Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound”!

November 21, 2019

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Cattle and the Creeping Things”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound” (MC MF MD)!

Ryan and Gail are having another one of their very enjoyable brainwashing sessions. Gail’s having her mind emptied out, just the way she likes it… and Ryan is having a very enjoyable time filling his empty girl with pleasure and obedience. Here’s a taste:

Gail’s eyes slipped shut again as the metronome reached the other end of its swing, her shoulders noticeably slumping into deeper relaxation and her head drooping further and further forward with every tick. “That’s right,” Ryan purred, his words stroking her mind in exactly the same way his fingers stroked her back and neck. “Closing your eyes feels better and better for me, each and every time. It feels so nice, so good to simply relax and let go for me like that. And even though you’re opening your eyes for me again… that’s it, good girl… it feels more and more exhausting. More and more tiring. And easier and easier to close. Good girl.”

Gail let out a soft, sleepy sigh that made Ryan’s cock throb between his legs like a second heartbeat, but he was enjoying the sight of Gail’s slow, helpless descent into trance far too much to even think about physical pleasure right now. He drank in the sight of her–jaw slack and vacant, eyelids fluttering with strain now every time she tried to open them, only the whites of her eyes showing as she struggled so hard to look up at the metronome that now existed only on the edges of her field of vision as her heavy head sank lower and lower. “That’s my good girl,” he husked out, his other hand reaching out to stroke up and down her smooth, soft legs. “That’s my sleepy girl.”

The corners of Gail’s lips quirked into a tiny smile, the only visible sign that she was still listening. Her expression looked otherwise completely blank, her eyelids barely even fluttering now when she heard the ticking sound. He could tell she was losing track of which beat to open and which beat to close on, the steady fractionating influence of his instruction acting to deepen her trance much faster than a traditional induction ever could. She was already on the edge of deep hypnosis. All Ryan needed to do was give her the chance to slip away for him now.

Hope you enjoy it!

Is It Hypnosis? – Part Twenty-One

November 17, 2019

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Having heard a compliment about this series recently, I decided it was time to go back and look at another chunk of stories that feature “real” hypnosis to see how real it really is, and to offer advice on the ethicality of any that seem potentially doable because the last thing I want to do is to say, “Oh, yeah, you could probably achieve some real results by locking someone in your cedar closet for a year with nothing to do but watch the brainwashing spirals” without mentioning OH GOD NO. So let’s get started, shall we?

Miles Away: I’d like to say that this is at least mildly plausible, because it’s a personal favorite of mine and I think that it’s very well-written and very sexy. I’d like to pretend that sure, if Debbie really had a thing for Kurt all this time the way she said she did and her subconscious understood that this was going to get that need met, it might override her conscious objections to hypnosis. I’d love to say that hey, sure, maybe we don’t see it, but these two have had a long-term hypnkinky relationship going and she’s responding to a number of consensual post-hypnotic suggestions that make her think she’s never been hypnotized and that Kurt is a master hypnotist who can put her under and give her sexual suggestions that she’ll be irresistibly compelled to obey.

But nah. It’s total bullshit. Makes a great fantasy, but you couldn’t do this and that is absolutely a good thing.

Turn the Page: And yet, despite being about 90% the same idea, this one feels a lot more plausible. It’s probably because the sexual context is far more open and transparent; Kelly is in a situation where she is openly staring at naked pictures of her friend, pictures in which her friend is acting in the role of a dominant lesbian hypnotist, and Olivia’s seduction is really pretty much just, “Hey, if you want this, you can have it right now,” albeit more classily presented. It’s not unreasonable at all to suspect that Kelly is going to be very receptive both to hypnosis and to sexual suggestions. That’s not to say that this is a model for consent practices or anything – Olivia clearly oversteps a bunch of boundaries, not the least of which is her decision to start groping Kelly’s breasts without asking, and if I were to be writing a version of this that was intended to be realistic and consensual, this would end with a conversation and a playdate for the next day. But it’s believable, at least.

(And again, hot. It’s okay to fantasize about someone knowing that you’re turned on and not needing to ask, even if the real world requires a lot more communication.)

Back and Forth: I hedge my bets a lot here by implying that there’s a history between Philip and Caitlyn that makes him more susceptible to her hypnotic inductions and suggestions, and certainly it’s true that if you’ve spent a while working with the same hypnotist and you have a good, trusting rapport together, they won’t need to work particularly hard to put you under. Especially if you’re getting a secondary reward for following instructions, which Philip very clearly is in this case.

That said, the key there is “good, trusting rapport”, and it’s pretty clear in the story as presented that Caitlyn has a habit of steamrolling over his objections and putting him under whether he wants to or not. That’s generally the sort of thing that the subconscious notices and remembers, and it’s going to make it harder, not easier, to put someone under in future. Absent the usual special pleading that this is a consensual scenario involving hypnotic amnesia (and I’ve considered writing an identical prologue for every single one of my stories where the characters all make it clear that they’re acting out a consensual hypnotic fantasy, for the specific benefits of any bluenoses who might be reading) this is clearly unethical and almost certainly impossible.

Naturally: Wow, I am certainly hitting a lot of my personal favorites today! This is another very hot and very common hypnokink fantasy, the idea of having a trigger that makes you sexually available on demand and wipes your memory clean after each use. Kind of like the ‘sleeper agent’ trope in spy stories, only with less suddenly becoming a badass martial artist and more blowjobs.

But in the real world, a) you couldn’t do the kind of initial deep programming on an unwilling or unsuspecting subject, which Aaron implies that Leah was, b) triggers fade over time without reinforcement, unless the subject strongly wants them to remain and it certainly doesn’t sound like Leah has that kind of feelings for a command she doesn’t remember, and c) you really can’t hypnotize a total stranger into being sexually submissive to you, and that’s a good thing for all of us so please don’t try. Not because it will work, but because it won’t work and you’ll be that creep who pastes a 5000 word wall of text into the FetLife chat that your putative sex slave isn’t even going to read.

One Thing Leads to Another: Okay, look. If you were to ask me whether this was an official Hypnotic Induction, as performed by a Hypnotist in their duly designated role of performing Hypnosis in either a therapeutic or recreational fashion, I’d have to say ‘no’. If you were to ask me whether this is realistic mind control, I’d honestly have to tell you that it’s probably one of the more realistic mind control stories I’ve ever written. Because while hypnosis does work, and it does have the ability to effect real change in the human mind, there’s no mind control technique so powerful as using authority and certainty to gaslight someone into entering an agentic state.

“Agentic state” is one of those cool psych terms that I love to throw around in stories to sound all authentic, but all it really means is the feeling that you’re not in charge. Someone in an agentic state is usually acting under the orders of an authority figure, and they’re likely to feel powerless to dispute or disregard instructions because the authority figure is making it clear (through tone, body language, et cetera) that disobedience simply isn’t an option. This brings us back to the infamous Milgram experiments (which we’ll revisit in a future installment) where it was found that you could get people to do some pretty horrifying things simply by presenting it in the form of an authority figure giving firm, irrefutable commands.

So in this case, Sophie is… well, she’s the kind of young woman who attends a religious university because her parents told her to. She’s deferential to authority, she’s spent her whole life as part of a hierarchy, and she’s clearly not confident about her own beliefs and opinions. Carol is using that, along with a firm and unwavering control of the conversation and yes, a few persuasive techniques not dissimilar to those taught in hypnosis courses, to make her feel powerless and disassociated, and then reinforces them with a lot of pleasure. And at the end, there’s some forced teaming with the “this is going to be our secret” thing, along with a subtle implication that if Sophie tells anyone, she’ll be blamed for seducing Carol.

Sadly, this is something that plays out a lot in institutions like this. And in real life, it’s not very sexy at all.

But again, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it as a fantasy. It’s okay to use this to work out your own feelings about being powerless, or about being in a position of power and wanting things you’re too ethical to have. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, probably in every installment of this series if nowhere else – imaginary people can’t be hurt, and it’s good to use fantasies as a way of learning things about your own emotions that wouldn’t be safe or humane in the real world. That’s why I will continue to write smut, why I will continue to defend it as a decent thing, and why you’ll see me again with this series!

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Xcogitate”!

November 14, 2019

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Zero Percent”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Xcogitate” (MC FF)!

In the wake of “Xhalation”, Sarah’s a mindless, drugged out slave to Rowan thanks to the use of X. But Rowan is finding out that the opportunity to have her very own lesbian fucktoy with a very large bank account has a few dangerous temptations involved. Temptations that she’s finding out the hard way could destroy her as easily as they did Sarah if she’s not careful. Here’s a taste:

Even the people who hung out at Kev’s place and smoked with him didn’t get this fucking high. They fucking hotboxed the spare bedroom, turned it into a giant fucking bong so that they could float on fumes and tune in to the sound of the static in their heads, but Becky Boots had them all beat. When Rowan took the pen out from between her lips and she could speak again, all that came out was garbled gibberish and drool. “That’s right, Becky,” Rowan cooed indulgently. “You are a horny little slut for me.”

Not that Rowan was worried. She’d never heard of anyone overdosing on X, and Becky didn’t look like she was sick or anything. Nah, she was just a little too opened up to be able to think her own thoughts anymore, and that was no big. Rowan didn’t exactly want a strong-willed, independent woman right now. She got Becky’s PIN number last week, she got her to tell her job that she was taking a leave of absence last Monday, and that was about as much conversation as Rowan wanted. There were better things that mouth could be doing right now.

“Good little fuckdolly,” Rowan growled, settling Becky’s head back down between her thighs and taking another hit of X. “You just get right on back to it.” God, the X made everything so much better. It was usually too expensive for her to vape more than a cart a week, but Becky’s mad money went a long way with Kev. Even sharing with Becky Boots, Rowan had inhaled almost a full week’s supply in the last few hours. It buzzed away all her distractions with a thick, sticky static of pleasure that clung to her thoughts, giving her a chance to really focus on the pleasure of Becky’s tongue. God, she could fucking lay here all day and get her pussy eaten.

Hope you enjoy it!

Check Your Power

November 10, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 123 delightful and friendly Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

I don’t think it’s any secret at this point that I try to stay politically engaged, even though I’m sure there’s more I could be doing to make the world a better place. (Although really, the sheer number of orgasms I’ve been a proximate cause to has to be worth something, right?) The point is, I see a lot of stuff when people talk about both ‘little p’ politics and ‘big P’ Politics about injustices, unfairnesses, and general cruelty. And I’ve kind of come to a conclusion that I want to share. Because I think if more people understood it, the world would be a better place.

My conclusion is this: People really get off on exerting control over others, and we’re really really good at coming up with justifications for it.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

When you look at the human condition through that lens, a lot of things that seem irrational or absurd begin to make a lot of sense. From pro-lifers who also block women from getting IUDs, to businesses that treat their employees as expendable even though the costs of training a replacement outweigh the costs of paying a living wage, to a justice system that treats it as perfectly reasonable that locking someone in a box for five years is going to teach them how to better manage their anger so they won’t get into fights anymore… hell, even the reaction to Paris Hilton is on some level driven by irritation at a woman who is outside of all the normal structures society uses to exert control over them.

Now, I’m not necessarily saying this is a sex thing. (I’m also not not saying it’s a sex thing.) But there is a powerful emotional charge that comes from exerting control over other human beings, one that we very rarely are asked to think about or interrogate within ourselves. It feels good to have power, it feels good to have a tangible demonstration of that power, and it feels good to know that we have more power than the other people in our environment and that they don’t have power over us. On the rawest, most basic level, that’s a truth.

And one of the more important psychological concepts that’s come out of the last fifty years is the idea that we don’t necessarily follow a path of logic to a conclusion so much as we come to a conclusion that serves our emotional needs and then construct a chain of justifications that allows us to believe that what we’re doing is reasonable. The simple and silly versions are things like, “Oh, I took the stairs today, so I deserve that extra donut,” but it’s present in a lot of our social structures once you start looking for it. People find the contradictions between what they think they want to do (get my students to pay attention to the lecture) and what they actually want to do (berate my students because making them feel small and powerful makes me feel better about myself) and uses justification as a tool to paper over the joins (my students are unruly and this is the only way to get their attention).

The truth is, punishment is always a terrible motivator. This isn’t just me saying this, there’s reams of research to prove it. Cruelty and abuse don’t get people to do something, they get them to avoid the cause of the cruelty and abuse. Smacking your kid for lying doesn’t teach them to tell the truth, it teaches them to become a better liar. Rewards are always superior to punishments… but top to bottom, side to side, every system you look at from the classroom to the courtroom to the boardroom is built on the fear of punishment. Why? Because the people who maintain that system get off on exerting control.

And while certainly a system that rewards exerting control attracts people who get off on exerting control, it’s a huge mistake to think that the people at the bottom are immune to those temptations. The middle manager exerts control over their underlings to relieve the stress of being shouted at by the CEO, the bottom guy on the totem pole takes it out on his wife or kids, and the kid plays a video game to at least be in control of something in their life. (Thankfully, pixel people don’t have feelings to hurt.) And when the order of things is reversed, it just leads to different people taking control. During the Communist Revolution in China, the landlords were oppressed just as brutally by the peasants as the peasants were oppressed by the landlords. Putting new people in charge is not the solution.

The solution, and it’s one of those boring incremental things that has to be done person by person and day by day, is mindfulness. It’s being aware of the power you exert, and checking your uses of that power to ask yourself, “Is this something I’m really doing because it’s going to make the situation better? Or is this something I’m doing because I enjoy the feeling it gives me to yank someone’s chain a little?” And that may involve a lot of introspection, it may involve learning how to really interrogate your motives and thinking not just twice, but three or even four times about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It may involve having to recognize that you’re not always as good as you think you are, which is never fun but which is always necessary if you want to get better.

And it’s also teaching other people the same lessons. Obviously, we’re kind of constrained a little by the incremental nature of the change; you’re probably not going to enjoy what happens when you say to your angry, red-faced, screaming boss, “Are you mad because I won’t work late, or because you’re frustrated by the limits of your power over me?” But when you can, talk to people about this. Help them recognize the situations where they hold power, and the ways that they can avoid abusing it. Ideally, someday, this would be something they taught in schools as early as possible, just like reading and writing. How to Be Emotionally Aware and Coping Strategies to Deal With Difficult Feelings.

Ideally, taught by a very calm, friendly teacher who rewards their students for getting it right.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “The Real You”!

November 6, 2019

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Vampires Will Never Hurt You”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “The Real You” (MC FF)!

The shows are all alike. Someone with a lot of problems comes to a lifestyle guru or a fashion designer or a psychologist with dubious credentials, asking to have all their problems fixed in a convenient hour-sized chunk of edited highlights. And then they get a wad of cash for their troubles. Babs has decided to skim a little of that free money by auditioning for Madame Manon’s show, ‘The Real You’, with a lot of fake problems and a lot of attitude. But she’s about to find out that sometimes, Madame Manon finds people she can fix right away. Here’s a taste:

Manon smiled thinly, her bright red lips carving a path across her marble skin like she’d just been sliced open. “We’ll discuss the name later,” she said mildly, and Babs knew the bitch was hooked. “So tell me,” she went on, returning to her original question as if nothing had happened. “Why do you want to be on ‘The Real You’? You certainly don’t seem to lack confidence in yourself; if there’s someone else you want to be, you’re definitely hiding it well. What brings you to see Madame Manon?”

The fucking third person bullshit. Just like on the show. Babs didn’t have any trouble rolling her eyes and huffing a sigh of petulant disdain before saying, “My fucking parents, okay? They’re all like, ‘Oh, you were such a nice girl in school! Oh, you had such a bright future ahead of you! Oh, you should try to make yourself more presentable, get a job with potential, marry that nice young Marvin Zweiback and start pumping out grandkids!'” Babs made a dismissive wanking gesture. “It’s all bullshit, but they said they’d kick me out of the house if I didn’t straighten up. And I saw your show, and I thought, hey. What do I have to lose?”

It wasn’t exactly a lie. Babs’ parents weren’t really fond of her taste in clothes and hairstyles, and they didn’t love her taste in boyfriends for that matter. But they never went as far as threatening to kick her out of the house. It was mostly just polite lectures and dirty looks and that weird sniffing thing Dad did when he thought she’d been over at Lizzie’s apartment smoking weed. When your parents were both professional therapists, life was one long non-confrontational argument after another. They wouldn’t try anything as interesting as an ultimatum.

Hope you enjoy it!

My Favorite Things: Insidious Corruption

November 3, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 118 fantastic and fascinating Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

I’ve mentioned in the past that one of the hottest tropes in the mind control subgenre is where the subject believes themselves to be acting of their own free will. But there’s a number of variations even on that, and I’ve been thinking about them this Halloween weekend because one of them is more prevalent in horror and I’ve just been watching quite a bit of that. Specifically, the trope where a normal person is ‘infected’ with an alien mindset, and slowly comes to agree with it as they transform into a member of the inhuman group.

It’s often seen with vampires and zombies in horror (I was watching ‘Return of the Living Dead’ last night when I noticed it, although I didn’t find that particular use of the trope to be sexy because context). Someone gets infected, maybe with a bite or a scratch or a dose of the mind-altering substance, and they think that they’re alright at first because their thoughts are their own even if their body is slowly transforming. But over time, they find themselves thinking differently in ways they don’t even consciously notice, until it suddenly occurs to them that of course their friends are merely cattle/victims/potential thralls, and they don’t even know why they ever thought differently. It was that silly old self that was mistaken. They know better now.

As I say, you’ll see it a lot in “proper” horror, and while it’s not sexy at all when someone says, “Hey, you know what would make me feel a lot better? Eating your brains!”, it can be very sexy when applied to a kinky mind control context. I myself used it in “Keep an Eye on Summer”, where the main character is reprogrammed by an insidious corruption spread by gazing into the eyes of the infected, and in “Yes, I’m Ready”, where a slow-burn mind control method spread through subliminal messages on an electronic billboard causes the protagonist to do things that she only thinks she’s doing of her own free will. But I think one of my favorite stories along those lines is an old favorite, a short-but-sweet story from all the way back in 1996 called “The King of Wet Dreams”.

It’s a very simple premise, very well told. The protagonist’s best friend has just remembered that she needs to talk to one of their classmates, and the main character tags along to find out that the subject of their conversation is Cindy’s realization that she’s an obedient sex slave and Kevin is her new Master. She thinks that she’s being perfectly reasonable, that she just learned a new truth about herself and she has to share it with the man who owns her, but when seen from the outside, it’s all completely bewildering and bizarre. (It’s not a long story, but I still won’t spoil any further.)

That idea, that someone could be brainwashed slowly and insidiously until they spontaneously come to the awareness of their new identity all on their own… it’s incredibly hot. And definitely one of my favorite things.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “What Was I Thinking?”

October 30, 2019

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Room 126”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “What Was I Thinking” (MC FF)!

Lien’s best friend Hoa has been acting a little strange ever since they went to college. She’s been disappearing as soon as classes are over, not making time for friends or family… and she’s been spending an awful lot of time with Miss Sharice, the ex-hypnotherapist who runs the boarding-house on the edge of campus. Lien decides to confront Miss Sharice about her suspicions, but is it possible that she wasn’t suspicious enough? Here’s a taste:

I suddenly realize, as Miss Sharice says, “I’m sure she’ll settle down, now that she’s found herself,” that I’ve lost track of the path we’ve taken through the rambling old house. It’s such a big place, with half-staircases and winding hallways and rooms that look like they’ve forgotten what they were for, and just a momentary distraction was all it took to throw my sense of direction off completely. I could search this house for hours and not find the way out. Other people… other people could search this house for hours and never find me.

“I told my friend Ximena where I was going,” I suddenly blurt out. It sounds stupid, even to me, and I’m not even a little bit surprised when Miss Sharice lets out a loud, braying laugh and pats my arm with her free hand.

“Well, darling, I’m not going to hurt you!” she says, her voice thick and cloying with mock reassurance. “We’re just going to go see your friend Hoa, and then the three of us are going to have a little talk together about how best to put you at your ease. She’s talked a lot about you, you know. She knows you’ve been worrying about her, dating an older woman and all.” Miss Sharice gives me a look that’s almost theatrically quizzical. “She never told you she was interested in girls, did she?”

The question presses into me like an accusation, and I can see the trap inside any answer I give. If I say ‘yes’, I’m admitting that it’s perfectly normal for Hoa to disappear every afternoon as soon as our last class lets out to go down to the mansion at the end of the street and spend all night with Miss Sharice. If I say ‘no’, I’m admitting that Miss Sharice knows my best friend since childhood better than I do.

Hope you enjoy it!

Liner Notes for October 2019

October 27, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 122 elegant and egalitarian Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

If you’re wondering why you feel a chill in the air, why your heart seems to be pounding in your chest, why it is that you can’t escape a sense of unearthly and ethereal dread… it’s because it’s time for the Liner Notes for this month! (Can’t help you with that spectral hand grasping at you from nowhere, though. That’s probably a “you” thing.) We’ve got four new stories to discuss, so let’s get started!

Fade Into the Background: I’ve been doing these hypnotic induction monologues for a long time now, really ever since… 2008? Wow. The point is, though, that I didn’t really think of them as ‘inductions’ for a long time. I thought of them as stories, written in the form of a long speech given by a hypnotist to a subject, an experiment in form and format that happened to double as a hypnotic induction. I knew that when Lady Ru’etha was reading them out loud, they acted as hypnotic inductions, but that wasn’t the same thing as me writing explicit hypnotic inductions to hypnotize a reader/listener and I went a long time making this purely imaginary distinction that existed in my own head and nowhere else.

But eventually, it got kind of boring just coming up with new trancey imagery, and I found myself wanting to do something more with these (I’ve continued to do them mainly because I have at least one very enthusiastic fan in Lady Ru’etha, and She’s pretty influential as such things go). And so I decided to put real suggestions in… and at that point, it became impossible even for me to believe that they were just stories. I came up with an idea for what I wanted to implant, I gave this one a disclaimer that explained the goals, suggestions, and instructions involved, and future induction pieces will follow the same structure. If all you want is a trance, I’ve written plenty of those already.

Before I Forget: Have I mentioned that my creative impulse can be a little goofy? Because yeah, I saw this title and I thought, “Oh, hey, I could write a pretty funny story about someone writing a reminder to herself to resist the brainwashing, getting loopier and loopier as the brainwashing drugs kick in.” The letter to oneself is a format I’ve played around with before in “Unsent”, and playing it explicitly for laughs seemed like a good twist on the basic concept. I also played a few other things for laughs that are typical tropes of the mind control kink genre, like coming up with increasingly ludicrous and implausible names for the sinister brainwashing drug (I still give myself a chuckle with “antidote for monotremes”, if I do say so myself). Light, fun, and breezy.

Easy to Ignore: When I wrote this, the whole kerfuffle about whether fidget spinners had a legitimate therapeutic use for people with ADD or ADHD, whether teachers were being ableist for taking them away from kids, and whether the whole fad for them as toys was appropriating their use as a therapeutic device or whether people were self-diagnosing ‘unjustly’ was still somewhat of a thing. And unsurprisingly, current events frequently spark story ideas, especially current events revolving around shiny moving objects that attract people’s gazes and make it difficult to pay attention to anything else. The rest was simply coming up with a situation where the hypnotist would have a pretext to use one as a study aid without a whole classroom full of people there to get in the way of fun sexytimes.

The Questions: When I saw this title, I started to think of the actual questions and their answers right away. Things like “What is your name?”, “What do you seek?”, et cetera, seemed like a pretty reasonable progression into deeper obedience, and it wasn’t hard to find a way to build those to a crescendo of total submission. The structure around them, the house and the test and the supplicant… weirdly enough, I think that germinated from the old SFTV show ‘Babylon 5’. Both the Wise Mentor Aliens and the Evil Manipulative Aliens had a habit of repeating the same questions over and over in order to force someone to examine their own motivations (“Who are you?” and “What do you want?”, respectively) and I think my brain just naturally gravitated from there to the idea of question-as-ritual. And once you’ve got a ritual, you have someone undertaking that ritual, and anyone undertaking a ritual to become more obedient must want to be more obedient. The rest of it was just creating the right atmosphere.

And that’s October in the books! Assuming you survive – that shambling figure does seem to be catching up to you! – I’ll be back next week with another blog post, and next month with another Liner Notes!

A Possible Source of Kink

October 25, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 120 clever and curious Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Naturally, as someone who’s both kinky and intelligent, I’ve spent a certain amount of time wondering how I wound up with the fetishes I did. I think I speak for pretty much everyone when I say that it wasn’t a conscious decision on my part; I didn’t select from a menu of sexual deviancies and say, “Yes, I’d definitely like my erotic responses permanently tied to these three or four entirely non-sexual things, please.” (Of course, I say ‘three or four’, but I don’t think it’s unusual at all to pick up new kinks pretty easily once you’ve got the initial mindset. When you’re jumping headfirst into sexual experimentation, you’re bound to find a lot of things you like.)

So if it wasn’t conscious, and it wasn’t some sort of mental illness (my use of “deviancy” above was entirely facetious) then what does cause us to develop a kinky interest? My current working hypothesis, which I figured I’d share with the class here, is that it’s the result of societal repression combined with a human brain that’s evolved to be very good at picking up on contextual cues. To wit:

It’s pretty safe to say that openly showing sex is one of the biggest no-no’s in mainstream media, especially mainstream media that might be consumed by children. You can cheerfully show the hero gunning down enemies by the hundreds, you can show lengthy fistfights that would probably result in a trip to the emergency room if they happened in real life, but sex – especially LGBTQ sex – has to be kept so chaste as to be practically non-existent. Now, I’m not going to argue the morality of that here; certainly, I’m not in favor of showing explicit sex in Saturday morning cartoons or anything. But the point is, sex is totally verboten to writers working in mainstream media.

At least… explicit sex is. Because look, the people writing this stuff are all grown-ups. Most of them are probably thinking about sex at least some of the time, because we’re human and sex is a perfectly normal part of being a human adult. (Not universal, but certainly normal.) And if you’re writing about the human condition, which pretty much every writer is on some level even if it winds up being expressed in the form of cartoon turtles fighting cartoon rhinoceroses, sex is going to wind up in the mix of what you’re talking about. Again, not not NOT that I think it would be okay to openly sexualize children’s cartoons, but stuff about sex and relationships bubbles up everywhere, even if you can’t talk about it openly.

And if you can’t talk about it openly, you’re going to talk about it in code. “Well, the villain in my story has a complex sexual attraction to the hero, but I can’t have them bang because this is a PG-13 story and they’re both dudes and I can’t get a scene like that past the studio executives. But I can write a scene where the villain tries to get the hero to talk by tying him up and squeezing his nipples with alligator clips, because violence is A-OK and perfectly normal, and I can have the scene filmed and performed in such a way that you can cut the sexual tension with a knife and everyone will understand what it’s really about.”

And we do. We 100%, absolutely manage to pick up from context clues even at a very young age when the subtext of a scene we’re watching is sexual. It’s usually not even that hard; a lot of writers will use the same tropes and metaphors to suggest sex, like bondage or torture or hypnosis or extremely sexualized versions of normal outfits or medical procedures or holy shit, you’ve just picked up a kink for one or more of those things. Because it’s always presented to you in a sexual context, your brain is a very smart little organ, and it’s perfectly capable of forming a chain of association linking A to B when the two things are always hanging out together.

So when every hypnosis sequence in mainstream media lingers lovingly on the scenes where the subject struggles, weakens, and is eventually made helpless, and when they all show the hypnotist as dominant and powerful and relishing their ability to command in a highly sexual way (I could go into details, but I think we all know how scenes like this look) then of course we’re going to associate hypnosis with sex. That’s literally how association works. And it’s no different with things like bondage – hell, William Moulton Marston openly admitted in his private writings that he intended Wonder Woman to create a generation of young men who fantasized about being tied up and dominated by women. If a professional psychiatrist can do it deliberately, I don’t think there’s any question that a skilled writer can do it by accident.

I think this hypothesis still leaves a lot of questions – obviously, there are ace and aro kinksters out there whose identity is every bit as valid as sexual and romantic individuals, and they would probably have a lot to say on the subject of why they developed a paraphilia without the underlying drive that it’s associated with. And there’s no telling why we happen to develop particular kinks – sure, being kinky for one thing does predispose you to being kinky for another, but I don’t think I could explain why I read about Tigra being fitted for a mind control collar and wound up with a mind control fetish instead of a catgirl fetish. (Okay, given the way Claremont practically drooled over the idea of mind control but treated catgirls as just one of those things, I can probably guess. But still.)

But those are all questions for another day. The hypothesis is out there, I’ve said it, and it’s probably entirely untestable without doing some sort of extremely messed-up mass-scale covert social experiment to see if you could instill a fetish into an impressionable audience. Like, um, William Moulton did. Maybe we could just start quizzing Wonder Woman fans?

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Voice Inside My Head”!

October 23, 2019

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“The Questions”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Voice Inside My Head” (MC MF)!

Veronica’s hearing voices again. They’re telling her to do… something, she doesn’t remember what. But she knows better than to fight it. Here’s a taste:

Life’s been a lot easier since the voice told me to stop thinking about what it wanted me to do. Sometimes it means that things don’t always make a lot of sense… like Desmond. He won’t stop breathing funny, making all these little gasps and whimpers like his back is hurting or something, and he still isn’t talking to me. He has this desperate, tortured expression on his face, so many emotions mingled together that I’m not sure even he knows what he’s feeling right now. Surprise and confusion, definitely. Fear, maybe? Pain? That would explain the heavy breathing. And something else, something like embarrassment that stills his voice and prevents him from telling me what’s wrong.

I don’t feel anything but happiness anymore. The voice makes sure of that.

I don’t know where it came from. I don’t think it’s… you know, really inside my head. I know I wouldn’t be able to tell if it was, but something about the way it speaks to me doesn’t match my understanding of auditory hallucinations. (Not that I know much about auditory hallucinations–I had only just started Googling it when the voice told me to stop, and of course I did.) I think it’s someone talking to me. And I… I… I can’t really think. About why, or how. I sometimes try, but… but my thoughts just stop. Exactly where the voice tells them to. It’s so beautiful, so blissful to know that I’m obeying the voice inside my head.

I know I only feel that way because the voice told me to. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

Hope you enjoy it!