The Many Varieties of ASMR

ASMR videos are primarily watched for relaxation and sleep. But what are some of the other benefits? Recently, I began clicking on some of the more unconventional looking videos to expand my tingly horizons. As I tried new content creators and new types of triggers, I developed a strong appreciation for the other aspects of ASMR videos. I found that there were several added benefits. Firstly, I discovered that there were other visual and audio stimuli that could cause tactile sensations, a psychosomatic response perhaps. I’d often wondered if ASMR was the brain expecting to feel the sensation of touch based on audio and visual cues, and then creating a placebo effect of sorts — a tactile illusion. Let’s go over a few example of this…

Cooling

Just the other night I discovered an interesting video by WhispersRed ASMR. It was called “Ice Cold ASMR for HOT NIGHTS Dripping Blocks, Fans, Ear Blowing”, and even though I hadn’t watched this channel before, it caught my eye. It happened to be a very hot night, almost enough so to make me consider turning the air on at 1am. I couldn’t get to sleep at all. A single sheet was too much, and the night air coming in through my open window felt like a hairdryer on the lowest setting. I decided to give this video a try. I’ll tell you this — it was extremely helpful. ASMRtist Emma brought out three large blocks of ice in a ceramic bowl and proceeded to scrape them together in a melodic fashion, whispering trigger words “ice” and “cold” as well as describing the sensations of ice on one’s skin. Not only did I tingle my head off, but I actually felt much cooler by the end of the video, enough so to fall right asleep. I highly recommend this one — check it out…

WhispersRed ASMR “Ice Cold ASMR for Hot Nights”

Tactile Illusion

I mentioned somewhere up there that I had wondered if ASMR was a tactile illusion of some kind. The videos that illuminated this sensation the most for me were ones that simulated being touched in a friendly, nonthreatening way. I found that if audio and visual cues could pinpoint the exact place I was being “touched”, I would experience the tingles in that exact spot. One example of this is FatFr33Pudding’s video titled “ASMR Ear to Ear Head Scratching, Scalp Massage w/ Gloves #2”. The ASMRtist moves his hands very deliberately in this standard scalp massage, keeping his hands in the frame for the majority of the video while maintaining a realistic spatial relationship to the camera, creating the sense of being able to tell what part of your scalp he is touching. Another example is Jellybean Green ASMR’s “Massage You to Sleep: ASMR Magic Guided Visualization, Softly Spoken”. This is an audio-only guided visualization with positive affirmations and the sound of gentle rain in the background. The tactile illusion is created when the ASMRtist verbally describes the exact pressure and movements of her fingertips during the face massage portion of the audio. I thought it was really cool. Definitely take a look at these two…

FatFr33Pudding “ASMR Ear to Ear Head Scratching”

Jellybean Green ASMR “Massage You to Sleep”

Waking Up

Another video that gave me a psychosomatic response in addition to tingles was one titled “{ASMR} Good Morning! Coffee And The Newspaper With Your Girlfriend – Roleplay” by Rena Sage. Girlfriend role plays can feel a bit awkward for me, probably because it creates some tension on the boundaries I need to experience ASMR — that’s a whole other article — but this video is for a unisex audience, totally innocent, and ASMRtist Taty’s unique charm establishes a strong sense of safety, as she does in all her videos. What’s fascinating about this video in particular is that it is meant to be watched in the morning after waking up. The sounds of coffee being sipped and newspaper being crinkled, along with bright, white sunlight pouring in from the window actually did make me feel more awake when I watched it one morning, and before I had my coffee at that! If you have an extra twenty minutes in the morning, this video’s not a bad way to start the day…

Rena Sage “{ASMR} Good Morning!”

 

And now I’d like to touch on the entertainment value of ASMR videos. There is no denying that if you peruse the ASMR content of YouTube, you’ll find many videos that are immensely entertaining. And they come in several genres too…

Comedy

A video I found recently was a collaboration by Ephemeral Rift and Scooperdoodle ASMR. It was titled “Manley ASMR with Iggy & Izzy Manley”. I didn’t really tingle that much during this video, but that’s only because giggling at the absurdist give and take of Iggy and Izzy Manly overwhelmed my ASMR. In the video, Izzy Manley (played by Scooperdoodle) goes to her cousin Iggy’s (Ephemeral Rift) house. Iggy wants to understand what it’s like to be a woman, so Izzy goes through her purse, pulling out some items you’d expect, and some you definitely wouldn’t. I recommend this one if you’re okay with mild guy-humor or are a fan of goofier ASMR videos. It can be found on both Scooperdoodle ASMR’s and Ephemeral Rift’s channels.

Scooperdoodle ASMR “Manley ASMR with Izzy & Iggy Manley”

Ephemeral Rift “Manley ASMR with Izzy & Iggy Manley”

Existential

If you’re a person with an affinity for videos that are… well — for lack of a better word … trippy, you’ll love this one. “The Illusionist: ASMR” by Ardra Neala is an example of raw creativity within the ASMR universe. It is a very hypnotic video, visually stunning and well performed. It seems at times both scripted and improvised. It could be a philosophical monologue delivered by a striking woman with eerie spirals in her eyes, or simply a ramble to promote the idea that our sense of self is a fiction we create in our minds. And I don’t even know if that’s the actual message or me projecting my own existential crisis. However you experience the thoughts this video provokes, there is no denying the quality of it. If you want to feel “confusion tingles”, then definitely give this one a look…

Ardra Neala “The Illusionist: ASMR”

Science Fiction

If you haven’t seen ASMRrequests’ popular “Departure” series, you’ll definite want to take some time to watch episodes one and two. ASMRtist Ally invites us into the year 2113. You are a traveler, seemingly looking to take a vacation on a faraway planet. But who are you really? In episode one, Ally portrays a space travel agent helping you book your trip to Gliese 581 G. In episode two, you ‘depart’, encounter a Sherri 3000 android, and slip into a dream sequence, where another popular ASMRtist awaits you with an important message. Perhaps these are not the most relaxing ASMR videos on the internet, but it’s obvious a lot of effort went into making them highly immersive and captivating to the senses. The visual effects are very high quality, and the performances are excellent. Watching these videos, I got the feeling I was in line for a new ride at an amusement park, about to experience a heart-stopping thrill. I also got a sense of the largeness of Ally’s creation. We’re just scratching the surface of something much bigger. A whole new medium of storytelling has been invented. Hopefully there will be an episode three at some point in the future — I think I’m more excited for it than the new Star Wars movie. Go check these out, if you haven’t already…

ASMRrequests “Departure Ep. 1: Departure”

ASMRrequests “Departure Ep. 2: Frontiers”

There are probably dozens of more categories and genres I could find examples for. The world of ASMR has so much amazing content to explore. The value these women and men are giving us is equal, in my opinion, to any and all of the pampering and entertainment we spend money on regularly. I will definitely keep exploring and reporting my discoveries.

What have you discovered?

(Images used under the Creative Commons license. Modified to piece the photos together. Credit to Gregory Gill, Jeff Kramer, Harvy, and Send me adrift.)

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