Savage Love

Necking

Comments

1
Yes, Jay Wiseman says there's no safe way to choke people, and has for a couple of decades now.

But as Philip the Foole pointed out possibly the first time Jay said that, people get choked in martial arts classes _every single day_, and you don't see them dying.

Jay's never had an answer for that that I've seen.
2
@1 dstar

Agreed, while the clueless and uninformed should probably not jump right into breath play, there has been little evidence of partnered, well monitored, breath play and blood chokes being overly risky.

Much like abstinence only education, this is definitely a case where fear mongering has made the kink community less safe.
3
I guess the difference is that it's impossible to study some forms of martial arts without risk of death or serious injury. It's inherent. But people can have excellent sex and even satisfy control kinks and breath kinks with zero risk of death or becoming a vegetable, while ruining a partner's life. Some people may make the choice anyway, but there is no "safer" way to cut off blood supply to someone's brain. I mean think about it.
4
Just here to chime in that yes, in Brazilian jujitsu, choking people is common and no one dies. Choking them unconscious happens now and then, and while I don't know how often people die as a result, I've never heard of it happening in the three years I've been heavily involved in two different gyms.

That said, it takes quite a bit of time to figure out how to manage yourself and your reactions while being choked, as well as to identify when a choke has been set properly and you might as well tap out, and when it has been set badly and you'll be just fine. There is a fair amount of skill and training involved. If the LW and his gf want to be safe, they should go join a course and take six months or so of classes. Not only will they learn all about chokes, they'll get a good workout and maybe learn some self defense skills.
5
Long time reader, first time poster. Also a board certified gyn and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Please don't choke anyone, ever. I lost a patient about 5 months ago to just this. She was an experienced kink person and I knew her for 15 years, including referring her for physical therapy the time she injured her rotator cuff from flogging someone. The jujitsu holds generally are the forearm across the throat. Not wise but manageable. Choking can involve putting pressure on the blood pressure centers in the neck that can slow or stop the heart (Google vagus nerve). There are ways to pressure the base of the throat or shoulders that are safe. Choking is the partnered version of autoerotic asphyxiation. Please listen to Matisse and the professionals.
6
To the foot fetishist: not a lot of straight guys will let a gay guy rub their feet. But! They'll definitely take a massage that includes a foot rub from a male massage therapist. So... maybe take a few classes and tell dudes you're giving free massages to get your certification...? And hey, you might make some money.
7
@1 through 4- listen to @5: choke holds used in martial arts do not use hands/belts/ropes across the throat alone. They are *holds*; this is huge difference, because the pressure is not solely on the neck, unlike actual choking where pressure is on the neck/windpipe alone.
8
@1: Perhaps persons in sexual context are more likely to take it further than someone concerned for safety in a sport?
9
"older"??!!!?
10
As a survivor of attempted strangulation, reading LW1(CHOKE)'s letter to Dan made me shudder. Dan, Mistress Matisse, and @5 Picklemom: Thank you for offering superb advice to CHOKE. CHOKE: bless you for being lovingly GGG and true to your girlfriend, but take heed to the above mentioned spot on responses and pass it on to your GF. Meanwhile, trust your gut--if choking, even as sex play doesn't look, feel or sound good to you, it probably isn't.
11
Also, people in martial arts classes aren't combining breath-play with drugs or alcohol.

And they are in good shape, generally, unlike a lot of kinky folks.

And they have a classroom full of witnesses to the consensual aspect, if anything did go wrong, unlike the kinkster who is alone with a dead partner.
12
@Picklemom - I'm sorry for your loss.
13
@5 Picklemom: I, too, am very sorry about your loss, and meant to add my condolences to @10.

Seriously--eek this week, Joe!
14
'you can put a gas mask on someone, cover the breathing hole with the flat of your hand, and cut off your partner's air'
Seriously. Don't do this.
15
Underpants Man's bitter rival: seriously, four months isn't even long enough to be using the word "boyfriend". If you feel threatened by your lover having lunch with someone else once or twice a year, maybe go find someone with no friends.
16
I think Dan's being a little harsh on LW2 - her boyfriend is a sex worker! While there's nothing inherently wrong about that, "no sex work while we're dating" is a pretty reasonable deal-breaker to have. However, if the boyfriend doesn't want to stop, she's just gotta decide if that's her price of admission.
17
These are used boxers, and they only get together a couple of times a yr? Unhygenic having them hanging around the house for six months, isn't it.
TS@16, I think Dan has a point. LW2 has been with this man for four months and she's already laying down the Law. She's being controlling and he's ignored her because of that. And this relationship over used briefs has been going on for seven yrs. One can assume the bf enjoys the lunches and the exchange.
Maybe just back off a bit LW2, you have registered your displeasure, though I don't see how it interferes with your relationship to this man. He is allowed connections with others.
18
Dumb me. He washes them over and over then returns them unwashed and gets new expensive ones. Can this be defined as sex work or just underpants exchange? Good on the bf for having new boxers/ briefs every six months. A lot of men could learn from him, rather than wait till their's are worn thin.
19
I once had a girl who really liked to be punched in the face during sex. And she always wanted it to be harder. Of course, there is a point where you don't know if you can hit harder without actually causing real harm, to which the solution is....

Lie.

Go through the motions. Say you're doing what they want. But... Don't actually do it.

For CHOKE, that means put your hands around her neck, but no significant pressure. If she says, "choke me harder!" say, "OK, do you like it now?" only don't actually choke her.

That'll work of its more about the position than the lack of air. If she's really more into the breath play, you're going to need a method that doesn't involve your hands around her neck.
20
There's a much simpler answer to HISBUM. She should buy him underwear himself, classy distinctive stuff she recognises and finds hot, and ask him to where it when he's with her. Then she can suggest he wears the perv's underwear to the gym or going for runs or doing manual work. She's happy in that she's no longer thinking about the older guy jerking off in his discarded smalls. He's happy--he gets twice as much underwear! The perv's happy: _his_ underwear is extra sweaty and luscious. Win, win, win.

If she can't cope with his meeting this guy--an old friend of his and possibly old family friend--and his getting a nice lunch out of it, she is too demanding.
21
@17 LavaGirl: Sexual exclusivity is assumed in a lot of relationships, and it's not "laying down the law" to require it. Further, while some people might be perfectly comfortable seeing any sort of "compensated" sex work as "not cheating," and others might feel that sending used underwear (or nudes, or dirty talk) to someone else for their sexual gratification is also "not cheating" it's pretty common for people to be like "yeah, that's still sexual enough that I'm not comfortable including that into our exclusive relationship."
22
TS@ 21, there are ways and ways to go about talking about something like this and to me she sounds like she was laying the Law down. Don't do it. And he still did it. What does that tell her?
Has he said this four month relationship is exclusive, it doesn't look like it. And I don't think you can equate those things. Sending pictures etc with undy exchange which happens twice a yr. and it's up to him to close it down.
She needs to change her attitude because he's not giving into a bully.
23
HISBUM, set your BF free and get a fish tank instead. Ultimatums 4 months into "dating" and you want to set rules - the underwear relationship doesn't include you or impact you. I give credit to the BF for being so open, honest and mature in an early "dating" relationship.
24
In the New York kink scene choking and breath play are fairly common, and I know that a class on choking was recently taught. Most often I've seen breath play done with the sub standing and the dominant holding their hand over the sub's mouth and nose.

Personally, I have had many subs ask to be choked, and have done so with light pressure. This seems to be a fairly common kink. To the extend my partners wanted something more physical, I've held my hand up against their jaw bone or down by collarbone. There is a psychological as well as physical aspect to this form of kink. As choking is so clearly an exchange of power and highly charged, particularly given the physicality of the act. But I think, one can achieve the desired psychological impact while not ramping up the physical intensity.

That said, I don't disagree with Mistress Matisse, Jay Wiseman, or medical professionals, in that I'm not interested in rendering someone unconscious, and would not recommend anyone aim for that outcome. However, I do know subs in New York who have told me they engage in choking to achieve that end. Is this common? I don't think it's widespread, but definitely no unheard of.
25
Who on earth thinks choking isn't kinky?

There should be some ways to accommodate this safely. I know/know of many people who are into it and they are all alive. What if CHOKE loosely puts his hands around his girlfriend's throat? Perhaps she just wants the fantasy of being choked. Also, there is a way to non-verbally "safeword": the girlfriend can raise a hand if she starts to see stars.

And what bi girl on earth isn't turned on by the idea of a gay dude jerking off with her hot straight boyfriend's underwear? This isn't doing you any harm, HISBUM; there is no STI risk; and you'll never have to hassle your boyfriend about getting rid of his manky old underwear.Why not let him make some middle-aged pervert happy twice a year? Why not train yourself to think "He may eventually have those undies, but I've got what's in them, mwahaha"? Would meeting Underpants Pervert make you feel better about the situation -- because it's obviously not going to change?

Notgoing @9: Yes, Dan is "older" than this 25- and 28-year-old couple. Agree, HISBUM probably didn't win much sympathy for pointing that out.
26
@25: I do wonder if this isn’t less about them being “friends” as concern for him not being entirely honest about his past and current escorting? She might be more cool if this wasn’t phrased as a “just friends” thing and maybe feeling that he was less underselling/bullshitting her over the financial nature of their relationship?
27
HISBUM ~ You are obviously uncomfortable by this whole underwear exchange situation. It is not unreasonable to ask someone to stop something that makes you uncomfortable, even after only four months. It is unreasonable to be surprised if they decide that is a dealbreaker for them. That's OK. You both need and deserve to get what you want out of a relationship. If this isn't it, and you can't live with things as they are, accept it and find a better match. Just remember, pobody's nerfect, and there are some things it's better to let slide otherwise you'll spend your entire life trying to attain the impossible. You just need to decide what those things are. If I was in your shoes, I'm not sure what I's do...I guess it would depend on how much I trusted my partner, and how much I believed that swapping boxers is as far as it goes. A hard call this early on in a relationship.
28
I wonder if HISBUM has tried putting herself in her boyfriend's shoes, or underwear, as it were. You're 21 years old. An older person, of the same sex, offers to buy you a nice meal and some expensive underwear and all you have to do is return them unwashed the next time you see them. Doesn't sound as if there are any drawbacks. The only potential pitfalls I can see is that this person turns out to want more -- which has proved over seven years not to be the case here -- and that disclosing this rather innocent relationship will get you in trouble with potential future partners, which has turned out to be the case.

Perhaps Boyfriend is testing how sex-positive HISBUM is. Perhaps there is more, less innocent, sex work in his past or present, and her reaction to this fairly innocuous scenario is his test for whether he can be open with her about it. One thing I'm wondering about is how he and Underwear Pervert met in the first place.

Something telling in HISBUM's letter is the phrase "a strange man." This man isn't a stranger to her boyfriend. That's why I suggested maybe she could meet him. Though I understand why Boyfriend wouldn't want to drag every four-month girlfriend along to these semiannual "dates."
29
First, HISBUM doesn't sound very mature, or particularly reflective about this situation. Her boyfriend and this gentleman have an innocent arrangement, in which her boyfriend gets a "fancy lunch" and "a lot of expensive new underwear" every six months. Nonetheless, she describes this person as "a strange man," and "Underpants Pervert," while noting this has been ongoing for "SEVEN YEARS."

She might think for a second that her boyfriend, the guy she purports to think is great, is a party to this arrangement, and she doesn't find him to be a "strange man," so perhaps, having gotten to know her boyfriend, she could be more understanding of his friend and their arrangement.

Second, while claiming that this man is somehow controlling ("he went back on the agreement the next time Underpants Pervert snapped his fingers"), HISBUM expects that after four months she can "snap her fingers," and get her boyfriend to do her bidding.

Third, she doesn't seem to listen to her boyfriend, who "says he likes this guy, doesn't feel objectified in a bad way, enjoys their lunches, and thinks of him as an old friend." It's just about her discomfort with what is really an innocent exchange ("it makes me so uncomfortable" and "When I see my boyfriend in his underwear, all I can think is, 'That pervert is going to be masturbating into those soon,' when I should be thinking, 'My boyfriend is so sexy.'"). I would note here that HISBUM's discomfort is not predicated on her belief that anything sex work, other than what we know to be happening, has occurred.

In the end, HISBUM's boyfriend gets a $1,000 in new underwear every year, plus two nice meals. If he gives up this gig, he'll never wear such fine undergarments again or get new ones so regularly. HISBUM wants that good deal to end because she thinks it "perverted." Her boyfriend should dump her because his underwear deal will long out last their relationship.

30
@29: I think what’s being downplayed here is that there’s an intimacy between them being downplayed and heightening her discomfort. The boyfriend making her feel silly and not describing their 7 year relationship isn’t helping any.

“I would note here that HISBUM's discomfort is not predicated on her belief that anything sex work, other than what we know to be happening, has occurred.”

Well, if she truly felt it was innocent for both parties, she likely wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable?

I’m sure it’s possible to have a more innocent arrangement like this, but I think her partner is doing a bad job at making her feel uncomfortable about his preexisting relationship with this man. As a grown man, he can afford his own underwear, so the explanation that he gets “expensive” ones is outright insulting bullshit. If he likes the man and gets off on it, he should be more honest.
31
One comment above touched on this, but a major reason for never starting any form of breath play is that we always want to take things further. It would take a very conscientious top to pretend to choke more but not actually to choke more, and it's unlikely that this would continue to work after a few sessions.
The reason I won't gamble is because I fear that I might like it too much and wouldn't be able to stop until I was broke. With choking you are literally gambling with someone's life. There are too many potential complicating factors, and you can't tell whether they apply until it's too late.
If the choking accompanies fucking, and there is any kind of unexpected slipping or loss of balance, the top's reaction is likely to be gripping whatever their hands are on.
Tops can have limits. Being GGG does not mean having no limits.
32
Re: Choking, I don't know much about it, but I have worked with women who had been choked in domestic violence situations, and one of them was fine for a few days after being choked and then days later had a sudden problem with her throat that made it difficult for her to breath or swallow and she had to go to the ER. Obviously that is an entirely different scenario since LW isn't going to REALLY violently choke his partner and I don't know any details about the situation I described, but my take away was that you can think your throat is OK when it actually isn't. So I'd add my NO to the list of more knowledgeable people saying that. What would make me nervous about choking someone for play is that, in the moment, I wouldn't know if they could tell if they were consenting to something that was damaging them? They might think they are fine, and then find damage later.

LW2- Damn. Where do I find a guy like that? Nice lunch twice a year and loads of free fancy undies? Anyway, my guess is that LW2 is worried that her boyfriend might be bi or be interested in this man and not telling her. They've only been together a few months.

33
@Harriet 20- I thought of this too, as a practical solution, but then thought better of it. They've only been together for a few months. It would be weird for him to have to consider what clothes he wears in what contexts and a bad habit to start adapting his behavior in his own private life around her emotional insecurities. This might be something you'd do for a long term partner with whom you had significant emotional and practical connections, but for someone you've known for just a few months to start dictating what undies you wear, when? Nope.

But then again, every time I think I see things clearly here, I remember that this is the crowd that thought it was perfectly acceptable for a boyfriend to ask his girlfriend to not sit around in her t-shirt and undies in her own fucking house b/c it gave him a boner. So who knows. Maybe people here think it's fine for partners to dictate one another's clothing choices.

My own opinion is that while she might ask him to wear something special from time to time during sex or when they go out together, the majority of the time he should wear whatever the hell he wants. It's his ass, and he's lucky enough to have someone buying him nice undies for it, and the gf needs to figure out what it is about this that bothers her. Like I said, I guess maybe she thinks he's having an affair with this man or that he's bi and lying about it? I don't know. I can't figure out why else she'd care. If I knew there was someone spending YEARS buying my husband loads of sexy undies in exchange for nothing, I'd get a lot of mileage out of that. In fact it's driving me nuts thinking of how to set up a scenario like that.
34
Undead @30 Yeah I thought something similar. But 4 months in is an appropriate time to reveal an arrangement like this. Also if there is something more going on, whether it's an escort situation or if they've got a sexual past (or present), then that's a totally separate problem. My guess is that this is the real reason the LW is worried about this, but that might be me projecting because I can't figure out why she'd care otherwise. But that isn't what she said or asked about, so before she could even decide what to do / think / feel about the possibility of him being either bi or an escort for this older man, she has to first know herself well enough to recognize that she's worried about this. Since she didn't say that in this letter, we don't know if that's what's bothering her or not- either it's not what bothers her or she lacks the self-awareness to think of it that way. At face value, she's just grossed out that an old man masturabtes into her bf's undies.

Though on second reading after your comment, I think you are right that it's the intimacy (perhaps not sexually) that bothers her- the seven years and the fact that her bf enjoys this guy's company.But I don't know that it's fair to say the bf isn't handling it right. Sounds like he's described the situation and how he feels about it- what else does she need? Again, if she's worried about it being something more, she needs to acknowledge that.

Less pressing- how long can something like this last? The bf is in his late 20s now. Old dude has been doing this for 7 years which means they started when the bf was quite young. How long until the older guy starts looking for a new college-aged stud?
35
@CHOKE Dominant here. I’ve practiced breath play for years and my current sub really enjoys it.

One thing that no one has mentioned yet is that it’s not necessarily about the physical force. D/s is above all a mindfuck. Your lady may or may not want you to mark her, but that’s not really the point. The point is that she’s allowing herself to let go and surrender control to you and you’re not going to allow her to escape. That’s the thrill.

If her face turns red, you fucked up. If her eyes bulge, you fucked up. If she loses consciousness, you fucked up bad. Depriving the brain of oxygen for four minutes can lead to death. This is not domestic violence choking here. And don’t get me into what can happen if you break the hyoid bone.

What works for me, and take this with due caution, is using one or both hands around the windpipe just below the chin. Squeeze, but not hard. If she is aware that you could squeeze harder, that may be enough. Good luck, and for God’s sake be careful.
36
@34: Right, there’s the intimacy and there’s the transactional element. Stating that they’re “just friends” and he gets a “thousand dollars” of underwear from wearing them... why doesn’t he go with that younger guy if he’s just into the underwear of young studs? He’s acting as a patron would, and while hot undies are good, they can’t be THAT much better than anything her boyfriend can afford at his age. So the money isn’t the draw. I think what bugs me is the fundamental dishonesty about their arrangement as it is being explained to her.

The issue isn’t so much their arrangement but how it’s dancing outside of her purview while she’s getting smoke blown up her butt. I don’t think he’s necessarily doing anything inappropriate beyond communicating their past history and current interest.

But they’re hardly platonic “friends” or persons with a business interaction. If he wants her too he’s going to have to be a little more open so she can understand the appeal of his man and why he’s going to continue to play some role in their life.
37
@9 "older??!!?" Dan is mid-50s, so yes, older.
38
Choke chickens, not girlfriends (or boyfriends). The risks are unreasonably high.

HISBUM, have you considered telling your boyfriend to just be discreet about it? It sounds like you don't object so much to him hanging out with UP as to you knowing about it and the thought grossing you out.
39
BDF @ 25
“And what bi girl on earth isn't turned on by the idea of a gay dude jerking off with her hot straight boyfriend's underwear?”
While the possible turn on issue crossed my mind, not all bi girls are alike.
I’m with you @ 28 though. You mention her calling the older dude “strange.” She also used “perv” few times which may indicate her ickiness with the act, possibly more than the ongoing arrangement.
40
@34. EmmaLiz. I don't think his wearing underwear around her that don't make her feel uncomfortable is that big an ask. Her trying to prohibit his longstanding friendship with his older friend would be a big ask. Too big.

She only need say something like 'when I see you in those whities X has bought, I can't help thinking of him (X) enjoying them ... not thinking how hot your bum is or what I'd like to do to your cock'. If I heard that, I'd certainly swap my pants around. In fact, today's and recent columns are full of things I'd do very gladly to accommodate a partner: have my feet massaged (it merely tickles me); wear or not wear certain underwear; set aside a small sum for a partner to equip their kinks.... In the case of the foot-massages, it wouldn't even have to be a partner; I'd let anyone reasonably pleasant massage my misshapen feet.

It's not entirely like the situation of someone buying underwear for a husband in that the bf's attraction for the older guy is that he's an ephebe--young, and presumably the older man can imagine him as thoughtless. It's more than likely to me that nothing is going on but the gifting of the underwear and exchange of the young man's company for the meal. If they talked about anything consequential or emotionally genuine during the meal, or the older man in any way revealed what he did with the garments, it would spoil the charm of the scene for him--perhaps--and start to become embarrassing or icky.

41
@39: And that’s why the “he’s just some old friend” is doing him such a disservice here. These gestures you don’t do for just anybody, so of course it’s going to appear “strange” that her boyfriend is sharing this and telling her that it’s nothing, but sharing nothing more with her about why he’s feeling compelled to do so after she mentioned that the practice made her feel uncomfortable.

I can’t say that she’d ever be comfortable with it, but at least he wouldn’t be making her feel like she’s taking crazy pills.
42
Token choking on my part- while in high school many years ago there was a shorty trend of a non-sexual “hypnosis” that involved choking someone with a towel and make them “faint.”
I performed it once on someone who was into this, the lovely girl closed her eyes, then opened them. We never had sex.

Ok, underwear…. I used to be very picky about my own men’s underwear while wearing them daily. Comfortability, support, chaffing, are important issues for this sensitive skin person.
My favorites back then, which are not made anymore, could not be found in stores and were not cheap.
The company’s website and newsletter indicated their clientele is mostly gay men, which baffled me a bit. So yes, it had this pouch that held the penis nicely but for me, at least back then, it was all about practicality which may explain some of bf’s reluctance to end the agreement.
43
@40: “Her trying to prohibit his longstanding friendship with his older friend would be a big ask. Too big.”

Platonic friendship is not and has never been the issue here though. It’s the bleed-over and refusal to respect the partner enough to address it for what it is.
44
wowww at the comments here being all "well nobody I know personally has died from choking so it must be pretty safe" or saying it's "fear mongering"

take the risks you want to take, educate yourself on it but consider the fact it's only kink, and why risk your life over something like that? or subtly encourage others to by downplaying the risk? i get if you're nihilistic but damn. don't deny the risk by virtue of your own logical fallacy.

of course it's a common kink, it's also common to fuck bareback. sure we have prep, but do we want to encourage people to further reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics by continually getting the clap? like... what are you defending here, really?
45
@44
"what are you defending here, really? "
With minor changes this is something you should ask the NRA and their legislative supporters.
46
@44: I believe the claim was that nobody ever dies from martial arts holds, which sounds pretty darn naive.

Brings up an interesting distinction.

http://www.npr.org/2014/12/04/368408203/…

“The term chokehold is used very loosely to apply to two different things. What the New York Police Department bans is a hold that cuts off the air - that crushes windpipe in such a way that you can't breathe. But people also often use the term chokehold for a different kind of neck restraint sometimes called a vascular hold. These are holds where the arm comes around the neck in such a way that the crook of the arm is in front of the Adam's apple. So the Adam's apple's actually not being pushed in. You can still breathe, but the pressure's on the two sides of your neck. And the point there is to press down on the arteries leading to brain, briefly cutting off the flow of blood to your brain and causing the person to pass out for a few seconds - long enough for a police officer to cuff that person. This vascular hold is something that's actually formally trained. There's certification in it.”

Now, I’m not suggesting either are safe.
47
Is breath play absolutely safe. No, of course not. But it is well within a risk profile many of us accept. Yeah.

For reference, I'm going to (again) re-link a conversation on breath play from a now-defunct website that should alleviate many concerns:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/b5z23l9if7ir04…
48
Re: choke, I'm going to mention that VERY light pressure applied just above the sternoclavicular notch with just one finger is enough to make you feel uncomfortable and like you are being choked. Try it on youself to see what I mean. I second the idea of putting the edge of the hand against the throat in this area (without actually applying pressure) with the weight of the hand resting over the sternum and collarbones. The thumb and first two fingers might naturally curve around the side of the neck without squeezing. I am NOT recommending choking, I am describing an illusion of choking that produces a similar feeling (if it is about the control and not actual breath play.)
49
Does the girlfriend want to be oxygen deprived or does she want to feel taken forcefully?
Totally different things.
A hand on the throat may not mean she wants to engage in breath play--it may signal a desire for some show of dominance. That can be achieved much more safely.

Of course, this would necessitate the couple's actually talking with each other.
50
Oops, I see that tachycardia addressed this @48.
Carry on.
51
@9 and @37: "Older"?! I'm in Dan's bracket and 50s to me isn't old at all. Age is just a number, young-uns. Don't knock it until you've lived there.
52
@CHOKE: I admittedly DO watch a lot of movies, but...have you ever seen the 1951 b&w Hitchcock suspense film, Strangers on a Train? Watch the senator's party scene where psychopathic Bruno Anthony (played by Robert Walker) attempts to turn strangulation into a bizarre parlor game of "murder"--and unsuspecting Norma Varden (possibly best known for her supporting role as Frau Schmidt, the congenial housekeeper later in The Sound of Music), among the invited guests struggling desperately to regain her breathing, becomes traumatized by the incident when the alleged "game" goes awry. This should offer further supportive evidence with which to say no to choke play.

Forgive me, folks if this seems to be overdramatizing. I am indeed fully enjoying my current Orchestration 1 and Film Scoring 101 courses.
53
@52:......and 16 years happily un-choked.
54
Pardon my ignorance, but would squeeze and release be any safer than continuous choking? Is waterboarding an alternative to actual choking, although I don't know if that is even possible while actually fucking someone? Drowning?
55
Hanging?
56
Undead @30: "Well, if she truly felt it was innocent for both parties, she likely wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable?"
The where-there's-smoke-there's-fire argument? Whether it's "truly innocent," I don't believe, should be determined by whether a relatively new girlfriend feels it's truly innocent. What would stop her from, say, cutting off opposite-sex relationships because she claimed to suspect they were not "truly innocent"?
Either she's uncomfortable because her gut feelings are correct, or she's uncomfortable because she's insecure. If it's (b), he's not "making" her uncomfortable. And he has said the guy is like an "old friend" and that he's fine with the arrangement. He's been honest with her. I'm not sure what else he's expected to do here.

Emma @32: If her fear is that he's bi, given that she's bi, he needs to dump the hypocrite already.

Undead @36: What dishonesty? If BF were dishonest, surely he just wouldn't mention it to HISBUM? And where are people getting "a thousand dollars"? That figure appears only in the comments, folks -- we made it up. Who knows the value of "a lot of expensive new underwear" to a 25-year-old.

Venom @38: Sad, isn't it, when honesty backfires? I'm not sure this horse can be put back into the barn, especially if he shows up with new briefs on a regular basis. I also don't like the idea that he only wears cheap K-mart boxers around his girlfriend. I'm with Dan: the best advice here is for HISBUM to get over it. (Yes, CMD @39, I know that not everyone is turned on by the sames things; but if HISBUM tried to see the sexy side here, everyone would be much happier.)

Griz @51: Well, I weigh 105lbs and I don't feel skinny... ;)
50s IS older than 20s. That's just simple math. Didn't you feel like 50s was impossibly ancient when you were in your 20s? I know I did.
57
@43. UndeadAyn. You say the issue is the bf not 'addressing' his lunches and smalls exchange 'for what it is'. _What_ is it, exactly? Has the gf in the letter told us? She calls the older guy 'Underwear Pervert' and a 'strange man'. How did her bf get to know him? Is he a family friend--say, a friend of his mother and father--who was always talked of as unusual in his sexuality but harmless, and who has proved avuncular and genuinely supportive, financially and otherwise, of the bf's post-College life? Did the bf answer an ad on Craigslist seven years ago? (i.e. he's doing a form of sex work)? Is the older guy a former Scout guide, or AD&D dungeonmaster (ahem), or College prof, or College sport coach--with a thing for jockstraps?

These different possibilities, to me, would make a legitimate difference to how the gf saw her partner's encounters and how she approached him about them. But I wouldn't be certain that he has withheld information from her. She just isn't passing it on (maybe).
58
Edit to @56: "What would stop her from cutting off opposite-sex friendships..."
59
@57: That’s just the thing! He wouldn’t be a “strange man” if he mentioned his specific connection to him beyond being an “old friend”.

He currently has little descriptors beyond what she’s cobbled together. Sure “underwear pervert” is descriptive (and nothing wrong with that) but it doesn’t link how they know each other and why this relationship has continued nearing on 10 years. All the details you provided would humanize the relationship they have to the LW and us alike.

Diverting a bit, I wonder what sort of underwear is this even? The trendy Marco Marco, Andrew Christian stuff isn’t going to be nearly as expensive as what’s been described here.

@56: “ And where are people getting "a thousand dollars"? That figure appears only in the comments, folks -- we made it up. Who knows the value of "a lot of expensive new underwear" to a 25-year-old”

Ah, thanks. The perils of not having the story in the comments yet again. But yet, that makes this sillier, in that good looking/feeling underwear is generally affordable for a mid-late twentysomething and they wouldn’t need some Daddy to supply them with things that look good.

To opposite sex jealousy, if he had an ongoing sugar-mommy relationship that she felt uncomfortable about and he refrained from elaborating on what it meant to him while hand waving her concerns away as her being an “old friend”, it would be equivalent?

I don’t really know what he’s told her or not, but her letter suggests she doesn’t know much beyond what is contained in the letter. The description of the other man is cloudy and suggests a mere transactional relationship, but if this is just a few hundred bucks at a time on not-that-practical goods that doesn’t seem like a very good deal on its own to be so “kept”.
60
@58: The issue isn’t the friendship but the benefits asked and offered, would they be talking and hanging out platonically, and without the Daddy relationship?
61
Undead @59: I used the wrong word. What I meant was what is stopping this (potentially) insecure and controlling girlfriend from objecting to his 100% platonic relationships -- as some jealous partners do -- merely because she suspects they are less than innocent, which is the only rationale you've offered for her objection to this one?

I can't see that Boyfriend hasn't been honest. As Harriet says, just because HISBUM hasn't included any more detail in her letter doesn't mean that Boyfriend is hiding things from HISBUM. He's "strange" to HISBUM, but not to Boyfriend. HISBUM simply doesn't trust her guy's judgment, and he's given her no reason not to, from what I can see.
62
@BDF If she's worried that he's bi, it doesn't mean that she's worried about the fact that he's bi but rather about his denial of it and what that says about this particular friendship- that it's potentially not platonic.

Anyway, I don't know if that's the case, I'm just speculating as to why she is so bothered by this. What little I know of men who like masturbating into worn underwear (and that's next to nothing) it seems like this arrangement isn't THAT odd, right? I mean, I see requests in personal ads all the time for someone to give their panties to someone in various scenarios with no sexual contact otherwise. What makes this arrangement stand out is that the older man is spending a lot of money and obviously likes this particular young man. And because I think that's kind of hot, I'm having trouble objectively thinking about what could be bothering the gf about it. I think Undead is on to something though, but I'm not sure about the idea that it's the bf that needs to communicate better regarding explaining the situation rather than the gf who needs to communicate better regarding the reasoning behind her discomfort. And that's what led me to speculate that she suspects there's more to this affair, and the only way that could be possible is if the bf is either bi or an escort to the older man. Neither thing is, in itself, something that is automatically troubling. Both are things that a partner should reasonably disclose and that would be really troubling to lie about. That's all I meant.

In any case, I lean WAY more to the- you've only known each other for 4 months so if you can't work this out, let it go and move on similar to what Donny says @ 27.

63
@56 BiDanFan: There are definitely more years lived for those in their 50s than in their 20s. Sure, that's older but I never considered the 50s ancient because my parents were in their late 40s / early 50s when I graduated from high school. They were highly active in our community. Plus, having siblings born within a decade apart, I ran around with an older crowd. What's the big deal? It just means we've lived longer. Anyway, isn't 50 supposed to be "the new 30"?
From your comment, you might not feel skinny at 105 pounds, but how tall are you? I am 5"7" with big bones and a wide frame. If I weighed 105 lb. I'd be unattractively Ann Coulter / Maleficent-skeletal. I think we're all as old or as young as we feel.
64
@63: Dammit!--to clarify, I meant:....."I am 5'7" with big bones and a wide frame."
My keyboard works faster than my fingers do.
65
And for those who still stubbornly feel like 30 is ranting-old-fart or old-bag-lady ancient, wait until you get there. All right. Congrats in advance once again this week to the lucky number winner, and Griz is shutting up now.
66
Choke away dude. try to put pressure on either side of the windpipe, to try to cut off bloodflow, that will lead to the euphoric feeling some people like, but they'll still be able to breath. My last girlfriend wanted to be "choked out" and wake up to me having my way with her (it turns out that an undergrad degree in feminist studies leaves some people feeling as repressed as a catholic priest) but I could never quite get there (I'm a wimp and didn't want to accidentally kill her). What I've found is that, like Matisse said, enough pressure to control someone's head is almost as satisfying as going all the way.
67
@66: “it turns out that an undergrad degree in feminist studies leaves some people feeling as repressed as a catholic priest”

Many lols that you think feminism is at odds with consent and BDSM.

But ever not surprising.
68
@67 not that you are able to appreciate nuance, but it's counterintuitive, not "at odds" with feminism. It turns out that explicitly heightening the power disparity is more effective on people who spend a lot of time thinking about how to decrease the power disparity.
69
Choking. People gotta stop thinking Brazzers is real. Sheesh.
70
@68: Your value judgment of “repressed” snuck through.
71
mubhappy, congratulations on getting the magic number.
72
@69 mubhappy: Congrats on scoring this week's highly coveted honor!
73
Griz @63: I am 5'6", so objectively I am skinny, even though I feel "normal." The point was that we ourselves are "normal" from our own perspective. You're right, these 20somethings won't think 50 is so old when they get there themselves!

Sporty @66: If she was up front with you about her desire to be choked, that doesn't sound like she was "repressed" at all. And not a bit surprising to anyone who's spent time with any number of feminists, or kinksters, or both -- as Undead says, there's a lot of overlap. There are many feminist Dommes as well, whom you're less likely to have encountered. And a lot of alpha males who seek them out. Counterintuitive indeed, but certainly no more universal than your conclusion from this one lover that all feminists are somehow repressing desires to submit to men. Thanks for the chuckle, though.

Mubhappy: Adding my congrats on scoring this week's magic number.
74
@73: Speaking of nuance, there’s always fun in role reversal, the authoritarian judge or “powerful CEO” who enjoys subbing because they spend their profession dictating the lives of others, etc. Fantasy as a relaxation from the everyday doldrums and roles.

“Repression”, as brought up in his through-hissed-teeth utterance of feminism is the usual sadsack narrative coming out to play and missing the point entirely.

As always, everyone else is missing the point even though nothing is offered to clarify or materially change “the point” from our taking of it.
75
If she wants to struggle for breath, put one hand over her mouth and clamp her nose shut with t'other.

If she wants to feel like she's going to pass out, press down on the carotid arteries with your thumbs
76
Since when did getting comment 69 become such a big deal?

The 4 month old gf interferring with a platonic 7 year underwear deal is ridiculous. (DTMFA- from him to her)
77
@73 BiDanFan: Okay--you're only 1" shorter than I am, but as you've described, small framed. Yes, definitely skinny to me, but I'm sure you look infinitely better at 105 lbs. than I ever would. Maybe that's the payback when those much younger laugh at folks a generation or so ahead, only to experience themselves what it's like ten or twenty years later.
@76 aeros66: It's not, nor was it meant to be. It's simply a random game of chance here in the weekly Savage Love to see which commenter reaches number 69 (also slangily associated with an oral sex position; one reason for the significance), thus a play on numbers. If you're not interested, you don't have to participate--or just ignore any SL fanfare should you happen to hit 69. Good luck when you reach 70.
78
@59. UndeadAyn. You think the bf has been strategically vague about the pants-exchange relationship and is maybe hiding something. I think the gf is so squicked out by the guy's whites being next month's wanksock that she's been unable to ask, or process the answers to, some basic questions. We both may be right. I'm not sure the letter provides enough to decide.

On expensive underwear I draw a blank. When I go en femme, I don't see the breastforms I wear as underwear. More as tools (like plaster of Paris or callipers).
79
Haven't read the responses yet, but I wanted to weigh in with this: Jay Wiseman is a well know fanatic with an axe to grind. I wouldn't take him at all seriously in the subject of breath play.
80
Did this man disclose his behaviour up front, or did he spring it on the LW once she had become attached. How much of one's bits and bobs have to be shared and when. At my age I've had two men disclose recent heart attacks. Which does make one pause.
81
This is changing the subject from this week's SL thread, but who or what is everyone dressing up as for Halloween (those participating, anyway)? I'm torn between going as a Time Warp dancer from Rocky Horror Picture Show or as Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate---I have the perfect leopard spotted sweater and sunglasses.
82
Oh, I like the idea of Ms Robinson, Grizelda. Husky voice too, remember.
Love to you NY.
83
I'm going as Agent Carter! 🕵️‍♀️💄 🔫
84
@82 LavaGirl: You called it--I'm going as Mrs. Robinson! I'll make sure to speak in a husky, manipulative voice ("Benjamin-----Benjamin-----thank you for driving me home. I'll see you soon, I hope." [Yip]). I trimmed my hair, too, to look as much as I can to resemble Anne Bancroft (although nobody nails the sexy older woman like she does!). Here's to you!
@83 DC270: Pretty cool about Agent Carter. Rock on!
85
If we take it as a given that Dan is avoiding all liability here in discussing choking, I'm still not sure why he can't mention the alternative to a safe word for when a verbal cue isn't possible. We use the double tap from martial arts. Also, the fact that my partner had 6+ years of training in jujitsu when we met meant he knew the difference between a choke and a strangle and was well acquainted with the anatomy and physiology. Sure, you can't reduce the risk to zero, but there is a world of difference between a controlled hand on the throat and a violent altercation.
86
Gripping the sides of someone’s neck without putting any pressure on the front where their airways are is a great substitute for choking. It’s also I think safer for first timers than covering someone’s mouth - that cuts down on communication and I’ve always found it closterphobic to have to breath from my nose.