After running into a client/friend of mine today and hearing the following story, I decided to write the second lesson in Tattoo Etiquette. The second lesson is simply, "Don't touch other peoples tattoos unless you have consent from that person." If you have visible tattoos, you've probably been prodded by people touching your tattoos without permission. If not, you're lucky. Personally I've had it with strangers that have the seemingly uncontrollable urge to invade your personal space without asking first.
This is my friends story. While on a whale watch two days after we colored in her medium sized shoulder piece, an unknown woman poked her finger into the fresh tattoo while she had her back turned. Then she made a comment about the piece. My friend turned around and retorted, "Don't touch me! That's still healing!" She was disgusted by being touched on a potentially open wound by a stranger without gloves. It's absurd that this happens way too often.
Throughout my life as a tattooed person, this has happened to me. I've been poked, rubbed, grabbed, and prodded on my tattoos in public areas. Strangers have even tried to reach out and touch my chest because it's tattooed. More often than I'd like to remember, I've had to shoo people away from touching me.
We wonder why people do this, but surely there is no answer. Do people think that they're welcome to touch someone just because they chose to decorate their skin? While we're on this subject of touching, you can stop staring too. There are plenty of pictures of tattooed online or in magazines that your can buy and stare at to your hearts content. Don't let your manners fly out the door when you see a decorated person.