Erotic asphyxiation variously called asphyxiophilia , hypoxyphilia or breath control play is the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for the purposes of sexual arousal. The term autoerotic asphyxiation is used when the act is done by a person to themselves. Colloquially, a person engaging in the activity is sometimes called a gasper. The erotic interest in asphyxiation is classified as a paraphilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. Erotic asphyxiation can lead to accidental death due to asphyxia.
Sexual Masochism Disorder with Asphyxiophilia: A Deadly yet Underrecognized Disease
Erotic asphyxiation - Wikipedia
Image via Flickr Commons. Erotic asphyxiation, or EA, is a sexual act that involves suffocation. You probably know that already. How to get to that point is up to the individual. Rope, hands, bags, cling-film, water — the method can be chosen to suit the desired effect. For some, this is just the thrill of being dominated with a hand on the throat, for others the sensation of oxygen being cut off from the brain heightens the intensity of an orgasm.
A case is reported of a year-old male, found dead in his locked room, lying on a bed, dressed in his mother's clothes, with a plastic bag over his head, hands tied and with a barrel wooden cork in his rectum. Two pornographic magazines were found on a chair near the bed, so that the deceased could see them well. Asphyxia was controlled with a complex apparatus which consisted of two elastic luggage rack straps, the first surrounding his waist, perineum, and buttocks, and the second the back of his body, and neck. He had grown up in a poor family with a reserved father and dominant mother, and was indicative of fulfilling DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence, paraphilia involving hypoxyphilia with transvestic fetishism and anal masturbation and a borderline personality disorder. There was no evidence of previous psychiatric treatment.
DSM-5 distinguishes between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders. Paraphilias are defined as atypical, yet not necessarily disordered, sexual practices. Paraphilic disorders are instead diseases, which include distress, impairment in functioning, or entail risk of harm one's self or others.