Is It Hypnosis? – Part Four

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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!

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