There is a beautiful song by Michel LeGrand, with a lyric that begins:
“Summer me, winter me
And with your kisses morning me, evening me”
It includes the line:
“Then by a fire pleasure me, peaceful me
And in the silence quietly, whisper me
Forever me with love…”
Whisper me. Yes. That.
As a kid, I was always drawn to certain sounds. Soft sounds. Especially whispering. I would sit in the quiet section of the library and listen to the sound of pages being turned. Of quiet conversations taking place in whispers. Of pencils gently scratching against paper. These sounds would produce a tingling sensation. I would drift off into a realm of pleasure and good feeling. My whole body would respond with tiny tickles washing over me. Waves of caressing fingers working their way right up to the roots of my hair.
Certain voices would have a similar effect. If the voice was in the right place. A certain breathiness. There was a priest in our parish whose voice would do that to me. (It didn’t hurt that he was handsome.) I loved going to church if he was the one performing the mass. When it came time for his homily, I would close my eyes and let him carry me to another world.
Then I had a friend named Kevin, who could arouse those sensations simply with the word “Hi.” He knew he had a voice that made magic, and he knew how to use it. He’d kiss each word with a kind of spell that would draw out the effect. Reverberations of pleasure. He was gay, too, and turned this potent skill of his into a powerful attraction. He always had the cutest boyfriends. No wonder there. They were all entranced.
The same thing happened when I would listen to Garrison Keillor deliver his monologue on A Prairie Home Companion. As a teenager, I would sit in the car with the radio on. Lean the seat back and let the tingles wash over me as he spoke. I was sure that was the reason his show was so popular. Everyone was blissing out over the sound of his voice.
Then there was Bob Ross on The Joy of Painting. This one had a double fascination. I was an artist myself, so I was as captivated by the magic he could produce with his brush as I was by the gentle half whisper he used while admonishing me to “Let it flow.” He was masterful with his hands as well as his voice. That man could paint pictures in sound. Happy pictures. Tingling images. Caressing and soothing and oh how I longed for him not to stop. Each time he signed his name, I was sorry for it to end. Then I would look forward to the next middle of the night when I could search the channels, hoping for another re-run.
Years later, it would be on youtube that I was searching. Looking for clips from his show. That’s how I stumbled upon ASMR. Auto sensory meridian response. Turns out there are a whole bunch of people who understand this tingling sensation. Who watched Bob Ross and listened to Garrison Keillor for the same exact reason. They found bliss in the sounds of whispering voices. Paint knives scraping canvas. Brushes swishing in water.
There are quite a few people posting videos on youtube, centered on this very thing. They experiment with different objects, hoping to trigger the tingling sensation. Crinkling sounds. Tapping sounds. Some of them are gifted with naturally soothing voices. Others rely on the fail safe whispers.
Naturally, I prefer the male voices. I’ve been doing plenty of research on this topic, and here are two of the guys that I find most effective. One is British, and goes by the name Mr. Head Tingles. His accent is part of his charm. He is also a painter, which is kind of nice. There’s a video where he shows a pair of canvas high tops that he has painted to look like Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Something kind of poetic about a reference to an artist known in part for his ear…
The other fellow has a channel called Massage ASMR. He is something of a master. Using tantalizing sounds to trigger the right response. Evocative images of his hands moving gently, his lips appearing out of the shadows. Leaning toward the camera as if to brush your ear with a kiss.
I’m attaching my favorite video from each. Hope you enjoy exploring the rest of the videos posted by these two. If this is something you are in to, then please follow the trail and click on some of the other youtube artists who specialize in tingling sounds. I’m certain you’ll find someone whose voice can do it for you.