ASMR’ - or ‘Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response’ exploded in popularity a few years ago as the ASMR youtube channels emerged.

The YouTube videos do not trigger ASMR for me, unfortunately. However, it did bring the term to my attention, and when I read the wikipedia page something clicked - I finally had a term for a very strange sensation that I was never able to explain to others.

For me, this ASMR response is not something that I can reproduce on purpose. But the times that it happens it usually occurs when someone else asks me something. For example, during middleschool I remember that sometimes a friend would stand next to me and ask me for a pencil. As I would retrieve the pencil, I would get into this dissociated-like state that was very peaceful and tingly, and I would not want it to stop. I would be very slow in retrieving the pencil and pretending I was still looking for it - and then I would ask some question to try to make the interaction longer because it felt so interesting.

It still happens some times but is rare, and it occurs when I am busy in the office or the lab and someone comes and asks me something or for something while I am paying attention to something else. It is a very pleasurable state that is also very fragile - as if someone managed to scratch the perfect itchy spot in my brain for a moment. It is odd, and I think it fits the definition of ASMR perfectly.

The only other way that I feel a similar effect but not as strong effect is when am getting a haircut the hairdraisser is cutting the hair in the back of my neck with the tiny trimmer.

I am curious about other people’s experience with this phenomenon, because I have not found many people that can relate to my experience. Have you felt this? Do you know what your triggers are? Do the YouTube videos do it for you?

I like ASMR videos but it’s for calmness/background… I experienced sometimes that “strange” state you’re talking about, but almost never with those videos (maybe once).

It often happens when I’m at the barber’s shop, when the barber is cutting my hair or beard.

But only when is not talking (and barbers talk a lot…)

I feel exactly the same. Sometimes I would like to add an extra so that they don’t talk.

Yes, I experience it often. I really enjoy the sound of flakey pastries haha.


Interesting! Flakey pastry sounds do nothing for me, but they are indeed very characteristic.

I used to experience it more before watching ASMR videos. I still watch them a lot but now it’s more for calmness/background noise.


So, you experienced it during the first videos you watched but developed a tolerance as you kept watching them?

I experienced it prior to watching videos and then early when I discovered the videos. But over time I’ve lost the ability to feel it unintentionally or intentionally, videos or no videos.

I love ASMR use it all the time. My favorite is fairychar. I really like the unintnetional stuff John butler and kelsang nyema are great for religous stuff. I don’t like alot of the physical tapping and scratching ones I’m much more into voices, I prefer womens voices but only deep female voices, like an elderly librarian or nun, anything high pitched or whispery annoys me. Alot of it is unfortunately taken over by pretty women who do vaguely sexual kinds of performance, and then there is a full on pornographic version too. But on youtube you have to sift through “hot girl ASMR” channels alot of them who have no idea what theyre doing have no real recording equipment and are just pretty and some of them borderline pedo as its alot of underage age girls in their bedrooms whispering sexually into their webcam mics. Still today if you search ASMR right now in youtube its nothing but big boobs, the whole first page. So its terrible just letting youtube autoplay because you’ll be listening to Raoul Dahl recounting tales of his beloved writers nook and all of a sudden you’re listening to blowjob noises its very jarring and disturbing.

I experience it. It’s funny you mention the electric clippers, that was my first experience with it too. It was never anything I sought or thought too deeply about, but those electric clippers buzzing next to me head always produced a pleasant, tingly sensation in my head.

I discovered the term ASMR and the videos on YouTube maybe 4 or 5 years ago, and I have been known to enjoy them from time to time. I noticed pretty quickly that different triggers, voices, sound quality, etc produced (or didnt produce) different results. Very few things are as strong and tingly as those electric clippers IRL, but tapping, rain and various sounds definitely relax me, make me feel somewhat “hypnotized,” tingly or sleepy. It’s nice! Too much of it does seem to dull the sensation so I don’t use it regularly anymore.


I sleep like a baby during thunderstorms, they are very relaxing.

Well, I can trigger a similar response by contracting specific muscles. The feeling is pretty similar, but it typically starts in the upper back and goes up to the scalp, not the opposite.


Interesting! Can you do that on purpose, or it happens when you contract the muscles in just the right way by accident?

I’d say I can do it on purpose, but not always.

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