Date of Award

January 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Cindy Juntunen


The set of behaviors known as Autoerotic Asphyxiation (AeA) have been studied, by contemporary scientific standards, for the better part of sixty years. Within that time, an inadequate amount of research has been completed on a far too narrow sample of the population, namely those who have died from the practice. AeA as a practice has been understudied to this point despite statistics that would note the potential for an unknown number of individuals to currently be practicing these behaviors. There is a paucity of both quantitative and qualitative data about living AeA practitioners. The present study uses Sex Positivity to acknowledge and approach the Kink community from a position of social justice, wellness, and resilience within the community (Burnes, Singh, & Witherspoon, 2017). Sex Positivity, as utilized in the present study, assumes validity and wellness in the varying forms of pleasure-seeking behaviors noted above that include concepts of consent, mutual respect, and communication between partners (Queen & Schimel, 1997; Richards & Barker, 2013). Due to the aforementioned general lack of extant data on oxygen restriction enthusiasts, the present study focuses primarily upon identifying similarities and differences between living AeA and Airplay with a Partner (APP) enthusiasts. The study attempted to identify demographics, methods, preparations, and practices of AeA and APP. The study identified several demographic information pieces, which stand in contrast to extant literature.