Two years ago, I hired a dom for my birthday. It was during the height of the pandemic and since I couldn’t go outside, I decided to bring the “outside” to me. This dom specialized in choking and considering I’d never experimented with it before, I thought this would be a fun way to celebrate my birthday. Choking had been something I wanted to try for years but was apprehensive about because I didn’t want to die. The sex expert in me knows that when done properly choking can be both enjoyable and safe but the human in me computes choking with harm. Plus, if I'm being completely honest, I didn't trust any of my past partners enough to even want to try it. What if they get overzealous and kill me by mistake? No ma’am, no sir, death by choking by way of sex was not going to be the reason I checked out of here!
Choking also known as erotic asphyxiation is a part of the kink known as breath play. Breath play is a BDSM-style activity that involves intentionally cutting off the air supply as a result, the person becomes dizzy and lightheaded. However, when not performed properly choking is dangerous AF and can lead to death. So, if choking is dangerous, why would anyone want to try it and how does that translate to pleasure? This is why I hired a dom, I wanted to find out why people liked being choked. According to a few of my friends, choking can intensify orgasms. During breath play, dopamine and serotonin flood your body, and the release of these hormones contributes to heightened sexual stimulation which is why your brain associates pain with pleasure.
I’m not usually someone who enjoys pain as pleasure. For me pain is pain and pleasure is pleasure. I don’t like mixing the two, but since I wanted to explore a new kink safely, I was up for the challenge. If you’re curious about being choked, here are several tips I learned from my session with the dom that can help you explore choking safely.
Must Have Consent
Consent is an agreement between participants and should be clearly and freely communicated before engaging in any sexual activity. Prior to my session, the dom and I discussed expectations, choking safety, my safe word, and hard no’s. Consent and discussing expectations are extremely important with breath play to ensure both partners fully understand the health risks involved. Choking is a kind of play that requires trust and is never something that should be done without a thorough discussion first.
Establish a Safeword
Because I’m not creative at all every time I hear the word “safe word,” I automatically think about Kevin Hart and pineapples. So the safe word I chose for our session was “pineapples.” The dom explained to me that anytime I say the word “pineapple” he would immediately stop and check in with me.
In addition to using a safe word, establish a safe hand signal—mine was a raised fist. Hand signals are good ways to communicate if your airway is restricted and talking isn’t possible. Having these safety precautions help both parties feel relaxed and safe. They also ensure that everyone is enjoying what’s happening during the sexual encounter.
How To Choke Properly
When it comes to choking, the trick is to aim for the sides of the neck, not the windpipe. My dom placed his hands gently around the sides of my neck just below the jawline. The front of the neck is not built to handle the full weight of another person. Applying pressure here can end up damaging your partner’s windpipe, leading to breathing problems and an emergency medical situation. Placing pressure on the side of the neck is where the carotid arteries control oxygen-rich blood flow to your head and brain which will trigger those endorphins.
Speaking of applying pressure, you don’t want to start off too rough. My dom started with a gentle grip and asked my permission to apply more pressure. I can’t overemphasize how vital it is to start gently — especially if it’s your first time experimenting with choking.
Education is Key
If you want to try choking but don’t want to go the route I took and hire a dom, then it’s vital that you learn as much as possible before experimenting. The internet can be a good place to turn to if you are serious about getting into breath play. One online resource that can be particularly helpful is FetLife.com, which is the Facebook of the BDSM community, and although it’s a social networking site, there are several discussion groups that users can join, and engage in open conversations about interests, techniques, and safety.
After our session, the dom gave me a big embrace and we verbally checked in with each other about the experience. Aftercare is key to every healthy sexual experience. It’s the simple step of gently supporting the physical come-down after sex, and checking in verbally. We discussed the session itself, all of my sexy highlights, as well as anything that could be adjusted next time during our next session.
I highly recommend exploring any new kink with a trained professional, like a dom or sex educator. Knowing that I was in the hands of a highly recommended professional helped to ease my anxiety and built trust. I’m also an avid supporter of sex workers. I believe in paying the professionals. Instead of taking the risk with someone who thinks they know what they’re doing, I hired someone who could provide receipts. And I’m so glad I did!
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