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Psychology/some emotionally significant tactile stimuli persist for hours


Hello, I hope that you can help me with this.

This contains private (nsfw/sexual) information, but it’s a question that has been bugging me for some months. I have so far failed to find any information pertaining to this, but my hopes are high. I would like to apologize for how long it takes me to get to the point. In my question I first describe the phenomenon and then at the end I ask my question.


If some girl is important to me, and I kiss them, well, make out with them, frenching, sometimes the feeling of kissing will persist. I don’t mean that I remember vividly what it felt like. I mean that I feel as if i’m still being kissed. Teeth, tongue, lip texture, everything remains. It’s as if the sensory input from some critical moment just gets stuck. In one case, the critical moment involved a small amount of pain (teeth) and that too lasted. After a variable amount of time, the feeling always fades.

As far as I can tell, this phenomenon is limited to my mouth area. I have never had this kind of persisting tactile feeling occur anywhere that isn’t on, in, or directly connected to my mouth. It is, however, not limited to kissing.

At one point, when I was visiting a girl in another city, she kissed me just before I got on the train home. I timed the persisting sense of being kissed (henceforth referred to as sensory persistence), and it took almost three and a half hours to go away. I haven’t timed any of the other times I have experienced sensory persistence (such as the one involving pain, mentioned above). Kissing cases are the most common sort.

Another case (very nsfw) was after the only time I have given oral sex. After the end, I moved my  head away and noticed that the feeling of having my tongue inside a vagina remained, as did the feeling of having the outer sides of my lips on her labia minora, and the inner sides of my lips in contact with the vulvar vestibule. Although I didn’t time this case, I believe that it lasted not quite as long as the aforementioned one that I did time.
This case is informative because my lips were not in resting position at the time. as a result: the sensory persistence did not, when my lips were (much later) in resting position, fit with the actual spread of her anatomy in space. the feeling of touch continued at the points on the surface of my lips where the stimulus had been received, not at the points in space where the stimuli had been. I don’t know if that information is useful, but the fact that my ‘sensory persistence’ is completely centered on my tissue suggests to me that if it is a hallucination, it relates to the lower functions of the brain (senses rather than processing).

note: I think that I have never noticed this effect of the stimulus apparently being stretched through space when kissing because that does not involve quite as much relative twisting of the lips, especially as a kiss ends.

It’s important to note that not all cases have been sexual things. I think that those were the strongest cases possibly because the sensory input was most important at those times. An example of a non-sexual case was when somebody who is very dear to me put her finger across my lips in the “shush” sign. Note that that was a significant moment, which I will not go into.

Background information: I’m a sixteen year old male, some potential brain quirks (Learning disorder: NOS). I’m polyamorous, and not all of the cases mentioned in this question involve the same people. Needless to say, they all do involve me.

I’m very curious to know if this ‘sensory persistence,’ as I call it, is some sort of known hallucination, or a hallucination at all, and if it is, what causes it, and really anything about it.

Thank you for your time, I apologize for the nsfw data, but I feel that it was vital to illustrating certain points. Thank you, and have a nice day!

I am not an expert on the phenomenon that you are describing.  It sounds like a perceptual/sensory issue, where you are in effect, having a tactile hallucination - it could be a type of sensory perseveration.  I can't say whether the emotional intensity of the original sensation is having an impact.    I suggest that you consult a neurologist.  You may also find some information by googling tactile perseveration.  Good luck.  


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Katherine ONeill


I can answer academic questions about psychology. I am not a clinician (therapist), I am a research psychologist with expertise in biopsychology, general psychology, cognitive psychology, research methods and psychopharmacology.


I have 25 years experience as a researcher in health behavior, biopsychology and psychopharmacology.

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Applications of Market Research for Small Business UMBC Activate Program, March 2008 HIV/AIDS: An assessment of Need in the Continuum of Care. Optum Health Education., 12/2008 Maximizing the online medium for market research: Best practices. Market Research for Pharmaceuticals Conference, 12/06/2006 O’Neill, K.A. APD, ADD, ADHD and AD/HD: Personal and scientific reflections. Audiology Online, 6/6/2005. O’Neill, K.A. et al, Hyperactivity induced by NMDA injections into the nucleus accumbens. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 34(4), Dec 1989, 739-745. O’Neill, K.A. and Liebman, J.M. Unique behavioral effects of the NMDA antagonist, CPP, upon injection into the medial prefrontal cortex of rats. Brain Research, 435(1-2), Dec 1987, 371-376. O’Neill, K.A. and Gertner, S.B. Effects of centally administered H2 antagonists on motor activity. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 264, 1987, 683-686. O’Neill, K.A. and Gertner, S.B. Effects of centrally administered H2 antagonists in the behavioral despair test. 90(2), 1986, 190-192. O’Neill, K.A. Chronic desipramine attenuates morphine analgesia. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 24(1), Jan 1986, 155 – 158. O’Neill, K.A. and Valentino, D. Escapability and generalization: Effect on ‘behavioral despair’. European Journal of Pharmacology 78(3), March 1982, 379-80. O’Neill, K.A. et al, An automated high capacity method for measuring jumping latencies on a hot plate. Journal of Pharmacological Methods, 10(1), Aug 1983, 13-18. O’Neill, K.A., Scott, C. and Weissman, A. Naloxone enhances nociceptive responding. Society for Neuroscience, Abstract 9: 274, 1983.

Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, University of Rhode Island, 1983. Post doctoral fellow dept of psychiatry, New York University Medical Center, 1983-1984. Post doctoral fellow, dept of pharmacology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 1984-1985.

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