Edge Play: Isolation, Choking, and Punching

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Dirty Talk Advice ColumnKink has always been the type of activity that attracts a lot of mixed feelings. On one hand, it can be incredibly empowering, cathartic, and healing. On the other hand, you are playing with a lot of heavy material that has the potential to go sideways. Nowhere is this more the case then when it comes to edge play.

Not all kink is spanking and flogging with some fancy floor kneeling in a collar. Sometimes people want to explore their boundaries a little further. Even in Kinkland, edge play is not something that is practiced by everybody. And rightfully so. Edge play is not for participants that do not know what they are doing. There is too much of a chance for things to go off the rails. Done properly, it can be some of the most memorable and exhilarating activities you will ever undertake. But, due to the deeper waters you are treading in, it can also go very awry.

Today’s column tackles some of the questions I have received around edgier play and the activities that some readers are considering engaging in.

What Are Your Thoughts On Isolation And Predicament Bondage?

“I have always had a fetish for isolation bondage combined with predicament bondage. As an educator and bondage model, I was curious about your thoughts on the topic.”–Predicaments Please!

Isolation BondageA fetish is a fetish. You cannot help the way your brain is wired. The things that turn you on are the things that turn you on and I would never kink shame anyone for their proclivities. However, I am going to be honest, you do have a riskier kink. That is just a fact.

Does this mean that you can not indulge in your fetish? Certainly not. But if you want to explore it safely, you would need to use certain precautions. Whenever I come across a report of a bondage death, it is almost always isolation or solo bondage as opposed to an activity done with a partner. When you or someone else are left alone in bondage is when the risk is the highest. Certainly, for some people, that is part of the appeal for this type of edge play. The riskier something is, the more the dopamine payoff can be. And dopamine loving people will do all sorts of things to get their hands on it.

I can counsel you that isolation and predicament bondage is a risky activity, but there is no way I can convince someone not to do something if they really want to. The best that I can do is encourage you to take steps to limit your risk.

If isolation is part of the experience that you crave, then create a structure where you can mimic the effect of isolation without actually indulging in it. Whether this means a play partner willing to go on that journey with you or sessioning with a pro dom, there are workarounds to lessen your risk. I have done sessions where I would tie someone up and act as if I was leaving them on their own, as that was their particular fetish. But even when I acted as if I was stepping out of the room, all I was doing was retiring to a place where I could see them but they could not see me. I would never feel comfortable with not keeping eyes on someone in predicament bondage.

Is this a lessened and not as thrilling version of isolation bondage? Most certainly. But it is the only version I feel comfortable playing with. I like edge play. But I do not want my play to end up in death. I cannot recommend leaving anyone unattended in bondage. While death can happen with the rigger is in the same room as the person that they tied, it is much much less likely. Only you can decide how you choose to explore your fetish. But I heartily recommend exploring it as safely as you possibly can.

Is Throat Standing Edge Play A Safe Activity?

“As a lifelong lover of feet and breath play, I recently saw a video that combined both of those things and I was blown away. It was a throat standing video where a woman was standing on a man’s throat. I can’t get it out of my head. Is this a safe activity?”–Feet And Breath Bliss

Foot Edge PlayIs it a safe activity? No. Not in the slightest.

As someone who has both a foot fetish and a breath play fetish, I certainly can understand the appeal of combining both at the same time. In this particular case, it is a horrible combination. Let me stress that again: horrible. Don’t do it.

Since I have not seen the footage that has made such a strong impression on you, I am left to only guess about its creation. There could be a number of tricks at play that you, the viewer, did not see.

It is possible that the model they hired to stand on a throat had some sort of hidden means of support not visible on camera. Maybe she did not weigh very much and the man’s throat she was standing on does a lot of throat training exercises. Supposedly Harry Houdini would grip the end of a kitchen table with his teeth and then stand upwards to strengthen his neck muscles. They could have angled the camera in such a way that it only appeared that she was putting pressure on his throat. In my film production career I have seen all manner of trick photography. Or maybe it was completely real. Sometimes people are willing to undertake extremely risky activities for others entertainment and adequate pay. We will never know. But what I do know is that throat standing is incredibly dangerous and should not be attempted.

The weight of someone on a throat not only constricts the airway, it puts extreme pressure on the trachea. Carotid artery compression can cause death and while I am a fellow dedicated breath play fan, throat standing is not a form of breath play I would ever feel comfortable attempting. If you absolutely must have feet around your throat, have the person doing it sitting on the ground next to you so that none of their weight is on their feet. You could have them use their feet to constrict your airway in a manner that is much less risky than someone standing on your throat. Much lower risk, but like with all breath play, it is not zero risk.

How Risky Is Punching Edge Play?

“Punching is one of my favorite forms of rough play, and in particular I enjoy face and belly punching. I keep getting feedback that this is risky play but I’ve never had any trouble with it. Are the naysayers correct? Or can I keep on punching?”–Fists Forever

Punching Edge PlayI can speak from personal experience here, the naysayers are correct. Like you, I am someone that is extraordinary fond of punching and I have played with both face punching and belly punching. Even when people around me took the time to inform me how risky this play was, I did not listen. My fetish, my assumption of risk.

That is until a poorly landed face punch caused nerve damage in my face that developed into Bell’s palsy and a belly punch landed me in the ER with a distended ovary. My ER visit was 8 hours and cost me $1,500. The left side of my face has never been the same after the Bell’s palsy and I still get occasional flare-ups. Additionally, I had a friend who ended up with a cracked rib after her husband did a punching scene with her. These days face punching is off the table and my belly punching is severely limited.

Do boxers get punched all of the time in the face? Of course they do. And that damage accumulates over time. You can indulge in risky play for years without ever having anything go wrong. But you can never tell when the bill will come due. I reveled in punching play for most of my kinky journey before something went sideways. When my body talks to me, I listen and amend my play accordingly.

I do not presume to tell other people how to live their kink, all I do is give advice based on my own personal experience. If punching is something you really enjoy doing, you probably are going to keep doing it. Just be aware that it is a higher risk form of edge play. Also educate yourself on the proper techniques of engaging in this type of play. There are a number of videos on Kink Academy showing how to properly partake in punching play. Have fun and be safe!


Keep it Kinky My Friends,

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Mark Mitchell
Mark Mitchell

Lovely read, as usual! Thank you!!!