State censors ban ‘vulgar’ videos that trigger ASMR, a phenomenon that millions of people worldwide experience

It might not seem immediately obvious why someone would want to watch a video of young women eating ice cubes. But once you hear the sound of the crunching fissure in your headphones, whether it makes you wince or tingle, the sensory effect is undeniable.

In China, ice-eating videos have become something of a phenomenon, their stars racking up thousands of views. Along with whispering, tapping, the gentle scratching of a microphone, the unique sound of hair being brushed or skin being stroked – the sound of ice cubes crunching against teeth is a common trigger for ASMR, and the millions of people worldwide who experience the sensation.

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