Earlier today, I watched a video of Yayoi from The Idolm@ster going “uu-uuu!” on loop for ten minutes:


There’s another one floating around, where a girl from Yosuga no Sora gets her face rubbed vigorously while going “muni muni muni” on repeat.  (Go ahead; I’ll wait.)  If you stop to think about it, the fact that there’s a sizable audience for such videos is really, really strange.  But the ten-minute-moe-loop persists, and I think the explanation for why is simple: It just feels so good!

I don’t mean in a heartwarming way.  I’m referring to the nitty-gritty Pavlovian electronics of our bodies; i.e. pleasurable physical sensation.   Because sometimes, when you’re exposed to a certain sensation (like the sound of shuffling newspapers, or cell phone tapping), focusing on it will produce a sense of euphoria, which starts in the head and face and then moves throughout the body.  If you’ve got the right mix of stimuli, it can feel like a continual, humming full-body orgasm.

Among other things, watching or listening to someone eat can be a potent trigger. (Image source: Pixiv ID #21199527)

The phenomenon remains unofficial, as far as I know.  People who have experienced it call it the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or sometimes the Unnamed Feeling (“UNF” for short–  clever fellow, whoever thought that up).  But an informal survey says that it’s a lot more common than one might think, and it differs for each person.  One friend of mine gets the UNF from getting her hair brushed for her, while another gets his from Bob Ross painting videos.

We’re each of us a bizarre and fascinating mix of primal pleasure triggers.  Who’s to say somebody isn’t getting his fix from Yayoi?  From the looks of it, at least a few people are.

Postscript

Personally, I get it from the sound of eating watermelon.  That’s my kryptonite.  Lucky for me, some kind soul named Nyanners made a recording that I can put on my iPod and hereafter live in a perpetual state of bliss.  It’s–  you guessed it–  ten minutes long:


What’s yours?