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You know, just hanging out.

Most people (I assume) spend a fair amount of time deciding and thinking about doing a flesh pull or suspension. Mine was a fairly quick decision, but an incredible experience all the same.

It basically came from a conversation where my housemate (Cat) told me that she and another friend of ours (iam:Krista) were going to do a pull, and that her boyfriend (iam:Poncho) was going to do a knee suspension. We discussed it a little bit, and I said that I really wanted to do one. I'd been thinking about it for a while and this was the first opportunity I'd had to actually see a pull or suspension in real life, let alone do one myself. We talked about it for a little bit, and Cat said she'd see if Krista minded if I joined in.

We discussed it all together, and with iam:Dani_doo who would be helping iam:Quaid to throw the hooks. Talked about the preparation, what would actually happen, and set the day.

I spent the two weeks or so beforehand being really, really sick with the flu. I felt like absolute dirt, and did a lot of "Should I, shouldn't I..." debating with myself before I decided that I probably wouldn't get this opportunity again in a very long time, and that I was going to suck it up and get hooked anyway. On the actual day I was feeling better than I had since initially getting sick, and was confident I'd be okay to go through with it.

Cat and I cleaned the house and cleared out the loungeroom, where the piercings would happen. We made sure we had soft drink and lollies on hand and hung out while we waited for everyone to arrive. Poncho and Dave (my boyfriend) spent a fair amount of time out in the garden trying to figure out how we were going to hook up his rig to one of the many trees, before sending Krista up in the tree to test the strength of a couple of branches. Eventually Dave went up as well, and they decided on another tree entirely.

Dani and Wayde arrived and hooked the rig up into the tree. We all went inside (there was a fairly large group of us by then) and Wayde set up to get Poncho's hooks in. With cameras flashing and lots of face-making, Poncho's knees were hooked, and we all went outside to watch him go up. It was an awesome thing to watch, he looked so calm and happy and even made jokes as he was swung around. It made me a lot more confident to see how well he did, but a hell of a lot more nervous at the same time, as the reality of what I was about to do sunk in.

Poncho eventually came down, and we headed back inside for Krista, Cat and I to get hooked. Somehow I managed to get stuck going last, so I sat and watched Krista, and then Cat, before sitting in the chair myself. The looks of pain on their faces didn't exactly fill me with confidence and my palms were really sweating. Dave had taken off for a while, but came back in time to hold my hand as I muttered "Yeah, this is going to suck" about a hundred times.

As my back was poked, prodded, massaged and grabbed, I had second thoughts. I can't remember if I vocalised these, but a little voice was screaming in my head to run away, fast! As the first hook went in, I was really wishing I hadn't ignored that voice. It was the worst pain I'd ever felt in my life. The three jerks of the needle going in, hook going in, then needle coming out were a huge shock to my brain and my body. I have no idea what I was expecting, but that certainly wasn't it.

I took a big deep breath, drank some coke, ate some skittles and braced myself for the second hook. It was pretty much as bad as the first, if not worse. I won't lie, I cried. Not sobbing, but a fair amount of crying. I was really regretting it; I just couldn't seem to come to terms with the pain. It was a pretty big deal that this was something I wasn't handling well, as I was under the impression that I was a lot stronger than this. I'd sat there and watched everyone else's hooks go in with very little trouble, and I couldn't understand why mine were so bad.

Having a house literally full of people really didn't help. I was embarrassed and in pain, and having a huge amount of people around, some of which I didn't know, was making it a lot worse. Looking back I think in the long run it helped, because I didn't want to have gone through all this in front of everyone and then not go through with the pull, which I was strongly considering at that point. At the time, however, I just wanted everyone gone and to run in my room and hide.

I sat there for what felt like an hour (in actual fact about ten minutes) before getting up and walking around. I felt a lot better once I got my body moving again, and got used to having the hooks in. I ummed and ahhed about going through with the pull before deciding that if I'd gotten this far, I might as well go the whole way.

Wayde tied the three of us each to a D-shackle and then hooked them all together. We walked to the edges of the room and I got shaky again. The pulls were bit harder, jerkier and sharper than I was comfortable with, and I realise now that I needed more time to get used to it than Krista or Cat did (which is absolutely nothing against them, purely my own preference and I'm really, really glad that they did it their way for them). I freaked out a bit and yelled at Steven, a guy who was taking photos, because he was in my peripheral vision and I thought he was touching the rope (I've since apologised about a hundred times, Oops).

After a few minutes of this we decided to move back to the garden, to get a bit more space and to even out the distance between us. Again I wasn't doing well with pulling off the other girls, and it was getting worse as I was just flat out scared out of my wits. Wayde suggested I move onto something solid so I could control the pull myself. I got un-shackled and they moved me over to one of the wooden poles holding up our veranda.

This made a massive difference, and I instantly felt a lot more comfortable. I leaned down as far as I could go and really pushed my limits. I had a friend holding my hands and eventually got her to let go as I steadied myself and put my full weight on the hooks. I did this for about 20 minutes while Cat and Krista did their thing over in another part of the garden. I wandered over (carefully) while still tied to my pole and chatted to Cat while Krista did an assisted suspension via Poncho and another friend. We all hung out for a bit longer (Sorry, I had to have at least one of those jokes in here) and I decided that I was done.

Releasing the pressure off the hooks felt like being punched in the back. My body had gotten so used to it that standing upright was really dizzying and made me very lightheaded. I wandered back inside and sat down to have some more skittles and coke. We watched Krista skip with her ropes for a while (she made modblog, woo!), and then sat down to have my hooks taken out. Dave was sent out on a bandage-finding mission and returned with perfectly sized patches that had a sticky border. I got wiped down and patched up and went for a well-deserved sit down.

After everyone left Cat, Poncho and I sat in her room and watched TV, talked about it and inspected each other's wounds. I spent the following days feeling absolutely bulletproof and caught myself grinning like an idiot while thinking about what I'd done.

Most people I know are aware that I did it, but I've kept it quiet around a few key people (my mum, dad and sister, for example) but only because I started to tell mum and she said that she didn't want to know. I wouldn't be heartbroken if they found out, however, and I'm not about to go to any effort to keep it from them.

In retrospect there are a couple of things I would have done differently (had less people, not attempted to pull off the other girls, had certain music playing) but the beauty of hindsight is just one of those things. It was pretty much the most amazing experience of my life and I never would have forgiven myself if I had listened to that little voice.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 23 Jan. 2007
in Ritual

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Artist: Iam%3A+Quaid+and+Iam%3A+Dani%5Fdoo
Studio: My+house
Location: Perth%2C+Western+Australia

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