Extreme masturbation kills up to 100 Germans a year because of risky techniques and dangerous sexual desires, a physician has claimed.
According to Dr Harald Voss, the most common cause of death is suffocation as people search for an “elevated” sexual experience by depriving themselves of oxygen – also known as erotic asphyxiation.
But he says many masturbation-related deaths go unreported as family members of the deceased are too ashamed or embarrassed to reveal the true state in which their loved one was found, The Local reports.
Dr Voss reports one man, in Hamburg, is believed to have suffered from an autoerotic death [another term for fatalities linked to sexual self-satisfaction] after he covered himself with sliced cheese, pulled pantyhose over his upper body, put on a raincoat and a diving suit and then sat down with a plastic bag over his head in front of a heater that was switched on.
In another case, a woman discovered her son’s lifeless body with Christmas tree lights clamped to his nipples. He had been electrocuted.
Risky masturbation appears to be favoured by people of all ages, Dr Voss says, but most victims are men because women tend to “be more cautious”.
Between 80 and 100 people across the country accidentally die every year due to risky masturbation practices, his study found.
This figure is based on findings that for every one million German citizens there are “one or two” cases of deaths a year in which a prop or device was used to boost stimulation during sexual activity.
The Legal Medicine in Hamburg alone recorded 40 accidental autoerotic deaths between 1983 and 2003 with all victims aged between 13 and 79, The Local reports.
Dr Voss says while it is hard to comprehend, the feeling of powerlessness and enhanced sense of danger are some of the reasons people risk embarrassment, injury and at times death for the euphoria which has been equated to a drug-induced high.
Other known autoerotic cases include American actor David Carradine, who was found strangled in a closet in 2009, and INXS singer Michael Hutchence, who was discovered strangled by a belt in a hotel room in 1997.