Jana likes to grow stuff, exercise, snack, and explore creative projects as a means to relax and grow.
What is ASMR?
Before we dive into the facts, let's clear the acronym first! It stands for the autonomous sensory meridian response. Those who indulge in the hobby claim that a myriad of activities elicit the response that they are looking for - a pleasurable sensation that sets the scalp tingling.
Allegedly, it's caused by sensory stimulation. In other words, the right smell, sound, touch or sight can cause an ASMR moment. Some examples include hair brushing, whispering or folding towels. Triggers can be as unique and varied as the individual person.
Best of all, the tingling doesn't stay on the noggin. It descends, traveling through the body and promotes relaxation. It's no small wonder then, that an entire subculture has mushroomed to find more ways to experience bliss with ASMR.
1. It's a Spectator Sport
Given its nature, ASMR is deeply personal. However, soap cutting is hugely popular with Instagram and YouTube fans. Some accounts have thousands of followers with an insatiable need to view other people cut, carve and peel soaps. Despite that the videos are simple (you just see a pair of hands working on a soap), people claim that just a few clips are enough to create an addiction. Why? Apparently, the sound of the cutting and the very way soap carvers work instills a calmness within the viewer.
2. Most Carvers Are Female
The true gender ratio of soap carvers remains unknown. However, if social media accounts are anything to go by, most are young women who post videos of their unusual craft. A survey of followers showed that most fans were also female. Since any serious gender and social studies are lacking in this case, there's no real answer as to why more women gather in this corner of the ASMR world than men. That being said, there certainly are male carvers and the popularity of the trend might just ensure that more guys join in the future.
Girls Leading the Field
3. It's Simple
They've created YouTube and Instagram rockstars, but the content of soap cutting videos remain humble. As mentioned before, they mostly just show the artist's hands while she (or he) is working with the soap. There is no music to distract the viewer's attention, only the sound of the blade or tool rasping through the soap.
Viewers can choose from a wide array of clips, ranging from simple to complex demonstrations. The basic types show soaps cut with simple lines or peeled with “butter curls.” Others show increasingly complex carvings or patterns being performed. Even the complex versions require only a video recorder, a cutting tool, and soap. This allows anyone to practice the hobby.
4. Carvers Recycle Their Soap
Undoubtedly, some might slam the practice as wasteful. After all, measuring by all the videos online, tons of soap are carved into oblivion every month. Once again, there's no way of giving a percentage here but some carvers don't support the waste of soap – even the cheap type. A hat tip to them, as they take the shavings of a good session and recycle it by making new soap.
5. Preference is a Personal Choice
There's no single brand that's perfect for soap cutting. True to ASMR, each soap cutter follows their heart or rather, their scalp. It depends on what type succeeds in making a carver feel happy and relaxed. Some people prefer old soaps that are dry, while others pick softies like glycerine soaps.
A bar of soap isn't always chosen purely for its consistency but also the colour, price, and aroma. The latter is a nice perk for carvers, since cutting the soap releases the perfume within.
An Aroma Experience
The Carvers Are Staying
Soap carvers have seen their newborn art survive its first few years. Public support was a helpful factor but just like their audience, but what also counts is that carvers enjoy the same benefits. Many have claimed that the relaxation they experience allows them to sleep better, manage anxiety and stress, practice a cheap and yet satisfying hobby, and of course, adoring fans! There's no reason why they won't stick around and provide viewers with tingly scalps for years to come.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Jana Louise Smit