Ways to Try and Ways to Fly!
SuspenDC is a flesh hook piercing and suspension event. Participants come here to experience the challenge of placing sterilized hooks strategically on their body to dance, play tug-o-war, or fly. This page suggests various ways to customize the experience. Every dance, pull, and flight is unique. We work with each person to help them make the experience their own.
A great (and traditional) way to have your first piercing experience!
The dancer gets 4 to 8 piercings with 16 to 14 gauge hooks, from which pieces of fruit (or any type of weight) are hung.
The dancer controls the amount of tugging by how much they move. Bounce, dance, jump, or spin to get the endorphins going. Slow down, walk, or sit if/when you need a break.
Start with 4 hooks and “balls”. If you decide you gotta have more, we’ll have supplies ready.
The hooks used for a dance can only hold the weight of fruit or “balls”, they cannot support body weight in any sense. If you wish to do a hook pull or fly please sign up appropriately.
You must register for this in advance of the event. We bring the set up for a dance only if needed.
For a Hook Pull/Energy Pull, two or more hooks are set in the skin and attached to ropes. The person doing the pull may choose, within reason, the placement of the hooks. The ropes allow you to pull against the hooks with as much pressure as you want. Having a friend with you gives you the option to play tug-o-war with them. As they pull on the ropes you resist through the hooks. This can also be done solo by pulling against a solid anchor.
We recommend 2 hooks if you’re new to this but a Hook Pull can be done with any number of hooks.
You can be on hooks during as much of the event as you choose. We recommend getting them placed early so you have all day to play with them.
Hook suspensions make up the bulk of what happens at a SuspenDC event. They are the main reason folks come! Hook suspensions come in a wide variety of styles and intensities. Some suspensions feel more comfortable by design. Others challenge a person to their limits – by design. We’ll cover the most common suspensions done at a SuspenDC event below. The next section begins with a community-standard chart showing the most common, along with some uncommon, hook suspensions. When you are ready, talk to us about how you want to fly. Our goal is to help you fly your way.
This chart comes from the hard work and talent of Allen Falkner and Shannon Larratt. It makes a great starting point (lots of variations are possible!) for your exploration into what is possible with Hook Suspensions.
Common Flights at SuspenDC
Hanged Man / Suicide Suspension
Four to six hooks get set across the flyer’s back between the shoulder blades and lower ribs. The lift comes entirely from the back. When they lift off, the posture is completely upright. The flyer is free to move, dance, or lean into the hooks in order to create an endorphin response in their body. As the flyer’s endorphin level rises, they take to the air and fly.
Most new flyers, and a lot of frequent flyers, use this flight pattern.
Six hooks get set down the back in two columns, one on each side of the spine. The rigging holds the flyer leaning slightly forward. This suspension also loads on the back, but in this case from top to bottom rather than side to side.
Four to six hooks are placed across the back, from side to side, with two additional hooks set in each arm. The resulting suspension holds the flyer upright with arms stretched out to each side. And adventurous flyer can float their body up or down as they lower and raise their arms.
Super Human / Coma
The quintessential horizontal suspension. Hooks get placed along the body from shoulders to heels. These get rigged to a long frame to hold the flyer in a horizontal position. The flyer can be face up – Coma – or face down – Super Human. The number of hooks used in this suspension makes it an easy lift for the flyer.
In a well documented test, human connective tissue proves to be amazingly strong. In the most recent study available, human skin has an average breaking load of just below 4000 pounds per square inch. So, skin is tough. This means lots of variations are possible. Think about how you would like to fly. Let’s work out your flight plan together.
Contact us for reservations at our next event.