Choke Play

Nooses. October 2006.

I tightened the noose around my neck and threw its tail over the rafters. I felt the rope dig into my flesh as my body was dragged upwards.My surroundings quietly began to fade, and a gentle ringing whispered into my ears like a songbird. “It’s over, it’s all over.” After about a minute, I was satisfied, and let myself down from the balls of my feet. I was surprised at how much pressure I felt in my eyes, and adjusted my head so that I could get the back too.

This weekend, I went to a rope play seminar, and started doing my own thing when I learned that I missed my partner.

After some expected failures with online dating, I decided to try BDSM, which I appreciate for its honesty about what everyone wants. After tying my arms and legs for a little while, I tried my neck, because it was a safe setting, and I was curious to see what would happen.

It was a high that I still haven’t come down from. There are the obvious reasons for it. Asphyxiation, especially when it’s tied to sexual climax, is tremendously addictive. However, there were also personal ones.

I have felt like I have been choking for a while, and especially since I got expelled from Yemen. There was something tremendously relieving about actually choking rather than doing it more abstractly.¬†Much of what happened surrounding my expulsion from Yemen, and sudden residency in Berlin, deals with invisible forces beyond my control, like my visa sponsor’s own decision-making. I really need to feel like I was being overpowered by something tangible and in my control.

I also needed to feel the rope around my neck, and understand that the pain it inflicted was physical. Visible ropes are much easier to navigate than invisible ones. It is relatively simple to understand why you are choking when there is a noose around your neck. Nooses constrict your oxygen flow.

Finally, it was a massive relief to be able to control my life in such a manner where I could decide if I lived or died. I am very glad that I was reminded of the possibility during a period when everything seems beyond my control.


Photograph courtesy of Brett Lider. Published under a Creative Commons License.

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