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High flying dreams - permanent suspension piercings.


It's quite a distance in the past, when I had my first contact with suspensions. It was the TV, the ordinary normal Austrian TV, it was a documentation, interesting, informative, thrilling, a documentation about India, about its culture and religion. And there was it, this monk hanging in the air, hanging on something pierced through his skin. Wow, impressive, THAT is possible?! It was the first time when I felt piercing could be more than just a strange fashion gag, the way I thought about it before. Fascination remained, I started to develop my ideas and dreams about piercings, permanent piercings, becoming entire, irremovable part of my body.

But still this impressive documentation lived on in my mind, dreaming of hanging from piercings.

It was not before 2003, that I realized that people start to do this in western civilization. Even on BME it was very rare that time. 2004, October, the first chance, the – as I heard later on – somewhat strange meeting in Cologne but I missed it. I remember being pretty annoyed, thinking that I missed the only chance in years. It did not develop that bad, already following summer I was happily attending the first Swiss IAM meeting, only watching that time. I wanted to get a really clear idea about all that, before I will do this adventure myself. But now, a new dream started, and indeed I dreamed it, several times, even before "hanging" the first time: I am hanging from permanent piercings, done only for one thing, "reusable" as I want.

I soon realized after a little search on BME, that again, like all the time, when I have a nice piercing idea, I am pretty alone with that – not the first, at least as there is some experience done by Fakir Musafar. The adventure may be an impossible dream... A year later – Swiss IAM #II – I hung, and realized, that these hooks feel indeed good. These are body parts helping me flying, really removing them?! The feeling returned after a wonderful superman suspension at the Berlin-summer-camp. I was very close to reinsert the two large 5mm hooks into the upper back, when I returned home to keep the holes open, to get later on some professional jewelry in. Nevertheless, the knowledge was grave that such a self-made procedure at a serious 5mm diameter piercing could be pretty dangerous, finally I decided to wait.

Next year, next try, before Berlin the decision was done, and I asked the piercer (Chandler), who knew about my idea from the year before, to make or order some kind of fitting jewelry, I wanted to keep at least some of the holes. He forgot, and me being pretty tenacious, when finally everything is decided, that was the right combination for trying out something not entirely safe. Working right now in Amsterdam, I thought, it should be not so difficult to find a piercing-studio, where jewelry is crafted. When I asked Chandler "Let the large two upper hooks (I again did superman and suicide, one after the other, superman more than 3 hours, suicide brief) inside, I travel home with them, and go for fitting jewelry in Amsterdam", he was not entirely happy about this idea. Something "Oh my god what a terrible idea, are you crazy" was a pretty clear assessment of the plan. Nevertheless he did, realizing that I am pretty stolid now, not insist on removing the hooks. I had to sign a safety annotation "despite education about risks he decided...", comparable to these in hospitals, when planning not recommended things.

First Part

The adventure started. Despite more than three hours of hanging, the hooks were not too sore. The first night, still in Berlin, I did not have any troubles with them. It was funny, all the people asking me how I can stand this hooks inside, but the answer was so easy, they did feel well, not painful at all.

Pain was a thing of the future.

The nearest future contained a 6 hours train-travel, and indeed, that wasn't fun at all. Sitting all the time very carefully leaning in a way not to get forces to the hooks was absolutely uncomfortable, and still some (painful) forces were all the time on the hooks. Traveling with fresh hooks is inconvenient.

The following week I lived with hooks inside, they didn't feel too bad (I was also extremely careful), and I was a bit negligent about searching for a piercing-studio to change the "jewelry". Working usually ends after the closing hours, and it was not before 6 days after suspending, that I finally hurried into town, one evening. After 5 studios, which were selling only standard manufactured jewelry, they ordering from bigger companies, I learned the bitter way, that finding fitting jewelry for a 5mm diameter, 55mm long surface piercing is obviously more difficult, than I thought.

Success finally followed the following day (hooks inside a week, starting to move slightly, I got nervous!!!); the last studio I knew was the right one. Dare2wear Amsterdam – "yes, indeed we can do, but... that takes a while, think about 2 or 3 weeks".

What a good joke, I realized the piercings start to move – the weight and the form of the hooks are taking their toll. One week... maybe, but 2... 3 weeks, NO CHANCE!!!

A kingdom for good ideas! Dare2wear offered me an interesting possibility, take some old hooks (I had), cut them, bend them, and secure them with o-rings. This was not the best solution, but it would be one, possibly working for that waiting time. Also getting the tip, of another shop, where maybe (no, there wasn't) something fitting is available, I went there, and finally home, now I got an interesting thought.


Glass is a nice material, entirely biocompatible, pretty easy to manufacture. Go to the lab, take a 5mm glass staff of high quality chemical and temperature resistant glass, heat it up, bend it, and you get a fitting jewelry for some time. Uh – and try not to fall onto the back, while glass is inside.

The backslash came early: we did not have 5mm glass staffs in the lab (what the hack, that is really standard in a molecular biology lab, you are bending the glass spatulas out of it). We had 9mm instead. A challenging exercise! Now lets try... heat that bloody thing up, till the glass glows a tiny little bit, while becoming flexible, pull strongly, patiently – yes it can be stretched, but not too much! It takes a while to work through a full 10cm glass staff like that. But than finally I had somewhat 2 times 20cm of 5 +/- 0,5mm glass to work. Bending the sharp-edged "U" of a typical surface piercing, with 2 more 90 degrees bends on it to prevent slipping of the piercing, and to have a kind of integrated taper. Cooling the thing on a "cool" yellow flame, to reduce interior tensions, cleaning the definitively sterile glass jewelry with isopropanol, and then: Now it is time to change.

I went home, soaked the whole back in Octenisept® solution, cleaned the piercings from crust, removed the safety of hook No 1, gently pushed it out of the hole. It was not very nice to work on pure feeling on the back bending the arms in rather strange angels, but it worked. Next step: inserting of the glass, using the integrated taper-construction to search the way through the hole. It was not too easy to push two 90 degrees angles through the holes, a little bit pushing, a little bit turning a little bit pulling on the skin, and it went through. The piercing immediately found it's place in correct position. The same thing was repeated for piercing no two, the one on the left side, but there the safety of the hook terribly stuck, it was really a fight to get it off.

The reward was, two fitting short-term improvisations were inside the piercings, allowing me to wait the ordering time. Now it was time to go back to the studio, showing them the solution, which was definitely better than the cut – hook – idea, and to order the real jewelry - 5mm diameter, 54mm longest width on the left side, 58mm on the right side.

For m, now, it was time to "repair, damage done by wearing the hooks so long = a full week. The piercings were bent downwards, with about 30 degrees angle, and the form of the channel was more a round U, than an edgy one. Taping did the trick, pulling the piercings into correct position vertical to the skin, and pushing them into the exact position to obtain constant depth.

It worked with 2 weeks of patience, and when the final jewelry arrived, the glass piercings were sitting extraordinary well in the holes, so well, that it was pretty difficult to remove them at all – Sharon of Dare2wear had to work quite somewhat to do the replacement.

The glass piercings were good, but no compare to the final steel surface U-bars. After several minutes of pain due to the very rough exchange-procedure they started to feel really like body parts, no pain, no stress when moving the body, this has future.

Indeed the healing inflammation and the oozing of clear liquid reduced very soon. Follow-up healing was without a lot of troubles, I had to take care, I had to fight slight infections two times, but I was pretty happy to find fast and constant healing without bad surprises. These, now 6,5 month old piercings are mostly healed and very resistant against forces (which is a welcome kind of news).

Now, these 2 "old" piercings are not alone anymore, there are 6 spots on the back to get piercings to do a half superman (or a "many-hooks-variety" of a suicide suspension). Originally planned not to do before next summer, I lost patience in waiting, realizing the healing success of the first "hooks". And who knows – in summer I am back to Strasbourg, but how do I get my jewelry there...? The decision was done mid of November; I want to finish the back ASAP!

December went into the country, but the jewelry did not... small delay... but finally with the New Year new piercings arrived.

Second Part

4 times 5mm diameter and 60mm length

Yes, it is painful.

Respect for Sharon and her colleague, these were not easy piercings, it required a lot of force to fold my massive skin of the back to do that procedure, and it required a lot of force to push the needle through, That was probably like body building, and the first time I saw women doing that kind of piercings at all (but I saw already man failing due to lack of power). The procedure was pretty, but not yet unbearably painful. Pain was an option for the future.

Now, the plan was, that with these optimal pierced. Well fitting jewelry, the whole thing should be less painful, than it was, using hooks and glass piercings as intermediates. Maybe I should have told this also to me nerves, which didn't believe that at all.

And even worse, I soon realized, that despite all exact working it was not exact enough, two piercings a little bit short, one a little bit long. Good old taping will help...

Indeed the pain increased daily for all the piercings, but worse for the ones taped: a lot of constant force on fresh piercings will do the job – but at the cost of severe pain.

After 3, 4 days my patience was on the limit. At the one hand the mirror told me, everything looks fine, no big swelling, no big inflammation, no pus in the little wound secretion.

At the other hand, my back was yelling in pain. 4 times that pain is a bit much, and I was close to run to the studio in panic, for removing the things, there is something wrong?!?

The mirror won, I decided to wait... and tape... and bear the pain.

Finally after a full 5 days of suffering the conditions improved dramatically, when I went for the regular control at day 6, everything was fine, and the taping also started to show the desired effect.

One week of much better life, and still taping later, the piercings were fitting perfect, the little swelling reduced and it was time to be happy – it will work.

A small relapse occurred on the little bit to long piercing, which tried to bury into the skin. A few days of using a plastic sheet like a lining disc, solved that problem too. Constant slight force on fresh piercings may do damage – or, applied in the right way, a lot of good!

Since then pretty unspectacular healing occurs, now, 2 months later, the oozing is slowly reducing, the mechanical resistance becomes striking, all in all, right now I am quite happy with all 6 back-pieces. I don't feel them anymore when sleeping on the back, I can lean trouble-free in a seat, I can lie even on hard ground.

And they look nice.

What's left to do: The first suspension. Will the piercings heal stable enough to support about 15 kg per hole, without being to stressed and angry after (or at least could they be trained in that way by suspending some times)...

The answer will follow.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 March 2008
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Chandler+%2F%2F+Sharon
Studio: Berlin+superfly+summer-camp+%2F%2F+Dare2wear+Amsterdam
Location: Berlin+%2F%2F+Amsterdam

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