I did a 4 transition suspension that ended in a single leg futomomo. It was at practice, but it felt like a scene. The first part is the more technical aspect – not terribly interested in rope? Perhaps go down to the next star where he is tied, or the third star when I try it again.
There were two riggers and two bottoms. At first it started with my husband tying me. The other couple: a female rigger and tall man. We had all practiced rope together for a long time, but never with doing a suspension transition series together. Our bodies were tied differently: my husband forgot to tie into the hip harness and the male had a bit different chest harness.
Up for the first, and a face down just always hurts, but it’s bearable. Suddenly I am through the ropes and sitting with one leg straight and the other tied tightly in a futomomo (ankle to thigh and rope all around the thigh/calf keeping it there). As soon as I sat up, the pressure moved to my wrists, an odd thing and one that I cannot sustained. Down and sideways, and once my torso was sideways in the air I felt much better, had relief from most of the areas that pained me. My husband went over to the other couple and helped where he could – but the male needed to come down.
I understood that – it was strenuous. Once he was down, I came down.
* He gets tied by husband and I watch with the female rigger (I also joke with some other people in the room and get all sorts of involved in their practice – because friends).
The female suggested we try it again, only swapping partners since I handled it better – perhaps it was the way that she was tying. So my husband begins to tie the male bottom. It would allow us bottoms to verbalize on the differences (we verbalize at practice on everything, it’s how the riggers learn so much I believe and have faith that they can try something new, though we’re both a bit bratty in our boredom of practicing, so there’s a joke always about needing gags for us).
The male’s body is already rubbed raw in some places from the rope, and the rope will be laid along those same reddened trails. I wince with him at parts.
He has a great sense of humor and comments that it’s unusual to have someone put rope over his shoulder, how he doesn’t need to bend down to assist a shorter partner. They are both above average in height.
As soon as he was up, it was obvious it was barely tolerable. They tried the three transitions, working quickly, getting feedback from him, discussing solutions from the rigger perspective, and he was down. They both took the rope off of him, discussed a few more things, and she took care of her bottom.
* It’s my turn back up.
I have a slight advantage of not having my body handle the first attempt as badly as the male’s did, the rope marks pink but not glaring red against my skin; I am not as in as much pain and I have also rested while they tried it again on him. I had the utmost respect for my male friend, his tolerance, stamina, and motivation far exceeds what I believe my own to be.
She ties me in jute, a rope I really don’t like but consent to because it’s what she is most comfortable with. She jokes how wonderful it is to tie someone that’s a normal height, reaches around and touches my breasts, cracking jokes about how rare that is, comments that I have hair and people in front of us playfully warn me she has that gleam in her eyes that bodes sadistic plans in the future. She asks my husband for a few pieces of advice.
I ask my husband afterwards to tie up a female who showed up and hasn’t been tied up yet. I know she wants to, and I wanted her to feel included in this practice. He offers and they move close to us just in case we need a spotter.
I am now off the ground and face down, my chest remembering this position and believing it was a bit soon. I breathe in and out.
“You got quiet all the sudden. Are you okay?” she asked. I had stopped joking pretty abruptly.
“Yes, I would tell you otherwise.”
“She gets quiet when the pain starts,” the male bottom added. We have been tied so many times now together in the room, and I believe that I understand his most of body language in ropes as well.
“She’ll tell you when something is not right,” my husband confirmed.
I felt proud that these people had faith that I would verbalize when needed, it is wanted in rope bottoms while practicing to verbalize what’s wrong. Even the female rigger knew this about me, but I think the sudden switch in my personality caused a quick concern.
She transitioned me to sitting with one leg bent (ankle to thigh) and one leg out straight. The stress on my wrists weren’t quite as bad, but I was shifting to one side, and that began to hurt my arm. She adjusted me a few times to no avail. Then she hurriedly worked towards the next transition.
As she strung rope between rope and upper arm, it pinched. She apologized as she could see the pinching and worked to correct it. My entire upper arm radiated such heat and pain – I began to sweat from the exertion and closed my eyes and breathed steadily, focusing my thoughts on my breath. “I’m fine,” I’d reassure her in-between groans of discomfort.
Then I was sideways and my arm slowly cooled down to a normal, if somewhat achy, feeling.
“Much better,” I told her gratefully. She spun me around a few times, asking some questions, and then asked how long I could go for still. “I’m okay, I can stay. I’ll give you a couple minute warning,” I told her. “But it depends on what you do on, how long you have.”
So she told me I was about to hate her and raised my legs. I cried out as the rope cut into one thigh that was tied so tight. “Don’t worry, you’ll be down in thirty seconds,” she comforted as all the support rope let go and all that was left was the single futomomo/painful thigh.
Here is a futomomo (not taken the day that this written but for picture reference), though at the time I was upside down dangling from one leg from this position
“It’s the fourth transition,” the male said almost at the same time and I recalled that so far we had only done three.
Breathe. Breathe. Oh holy hell, breathe : My inward chant. My eyes were shut, I channeled my entire being into just breathing.
My husband’s voice somewhere in the background, “she’s fine. She will absolutely tell you if she can’t do it, trust me.”
He was right. I could handle it, even though it was excruciating. It was pushing my boundaries of being in pain in rope in ways that I am seldom tested in, and I was pretty proud of how I was handling it.
I began to be lowered, and ended up on the floor with my back against the woman’s chest. She held me as I trembled from the pain spikes, tipped my water bottle into my mouth for a drink.
Aftercare isn’t that common for practicing rope, but my body went through something pretty strenuous and reacted as such. I was grateful that I wasn’t placed on the ground, untied, and left to my own devices. I needed to come back to reality gently and with support, needed the patience to unravel both my body and mind’s reactions at the slow place that she unraveled the rope. I also had faith that she would take care of me as she felt needed; she was an experienced top. As she untied my legs, she used her partner’s legs as my pillow. She smoothed her hands over the reddened areas, softly soothing, and when I was sitting in front of her and fully untied, she gently scratched my back.
Yay for nails, they felt so good!
I was grateful, as I often am, for these people in the rope community. At times it feels like a close-knit family that is supportive, offers advice, pushes each other to go further, and takes care of each other.