“There is no safe way to strangle someone.”


PREMO Member

Strangling For Sexual Sport Is Exactly The Kind Of Thing We Should ‘Kink-Shame’

A recent New York Times piece by Peggy Orenstein explains, “Twenty years ago, sexual asphyxiation appears to have been unusual among any demographic, let alone young people who were new to sex and iffy at communication. That’s changed radically in a short time.”

Other writers have reported on this trend, but Orenstein provides data as well as anecdotes. She cites research by Debby Herbenick, who in a recent large survey of college students found, “Nearly two-thirds of women … said a partner had choked them during sex (one-third in their most recent encounter). The rate of those women who said they were between the ages 12 and 17 the first time that happened had shot up to 40 percent from one in four.” Which is to say that most sexually active young women should expect to be sexually choked at some point.

Orenstein blames online porn, in which the sexual strangulation of women is now a “staple” that young men are emulating, sometimes encouraged by various internet guides purporting to explain how to do so safely. But as she bluntly puts it, “There is no safe way to strangle someone.” Yet she rushes to assure readers that “I’m not here to kink-shame (or anything-shame).”

Why not?

People should be ashamed of doing bad things, such as seeking sexual pleasure via strangulation. For nearly all of human history, stigma and shame were effective means of regulating sexual behavior. They were, as with all things human, flawed, but they were nonetheless regarded as essential to restraining and guiding sexual behavior.