38-year-old librarian Simon Smith was found dead in a closet with a mask covering his head. Authorities believe his death is the result of a sex game that went wrong.
The former director at a funeral parlor is thought to have passed away while engaging in a very dangerous solo sex game known as breath play. The game is a form of autoerotic asphyxiation where an individual purposefully blocks the oxygen to their brain in order to be sexually aroused.
Authorities became involved in the incident when sis not show up for work when he was expected. Police searched his home and discovered him with a black mask on his head in a closet in one of the bedrooms.
The medical examiner revealed that there is no evidence that suggests Smith wanted to intentionally kill himself, despite having a history of depression. The examiner ruled his death as an accident and labeled it an attempt at sexual asphyxia that went horribly wrong.
Reports share that autoerotic asphyxiation is usually carried out when an individual, often a man, puts a chain or belt around his neck and hooks the other end of the rope to a door or some other steady surface that can hold a decent amount of weight.
The individual then lowers his body in an act of controlled suspension. As the body’s oxygen levels diminish, the individual become light-headed, which many people think heightens sexual arousal.
Records show that the first case of autoerotic asphyxiation happened in 1791. Since then, several celebrities have passed away due to the sexual act gone wrong, like David Carradine and Michael Hutchence.
Often death by this act is misconstrued as suicide, so it is difficult to know the exact number of individuals who have passed away due to autoerotic asphyxiation. It is estimated that there are between 500 and 1,000 deaths due to the sexual act each year.