Friday, April 15, 2016

Deepeners (With More Punchy and Rude Writing Than Usual)(Courtesy of the XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare)

The useful information from this post brought to you by the XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare and the insults to the audience are brought to you by me and MindPlayTop.

You've completed an induction! Good for you. And while you're busy eating your celebratory cookie, you're probably not sure what to do next.

The answer is to immediately start a deepener.  The instant the induction is finished, proceed immediately, with no hesitation, into a deepener. Put down the fucking cookie.
And I do mean immediately. Like "Three, two, one, sleep! AND got deeper, and deeper." And straight into deepeners.

When someone has just gotten into trance, especially for the first time, starting a deepener instantly is an excellent way to display confidence and to keep the momentum going. Leaving a silent gap is roughly like putting a megaphone up to their ear and asking "IS IT WORKING?"

One way to cheat here is to give the suggestion, "and any time I'm quiet, you find yourself missing my voice, missing how nice it is just to follow instructions, and every time my voice comes back, you feel amazing relief and relaxation flowing over your body."

What is a Deepener?

In case you've never heard the word "deepen" before, a deepener's purpose is to make a hypnotic subject go deeper into trance. Deepening a trance means increasing suggestibility, opening up possibilities for different and more intense and vivid experiences, and potentially getting to different trance states.

Here are some ways to deepen a trance:

  • Patter
    If you're casting around for a quick and immediate deepener, start with some calming hypno-patter. Even you can do it. This can be as simple as putting on your "calming" hypno-voice and counting down from a number of your choice or saying "and now go deeper, and deeper, and deeper, good. And deeper. And deeper. That's right. Deeper." You get the point. This will give you an opportunity to come up with a real deepener, you lazy fuck.

  • Visualizations
    Guide the hypnotee through a visualization. Visualizations require the subject to use their imagination. The combination of following suggestions and using imagination deepens trance. Examples include walking down stairs, sitting in a warm bath or taking a shower (which you can do research for by actually taking a shower, you dirty Bernie Sanders loving, trance seeking hippie), walking down a long corridor, bobbing in the ocean (tentacles optional), lying on a beach, writing descending numbers or their name on a chalkboard, or that glow ball nonsense. 

  • Body Relaxation
    If you've ever done any guided meditation, you have probably experienced a "body sweep." This is where the meditation guide painstakingly mentions every single body part and suggests that it should relax. Surprisingly, somewhere in all of the "and now relax your tensor fasciae latae," this is actually an amazingly effective deepener and can even be a great step towards inducing the Esdaile State (which is a super deep, extra suggestible, somewhat catatonic and anesthetic state). I like to ask my hypnotees to try and notice and hold the feelings of their pulse in as many body parts as possible. This is less relaxing and more about overloading awareness, but it's another good deepener.
    Other relaxation-focused deepeners are physically moving someone gently downwards. Take their arms from a raised position to a relaxed slump. 
 - Rocking
 - Rhythmic tapping
 - Paying attention to breathing
 - Blowing gently across skin
 - Blow jobs

  • Deepen with Suggestions

    Hearing and following suggestions is a deepener, in and of itself. This reenforces the expectation that suggestions should be followed, and also gets the hypnotee used to allowing their conscious, critical mind to be bypassed.

    One way to do this is to draw attention to a sensation that the hypnotee is feeling, and slowly suggest that it transforms to a different type of sensation. "Feel the warmth of my hands on yours? You might notice them getting warmer." "Feel how sexy this is? You might start noticing yourself getting a little more turned on."

  • Convincers

    Many hypnotists find success in deepeners designed to convince and reassure the hypnotee that they are under trance. I can't be bothered to re-write this, so here are two links. One is a link to an Inductions blogpost detailing Testers and Convincers, and one is a link to a youtube video of Jensen Ackles reading Misha Collins' fifteen year old resume. ~ Link ~ Roulette ~!

  • Rapport

    There. There's a link to a slightly less rude blog post about rapport and how to achieve rapport. Rapport is important. Tldr; deepening the rapport between the players naturally deepens trance.

  • Mantras

    Mantras are suggestions that the hypnotee memorizes and repeats. Mantras are suggestions that the hypnotee memorizes and repeats. Mantras are suggestions that the hypnotee memorizes and repeats. Mantras can be simple or complex. They can be unprompted or call-and-response. Mantras are a great way to occupy the mind of the hypnotee while the hypnotist is busy thinking of more things to do or hastily and clumsily shucking off their pants. Achieving a totally blank mind is difficult; pushing out all other thoughts to be replaced with mantras is a lot easier. 

Some examples of mantras:
"I am deeply hypnotized."
"I obey my mistress."
"I am always turned on by semi-colons; grammar makes me hot."

 Some call and response mantras:
"You're weak." => "I'm weak."
"How do you feel?" => "I feel so good."
"Trust me." => "I trust you completely."
"Do you need to be punished?" => "Punishment makes me a good boy."
"Does this seem familiar?" => "I'd forgotten until now, but of course I recognize my mantras written into a blog post, Professor."

Mantras are a great way to reenforce suggestions. I once awoke in the middle of the night to find a partner of mine who had been skeptical about whether or not he'd been hypnotized quietly chanting "I'm weak, I'm weak, I'm weak" in his sleep after a mantra scene.

  • Fractionation
    A poem 

Fractionation --

which is a real word
 (definitely not a lexicographical artifact)
NEVER concocted by a small-dicked white hypnotist
 pretentious-ass pipe
making up long words
 you know.
small pendulum.
 ~didn't work
still only 2.25 inches
(in 31pt font)

 -- is the idea that every time a subject goes under hypnosis in any given session, they go deeper than before. This means that repeatedly and/or rapidly bringing someone in and out of trance will deepen the deepest parts of the trance, and make the waking moments a lot more fuzzy and confusing (in a good way) and suggestible.
Here is a sophisticated graph tooled up by our engineers to demonstrate some of the psychological concepts detailed above.

And that's all. You've been deep'd.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Public Kink Scene Etiquette

Welcome to the BDSM scene! It's a wonderful place, but here's some good stuff to know before getting too far. The BDSM scene has a set of culture, rules, and etiquette that help make this stuff safer and more pleasant. Kinksters have created awesome systems to communicate well, stay safe, and keep our private lives private. Here's some stuff to keep in mind.

Intro Vocab

For a full (ever evolving) glossary, check out the...glossary. But for this document, here are some of the important words.

  • The Scene: The public set of events and parties and groups that make up kinkdom.
  • A Scene: A kinky encounter.
  • Play: The verb to do kink. Play does not imply sex. Play can involves sex, but more often does not.
  • Aftercare: The discussion, snack, cry, cuddle, etc. after a scene has ended to help the players get back to typical headspace.
  • Dungeon: A large-ish play space that can be a public club or private place.

Going To Events

  • Ask Before you Touch People...At All
    In the vanilla (non-kink) world, a hand on the shoulder or a pat on the back or a touch of the hand can be considered normal and acceptable. In the kink scene, pretty much all spaces default to the "absolutely no physical contact without verbal affirmative consent" rule unless otherwise specified. Even if you think you've gotten to know somebody a little and you want to be affectionate, ask before any kind of contact. It is acceptable to verbally establish standing consent for physical contact. "May I give you a hug? Is that always okay?" "Yes, you may do all of the regular-world stuff." People actually talk like that. I mean it.

  • Ask Before You Touch People's Stuff
    Partially because it might have been up someone's ass, and possibly because it's extremely expensive and/or sentimental or needs to be extremely clean. Even if that whip looks really fun to mess with or that rope's just sitting there in a chair you could be sitting in, ask first.

  • Introduce Yourself With Your Scene Name and Preferred Gender Pronouns
    Even if -- especially if -- you run into someone you know, introduce yourself, and ask how they would like to be addressed.
    A lot of people who have unique names in the real world choose to go by a "scene name." This can be anything from a simple real-world name like "Allie" to more kink specific names like "Goddess Xantha." There's also nothing wrong with your regular name if you're comfortable with it.

    People in the kink scene also should introduce with the pronouns that they would like others to use for them in conversation. I say "Hi, I'm Allie and I use she/her pronouns." This is in order to be inclusive of people with lots of different gender presentations and preferences for how people talk about them. Even--especially-- if you think it should be "obvious." There are a lot of people who present one way, and prefer something else and much of the kink scene is trying to remove the idea that pronouns can be assumed.

  • Ask for Other People's Pronouns
    If someone does not tell you their pronouns, it is always polite to ask. "I didn't catch your pronouns. I use she/her. What do you use?"

  • Questions to Avoid Asking
    Many people go to kink events to get away from their regular lives and do something interesting. Many people in the kink scene would rather not have their employers or students know what they're doing on Saturday nights. Thus, it is impolite to ask questions about where people work, where they go or went to school, or whether they have kids. A lot of people might not want to tell you they work for the government while they're strapped up-side-down wearing nothing but cat ears.

    If someone asks you a question that you don't want to answer, it is polite and expected to remind them that questions like that aren't a good idea in kink spaces, or to simply tell them that you do not want to answer.

  • Topics that are Great
    On the other hand, there are a bunch of questions you do get to ask that you might not get to ask at a family BBQ. It is actually perfectly polite to ask how someone got into the scene and what their kinky interests are. You can ask what kinds of events they like to go to, and how long they've been in the scene.

  • If Something Grosses You Out...
    Keep it to yourself. The motto is "your kink is not my kink, and that's okay." Avoid shaming people for their kinks. Think... "no, thanks. I'm not into that," instead of "ew."

  • NEVER Take Photos or Recordings
    Unless you are at a specific photography event and you have specific consent for all people who could possibly be in the photo frame, do not take photos or videos or audio recordings of anyone. Most venues ban photography. This is not your own personal porn shoot.

  • Complement People Politely
    It's also actually perfectly acceptable in most places in the scene to give complements that might come off kind of weird in the vanilla world. For example, if I witness a hot scene between two people at a dungeon, I can go up to those people after their scene AND after I'm sure their aftercare has ended, and say "caught a bit of your scene. That was really hot" --and then walk away or engage in conversation depending on their response. Do not offer suggestions of other things they could have done or tell them how you would have done it.

    It can also be okay to say "wow, you look really hot" to someone at a dungeon event as long as it's said in the same way as one would say "nice haircut" and not in the way someone would say "hey baby, get into my car and touch my gear shift."

  • Solicit People Politely
    Do not go to a dungeon expecting to get laid or have a pick-up scene. Go to a dungeon with the hope of making new friends and hanging out with cool people and seeing some cool outfits. That being said, if you've had a nice conversation with somebody (like, longer than 30 minutes) and you think you might have some kinks in common, it can be okay to say "hey, it seems like we have some kinks in common. Let me know if you'd like to scene some time." If they say "okay, I will let you know" and then they never mention it again, do not bring it up again. It was a no. If, on the other hand, they say "yeah! When?" you can start negotiating or scheduling or discussing or whatever. Just remember that consent is time specific and can be retracted at any time.

    Do not solicit people within the first 30 minutes of meeting them. Do not walk up to people and start spouting "do you like strap ons? I want to get fucked by a young woman with a strap on. You're a young woman."

  • No "Miss," "Sir," "Slave," or "Slut"
    Treat people as equals, even if they seem to be obviously presenting as a specific role. Just because somebody is a submissive does not mean that they're your submissive. Do not call someone "Miss" or "Sir" or any titles without specifically negotiating that with them first. Do not treat them as superior or inferior, serve them, or demand service from them in any way without explicitely discussing it first.

  • Learn to Negotiate Consent
    Consent is super complicated and awesome in BDSM and kink. Learn to do it right. Don't renegotiate in the middle of a scene. Here's a link to an outline.

  • Do Not Interrupt Scenes
    If someone is playing, do not walk through their space, touch their stuff, touch them, or engage them in conversation unless specifically invited. Do not give suggestions, nor bring the Dom water because she looks thirsty. The only exemption from this is if someone is screaming the actual house safeword and nobody is coming to the rescue. Otherwise, even if someone looks like they're doing something unsafe, it is not your place to step in. If you're truly concerned, talk to one of the Dungeon Monitors or supervisors of the space. A lot of times, though, people are doing stuff that looks super dangerous, but they're doing it on purpose and very carefully.

  • Do Not Interrupt Aftercare
    Scenes can be really intense, and aftercare is an important part of coming back to the real world and being okay with some of the crazy stuff that we do. It's personal and different every time and sometimes involves snacks, and other times involves crying, and unless you are invited, it does not involve you.

  • Don't Whine About Not Finding Someone To Play With
    If you didn't find someone to play with, that's fine. If you wanted to but you didn't, that's also fine. It is not fine to be butt-hurt because no one would play with/cuddle with/fuck you. You are not entitled to play. You aren't even entitled to a conversation, really, so be grateful when you get any attention at all. If someone talks to you for a long time and it seems like you're hitting it off and then they don't play with you, that's okay. You had a good conversation. Under no circumstances should you complain about it and say the person was 'leading you on.'

  • No Wanking
    Don't masturbate in a space unless you're in scene with somebody that involves masturbation. Watching and wanking is creepy and often explicitly against the rules. Save it for your computer.

  • Clean Up Your Play Space
    Most spaces provide towels/sprays to make sure you the next person has a sanitary place to play.

  • Ask About Specific Space Rules
    Some places allow some forms of sex, and others don't. It's usually related to insurance and local laws. Things to ask about are fluids (blood, cum), sharps (knives, needles, etc.), breath play, suspension, fire, and food.

  • Alcohol and Drugs
    When in doubt, if you're in the United States you can assume that play spaces do not allow alcohol or drugs or anyone who is intoxicated. (That being said, every single dungeon in Germany or the UK, for example, will sell alcohol). There are some exceptions, and lots of munches will serve alcohol, but drugs and alcohol get in the way of consent and physical and emotional safety, and thus aren't allowed.

Guide to

  • Fill out your profile
    The more you fill out your profile, the more people will trust you and know that you're a real human being. List some fetishes! Talk about what you're looking for! You don't need photos of yourself, but it can be fun to have a photo on there of something you like or something that represents you. Feel free to avoid personal details like work or school or family.

  • Avoid sex organs in your profile picture
    Fetlife is a social network, not a hookup site or a dating site. You don't have to put your face, but it's also polite to have something that isn't a dick or hole.

  • Friend people when you meet them
    When you meet people in the real world, ask "May I friend you on Fet? What's your handle?" Having more friends also makes you look like a real person, and will help you in the future if you want to see if someone you've met is good to play with or a known serial creeper.

  • Always Message Someone with your Friend Request
    Half the time I get friend requests, I no longer remember who that person was. They don't have a face pic, and I don't remember where I met them. When you want to friend someone, send a message like, "hey, it was great meeting you at the Citadel on Friday. I was the one with the lace tights and we talked about Mission Burrito. Hope to see you soon! -TheNameYouWentByWhenWeMet"

  • Don't Message People You Haven't Met Unless...
    unless they're the host of an event you're going to or the leader of a group. Remember, FL is a social network, not a dating site. You're there to find events and keep in touch with people and read interesting stuff, not to hit on people.
    And even then, read their profile first. Some event/group leaders prefer to be emailed or messaged through a different account.

  • Use Fetlife to "Vet" People
    So you've met some new friend and you want to play! But they might be a terrible person. Check out what mutual friends you have and ask about them. "Hey, I'm considering rooming with this person at the upcoming rope conference, and I see you've met. What do you think of them?" "Hey, do you know anyone who's played with this person? We were talking about doing a needle scene next week. Do they know their shit?"

  • If someone does not have a fetlife...

    or doesn't know what fetlife is, that's a red flag to people in the kink scene. Having a fetlife is a form of accountability and a sign that you're actually in the community instead of a predator trolling by for some tail. People who have fetlife accounts are more likely to have been to events that explain etiquette and safety or seen posts like this one explaining how to be respectful and safe. If you don't have one, you should get one as soon as possible. Fetlife only requires an email address and an age and location, but they don't show the email address and I'm pretty sure there aren't as many 94 year olds from Antartica in the scene.

Friday, January 16, 2015

XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare

The XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare is a monthly hypnosis munch in San Francisco. It happens on the second Sunday of the month in the Wicked Grounds Cafe (which is accessible and has free parking on Sundays), San Francisco's awesome kinky cafe from 3 PM until 5 PM. At 1:00 before the munch, the leaders Allie (I) and Felix teach a Hypnosis 101 class to bring anyone new to hypnosis up to speed so that they can comfortably participate in the discussion.

Each month, the peershare discusses a different topic in depth. The level of discourse is high because even people who are new to hypnosis and the munch have enough information from the pre-session to engage with hypnosis vocabulary and concepts. The group discusses the topic of the month, often demonstrates and practices techniques brought forward by attendees, and socializes afterwards. To date, the munch has discussed how to best bring new people into the Hypnosis community, inductions, fun suggestion and play ideas, suggestion building, and rapport.

The peershare is a high-consent space for physical contact and any type of play. We welcome all races, orientations, ages, genders, and levels of experience. The munch is free, though we ask that attendees purchase something to support the cafe.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Emergency Rope Cutting

When doing rope, always have safety shears or another safe way to cut rope.
EMT/Safety Shears

Here's a rope cutting hack that probably won't work. Imagine trying to do this with somebody suspended. You will likely make the original problem worse and then accidentally spin them a lot and make them super dizzy.

If you have to ever use this, you could probably be doing other things better in your rope play:

  • First of all, have safety shears. They're cheap. Here's a link to buy them online. They are as important as rope. Buy three pairs. Put one in your toy bag, one by your most typical play space, and keep one in your underwear at all times.
  • Secondly, bottoms in scene should give and be solicited for five minute warnings before they need to be out of rope. This isn't always possible, of course.
  • Sometimes bottoms aren't able to speak. In this case, create other signals. Bottom squeezes top's fingers. Weak squeeze might mean rope is too tight or in the wrong place. Possibly give the bottom something to hold in their hand or mouth like a bell or light-up ball that they can drop to safeword.
  • Then again, sometimes bottoms need to be out of rope suddenly if they are dropped or something external happens like a toaster oven exploding and the room or the rope catching fire. If you don't get the bottom out and they survive, they will leave you for the firepeople.

I would.

  • Tops should stay within their capabilities, and do new, advanced projects with advanced supervision. Rope is edge-play. All rope play is inherently dangerous. EMT/safety shears are cheap. Cheaper than Julian Richings' acting fee.

Which is what I assume everyone needs at or before their funerals. This dude *always* plays funeral directors. Or death.
But that cutting rope with rope thing could work.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Rapport (Courtesy of XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare)

What is Rapport and Why is it Important?

A hypnotic relationship requires trust and comfort. Only after those are established can a kinky hypnotic relationship build on that trust and comfort to craft intentional, consensual mistrust and discomfort.

Rapport is the subconscious or conscious connection between one or more people. This post talks about what kind of rapport to establish for a hypnotic relationship, and how to do that.
Rapport is not binary, nor is it a spectrum. A hypnotee might have rapport to do character play with one hypnotist, and not with another, but might be able to do memory play with the other and not the first. Rapport for hypnosis can affect overall comfort, trance depth, states of consciousness, suggestibility, submission, and the out-of-play relationship. 

A good goal for rapport is to have the same energy and mood, and have the same intentions. Good rapport is often enough to begin creating trance and altered states of consciousness on its own.

How To Establish Rapport

Here's a play-by-play of what to do when.

To be clear, none of these things should be used to make people want to play with you. These are things to improve rapport with people with whom you have already negotiated consent! Otherwise, you are being a creepy pick-up artist. Do not groom people as subjects. It's gross. The BDSM equivalent is calling people "pet" or "princess" when you first meet them. The vanilla equivalent is staring at someone's breasts for the whole first conversation. 


The rapport process begins at first glance and never ends. Here's what to do when you spot your play partner across the room.
  • Appearance and Hygiene: Hypnotists should cultivate a "look." For some, this is a power-suit and shiny shoes. For others, it's crystals and dangly earrings. For others, it's all about the cleavage or chest hair. What ever your hypnotist look, be clean. Smell doesn't come into play at first sight, but it really really does later. 
  • Body Language: Emit confidence with open, strong body posture. Stand up straight, keep shoulders back and take up some space. Keep arms and legs uncrossed. 
  • Eyebrow Flash: Humans in most cultures (except Japan) subconsciously flash their eyebrows when seeing or making eye contact with someone familiar or friendly. Cultivating an eyebrow flash can accentuate those feelings, even in someone you've just negotiated with for the first time. An eyebrow flash is a slight perking of the eyebrows upon eye contact. Spot your play partner across the room? Try an eyebrow flash.
  • Smile:

Rapport-Building Conversations

  • Handshake: Practice a good handshake. This is not subjective: there is a right and wrong. Maintain eye contact the whole time. Meet hands web to web first before clasping to ensure the correct positioning. Keep hands vertical--do not put your hand palm down or up. Clasp firmly but with a soft, warm grip, like a vagina. Do not shake the hand; sort of lightly jerk it once, and then let go. Practice this. You will get a job and your grandfather will be proud of you. That being said, some people don't like handshakes. I sometimes verbally ask "can I shake your hand?" while I'm reaching out to give the other person the ability to say "my hand's all sweaty. Let's bump elbows instead."
  • S.L.A.N.T.Sit up, lean in, ask questions, nod, track what the speaker is saying. 
  • Ask Real Questions: Ask a question that is pertinent to the situation. Bonus points if it's a person-specific question. Ask questions that may elicit real answers, as opposed to automatic answers like "how are you," which elicits "doin' pretty well. Doin' fine." Try asking "have you been to this venue before? How do you know the host?" or even "tell me something cool about you."

    Remember that in BDSM and kink contexts, it is not polite to ask about work, school, family, or other personal identifying items. It can be polite to volunteer such information about yourself, but not to ask. Most people don't want to talk about their kids at a dungeon, and most people don't want to reveal in public that they work for the government while wearing leather and a tutu. 
  • Listen to the Answers: Show that you are actually interested. If you aren't interested, you probably shouldn't play. 
  • Laugh: It's validating and creates positive associations. And you probably look good when you laugh.
  • Body Language: Keep the open posture. Square hips towards the other person to indicate that they have your attention.


  • Energy: Match the other person's energy level. Interpret "energy" loosely. It can mean a lot of stuff.
  • Body Language: Match body language like head-tilt and arm positions. You can even match their breathing. Do not imitate them gesture for gesture, but if they sit with their legs crossed, you can, at a time that isn't weird and noticeable, do the same. For best effect, this will be an easy mode to slip into without thinking about it.
  • Speech Patterns: Match the formality of their speech and the tone. Match pace and flow. Do not do that cool-dad thing of using words that are clearly out of your lexicon...groovy, -izzle, hella hyphy. Do not imitate accents or speech impediments or anything noticeable that might sound like you are making fun of them.
  • Modality: Listen and look for their modality and try to match it in your speech and when in scene. 


Negotiation should precede specific efforts to build rapport, but a good negotiation builds rapport on its own. Negotiating good consent and sticking with that negotiation builds trust. A good conversation about consent takes a while and makes sure that everyone's limits and interests are heard and respected. Here's a sample negotiation for erotic hypnosis. 

In Scene

  • Consent: Remember and respect the negotiation. 
  • Validation: Use validating language. "Good, you're doing great." 
  • Check in: Check in frequently. Acting like you can read someone's mind does nothing for rapport building even though you might think it makes you look omnipotent. It makes you look...overconfident and bad at communication--like that guy who's sure you're about to cum when you're sort of feeling soggy. Ask for check-ins frequently. "Tell me about that." "What are you feeling?" 
  • Suggestions: Suggestions themselves build rapport. Listening to and following out suggestions is a form of communication that requires and reinforces trust. Rapport builds as a scene goes on. 


Some rapport just takes time. Don't force it. Longevity is the best test of trustworthiness. The value of collecting and internalizing many social data-points is enormous. Do nice things for each other. A hypnotic relationship improves as the social one does.

Rapport goes both ways.

Often, rapport conversations are about how a hypnotist can establish a hypnotee's trust, but the inverse is equally important. Trust in the subject is imperative in order to confirm that the consent is genuine and well-informed on both sides.

Hypnotists shouldn't feel comfortable playing with someone who may or may not understand the play and/or potential risks. A hypnotist needs to be able to vet a potential hypnotee to decide whether or not they should play. With good rapport, the hypnotist will more easily be able to sense red flags for subjects who may be dangerous candidates for mental health reasons, dependency issues, poor current mental state, or are under the influence of substances that shouldn't be mixed with hypnosis.

Rapport improves a hypnotist's ability to read a hypnotee to create effective suggestions, notice what's working and what isn't, and to notice if something's going wrong. Rapport is also tied to desire; the more two players know about each other, the more inspiration there is for interesting, specific play.

Rapport can be created or destroyed. 

There are a lot of times when rapport or certain levels of rapport are undesirable. When a friend of yours walks into your space while you're in scene and you want to ignore them. When someone is being predatory and creepy. When that Hummus Lady at the farmer's market offers you a sample of her over-packaged, overpriced hummus for the eighth time. 

There are also situations with someone you like and want to play with where limiting rapport can be a good thing. Keeping a scene light, exploratory, and friendly can be unintimidating and easier with new play partners.

The XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare meets on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 3PM at Wicked Grounds cafe on 8th and Folsom in San Francisco. People who are new to hypnosis should come at 2PM to get the Hypnosis 101 language, terms, and practices.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Suggestion Building (Courtesy of XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare)

Now that you have amazing ideas for what to do in a  hypnosis scene and can achieve trance, you'll need to be able to effectively form and administer the suggestions to make it happen. Here are some ideas from the Peer Share.

After the inductions, deepeners, and safeties come the meat of play: suggestions. A suggestion is the communication between a hypnotist and the hypnotee's subconscious. What you will learn here is essentially the programming language for the human computer. A lot of it looks a lot like English (if that's the language you're speaking).

  • Positive Suggestions: Always phrase suggestions in the positive. For example, "you will notice that your legs will remain straight, your knees locked," as opposed to "your knees can't bend." This is because as soon as a negative like "do not bounce in your seat" is suggested, the mind has to first imagine bouncing in the seat, which makes it a pretty strong suggestion to bounce in the seat.
  • Replacement: To add on to the positive framing of suggestions principle, if you want something gone, do not suggest that it's gone; replace it. Instead of "do not think of pink elephant" say "think of an orange hippo."
  • Use Simple Language: Eschew obfuscation. Refrain from pontificating in such manner as to fatally quell subconscious comprehension.
    There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class.

  • Speak Clearly: And speak loud enough. There are few things more distracting from trance than having to say "what? Can you speak up, please?"
  • Choose Your Tone: Choosing a hypnotic voice comes before the induction, but there are many tones to choose from for specific suggestions that may augment the effectiveness of that suggestion. Here are some tones.
    • Dominance/Control
    • Warmth/Relaxation
    • Monotone
    • Humiliation/Condescension
    • Expressive
    • Dreamy
  • Shock: Changing tone or pace rapidly can also be effective, for example a dreamy, relaxing induction followed by a commanding, dominant, sudden suggestion.
  • Meter: Use pacing and meter to emphasize your suggestion. Deepeners are often...slow......down, whereas bringing someone into an energetic suggestion may require a different tactic.
  • Use Repetition: Use repetition. Use it. Use repet...sorry. Repeating a suggestion gives the subconscious more time and opportunity to process. Try to repeat using approximately the same language every time. It can be tempting to say something a bunch of different ways to make it clearer, but try to say it one way. If it doesn't work, try it a different way next time. Repeating different ways can be confused as conflicting or separate instructions.
  • Suspension of Disbelief: If you're doing a cool mindfuck or amnesia suggestion, especially for the first time, do not disturb the suspension of disbelief. If they think they're Severus Snape, don't say their real name, don't ask them if they're sure they're Severus Snape, and don't point stuff out to the contrary unless you're trying to confuse them or break the suggestion. Similarly, the suggestion is to forget, say, the number 3, when you're waking them up, perhaps count "one, two, four, awake!"
  • Passive vs. Direct: Consider the language for the suggestion itself. Which one might be most effective for the hypnotee in question? Direct suggestions sound like "you will wake up in a moment and you will be Severus Snape, and it will be as if you have always been Severus Snape." A passive suggestion sounds like "you may find yourself that feels a lot like your potions classroom, and it may seem like you belong there as the potions professor, Professor Snape." Passive suggestions work better on people who don't necessarily like being told what to do. Passive also work better for suggestions that rely on the senses. "It would be okay for you to begin feeling more and more aroused." "You may notice your arms getting heavier." As you can see, there are many different ways to word passive suggestions. "You don't have to remember all of these wordings, but they may come in handy."
  • Use Metaphor: Metaphor can be a powerful tool to create imagery, sensation, or to distract. For instance, when doing memory play, I use the patter "it's slipping like water through your hand, like sand through an hourglass, fading away like a dream after you wake up. The harder you try to remember, the more you focus on the image of water trickling away down the drain, going, going, gone."
  • Cater for Modality: Modality refers to whether someone's more visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. There are a bunch of ways to figure out someone's primary modalities. Look forward to a post all about that! For the meantime, look for clues in someone's descriptions. If you ask someone about their bedroom or office and they talk most about the decorations or colors, probably visual. If they talk about layout, textures, or clutter, they're probably kinesthetic. If they talk about how it's in a quiet part of the building or within earshot of their boss, auditory. Another good test is "imagine you're on a beach." Ask what they notice. Once you have established their modality use that sense most in your suggestions and descriptions. "You'll be awake and alert as if you've just stepped out of a nice hot shower." "You'll be awake and alert as if you're half way through listening to your favorite peppy song." "You'll be awake and alert as if you've slept for hours and the sun is streaming through your window."
  • Mantras: Establish mantras of suggestions to continually reinforce. Have a hypnotee memorize them word for word. A hypnotist can prompt the hypnotee to recite or think about their mantras on a cue. Mantras can take the simple form of a personal statement like "I have patience, warmth, and compassion for others," or "every day I enjoy shampoo more and more."
  • Write it Down for Review: For important or "permanent" or tricky suggestions, write them down to get the wording right. Negotiate the wording. Edit.
  • Use Anticipation: Expectations are a powerful tool in hypnosis. Drawing out expectations before the suggestion is actually supposed to take effect can make the suggestion even more powerful when it does, especially if the hypnotee is excited about or particularly interested in the suggestion. "In a moment, not now, but in a moment you will find yourself very aroused." And then stall.
  • Naturalize: When giving suggestions for characters or compulsions, make the suggestion feel natural. Language for that might look like, "and it will be as if you have always been Severus Snape. It feels perfectly natural for you to shout at your students and brood over your steaming cauldron many hours of the day, whipping through assignments with your red pen, always regretting Lily..."
    And regretting that smock you wore when you met.

  • Anchoring: anchoring is an NLP term referring to associations that the subconscious makes between two things that are concurrent but not necessarily related. For example, if a person were to flex their calf muscles to fatigue every time they had an orgasm, that person may also become aroused when exercising their calves to fatigue in the gym. Anchoring can be more subtle. If I casually gesture to myself every time I say a positive adjective in conversation, my conversation partners may begin to associate those positive adjectives with me. Please, for the love of god, use this with consenting partners to better do things that they have already consented to.You are being a creepy rapist pickup artist if you use this to pick people up or get them to sleep with you.
  • Nonverbal Suggestions: Use body language, gestures, eye contact, and touches to create suggestions. This is what partners do when they dance. This is what you do for your puppy when you pat the chair next to you.  It's simple and an important tool to keep in mind amidst all these verbal suggestions.
  • Incremental Suggestions: Some suggestions work best in absolutes, for example "you are Severus Snape," and some can be increased and manipulated incrementally, for example "every time I snap my fingers, you become a little more dour and sadistic," one of which may have a stronger effect depending on the hypnotee and suggestion at hand. This works well for sensation manipulation and things that tend to happen gradually anyway like arousal and feelings of being awake. 
    Incremental Snape

  • Conditioning: There are instructions and a description for conditioning in the bottom of this post. Check it out.

Interested in joining the Peershare discussions? Check out our description.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Your Hypnotic Fantasy: Suggestion Inspiration Guide (Courtesy of XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare)

What's your hypnotic fantasy? Sometimes the hardest part of hypnosis is figuring out what to do after you've finished an induction. This person is under your utmost control! Time to do some sleep voyeurism play while you try to figure out what to do next.

Here's what the XX Hypnosis Peer Share came up with.

Create a trigger word or gesture or touch that creates a compulsion or subconscious response.
There are a few ways to set this up. The hypnotee can know about the compulsion, or you can make it so that they don't remember the compulsion, and don't even suitcase notice the trigger so that suitcase if they suitcase read this sentence suitcase, they wouldn't even notice suitcase the extra words suitcase in it. A trigger can be a specific stroking of the arm, or a finger snap, or a particular tune when whistled. It can be a word, or an event like every time the hypnotist sits down. Make sure to set this up so that the trigger, whether in scene or posthypnotic, is only triggered when intended by the hypnotist.

What does the trigger do?
The classic, of course, is an orgasm trigger. You may see that referred to generally in this blog as "the Knee-Tap Orgasm" (whether or not the trigger is actually a knee tap). Another fun way to do this is to link it with arousal triggers. "Every time I take the cap off this pen and put it back on, you will become a little more aroused." A great way to combine these is with, perhaps, a countdown. "I will count to ten, and every number will make you more and more aroused, and you will stay that aroused until I say the next number. When we reach ten, you will experience an amazing orgasm." This can be done over a matter of seconds, minutes, or hours.

Other kinky trigger compulsions could include a compulsion to remove clothing, a compulsion to always have their head below the head of the hypnotist as a form of D/s, compulsions about laughing more and more, freezing and becoming immobilized, or compulsions to say or do humiliating things. Triggers based on flavors and scents can be quite powerful.

Triggers can be incremental or absolute. "You will become completely hard when I say the word 'cactus.'" versus "You will become a little more aroused every time I bite your ear lobe."

Get to Know Your Brain
Hypnosis can be extremely introspective and a great way to get to know a partner. Poke around and see what comes out. Here are some great ways to do that.

  • Draw Your Subconscious (easy): hypnotize the hypnotee to go deep down in their subconscious. Guide them into a space that you call something like "the creativity center of your subconscious" and have them look around. Give them a pen and a big piece of paper, and have them draw what they see. Suggest that they can see everything there with their eyes open, but that they can refocus especially if they close their eyes for a minute.
  • What's Your Fantasy? (intermediate): hypnotize the hypnotee to be compelled to say their fantasies and desires. Suggest that they find new ones they hadn't thought of before. This can also be used as a humiliation scene. If you want inspiration for future scenes, ask the hypnotee to write down the fantasies on index cards. You can then pull out and negotiate the index cards later.
  • Hug Fortune Teller (easy): This works especially well when doing hypnosis around other people. Suggest that the hypnotee can see someone's future when they give them a hug. Suggest that they may only hug people with verbal consent. Have them tell the hugged-person's future. 

Kinky Scenarios and Role Play
Now let's get to the real kinky shit. Turns out, hypnosis is an excellent medium for bondage, role play, regression and age play, abduction scenes, interrogation scenes, humiliation, and much more. Here are some ideas.

  • Bondage (easy): the hypnotee can be stuck in any position or to any object completely bonds free. This can be done with no rope or bonds at all, or could be done with bonds that are much lighter and easier to break out of than the This is also an accessibility tip for people for whom it would be unsafe to be bound!
  • Role Play (easy): Ever had a fantasy of fucking Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer? What about having Barack Obama on his knees sucking your strap-on? Now you can! (Disclaimer: I do not intend nor am I encouraging the sexual harassment or assault of the president.) The hypnotee can be under the impression that they or the hypnotist, or both parties are specific characters. This also works with character archetypes like "sexy firewoman" or "stripper with daddy issues."
    Note: be cautious with age play suggestions. Know someone well before doing this. It may work to hypnotize someone to be "their little," but hypnotizing someone to "be six years old" may have the unintended result of making them actually think they're six years old while you're in a dungeon, or who they were when they were six, which may or may not have been a good time for them.
  • Abduction/Interrogation/Non-Con (expert): A lot of people have intense non-consent fantasies, and these can be played out carefully using hypnosis. In a hypnotee/hypnotist relationship with a lot of trust and rapport, a set of partners can create a framework for a scene that actually feels like stranger danger or non-con (in a way that is fun and consensual for those players). This can go beyond typical consensual non-consent scenes in that the scene can be set up so that the hypnotee actually doesn't recognize the hypnotist, or feels real fear or other "negative" emotions for the hypnotist. A possible scenario is to make the hypnotee think and feel like their drink has been drugged. These are doable, but must be set up very carefully and only by a hypnotist who knows a lot about abreactions and with a pair of partners that know each other well. 
  • Pain/Impact (expert): This is recommended for folks who have already played with and enjoyed real pain and have done other forms of hypnosis as well. There are a few ways to involve pain play with hypnosis. Hypnotees can feel intentional psychosomatic hypnosis pain. This is another accessibility hack for people who medically or psychologically can't be hit but want to feel pain! For example, a hypnotist can give a trigger that gives a particular pain sensation that the hypnotee likes or does not like (but consents to). The trigger can be anything like a word or finger snap, or even an impact of a much less pain-inflicting toy. For example, a hypnotist can make a bunny-hair flogger feel like a rubber flogger.

    "Real" pain play can also be incorporated with hypnosis. Hypnotists can use impact or pain as a trigger for something else, can add a dimension of role play using hypnosis, or even just use hypnosis as a safety by giving suggestions that the hypnotee can get into subspace really easily but check in really well in and out of subspace. A hypnotist can also help a hypnotee come out of subspace and/or avoid subdrop using hypnosis. Just use a positive cheerful wakener!

    Increasing pain tolerance is not recommended because pain keeps us from actually hurting ourselves and messing with that perception could result in someone taking more pain than they should. People who play with impact and pain should be aware that subspace and endorphins due to pain already increase pain tolerance as the scenes go on. Specific toys and skin damage (marks, blood, etc.) should be negotiated before a scene starts. 
  •  Top From the Bottom (easy): A fun suggestion for swtiches, a hypnotist can actually hypnotize a hypnotee to be dominant. This is good for switch hypnotists partnered with submissive hypnotees, or switch hypnotists with switch hypnotees who sometimes have difficulty getting into dom-space. In this scene, both partners can be both dominant and submissive in different ways.
  • Denial/Chastity (intermediate): A hypnotist can make a hypnotee unable to reach orgasm. This can be through physical inability, forgetfulness, or any number of mechanisms. A hypnotist can ruin or push off an orgasm as well.
  • Human Doll (easy): Whether limp and floppy or animatronic or clay-like, a hypnotee can become a human doll or bot with any amount of responsiveness. The hypnotee can be forced to sit and watch any number of interesting activities in the room with no ability to participate, or can be taken advantage of in any (consensual) number of  ways. The hypnotee could be mindless or trapped inside their head. 
  • Guided Fantasy (easy): A hypnotist can turn a hypnotee's fantasy real by narrating and storytelling them through the fantasy. For instance, a hypnotist can verbally create the experience of a tentacle bondage scene by suggesting the sensations and creating imagery and even hallucinations.
  • Decreasing Inhibitions (intermediate): Hypnotists should not suggest this particular idea. Always let this come from a hypnotee. Lowering inhibitions needs to be an independent goal of the inhibited, otherwise consent for everything thereafter gets murky.  Steer clear of anything that could sound like "I want to hypnotically lower your inhibitions so that you might let me fuck your ass." That being said, this can be a great way for people to feel more comfortable doing things they're already interested in doing but feel too shy in the moment. Dancing or doing a striptease is a common example. Dirty talk is another example. Making noise during play or being dominant are other examples. 

With longer term hypnotic relationships, partners can actually establish response conditioning. The simplest form of this is when a hypnotee begins associating a particular tone of the hypnotist's voice as hypnotic and is conditioned to go into trance just because of the tone of voice. Because this almost always happens naturally, hypnotists should always have a separate voice that they use for hypnosis so that their hypnotees don't fall asleep in the middle of conversations.
Never eat sea urchin with a hypnotist.
Intentional classical conditioning is real stuff messing with real people's brains, so make sure that, if you're a hypnotee, you are with someone you trust and already like a lot. This is a form of play that can affect a hypnotee in scene and out. Negotiate carefully. Do not go near hypnotists who do this crap without asking. This type of play is subtle, but the effect can be great. Hypnotists should not underestimate the need for negotiation.

One popular form of conditioning in the erotic hypnosis community is pleasure conditioning (surprise). If you have established a trigger that creates pleasure, like for example saying the word "pleasure," or, like, touching their dick, the hypnotist can then begin creating associations of other things with that pleasure. The subconscious does not have any concept of cause and effect, so when two things happen concurrently, the subconscious links them. With consent to pleasure condition a partner to do things that the hypnotists wants the partner to more often, the hypnotist can begin designing the project. If the hypnotist likes when their partner gives them a head massage, the hypnotist can give the pleasure trigger any time the hypnotee puts hands hand on the hypnotist's head. 

This can be done covertly, if negotiated as such, or explicitly if negotiated as "can I pleasure condition you to give me more head massages?" The beauty is that this form of conditioning work whether or not the hypnotee is aware of it. In the scenario where the specific conditioning is negotiated explicitly, a clever hypnotist may even suggest that it works better because the hypnotee knows. 

Other Hypno Tricks
Please remember that under no circumstances should play be mixed with hypnotherapy. If you are not a trained and licensed hypnotherapist, you should not do hypnotherapy at all. You do not know what you need to know. Even if you are a licensed hypnotherapist, you should not mix play with therapy. Some of the following border on therapy, but can be done in a way that..isn't.

  • Synesthesia (intermediate): This is a suggestion that one sense is linked to another. For example, a hypnotee can experience tasting colors or seeing sounds.
  • Relaxation (easy): Relaxation is often an automatic response to hypnosis, but can also be brought in as the main purpose. You should not be setting out to treat anxiety! This can be a good type of play to wind down after a tough day in place of a warm bath or massage.
  • Partner Dance (easy): Turns out, partner dance already has elements of D/s and many dancers find that they go into space when dancing. This can be augmented with hypnosis! Try messing around with it.
  • Time Dilation (easy): People under hypnosis can and often automatically experience time differently. This can be fun to play with.
  • Hallucinations (intermediate): Some people find it easy to hallucinate in one modality or other, and for others it takes a lot of work and practice. It can be interesting to try and create auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or any hallucinations. 
  • Messing With Headspace (intermediate): Use hypnosis to go to extra creative, relaxed, introspective or empty spaces. Check out the corners of your brain. Do some research on different states of consciousness and see if you can find 'em! 

You can join the XX Peershare discussions on the second Sundays of the month at 3PM (or 2 if you're new to hypnosis) at Wicked Grounds Cafe in SF.  What's your fantasy?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Inductions! (Courtesy of XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare)

The following is a write-up of the notes and ideas from the XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare.  The XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare meets on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 3PM at Wicked Grounds cafe on 8th and Folsom in San Francisco. People who are new to hypnosis should come at 2PM to get the Hypnosis 101 language, terms, and practices.

The Topic of the Month on 11/9/14 was....Inductions!

Here are some inductions that folks shared at the peer-share munch and how and when they might be used most effectively. After most inductions, immediately begin deepenrs and then safeties

Focus Inductions: 

Eye Fixation/Eye Fatigue (easy, 1-3 min)
This is the classic pocket watch, candle, crystal, finger wave, or spiral induction. Ask the hypnotee to watch whatever thing it is and not to move their head. Keep the object slightly above eye level. Patter about how their eyes might start feeling tired. If it's in the evening, ask them what time they woke up and point out that their eyes have been open for a long time today. If the room is dim, point that out. If they have glasses, point out how wearing glasses might make their eyes tired. Give the suggestion that they might start blinking more often and that every time they blink, it feels better and better and it's harder and harder to open their eyes again. When they're blinking a lot or their eyes look glazed, fluttery, or bloodshot, tell them that they can relax/close their eyes. A forehead tap (with consent) or finger snap with "sleep" works, as well. Begin deepenrs immediately.

Eye Contact (intermediate, 1-3 min)
This induction plays off the idea that humans don't really like holding eye contact for longer than about five seconds. Eye contact is tied in with dominance and submission, and a hypnotist can use eye contact and attention to induce trance. This induction could go a little something like this:
"Look into my eyes. Don't look away. Did you know that humans don't really like to hold eye contact for longer than about five seconds? You may start noticing around now the urge to look away, but please keep looking right back into my eyes. After about five seconds, the flight or fight or fuck response kicks in, but you're not doing any of those things right now, so you may start feeling more and more like looking away, but please keep looking into my eyes. You may be noticing how nice it would be to close your eyes so that you don't even have to look away, but please keep your eyes open right now. Your conscious mind doesn't like thinking about looking into my eyes for this long, so it may be drawing on your subconscious so that you don't have to think. The deeper into trance you go, the more it feels like your eyes are already closed..." Look for bloodshot, glazed, or fluttery eyes, and then, with consent, tap them on the forehead and say "sleep" and begin deepeners. 

Good for quiet, intimate settings and mood-setting

Handshake #1 (intermediate, 1-3 min)
Reach out to shake their hand. Once their hand is in yours, turn it palm towards their face, and move it quickly towards their face. "Watch your hand moving towards your face and feel all of the tension drain from your body. Feel your arm relaxing in my hands. When your hand touches your face, you can sink down into a deep, relaxing trance." Begin deepeners. 

Massage Induction (easy, 5+ min)
With lots of very specific physical contact consentthis can be paired with any guided meditation or progressive relaxation type induction. This induction consists of giving the hypnotee a massage and using the massage to bring out relaxation and trance. Draw attention to the relaxation and positive sensations in each muscle. In an erotic context, the hypnotist can also bring forward feelings of arousal. "Your skin will feel more and more sensitive as I touch you, warming you up, bringing the blood to the surface. Every time I touch you it will feel better and better." "My hands will melt away the tension in your muscles, replacing them with feelings of calm energy and pleasant floaty sensations." Transition into other deepeners. 

Progressive Relaxation (easy, 4+ min)
Verbally draw attention to each part of the body and instruct the hypnotee to relax that part of the body. Start with toes and work your way up. "And now feel your ankles relaxing." With particularly attentive subjects, the hypnotist can ask that the hypnotee see if they can feel their pulse, and then try to feel it in those specific areas of the body. That might be especially effective for kinesthetic hypnotees. Visual hypnotees might respond well to imagery of a glowing ball of warm relaxation energy flowing through their toes, ankles, etc. The hypnotist can use imagery of the tension flowing down out of them into the ground, or have the subject feel heavier and heavier, or lighter and lighter. 
This induction takes a long time, and isn't necessarily more effective than shorter inductions. It might be good for someone who wants to calm down a lot. Abbreviated or at full length, this can be a good deepener. 

Good for analytical and busy-minded people.

Accelerating numbers (easy, 1-2 min)
This is a good induction for analytically and mathematically minded subjects. "I'm going to say a number, and I want you to say the number after me. So when I say one..." They say one. The hypnotist can then count upwards going faster and faster. It's okay to make patterns and then break them. It's okay to backtrack. Once the hypnotee is getting a little glazed, firmly command "sleep!" and begin deepeners immediately. 

7+/-2 (intermediate, 2-5 min)
This classic induction for analytic, busy minds plays off the idea that the conscious mind can only hold 7 plus or minus 2 items (somewhere between 5 and 9, that is) in it at any given time. When the conscious mind gets overloaded, it begins to rely on the subconscious, which handles tons of things at once, such as walking, breathing, and emotions. 
The hypnotist can begin this induction by explaining the premise. "And we're going to see how many your mind can hold." The hypnotist should then slowly begin drawing the attention of the hypnotee to different things. "I'd like you to start by listening to the sound of my voice, which you are already doing, good, and now I'd like you to pay attention to your breathing. In your head, every time you breathe in, I'd like you to count one two, and when you breathe out, three four. Good, and listening to the sound of my voice. Next, I'd like you to pay attention to how your hands feel in your lap. Feel the temperature, the air around them, how they feel on that fabric, and don't forget to pay attention to your breathing. Next, I'd like you to pay attention to the ticking of that clock, and while you're listening to that, make sure to be paying attention to the sound of my voice, and the feel of your hands, and counting your breathing one two, three four. Very good."Try to pick items that cater to different modalities, but heavier on their modality. For example, with a more auditory person, choose some items like sounds in the room or a song that they know playing in their head. For kinesthetic people, draw their attention to the feel of their tongue in their mouth, the temperature in the room, their butt in the chair. For visual, do their nose, their hair in their face, the light level in the room. This induction can also be combined effectively with the eye contact induction. Just start with "look into my eyes. Did you know that humans in this culture only like holding eye contact for about five seconds..." etc., and then eye contact is one of the 5-9 things for them to pay attention to.
This is a simple induction in theory, but challenging to execute for new hypnotist because it requires a mastery
 of "patter"-- the ability to yammer and improvise indefinitely, and to remember all of the items on the list. A hypnotist can make it easier for themself by adding the suggestion "and in the silences when I'm not talking, your mind will be constantly reminding itself all of the different items to remember." 
Ramping up to the end of the induction, the hypnotist can suggest how nice it would feel to not have to keep all of these items in their mind, but to keep trying for now. When the hypnotee looks sufficiently glazed or blinky, tap them on the forehead and say "sleep, and let all of the items fade from your mind leaving only my voice, and go deeper," and continue deepeners. 

Laughter (hard, 3-6 min)
Use laughter as an induction. This induction works best when there's a group of people around or involved. This also works best on people who enjoy laughing and being silly.
One way to do this induction is by being genuinely funny, god forbid, or the hypnotist can, instead, start building suggestions that things that aren't actually that funny are funny. "Have you ever noticed how difficult it is not to laugh when someone tells you not to laugh? And have you ever noticed how it's hard not to smile when you're thinking about not smiling?"  Once the hypnotee is laughing, the hypnotist can then suggest something like, "The funniest number, the number that makes you laugh more than anything, is the number ten. Can you count your fingers please?" and have them do it slowly. Or "this set of car keys has an intrinsic property that it's funnier the closer it gets to this table," and then move the keys closer and farther away from the table. Create incremental increases--"keeps getting funnier," fingersnap, "and funnier," finger snap. Choose a moment when the hypnotee is laughing hysterically (preferably sitting or rolling on the floor laughing), and then tap them on the forehead and say sleep, pushing them gently into a more relaxed position. Begin deepeners immediately.
This is marked as hard because this requires a lot of charisma and comedic timing and this induction can sometimes result in people glaring at you, stone-faced.

Good for touchy people.

Hand Pass + Face Touch (intermediate, 1-3 min)
Use a combination of passing a hand in front of the hypnotee's eyes and stroking their forehead with downward motions along the cheek. Optional: ask the hypnotee to hold eye contact, but suggest that they can start blinking and closing their eyes as it feels natural. Flow into calming deepeners. 

Catalepsy (hard, 1-3 min)
This is only marked as hard because I'm terrible at it. It's probably intermediate. The idea here is to find the natural hovering resting places of someone's limbs. With consent, lift someone's wrist up, and move the arm around, feeling for when their arm goes limper. Feel for natural hover points in their range of motion--we all have spots where, when placed there, our limbs tend to hover naturally. When you find one through this movement, stick the limb there. Then patter about the arm lowering itself naturally and getting heavier, and the weight bringing them into a trance. Begin deepeners.

Sensation Manipulation (easy, 2-5 min)
This can be done a bunch of different ways. The general idea is to take a sensation that the hypnotee is already feeling, and change or increase it. A good way to start is to ask them to put their hands together, with eyes open or closed, and then put your hands around theirs. Ask them if they can feel the warmth. Lighten the grip on their hands and ask them if they can still feel it. Move your hands a tiny bit away, and they should still be able to feel the warmth, and you can even suggest that the hands are getting warmer. Keep slowly moving your hands farther away suggesting that they can still feel warmth in their hands. You can then change the sensation by, for example, saying that the warmth is spreading to other parts of their body, or that they'll experience a cooling effect instead.
This creates results in a waking trance/waking suggestibility that the hypnotist can use or turn into a "sleep trance." 

Hug Sway (intermediate, 2-4 min)
After negotiating consent, invite the hypnotee into a hug. Notice their breathing and the way they sway, and mirror it. Slowly make calming downward strokes on their back with your hands. Begin adjusting the sway to subconsciously get them used to following instructions. This is trance provoking on its own. The hypnotist can then use other physical suggestions and cues to lead the hypnotee to do what they want, or transition to verbal suggestions.

Good for people who've already been in trance

Favorite Pass Time (easy, 2-5 min)
This induction plays off the idea that when we are doing something that we love, we go into a "flow" state, or trance. This also plays off the idea that creating vivid imagery induces trance, and that we can experience some of the most vivid, colorful imagery of things that we love doing.
Ask the hypnotee to close their eyes and imagine something that they love doing. Then lead them through that experience, making it more vivid and real and joyful for them. Help them bring out the positive emotions. Move from here into deepeners. 

Remember Previous Trance (easy, 1+ min)
This can be done two different ways. One way is simply to ask the hypnotee to remember what trance feels like. Help them conjure back the feelings of being in trance, and, surprise, they'll go into trance quickly.

The other way is to ask them to remember a specific trance experience, preferably a pleasant and recent one. Ask them to tell you about it. Ask them to describe feelings from it, actions, sounds, etc. Bringing back a specific experience that happened while in trance will trigger trance both by recalling an experience in detail (like the Favorite Pass Time induction) but also recalling a trance, specifically (like the Favorite Pass Time induction, but more explicitly).

Pretend You're Hypnotized (easy, <1min)
This is the easiest induction in the world. Ask the hypnotee to close their eyes and pretend they're hypnotized. Move into deepeners after quietly high-fiving yourself.

Good for especially susceptable people or people who are already in trance or well primed, or have especially good hypnotist-subject rapport

Handshake #2 (intermediate, < 1 min)
After negotiation and physical contact consent, ask them if they want to be hypnotized. Reach out your hand as if to shake theirs, maintaining eye contact. Put your other hand on their shoulder. When they grab the hand to shake, pull it towards you and down, and say sleep, guiding them downward into your shoulder (not letting them collapse to the ground--ever). Begin deepeners immediately. 

"Put Your Hand on Mine" (easy, < 1 min)
Put out your hand palm up. "Look into my eyes. Put your hand on mine. Press down. I'm going to count down from five. With every number, press down twice as hard. Ready? Five, four, three--" Somewhere between four and one, pull your hand out from under theirs, and at the same time, with the other hand, quickly but gently tap them on the forehead or push their face a little downward and say "sleep." Begin deepeners immediately.


Pendulum (easy, 1-2 minutes)
Give the hypnotee a pendulum--anything with a string or chain and a weight at the end. Favorites are crystals and pocket watches. Have the hypnotee hang the pendulum from two fingers. Patter about how the hypnotee's subconscious will automatically begin swinging the pendulum in a pattern. Notice what the pattern is and allow the hypnotee to notice, and then give the suggestion that the swinging pattern might change. 

Heavy/Light Hands (easy, 1-2 min)
Have the hypnotee close their eyes. Ask them to put both arms straight out in front of them. Then ask them to imagine that one wrist has a heavy chain and a cement block attached to it, weighing it down, heavier and heavier. Ask them to imagine that a balloon is tied to the other wrist, now a whole bunch of balloons, making that wrist lighter and lighter. Keep describing this. They may move one arm up and the other arm down. The manner with which and the amount that they do this may give you a good idea how to proceed next; whether to continue with sensory manipulation like this, or to try a different style. If they don't move, you can smoothly and seamlessly move on to a new induction without letting them know that that's what you're doing. If their arms do move or you feel like continuing, ask them to open their eyes and see how their hands have moved, and then ask them to close their eyes again, only, this time, ask them to imagine both arms are heavy and as they get closer to their lap, they can feel all the tension of straining against the weight fade from their body and they can relax down into a nice, relaxing trance.

Magnetic Hands (intermediate, 1-2 min)
Ask the hypnotee to put both hands out in front of them facing each other, about a foot apart. Ask them to imagine that there's a super powerful electromagnet on each palm, pulling the hands towards each other. "Now I'm going to put a big rubber band around your hands." Mime stretching a thick rubber band and putting it around their hands. Then, tell them you're turning up the magnet. Put another rubber band on. Tell them it's taking more and more effort to keep their hands apart. When the hands are getting close together, hypnotist can push them together and say "sleep."

Sticky Hands (intermediate, 2-3 min)
Ask the hypnotee to put their palms together and suggest that they keep them together firmly. For a while and in detail, ask them to pay close attention to the way their hands feel together. Draw attention to how their hands look together, and to imagine that there's glue between them, rubber bands around them, and suggest that they're so strong, that if the hypnotist tried, they couldn't get the hands apart. Test that. Have them push them together so hard that the hypnotist can't pull them apart. Next suggest that they're so stuck together, as if in cement, that not even they can pull them apart and test that. 

When an Induction Doesn't Work...

Try something else. If an induction doesn't work, say "Great, good job. Next, we're going to..." and begin another induction. Do not acknowledge that something didn't work. Do not allow them to think they've done poorly. Always indicate that they're doing well. If they act like they don't think they're doing well, distract them by telling them they're doing great! Don't lie. If someone thinks you just couldn't tell that it wasn't working, you lose credibility.  A good trick is to avoid telling the hypnotee what you're looking for in terms of success. If you do a Sticky Hands induction and their hands don't stick, it would be best if you didn't tell them they were supposed to stick in the first place. If you didn't tell them, you can make it look like part of a greater exercise.
When you start a new induction, try something different than before. If you did a convincer, try a distraction induction, or an eye fixation.  If you did relaxation, try something faster or use different modalities. Check in with open-ended questions like "tell me about that," not "did that work for you?"

Got a favorite induction? Share in the comments.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Asking The Right Questions

A Story

A hypnotist stands at the front of the class.
"Raise your hand if you've never been hypnotized," he says.
A woman in a corset and combat boots is the only person to raise her hand. She is sitting with her submissive at the back of the room.
"Wonderful," says the hypnotist. "Would you like to be hypnotized?"
"Uh. Sure." She goes to the front of the room and has a terrible experience that she didn't want in the first place. She's uncomfortable the entire time, and goes back to her sub afterwards unhappy and embarrassed.

What happened? He got consent. He asked if she wanted to be hypnotized, and she said yes. What went wrong?
No. It's not working.

Unfortunately, he asked the wrong question. He asked, "Would you like to be hypnotized?" As it so happens, this woman did want to be hypnotized. The questions he did not ask, however, were...

  • Would you like to be hypnotized by me?
  • Would you like to be hypnotized now?
  • Would you like to be hypnotized in front of all these people?
The answers for all three of those questions were no. The wrong question combined with the social pressure of a classroom of people and a hypnotist asking you to be hypnotized led to a failure of consent.

How do we improve our consent language?

Ask the right questions and ask them the right way. Here are some ways to do that.

  • Use neutral language
    Ask "can you tell me about what just happened?" when checking in. Or, "how would you feel about me hypnotizing you today?"Do not ask leading questions like "is this something that happened in your past life?" 
  • Be specific
    Ask all of the questions, even if the answer to one implies the answer to another. "So, you are interested in doing rope. I see that you're wearing a nice dress and doing rope on your torso or legs would require you to take off your dress. How do you feel about taking that off here? Would you like to do that, or just do rope on your wrists, or we can find something else to do?"
  • Ask questions with more than one option of equal weight
    Give more than one option. "Would you like to be hypnotized, or shall I see if I can find another volunteer." 
  • Hesitant "yes" means, "not today. Ask again next time."
    If you ask a question and someone says they need to think about it, or seems hesitant with their "yes," ask again another time and pick a different thing to do. Play with enthusiastic yes consent only. It is possible that the person just needed a minute to think about their response, but hesitance can be a lot of other things, too. Take it off the table and try again next time.
  • Don't require a "no" to decline.
    "No" can be hard, especially for people of a gender conditioned by society to be polite and obliging. Ask questions that don't require a "no" to decline. For example, "let me know if you want to play" works really well. All it requires for a decline is "thanks," and then silence, whereas a yes is still "ooh, sure! That sounds like fun!"
You are a star.

Bringing New People into the Hypnosis Community (Courtesy of XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare)

The following is a writeup of the notes and ideas from the XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare.  The XX Erotic Hypnosis Peershare meets on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 3PM at Wicked Grounds cafe on 8th and Folsom in San Francisco. People who are new to hypnosis should come at 2PM to get the Hypnosis 101 language, terms, and practices.

The topic of the month (October):

 How do we incorporate new members into the hypnosis community?

  • What values should we impart?

    That shaddowy place is the land of stage hypnosis. You must never go there, Simba.
    • Negotiate ONLY before trance! If you forgot something in negotiation, do it next time. Your first scene will not be your only scene, so you don't have to do it all at once. In fact, if you do it all at once, it may be your last scene. 
    • Be confident but humble. Acknowledge to yourself what's not working in scene and try something else. Look for feedback from your partners and peers.
    • Create the ability for informed consent. Don't tell hypnotees that nothing can go wrong. Don't tell them that they won't do anything they don't want to do. Instead, suggest that they'll have a good time and remind them that you and they will be checking in frequently. Then do relevant safety suggestions.
    • You are never done learning. There are no masters in this community, only more experienced students. Keep learning.
    • Make your own decisions about every person you meet.  Never assume any leader in the community is always right or ethical or knows everything.

  • How should new people find partners to hypnotize?

    • Go to munches. Hypnosis munches are fine, but the BDSM community is excited about hypnosis right now and a lot of people would love for you to explain what hypnosis is to them.
    • Be passionate about hypnosis and explain it to people you meet. Usually telling someone that you're a hypnotist is enough to get them interested. If they're not interested, don't try to make them interested.
    • Get to know somebody a little before asking them to play. Don't be desperate. Desperation feels yucky to your potential subject and you may be inadvertently pressuring them (which invalidates the consent).
    • Get a Fetlife profile. Fill it out. Fill out the whole thing. Filling out the whole thing makes you look like a real person and not someone trolling the internet to get laid. Don't message people unless you've met them or they're the leader of a community and you have a question for them. Do not ask people you have not met if they want to play. Use Fetlife to find events and to communicate with people you've already met at events.
    • Bring your crystal or your pocket watch and mess around with it at bars and munches. It's a good conversation starter. 
    • Talk about hypnosis with your friends. Who knows? One of them may be interested!
    • If your existing partner or existing play partners are interested, try with them.

  • What should a first scene look like?

    Make sure they don't mind control you back.

    • Do a full negotiation. Consider following a Negotiation Guide to make sure you've remembered everything important. 
    • Playing with experienced subjects is a good idea because they go under more easily which will build your confidence, and can give you feedback.
    • Try something small first. Sensation, humor, small compulsions, etc. Don't go straight for the hands-free orgasm. See if it works. Go from there.
    • Try starting with non-erotic scenes. It may be less intimidating for everyone involved. Aim to explore, not to get off. If you like hypnosis, it should be interesting/hot anyway.
    • Check in early and often. Use neutral language like "How are you?" and "Tell me about that." Use the feedback.
    • Make sure to turn off your cell phone.

  • What is positive behavior for experienced members welcoming in new members (without being predatory)?

    Pass me the newbie and some sugar, please.

    • Leave "outs" in solicitations, or wait for others to solicit you. "Let me know if you want to do some hypnosis" is a lot easier to turn down than "So, do you want to be hypnotized?"
    • Use neutral language with equally weighted options. "Would you like to be hypnotized, or shall we continue our conversation?" "Are you interested in trance, or should we grab some food?"

  • How can new people determine their limits?

    • Go through a Negotiation Guide on your own. 
    • Write down your limits.
    • Talk about your limits with a friend. 
    • Think about things you really want to do, and do only those. An enthusiastic yes is the only answer that matters. 
    • Check in during scene if something feels weird. If you are the hypnotee, make sure your hypnotist checks in with you and that you feel like you can check in with them.

  • What are some practical hypnosis newbie tricks?

    • Do your first scene(s) with someone who's been in trance a lot. They'll go under easily for you, boosting your confidence, and then they'll probably be able to give you feedback, boosting your skills.
    • Practice with switches who can give you feedback from both perspectives.
    • Practice on yourself. Do auto-hypnosis to practice your "patter" and flow. Maybe try some self-therapy like for sleeping better or exercising more, or try some erotic hypnosis to see what your mind can do all on its own.
    • Try using a suggestion like "the pauses between my words will send you deeper" in order to make sure your subjects keep going deeper if you have to pause to think. This will make you more confident. "My speech patterns will seem perfectly natural in your mind."

Here are some items that we may explore in upcoming munches. 

  • Can someone hypnotize from the bottom? What does that look like? Is that safe?
  • Demonstrate and dissect a scene
  • Induction intensive--learn and practice a handful of inductions presented by the group
  • Theory of hypnosis and technical information
  • Hypno-duel
  • Pair off and practice
  • Rapport workshop
  • Receive homework assignments for the month and share what we learned next time

And we leave you with this hypnosis duel to tango theremin from the 1950's Dr. Seuss Musical, The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T. You should see the movie.