AA: asexuality & synesthesia

Aidan wrote in:

Do you have any resources/ have you ever read something about or connecting asexuality and synesthesia, or people who experience both? I don’t have synesthesia-like experiences for most things, at least in its most common definition of associating colors with other senses (sounds/voices, numbers, letters, et cetera) but my senses seems entangled in other ways, and I didn’t really think about it much but once I realized it, it just seemed like something that had always happened- strong emotions have inherent colors for me, some just a “feeling” and others overwhelming my brain until I can pretty much see it. And I recently realized that arousal is colored for me—I’m sex-repulsed, and for me arousal is always on accident and something I try to make go away and, like, think it into oblivion as quickly as possible, but it is definitely a gross, murky purple-red-gray, like something you’d accidentally mix up with paint in elementary art class and be disappointed over the waste of colors, the same color as the feeling of a bruise or a stitched-up but still tender area. I haven’t seen anything describing a similar experience, but I’m hoping I just haven’t been looking in the right places?

Well, I hadn’t heard anything about that until now, but I went and did a little digging… and I turned up these two posts that seem relevant: A Tale of Two Communities, written by an asexual synesthete, and this anonymous message [cn: talk of orgasms] also from an asexual synesthete.  There’s also this study on synesthetic experiences during sex, although that doesn’t sound as much like what you’re looking for.  If anyone reading this knows of more, please drop a link in the comments!

Anyway, now that you mention it… I have a little bit of weak synesthesia, too (mostly in relation to numbers and days of the week, but also other things besides that).  For me, sexual arousal is kind of orange — which is fitting, since orange is one of my least favorite colors.  I don’t see people talk about this kind of thing much, but I’m sure it’s not all that rare.  Sensory perceptions are pretty diverse in general, I’d say.  There’s a wide range of what’s possible.

I’m sorry I can’t tell you more than that, but just know, in the future, that just because you haven’t found anyone talking about the same thing, doesn’t mean you’re alone, okay?

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3 responses to “AA: asexuality & synesthesia

  • Hezekiah the (meta)pianycist

    I have some weak synesthesia, I think, but for me it’s that some spoken words have textures that aren’t directly related to the mouth sensations from speaking the word. I swear in my writing without restricting myself, but not in my speech, because several of the swears that I’ll use in writing have bad textures. Some of the bad textured words have no cultural association with vulgarity, though most do, so I’m not completely sure if it’s *really* synesthetic or if it’s just me being bizarre about rule-following.

    • Hezekiah the (meta)pianycist

      As an example, it’s really difficult for me to make myself say “fuck,” even though I’d really like to be able to when the situation calls for it. And the bad textures aren’t as bad when I’m having a dream.

    • Coyote

      I didn’t even think about that! I’m kind of the same way. A lot of the “main” cursewords have texture associations for me. “Fuck” is squishy with a crunch at the end (kinda gross). “Hell” and “damn” are dry and sandy, which are textures I like more when it comes to words. “Shit” and “shitty” are the worst, because they sound like they have this moist grainy texture that’s somehow both wet and abrasive and I hate it.

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