Melolagnia is a paraphilia, in which the person inclines to get sexually aroused when listening to music. Melolagnia is not considered to be a part of formal medical vocabulary. Similar phenomenon to melolagnia, is an eargasm phenomenon, which means the person can experience strong orgasmic-like sensation through their ears. There is also very similar paraphilia to melolagnia, which is called acousticophilia, which is sexual arousal from sound, rather than music. Also some people can get so called "skin orgasms" (or better known as frissons), simply by listening to emotionally moving music.
In melolagnia, the music itself doesn't have to be erotically suggestive, for the person to get sexually aroused from it. The source for the paraphilia is simply a song, a melody or the musical composition as a whole. Most of people can get a strong non-erotic pleasure when listening to a good composition, however, people with melolagnia get actual sexual arousal from the tones, voices, and so forth.
Some melolagniacs like music that has specific characteristics, such as; music with strong rhythm, music with repetitiveness and/or music that is fast-paced. These types of musical characteristics can increase the persons heart beat, which can lead to experience where the listener gets into a state of sexual arousal. Some melolagniacs even like to go to rave parties, where musical experience can be highly energetic and continuously played, which can lead to highly stimulating experience.
In addition, there has been a study made by University of Sussex, which claims that songs with a greater variety of chords and more complex rhythms provoke more sensuality in the person listening to it, and according to study made by University of Vienna, music can affect females attraction towards opposite sex.
Possibly the very first reference of the phenomenon, might have been in the opening scene of William Shakespeare's play, titled Twelfth Night, or What You Will. It goes as following:
If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken and so die.
That strain again, it had a dying fall.
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour. Enough no more,
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
According to music psychologist Dr. Daniel Mullensiefen, after interviewing 2000 people for a study, he found that almost half of the respondents found some music to be more sexually arousing than actual physical touch of their partners.
It is imperative for some melolagniacs to have musical stimulus for reaching a sexual climax.
Unlike many other paraphilias, melolagniacs aren't considered to have a problematic behavior, nor does melolagnia pose any health risk to the person.
In comparison, acousticophiliacs get sexually aroused from sounds, music and even from simple clicks, such as fingernails hitting against solid material. If the arousal comes specifically only from music, only then it can be considered to be melolagnia. In contrary to melolagnia, acousticophilia can be harmful, if the person gets into a situation were sexual arousal is not wanted, since any common noise can produce the arousal. Another problem for some acousticophiliacs is that, if the paraphiliac preference is very strong, it may be impossible to reach orgasm without being surrounded by sounds.
In singer–songwriter Adele Bertei's book that has been released in 2021, with a title Why Labelle Matters, in the book Bertei publicly admits being melolagniac.
- List of paraphilias
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- Marin, Manuela & Schober, Raphaela & Gingras, Bruno & Leder, Helmut. "Misattribution of musical arousal increases sexual attraction towards opposite-sex faces in females" (PDF). PLOS One. Retrieved 11 June 2021.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
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