Getting your first tattoo should be an amazing experience, but it can also be scary and intimidating. You walk into a parlor filled with ink-covered artists, machines buzzing like wasps, and a receptionist whose “can I help you?” might as well be “what the hell are you doing here?” Still, the tattoo-shop vibe is something you'll have to come to appreciate if your have your heart set on permanently embedding ink under your skin. And while it may seem frightening to first walk through the door, most respectable parlors actually want your business and will be happy to answer any questions you have, believe it or not. That said, there are still some things you should know about tattoos to make yourself more comfortable and to help your tattooist do his or her job. If you intend to get stabbed thousands of times with a tiny needle, you should at least know the basics.