Fusion.jpg
Nerd2.jpg
IMG_5664.jpg
20161002_172008.jpg
Shay Cat IMG_6236.jpg
Fusion.jpg

Intro


Self-Suspension

Reference and exploration to go from floor to flying

Explore

SCROLL DOWN

Intro


Self-Suspension

Reference and exploration to go from floor to flying

Explore

 

There is no “one true way” to do or experience rope. Self-suspension bucks more widespread or traditional archetypes of bondage in many different ways, and self-bondage aficionados face a number of unique challenges. There are as many different ways to practice self-suspension as there are self-suspenders – both challenge and opportunity exists within this huge variety.

This site is intended as a resource to give some perspectives on the background knowledge and practical, hands-on aspects of self-suspension, as well as the more philosophical aspects what we do and why. Use this site as a reference (along with mentoring and hands-on instruction) to help you learn this amazing skill, and grow your self-suspension practice from there.

Models/self-suspenders pictured on this site include Shay, Abbystract, nano_bites, Jade, Alicia T-Corn, Nikki_Darling, Honey_bare, WhiskyTangoFoxy, Marceline VQ, linworth, Kel Bowie, Hyena, StrangerFriend, Bombi, inthesilence, Angel666sub, Boatbabe, and Gabriel. Photo credit to Maestro Stefanos, Gabriel, The Silence, Honey_bare, Gary Mitchell Photo, ESP, WistfulThoughts, TaraChin, and Sin.

 
Nerd2.jpg

Intention


Intention


Intention

StrangerFriend, photography by ESP. 

StrangerFriend, photography by ESP. 

Honey Bare

Honey Bare

 
“Self-tying is when I get to express myself most with rope. I'm fully independent and the only constraints are my own limits, as both a top and bottom. It can be as inwardly focused or performative as I choose to make it, as restrained or dynamic. I push myself farther than I would push most bottoms, or than I would let most tops push me. Self-tying allows me to make a space for just myself.”—Abbystract
“I love to fly, I love pushing my body... basically, I self-suspend for the sheer joy of it.”—ANakedFlame
“I love rope because it becomes the intent you tie it with. Rope can encompass all of the things that make up my sexual kinky self: control, trust, submission, strength, self love, endorphins, endurance, intensity, aggression, pain, and joy.”—Phyllis


People who are unfamiliar with self-suspension often start by asking some variation on a basic question of intention: ”why would you do that… to yourself?” Or, as a dungeon passerby once inquired while I was in the middle of hanging myself from a single gravity boot: “What the hell are you doing to yourself?!?”

With anything we in kink, it's important to start with the “why.” For partnered play, intention is crucial to make sure you're meeting at the same place. If I think we're doing a highly connective rope scene to get in the mood for sex, and my partner thinks we're having some lab time so they can practice the new hip harness they learned, we are set up for a disastrous experience before any rope goes to skin. With unpartnered bondage, intention is no less important, and most people do many types of self-bondage scenes with multiple different motivations. Clarifying your personal “why” will help you know where to focus your training or learning, facilitate communication with your spotter, shape when and where you self-suspend, and help you give answers when people come to you with the inevitable question: “why?”

These questions come in part because even within the rope scene (and the kink community at large), self-suspension is very much an emerging practice. While it is still a small subset of What It Is That We Do (WIITWD), it’s been amazing to watch self-suspension expand exponentially over the past few years! I’ve been producing events in San Francisco since 2005, and in my first five years of hosting I saw all of two people doing self-bondage at my events. At a 2017 event, I saw five different people self-suspend! I’m seeing smaller-scale increases in self-suspension as I travel around the country to different kink conferences, as well—it’s fabulous to see this practice spreading and becoming more accepted in the kink community!

 
IMG_5664.jpg

Beginning information


Beginning information


On the floor vs. in the air

“I find that the motivations behind self-bondage and self-suspension are the complete opposite. In self-suspension there's pride in one's achievement. In self-bondage there´s the desire to feel ashamed, to be degraded (if only by oneself).”—leaf-in-the-wind

It’s fashionable these days to decry the “race to get in the air” and encourage people to spend a lot of time doing floorwork before moving on to suspension. While certainly there is wisdom there (I personally spent over four years doing very simple “tie-me-up-and-fuck-me” style bondage before I started contemplating suspension), the ways we measure “experience” can be pretty random. I’ve seen people with expertise in other types of aerial or rope practices (professional theater rigging, trapeze, silks, even sailing) progress very quickly into suspension, and I embrace the perspective they bring to their bondage process. We don’t all start from the same place, and it’s ridiculous to proclaim that we should all follow the same path. Suspension bondage and floor work can be rather different activities and may interest different people, at different times, and in different contexts.

The floorwork vs. suspension divide certainly exists in partnered bondage, but I think it is especially apparent in self-bondage. It’s been my experience that self-tying on the ground tends to be more explicitly sexual (frequently involving genital bondage, or done as part of masturbation), and often involves rather extreme immobilization and a humiliation angle. On the other hand, self-suspension is often more like training or performing on a trapeze, focused on exploring movement rather than immobility, with little direct sexual stimulation involved. Your mileage may vary – these are trends, not prescriptions (and certainly not judgements)!

All of this isn’t to say that people who are focused on self-suspension never do floor work – we do, whether just to practice a new futomomo or as an enjoyable stand-alone activity. But to think of it as a clean progression from floorwork to partial suspension to full suspension is a misconception, even more so to think people should "progress" through these types in certain prescribed periods of time.

You don't need to study with any particular Grand Poo-Bah of Bondage or spend a prescribed number of years tying on the ground before so much as glancing the direction of a suspension point. But the stakes go up once you lift off the ground, so be sure you have a solid foundation of body awareness, technical tying skill, and risk mitigation measures in place before attempting self-suspension.

This web site is focused on self-suspension (rather than floor work), for the simple reason that it's written by a self-suspender who doesn't much like to tie on the ground. There are a few web sites focused on floorwork aspects of self-bondage, and I highly recommend checking those out as well!


Flow

“Self-suspension takes my anxiety, anger or sadness and dissolves every single feeling until it's only pain and focus on the knots.”—Hyena

My experience of self-bondage is often about getting into a flow state. The idea of flow originates with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, one of the pioneers of the scientific study of happiness. He defines flow as “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it... for the sheer sake of doing it.” – Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

When I’m doing partnered bondage, I often have a hard time letting go of my brain chatter and worries. Self-suspension engages my mind and my body in a way that is quite unique and allows me to be fully present in the moment, mind and body working harmoniously.

The experience of “flow” is common in many other activities, including partnered BDSM. Most people have experienced it. Musicians might call it “getting in the groove,” athletes might say they’re “in the zone,” a writer might look at the clock and realize hours flew by while they were pouring words onto paper. In a flow state, you become entirely absorbed in what you’re doing, and feel "strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of [your] abilities." – Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

You likely won’t experience flow during your first few self-suspensions. It is a mental state that comes with practice and expertise, once you have established your skill to the point where you can act without conscious narration of every step of the process. This is one reason to drill the basics until you can execute them smoothly without much conscious thought.


More on intention

“I enjoy self-suspension for its own sake, much like masturbation is a completely different experience from partnered sex.”—Azura Rose
“Mostly I self-tie to get exactly the rope that I want, when I want. I don't like to micromanage my tops, but I also crave very specific sensations, positions, etc. There is a feeling of power and autonomy to satisfying my own needs that makes self tying a very beautiful experience for me.”—Cozima
“I've had people assume that I'm self-tying because I don't have anyone to tie me, which makes far too many incorrect assumptions about me.”—Abbystract

Using self-tying as a stop-gap when a partner isn’t available is a common way that people think about this activity, but it’s important not to conceive of self-tying only as a thing people do when there’s no one around to tie them. I, and many other self-suspenders, often prefer to self-tie, even when there is the option of partnered tying.

Some of the reasons people might prefer self-suspension to being suspended by a partner (at least sometimes) include:

  • Freedom to set your own pace, explore, and satisfy yourself without feeling the need to please and perform for a partner

  • Desiring a very specific type of rope experience (“I want to start in a side suspension and transition to a right leg futomomo, spin around until I’m tired, and come down.”)

  • Wanting a physical challenge or a “rope workout”

  • Fitting a “rope fix” into a short and specific window of time that isn’t long enough for a partnered session

  • Practicing ties (“rope science” or “lab time”)

  • Learning about rope bottoming

  • Challenging yourself or simply adding more variety to the way you experience rope
20161002_172008.jpg

Gallery


Gallery


Gallery

Photographs of some amazing & beautiful self suspenders to inspire your journey!

WhiskyTangoFoxy

WhiskyTangoFoxy

Hyena, photo by WistfulThoughts

Hyena, photo by WistfulThoughts

Honey_bare

Honey_bare

linworth, photo by Gary Mitchell

linworth, photo by Gary Mitchell

Marceline VQ, photographer TaraChin

Marceline VQ, photographer TaraChin

Gabriel, photo by Shay

Gabriel, photo by Shay

Kel Bowie, photo by The Silence, taken at bondage performance event Twisted Windows

Kel Bowie, photo by The Silence, taken at bondage performance event Twisted Windows

Abbystract, photo by The_Silence, taken at Twisted Windows

Abbystract, photo by The_Silence, taken at Twisted Windows

nano_bites, photo by The_Silence

nano_bites, photo by The_Silence

inthesilence and Angel666Sub

inthesilence and Angel666Sub

Bombi

Bombi

Marceline VQ

Marceline VQ

Gabriel

Gabriel

Boatbabe, photo by Shay

Boatbabe, photo by Shay

linworth, photo by Gary Mitchell

linworth, photo by Gary Mitchell

StrangerFriend, photography by ESP. 

StrangerFriend, photography by ESP. 

WhiskyTangoFoxy

WhiskyTangoFoxy

Kel Bowie, photo by FANFetica Photography

Kel Bowie, photo by FANFetica Photography

Hyena, photo by WistfulThoughts

Hyena, photo by WistfulThoughts

Bombi

Bombi

Shay Cat IMG_6236.jpg

End


This site created and maintained by Shay Tiziano.

About Me

End


This site created and maintained by Shay Tiziano.

About Me