Tribal tattoos have been practiced for thousands of years. Modern people still get them done for many reasons such as to belong to a modern 'tribe' even if they do it on a subconscious level. Getting tattooed was also seen as a rite of passage into adulthood.
52 Timeless and Meaningful Egyptian Tattoo Designs.
If it makes you feel any better, tattoo artists are aware of your questions and are more than happy to answer them. So, don't be shy. Given the areas of the body than can serve as canvases, it'll take more than a simple question to make a tattoo artist blush.
Where Does It Hurt The Most? - Areas of sensitive skin (i.e., inside your elbow) and near bone or cartilage (i.e., on the top of feet & knuckles) tend to hurt the most. Everyone is different.