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Breaking the suspension cherry

I first discovered suspension at a very young age.  Cable television opens up many worlds to latch key children!   After seeing it on television, both the new skool westernized version as well as the native americans, and the hindu kavadi, i was "hooked" so to speak.  I suppose that it all started when I got my first tattoo at the tender age of 11, piercings where soon to follow. Eventually the path of body modification would lead me to want to do a suspension. 

I met Sara (IAM: HeHadItComin ) online, through one of the other "profile" sites. We discussed many things over the next few months, and both of us wanted to suspend and were sharing our links, info, and pics of others suspending as we found them.  Eventually she met DTM. He is a Tattoo artist / body piercer based in Geneva NY, and an old friend / drinking buddy of mine.  He was in the process of developing a suspension crew and was starting to put people up.  I was a bit hesitant about it, not sure if I could really do it. I was also nervous about the cleanliness of the procedure.   Before I knew it she was sending me e-mails and pics of her going up, both by a four point suicide and a four point knee suspension.  I was ecstatic to know that now this was available to me, and only a short drive out of town.    

New Years eve was approaching soon, and I was to throw a huge party in a warehouse.  For the evenings entertainment I booked CNY suspensions to come and do their show.  It would the first time they had suspended in public and it was to be a HUGE party.   I had never seen anyone go through the process of getting hooks thrown, nor had I seen anyone in person actually suspend. This was to be a very big treat for me! In total they put four people up, IAM: DTM , IAM Ogre, IAM HeHadItComin, and steve the vibrating sex midget.  IAM: Ogre went so far as to throw his own hooks on stage and to pull himself up for a four point knee suspension. After finally seeing it in person I knew that if these people, who were relatively normal could do it, then there was no reason what so ever that I couldn't as well. Their show went very well, and they invited me down to join them in their next private session.  Unfortunately I had to decline due to an over extending work schedule.    

A few months later, and after a huge amount of drama, I moved to Geneva to finish my tattoo / piercing apprenticeship.  It wasn't long before I was scheduled to go up.  to say the least I was very nervous about it.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I thought that I might have an out of body experience. I also thought that I might pass out from it.   My girlfriend drove down from buffalo to support me. Being an amateur photographer she also was slated to be the one to document this occasion for me. IAM: Ogre was to be the one throwing my hooks. IAM: DTM was to be the one to walk me through it.  

I was to do a four suicide. Getting my hooks placed was possibly one of the most painful things I had done up to that point.  I took about half an hour to get all four placed. I took extended breaks between each piercing, as they made my head swim and my body to feel very hot. Surprisingly I didn't feel the transfer from the 8ga needles to the hooks.  I now had four large hooks protruding from my back.    

After smoking a couple of cigarettes, drinking some soda, and a bit of meditation it was time to get rigged up.  Being affixed to the ceiling by a series of harness's, pulleys, and flesh hooks is probably one of the most vulnerable feelings I have ever had.  Knowing that I was completely at the mercy of those around me, and that I could escape only by doing large amounts of harm to myself was an experience unto it's self.  I am not one to be confined, nor to experience the feeling of vulnerability very often.  Once the rigging was in place IAM: DTM tested my tensions and adjusted the cord that ran between my hooks and the rig itself, making sure that they felt as though they where pulling even tension.  he crossed to my front, told me take a deep breath and relax. Everything was to be OK.  He placed his hands on my fore arms and we began what is known as "The Dance", a series of movements to stretch the skin and to prepare you for the moment when your feet would leave the earth.  This was scary!  I was worried that I would slip and be left hanging abruptly.  DTM walked me through all of it, and was incredibly calming in his efforts.  He said " this is not a competition.  if you can't do it, that's OK,   All we ask at this point is that you try your best and you'll be surprised by what you can do" . We started to do the "Dance" in ernest at this point.  slowing taking steps forward and back.  With each step the ropes where tightened. Bringing me closer and closer to the point where my feet would leave the ground.  I was in a considerable amount of pain at this point.  on a scale of one to ten I would place this at about a seven.  When I got to the point where only my toes where touching DTM said " just one more step and your up" . I took a deep breath, prepared for the worst, and took that step. 

It was euphoric!!   I couldn't believe it!  All of the pain left my body. All of my bad feelings left my body.  I felt as though I was flying, really flying.  at first I couldn't feel the tension of my skin being pulled. I couldn't feel the hooks in my back. All I could do was smile and laugh.  The endorphin rush was one of the strongest I had ever felt.  A few minutes later my body and mind started to calm and I could feel the tension of the hooks pulling my skin.  I felt as though I was being held in a harness that circled my chest and slightly restricted my arms. The crew suggested that I try to swing a bit.  I kicked my feet around randomly, then began to get the "hang" of it.  it was at this point that the panic struck me.  I was hanging off the ground by hooks in my flesh, couldn't get away, and couldn't protect myself in the event of something bad happening.  My stomach flipped. I got nausea.   It was time for me to come down.   

Never has the feeling of my feet returning to the earth ever felt so good. Having the hooks removed was entirely painless. I could barely feel them as they slipped from under my flesh. After removing my hooks I had to be "burped". Essentially massaged to remove any air pockets that may have developed.  This too felt amazing.  It was at this point I broke down.  I hadn't cried in years.  Unable to have that release.  I was overwhelmed.  I had accomplished something I thought I would never be able to do, and once I had the opportunity to do, was unsure if I actually could get myself to get through it.  it was overwhelming. I completely felt at ease with myself and the world around me for the first time in what seemed like an eternity.   

I am a bit nervous about going up again, but I know that it will happen soon, and that in the end everything will be ok and I will have had the opportunity to do things that some only dream of.  If you are reading this and thinking of doing it, get off your ass and DO IT!     it's nothing you can't do if you don't have the will to do so.  Just make sure that you choose a competent crew to put you up and that they are sterile and professional.  Good luck and happy hangings!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 26 Sept. 2005
in Ritual

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Artist: CNY+Suspensions
Studio: CNY+Suspensions
Location: Geneva+NY

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