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ASMR is a YouTube genre that I’ve been meaning to write about. It only came to my attention because I’d heard that last June, the Chinese government had banned these videos of people whispering, eating, scratching the microphone and various other quiet “triggers” that relax watchers and help them to sleep (headphones and full screen are recommended).

ASMR is the acronym for “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”, which describes the tingling, relaxing or sleep-inducing feeling that some people get when watching these videos. Pornography is strictly prohibited in China and the Anti-Pornography Office has deemed ASMR “vulgar” and ordered their removal from China’s biggest video streaming sites.

I listened to this video by ASMR Darling with over 26 million views as I wrote this and found that there is something quite sweet and soothing about it. When you actually watch the video, it adds a whole other dimension. She’s so angelic and perfect, there’s a mythical, dreamlike quality to it. She reminds me of the Jessica Lange character in the Bob Fosse film, ‘All that Jazz’.

As you proceed to listen, you find out that she’s a psychology student and she seems to have genuinely wholesome and sweet intentions. The experience is sort of like a zero-budget private masseuse coming over to your house. Wow. I just yawned. If you have trouble getting to sleep, this might be something you want to try out!

Alexandra Bruce

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