Choking oneself (or in some other way cutting off the flow of blood to the brain) to heighten orgasm while choking the chicken.

This is how agent Fox Mulder is supposed to die. As predict by some guy on an episode of X-files.

It is also really fun to say. And useful in everyday conversations. Just try it.

See erotic asphyxiation

I came across the term many years ago, though by now I cannot recall from where. I thought it was so cool that I quickly found a place to throw it into a silly short story I was working on. But when I found out that 1) it was true, and 2) approximately 100 kids die from it each year in the US alone, I decided to delve more into it, and see what I could find on the net. Of course, the fact that it purportedly sent your sexual orgasms skyrocketing into orbit had nothing to do with it!

For those of you still unfamiliar with this concept, autoerotic asphyxiation is the blocking of the windpipe, thereby cutting off air to the brain during masturbation, increasing the power and enjoyment(?) of the orgasm. (It's all fun and games 'till someone...). One of the main problems arising (no pun intended, well ok, maybe a little) from the procedure is that sometimes the strangulation goes too far and the person is found hanging dead in their closet (or some other embarrassing place), with their hand firmly grasping their genitals.

Well, adding 1+1 and getting some unknown prime number, I quickly deduced "Hey, if the only problem is that it goes too far and sometimes kids accidentally hang themselves, why not get my girlfriend to do it for me? Surely she would know when to stop it, wouldn't she? What harm could there be?"

So I did some research and what I found, unfortunately, was not to my liking. So, for anyone thinking about giving this fascinating idea a try, here’s what I’ve found:

First off, it’s hard to get an exact number of actual deaths from autoerotic asphyxiation because many times the families will hide the true nature of their child’s death for fear of embarrassment within their local community. Family members of victims are often left struggling with the sudden tragedy of death, along with having to cope with the bizarre, embarrassing situation. Apparently Michael Hutchence, former lead singer of INXS died this way, but his family kept it from the media. As well, because suicide victims don’t always leave a note it can be hard to determine whether certain hanging deaths are accidental or not. There was one autoerotic asphyxiation case in Canada a few years back where the child (who’s name has been withheld) left a note just in case.

"When you find my body hanging . . . with a tight noose around my neck, do not look for a murderer. I have executed myself. I say execute rather than suicide because I didn't really intend to hang unto death."

In terms of what it does to the body, here’s what I’ve found. A lot of it was quite technical, so I’ve cut it all down and kept it simple.

Autoerotic asphyxiation deaths accounted for 6.5% of all self-induced adolescent deaths and 31% of all adolescent hanging deaths over the ten year period studied. These deaths have been reported in males in ages ranging from 9 to 80 years old. The most common age group is 12 to 25, with 71% of the victims less than 30 years old.

Other names for it are Asphyxophilia or hypoxyphilia. Names among the adult bondage community include scarfing and terminal sex.

The practice of it has been documented since the early 1600s. It was first used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction and impotency. Anthropologists have long been aware of asphyxial practices among various cultures, from the Yahgans in South America, the Celts, Eskimo children, and the Shoshone-Bannock Indians, to name just a few.

Literary works including the Marquis de Sade’s Justine, Melville’s Billy Budd, and Becket’s Waiting for Godot, Irvine Welsh's Filth all have illustrated sexual asphyxiation.

In many ways, oxygen is to the human body like oil is to a car's engine. Hypoxia (becoming dangerously low on oxygen) not only stops the motor from working, it also wrecks the engine.

When stopping the flow of oxygen to the brain, there is a very real risk of going into cardiac arrest. Usually the first sign that a cardiac arrest is approaching is the arrest itself. If the person does arrest, the probability of resuscitating them (even if you knew how), is extremely small.

The more the play is prolonged, the greater the odds that a cardiac arrest will occur.

In addition to the primary danger of cardiac arrest, there is good evidence that there is a very real risk of cumulative brain damage if the practice is repeated often enough.

There are many additional documented dangers. These include, but are not limited to: rupture of the windpipe, fracture of the larynx, damage to the blood vessels in the neck, dislodging fatty plaque in the neck artery which then travels to the brain and causes a stroke, damage to the cervical spine, seizures, airway obstruction by the tongue, and aspiration of vomitus. Additionally, there are documented cases in which the recipient appeared to fully recover but was found dead several hours later.

Although the thought of increased sensation from orgasm sounds fascinating, in my opinion, the end doesn't seem to justify the means.

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