Someone wrote me today about my tattoos. Normally when I recieve such an email, it contains such thigns as "I like your tattoos" or "I have a few tats of my own" or "I like tats, but yours kind of suck." These emails make sense to me. They come from people who may or may not have an opinion about my tattoos in particular, but generally have no problem with tattoos in general. People who don't like tattoos generally don't bother me.

But this person decided he was going to lecture me about what one should and should not do with one's skin. IMO people shouldn't tan because it leads to skin cancer, but I don't go around preaching about it. It's not my business what other people choose to do with their bodies. At least skin cancer is detrimental to one's health. Tattoos are merely decorative. I will leave this person nameless, to save him some embarrassment, but I will post his email:

M'Lady; I am ******** as much as I breathing. Hear me well womyn. Your skin, which at your time of life, is most fine, perhaps as a fine satin to the fingers tip, should not be marked in PERMANENT inks with symbols or images that represent an outward manifestation of the passions of your soul at 20. For two reasons I say this. One: I assure you your passions will be represented by other symbols and images at at different time in your life; though even if of the same genre. M'Lady, I assure you of this. Two: Your skin young maiden, every single bit of your sweet skin, is to be tasted completely naked by your lovers(s) mouth. Completely, and every bit, every delicious bit.

Now, there are a couple of things that irk me greatly about this. One is mentioned above, that he has no right to tell me what to do with my skin. What I do is a form of art, and I just happen to choose my skin as my canvas. If nothing else, this way I can be assurred it will never be stolen. The other is his liberal use of the word "maiden." I suppose he thought he was paying me a compliment, but I haven't been a maiden for many years and I don't care to reclaim the title.

For those interested, I give you my reply:

My skin is mine to do with as I please. The marks I place upon it are art. I'm well aware that in time my tastes may change, but I'm also well aware that individuality is one of the few gifts that remain in today's dark times. What I choose to place upon me are always well thought-out. You do not know me, and have no place to say what I should and should not do with myself. If you don't like tattoos, then don't get one. But never tell anyone else that they should not, for all have the right to control their own self.

And the word "maiden" has not described me in many years, nor do I wish it did.

And, for the record, these are not passions of my soul at twenty. I've wanted a tattoo of a rose on my breast going on some five years now. My first tattoo was done a week after I turned 18, and I still enjoy the sight of it. My armband tattoo wasn't very planned, but it suits me well (one doesn't always need to think long to think well). Now I'll admit that five years hardly yields the experience of 20 (unless it's the right five, which in some matters it has been but this isn't one of them), but as I'm of an artistic mind, in this matter I'm sure I'm correct. I know of very few people with long-standing tattoos who wish they hadn't done what they did.

Not to mention that my skin is just as silky as it's always been, tattoo or no. The only time that's changed is when they were healing. Tattoos cannot be detected by touch unless they were infected while healing, and that is almost always caused by a lack of care.