Upcoming bondage suspension demo

For the past few days, our living room has been dominated by the notorious ‘cube’ – a red-painted cube of scaffolding, seven feet on a side, that can be used for bondage in multiple ways. This is because, as you’ll have seen from this previous post, we’re doing a suspension bondage demo tomorrow. Not having done it for a while, felt the need to practice.

The cube is something I put together about eight years ago, and although it won’t be obvious from her profile pic on the left, it’s what Velvet Tripp was suspended from when that pic was shot (by Jon Wilson, more about whom will appear in an upcoming post). It has, perhaps obviously, a great deal of versatility and stability, and fixings can be attached to it at any point along any of the tubes. It’s been used in fetish clubs, with people spread-eagled in the centre and on each of the sides; people tied to the uprights; people suspended from the uppermost tubes; and, in a couple of gay clubs, it’s been fitted with a sling for… well, for things you might use a sling for. I think the largest number of people (subs and doms) playing on it at any single point in time has been 8, four tied to it and four doing nice/nasty things to them.

I thought I’d already posted a pic of it in a previous post, but evidently not: here it is, being used in a fetish performance at a goth event a few years back.

The cube

The cube

Anyway: the reason we’re using the cube for practice is partly because it’s what we’ll be using tomorrow, and partly because there aren’t many other useful attachment points in the house. Suspension bondage does require secure overhead fixings. We don’t have the luxury of a large place with exposed overhead roof beams (though contributions to our ideal house fund are always welcome!) and lights, electrical ducting, and so forth are clearly not safe places to hang people from, whatever you may see on amateur porn sites.

I’ve occasionally considered putting some fixings across the rafters in one of the upstairs bedrooms. It can be done, preferably not by screwing directly into a single rafter but fixing a plank across several rafters to spread the load, and screwing a long bolt through the ceiling and into the plank. But on the other hand – I have the cube, so why bother?

For suspensions I always use climbing gear as the suspension point. There’s a great deal to be said for throwing a climbing sling over one of the cube’s top poles and attaching a carabiner. That type of kit is well safety checked, and designed to withstand someone falling the full length of a climbing rope, 50 metres, down a mountain and coming to no harm. Force equals mass times acceleration, so these things are strong.

Safety comes first, so we’ve spent a lot of time revisiting issues like how many times the ropes need to go round V’s hips and chest to create enough spread of her body weight that they won’t cut into her or interfere with breathing. Also, of course, so they don’t become too uncomfortable (there’s a certain unavoidable level of discomfort in being suspended, of course, but that’s an essential part of the experience!). We’ve also had to work out the placement of the carabiners – and double up on one set, because it will become a pulley and two sets of rope running through a single carabiner can jam, which would be embarassing. And we’ve looked at different positions, finally deciding face up but with asymmetrical ties to legs and arms is rather pleasing on the eye (I would have said photogenic but the club we’re going to prohibits all photography, including bringing mobile phones with cameras into the building). The finished result will look shibari-like, though largely as a result of some cheating on my part because I’m not a purist about such things.

Incidentally, suspension bondage does take a lot of rope. If you think that a normal shinju-type tie or even a karada won’t usually use more than 10 metres of rope, the tie I have planned will use 55 metres – and even that’s not a big deal for suspension, I’ve done ties that involved up to about 80 metres before now. In addition, I’ve opted to use thicker ropes for chest and hips – 9mm as opposed to my usual 7mm diameter ropes, simply because the extra width to the ropes adds a little to comfort levels without needing additional wraps around the body. Nor am I using hemp – it’s certainly possible to do so and many people do, though tend to use multple suspension points etc. for safety. But I kind of like the fact that my braided nylon polypropelene, apart from being a wonderful vivid red, has a rated breaking strain of 693 kilos. Overkill, certainly. But it’s one less thing to have to be concerned about in a demo situation.

I’ll be talking through the ties as I go, but I’ve also been working on how I do that while continuously monitoring V’s breathing. If someone is suspended it’s a very bad idea to wander off and get engaged in something else, because for the suspendee, being helpless and struggling to breathe can be… well, certainly panic-inducing, and has all the obvious possibilities up to and including death. A face-up suspension is generally easier because the body is largely supported on the spine. Face-down means ropes running across the chest/breasts and without a lot of fettling to make sure not too much weight is taken on those ropes, it can be difficult for the ribs to expand while muscles are pulling against the person’s own body weight. If you’re a fit 20-something yoga instructor and bondage model without any health issues it won’t be that big a deal. But, ummm, neither of us fit into that kind of demographic these days…

[Edited to add – it should go without saying that keeping an eye out for their safety also means having an effective way of getting someone down really quickly. Like a big pair of scissors. And having a plan for what order to cut the ropes in, so they don’t come down headfirst, and remembering to support their body weight so you’re not putting additional strain on their chest while they’re coming down. Plus, since the effect of suspension is often for the suspendee to trance out, letting them lie on the floor for a while and having a blanket to cover them with is generally a good idea.]

So we’re all set.  Including, I gather, two other models on whom I’ll also be demonstrating ties that don’t involve suspension and can be used for very quick restraint.

Finally, we’ve put together a list of useful resources on bondage techniques and issues, which will be available at the demo and posted here sometime, when I have time.

***

In other news: Velvet Tripp’s latest story is, we’ve heard, to be released on the 26th and I’ve just had confirmation my own collection of short stories will be out by the end of the month. More on those as we have cover pics to crow about, and URLs and suchlike to direct you to. And word has also reached us that Velvet’s review of  the Fun Factory vibrator was not only picked up by Fun Factory but reposted on their Facebook page. Ah, fame at last…

2 thoughts on “Upcoming bondage suspension demo

  1. Speaking as someone that has used some of your equipment at a Halloween party at my place a couple of years back…..its all extremely well built and GREAT fun! Must have another party soon….Do you still hire out your dungeon equipment kit?

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