Okay so I’ve got something that I need to get off my chest. It’s a secret I’ve been hiding for a few years now but was planning on taking to the grave, until now.

*deep breath*

I love ASMR. Like, I fucking *love* ASMR. Pump that whispery bullshit straight into my veins, baby.

ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, is the technical term for when your brain does that weird tingly feeling when you hear or see something pleasant, like kinetic sand or whispering. And thanks to the internet, there’s a whole community of people on YouTube who create this content for your enjoyment.

I was accidentally outed as an ASMR fan earlier this year when my neighbour saw my YouTube search history. But at the time, I thought I was alone in enjoying this strangely soothing content.

But as I have recently discovered, ASMR fans have effectively been kink-shamed into silence.

Recently (aka before Melbourne’s second lockdown) I was out for drinks with a few friends when one of the girls tried to show me a YouTube video on her phone, only to out herself as an ASMR fan thanks to her suggested videos tab. She immediately panicked and thought I was going to kink shame her for being an ASMR fiend until I admitted that I, too, love a bit of the kinetic sand, whispery goodness from time to time.

Now, I’m not one to kink shame because, well, what gets you off is a completely subjective topic and it’s not my place to tell you whether or not I think anal is hot or if being turned on by feet makes you weird.

But ASMR isn’t sexual. At least, usually.

Sure, there’s ASMR porn and sex workers who combine the two services, but for the most part, ASMR is completely innocent. So why is it so taboo?

Whether it’s Aubrey Plaza eating cornflakes or some guy pretending you’re his iPad, AMSR (at least for some) is a relaxing experience that helps to soothe the mind and soul. And considering how stressful 2020 has been so far, I think we could all use a little soothing.

Sure, some of the videos are a little weird. Like maybe having a stranger roleplay a doctor’s appointment isn’t your cup of tea (and it isn’t mine either), but there’s also a whole other side of the community that’s far less confronting and is just mindless tapping noises or videos of people cutting kinetic sand.

I mean, who doesn’t love watching kinetic sand? Let’s start kink shaming THOSE people.

But I mean it when I say: there is an ASMR video out there for whatever ailment you may have. Tired? There’s a video for it. Anxious about your next uni exam? There’s a video for that too. Want to just pretend you’re visiting a bakery in Paris? Just Google it, baby.

Some people claim it soothes their anxiety, for others it reportedly helps with sleep. For me, it’s just a nice background noise while I’m working because sometimes the chaos of a TV show makes it too hard to concentrate on writing. But regardless of why you listen, it’s time we stop kink shaming it.

Justice for ASMR.

Image: Youtube / Gibi ASMR