What is frisson, you ask?
According to the OED:
frisson |frēˈsô n |
a sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear; a thrill : a frisson of excitement.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: French, literally ‘a shiver or thrill.’
Free-sahn. Blarf. Gotta love that French pronunciation.
So: frisson is that—mmm, how do you say?—je ne sais quoi that slides down your spine when a mademoiselle’s breathe caresses your neck.
But like any vaguely sexual sensation, different people get it from different stimuli. For fellow elephant Laura Hobbs, it’s the gravely voice of True Blood’s Bill Compton. Oddly specific, but I get it. For me: music. Pretty common, probably, but it can’t just be music in and of itself; it’s gotta be accompanied by a montage of the saddest moments from the movies of my childhood. This, for example:http://vimeo.com/28494555 And there I was thinking Harry and the Hendersons couldn’t get any more poignant. I stand corrected.
Dylan Owens is currently a senior in the creative writing program at the University of Colorado. As an ex-baby model, he peaked early, but is mounting a comeback as a writer for elephant journal and the Boulder Today. You can learn about his exploits and interests via photo, blurb and hand-picked Youtube video on his Twitter, or simply Google “pickle recipes,” “life-sized Jenga” and “PBR&B” for the same effect.