Posted July 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm
This is sort of a "coming out of the closet" blog post for me. No, I'm not gay (my apologies to the gay community for stealing their phrase) but I am letting you in on a bit of a secret. I am an ASMR experiencer. Put simply, ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is an strong, euphoric sensation that often overwhelms the experiencer. It is caused by outside triggers that vary depending on the person. These triggers can be auditory, such as a person's voice, clicking or tapping noises or even the sound of someone eating or chewing gum. Triggers can also be visual, like seeing someone concentrate on something such as sculpting. The euphoric sensation happens whether it is welcomed or not and as far as I know, most experiencers have little to no control over it, though I have read rumours about people who can "will" it to happen. It is important to understand that this sensation is 100% non-sexual. During the rare times that I've tried to explain this condition to other people, it's been difficult to convince non-experiencers that this isn't a sexual experience. Nothing about this is arousing or fetishistic. So what is it? Basically, the experiencer will notice a trigger. Let's say that it's someone on a bus chewing gum or perhaps it's someone tapping their fingers on their desk behind you at school. It might even be the sound of a staticy phone connection. At that point, the experiencer will feel an immensely pleasurable "tingly" feeling that sort of crawls across the inside of the scalp. If the trigger continues, the sensation grows. Personally, I would spend this time sitting quite still, waiting for the feeling to pass and hoping to various Gods that no one notices that I'm tripping out on what I imagine heroin might feel like. This sounds really weird, right? Sounds like I'm kind of insane? This is exactly why I've spent my entire life keeping my mouth shut and why (I'm guessing) most of the other ASMR experiencers keep their mouths shut too. So why does this happen? Right now, no one knows. There are a ton of theories, but literally, no one on the planet can explain why this happens. I mean, there seems to be no connection between the triggers and what I'm guessing is some sort of massive dopamine release. I've been triggered by watching someone use a pen to do math. It was something about the way the pen moved. Yeah... I'm shrugging my shoulders and rolling my eyes at how ridiculous this sounds, too. Some people online talk about how they've seemingly dedicated their lives to finding as many of these triggers as they can. Some people "do it" recreationally. Some people, like myself, mostly try to avoid triggers. But I think that all ASMR experiencers are very curious as to why this happens. Sometimes, when I've tried to explain this to people, they've said... "I think I've felt that before". I'm pretty sure that if you think you might have experienced it, you haven't. The people who have experienced ASMR, have experienced it a lot throughout their lives and they usually respond with "Oh my God YES! You get that too!? What the hell IS that?! I thought I was the only one!" or something along those lines. So there we have it. You all know that I'm crazy. The secret that I've guarded so closely for my entire life is out there. Also... I'm Batman. ASMR Research & Support As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
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