Does sex affect tattoos? Is there any scenario in which having sex could ruin your ink? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is yes! But don’t worry – that scenario is pretty specific. We looked into it, and asked some experts on the subject when you would want to avoid sex because of your tattoos. This is what we found out.
How Could Sex Impact a Tattoo?
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The potential for problems with a new tattoo and having sex really only come into play in a couple of ways. It’s not the sex in and of itself that can irritate the tattoo, it’s what happens to our skin when we do the dirty that could cause issues.
Friction, for one, can be detrimental to a healing tattoo, so if you have fresh ink somewhere that would encounter a lot of rubbing, maybe hold off until your tattoo is fully healed. The issues you could be looking at with friction during sex are things like: irritating the raw area, causing scabs to come off prematurely (which affects how the ink holds on the skin during healing), and potential infection.
Moisture is the other thing you want to steer clear of with a healing tattoo. Sex is vigorous activity (if you’re doing it right), so, naturally, you sweat while you’re doing it. It would make sense, then, that a healing tattoo on, say, the back of your neck would get saturated in sweat during sex. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that if your new tattoo is in an area where you would sweat a lot, sex should be avoided for at least a week. With sex and tattoos, when it comes to moisture, the same rules as exercise apply.
What The Pros Say
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According to tattoo expert Jen Lovejoy, it’s not a complicated scenario, “it is common sense stuff, like precautions you would take with any healing skin”. This is seconded by Dr. K. Prangley, a general practitioner in family medicine, “I could see how it would be important to treat it like a healing wound, so not to irritate it too much while it’s healing”. It may seem like common sense, but sometimes sense isn’t all that common. The bottom line is don’t mess around while you’re messin’ around if your fresh tattoo can’t be avoided in the action.
For all intents and purposes, sex largely has no effect on your tattoo, except if it’s fresh and still healing. Even then, if you use common sense and avoid irritating the area or getting it wet, you’re in the clear. As long as you can keep your fresh ink free from any friction and too much moisture, you’re good to go!
Have you had to avoid sex because of a healing tattoo? Let us know in the comments!