The Experience of my First Suspension
TL;DR
Were you nervous: No
Did it hurt: No
Is it what you expected: Yes and more
Would you do it again: Yes
I've been interested in the body modification culture since the mid 90's. More recently I was introduced to suspension and was immediately drawn to the less permanent aspect of the experience when compared to tattoos or piercings. I have a high pain threshold and I like trying new things, especially when they are off the beaten path.
I did not do a lot of research before committing to my first hang. I watched a few YouTube videos, read a few articles, and looked at a bunch of photos. I spoke at some length with a friend who had suspended several times. Then I asked for a referral.
It wasn't until a few hours before my consultation that I even looked up the names of various positions. Who knew there were so many?
I chose a position called suicide. We talked about the risks, environment, expectations on both sides, and fees. Then we set a date. I invited a few friends to join me in this journey.
Upon my arrival, day of, there was paperwork to sign and then without delay I was prepped for posts in a clean room. The decision to use a 2-post system vs 4 hooks was made last minute based on the position that seemed to offer my skin the most comfort. The posts were inserted quickly and without any pain or bleeding.
Sometimes people take some time here before getting strung up, but that wasn't me. We moved to the next room and I was attached to the rope. Tension was applied and I spent some time bending my knees, allowing most of the weight of my body to be held by the posts. I could move my arms freely wherever I wanted. I did not have the apparently common desire to reach up and support myself by grabbing the ropes. There was still no pain but there was a systemic reaction to this new sensation. I became light headed. I made the partly-conscious decision to check out for a while.
When I returned I felt great; like I had just awoke from a 24 hour slumber. I asked to be hoisted up. I asked to be swung. I was spinning. I folded my legs. I extended my legs. I flapped my arms. I told jokes. It was a great deal of fun and a very enjoyable experience. This kept on for a while. I could have stayed as long as I wanted. Some people hang for hours. I had achieved a satisfying and euphoric mind-body balance. I was literally floating and flying with no sensation of being held.
Coming down was easy. Putting my feet back on solid ground was hard. I disliked the change of posture and renewed pressure on my spine. Back in the clean room the posts were removed. I still had not bled a drop. While suspended, air enters the cavity and it’s best to get it out all at once. This part hurt. Fairly rough massaging pressure on spots that had just been pierced was not particularly pleasant. I was cleaned up, bandaged, and sent on my way.
As I reflect on the details nine hours later, my skin is slightly achy and my bandages a bit red. I can take them off in the morning and enjoy a hot shower.
Shouts out to Gregory Charles and the team at Wasteland Suspension in Romeoville for their assistance.
Many thanks to Lisa Kruss, Jacob Saylor, Ryan Bielawski, Ryan Jansky, Nina De La Rosa-Wadja, and Isabel Kruss for providing emotional support. Thanks to Codi Schei for showing me the way.