Autoerotic Asphyxiation No Choking Matter
Death rate roughly equivalent to NYC's homicides
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2009 5:11 PM CDT
NXS singer Michael Hutchence is believed to have died from autoerotic asphyxiation in 1997.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Autoerotic asphyxiation may seem like a fringe pursuit, but it kills hundreds of American men every year, Ian Daly writes in Details. Dubbed AeA, it involves partially choking oneself during orgasm to cut off oxygen and unleash a flood of pleasure-inducing chemicals in the brain. Once considered the fatal fetish of celebrities like David Carradine and INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, AeA appears to have gone mainstream.

With the FBI conservatively estimating up to 1,000 AeA deaths a year, and a fetish website for so-called "gaspers" drawing millions of visitors, one sex educator in Phoenix is warning students about the dangers of AeA—and mentioning alternatives, like tantric breathing and gas masks. Park Dietz, the author of a book on AeA deaths, warns that the practice can be addictive. One gasper even considered chemical castration: "He was afraid he was going to end up in the morgue," Dietz says.

 

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