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^erin^ going UP face DOWN

I still have a hard time describing in words, what my experience is. My intentions going in were very simple. I wanted to take myself to a place that I never thought possible. What I got out of it was much more than that.

I have been in the piercing industry, going on for three years now. I've been a client of Mike Pitts, formerly of Black Hole, for a couple years now. What started out as a piercer/client relationship evolved into a great friendship. Over the past year, we have grown really close and I am thankful to have such a great friend who presented me with so many amazing experiences. Not to mention, the opportunity to participate in what I called, the "suspension convention" that was held on December 11th, of this year.

A few days before the convention, I helped with the preparation of bringing 60 people together in an organized fashion. There were many people from Portland, but some traveling from out of state for the yearly convention. There were 25 suspensions scheduled throughout the day and late night, a few energy pulls, cutting, play piercing, etc. As I was resting my head on the chair, Mike's voice travels from the kitchen and asked me what I wanted to do. I reply, "What are my options?" The next thing I know, I am being booked for a vertical suspension (a.k.a suicide---uuhg!) with four hooks. I almost fell out of my seat, never imagining that I was going to have the opportunity to participate in this way. All I hear is, "You're ready!" Talking to the other people who where there preparing, I couldn't help the perma-smile and incessant giggling.

I never let the nervousness set in. The next day, I was thinking that I wanted to do a horizontal facedown suspension. I remember the first time I ever saw a person suspended in a black and white picture, I thought how impossible that was. I called Mike on my cigarette break and asked him if we could change it to a horizontal facedown. I heard the shuffling of the papers and I was scheduled at 4:30pm. That was it. I was going to do something I never thought possible in my world just a few years ago.

The day had finally come. Tuesday, December 11th. I didn't have coffee that morning; I wanted to be 100% sober for this. I was tired, but excited for the big event. This convention was not performance, this was ritual. We opened the sacred space as a group. I got to see Mike do his suspension. It was beautiful to see him go up Lotus and then just play. He was swinging around, having a great time. There were many suspensions scheduled before mine, so I ate food and watched many people go up. My friend Breana and I were getting bored, so she gave me my first cheek spear. It was more annoying than anything. People were purposefully making me laugh and it is definitely not easy to do with a cheek spear in. I enjoyed the time with the large family. My boyfriend, Mason, was there to DJ. My sister was there to take pictures of my experience. I was excited, but far from nervous; even after people stared at me wide-eyed when I told them I was doing a horizontal suspen sion and I had never had hooks before.

After being shuffled around on the schedule for hours, I heard that I was going up in the next hour. I had my last smoke. Last pee. I decided early on that I wanted Mike to throw in half my hooks and Mason to throw in the other half. Oh, the beauty of having piercers for a boyfriend and a best friend. It was time to get cleaned and marked. Lisa of High Priestess (Eugene, Or) was pinching my back, my butt, and my legs in order to find the most comfortable spots for hooks. Well, everyone thought it was so funny that I was going to take a hook in each cheek. I was marked. I tracked down Mason and waited to Mike to surface from the crowd. By this point, nervous excitement is setting in. I look at the 12 8g flesh hooks and 12 8g needles on the tray. Those needles seem to get smaller and smaller every time I look at them. After all, I'm known as the "Size Princess." I was not looking forward to taking hooks in the ass, but it was time.

Mike ordered me on the table and I was down there in no time, working on relaxing. Aliah, the girl who was going up at the same time as me was also getting ready for the piercings. My boys wasted no time and worked alternately up and down my body. The first hooks were on my upper left and lower right on my back. I got excited when I could feel the tips of the needles slightly piercing the top layers of my skin. I breathed out, felt a slight prick and a bit of pressure and they were in. Getting hooks in the back was really not bad at all. Just a prick and pressure. The legs were another story. Just pinching the skin is uncomfortable, and I have had enough piercings to know exactly what it was going to feel like. I just took it for face value. They wasted no time and I took one in my leg and one in my ass at the same time. I made a vocal release, as it seemed like it took forever to get the needle through. But once the hooks were in, there was a nice warm feeling. Before I knew it, all 12 hooks were in. After being pierced, Mike and Mason both grabbed a hook and decided to torque on it, making me laugh hysterically. Everyone enjoyed watching that. I have been told I am the most fun person to watch getting pierced because I laugh, giggle, growl, or whatever my body decides to do. In the back of my mind, I was thinking that I wanted to be in that moment for longer. But then I realized only half the battle was over.

I went over to where all the hard wear was. Walking with 12 hooks in my body was rather electrifying. I was wearing next to nothing around so many people, but felt so beautiful. Not for a moment did I doubt myself. I talked with the people around me. Mike came around from behind and got all the hooks aligned by grabbing them and putting them in the proper position. That was far from comfortable, but easily bearable. I lay down below my rack and Mike and Ime got the ropes and carabineers lined up to have the correct tension on my hooks. There was a different electrifying sensation as they hooked up the carabineers to my hooks. At this point, I started shaking from the inside out. I wasn't scared. I was thoroughly excited. My endorphins were kicking in on overdrive. Mason was there to help me relax, which was comforting. Ime was a little concerned and asked me if I was okay. Laughing at myself, I told him I was fine. I was ready to go up.

Mike and a few others were at the rope and they pulled the tension on the rope, which sent another different electrifying sensation through my body as the hooks were pulling in my freshly pierced skin. I liked the feeling of the rack moving and the tension on the hooks, so I subtly moved the rack while waiting for the techs to get ready. They waited patiently as I lay there for a moment. I was relaxing my body, but it would tense up again. I fought the battle for about a minute and I remember thinking, "fuck it." Suddenly I feel this tremendous pressure pulling on my body. I open my eyes and the floor is mere inches from my face. I close my eyes again as I sense that I am going higher. It was amazing. It literally took the breath out of me, more than I had in me. Oh yah, it took my breath away. I opened my eyes again and everything was still. I found myself about five and a half feet above ground. I was almost confused because I was laying face down and at eye l evel with Mason. Immediately, I wanted to move around. I felt like I should be swimming, and I started moving my arms in vain. I started to laugh and Mason gave me a good push and I started swinging around. I wanted start spinning, but that didn't last long before I got nauseous. The music going from loud to louder and back to loud and louder was a bit too much for the already sensory overload. By this point Aliah was also up. We started swinging towards each other and at one point grabbed onto each other's arms. We held onto and tried to swing back and forth, but we were so far away we could only swing for a few inches. It was amazing. We were looking into each other's eyes. No doubt, feeling the same thing. It was also her first time up. We let go and continued on our own journeys. Mike came over to see how I was doing and he told me how beautiful I looked up there and I think he smiled and pushed me. Mike knows what I like. Breana also told me how beautif ul I looked and that I was a natural. I was conversing with the peopl e around me, looking down up on them. It was absolutely amazing.

I was really enjoying my time up there, but the last hook on my upper leg was beginning to bother me. I could feel the blood trickling down my leg, but I let that go. I knew I was getting ready to go down. I had been up there for at least ten minutes, the most intense ten minutes of my life. My sister came up to me and asked if she could push me. Of course! Well, that was a mistake. Throughout the suspension, my legs were beginning to slip and the tensions on the last hooks were giving me trouble. My sister decided that she wanted to spin me, so she pushed only my legs. I let out this horrible sound as I felt the most excruciating rush go through my body and centering tat those last hooks. The tension on those hooks was too much, for my endorphins were already gone. It took over all my senses and I was lost. I grabbed onto Mason's arms and told him that I wanted down. Mason summoned Mike over and he got behind the ropes and suddenly I'm coming down, fast. I rem ember trying to humor myself and said, "I didn't mean THAT fast." I opened my eyes, trying to keep myself from losing it and again, I'm mere inches from the ground. I heard Mike from behind me telling me to flatten out my body. On my way down, I had slightly folded my body in the center to relieve the tension on the last hooks. It took every last bit of energy (physical and emotional) to force my body back to being flat. Immediately, I lost it. The last part of my release began. I felt the ground below me and suddenly I felt the most amazing electrical current going through my body as the 12 hooks lost tension. I lost it even more. I laid on the ground for a minute or two, just concentrating on my release. I stopped crying and I was ready to get up. I stood up, after just having experienced the most beautiful and empowering thing, ever.

I had finally come down at around 12pm, only a few hours after my scheduled time. I walked over to the piercing table and Mike came over and we exchanged a huge hug. It was time to take the hooks out. In a matter of 30 seconds, they were all out. There was a slight burning sensation as they were coming out, but nothing to complain about. There is a reason I love Mike as my piercer. He's fast, and gets the job done right.

Mason drifted over to clean me up. There was a nice amount of bright red blood to clean up. It looked amazing! I was all cleaned up and put my clothes back on. I was completely drained. I got some Gatorade to refresh myself, and a bite to eat to refuel myself. I went over to the sitting area and received many hugs. Mason was the DJ, so we were there until after four in the morning. We went home and I don't think I ever slept so well in my life. I was so satisfied. It was really special that I got to have my boyfriend and my best friend put my hooks in me. It was awesome that there were so many supportive people. It was amazing, period.

A few days later, the holes became deep little scabs (that are so much fun to pick at!!!) and there was a little bruising between the holes. It was tender to sit on hard surfaces for the first day after, so I didn't mind that we aren't allowed to sit at work. Two days ago, they started to itch. I find myself trying to hide itching my legs, ass and back while on the job.

As a little side note, I went to go visit Mike at 21st Century last night because I hadn't got to see him for a couple days. I asked him if I could borrow a 14g retainer for my septum because I lost all my 14g jewelry and I needed jewelry in there, bad. "We might as well go bigger." Good thinking Mike. Well, I thought he was playing a dirty trick on me. He slid in two different tapers and I thought he was going to throw about 5 more in before he got to 10g. Well, after the second taper and he slid the 10g plug in, I pulled a "THAT'S IT?!?!" It was so anticlimactic. And he replied, "Everything changes once you hang." I couldn't agree more.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 Jan. 2002
in Ritual

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Artist: Techs%3A+Mike%2C+Dana%2C+Jaysen%2C+Lisa%2C+Mason%2C+Ime+etc.
Studio: Itisness+Studio
Location: NE+Killingsworth%2C+PDX

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