Skin Orgasm

Skin Orgasm


The feeling of euphoric chills some people get while listening to music is called frisson. Researchers have described the sensation as a skin orgasm.


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An experience is called frisson (pronounced free-sawn), a French term meaning "aesthetic chills," and it feels like waves of pleasure running all over your skin. Some researchers have even dubbed it a 'skin orgasm.'

Listening to emotionally moving music is the most common trigger of frisson, but some feel it while looking at beautiful artwork, watching a particularly moving scene in a movie, or having physical contact with another person.

While scientists are still unlocking the secrets of this phenomenon, a large body of research over the past five decades has traced the origins of frisson to how we emotionally react to unexpected stimuli in our environment, particularly music.

Musical passages that include unexpected harmonies, sudden changes in volume, or the moving entrance of a soloist are particularly common triggers for frisson because they positively violate listeners' expectations.


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