As a person who participates in and enjoys ASMR, I have one hobby that involves throwing my potential free time into Youtube’s algorithm. ASMR is an interconnected web of media space where Youtube has managed to put together an actual reasonably robust recommendation model. If I stumble into a Korean ASMRtist’s videos, and watch all the way through, I’ll wind up with three or four other Korean videos recommended to me. If I trend towards games or relaxing play video ASMR content, I will get more of that.
This can mean that like a cake, you can cut into ASMR and see a broad cross sections of types, and one type I find I really enjoy are ASMR with some degree of narrative or unreality to the fiction. I don’t know why exactly, maybe it’s just the sheer novelty of it, but I’ve watched a plague doctor mall cop compliment me in my taste on Slayer albums multiple times.
The nature of ASMR tends to be viewer focused; typically if you want to do ASMR narrative, given that part of the effect is personal and can be the result of particularly specific engagements, your best options for a narrative is to do something second person.
Oh and uh, yeah, second person narratives violate the NAP I guess.
Anyway, moving on from that, second person narratives being common in ASMR, and ASMR being usually comfort, intimacy, or care oriented means that there is a world of ASMR content that’s designed as boyfriend or girlfriend roleplay. I haven’t yet found any enby ASMRtists (and hey, if you are an enby ASMRtist, please, hit me up, I’d like to promote your work as best I can!), but I assume that kind of thing is out there too, built around the idea that the narrator/performer is your partner, and they’re helping you sleep, or helping you relax, or just chilling out with you on a rough day.
These videos, being on Youtube, don’t mention sexual content, want you to hang around for an hour or more of audio recording, want to build and maintain intimacy with a hypothetical you, and do so all while having the intimacy to touch you (stroking your hair, shoulders, hands are all very common) and even sometimes put you to bed or share bed with you.
This is not to say that all ASMR is sexless – there are absolutely a number of sex workers who are very good at their jobs who also make ASMR content, and share it, and that’s cool and there’s a protracted campaign to treat those people badly. It sucks, and that’s difficult, especially because while ASMR is for some people sexual doesn’t mean ASMR is a sexual thing. There’s one of those divisions within the community that’s a challenge to even talk about, because it’s common that accuasations of inappropriate sexuality meet defensive denial, which is then used to foster more criticism, and so on, all while negatively impacting unrelated sex-havers and sex-enjoyers.
That conversation aside, though, this means that Youtube has this large, deep spread of extremely ace content; romantic relationships that dwell not on sexual interaction, but on intimacy and long, slow periods of comfort and sharing each other’s presence. I’ve often wondered what asexual pornography would look like; content made with minimal context to simply deliver as positive a desireable reaction as possible, without using sex as an axis of engagement, and I kind of think that ASMR as a community has kind of lucked into doing it.
Check this stuff out. Even if you don’t like it, if you’re looking to make Ace Smooch content, it might be your kind of thing, and it might give you ideas. If nothing else, it might show you the kinds of comforting content that people are already making and enjoying!
Of course, here’s a kicker for me. The most important ace person in my life hates ASMR, so this isn’t content they can enjoy.