For years (I have no idea when it started) I have experienced this ‘thing’ and never bothered trying to explain it to others. Once I tried, and became frustrated with my poor explanation, which was, something like: a weird tingly feeling when I’m watching someone doing something that they are really concentrating on, usually a girl, and usually it’s playing with their or someone else’s hair, or drawing. I remember I noticed it in high school classrooms and on busses.
I would always stress- THIS SOUNDS PERVY BUT I PROMISE IT JUST ISN’T!
Then- one day late last year I was on a random Buzzfeed article about ‘weird places on the internet’ and I came across a description of ASMR. My eyes widened as I read further, and when I researched and came across the actual definition…
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or cognitive stimuli. The nature and classification of the ASMR phenomenon is controversial, with strong anecdotal evidence to support the phenomenon but little or no scientific explanation or verified data.
I thought…Oh. My. God. I literally had a fucking epiphany. I had ASMR! THAT is what that feeling was/has always been! I was suddenly extremely happy and wanted to tell everyone about my new knowledge… but I realised it still sounded too weird/pervy to explain to others who have no idea what you’re talking about.
A link from the article was an ASMR video of the user albinwhisperland.
If you have/experience ASMR then you will have most likely found yourself in the ASMR corner of YouTube. There are different triggers for different people, mine are still mostly drawing and hair play, and so not all videos or creators will work for you. Alb is definitely my favourite, and I have honestly not been able to find anybody else that works for me!
ASMR is usually soft spoken or whispering, because as well as the ‘tingly’ sensations it can bring on, it is heavily related to relaxation and many people use it to unwind and sleep at night. Even people who don’t experience ASMR may find some of the content relaxing and could use it for this purpose.
Because I now watch these videos fairly often, mostly before I plan to sleep, I have noticed I am experiencing the ‘tingles’ less often, and that’s why I’m on my hunt for new and different video makers, however nobody sits as well with me as alb. She does a variety of videos and experiences ASMR herself. She has another channel which she uploads everyday videos on, and this side channel is strictly catered to ASMR. She is a cartoon artist so luckily for me, some of these videos are drawing based. She also plays with tapping sounds and package sounds quite often, which are two big triggers.
I still think everyday instances are the most effective way to achieve the feeling- but it’s definitely not available ‘on demand.’
It’s funny telling people about this, because it’s easy to jump to the ‘sex’ association, which I think frustrates a lot of the ASMR community. When I started to read comments on ASMR videos I noticed I was expecting all manner of pervy things, when in actual fact everybody was simply friendly and open to their own personal experiences. Still- trying to explain it to my boyfriend is pretty hilarious as he watched a video of ‘tea cup show and tell’ and looked at me like I was insane.
It would be awesome if this post resonates with anyone who either already knows they have ASMR or didn’t even realise! Let me know! 🙂