Autonomous sensory meridian response, also known as ASMR is a condition where a person gets to have “pop culture moments”. This is manifested through chills that run down someone’s spine, scalp or neck when that person is listening to some sounds.
It usually comes as a result of audio and sometimes visual sensors being stimulated resulting in a “low-grade euphoria” state.
As shown by the availability of ASMR communities on online platforms, this condition has been around for ages even though it just recently got the label. “Content producers” on the topic have garnered a massive following on the internet showing how many people have experienced it.
The triggers for ASMR differ with every individual. However, as shown by content displayed in YouTube, common trigger felt by different people is whispering especially by a female artist. According to a website called “ASMR lab”, other common triggers include tapping, crumpling paper, scratching and pages being turned.
Is it a fetish?…
After looking at what is ASMR and what are the most common triggers, another question pops up. This question arises from the fact that the initially suggested names for the phenomenon had the word “orgasm”. One of those terms was “auditory induced head orgasm”. This has created a discussion as to whether the ASMR phenomenon is sexual.
Whereas to some people, the condition is a “sexual fetish” as supported by the availability of “erotically charged recordings” online, to other people using ASMR content helps in relaxation rather than sexual spark. According to research done by Swansea University, most people use ASMR videos to “fall asleep than sexual stimulation”.
The science behind it…
Scientific evidence on this subject is very minimal. Before its official term was given in 2010, ASMR was seen as a sexual fetish and “dismissed as pop science”.
Recently, however, many scientists have started taking it seriously with initial research showing that ASMR content could help relieve stress and insomnia to those with the condition.
One book by a bio-pharmacist even suggests that parents can use such content to soothe children and help them sleep.