July 31, 2018... the world changed and not in a good way.

The almost 19-year-old son of my partner and best friend was found by his father and he was dead. In those first few hours, it appeared that the young man, Alex, had committed suicide.

Man, that made no sense whatsoever. I know, I know...everyone says that in the moment, but it really made no sense. He was happy, healthy, having a great summer, some money to enjoy his time and looking forward to joining the military in the fall. Life was good.

It made no sense because that is not what happened.

Authorities were quickly able to figure out Alex died of autoerotic asphyxia, also known as erotic asphyxiation. This is a VERY dangerous act where the person intentionally restricts the flow of oxygen to the brain for the purpose of sexual arousal.

I did not do any additional research on my own about this act. I already know too much. I know that the investigators found a website on his computer how to perform it! I don't know about trends in gender or age. What little I do know is just... too...much.

Honestly, I have heard of it. I hear about in the police shows and Hollywood gossip shows. Many times the story ends up saying that the person committed suicide, because that is somehow a better story than the truth?

Alex's family had decided to be honest about what happened. He was not depressed. He was not looking for a way out. It was a tragic, tragic accident.

His parents are taking some comfort that they had not missed something with their son. Alex and his Dad talked about all the stuff you should be talking to your kids about like relationships, bullying, money matters, life as an adult, drugs, sexuality, sex and 'private time'. But this was not something his Dad knew was 'a thing' and was not specifically addressed, if even for a moment.

The family is determined that Alex's short but happy life stand for something. Erotic asphyxiation is a thing people really do. It is dangerous. In this case, covering it up only leaves people with the very wrong impression of this wonderful person AND covers up the REAL danger that this activity carries.

Below you will find the pubic post from Alex's Dad. I use it and the photo with his permission.

Alex's Dad has already heard from many who have also lost children, people thanking him for this information, people from around the world have shared the post...but there was one message that Alex's Dad shared with me from the Dad of a 25 year old man who died in January from the same thing. His Dad did not know about this either.

Alex was a cool kid. We had fun times together. What I don't have is a photo of the two of us. He was a teenager and taking photo with 'the elders' was not really his style.

Hug your loved one and if you have the opportunity to let someone know this is a dangerous game to play.