Andrew ‘MaleSoothe’ – a relaxing presence, even in a still photo

In part one of this blog series, Brittany ASMR told us, with a lovely turn of phrase, that she sees ASMR as “a little perk from the universe for anyone dealing with mental or emotional stressors”.

Now we’ll get the opinion of Andrew ‘MaleSoothe‘ – one of YouTube’s most prominent male ASMRtists.

This discussion actually took place back in March 2013 when I interviewed Andrew for Gay Star News. The resulting feature looked at the purported link between ASMR and sexuality, which stirred some interesting debate on Reddit.

The following comments proved extraneous to that particular interview but should prove very useful here, especially as Andrew’s opinion, though simple and logical, does not appear to be widely shared.

Here are Andrew’s thoughts:

“One interesting thing that I have never heard people mention, in relation to the ASMR phenomenon, is that it’s basically the sensation of ‘chills’.”

“I’ve done some reading of psychology research that talks about the sensation of chills, and it’s generally people who are more open to new experiences that tend to be much more likely to experience it. Supposedly not everyone ever experiences chills.”

“I’ve read studies in relation to getting chills while listening to music, which is something I get all the time, and I relate it exactly to the sensation of ASMR.”

“So in general I don’t think ASMR is necessarily anything new. I think we’ve been talking about it for a very long time and it is chills – it’s the same phenomenon but it can be triggered by different things.”

“I think ASMR is just a convoluted acronym describing positive chill sensation.”

“There’s really not that much research done on chills, but perhaps, by allowing people to view this [ASMR] as a chill eliciting media form, that might reduce some of the idea that it’s a kind of sexual fetishism.”

Andrew’s theory makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider that the concept of positive chills being triggered by music is a broadly acknowledged phenomenon.

But in the context of evolutionary reward mechanisms, music doesn’t really fit – most things that give us a primal, biological sense of pleasure are those that are vital to the survival of the species, such as sex, food, drink and warmth.

As a gateway to innate pleasure mechanisms, watching ASMR videos could easily be considered a more logical trigger than music. ASMR videos often work to emulate stimuli that could carry evolutionary value – social interaction, intimacy, caring and attentive voices, perhaps even the depiction of relaxation itself.

It would surely make sense that these things, from an evolutionary point of view, would be more likely to awaken an innate sense of pleasure than any kind of music.

We’ll take a while to ponder this theory, before Ilse ‘TheWaterWhispers’ gives her opinion in our next blog.

Here’s Andrew explaining how he maintains that outstanding facial hair: