Friday, April 19, 2013

A tingle in your brain

From Harry Cheadle for

ASMR is a tricky feeling to describe, and I can only talk about it secondhand. From what I understand from conversations with ASMRers, it’s a tingle in your brain, a kind of pleasurable headache that can creep down your spine. It’s a shortcut to a blissed-out meditative state that allows you to watch long videos that for someone who doesn’t have ASMR are mind-meltingly dull. Not everyone gets this feeling, and though some people can get the tingles through sheer force of will, most depend on external “triggers” to set them off. Triggers can include getting a massage or a haircut or a manicure, or hearing someone talk in a soothing tone of voice (Bob Ross, the “let’s put a happy tree right here” painter from PBS, is a common trigger), or even just watching someone pay extremely close attention to a task, like assembling a model. It’s not usually sexual—everyone who talked to me about ASMR mentioned that right off the bat—but like sexual turn-ons, different people have different things that set them off: the sound of lips smacking together, a cashier’s fake nails tapping on the register, your friend drawing on your hand with a marker.

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Anonymous said...

I suspect that a substantial portion of ASMR 'triggers' would drive nearly everyone within earshot save the individual creating the 'trigger' mind-meltingly crazy.


Erin O'Brien said...

It's funny, but I remember being transfixed by Bob Ross years ago. Never got any of that brain orgasm/ASMR stuff though.


To get a great first hand accounting of the ASMR experience, dig Act Two of this episode of this American Life.

While you're at it, Act One is extremely good radio as well.

philbilly said...

It's the moment when the combined cubic feet-per-minute of air flow and metered fuel through the main jets at wide-open-throttle exactly matches the volumetric efficiency peak prescribed by the resonance of the intake/exhaust manifolds via the profile of the camshaft lobes and natural frequency of the crankshaft/piston/cylinder configuration while simultaneously the induced gyroscopic precession of the wheels and suspension are damped below perception, and there's no cops around.

Also high heels clicking down a hallway.

Contrary Guy said...

Never understood this ASMR thing, but then my hearing's crap anyway. Didn't click on the vid link, I know that sound would annoy the shit out of me.