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How Risky Is it to Be Choked During Sex?

Maybe don't die in the throes of kink.

This story appears in the March issue of VICE magazine. Click  HERE to subscribe.

Ah, friends. They're like family but cooler. Fully customizable. Fall and one of them will be right there to pick you back up. But as great as friends can be, they also do a lot of really stupid stuff. Stuff that blows your mind. Like, sometimes it seems crazy that you even hang out with people who make such crappy decisions. Stuff that, were it to get out, would be mortifying for anyone with even a shred of self-respect. Lucky for your friends, they've got you to ask their deepest, darkest questions for them. And lucky for you, we started this column to answer those most embarrassing of queries.

The scenario: Your friend is into BDSM stuff and likes to have his mouth and nose covered during sex. He's alluded to a curiosity about choking too. What? It gets him off.

What you're afraid of: That your buddy will die happy, but way too early, in the throes of kinky sex. A little background: Choking and breath play are "are possibly the single largest causes of permanent harm and death within the BDSM scene," says Barak*, co-owner of, and an ER Nurse. (*We've omitted Barak's last name at the request of the medical institution he works for.)

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