What Is Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation? Find Out Here If You Want To Read Ariel Castro Death Report But Are Too Embarrassed To Google It

Auto-erotic asphyxiation may have been the cause of Ariel Castro’s death, according to media reports. But what is it? If you’re too embarrassed to Google “auto-erotic asphyxiation,” this article will tell you exactly what it is.

Auto-erotic asphyxiation is “the practice of cutting off the blood supply to the brain through self-applied suffocation methods while masturbating,” according to Columbia University’s Health Education Program.

When auto-erotic asphyxiation is performed, the brain gets deprived of oxygen, which can “intensify sensations, producing feelings of giddiness, lightheadedness, or exhilaration that can heighten the orgasmic experience.”

Columbia warns of the dangers of engaging in auto-erotic asphyxiation.

“Depending on how long the brain and body are deprived of oxygen, brain damage could occur even if death does not,” states the university’s Go Ask Alice! section on auto-erotic asphyxiation. “A person participating in AEA also risks lacerating, cutting, or bruising their neck, depending on the suffocation or strangulation technique used. “

What does auto-erotic asphyxiation have to do with Ariel Castro? A report released Thursday by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction suggested that Castro may have died of the sexual act and not from suicide. Evidence pointing in that direction (no pun intended) include that Castro’s underwear and pants were around his ankles when he was discovered hanging (again, sorry) from his prison cell.

Between 500 and 1,000 deaths in the United States are blamed on auto-erotic asphyxiation each year, according to Columbia, which noted that many of the deaths are considered “homicide or suicide.” Whether Ariel Castro is one of those remains unclear, but the report lays out the evidence that the Cleveland kidnapper may not have committed suicide as had originally been reported.

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