Lately, it seems like all anyone can talk about is ASMR. Videos of ASMR often feature people whispering melodically or otherwise making noise into a microphone. And they're wildly popular – millions of people are consuming these videos every day!
But what exactly is ASMR and why are people fascinated with it?
ASMR, also known as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a combination of positive feelings and a static-like tingling sensation on the skin. It’s the body’s response to auditory and visual stimuli.
When you break down the entire phrase, you can see it's named pretty accurately:
- Autonomous, aka spontaneous
- Sensory, aka sensation
- Meridian, aka a peak or climax
- Response, aka a triggered experience
Some examples of ASMR triggers include whispering, scratching, typing, tapping, and manipulating fabric. And there's a lot of variety to which triggers individual people prefer. One of my favorite ASMR videos is of someone tapping their acrylic nails against each other.
Much of the information on ASMR is anecdotal; there's very limited science behind it and everyone's experience with ASMR is different. In fact, a lot of people simply don't get it. For those who do, they compare an ASMR experience to the feeling you get when you visit the hairdresser and feel them gently massaging your scalp. It's meant to be relaxing, stress reducing, and anti-anxiety. One 2015 ASMR study published in PeerJ suggests that it can improve mood and even pain symptoms.
And while ASMR is not specifically sexual, it's something that triggers the pleasure centers in the brain and improves your mood, much like sex does.
How Can You Get into ASMR to Induce Arousal?
If you’re wondering how ASMR can get you feeling aroused, start off by listening to various ASMR tracks or watching ASMR videos, preferably with headphones. In this way, you can see if ASMR brings about any positive triggers or sensations. And even the way in which someone’s mouth, lips, or tongue moves on video, can be erotic.
If a particular sound or visual causes a positive reaction, you can invite more physical sensations in the body by lightly touching or tickling your skin, which has been said to induce relaxation even more so than ASMR.
ASMR and Partnered Sex
If you or your partner discover some of your ASMR triggers, there are a few ways to incorporate it in the sex you're having.
- Whispering: You can whisper erotic things, such as how hot your partner is, what your kinks are, or what you want to do to each other.
- Body Sounds: Focus on creating sounds with your body that are erotic, like moaning or getting extra slurpy during oral sex.
- Tickle the Skin: You can write words or draw pictures on your partner’s skin, softly and seductively, using your fingers.
- Use ASMR in the Background: Play some of your favorite ASMR sounds in the background during play time or put on an ASMR video to watch together.
On the other hand, if you've tried ASMR and it's not really doing it for you, you're not alone. According to ASMR researcher, Craig A.H. Richard, Ph.D, some people may not be able to experience ASMR at all. Some folks even find AMSR annoying, and so it achieves the exact opposite of calming and relaxing someone.
Ultimately, we’re all individuals with different preferences and capabilities. Don't despair – there's always other ways to invite relaxation and arousal into your life.