It's been almost a year since I last wrote on this blog, probably almost as long since I've kept up with others' blog posts. But someone called to my attention that Matt aka "Mad Scientist" of Kink Engineering, an up-and-coming business that makes amazing fetishwear, died in late May of solo play gone wrong: using a vacbed alone.
My reaction: "Fuck! Not again."
It was only two years and just under two months after another great artisan of latex and gear, James H. aka "Bodisama", passed away from self breath play. The total count of my own friends and acquaintances who have died from solo play accidents in the last 15 years is more than twenty. Other friends have enumerated their own lists of known casualties from this practice and posted about it before. It isn't like this is an unknown menace.
I come from a place of trying it myself a couple times, years ago. The second time, I came within seconds of passing out, which would have meant certain death. So it wasn't worth it. Sure, I was depressed too, and could have let go right then. I escaped from the situation, pulled myself together, and vowed never to do that again.
Please, simply don't play alone. If restraint, breath control, or inhalants float your boat, get yourself out there and find trustworthy friends, get to know people in the community. If you want to try doing things that could kill you on the spot (and that includes plenty of types of bondage that don't directly involve controlling air), get someone else to help and monitor the situation. There's no easy way to say this: if you play like this alone, someday, you will lose the battle with fate too.
And I really don't want to lose yet another friend that way.