Autoerotic Asphyxia and Asphyxiophilia

Stephen Hucker

in Unusual and Rare Psychological Disorders

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print November 2016 | ISBN: 9780190245863
Published online March 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190245887 | DOI:
Autoerotic Asphyxia and Asphyxiophilia

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  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Adult Psychology


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Deliberate self-hanging for sexual arousal has been variously termed sexual asphyxia, autoerotic asphyxia, asphyxiophilia, eroticized repetitive hangings, hypoxyphilia, and Kotzwarraism. Regardless of the term used and the safeguards that are often put in place, this widely practiced sexual behavior can be dangerous, and even deadly. In fact, given the secretive nature of this paraphilia, much of the research base derives from the study of fatalities. Our knowledge of what motivates those who asphyxiate themselves to achieve sexual arousal has until recently been dependent upon studying these death scenes, supplemented by the rare descriptions of those who have survived and described the experience. Specific challenges and impediments to treating individuals with this disorder are described.

Keywords: Autoerotic asphyxia; asphyxiophilia; autoerotic asphyxiation; breath play; paraphilia; sexual disorder; assessment; treatment; case study

Chapter.  6143 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Psychology ; Clinical Adult Psychology

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