Choking Kink 101: How To Choke Safely

One of the most renowned and discussed practices of BDSM is certainly Choking Kink, due to its association with dangerous accidents – indeed, it’s considered an edge play by many, including myself. But this does not mean that outlined properly, it can’t be carefully practiced in the most varied ways. If you are curious or are thinking of trying it, I will show you an easy and safe way to practice this Kink.

What is Choking Kink?

Knew also as Erotic Asphyxiation or Breath Play, choking kink involves controlling the breath of the sub-partner by the dom through various means, from the bare hand to ropes, gags, and a long list of other ways, according to one’s sexual fantasies. 

It’s important to keep in mind the main object of the fetish is to have control of your partner’s air supply, or get yours controlled; due to the dangers involved, strangulation practices require a high level of trust and communication between the dom and the sub: that’s why, other than control, for many the ‘connection’ with the partner, is regarded as something valuable in itself.

What Makes Safe Choking Pleasurable?

choking kink

The first, and perhaps the best known, source of pleasure derived from choking certainly concerns the amplified intensity of orgasm: both men and women describe a climax and a sensation of pleasure that is much stronger than normal. Also, breathing again after a short period of apnea is in itself a very satisfying feeling. 

Needless to say, it’s not all there: the psychological component is certainly the most important within the BDSM sphere, and perhaps nothing more gives the idea of ​​domination and submission than controlling someone’s breath or letting someone control ours. 

Furthermore, is known how fear plays a role in excitement, and found ourselves in a potentially dangerous situation, even if it is for fun, putting our ability to breathe in someone else’s hands, triggers that certain thrill, especially if you are aware that you’re is doing it with someone in whom you place an unconditional trust.

How To Choke Safely?

Choking and breath play can become Dangerous practices (with a capital “D”), and therefore it is always good to repeat that you are trying to please yourself, and not harm yourself (or your partner). In addition to always applying the SSC (Safe, Sane and Consensual) rules, I will try to show you a way to explore choking kink in the safest way possible:

  1. First and foremost, talk to each other. Consent and sexual health are cardinal. Determine who exercises control and who will receive it, and in the case of the latter also the “how” and “how much”. This will not only help you create non-verbal safewords,  but it will also help you in the next steps.
  2. You could start trying to choke kink during foreplay, or pleasing each other alternately. In my experience, this is the best way to start: put yourselves in a comfortable position in which you can put a hand on your partner’s mouth and nose, and use the other to touch and sexual stimulation. In this way, you can control your partner’s breath in the lightest way possible, gently closing his/her mouth and nose, learn to communicate, and have pleasure at the same time.
  3. The further step is to do breath play during sex, always with your bare hands. Using certain positions in particular (from behind if the dom is a man, on top, if the dominant is a woman), you can make attempts, possibly intermittent, by applying light pressure slightly below your partner’s jawline, closer to the ear than the chin. This will help both partners maintain as close contact as possible and will help you better understand the body’s reactions and signals while you’re absorbed in something else.
  4. Once you both feel comfortable and have learned how far you can go, you can start turning choking into a part of your S&M game. Choking Kink is, in the first place, a fear game and a domination game, so doing it accordingly is much more satisfying than a mere physical sensation. Tease-and-Denial games, just to name one, match perfectly: strengthening the psychological sensation of both the dom and the sub, and giving you room for interesting things such as role play, dirty talk, or other mind games you usually do.
  5. Always remember the aftercare, and in this case more than ever. Breath Play could be exhausting and probing, for both parts, so, when it comes to an end, in any way, take your time to talk about what you just do, what went well and what didn’t, what did you like and what didn’t. The essence of the game lies in complicity, and there is no way to build it without a sincere dialogue between you, it will help you feel better during, after, and for the next time.

Note: Above, I’ve only talked about choking with bare hands, and that’s on purpose: if you’re reading a 101 guide, it’s supposed you’re a beginner, and it comes by itself that using tools is forbidden, at least for now. Even using a simple scarf is much riskier so listen to me, don’t put yourselves in danger.

Dos and Don’ts of Choking Kink

What follows is a brief list to make your Breath Play better, and above all, safer:

For the Dom:

  • Don’t restrict the trachea, the front part of the throat. Doing that is only dangerous and doesn’t cause any sort of head rush. What you’ve to restrict is the common carotid artery. With your hands around your partner-s neck, gently put pressure on either side.
  • If your partner looks distressed or is struggling to breathe, stop, even without a safe word being spoken. Should they want to continue after you’ve removed your hands, they can say so.
  • Especially during rough sex, make sure to limit your movements, especially the abrupt ones – if you want to change your position, stop and then start over.

For the Sub:

  • Always make sure you’ve got a way of signaling that you’d like to stop. As your ability to speak will be restricted, you will need a safe gesture. This could be anything, but you must figure it out before starting.
  • In this regard, remember that you can “guide” your partner in what he is doing by asking for a firmer (not harder) or looser grip. You have nothing to prove except when you feel comfortable and when you don’t.
  • Let yourself enjoy it. If you’re worrying too much about giving up control or that a bad thing is going to happen, risks could be higher. You want a thrill of fear, not panic.


Finally, I can only hope that this little guide has also clarified your ideas a bit about Choking / Breath Play; that has stimulated your curiosity and dampened some of the anguish you feel when you think about a little more edgy practice. One more time: always play safe and have fun!


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