A Guide to Sexual Choking

A Guide to Sexual Choking

Choking during sex or during foreplay is fairly often depicted in the media. Usually, one partner grabs the other around the throat as a show of dominance and control. But when it comes to acting out the fantasy of sexual choking, there are a few very important things to keep in mind. Whether youre new to choking sex or just need a refresher, heres what you need to know:

What Is Sexual Choking

What Is Sexual Choking

Choking during sex involves wrapping your hand around a partners throat in such a way that puts pressure on the carotid arteries. The pressure limits the amount of blood that can reach the brain, which, if done short term, can lead to a head rush for your partner.

BDSM Choking

The sexual choking kink is fairly popular within the BDSM community and is also known as asphyxiation or breath play. However, most participants also realize the dangers and are a lot more careful than the casual observer could possibly notice. Like many other aspects of BDSM, choking someone plays into the power exchange dynamic. After all, the dominant partner holds the power and the responsibility of the submissive partners wellbeing.

Other Forms of Choking/ Asphyxiation

Sexual choking kink is most often portrayed with one partners hand around the others throat. However, there are a lot of variations to this, including covering the nose and mouth and the use of cellophane. Also, you can use a BDSM choker or collar to put pressure on the throat. All of these are still dangerous and can lead to serious consequences if done incorrectly.

Safety First

Contrary to popular media, including porn, that tends to show sexual choking as a no-big-deal part of sexual activity, choking is dangerous and should be done with caution. Before you even think  about spicing up your sex life with sexual choking, you need to know how to do it safely.

Always Ask

Even if youve done it before and even if your partner has asked you to do it before, you want to make sure that your partner knows what to expect. If you want your partner to choke you, make sure that they are prepared to do it safely

Watch Your Placing

Never compress the windpipe; you want pressure on the carotid arteries, not the windpipe.

Watch Your Pressure

Remember, the neck is a sensitive area. Too much pressure on the carotid arteries can cause carotid dissection, and depriving the brain of oxygen for prolonged periods of time can cause brain damage.

Speak Up

If youre not comfortable doing the choking, or if you feel faint during a choke. Communicating with your partner is key to being safe when it comes to sexual choking.

Never Under the Influence

Drugs and alcohol can cloud your judgment, which means that you dont want to do anything risky.

Choking and Safe Words

Talking while being choked is pretty hard, so you definitely want to have another way of communicating. You can use the option of tapping out, for instance. Another possibility is having the person being choked pull on the thumb of the hand around the throat. The weakest point of a choke is always the thumb. This helps ensure that the partner who is choking knows that something is wrong, and the choke is loosened immediately. This is also a great technique if you are the person being choked and are trying this with a new partner.

How to Choke During Sex

If youd like to try choke sex or foreplay with your partner, you should start with some practice. Again, step one is talking with your partner about this. Here are the basic steps:

Learn the Anatomy

 Knowing where the carotid artery is located is the first step towards ensuring that you can safely apply the choke. You also want to pay attention to the important structures around the carotid artery. Some notable structure includes the hyoid bone and if youre choking a man, the Adams apple.

Get Closer to the Head

You want to apply the choke closer to the head versus lower on the neck. This helps avoid accidental pressure on the airway and gives you more control over your partners head.

Start on Yourself

While youre not going to choke yourself, it’s always a good idea to get a feel of where your carotid is located. Start by trying to compare to a diagram or finding your own pulse. Trace that pulse towards the base of the throat where your head meets your neck.

Always Start Slow

 Its better to apply too little pressure than too much pressure

Make Sure Youre in a Stable Position

You never, ever want to use your partners neck as leverage, which is why you want to be in a stable position when youre choking. You should also never use your partners neck to move them.

Have an Emergency Plan

If your partner loses consciousness, becomes lethargic, or stops breathing, you need to know what to do. Having a plan in place will help ensure that you and your partner are safe. Remember, when at a loss, call 911.

Getting in the Mindset

While choking is dangerous, it can certainly be done safely and with minimal risk. If you follow the above safety tips, you can definitely keep yourself, or your partner, safe during sex. Remember, communication is key.

Great Alternatives to Choking

If youve read through this article and maybe are a little nervous about breath play, there are other things you can try.

Hair Grip

Grip the hair at the base of the skull and pull. This isnt meant to hurt your partner so much as to control the head. You still want to be gentle and not yank too abruptly, but there is a lot less risk here.


Using handcuffs is a great way to hand over control to your partner without risk to the throat.

The Pseudo-choke

This involves placing your hand around your partner’s throat but not actually applying pressure. The potential of being choked is enough to give some people the desired adrenaline rush.


  • Choking is also called asphyxiation or breath play.
  • Choking during sex is a dangerous activity and should be done with the utmost caution.
  • There is definitely a right way to choke during sex; and a wrong way.
  • Communication is key.
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