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The best birthday present to myself

I'd read a lot about flesh pulls on BME and the like and seen many photos. It always interested me but I didn't think it looked like something I would try any time soon.

I had plans to do a four-point suicide suspension for my 18th birthday.

After a few emails I was directed to Nick at Illicit HQ.

He suggested I do a pull to warm up a few months before I was going to hang.

Tho I wasn't really into the idea.

Turns out I had no choice really because I couldn't get the $300 it would cost me to suspend. And as it was only $50 for the pull I decided it would still be a great present to myself.

Fast-forward a few weeks to the 10th of august/my birthday and last night.

My best mate picked me up around 4.30pm, we went to a dairy to grab me some lollypops in case I needed a sugar hit during my pull.

The poor thing had to put up with my bouncing and hypo babbling in the car the whole time :p

On the way to the studio it still hadn't sunk in that in an hour or so I'd be doing my very first pull.

It just seemed so surreal. Even now it still seems it.

Alex and me got there an hour early so we walked round town a bit to calm me down and keep me preoccupied. By the time we wandered back to Illicit an intense calmness had come over me. Sadly it didn't last very long tho.

Within a few mins of walking in the door we were shown downstairs by Nick where a hook and pulley were located in the ceiling.

We watched him fed the rope thru the pulley and tie a few knots an even length down the rope. He then tied a few more holes in another piece of rope, the one he explained would be attached to my hooks.

Then it was time to go back upstairs to be pierced.

I watched while Nick set everything up and got the two sterilized 8gauage hooks.

I sat sideways on the chair while he cleaned my back with iodine then marked the centre of my back with a lovely purple dot.

Nick grabbed a fair sized chunk of my back in a few different places and asked which was more comfortable.

We found the perfect spot a little bit up from my shoulder blades and quite far in.

He marked me up and explained Rachel was going to pinch the skin while he pierced.

Which is when the nerves really set in. Thankfully Nick is a very calming person and I got the worst of the shakes under control.

I could feel the needle being lined up on the 2and breath and I was pierced on the 3rd exhale. Surprising not as bad as I had imagined.

The second hook wasn't as painful as the first.

The heaviness of the hook was the weirdest feeling. I can't really explain how it felt.

Nick closed the hooks and after I had a little sit and a drink of water it was back downstairs for the actual pull.

Nick attached a carabiner to my hooks and to the smaller piece of rope, he then attached another to the end of that rope and connected it to the first knot.

We originally had a box tied to rope over the pulley, but I wasn't so keen to start with something that heavy. Luckily there was a chair we could use.

So that was tied to the rope and with Tool's Lateralus playing in the background it was time to start.

Nick coached my breathing and told me to put one foot forward and lean my weight into it until I found a comfortable place.

It was damn hard at first! Even with such a light chair.

I slowly took a tiny step forward and I could hair the chair scraping the ground. I took this as a good sign and took another tiny step forward and another. All of a sudden both Nick and Alex were smiling and saying I was doing it. I got Alex to take a photo and was so proud when I saw that the chair was just off the ground. Tho my back didn't appear to be stretching very much. Within a few more short mins they were telling me to stop because the top of the chair almost took out the light!

I was overjoyed that I got it so high.

Nick had me walk back to lower the chair when I said I was ready. He then disconnected my rope form the main one then attached it to the higher knot. He explained that I was pulling more weight each knot he went up.

I think there were around four or five knots in total.

Each time I went up a knot I got the chair up faster and faster.

At one point I stopped, grinned like an idiot and said it was comfortable. I'd found my zone :)

When I'd finished with the chair I told nick I was ready to try the box.

He had me walk back and got Alex to hold my end of the rope so it didn't pull. Rachel wiped off the blood from my right hook coz it'd been leaking a little.

The box was a lot harder than the chair was.

After me struggling a bit Nick suggested that Alex kneel in front of me and put out his arm so I could use him as an anchor to pull myself against.

After what seemed like an eternity Alex told me I had gotten the box off the ground. As in it was three feet off the ground!!!

I asked him to walk me back so I didn't let the box drop too fast. I got Nick to disconnect the rope from me so I could have a little break.

I sat down for a few mins and sipped my water.

When I felt ready again I asked him to reconnect me so I could try the box again.

Sadly it was not meant to be. Even with Nick encouraging me and coaching my breathing while Alex held my hands, I just couldn't get the box to budge.

So after an hour or so of pulling I had to stop.

I fell into Alex arms in tears.

Both Nick and Alex tried to comfort me by saying how well I'd done and telling me that the box weighed the same or more than I did.

I dried my eyes while Nick disconnected me and took me upstairs to take the hooks out.

He cleaned my back down then explained that he was gonna wipe the crusties off the hooks so it didn't feel like sandpaper when he removed them.

He put a little lube on them a slid them out. Wow the right one hurt!

He then cleaned the wounds and burped my back. Which felt like the best back massage you could imagine.

Like Nick explained, it didn't hurt because my back hadn't stretched very much so not much air would've got in.

When I got off the chair I felt so light without my hooks.

The holes are a little tender still. Partially because I slept on my back that night.

When I removed the plasters Nick put on there was a little blood.

I just ran some warm soapy water over them and used a cotton bud to remove the dry blood then covered them up with another plaster.

All in all an amazing experience and definitely not my last pull. I'm booked in for a suspension on the 21st of September.

I'm very glad I did decide to do the pull before I suspend. It showed me that I can do more then I thought and I now have complete faith in my back and the hooks.


submitted by: inky
on: 17 Aug. 2006
in Ritual

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Artist: Nick++Fletcher+and+Rachel
Studio: Illict+HQ
Location: 202+K+road%2C+Auckland%2C+New+Zealand

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