TV & Movies

Why We Need an ASMR Series from Sex Education’s Gillian Anderson

Sex Education's Gillian Anderson touching a microphone while doing ASMR

It’s no secret that Sex Education’s Jean Milburn is a sex guru, but did you know she’s also an ASMRtist? When I discovered that Gillian Anderson and the rest of the Sex Education cast put together a couple of ASMR sessions for fans, I popped in my ear buds and settled into the couch for six minutes of tingly relaxation.

If you’re not familiar with ASMR, it stands for autonomous sensory meridian reaction. This means that certain sounds, like whispering, tapping, clicking, and even eating, can elicit a tingly feeling along with deep relaxation.

Everyone has different ASMR triggers, and everyone feels tingles differently. For example, some people feel them along their spine, while others get them on their scalp or even in their legs.

Some people like fingernail tapping on hard surfaces, while others like when the ASMRtist flips the pages of a book close to the microphone. Some people hate chewing or lip-smacking, and others like whispering or personal attention ASMR, where the person behind the camera compliments you or pretends to pamper you—similar to Anderson’s affirmations in her video.

The scenarios and triggers are endless, and the cast of Sex Education hits several in their videos—but Gillian Anderson’s is by far the best.

I’ve been watching ASMR videos on Youtube for years. Through college, they were one of the easiest ways to de-stress when I had a thousand assignments due at the same time or when finals kept me awake so late that I had trouble falling asleep.

I still watch them when I get worn out, or when I just want that feel-good tingly sensation. You don’t need to be stressed to enjoy ASMR, after all. 

Why is Gillian Anderson Perfect for ASMR?

Not everyone is cut out to be an ASMRtist. There’s a special quality to those who do it well that sets them apart from the rest, and Gillian Anderson ticks all the boxes.

As you watch the video, she speaks slowly and softly, enunciating and punctuating her whispering with other sounds. She brushes her fingers on the microphone, plays with a pen, flips the pages of a book, and uncorks a bottle of red wine.

She seems to hit every ASMR nerve in the span of three minutes. It’s not just the tools she has at her disposal either. With ASMR, it’s not just about what you have, but how you use it.

Anderson takes her time, reading affirmations and enunciating each word so that even in a whisper, you can hear—and feel—every syllable. She just has that ASMR magic. You know it when you feel it.

Is it Really A “Braingasm?”

In her video, Gillian Anderson calls the feeling you get from ASMR a “braingasm.” And it’s easy to think ASMR is something sexual. But honestly, ASMR is way better than that.

ASMR isn’t meant to stimulate your brain. It’s supposed to help you wind down. In fact, many studies show that ASMR is not a sexual experience at all.

Studies like this one from PLOS ONE from 2018 say that “sexual arousal is not a reliable outcome of watching ASMR videos.” Most people—myself included—use them to de-stress, fall asleep, and even relieve headaches.

Of course, there are people who are aroused by ASMR, and Jean Milburn would say that’s totally normal. When it comes to good feelings and the brain, it’s not uncommon for wires to cross. After all, that’s one of the essential messages of Sex Education—that sometimes, even when we think we’re not normal, our experiences aren’t as isolated as we think. You could say the same thing about ASMR, as you wonder whether anyone you know watches those videos or likes the sound of tapping on a wooden desk or binaural whispering.

I can’t think of anyone more perfect to give you your tingly fix than Jean Milburn. Next time you’re suffering from insomnia or can’t shake the stress of the daily grind, listen to Gillian Anderson’s three-minute ASMR session.

Do you love ASMR? Would you listen to Jean Milburn whisper you all the way into sleep? Tell us in the comments!

Sarah Wood

Sarah began their career as a full-time freelance content marketing writer in 2019, but they’ve been writing stories since they could spell. Sarah wouldn’t be writing now if it weren’t for anime fanfiction. Now, they write about mental health, pets, Japanese language and culture, and LGBTQ+ topics. Their work has appeared in The Conversationalist, Ikigai Connections, and bluntly. Visit their website at sarahwoodwrites.com.

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Sarah Wood

Sarah began their career as a full-time freelance content marketing writer in 2019, but they’ve been writing stories since they could spell. Sarah wouldn’t be writing now if it weren’t for anime fanfiction. Now, they write about mental health, pets, Japanese language and culture, and LGBTQ+ topics. Their work has appeared in The Conversationalist, Ikigai Connections, and bluntly. Visit their website at sarahwoodwrites.com.

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