I love my ASMR. It stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. ASMR: The videos which claim to make their viewers ‘tingle’ – BBC News It is the pleasurable sensation one feels in response to audio, visual, tactile olfactory stimuli. A lot of people will experience it as a tingling sensation. Tingling is not how I would experience it. I can list a few of my stimuli other than the ones I have mentioned in my About: Me To You, page.
The sound of a large, hardback book, heavy in your hands, being shut. That ‘pwoof’, the soft, deep bass note heard- if quiet enough- and the puff of air that you feel if your face is close. People who annunciate, with P’s and Q’s perfectly in place, coupled with sounds they make in between careful pronunciation! The sound of a pack of cards being shuffled. The delicate ‘roar’ of a brush being pulled through the hair, with the gentle snap and crackle of hair strands. Babies fall asleep to the sound of the vacuum cleaner or the washing machine. I could fall asleep to the sound of the dishwasher. If fact Radio 4’s afternoon plays have a lot to answer for- they can be a great source of stimuli, with their special sound effects. The crystal clear sounds of hot liquid poured into cup or mug, lush. The clink of the spoon? The sound of shoes crunching gravel as a character is ‘coming up the path’. It’s immensely satisfying.
It is the polar opposite of the sensation that nails dragged down a blackboard can create, or for me, the sensation of rubbing two coins together- urgh! Many will appreciate how unsettling that nail or even chalk on a blackboard sound can be and are openly vocal about it. Well, the flip side to that coin is how divinely blissful some ‘unexceptional’ sounds can be, (Just don’t rub two together).
I come across new personal stimuli from time to time. Recently, I had the radio on during a programme about clay potters. A lady was trying to demonstrate her craft to the broadcaster. Her wheel turning, she threw some water onto the clay. The microphones picked up the sound of the water drizzling over her clay. The sound changed me. I transcended into the most sublime sensation. I will try to create images, but it is all about sensation. The sensation is key. My eyes drooped. I closed them. My limbs relaxed. For a split second, I felt as if I was falling, willingly, into a sea of soft feathers that brush tickled my face and kissed me with the gentlest of breezes, before I rebounded upwards, gravity free, elevating weightlessly, eventually floating down again to repeat. The whole experience and sensation happened in a matter of seconds. I don’t hold on to these images I’ve described, it is the sensational effect that I am holding on to. I’m trying to find a way to connect to you in the hope you may appreciate what I feel.
So sounds such as receiving a whispering in the ear; those beautiful, plosives and fricative delectables, or the sound of ice melting in a glass, or the sound made when brushing hair, slowly and deliberately, or the sound of a real open fire crackling, is like being massaged with hot oils, only they are massaging your brain and that sensation is pretty hard to describe.
I think one of the most peculiar observations to come out of ASMR is that although the whole experience is sensual, it is not sexual. There are many Youtube videos on this. Do take a look and let me know what you think. Maybe you can relate to this. I’d love to know.