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Erotic Asphyxiation is essentially sexual heroin and regrettably is becoming young America's drug of choice. Read More

Oneself speaking about young

Oneself speaking about young people and death. Wow. The perpetrators are getting louder and louder. I notice if you use a word or say anything it can be associated with anyone and anything. Just a new way to kill for insurance money.. right. Last night I was reading a supposedly group stalking help blog but strangely it included a lot of what I have read I psychology today. What something to put on me another lie by anyone.


I'm not certain I understand your comment, but thanks for taking the time to make it. Take care.


Fetishes are usually explained as a kind of imprinting of a generally non-sexual object on a person's sexuality; and it usually happens in childhood. Foot fetish, latex fetish, spanking, etc.,--most fetishes, you can think of a logical reason how the fetish formed. Is a fixation on auto-erotic asphyxiation different? I can't imagine how someone develops a sexual interest in this except by hearing or reading about it and then thinking it sounds like a fun thing to try. Peer pressure, maybe, where one teenager tells a friend that he has to try this thing that makes masturbation so much better. Just spinning some ideas here. It's such a dangerous practice, I am not sure it's wise to portray it as just another fetish (not that I am accusing you of doing that). Incidentally, there was a character in Season 2 of "House of Cards" who had this predilection.


Technically, erotic asphyxiation is in the taxon of paraphilias. Most paraphilias are a combination of the sensory heightened by the symbolic, e.g., sock fetishes. However, this is a case of the sensory driven by the sensory. As for the etiology of erotic asphyxiation... it's cutting among kids, who knows, who knows where. The important thing is to face it without fear and judgment. Thanks for commenting. Namaste.


The subject matter is fascinating, but I'm not sure the way you portray it is entirely appropriate. Whilst the article is undeniably informative and educational, your analogy of erotic asphyxiation as being like heroin is an unfortunate choice of comparison.

I say this because I think that whilst complex psychological phenomenon such as erotic asphyxiation should ordinarily be approached with a critical, empirical eye free from loaded bias, I believe that as an author on a site like Psychology Today you have a moral onus to highlight the dangers of such psychosexual behaviours and addiction.

You allude to erotic asphyxiation as being "essentially sexual heroin, which is ingenious actually" and cite your own personal experiences with the drug - "If you have ever done heroin, you know it is similar to sustaining the sensation of sexual climax from seconds to hours." To a naive reader, this makes erotic asphyxiation look awesome, frankly. And I don't think you've done enough to highlight the psychological dangers of engaging in this activity (let alone in drug-taking - and can I add, your personal heroin use anecdote has no relevance in an informative article that is not about drug use).

I appreciate that someone has chosen to address the complex subject matter of erotic asphyxiation, but using heroin as a comparison (particularly when you fail to highlight the dangers of drug abuse and addiction) was a poor choice. Remember that you are publishing an article on a psychology hub where many readers may be struggling with substance abuse - ethical side notes should never be omitted in such cases.


1) Erotic asphyxiation IS like heroin because of the bran circuitry it employs, which I articulated in the article.

2) The teaser reads: "Erotic Asphyxiation is essentially sexual heroin and regrettably is becoming young America's drug of choice." Did you miss the word regrettably.

3) It IS ingenious of the brain to recreate the effect of heroin by concatenating two behaviors. Just because something is ingenious does not mean that it is healthy or unhealthy. You need to look up the word ingenious and not extend its definition to encompass your emotional comfort zone. This is a serious problem with young kids, don't make it about you or I. As side bar note: kids today are smart. Can we say Google. They know about everything. Presuming that you can preach to them, and save them by keeping knowledge from this is dinosaur thinking.

4) Mentioning having done heroin was VERY relevant. If you haven't done heroin you do not know what it feels like. Since EA uses the same brain mechanisms and results in similar physiological sequelae it was relevant to point out how desirable that feeling is. I did NOT say, "I do heroin", I said I had done it. (in my 20's when I was model after a couple of fashion shows, I'm neither penitent or proud, it was what it was.) Do NOT EVER ask me to apologize or stand mute about my life journey, because it is as much a part of my credential as m Ph.D. That is your problem, not mine, and do not try to make it mine.

5) EA is a serious problem. I am a scientist. I look at things scientifically. I said it was potentially, lethal. People know heroin's dangerous. Not my job to off topic and preach about that.

6) Please do not make this about me and you. But just for the record, it's attitudes like yours that are the reason we do not understand these things better. If I'm not going to discuss this on Psychology Today, where am I going to discuss it?

7) I ALSO compared EA to near drowning experience and mountain climbing. Was I expected to elaborate on the dangers of mountain climbing and swimming as well? If people do not realize that heroin is dangerous, there is nothing I can say or do is going is going to enlighten them.

Governments and citizen groups have spent billions of dollars informing the world about the dangers of narcotics.... and how has that worked out for them?


Interesting article Dr.

Interesting article Dr. Gordon and great response to Jack's silly comment. Keep up the good work.

Thank you!

I am glad you appreciated it, and thanks for taking time to comment. MUCH appreciated. <3

ニューバランス m1500


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Billi Gordon, Ph.D., is  Co-Investigator in the  Ingestive Behaviors & Obesity Program, Center for the Neurobiology of Stress, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.


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