Begging for air

Sometimes a job calls on you to go above and beyond your normal routine.  For a model, this can happen quite often.  In the case of IAM: Rachietartz, her latest photoshoot pushed her to the brink of consciousness.  Using a tie to cut off her airway, Rachie was on the verge of passing out when this photo was snapped.  You can see just how intense this was not only by the look in her eyes, but also by how red her face got while she was straining for air.

Photo credit: JL Joseph Beaulieu

94 thoughts on “Begging for air

  1. I’m not usually squeamish. Blood- fine, gore- awesome. But for some reason I find this pretty damn disturbing.

  2. I’ve been reading BME for years (since it was bme.freeq.com) and this is the first thing I’ve seen that’s made me think: ‘That’s fucking stupid’.

  3. Breathplay is on the line.
    It is literally on the line between life and death, and over it because it isn’t as simple and safe as most think it is, especially at this extreme, but fuck if that look isn’t incredible, I don’t know what is. The trust it takes, and the power that is handed over… *melts*. I like.

  4. What the fuck does “breathplay” have to do with body modification? Jesus christ, reign yourself in, Rob.

  5. Just as a PSA, the effects of cutting off your airway until near suffocation don’t go away once you release the airway. You can create blood clots that don’t show up for days afterwards. This is so, so, so dangerous and should not be recommended as an activity for anyone, no matter how much you think you know what you’re doing.

  6. This is interesting… I wouldn’t do it, but it’s one of those things that’s a little neat in a horrible way to look at, like dead bodies.

  7. What has this got to do with body modification apart from her piercings?

    The “fainting game,” as it has been called here in NZ, has claimed a number of young lives in the last couple of years and I mean young – we’re talking 10-14 year olds here. God knows how many have been killed or maimed overseas.

    If you think that encouraging this behaviour (and by giving it ANY bandwidth at all, you ARE encouraging it) is ok then you are seriously misled.

    Shame on you BME, you’ve well and truly crossed the line.

  8. First, I understand how this is modification, I guess, and she is a lovely girl, but.. breath play and choking is really dangerous, just the act of cutting off oxygen to your brain (even if nothing horrid like death occurs) can have negative consequences.. I think that this sort of content is especially touchy to show because people do die because of it, including kids, who play choking/fainting games, and because belts/ropes are, obviously, extremely accessible.

  9. @Meow – What would you like to know?

    @Lesha – I was fully in control of the tie the was wrapped around my neck.

    @Alibaba – Are you familiar with Asphyxiophilia? You know the “fetish” called erotic asphyxiation? That was the point of it. This is a “fetish” portrait. Do I myself like getting choked? Yes, I do. Do I encourage or condone young children to play the choking game? Not in the slightest. Unless you know what you are doing, I don’t recommend it.

  10. As a devoted Savage Love reader, this photo set off my “fucking stupid” alarm.

  11. I have to agree that I don’t really see what this has to do with body modification. Unless the desired modification is brain damage. Haha.

  12. nothing about bulging blue forehead vein sounds/looks erotic to me. this would be much better suited on fetlife than modblog.

  13. A picture of an extremely dangerous activity. When you post something like this for public viewing, don’t be surprised when people have something to say.

  14. This coming from a group of people that hardly bock at scarification or dick splitting hahahaha.. wow. you know what else is an extremely dangerous activity with an even higher fatality rate.. Drinking.

  15. I’m not surprised people have something to say. It’s my life, and I’ll do as I please. I’m not the first person to do a picture like this, and I surely will not be the last.

  16. Rachie, do you remember this? http://news.bmezine.com/2009/04/13/the-earth-beneath/

    some of the comments I got were a bit ridiculous, people just didn’t want to believe (or accept) that I willing wanted to get this piece done. I think the whole idea is really cool, I personally love being choked too. so, I understand. just not sure I’d do it for a photographer, you know? but like I said in my earlier post, kudos to you for being able to do it.

  17. Lesha – Yeah, I do remember that post.

    Understandable not sure about how you feel doing it for a photographer. Everyone has what they would be and wouldn’t be comfortable with. :) Thanks for the kind words.

  18. asphyxiophilia is awesome
    this picture is awesome
    this girl (Rachie Tartz) is awesome

    just because people die (mostly do to their own stupidity, except with children then it’s mostly stupid parents) doesn’t mean she deserves to get lectured at for a photograph.. (a good looking one for that matter)
    salvidore dali hurled cats into the air for a photograph, and photographers have done much much worse things… so this picture isn’t really bad at all compared to those i don’t think.

  19. I like this photo and I can understand why it’s here. As for valuing life, and the thought that people die from this… people die from all sorts of things… extreme sports, martial arts, unhealthy living, even driving a car runs a risk! But allot of people take these risks everyday! Hell, I nearly died last year when a car driver pulled across the path of my motorbike, but I don’t judge people who are still biking!

  20. Okay, no one has answered the question that others, as well as myself, have asked: What does this have to do with body modification?

    Seriously, you have to apply some boundaries to the content on this site. I wasn’t aware that something that’s only subject matter could be considered “fetish play”, that has nothing to do with a modified appendage, would be profiled on ModBlog. I do realise people will bring up the European dude who inserted amazingly large pieces of metal into his torso, but wasn’t part of that article about his body’s amazing ability to heal quite greivous wounds?

    This, however, simply has a girl who has a couple of facial piercings in the photo, being strangled for pleasure. Consensual, yes. But I don’t understand in what way she is modifying her body. Is the manipulation of her airway considered “body play”? And because it’s supposedly alluding to a sexual preference, does that mean it has a place on ModBlog?

    ModBlog isn’t about SEX per se, actually not at all, at the end of the day it’s still about body modification, hence the MOD in ModBlog. It’s a Blog about Modification. It’s not a place to showcase deviant sexual behaviours (and I’m using deviant the same way blacks use the term “nigger”, as a form of reclamation, deviance is what keeps the world interesting, varied, and fresh).

  21. This is possibly the most beautiful, emotive piece I have seen featured on this site in ages. For a community that subscribes to a more hardcore aspect of a fetishism, you’re all acting like a bunch of close minded, big girl’s blouses. Get over yourselves + appreciate art for the sake of art.

  22. rachie what you do is your business and if you want to toe the death line, by all means, experiment to your lung’s content.

    i do however feel that it is not appropriate to post something like this on modblog because i can guarantee that there are impressionable young-uns out there who follow modblog, want to be like all the cool modders they see, and this is the only thing that is obtainable to them. kids will not try to get a tattoo, suspend, split their dick, or gauge their ears. they will however be able to choke themselves. when posting on a popular public forum, no matter how extreme, maybe the safety of those who are dangerously impressionable should be taken under consideration?

    just a thought..

  23. I don’t know- I think it’s rather silly to be bent over something like breathplay + how ‘impressionable’ children are, when there are photos of people cutting their gentials off, and doing various other dangerous activities. For some, body modification is about testing your body’s physical limits + this is an excellent demonstration of just that.

    Again, for a community that is based around a more hardcore aspect of the fetish community, I think there has been a bit of an overreaction to something that is just simple + beautiful.

  24. Rachie Tartz: I have no objection to you or any other informed adult indulging in whatever vice you choose.

    My point is that autoerotic asphyxiation is not something to be undertaken lightly and is certainly not a game, as I am sure you would agree. It’s a sad fact that impressionable children will continue to try the “fainting game” with tragic results no matter how hard we adults try to supervise/control/guide them.

    There is a place for asphyxiophilia but I don’t believe that it is here on a publicly accessible site.

    ’nuff said.

  25. It is Ok to have, live, and picture a fetish. But if its not body-mod, than here on the body-mod showcase it is not Ok, due to being off topic. Forced breathplay has an pretty violent look (the picture resembels some nice mafia ideas about how to threat people)… Simply holding the breath voluntarily has the same effect, looking much less aggressive… and beeing way less dangerous. If you’d faint during apnoe the body starts to breath again. If you go for apnoe diving: Maybe don’t go to that last second, play safe.

  26. Why is everybody going on about ‘impressionable kids’ seeing this picture on a sight that clearly states you need to be over 18 to view?

  27. Whether or not someone likes autoerotic is not my fucking business. When you publicly disseminate the image and it’s featured on a website for body modifications, then you’re taking something that is off-topic, but more importantly hot button, and moving the focus off of why people come to this site. There is a ton of debate about this sexual proclivity in fetish communities–WHERE IT BELONGS. Sexuality and mods intersect in a ton of interesting ways, and on this site these are ways that compliment each other. The “hey let me choke myself almost to death and give myself brain damage because it makes me wet” overshadows the 16g Hot Topic jewelry to a point that renders them almost irrelevant.

  28. I have to admit I enjoy being choked etc but I found this picture disturbing on first glance. Mostly down to my body automatically feeling like it was me that was gasping for air.

    However, this is an adult site and although I find certain aspects of the modification content disturbing sometimes too (Heavy Mods like amputations etc) I don’t think it shouldn’t be posted here.

  29. Colleen- LOL I don’t buy body jewelry from Hot Topic. And it’s a 14g not a 16g. ;)
    Like stated before. IT’S FETISH PHOTOGRAPHY. I am an alternative/fetish model. I didn’t try to “choke myself to death.” No one seems to understand the fact that I was NOT trying to put myself even out for that matter.

  30. I started reading modblog just under 10 years ago when I was about 13-14 and there was a vast amount of extreme body mods which Shannon ALWAYS gave warnings for. I was extremely impressionable because this was a world I had no other access to but there was always annotation to the background of the photo and if necessary, a warning. Where is that for this?

    I’m not even old-fashioned yet I found myself surprised to see this on here, just another flippantly described photo. Take some responsibility and explain why you found this photo so compelling to post and why people should NOT endeavor to replicate. I mean, Jesus, it’s so damn dangerous!

  31. I see it as an artistic piece. BME does have BME Hard, which is an adult site and does have various fetishes on it. I’ve been choked during sex play before (and hated it, won’t do it again) and doing it in a fetish area is probably a lot safer than some stupid 14 year old kid doing it for kicks.
    Hell, people pay for stuff like that.
    And I mean, this is hardly the most dangerous thing ever featured on Modblog..

  32. Good lord, when did we become such a community of pussies?!
    Every single thing on the interweb doesn’t need to have a warning OMG DON’T LOOK IF YOU’RE IMPRESSIONABLE!! Has anyone else paid a bit of attention to anything else dangerous put on modblog? Like this is the sole example.

    Using an object like that restricts blood flow as well as the airway, so whoever said “holdin breath” works just as well..yer doing it wrong.

    I know for myself even brief – I mean 10 seconds and less – of being choked like that can result in that exact look. When did we all become so afraid of minor risks? Jesus.

  33. @ zeyphr*elf
    my point was that a young kid is NOT going to try to chop his dick off. he may on the other hand try to choke himself. thats why exposing this type of “modification” (?) has more dangerous possibilities than exposing any other modification on this site. young impressionable viewers will observe, and some will try to replicate. deny that all you want, but i can assure that will happen.

  34. Rachie, you are the fucking bomb.

    Kudos to you – this picture is beautiful. I posted this link on my Facebook and it’s caused a miniature shitstorm – no worries though I won HAHA.

    Fuck the squares, fetishes are FUN!

  35. san.
    i see there being three reasons for someone to want to remove their genitals:
    1. they are asexual and do not want to have reproductive organs
    2. they enjoy self mutilation and the standard cutting has lost its appeal
    3. they want to be something that more closely resembles the opposite sex, which i guess in this situation would only apply to males

    im guessing a typical young kid does not fully understand asexuality, and if so is still coping with what that means and if it applies to them.
    for a young kid who is interested in self mutilation, the whole cutting thing is still new to them, so why would they be more extreme?
    a young kid who wants to be the opposite sex is still worrying about the social repercussions of a sex change and would have to be quite unstable to attempt a dangerous genital change on their own.

    i think thats what it comes down to: a young kid would have to be very unstable to attempt a dangerous genital removal on their own, while choking is something that appears to be far less permanent and dangerous.

  36. Eli: *You* see 3 reasons. I know of people that had wanted to get castrated since they were adolescents. Hell, look at some younger boys trying to circumsize themselves at home. That classifies as cutting genitals off. You’re assuming people that remove genitals (testicles, penis, etc) are unstable. I suppose you’ve never seen BME Hard?
    There’s a difference between kids being stupid and a fetish in a controlled environment.

  37. i wonder where my comment went to?
    i was the only one at the time to be positive and supportive…

    …strange.

    anyways,
    Thanks again Rachie, for sharing such an intense and personal moment with us!

  38. I get it. I think the photograph is very artistic. I also think that just because BME can put it on the web does not mean they should put it on the web.

  39. So I take it my comment will remain hidden because I used the ‘N’ word, even though it was in the context of reclamation?

  40. @Jon P: Jen is off today so the comments that haven’t been posted yet are just waiting for her approval. These include comments from new IP addresses as well as certain words. Once she gets back any message that isn’t spam will be automatically approved.

  41. I think the photo is amazing, it’s the eyes, they show such an innocence/purity even in such a situation. On a personal note, if she had the septum or lip piercing removed and maybe a trickle of blood from the nose or mouth, it would be a really erotic pic.

    And Eli, your comments are absolute rubbish ‘kids will not try to get a tattoo, suspend, split their dick, or gauge their ears. They will however be able to choke themselves’. Seriously, read that back and then understand that is just nonsense.

  42. for those of you who find this amusing maybe youd like to look at adults that were CLEARLY aware of what was going on and still had issues, as in the actor who played Bill, in Kill Bill. but that was nothing serious.

    Robin Williams played a role in a movie called Worlds greatest dad, or something along those lines. guess how his son dies?

    since were taking these subjects so lightly. why not bring cancer back into this… or maybe you can ask Rachel about how well that went

  43. not sure what jon p said, but im fairly possitive it applies to “strange fruit” and thats TOTALLY ok in ANY circumstance. no matter who it offends or portains to. my next shoot should be done in a pizza oven, and naked, while wearing a nuise and a white hood. just to apply to all factors i possibly can at once of offensiveness

  44. To all the people talking about how there have been much more “hard” and “extreme” things on this site–you’re referring to “hard” and “extreme” BODY MODIFICATIONS. Cutting, scarring, nullification/amputation, suspensions etc. are all body modifications and this is a body modification website. It’s not a sex fetish website.

  45. And yet, Colleen, some people do get sexual pleasure from these photo’s and modifications. And some people would call this website a fetish website.

  46. I don’t understand why people are getting so upset. I don’t see this any different than hanging with hooks in your body. Its a controlled situation with professionals and it was her choice.
    As for the modification aspect I’m sure it left some bruising and petechiae. They are temporary but still a mod.

  47. mental breakdowns are temporary as well. but look at what happens when that occurs. people loose their mind slap some people around and loose EVERYTHING theyd ever built. or maybe thats just how i see it.

    i mean if you slap someone around a few times then it should count as mod rite? bruises are temporary as well….. some people obtain them during fetish rituals… asked for or not, someone was in control, oh wait that kinda sounds like murder as well… hmm. didnt realize BME had become what it has. didnt realize it was handing out that kind of adult content without any need for proof of age

  48. Good for you Rachie! This is beautiful and an extremely pleasing fetish. You are an educated adult taking your life into YOUR hands and having a great time with it.

    Who the hell is ‘colleen’ to make such a shallow, insulting (to both you and this group of fine open minded individuals WE are suppose to be) and frankly, lame comment on your choice of jewellery.

    This makes me ashamed of the community we pretend we are. Are we not all aware that our choice of living does have dangers?! Helllooo. And don’t we (or most of us) take the precautions so we can enjoy the positive aspects?

    Don’t like it? Ok. Think some people take it too far with choking? Hey that may be the case! But can we please appreciate this beautiful women who has put her self up in this very very personal moment.

    .rant.over.

  49. arright lol at all these comments. lol at choking. lol at very little being accomplished at discussing this image with complete strangers. its times like these where i feel the people of this modern world will not change their opinion no matter what they hear other people say. we as humans are way to stubborn. either you like this image or you dont.

    fuck the rest.

  50. @ Davo: this concept isn’t that complex. What “some people” would call the website is irrelevant. It is advertised and marketed as a place for “tattoo, piercing, and body modification news”. If a minority receives some sort of stimulation from that then it’s a personal issue, but that is not what the site purports to be about. Someone receiving sexual arousal from content without sexual intent is an unintended side effect. Someone receiving sexual arousal from content that is inherently sexual in nature is fetishist content. Modblog is NOT a “sex fetish” website–period.

  51. Colleen is on the maf’kin money, people! The point IS NOT about the impressionable nature of children. If they’re here reading this website, it’s probably a better option than the myriad other websites that actually DO encourage damaging behaviours. ModBlog does no such thing. Any encouragement that one gleans from ModBlog posts would be entirely subjective and not something one could argue with any real certainty.

    The real point, however, is one of policy. For a professional, money-making family of websites, BME/IAM/ModBlog should have a very clear set of guidelines for what can and can’t be considered “body modification” when it comes to the content it showcases. Auto-erotic asphyxiation isn’t, in and of itself, a form of body modification. It’s a sexual preference or behaviour. There’s no modification aspect to it.

    If, however, the photo is being showcased because the subject of the photograph has two piercings, then we need to initiate dialogue, as a community, around what is and isn’t appropriate for ModBlog based on this. Would it be appropriate for me to send in photos of a subject abusing animals so long as that person had visible tattoos or piercings? Perhaps that is a little extreme. Another example then: Would it be okay for me to send in photos of me writing a critical analysis of James Joyce’s ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ so long as you can see some of my tattoos? Is ModBlog about literary criticism? NO.

    Think about it.

  52. ModBlog may not be a sex/fetish site, but BMEHard can be, and sometimes things from BMEHard are posted on Modblog.
    Also, that picture wouldn’t have been posted if she had no piercings.

  53. and most of the females lately have been posted with very minimal mods at all. thats not what modblog was created for. it RARELY had pictures of females for the fact of them being naked, but about their mods…

    like ive been saying… fap collection is what this has turned into.

  54. I rarely post on here anymore but I know this “photographer” and he is a total fucking CREEP… and the last thing I expected to see on modblog. Seeing this makes me feel sick. Shame on you for posting this. As a long time member of iam (since 2002) I’m ashamed of what iam, bme, and modblog have become. Over it.

  55. I’d like to point out I have been featured many times. And not just because “OH, I HAVE FACIAL PIERCINGS!” I have been featured for my tattoos, tongue splitting, and waist training in the past, thank you very much. I’m not just some dumbass with facial piercings hoping to be featured.

    Also Jon P, sending in photos of a subject abusing animals so long as that person had visible tattoos or piercings? Haha. That is illegal and would undoubtedly have modblog or BME shut down in a heart beat if the wrong people saw it. Cruelty to animals is illegal if you didn’t know.

  56. Um, actually there have been news stories featured in the past with animals being pierced or tattooed. Let’s not forget that. Let’s also not forget that you’ve taken that slightly out of context as I myself said that example was probably too extreme.

    It doesn’t matter that you’ve been profiled/featured in the past for your BOD MODS. This isn’t a bod mod. There’s no argument here about you as a person, so detach yourself a little bit from this and show some objectivity. The argument is around the relevance of the material posted.

    How about addressing the second, less extreme and more relevant, example as you’ve already address the first, silly, example I made? I have had quite a bit of involvement on IAM in the past. That is not patting myself on the back, so let’s not take that statement out of context. If I was featured, say, sitting at a desk in the University library, writing an English Lit. essay and you could only just see a tiny part of my sleeve, but that wasn’t even mentioned, would that be a relevant ModBlog post?

    I would reply in the negative, because it wouldn’t have anything to do with MODS but rather academia or literature or some such wanky thing (that I live for).

    Bah, it’s played out. Done.

  57. Extreme Animal abuse, gets you shut down. A.K.A. Gratuitous amounts of violence, torturing, and other stuff of the like to animals CAN get you’re website shut down. I’m a part of a forum for gore, murder, and crime scene photos. They will not only delete your post if you post something of the like, but they also ban you from the website because that crosses the line of legality.

    And it happens.

  58. this serious post is serious.
    wow.

    i think it’s a damn sexy photo, and that’s that. sure it’s not as relevant to body modification as a lot of other posts, but we’ve been seeing plenty of that for a long time now, bad time to start bitching. she’s an adult, rob is an adult, and one would think that most of the commenters are too, but i’m beginning to wonder if the majority of you really deserve that title.

  59. Jon P, I concur! You’re bang on the money. What it boils down to is this is not related to modification but more mortification..

  60. Rachie, I think this is a very beautiful picture and it kind of turned me on, which I suppose is part of the purpose. And I think you and everybody else totally has the right to do this kind of activity.

    HOWEVER, I also know that breath play/choking is a very, very, very dangerous activity which is NEVER without any risk, even if you are in control of the tie yourself, you will lose that control the moment you pass out, for instance. There is no “safe” way to do breath play, it carries very high risks of brain damage and death.
    Apart from the question if this is body modification or not, I think this picture should at least come with a HUGE caveat and warning!!!

  61. This is trying to be sooo “Richard Kern”. And not doing a good job.

    This has no place here.

  62. This picture would be VERY triggering for anyone who has seen someone die/dead. Is a click-through warning so fucking hard or would that interfere with your bullshit art debate wankery?

    And on a side note I’m getting the impression that a few of you are borderline necrophiles.

  63. I want to start by saying wonderful photo Rachie. I am not into choking, and this doesnt turn me on at all, but I like it for its artistic value.

    As for everyone bitching and complaining about it not being about modifications and it being dangerous, EVERYTHING ON THIS SITE IS DANGEROUS! Even the slightest body modification can carry risks. and yes, it is about modifications, I see piercings on her face, so quit complaining

  64. never butt into this kind of shit but i have to say @me: you’re a victim-mongerer, and i think your hypothetical “what if this offends” mindset is reactionary and pathetic. the etiquette of asking for, and supplying, trigger warnings is meant to communicate empathy or communicate equality. failing that, it serves to legally protect the makers of the “offensive” content. what it is not meant for is legislate away anything one may find shocking or unpleasing. Yea, this might fucking trigger someone who saw someone die because SEEING PEOPLE DIE IS FUCKING TRAUMATIC. trigger warnings aren’t meant to pander to the lowest comfort level. goddamnit this pisses me off so much.

  65. “kids will not try to get a tattoo, suspend, split their dick, or gauge their ears. they will however be able to choke themselves. when posting on a popular public forum, no matter how extreme, maybe the safety of those who are dangerously impressionable should be taken under consideration?

    just a thought..”

    Eli posted this comment.
    I have kids. And body mods. I don’t enjoy being choked anymore but I use to LOVE it. And, I’ve worked in a hospital ER for years. Let me tell you, if you can’t control your children, then YOU have a problem. I control mine just fine.
    And why won’t they get a tattoo or gauge their ears?! That’s SO much more common then this type of photography.

    Seriously, you guys need to move on. It’s just a photo. And the girl getting photographed is here supporting it. I think this is WAY less disturbing of split dick photos!
    Rachie, nice photo. Enjoy you life, fuck the rest of ‘em.
    :)

  66. @joesph- if you have a fetish, that’s fine. it’s your own business. But this site isn’t the place to post them. ALSO, throwing in your two cents about how drinking is just as bad/if not worse then what’s taking place in this photograph…..is way off base. Not drinking is a personal choice and doesn’t effect anyone else. Taking a photo of someone on the verge of passing out cause they can’t breath…..is absolutely ridiculous, and should by NO MEANS be considered a piece of art.

  67. It’s nice to see someone else who shares similar fetishses. Haha. Also nice to see this on modblog :)

  68. “I rarely post on here anymore but I know this “photographer” and he is a total fucking CREEP… and the last thing I expected to see on modblog. Seeing this makes me feel sick. Shame on you for posting this. As a long time member of iam (since 2002) I’m ashamed of what iam, bme, and modblog have become. Over it.”

    Excuse me V, who are you? And how do we know each other? And why are you using not your name to defame someone. That is kind of sad.

  69. I’m not sure how I feel about the practice, but the photography is beautiful and the expression is amazing.

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