I'm making plans for my trip to a conference called Thunder in the Mountains. Thunder is always my favorite leather conference, but this year's going to be extra-intense. Max and I will be participating in a ritual, conducted by Fakir Musafar, called an energy pull.

When I think about it, I bounce back and forth between "This is going to be great" and "I must be fucking nuts." If you don't know what an energy pull is, here is what's going to happen: Fakir will pierce my chest with several large-gauge needles, then put metal hooks through the piercings. Then he'll pierce my partner Max, and tie the hooks together with about a yard of stretchy cord between us. This is where the "pull" part comes in. As part of the ritual, Max and I will move, and as we move, the cord between us will pull on the hooks in our flesh.

Now, I'm a pretty serious freak, but I have never done this before, and I'm a little nervous. I sure as hell wouldn't let just anyone stick big-ass needles in me, but Fakir Musafar isn't just anybody. I remember when we first met, I had to force myself not to gape at him like a tourist and say something stupid like, "Omigod, you're Fakir Musafar, you're, like, the daddy of the American body modification scene!" Max and I have since spent time getting to know Fakir personally, and we've attended some of his piercing rituals, which are amazing. I'm not that woo-woo spiritual, but I know power when I feel it, and Fakir has got The Power. So we decided to go for it.

I can hear the questions: Isn't it gonna hurt? Probably, at first. I'm not a heavy masochist, but I have experience processing pain, and I think (I hope) I'll be able to handle it. After a few minutes, I'll be so endorphin-high that it won't matter. Why would you do something like that? Because when you challenge your beliefs about what you're physically and psychologically capable of, you relearn the fact that most of your limitations are self-imposed. A ritual like this is a tool to help you free yourself from negative baggage that holds you back. And after all the crazy war shit that's been spinning around the world lately, I'm ready to have some positive energy released into my life.

Fakir Musafar: www.bodyplay.com; the conference: www.thunderinthemountains.com