The deprivation of air during sexual role playing games, including choking, hanging, and other such oxygen deprival acts.



To willingly submit to having your oxygen supply limited or actually cut off, while engaging in sexual activities.

To create a 'state of euphoria' while ejaculating. [the idea of being in a trance like state, almost mystical in nature (according to some) which supposedly enhances the orgasm one achieves, while in this state of mind.]

Considered a form of 'edge play' in BDSM circles. It is also part of the ritual in 'self bondage' activity.


1791 has the first recorded of death from erotic breath play, with the death of Frantisek Kotzwara, a noted bassist of his time. He is most noted however, for his death.

It is believed that back in the 1600's, this was a form of treatment for those suffering from EDS (Erectile Dysfunction Syndrome) and Impotence. Apparently, it was observed that when a man was hanged, they developed an erection during the hanging process, and in some cases the erection would remain, even after death.

Also, it was noted that many would achieve ejaculation during the process.


This practice is believed to have caused the deaths of approximately 1000 adults and teenagers in the United States annually. There are many others who may have died this way, but were classed as 'suicide' rather than 'death by erotic asphyxiation'.

Self Asphyxiation ' Generally done by hanging one self, using a soft material, such as a scarf (hence the term 'scarfing') or other similar object. Rope is also used. The person doing this, generally hangs free from a bar, or other strong object, that supports their weight, and as the state of UNCONSCIENIOUS approaches, they masturbate, until they achieve orgasm, OR DEATH.

It is becoming a common practice by many teenagers, in an attempt to experience a sort of dream like feeling, while ejaculating. Drugs can be involved, such as 'huffing' while hanging. This is to enhance the supposed state of euphoria that many claim to experience, while engaging in this risky practice.

Partnered rituals involve where a 'submissive' is literally 'choked' by the dominant party, until the submissive begins to actually pass out. The risky action can go beyond, and can LEAD TO DEATH.

The concept is about creating 'fear' within the submissive, to make them believe their life is at risk, WHICH IT IS. It can take the form of simply tightening a rope around their neck, or of hanging them from a rafter, with their feet on something like a box, that is then removed without warning. It can include strangulation, by placing of hands around the 'submissive's' neck, or using other implements, such as chains, belts.

In some instances, it can simply be to restrict the flow of oxygen, not to cut it off totally. Also, it can be the gradual restriction of air to the brain as well, to induce the state of hypoxia.

Ejaculation usually is done while the person is hanging, so they can experience the orgasm while in a heighten state of fear, excitement, arousal. This can increase the heart rate to dangerous levels as well.

The deprivation of oxygen to the brain, can lead to severe mental disorders, if it lasts for any appreciative time. It can lead to actual death.

Practice (Associated Acts): Studies have shown that self asphyxiation is generally among youth aged 15 to 25, and is most noted among ordinary appearing males (usually good achievers, above average intelligence), without any suicidal tendencies. It is also mostly associated with heterosexual males, who are experimenting in achieving more intense orgasms, through masturbation. While 'Death' can occur, it is more often ruled as being 'accidental' as it was believed not to be the actual intent.

Noteworthy: Modern day deaths of note, due to erotic asphyxiation include Kevin Gilbert (1996) drummer Robin Hanssen (1996) It is also believed that the death of INXS band member, Michael Hutchence, was due to 'breath play'.

Some political figures also are associated with death, through 'breath play' with the most recent (2004) being Kristin Echols of the National Front Party, and of Stephen Milligan (British Conservative Party MP for Eastleigh)

The concept has been captured in various books, films and television shows, such as Family Guy, Six Feet Under, and the American version of Queer As Folk.

Other meanings

Prior to the development of Viagra and other drugs to stimulate the male penis, controlled forms of 'breath play' was used to help create erections in males suffering from the inability to get an erection.

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