Archive for July, 2009

MST3K Vs. Hypnosis

July 31, 2009

One of the things that doesn’t often come up on this blog is that I’m a huge fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and its spin-offs, “Cinematic Titanic” and “Rifftrax”.) It’s a fun way to enjoy bad movies, the riffers are great comedians from my neck of the woods (I’ve sometimes said that in order to get every single joke in MST3K, you do have to be a Minnesotan) and of course, bad sci-fi movies tend to have hypnosis scenes. So I’m watching my extensive collection from the beginning…and so far, I’m one for one on hypnosis sequences.

Currently up: “Robot Vs. the Aztec Mummy”. The heroic professor uses hypnosis on his wife, Flora, to regress her to a past life where she was an Aztec priestess (past-life regression is a big theme in cinematic hypnosis; lots of movies, especially the old ones, remember Bridey Murphy quite well and use her as an inspiration.) The villain, the Bat, also uses hypnosis on Flora, summoning her from a distance, commanding her to seek out the titular Aztec Mummy for him, and then post-hypnotically commanding her to forget. (So yes, nice scenes of a blank-eyed girl walking around in a nightgown. You know, if you like that sort of thing.)

More later, perhaps…

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Text Trancing

July 30, 2009

So Lady Ru’etha was hypnotizing me over Google Chat Tuesday morning (and doesn’t it seem like all the best stories start with “So Lady Ru’etha was hypnotizing me…”?) And it occurred to me that there was probably something to be said about text trances, what they feel like, what’s different about them, et cetera. Then Lady Ru’etha suggested I blog about it. (I’m almost certain that was the order of events…) So here we go!

People who are new to hypnosis alway seem surprised that you can even do hypnosis via text. The mental image of the hypnotic subject’s eyes slowly fluttering shut, despite all their best efforts to keep open, is such a pervasive (and erotic) image that it’s hard for some people to believe you could have a hypnotic trance with your eyes wide open the whole time, sitting up in your chair.

But the key element to remember is that hypnosis is a state of relaxation and focus, not a form of sleep. As long as you’re relaxed and focused on something, whether it be the hypnotist’s voice, a pocket-watch, or even just a stream of chat messages, you’re hypnotized. In fact, some of the most common hypnotic trances that people go into involve text; have you ever noticed that when you’re really getting into a book, you stop noticing sounds around you, and the prose just seems to become more vivid and engrossing, and your eyes just move without you even having to think about it? And of course, people find it very hard to get your attention, having to snap their fingers and say things like, “Hey, Earth to (insert name here)!” Yeah. You were in a trance. (In fact, I kind of consider it the writer’s job to try to induce that state of total fascination, even when I’m not writing an induction piece.)

So text trancing is very possible. But what’s it like? It’s very much like a regular trance, with that same feeling of floating and drifting and warm, pleasant relaxation. You tend to lock in and focus on the words you see, particularly the hypnotist, and it does involve more shifting position (because you shift to get comfortable, and depending on the office chair you can afford, you might need to shift a lot as your body gets tired of sitting still for so long.)

It also involves having to communicate by typing, which can be…well, a little tricky at times. 🙂 The story that Lady Ru’etha and I wrote together, “I Can’t Wait”, features several scenes of text hypnosis, and (purely for the sake of authenticity) She actually hypnotized me to write those bits. You will notice which ones they are, because suddenly the typo rate goes up from zero (knock on wood) to an astronomical high.

I was thinking about this yesterday, in trance (thinking about that sort of thing in trance tends to be a slower, slightly more meandering process, but it can lead to some interesting places.) Because I do notice that I’ve just added extra letters, left some out, reversed the order of some others. It’s not that I’m so deeply hypnotized that I don’t know how to type anymore. It’s just that I’m so relaxed, and it seems like so much work to backspace to fix things, and I know my Lady understands and doesn’t mind the typos (in fact, I kind of suspect that She likes seeing them, because it’s a sign of how deeply hypnotized I am)…so it just becomes easier to leave them in. That’s a sign of deep hypnosis, right there. Whenever you feel like you could very easily do something (or refuse to do something, depending on the situation) but it just seems like too much effort? Yep. You’re in trance again.

I could go on for ages, talking about hypnosis chatrooms, group text trances, and ASCII triggers, but I have to leave myself something for future posts. (Plus, I have to go get ready for work.) So I’ll just close by saying one thing that will help you a lot in your text trance sessions. Most chat programs will notify you with a chime if you’re in another window and the person you’re chatting with sends a new message. So if you just tab to a different window while you’re waiting for a message from your hypnotist, you can just let your eyes sink shut and wait for the chime to tell you it’s time to respond. And then you can go even deeper. 🙂

Hypnosis and Sleep…Deprivation

July 25, 2009

Surprise! I wasn’t expecting to post until my usual Wednesday entry, but Lady Ru’etha commanded me to write something here this morning…and since obedience is pleasure, I felt suddenly compelled to work on it. 🙂

 

She also pointed out that there was a promise, a few posts ago, by me to my loyal readers to talk about what it was like to go through the first couple days of the convention on very little sleep…so here I am, ready to talk about it. It was primarily a matter of logistics; I work nights, and I have a Sunday through Thursday workweek…and the convention started Thursday morning and ran all weekend. So I basically needed to work Wednesday night, go to the con all day Thursday, work Thursday night, then go to the con Friday, and only on Friday night would I finally be able to crash.

 

The first thing that needed to be taken care of was driving. One of Lady Ru’etha’s fellow pets took the keys to my car Thursday morning, right after I’d shown him how to get to the hotel where the con was taking place (and didn’t do too great a job of that, although that wasn’t so much a sleep-dep thing as it was that I didn’t normally visit the part of town where the con was taking place. I took a brief nap when I got home from work, so I was still pretty OK to drive Thursday morning at 8 AM.)

 

But over the course of Thursday morning, I sort of mentally deflated. By noon, when we helped a bit with con set-up at one of the party rooms, I was having long periods where I’d just stare off into space, feeling light-headed and rubber-kneed. Lady Ru’etha was keeping an eye on me, though, and whenever She thought I needed it, She’d just look me in the eye, guide me into a seated position, and whisper, “Down.” I’d slump into a corner, or a chair, or wherever She put me, and trance out blissfully for about fifteen minutes. She said that was as good as two hours of sleep, but it felt more like about an hour to me. Even so, it was enough when She did it every two or three hours that I could keep going all day. (Including through a panel I helped present on “Hypnosis in Media” that I feel confident I rambled and babbled my way through. Still, I did warn the guests before-hand.)

 

I then got a ride to work from my fellow pet, and spent eight hours or so absolutely fried out of my wits on sleep-dep, caffeine, and residual fractionation. My work is primarily manual labor, though, and very repetitive; I’ve sometimes joked that I could do it in my sleep, and that night pretty much proved me entirely right. It’s almost a sort of drug high, with the free-floating endorphins of trance and the drowsiness of sleep-dep mixing with the caffeine buzz to leave you giggly and wired and sleepy, all at once.

 

I had a co-worker give me a ride home (which entailed waiting an extra hour after work was done, but it was a very good alternative to crashing the car into a ditch somewhere), and then crashed for another nap before everyone woke up. At that point, I could relax and enjoy all the mentally-altered state…after all, if I wiped out Thursday, I might miss work or screw up at work and get in trouble. If I wiped out Friday, I just missed some of con and my Lady would keep an eye on me while I blissfully snored somewhere. (Which, um, actually happened Friday night, during the “Group Trance Demonstration” panel. I heard the metronome start ticking, I heard a warm voice start talking about relaxation, and then it was an hour later. Lady Ru’etha told me She moved my head from time to time to stop me snoring. I don’t even remember it.)

 

Micro-trances continued throughout Friday, up until I finally managed to crash Friday night; every car ride consisted of me slumped in the back seat, eyes closed. I remember at lunch, Lady Ru’etha blanked me out for a bit while we waited for my food; after She woke me, She told me that this would be the best time to really rework my personality and make major changes, because the intense fractionation of going in and out of trance as often as I had to in order to stay functional with so little sleep had left me very vulnerable. But She couldn’t think of anything She really wanted to change.

 

I’ve extracted a promise from Her to try to come up with something by CONvergence 2010. 🙂

A Brief, Sad Digression

July 22, 2009

My apologies to everyone who comes here looking for fun hypnosis stories and cheerful descriptions of The Joy Of Trance ™, but today’s entry is going to be a bit more on the somber side. I’ll try to make it poignant and interesting, and I do think it’s important stuff to know if you plan to play around with hypnosis (even recreational hypnosis), but be aware that it’s going to be a bit heavier than my normal fare, and if you’re not in the mood for that, you might want to skip it.

Yesterday, Lady Ru’etha called me in the middle of the afternoon, while I was still asleep, and (as She is sometimes wont to do) She tranced me before I could even wake up. I heard the phone ring, I managed to surface enough from sleep to answer it, but before I could get all the way through to a state of wakefulness, She started talking in those wonderful, hypnotic tones, and my brain just went sideways instead of up. She spent a long, happy while reinforcing my triggers and mantras with pleasure-conditioning, which is something both of us enjoy a lot, but this time, something a little different happened. I had a brief abreaction to something She said.

For those of you not familiar with the term, an abreaction is…basically, everyone’s minds are wired up with a lot of connections. Thinking of one thing leads you down through a path that is fairly unique to you, through the connections you’ve forged over the course of your life, leading you to the things you associate that thing with. Sometimes those things are good, but sometimes, well…they’re bad. Really bad. A lot of the times, you try to bury those things deep down in your subconscious and divert yourself from thinking about them–stopping your journey down that path before its destination, as it were. And human beings can get very good at that. But hypnosis is a fairly direct path to your subconscious mind, and it can sometimes get to those destinations quicker than you can choose not to go to them. And that’s an abreaction. Something in the hypnotist’s wording sparks a connection to a buried trauma of some sort, causing a strong emotional state that can sometimes bring the person out of trance, but almost always makes it less enjoyable. It’s important to note that triggering an abreaction has nothing to do with the skill of the hypnotist, or even the length of the hypnotic relationship; the whole point is that these traumas and their associations are unique to each individual person, and that they are deeply buried. There’s no way to know someone has one until you hit it. (Indeed, a big part of hypnotherapy is exploring to find those abreactions, triggering them, and then working through them until the buried trauma has no power over the client.)

In my particular case, Lady Ru’etha was reinforcing a comfort trigger, the sensation of being held safe and warm whenever She says, “I’ve got you.” It’s something She uses when I’m feeling tense, nervous or worried, just a nice way to help soothe me, but this time She said that I would know that She’s always got me. And that particular phrasing led me to picture, vividly and precisely, the last moment we would have together. I saw us in a hospital, a very old couple nearing the end of a long life, with one of us whispering those words to the other one last time before they died.

And I was suddenly experiencing all the grief and sorrow of seeing Her die, like I’d skipped over all the time we had together and was instantly mourning Her. I don’t think it was immediately obvious to Her; we were trancing over the phone, after all, so She didn’t have visual cues to go by, and my voice tends to sound pretty subdued in trance anyway. But She makes a point of checking in with me frequently, because She is a very very very good hypnotist, and so I was eventually able to articulate that I was sad. And She comforted me, helped me find my way out of that mental space, and concluded the trance in a highly enjoyable fashion…and then, once I was awake, She went back to that sad moment and helped me articulate exactly what I was afraid of.

In my case, I already know. The trauma’s not that deeply buried. I don’t talk about it much, because it’s kind of personal, but just over two years ago, I lost a niece to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (also known as “crib death” in America, or “cot death” in Britain.) Losing someone, especially losing someone you fully expect to outlive you and losing them almost literally in the space of a single breath, leaves scars, and for me, those scars are in the form of an irrational fear that the people I care about are going to die suddenly. It’s not continuous. I don’t spend my every waking moment worrying about my friends and family. But that specific phrasing, “I’ve always got you,” triggered my newfound and instinctive distrust of the word “always”, and that nasty fear that what you think is going to be a joyous future stretching out in front of you can suddenly twist into something treacherous. And my mind manifested it as an image of the death of a loved one.

Now, none of this means that Lady Ru’etha is going to avoid using that trigger, or that specific phrasing of it. That wouldn’t do any good, and in fact it might give the trauma more power by suggesting it’s something that needs to be steered clear of. Her role in that situation is to act as caregiver, helping me through that abreaction and out to the other side of it. (And, let me just stress for the benefit of those readers that happen to be Her, that She did an excellent job of exactly that.) But it’s important to remember that even in purely recreational hypnosis, there are times when the hypnotist might need to take on that role. Even in what seems like a purely “fun” situation, you are still dealing with the human mind, and that’s not something to play with lightly. Your subject is entrusting you with their mind, the most precious thing that they have in all the world. Play with it, have fun with it, but make sure to take care of it. It’s the only one they’re going to get.

For myself, I remain grateful every second of every day that I’ve entrusted Lady Ru’etha with mine.

Locked and…

July 16, 2009

Well, not loaded, because I don’t drink. (As I once put it, “I already have weird ideas, act funny, and frequently wake up with a headache. What do I need alcohol for?”) But I was locked in place…and as the saying goes, “There’s kind of a funny story behind that…”

At CONvergence this year, there was a panel on “The Adult Side of Hypnosis”, at around 11:30 at night after most of the kiddies had toddled off to bed. We weren’t sure what the attendance was going to be like, because it wasn’t a panel that mainstream sci-fi cons had allowed in the past…but not only did CONvergence allow it, there was clearly quite a bit of crossover between the fan and kink communities (or, at the very least, a lot of science-fiction fans with fond memories of the brainwashing sequences in Star Trek, Doctor Who, Babylon Five, et cetera et cetera…) because the room was packed.

I’d been told that I was going to be a demo subject for the panel (what can I say? I’m submissive, and I know it) but I hadn’t been told exactly what I would be demonstrating. So I spent a good portion of the panel in an ecstasy of anticipation, worrying about exactly what I might be required to show off. Keep in mind, I’ve been to a kink con, and seen demo subjects display things like “what it’s like to be whipped in the nude”, “how it feels to have needles inserted into you”, and since I was attending with my Lady, a display or two of X-rated hypnosis. (She’s never actually asked me to demo anything X-rated, because humiliation is one of my major, major squicks–bordering on actual panic–and being displayed publicly comes close enough to that notion that we’re gradually building our way up to it. Hypnosis demos aren’t much fun if the demo subject has an abreaction on stage.) So my notion of “being a demo subject” was already trending far past what I’d probably be required to actually do, and into the realm of…well, of one of my own stories. 🙂

But I finally did receive a pretty big clue when I heard the words, “And I’ll be showing you what a freeze trigger looks like later in the panel.” Now I knew what I’d be doing…and so did the audience, every single one of whom must have filed the thought away in their heads. Because with about ten minutes left in the panel, I still hadn’t demoed a freeze trigger, and about three people in a row were asking if we were going to get to that soon. (Well, one person raised their hand and asked, and then two more people immediately spoke up in agreement. It was a very enthusiastic crowd.)

So with that, I stood up, walked over to the wall, and put my arm up against it…and a single whispered word locked it into place. As always, I got that sensation of determined immobility, like I’d forgotten how to move that limb, or even that it could be anywhere but where it was right then. It always just feels perfectly natural to hold still when the freeze trigger hits…but this time, there was a little unexpected twist. Someone from the audience was invited to come up and try to move my arm.

The girl who volunteered was a little shorter than me, but seemed to be very fit. She walked up and started tugging on my arm–first a quick, experimental tug, then a really hard yank. I’d somehow expected, from hearing about stage hypnotists doing this as a stunt, that I wouldn’t notice the pressure–that somehow, the hypnosis would just shut off the input from that limb, and she could pull away all day without me even feeling it.

But that wasn’t what it felt like. Instead, I felt absolutely compelled to hold my arm firm against the pressure (and there was a lot–someone mentioned after the panel that she worked out pretty rigorously. I pity anyone who sees her in a dark alley and thinks, “Ooh, skinny little girl!”) It was as though the most important thing in the world to me, right that second, was in not letting my arm move even the slightest bit. (Which, technically, I failed at. I felt my arm come away from the wall about a half an inch at one point. Which made me feel bad, until I found out afterwards that she had decided around then to see if supporting her entire weight from my arm would get it to move.)

That’s about when it ended–the girl let go, I got released, and the panel finished up to wild acclaim. It was a definite success…and I kind of suspect there’ll be another one like it next year. 🙂

Serendipity And Trance

July 8, 2009

So, the convention is all done, and will no doubt be the source of my next few weeks’ worth of posts. I had lots of fun, enjoyed meeting new people and seeing the cast of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (and I’m sorry for anyone who went to the poly room and didn’t see me there. I’m sure you saw me at the “Adult Side of Hypnosis” panel. 😉 )

Oddly enough for me, I’m going to start out by describing a moment that involved me as the hypnotist, not the subject. (I can already hear Wiseguy cringing, but at least I didn’t say “victim”, right? 🙂 ) Normally, I’m more involved on the “demand” side of hypnosis than the “supply” side, although I’m familiar with the basics of hypnosis, and I can put someone under…I think. The problem is, Lady Ru’etha is such a good hypnotic subject that I never know how much of my ability to put Her under is due to my skill as a hypnotist, and how much is due to Her skill as a subject. (The other problem is that I’m such a total tranceslut that I wind up going into rapport trance way too easily and too deeply. For a long while, hypnotizing Lady Ru’etha was a matter of taking Her as deep as I could before I fell asleep right alongside Her.)

But I’ve gotten better, and Saturday morning at the con, I was finally feeling relatively well-rested after 48 hours with almost no sleep. (Lady Ru’etha kept me going with lots of micro-trances…but more on that in a later post.) My Lady, for Her part, was feeling a little worn out after being up very late Friday night doing lots of fun stuff (again, more on that in later posts), and so She asked myself and another of Her pets to just drop Her for a few minutes there in the parking lot before we went inside.

Naturally, as devoted submissives, we were happy to comply. 🙂 He took one ear, I took the other, and we sort of found a natural rhythm of pauses and speech so that each of us was picking up where the other left off. I reached up from the back seat to pet Her right arm, he petted Her left (She’s very kinesthetically oriented, so physical sensation actually does more to hypnotize Her than sight or sound), and we got Her into a nicely deep trance pretty quick.

And that was when Nature decided to help us out. It started raining. I remember being absolutely thrilled–Lady Ru’etha has commented to me on more than one occasion that She considers rain to be one of the most naturally hypnotic things She can think of. It’s a soft, rhythmic noise; it’s a steady visual pattern (that always flows down, which is nice in terms of hypnotic imagery); and, of course, clouds create a nice, soft light that’s soothing and easy on the eyes. One of Her upcoming CD releases is an induction She asked me to write that uses rain imagery heavily.

So with that in mind, it took us all of about a tenth of a second to start working the rain into Her trance. If She’d been deep before, now She was absolutely bottomless; She said later that She felt like She was outside the car, bathing in the rainstorm as it came down, and when we finally did bring Her back up (which, unfortunately, was not long afterwards–we did have a convention to get to, after all) She said She felt cleansed and renewed. It’s always nice when you can find ways to make the environment around you a part of the trance, instead of something for the subject to block out.

Short and Sweet

July 1, 2009

A sign that you’ve just had a really intense hypno-kink session:

You have to look in the mirror to be sure that you actually got a hickey, instead of just experiencing a vivid sensory hallucination. 🙂