Liner Notes for April 2017

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Hi all! It’s time for my monthly Liner Notes, where I take a look at the last month’s stories on the EMCSA and tell you a little about what went into making them happen. This month has a lot of stories, because the last two weeks of March were vacation time for Simon so a lot got pushed into April. So let’s get going, shall we?

Not Listening: This one feeds into one of my favorite tropes of the genre, the idea of being oblivious to the hypnotist’s presence or their commands but obeying anyway with the firm conviction that it’s all your own idea. I’d previously done something similar with “The Quiet Type”, but I decided that this one would be much more effective if the audience knew what the hypnotist was saying but the character didn’t.

It wound up having a very ritualized structure, with every paragraph starting with the command and the denial, and then the description of her following the command in the previous paragraph. That’s no bad thing, though; there’s an element of poetry to porn in some ways (if you don’t mind my being pretentious). You’re trying to create a flow of language that stirs strong emotions, so it’s kind of natural to get some sort of rhythm going in your form.

Bobblehead: I saw this title probably about a year ago, and I knew that it would make a good story about a trigger. There are so many pervertable associations with the word, from “blank and mindless agreeability” to the action of the head during an enthusiastic blowjob, so I knew that it would fit well into a story about a young woman who’s been turned into an “open access” hypnoslave.

The main thing I wanted to convey was that Nicole, while not having free will in the subject, is certainly enjoying the things she’s been commanded to do. I think a lot of people have a fantasy like this, because it’s a way to rationalize away wanting lots of guilt-free sex (“I would totally have said no to those three or four intense sexual experiences I had today, but gosh darn it, I was hypnotized! Drat that pesky trigger of mine…”) So since it is a fantasy, I want people to be able to wish they were Nicole rather than feeling glad they’re not.

Complicated: Now this is one I’ve had in the back of my head for a very long time, probably since before the hiatus that started in 2011. I had the opening image in my head very clearly, of two people at a party being asked how they met and saying, “It’s complicated.” Because if you spend any time in kinky poly circles, you’ll quickly find that a lot of the ‘how we met’ stories do involve lots of former partners, complex social arrangements, relationship statuses that evolve and change in ways that aren’t usually ‘friends/dating/engaged/married’, and tend to involve mental relationship diagrams.

Of course, there’s a long step between “an opening image and an idea” and writing the thing out, which is why it took so long to get to doing it. But I think I’m happy with the end result, and I do think it conveys the basic premise of ‘poly relationship map as confusion induction’ that I wanted it to.

Temptation Dice: This was one of those nice, easy premises that came right along with the title. If there are dice and temptations involved, and hypnosis, then obviously it’s someone being tempted to play a dice game with a hypnotic effect. And I’ve hung around with hypno-fetishists enough to know that we love adding consensual hypnotic triggers to games and conversations, so it made perfect sense that this was a couple (or as it later evolved, friends with benefits) who were doing something fun, light-hearted, and entirely consensual with trance.

I wound up pulling out some actual dice to write the craps scene; since I knew that Josie wouldn’t be able to resist rolling until she tranced out, and I didn’t really care how many orgasms she had before then, I decided to treat it like a real game. I wound up fudging the first orgasm when it was looking like she might go all the way under without even getting one good roll, but other than that the actual dice told the story. (The final roll was a ten, by the way.)

Virus: Like many of my odd stories, this one has an odd origin. One of the people I have chatted with on Tumblr (she’s since departed) made memes about submission on behalf of her owner, which she explicitly intended to get women interested in sexual slavery and submission to a dominant man. Setting aside the YKINMK aspect of that (which takes a lot, because I really find the whole “a woman’s natural place is submitting to a man” kind of wearying more than anything else) I found it interesting that she herself got into that angle of the kink from viewing memes about sexual submission. It occurred to me that you really could see the Tumblr memes as a virus that propagated itself as a pattern of information in the victim’s head.

So I wrote it all out that way. I wanted to describe it as medically as I could, really getting the metaphor concrete and solid so that if anyone who ever read the story saw a sex-themed meme again, they would imagine it nestling inside their brain, replacing their thoughts with the viral image and making them obey it. Which is hopefully hot even if the story isn’t.

Loose Ends: This one had its origins somewhere well back in the lost mists of time, a story fragment I read (I recall it being on the MCForums and not on any story archive) about a group of heroic telepaths who stopped evil mind-controllers. The premise didn’t influence me that much, but the story opened with the older and wiser telepath explaining to the rookie that lesbian mind-controllers always accumulated more victims than men because they didn’t have to worry about how many times they could get it up in one day.

I don’t necessarily believe that would be true (and thankfully it’s not testable) but it did stick around in the back of my head, and when I saw a song called “Loose Ends” it brought that fragment back to me, along with an old story of mine called “How Far We’ve Come” which is all about a mind controller lamenting the tedium of harem management. The two things blended together to create the idea of a mind controller trying to make sure that her enslavement didn’t draw too much scrutiny (Abigail’s not concerned, of course, but mind controlling a few people now avoids having to mind control an entire FBI task force later–she’s really kind of lazy, deep down) and finding herself adding more women to her harem with every conversation simply because she’s never had to develop impulse control.

And that’s pretty much the month, folks! Join me next week for another post, and next month for another Liner Notes!

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