Archive for July, 2011

MST3K vs. Hypnosis: Operation Double 007

July 28, 2011

This movie is actually one of the more perversely famous films that the MST3K crew tackled over the course of their long career of films (some of which, like this one, dealt with hypnosis and thus caught my attention a little bit more than usual. I’m abandoning the “Volume One, Two, Three”, etc, because they’ve long ago stopped being in chronological order.) It’s a spy film starring Neil Connery, and if you think that was just an accidental bit of synchronicity then you don’t know that the film was also released with the title “Operation Kid Brother”. Several other Bond actors, such as the woman who played Moneypenny, the man who played M, and the villain from ‘Thunderball’ round out the cast…

But you’re understandably more interested in the hypnosis. Hey, who wouldn’t be?

The hero of the film, played by Neil, is a talented surgeon and expert martial artist who also just happens to be an amazingly talented hypnotist. That’s right, this is one of the few films where hypnosis is a tool of the good guys, not the villains. And unfortunately, this means that he rarely takes advantage of his talents for selfish reasons, instead choosing to hypnotize bad guys so he can disarm them and hypnotize young women to help them uncover repressed memories of the bad guys’ plans. But there are some scenes of him hypnotizing young women, if you’re really looking for that sort of thing, and the riffing is excellent (it’s a late Joel episode, where he’d really hit his stride.) This one isn’t out on DVD yet, but it’s not hard to find online.

So feel free to grab some generic cola, some store-brand chips, and enjoy this Bondian-esque-ish film!

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Firefly and Gender Politics

July 27, 2011

Recently, I read a lovely book called ‘Whedonistas’, by Mad Norwegian Press. (Full disclaimer: The publishers are really nice people and I recommend the book both because it has a lot of merit and is immensely, entertainingly readable, and because you should support small press publishers run by extremely nice people.) This book is in the same basic vein as ‘Chicks Dig Time Lords’, essays on the series from women giving their perspective, but–and I say this with the sincerest hope that you will understand that I still enjoyed the book greatly–it suffers a little in comparison with ‘Chicks’ because it’s a little easier to be critical of Doctor Who than Joss Whedon.

This isn’t anything to do with my lifelong attachment to Doctor Who, I should clarify. (Oh, while I’m clarifying things, there’s a reason this is on my sexy sexy sex blog and not on one of my many vanilla blogs.) This is to do mainly with the fact that Doctor Who has been around for decades, and while people have a great attachment to the series in general, there are lots of specific eras that they feel very comfortable saying they don’t care for. When someone says, “Wow, making up a white guy in ‘yellowface’ for ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’ is amazingly racist,” there are enough people who didn’t grow up in the Fourth Doctor era that the opinion isn’t shouted down. Whereas with Joss Whedon…

Joss’ series are still very close in the memory of the fans. Very close and very powerful–for most of the people now talking about the series on the Internet, these memories form a big chunk of the backbone of their memories of transitioning to adulthood. Someone who’s thirty now was graduating from high school at the same time as Buffy, going through their life’s journey along with her. They discovered Angel and Firefly just at the point where they were emotionally ready for it, and they accepted it almost uncritically. It’s hard for someone like that to say something’s wrong with Whedon, and it’s just as hard for someone else like that to hear it.

Which is a big part of the explanation for one of the truly unforgivable omissions to the book: an analysis of the gender politics between Mal and Inara. For some reason, this is always seen as one of the great whacky mismatched romances of science-fiction, as the two of them comically bicker and argue to cover their true feelings for each other. And I’ll admit, when I first watched the series, I felt the same way…until I watched ‘Out of Gas’.

When I watched the first meeting between Mal and Inara, it made me deeply uncomfortable. Inara sets a few very clear ground rules. No entering her quarters without permission. No taking advantage of her sexually. And no calling her a whore. These are entirely sensible ground rules, set by a woman who is in a somewhat hazardous position; she has no legal structure backing her up, nobody she can turn to except herself, and she doesn’t know if she can trust any of this crew. It is entirely fair of her to set these rules, and entirely understandable that she is forceful and direct in doing so.

And we know that Mal consistently ignores two of these three rules for their entire time together.

It’s hard not to see that as anything but bad. He is continually violating her personal boundaries, he is constantly demeaning to her profession and her person, and in doing so, he is indirectly threatening her with sexual violence. If he has never given her any reason to trust his word when he agreed not to demean her or enter her private spaces, how can she feel safe around him sexually?

But this is always played as “charming frankness and roguishness” on Mal’s part, and fandom seems to agree. Part of it is, I think, because Whedon is a skilled wordsmith and because Morena Baccarin and Nathan Fillion have great chemistry together. But part of it, I think, is that even among female fans, even among self-identified feminist fans, there is a sense that Mal is right and Inara is wrong. Inara is just a whore, and Mal is terming her correctly. Inara is trying to pretend she’s something better than she is, and she should stop. (Either stop pretending or stop being a prostitute, depending on which species of sex-negative “feminist” you are.)

This is, of course, bullshit. Inara has a right to claim whatever power she feels entitled to, and she has the right to feel safe on an emotional, physical and sexual level. Mal is wrong to deny her that right, he always will be, and Inara’s strongest moment in the series is when she decides to tell him to fuck off and she leaves the damn ship. Because Mal always talks about how Serenity’s crew is a family…but when it comes to Inara, he doesn’t practice it because she enjoys sex and makes a living at it. And that’s not right.

And I wish someone had written an essay saying so.

A Vaguely Amusing Anecdote

July 20, 2011

Did you know that there’s a “mind control” powerset in ‘City of Heroes’?

That’s not the whole thing, by the way. It’s just by way of background. There’s a set of abilities that focuses on controlling the minds of your enemies, either to force them to sleep (“Mesmerize” and “Mass Hypnosis”) or to freeze them in place (“Dominate” and “Total Domination”) or to trick them into battling your enemies (“Confuse” and “Mass Confusion”.) The F/X for the powers even involve giant spiral hypnodiscs manifesting from your forehead.

Needless to say, one of my very first characters was a Mind Controller. So was one of my very second. But I had to delete them. Because as much as I naturally associated hypnosis with beautiful women in skimpy outfits using their powers to enthrall people into doing their bidding, I was playing the game with friends, and I didn’t want my hypnosis fetish to come out quite that way. So I actually wound up “officially” making a mind controller very late in my playing history, simply because it took me ages to come up with one that wasn’t sexually charged and kinky.

One of my latest characters, though, is a female mind controller who uses her sinister powers to hollow out the minds of her enemies and turn them into her puppets. Because what can I say, I got a weakness for the classics. 🙂

The Hows and Whys of Mind Control: Subliminals

July 6, 2011

As previously mentioned, this is my attempt to break down the different types of mind control that get used in erotic mind control stories, more or less just for the fun of it. Today, we’re looking at “subliminals”.

A subliminal message is one that is encoded with additional information that the conscious mind cannot process, but which the unconscious mind understands. This extra information is not evaluated critically, since the conscious mind isn’t aware of it; instead, it’s simply accepted unthinkingly and becomes a part of the subject’s core understanding. This can take the form of pictures or text that flash past too quickly to read, or speech that is delivered at a pitch or volume that the conscious mind doesn’t hear…pretty much any time someone slips messages past the audience, you’re talking subliminals.

The actual theory behind subliminal messages has been pretty universally discredited, making this one of the more “cinematic” mind control tropes; that said, it’s very popular for a variety of reasons. There’s a lot of overlap between science-fiction fans and mind-control fetishists, mainly due to the common use of all these tropes in sexualized contexts in sci-fi and fantasy, and there’s also a lot of overlap between sci-fi fans and people who make their own videos and audios. So a lot of these people are already interested in the idea of putting together their own videos…and the thought of one that could also get them a sex slave is a major bonus. 🙂 Also, it hits a common button in the MC fetish, the idea of gradual transformation…a lot of the stories focus on someone listening to the song/watching the video again and again, each time becoming just a little bit more like the person their controller wants them to be.

Some stories of mine that prominently feature subliminals: “Girls On Film”, “Dare To Be Stupid”, “Jukebox Hero”, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”.

The One Time I Can’t Be Hypnotized

July 1, 2011

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while might have gotten the idea that when it comes to resisting hypnosis, I’m a marshmallow…especially when it comes to Lady Ru’etha. Those of you who have gotten that idea would be abso-freaking-lutely right. I am a total marshmallow. I am totally unable to resist Lady Ru’etha. Absolutely totally no resistance at all…most of the time.

But when I’m in the car, none of Lady Ru’etha’s tricks work. Her most hypnotic, sensual words bounce right off my skull. Even Her triggers don’t do anything. I am completely and totally impervious to Lady Ru’etha’s hypnosis, indeed to any hypnosis, whenever I’m behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.

Why? Because Lady Ru’etha commanded it. Back at the beginning of our relationship, She put in several commands designed to ensure my safety and reassure me that She did, in fact, have my best interests at heart. One of them was that whenever I was driving, I would be immune to hypnosis and would not go into a trance no matter what…because trance and driving don’t mix. (General rule of thumb, there: Trance and driving DO NOT MIX. Fun safety tip from your friendly neighborhood Jukebox!)

She’s had fun a few times testing Her command just to make sure that I won’t go under. I never have. It makes me feel safer…which means, in turn, that I go under that much easier when I’m not in the car. Because hypnosis is ultimately a bond of trust…and by showing me that She cares about my safety, She has made that bond that much stronger.