Suspension

Suspension, Tutorials|1 comments

Over the course of the summer I am going to be building a series of tutorials leading up to various types of suspension.

People are very interested in this subject.  It can be an incredible experience for both bottom and top.  People do this safely all the time, and you can too, but this not something for dabblers; it requires real skill, practice and dedication. 

MAKE NO MISTAKE:  Rope bondage–particularly suspension–is some of the most dangerous and injury-prone bondage that you can do.  This is absolutely edge play. 

  • If the top doesn’t know what they are doing, a rope can be positioned improperly, impinging on nerves of blood vessels
  • If the bottom is not communicating with their top–letting them know if they feel numbness, tingling, a “dead” sensation anywhere or other such crucial indicators, they top cannot react and adjust to fix the issue.
  • Improperly placed ropes can cause nerve damage in just minutes.  Nerve damage can take weeks or months to heal, and in severe cases, may never fully heal.
  • If blood flow is cut off; clots can form.  A blood clot in the blood stream is no joke.  It can cause stroke, coronary, or even death.
  • In suspensions, if the hard point lets go or the ropes break or some other unexpected thing happens that causes the bottom to fall, they could beak a limb, get something wrenched out of joint, strike their head on a hard surface, or even freaking die.

So take this shit seriously.

Read everything on this page–more than once.  Go read the Safety page again.

Then do each of these tutorials IN ORDER, to make sure you know what you need to know to safely progress to the next step.

When you get in to suspension, you are going to want to start building up a collection of either climbing gear or good natural-fiber rope.  If you go the natural-fiber route, give my affiliate Twisted Monk a try.  They are bondage practitioners and have designed their rope explicitly for bondage.

Even more importantly, they offer an amazing guarantee:  If you have to cut your rope in an emergency, they will replace it for free.  That kind of safety-mindedness deserves praise and our support.  That is why they are the rope sellers I have chosen to partner with.

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Here is the plan for this summer:

  1. Evaluating a Hard Point
  2. Attaching the suspension ring to the hard point so you can quickly and gently lower your partner in an emergency.   Released!  See Below
  3. The Shinju chest harness
  4. The Swiss Seat
  5. The first suspension – simple seated suspension (uses all of the above)
  6. Load-baring Bikini Harness
  7. A drum harness with extra wraps so it is more comfortable for larger body types
  8. The second suspension – a horizontal suspension that can be prone, supine or on the side
  9. Load-bearing TK
  10. …and more over time…

Tops:

  1. Learn and practice before you try this on a person.  Get some heavy free weights and practice suspending them–the techniques and the rope control, both getting them suspended and in letting them down easily.
  2. Find a local mentor to guide you, to watch what you are doing the first few times and give you live correction.  I do the best that I can here, but that is no substitute for live instruction from an experienced suspension rigger.
  3. Find a bottom that you can trust to communicate clearly and completely when you are doing your first suspensions–it is best if you can find one that is experienced as a suspension bottom.  You can learn from them just as much as from suspension riggers–respect that, welcome it as the gift it is.  They can tell you where your ropes are too tight or pressure is in the wrong place and all sorts of other things that will make your rigging much better.
  4. Medical issues become much more important when suspending.  Joint or muscle issues show up quickly and the bottom cannot easily adjust to compensate like they can with floor work.  Blood pressure and circulatory issues are obviously even more of an issue.  But the hidden one that many people don’t think about is diabetes and hypoglycemia; these conditions make your partner even more susceptible to changed in blood pressure and in heat.  A person with diabetes, in a hot room,under physical stress can go low very quickly.  Be sure that your partner has had the right patrician and liquids before you begin.
  5. If a bottom wants to include another rigger the first few times you play, don’t take that as a kick to your ego or an insult to your skills.  You are new to each other and your potential partner is literally trusting you with their life.  It is OK if they want someone else along that they know better.  You will build trust and perhaps even new friendships by graciously accepting.  You will likely learn more about your new partner more quickly and–who knows–you might even have a lot more fun with two people to do the tormenting  🙂

Bottoms:

  1. You have things to learn too.  Suspension is not easy or comfortable without work on your part, too.  You will want to work on flexibility; that always helps. And so does strength so that if one part gets too uncomfortable, you can flex a bit to take off the pressure for awhile.
  2. You know your body, its needs and capabilities.  Work within those.  Be sure to let your top know of any medical issues you have, particularly those related to joint or muscle issues, heart or circulatory issues, or diabetes.
  3. Communicate:  Your top should be working to make sure the ropes are positioned correctly so that they do not pinch any nerves or blood vessels, but every body is different.  Your nerve path may be a little higher or lower than average, so it is vitally important that you immediately let your rigger know if you are feeling any numbness, tingling, or other unexpected sensations.  If your rigger places a rope and you immediately feel a limb “go dead”–meaning you cant move it/wiggle your fingers or toes–tell them right NOW.  They need to undo or move whatever it is they did right the fuck now.
  4. It is best to do your first suspensions with an experienced suspension rigger to help guide you through these things so you can learn.  Then you can work with less experienced riggers and pass on your experience too.  If you have concerns that the rigger is not experienced enough, ask that they partner with someone you trust to help for the first few times.
    “Sure, we can do that, but let’s include <rigger name>, too.  I’ve worked with her before and she knows how to really make me wriggle 🙂  It’ll be fun!”
  5. No matter how experienced you both may be, the first few times that you partner with a new rigger, do not allow yourself to be gagged.  Your body is yours and is different from everyone else’s.  You need to be able to verbally communicate until you know each other well enough to communicate non-verbally.  Then go ahead an pack that mouth as tight and wide as you like………ahem.

The Suspension Tutorials — Do these in order

Master Each before you go on to the next.

If you learned something, help us make more!

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  1. Pingback: Suspension and the Munter Hitch – TheDuchy

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