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Following the fiasco of the hot tub meta, Twitch has found a new fixation: ASMR streams where the streamer licks the microphone while wearing trendy TikTok leggings.
Throughout the month of May, the hot tub meta presided over the platform, as streamers dressed in swimwear and sitting in paddling pools were at the top of the pile in the Just Chatting category. As well as offering a casual chat with their audience, these content creators would play games like Mario Kart 8 and complete challenges once they'd surpassed a certain number of subscribers. The majority of the people engaging with this trend were women, and as their popularity climbed and climbed on the front page of Twitch, more and more people weighed in with their opinion on these performances. Valorant streamer Félix "xqcow" Lengyel called the meta "trash" and "the most pathetic thing we've seen on Twitch in forever," whereas others have identified the double standard that's being displayed by detractors. "We live in a world where it's okay for men to sexualize women in media all the time. The minute a woman owns her own sexuality it's somehow...*gasp* immoral!" saidstreamer and cosplayer Hillary "Pokket" Nicole.
Check out our compilation of wins and fails from the biggest streamers on Twitch right here.
Eventually, after to-ing and fro-ing over the issue, Twitch created the Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches category so that the hot tub meta has a designated space and isn't competing against the enormous variety in Just Chatting streams. "Twitch will not take enforcement action against women, or anyone on our service, for their perceived attractiveness," explained the company in the official update on the new category. Now, it seems that a new trend has emerged, and I'm not quite sure how to describe it so I suppose I'll have to just dive in. Streamers like Amouranth and Indiefoxx are dressing in workout leggings popularised through TikTok and licking microphones in a form of ASMR (or autonomous sensory meridian response).
In Amouranth's ASMR streams, she will lick the microphone for 30 seconds for every subscriber gained during the stream, and will change her outfit once sub goals have been passed. On the other hand, Indiefoxx will lick the microphone for 20 seconds for each new subscriber, as well as a handful of other goals, and in one stream alone she accrued more than 9,000 new followers from her ASMR. Naturally, the response from the general population of Twitch purveyors has been mixed. "This is what happens when Twitch can't suck it up and crack down on hot tub streams," said esports news personality Jake Lucky, attaching screenshots of the two streamers' videos to their Tweet.
"Yeah, I hate it when Twitch forces me to watch this content and I can't navigate away from it. Every time I open my browser it immediately redirects to ASMR Ear Licking. I try to go away, but Jeff Bezos appears out of my closet and traps me in my chair so I can't get away," said@RyanAtRBM on Twitter. Of course, ASMR content creation has been around for a while now so these streamers are only shifting to a category that has been established for some time. However, it may become one more instance of Twitch's terms of services sparking arguments over what is and isn't acceptable on the platform. "[I don't know] if the rules changed but 2 yrs ago when I still did ASMR I actually got a warning from Twitch about having tongue visible when doing ear licking stuff," addedmodel and streamer Kristen Lanae. "Said it was too sexual. So yeah the inconsistency on their part really sucks."
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