On pins and needles

Alright, this is going to be one of those posts where I start out with a warning.  What you’re about to see is very risky, and shouldn’t be done without extensive knowledge and research.  The materials used in particular are not traditionally used in this way and and the chance for serious injury is high.

So what’s all the fuss about?  How about a 220 point suspension using only 22ga needles.

Keep on reading to see what happened when they lifted up the rig.

As you can see, it ended up being successful, and I can’t even imagine what that must have felt like. Keep in mind that just because this suspension was successful, it shouldn’t be repeated without careful consideration.  You can see the rest of the photos in the Suspension Galleries.

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8 thoughts on “On pins and needles

  1. Surely this is much safer than doing a two point ass suspension? Spreads the load a lot more effectively.

  2. From the side of the skin I also do not see any risc there. Did enough piercings at myself, and also these small holes are fairly stable. less tha a pound / hole, no problem. You also see these or bigger loads supported by tiny hooks in the ball dancing procedures.

    Another thing are the needles. There are stable piercings of that size,but the needles are at their limits. Working with those needles occasionally, those are not really stable against bending forces. You see at the detailed picture, that they are quite bent. Only a bit of additional force, and they will kink. That is the risky part. (By the way I saw opening hooks by 1 hook – suspensions…. I saw material breaking and bending, but never yet the skin)

  3. Hi Rob…

    I’m Jacqui – the person suspended in the above photos.

    You are right – it was risky and I too would advise anyone thinking of trying it to research long and hard.

    The suspension was not done on the spur of the moment and involved weeks of research, test runs (needle pulls, equipment testing) and many discussions about safety and risk.

    Between the group of 8 involved in the suspension, we have a total of 120 years experience in S & M, edge play, needle ‘play’, hook suspensions, body mods, etc. I myself am a masochist with many years experience. I do nothing without research and evaluating the risks to my body and mind.

    It was an amazing experience, not just for me, for everyone involved. The energy, commitment, love and laughter in the room is something that will stay with me always.

    It took 3.5 hours to place all the needles and strings into place and no, it didn’t hurt. Another 20 minutes was spent re-checking everything (then another 10 minutes while my partner checked everything was to his satisfaction and I cleared my mind :-)

    Then came the big moment… Initially, three people on each side of me placed their hands underneath me to make sure that if it went wrong, I wouldn’t just drop. The eighth person was on the pulley. I’m not really sure how to describe the initial pull on my skin… Intense, stingy but not painful. Once I was off the table and we were sure the needles and strings were holding, everyone removed their hands.

    During the first minute every needle site down my back burned and I initially felt on the verge of panicking but, as the table was taken out from underneath me, it was replaced by elation, freedom, joy, pride, love…

    I stayed suspended for about 5 minutes before I felt it was time to come down. None of the needles or strings had broken although several needles were bent. Other than the needle marks and a couple of minor bruises, no skin was broken or torn.

    After weeks of plotting we had achieved what we set out to do :-)

    The question on most people’s lips is “Why?” Why not? It was brought home to me 4 years ago, after the diagnosis of a potentially terminal illness, that this life is all I have and I may as well live out my dreams because I will be a long time dead…

    Cheers,

    Jacqui :-)

  4. @stormchaser… I was the primary person co-ordinating this suspension.

    I can tell you, the needles in the “close-up” picture are definitely not “bent”! At the time this picture was taken the needles had only *just* been inserted and rigged, they had not had *any* weight -bearing. We had not even lifted Jacqui yet!!

    The needles were *never* at their limits. In my explorations, I found that 22g needles could carry *easily* 600grams per needle without bending or adding *any* strain. In this suspension we only went to 300grams per needle.

    Groups of others who have achieved needle suspensions safely (in New Zealand and also Ohio USA) have suspended a person with 1lb (500grams) per needle. Their preliminary investigations indicate that 22g needles can hold 800grams to 1kg each, safely. There has also been group (in Tennessee, USA) who have used similar needle/weight ratios.

    Needles are a hollow tube, not a thin solid wire, the tube actually carries a lot of weight without weakening.

    We did have a very small number of needles *slightly* bend with the lift, as the weight was not completely evenly distributed with each needle… but there was “safety in numbers” – with 220 needles it really didn’t make much difference to Jacqui’s safety if a couple of the needles were under strain, the lift, as a whole, was never at risk.

    The major issue, as I see it, was Jacqui’s comfort. With the static rigging there was very little room for any body movement. Any single vertebrae that moved caused some pulling and discomfort against the needle tension.

    As a team, we are now exploring different rigging options to allow more a more dynamic lift. I will be going up myself, next, and we will be making some small changes to the rig structure to try for a better, more comfortable, design.

  5. Awesome work and kudos to all involved!

    I’ve only yet begun (some months ago) working with needle suspensions, at this stage, primarily making human marionettes, doing some predicament bondage with limbs suspended, and intense amounts of reading and/or contact with anyone and everyone I can find knowledgeable in the matter.

    I can say that the only approach to this endeavour is safety first, second, third, and well I think you see my point.

    I like your conservatism in load bearing, as another experienced needle suspension person advised me, the biggest fear is the zipper effect (that is, one needle come out / its line breaks or something worse), leading to the next one failing, etc etc.

    I look forward to reading about your adventures with more dynamic loading, etc.!

  6. @Stormchaser… I have also done a needle suspension and I can tell you with great confidence, that the needles will not bend from the strain they were put under in the pictures above.

    As far as I know, my wife and I were the first in the U.S. to do a needle suspension (at least documented). I did a lot of research before we attempted this as neither the wife nor I have had any experience with hook suspensions. I was the person mentioned by @whippet in regards to how much weight the needles would hold.

    I think one thing that differentiates us from all the other needle suspensions is that neither the wife nor I (or in fact anyone on the group assisting us) had ever done a hook suspension (never mind a needle suspension). We did have Dungeon_Monster from New Zealand on video chat to supervise, but other than that we were virgins to suspension.

    @sir_chat… Do I know you by chance? The zipper scenario you talked about is EXACTLY why the third lift only lasted for a 10-15 seconds. I felt one of the needles shift in my calf and freaked out, envisioning the entire rig collapsing and me ending up laying in a pool of blood (laying in a pool of blood is not necessarily a bad thing IF that had been the plan, but it wasn’t!) I have told this to a great many people, so if someone else is telling you my story I would like to know.

    FYI: I did freak out needlessly, which I will put down to my inexperience. Even if the needle had slipped out or the line broken, the way it was rigged it would not have caused a failure. In order for the rig to fail we would have had to loose over 10% of the rigging (and that is assuming I was thrashing about) If the suspendee were to remain still, I feel 100% confident that the rig would easily hold with only half the needles in place.

    The links below will require that you join a website know as fetlife, but it is free…

    You can read about the testing I did here: https://fetlife.com/users/78419/posts/720989

    You can read what I wrote about the actual suspension here: https://fetlife.com/users/78419/posts/753201

    Here is a picture (be warned I did the suspension nude): https://fetlife.com/users/78419/pictures/7246393

    Here is a link to an article listing all of the known/documented needle suspensions at this time: https://fetlife.com/groups/41604/group_posts/1809240

  7. I’ve been very interested in doing a suspension for awhile. I think I could handle a needle suspension as shown easier than the typical large gauge hooks. I’m also a diabetic so I worry about making multiple large holes in my body. I think the smaller needles would cause less of a wound and hopefully less healing. I’ve done a lot of play piercing and pulling and never had problems with that. Plus I really love the way this looks and would love to put together a video diary and photo album. :)

  8. Hey all.the lady in this picture is my mum! Sadly she passed away in May this year.she was a fantastic woman and was so excited to have done this, amongst many other strange things…but hey…thats what she was happy doing.she always said its better to regret the things you’ve done than the things you havent…and she never regretted doing these things. She certainly never dived into things without researching along with the many fantastic people she entered these adventures with.proud of her.xx

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