XXX Tattoo

XXX tattoo design by Greg James.

XXX tattoo design by Greg James.

A triple “X” in tattoo design is sometimes a sign on a bottle to show that it contains alcohol. The “XXX” in this case originated from the marks that were painted on alcohol barrels to show the number of times that they had been used. Three uses marked that the alcohol barrel had reached the end of its life. The triple X has also been used to rate adult material, especially movies, a system originated in the 1950s. Because the use of an “X” rating to describe movies with adult content was escalating to “XX” and “XXX” and because it was increasingly linked with pornography, the rating was changed in 1990 to NC-17 “No one 17 and under admitted.


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