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I want to get a tatoo with the phrase "It's okay. It's my first time." But I'm not sure this sentence makes sense. It means It's my first life, so It's okay to be a little clumsy. But I am worried that this phrase is awkward and might be taken in a wrong way.

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    +1 for checking grammar before getting the tattoo, very wise
    – E.Aigle
    May 26 at 12:57
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    The way most English speakers would receive this is as :"Don't worry about fumbling, I was a virgin too". This is very likely not what you intend on your tattoo.
    – PcMan
    May 27 at 9:43
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It's okay. It's my first time

It's very clumsy and highly ambiguous. I get that you might enjoy explaining your tattoo, but there are so many meanings people might assume before your intended meaning of "It's my first life, so It's okay to be a little clumsy". They might think you are referring to your first tattoo. You haven't said where the tattoo will be, but if it was in an intimate place, someone uncovering it might think it was your first time... you know.

How to make it better is a matter of opinion, but here's what I think is wrong with it:

  • you use "it" twice, this makes it clumsy.
  • "It" should ideally be something already mentioned, or something that will be understood by all parties. You need to make the intended meaning clearer.
  • you've made it two sentences, both starting with "it". It could be one sentence, two clauses.
  • "it's okay" can be used to soothe someone, or offer commiserations as well as say that things are 'fine'. It might be best to use a different idiom that conveys the nonchalance you intend.
  • to be honest, the whole concept is a bit shaky. If you believe in reincarnation (ie that you will have another time around), how can you be so sure that this is your first time? Something to think about before you get it inked on your body.

How about instead:

  • I'll get it right next time around.

It's short. It's nonchalant. It could be a little bit mysterious, but I don't think there are any unpleasant meanings that could be assumed from it. It doesn't presume this is your "first" time. Saying "next time around" is more idiomatic in the context of having another try at something.

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