Daily Archives: September 6th, 2014

QotD: “The fact that you’re ignorant of the risk doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means you’re ignorant”

The fact that you’re ignorant of the risk doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means you’re ignorant.

For example, let’s talk choking.

The reason it feels “fucking great” is because your brain enters hypoxia. What happens when an individual feels hypoxic, and you can see this in deep-water scuba and free divers, and high-altitude mountain climbers, is that as your brain begins to suffer from oxygen depletion, the cells begin to frantically fire in an attempt to jolt the body into action. The neural pathways flood with endorphins because your body expects to have to fight it’s way to air.

Your body experiences the “tingles” because the body is withdrawing the oxygenated blood out of the limbs and into the core and brain in an attempt to prolong vital organ function.

Your body “feels good” because it’s preparing you to die, which is, lamentably, a common side effect of breath play.

It’s obvious you’re ignorant, so I’ll explain in as basic terms as I can. The primary risk of choking or breath play isn’t actually suffocation. It’s cardiac arrest.

People of any age are vulnerable for silent onset cardiac arrest for up to an hour subsequent to choking, of ANY duration. The compression of the carotid and jugular veins (you know, the ones in your neck?) put pressure on the aorta, which in the absence of oxygen begins to pump harder. This can cause a skip or arrhythmia, which can (and does) lead to cardiac arrest.

Another major risk is the collapse of the superior and inferior vena cava as a result of cessation of blood flow. Now, since it’s obvious you don’t know shit about fuckall, allow me to explain: the venae cavae carry deoxygenated blood and is one of the most critical blood vessels in your body. Collapsing it is a medical emergency, and because the blood is deoxygenated, your “blue fingernail” check frequently doesn’t catch it.

And THEN, lastly, you can easily fracture or crush the hyoid bone, located under your jaw and providing support for the trachea and esophagus which, incidentally, can ALSO be collapsed by minimal pressure.

If you knew even the basics of the science behind choking, you’d know all of this. There’s a reason Jay Wiseman, a trained medical professional and a long-time BDSM educator, has called breath play one of the single most dangerous acts possible, and doesn’t recommend it regardless of your level of training.

From Appropriately-Inappropriate (“I, at least, spent eight years as a lesbian in the scene, so don’t presume to speak for me or use my experiences as your rhetorical point. We speak from experience, and with authority and conviction and facts. Given that you didn’t even know that your kink could kill you without warning, you’ll excuse me if I’m now looking to you as sempai.”)