**CAUTION: BEFORE READING**
Point blank: you can’t learn everything you need to know in an article or social media post to engage in any type of restrictive choking or other edge play. We highly recommend recorded or live classes, in-person workshops when available, and hours upon hours of practice. This is not something you learn in a day, so go into this second part of Lola’s Guide To Erotic Choking with that in mind.
A New Choking Language
Due to the sensitivity of the windpipe, breath play isn’t something you’re likely going to engage with via the neck! This may be confusing as many writers and sex columnists often refer to choking and breath play as if they are the same thing. While both of these restrict oxygen to the brain in some way (breath = oxygen via the lungs, blood = oxygen via the (you guessed it) blood) only breath play deals with actual breath. Hence, the need for a new language!
Choking is a catch-all word that encompasses many things. While you technically can choke to restrict airflow this is one of the more dangerous and sensitive methods. If you’re looking for a safer mode of breath play look no further than our Guide to Breath Play!
This choke does not provide any restriction to blood flow or air flow. This type of choke can even be easily applied to yourself!
1. Make the shape of an L with your index finger and thumb.
2. Rest your chin in the nook between those two fingers.
3. The rest of your fingers can rest on one side of the neck (pending which hand you are using). These fingers do not and should not apply any pressure (more on that later) though, you can bring the palm to the throat to eliminate the distance between hand and throat.
In this position, though it may look like a blood choke, no pressure, compression, or restriction is being applied. The person should be able to speak easily and not feel any major changes to their head or body.
For those worried about the dangers and risks associated, Hawk advises, “a fantasy choke allows you to safely play and get used to it. If it’s your first time engaging [in choking] together, you want to learn where your limits and boundaries are. Fantasy can give you all the same mental and emotional benefits without worrying about restriction to air or blood flow.”
As you may have guessed breath play is any type of play that causes a restriction to one’s air pathways or ability to breathe out of their nose or mouth. “Conceptually, it is relatively self-explanatory,” Mistress Shayne explains “ but can become more complex the more toys that are brought in, like gas or oxygen masks.”
The easiest way to engage in this “choke” is by using one’s fingers to hold the nose, mouth, or both of a partner. By starting with one, the person engaging in the breath play can always opt to use their mouth or nose if it becomes too much. We can also use chest compression by way of a bear hug – wrapping our arms around our person and giving a light squeeze. This person can also assist by aligning their breathing patterns with whatever compression or restriction you are using. When they take a deep breath out and a bear hug is applied, this will feel more restricted than a bear hug on its own. Breath play has a whole host of other risks and safety measures to keep in mind, so make sure to read more about it on our guide to breath play.
Don’t run if you get squeamish around needles! A blood choke is not the same as blood play. This type of choke refers to the restriction occurring within this type of choke. A blood choke restricts blood flow to the brain. This person may get a rush while the blood flow is restricted or when the blood rushes back.
Two pairs of carotid arteries run along each side of the neck. When these are both constricted, blood flow will also be restricted to the brain. The fingers are a foolish tool for restricting the carotid artery in part because the small surface area of your fingers is no match for the artery, but also because the compression needed from the fingers would likely cause damage to the throat. The risk is not worth the reward! Better parts of the body to cover this artery are the arms and legs. When you lessen the constriction or the shape, this is where that limited blood flow takes place without causing someone to pass out. These chokes cannot be properly explained and instructed in an article. If you’re interested in this type of edge play, check out an Erotic Choking Course and bone up on many different types of chokes from Fantasy to Blood!
In addition to your established non-verbal safe word(s) the body also has its safeword for blood restriction: passing out. It is not the goal of a blood choke nor does it mean a blood choke is “successful”. When the body uses this as a safeword it is alerting you that you need (pretty urgently) to restore blood flow to the brain.
If someone does pass out, it is important to lower them slowly to the ground while supporting their head. You don’t want to jerk them around or jostle their body. Once they are flat, elevate their feet and move their legs about gently to encourage the blood to flow back into the brain.
Keeping this in mind may influence your decisions about what positions to engage in to ensure that there is no risk of someone falling or hitting something if they were to lose consciousness. As it is the body’s safeword, any fainting should be treated as a sign that play should end and aftercare begin.
Knowledge is Power
Many individuals put far too much trust in their tops or partners to attain all of the knowledge required for certain activities and skills. In my first choking experience, we were both uneducated and unaware of the physical sensations of choking outside of our assumptions. Choking education and knowledge is not only for those administering the chokes. For those receiving, you have an opportunity to learn what types of chokes are out there and what sensation you enjoy – or not!
Lastly, never engage in any type of edge play alone. Always have a friend, play partner, pal, or guide on hand for safety precautions. Implements and tools to engage in choking require additional training and education and should never be used without an experienced partner or guide.
Lola Jean is the co-creator of Quick ‘N’ Dirty: An Erotic Guide to Choking available for purchase on her website lolajean.com.
Lola Jean is a Sex Educator, Mental Health Professional, Wrestler, Pro Domme and World Record Holder for Volume Squirting (solo.) providing the No Frills Sex Education we both need and deserve. Lola brings a refreshing understanding to sex, sexuality and kink to push individuals past what they think they are capable of. There is so much we are not exploring due to fear. Fear of how society will view us. How our partners will view us. How our peers will view us. Lola helps individuals stop making excuses and unlock who they are and what they deserve.