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Sexual culture expert testifies about forms of BDSM in Grace Millane murder trial

A sexual culture expert is giving evidence today in the trial of the man accused of murdering Grace Millane.

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There is a growing interest in BDSM among younger people, professor Clarissa Smith testified for the defence. Source: 1 NEWS

Professor Clarissa Smith, who was called by the defence, is giving her testimony from Northern England via audio visual link.

Ms Millane went missing on the eve of her 22nd birthday last December, with her body found in a suitcase in Auckland's Waitākere Ranges.

The Crown says the accused, who can't be named, strangled her to death in a central city hotel room, while his lawyers say her death was an accident after the man applied pressure to her neck with her consent and encouragement.

Ms Smith described to the court that BDSM is about exploring moments of being dominant and moments of being submissive for sexual pleasure.

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The High Court in Auckland heard about the British woman’s sexual preferences. Source: 1 NEWS

Both men and women engage in this with different levels of expertise, she said.

She has told the jury that “breathplay” is a form of BDSM that practitioners call “edge play” as it needs to be considered carefully.

Breathplay involves the practice of restricting breath, choking, suffocation to heighten sexual experiences.

She said it’s not about restricting the breath to the point where someone feels fear.

The trial before Justice Moore and a jury of seven women and five men continues.