Archive for August, 2009

Rapport

August 26, 2009

Today, I think, a few words about rapport, which is probably my favorite trance phenomenon but also the one that holds me back the most as a hypnotist. Rapport is a pretty simple concept, at its heart; basically, whenever you try to hypnotize someone, you’re trying to use your voice, your choice of words, and perhaps a focus of some sort to induce a trance state. The thing is, you’re also listening to whatever you’re saying, pretty much by default. So whatever works to hypnotize your subject is also going to work on you, at least a little.

The key word there is “a little”. A rapport trance is usually a very light trance, a sort of sympathetic state that the hypnotist enters into where they’re slightly relaxed and focused on the subject’s responses. It actually helps the hypnotist in a lot of ways, because it lets them shut out distractions from outside sources and key in better on what’s working in their inductions, deepeners and suggestions.

My problem is that…well, not to brag, here, but I’m a ludicrously good hypnotic subject. 🙂 I tend to go under very easily, and go deep fairly quickly, and I have a hard time keeping my rapport trance from deepening. I’m better than I once was–about a year ago, I would literally fall asleep while putting Lady Ru’etha to sleep (hypnosis is one of the best sleep aids out there, bar none…something that will come up in one of my future stories…) Now I can at least focus enough to help Her go to bed without needing a nap myself. But even so, I tend to catch myself just sort of mindlessly repeating deepeners without really thinking about how long I’ve been spending doing so, or going silent for seemingly timeless stretches as I just enjoy the connection to my subject.

Which is actually quite, quite wonderful. If you have the chance, going into a deep rapport trance with a subject really is a very intimate, profound experience. You feel very much like you’re at one with the subject, sharing the trance space on a level that it’s hard to describe. Deepening each other into a heavy rapport trance is definitely one of those experiences with my Lady that I can’t get enough of. But then again, you could say that about pretty much any experience I have with my Lady.

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Being Someone Else

August 18, 2009

It appears you’ve all been good. 🙂

It’s been said that people who are imaginative tend to make very good hypnotic subjects, and a lot of that comes from the ability to put yourself into the mindset of a different person. The same skill that allows you to put yourself into the persona of a character in a story (be it through watching a film, writing a story or playing a game) allows you to visualize intently the person you expect to be when hypnotized.

That phrase, “the person you expect to be” is an important one, because different social situations do tend to create different personas. Not necessarily big, obvious changes, but we do act like subtly different people in different settings. The “you” that exists among your old college buddies is a slightly different “you” than the one your parents see, and it’s not like either one of those is a lie or a sham; you’re just emphasizing different parts of your personality in those situations. (Which is why it’s always so weird to meet your co-workers outside of work, or why your boyfriend/girlfriend seems different when you meet their parents for the first time, or why class reunions tend to bring out the person you were in high school.)

Hypnosis is a situation that a lot of people aren’t used to (even though they enter into trance without even noticing several times a day) and so, like with a lot of social situations, they create a persona for it. This isn’t a conscious or deliberate act on their part; they just find themselves behaving the way they think they should behave when they’re hypnotized, using their imagination to construct a persona that fits their understanding of hypnosis. This is actually a huge help to a hypnotist, because most people’s expectations of hypnosis tend to involve them being more…attentive? Responsive? Oh, hell with it. More obedient. 🙂

So your persona under hypnosis, “hypnotized you”, is a more obedient and compliant version of you that believes it to be impossible to resist the hypnotist’s commands. (Hi, hypnotized you!) This works nicely with what hypnosis actually does, which is put you into a state of relaxation and focus that allows the hypnotist to bypass the conscious mind and talk directly to the subconscious. Essentially, the conscious mind doesn’t notice the hypnotist much, and what it does notice it thinks it can’t resist.

A good hypnotist (and my Lady is, as I’ve mentioned, very, very good) can enhance this effect by enhancing the distinction between personas. One very simple, very effective way She does this is by calling me by a different name when I’m under hypnosis. (Not just “Jukebox”, either. She has a special pet name for me when She’s speaking to me, hypnodomme to submissive subject.) This creates a very strong impression, when She uses that name, that I’m stepping into another role, another persona, and that this other persona is the version of me that’s spent eight years or more becoming more and more conditioned to Her will.

It’s not actually another personality; I don’t think of it as two minds in one body. (I’m always Hers, whether waking or sleeping.) But it is a different persona, a role I take on that I can imagine with such vivid reality that it becomes real to me. I become Her hypnotized submissive, and in that role I become a more effective hypnotic subject, and Her commands sink in easier and deeper. This weekend, for example, I lay down for a nap and She used Her pet name for me to command me to sleep quickly, deeply, and easily. Would I have fallen asleep without that? Probably. But hearing it as a command, believing myself to be Her effortlessly obedient and utterly controlled pet, convinced my conscious and subconscious mind at the same time that I could not resist. The next thing I remember was Her waking me up an hour or so later.

The process of roleplaying, of adopting a persona that fits with the social situation we find ourselves in, is natural and instinctive…and usually unnoticed. If the hypnotist can make a conscious effort to incorporate that process, though, they give themselves a very useful tool to enhance the hypnosis experience for the subject, and help them bring about trances that are deeper and more meaningful. (And also much more fun.)

Still Unpacking My Brain…

August 17, 2009

Just spent a weekend with Lady Ru’etha, and I’m still a bit jetlagged (it was very busy, in addition to conforming my graveyard-shift schedule to Her daytime lifestyle and back again in the span of two days…) But She did want me to post something.

So I’ll just mention that Thrall’s “My Very Own Serial Number” is really, really nice, a wonderfully shivery story that neatly straddles the line between, “Oh, I’d never want…” and “Oooh, that sounds so nice…” It’s well worth reading, if you’re not already doing so (I do suspect sometimes that 90% of my traffic comes from the link on her blog. 🙂 )

More later in the week, perhaps a discussion of alternate personas and how they help enhance the effects of brainwashing. (If you’re good…)

Warm and Floating…Literally

August 13, 2009

So as Lady Ru’etha has mentioned on Her own blog, one of the high points of the experience at CONvergence was the trip to the hot tub on Friday night. Now I say “hot tub”, and most of you probably picture a nice, cozy Jacuzzi…but no. No, the hotel that hosted the con had a hot tub that was roughly half the size of a regular swimming pool, with enough room to probably seat twenty people. And we (Lady Ru’etha, myself, and two other pets) had about half of it to ourselves. More than enough room to do fun things that wouldn’t be overheard. 🙂

We all changed into our swimsuits (we weren’t actually staying at the hotel, but the pool was open to all convention guests) and met at the pool area; once we were all present and accounted for, we climbed in and Lady Ru’etha held out a crystal for us to look at. Now, I’d taken off my glasses, like you do when swimming, and it’s worth mentioning here that I’m so ludicrously nearsighted that I couldn’t actually read the “No Lifeguard On Duty” signs with letters bigger than my hand. (I’m actually so nearsighted that when I look over the top of my glasses, I can’t read this post.) So I didn’t see the glittering, gleaming facets of the crystal as it spun and danced…I saw a pretty, shiny blur.

Which was more than enough to drop me. (Remember, this was during the period when I was incredibly sleep-deprived.) I sank back into the water, and my limbs just went loose and relaxed as I floated. (A quick explanation: While you should never experiement with trance and driving, it’s perfectly safe to be hypnotized while swimming. You’re not falling asleep, you’re just letting your conscious mind relax and giving control to your subconscious, and your subconscious mind is aware of the position your body is in. It’s not going to let you drown.)

I actually sagged backwards close enough to the jets of water that I couldn’t hear my Lady’s words; I heard Her speaking under the sound of bubbles, but it was all just fading to a warm, comfortable din as I sank back and relaxed. She actually had to reach over and tap my shoulder a couple of times to get my attention…only to trance me out again, once She was sure I was alright.

Between the sleep-dep and the trance (and the extraneous noise), I don’t actually remember much of what She said…I just remember it was warm and happy and the programming reinforced the bliss I was feeling. And the most blissful part of all was looking over at Her and seeing how happy She was…She almost seemed to glow with contentment, surrounded by Her pets and feeling the mutual bond between us all. It didn’t seem to last nearly long enough, but I’m not sure that it ever could have.

Then we helped clean up the pool area, because hotel staff deserve nice gestures too. 🙂

Behind the Music: Winter Wonderland

August 5, 2009

Back when this song was written, traveling Protestant ministers (known as parsons) went around from town to town, marrying Protestant couples who might not have a priest of their faith nearby. So the song is actually a romantic–

What? Oh. Right. Sorry, this is me explaining about the story “Winter Wonderland”, using a musical metaphor, not explaining about the song. Right. My mistake. It’s been a while since I’ve done these.

This one was actually done “on commission”; Lady Ru’etha wanted to do a free induction as a holiday gift to Her listeners on Her podcast, and after I’d written “Imagine”, She thought that I’d do a really good job at it. I was a little less certain (I’m a bit more confident than I was then, but I do still struggle to write hypnotic inductions; I try to think of them as monologues in a story about a hypnotist, and that usually works, but I’m not professionally trained, and so I’m always nervous that I don’t know what I’m doing. Lady Ru’etha has suggested rectifying that…but I digress.)

I was a little less certain, but let’s face it–I am putty in Lady Ru’etha’s hands. She did dangle a little reward in front of me, to sweeten the deal; once I’d finished writing the induction, I’d be allowed to listen to a hypnotic MP3 of Hers, called “Voice”. (Yes, this is also the story of how I first became conditioned to “Voice”. Amazing, innit?)

Being from a state that has plenty of snow, I knew full well how wonderfully hypnotic it can be, standing out there on a winter night when it’s just barely cold enough to snow, but still warm enough that you feel like you can stand there forever staring at the big, fluffy white flakes as they drift down through the air. That was my starting point; I went from there into toasty fires, Christmas presents, and generally free-formed a nice little erotic trance (if I do say so myself.)

It turned out to get my Lady into a bit of trouble, though; I kind of went ahead and wrote something nice and erotic and D/s and hypnotic, because it was intended for Her and that’s how I think of Her. But some of the people in the EMC community felt like it went a touch too far for a “free gift” induction; suggestions to enjoy obeying, and to let the memories of the session get wrapped up like a special present to enjoy later felt a little uncomfortable to people. So the text version of my story is not the podcast version up on Her website, because She is utterly ethical and wants to make sure that anyone getting the urge to obey Her completely and surrender to Her hypnotic will is doing so of their own volition. 🙂 She changed it not long after the thread in question (after holding off for a few days, at my suggestion, just to make sure that the people who really wanted to risk listening to the original version had a chance to download it. It’s a real sad part of our community that people who leave it sometimes have to take their contributions with them as they go, and I encourage people to avoid doing so where possible.)

That’s really about it…except that this was the first story I ever posted out of order. Why? Because nobody posts “Winter Wonderland” in late April, even in Minnesota. 🙂