ASMR stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response,” although it can be termed “whisper porn” in some circles, reports the New York Magazine –– a publication that turns to science to try and figure out why ASMR videos are growing so popular these days. To those who don’t know much about the practice, catching a glimpse of a woman or man speaking softly, or only making certain non-verbal sounds as they perform rhythmic motions like stroking the bristles of a brush, or brushing a makeup brush across their video screen, can make the whole thing seem weird, indeed.
Naysayers may pass it off as a form of hypnotism, while others liken it to the soothing sounds produced in the womb, as new products that aim to help babies sleep, such as the Baby Shusher — as reported by the Inquisitr — strive to do. But what exactly is ASMR and what kinds of effects does it have on the brain? The first scientific paper on the topic of ASMR has been published by psychologists in the U.K., with findings that suggest the sounds and scenarios featured in the video may have positive effects upon pain for some users, although deeper study into the field is needed.
Warnings exist for users who are prone to seizures, take certain medications, or have pacemakers, as written in the description of some of the videos.
“There is the possibility that the tingles associated with ASMR result from a minor seizure, brought on by appropriate stimuli.”
Feelings of tingling and relaxation have been reported by certain users, with some feeling the sensations in their brains travel down their spines. Only a small number of folks admitted to watching and/or listening to the videos for purposes of sexual stimulation, despite the high amount of male subscribers to such videos, and the large number of ASMR videos that involve role play of some sort.
According to the Washington Post, the ASMR videos are so riveting that the most popular ASMR artists have garnered 87 million views or more for their videos.
As reported by the Guardian, artists like Holly Herndon have placed ASMR sounds on her new album, and users may find it odd the types of things that folks can find being pleasurable sounds to them, whether it’s wrinkling cellophane to falling blocks to the sound of sand being raked. Herndon’s ASMR trigger is surprisingly the sound of fake nails tapping against the screen of a smartphone.
[Image via Twitter]