Autoerotic Deaths

A unique subgroup of asphyxial deaths are autoerotic deaths which occur during purposeful attempts to reduce blood flow to the brain by neck compression during masturbation. Any object which compresses the neck can be used. Most of the time a towel or some soft object is placed between the ligature and the neck to prevent visible scrapes or bruises. The diagnosis is readily made at the scene because the decedent may be naked, and pornographic material is usually found nearby. Often there is evidence of repeated behavior at the scene, such as grooves worn in the rafters where ropes or pulleys have been placed. The manner of death is accidental.

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