Punch a Hole in It: Where to Get Pierced, Tattooed

Get the deal on DC's most popular body mod shops (And yes, it's gonna hurt)

Want someone to jam sharp things under your skin? Figure out whom you should trust with a needle.

Tattoo Paradise

2441 18th St. N.W.

This downstairs shop in Adams Morgan looks a teeny bit sketchy from the outside (seriously, who wants to get tatted up in a basement?), but you'll be quickly dazzled by their snazzy Apple display and the incredible iTunes playlists they have pumping through the small space. Counter help is generally prompt and cheerful; a wide range of artists does well for walk-ins. The abundant seating is helpful if you're bringing an audience. And afterward, you can go to the Amsterdam Falafel House (2425 18th St. N.W.) if you're not feeling too shaky.

Fatty's Custom Tattooz
1333 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

Yeah, maybe they can't spell, but they've been one of the most successful and popular shops in the DC. Located in Dupont Circle (right across from Krispy Kreme, mmm!) since 1998, this third-floor walk-up mixes screamy music with seriously wicked tattoos. Head artist Fatty -- who is not fat at all -- often works freehand, drawing on the client's skin with magic markers instead of using stencils. This sort of tat is probably only for the brave at heart. Main piercer Jason, who previously worked at the now-defunct Perforations and also-now-defunct Industrial Body Piercing, is only in Saturday through Wednesday. Enjoy leather seats and a weird carpet smell while you wait. But you might find yourself waiting a while, because service tends to be slow. We recommend making an appointment beforehand.

Jinx Proof
3285 1/2 M St. N.W.

With a name like that, we really want to trust them. But oh, Jinx Proof, how you keep us all guessing. People either love this shop or hate it. It's a spot that's quick to win over Georgetown and GW students and many looking into their first foray into pain that leaves a permanent mark. The artists in here tend to want to get you in and out to deal with the never-ending stream of customers; on the flip side, they tend to be good at what they do. You'll be back out on M Street before you even know what hit you. Or pierced you. Whatever.

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