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Asphyxiation is a technical term that refers to suffocation due to a lack of sufficient oxygen. To die from a lack of oxygen is to die of asphyxiation.
To be asphyxiated is to have your oxygen restricted. Some individuals find this sensation to be arousing and pleasurable, and, as such, is a common practice in the BDSM scene. There are many fetishes surrounding asphyxiation, whether it is an individual that enjoys the feeling of being asphyxiated or a dominant that finds pleasure in providing the asphyxiation. Anything that has to do with breath play or regulation can be considered to be a form of asphyxiation.