Instead of joining my large extended family around the dinner table to celebrate Easter, I was hundreds of miles away with LH, en route to our first rope suspension class. I was in charge of navigating which was a nice distraction from my nervous stomach. The orgasm midway didn’t hurt either. It wasn’t only that I probably wouldn’t know any of the kinksters in attendance or that I was new to the world of rope suspension, I knew there were going to be pictures too. As much as the exhibitionist in me loved photos, I also partially dreaded the results.
I had written in my Fearless Press column, A Kink in the Curves, that rope was helping me improve my body image and had bolstered my confidence. However, in an entirely new setting with new people doing a new thing–my nerves were jumping and I felt shy. Yes, I said it. I felt SHY. The first thing someone said to me was, “you’re dressed awful formal just to get naked.” The comment actually made me laugh. My dress and ballet flats were the best kind of camouflage. I looked like a good girl on a Easter outing.
After signing our waivers and being introduced to other people in the line, LH and I made our way to the social area of The Hangar where the class would be held. The Hangar looked exactly like its moniker except that the inside had been divided into large rooms. We sat in a social area lined with carpet and couches, a table that supported a variety of snacks and water, and a stereo system. An industrial winch hung halfway down, suspending a long iron bar with silver rings.
LH gave me a tour into the back rooms, one of which held a cage and a giant spider web made of wire. I went into the cage, of course, and LH took a series of photos with his phone. With the throw pillows to sit on, it wasn’t an uncomfortable space. All I needed was a “Please Feed the Pet” sign to hold. Then he made me sit on a large wooden throne that looked like it had been lifted straight out of a Viking’s hall, and I felt out of place perched on the edge of the cushion. Again there were more pictures as I tried to sit still, but I really wanted off the thing. My butterflies were back.
I sat at LH’s feet on a pillow for the duration of the class. There was one other slave in the group, and she had come in her collar. Part of me relaxed when I saw her especially since she sat on the floor like I did. Finally the handouts were put aside, and we got to our feet. LH told me to take off my dress, and I stripped down to my panties. My Batgirl panties, to be precise, because I’m a badass. The other slave and I were the only naked submissives. Everyone else wore a leotard or some sort of workout gear. At first I felt a little self-conscious, but once the rope started winding around me, I forgot about everything else.
LH murmured encouragements in my ear, his hands warm against my exposed skin. Rope crossed over my chest, around my waist and around each thigh. It felt like a meditative exercise as LH worked on me, ensuring that I’d be safe when I was finally hoisted into the air. This part was familiar to me, and I didn’t start squirming until the camera came out again. LH did beautiful rope work, so I understood why he wanted to document it all. All the women in the room and the one male submissive had bumps of skin where there weren’t any before. Rope can be a great equalizer, because once you’re trussed up for a suspension, even the leanest submissives get curves.
I was suspended maybe three feet in the air, and the experience was like nothing I’ve felt before. Being tied on the ground felt night and day different from going up in the air. The weight of your body was distributed along the rope which was actively pressing against you. Logically, I knew all this. We had a lot of supervision and expert advice, but when I got up there, my brain experienced a hiccup.
How I processed discomfort or pain was through breathing and visualization techniques, but every time I went to draw a deep breath, I felt the rope tighten across my chest. My breathing wasn’t constricted, and I could draw normal breaths, but my brain snagged on that feeling of rope pressed against my chest. I ran through my mental checklist and felt all my limbs to make certain that I wasn’t in pain or uncomfortable. My body checked out just fine. It was my mind that was uneasy. I was never in any physical danger, and if I wanted down all I had to do was tell LH. As I dangled there, staring at the red mat below me, I understood clearly why mental freakouts were the number one reason for a failed rope suspension scene. It didn’t help that I was in the middle of being sick with an upper respiratory infection. This was another valuable lesson learned: rope suspension and lung congestion didn’t mix. (You can file that under “Duh, Heather.”) And then there were more pictures…
I hated being Debbie Downer but I didn’t like my suspension pics very much. I realized that my body was going to naturally contort into different forms depending on how I was suspended, but all those bumps and bulges gave me serious sadface. I knew I needed to gag and bind my inner critic and focus instead on the amazing afternoon I had with rope and LH. I mean, I was suspended! In the air! That was crazy fun! So what if I didn’t look like a fetish model? Shut up, stupid inner critic.
There were a bunch of photos taken at the end that I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked seeing the rope patterns appear across my skin, and I did a couple of cheeky poses that turned out to be funny and looked like me instead of a stunned deer/heartburn victim. A couple days after our rope adventure, LH had me choose my favorites. He wanted me to post them so that we could see my evolution from novice to experienced rope bunny. Part of me appreciated his theory. Now I need to work on the rest of me.