Originally posted at SpiritualBDSM.com on June 15, 2012, this is the product review that almost caused me to stop reviewing.  I don’t need to stop to re-tell all the drama surrounding my original effort to give this product a balanced appraisal, it’s all right there in the original!

Hang ‘Em High – Tetruss II Suspension Frame Review

Tetruss II Introduction

If you are interested in suspension bondage there’s one simple fact that’s inescapable, it’s not always simple to find a solid and secure suspension anchor point.  The best anchor points available to most individuals are literally part of the framing of their home.

For instance, I’m 100% secure in suspension points in my basement that have been drilled and bolted through floor joists.  There’s an even wider center beam that I consider to be absolutely “bombproof”, and am quite sure it would hold up to most anything a submissive and I might even dream of dishing out.  It’s stable for anything short of an severe earthquake or tornado.

However, even when using a home’s frame it’s true that problems can erupt.  For instance, not all ceiling joists are designed to withstand strong downward forces from below, so I’m not ever going to recommend that suspension points be placed using uninhabitable and/or un-floored attics as an anchor.  Sure there may be homes constructed to withstand such perversion, but without a personal visit and look see for myself, or an expert consultation from an architect, it’s not something I’ll ever recommend.

Then there’s the issue of individuals who don’t own their home.  My personal interest in extreme bondage certainly started long before I became a homeowner, as I was a renter up into my 30’s.   Certainly, I’m never going to suggest that anyone make significant alterations to property they don’t own, in most cases to do so is not only immoral, it’s also usually illegal.

And, it’s not just renters who may struggle with the lack of available suspension anchors.  There are always going to be times when a suspension bondage aficionado’s desires lead them away from the security of bombproof anchors in their own home, and off into terra incognita, the realm of unknown lands and anchor points.

That’s where tools like the Tetruss are intended to come to the rescue.  Tetruss is an aluminum tube tripod customized and designed specifically for suspension bondage.  Designed to fit under an 8 foot ceiling, the Tetruss is lightweight and compact enough to be relatively portable, yet solid and sturdy enough to provide a platform for basic suspension bondage.

Here’s rope manufacturer, sex professional, and BDSM personality Twisted Monk’s video review of the Tetruss II . . .

The Product

As I covered in the introduction, the Tetruss is designed to be a light weight and portable solution for individuals wanting to create a solid anchor point for suspension bondage.  It’s certainly light in weight and very portable, that part is true.

But when I really stop and consider the big picture, those two attributes, being light in weight and portable, are truly the sum total of it’s advantages.  Unfortunately, there are disadvantages too, as I’m about to cover.

Most of the package is composed of bare tubular aluminum pieces, with a welded top plate that’s the crux of the device, and some assorted hardware thrown in for good measure.  The package is all put together for shipping in an amateurish fashion, apparently little thought was put into shipping, is it appears most everything was thrown pretty loosely into a box, then sealed and shipped.

I would have preferred some better internal stabilization as the package came badly crushed from it’s own weight and internal shifting.  A few Shekels spent on some foam packing, rather than the cheap packing paper, would be a significant improvement.

The plastic bags that held our little hardware bits had spit during it’s journey to our home, so when we got the packaging open, little bits of hardware spewed across our floor.  A few pennies worth of shrink wrap, as well as the foam padding I mentioned earlier, would hold things better in place and would have resolved all those problems.

The most important attribute in an anchor for suspension bondage is that it be what rock climbers would call “bombproof”.  In partaking in suspension bondage, you and your submissive are partaking in a form of edge play, you are trusting that your abilities and knowledge will protect her health and well being.   The last thing you want to worry about is that your equipment itself might not be up to the task.

And that’s where I worry . . .

The Tetruss is really not as sturdy or as stable as I’d like for a device that’s going to be holding the weight of my most precious possession, Serafina.  When any kind of significant load (50 lbs) is hung from the Tetruss suspension point, the 3 arms very visibly move under the load.  There’s a bit of give and sag in the aluminum when loaded, and while this may not be evidence that the rig will fail, it’s not exactly the kind of thing that gives a person great confidence either.

As Twisted Monk pointed out in his review, the cotter pins which hold the arms together are cheap and while serviceable, they beg for replacement with something more trustworthy.  It’s an obvious weak point, as I’m not terribly keen on trusting my Serafina’s health to such a cheap piece of metal.  I can’t see how making a stronger pin part of the package would have been a problem, but as we eventually discovered, the man who designs and builds the Tetruss seems to march to the tune of his own drummer, so apparently Monk’s constructive criticism is lost on such a man . . .

The three rubber caps for the feet also fail to inspire great confidence, as they seem to do very little to stabilize the device, and they’d seem likely to wear through pretty quickly.  I doubt ours will ever get that much use, as I really don’t feel comfortable with the product suspending my slave/wife, but for folks who decide it’s “safe enough”, I can imagine the sharp aluminum poles cutting thru the rubber feet inside of a few strenuous uses.

The Vendor
I guess at this point it’s pretty clear that I’m disappointed with the Tetruss.  The vast majority of my dissatisfaction comes from the inherent failings of the product itself, but I’d not be totally honest if I didn’t admit that I’ve also developed a dislike for the manufacturer.
To put it succinctly, my impression of the dude is that he’s more than a little “squirrely” – he’s an odd duck and I didn’t care for either his manner, or his business practices.  To be very honest, he’s the reason I’ve nearly given up on ever doing more product reviews.  Life’s too short to mess with idiots, and if I want gear, I’ll just buy it.
The product’s maker and vendor originally approached my slave/wife Serafina about the possibility of getting a review for Tetruss here on our blog.  I thought it was a little strange that he’d approach my slave instead of me, as he’s supposed to be an experienced dominant, and it would seem natural that hhe’d discuss business with myself, rather than with my submissive.
Originally he promised us a steep discount in return for the review, and he also mentioned the possibility of some kind of affiliate arrangement as well, where we’d get some kind of compensation for customers who placed orders after following links from our site.
I wrote the guy with questions, he never answered me.  When Serafina wrote him, she got a response.  I found this odd, but I wrote it off at the time as not terribly important.  I mean, once I start a correspondence on a topic with one individual, I don’t like carrying it over to other people.
When Serafina pressed him for more details about affiliate arrangements, he asked us if we knew any good companies to track such things.  Geesh!  Once again, I found this odd, but it was during the Holidays and I didn’t give it too much thought.
So it became clear there wouldn’t be any affiliate deal, I was kind of leaning away from advertisements on the blog anyway . . .
We ended up haggling about price too, as his idea of a “steep” discount wasn’t even a 20% reduction.  Considering that he’d approached us about the review, this didn’t seem to be acceptable.  I think I got the price mark down moved to about 25%, but even then there were further problems.
He gave us an discount number to use when checking out our product, and it didn’t work.  He wrote that he was having problems with his online cash register, and we’d be welcome to purchase the product at full price, then he’d credit my card with the discount.  That didn’t sound right to me.
Still, he wasn’t communicating with me directly, instead he was still only responding to email from my slave.  I should have realized then that this guy was pretty weird, but I’d also started looking forward to using the device too.  I let my enthusiasm get the better part of my judgement, so I countered with an offer that I’d pay full price for the Tetruss if he’d throw in a spreader bar assembly.
Essentially, that’s what I did with the Tetruss, I paid full price for this product, with the agreement that the spreader bar would be complimentary with the purchase.  The manufacturer charged my credit card, then informed me that deliver would be 6 weeks away!
Geesh again!  When the dude came sniffing around for a review, I would have blown him off rather quickly had I known in advance how difficult the whole thing would become.  And when offering a product for review, I’d not have thought that I’d have a month and a half wait after my card was charged for the product to be manufactured.
When the spreader bar got here, and I realized is was perhaps a $5 to $10 piece of tubular aluminum with two holes drilled in it, I realized that I’d been taken in by a dude who was more interested in profiting from my purchase than he was in benefiting from a review.
A couple weeks after the product arrived, he shot a terse email to Serafina asking why we had not yet posted a review?
It took him six weeks to make the junk, and now we were expected to review it within two?
I wanted to write the man a “fuck you” letter, but I decided to simply not write back at all.  As you might understand by this point, I don’t like this dude.  My review shows it too, don’t you think?
The product is at best serviceable, which is more than I can say about the manufacturer’s customer relations skills.  I think it’s really worth about 1/2 of the price being charged, and that’s with the caveat that even for that reduced price, I’d expect better hardware and packaging.
Maybe it’s not what any of us expected when we started down this path, but I’m convinced it’s the review he and his product deserve.  I walk away with my head held high, knowing that even if I savaged the man and his product, at least I delivered what I promised!
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