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a note on suspensions

I should begin by saying that I haven't written an experience for BME in a very long time. Its funny how things happen and you let the more important things in life pass you by. I digress..

Though I am sorting out some personal issues related to suspension right now, I will say that I am a founding member of http://www.iwacured.com. Until now I have performed four suspensions, and this is the story of the last.

>As a group, we were hired to perform a suspension ritual at a Hallowe'en party on October 27, 2001. I had decided that I was going to suspend that night, considering that we also had a show planned for the following night outside of town, and that we needed all the suspendees we could get without going to outside sources, since we knew that we all had experience with suspending, and that all would run smoothly. In any case, the 27th came, and I spent the day at work doing what it is that I do... for 8 solid hours. After work, I walked down to the establishment where this was to happen. We had a few hours to figure out how the show was going to run, to eat, etc. I should mention that I was coming down with a cold at this time, and I was feeling especially under the weather on this day. Normally I am a very healthy person, so this did not concern me as much as it should have. I was still determined to put on a great show whether it killed me or not, since we were get ting paid and this is what I love to do. Now, this is the part where you're thinking "He really should listen to his body. Suspension is not a thing to be taken lightly." and you're probably right. But we had costumes and everything!

As the place begins to fill, we start our show. All three people who went up before me (I was last) put on a great show, and I felt I had a lot to live up to. I was here to scare the audience, and I'd do almost anything to do just that. So when it came to my turn to get hooked, I had decided that i would be brave and have another suspendee hang underneath me from her own hooks while i bore the weight of both of us with four 10ga hooks. I was pierced with those four hooks, plus the four more 8ga hooks that she would hang from. In actuality, the piercings were the easiest I'd taken yet as far as suspension goes. I still felt mildly ill, but that didn't stop me from wanting to give my all.

As the riggers (the people who pull you up with the ropes) were putting even mild tension on the hooks, it burned. More than it should burn, I noted. But I pressed on and decided that the best way for me to go up would be to pull myself up, which I did. The pain was nearly intolerable, and I put myself down for a moment. I should note that at this point it was about 12:30 am. I had been awake for about 15 hours, I had worked for 8, pierced the other suspendees for the past two and a half hours, and I was getting sick. The more experienced of you think I'm crazy right now. You'd probably be right.

Getting back to business, this time I had the riggers pull me up, and the pain was agonizing. I'd never felt anything like this before, and it was definitely not one of the good pains that I'd experienced during my past two suspensions (the first one was not that great either, but it was one of our first, and we didn't exactly know what we were doing way back then). Having what most people would consider a fair bit of experience in body modification and body play, I have come to learn that I have a fairly good pain tolerance, and as I have performed a few suspensions I came to realize that transcending pain is really quite easy in the right circumstances. My second suspension, for example, lasted about 30 minutes and I only came down because I wanted other people to have a try. I could have stayed up there forever, and at one point I believe I fell asleep. I say believe because my notions of time and space were considerably absent.

In any case, what I felt on this late October night was immense, intense, intolerable pain. But I pressed on still. I tried to move around and swing to get the pressure off of the piercings, but I couldn't get past the feeling of insane discomfort. I had to abandon the idea of hanging another person under me, at least for this night. I came down after somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes, and did not have the energy to try again. I was exhausted and pushing myself further would have simply led to me fainting, something that I have yet to experience with any modification or ritual.

I wanted to write this experience not to scare people, but to warn them that should you attempt to do this (and I strongly encourage everyone to try it), beware that spritual enlightenment or transcendence does not occur every time. Sometimes even the more "professional" of us can't suspend for very long, if at all on some nights. If you do decide that this is for you, be conscious of your surroundings and how they affect you. Before this event I think I was only mildly aware of this, and this is what caused my mistakes. Make sure you are in good general health. Have a good night's sleep the night before and eat as healthy as you can. All the time. Make sure you have made arrangements to stay with someone that night, just in case. Be open minded, but don't expect the world from one event. Yes, it can change your life. As much as possible, be prepared for that. But there's no guarantee that any of this will happen. Just as every person's motivations are different, so are their experiences. I've been fortunate to see both ends of the spectrum, and in doing so I have made some personal decisions regarding where I want to go with all of this, at least for the time being. It has become clear to me that what is more important is the ritual aspect of suspension. While I may continue with the "freak show" type events, I know that my heart lies with sharing tremendously private, personal, emotional, physical experiences with like-minded people. I hope to continue with this for as long as possible, and I hope that I am able to assist some of you with your journey.

As much as possible, I would like you all to know that a tremendously great, empowering experience awaits you. Be clear headed and rational, and you will go far.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 12 Nov. 2001
in Ritual

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Artist: the+cured+crew
Studio: www.iwascured.com
Location: toronto%2C+ontario

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