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The Delicious Tingly Sensation That Travels From Your Brain To Your Spine, Explained

ASMR practitioners give millions of people goosebumps by whispering into microphones on YouTube

If you’ve ever heard of “brain orgasms,” it’s likely you’ve gone on a late-night YouTube binge after asking Google why your head gets tingly sometimes. The sensation, formally referred to as autonomous sensory meridian response or ASMR, is practiced by millions of “ASMRtists” who have devoted entire video channels to the phenomenon and its common triggers, which can be auditory, visible, or tactile.

Triggering someone else’s ASMR, whether by whispering, hair brushing, or turning pages, has been likened to foreplay, which shouldn’t be a surprise given the overt flirtatiousness of many ASMRtists. But experts and practitioners agree that for most people, ASMR isn’t a sexual response at all. Dr. Kat Van Kirk, certified sex therapist and resident relationship expert at Adam and Eve, defines it as “a euphoric experience that many say feels like a tingling sensation through the body. It often starts on the scalp and moves down the neck and upper spine.”

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