Anesthesia fetishism is a very specialized sub-category of medical fetishism in which sexual arousal is induced by the idea of general anesthesia, and the various equipment and paraphernalia related to its use. Of particular interest to most (though not all) people with this fetish are the masks through which gaseous anesthetic agents are administered. Old-style anesthesia masks of black rubber – nicknamed Black Beauty – are particularly revered. People with this fetish may have a desire to administer anesthesia to someone, to be anesthetized themselves, to watch someone else being anesthetized, or any combination of these.
Anesthesia fetish should definately be considered edgeplay at anything beyond the pure fantasy level, and gets progressively more dangerous the further one takes it:
- Pure fantasy involving the viewing of images and reading of stories of anesthetic inductions – physically safe.
- Obtaining and scening with various anethesia-related paraphernalia – usually anesthesia masks. Using anything breath-related would fall under breathplay, and carries the same serious risks,
- Going so far as to obtain actual anesthetics and seek out opportunities to be anesthetized or to anesthetize others for real outside of a medical setting (incredibly dangerous).
- Alternatively, some anesthesia fetishists who seek to be on the receiving end may fein or delibrately induce medical conditions in an attempt to obtain general anesthesia from actual medical personnel. This is safer than playing with anesthetic agents outside of a medical setting, but is still quite risky (anesthesia is never completely safe) and could potentially get one in a lot of trouble should the medical personnel catch on. This kind of factitiousness would probably be considered Munchausen syndrome.
The appearance of the internet has considerably empowered people with this relatively rare fetish to discuss the subject and exchange anesthesia-related multimedia. The causes of this fetish are unproven, but discussions on anesthesia fetish forums often point to pre-pubescent childhood experiences of anesthetic induction where the experience has been of non-intravenous methods, particularly mask induction. The two combining factors appear to be a particularly intense experience of induction involving such sensations as floating and hallucinations, and a dysfunctional life experience of the child at the time, such as being deprived of attention. This combination may lead to a strong behavioural imprint.
As with other forms of fetishism, it does not necessarily interfere with a normal life unless the person is completely absorbed by it, seeks to physically act out fantasies with real drugs, or is consumed with guilt. It is usually pursued furtively in leisure time through the internet.
It should be noted that anesthetics are -EXTREMELY- dangerous even the hands of trained professionals, and playing around with them is a good way to get somebody seriously hurt or dead.