I recently got my first (and very large and time consuming) tattoo. Always thought that I was a bit tough. I'd gotten surface piercings through my arm flesh that didn't hurt. Never wince when I get injections and blood tests. I knew that getting tattooed would hurt... but damn, did it hurt.
When I went for the first session, I was all jittery (from caffeine), wide-eyed (from having too much sleep) and happy (that I was finally getting tattoo). My senses were swimming. So as soon as the tattooist started to needle me, it was if every pore on my back was screaming. I was in agony. I was gripping onto the table so hard that the next day my arms felt like homebrand custard. I hobbled home like a wounded puppy.
By coincidence, the second session fell after a particularly heavy booze up. I literally rolled out of someone else's bed, still wearing clothes from the night before and plonked myself on the tattooing table. I pretty much fell asleep and didn't notice a thing.
Turns out that sometimes alcohol really is the answer.
Always interested to see what other methods people have to beat the needle. Perhaps I should get some quality weed and just get really stoned? Perhaps I should learn to meditate? Numbing gel? Bring a kitten along (apparently petting cute furry animals reduces blood pressure)? Let me know what works for you.