Welcome To The World Of ASMR Where 'Brain Orgasms' Are The New Normal!

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Are you in on this latest relaxation phenomenon yet?

YouTube is a pretty wild place. On the one hand it offers serious content, but it's also game for crazy, stupid, weird and sometimes even kinky content. And, guess what—everything is acceptable!

So it comes as no surprise that a video of a young woman gently whispering into her microphone would instigate a global phenomenon. She does a few random things like tapping her gold-manicured fingers onto a wooden brush, combing her long blond tresses and performing a few face massages. Honestly nothing extraordinary. And yet almost 20 million have watched that video.

Welcome to the curious world of ASMR. 

It's All About that Tingly ASMR Feeling

Since the video surfaced in 2012, ASMR (or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) has become somewhat of an online subculture. It's given rise to hundreds of YouTube channels. In fact, you'll be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of ASMR material if you search online for its videos. 

Hundreds of YouTubers can be seen whispering stories about ghosts and time travel or creating elaborate sci-fi fiction into their microphones. Interestingly, the viewers have been unquestioningly gobbling up all this content.

So we decided to investigate ASMR and looked up several videos. Let us break it to you, it's got us hooked, too! So here's what to expect from ASMR:

1. Get ready to experience a brain orgasm

Did we get your full attention? Good.

First of all, for full effect, put on your headphones and turn up the volume to watch and listen to an ASMR video. Now sit back, relax, and let the nonstop sounds of whispering or some such mundane activity like unwrapping candy and chewing bubble gum permeate your visual and aural senses. 

Are you feeling a tingling sensation in the back of your head or neck due to the whispering and repetitive movements? Is that tingly feeling travelling across your scalp and creeping along your spine? What you're experiencing is called ASMR. In other words: brain orgasm! 

For some people, this brain orgasm is deeply relaxing that it causes them to sleep. 

2. But why do you feel this brain orgasm from watching ASMR?

First, watch the videos, they are worth your time.

Second, if you feel that there is no rhyme or reason to ASMR, you may not be wrong. Scientists have only recently started exploring it.

In fact, the term "ASMR" was not even coined by a researcher, but reportedly by a Pittsburg-based team managed by Jennifer Allen in 2010. She even started a Facebook group to better understand this phenomenon. 

As far as actual scientific research goes, the very first paper on the subject was recently written by Emma Barratt a graduate of Swansea University, UK. Along with her guide Dr Nick Davis, Barratt published the results of a survey of 500 ASMR enthusiasts as part of her research. 

Only recently was a full-fledged ASMR university founded to study this strange phenomenon.

What we can tell by watching ASMR is that the videos have a distinct audio formula: the hushed talk and normally soft sounds of mundane activities have been magnified to make them easily heard. "What makes ASMR click is that it emulates intimacy, a private moment—on demand," explains Eric Perlas, sound engineer and president of Philippine-based production company Tower of Doom. "ASMRists use applied psychoacoustics to emulate this intimacy because you can't hear those sounds in a normal setting. So they have to be careful in accurately recording the sound of objects, if they want to trigger a response in their viewers."

3. Does responding viscerally to ASMR mean you've discovered a hidden fetish? 

Dubbed also as whisper porn, ASMR runs the gamut of genres. Some ASMRists cater to people who get stimulated by role-playing or listening to sci-fi fiction or mythological stories. Others may cater to those who find comfort in watching and listening to a person performing everyday activities like eating, spraying water, or stirring a cup of coffee.

Take your pick, there is sure to be an ASMR video that fulfills your audiovisual kink.

The effect of ASMR varies from person to person. Some people experience tingling feelings right off the bat, while others take time to even grasp the concept. 

Some of the common triggers of ASMR include whispering, scratching or tapping, ear brushing, personal attention, turning of pages, playing with hair or concentrating on a particular task. 

No matter the trigger, the resulting tingly sensation is usually not sexual. Because simply put, gentle whispering is not everybody's preference when it comes to foreplay.

"The fact that a huge number of people are triggered by whispering voices suggests that the sensation is related to being intimate with someone in a non-sexual way. Very few people reported a sexual motivation for ASMR, it really is about feeling relaxed or vulnerable with another person,” Dr Davis tells The Guardian.

4. Are you capable of having a brain orgasm? 

You may have been burnt one too many times by a man-boy who could never find your lovespot and make you scream out your ecstasy. So yeah, you may be just a tad skeptical about the power of ASMR to give you a brain orgasm. 

The discovery of ASMR is individual and can be triggered at a young age or later. For instance, some people experience it when they are really young while interacting with others; many others may stumble upon it later through the Internet. 

You may have felt that tingly sensation all throughout your life without knowing it was ASMR all along. But now you do.

And if you happen to go online searching for such videos, you'll know that there is a whole new world waiting to be explored. Which brings us to the revelation that ASMR is actually a pretty big deal now.  

From Niche to Phenomenon: How Big is ASMR, Really? 

It's an understatement to say that ASMR is pretty big now. With seven hundred videos and millions of views on them, ASMR is a full-blown phenomenon. So much so that celebrities have also jumped on the bandwagon.

Don't believe us, take a look at Hollywood actor Eva Longoria's ASMR video. 

That doesn't impress you enough? Then watch this ASMR from Wonder Woman Gal Gadot. 

People are even making spoofs of ASMR, making it an even wider phenomenon than it already is, like this one from famous Singaporean blogger Xiaxue. 

Advancement in technology has made it possible to actually apply some science behind ASMR. Now you can experience it in virtual reality as well! YouTubers are now creating "360 degree ASMR experience" content where you can watch videos with a bit of animation or experience virtual reality. Although it's still at a nascent stage, it can very well be a reality in the near future. 

ASMR certainly caters to a niche audience. So if you just saw all of the videos we shared above and still didn't experience a brain orgasm, we suggest giving it another shot. Maybe your cerebral clit is just hard to spot and would need more tender coaxing.

(Feature & lead images courtesy: Pxhere)

Written by

Deepshikha Punj