We love suspension bondage and we’re excited to share it with you. We want to be very clear, however, about the risks involved.
1. Suspension bondage involves unavoidable risk. Like rock climbing, suspension is a risky activity. Good preparation and training can reduce your risk, but even if you do everything right there is still a chance that you may be injured or killed, or that you may injure or kill another person.
2. We don’t have all the answers. Unlike rock climbing, suspension bondage has no professional standards bodies and no expert consensus about best practices. This book is based on years of study, practice, and consultation with outside experts. Nonetheless, you should be aware that suspension is still a developing field, and our understanding of the best way to do things is still evolving.
3. You can’t learn suspension from a book. The only safe way to learn suspension is to work with a qualified instructor or mentor. This book is a valuable adjunct to expert instruction, but not a substitute for it. Without a skilled teacher to guide and evaluate you, you cannot learn suspension without placing your partner in tremendous danger.
4. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Suspension is fun and exciting, and you will likely be tempted to rush ahead and try activities that you aren’t yet ready for. We can’t stress enough the importance of proceeding slowly and methodically, and always working within your skill level.
5. Always use good judgment. Your best defense against mishap is your own common sense and good judgment. Always be mindful of what you’re doing, and err on the side of caution.
Your partner is placing tremendous faith in your competence and judgment. If you are careless or overly ambitious, they are likely to pay a heavy price for your foolishness. Make sure that you are worthy of their trust.
Suspended Animation accepts no responsibility for any injury or death which may occur as a result of the activities described in this book. By reading this book, you agree to take full responsibility for your actions and their consequences.
Well coiled rope makes rigging much easier. There’s nothing worse than having to interrupt a scene to untangle a piece of rope that has mysteriously knotted itself while in your gear bag.
Most riggers are very particular about exactly how their rope is coiled and find that it’s easier to coil it themselves than to deal with rope that was improperly coiled by other people. If you and your partner have a d/s dynamic, you may enjoy training them to coil your rope exactly the way you like it.
Our techniques use a doubled rope, so it’s best to double your rope before coiling it. Holding one end of the rope in your left hand, run your right hand along the rope, removing tangles as you go. When you get to the other end, place it next to the end you started with and you’re ready to go.
If your rope has developed any twists or kinks, now is the time to straighten them out.
Grasp the ends of the rope between the pinkie and ring fingers of your dominant hand.
About 10 inches down, grasp the rope between the thumb and index finger of your non-dominant hand.
Reverse the positions of your hands, so that the dominant hand is now on the bottom, and the non-dominant hand is on top.
Grasp the rope between the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand.
Continue to work your way along the rope in this fashion, flipping your hands back and forth and grabbing the rope between the thumb and index finger of the lower hand each time.
Notice that you’re forming a figure 8 with the rope, rather than a circle. The crossovers will keep the strands separated and prevent the rope from tangling while it’s in storage.
Keep going until you have about 18 inches of rope remaining.
For the remaining steps, we’re going to assume that you ended up with your dominant hand on top. If your non-dominant hand ended up on top, just reverse your hands as you follow along.
Continuing to hold the coiled rope with your dominant hand, grasp the working end of the rope with your non-dominant hand.
Wrap the working end of the rope around the coil, beginning a few inches away from the top of the coil.
Make several wraps, working your way toward the top of the coil.
Ideally you will make about three wraps and have about 6 inches of rope left over.
Pass the bight through the gap between the top of the coil and the wraps you just made.