Sensual ASMR explodes on YouTube, but creators face a crackdown

Sensual ASMR explodes on YouTube, but creators face a crackdown
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Giant Ritchie vividly remembers when he first experienced ASMR—a sense of well-being often experienced in response to sound, combined with a tingling sensation in the scalp and neck.

He was sitting in a cafe with a friend who told Ritchie he wanted to show him something. Ritchie let his friend wear headphones in both ears, closed his eyes, and listened to the barber-based ASMR video his friend discovered. His whole body shivered. He instantly became addicted.

He was not alone. According to this ASMR UniversityYouTube alone has roughly 500,000 ASMR (short for autonomous sensory meridian response) channels and 25 million ASMR videos and hashtags #asmr More than 460 billion views on TikTok. Creators in the space create audio-based content designed to bring out the feeling of ASMR in viewers, often attracting millions of views in the process. Niche involves recording certain sounds – often like taps or clicks – with stunning detail through the use of microphones.

The ASMR niche has been replaced by a wide variety of vloggers catering to specific themes such as: electronic restoration and even barber experiences. Now creating his own ASMR content, Ritchie occupies one of his most controversial subgenres: a genre his creators call the raunchy ASMR. Videos in the niche often contain sexually explicit audio. licking, kissingand “wet” massagesall amplified by the use of microphones.

The popularity of voluptuous ASMR pales in comparison to traditional ASMR, which is Ritchie’s most watched video.”HOT Step sister gives you HJ ASMR” has 1.5 million views, Most viewed ASMR video on YouTube You have 407 million. But its charm is undeniable. It has attracted more than 70,000 subscribers under the Ritchie name alone. Goddess of YouthBy posting clips with titles like “Breast Massage ASMR”“HOT TEACHER PUNISHES YOUR ASMR“and”Moaning and Dirty Talk ASMR

“ASMR videos containing sexual sounds may be age-restricted or removed from the platform.”

Obviously, the content Ritchie creates has an audience, but YouTube doesn’t see the appeal in his line of business. A year ago, Ritchie received a message announcing that the monetization feature of his videos was removed due to their sexual content. Since then, the platform has redoubled its efforts to combat the spread of raunchy ASMR. In the September 7 policy change announcementYouTube said it is “strengthening our policies to better detect and act on sexually gratifying ASMR content,” adding that “ASMR videos containing sexual sounds may be age-restricted or removed from the platform.” Ritchie, like many other creators in his niche, is worried that all of his videos could be deleted.

Sensual ASMR videos have an undeniable obscenity component, but sensuality is also a spectrum – removing anything that could be sexually ticklish from YouTube means removing any kind of scene from mainstream movies or television. And many creators claim it’s not just about sex. Switching from ex-model to ASMR vlogger, Elcee Orlova thinks that the mantras she sings in her videos, which are often declarations of love, care and affection for those who watch her clips, are what keep people coming back for more.

“I get comments like ‘thank you for your video’. “No one has ever told me that in my life,” says Orlova, who refuses to share her age and location with her. “Watching your videos makes me feel a little less lonely.” Anger for privacy reasons. It has attracted more than 40,000 subscribers on its YouTube channel. ASMR GIRLwhere he uploads videos with titles like “ASMR Girlfriend Gives You A VERY WET Massage“and”ASMR Girlfriend Measures You and Finds Your Size“I believe my videos can help [those people] Feel cared for,” she adds, “and appreciated for who they are.”

Ritchie has similar feelings about his job. “Whether they want to admit it or not, there are a lot of people who have a lot of problems with loneliness. I call myself their e-girlfriend,” she says. “I take the time to talk to them, say things to them, and care about them. It will make them feel better.”

“There are a lot of people out there who have a lot of problems with loneliness…”

In the eyes of ASMR creators, the content they offer is not obscene in nature or does not violate YouTube policies. It’s built entirely on the power of recommendation and is often used to attract potential customers who might want to see more X-rated work. “I use most of the attention I get through YouTube to channel OnlyFans. It’s like a billboard I’m paid for. Like: Now that you’ve seen what my tongue can do, come watch me do other things with it,” explains the sultry 28-year-old ASMR creator and streamer from Texas. More than 8 million Twitch and YouTube followers under the name Amouranth. “I don’t know any girls who just do sultry ASMR. They always do harder stuff.” [on the side]”

The reluctance of ASMR creators to openly label their content as sexual is understandable in the context of YouTube policies. Platform does not allow sexual content if its primary purpose is sexual gratification, or any content that contains “depictions of sexual acts or fetishes for sexual gratification.” It also clearly states the policies linking to websites that violate these guidelines – such as obscene OnlyFans pages – are not allowed. It doesn’t help that ASMR is generally classified as a fetish, although creators in all their niches vehemently deny that this is the case. Admitting that ASMR content is designed to be sexually gratifying or used to promote X-rated content may mean that creators risk getting their videos banned or their accounts deleted.

How YouTube’s rules apply to voluptuous ASMR is up for debate, and YouTube did not request comment on the policy prior to publication. Creators in this space rely on the art of suggestion. His videos aren’t visually suggestive, and the reality of what’s going on—whether an ear-shaped mic licking or muzzling off-screen pasta—isn’t necessarily sexually satisfying. YouTube’s enforcement of such policies is also unclear. Clips of someone named “Fetish Pixie” spitting in front of the mirror, as well as compilations of TikTokers spitting are also available on the platform – videos featuring videos of women sucking each other’s toes or being tickled while tied up in BDSM-styles. Like the voluptuous ASMR, none depicts sex, but is widely considered to be sexually explicit.

Not everyone thinks YouTube edits are a bad thing. “To be honest with you, I really support YouTube’s decision about ASMR videos that exist only for sexual arousal, like kissing and licking the microphone,” Orlova says. “If someone wants to enjoy this type of content, they can easily switch from YouTube to another sex-related platform and watch the videos there.”

Others blame the increasingly competitive social media advertising market. came to a standstill this year after years of growth. “I think most things are a rat race now. There are so many places people can advertise — Facebook, Twitch, Snapchat, YouTube,” Siragusa says. “The ad market is now very saturated from all these different platforms. I think it’s a race to the bottom to see who can be the most advertiser-friendly platform people go to.” But Ritchie thinks ASMR’s popularity makes it an easy scapegoat for YouTube, which is under pressure to clean the site of unfriendly videos.

“The space for nudity and sexual content on the Internet is shrinking.”

Dr. Carolina Are, an innovation specialist at Northumbria University’s Center for Digital Citizens and an expert on online moderation and nudity censorship, points to the impact of FOSTA-SESTA, a US law designed to curb online sex trafficking and make hosting of sexual content more risky. . “The space for nudity and sexual content online is shrinking, and this is of great concern, not just for sexual expression, but for education as well,” she explains. Extravagant policies from social media giants they have long abandoned safe sex educators struggling to spread information and It even led to the development of “algospeak”. It’s best to leave it undiscussed, as words like “lesbian” and “BDSM” are censored, which reinforces the notion that sex and fetish are taboo. “It sounds like an incredibly over-the-top, bigoted move,” Are continues. “Similar platforms seek to regulate people’s lives and choices.”

Also be warned that YouTube may not make the distinction that Orlova makes between sensual and non-sensual ASMR. “Creators who are already creating non-sexual content will be blooded because that’s what happens with these particular policies,” she says. For example, FOSTA-SESTA has already pioneered. Accidental silencing of queer adult comics artists. “This is very worrying because it means platforms can decide with a flick of a button what type of content will be invalid or wrong.”

It seems that companies are mostly at this point. Most social media platforms enforce strict policies on sexual content – ​​Instagram’s celebrity opposition to all forms of female nipples, Tumblr’s ban on porn and OnlyFans’ almost decision Removing sexual creators from its platform are just three examples of social media’s era of sexual cleansing, and it’s getting harder and harder to walk the line between obscene content and unacceptable content. It caused the creators to be frustrated. “I think people should be able to enjoy what they want to enjoy,” says Siragusa. “If listening to girls lick and spit on microphones makes them feel less lonely, I don’t see anything wrong with that.”

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