It seems this is kind of a new thing, and perhaps I am late to the party.
ASMR – autonomous sensory meridian response. I pronounce it “AEZ-merr.”
Looking at wikipedia, and apparently a wiki devoted to this idea, shows ASMR to be a sensation described as “pleasant tingling” in the head or scalp, and is usually triggered via auditory stimuli. As I said, I have only recently come to even recognize this term, but it sure seems awfully familiar. I’ve described intense pleasure induced by the power of sound, but “that feeling” ? Other people feel that too? And there’s a word for it? Gods, this humble writer just might have come across something big.
When I was first introduced to ASMR, it was given to me by someone who knows me quite well – and my appreciation for sound and music. They called it “ear porn,” and while not necessarily falling in the realms of eroticism, apparently the ASMR has been described as an eargasm, braingasm, brain tingles, spine tingles, etc. As someone who has felt it, and now with an awareness of it I feel it more, I subscribe to these terms.
Headphones are a must, and good ones if you can help it.
If you have some time and are curious to check out more, ASMR videos are but a youtube search away. Apparently it’s common for people to do roleplays, where the listener is invited to imagine various daily activities through high definition three-dimensional soundscape recordings. There are also ASMR whisper videos, which fall more along the lines of guided meditation, and are readily available.
It also ought to be noted that skepticism exists in regards to ASMR, and rightfully so – this is the sort of thing that has not yet been scientifically proven with evidence. A feeling that multiple people can describe in common does not constitute evidence. One Steven Novella, a neurologist who devotes a huge amount of energy to scientific skepticism projects (including but not limited to one of my favorite podcasts, the Skeptics Guide to the Universe), points out that there proper studies ought to be conducted – such as MRI’s and the like being used to view the brains of both people who do and do not experience ASMR. He wrote an extensive blog post about it.
In the past, I have discussed my love of music and sound, and in conjunction with this newfound awareness of ASMR, I have undertaken a small personal project of gathering and categorizing music that triggers the ASMR response in me. My music library is already hyper-organized, and picking out various tracks will be what they call a labor of love. The idea behind this, however, is to identify a pattern. Perhaps for research purposes, but mostly for my own enjoyment.
You see, the ASMR for me is not merely a response from the sound itself, but also from the thoughts it evokes. Music that paints a specific picture – or better yet, an idea or a concept – in my mind, something that truly inspires me, is the fuel I wish to harvest, for the ASMR sensation is the same euphoria as inspiration to me.
And now over to you, dear readers. What’s you’re experience with ASMR, if any? What do you think?
I will leave you with a track from a game I (briefly) played, and never fails to give me big thoughts and a deep desire to create a grand scale, epic fantasy.