I've got my side done under my armpit on my ribs- didn't hurt too much, flinched a couple of times but nothing major (childbirth is worse).
the tattoo guy said flesh hurts more than bone - he said his knee cap hurt the least so I'm guessing shin would be similar, and fingers hurt the most due to nerve endings.
the one on my spine hurt more than the ribs cos it went out to the flesh on each side so that hurt. but I had pins and needles in my hand while it was getting done and that hurt a heck of a lot more than the tattoo.
sorry never used numbing cream, would probably pop a couple of panadol if I thought it was going to hurt that much.
pain level probably a 4 for mine.
Isnt it funny how people perceive (sp) pain differently. I found the fleshy parts didnt hurt but the bony parts were more uncomfortable.
My DH has one on his shin, he said it was uncomfortable but not painful. He found his lower back and inner bicep to be worse. Both my sister and i have them on our rib areas and again found them uncomfortable. There were a couple of times where they started to hurt, but once they moved out of that particular spot (as in moved half a cm either way) it was fine again.
I havent ever used the numbing cream for tattoos. sorry.