I recently read a rather scathing article on the subject of breath play. It purported to be an unbiased informative piece, and while it raised some very valid points, it was undoubtedly biased in the belief that participating in said activity was dangerously irresponsible, and did not fit under the heading of ssc (safe, sane, and consensual).
Here's the thing...It's hot as fuck. And lets face it, one of the major attractions of D/s is the element of danger.
Here's the other thing...Breath "play" is dangerous because of its potential to be deadly.
In the right context, breath "play" offers a delectable mix of safety and danger...This is the kind of context where I object to the word "play" as a description for something that could easily kill you, but I couldn't come up with anything better, so there you have it.
Here's where my stupid sense of responsibility jumps in and says I have to take quick detour and play the angel's advocate. Forgive me if I accidentally come across as thinking that I actually know what I'm talking about...
Any medical professional or person with a modicum of common sense, will tell you that breath play is dangerous.
Those of us with asthma must admit to a higher level of risk of breathing interruption lasting after play stops, and I think that people with heart conditions are at a higher risk when the neck is involved.
Imho, auto-erotic asphyxiation and choking are the two most dangerous forms of breath play--it is estimated that up to 1,000 people die a year from auto-erotic asphyxiation (that is the high end of a debatable set of numbers), and choking can impact the vagus nerve, leading to cardiac arrest.
So yes, your partner matters, the form of play you choose matters, and so does your physical condition. I am aware that there are medically based opinions to the contrary, as far as the potential for minimizing risk is concerned.
|The vagus nerve is in extremely close proximity to the carotid artery.|
Anyways...Yea, it could kill you. But sex, sleep apnea, driving, or not looking twice before you cross the road, could kill you too. Nobody runs around waving a red flag at you when you get into your car in the morning.
Surviving life is largely a matter of common sense.
Now that we have the obvious issues out of the way, and my conscience can rest easy that I have not contributed overmuch to the occasionally overwhelming stupidity of humanity, I can move on to how I personally feel about breath play.
The danger is a very large part of my attraction to breath play--breathing is an automatic function of the human body. If we stop doing it, we stop living rather quickly.
Breath play is very much about that ancient dance of predator and prey, which has played out since the dawn of time.
As it is with all beasts, we know that the baring and consequent grasping of one's throat is a universal symbol of Dominance and submission. You acquiescence will either be accepted, or not--it is the risk you take for great reward.
I am going to arch my back, raise my head, and tilt my chin to the side in acquiescence. I will probably be breathing hard and immediately pliant. My lower lip will jut out just tiny bit--I simply cannot help it, or ignore the throbbing between my legs...
Because in one single movement of your arm, you will become as close as you will ever be, to holding my beating heart in the palm of your hand.
Your eyes are going to develop that dangerous glint, and you're going to reach out and wrap your fingers around my throat, knowing that my life is completely dependent on what you choose to do in that moment. In that moment, you control the air I breathe, and the very blood in my veins.
We both know that you could snap my neck with a calculated flick of your wrist, and we are both acutely aware that my faith and trust are complete and all consuming. That awareness binds us together, suspends us in time--a moment frozen in forever as I breath for you, and you alone. Because you choose to allow me to do so.
When you hold my face under the running water and I cough and sputter as you watch me with that curiously calculating expression, when your hand smothers by breath and I feel that fleeting panic, when you take my life in your hands...
In those moments, I realize that my attraction to breath play lies in knowing to the very core of my being, that I live only because it pleases you for me to do so.