What Is Asphyxiophilia?
Asphyxophilia, also known as autoerotic asphyxia and hypoxyphilia, is a BDSM practice in which the dominant reduces or limits a sub’s breathing to heighten sexual gratification.
Choking decreases the amount of oxygen that enters the brain causing carbon dioxide (CO2) build up. The increased levels of CO2 can induce a feeling of euphoria and pleasure. The combination of the euphoria caused by increased CO2 and nearing sexual release is considered extremely intense and gratifying. So much so that is sought out by those who want to enhance their sexual climax.
Self-induce Asphyxiophilia is called autoerotic asphyxiation. Instead of relying on another individual, it is accomplished by masturbating and self infliction of asphyxiation to increase sexual pleasure.
Because of the dangerous nature of this practice, asphyxiophilia is often associated with those who engage in risk-seeking behavior. During asphyxiation the brain releases cortisol, a hormone that is released during fight-or-flight situations. Cortisol helps the body respond to stressful or dangerous situations and is associated with boosting energy.
In BDSM asphyxiophilia involves total power exchange. This practice portrays a high level of trust and submission. Because of the life threatening nature of this practice, the sub is not only relinquishing complete power but is also putting their own life in the Dom’s hands.
By performing asphyxiophilia, the dominant may get aroused by the feeling of power and control over the sub. The submissive may feel sexual pleasure from giving total control to someone else, the feeling bordering on abuse, and the heightened pleasure brought on by asphyxiation.
There are several tools and toys that can be used for asphyxiophilia. The dominant can use their hands, a collar, rope, chains, or other implements to restrict the sub’s oxygen flow. When engaging in autoerotic asphyxiation usually a rope, underwear, or a belt is used to choke oneself.
Dos and Don’ts
- Asphyxiophilia is one of the most dangerous and life-threatening paraphilia practices
- Extended loss of oxygen or blood flow to the brain can cause injury, brain damage, or death.
- Since the neck is largely made of soft tissue and muscle and can be damaged easily, additional superficial injuries can occur on the neck or throat if choking is not done correctly, such as scrapes, bruising, and trouble swallowing.
- The practice of Asphyxiophilia must be consensual.
- The dominant and the submissive should first engage in negotiation, in which a set of rules and limits is established.
- During negotiation, the dom and submissive must be clear on the safe word or safe action to stop the scene in case of untoward incidents.
Related Fetishes and Practices
Because of its familiarly in pop culture, many vanilla couples might experiment lighetly with choking or asphyxiophilia. Since the throat is an erogenous zone, many consider light choking pleasurable and exciting. Although it is more commonly done in BDSM scenes, Asphyxiophilia is also used for self-gratification.