sexual asphyxia

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The intentional restriction of airflow, often by an adolescent male, during ‘rough sex’, sexual rituals or cross-dressing sexuoeroticism; ligatures around the neck transiently decrease O2 to the brain, increasing sexual excitement; if the person does not loosen the ligature after orgasm—when voluntary control is at a nadir—death may occur
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

sexual asphyxia

Erotic self-strangulation Forensic medicine, sexology The intentional restriction of airflow, often by an adolescent ♂, during 'rough sex', during a sexual ritual or during cross-dressing sexuoeroticism; the passing of a ligature around the neck transiently ↓ O2 to the brain to ↑ sexual excitement; if the person does not loosen the ligature after orgasm, sexual asphyxia occurs, death may occur
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(as-fik'se-a) [ ¹an- + Gr. sphyxis, pulse]
An insufficient intake of oxygen. asphyxial (-se-al), adjective


Extrinsic causes include choking, toxic gases, exhaust gas (principally carbon monoxide), electric shock, drugs, anesthesia, trauma, crushing injuries of the chest, compression of the chest, injury of the respiratory nerves or centers, diminished environmental oxygenation, and drowning.

Intrinsic causes include hemorrhage into the lungs or pleural cavity, foreign bodies in the throat, swelling of the airways, diseases of the airways, ruptured aneurysm or abscess, edema of the lung, cardiac deficiency, tumors such as goiter, and pharyngeal and retropharyngeal abscesses. Other causes include paralysis of the respiratory center or of respiratory muscles, anesthesia, pneumothorax, narcotic drugs, electrocution, and child abuse.


In general, symptoms range in severity from dyspnea, palpitations, and impairment of consciousness, to coma, seizures, permanent brain injury, and death.

autoerotic asphyxia

Autoerotic hypoxia.

fetal asphyxia

Asphyxia occurring in a fetus. It results from interference in placental circulation, umbilical cord compression, or premature separation of the placenta, as in abruptio placentae.

local asphyxia

Asphyxia affecting a limited portion of the body (e.g., fingers, hands, toes, or feet) due to insufficient blood supply. It is a symptom usually associated with Raynaud's disease.

asphyxia neonatorum

A dated term for respiratory failure in the newborn.

asphyxia pallida

An obsolete term for asphyxia in which difficulty in breathing is accompanied by weak and thready pulse, pale skin, and absence of reflexes.

sexual asphyxia

Autoerotic hypoxia.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
His counsel, Brian McConnachie QC, asked a police officer who was at the scene if he knew of the book Fifty Shades of Grey - and that it "in some way demonstrated sexual asphyxiation".
From my point of view, as I look across the deaths associated with sexual asphyxiation, this is one that fits quite neatly into that group of practice, bizarre though it is."
He said: "There is a possibility that he could have died as a result of sexual asphyxiation, but he could have taken his own life.
At least by the early seventeenth century it had been noted that hanged men frequently developed an erection and even ejaculated while strangling, and sexual asphyxiation became a treatment for impotency.
''I had spoken to her about this fetish and also my interest in what might be termed sexual asphyxiation.''
"Indeed, the view held by experts is that people who die during what is known as sexual asphyxiation die accidentally."

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