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E is for Erotic Asphyxiation

Curious in learning about choking sex play? Here’s some guidance on how to gain sexual gratification and remain safe.

Photo: Jaspereology via Pexels

A form of BDSM breath play, erotic asphyxiation is a kink that many bondage enthusiasts explore that involves the restriction of one’s oxygen supply—either when engaged in sex with another person or multiple partners or when masturbating alone (also known as autoerotic asphyxiation).

However, before we dive deeper into this form of kink play, a BIG disclaimer…

Erotic asphyxiation is dangerous, and if you are interested in this form of BDSM, know that you cannot ever learn everything you need to know by reading an article or watching breath play or choking porn. Therefore, while this is an overview of what asphyxiation masturbation or asphyxiation fucking entails, we highly recommend that you learn from live or recorded classes on the topic or even an in-person workshop if it’s available. This will ensure the risk associated with erotic choking is minimized.

Why Do Some People Like Kink Breath Play?

There are two primary reasons why some BDSM enthusiasts enjoy this sort of sex play and want to be choked.

Firstly, there is a euphoria… an altered state, if you will… that can be achieved with hypoxia—a lack of oxygen. This impacts levels of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins in the body, which can lead to an intensified sensation when a person cums.

The other turn-on with erotic asphyxiation is the power dynamic. Much of BDSM sex play centers on there being a dom and a sub during sex. Choking and breath play are viewed as a form of extreme submission, and this serves as a powerful aphrodisiac to many BDSM lovers.

How Do Kinksters Approach This Type of Sex?

Frankly speaking, even people who have extreme kinks refuse to go here… either on their own or with a partner. At the end of the day, death by asphyxiation is common, especially when doing it alone.

But for people who understand how to approach breath play, negotiate rules with their partner, ensure consent, and identify a safe word or a visual cue that indicates danger, there are multiple approaches to this type of BDSM kink.

Breath Play Sex Basics

Erotic asphyxiation is typically done through these methods:

  • Smothering a partner with a pillow–not to hurt them, to bring them to orgasm
  • Wearing a hood or a mask
  • Hanging to withhold breath on a temporary basis, and to intensify cumming
  • Using a plastic bag
  • Kinging or Queening
  • Water bondage, which involves restraining a partner with water-filled devices or submerging them partially to elicit sexual arousal
  • Choking a partner with the hands, a rope, scarf, or other form of bondage

This is a very extreme form of fucking, and it is hard to play it safe. However, here is some additional safety advice to consider:

Only play with someone you trust.

We cannot stress this enough. You must have a partner who is hyperaware and vigilant when engaged in breath sex play. They must be able to recognize subtle physiological shifts in your body language if they are choking you. As such, we recommend never having choking sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Learn how to perform CPR.

It’s easy to get certified and many local communities offer these classes for free. At the end of the day, this knowledge can come in handy if you’re exploring BDSM kink as well as outside the bedroom.

Never ever play alone.

Autoerotic asphyxiation is way too common and it’s more dangerous than playing a partner. Don’t experiment on your own. Far too often, this type of breath play results in accidental suicide.

All things in moderation.

Instead of consistent breath restriction, engage in brief intervals, and never put direct pressure on a partner’s windpipe. Also, consider using a mask or a scarf that might muffle breathing, but doesn’t cut it off entirely.

Hold your own breath.

Instead of using external force, simply hold your own breath if you want to see if you can intensify an orgasm. At the end of the day, your brain will make your body breathe if it needs air. This way, you’re in control.

Consider sex yoga and tantric breathing.

There are practices that are much safer that center on the breath. With sex yoga and tantric sex, you seek to give your body more oxygen, which enhances sexual energy and results in stronger orgasms.

April, 34, discusses how her and her boyfriend approach erotic asphyxiation safely.

“This was something I was a bit intrigued by… and I wanted to try it but also wanted to do it without hurting myself. Every now and then, and when I tell my boyfriend, Eric, that I’m ready, he will put light pressure on my neck with his hand. But he doesn’t do it for more than a few seconds while we are fucking–and never fully restricts my windpipe.”

She explains that they have since learned about tantric sex, which she considers a much safer option.

“We do something called ‘circular breathing,’ which is where one of us exhales as the other inhales, and it creates this amazing circle of energy between our bodies during sex. That type of synergy is incredibly erotic and full of connection. It makes both of us cum.”

Understand the Risk Associated with Erotic Asphyxiation

We cannot stress this enough; you need to learn how to do asphyxiation play and all of the ways to negotiate risk through a knowledgeable BDSM expert before you ever do it yourself.

It’s okay if you want to explore this type of kinky sex by watching some porn between professionals who know what they are doing—and it’s perfectly fine to see if you get off to this type of sex. A lot of people do.

Just be safe at all times. Sex of any sort is supposed to be fun, consensual, and exciting—and no orgasm is ever worth putting your life in danger.

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