ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a tingling sensation that is experienced in the scalp and back in response to stimuli. It’s often noted as being a pleasurable experience one that, until recently, few people talked about. Now it is becoming more popular and has it’s own youtube following.
ASMR is something that I have experienced numerous times. The tingling sensation lasts various amounts of time and intensity levels but it is always pleasurable. I seem to experience it most when someone is being very familiar with me and really appreciating me and caring for me. Most often it is not touch related and I feel as though It’s occurred more often when interacting with men.
In my opinion the feeling is similar to the jibblies, a term that seems to be created by Homestar Runner. It is similar to ASMR in the sense that they are both involuntary response to stimuli. The difference is that the jibblies cause involuntary twitching and are often a result of something disgusting, uncomfortable or creepy. Meanwhile ASMR is a sensation one feels internally only.
I became aware of the term ASMR and youtube channels devoted to it after Dalton posted his own ASMR video. He’s normally known for being light-hearted and joking around but I think he might be taking this seriously and trying to make some legit ASMR videos.
After searching around on youtube for these videos there seems to be three types of videos. There are mock videos, either mock haircuts (mostly done by women) or mock doctor appointments, sales people and other meetings with very personable strangers (more are done by men). The other type of video is purely comfort based and involves quiet talking and sounds with real plot instead the focus is on the viewer who (almost all of these are women). The final one type is mainly focused on auditory pleasure, such as rattling and rustling and chewing noises.
I personally enjoyed the second type the most. It’s interesting though because it seems like a lot of the videos branch from pure ASMR and are more used by people to relax in general and possibly to fall asleep. I must say the first one I watch nearly made me fall asleep. Listening to her voice was just so comforting and calming I started to understand people’s fascination with this whole thing.
Overall ASMR videos seem to be attempting to make you feel cared about and calm and comfortable. TheOneLilium describes ASMR in one of her videos the following way, “I think that’s the very essence of ASMR you feel cared for, attended to in some way… sounds, touches comfort you.” The whole thing seems a little strange to me, seeing strangers on youtube expressing so much care towards the audience rather than most videos that are a videotape of something. Expressing care and being personable is a huge part of the actually causing ASMR in the viewer. It’s the tingling feeling of being cared and caressed by people who you don’t know quite that well, or because of the soothing noise of hair being combed that makes you feel like someone is combing your own hair.