From The Bottom View

Jay has mentioned our weekend o’ rigging…so I thought I would add some of the practical knowledge we gained.  It was definitely everything he described sensually, emotionally and physically, and then some. I could ramble on for a couple of pages about how much closer I feel to him after the experiences of the weekend. But I thought I would touch on what we learned in our adventures.

First, if your not in very good shape (and even if you are), I highly advocate stretching pre- and post-. I am 38 y/o and weigh between 135 and 140 lbs and have been fairly athletic my whole life.  I have had surgery (cervical fusion) on my neck, and my spine in general is not nearly as bendy as it was 15 years ago.

So we have had much discussion about how best to suspend me without hurting me, since we are fairly determined to become semi-proficient riggers/rope sluts.   I was amazed to find what would be a comfortable position just laying there was not the case in suspension.  For example, Jay had me suspended by hips/waist, knees and chest harness, with my feet dangling at 90 degrees.  Initially it was fine, but after about five minutes, my knees started aching, a problem that was alleviated when he place a tie around my ankle and looped it through the rig, supporting it.  The same was true of my hips.  The compression of the rope when the majority of my weight was on the rope (kind of like a swing) was fine initially, but by the time I was let down (about 30 minutes I think, but my sense of time was somewhat skewed at that point), I was feeling the ache.

So the pre- and post- stretching is definitely something I will continue with in the future.  Loosening up joints and tendons, warming up the flexibility of the spine, loosening up the hands, knees and other distal attachment points, and of course, preparing your core for the stress of the suspension are a must.  I also think it gives you, as the person being tied up, a few minutes of quiet to focus on your body, and your partner, get in tune, and prepare physically, emotionally and spiritually, for this type of play.

The other thing I found interesting had to do with how tight the rope has to be tied.  That may sound silly, but as a nurse, I am acutely conscious of the potential for injury, and would kill to go to one of Sophia Sky’s classes in Seattle, WA about the anatomy of bondage.  Jay and I communicate constantly any time he ties/suspends me.  Primarily its part of the learning process of the emerging rigger; but additionally, its a safety issue with regard to cutting off circulation to a limb, compressing a nerve bundle, or causing muscle spasm from an accidentally  misplaced knot.  As bizarre as this sounds, having the rope tied as tightly as possible to your hips/chest initially (before your ever off the ground), without cutting of blood supply or lung expansion room, actually makes it so much easier when your off the ground.  There is less slippage on your body (read ‘rope burn’) and less potential for accidental injury when the rope moves from its intended position.

Also, we will be doing some research about the best harnesses for suspension.  There seems to be lots of reference about what is called ‘grounded rope bondage’ from amazing riggers and rope-experts, most of whom we have links to on our sidebar (Twisted Monk and Graydancer being our favorites). We have also learned a considerable number of ties, harnesses and pretty finishing knots from the Knotty Boys videos. But as to actual suspension harnesses, we continue to search.  We have a friend that is sort of ‘mentoring’ us in this area, but he admits to not having a ready subject to practice on/scene with, so he hasn’t done a lot of suspension either. But let me tell you this, the harnesses that look sexy and sensuous on the body are NOT designed for suspension.  Jay initially tried a harness that looped around my neck, with double coin knots down the center of my body at regular intervals, ran the rope between my legs (see aforementioned rope slippage injury potential) and then laced up around my waist from the back. It was intricate, and pretty and I loved the way it felt on the ground.  When he ran the rope from various points on the harness up the the rig, the pressure on my sacrum and the ligaments on my inner thighs was almost immediate pain (and not the good kind!) So any advice on good suspension harnesses, please forward to us straight away!  We watch all the video we can search on the net, watching how different pro-riggers get their subjects off the ground, but are always grateful for practical, hands-on knowledge/experience.

With all of that, would you believe we had an amazing time, and cant wait to do it again?

xo

G

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