Is It Hypnosis? – Part Seven

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As we continue our journey through my old stories to look at the ones where hypnosis is presented as plausible and give them a good hard squint to see just how likely they really are, it’s worth mentioning that I didn’t originally intend this to become a discussion of the ethics of the characters in the story. I’ve always stood by my strong belief that these are fantasies, and that one of the very nice things about a fantasy is that you can explore a desire you have that would be absolutely terrible to experience in real life. But I very quickly found that once you say, “Yes, this is probably doable,” you kind of have to qualify it with a quick “But oh God please don’t ever try,” in the cases where it’s wildly unethical. And yes, those are going to come up again today. Shall we?

Too Shy: There’s absolutely nothing going on in this story that isn’t totally achievable; Rebekah induces a trance, implants a trigger that Mei is clearly happy to accept because it removes from her the responsibility of admitting her sexual desires, and she uses it with Mei’s waking permission. Which brings up the next point, it’s all entirely consensual; Mei is not hypnotized by stealth, she accepts all her triggers and even asks for Rebekah to use them, and Rebekah makes sure that Mei is well looked after while she’s in her altered state. About the only thing I would say is that Rebekah is probably tip-toeing a little bit close to the line of non-hypnotherapists practicing therapeutic hypnosis–while she isn’t exactly making deep or permanent changes, she is trying to fix something she sees as wrong with her friend using hypnosis, which should be best left to the professionals.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy: Ooh, we’re back to Darla and Jane! Again, this is plausible if not particularly ethical as long as we make two assumptions. These assumptions are not directly evidenced in the two stories (I’ll admit, I’ve always wanted to come back to this couple) but as the author, I’m going to say that they were implicit as far as I was concerned. The first is that Darla has a very strong, unstated hypnosis kink, and that much of what Jane does to her is stuff she wants strongly on a subconscious level. Now, that doesn’t make it ethical to hypnotize someone without their knowledge or consent, to remove their memories of the trance, or to implant triggers they’re unaware of that make them too horny to think… but it does make those things easier to do, because the subject wants them to happen on some level. (And I do think Jane had more of a conversation with Darla about that than was shown, but negotiation with a hypnotized person is not good negotiation.)

The second is that Darla has a very mild humiliation kink that, again, she’s not consciously admitting to, and that trying to assert herself as a Domme only to be hypnotized into submitting is a huge turn-on for her. I think you have to make that assumption to believe any of the hypnosis in this story, because otherwise I don’t think Darla would accept the suggestions you see here to go to Darla’s hotel room and get her brain melted again. Again, that doesn’t make any of this ethical, and I would strongly discourage someone from doing this kind of play without a lot more pre-talk and negotiation before any trancing happened. But it’s doable. (And honestly, if you wanted to do something like this after enthusiastic consent for all the elements had been negotiated, that’s what amnesia suggestions are there for.)

Flesh for Fantasy: Hoo boy. This one is something of a can of worms, because it really is all about someone setting clear hard limits at the beginning of the story, and a hypnotist slowly and methodically blurring those boundaries until they erode away completely. When I wrote it, I probably would have told you that you couldn’t really do that and it would be a terrible idea to even try. I think my position now is that yes, you probably could do that, which makes it an even more terrible idea to try.

Because let’s face it, trust and intimacy and sex are a very potent cocktail, and it’s really clear from the beginning that Jessica needs Tom more than Tom needs Jessica in this equation. The blackmail rectifies some of that power imbalance, but as Tom demonstrates in the climax of the story, he understands full well that Jessica’s threats to turn him in are ultimately empty, and his threats to stop hypnotizing her are not. That’s a huge, huge advantage he has over her, and he uses it to very patiently push her past one limit after another until she’s doing things she would have said ‘no’ to at the beginning of their fucked-up relationship.

Patience and power imbalance make a lot of things possible that wouldn’t seem possible in terms of controlling someone, and that’s kind of a warning to submissives as much as a statement about the story. Never let yourself think that a particular Dominant is the only one who can fulfill your kink, and never let them break your hard limits. Because I wrote this as a very hot fantasy, but it’s a terrible reality if you’re in Jessica’s position and I wouldn’t want anyone to go through that. Oh, and if you’re a hypnotist reading what Tom does and thinking, “Hmmm…” Just don’t, okay? Treat people like people. There are plenty of folks out there who would happily consent to most of what Jessica does, no awfulness required.

(Oh, and the stuff at the end with Cassie is really pretty cinematic. That part is just there for plot convenience.)

Wrapped Around Your Finger: There are a lot of facts not in evidence that you have to assume with this one, because it is written from the point of view of someone who is currently experiencing an altered state of perception and memory and consciousness due to a post-hypnotic suggestion and there is so much going on that Andrea is completely unaware of. (Hypnosis: Taking the “unreliable narrator” trope to new heights!) But, if we assume that Robyn and Andrea are in a consensual D/s relationship that involves hypnosis, and we assume that this is, as the young folk say, “their jam”, and we assume that all parties involved gave enthusiastic consent to this scene (and there’s no reason not to assume that all this is the case…)

Then sure, it’s totally doable. I know people who’ve been hypnotized to think they were superheroes. Being hypnotized to think you’re a dominatrix is relatively trivial. And the “Mistress wants” trigger is really just another “would-you-kindly” trigger, a disguised phrase that implants an irresistible compulsion. This is the sort of thing that could happen at any clothing-optional, sex-allowed hypno-play party, and probably Andrea would wake up at the end of the night absolutely thrilled that it worked so well.

Invisible Touch: I almost feel like it goes without saying that yes, anything Jack and Diane do in their stories is 100% plausible and achievable hypnotically (although Diane is a very good subject with a lot of practice–don’t expect to be able to have a hypno-tickle party the first time you go under). And yes, it’s all entirely ethical; the negotiation takes place “off-screen”, as it were, but Jack and Diane are in a long-term, consensual hypnosis-based D/s relationship and everything he does to her mind, he does with her enthusiastic consent. Right down to having triggers she doesn’t remember until he uses them on her.

(Fun fact: At the time I wrote this, I was working about a year in advance of the actual posting date of my stories. A full year to the day after I wrote this, the exact week that I posted it, the Ordway Theater staged a production of ‘The Barber of Seville’. This not only could have happened, it could have happened the exact day people were reading it for the first time.)

And that’s another five in the books–it’s a good thing not all of my stories feature realistic hypnosis, or we might never get through these! See you next time!

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