Woman hung like a man!
The first time I heard about suspensions was around 1996. It doesn't sound like that long ago to some, but I was only 14 at the time. I had social issues back then, and found myself delving into world religions as a teenager. I found it fascinating that there were such extreme differences in cultures from here to there, and I realized that my own culture lacked certain "rites of passage" that had obvious consequences on the populous growing up.
World religions led me to information from all over (i.e. books, the internet, personal experiences). I kept up the interest in religions and fashioned my own to cater to my own morals. This kept suspensions in the back of my mind.
In my research I ran across BME, a wonderful, informative, and sometimes crazy website. I fell in love with an up and coming culture that appeared to be building itself out of bits and pieces of the past that were relevant to now. I found this exciting and I was compelled to be a part of it. Not for reasons of belonging, but more so that I wanted to be a part of something that was developing. Cultures that have been around forever without change and improvement become stale and boring even for strong believers.
By the time I became a part of the BME community I was out of high school and working in mental health (go figure). I found more meaning and stability in the body modification culture than I had in the classic Lutheran, small town culture I had been raised in. Psychiatrics and the care of the ill has a fine line with body modification, so it was hard for me to come to terms with the fact that it was normal for me to want to participate in these suspensions and other modifications.
The first suspensions I saw were the guys from Wingnut tattoo at the shades of blue tattoo convention in Lacrosse, WI. It was January of 2005 and I didn't know them, but they were friends of a friend. I can't totally recall everyone that was there that year, so I will leave out all the names as to not offend anyone!
Over the next year I had found my best friend, Tiff, who was in contact with these guys, and she had done a suspension herself. I was obsessed. I went with her to the shades of blue tattoo show again this year, and watched the guys do a show again. I knew going into the show that I was seriously considering doing this myself, but had to see it one more time to make sure it was what I wanted. I had done all my research and knew all the facts. I just had to see it one more time. After the show I was convinced. I had to do it. I had to see what my body could handle, and if this was one of the things I could do.
I talked to Tiff, and she and I decided we would do one together. Be there for each other as moral support. It also helped that we knew and had been hanging out with the guys at wingnut before, so we knew who was going to be there helping us. I trusted them.
Tiff and I called Shane (crazy Shane) to let him know we were ready. We set the date.
I knew I was more than ready, and that it would be assumed that I would have a hard time for my first one. This was not a concern of mine, as I had been through a lot of things before that. I knew I'd take it like a rock star.
Tiff and I discussed what would be healthy for my first suspension, as she had done it before and was in contact with Shane about what to do to prepare for it. I took great care of my body. A week before I detoxified my system with teas and steam. I also ate well. Making sure I was eating a balanced diet. I'm not very good at making sure I'm eating healthy all the time. I didn't drink or smoke pot. I felt great when it came down to the big day.
That Sunday was anticipated the whole week. When we arrived the guys were still closing down the shop, so Tiff and I hung out for a while waiting for them. There wasn't much for us to do. We waited for the friends we invited to get there. Tiff had a couple friends join her and I had invited Janelle, who was working at the rising phoenix in st. cloud at the time. Janelle was the person that first got me into the scene and I believe things wouldn't have gone the way they did without her in my life. She is still a great support in my life.
Once they were ready we were trying to decide who was going to go first, because there was a guy there who was also going to hang. We didn't know him, and told Shane to let him go first!
I don't remember the name of that poor guy, but he had a rough time going up, and wasn't up very long. He turned pale and I thought he was going to puke. He pulled through it and got his color back. That was encouraging for him, so he stayed up for about 15 minutes, I believe.
This scared me. As I watched this guy who was bigger than me, do fewer hooks than I was going to do almost lose it I wondered if this was really what I wanted. Could I really do this? I looked at tiffany and she saw the fear in my eye after watching that. She told me I was way more hardcore than him and not to worry, because I was going to show that guy up. I mean, c'mon, a girl going up after that and showing them her first time can be bad ass!?
Shane came up, pointed at me and said, "You're next!" I just said "OK" and followed him into the piercing room. Shane and Andy were great. They did my eight hooks tandem, one on each side piercing at the same time, so I would only have four points of shock. They did wonderful. I actually prefer the taking a deep breath in and blowing it out hard when they pierce me. It seems to make things go smoothly. Once they would put the needle through they would transfer/stretch the hook in after it. That wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be either.
I got up and went into the main room where everybody was with my little hooks in my back. I felt so tough at that point. My knees were a little shaky, but I believe it was more excitement than fear or pain. They hooked me up; made sure the lines were right and tightened them up.
Shane stood in front of me. He told me that they were going to raise me up so my toes were barely touching the ground, and that would be as bad as the pain was going to get. He asked if I was ready. I was totally ready. They raised me up to my tip toes. It was exhilarating, and not as painful as I had imagined it to be. Shane told me to take a minute and get used to it. I must have looked like I was doing alright and ready, as he didn't give me a minute and laughed as he asked me right away if I was ready. I told him to do it! Pull me up.
Watching my feet come off the ground was, and still is, my favorite part of suspensions. It gives me that feeling that I can almost fly or that no one can really hurt me at that point. I was with people I trusted.
I ended up smiling, swinging, throwing candy, and plunger fighting for almost 45 minutes or so. It was spiritual but exhilaratingly fun at the same time. It was another way to bond with my friends that were already there.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, and after that I knew I was "hooked". I have no intention of stopping this new hobby, and hope there are other things I can try that are just as fun!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Nov. 2006