Looking back, I don’t actually think I’ve talked about the phrase, “I give you permission” before. (Well, not literally looking back. I’m writing this off-line to post later. But I’m trying awfully hard to remember, and I think it’s a new topic.) It’s a very powerful phrase, one that Lady Ru’etha has been using quite a bit on me of late, and I think it’s worth discussing.

Because it is very powerful, especially in the context of hypnotic D/s play that tends to be such a favorite for myself and my readers. The subconscious tends to respond best to commands that let it do what it really wants to do; it’s the conscious mind that worries about the obstacles to doing them. When the hypnotist says, “I give you permission,” they’re relaxing the apprehensions of the conscious mind by suggesting that what the subconscious mind wants is allowed, which makes the suggestion sink in deeper because there’s no resistance. It’s alright to go further into trance; you have permission. It’s alright to feel good; you have permission. The phrase diminishes discord between the conscious and subconscious self, putting the subject into a more relaxed and suggestible state. And at the same time, it reinforces the authority of the hypnotist in a non-threatening way. It’s comfortable and kind and welcoming–how can “I give you permission” sound menacing? But it carries with it the implication that the hypnotist is the one who makes that decision. It puts the hypnotist in charge, even as it emphasizes the essentially benign nature of that authority.

And it’s tremendously versatile, too. The hypnotist can always give permission to the subject to do whatever they want to do, whatever they’re doing already. It’s very comforting to hear that whatever you’re doing right now is something you’re allowed to do. In fact, Lady Ru’etha has said more than once that the entire process of hypnosis can be summed up as giving the subconscious mind permission to do what it really wants to do–trance is a state the subconscious wants to achieve, and permission helps it find that state. Hearing that simple, powerful phrase–“I give you permission”–helps the subject melt into trance easier, and go along with suggestions better. And if you’re anything like me, that sounds pretty attractive.

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