Single & Fabulous? | 'The man with a van... and a thing for rough sex'

After ditching the weed, Anthony Gilét finds his next high in erotic asphyxia.


I probably wouldn’t have gone to meet him if I’d have been baked.

That’s the thing about weed, it gifts you the ability to avoid pretty much every uncomfortable emotion, but it also makes you lazy as fuck. Thom Evans and his brother could’ve invited me over for a threesome but if it involved walking for five minutes or doing anything other than stuff my face with Quavers, I was out.

But having kicked my habit for an entire four days, the only thing high about me right now, was my libido. And seeing as sex is a natural form of dopamine, I decided to go and get my hit.

You don’t need me to explain that when it comes to online hook-ups the further away you move from central London the quicker the prospects dwindle; but every now and then, you get a beacon of dick; this time in the form of a slightly younger scally lad.

I began to feel anxious; perhaps because I hadn’t hooked up with someone online in a while, or because we were meeting in a car park in Croydon at 11pm. Ignoring all of the stereotypical safety advice, I packed a kitchen knife in my glove compartment and just hoped he wasn’t a killer.

When I arrived, he explains to me that he frequently gets into trouble for not explaining to his hook-ups that he’s “dominant”, and suddenly I realised, he was the man with a van… and a penchant for rough sex.

I’m not a vanilla-knickers by any means, but I was never a fan of being hurt in the bedroom: I’d carried around enough emotional pain without having a hot pink hand-print left on my butt cheeks. I was, however, down to be choked, and if it all went horribly wrong then at least I wouldn’t have to worry about paying back my student loans.

Initially, I presume we’d have intercourse in the back of his van, like careless teenagers hell-bent on getting their orgasm, no matter how inconvenient. However, when he told me to “get in the front”, I assume I’d been upgraded to the Honeymoon suite.

As he grappled my neck, I felt the air escape from my throat, and could see why people made adorning memes about this shit; there was something moreish about it.

Dr. Stephanie Jones confirms this, writing: “This type of play can become highly addictive and as with all addictions, can leave an individual with a craving of needing more and more to satisfy them.”

I did want more.

I mean, my inner depression practically had butterflies, but could you imagine the headlines? My dad would’ve been mortified walking into his local pub the next day. Not because I’d been strangled to death in a jockstrap, but because it was in Waddon, of all places.

There was also something in his eyes… an intensity. An intensity that suggested this was more than just a sexual fetish.

“The psychological effect of erotic choking is almost more powerful than the physical, although the interplay of sex and death and chemistry is what makes this practice so intoxicating,” writes Bridget Phetasy, a columnist for Playboy.

After we’d finished and got semi-dressed, I asked him a question I already knew the answer to. “Did you have a fucked-up childhood?”

He nodded: “You just hit the nail on the head”.

In that moment the fantasy lost it allure. And I wondered if I was fucked up too.

Dr. Jones goes on to say, “I have learned a great deal about the correlation between one’s sexuality and their beliefs and attitude on death… One’s own relationship to death is almost always reflected in one’s sexuality.”

I knew I wasn’t truly afraid of death, which is why I found it so easy to joke about. Although after a thorough six minutes of mentally evaluating myself, I concluded that really it was just another escapism: from stress, and perfectionism, and loneliness, and life. And all of the other things I’d been using weed to avoid.

But the following day, after another slug of work followed by a Friday night indoors alone, neither choking nor sex were the dopamine hit I craved… It was intimacy.

Without the haze of weed, I had the clarity to recognise what I wanted. Someone that would make me smile after a bad day. Someone that I could cuddle after sex. Someone I could share my uncomfortable emotions with - rather than attempt to suppress them unhealthily.

And someone that would - on the odd-occasion - choke the shit out of me.

You can follow Anthony Gilét on Instagram, or listen to more dating disasters on his podcast Cocktails & Confessions