It’s February 2020. The month of love; the Year of the Rat. That’s a total collision of Western and Eastern traditions, but why not? It’s a global economy. Let’s go with it.

We all have the Western half on lockdown. February is the month that Hallmark has conditioned us to spend money on our special someone. Relatedly, according to a study we just made up for this narrative, it’s also the month with the highest rate of horrible tattoo decisions. Therefore, as part of our public duty, we’d like to remind everyone to buy Fair Trade chocolate, and for the love of God, please tattoo responsibly.

Now, for the Eastern half. According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Rat, which began on January 25, is the first year in their 12-year zodiac cycle. While every first year of the cycle is associated with the plague carrying rodent, only 2020 is specifically connected to the metal element, and is therefore dubbed, the Year of the Metal Rat. If you just pictured a buck-toothed furball in a tiny, sleeveless leather jacket, listening to Motörhead, congratulations; you’re normal. Now, back to the point. As the first in the cycle, the year upon us is one of renewal and rebirth, a time to make fresh starts and take on new projects. Interestingly enough, we’re simultaneously at the start of a brand-new decade, which in the Western tradition, carries basically the same sentiments.

This year, whether we buy into astrology or not, let’s take those good omens and run with them. Make 2020 your year of big strides and bigger change—and let us help.

Happy Valentines day and happy (belated) Chinese New Year. We hope you enjoy the issue. We’ll catch you on the flipside.


PAIN Magazine is the undisputed standard-bearer of all things body modification; the advocate, advisor, confidant and documentarian of a once marginalized trade, now on the cusp of cultural ubiquity. As a publication, we stand alone — peerless within our market sector for nearly 20 years. As fellow operators within the space, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those whom we serve, wholly invested in the continued success of our industry. We are the guide to help you walk the tightrope between the intangibles of the trade—art, integrity and community—and the cold hard facts of your bottom line. With a monthly circulation of 12,000 copies that go out across the U.S. and Canada and a reader base of over 36,000 industry professionals, it’s easy to understand why our professional, informative and artistic format offers the best buy per advertising dollar.

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