Monday, June 18, 2012

outstanding home suspension frame . . .

My name is Michael, and that's my Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand!
Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand assembled for our personal New Years Eve party
Just a few days ago I wrote about the Tetruss II portable suspension frame, and found it somewhat wanting in terms of usefulness in a home dungeon. Today, we'll be looking at a much more stable and useful alternative, the Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand.

Rather than being a purpose made item expressly designed for BDSM, the Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand falls into the category of "pervertables", items designed for a different real world intent that are repurposed for a more kinky use. In most cases I find that BDSM specific items are usually best for my style of play, so this swing stand might be called "the exception that proves the rule", an odd turn of phrase I've never been completely comfortable using until today.

I first became aware of the usefulness of the Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand at Fetlife, where a dominant named MrEllen posted pictures of it in use as a Shibari suspension device. At the time, I was researching alternatives to creating a suspension hard point that was a part of my home's architectural framing, as I wasn't completely convinced that my roof joists were constructed to carry much more weight than was already loaded as a part of my main floor's ceiling.

I'd already researched purpose built items like the Tetruss II (we also saw a similar sling/suspension stand by a different manufacturer demonstrated at IML2012) and wasn't completely convinced of their usefulness in my home dungeon. I was also aware of home built frame designs, such as the various plans available from Sartan's BDSM Workshop.
Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand over a queen sized mattress.
The reddish 'ramp' as well as white tiger print wedges and cover are gear from
We found that none of those items have the inherent attractiveness of the Cypress Swing Stand, with it's beautiful combination of gracefully curved arched pieces. The ugliest of all is the Tetruss, it's bare aluminum tubes come unfinished, full of scratches, marks and blemishes from the combination of sloppy machining and poor packaging. From a distance it looks a bit like some getto-styled contraption pieced together from spare parts of a tent frame. It's a bit sturdier than that, but certainly no more attractive.

If constructed properly, I believe all of the bondage and suspension frames featured at Sartan's site are likely to be more stable and safe than a Tetruss. Even with bare wood, they wouldn't be any less attractive than a bunch of aluminum tube, and with a little care put into finishing them up nicely, they have the potential to be as attractive as the skills of the maker allow.

I really don't think anything I could have made myself would match the strength and beauty of the Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand, however, it's beyond my own carpentry and home manufacturing skills. The swing's listed capacity is 450 pounds, while it's own weight comes in at about 100 pounds, at least that's the listed shipping weight.

Made from multiple layers of cypress wood, the Roman Arc Swing Stand is designed to hold the weight of two people and a swing. So, I expect it's strength will more than suffice for supporting Serafina in suspension for many years to come, likely the rest of our lives.

Cypress is an exceptionally durable wood, it's said that the first doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, which lasted more than 1100 years in place before reconstruction in 1500's replaced them were made of cypress. It's also said by some scholars that Noah's Arc was constructed from cypress, although that's by no means absolutely certain, in anyone's account of the great flood, there are many unanswered questions.

It's also an aesthetically pleasing wood, it's honey yellow tones and interesting grain being among the wood's attractive qualities. While we have debated applying a stain, as the cypress wood of the swing stand comes unfinished, we ended up deciding that any stain we might apply would only detract from the wood's natural beauty. For our purposes, a light sanding and a coat of clear varnish will suffice to make this stand a beautiful and aesthetic addition to our adult play space.

The whole thing assembles quickly and easily. If (for example) the Tetruss takes 5 minutes to assemble, this isn't much more extensive, with about a 10-15 minute construction time for Serafina and I. It took us longer to understand the instructions than it did to actually put it together, a very easy build.

The entire assembly can easily be moved around a room by two people of moderate strength, so despite it's strength, the Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand isn't immovable by any means. It can be broken down into three fairly large sub assembly's for transportation in a truck bed, so to an extent it is portable.

We love our Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand, it's finding a permanent in our "sacred space" and adult playroom, along with our Dungeon Bed, my flogger and adult toy collection, not to mention some sweet gear from Liberator. We hope to have that space completely re-decorated and complete very soon!


  1. Hahaha!!! Oh that's funny, really, you'll never live that down.

    1. Well, I'll admit that the subtitle was added just for your Master and you . . . ;)

      And, I may not ever want to live that moment down, of all the furniture in my home, that dungeon-bed is the one thing I'd never consider replacing!


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