Queer Kink

A practical and philosophical guide to real life BDSM for LGBTQs.
~ Friday, January 21 ~
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The QK Guide To: Breath Control Play

So, strangulation, suffocation, all of this stuff is breath control play.  All of this stuff is INCREDIBLY dangerous, and not just for the reasons you think.  Most of the deaths caused by erotic breath control situations are not caused by strangulation/suffocation itself, but of a massive heart attack about 15 to 20 minutes later, sometimes this can be the result of less than a minute of suffocation.  As well, over time lack of oxygen causes brain damage, and generally one wants to avoid that.  For these reasons, you actually shouldn’t actually cut off oxygen to the submissive.  

I repeat: DO NOT ACTUALLY STOP ANYONE FROM BREATHING.  DO NOT RESTRICT ANYONE’S ABILITY TO BREATHE.

For safe “strangulation” play put your hand above the hyoid bone (the adam’s apple), just under the jaw and press lightly upwards, the subject should be unable to vocalize as normal (though will usually still be able to talk, just not as loudly), but will still be able to breathe.  Make sure to communicate thoroughly during this sort of play with your partner, and make sure that they are still able to breath at all times. This is a nice way to give the feeling of vulnerability associated with strangling, and enjoy the power dynamic involved without having to do anything dangerous.  Do not EVER put pressure on the hyoid bone as it’s delicate and breaking it results in death.  As well the pressure should be light, the windpipe is delicate, and easily crushed, and crushing it results in death, and you don’t want that.  Also do be careful not to put pressure on the carotid artery (which runs down the side of the neck) as putting pressure on the carotid can cut off oxygen to the brain, which can cause unconsciousness, cardiac arrest and death, so yeah watch out for that.

Similarly, putting a submissive in a position where the dominant is in control of their oxygen intake, but does not actually remove their access to it can be a way to play with this as well, but requires great care.  For example, a rubber mask with a tube for oxygen access can be worn by the submissive, putting the dominant in a position where, were they to squeeze the hose shut, the submissive would be left unable to breath, but of course the dominant does not do so. This also requires clear communication during play, make sure a safety gesture is established, and watch for it closely.

Do not EVER put a cord around someone’s throat, it’s too hard to control, and too hard to gauge pressure applied.

There is simply no safe way to actually cut off oxygen to a human being, so don’t do it.  Really, the appeal of breath play is not actually the cutting off of oxygen, but the feeling of vulnerability, and that can be achieved without actually taking away the ability to breath.

I know some of you out there are going to insist on cutting off someone’s oxygen anyway, and normally I’d give you tips on how to do it as safely as possible if you absolutely must do it… but there’s no way to do this safely, or even any more safely.  So, generally, I beg of you, don’t do this.  It’s not safe.

An excellent article by an EMT on the subject

Another Nice Article On The Subject

Play safe out there.

Tags: BDSM BDSM safety BDSM activities kink kinky activities kinky sex sexuality sex advice safety the QK guide to health Breath Play LGBT lgbtq lesbian lesbians gay gays bisexual trans transgender Trans* queer queers homosexual homosexuality queer BDSM choking strangling
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