Now I am going to preface this with something that you probably don't want to hear. All tattoos hurt, no matter what. A tattoo by definition is pain; it is a magical combination of blood, needles, and ink that are all used to create beautiful works of art. The pain is just part of the price you pay to have such a unique and gorgeous addition to your body. Yet not all tattoos are created equal and some areas on the body are better suited for inking than others.
For a tattoo virgin, you want to ease into the world of tattooing with an area of the body that is less sensitive to needles on the skin. When I hear that someone got their first tattoo on their ribs or feet, I automatically cringe. Despite the fact that these areas are some of the most popular places for a first tattoo (you can thank tumblr and Pintrest for that), they are also some of the most painful places to get a tattoo. The ribs, hands, feet, knees, and elbows are considered to be some of the most painful places on the body to be tattooed because they are extremely boney and don't offer much cushion for the impact of a tattoo needle.
By contrast, areas that are more "meaty" tend to be less painful and are recommended for people who have never gotten a tattoo before. One exception is the underside of the upper arm—while it's certainly not boney a ton of nerves run down there so it can also be excruciating. Every tattoo is going to feel painful for a rookie but hopefully this list will help to guide you if you're nervous about the pain.
Note: the pain rating scale is relative and everyone's body takes pain differently. You may find that a tattoo on your thigh hurts way more than one of the same size on your ribs. In the end, after the artist puts down their machine and wipes down your tattoo, the pain of being tattooed is essentially over with. After your tattoo heals you'll probably forget how painful your tattoo was in the moment and will be itching to get your next piece.