! They’d exclaim as they carted off another wrinkly body to the morgue. Tattoos were done without a lot of precautions, because when we all have the same looking red stuff, who needs to sterilize? And we all died at best around age 60 of “natural causes.” Even gran and gramps threw bodily fluids around like they were at a vampire water park. Times have changed. Don’t know about YOU, but I plan to live to a hundred during which time I can adorn myself (in each crevice and cranny) with meaningful SnPs from every new emotional chapter (we’re talking 3 month chapters lately) of my amazing, thrilling life. You too? Great, here’s a tip, recognize that there are some SCARY things that can straight-up EAT YOU UP, such as HIV, Hep B and Hep C. Don’t need to believe me, please go through this very long and thorough PDF slideshow (ooohhh, pictures) – Blood Borne Pathogen Training.
I did (see certificate) and it’s no joke yall! Hep C is spreading like wildfire. When tatting, PLEASE take precautions to avoid cross-contamination between the tattooer(s) and various tattooee(s). Please be aware of what you touch while poking. If you’re poking and then grab the ink bottle, recognize that if you touch the bottle without gloves afterwards, that virusy shit is crawling all up on you looking for a way to get in. What you touch next will have it on there too. To kill it where it lay? Bleach. Bleach and time. Hep B can live for a week in a smear of dried blood. Please properly dispose of soiled kit contents and disinfect all surfaces after poking. Wash hands with vigor and with antibacterials soap before and after. I have updated the Tattoo Book Insert to reflect our new rightful paranoia.
In respectful response to a local stick and poke professional that wrote to me with her concerns, I will be adding yet another item to the kit! A medical bib for laying out all the fancy kit contents upon. That way all of you stick and poking in the woods don’t have to figure out how to sterilize your stumps. Woot!