Early Bird Sneak Peek: “No Homo”!

September 19, 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–“Naked in Front of the Computer”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “No Homo” (MC MM)!

Look, Andy and Blake know what you’re thinking when you see that “MM” in the story description, but it’s not like that, okay? They’re just dudes being bros, bros being guys, guy dudes having a little bromance in a totally straight kind of way. Sure, they hang out together, and sure, they hug it out, and sure, they crash in the same bed at night, and sure, they’re comfortable with each other’s bodies. But that doesn’t… y’know… mean anything. Right? Here’s a taste:

They got inside, and Blake set down the luggage next to the door. “Here, dude,” he said, moving quickly across the living room to scoop up an armload of clean clothing from the sofa. “Let me just find a place for the clothes on the couch, and you can go ahead and crash.” He started to look around, trying to find a place to deposit the outfits that wouldn’t wreck his system. The recliner had dirty clothes on it, and he didn’t want to mix the clean stuff with the dirty stuff. The kitchen table still had some residue on it from the spill at breakfast this morning, and he knew he couldn’t set anything there until it was wiped down. The kitchen chair wouldn’t hold everything, and–

“Nah, nah, don’t worry about it,” Andy mumbled, looking weary and haggard. “I don’t want to put you to all that work. We’ll just share your bed tonight, okay? No homo.” He scrubbed at the stubble on his cheeks with his fingers, almost as if he was surprised to find it there, and gave Blake an expectant look as though he thought his friend was going to argue the point.

But Blake had shared plenty of beds with other guys before. “No homo,” he said with a shrug, heading down the short hallway to his bedroom. It wasn’t a big deal–back in their college days, Blake and Andy had wound up crashing together in all sorts of weird situations, from road trips to overnights for track to just being too fucking drunk or tired to find the right bedroom. It wasn’t a big deal, not for a dude as secure in his heterosexuality as Blake. He could sleep next to Andy and not worry about what it ‘meant’ like some other guys did. It meant they were friends, that was all. Buds. Comrades. Amigos. Bros in arms.

Hope you enjoy it!

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Is It Hypnosis? – Part Twenty

September 15, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 111 delightful and diverting Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Yes, it’s time for another installment of my ongoing series that revisits old stories to look at the hypnosis both from a practical standpoint (could you make someone do this with hypnosis in the real world?) and an ethical standpoint (should you be allowed to make someone do this in the real world?) Sometimes even if the answer to the former is no, that doesn’t make the latter irrelevant; not many people, even explicitly hypnokinky people, enjoy it when you try to do non-consensual hypnosis things to them. So, with that firm “don’t do that shit” in mind, let’s look at the stories, shall we?

X-Ray Specs: This one is probably a believable application of hypnosis, albeit possibly not in the timeframe depicted in the story. A skilled hypnotic subject can experience visual hallucinations, and anyone who’s done public speaking has probably heard the advice about picturing the audience in their underwear often enough to know that it’s a thing human beings are capable of doing. The only question is how long it would take to implant the suggestion, and we don’t know how long Ruth and Jon have been working on this (and on visual hallucinations in general).

Is it ethical? Weeeeelllllll… certainly Jon is a consenting subject, and we can make a reasonable assumption based on his reaction that he’s previously given enthusiastic consent to having suggestions implanted without his conscious awareness. It’s probably a bit of a RACK situation, especially if he’s given enthusiastic consent to have triggers and anchors put into his head without discussing them first, but I think we can give it a pass due to their long-term relationship. (This is a sequel to a much earlier story, “Take My Breath Away”.)

But Ruth and Jon are not the only participants in the scene. He’s doing a lot of staring at women who did not consent to be stared at, and even if his eyes are hidden beneath sunglasses and he’s making a conscious effort to hide his erection, there’s a non-zero chance that someone on that beach felt very creeped out at being looked at that way. This is very much the subject of heated debate when doing public play, not just with hypno-kink but with any kind of kink – how much consent do you require from bystanders to your scene in a situation where being present cannot be assumed to be consent by the nature of the venue? There aren’t easy answers, but if I was doing this in real life, I would err very much on the side of caution.

The Tide Is High: This one, on the other hand, is much simpler. It is both entirely feasible (pretty much the only hypnosis being performed is a simple reinduction with some triggers helping the process along) and entirely something that should only happen between two fictional characters. If someone comes to you and says, “I am feeling a ton of emotional conflict about our consensual hookup last night,” you should absolutely not dismiss their concerns and attempt to hypnotize them so you can have more sex.

What should happen in a situation like this is a mature, reasonable conversation about what hypnosis can and can’t do, about Cindi being allowed to enjoy the previous evening’s events guilt and obligation-free, about it being okay to explore sexual orientations and kink without it changing your identity as a person, and about what kinds of expectations the two of them might have for their relationship (not necessarily a romantic one) going forward. And honestly, some of it probably should have happened the night before. Drinking isn’t the only thing that can impair judgment, and while it’s fun to imagine a fantasy of “seeing where things lead” by starting with vanilla hypnosis and moving on to the fun stuff as the subject gets more into it, that’s not really a good idea in the real world.

Mother’s Milk: This one is surprisingly popular, as I may have mentioned in the past – on Literotica, it’s got easily 150,000 more views than any of my other stories. I’m assuming that’s because if you have both a hypnosis fetish and a lactation fetish, there aren’t many stories that combine the two, so you tend to return to the ones you have found pretty frequently. But how easy is it to combine them? Let’s just say, “Probably not this easy.” Even with roughly nine months of doctor’s visits, Lamaze classes, et cetera to help implant the suggestion, it involves some heavy amnesia triggers and a lot of social taboos to overcome, and I don’t think it would be possible with an unwilling subject.

And of course, ethically it’s a total clusterfuck. Unless we’re to assume a shit-ton of facts not in evidence (“Kylie, there are a lot of babies who need milk, so would you enthusiastically consent to being pumped daily here in our offices?” “Oh, gosh, I mean… only if we could then have sex and I was hypnotized to forget it afterwards…”) then we can take it as read that this is a huge violation of bodily autonomy and not something you should ever even contemplate trying to think about considering doing to another human being. This one is strictly fantasy-only.

Closer to the Heart: This one, on the other hand, falls in line with the other Lynn and Michael stories in being both plausible and entirely ethical between two consenting hypnokinky adults as depicted in the story. Michael is having visual hallucinations, which is again totally doable for a skilled and experienced hypnotic subject, and he’s clearly enjoying everything about the experience and is enthusiastic about it. This is something you and your partner could reasonably expect to do, so long as everyone was on the same page about it.

Angel Eyes: The consent in this one is admittedly very much implied; there’s never a scene where Jill explicitly mentions that she and her husband are in a consensual hypnokink D/s relationship and that she has triggers and suggestions that her conscious mind isn’t aware of and that she’s very much okay with that because it’s one of the things that turns her on. But that said, I don’t think it’s at all a stretch to see that in the story as written, and I certainly think that anyone who is using hypnosis to overcome the objections of an unwilling partner isn’t going to get the kind of genuinely joyous response that Jill gives in this story. I don’t know how much control you can truly achieve with hypnosis, manipulation, brainwashing, et cetera, but I am strongly of the belief that your partner wouldn’t be happy even if they were compliant.

And of course the hypnosis in the story is just a very simple visual reinduction trigger with a little amnesia slipped in, not at all out of the realms of believability. I would suggest that if you were trying this particular trigger, you should consult with your partner to see if they have any body image issues that might make them uncomfortable staring at themselves for long periods, because a) that’ll make it harder for them to achieve a truly deep trance, and b) they’ll enjoy it less and why would you want to do something with your partner that doesn’t make them happy? But of course, you’re all consulting with your partners about all your triggers and suggestions in general, so this advice isn’t even needed, right? Right.

And that brings us to the end of another group of five! See you next week with another blog post, and {shrug emoji} with another installment of this series!

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Joy of a Toy”!

September 11, 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–“Yesterday Was Just a Dream”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Joy of a Toy” (MC)!

As previously mentioned, I’ve started to try to gear my induction pieces to people who want to use erotic hypnosis for specific goals and purposes, as I’ve already got plenty of nice inductions for people who just want to get naked and masturbate. This one is aimed at people who enjoy erotic depersonalization and disassociation, with the intent of making it easier to reach that state when safe and comfortable. Here’s a taste:

“It’s important to understand as we begin that many people are strongly attracted to erotic hypnosis precisely because of the inherent appeal of objectification. Society often places a high value on independence and autonomy, which can make it uncomfortable at times to admit an attraction to surrendering your agency and sense of self, but it’s not that unusual at all. You can value the right to make your own decisions, and still honestly say that sometimes it feels a little too much like work.

“It’s okay to say that. We all feel that way sometimes. Just look back on your day today. From the very beginning, when you had to decide whether to get up or hit the snooze button on your alarm, you were faced with a host of decisions. Some large, some small; some easy, some very very difficult. But every one of them required your conscious, active input, from the clothing you selected to your meal choices to your plans for your daily activities. Each one of them used up mental energy as you weighed the pros and cons, considered each alternative, and forced yourself to accept the responsibility of your irrevocable choice.

“It’s almost exhausting just thinking about it. All those decisions, all those options, and every single one of them relying on you. The more you go back through your day, the more you notice how much work it was to make all those choices. They seem to weigh heavier and heavier the more you consider them, the more you examine each alternative and wonder whether you could have done better. Could you have worked harder? Did you need more rest and relaxation? Was that the right outfit, was that the best meal, did you need to go to work today, did you have to stay home? It’s all important, and that very importance is what makes it such a burden on your weary mind.

Hope you enjoy it!

The Gothic, Grandparent to Sex and Death

September 8, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 108 loyal and supportive Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

I’ve threatened to talk about this at least a couple of times, I know, but I’ve decided that it’s finally time to talk about the way that you can trace the history of both romance and horror, two of the major pop culture genres out there – and arguably erotica and several others, because of the way that literary influence reverberates back and forth between authors – back to one guy, an 18th century art historian and MP named Robert Walpole who had an idea to prank the fuck out of the literary community.

Walpole had a thing for Gothic architecture, the kind of style that was used in medieval cathedrals (if you’ve seen Notre Dame, you know what Gothic architecture looked like) and he actually built himself a castle that used the Gothic style. And as you’d expect for a guy with a huge thing for medievalism, he got into the literature of the time. Which is super-religious, and highly symbolic, and features people getting their supernatural comeuppance pretty much straight from God without any explanation or foreshadowing. Because everyone just kind of understood back then that these were meant to be allegories and not taken literally. (Or maybe God was just really direct and smitey back then. Who knows.)

So here’s Walpole, looking at the contemporary literature of his day, which was trying to be somewhat naturalistic, and he kind of rolled his eyes and said, “Oh come the fuck on. Romance isn’t sweet and gentle and full of fluttering doves and little i’s dotted with hearts, it’s a huge scary deal and one wrong move could see you married to some asshole for the rest of your life and the Church won’t do shit about it unless you’re a rich white dude and oh by the way pregnancy is horrible and women die in childbirth and kids are born with all sorts of terrible health problems due to our poor understanding of nutrition and woefully inadequate health care system and frankly, romance would make more sense if you wrote it like one of those weird old medieval novels where curses were real and life was one long goddamned nightmarish ordeal!”

(I’m paraphrasing slightly. Although he never did get married or have kids. If he were around today, he might just possibly have identified as ace.)

And taking all that, he wrote this big, bewildering, over-the-top parody of medieval literature called ‘The Castle of Otranto’, claiming that it was a story that dated back to the Crusades and he just translated it into English. And it checks all the fucking boxes for Gothic literature right out of the gate. There’s a big crumbling castle in the Gothic architectural style, there’s a family curse that’s totally inexplicable and very doomy, there’s a creepy lech of a dude who wants to marry a woman for reasons that are so obviously wrong and who has the power to force it to happen, there’s a female protagonist whose main goal isn’t so much “finding the right man” as it is “avoiding the oh my fucking GOD wrong one”… there’s lost heirs, there’s secret children, there’s random supernatural demises, this is basically to the Gothic what ‘Lord of the Rings’ is to high fantasy. Generations have imitated it without even knowing it.

And everyone loved it. It sold massively, to the point where Walpole’s hoax was discovered and his later editions had a preface where he explained why he presented it as a much older work, and imitators came crawling out of the woodwork. And as they do, imitators became subverters and subverters became innovators as everyone tried to put their own stamp on this particular genre. And they tended to go in one of two directions.

One group of authors developed the relationship between the male and female leads. The obstacles between their eventual romance were still present, and often still supernatural (or if not, at least presented with the same tonal resonance as in the Gothic) but the emphasis became more and more focused on who these two lovers were and why they wanted to get together despite all their hardships. Those weren’t any less convoluted than in the original Gothic – characters would ship out to the Army and be declared dead, they’d be imprisoned in basements or shut up in attics, they’d have secret wives and secret husbands and secret kids (one Neil Gaiman Gothic parody was entitled, “Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire”). But the horror element gradually diminished, if not dissipated entirely.

The other group decided to amp up that element of inexplicable, supernatural dread. The crumbling castle that Walpole had put in mainly because he loved Gothic architecture became de rigueur, along with ghosts, vampires, ghouls, curses, a general atmosphere of doom, deaths occurring at intervals throughout the story as a kind of narrative spine, and oh yes a heaping helping of Satan as a metaphorical and sometimes literal antagonist because when you’re drawing from medieval religious allegories it’s hard not to drag at least a little of that along. Again, these Gothic stories didn’t jettison the romantic angle – virtually every one of them had a romance between two lovers who were kept at bay by the horrors of the world they moved through – but the emphasis was on an atmosphere of terror and fear.

I’m sure you can see where this is going. The modern romance novel, while it’s certainly nothing like ‘The Castle of Otranto’, nonetheless has roots reaching all the way back down to that crumbling ancestral home. Every modern romance acknowledges the dangers and risks of making the wrong choice about who to spend your life with – there’s almost always a partner who represents the mistake and all the potential consequences it could bring for personal independence and security. And, of course, even when they don’t go full-on supernatural (and often they do – the “paranormal romance” is huge these days) there’s still all sorts of complications and obstacles that aren’t naturalistic and aren’t intended to be.

And likewise, looking at modern horror movies like ‘Saw’ or ‘Insidious’, you can see that a lot of the same boxes are still being ticked even today. You’ve got your ghosts, you’ve got your family curses, you’ve got your decaying and crumbling architecture (heck, the ‘Saw’ movies seem to take place almost exclusively in dilapidated and abandoned buildings), you’ve got your messed-up relationships, you’ve got your general atmosphere of dread and terror… it’s almost a straight line all the way back to Walpole. (I say “almost” because another genre, mystery, began to slowly converge toward horror in much the same way as the Gothic until the two merged. Ever wonder why so many horror movies have a surprise reveal of the killer in the third act? Thank Agatha Christie.)

At the end of the day, these two genres are tied together by their common ancestry. Sex and intimacy can be absolutely terrifying. Fear gets the blood pumping and the heart racing and makes you want to cling to someone tightly until it goes away. Those two feelings are forever intertwined, and you can see it in my work as well. It’s never easy to separate love and fear, and now you know why.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Obsession Is Such an Ugly Word”!

September 5, 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–“Our Lullaby”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Obsession Is Such an Ugly Word” (MC MF MD)!

Professor Philip Wedgewood has a new favorite graduate student. He’s welcomed her into his confidence, charmed her into spending more and more time with him, and singled her out for all sorts of special attention. And as someone who’s seen this particular drama play out before, Professor Julia Horne has decided to put a stop to it. Here’s a taste:

Julia glared right back, her deep brown eyes offering him a challenging stare. “You’re assisting your way into something,” she said sardonically, “but I don’t think it’s anything professional. Or do you really think none of us noticed Ava Kittridge? Or Marissa Chang? Or Callie Davenport, or Mina Carriger, or Ebony Cartwright, or Blanca Castillo or Olubunmi Babatunde or Kyung-Sook Park? It’s the same thing every time with you, Philip. You find some pretty young girl, someone vulnerable and eager to please, and you twist her around your little finger until she’s emotionally dependent on you for every single decision. And then, when you get bored with her, you freeze her out of your life completely and leave it to someone else to sweep up the pieces. I’m not going to let it happen again, do you hear me? Not with Anika, not with anyone. This bullshit ends now.”

Professor Wedgewood simply stared back at her, his face an impassive mask of innocence. “My dear Professor Horne,” he replied, in tones of wounded dismay, “I simply don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve always been fully professional–“

“You mean you’ve always been careful,” Julia cut in, her own voice doing a bit of surgery on his excuses. “I’m sure you coached your little conquests very well–nothing in public, nothing in texts or emails, nothing that would leave behind any evidence. Your victims are all bright, they’re all very good at following instructions, and your specialty is the psychology of emotional manipulation. I have no doubt that you convince them that it’s in their own best interest to keep your secrets for you. And by the time it’s all over and they’ve lost their luster, you’ve managed to convince them that getting dumped is their own fault.”

Hope you enjoy it!

Mind Control Alert: “The Love Witch” on Shudder!

September 3, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 107 heroic and amazing Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Hi all! Kind of a short entry this time out, but I did want to mention that the generally excellent streaming horror service Shudder has added ‘The Love Witch’ to its list of titles. I’ll probably talk more about it in a future post, but the main thing you need to know is that it’s a horror movie done in a consciously retro style, using older filming techniques (and shooting on actual film rather than digital video). And oh yes, in case you hadn’t guessed from the title… and its inclusion here on this blog… it’s about a woman who uses love spells to draw men into her sexual spell.

Shudder also contains the excellent ‘Dead and Buried’, which I’ve mentioned here before, and ‘The Stuff’, which would be a great mind control movie if not for the unfortunate habit of the titular mind-controlling substance of hollowing people from the inside out and wearing them like suits. (So much of my job is really just taking away the “and then you die” parts from the horror genre. Which makes sense, because as I’ve mentioned before, I could probably do a blog post on the common ancestry shared by horror and romance.) They’ve also got ‘Oldboy’, which does have some mind control aspects even if it is the absolute fucking opposite of sexy, and a cult film from the Seventies called ‘God Told Me To’ that features a villain who mind controls people into spree killing and is eerily prescient.

Oh, yes, and an undeservedly obscure indie film called ‘The Void’, which isn’t exactly mind controlly but is at least tangentially related, featuring as it does a cult whose leader controls them with drugs and orgies and uses them to carry out his dark purpose. You don’t get to see the drugs or the orgies, but it’s nonetheless an extremely good movie. All of which is by saying that if ‘The Love Witch’ alone isn’t enough to entice you, there’s some very good squicky mind control content there along with it.

If, you know, you’re into that sort of thing.

Liner Notes for August 2019

September 1, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 109 inventive and fascinating Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Hello, all! Another month has gone by, taking the summer with it, and now it’s time to look back on August and the stories it brought. Let’s get started, shall we?

Warm Fuzzy Feeling: When I saw this title, I remember getting the emotional resonance before I got the actual sequence of events. I knew it was going to be about that happy, carefree, pleasant emotion that comes from being with someone you love and being totally lost in them. (In polyamorous relationships, it’s called “New Relationship Energy”, or NRE.) I immediately got the idea that if someone could induce that in another person, if they could make them feel that emotion just by willing it, then they’d have a virtually irresistible tool for total control.

From there, little details emerged, like ordering food/drink for someone (a thing most women don’t generally find charming) only to have happiness overwhelm the annoyance, and a sudden escalation from “coffee date” to “fucking like bunnies” that seemed perfectly natural in light of that pure and perfect joy. Escalating, eventually, to a complete makeover of the victim’s personality. I wanted it to skate that line between “this utterly horrifies me” and “oh god, this is so fucking hot”, and judging by the responses, I think I found the sweet spot there.

Girl Talk: This is a story I’ve had in mind for a while now, because there’s a question I’ve been begging for a while in the Girls stories – if they use seduction as a tool of control, and they’re (benevolently) subjugating the entire human race, what happens with the kids? They must wind up with Girls of their own, because the goal is eventually for the ratio of Girls to humans to be 1:1, but they’re not controlling the kids the same way they are the adults because EEEEEWWWWW. So what do they do?

Even after I came up with the answer, it took me a long time to find a way to express it that didn’t feel like it was tiptoeing up to the EEEEEWWWWW Line. I didn’t want it to feel like the Girls were grooming young people for sex, I wanted it to feel like they were building an ethical framework and an underpinning for a mature understanding of sex, which would help them when they were finally ready to engage in sexual activities. (While brainwashing them, because while the Girls are all about respect and consent in all other ways, they still view us from a fundamentally alien worldview and would no more respect our right to engage in harmful thoughts and behaviors than we would respect our computer’s right to say no to defragmenting the hard drive.) Judging by the lack of responses, I’m assuming I didn’t mess things up too badly.

Black Reign: This is actually a story I wrote a long time ago, probably back in 2016 or so? It was a commission from a video game designer, who was planning to launch a fundraising campaign for an erotic video game they were making and wanted an original story as a backup reward. They asked for something science fiction-y with a female submissive protagonist, and described just enough of the idea for the game that it sparked my imagination to run with it in an entirely different direction.

Their game (which sadly appears to have failed to come to fruition) involved a cargo ship full of aliens as well, but not a defunct one and definitely not one as horrifying as the Acharius. Those aspects came from ‘Alien’ and ‘Resident Evil’ (“defunct ship contains lethal alien threat” and “callous biotech corporation sees humans as an ultimately expendable resource compared to extremely valuable discoveries”) with, of course, the twist that it’s mind control/subjugation rather than death that’s the ultimate fate of the victims. Rhea was very strongly influenced by N.K. Jemisin’s Afrofuturism, and the name of the ship is a specific homage. I like to imagine that future generations will remember her fondly as one of the great writers of the 21st century.

(Oh, speaking of ship names, all of the BioHarvest ships are named after famous scientists, with Erik Acharius himself being a pioneer of the study of lichens. Fungal symbiotes. See what I did there?)

Let You Win: Immediately on seeing the title, I knew that it was going to be about Person A challenging Person B to yet another “can you resist hypnosis” test, and Person B trying to salvage their pride at losing so frequently by claiming they only lose because they let Person A win, and Person A using that against them by twisting their mind around into once again wanting to lose the hypnosis challenge and sink into blissful hypnotic oblivion. The only minor thing that happened between inspiration and writing was me realizing that the entire dynamic between the two characters was one I’d already come up with for an earlier story, “Temptation Dice”, and that it really made more sense to reuse it than to reinvent it. Bam. Done. Easy peasy. Sometimes it’s nice to have a story like that.

Kiss and Control: One of the most frequent requests I’ve gotten as a writer is for a rematch between WildRose and Sangria (whose somewhat one-sided rivalry was established in an old story of mine called “Kiss”). But I didn’t want to do something that just felt like a redo of the previous confrontation, so I needed something that provided a new angle on the concept. And since Sharpe has almost always been the one to save WildRose, and usually has been someone that WildRose’s enemies can’t get to and don’t even know about, it seemed like an exciting way for Sangria to get to her old enemy.

And it also allowed me to do a few other things, like work Shadowstryke into the dynamic between the two of them a bit more, and hint a little at the mysterious figure who’s causing trouble for my universe’s heroes (it’s the same person who awakened Silas the Somnomancer to his full potential). But mostly I just really wanted to match Sangria and WildRose up again in a way that didn’t involve Sangria getting punched in the face two seconds into the fight and collapsing into a heap.

And that’s August in the books! Join me next week (if not sooner) for another blog post, and next month for another Liner Notes!

Early Bird Reward Story: “Hazy Daze”!

August 28, 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–“Kiss and Control”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Hazy Daze” (MC MF FF MD FD)!

If you’ve visited small towns in the Midwest, you might be familiar with the tradition of Crazee Daze, a yearly sidewalk sale with a festival atmosphere and fun activities for shoppers. But one particular town has a slightly different tradition, Hazy Daze… and Emma’s about to find out that participation in these fun activities is anything but optional. Here’s a taste:

Not that the sign was exactly ominous. On the contrary, it was a little silly; Maisie King had done a good job with it, but seeing the shakily hand-lettered ‘HAZY DAZE!!!!!’ written over a wobbly black-and-white spiral made Emma snicker a little even before she got to the bottom and saw, ‘You Won’t Be Able To Resist These Bargains!’ Emma didn’t really understand why Maisie thought she needed hypnosis to sell her handmade chocolates, but she could talk about it with the older woman over a few coconut creams.

Emma started to go inside, but stopped dead when she saw a badly-printed sign on the door that said, ‘HAZEE DAZE!!!!!’ over a painfully obvious clip-art spiral. Below the squiggly, eye-bruising logo, Emma saw more squiggly, eye-bruising text. ‘July 15-21!!! Mesmerizing deals!!! You won’t be able to stop yourself!!’, the sign said, in a font that managed to somehow look too big and too small at the same time.

Emma winced, trying to unpick the different text effects that went into the mess and failing. It wasn’t that Emma needed more work–she got enough business from her online clients to keep her graphic design company busy almost every day of the week. But she had a certain amount of professional pride, and seeing someone abuse Photoshop that badly made her twitch just a little bit. She pushed the door open and went inside, quietly resolving to maybe talk to Maisie about at least putting the same number of Es and Ys on each version of the sign.

Hope you enjoy it!

The Abuser’s Toolkit

August 25, 2019

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Recently, there’s been some discussion of the behavior of a predatory hypnotist in the community – the linked piece was written for FetLife, which deletes posts that name predators, but the author’s since reblogged it to clarify that the person under discussion is Nimja, and I would like it to be absolutely clear that I believe the many well-documented allegations against this person, and I do not believe that he is a safe person to learn from or play with.

But because it’s sadly all too common for someone like this to disappear, only to pop up under a new screen name a few years later once everyone’s forgotten about them, I was thinking about using the well-written piece above as a springboard to write down some of my own thoughts about “red flags” for predatory hypnotists and/or dominants. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that all of my red flags could be reduced down to a single tactic that had multiple manifestations: Pressure. Human beings don’t make good decisions under pressure, and abusive people (and this is by no means limited to hypnosis, or even kink) use that by creating a pressure-filled situation around all of the decisions you need to make. I’m going to discuss a few examples, but these are all just ways that abusers create that emotionally pressurized atmosphere. The key thing, which I cannot stress enough, is to get used to recognizing that underlying emotional sensation before you wind up in a situation where it becomes important.

One of the most frequent kinds of pressure an abuser applies is time pressure. They will prompt you to make a decision immediately, either with a direct deadline or the implication of a limit on their schedule/patience/whatever, forcing you to accept their terms or lose the opportunity to get hypnotized (or bound, or flogged, or whatever it is they’re offering). They do this because they know that once you’ve said yes to something, it’s going to be that much harder to subsequently back out and change that yes to a no.

That’s because of another major form of pressure, social pressure. We are all, to some extent, socialized to go along with group consensus and do what others are doing. Human beings are social animals, we have adopted this as a survival strategy since we were lemurs, and setting aside all of the evo-psych bullshit that comes along with saying “the brain is hardwired to…”, the human brain really is hardwired to agree with the group. Abusers will try to use this to their advantage by surrounding you with a group that already agrees with them, isolating you from your support network, and presenting you with their opinions in a form that challenges you to disagree. (Gaslighting is basically a one-on-one form of social pressure.)

That challenge can escalate into another distinct form of pressure, what I think of as confrontational pressure. This is where they make it as uncomfortable as possible for you to say no to them – not necessarily with overt threats of violence, although most abusers do eventually escalate to that point, but with displays of temper, verbal expressions of disdain, petulance, and a variety of emotional abuse inflicted on you when you do something that doesn’t accord with their decisions. You may not be the target of this emotional abuse – many abusers threaten self-harm if their dictums aren’t followed. But your refusal to comply will always be suggested as the cause.

(One important thing to remember about this is that the abuser is not likely to respond with proportional intensity. Intermittent reinforcement is the most powerful training tool operant conditioning has to offer, and the abuser will use that by reacting with very intense anger to relatively small things, or kindness and “forgiveness” to very big things. The state they want you in is to imagine that any disagreement at all could prompt the next explosion, and to police yourself accordingly.)

A particular danger for the kink community, especially with “big name” hypnotists like Nimja, is competitive pressure. This is as simple as it is cruel; the abuser creates the impression, either implicitly or explicitly, that you’re in competition with others for their favors and that the only way to continue receiving their attention is to abnegate those facets of your personality that don’t suit their desires. It’s especially common among kink celebrities, well-known riggers or convention organizers or the like – they’re able to very easily create an atmosphere where new people in the community feel special for being singled out for their attentions, not realizing that they’re being selected precisely because they’re not integrated into the community well enough to know about the abuser’s patterns of behavior. (This is also a form of social pressure. Many of these overlap and interact.)

Another kind of pressure that has a strong interaction with competitive and social pressure is transactional pressure. This is your basic guilt trip; the abuser provides you with something, usually without asking, and then attempts to extract something from you in exchange for the thing of value they provided. The most obvious example is, “I hypnotized you, but you don’t want to have sex with me?”, but really this is a staple tactic of abusers everywhere because it’s so insidious and plays on people’s sense of fairness. If you have a boss who buys lunch for the office, then a couple days later starts asking people to work through their breaks, you’re seeing transactional pressure at work. (Literally as well as figuratively.)

One other form of pressure I feel like I absolutely have to mention, primarily because a lot of the same people who study “covert hypnosis” tactics also study pick-up artist techniques, is oppositional pressure. This is a form of social pressure, but it’s a little bit more subtle and insidious; instead of presenting a positive group consensus that you’re expected to go along with to gain the approval of the group, the abuser presents a negative stereotype that you’re expected to defy to gain the approval of the group. “When I saw your picture, I really thought you were going to be a huge prude” is the kind of statement that sets out a clear pattern of behavior that the abuser wants you to avoid, in the hopes that you’ll overcompensate by adopting a pattern of behavior more to their liking.

There are almost certainly more – I don’t pretend to be an expert at this, and I honestly kind of hate understanding it as well as I do. But the most important thing to take away is that all of them are trying to create that same feeling, a sense of stress and emotional discomfort with a clear strategy for relief, namely going along with the abuser’s wishes. This is how they operate. This is how they’re going to operate from the very beginning to the very end of your relationship with them. They won’t start out with the dial turned all the way up to 11; the pressure will begin with small things, and only gradually escalate to the big horrible stuff. But it will be there right from the start.

Fortunately, that’s also a good way to recognize them. There’s a famous book, The Gift of Fear, that discusses some specific signs and predictors of physical and emotional violence, but I think that “the gift of stress” is every bit as good a description. If you find that the person you’re talking to is making you anxious and upset when you don’t do what they wanted, if it feels like they’re demanding or critical or strict, if you find yourself worried about what they’ll do if you say “no” to them… that’s a sign. Things are not going to get better from there. It is never too early to back out of an interaction you feel uncomfortable with, and you do not need a reason. (Oh, and there’s another form of pressure right there. “I just want to know why you’ve stopped talking to me!” The answer is never going to be good enough for the abuser. Don’t even bother saying it.)

I know that cutting off contact with an abuser isn’t always an option. If it’s available, though, it’s the best option. It’s certainly the safest. If it’s not available, though… the only thing I can suggest is to try to put the pressure back on them. Use these same tactics against them if you can. Build up a support network of people who won’t let them get away with it, make them as uncomfortable as possible when they challenge you, call them out as an abuser and force them to go against the negative stereotype of the creepy jerk. It probably won’t make them change their behavior, but it may at least make them look for another target. Sometimes, sadly enough, that’s all you can hope for.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Goddamn Trigger”!

August 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–“Let You Win”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Goddamn Trigger” (MC MF MD)!

Kitten has a blog where she talks about her experiences with BDSM. And with bratting for her Master like a pervy little minx. And lately, with hypnosis… and all the ways it’s turning her from a brat into a respectful good girl, all thanks to Master and his Goddamn Trigger. She’s not saying she’s against it, mind you. She just wants everyone to know that it’s deeply unfair. Here’s a taste:

Some days it’s not easy being a brat. Like, look, all I want is just to wipe the smug look off of Master’s face and get him to break down giggling every once in a while, okay? I mean, yes, it’s nice when he takes me by the hand and pulls me onto the bed and spanks my lily-white ass until it’s hot pink, sure. But it’s the times when I kind of win that I live for, even if it’s just for a moment before he grabs my thicc hips and pulls down my panties and checks my pussy to see if I’m lying when I say I don’t care whether we fuck. When I stick out my tongue and wiggle my butt and say, “Make me, Mister DomlyDomDom,” and he can’t quite hold his stern look, and he facepalms? That’s my favorite thing ever, even when I know he’s going to punish me for it.

Especially when I know he’s going to punish me for it.

But this new thing we’ve gotten into? Hypnosis? Oh, that’s just so fucking unfair. And I mean, the worst part of it is that I can’t even blame him for it, because it’s my subconscious mind that’s being a sneaky, obedient little bitch! Not that he’s not a really good hypnotist–god, he took to this shit like a duck to water once he went to the first munch and got hold of some books on the subject. He’s got the perfect voice for it, all smooth and silky and rich; it’s like someone pouring melted chocolate straight into my brain or something. But I know that if I wanted to resist him, I could. That’s, like, Hypnosis 101. You can’t be made to do anything that you don’t really want to do, deep down.

But man oh man, is it a shock to find out that what I really want to do, deep down, is follow every single one of Master’s hypnotic commands instantly and without question.

Hope you enjoy it!