The Teen Trend of Sexual Choking

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Credit…Carolyn Drake for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Why We Need to Talk About Teen Sex,” by Peggy Orenstein (Opinion guest essay, April 14):

As a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst who has worked for decades with teens and college-age students, I’m disturbed but not surprised by the trend of choking during sex.

Choking is obviously very dangerous, and unfortunately, social media has made this once uncommon practice more mainstream.

Education is the key with both our youth and parents. Yes, sexual strangulation needs to be part of ongoing conversations about safe sex practices. There clearly needs to be more accountability about this behavior.

There is a line, a boundary, where rough sex, whether it’s consensual or not, crosses into danger, causing devastating long-term effects for participants.

Arden Greenspan Goldberg
San Diego

To the Editor:

While reading this essay, I was reminded of how feminist writers and activists waved warning flags about the pernicious effects of pornography on women back in the 1970s and ’80s. They published books and essays on the subject, marched in demonstrations and spoke out in the media. They were continually derided as prudes and censors.

Decades later, with violent porn pervasive online and a generation of young women subjected to the sadistic sexual violence normalized by porn, it turns out those prudes and censors were actually Cassandras.

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