Synaesthesia and Sex. Wait, what?

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About 4% of the population has Synaesthesia. It’s where two senses blend together. You’ve heard of someone who can “see” music? Colours billowing out of pianos, that sort of thing. G&B Listener Alyssa has it for numbers. Each digit is a different colour and she tells us it helps her remember combinations. She even helped us win the lottery by picking numbers that has appealing colour combinations.

What she didn’t tell us is that apparently the room bursts into colours for some Synaesthesians at the height of orgasm.

As it turns out, Frontiers in Psychology just published a study in the Cognitive Science pages on this very subject under the stunningly erotic title, Synaesthesia and sexuality: the influence of synaesthetic perceptions on sexual experience.

Aims: To examine whether synaesthetic perceptions during sexual intercourse have an impact on the sexual experience and the extent of sexual trance compared to non-synaesthetes.

In other words: do Synaesthesians have more fun?

Doctor Janina Nielsen of the Department of Clinical Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry, and Psychotherapy of the Hannover Medical School in Germany has two things. First: an insanely long title on her business card. Second: a conclusion.

Results: Synaesthetes depicted significantly better overall sexual function on the KFSP with increased scores for the subscale “sexual appetence” but coevally significant lower subscale scores for “sexual satisfaction.” Sexual dysfunction was not detected in this sample. Synaesthetes depicted significantly higher levels of the subscales “oceanic boundlessness” and “visionary restructuralization” than controls using the OAVAV. Qualitative interviews revealed varying synaesthetic perceptions during the different states of arousal. Furthermore, synaesthetes reported an unsatisfactory feeling of isolation caused by the idiosyncratic perceptions.

Conclusion: a more profound experience, but no more happy about their sex lives than the other 96%.

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