Breathplay, or choking. Normally you would cry out for a doctor or do the Heimlich manoeuvre. But the sexual practice of choking during sex seems to have become really common. I’d say 75 per cent of girls I meet really love choking and ask me for it. That said, it can be dangerous both physically and ethically, so let’s learn to do it properly.
Originating in the world of BDSM, choking combines ideas of power, dominance and physical arousal.
Sometimes known as ‘breathplay,’ choking is the deliberate restriction of oxygen to a partner during sex. Usually, this consists of physically placing pressure on the throat of the submissive partner. So you might be wondering why someone would want to be choked?
As humans, we have a fight or flight mechanism. The concept of breath play taps into this.
If you’re aggressive towards a person, they will either ‘fight’ you or take ‘flight’. If they take flight, that would literally mean running away from the situation, but on a sexual level, this might mean they become submissive.
So if your partner is already tuned on during sex, is it going to be a thrill to have you choke her? Possibly. Let’s explore this…
How does breathplay work?
During rougher sex, the aggressive partner is usually physically dominating the submissive. In the majority of cases, the dominant party is male while the female is submissive.
While choking can be a violent act, and some might suggest that it links to necrophilia tendencies, it is becoming more common in the bedroom.
If someone grabs you by the throat, they have literal control over you. When having sex, the balance of power may be shared equally or might favour one individual over the other.
This can vary throughout. But if someone is dominating their partner by literally controlling their breathing, which is what breathplay is. Well, it’s one serious way to fuck.
So what happens when you apply this to sex?
You take my breath away…
When pressure is applied on the throat, it becomes harder to breathe. During hot sex, people often get breathless. Panting particularly when orgasm is closer.
In extreme cases, this might create a dizzying effect. The struggle for breath kicks off adrenaline and taps into the fight/flight dilemma.
If you’re turned on, your breathing usually becomes more shallow and rapid. This is part of arousal, along with eyes dilating wider and cheeks flushing.
Although choking involuntarily can cause panic, when done in a safe, consensual and erotic manner, it can be enjoyable. They often say you won’t know unless you give it a go and that’s true but breathplay isn’t something you can just do on a whim.
In many porn scenes, you can see that the woman can still breathe relatively easily. The ‘thrill’ of choking is in the domination.
In others, the adrenaline rush may come from actually gasping for air over a short period. Of course, the idea is not to actually throttle somebody so that they lose consciousness – that’s not a good move!
So breathplay is fine, but literally choking someone out – bad move bro.
Notes from my diary
It took me. along time to get comfortable with breathplay. The first few times I was asked to choke a girl, I just ignored the request.
I felt uncomfortable being asked to do something that I considered physical abuse. I was even afraid about what that says about me if I did enjoy it.
Eventually, I tried it. I was careful, but it still ended up with the girl coughing a lot and me feeling embarrassed and apologising a lot.
We all have bloopers in life. At work, with friends and definitely in the bedroom! That’s okay but we can laugh at these ‘awkward moments’ to grow and develop things to be better next time.
New activities need conversation. Experimenting is great and healthy but we need to make sure our partner is involved in the decisions. This is important to a mutually respectful and caring relationship but essential for a dangerous activity like breathplay.
Now on numerous occasions since then, I’ve choked girls and I’ve enjoyed it. Why? Because I can see the pleasure it gives them and I’m more confident to talk about it and do it slowly within our limits.
Choking needs consent
The best way to get consent for choking is to talk and discuss sex. Got it?
Whenever you experiment with breathplay, it has been in a safe environment. It’s not something even girls that like it will do with just anybody because it requires trust. This is a key part of sex.
My partners have often asked me to choke them when we were enjoying a particularly frisky session. I’ve found trying it with my partners head over the side of the bed during missionary often gets the biggest thrills. This creates a major rush of blood to the head which is rather wild in itself but on the edge of orgasm, can be amazing.
Truthfully, it can be whenever it suits the mood but you have to know what you’re doing before you get into it.
Trying out breathplay
If choking is something you decide to explore, discuss it. Establish a ‘safe word’ that your partner can use if they want to quit.
Making sure your partner can breathe and is only having light pressure on her throat is critical. Always start off gently and aim to maintain eye contact throughout.
Whenever I’ve engaged in choking, it has been for brief periods only. By that, we’re talking no more than a minute or two at most, and that doesn’t mean constant pressure. The compression has to be comfortable. Squeezing tight is not safe.
Initially, just a hand on her throat will be enough to thrill without doing any harm. If she wants you to apply pressure, you need to establish a safe level you can play within.
An alternative might be for your partner to try wearing a corset and you gradually tightening the cords. I’ve found this can create a very similar effect without any risk to someone’s neck.
There are a lot of ways to explore breath play. Finding out what works for you and maintaining strong consensual discussion is key to many fun times ahead.