Recovering from heartbreak, Laura Nagy sought solace online – just for the only phrase she searched to set off a years-long obsession.
Four years in the past, Laura Nagy would discover herself falling asleep in a lot the identical means each night time.
It would normally contain the murmurings of an individual whispering “I love you”, telling her how particular she was and even stoking her hair as she drifted off.
As far as methods to get to sleep, it needs to be up there as probably the most comforting strategies – besides it wasn’t from a accomplice mendacity in mattress subsequent to her.
Instead the voice cooing phrases of affirmation and luxury could be coming from her display, a video the Sydney TV improvement producer had stumbled throughout as she delved deeper and deeper into the world of ASMR.
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response however is simpler understood as that ‘tingly feeling’ you get if you expertise a comforting sound or visible.
It’s the “audio equivalent of getting a massage” that soothes in the identical means you have been as a baby, Ms Nagy, 32, tells information.com.au.
ASMR could be triggered by something from the sound or visuals of fingers tapping, whispering or chewing, (sure, chewing!).
“On the surface it does sound so weird,” Ms Nagy stated with fun.
“But I think if you scratch the surface you find there is really deep things going on here, and people are turning to ASMR to interrogate and soothe really deep emotional wounds.”
ASMR is among the most-searched for phrases on YouTube and one Ms Nagy started googling when she returned to Sydney in 2017.
She had moved again house from Europe nursing a damaged coronary heart and feeling extremely lonely.
“I basically started listening to it because, like most people do when they go through break ups, it’s quite hard to adjust initially to just those little domestic things you’re used to – no-one in the bed with you,” Ms Nagy stated.
“That silence just felt very loud to me.”
After watching the usual forms of ASMR, Ms Nagy started clicking by way of her beneficial movies till she got here throughout one sort of state of affairs that had main enchantment for her newly single standing – relationship role-plays.
“I was really missing intimacy, the feeling of seeing someone and really being seen and sharing all the big parts of life and but also the little parts,” she stated.
“But (I was) kind of not really ready to go dating again, so it was almost like a stopgap where I could experience sort-of what that was like without having to go on a bad date with someone that I don’t like.
Ms Nagy found these videos, which could involve everything from helping you get to sleep or deal with period pain, soothed her anxiety and loneliness in a way the real world couldn’t at the time.
Ms Nagy would watch it as often as she could – on public transport, when going to bed or to keep an anxiety attack at bay – documenting her consumption in her new Audible Original podcast series Pillow Talk.
Before long she came across another subgenre within the ASMR boyfriend role play community – and it wasn’t as PG as the other videos.
This kind of ASMR involved the role play of explicit sexual scenarios – with videos ranging from vanilla sex to every kind of sexual kink under the sun.
“It was just so different to the erotica I had seen before – it was mostly made by women,” she stated.
“A lot of it has a focus on love, relationships, respect and consent and all these kind of things that you don’t see in conventional erotica.”
But Ms Nagy discovered the X-rated movies interesting and “couldn’t stop listening” to 1 sort of role-play specifically.
“I listened to a lot of the consent-based ones. I didn’t really know why I was doing that, but then it became really obvious,” she stated.
“I think I was listening and I know a lot of other women listen because they have experiences where consent wasn’t prioritised or it was actively rejected, so listening to it can be quite a healing thing.”
Ms Nagy delves deep on this subgenre in her podcast, which she stresses is only one small area of interest within the ASMR group the place the overwhelming majority of content material just isn’t sexual.
Now feeling healed, Ms Nagy now not finds the boyfriend function play movies interesting and scaled again her consumption of ASMR when she started making Pillow Talk in 2020.
But she nonetheless likes to make use of it to assist her sleep, nevertheless, prefers a really completely different sort of ASMR these days.
“I still listen to ASMR to help me get to sleep or relax, but now I just watch stuff that doesn’t have people in it,” Ms Nagy stated.
Pillow Talk is accessible now as a part of Audible’s Plus Catalogue