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Pulling at the BME EC BBQ

On Saturday I went to the 4th annual BME East Coast BBQ in New Jersey. It was my first BME event, and I was so excited. Andy, Alison (iam:pezaphobe), and I left the house at around 11 and drove to 30th Street Station to pick up Leslie (iam:leelou), and over to Drexel campus to pick up Craig. Then we were on our way! It was a slightly cramped, two hour or so car ride, but we finally got there. It was wonderful. I met lots of new people, ate tons of delicious meat, and posed for lewd pictures. By sundown, I didn't want to leave, and was determined to go to the afterparty, even though Alison and Andy didn't want to, and I would have no way of getting home.

Rumor was it some hooks were going to get thrown, and I was very interested in doing my first suspension or pull. I talked to Leslie, and she wanted to also. We made a deal, a bit of "I'll do it if you will". We talked to Cere, a member of ROP, and he explained that it would be a $30 donation to cover the cost of supplies. I had about $40 on me. It was set. Now all there was to do was finagle a ride to the afterparty, and then hope we could find a way back to Philly afterwards.

Allie (iam:art to choke hearts) offered to drive us to the party, but she said she couldn't stay long, so we'd have to find another way back. No problem. We were sure we could do it. Everyone helped clean up the BBQ site, directions were passed out, and Leslie, Craig, and I piled into Allie's Chevy Malibu and led the caravan of cars to the afterparty. We were very proud of our leading skills, until everyone else suddenly pulled off the parkway, we kept going, and somehow wound up in "Poland" where no one spoke English and could give us directions. Scot (iam:Clayman) finally answered his phone and redirected us back to where we were supposed to be.

We were one of the last to arrive, and hooks were already being thrown for pulls. I was getting so nervous just watching them, but I knew I wanted to do this. Finally, it was me and Leslie's turn to "get hooked". We decided I should go first, since I was more nervous. That way I wouldn't freak out more watching her get done. I took off my jacket and stood up straight, arms at my sides, with my back facing him. He squirted some cold liquid on my back (some sort of antiseptic, I assume), and rubbed it around, then dipped a toothpick in genetian violet and marked a line down the center of my back, between my shoulder blades. He pushed spots on either side of the line and asked me if they felt even. I said "yes", and sat down in a chair facing Leslie. She held my hands and told me I could squeeze as hard as I needed. Cere had me hunch over as far as I could. He told me he was going to pierce on the first breath so I wouldn't have enough time to get more nervous. I was about to have an anxiety attack as it was. I just kept telling myself that nothing could be as bad as my 8 gauge inner labia piercings. I felt Cere pinch the skin of my back on one side and tell me to inhale, then exhale slowly. I took a deep breath, and as I started to let it out, he pierced me with the hook and slid it all the way through and around till it was flush with my back. I couldn't believe how fast he did it! It was so quick there was barely any time for it to hurt. I mean, I felt it, but it was comparable to my cheek piercings, which were actually one of my least painful sets of holes. It was nowhere near the pain I had expected. I was more than ready for the other.

Leslie complimented me on my tolerance, surprised that I had barely squeezed at all. We joked around about the next one, knowing the second always hurts more. It did a bit, but still, nothing too awful. Cere cut a length of rope and tied it from the eye of one hook to the eye of the other. Then it was Leslie's turn. She stood up and got marked, then sat down in my former seat while I held her hands. She was just as good as I was, with barely any squeezing. She got her rope tied between her hooks, and Cere asked us to stand up next to each other with our backs to him while he tied our loops of rope together with a third loop. A minute later, we were set. He accompanied us out back, the two of us holding hands and walking very slowly. It was pitch black and we kept making jokes about how awful it would be if one of us were to trip over a rock and fall. Ouch.

We got to an open area and turned away from one another, and then began walking in opposite directions very slowly. We were very gentle with our pulling at first, just getting used to the feeling, and stayed in constant communication with one another, checking up every few minutes. At first I was only pulling with my shoulders, because I wasn't exactly sure what I was supposed to do, but then Tom (iam:whitespace) came over to spot me and gave me some tips. He told me to lean my hips forward and put my feet back, so I was at an angle on my toes and relying entirely on Leslie's weight not to fall. It was such a different feeling, and wonderful. It reminded me of trustfalling, but much more extreme, except I had always hated trustfalls and I loved this. I yelled that back to Leslie and it turns out she was the same way. I thought that was funny.

The two of us pulled for over three hours. It was both of our first times, and we were the longest out there out of quite a few people. We tried quite a few techniques, like bouncing, dancing, swaying our shoulders back and forth, and putting weight on different parts of our bodies. We experimented with moving our arms in circles to feel the hooks move. Finally, after nearly four hours had passed and we were the second to last ones still out back, the cold got to us and we stepped back to give each other slack, held hands, and walked back to Cere's station. It was time to take the hooks out. Leslie asked Cere if it was possible for us to keep our hooks, and he joked that No, he just rinsed them off and reused them. I was afraid that it was going to hurt taking the hooks out, since I was a bit sore, but I didn't even feel them. Actually, I thought they were still in me until I saw Cere put them in a glove and tuck them in my pocket! He massaged my back a bit, "burping" the air out, and I got a nice squirt of air and blood out of one side that was very satisfying. He cleaned me off, warned me about the "rice krispies" feeling, and that I would bleed on my sheets and clothes for the next few days.

Once Leslie was ready, we gathered up Craig who had been busy taking photos of everyone for the past few hours, and got a ride to PATCO with Janet (iam:NayNayMarie). We were all so exhausted. Craig fell asleep both in the car and on the train. Once we were in Philly, we took a cab back to Alison's house where we all crashed. Leslie and I shared the fouton. I thought it was amazing that we had only met that morning, but after our pull, I felt like we had been friends for a long time.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 24 May 2006
in Ritual

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Artist: Cere%2FRights+of+Passage
Studio: +
Location: North+Jersey

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