Death in the BDSM Lifestyle

I am saddened by a post in fetlife which details the death of one of the founders of http://www.kinkengineering.com/index.html Kink Engineering.  This young man, 35 years of age died through an accident that was just heart breaking, especially for his lover.  Basically, the young man broke the safety rules.  There are two things when done together result in a high probability of death.  Never be fully restrained AND be alone at the same time.  In this case, Matt hit the probability. 

Matt is one of the few who design and build vacuum beds.  This is a very erotic type of play which takes mummification up to another level.  While I personally have never played this or seen it in real life, I've seen videos of it and I'm always a bit unnerved.  It is not my type of fetish yet I understand it's appeal.  It's isolation in an extreme way while involving restraint.  Pretty sexy and sometimes very hot, temperature wise.

Matt always said, don't do this alone, it is never safe.  This begs the question, why did he do this?  Why did he test out something he cautioned against?  He died due to testing a new way to be restrained in the vac bed, alone.  The actual cause of death was strangulation due to his throat being too tightly compressed and shutting off blood flow.  I can't imagine the panic going through his mind when this was happening.  I also feel only sorrow for the loved ones left behind.  I can't imagine how his lover feels after going on a business trip to return home to find her lover dead.  It's very sad.

UPDATE - it's now outside of fetlife with the announcement

RIP, Matt.

Archean and the staff at Kink Engineering are sad to report that Mad_Scientist (Matt) passed away on May 23rd, 2012, at the age of 35.  His death was accidental.  He was a great friend, a brilliant mind, and an exceptional lover.

Matt was awesomely creative and scientifically curious.  His first focus for his customers was always safety.  Many of you will remember Matt commenting in the vac bed groups and taking a strong stand against the idea that a person could safely do vac bed bondage whilst alone. 

Kink Engineering’s philosophy continues to be safety first; therefore, even though it hurts to say it, we have a duty and responsibility to the community and to our past and future customers to be completely honest here. 
Matt died, because he made a stupid decision to go into a vac bed alone, while Archean was out of town.  He thought he had figured out the safety issues and created another layer of safety; he was wrong and it cost him his life. 

There is no way that we at Kink Engineering could ever cover up the real cause of death and pretend it happened any other way, to do so would be a disservice to our customers, the community, and to Matt, who was adamant that vac beds be used responsibly and safely.

Matt’s death was a direct result of prolonged neck compression from the neck gasket.  The bed he chose to go in had been custom fitted to Archean, who has a much smaller neck.  The baro receptors in his internal carotid arteries signaled to his body that his blood pressure was dangerously high, and this sent off a vagal response to slow the heart.  Since the signal of high blood pressure could not be relieved, Matt lost consciousness and the vagal response caused his heart to stop completely.

Had there been a person to assist outside the vac bed, they would have been able to get him out at the first sign of trouble or non-responsiveness.  All Matt’s safety contingency plans relied on him still being conscious enough to implement them, and thus, they were useless.

Never, ever get into a vac bed alone.  There is no safe way to do so.  The man who understood vac beds the best, in the whole world, wasn’t able to do it safely.  Please do not allow this scene to replay with another person’s death.

We will miss you and love you forever, Matty.

Comments

wackyvorlon said…
They say it was a vagal response. Fortunately, he would have felt no panic. This sort of death is fast, and the victim is unconscious before he can react. The pressure on his fooled his body into thinking his blood pressure was too high, and his body responded by stopping his heart. I recommend checking up on the vagus nerve on Wikipedia, it can do some very strange things.

That is little comfort in such a tragic time, but we can be sure he did not suffer.
Hi Wacky Vorlon, thanks! I read that it was vagal. I thought there would still be some awareness of imminent death. I'll look it up!

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