A Few of My Favorite Things: Rationalizations

I’ve discussed in the past that while I write a lot of different kinks, not everything I write comes out of my personal turn-ons. But there are some tropes in the mind-control erotica subgenre that really do get me very hot, and when I include them it’s usually a sign that I’m writing something that turns me on personally rather than something I’m writing to accommodate someone else’s kink. (Although, dirty little secret, writing something invariably involves putting myself in the mindset of someone who is turned on by whatever I’m writing about, which can sometimes result in some weird mental states as my brain tries to ratchet back to default settings.)

In any event, this particular trope, which I’m calling “rationalization”, involves the person following hypnotic suggestion either without being aware that they’re doing it at all, or at the very least without being aware that what they’re doing is unusual or the result of hypnosis. It’s that point in the story where the character’s emotional narrative doesn’t match the accounts of their actions at all, and of course they think they’re still completely in charge of their own mind…but it’s hypnosis. Even when it’s not hypnosis, it’s always some form of mind control, and they’ve given in to it so deeply that they don’t even think about how hypnotized they are.

Yum! Of course, it’s sometimes difficult to pull off for a whole story, because a story where the victim never ever ever realizes they’ve been hypnotized at all doesn’t look much like mind control. There’s usually either a revelation sequence where they finally realize just how much of their behavior is due to the hypnotist’s control, or a sequence showing the control taking hold so that the reader, at least, is aware of the depths of the power the hypnotist holds. But the finest moments in these stories tend to be the beautiful, seamless rationalizations the victim constructs for their entirely incongruous actions.

I’ve written a few like this (“Breathe It In”, “Eye for an Eye”, “The Quiet Type”) but this was really one of the things that trilby else did very well. His stories tend to go incredibly dark as they go on, so I usually stop at part one or two, but one of the things that usually happens in the early going in his stories that makes me want to keep going back to those parts is that the victim gradually enslaves herself deeper, while still perfectly convinced that she’s either resistant to hypnosis or that the hypnosis isn’t having nearly as strong of an effect as it actually is. Leasehold Part One has a wonderful scene where the main character comes out of hypnosis and has a long chat with her hypnotist about what she can and can’t be made to do, little knowing she’s already done all of it, and Taker Part Four has several very hot sequences where the evil hypnotist works on her latest victim’s resistance like bending a metal bar rapidly back and forth until it breaks. And of course, I’ve talked in the past about how the silly all-girl GI Joe fantasy-ness of Worm makes the enslaving seem less dark, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned how incredibly sexy it is to read the scene where someone is walked through the logic, step by step, of how their actions betrayed their comrades, even as they insist the entire time that they can’t possibly be hypnotized. It’s…memorable.

Which is ultimately what we all aim for with stories like this, so I’m pretty sure we’re all happy with the end result!

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