Things started out pretty much according to plan. We began with a chest harness (which is always a good idea for safety reasons), then added the line to Silver's ankles, and finally tied the arms. The basic idea is to do the least strenuous parts of the bondage first, and add the most strenuous parts at the end, since they'll be the "timers" for the scene. Notice that although Silver's knees are resting on the ground, her ankles are pulled up to restrict her freedom of movement. Notice also that in all the excitement, we completely forgot the crotch rope.
Here I'm adding a hair rope after the main lines are already in place. Silver was feeling some strain in her neck from holding her head up, and we decided that a hair line would provide some relief. This was a minor nuisance, since hair ropes take a while to attach (especially in an upside-down position like this). The whole time I was putting this in, of course, the timer on Silver's arms was running. In retrospect, I take two lessons from this. Firstly, I should have anticipated the neck problem. Secondly, hair lines are like chest harnesses: you'll probably want one sooner or later, so you might as well do it up front.
Now I'm adding the crotch rope. Again, in an ideal world, this would have gone in at the beginning (since it's less strenuous).
This is a pretty good shot of the whole assembly. Notice that Silver's wrists are joined with a rope spreader bar, which allows a comfortable amount of separation, but still holds them fairly rigid. Notice also the hardware at the top of the suspension: a single locking triangle carabiner is attached to the winch. Suspended from that are two more triangles and a ring. That allows plenty of room for attaching vertical lines without the ropes getting tangled together.
Here's a good side view.
More or less on a whim, Max suggested using the winch (which is a super-cool toy, by the way!) to turn the whole deal into a full suspension. We hadn't originally planned on doing that, but the bondage was suitable for it, so we decided to go ahead. Everything went very smoothly, and Silver was able to sustain the position for a little while before we needed to bring her down and let her rest for a bit.
The second position was planned as a full suspension from the start. The idea was to do an ebi (cross-legged, with the chest pulled down to the legs), with the main weight being suspended by a rope going under the legs and over the back.
Silver has a chest harness that's pulling her chest down to her legs, and the main wrap is in place around her legs and back. If you look closely by her right knee, you can see that we've secured the main wrap in place by attaching it to the ankles. Here I'm tying her wrists behind her back.
Still working on the wrists.
This was my first attempt at raising Silver. If you look closely, you can see that I've constructed a pulley system out of rope and am attempting to use the resulting mechanical advantage to lift her into the air. Notice that I've wrapped the rope around my hand for a better grip. That's dangerous-- don't do it.
As it turns out, the initial suspension attempt failed. The lifting rope bound against the main wrap, and the resulting friction made it impossible to raise Silver. For the second attempt, I added another carabiner to the bottom of the system, and built the pulley around it. That worked much better.
Success! I've raised Silver into the air (the first time I did that without a winch), and am securing the vertical line with a wrap secured by a square not. We both look pretty pleased with ourselves.
A side view of the whole rig. The first time we tried it out, Silver pitched forward when we raised her, so we added lines over her shoulders to stabilize her. You can see them clearly in this picture.
Checking in. Life is good. Silver wanted me to note that this particular position was very comfortable, and made her feel great. That's worth emphasizing, because it isn't always obvious from the pictures, if you don't have experience with rope bondage. Although there's often some discomfort and/or pain involved, being tied up feels really good. Even the hair bondage, which looks like it might be very painful, is actually extremely comfortable if it's done right. I hope some of these pictures manage to convey, in some small way, the fun and euphoria and love that's involved in this kind of play.
Once again, thanks to Max for a fantastic class, and for some great pictures! Thanks also to Silver, who rocks my world.
A final note, for those of you reading this in realtime: Max is teaching another of his monthly classes this coming Sunday (5/7/2006) at the Wet Spot. If you're in Seattle and you have any interest at all in rope bondage, you really ought to be there.