You know what ASMR is: softcore porn for audiophile Quakers. “It’s not sexual,” every ASMR fan tells you, even as they moan at your lip smacking and shirt crinkles. I don’t blame you for trying to pull this con, ear-freaks — I once tried to convince my boss that anime was about more than just panties, but he still wouldn’t let me watch it at work. Maybe that’s why ASMR has given up on playing coy, and its major YouTube channels are now one errant camera pan away from switching to PornHub. They’re all about “ASMR roleplay” these days, and yes, it is definitely sexual… albeit in a deeply lame, deeply upsetting way.
Here’s how your typical ASMR video starts:
And right off, there’s a problem. If this isn’t pornography, why are all of the big stars either cute young girls or terrifying middle-aged men doing everything they can to secure a spot beside the cute young girls?
She’s doing ‘finger flutters’ by way of hello — wiggling her fingers in front of her microphones so you can hear the sound that flesh makes. We are zero seconds in and this is where I would quit watching if you weren’t paying me to. I hate it instantly. It sounds like gelatin corduroy. It sounds like parasitic moths trying to wiggle their way past your protective earmuffs. It sounds like lotion feels in your belly button.
ASMR Girl goes right from those saucy little finger-scrapes into a whispered ad for NordVPN. Hope you’ve always wanted to watch an average girl talk quietly about server capacity and — actually, most of you do want nothing more than that. Well, enjoy the next three straight minutes:
No joke: Three minutes of amplified whisper commercials for secure porn browsing. Is this foreplay for a creature I can never understand? Peter Thiel isn’t this hard for capitalism and privacy, and his only goal in life is to start an island society where they don’t prosecute sex crimes.
Only once you’ve explored every orifice of NordVPN’s excellent deals do you get to your low-stimulation pornography:
Yes, it’s alien play. Softcore quiet alien play. Like the third naughtiest fantasy of an extremely sheltered librarian.
The saddest part of these ASMR videos is how ubiquitous nitrile gloves are. Like it would just spoil the average viewer’s suspension of disbelief if it looked like a woman was willing to touch them with her bare hands. They’re so far gone from actual human contact that it can’t even be a part of their fantasies anymore. ASMR fans go soft the moment they see cuticles. Right now some poor noble nurse is catching COVID-19 because MRS. ASMR outbid the hospital on the last box of Kleenguards.
I’m not even through one video and I already feel bad about making fun of the people who watch these.
Every one ends with the woman begrudgingly admitting that she likes you — not loves you, not wants you, just tolerates. That’s the lowest bar for a fetish this side of Limboner play, which is exactly what it sounds like, but somehow lower.
Here’s the same girl demonstrating that she’s willing to get hit by every obstacle in the nerd’s fetish gauntlet.
Yes, it’s ASMR Shrek Roleplay, in case you were looking for the exact sequence of words to say out loud to get your parents to stop loving you. It’s like a phonetic hack, Snow Crash-style, designed to kill the human brain’s capacity for respect. She does twenty minutes of “non-erotic” whispering in a terrible accent that veers between Scottish, Russian, and drunk Jamaican. It is more than enough time to prove that improv is not her strong suit.
We dive off into several long tangents about the real estate agent that sold her the swamp-shack, and how you might want to invest in swamp property yourself, and who the fictional real estate agent is married to, and all the while her audience is just waiting for her to whisper “moist” so they can close this incognito tab.
Please notice, even here, the gloves. ASMR fans will tell you it’s nothing dirty — it’s just to augment the noises the fingers make, and then they’ll run a wet tongue over their dry lips and start rubbing the dirty swatch of burlap in their pocket.
There you go: if what you need to finish is a disinterested 22 year-old wearing green makeup and a vest made out of towels whispering you off to lyrics by Smash Mouth, please clean yourself up before you go back on stage at the Douglas County Fair, Smash Mouth.
“Cranial nerve exam porn” sounds like something so hardcore you can only film it in the most Russian parts of Russia. But no, this shit is like the schoolgirl fantasy of ASMR Roleplay: So commonplace it’s barely considered deviant. These videos are as omnipresent as they are perplexing…
It’s always the same — an attractive female doctor gently inquiring if you have something wrong with your brain. It is the single most attainable fantasy for ASMR fans, who could make this a reality by taking two steps: Making a doctor’s appointment, and admitting to why they made that doctor’s appointment.
Here’s a ‘gang-nerve exam,’ which is something I thought I made up for my Shadowrun fan fiction.
Never tell me this isn’t pornography. Look at those usernames: Maybe ‘Seafoam’ can pass for a crystal hippy, but ‘Matty Tingles’ is a man for whom the San Fernando Valley is a way of life.
You all need to be more careful about what gets you off. What if you head out to ick on some poor doctor and they actually find something wrong? Now you’ve tied a fetish to a diagnosis. Ask any James Spader movie why that’s a bad idea.
Here’s Lice Inspection ASMR Roleplay:
Finally, a sexual fantasy for the Deep Nerds that involves precisely zero stretches of the imagination.
And these are the ones that pretend at respectability! They’re the Showtime of the ASMR world. Here’s the Cinemax:
Yes, this is an ASMR video. Yes, it is a Misery-style porn roleplay about lumberjacks. No, don’t look it up even if you think you’d be into that kind of thing. Making an ASMR video doesn’t guarantee you’ve got a good voice, or any acting ability whatsoever. This one is like listening to your dentist do low-confidence bondage.
What if you’re as into furplay as you are out of dignity? Have some ‘Werewolf has you tied up ASMR Roleplay.’
Listen to six minutes of a guy doing a subpar Skyrim NPC impression about erotic maulings. Try not to laugh as he tells you his werewolf name is “Maurice.” Fail when he fucks up the syntax and accidentally rhymes during his climax line, “I think it is high time to embrace you in the night with just one bite.”
Or hey, if you’ve found that the slow dissolution of the civilized world has made you unspeakably horny:
No teasing here. Rest assured, suicidal whisper perverts, you will quietly fingerbang the coronavirus before this is done.