We get a lot of messages from people wanting us to suspend them, so we put this up to help answer some common questions people have.
Normally we suspend people that want to try it out at Ascension Body Mod in Albuquerque, NM. We usually do this outside as long as the weather permits. When we do this we have anywhere from 2-10 people suspending that night. We can also suspend someone totally privately if they prefer to do it that way. Some people find it's more comfortable to have a few other people doing with them as well though. If you would like to bring someone with you to watch/take pictures/video tape/etc that is fine as well.
Suspending someone costs us approximately $100 in disposable supplies. All the ropes, hooks, needles, quick links, etc are new and given to the person afterwards once they are cleaned and sterilized or disposed of if the person doesn't want them. The $100 just covers supplies, and none of the time or effort going into the suspension. The hooks we use are large fishing hooks, and each hook has to have the barb cut off, then it has to be ground smooth, then it has to be smoothed out with a finer grinding wheel, then it has to be polished. Then everything is finally sterilized and ready to use. When suspending people we ask for donations of at least $100 to cover supplies, but a lot of people give us more than that and we greatly appreciate it as it helps us buy new supplies, and pays for the upkeep of our equipment that isnt' disposable.
Before a suspension, we suggest cutting out drinking alcohol and using any drugs for a few days before hand at least. Drinking a lot of water the 2-3 days before also helps make the experience a little more comfortable. Getting a good night of sleep the night before is a good idea as well. We also suggest eating something a few hours prior to suspending.
The actual process of the suspension goes something like this. Once you're ready to do it, we get you marked for the hooks, then clean the skin off with PurKlenz which is a surgical scrub. We massage the skin to be pierced in order to help loosen it up and make the piercing easier on you and on us. We then pierce you, usually 2 hooks at a time, but sometimes more depending on how many hooks are going in total. Once all the hooks are in, and you're ready to get up and go outside we walk you to the suspension area. Then we attach the hooks to the ropes on the suspension rig with shackles. We lift the rig slightly to put a little bit of tension on your skin so we can make sure that the hooks are pulling evenly. Once they are adjusted we continue lifting you as you are ready for it. Sometimes this is done very slowly, other times people prefer to go quickly. Whichever way works best for you. Once you are off the ground, you can stay suspending as long or as short as you want to. We've had people that hang for 10 seconds, and others that hang for over an hour their first time. Once you are ready to come down, we bring you down, unhook you from the rig, then take you back inside to be cleaned up. The hooks are removed, and all the blood/air is massaged out of the holes. The blood, if any, is cleaned off, and you are bandaged. The hooks will be taken and cleaned off, then sterilized, and you will be able to pick them up within a few days.
After the suspension, you should keep the holes clean as they are open wounds and you don't want to get an infection. The next day you will be sore in the area you suspended from. Usually it feels like the day after a good workout. You will also probably have "rice krispies" under your skin. This is technically called "subcutaneous emphasema". It is just air trapped under the skin that will be reabsorbed into your body over the next few days.