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Hypoxyphilia may also be referred to as asphyxiophilia, asphyxiaphilia, or auto-erotic asphyxia. It is a fetish for strangulation or suffocation either by a partner or performed alone, during sexual activity for the purpose of enhancing sexual arousal and climax through oxygen deprivation.
In BDSM, this type of activity is sometimes referred to as “breath play.” Partnered, it is commonly done via a bag over the head, a hand on the mouth or throat, or similar forms of suffocation or strangulation. In extreme cases it may be carried out to the point of unconsciousness. This is a very risky activity that can lead to injury or death.
It isn't uncommon for people in D/s and sadomasochistic play relationships to use milder forms of breath control. Even if not deprived of oxygen to the point of unconsciousness. This can still be risky behavior. Any form for breath play is considered extreme edge play in the BDSM world.
Some people engage in hypoxyphilia alone which should never be done. A number of high profile deaths including David Carradine and Michael Hutchence from INXS were the result of auto-erotic asphyxia.