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!