Take a look at that picture. Before I discovered ASMR I always assumed a powder brush had one purpose and that was for the sole purpose of powder foundation. Turns out we now live in a time where people have a whole bunch of interesting fetishes ranging from BDSM to standard role-playing because people are getting more creative and because of the Internet.
The other week I was surfing YouTube and ended up on the weird side of the Internet. You know that side that you end up on at 2am in the morning when you start questioning your life decisions that led you to that dancing cat video? That’s where I ended up at 7pm on a Wednesday evening, except this was an ASMR video with over a 100k likes. My curiosity took over and I ended up clicking on it.
It was a clip of a YouTube artist named Maria Viktorovna speaking into a lens directly to the viewer in a soothing whisper as she used the make-up brush to gently stroke the lens of the camera.
The first thing I noticed was how gentle she was with all of her actions, everything from her tone, her hand strokes and her hand movements had a slow glide to them so as to not startle the viewer. She was literally scrapping a piece of burnt toast at one point to create rhythmic soothing sound effects. I don’t know about you but at that point I was really questioning my life choices but I decided to persist regardless.
So what is ASMR?
According to Google, ASMR stands for ‘Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response’ and is an experience characterized by static-like or tingling sensation on the skin. ASMR signifies the subjective experience of ‘low-grade euphoria’ and is most commonly triggered by specific auditory or visual stimuli, and less commonly by intentional attention control.
Some common ASMR triggers are:
- Listening to a softly spoken or whispering voice;
- Listening to quiet, repetitive sounds resulting from someone engaging in a mundane task such as turning pages of a book;
- Loudly chewing, crunching, slurping or biting foods, drinks or gum.
My experience with ASMR
There are a lot of different types of ASMR videos online, ranging from tapping videos to eating videos. I tried watching a range of different videos across the spectrum to try and understand if I had an ‘ASMR brain’ as the scientific researchers like to call it. Turns out I did.
I know trust me I was as shook as you are.
The one thing that pissed me off at the dinner table turned out to be my ASMR trigger. For some odd reason hearing the crunch and the rather loud audible sounds that came with eating a pickle near a microphone seemed to trigger me.
For the freaks, no this did not lead to any kinda bean flicking action but I did experience a tingling sensation that washed over me like a wave. I felt a sense of calm but borderline euphoria at the same time. According to the Netflix T.V series ‘Follow This’ people who react to ASMR videos tend to be more emotionally volatile and open-minded/experimental. I could try and fight it but who am I kidding anyone who knows me know I tick those boxes with ease.
This however does not mean that the next time we sit for a meal you can smack your mouth like a grazing cow and claim that it’s an ASMR trigger. Trust me I’ve tried and ended up getting the dinner bread roll thrown at my face instead.