Maybe it’s my years of experience working around ink, but there’s something about tattoos that makes the hairs on my neck stand up and my pupils dilate. Right there in front of me is a living embodiment of art — something I could admire from a distance or gently trace with the tip of my finger. This ain’t no lame henna that rubs off after a couple washes. It’s a beautiful, enduring design applied on the most sensual of canvasses: Human skin. Whether applied in plain sight for all to see or somewhere discrete for those intimate encounters, a little dab of ink calls attention to your bodily splendor in a manner that clothes, makeup and hairstyles fail to achieve.

The key to getting a sexy tattoo is by treating it like what it’s supposed to be: Body art. There needs to be some type of thought and preparation given to your ink. Tattoos work best when they are genuine artistic pieces. Getting “tattoo” or “your name” permanently injected onto your skin may seem witty the first couple times you show it around, but that type of jackassery gets old fast.

Also take into account possible changes in body shape. Abstract designs work best since they are minimally affected by such an event. Ever been curious how Marilyn Monroe would look now if she were still alive? Just ask someone that got her image tattooed on him or her way back in the day when the 20th century’s sex symbol could still give JFK his “Seven Year Itch.” Stick with something that accentuates your skin’s contours and tone. No set of eyes or hands will be able to resist your body.

Buyer beware! Tattoos will only supplement your inherent sex appeal. Think of them as multipliers. If you’re already on the positive side of the beauty scale, then you’ve enhanced your control over someone’s gaze. If you’re on the negative side, well, get accustomed to the sound of eyelids wincing in pain at the sight of your abomination unto the Lord.

As long as you give body art the proper dignity it deserves, you won’t get stuck with a painful reminder of your irrationality. Otherwise, it’ll take even more pain to erase the mistake and you will have spoiled your eye-catching canvas.

Daily Nexus art director Mark Batalla is currently taking requests for “personal” body art consultations.