Suspension of disbelief

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Suspension of disbelief

Body suspension. Dan Zeplin Media.

Body suspension. Dan Zeplin Media.

Dan Zeplin

Body suspension. Dan Zeplin Media.

Dan Zeplin

Dan Zeplin

Body suspension. Dan Zeplin Media.

Kristy Clark, ECU Reporter

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Sometimes we need pain to contrast the pleasures in life. Without it we wouldn’t have anything to measure our happiness against. But what if pain could bring pleasure?

While most people don’t even have their ears pierced, some are willing to be hung from the ceiling by sharp hooks.

Body suspension is when someone gets temporary piercings to then be hung by hooks in the open air. Practically any part of the body can be hooked up, including the chest and knee areas.

Kit went to Christchurch, New Zealand on her first solo travel journey. Surrounded by luscious, green forest, she decided this was the perfect environment for her first body suspension.

“It felt like I was floating – or flying – especially when one of the team members pushed me as though I was on a swing,” she said.

When I asked her why the hell would anyone want to pierce themselves and swing by hooks, she replied: “People are always going to knock things just because they personally don’t have any value in it.

“Visually, I can see how it would seem quite intimidating and difficult to look at. Most people don’t really see hooks and bodies together, outside of horror films or their nightmares.

“Just seeing it, or imagining it, doesn’t always show the reasoning behind it, or any of the positive things that people experience from doing it.

“When I look back, what stands out the most is the feeling of complete joy. It was intensely cathartic, oddly peaceful, and utterly, utterly joyful.

“It remains, to this day, one of the most wonderful things that I have ever done.”

The body modification website Painful Pleasures is predated in the field of body suspension by about 5000 years. Devout Hindus used it for spiritual purposes but fast forward to the modern era and body suspension is largely practiced by those involved in the body modification culture.

Joeltron is the owner of Opal Heart piercing studio in the Perth CBD. He has a significant following, with a busy studio and an Instagram that boasts over 16k follows that showcases his best work and other odd projects he may be up to.

He has quite the unconventional appearance, with large spacers in his ears, gaps in his chin and most interestingly of all, a yellow dyed eyeball.

However, despite the unique first impression, being in the presence of Joeltron is nothing less than amicable and welcoming.

ECU Daily spoke with the WA piercer, to discuss body suspension.

“Body suspension is hanging a human from hooks temporarily through the skin,” he said.

“But, to me: body suspension is the overcoming of physical and mental restraints by focusing energy and efforts to do something that first appears impossible. I think of it like walking on hot coals, but in the air,” he said.


Photo Credit: Dan Zeplin Media

A single well-placed hook can easily suspend someone of Joeltron’s size, which is roughly 80kgs, but he prefers two 6g horizontally placed hooks.

While he maintains that the sensation is mostly physical, he recalled: “some of my favourite suspensions have been a bit of both where I have let out a lot of raw emotion.”

When asked about the pleasure and pain of the situation, he relayed: “I personally don’t find any pleasure from pain, I enjoy being able to overcome my physical pain in order to achieve something beautiful,” he said.

There is a suggestion that suspension could be a fetish or self-mutilation. Much like piercings, suspension has been considered ‘taboo’ or strange.

“Many people assume a sexual relation with suspension, however, it’s much more spiritual and emotional than that for most people.”

Given his background in piercing and body modifications, I wondered whether this practice came into consideration when he engaged in the activity.

“As an aseptic practitioner, I take every precaution to ensure cleanliness during my procedure of hook installation,” he said.

“As far as safety goes for the actual suspension, a trained rigger in our team ensures that all safety measures are taken that the distribution of weight is accounted for and all equipment is rated for a dynamic human load.

“While suspending, we also have a first aid trained practitioner on hand to make sure the suspendee is doing well and not feeling light headed or faint.”

For more information about body suspension, click here

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About the Writer
Kristy Clark, ECU Reporter

Kristy is a young, aspiring journalist. She is working on a double degree in Arts and Communications from Edith Cowan University. Kristy has a passion...

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Suspension of disbelief