Erotic Asphyxiation and Helplessness

When I saw that the current Kink of the Week prompt was erotic asphyxiation, my heart leapt. I made a note of it in the Google Doc I use to brainstorm ideas. It seemed like the perfect topic for me to write about, especially at this point in my life.

I’m doing a lot of grown-up things at the moment. I’ve just been accepted onto my Master’s course, for one thing, which feels huge and daunting and exciting all at once. Just over a week ago, I collected the key to my new flat and moved all my stuff into it. And, between the key-collection and the stuff-moving, I bought hosting for my blog, moved everything from my WordPress site to my own shiny new site, and spent multiple days stressing about the fact that I couldn’t get hyperlinks to show up in Merriweather because changing fonts in CSS is an absolute fucker. In so many ways, I’ve been an entire adult, doing adult things.

So, naturally, I’ve been even more inclined towards erotic asphyxiation than usual.

A huge number of my kinks are rooted in a desire to be helpless in a controlled setting. There’s two parts to the appeal of helplessness for me. The first is that, when I’m helpless, I’m also not responsible. Of course I don’t have to worry about my blog – I should be worrying about the fact that there’s no air reaching my lungs! I like the fogginess associated with erotic asphyxiation, even when there’s no oxygen deprivation happening. It’s a combination of subspace making me pliable and vacant, and survival instinct silencing all thoughts that aren’t related to getting some fucking air into my body. Sometimes, when my Daddy takes his hand off my throat, I’ll say, “I’m stupid,” to indicate that I’ve lost the capacity for rational thought in the most pleasant way possible.

The second lovely thing about being helpless is that, in this context, it’s finite. I’ve spent a lot of time recently feeling helpless and overwhelmed about “real life” – I couldn’t figure out how to solve the confusion over WiFi in my new flat, or how to make my Twitter widget display properly on my new site. That kind of helplessness is finite too, but it depends on me doing things to solve the problem at hand. By contrast, the helplessness I feel when someone’s hand wraps around my throat will end without me doing anything. I just have to lean into the sensations of fogginess and mild panic until I’m allowed to breathe again. It’s also a kind of helplessness that puts everything else into perspective, because even when it’s practised as safely as possible, erotic asphyxiation is a matter of life and death. I’m literally putting my life into someone else’s hands, along with my throat.

I specifically like hands around my throat because it makes me feel small, and trapped. There’s no way for me to wriggle out of it, unlike with smothering – my jaw hyperextends, so I can always manage to suck some air in through my mouth when someone’s trying to smother me, unless they’re using a pillow and are exceptionally thorough. When someone puts their hand on my throat, though, they don’t even need to try and blood-choke me or close off my air supply; I’ll just hold my breath in a Pavlovian display of obedience. Even when the asphyxiation itself isn’t rendering me helpless, my own desire to please rules my brain and my lungs.

Obviously, erotic asphyxiation is considered edge play because it’s super high-risk. Its edginess is part of its appeal to me, though, because letting somebody control my oxygen intake feels like the ultimate act of devotion. Staring vacantly into a partner’s face with black spots of oxygen deprivation floating in the edges of my vision makes me feel connected to them and possessed by them. Erotic asphyxiation is part of so many of my scenes with my Daddy, including rope ones and ones with fuckin’, because it’s shorthand for, “I trust you. Do what you will with me. My body and soul are yours.”

Even writing about the fuzziness I experience when engaging with breath play has relaxed me. Knowing that, no matter what’s stressing me out, I can get the sense choked out of me is deeply comforting, and the thought of it alone has cheered me up after a couple of very challenging weeks – so I’d like to thank Molly for the prompt, and encourage my readers to go and look at the other Kink of the Week posts inspired by it!

A red lipstick kiss mark, which contains a link to the Kink of the Week page, where you can find others' posts on erotic asphyxiation

Kinks I Don’t Have

Stock photo of a fluffy black-and-white feather against a blue background, a reference to tickling, one of the kinks I don't have, and also a nice complement to my blue-and-purple blog colour scheme.

Sometimes, my vanilla friends like to tease me about how kinky I am. I don’t mind it; I love feeling seen by them, and there’s never an edge of malice or shaming to it. But sometimes, I’ll express that something is a kink of mine, and they’ll respond, “What isn’t?”

Today, I am going to answer that question.

Specifically, I want to think about the reasons for me not finding a kink appealing. I can usually identify what’s hot about kinks I do have – pet play is primal and unrestrained; CG/l fulfills my need for approval and nurturing, whilst also feeling super taboo – but I think it’ll be just as telling to investigate what turns me off about kinks I personally don’t have. (Naturally, I’m going to try and be as neutral as possible and to avoid shaming people who do have these kinks, because most, if not all, kinks are harmless when played with ethically.)

1. Coprophilia, AKA scat, AKA poop

This one is firmly on my list of hard limits, rather than just a kink I’m not actively interested in. Partly, this is because of the health risks it poses, which sit firmly outside of my risk profile – but also, it just squicks me on an instinctive level that I can’t override. Once, when a friend confided in me that they had an interest in scat play and felt conflicted about it, I searched Tumblr for scat-related porn (back in the days when you could find porn on Tumblr). I grew to understand it in theory – the intense sensory experiences of smell and texture, the potential for erotic humiliation, the taboo of it – but I just couldn’t get past my own knee-jerk response, which was, I’ll admit, disgust. That doesn’t mean that I think the kink is disgusting, of course; most people poop, and I eroticise piss, which seems to be only one step away from scat. It’s just that my Caveman Brain is producing a disgust response, presumably because it has identified scat play as unsafe in some way, and I’m incapable of shutting that off.

2. Food play

Some of y’all might know that I’m recovering from an eating disorder. You might also know that recovering from mental illnesses does not stop me from enjoying related kinks, as is evident in the relationship between my blood kink and my occasional self-harm, so it’s probably not my eating disorder that prevents me from finding play with food sexy. Instead, I think it’s the sensory component. I’m autistic, and some sensory experiences are fucking awesome for me – like touching fluffy things, or sniffing a lemon-scented body wash – and some are hellish. Anything that could be described as “sticky” falls into the latter category, as do many forms of “wet”. I hate showering because I hate the sensation of being wet. I hate going out in the rain for the same reason, but I also hate to use an umbrella, because the fact that my legs are wet but my top half is not is even more distressing. The idea of being covered in food makes my autistic skin crawl a little bit, and even covering somebody else in foodstuffs would make me cringe.

3. Leather and latex

I’ve lumped these things into one because my lack of interest in them both comes from the same place. Firstly, there’s the autism component: squeaky, creaky noises go straight through me, and I know there’s a lot of potential for those noises to arise in latex and leather. Secondly, leather and latex garments require a lot of care to maintain. I can barely keep myself and my dildos clean, and I just don’t think I have it in me to polish latex or leather as frequently as is needed. I also imagine that trying to keep such expensive garments clean and intact would make me so anxious that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy wearing them, particularly since latex has a reputation for tearing. I can admire other people’s latex and leather outfits from afar, of course, because people always look hot as hell in them, but I don’t think I could ever become a latex or leather wearer.

4. Tickling

So I have this really odd thing where if you get close enough to me and wiggle your fingers as if you’re going to tickle me, I start laughing before you even make contact. But it’s not an excited laugh – it’s just some anticipatory reflex thing, because frankly, tickling annoys me. I’ll tickle other people if they’re really enthusiastic about it, but the sensation of tickling just isn’t an enjoyable one for me. Light tickling, like the kind you can achieve with feathers, gives me Bad Autism and makes my skin itch relentlessly. Harder tickling with fingers is a little painful and a little irksome. This doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t want to be made to laugh in kinkier contexts; my Daddy can often make me shriek with enjoyable giggles by grabbing my shoulders, shouting, “Earthquake!” and shaking me roughly. I like laughing during scenes, especially when a top is using my laughter as another way to control my body, but tickling is just never going to be a way to get me there. It’s not fun laughter so much as involuntary laughter, and I like to save my involuntary responses in scenes for things like gagging and squirming.


What I’m gathering from this is that a lot of the things that stand between myself and some common kinks are rooted in autistic sensory aversions – and that’s okay! Nobody ever has to justify, to themselves or other people, why they don’t have any particular kinks, but I felt like it would be as interesting an introspective exercise as considering why I do have particular kinks. Are there any common kinks that you just don’t gel with, and do you ever think about why? I always love to hear y’all’s thoughts in the comments!

 

 

Blood in a Kinky Context: My Blood Kink Explained

A white person's face (mine) with blood streaming from each nostril, because I had a nosebleed and it gave me blood kink feelings. I have a nose ring and a lip ring, and I'm very cute.

Note: This post discusses blood, including menstrual blood and bleeding as a result of self-harm, in the context of exploring my own blood kink. If those are hard topics for you, give this one a miss – and maybe check out some of my other posts on kink instead.


Blood, generally speaking, stays inside of people.

There are two notable exceptions to this. The first is when an injury is sustained which causes bleeding, and this is generally seen as a bad thing. It alarms the person injured and those around them, and the blood is usually cleaned up once the flow is stemmed. The second notable exception is menstruation, wherein a secret kind of blood is kept inside a person’s underwear, disguised with scented hygiene products and disposed of as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

Humans are often freaked out by blood (their own or other people’s) because, instinctively speaking, blood signals danger to us. There are additional layers of shame and misogyny attached to menstrual blood, as well as a layer of educated concern about infection transmission attached to any blood at all. Some people faint at the sight of blood, and this is easy to understand.

I am intrigued by the sight of blood, which is less straightforward.

I’ve always been fascinated by the hot, redder-than-red liquid that comes out of me in various contexts. I have a vivid memory, from when I was around eight, of watching my face in a hand mirror as I stretched my bottom lip so that the dry skin on it cracked and a huge, glistening orb of blood rose to the surface. I licked it up and enjoyed the taste, but I knew it was weird at least enough to refrain from mentioning it to anybody.

When I menstruate, I interact with the blood. I don’t just rip my pad from my gusset or dump the contents of my menstrual cup with efficiency and detachment – I play with the stuff. I put my finger at the entrance of my vaginal canal and then taste it. I empty my menstrual cup slowly and with reverence, watching my own viscera paint the inside of the toilet bowl crimson.

And when I engage in self-harm (which happens much less frequently than it used to), I play with that blood too. Once I’ve experienced the sharp rush of endorphins that hurting myself can give me, I soothe myself with the taste and texture of my blood. I let it drip. I am slow to dress my wounds because I enjoy what comes out of them. I recognise that that doesn’t sound terribly healthy, but it’s one aspect of self-harm that I think is more self-regulatory than self-destructive. I am, in effect, stimming with my blood. If I had a pint of it readily available, I could self-soothe without necessarily involving self-injury.

A lot of autistic people have strong aversions to, or affinities with, certain colours. I like any deep, rich ones – blood red, navy blue, Cadbury’s purple – and I especially like when they’re translucent, so I can see the world through them. (I own a red glass and a few samples of lighting gels for exactly this reason.) Combined with the distinctive taste and the variety of textures that blood boasts (runny! A little bit thickened! Unsettlingly gloopy!), it makes sense that I have a sensory, autistic fondness for blood.

But of course, in kink, it runs deeper than that. (Is that a blood pun?) For all of the above reasons, the sight of blood is culturally charged, absolutely buzzing with instinct-driven fear and society-driven taboo. When blood happens during kink, it feels profound. Blood is one of the most intimate fluids you can share with another person. As a submissive, bleeding during a scene feels so vulnerable and so dangerous that it acts as a demonstration of obedience and devotion. When I’m topping, seeing my bottom’s blood is a marker of their trust, a sign that they’re giving their body wholly to me. Either way, it’s as delicious psychologically as it is taste-wise.

My favourite ways to bleed in a scene are “accidentally”. I put that word in quotation marks because it’s never truly an accident; the only dominant partner I have who draws blood in scenes does so knowingly (there’s only so many times you can hit someone with a meat tenderiser without breaking skin), and we’ve discussed fluid transmission and our respective STI status very, very thoroughly. But I love bottoming, submitting, in a scene where someone beats me so hard that I bleed without fully expecting to, so lost in the sensation of getting hurt that the blood is a pleasant surprise at the end. I like bleeding as a secondary outcome to a scene, something my dominant partner is almost indifferent about – I like the sense that my bleeding isn’t terribly important. I think that might come from years of self-harm, when my bleeding was terribly important to my mum, my friends and my doctor, but it’s also a side-effect of objectification. Think, “I don’t really care that you’re bleeding on the sheets; I wanted to beat you, and I did. Now, I’m going to fuck your throat, and then we’re going to put a load of laundry on.”

My own menstrual blood appearing during sex is incidental to me unless I get (or am “forced”) to lick it off some fingers, a toy or a cock, in case you were wondering.

I think what I love most about bleeding in a kinky context is how human it makes me, how mortal, how connected to my body. It’s primal. It’s so natural, and yet so starkly surprising because of how thoroughly afraid of it we are and how infrequently we see it as a result. It’s impossible to ignore – even if you get past the saturated red tone of it, it smells like blood – and it can be oh, so satisfying to endure a scene in which I bleed, to ride out the caveman-brained panic of seeing it and to breathe through and ride the highs of the pain that accompanies it. I love blood in the same ways I love kink: it’s fucked up and delicious, it feels dangerous and intimate, and it’s so, so real and inescapable. It grounds me. Ironically, in spite of my caveman brain telling me that my own blood is a sign of danger, when done right, a bloody scene can help me to feel safe.