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My First Flesh Pull: Philly Septum Crew Hits Toronto

   This story starts in the beginning of the summer of 2001, when I moved into an apartment with two girls, Lauren and Erica.  Soon three became five, when Lauren's boyfriend, James, and our friend, Xander, moved in.  Quickly, the five of us became a family, all living in what we fondly call the "Big Gay Haus".  All of us were very into body modification and it was the beginning of what bonded us all together.  Towards the end of the summer, four out of the five of us started planning our trip to Toronto for the BME BBQ on September 2nd.  We were also discussing the idea of doing a four-way flesh pull at the BBQ, linking all the members of the BGH that would be on the trip.  James talked to Phil Barbosa, one of the members of the IWASCURED team in Toronto and he was fall for it, so we were extra excited for our trip to Canada.  It was decided that it would be a three-way flesh pull, including James, Xander and I, with Lauren helping with moral support and picture taking.   I was EXTREMELY excited and nervous because it was going to be my first pull and I was so happy to be able to be with my closest friends to do it. 
Fast-forward a nine-hour car ride with James, Lauren, Xander, our friend Rory and I (philly septum crew), all crammed in the world's smallest car.  We rolled into Toronto at nine in the morning on Saturday, September 1st and all checked into our hotel room.  James called Phil Barbosa, who told him to go over to Shannon's house around noon, where the three of us would do a private pull, instead of doing one at the BBQ.  We all sat around the hotel room for the next few hours, trying to get some sleep before we had to head over for the pull.  Right before noon we began the walk to Shannon's house, stopping at a Mr. Sub, I think it was called, to get some food.  When we got to the house, Phil was there waiting for us, getting his equipment set up.  We sat around the backyard, eating our food and waiting for Rachel, who was also helping out, to return home.  After a little while, she and her friend, Jon, came home and we began the piercing. 
Xander went first because I was a little nervous and I wanted to watch Xander get pierced first.  Everyone I was with knew I was nervous, so they were really nice and helped me stay calm and relaxed.  I watched Xander get pierced, which went fine and didn't seem like it was too bad.  On the other hand, Xander would just sit smiling if you were cutting his arm off with a chainsaw, so I was still pretty unsure of the pain and discomfort factors.  Soon it was my turn to get my hooks.

I sat back in the chair as Phil explained how he was going to pierce one side of my back and Jon was going to pierce the other side. This made me a little nervous because even though Jon was a piercer, he had never pierced a back with a hook before, but I figured if Phil trusted that he would be okay, so should I. Phil cleaned off my back and began pinching my back for the best place to put the hook. I could have them either farther apart or closer together, so I chose the least painful one, which, for me, was closer together. Phil marked the placement with a whole bunch of green lines and got the hook ready. He had Jon clamp my back with his hands to pull the part he was going to pierce out. He told me to breath and on the count of three, the hook was in. The pain was a lot less than I was expecting, it was like getting any other part of your body pierced (to me at least). Jon began the process of telling me to breath and counting, Phil clamped by back, and then my other hook was in, same as the first piercing. I stood up and rolled my shoulder a few times to get my back more adjusted to having hooks in it. Everyone was very proud of me and Lauren took a whole bunch of pictures of my "wings". Next, James was up to get pierced, and the same procedure was repeated. Within minutes, James was finished and the three of us were ready to be attached to each other. Phil decided that it would be better to loop a cord attached to both of our hooks through a ring, then connect us to that. This would make things more comfortable if the weight distribution was off center between the three of us. We were hooked up to our cords and the center ring then got into a triangular position. Phil was assisting me, Lauren with James and Jon with Xander. The initial pulling began as sort of an uncomfortable feeling, until Phil put some sort of lube on my hooks to make them slide through the holes easier. After that I didn't really feel any pain or discomfort. There was just a lot of tension on my back. I leaned on Phil for about ten minutes, gradually leaning further and further away from James and Xander. I was nervous that the hooks were going to rip out of my back, but Phil kept reassuring me that if anything they would bend. Eventually I was confident enough to have Phil back up and just pull me gently forward. After maybe half an h our I was completely fine, seeing how far I could lean myself forward and enjoying the feeling of a sort of weightlessness.
Rory and Lauren went around to each of us, helping and giving us words of encouragement. They were really great. During the whole process, Shannon and Jon were taking pictures with digital cameras at various angles... even from on top of the IWASCURED suspension rig! After a while of just straight pulling, James and I decided to "gang up" on Xander, who was jokingly bragging about us not pulling hard enough for him. We repositioned ourselves so James and I were next to each other, directly across from Xander. We grabbed each others hand and started leaning forward, pulling as hard was we could. Xander still kept pulling us back! By this point he was nearly horizontal. We did that for a little while, then went back to our original positions.
After that point, we all felt that we got what we wanted, as in the personal and spiritual sides of it. Shannon turned on the stereo, we smoked cigarettes, and kept pulling. The total time that we pulled for was about an hour and fifteen minutes. The hardest part of the pull was honestly trying to keep our footing on the dusty, rocky driveway. Rachel took our hooks out and Rory massaged the air out of the holes for us. I even got to keep one of my first pull hooks. My back was a little sore for the rest of the day and bled minimally. The whole experience for me was really amazing. It brought me closer to five of my friends on a different level and really helped me test my limits. I am proud of myself for ignoring my fears and showing myself just how strong I can be. My first pull was an incredible 19th birthday gift and a truly awesome experience. Thank you to everyone that was involved.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 04 Dec. 2001
in Ritual

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Artist: Phil+Barbosa%2C+Rachel+and+Jon
Studio: Shannon+and+Rachel%27s+Back+Yard
Location: Toronto%2C+Canada

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