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The popularity of sexual choking is soaring, but health experts say erotic breath play can be deadly if precautions aren't taken.

The practice of sexual asphyxiation -- depriving a partner of oxygen during sex -- is more popular with men than women. It is also more popular among ghey males than lesbians.

People who are into breath play say it can heighten sexual arousal and make orgasms more intense.

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According to a 2020 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 20% of men say they choked a partner to near unconsciousness during sex. Only 12% of women said they choked a partner during foreplay.

Women and girls have reported being choked during sex without their consent and it has been used in controversial "rough sex" defenses.

One man was acquitted of murder when he successfully convinced a jury that his partner accidentally died during rough sex.

Here's what experts say about Erotic Asphyxiation (EA):

"EA is truly very risky and may lead to serious injury, including cardiac arrest, brain damage from lack of oxygen, and death," says Janet Brito, PhD, LCSW, CST, who specializes in sex therapy.

"Knowing EA may lead to experiencing irregular heart rate, cardiac arrest, and death, most experts advise against it."

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"Before a couple considers EA, it's best to set time aside to communicate their interests in detail — specifically what types of boundaries are needed," added Brito.

She said couples should use nonverbal cues to alert a partner if they come dangerously close to passing out.

  • holding something in your hand, such as your keys, and dropping it when you'd like to stop
  • tapping three times on your partner's hand or nearby surface
  • snapping your fingers

 
Brito also says it is important to give consent before erotic breath play begins.

You and your partner should discuss your boundaries before you're in the heat of the moment, and consent should be given at each stage of play.

This has been your Medical Minute.

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A Washington man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the murder of a male-to-female (MtF) who went missing in June 2019.

Nikki Kuhnhausen, 17, was reported missing after planning to meet up with David Bogdanov, 25, on Snapchat. Kuhnhausen was last seen alive on June 6.

On Dec. 7, a hiker discovered human skeletal remains in a remote area of Larch Mountain in Clark County, according to Crimeonline.com.

The remains were later identified as Kuhnhausen, according to KPTV. Bogdonov told investigators in early October that he and Kuhnhausen had gotten into a dispute, and he kicked the teenager out of his car. He said that was the last he'd seen of Kuhnhausen.

But police now believe Bogdonov strangled Kuhnhausen after he found out he was born a male.

"We suspect that there was probably some interaction where, and by his own admission, that he determined that ... she was transgender," said Vancouver police Lieutenant Tom Ryan.

Ryan added that cross-dressing was offensive to Bogdonov's culture.

Cell phone records revealed, on June 6, Bogdonov's phone was in the same remote area where Kuhnhausen's remains were later found.

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A pathologist who examined Jeffrey Epstein's body appeared to confirm rumors that Epstein was murdered in his Manhattan jail cell. Former NYC medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden claims the body bore signs of homicidal violence, not suicide.

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Epstein, 66, committed suicide by hanging in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10. He was charged with multiple counts of sex trafficking of minor girls, and was set to testify against his high-profile friends, including President Donald Trump (pictured right), in exchange for a more lenient sentence.

Baden said Epstein's body bore the telltale signs of homicidal strangulation, not suicide as was widely reported by the news media. "In 50 years I've not seen such injuries in a suicidal hanging," said Baden.

Baden, 85, was hired by Epstein's brother to conduct a thorough autopsy after the body was released to the family.

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Fox News

Baden says the billionaire had two broken bones on the left and right sides of his larynx, around the Adam's apple. But the telltale sign of murder was a fracture to the hyoid bone in his neck above the Adam's apple.

"Those three fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation," Baden told Fox News.

Baden worked on high-profile cases involving Nicole Simpson (O.J. Simpson's ex-wife), President John F. Kennedy, former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, and more.

Baden said the Epstein case should have been investigated as a homicide. "It appears that this could have been a mistake. There's evidence here of homicide that should be investigated, to see if it is or isn't homicide."