The thread quickly went viral. Here are some of the top-voted responses:
1."I just want the person to be comfortable. Some people don’t mind being partly naked in semi-public. I work in a small shop with plenty of room, so it’s easy to create some amount of privacy. I offer to use anesthetic because I know it usually hurts extra bad, and we have nothing to prove in that situation. I’m extra careful not to say anything that might come off as boundary-crossing or make them feel self-conscious."
2."My first thought is that they won't go through with it. People call the shop wanting a tattoo on their shaft, I get the details figured out, and they don't show. It's usually younger dudes who want to seem tough in front of their friends, but bail once they realize what they're actually getting themselves into."
3."Well, usually people get excited because they think I will say how cool they are for doing that. They have a really proud face on when they ask. I always decline, because I don’t want the responsibility of tattooing such a delicate place when I know they can’t handle the pain. Also, I know they will regret it later if they don’t have other tattoos on them."
5."I focus on doing the best job possible and I keep an open mind so it doesn't get awkward. After 13 years, skin is skin!"
6."Honestly, haven't really been asked for anything like that over the years. Isn't something I'd do anyway. Had a guy a few years back who wanted a dragon to cover up a name on his dick. Certainly not something I'd do."
7."I worked in a shop when I was younger. A girl came in and asked to get a tattoo and a piercing on her vagina. We declined the tattoo but a new piercer we had said he would pierce her clit. We tried to talk him out of it, but he wanted to do one because he never had. ... He never accepted another genital piercing. She got multiple infections and was a pain in the ass."
8."My husband is a tattoo artist, and he once had a dude come in and ask him to tattoo his ex-girlfriend’s name around his asshole so he could 'shit on her forever.' My husband flat-out refused, and the guy almost cried begging him to do it."
9."There ARE skeezy men who call/email nearly every tattoo shop and try to get women to tattoo their dick. Or they might just get off on harassing women over the phone. I’ve written long emails to people telling them that if they wanna talk about their dick to a stranger, that service exists. But not here, and not for free."
10."I was working in the shop one night when a friend of mine had a butthole tattoo to do. It was a touchup of a word just above, and then a new star right around the ol' ring. She charged a $500 'handling' fee upfront, the tattoo was going to be $300 on the books, with a tip also expected, of course. She had this dude’s ass in her face for 45 minutes. He came on the table toward the end, she made him clean it up himself, and he tipped her a whopping 10 bucks."
12."I was tattooing flames above her vagina and her crazy biker boyfriend was literally breathing on the back of my neck to make sure I wasn't doing anything sneaky. It's my job and I'm professional, and I was like, 'Bro, I can't do this with you two inches from my neck.' So now I don't do them to walk-ins."
And tattoo artists weren't the only ones to weigh in on the Reddit thread. Several customers shared stories of their own:
13."I've been going to the same tattoo artist now for about eight years, and he's tattooed my penis three times now. Not sure how he would feel doing anyone else's, though I think he normally charges an additional handling fee. Pain wasn't much different to other parts of the body, but it was only the shaft. Not the head."
14."I grew up in the tattoo community. I have almost a full body suit. Getting my butt done by my friend at his house was a little awkward at first. Then, well, it's just a tattoo with your balls hanging out, not a big deal. They just do their job and you sit there in pain."
15."My personal tattoo artist told me a story. Said this older gentleman came into his shop asking for a full penis tattoo. The artist originally said no, because it's delicate and would be very painful. The customer was in tears, saying that he got rejected at multiple shops because no one took him seriously; he just REALLY wanted this tattoo. The artist was moved by his story and did it for him (expensive, obviously) and the customer cried when it was done. He has tattooed a few penises since."
16."I'm not a tattoo artist, but I am a customer. I lost my breasts and nipples to breast cancer, and a tattoo artist gave me tattooed nipples that look like the real thing. ... He was incredibly professional, kind, and I didn't feel vulnerable at all, despite the location and the fact that he was working over my scars and re-creating a 'private' body part for me. It felt just like getting a normal tattoo, only afterwards I felt less broken."
18."I was in a shop with a friend getting a tattoo done. Dude walks in and legit asked, 'How much to tattoo a barber pole on my dick?' The artist stopped what he was doing, stared the guy dead in the eye and replied, 'You'd literally have to pay me enough to buy a new Harley.' The guy asked if he was serious, and he informed him that he was. Dude said he was absolutely insane and slammed the door as he stormed out, mumbling about how stupid it was."
You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.