A recent article published by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom provides an overview of the legality of erotic choking and breath play across the U.S. The main takeaway is that breath play in some form is illegal in almost all states. Here are some data points:
- In only 4 states, consent is a defense to choking someone.
- In 11 states, erotic choking is legal as long as no one gets hurt.
- In all 50 states, the following activities are legal:
- Breath play that involves telling someone else to hold their own breath or cover their own nose and mouth
- Neck grasping that doesn’t involve pressure and squeezing
- Gags, hoods, and collars that don’t prevent normal breathing
Check out our detailed guide on breath play and choking in BDSM for techniques and safety tips.