Have you ever been asked to choke a sexual partner in the middle of sex without warning? Or…have you ever tried choking your partner…just a little…without prior conversation or consent? If you have had either experience, you aren’t alone. Choking during sex, also known as erotic asphyxiation, is one of the most common kinky practices in both vanilla and BDSM Relationships. It’s also one of the most dangerous.

There are lots of reasons why choking during sex is arousing for both the person being choked and the person doing the choking.

Physiological Reasons Choking During Sex is Exciting

Choking is a part of the kink known as breath play. Breath play involves intentionally cutting off the air supply during sexual activity which results in the combining of sensations of arousal with feelings of lightheadedness and lightheadedness for the receiver.

During breath play, you or your partner restrict oxygen to your brain. When oxygen levels are low, you experience feelings of lightheaded or dizzy. Then when the restriction or “chokehold” is released and oxygen and blood begin to flow again, resulting in a rush caused by a release of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins which cause head-spinning feelings of exhilaration all combined with sexual arousal

Psychological Reasons Choking During Sex is Exciting

While choking often takes place during vanilla sex, much like many BDSM kinks, there’s a power play element that is exciting for both partners. As the person doing the choking, there’s a rush of being the top in the power dynamic. Similarly, for the person being choked (the submissive) there are feelings of excitement and release around relinquishing control. This dynamic provides a second layer of sexual arousal for some people.

Physical Reasons Choking During Sex is Exciting

During the aftermath of being choked during sex, you can experience a pleasurable rush of endorphins and hormones. While those hormones were caused by your body’s protective reaction, the crossfire of emotions, pleasure, the mind-spinning sensations can offer a sense of euphoria.

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Social Reasons Choking During Sex is Exciting

Choking during sex is taboo! Even folks who prefer vanilla sex enjoy the rush of participating in activities that are a bit taboo. Choking is seen as a common way to spice up the sex life for all of the reasons listed above.

While choking during sex can spice up your sex life. It is dangerous. Autoerotic asphyxia has been estimated to cause 250-1000 deaths per year in the United States.

The following are ways to keep your experiences with breath play sexy and safe!

Safety Strategies for Choking During Sex

The following are ways to keep your experiences with breath play sexy and safe!

Communication & Consent During Sexual Choking

Sexual Choking must be talked about prior to engaging in the activity. Do not bring it up during sexy. Consent must be given in advance. Never put your hands on someone’s throat during sex unless explicit consent has been given in advance. Similarly, don’t ask to be choked mid-bang.

More Than a Safe Word is Needed

A safe word should always be established before partaking in a sexual activity that involves any risk. However, it may be difficult for your partner to speak clearly while being sexually choked. Have them hold something in their hand that they can drop or make noise with to indicate that you need to stop. This should be something that makes a loud noise easily so you can release your grasp immediately. Another option is to use a motion like tapping three times on the bed or some area you can easily see.

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Get Educated

Take time to learn about the anatomy of the neck, head, and chest. Learning where to place your hands on your partner in the safest way possible is a must. Don’t ever place your hand over the front of your partner’s throat. Place them gently around the sides of the neck just below the jawline. The front of the neck can’t handle the full weight of another person. Applying pressure here can result in injury to a person’s windpipe and an emergency medical situation.

Placing pressure on the side of the neck where the carotid arteries control oxygen-rich blood flow to your head and brain will trigger the endorphins and pleasurable sensation.

Start Slow

Don’t go full throttle right off the bat! Start by applying pressure slowly and checking in with your partner constantly. The throat is delicate and can be injured easily.

The Big Nos During Sexual Choking

Do not pull your partner by their neck or throat. Do not put your full body weight on their throat. If you are using a belt or some other object to choke your partner do not use anything that doesn’t have a quick release.

Start With Safer Forms of Breath Play First

Before choking your partner during sex, try less risky forms of breath play. Start by simply placing your hand over their mouth and nose. Another arousing form of breath play is face sitting.

Side Effects of Choking During Sex

The following are some of the side effects that may occur even if you take all proper precautions:

  • coughing
  • disorientation
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness
  • drowsiness
  • loss of coordination

These side effects aren’t particularly dangerous when presenting one at a time. But be aware that they may make it difficult to communicate need during the play session.

Keeping Sexual Choking Sexy & Safe

Taking the above precautions will help you and your partner keep the thrill of the taboo, power dynamics, and physical rush associated with sexual choking exciting. When you’ve talked about the experience in advance and educated yourself so that injury can be avoided choking in bed can add a little spice to your sexy time. It’s important to note that this sexual activity always comes with some form of risk, but that risk is easily diminished when communication, consent, and education are added to the mix.

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