Friday, August 23, 2013

Speak of it in a Soft, Sharp Whisper Some More

Good luck with this post. Certain amount of made-up language here. And that may be the least of my problems....

A while back, I took perhaps something of a risk and posted publicly about a most bizarre, possibly genetic, and delightfully euphoric phenomenon for anyone who, like me, gets it. What follows is just sort of an improvised disorganization of some further thoughts on the topic of what the 'Net has come to call "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response", or ASMR. I just call it "meridian" myself, except on Twitter, whose format makes "#ASMR" advantageous. "Meridian" just sounds better than "a-ess-em-arr", doesn't it? Rolls off the tongue better, certainly.

One so-called "ASMRtist" came to follow me on the blue bird network. This is not someone whose work I had encountered previously, but unlike many people, most of whom follow me and then unfollow me a couple days later, she had the courtesy to respond when I sent her a greeting. (That's what I do when I gain a follower; I warmly greet them. I have thirty-six followers. I know the most recent one won't stay; they've not acknowledged my three-and-a-half-day-old greeting. Why do I keep getting sidetracked into people being anti-social on social networks? Ah, well...) Therefore, I took her to be someone worth investigating. I plugged in and donned my headphones, brought up her 'Tube channel, picked out a video that looked like my audio realm, and put it on.

Just short of 43 minutes. (By the way, I usually just listen to these meridian videos while they play and I look at other tabs. It's all about the audio; no reason to just sit here watching 'em. Eyes can be otherwise engaged all the while.) Maybe some gamers are actually paying wide-eyed attention to this material; an attractive, young female is whispering about their favorite thing! And that's fine; I will wholeheartedly grant that. But I do feel a need to say this: The meridian is quite strongly triggered in the beginning. However, as the video plays on, the effect diminishes, and by the half-hour mark, due either to natural exhaustion of whatever it is off which the meridian feeds, or to my own mind drifting into 2012 Appalachia or 13,291 Mediterranea and therefore away from the video audio, the meridian has gone for the moment, leaving only a sort of ambient audio piece I'm hearing, featuring whispers and the occasional click of a button or other item. Of course, ambiance can still be soothing in the more traditional sense; it's soft and gentle and capable of comfort. But the meridian, the supernatural euphoria darting yet beyond the reach of our human comprehension, has fled, to return another time soon.

A number of patrons of YouTube's "ASMarts" have chimed in with comments of gratitude, some claiming that the videos help put them to sleep. This is an interesting idea. The meridian-less, soothing ambiance that the, uh, "muggle" (unfortunate soul who doesn't get meridian) would get from the experience of listening to whispering (or tapping/crinkling/etc.) could certainly serve as a lullaby of sorts. (I just realized, a "lullaby" is "a" thing "by" which to "lull" to relative sedation. Ha ha.) But does meridian, when it happens, come with the standard hormones that could calm the person to sleep? In my high school, we had a choice between either physics or anatomy; I went with physics, so I'm kind of making things up about anatomy. But despite fairly frequently emerging from meridian indulgence (maybe there should be a word for "indulging in meridian", the way we have "masturbate" for "indulge in the pursuit of sexual orgasm"; "meristurbating"?) without feeling the least notable bit sleepier than before I clicked ►, I do have to wonder if the non-sexual upper-body euphoria is related to similar .....dopamine?.....releases within the body as with the traditional sexual orgasm. With traditional sexual orgasms, I usually — but not always! — do feel rather sleepy in the immediate aftermath. Or maybe that's because I tend to masturbate in bed, right before I'm aiming to sleep anyway, so it could be a bit skewed.* No, I still recall feeling sleepy in class during high school when having my private, hands-free sub-orgasm sexual euphoriae in my pants. Then again, why wouldn't I have been sleepy in class? Damn thing started at eight in the morning every friggin' weekday.

Meridian really does need some actual scientific studies. Control groups! Muggles and ....non-muggles. (Did we decide on a name for people who get meridian? I don't know.) Male and female. Young and old. Times of day. Intervals between meridian indulgences. See if there's a correlation between non-mugglehood and certain other selective genetic traits. Can non-muggles generally also wiggle their ears, or curl their tongue into a U? I can tell you that for me, just as I tend to feel meridian more strongly on the right than the left, so I am also better at wiggling my right ear than my left. My tongue curls nicely when so driven, and, for some reason, while I am right-handed, my left hand does the better "live long and prosper". And, I think we gotta compare personality types across the board. Are non-muggles ("meridianists"? "meridiots"? Help!) generally less violent than their unfortunate counterparts? You know, make orgasms, not war? Ahhh.....

Meridian needs scientific studies — if we can turn enough people on to the idea that the phenomenon exists. The very idea of it is still rather emerging, ever gradually, from our digitally collected conscience and risking making muggles bitter and angry. It ain't made its way into too many renowned publications, but I think it is, ever gradually, as I say, gaining momentum. Some of the 'Tube meridian community, according to one of the other videos on Donna's account, have evidently collaborated to produce a documentary about it. I recognized in that video one particular "ASMRtist" ⒜ whom I take to be the ambassador of meridian and its community to the world, and ⒝ whose videos I've most certainly enjoyed the most (often) since I discovered this whole technological revolution on the matter. I'll embed one of hers here: simple speaking and stereo close-up ear-to-ear whispers — in Russian, because, as with the German above, it's chock full of consonants, and the content of the words is like the points on Whose Line — it doesn't matter one bit. Also, it's significantly shorter than the above, at a mere 12.24. (Again, headphones are essential!)

Nobody so far triggers my left side like Maria. (Sounds like an old song, right there.)

Trying to think if there was more I wanted to say now while I'm on this topic. I can't stand reality television, but my mother gladly watches Big Brother, among other atrocities. I haven't talked at all explicitly aloud about meridian, but I did mention to Mom as I was passing through: "The one good thing about Big Brother is, sometimes they whisper." "What? What does that have to do with anything?" "I like whispering. Whispering is good. It's soothing." "[shakes head] That's one of the weirdest things you've said! You've said a lot of weird things, but this is one of the weirdest!" Yes, perhaps it is. Probably because, although I'm not about to listen to a Big Brother marathon with headphones (I know I said content doesn't matter, but please...), I have one of the weirdest phenomena in mind.

P.S. I wonder how I would react to an actual person whispering directly to me. Maybe....some day.....

Edit 2014-5-3: A third meridian post

*While there is no apparent sexual connection to meridian, I will often get one single meridian-style euphoric SHOT down my right side while I'm in bed and have just turned on to my side for sleep after sexually masturbating to climax. Actually, I'll sometimes run my thumbnails against the pillow and blanket right up by either ear while I'm in bed and "meristurbate" that way.

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