Seeing synaesthetic stars during sex

A study in Frontiers in Psychology asked people who have emotional synaesthesia – they see colours when they have certain emotions – about what they experience during sex.

There is a particularly lovely table that illustrates these experiences through the different stages of the sexual response cycle:

Appentance phase
“This phase has an orange character”

Excitement phase
“it’s getting more intensive, starting with a few colours at the beginning and getting more and more intense”

Plateau phase
“The greater the excitement becomes the more thoughts are canalized” “The initial fog transforms into a wall”

Orgasmic phase
“In the moment of orgasm the wall bursts… ringlike structures… in bluish-violet tones”

Resolution phase
“The resolution phase varies between pink and yellow”

It’s worth bearing in mind that emotional synaesthesia isn’t the only thing that can turn sex into a slightly unreal experience.

Some people with epilepsy have seizures triggered by orgasm which can affect both males and females.

All cases reported in the medical literature are people who lose consciousness or have observable movements during the seizure, but this is probably because they are the ones most likely to go to the doctor.

People who have simple partial seizures during orgasm – where they just have unusual experiences but don’t lose consciousness – are probably more common than we think but are less likely to be aware they’re having seizures and so just assume it’s normal for them.

Link to study on synaesthesia and sexual experience (via @Neuro_Skeptic)


  1. smallonpurpose
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this. It’s hit or miss with the seizures; kind of like the rainbow.

  2. Erik not Eric
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    Holy crap!
    Something I just always noticed as some kind of weirdness.
    And I thought It was all chalkra related. Or at least that was the best explanation that I could tell myself in my confirmation biased brain. No sign of epilepsy and only slightly synesthesic.

  3. Posted October 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I wish there was a way to sign up for this. Sounds AMAZING!

  4. Posted March 24, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    So I used to think this was what everyone experienced – I’m 35 now … And always experienced this – well with my husband who I’ve been with for 17 years … So I could tell you I have intense sex with intense colours and I used to put it down to my connection to mediation and stuff – coz it sort of reminds me of chakra clours – however sometimes it’s grey or gold or all sorts really – I’m fascinated by it all really because I’m learning that it’s just not normal :)

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26,836 other followers