Our teaching philosophy

Suspension bondage is one of the most rewarding forms of BDSM, and one of the most challenging. Our unique suspension curriculum focuses on developing a solid mastery of fundamental skills.

We began teaching suspension in 2009, as a way of training more riggers for the unique challenges we face when rigging at Burning Man. Over the years, our class has become considerably more ambitious, and we’ve refined our philosophy of bondage education.

Safety and mastery

We believe that good suspension begins with technical excellence. Every one of our classes focuses on developing rock-solid fundamental skills and on understanding the principles behind the techniques.

Far too often, we see riggers (even famous, highly skilled riggers) exposing their partners to needless danger because they don’t understand the underlying principles behind the techniques they use. We want our students to have the skills and understanding to rig as safely as possible without sacrificing fun.

Technical excellence isn’t just about safety. With true mastery comes the ability to perform better, more rewarding suspensions, and to do so with style and grace. Time spent mastering the fundamentals early on will pay off many times over throughout the course of a rigger’s career.

Expert instructors, world-class material

Suspended Animation draws on a large pool of expert instructors, all of whom have trained on the same material, and all of whom participate in our instructor training sessions. Our instructor and consultant team includes certified stage riggers, professional instructors, climbers, aerialists, and doctors.

Each of our classes features a 4:1 ratio of students to expert instructors (not TAs), ensuring that every student has access to extensive feedback and advice.

Our curriculum is assembled with a careful eye to providing a step by step progression of skills, with each new module building upon and integrating with previous material. Rather than teaching a large number of equivalent techniques, we have focused on choosing the single best technique for each step of the journey, knowing that skilled riggers can readily learn new variants on their own.

In addition to in-class instruction, each class is accompanied by an extensive online book as well as printed handouts. The books are lavishly illustrated, and provide in-depth explanation of underlying principles as well as detailed step by step instruction of every skill taught in class.