Autoerotic deaths are accidental deaths that occur during solitary sexual activity in which some type of apparatus that was used to enhance the sexual stimulation of the deceased caused the unintentional death.
The prevalence of auto-erotic fatalities is difficult to calculate, since a coroner often records a verdict of accident or misadventure. It is under these labels that many auto-erotic deaths lie hidden. Sometimes, however, where uncertainty exists over whether the person intended suicide, the verdict is left open. Bereaved families usually prefer this. ‘They often find an open verdict a little easier to accept, certainly easier than misadventure which might imply unsuspected goings-on15 scene features can be encountered, in different combinations, at the scenes of autoerotic deaths. However, it is our duty as investigators to come to ruling in every case we can. Much is riding on your answer, so a thorough investigation is required.
15 features commonly found at scenes of autoerotic deaths. Any combination of these may be observed.
- Exposed Genitals
- Evidence of Masturbation Activity
- Foreign Body Insertion in the Anus
- Video Recording
- Covering of face ( mask, duct tape, panty hose, etc)
- Bondage of Genitals
- Other Bondage ( arms, legs, and body bound)
- Other Masochistic Behavior
- Protective Padding in Hanging
- Evidence of Repetitive Behavior
Commonly, the victim is found nude or with exposed genitals. This is an important clue to the possibility of autoerotic death. However, not all dead bodies found nude or with exposed genitals are victims of autoerotic death. However, not all victims of autoerotic deaths are found nude or with exposed genitals.
Typical victim of an autoerotic accident is a white male average age 33.
96% are Male 96% White
Females are rare, as are blacks, Asian, and Native Americans .
Youngest reported case age 9 Oldest 89
15 to 19 years old represent only 5% to 16% of victims
It has been wrongly believed by many investigators that evidence of masturbation (exposed genitals or presents of semen) had to be present for the autoerotic ruling . This is NOT true. Sexual pleasure is sometimes gained simply by the actions of the victim – and sometimes as a precursor – or sexual stimulate – prior to masturbation.
As For Semen
In hanging deaths semen can be frequently found due to spontaneous ejaculation caused by a nerve response. Further, it was commonly observed in the day of public hanging that the condemned would get an erection after dropping from the gallows floor. This is believed to be a symptom of a severed spinal cord. (this led people to believe that hanging caused sexual pleasure)
Asphyxiation most common form.
The most common form of dangerous autoerotic activity involves the use of some technique for reducing the oxygen to the brain to achieve an altered state of consciousness.It is important to note the distinction between autoerotic or sexual asphyxia on the one hand, and asphyxia as a cause of death on the other –
Autoerotic asphyxia refers to the use of asphyxia to heighten sexual arousal, more often than not with nonfatal outcome.
The practitioner who dies, most often dies from an overdose of asphyxiation.The autoerotic practitioner who dies while engaged in such acts, most often dies from an overdose of asphyxiation when, for one reason or another, becomes unable to terminate his means of enjoyment.
Positional such as fall, slips, etc. or if victim becomes unconscious.Sometimes however, someone engaged in autoerotic asphyxia may die a non-asphyxial death – such as heart attack, stroke, or exposure. This will change the manor of death to natural. NOT autoerotic asphyxia.
Asphyxial Death Process
Amount of pressure to occlude the neck structures
Jugular Veins 4.5 lbs
Carotid Arteries 11 lbs
Trachea 33 lbs
Vertebral Arteries 66 lbs
(On average the human head weighs 10 pounds)
Agonal Sequence in Hanging
Loss of Consciousness 10 +- 3s
Convulsions 14 +- 3s
Decerebrate Rigidity 19 +- 5s (extended)
Start of deep rhythmic abdominal respiratory movements 19 +- 5s
Decorticate Rigidity 38 +- 15s (flexion)
Loss of muscle tone 1 min 17s +- 25s
End of deep respiratory movements 1 min 51s +- 30s
Last muscle movement 4 min 12s +- 2 min 29s
Listen to the audio version for a more complete conversation on the topic.