The above writeup is a good intro to suspension, so I'll just give you an account of my experience.

I performed my first suspension on 05/06/01 and just suspended for the second time last night (13/06/01). Normally, for a first suspension, a horizontal "superman" suspension (like superman flying) is performed, because it distributes the weight of the body among more hooks. For my first (and second) I decided that I wanted to do a vertical "suicide" suspension, with the hooks in my upper back. It was recommended that I hand horizontally to start with because I'm such a big guy (250-260lbs) but I had my mind made up on a vertical. My decision to suspend was made on a whim, though it was something that I've wanted to do for a while now. I walked into my friendly neighborhood piercing studio and my friend asked me "Hey, I'm doing a suspension tonight, do you want to hang too?" and, being a Tuesday night with nothing going on, I said "Sure". Many people go into a suspension with lots of preparation, by fasting, meditation, controlled diet, etc. but I just jumped into it.

Getting the hooks placed in your body is slightly more painful than a piercing, if only because it goes through more tissue and takes longer. The worst part of the suspension is by far the first few minutes as you get off the ground when the body is growing accustomed to hanging from hooks.

The first time I suspended by 6 10ga hooks for about 30-40 minutes, and the second time I suspended by 4 6ga hooks for almost an hour. The experience of being lifted from the ground is intense. The first time I was lifted off of a step ladder and then tied off. The second time I was pulled up to the point that I was on the balls of my feet, and jumped off the step ladder. That was the single most intense millisecond of my life. I felt like I was jumping out of an airplane with no chute. The beginning of the suspension is painful, but if you can make it through the first few minutes of pain, suspension is the most incredible experience imaginable. All pain drained from my body and I was able to swing my body, kicking off of a brick wall to gain momentum. I also picked up a friend of mine and held on to her while I was hanging, feeling no pain from the added weight. I did not expect it to be a spiritual experience, but I felt so close to God when I was hanging, and felt an incredibly joy when I was swing and playing that I cannot help but say that it was intensely spiritual for me.

Both times I've hung so far I've had a crowd watch me do it, which has been a lot of fun. Soon I'd like to do an Oh-Kee-Pah suspension (2 hooks in the chest, ala. A Man Called Horse), and I plan to do it in a private place in a friend's back yard. From what I've been told it's the most difficult but most rewarding suspension. I've heard of people laughing, crying, screaming, praising diety of choice, seeing visions, and passing out from it. I can't wait.

After suspending, my outlook on a number of things has changed. To me it's the ultimate act of conquering fear and pain. We're trained from childhood to avoid pain at all costs, and to fear pain. To do something painful and keep doing it until you remain and the pain is gone is incredibly enlightening. I look at things differently now that I've suspended. "Yeah, you may have a car that's worth more than 4 years of my salary, but I've HUNG from HOOKS!"

Well, I've rambled enough. This is my first post to E2, so I figured I'd make it something that is important to me. I hope you can glean something useful from it.