Not so long ago, when tsg was trying to define her hard and soft limits, she was certain that breath play was a hard limit. she never really verbalized this to Master, she never actually finished defining those limits before she consented to non-consensual play. What she HAD told Him was that being overpowered was a HUGE turn on. So, at a certain point, tsg found herself with Master’s hands wrapped around her neck. He did not push it far that first time, tsg thinks it was as new to Him as to her, more of a showing of power, a “this is what I could do if I wanted to” sort of thing. This did a couple of things for tsg. One, she found out that a supposed hard limit was actually a keen desire (!); two, that looking into the eyes of the Master who literally holds her life in His hands was freaking transcendental, a spiritual thing that began unlocking her slave-soul; and three, that she knew in fact and experience what she had felt in her heart–that she trusted Him with her very life.
Research slut that she is, tsg had to learn all she could about breath play. Here are 7 points for each the Top and the bottom (if you are in a rush, jump to point 5 and come back later):
For the Top:
- THIS IS EDGE PLAY! You better know what you are doing before you get into this. Stopping when the sub starts to lose consciousness is NOT the way to go. Losing consciousness is very near the end game (cardiac arrest/death). Cardiac arrest may happen BEFORE loss of consciousness… it just is not a dependable warning sign at all.
- You want to risk it anyway, ok. The best advice is to restrict breath just long enough to make your point. Do not wait for the eyes to glaze over, do not wait for desperate, struggling gasps. MAKE SURE your hands/fingers are positioned to be able to feel that pulse. A speeding up or slowing down pulse are both signs you’ve already gone too far and need to stop NOW.
- NEVER APPLY SERIOUS PRESSURE TO THE FRONT. A little “my hand is at your throat” touching is fine, but there are so many FRAGILE structures n the front of the throat that you just do not want to harm.
- While there is a certain appeal to having your hands around her throat, there’s really no safe way to do it. There is a nerve in the throat that can stop the heart BAM just like that (the vargus nerve, a target in some martial arts) There is NO WAY to ensure you avoid it if your hands are on the throat ANYWHERE. Its always a risk, not just to the sub, but to the Dom. If you can’t bring her back, no amount of signed contracts are going to help either of you. Any contact with the throat should be a “suggestive” move, one that shows what you COULD do if you wanted.
- So if actual choking is out, whats left? AIR FLOW RESTRICTION. Cover the mouth and nose with one hand, keeping that other hand free to check the pulse in the neck (you can LIGHTLY hold your second hand around the neck while monitoring the pulse…EXCELLENT TECHNIQUE) This is still EDGE PLAY, you can certainly still take it too far, but at least that darn nerve is not involved, and you are not rushing things by stopping blood flow (slower IS better, don’t you agree?)
- DO NOT cover the mouth and nose with anything (pillow, blanket, etc) that prevents you from monitoring the face, eyes, expression, and pulse of your sub. NO BREATH PLAY WITH BLINDFOLDS OR HOODS. You simply MUST be able to monitor. A gas mask may be fine, as long as monitoring is possible.
- KNOW CPR. Anything less is irresponsible.
For the bottom:
- You may feel helpless, but there are things you can do to help your Top not kill you. TAKE PART, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. Even a slave in a TPE relationship can do these things.
- Keep your eyes open and in contact with your Top. Besides being hot, this may be the only window to whats going on with you He has.
- If you have a free arm or hand, raise it or grab Him, so that if you do start to lose it, your dropped arm or released hand will give Him a clue.
- Consider that collapsing is a sign to your Top that its past time to stop. This means that you must not overly relax or melt into a puddle of submissive goo early on, or else at best the play will stop too soon, or at worst, He will learn to ignore it completely. Stay upright, stay in the moment. This is NOT the time to dive into subspace.
- Don’t try to hold your breath. Its instinctive and helpful when someone is REALLY trying to kill you, but its counterproductive when playing. The sounds you make and the difficulty you have while trying to breath tells your Top just where you are in the scene. This is critical information, DO NOT WITHHOLD IT.
- Don’t fight it. If you’ve already consented (and thats the only way this should be happening) there’s just no reason to fight. If you want to be over taken and forced into something while struggling, this is not the one to do it in. Fighting Him off can interfere with the delicate balance of power and safety His is already contending with. DO NOT MAKE IT HARDER.
- KNOW CPR. Anything less is irresponsible. Yeah, I know, you can’t perform CPR on yourself. But if He needs to be able to revive you, shouldn’t you be able to return the favor?
Having said all this, tsg knows that some will go for the choke hold anyway. Why? It’s freaking hot, it’s TPE maxed out, it’s “natural” if that word can apply here. If you must, then avoid the front of the throat, locate that blood vessel on the side of the neck with the strong pulse, and apply s l o w pressure. Keep it short, to the point, a few seconds. Never longer than an average person could hold their breath. A slow squeeze, release, and a deep, in control look will convey all the meaning you need.
Not enough? Really want her to pass out? You owe it to her to thoroughly research the risks and understand the consequences. She really is trusting you with her very life; don’t let her down.