It wasn't always like this. A few years ago, the decorated skin met with discrimination. It was assumed that only gang members and those who spent time in prison wore tattoos. Going back to a time before this, it was the men in uniform, the air force, the navy, the marines, and the army; and then the sailors, the native minorities, the warrior class and the spiritual shamans. People were permanently marked to denote belonging in a special class, or forcibly to identify them as belonging to a group or a race, as part of a coming-of-age ritual. The reasons for each period in time and each cultural group were quite different. Today, biases and prejudices against body art have broken down. Public personalities and celebrities have succeeded in popularizing the tattooing trend. Sexy tattoos are now hip and cool. It has even been elevated into an art form, with some galleries and museums sometimes featuring skin art. The fact that women are also getting their own bodies decked out in this way has tamed the field considerably.
Contemporary man's motives in getting themselves all permanently decked up in body art can be wrapped up in three words: creative self expression. Whether it is worn in visible areas to attract attention and assert a personality, or more discreetly in hidden areas of the body for private enjoyment and a sense of self, they exude a sexuality that cannot be denied. Male tattoos can be blatantly erotic while female ones are sexy in a more restrained manner. The rise of the sexy tattoos, which began with coming of age rituals, select military tattoos, and erotic counterculture, is now at an all time high.
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