Archive for July, 2017

Review: Hypnotic Amnesia

July 30, 2017

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Goddess and I actually bought our copy of ‘Hypnotic Amnesia: The Book You Remember on How to Forget’ just after Charmed, believe it or not, after hearing the authors, the always delightful LeeAllure and DJ Pynchon, give a presentation on the topic (which I live-tweeted with their kind permission). Lee and Pynch are very knowledgeable about the topic, and also just great people that we love to chat with at pretty much every con, which is my way of admitting that there may be some unconscious bias here even though they did not provide us with a free copy or compensate me for this review. (I’m a big believer in full disclosure.)

It still took me a few months to read it–I dug into it because it was starting to become clear to me that inducing amnesia really was a weak point in my skillset, and there are a lot of very fun things you can do with it once you learn how to convince a subject to forget things. So I read the book back in April or May, and yet for some reason I’m just now remembering to review it. Yes, I’m aware of the irony here. It’s still a damn fine book.

And it really is. Lee and Pynch set it out in the form of a series of transcripts, each one describing a session in which they use a particular technique either for inducing hypnotic amnesia, or a particular effect achieved through hypnotic amnesia. Lee explains the technique, then demonstrates it to Pynch (who volunteered to be the guinea pig for this book). Pynch then provides notes on what he remembered from the session and how well the technique affected him.

And there are a lot of techniques. Some of them do tend to be variations on one another–one, for example, involves distracting the conscious mind with math problems, while another involves distracting the conscious mind with a repetitive mantra. But the book does a great job of pointing out that these minor variations can make a big difference when it comes to affecting the subject; each person is different, and a slight change in modality, language, or imagery can really help someone ‘tune in’ on the amnesia suggestions. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with combining techniques to amplify their effect.

As a how-to book, I have to say that it’s stellar. The techniques are described well, demonstrated excellently, and really do give anyone who already knows how to induce a trance in a willing subject a lot of tools to use to achieve their mutually-desired goals. It doesn’t hurt that both Lee and Pynch are fun, playful individuals who demonstrate how amnesia play can really enhance and enrich a hypnotic relationship in all sorts of fun ways. (And yes, it’s funny as hell when Lee hypnotizes Pynch to think he’s the Eleventh Doctor and he responds by deducing that he’s a hypnotic suggestion and quizzing her on what she hopes to achieve by it.)

I will say that from my personal experience, one thing to keep in mind when using it is that they are modeling these techniques as demonstrations, so they’re testing the effectiveness of suggestions as they go by checking in after each trance to see how well the particular datum has been forgotten. That’s very important for a how-to book, naturally, but when you’re using it in your real-life sessions, it’s okay to relax a little and take things at their own pace. Patience is a virtue, here, and sometimes quizzing people on what they’ve just forgotten will cause more setbacks than advances.

Is it worth buying? Well, it probably should not be your very first book on hypnosis, because it does assume a basic skill level at inductions, deepeners, et cetera, but I’d go so far as to say that it belongs on the shelf of anyone who has even the slightest interest in using hypnosis to achieve effects involving memory, and that’s from both ends of the watch. If you’re interested in being hypnotized to forget, this is a situation where knowing what the techniques are is a good thing. It’ll help you zero in on the ones that work best for you, it’ll help you understand what the hypnotist is trying to do, which can prevent miscommunications, and this isn’t like a magic trick. Even if you know what the hypnotist is doing, it still works–sometimes better.

(Besides, if all that bothers you, just ask them to hypnotize you to forget reading it.)

So yes, this one is definitely an indispensable work for anyone into hypnokink, and it’s really improved my personal skill as a hypnotist. I have to remember to tell Lee and Pynch that next time I see them…assuming I haven’t already, of course.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Vacant Moan”!

July 27, 2017

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Girls With Guns”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Vacant Moan”! (MC FF MA)

Rose has already tried freeing her friend Nani from the clutches of the mysterious, sinister mind controller who reduces Nani to a mindless, blissfully masturbating slave every time she answers a call with a particular ringtone. But since it’s done no good…can there really be any harm in watching? Here’s a taste:

“My mind is open to your commands,” Nani muttered, her fingers sliding gently over her bronze skin as she idly caressed her belly. Rose knew from experience that Nani wouldn’t get naked right away. She would sit still, her body becoming more and more relaxed as the woman on the other end talked to her for several minutes, occasionally interjecting random statements like the one she’d just made. Rose suspected that the other woman was telling her what to say, but she would probably never know.

Rose had tried to find out once. They’d been hanging out in Rose’s dorm room, watching a little television and pretending to study, when the strains of ‘Boléro’ rang out over the sound of Eileen and Erika dishing out gossip about Lisa Vanderpump. That was probably the fourth or fifth time it had happened around Rose, and she had decided to just snatch the phone right out of Nani’s hands and give the mystery Mistress a piece of her mind.

It had been more than a little embarrassing. Nani had to be giving up forty pounds to Rose, most of it muscle, but the other girls on Rose’s track team would probably have been pretty amused to see their fellow Rainbow Wahine yanking ineffectually on the tiny native girl’s arm in an utterly useless effort to get her to surrender the smartphone. Rose had actually lifted Nani clean off the ground, but her arm remained locked in position the whole time. That was when Rose pretty much gave up trying to snap Nani out of it.

Hope you enjoy it!

Is It Hypnosis? – Part Four

July 23, 2017

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I’ve gotten good feedback about this little series, which looks at my old stories to see how realistic the hypnosis is (previous installments are here, here, and here). So I figured I’d keep going, do another five, and see where I was dealing with a fantasy and where I was dealing with an achievable reality (and how desirable that reality would be to achieve, if so).

I’m skipping the actual hypnotic inductions for now, because I feel like it should be obvious that something blatantly written as an induction can realistically hypnotize someone, and I’m skipping “Hungry Like the Wolf” because it genuinely seems unproductive to speculate about whether you could “realistically” hypnotize a werewolf into killing people. Which takes us to…

Freeze-Frame: There’s no specific real-life people or incident that this story (or any other Jack and Diane story) is based on, but it is taken from a sort of amalgamation of the sort of good people you meet in the scene and the sort of things that can happen at scene parties…although this is more of an orgy than a scene party per se, but I think that’s a little bit “angels dancing on pins” level of dissection. The point is, the hypnosis in this story is entirely realistic and consensual, and there’s nothing that would prevent anything and everything in it from actually happening among a group of willing participants. And I like to think it’s pretty damn hot, too.

My Sharona: This one is interesting to look at from a plausibility point of view, because it inserts a very realistic, very believable scene into a very cinematic story and gives a very cinematic explanation for it. Devon is, let’s be honest, very much a “fantasy” hypnotist (for a given type of fantasy, the whole “I want to be kidnapped and spirited away into a life of sexual service” kink which is actually pretty common among hypnosis enthusiasts). His ability to “permanently” break someone’s will using hypnosis and only hypnosis is really implausible, especially given the timeframes implied. And Madame Mockingbird, while more benevolent, is very much in that same mold of “being able to hypnotize and brainwash an unwilling subject”, which is not really a thing. But the bit in the middle…

Devon’s attempt to hypnotize Sharona is very much how it would probably go, if you tried to hypnotize someone covertly without their consent. (Needless to say, I’m not sure because NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.) But the subconscious mind isn’t stupid. It may have different goals and drives than the conscious mind, and it may not have all the same priorities, but a hypnotized person is still aware of what’s happening to them. Often the subconscious mind goes along with it, because it’s getting what it wants, but break the trust of a hypnotized subject the way Devon did and you will get a response like, “I’m waking up now.” Yes, there are lines in there about implanted defenses and so forth, and I don’t ever think it’s a bad thing to do that kind of groundwork with a sub, but I feel pretty confident that Sharona’s response to Devon is the most realistic thing in this story. Which is good!

Back in Black: Lots of cinematic hypnosis in this one. I love it to death, I think it’s very hot and some of my best writing and has a good message about owning your desires instead of letting them own you, but no. You can’t hypnotize someone into having a second personality that does porn, you can’t turn someone into a meek and obedient little girl just by trancing them, you can’t (in a turn of phrase I’m quite pleased with) “strip someone down to the brainpan and start over”. Even the more plausible stuff, like freeze triggers and sexual suggestions, is still not even close to the realm of realistic in the context that it’s used. That’s a valuable point about these stories–being realistic was never my actual goal. It’s a fun bonus that happens sometimes, but these are first and foremost sexual fantasies about mind control. And this one really succeeds at that, even if it’s not a how-to guide.

Come as You Are: Much of this story needs to be extrapolated, of course, because the whole point of it is that Lila is unaware that she’s responding to a hypnotic trigger. It would be easy to come up with a backstory that involves plausible hypnosis, and possibly even consensual hypnosis…although even if she’s consenting to the things she does in this story, her professor/Dominant is still being hugely irresponsible by allowing her to risk an indecent exposure charge or a car accident by driving topless and hypnotized, and there’s also an underlying issue of the power inequality and ethical issues involved in sleeping with a student under any circumstances. There’s no reading that makes this a good idea to do in reality, but it’s very easy to imagine a set of circumstances under which the basic components (amnesia, responding to a trigger without realizing it, going to meet someone at a location you don’t consciously remember) could be done realistically.

But if you’re going to do any of this stuff, you’re already thinking pre-talk, consent, safety, check-ins, and post-talk, so you don’t need that lecture again. Right?

You’re So Vain: This is another of those stories that doesn’t feature formal hypnosis–there’s no induction, no “look into my eyes” or anything–but that does feature something we could at the very least say is more than seduction. Is it plausible more-than-seduction? Difficult to say, really. It’s probably pretty safe to suggest that if you’re caught sleeping with someone else’s partner, you’re not generally likely to have a high success rate if you respond by calmly and confidently pinning them to the wall and touching them without consent. (It’s also very safe to say that you shouldn’t do that even if you were likely to succeed, but I somehow suspect this is one of those tactics that comes with its own little life lessons.)

But Marcy and Chris enjoy it in the story, and it’s not impossible that Violet could have recognized on some level that this was something they were going to be into but wouldn’t be able to bring themselves to ask for and decided to push their buttons to see what would happen…basically, I’d file this under a “very unlikely, and certainly a bad idea to try in real life” and leave it at that.

And there’s another five in the books, and I hope you’ll join me the next time I do one of these whenever it is!

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Notepad”!

July 20, 2017

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Even the Stars Fall 4 U”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Notepad”! (MC MF MD)

Sandy is an adventurous woman, and she sees nothing wrong with hypnosis play with strangers on the Internet so long as the right precautions are in place. She’s given herself a post-hypnotic suggestion to write down any programming she might receive on a nearby notepad, just in case someone tries to sneak anything into her subconscious. How’s that working? Well, here’s a taste:

Sandy read further, eager to find out what else Kevin had made her do. ‘Play with my nipples while I stare at Master’s words. Read every one. BELIEVE THEM ALL.’ That last sentence was underlined three times; something about the intensity of it made Sandy shiver with arousal. She couldn’t remember anything she had seen that night–she’d have to go look into the chat log later to see what he was saying to her–but she remembered how they made her feel. Her pussy already felt feverishly warm under her hand, and Sandy could feel the phantoms of last night’s pleasure tingling in her stiff nipples. Believing must have felt very good to make her sleepy self want it that bad.

Sandy had no idea how much time passed before the next entry, but judging by the way her handwriting shook, it must have been a long time. ‘begg Master to let mee play’, it said, the words practically sprawling across the page in an uncontrollable chicken scratch that covered four or five lines of the paper. Seeing it evoked the most intense sensation of need, an almost tangible ache in Sandy’s wet cunt that made her almost want to whisper the word “please” even with nobody in the room to hear it. Her deep self must have been putty in Kevin’s hands by that point.

The next entry was practically composed by comparison. ‘Turn on the webcam.’ So that was when he got her to do that. It made sense; Sandy had read enough of her own trance diaries to know that she got a little more…enthused about following instructions when she was masturbating. Kevin would have had no trouble getting her to give him a little show by that point. It wasn’t exactly that her resistance weakened–Sandy had just enough of an exhibitionist streak in her to enjoy giving a little cam show to her regular play partners, and Kevin was very trustworthy even if she’d never let him see her on cam before last night.

Hope you enjoy it!

MST3K Vs Hypnosis: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom

July 16, 2017

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There was almost bound to be at least one episode of the new MST3K that featured some hypnosis; after all, Mystery Science Theater 3000 lives and breathes cheesy old science-fiction and fantasy movies, and SFF has used hypnosis as a means to compel women to do sexual things (or at least to hint at same, depending on the vagaries of censors from era to era) almost as long as there’s been science fiction and fantasy. So it’s unsurprising that one of the episodes that came in Season 11, “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom”, had a hypnosis sub-plot.

For those of you who haven’t seen “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom”, let me congratulate you and express my envy–no, wait. Let me explain. The movie is…well, basically it’s “Star Wars” in Fantasyland, but without any of the wit, skill, and production values, but that describes about 90% of the sci-fi/fantasy movies released between 1977 and 1985, so let’s try to get a little more specific. The movie is about a fantasy kingdom with a good king who rules wisely and well, which is pretty much fitted as standard, and his two wizardly advisors, who come with color-coded special effects to remind you who’s the good one and who’s the cartoonishly evil one.

The evil one seduces the queen, kills the king, and takes over the kingdom, and the good one entrusts the ultimate magical artifact that will decide the fate of the entire land to his bumbling apprentice, who drops it within literally ten seconds and is teleported to the ass end of nowhere. He has to team up with Swordsman Han Solo and No-Budget Chewbacca and learn how to not constantly fuck up his every attempt at magic, while getting back to the castle before the evil advisor can find the magic ring he stupidly dropped and consolidate his literal and figurative power.

But of course, you’re asking, “Where does the mind control come in?” Well, despite having rolled high on his Seduce check in regards to the wicked queen, the evil advisor is already thinking she’s not going to be the easiest person in the world to share power with. So there’s a subplot where he’s continually leching over the princess, who is the apprentice’s love interest because Syd Fields. When the princess shoots him out of the saddle pretty much cold, he decides to resort to hypnosis to win her over. The hypnosis scenes are brief, and to be honest pretty squicky despite showing some nice technique, because it’s just impossible not to notice that she’s about half his age and he’s giving off a vibe that’s really skeevy even for the bad guy in a fantasy movie.

But it is really the only memorable thing about the movie, and I’m sure that there’s probably someone right now reading this going, “OH! That was the movie I saw when I was thirteen that make me realize I had a hypnosis fetish, I never new the title until now!” So on that level, it’s probably worth discussing. And Jonah and the bots do a pretty good job making fun of what is ultimately a very punishing movie, so it’s worth checking out.

(Not as punishing as the sequel, though. If you want to know how bad “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom 2” is, watch the first one and imagine someone looking at it and saying, “Man. I wish we had the budget to pull that off.”)

Early Bird Sneak Peeks: “Up All Night” and “More Than a Feeling”!

July 13, 2017

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Just Dumb”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting two stories, “Up All Night” (MC MF MD) and “More Than a Feeling” (MC FF CB)!

In “Up All Night”, Justine is desperate to complete a project for her textile class, but she’s falling asleep at her sewing machine. Luckily, her roommate has a solution–take a hypnotic power nap! And of course, he would never take advantage of that…here’s a taste.

“Um…how long was I…?” she asked nervously, unable to even finish the sentence. The back of her head kept lurching in panic; her sense of time felt distorted and she had no idea how long she’d spent in the pleasant fog of hypnosis, but judging by how well-rested she felt, she couldn’t imagine it being any less than three hours.

“About twenty minutes,” Dylan replied, glancing over at his laptop to check the time. “How do you feel?”

“I feel…” Justine’s mouth burst into a wide grin as she hopped lightly to her feet. “I feel wonderful! Thank you so much!” She leaned in and gave him a spontaneous hug and a kiss on the cheek before bounding over to the sewing machine, feeling almost lighter than air as she danced across the room.

When she sat back down, the work somehow felt like it went smoother–not just because Justine felt energized and alert instead of groggy and clumsy, but better than it had in days. She felt like her hands were rock steady and her fingers as nimble as a concert pianist. She seemed to notice everything in slow motion, like an athlete ‘in the zone’…although it was difficult to imagine Michael Jordan stitching up a hemline on the sideline during a timeout.

Justine felt so good that she didn’t even think about what had just happened for almost twenty minutes. When she did, though, she had a sudden lurch in the back of her brain that very nearly threw her newly-acquired super-stitchery off the track for a good few seconds before her hands went on auto-pilot and allowed her brain to think about what she’d just done.

The second story, “More Than a Feeling”, is set in my superhero universe and introduces a new hero, a mystic named Epiphany whose cosmic attunement always puts her in the right place and the right time to stop criminals. But this time, her arch-nemesis is ready for her. Here’s a taste:

Irritatingly, Epiphany’s monologue seemed only to amuse her foe. “Oh, my dear little hedgehog,” she said, her voice dancing on the edge of laughter. “You know your one important thing, and of course you can’t help but look at this poor little fox who knows a great many things and think of my knowledge as tiny compared to yours. But let me ask you, Epiphany…what would you do, if I decided to fill my pockets with magical baubles and walk right out of here? How would you stop me?”

Epiphany decided she’d had enough. She knew from long experience that the sooner she stopped Dilettante from tampering with magic, the less involved the process of rescuing the foolish woman from the dangers of her own ignorance and the fewer innocents at risk. And intuitively, she knew just how to handle the situation. “Like this,” she said, pulling her top off and throwing it to the floor. A quick shimmy of her hips later, and the rest of her costume joined it.

Dilettante let out a peal of helpless laughter. “Oh my,” she said, leaning back in the chair and putting her free hand to her lips to stifle giggles. “You’ve certainly got me on the ropes now, don’t you?”

Hope you enjoy them!

Mind Control in “Star Trek: Dagger of the Mind”

July 10, 2017

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As is sometimes the case at the end of a long convention weekend, I do like to do something fairly simple related to mind control in science-fiction and fantasy. And since I literally finished watching this original series Star Trek episode just a couple of hours ago, and it is so heavily invested with a mind control element, it’s somewhat on the brain. And let me just say that it is cosmically unfair that something with so much mind control in it could be this damn unsexy.

For those of you who’ve never seen it, the Enterprise is dropping off supplies for a penal colony on Tantalus and picking up some outgoing documents. The colony is surrounded by a force field to prevent anyone from beaming a prisoner out (sensible) but they ship the documents in one large human-sized box labeled “DO NOT OPEN” and don’t check it to see if anyone climbed inside (very much less sensible). Sure enough, a madman escapes…but he’s not a prisoner. He’s one of the staff.

This is a great hook, but a) they bury the lede a bit, and b) even with this, Kirk is remarkably willing to beam down with only one other person to a planet where a brilliant scientist with a stellar reputation very specifically asks him to not bring any security teams along with him given that just two episodes earlier he did the exact same thing and the guy turned out to be an evil genius who wanted to get a starship captain alone for sinister purposes. Naturally, Kirk beams down with only one other person to the planet with the brilliant scientist with a stellar reputation who very specifically asks him not to bring along a security detail. The other person is Dr. Helen Noel, a “woman doctor” (sigh) who Kirk hit on at the science lab Christmas party (double sigh) and who he passive-aggressively denigrates because he’s still upset over the Christmas party thing (file lawsuit).

The brilliant scientist is condescending and sketchy, something Kirk picks up on right away because if there’s anything Kirk knows, it’s condescending and sketchy. He shows Kirk a “neural neutralizer”, which he claims is just a harmless brain relaxer but which Spock and McCoy find out from their prisoner on the ship is actually a brainwashing beam that can render anyone instantly docile and compliant and blank and empty and simply begging for their mind to be filled with their controller’s will. (Cue awkward feeling about someone taking a very fetishy premise and treating it seriously in a way that kills the drama.)

(Well, that and the prisoner looks like Kramer and sounds like a cartoon moose. Even with Nimoy hinting at the idea that the prisoner’s brainwashing might be infecting him through the mind meld, it’s still not hot.)

Back on the planet, Kirk and Noel decide to break into the neutralizer room and test it out. Noel decides to fuck with Kirk’s head a little and implant a memory of the two of them boning back at Christmas, just to see if she can really implant thoughts, but then the evil scientist shows up and decides to implant memories of Kirk having a creepy, lifelong obsession with Noel that makes him willing to murder for her. Why? GOOD QUESTION.

After implanting the creepy Noel fetish into Kirk, he locks the two of them in their quarters for a while, and Kirk helps Noel escape and tells her how to shut down the force field that’s keeping the Enterprise from rescuing them. (Oh, yeah, Kirk got off a distress call before the evil scientist forced him to surrender his communicator. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess what Plan B is supposed to be. Brainwash Kirk into saying, “Oops, never mind”? Then again, this is the guy who had his enemy completely mindless and open to programming, and didn’t think to say, “Oh, by the way, don’t try to escape.” Maybe long-term planning isn’t his specialty.)

Noel escapes, and the mad scientist puts Kirk into the chamber for a new session in which he implants the commands, “You trust me” and “You believe me”, but fails to mention “You don’t want to punch me in the face repeatedly and make a run for it.” And when Noel shuts off the power, Kirk punches the mad scientist in the face repeatedly and makes a run for it. He finds Noel and gets extremely inappropriate with her just as Spock shows up, leading to Nimoy’s best goddamn facial expression in the entire fucking series, and the power gets switched back on while the evil scientist is in his own brainwashing chamber and he gets brainwashed to death. Kirk gets treated for PTSD and all sorts of mental trauma and…oh, no, wait. No he doesn’t. He goes right back up to the bridge and gives a smug little grin to the camera as the episode mercifully ends.

There is mind control in this one, and honestly in rather impressive amounts. There’s brainwashing rays, and mind melding, and serial recruitment, and really all sorts of things that should trip everyone’s fetish buttons and lead them to have really problematic-but-hot readings of this episode. But something about the sheer, frustrating incompetence and chauvinism on display makes it absolutely not work as fetish material. It’s one thing to have the hero brainwashed into sexy feelings, but it’s another to have everything around that not work at all.

Liner Notes for June 2017

July 2, 2017

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Can you believe it’s been a month since the last time I did these Liner Notes? I suppose that’s the thing about June being so short, you practically blink and it’s July. (February is technically shorter, of course, but makes up for it by being so miserable that every day feels like an eternity.) In any event, let’s talk about this month’s stories!”

Worst Case Scenario: When I saw this title, it set me thinking about what the “worst case scenario” would be for someone involving hypnosis. I mulled it over in my head for a little bit before coming up with the idea of a trance trigger falling into the hands of someone who the protagonist really didn’t want having any control over (or even involvement in) their life, and who was unscrupulous enough and skilled enough at manipulation to use it unethically to bind them into a very deep state of obedience even when the protagonist knew what they were trying to do.

It’s “cinematic hypnosis” in a lot of obvious ways; you’re not likely to go under for your ex even if they did find out your trigger, and it would be more likely to make that trigger stop working than make you their obedient slave. (Not that I have to worry about this, because my audience is way too ethical to try using someone’s triggers without permission. Right?) But in the realm of fantasy, there’s something hot about the idea of hypnosis making you so helpless that you’ll obediently walk off with your own kidnapper, and what’s way too dark to consider as a practical event can make for a fun story.

Zombie Blood Nightmare: There’s something in my brain that clearly loves an impossible challenge; when I saw this title, I knew I had to do it simply because it was so obviously unsexy as a concept. It reminded me of cheesy late-night horror movies (actually, it reminded me of a specific cheesy late-night horror movie, but more on that in a moment) and I knew instantly that it was going to be about an old videocassette or DVD of some low-budget horror flick. And then it occurred to me–if you were going to give someone a brainwashing video, what better way to conceal it than to label it with a title that sounded not just scary but also actively terrible? And so the idea of “title as camouflage” was born.

I was also aware that in the cult classic 80s flick, ‘The Video Dead’, the movie-within-a-movie that spews forth hordes of zombies into the real world was called ‘Zombie Blood Nightmare’. So I decided to run with it–all the films mentioned in Ronnie’s collection are either notorious working titles (like ‘Grave Robbers from Outer Space’, which became the legendary ‘Plan Nine’) or titles of movies within movies. I pictured Greg as someone who bonded with Ronnie over their shared love of cheesy horror, and he ensnared her by giving her a bunch of supposedly obscure movies that only true aficionados had in their collection. All of which is just backstory, but it’s good to have more backstory than you need when it comes to making a story feel believable.

Divide and Conquer: Um, so…yeah. This one got dark fast. I knew when I saw the title that it would be a sinister mind controller who wound up with more victims than he bargained for, and who set them against each other with his little devil’s bargain to erode their resistance that much quicker. It seemed like a cool, fairly original concept for a story, and I thought that it would be kind of hot to see the two women trying to work out a way to escape that didn’t sound like they were trying to trick the other one into holding out longer.

But then I actually sat down and started writing the damned thing, and it pretty quickly became obvious that the stress of a tough situation would lay open the seams in even the tightest friendship. And the deeper I got into the writing, the more I realized that the characters were going to have to have a lot of depth in order to make the story seem remotely believable (and that’s the thing about mind control fetish smut, if you don’t mind me tooting my own horn for a moment–you have to make believable, likable characters with real personalities and not just lazy one-dimensional sex toys. Because 99% of the sexual charge of the story is watching them lose their personality, temporarily or permanently, as the control takes hold, and that’s just no fun if they’re already vacant, sex-crazed and empty-headed.)

And I also realized that yeah, they’d really wind up laying into each other in ways that would probably make them not-friends anymore if they did escape, which meant that it suddenly turned into a Eugene O’Neill play with brainwashing helmets. Not what I intended, but I think it turned out as a good piece of writing even if it was much less sexy than I hoped for.

Remember the Time: I was hunting for inspiration when I saw this old Michael Jackson song title and pictured someone asking it as a question, “Do you remember the time?” It struck me as an odd phrasing in the absence of specifics; we remember specific times, but nobody asks what time it is by saying, “Do you remember the time?” Which meant you could get away with using it as a trigger.

And of course, if you’re asking someone what time it is as a trigger, the first thing they’re going to do is look down at their watch. And what’s all the rage with watches right now? Smart watches! Which are known for having little tiny computer screens that can display elaborate graphics. And Rule #1 of mind-control fetish is that if you have a new technology that could conceivably display a spiral, it will be used to deliver brainwashing images to an unsuspecting person. Hence the basic concept was born.

There’s a lot that’s only hinted at here, due to the limited perspective of the victim, but the idea is that subscribers to this service are able to pull up an app on their phone that tells them where the nearest girl who’s been inducted into the program is. (Their smart watches track their location.) All they need to do is walk up to them, say the trigger, pull them away to a private spot, and they get all the sex they want. Which, again, would be an absolutely terrible thing to do to an actual living human being, but as this is just a fantasy delivery service for people who want to daydream about having unlimited amounts of sex with strangers guilt-free, we don’t get into that. (But just in case someone ever thinks that these stories are intended as guides for real world behavior, let me stress again: Absolutely. Terrible.)

And on that cheery note, we end another month of Liner Notes! See ya back here next week for another blog post, and back next month for another round of story discussion!