Synesthesia of the Day – Orgasm – Color
Since synesthesia (my first post on synesthesia) is a major element in the Green Comet series of novels, I thought it would be a good idea to write a series of posts about synesthesia. What better way to start than with orgasm – color synesthesia? Color because it is the best known and probably most common synesthetic effect, and orgasm because, well, orgasm.
Where to start was actually a problem, and not because there is a lack of choice. When I went looking for a definitive list of the types of synesthesia, I couldn’t find one. I found references with a few examples, and others with graphs and tables, but none with a straightforward, well organized list. Another problem was the lack of standardized naming. For instance, the first example of synesthesia that most people learn about is where the letters of the alphabet have their own distinctive colors. So, that would be letter – color synesthesia, right? Well, it turns out that numbers have their own colors, too. So now it’s grapheme – color. And combinations of letters or numbers have theirs. And words. And parts of words. And the sounds of parts of words. Once we begin finding them, we don’t seem to be able to stop. It reminds me of the fundamental particle problem, where every time theory predicted one, it was only a matter of time before experiment confirmed it. That was a burgeoning mess until the quark model simplified it by making all the particles just combinations of a few quarks. Synesthesia is at that point now. Every time we think of a new possible form of it, someone finds it. Synesthesia needs its quark model, to tame this mad proliferation. I won’t be presenting that theory. I’m not that smart. So for this series of blogs I’ll be picking from the large, and growing, list of types of synesthesia that I have been able to compile. Beginning with orgasm – color.
The descriptions of the colors experienced leading up to and during orgasm seem like a cliche. Like the scenes of bursting fireworks that the family-oriented movie will cut to at the crucial moment. It turns out that the euphemism probably has a basis in fact. “… colours of increasing intensity.” Walls bursting with, “ring-like structures … in bluish-violet tones.” So it seems that a lot of what we assumed were just metaphors for an indescribable experience are, in some cases at least, descriptions of real sensations.
More women than men experience synesthesia. The ratio persists for experiencing orgasm – color synesthesia.