Sensational Ear-Gasms: Reality, Mass-Hallucination, or YouTube Fetish?
It’s called an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR for short. This is a term for a scalp-tingling, brain-jiggling, pins-and-needles reaction that is caused by sensory stimulation. This reaction does not occur in everyone and reportedly has varying effects on different people.
The most common form of ASMR, or ‘Brain Orgasms’ as they are referred to in the ASMR community, are ones that are aroused by the sound of whispering. This is evident by the thousands of YouTube videos, hundreds of Channels, and millions of Viewers dedicated to listening and sharing people, but usually women, whispering about seemingly mundane day-to-day tasks.
Some of the top ASMR videos have over 5 Million views, and there is a huge array of whispery topics. The majority of these videos are role-play scenarios, which range from ‘A Visit to the Dentist’ to ‘Eating a Jello Brain’, and everything else any ‘Tinglehead’ would want to listen to.
As alluring as an Ear-gasm may be, one has to consider that there is very little scientific research to back the ASMR up. Of course, if millions of people are ‘getting off’ as they listen to the pasty lip-smacking of someone whispering, then it might be worth a try. The worst thing that could really happen is that you listened to something.
It is clear that this reaction is something that we don’t understand, either about the brain, or the power of suggestion, but it is definitely a subject to explore. Further research could reveal a great deal about how our minds work mechanically, as well as how they work within a social context, and perhaps then one day, we will know if ASMR is a tangible neurological effect, or some type of mass-hallucination.