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Nothing like I expected but more than I dreamed of.

I used to watch body manipulation rituals on TV and wonder how anyone could do that. It seemed so impossible to me. It seemed these people were more than human. But as the years went by and I was introduced to the wild realm of body modification I became interested in it. It no longer seemed so distant or impossible.

About a year ago I began confiding in people that I wanted to pull and suspend. I did an incredible amount of research (a lot of which was with the aid of BME) and talked to people who had be through it. It seemed everyone's experiences were so different that there wasn't even a typical scenario. Despite this I still felt emotionally prepared for it and was just waiting for the opportunity to present itself.

This opportunity came from the BME community. It turned out there was in fact a suspension team in my area (something I was somehow completely unaware of) and that Erin would be throwing hooks at the 2nd annual Raleigh BME BQQ on April 10th. I discovered this months in advance and warned my family that I would not be coming home for Easter break. I went back and reread everything I could find on pulling for the 7th and 8th times. I felt like I could recite some of the articles at that point.

The week before the BBQ I began to prepare myself physically. I increased the amount of water I drank and was sure to get the right amount of sleep and to eat well. (I already don't drink or smoke so that wasn't a problem.)

The day of the BBQ I was ready. I woke up early so I would have time to eat breakfast before John picked me up. We arrived early and Erin wanted to wait until most everyone had eaten before starting. At about 2pm Erin stood up and asked "who wants to go first?" I raised my hand and walked (well...more like bounced) forward. She asked the crowed who would pull against me and another girl volunteered.

I sat down at the table were Erin had set up her work space and took off my shirt (I don't own any open backed shirts and couldn't find one.) Everyone gathered around behind me to watch the process. Erin took out a packet and put in front of me before cleaning my back with surgical scrub. She then opened the packet containing two hooks, two needles, a bit of gauze and a toothpick. I was told to hold it to the table by the edges so that the wind couldn't blow it away. She put a few drops of purple dye on the inside of the autoclave pack and rolled the toothpick in it to mark my back. I felt her draw 3 lines on each side of my back, one vertical and two horizontal. She lubricated the needle and was ready to pierce but was delayed a bit because a train came by and the sound was distracting. It suddenly occurred to me that here I was in a public park the day before Easter, a wedding party in front of me, a train behind me, and about 30 people were about to watch hooks get put in to my back. It was a very surreal moment.

The train pasted by and Erin ask if I was ready to be pierced. I said that I was and she told to take a deep breath in and exhale slowly. The left side of my back was pierced and the hook inserted in one quick move. The pain was extremely minimal; much less than any other piercing I've been through. She told me to inhale and exhale again as she pierced the right side. Erin then attached the cord to the hooks and looped it over my head so it wouldn't drag on the ground or get caught on anything. Since it was my first pull she told me it may be a good idea for me to just get someone to hold onto the cord and let me pull a bit to get used to the sensation.

I got up and decided to fetch something to drink in one last effort to keep my blood sugar up as I tried to get used to the idea that I would soon be pulling on the fresh piercings in my back. I must have sat there longer than I realized because soon after that my pulling partner had her hooks in and was ready to go. We walked out to a relatively flat area that was about 20 feet away and our cords were connected with a link. Each of us was assigned a spotter while a 3rd person watched the hooks and cords.

We walked out slowly until the lines were taught then we began to pull. The first thing I noticed was that there was absolutely no pain and that it wasn't even the least bit uncomfortable. I became incredibly giddy and started saying "It doesn't hurt! It doesn't hurt at all!" I'm not sure how many times I said this but I'm told it was at least six. The sensation was amazing. It felt almost like something was pushing from the inside out against my upper back. The feeling was very generalized and I was unable to pinpoint were the hooks were. I really wish I could describe it better.

At this point I didn't really have any idea how to effectively pull so I was essentially just trying to walk in the opposite direction of my partner but this didn't seem to work very well. It didn't matter much because I soon began to feel dizzy. I told my spotter and she told my partner to ease up and stop. We were unlinked and Erin offered me a glucose tablet. I assured her I wasn't that bad so they just made me sit down and brought me something to drink. I couldn't feel the hooks but if I lifted up my arms my back would feel sore as if someone had punched it.

About 20 minutes later I was more than ready to pull again. Someone offered to hold my cord and I found a new spotter. I had a different strategy this time. I just stood still and leaned forward then slowly shifted my weight to one foot, moved the other back and then slowly shift my weight to it. Doing this I was able to lean forward at about a 45 degree angle. I felt that I could stay that way for hours.

I ended up pulling 7 times. After about 4 and half hours of having the hooks in I was getting cold and tired. I went to Erin to have them taken out. I once again sat down at her work station. She removed the cord and cleaned my back once more. I didn't feel the actual removal of the hooks (which she then gave to me) but burping out the air felt like I was being repeatedly punched on a bruised area (I wasn't really bruised but it still felt that way.) I winced and cursed. She said I had a pretty good amount of air in my back that went all the way up and into my neck, so much in fact that they started burping themselves out as soon as the hooks were removed. When she was finished she dressed the wounds but warned me it might come off because I didn't bleed at all.

After the burping I my back felt as if I'd pulled several muscles in it. It ached quite a bit and was the most painful part of the entire experience. It still wasn't that bad. I managed to sleep on my back that night. The next day the pain was much better and by day 3 it was completely gone. Healing has been going very well. At no point did I ever bleed or bruise. All I have left is four little scabs on my back.

I know I will be doing this again and look forward to suspending some time in the (hopefully near) future.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 April 2004
in Ritual

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Artist: Erin+++IAM%3A+onefemmeboy
Studio: +
Location: Pullen+Park%2C+NC

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