Part of the experience of getting a tattoo is the vibrating pain caused by the gun applying the ink under your skin. Some love it, other hate it, each to their own. Your body is sensitive more in some areas than others and the pain of getting a tattoo can range from mild to extremely sore.

The most painful places are generally the areas with a dense concentration of nerves or wherever the skin and bone are close together, without a layer of fat in between. Only a doctor can administer painkillers, and tattoo artists often avoid numbing creams because they require 20 minutes or so to take effect and can prolong the procedure.

Like the tattoo itself, pain is personal. What one person finds excruciating might be quite bearable to another. But since you may not know what your tolerance level is until you actually go under the needle, here’s a short list of the most potentially painful places for body ink…

eyeball tattoo

1. The eyeball - This is not a joke, believe it or not, some people do get permanent makeup inside the eye. The many nerves going into the front of the eye would make this an excruciating procedure without anesthesia.

mons pubis tattoo

2. The mons pubis. The pain of getting a tattoo down under runs a close second to the lips, says New York laser surgeon Bruce Katz, who specializes in removing tattoos. There are a lot of nerves, which provide pleasure (as opposed to pain) under different circumstances. If you try this in a tattoo parlor, ask for a cream, advises Katz.

foot tattoo

3. The top of the foot or ankle. Lots of women opt for tattoos in this area so the eye-catching designs will be visible when they’re barefoot or wearing sandals during the summer months. But it’s also ouch-inducing because of the absence of fat.

behind ear tattoo

4. Behind the ear. A tattoo here can be endearingly sexy. Just remember ladies, there’s nothing in this spot but skin and bone—and nerves (though not as many as on your lip surface).

chest tattoo

5. The chest (above your rib cage). If you’re thin, this might be one time you’d be grateful for a layer of fat around your middle.The absence of padding makes this one of the most painful places for men to get a traditional tattoo.