There’s something going on with choking at the moment. Has anyone else noticed?
Throat grabbing during sex seems to have snuck its way from the ‘niche interests’ pile of sexual proclivities into the mainstream. I must have been off sick the day this was decided. I’m not averse to a little rough and tumble, but this is one to approach with caution.
En route to Pilates last week I caught up with my friend Rachel. I was keen to fill her in on my latest liaison, Andy. She, in turn, was keen to tell me about Patrick, a personal trainer she met on Tinder. After a couple of dates and some light Whatsapp flirtation, she took him home and was thrilled to discover he had a body of a Greek god. Given his profession, this didn’t surprise her. What did surprise her was him wrapping his hands lightly around her throat while they fooled around. What surprised her even more, she confessed, was how much she enjoyed it.
This, oddly, was precisely the matter I wished to discuss. Which brings me back to Andy…
Andy and I met on a train. I have – if you’ll pardon the pun – a good track record with trains. One of my prouder moments aged 16 was pulling a 25-year-old on a train from London to Exeter. We snogged outside the loos from Reading to Taunton. It was… special. Andy and I didn’t achieve this level of sophistication, but we got chatting and went for a spontaneous drink that evening.
Three Negronis in, he kissed me. As the kiss deepened, I ran my hand through his hair and he, in turn, moved his hand from my back to – rather surprisingly – my throat. Using his other hand he gathered my hair up behind my neck, then pulled back slightly to admire me. It was thrilling. I felt appreciated and vulnerable. Like I was an exquisite work of art that a robber, mid-heist, had stopped to examine. He could destroy me… but I knew he wouldn’t. This erotic tension was thrilling.
Messaging over the next few days, I told him how much I’d enjoyed this. ‘In that case’ he replied, ‘you’ll really enjoy fucking me’. Andy, it quickly transpired, enjoys his action rough and ready. Like Christian Grey – if Christian Grey lived in a flat share in Hackney and worked in marketing. He is refreshingly open and honest – discussing sexual preferences like you might discuss your favourite festival, or where to get a really good turmeric latte. It’s not a grubby, garbled late night confession while slightly pissed – it’s an open, honest dialogue. And it feels really good. Crucially it also feels safe. He reassures me he would only do what I feel comfortable with and – understandably – gets no pleasure from making women uncomfortable.
Next time we meet I take him home. The sex is rough and intense, but having discussed everything we like I feel totally comfortable. Caught in the moment I remember the neck. I ask him to do it again, but harder. I’m on my back, legs over his shoulders and he’s looking in my eyes. He gently puts his hand around my neck and squeezes a little at the sides, then tells me to make myself come. He squeezes a little more. I can still breathe perfectly but there’s a frisson of danger. Everything is heightened. Every thrust, every touch of my skin. And the same goes for my orgasm.
Back in the gym changing room, Rachel and I worry if this makes us bad feminists. The key to this – in my opinion – lies in the way it’s approached. Nothing screams equality more than two adults openly discussing what turns them on and respectfully doing this to one another. Expecting a woman to submit – no no no. Safely playing with mutual pleasure – yes yes yes.
And maybe that’s what’s so arousing about Andy. His honesty about what he likes and his confidence in his own skin. The openness of communication created a space to be truly open without judgement. Now that’s hot.
Choking, bondage, submission… what your poison, it’s the communication that’s truly erotic.
[Disclaimer – please don’t die, kids! This is asphyxiation we’re talking about which can literally be fatal. If this comes up for you please discuss it first with your partner – trust and openness are important and, trust me, are just as arousing. Know your limits, have a safe word. And remember a little titillating pressure is what we’re going for here – not a restricted airway. Play safe.]