Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Savage Love: Breathless

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 6:06 AM


I have two female sex partners who want to be breath-play dominated. I know the practice is dangerous, and I employ the rules of consent and communication a pro-Dom escort friend taught me. But is there a legal release document we could sign that protects consenting adults in the event of an accident or death? — Ruminating About Consensual Kinks

Restricting someone’s air intake is always dangerous, RACK, and while we all too often hear about people dying during solo breath play, aka “auto-erotic asphyxiation” (an activity no one should engage in ever), we rarely hear about someone dying during partnered breath play. (I recently discussed partnered breath play with Amp from Watts the Safeword, a kink-friendly sex-ed YouTube channel. Look up Episode 533 at

That said, RACK, someone 

can’t consent to being strangled to death by accident.

“The lawyers in my office discussed this, and we agree that there is no way to ‘waive’ or ‘consent to’ criminal negligence resulting in substantial bodily harm or death,” said Brad Meryhew, a criminal-defense attorney who practices in Seattle. “I don’t think you’ll find any lawyer who would draft such an agreement. Even if an agreement were executed, it is not going to constitute a complete defense if something goes wrong. There are principles of criminal liability for the consequences of our decisions, as well as public-policy concerns about people engaging in extremely dangerous behaviors, that make it impossible to just walk away if something goes wrong.” Another concern: Signing such a document could make breath play more dangerous, not less. “A person who had such a waiver might be tempted to push the boundaries even further,” said Meryhew.

And now the pro-Dom perspective …

“As consenting adults, we assume the risks involved in this type of kink,” said Mistress A Elena, a professional Dominant. “But if you harm your partner or they become scared, shamed, shocked, or, even worse, gravely injured, it’s the Dom’s problem. At any time, the submissive can change their mind. Some cases have been classified as ‘rape’ or ‘torture’ afterward, even though consent was initially given. It’s our job as Dominants/Tops/Leads to make sure everyone is safe, consenting, and capable.”

My college girlfriend and I were together for four years. The relationship ended 10 years ago when she cheated on me. She did eventually marry the guy, so, hey, good for them. She recently gave birth to a boy. She gave her son my name as his middle name. Nobody in either family has this name and it isn’t an especially common name. I’ve asked dozens of people with kids, and nobody can think of a reason why a person would give their child a name anywhere close to an ex’s name. Thoughts? —Nobody’s Answers Make Effing Sense

Maybe your college girlfriend remembers you a little too fondly. Maybe a family friend had the same name. Maybe she met someone else with your name in the last 10 years, and she and her husband had a few threesomes with that guy, and she remembers those fondly. Maybe you’ll run into her someday and she’ll tell you the real reason. Now here are a few definitelys to balance out all those maybes, NAMES: This is definitely none of your business and you definitely can’t do anything about it — people can definitely give their children whatever names they want — and there’s definitely no use in stressing out about it.

More by Dan Savage



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