Choking is a means of experiencing erotic asphyxiation, also known as breath play, where oxygen is intentionally (and consensually) restricted to the brain to provide a feeling of euphoria and increase pleasure during sex. Erotic asphyxiation can be enjoyed within a partnership but can also be enjoyed alone, with the term “autoerotic asphyxiation” being used to describe this. It’s one of the more dangerous fetishes to partake in due to the lack of education that often coincides and has led to many fatalities when performed on its own.


There are a wide variety of ways to enjoy choking and erotic asphyxiation, with the most common being to have a partner’s hand grasp their partner’s neck, with the fingers gently squeezing the blood vessels on either side of the voice box rather than the middle of the throat itself. This, therefore, stops the blood flow to the head, which can help create the sensation of a euphoric rush while also utilizing the physical connection between the two, for many find having their partner’s hand on their throat sexually arousing even without the added lack of oxygen. It is also common to deplete their bodies of oxygen by hanging themselves, suffocating with a plastic bag over their heads, or even strangulating themselves, sometimes by tying themselves by rope to a door knob. Even when performed by experts or those who have completed it many times before, it continues to be dangerous. It is often swamped with misinformation on chat forums and from films (such as Fifty Shades of Grey) that have led to many injuries and fatalities.


Yes, it can be. Deaths can occur when people lose consciousness due to the level of oxygen depletion they reach and are, therefore, unable to stop themselves from experiencing continued strangulation or suffocation. This is why it is often recommended to attempt this fetish only with a partner so that you can be spotted and therefore saved if things go too far. However, even with a partner, it can continue to be dangerous, such as when a partner doesn’t fully understand precisely what they’re doing and can crush the windpipe instead of merely pressing down on either side of the throat where the blood vessels are.


People enjoy choking for many reasons. They enjoy other fetishes, such as the power play between partners that it can help reinforce, and the intensity of choking itself is often far more than can be achieved with other fetishes or forms of the game. To allow yourself to be choked by someone, you have to trust the person you’re being intimate with, and therefore even allowing yourself to be choked by your dominant denotes a massive commitment and intimacy between the two of you that is attractive even aside from anything else. It’s one of the few ways to balance eroticism, trust and intimacy, and real-life physical danger, a combination of which will be attractive to many.

It is also the rush of hormones and the change to the body’s oxygen supply that others find the most exciting and enjoyable part of the choking experience. Restricting the oxygen supply to your brain makes you feel dizzy and lightheaded. Then when the oxygen is sent back to your brain, you may feel an immense rush of hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine, that will make you feel high and euphoric. This ability to handle a high that is often paired with penetrative, oral, or finger-stimulated sex makes for a wild sexual experience that millions around the world enjoy. Some have discussed on chat forums their experience of hallucinating due to choking and erotic asphyxiation, similar to people who have dealt with sudden aircraft decompression.

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