So, it turns out that David Carradine didn’t purposefully suffocate himself by hanging. Sources say he had intended to only partially suffocate himself in order to become aroused:

Thai police are now reporting that when they found David Carradine dead and naked in his closet, the rope that was tied around his neck was connected to a rope tied to his genitals— and they believe his death may have been caused by accidental suffocation during a masturbatory sex act.

That makes Carradine the most famous famous person to have apparently died of auto-erotic asphyxiation. Wikipedia notes that composer Frantisek Kotzwara‘s death from the act in 1791 was probably the first recorded case of death-by-hanging-for-sexual-pleasure. Kotzwara was followed by a list of British politicians and fellow musicians, including INXS singer Michael Hutchence, who is rumored to have died the same way.

Throw in Carradine, and auto-erotic asphyxiation is racking up a pretty A-list rap sheet as far as death-by-sex-act is concerned. I Googled “died having sex,” but the most famous person I could find who expired the old-fashioned way was Matthew McConaughey‘s dad. Come on, we all know tons of famous dead people secretly died fucking.

I wonder what the mainstream newsmedia has to say about all this?

UPDATE: ABC News reports this about the death: “Sex experts say that Carradine’s advanced age suggests that he may have been a lifelong practitioner of the secretive and dangerous practice, one that can go fatally awry.” Wait—-Carradine was old, so he must have spent his whole life secretly jacking off? I’d like to take a spin in the ABC News Mysterious Celebrity Death Logic Machine.

Also, that sex hyperlink whisks you away to a piece co-written by John Stossel—-John fucking Stossel—-entitled “Sex, Sex Everywhere.” The first line reads, “Sex today seems to be everywhere.”

Rest in Peace, David Carradine.

UPDATE 2: Somebody got Bai Ling on the line:

“I don’t believe he would have killed himself. Even though he was a very complicated man he was so at peace with himself. He did so many good things and really wanted to do more things, he told me his career was just really starting and new,” Ling said. “You can see thru his eyes he is a complicated but funny person – he spent 20 years mainly doing independent films which I think made him have a lot of interesting thought in his head. But he really was someone who was full of life.”

There you have it, folks.

UPDATE 3: Great: “Kinky Sex Gone Horribly Wrong? – What Carradine’s death can teach parents

Who knew that lessons learned from an elderly Kung Fu star’s death in a Thai closet could be applied to your tween’s life? Here are the warning signs to look out for:

– Unexplained marks on necks – Often but not always women’s clothing and/or pornography in closet, under bed – Short ropes, padded ropes, neckties tied in odd knots – Bloodshot eyes – Complaints of headaches – Locks on bedroom doors – Evidence of repetitive hanging such as unexplained marks on the neck or broken or multiple rope abrasion on closet rods

UPDATE 4: And yet, death by auto-erotic asphyxation also has the power to create celebrities. Mixed messages, mainstream newsmedia:

Last October, a medical examiner determined that the Rev. Gary Aldridge, a 51-year-old Baptist minister from Alabama, died from accidental asphyxiation while pleasuring himself. He was found wearing two wet suits, a face mask, diving gloves, slippers, rubberized underwear, two ties, five belts and eleven straps, according to the medical examiner’s report.

UPDATE 5: The Village Voice has its own roundup of Carradine breaking news. By “breaking” I mean divorce papers filed in 2003. And by “news” I mean explicit sex shit. From the Smoking Gun:

Auto-erotic asphyxia is not mentioned, though an “incestuous relationship with a very close family member, which permeated our marriage” and “touching me inappropriately and wanting me to ‘flash’ the public with my top off” are, and that’s kind of hot in a pathetic way, yes?

UPDATE 6: Thank God, John Kelly has weighed in on this.

John Kelly: Here’s what I don’t get, is sex for some people so mediocre that they have to resort to autoerotic asphyxiation? Maybe you get bored around age 72. And nothing says sexy like a curtain cord in a closet in a Thai hotel room.

Oooh, regular sex for John Kelly is soooo gooood, he doesn’t even need to tie a rope around anything to get off, not even his dick. What is John Kelly, some sort of sexual Superman?

UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times makes a funny joke! After TMZ reports seeing an image of “a male body hanging in Carradine’s hotel room closet” dressed in fishnet stockings and a wig, Elizabeth Snead quips: “Turns out there may have been accessories involved in this crime.”

UPDATE: Former Carradine wife Gail Jensen (his third) told TMZ that Carradine “would spend days planning to construct elaborate sexual devices.” Jensen said:

“David was pretty strange. He would like to get tied up. He would tie himself up and I would walk in and see him and say ‘Oh my God, David, you got to be kidding me—-and I would (turn around and) walk out. I would leave him to his own devices.”

“His own devices” pun aside—-it’s not as if these elaborate sexual devices were sexual, or anything. Ho ho no, TMZ reports:

We spoke with Jensen, who told us although David liked tying himself up “it was never sexual.” She says he liked bondage but never choked himself. Then again, they divorced in 1997.

Nonsexual elaborate sexual devices? Finally, this story begins to make sense.