Tingling on the Telephone

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Lest you get the wrong idea, I do not have every ASMR episode I ever experienced committed to memory. However, like a lot of tingle heads, there are a few events that stand out. One of them occurred when I was about 11 and learned that I could be triggered whenever a friend of mine and I played an insanely stupid game about a rose garden in which we gently raked our fingertips up and down each other’s forearms (This was similar to the Alphabet Game, but different as well.) During the game, I remember that she suggested we go against the script and extend the raking portion of the process. After all, it felt good, and who was I to argue with someone willing to help me prolong the experience.

Although I did not come right out and question her suggestion, it was the first time that I had partial confirmation that someone else felt the same thing that I did – or something close to it. It was the only plausible explanation as to why she was so keen to extend the game. Looking back on it now, I find it so interesting that neither of us had the vocabulary to actually talk about it, and yet it was so obvious that we were in the same boat

Four years later, I had another epiphany about whatever I was experiencing. I was babysitting a little boy in my neighborhood over summer vacation and as he played on his swing set in the back yard, I watched him and gabbed to a friend of mine on the phone. She had recently returned from her freshman year at Indiana University and couldn’t wait to tell me about the apartment she and her friends were leasing for the following semester.

She offered these long, drawn out explanations about the décor and the furnishings the roommates had to pool, but it was far from a boring monologue. I was positively mesmerized by the sound of her voice and hung on her every word. I kept asking her questions so that she would go into more and more detail, even though I was a little worried I might nod off as she spoke.

It was the first time I had experienced the “tingly feeling” from a distance. I was used to feeling it when I was in the same room with the person and they especially if they came into contact with me, but not over a telephone wire. What made the whole thing even stranger is the fact that if I were face to face with this person, her voice had no affect on me at all. However, if we were on the phone, it was a total tingle fest!

At the time, there was no Internet to help me try and figure out what was happening inside of my head, but it was clear that the feeling was not limited to someone’s touch. It could be triggered by the sound of their voice and as well as the way in which they described things as if I could see them. How strange, I thought to myself. I wonder what this is? Would my friend think I was crazy if I told her? Does everyone feel this? And more importantly, can everyone have this affect on someone else?

Until next time, tingle on!



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