I am, by no means, a member of the ASMR community but I deal with anxiety on a daily basis and use ASMR videos to calm myself. I’ve been doing it for years and it is a regular part of my day. If you don’t know what ASMR is, it is experiencing a calming sensation and “brain tingles” derived from a “trigger” which is usually something soft like a whisper or the rustle of pages. Here is a good article in the Washington Post about it. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s a made up term, that is, it wasn’t meant to be a scientific, just descriptive. Honestly, until recently, science stayed the hell away from it because it was really hard to study and deeply subjective. That’s changing but the people who have fought all of these years defending ASMR as a legitimate function of neurology get really pissed off when people call it a sex thing.
Here is a great video by the ASMR artist Jellybean Green ASMR called Sexy & Erotic ASMR: Don’t Panic!, talking about this frustration among ASMR artists.
ASMR is not provocative nor is it seeking sexual pleasure largely (there are exceptions) but it is highly sensual and highly intimate. For many people the only sensual and intimate interaction they have with other people is with a sexual partner. It is a mistake to think that the pathways in your brain that were formed in infancy and childhood that allow for ASMR to be so pleasurable and comforting are not the same pathways that make you melt when a lover whispers in your ear.
I am largely motivated by two chemicals in my brain, testosterone and adrenaline. They are like those stupid ass friends that always want to get you high just to watch you stumble around and say stupid things. I can’t spend my day running around and fucking so I have to game the system. I need to get them so high that they pass out for a while and I can get some work done. Yes, the easy thing to do would be to express myself physically but that is rarely an option. Here is where Erotic ASMR comes in. Regular ASMR is excellent at doping up my body with oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin, which negates the adrenaline. The testosterone is still burning through my veins though and it needs to fuck. Sublimation sometimes works, clearly, because I have a whole blog about erotic creativity but sometimes it just needs sex. Since I can’t get sex during the day, masturbation isn’t always an option, and I don’t really want to eat a pound of chocolate, Erotic ASMR gives me what I need for my brain to release Phenylethylamine (PEA), which then releases dopamine and suddenly everything is okay.
Erotic ASMR is not for everyone but for an erotica writer and anxiety sufferer, it’s just the ticket.