How To Explain Awkward Tattoos, From A Guy With A Golfing Dominatrix On His Shoulder

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If you ever find yourself looking at some college-era tattoo on your body and quietly wondering, “How am I going to explain this rainbow-colored Phish logo on my shoulder to my kids?”, be glad that you’re not Fat Mike. The lead singer of NOFX is a punk rock icon who’s as known for clowning racists and rednecks as he is for being an actual clown; but he’s also a gleefully vocal proponent of the BDSM lifestyle that he leads with his fiancé, the professional dominatrix Soma Snakeoil.

Needless to say, Fat Mike has way gnarlier ink than you, and he has 2 daughters — a 10-year-old and a 15-year-old he’ll acquire through marriage — to whom he’ll have to explain them. Fortunately for you, he’s already thought that conversation (plus the ones about screwing and drugs) all the way through, so you don’t have to:

Describe the tattoos you have that require some explaining.
The first one is on my left arm, it’s a golfing dominatrix and her bound caddie. That one is very visible. I have one on my upper thigh, a dominatrix with a riding crop, sticking her thumb in her slave girl’s mouth and her slave girl is holding a tray that has a ball gag on it. It’s, like, 12-inches tall and 6-inches wide. I have to wear shorts when I’m at home, I couldn’t possibly wear boxers around because then [my daughter] would see my super dirty tattoo. My fiancé has the same characters, but they’re doing a different scene.

Does your daughter know about them?
She hasn’t seen the one on my thigh, and it’s not hard to describe the golfing dominatrix — mostly I say that those are my 2 passions: golfing and S&M. But, yeah, I don’t want to tell my 10-year-old that. When she asks, I just say it’s a woman in leather wearing heels. And, normally, you don’t wear heels on a golf course, unless you’re aerating it.

She doesn’t keep asking?
She stopped asking a lot of questions, like, “Why do you have rubber sheets? And a mirror above your bed?” The 15-year-old thinks we’re the coolest parents ever. She knows what her mom does and thinks it’s badass. She’s a cosplayer, plays Dungeons and Dragons and goes to ComiCon, so she’s totally into getting dressed up — she just thinks that’s what we do. And it is. We just add, you know, sex.

“Mostly I say that those are my 2 passions: golfing and S&M. But, yeah, I don’t want to tell my 10-year-old that.”

Did you ever worry about the tattoos when your daughter was younger?
Nowadays, so many people have tattoos, I was really way more worried about my finger and toenail polish. Because, when I go into her school, kids always say, “Why do you paint your nails? What’s wrong with you?” Well, I’m a rock star and I do what I want. Your dad doesn’t paint his nails because he works for a bank. So, my daughter thinks I’m pretty cool as far as that stuff goes.

So, what’s your advice to a guy who has a tattoo that’s tough to explain, but can’t fall back on the rock star explanation?
My advice is never lie. Just spin your story in a way your kid can understand. I don’t lie in any part of my life. We had to talk to our 15-year-old about drugs, and I’m pretty outspoken about using drugs, but I didn’t try drugs until I was 31. So, I told her, “Look, go through high school, go through college, and after you’re successful in your business and you’ve kind of made it, yeah you can experiment with drugs. But don’t take them when you’re a teenager or your early 20s, because your brain is still forming. Don’t wreck your mind, you’re too smart.

You didn’t take drugs until you were 31?
I was 31 when I tried coke. I was 28 when I tried painkillers, but just because I had an operation. I drank, but I didn’t do drugs.

And now you endorse their use recreationally?
Well … yeah. Because, I got some dough and I’m in a band and when I’m on tour what else am I supposed to f—king do? I only play for an hour-and-a-half a night.
What about tattoos — have they asked if they could get one?
I told both of them, when you’re 18, or even 16, and you really want a tattoo, I’ll sign for you. I give them the same advice I give any of my friends: Don’t do sleeves.

What’s wrong with sleeves?
It’s the difference between emo bands and punk bands. Punk rockers get a tattoo because they can only afford one, so it’s something that means something to them. Sleeves, people just want “the look.” If you sleeve both your arms within a year, you just want to look like a tattooed person.

“I’m not going to f—king apologize because I have a funner sex life. What should I apologize for? Your parents have sex once a month — you’re weird!”

Any tattoos you regret?
I have my ex-wife tattooed on me; I kinda regret that. But it’s a really terrible tattoo, so I guess I don’t regret it. My fiancé, when we’re f—king, she’ll just sock me in the arm, right on the tattoo.

People assume kids are naturally inquisitive — are you worried that your daughter isn’t asking more questions about your tattoos?
I’m more worried about the sex questions, the BDSM questions. But we’re prepared. We’ve got our stories straight: “What I came to realize is that I’m not ashamed of any of this, and I’m having better sex than all your friends’ parents, so I’m not going to f—king apologize because I have a funner sex life. What should I apologize for? Your parents have sex once a month — you’re weird!

Get Your Kids Started Early

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