Tactile effects

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Tactile effects can be defined as any effect which affects one's sense of touch.

This page lists and describes the various tactile effects which can occur under the influence of certain psychoactive compounds such as hallucinogens, entactogens, stimulants and dissociatives.

Enhancements

Main article: Tactile enhancement

Tactile enhancement can be described as an overall increase in both the intensity of a person's sense of touch and their awareness of the physical sensations across their body. At its highest level, this becomes extreme enough that the exact location and current sensation of every single nerve ending across one's skin can be felt and comprehended all at once. In contrast, throughout normal sober living, most people can only maintain awareness of the tactile sensations which are relevant to their current situation.

This effect can result in tactile sensations such as touching, hugging, kissing, and sex becoming greatly enhanced in terms of the pleasure they induce. However, it can also result in an over-sensitivity of the skin which causes the same sensations to become uncomfortable and overwhelming.

Tactile enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as spontaneous tactile sensations and physical euphoria. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur under the influence of stimulants, cannabinoids, and certain dissociatives.

Suppression

Main article: Tactile suppression

Tactile suppression can be described as a decrease in one's ability to feel their sense of touch in a manner which can result a general numbness across the body. At higher levels, this can eventually increase to the point where physical sensations have been completely blocked and the body is fully anesthetized.

Tactile suppression is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as pain relief and physical euphoria. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of dissociative compounds, such as ketamine, PCP, and DXM. However, it can also occur under the influence of opioids and certain GABAergic depressants.

Hallucinations

Tactile hallucinations or somatic hallucinations can be described as the experience of perceiving physical sensations which are not actually occurring within reality. Common examples of these can include hallucinating the feeling of people or insects touching the body in various places and in a wide variety of ways. Alternatively, these hallucinations can be felt as complex and structured arrangements of vibration across the skin.

This effect may also be accompanied by visual hallucinations. For example, during internal and external hallucinations a person may have the perception that they are able to feel imagined objects or be touched by autonomous entities in a similar manner to that of ordinary dreams. The sensations that are possible within these hallucinations could be almost anything and can even include pain or sexual pleasure.

Tactile hallucinations are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of deliriant compounds, such as DPH, datura, and benzydamine. However, they can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of psychedelics, stimulant psychosis and extreme sleep deprivation.

Spontaneous physical sensations

Spontaneous physical sensations can be described as the experience of sensations across the body occurring without any obvious or immediate physical trigger. This results in feelings of seemingly random but distinct tingling sensations that occur across the skin and within the body. Depending on the psychoactive substance consumed, these vary greatly in their alternative styles of sensation but can be broken down into three basic levels of intensity. These are described and documented below:

  1. Mild - At the lowest level, the sensation can be described as subtle and fleeting tingling sensations throughout the body. These sensations do not impair physical motor control and can essentially be ignored if one wishes to do so.
  2. Distinct - At this level, the sensation becomes very difficult to ignore. It can be described as distinct tingling sensations which are intense enough to partially impair a person’s motor control and act as a significant distraction which impairs one's focus.
  3. Overwhelming – At the highest level, the tingling sensations increase enough to become a powerful, uncontrollable focus point of the person's attention. This can feel completely overwhelming and heavily impairs a person's motor control, leaving them either lying or sitting down, incapable of standing up due to the all-encompassing sensations.

Spontaneous physical sensations are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as tactile enhancement and physical euphoria. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, they can also occur under the influence of stimulants, cannabinoids, and dissociatives.

Variations

The specific differences between each potential style of spontaneous tactile sensations can be broken down into the following variations:

  • Moving vs. Motionless – Spontaneous physical sensations will either move up and down various parts of the body in different directions or they will remain still and consistent in their position.
  • Constant vs. Spontaneous – Spontaneous physical sensations will either be constantly present throughout a significant portion of the experience or they will spontaneously and temporarily manifest themselves at random points for differing lengths of time.
  • Sharp vs. Soft – Spontaneous physical sensations will either be perceived to feel soft, warm, and gentle on the skin or sharp, cold, and electric.
  • All-encompassing vs. Location specific - Spontaneous physical sensations can either be felt across every square inch of the skin in an evenly distributed fashion or in very specific locations such as the ends of the fingers and toes, up and down the spinal column or throughout the head.
  • Euphoric vs. Dysphoric – At appropriately high dosages, spontaneous physical sensations can either be interpreted as pleasurable to experience or they can manifest in the opposite direction and become uncomfortable to experience.

See also

References