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Tattoo Decoder

How to read a girl based on her ink

We're guessing your knowledge of tattoos includes more than a suicidal, plane-spotting Mexican midget. But while you may have had no problem hopping into the chair to get your arm, chest, or back inked, deciding where to put a tattoo is a lot more serious for the fairer sex, who risk revealing their design every time they don a bikini or slinky dress.

That's why there's perhaps no better indicator of what kind of girl you're chatting up than the location of her tattoo. We asked Karol Griffin, tattoo artist and author of Skin Deep: Tattoos, the Disappearing West, Very Bad Men, and My Deep Love for Them All, to explain the divas behind the designs.

FRONT HIP
What it means: "What you see is what you get," says Griffin. If she's marked up front, she's not too worried about stretch marks, pregnancy, or even the gravitational pull of the earth as she ascends into middle age. Meaning, this girl is the ideal candidate for a no-strings hookup. Notice how her tattoo sits half in and half out of her pants?Bingo! She'll open her fly in a heartbeat if you ask to see more.

ENTIRE ARM
What it means: This girl's into serious ink. You'll never see her in an office—she's more likely to keep odd hours, have equally eccentric friends, and sport metal posts through parts of her body you never knew could be punctured. "Where there are sleeves, there's usually a lot more, and you're likely to find a piercing or two," says Griffin. Bottom line: She'll probably be the one teaching you a few things in the sack.

LOWER BACK
What it means: How did the omnipresent "tramp stamp" rise to power?Blame it on low-rise jeans, peer pressure, or a severe lack of judgment after a brutal breakup. Although not all women with a butterfly an inch above their ass crack may consider getting a tattoo one of their wisest decisions, it doesn't mean the girl isn't a keeper—she's just a follower. Jump on the opportunity, but don't expect much more than standard missionary action—with the lights out, natch.

ANKLE
What it means: Deception—the ankle looks like a dainty spot, but with little to zero fat there, tattooing it is a bitch. She might look like a frail creature, but underneath, this chick's tough as nails. It could take some work to crack that outer shell, but if you're into tough but equally feminine girls, she's definitely worth the trouble.

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