real life

How Sami Lukis accidentally discovered her 'hard limits' in the bedroom.

The following is an extract from Sami Lukis’ book, Romantically Challenged. Available now via Viking, RRP $32.99.

Ideally it would be nice to find a partner whose sexual bucket list is more or less on par with yours. And one who respects your limits.

I accidentally discovered that one of my hard limits is choking.

I say accidentally, because the first time a guy tried the old choke and poke on me in the bedroom, it took me completely by surprise. He certainly hadn’t asked if I’d like some subtle asphyxiation with my shag. I was totally oblivious to what was going on. I only noticed something wasn’t quite right when I started feeling pressure around my neck. And because I didn’t resist immediately (um, I was trying to process what the fuck was going on), Mr Chokeypokey interpreted that as a green light and started to squeeze my neck a little tighter and press down on my windpipe a little harder. That was my cue to physically remove his hand from my throat and tell him I was not comfortable with that particular manoeuvre. Thanks very much.

What shocked me even more about this situation is that it happened while I was having sex with the guy for the very first time.

Sure, I understand that some people enjoy a little erotic asphyxiation. But I imagine that’s something you’d only choose to explore if you’re in a secure, trusting relationship with a partner you feel completely safe with, even at your most vulnerable. It seems wildly inappropriate to try it out on someone you’re getting jiggy with for the first time. Especially without asking their permission. Or discussing it first.

If that wasn’t already the most disturbing thing that had ever happened to me between the sheets, I couldn’t believe it when I found myself in the exact same position on two other separate occasions.


The second time it happened, I assumed the guy was taking a little breather and he just hadn’t realised that his hands (and his full body weight) were pressing down on the base of my neck. But then he started to slowly tighten his grip around my throat and I realised I’d found myself in the sack with another cheeky choker.

On the third occasion, I was able to swat the guy’s hand away from my neck the moment I sensed where it was heading. Third time is definitely not a charm.

LISTEN: Sami Lukis and Mia Freedman on why some men like choking during sex. (Post continues below.)

After this happened to me three times on three separate occasions with three different men, I had to wonder if I was out of touch with some new bedroom craze and blissfully unaware that choking had somehow crept its way into most people’s sexual repertoire.

I asked my girlfriends if they’d ever experienced it. Most of them said they’d encountered a random bum slap or a surprise hair pull now and then, but none of them had ever been exposed to the old sex strangle.

As ridiculously bizarre as it sounds, I know these guys weren’t trying to assault me. I guess it might be an intense form of domination for some men and I reckon they were probably even hoping it might ‘pleasure’ me. But what it actually did was force me into brief moments of non-consensual submission and vulnerability I’d never felt before. And there was nothing pleasurable about those experiences for me. On any level.

sami lukis book choking
Sami chats to Mia Freedman on No Filter. Image: Supplied.

It’s most definitely a hard limit for me, Mr Grey.

Here’s another thing that shocked me about these encounters: each of the stranglers was about ten years my junior, which put them all in their early thirties (despite my occasional cougar tendencies, I generally adhere to the motto ‘if I can make you, I can’t date you’). So I wonder if these guys only attempted the choke and poke because they assumed I was the experienced older woman, who had seen and done it all before? Or has choking just become a commonplace sex act among the younger generation?

It saddens me to think that young women embarking on their first sexual encounters might actually think this is normal behaviour or, worse still, that it’s what’s expected of them. Hey, if choking floats your boat, go for it. But please remember girls, sex is supposed to be enjoyable for both people involved.

And to be perfectly honest, most guys would just be pretty damn thrilled with a good old-fashioned blow job.

Listen to the full episode of No Filter, featuring Sami Lukis.