Is It Hypnosis? – Part Fourteen

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Yep, it’s time for another installment in my popular series of “looking back at old stuff I’ve written to see how plausible and ethical the hypnosis is”! (Well, I mean… one person said they liked it. Nobody’s asked me to stop. That’s gotta count for something, right?)

Brand New Key: So obviously this is unethical, but really when you’re talking about a master jewel thief and a master forger arguing about how to divvy up the spoils of their highly illegal robbery, I think that chiding one party for unethical use of hypnosis is kind of water over the bridge, y’know? The question is, would Alice’s plan work?

The answer is, “Nope.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s distinctly possible that the scenario could play out the way that it does here. Alice is using some legitimate hypnosis techniques, and Blake’s conscious and subconscious mind both have an incentive to go along with her induction and drop into trance for her. He would probably go under, even if he was telling himself that he was only pretending to get the key. (Lots of people wind up believing they were awake and just acting like they were hypnotized, when in fact they’re hypnotized and just thinking they’re awake.) He might even, when he has the jewels in his hot little hands, feel an impulse to go back to Alice. But the same lever of greed that made him susceptible to hypnosis would help him resist any suggestions to give up the loot.

I Can’t Wait: Unsurprisingly, given that this story is co-written by a woman who’s both a talented hypnotist and a talented writer, this story is entirely plausible. None of the specific scenarios in the story happened, but they’re all drawn from real-life experiences in the hypno-kink community over the years (and the general kink community as well) and everything that’s done with hypnosis is legitimately possible. Hypnosis over text is much easier than people believe – there’s a general association in the minds of many between “deep” and “eyes closed” that makes folks think that you can’t have a really deep trance when you have to read, but in reality the text itself acts as an eye fixation focus.

And it’s also a respectful and ethical use of hypnosis. The use of hypnotic language in flirting is something I wouldn’t necessarily recommend in real life, although there’s a certain degree of ‘read the room’ there and I’d say that RandomAccess is giving off enough of an ‘enthusiastic consent’ vibe from his end that Win-Now-Will is justified in at least dipping her metaphorical toe in that end of the pool. And it’s pretty safe to assume that everything else involved off-screen negotiations and consent. This one gets high marks in the “could you do this in real life” category.

Electioneering: On the other end of the spectrum… this one is both completely impossible, and perversely unethical (in my personally political opinion). Yes, the story hedges its bets by having Betsy answer the door when she’s exhausted and her energies are at a very low ebb, and certainly the stinger at the end implies that this is part and parcel of the standard tactics for the group. And it’s never stated how much emotional investment Betsy has in voting anyway, so we don’t know how much the suggestion goes against her deeply-held values.

But in reality, just the sexual touching alone would probably snap her out of trance, and certainly she wouldn’t be amenable to suggestions to go out and recruit others to the club. That’s an unrealistic amount of influence in so short a time, to say nothing of the fact that hypnotizing someone into waiving their constitutional rights and sexually assaulting them is Not Good. I don’t really expect anyone to try this, but yeah. Don’t try this.

Secret Journey: Obviously, this would take a lot of work to set up. Amnesia isn’t a natural consequence of hypnosis for many or even most people, despite its frequency in media depictions, so to get someone to the point where they don’t even recognize their own husband is not going to be easy or even achievable for a lot of folks. But it is possible, and certainly the hypnosis within the story is possible (although it’s kind of implied that the same trigger that makes Diane forget who Jack is also makes her ludicrously susceptible to suggestions).

And of course, since this is a Jack and Diane story, it’s made clear when she wakes that all of the suggestions and triggers she has installed in her brain were consensually and ethically negotiated, and that she enthusiastically consents not just to the existence of said triggers but to the unexpected use of them. Their relationship isn’t necessarily a model in that sense – lots of hypnokinksters don’t want surprise triggers, and that’s okay – but they are a model for obtaining consent.

Dressed for Success: There isn’t really any conventional hypnosis here; what Eryn does is really more sort of a D/s seduction that uses her sex appeal combined with her roleplay as a dominatrix to draw Harry into an agentic state where he feels like he’s not in control of his own decisions and behavior. It definitely is a form of mind control, though, in that Harry is doing what Eryn wants him to do rather than following his own impulses for conventional behavior in a job interview situation. That said, would it work?

I think the answer is, “….maaaaaaybe?” I certainly wouldn’t recommend trying it; this would probably be construed as sexual harassment by most people, and sexual assault if you proceeded on to the use of the crop as depicted in the latter portions of the story. But it’s certainly implied that Eryn has a greater-than-usual knowledge of Harry’s personality due to her research and interview prep, and it’s not hard to imagine a version of this story where she’s found out that he’s kinky as fuck and into femdom (and possibly findom as well). In that situation, it might be plausible that presenting him with his fantasies in the form of a “job interview turned sexy” might shut down a lot of his critical thinking faculties, especially if Eryn is presenting his submission as a fait accompli. It’s still not ethical – you should never assume that people want to live out their sexual fantasies without discussing it with them – but it might be feasible. It’s kind of unlikely, though.

And there’s another five stories sorted! Join me next week for another blog post, and (emoji shrug) for another entry in this series!

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