Why do some people like to be choked during sex?

It’s no secret that we’re living in the golden age of sexual freedoms. Just a couple of decades ago, it was practically impossible to publicly say how you enjoy kinks and fetishes, let alone homosexual relationships. Nowadays, it seems like these topics are no longer taboo, and more and more people are getting into weird sex. But regardless of how far we’ve come, some fantasies are still too much for most people, including the choking fetish.


Namely, some folks enjoy choking during intercourse. And no, we’re not talking about putting fingers around your partner’s neck and slightly pressing them during penetration. That’s what nine out of ten males do when they slide their dongs into women. What we’re on about is sexual asphyxiation. A fetish that calls for you to be choked while masturbating or penetrating someone, preferably during orgasms. But hold on. Let’s start this slowly.

Sexual Asphyxiation

As we’ve said, most fetishes are out in public nowadays. Still, from time to time, there appears a news headline sparking outrage among regular Joes and soccer moms. This was the case in the summer of 2009. Namely, in June of that year, the headlines were once again full of the name — David Carradine.


Starring in countless cult classics, exploitations, and more popular movies like Kill Bill: Volume 2, Carradine is the most famous person to end his life while enjoying erotic asphyxiation. He was found dead in, obviously, Thailand, the country where kinky Westerners come to fulfill their dirty dreams and fetishes.


But, hey! We’re not here to scare. However, we need to mention off the bat how this type of play is pretty rough sex and can lead to unwanted consequences. Regardless of what you call it — breath play or choking — this sex act is an extreme fetish. It’s common in the BDSM community, but it doesn’t have to end as it did for Carradine with the use of safewords.

How Does Choking/Sexual Asphyxiation Work?

Autoerotic asphyxiation is, as we’ve said, the sexual act of choking your partner or vice versa. As such, it’s not rocket science. You can do it with your hands or with an object that can go around a person’s neck. Such include ties, belts, and similar accessories. It can be pretty much anything that you can bend around someone’s neck.


In most cases, people enjoy it during penetration or masturbation. For example, if a woman is into this sexual experience, her partner will choke her while inside her with his penis. On the other hand, most men who enjoy this act love for their partner to choke them while they masturbate. The whole point is to restrict blood flow into the brain before you orgasm.

Why People Like to Be Choked

In short, different people enjoy different things. The same goes for fetishes and kinks. However, we can think of three common reasons why someone would want their partner to choke them during sex. They include physiological, psychological, and physical roots and are actually pretty logical if you think about them long enough.


  • Physiological: When choking occurs, it restricts oxygen and blood flow into your brain. The result of this is a feeling of dizziness, which is what kinksters are after. But that’s not all. Another rush comes when the choking stops and oxygen and blood start to flow again like they normally would.


  • Psychological: In this case, this sex act comes down to power dynamics. This is the most common reason why someone would want to choke (dominate) or to be choked (act submissive). In other words, it’s a sex game like most other acts in BDSM, where one partner enjoys power over the other.


  • Physical: Choking isn’t necessarily what your body expects from you. So, if it occurs, it needs a defense mechanism. It tries to solve the problem by releasing happy hormones — endorphins. These chemicals are the same ones that come about during an orgasm. Hence, your brain confuses pain and pleasure.

Choking Risks and Dangers

No matter how careful you might be while practicing autoerotic asphyxiation, you may experience various side effects. Some of these include coughing, coordination loss, disorientation, drowsiness, muscle weakness, and numbness. None of these mean that you’re in for more trouble. However, if they persist some time after the deed is over, we strongly suggest seeking medical help.


Unfortunately, less experienced kinksters can take things too far. In case they do, they might experience some fatal scenarios. Firstly, we must mention brain damage. Restricting your brain from oxygen can leave a lasting impact on your neurological functions. On the other hand, you can damage your larynx if you apply too much pressure around your neck. Furthermore, there’s also aspiration, which leads to vomiting.


Other complications that can come about due to the irresponsible practice of choking in sex are heart attack and orbital subperiosteal hematoma. Due to a lack of oxygen, your blood content can change, which can then start a cardiac arrest. Lastly, the orbital subperiosteal hematoma means vision loss that comes about due to eye hemorrhage.

Safety Tips to Enjoy Choking

Since you can go about breath play in numerous ways (choking, bag-over-head, strangulation, mouth stuffing, etc.), it’s key to understand the risks. In essence, none of this is what a regular person would consider safe play. Taking things too far can cost you your life, as it did David Carradine. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. You can still manage to enjoy sexual asphyxiation and remain safe and sound.


The main thing to know is that both of you need to consent to participate in this sexual act. Once you do, you’ll need to educate yourselves about the risks and how to properly go about your play of choice. And lastly, you must come up with a safeword. These words are common in kinky relationships, and they signal when it’s time to stop. They should be pretty specific. As such, both partners will immediately break the act and end choking.