Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Boy Problems”!

December 4, 2019

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–“Xhalation”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Boy Problems” (MC MF MD)!

Chouma’s been having problems with the Boys(tm) that have been returned by Revolution customers. They seem aggressively dominant, uncontrollably sexual… sometimes they even act like they’re trying to hypnotize her or something. Her bosses apparently don’t notice that anything’s wrong, but Chouma is beginning to get curious. And it turns out that a little curiosity is a very dangerous thing indeed. Here’s a taste:

The Boy(tm)’s eyes flickered to life, flickering into a strobing pulse of white flashes against a background of deeper blue. Chouma shone a flashlight into each one, checking for signs of dead pixels, before tilting its head back to look into its mouth. “Do you know why you’re here?” she asked, opening and closing its jaw experimentally.

“Because I was categorized as defective,” the Boy replied without moving its lips. That part at least was working as intended; Boys only synchronized their mouth movements to their speech when their jaws weren’t otherwise engaged. The last thing you wanted was a sex robot that couldn’t talk to you when its mouth was full. “I’m currently in a Quality Assurance laboratory, being analyzed for signs of defects.”

He gave Chouma a wink that looked like a flashbulb going off. “I can assure you, I’m not at all defective. Not where it counts, pretty girl.”

Chouma smiled thinly and slid a thin metal rod into the Boy’s ear, probing and twisting until she unlocked the outer chassis of the skull. She didn’t respond; she knew from the last few times she did this that there was pretty much nothing she could say that the Boy wouldn’t turn into an excuse to talk about his penis. Not that she really expected him to have an opinion about current events or anything, but wasn’t the whole point of having a mechanical sex toy that you didn’t want to deal with a guy who bragged about his dick all the time?

Hope you enjoy it!

Liner Notes for November 2019

December 1, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 130 suave and sophisticated Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

December has rolled around, bringing a great heaping wodge of snow with it, so that means it’s time to look back at November’s stories and discuss a few tidbits about the creative process that brought them into being. It’s a full list, so let’s get started, shall we?

Room 126: As I’ve mentioned on occasion, I’m trying to do more M/M stories; I’m not doing them on any official schedule or anything, but I am trying to keep in mind that yes, it’s okay to have these pop up every once in a while. When I wrote this one, as I often do, I started from the title and worked my way inward – I knew that Room 126 was going to be where the protagonist went to be brainwashed, because “Room X” as a title always means that the room itself is of vital importance to the story and what’s more vital to mind control kink than the mind control?

And since the room is important, and the protagonist keeps going back there in response to a post-hypnotic suggestion without realizing it (because that’s always just fucking hot) then the brainwasher must have some way of ensuring that. So from there I came up with the idea of a wealthy man who has the money to basically own a hotel just so he always has the same room free, and who hasn’t spent much time or effort on redecorating anything but “his” room, which he uses to entertain guests. There’s definitely a suggestion that this may be consensual on Ronald’s part, including the amnesia, but I left it just vague enough that people who wanted to imagine themselves as the helpless victim of a sinister mind controller who has his hooks in their brain can do so. And everything else was just, “What would be sexy to me in this kind of situation?”

Vampires Will Never Hurt You: As I’ve mentioned before, it’s sometimes nice to be able to get political through the (in this case tissue-thin) veil of fiction; obviously, this is a satire of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, a right-wing conglomerate that owns a number of television stations across the country and forces them to insert wildly inaccurate conservative propaganda into the local news. It felt simultaneously perverse and wildly entertaining to take the same tropes of the wingnut noise machine and apply them to something like the defense of literal bloodsucking vampires (I was particularly proud of “This is just another case of liberals taking the same old tired attacks and giving them a fresh coat of paint, courtesy of George Soros and his operatives.”)

Zero Percent: I’ve mentioned in the past that one of the things that’s very hot to me is the way that playing a repetitive video game becomes its own kind of hypnotic focus, with your conscious mind juuuuuust engaged enough with gem swapping or piece dropping that you kind of tune out the world around you a little. And I think we’ve all experienced that in the context of a phone battery that’s a bit too low for comfort in a situation where we both a) need the phone for important communications, and b) need to be distracted from the boredom of sitting in a strange place with nothing to do.

But since I wanted to hedge my bets a bit, I decided to hint that a) Chris was the stranger in the story, b) he’d been hypnotizing Stasia already online and over voice chat, and c) he opened the conversation not with a bizarre exclamation, but with a trigger that primed Stasia to respond to this particular fantasy they both had and wanted to play out during their first visit together. Which makes the whole thing both a bit more believable and a bit more comfortable for people who aren’t necessarily into kidnap fantasies.

Cattle and the Creeping Things: As I said above, frequently I start with a title and work my way into the story by filling in the details, and sometimes that process happens very quickly. In this case, as soon as I read the words “The Creeping Things”, I had this immediate mental image of something that looked like a cross between the Gentlemen from Buffy, the Iszs from the Maxx, and Venom from Spider-Man – tall and thin and gangly to the point where its limbs looked too long for its body, jet black all over with nothing on its face but a wide smile full of sharp teeth, and something liquid and dripping about its shape. And I figured, well, if those are the Creeping Things, then we must be the cattle, right? After that, it was just a matter of writing something kind of stream-of-consciousness that hit all the notes I was constructing in my little worldbuilding exercise.

Don’t Fight It: I don’t know why, but this particular notion of mine is one I return to again and again – the idea of an artifact of some sort, a weapon in a conflict far removed from our existence and understanding, that comes to Earth and immediately begins attempting to fulfill its directives without really being capable of comprehending that they don’t apply anymore. And of course chaos ensues. It’s certainly got some antecedents I can point to; “The Twonky” is one I’ve mentioned on occasion, as well as the legend of the Golem and stories like “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. There’s something so wonderfully chilling about the idea of rules being applied to you without reason to guide them, and when you add in mind control and sex, that frisson of delicious fear mingles wonderfully with eroticism.

(I hope. I mean, I thought it came out pretty good, and it’s coming close to a 4.5 on Literotica, so some of you must agree with me, right?)

And that’s November in the books! Join me next week for another blog entry, and next month for another Liner Notes!

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Follow You Home”!

November 27, 2019

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–“Don’t Fight It”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Follow You Home” (MC MF MD FD FF)!

Vanessa’s sick of being Hal’s little side-piece, the woman good enough to hypnotize and fuck but not to bring home. She’s decided to take control of Hal, his wife Julia, and everything that should be hers by right… even if she has to use the very same skills that Hal taught her to get what she deserves. Here’s a taste:

Hal sighed, rolling his eyes wearily. “She’s not going to believe you,” he said, in the same patient, didactic tones he used to explain payment schedules to impatient suppliers. “Go on in there if you want, I don’t mind. Tell her you’re my secret lover, tell her we’ve been fucking behind her back for months and you’re crazy for my cock and I’ve hypnotized you into being my fucktoy and you don’t wear panties anymore because I told you I wanted to be able to flip your skirt up and play with your pussy whenever I felt like it. Tell her all of it.”

He shrugged. “I’ll be on the phone to the cops before you get to the end of the first sentence, saying that one of my co-workers has developed a dangerous fixation on me and has broken into my home. I’ll say you’re delusional, that you’ve become obsessed with me and you’ve invented a whole fantasy life about us. Within twenty minutes you’ll be in jail, by Monday you’ll be out of a job, and I’ll still be with Julia. That’s not changing, Vanessa. I thought I was very clear about that last week.”

Vanessa’s entire body trembled with impotent rage. She knew he wasn’t wrong–never mind that there were no signs of forced entry, in a neighborhood like this a black woman in a white man’s house was always breaking and entering as soon as they said she was–but to hear him say it so coldly and dispassionately stung her to the very core. She knew she wasn’t delusional. She knew that she was more to him than just a little fling on the side. The way he growled commands to her in that husky, barely-controlled voice of his when she knelt for him and looked up into his smoldering eyes… he couldn’t fake that kind of desire. He simply couldn’t.

And she wasn’t about to let him go. “I thought you might say that,” reaching into her purse and pulling out a long chain with a crystal pendulum attached to one end. “That’s why I came prepared.” His eyes widened as she stretched her arm out, letting the pendant dangle and sway in front of her. “Remember this, Hal? You left it at my place the last time you snuck out to see me. I figured the least I could do was return it to you.”

Hope you enjoy it!

(Apparently) My Top 5 Stories

November 24, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 134 really amazingly amazing Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Taste is a funny thing. I think one of the hardest struggles I’ve had in my life is breaking down the instilled wisdom that there’s such a thing as a canon or a curriculum of Great Works that need to be experienced as some sort of prerequisite for being properly grounded in a genre or style or simply the concept of Art itself. I still find myself thinking of “the essential works” or “the best”, when really there is no such thing; you can learn about the artists who’ve influenced your favorites and maybe come away with a greater appreciation for them, and certainly there’s a consensus taste, but Art is ultimately subjective and it’s okay to like the things you like. (Certainly you’ll have a longer and more enjoyable conversation when you talk about them if you can explain why you like them, but you don’t need to justify your tastes.)

All of which is a long and extremely rambly way of saying, “Hey, that said, maybe there is something to this ‘wisdom of crowds’ thing, too, and here’s what the voting audience on Literotica currently says are my best stories!” (I’ll be linking to the Literotica versions this time, not the EMCSA, just in case you want to leave your own comments or votes.)

5. Access Babylon. This one surprises me a little. It comes in at a 4.7 on 125 votes, and while I’m certainly very happy with it (spoiler alert: there aren’t any on this list that I’m going to look at and say, “eh, that one honestly kind of sucked and I don’t know what people see in it”) it’s not really a “sexy” story, in the sense that I’d imagine people to go to an erotica website to read. It’s very much influenced by absurdist cyberpunk classics like ‘Headcrash’ and ‘Dark Star’, and there’s a lot of weird humor and semi-dystopian milSF peppered in the worldbuilding. But I’m certainly willing to have it listed as one of my best, because I’m proud of being able to do a weird semi-dystopian absurdist milSF cyberpunk funny sex story.

4. Smoke From an Old Flame. God, am I glad this is on there. Because I practically fucking sweated blood writing this 9600-word prolonged sexual marathon; I actually started it before my hiatus, and I’m not exaggerating when I suggest that one of the reasons I had such a lengthy pause was that I simply couldn’t keep at it. And when I first posted it, I remember the only real review it got was, “Eh. It’s really all just sex. That’s kind of boring.” Seeing that it got a 4.72 average on 102 votes is a little bit vindicating. (There is a sequel, “Smoke From a Distant Fire”, which is no less concentrated in its focus on sex but is a bit shorter. I keep thinking I’m going to write a story about them taking a cruise together and call it “Smoke on the Water”.)

3. Fascination. There was a time I never thought this would be dethroned as my all-time best. It almost still hasn’t been – Literotica lists it as #3 under Rating, but it and the one above it has 4.74, so whatever difference there is, it must be under a hundredth of a point. And “Fascination” has a lot more people voting (682!) So I think that even though this isn’t the top, it’s probably the most reliably enjoyed. And I can understand why! The two characters are likeable, the progress from “we’re just having a little fun with this mesmerizing gem we found” to “we are having wild, irrepressible lesbian sex on the floor after brainwashing each other into uncontrollable, fetishistic obsession with altering each other’s minds and bodies” is smooth and flows logically, and there’s a lot of sex as well as a lot of hypnosis and post-hypnotic tricks/convincers, which are almost as much fun for hypnokinksters as the sex. It’s just a good model of the kind of thing you’re into if you’re into mind control.

2. Graded on a Curve. And this one is a really good example of what you’re into if you’re into fantasy mind control. It ticks a lot of boxes for people who want to imagine themselves either as a sinister brainwasher or as a helpless victim; the fiction that Professor Tate has created for Sandi hits the sweet spot of being just plausible enough for her hypnotized brain to accept, just obvious enough to outsiders as a product of a post-hypnotic suggestion, and guaranteed to keep her coming back for more and more conditioning (and the conditioning is sexy in and of itself). It’s also sitting at 4.74, on 247 votes, and I expect it’ll keep its spot for a long time to come.

1. Play With Me. I’ve said in the past that some of my best stories are also the ones that are the hardest to write, and this is a prime example. It’s literally 4100 words of someone lying perfectly still and quivering. I really don’t think I can stress enough how hard it is to write a story about the experience of being teased; you have to pace it very slowly to truly capture the ecstatic torment the protagonist experiences as their pleasure is drawn out to agonizing lengths, but at the same time, literally nothing is happening for that entire stretch except for a light buzz or a tickle (or a paint brush stroking their skin, not to tease an upcoming story about body painting that nobody will see for a year). It is incredibly difficult to capture that balance between the internal narrative that focuses on every detail and the external narrative in which very few events occur, and seeing that 80 people gave this a consensus 4.75 is really gratifying.

So if you’ve found me through some other means (Hi, Tumblr! Hi, Twitter!) and you’re wondering where to start with the short stories that have been my bread and butter, these five stories are a good place to start. And if you find yourself reading through my Literotica catalog and want to leave votes or comments, I appreciate them immensely and will read them all! Thanks!

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound”!

November 21, 2019

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–“Cattle and the Creeping Things”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound” (MC MF MD)!

Ryan and Gail are having another one of their very enjoyable brainwashing sessions. Gail’s having her mind emptied out, just the way she likes it… and Ryan is having a very enjoyable time filling his empty girl with pleasure and obedience. Here’s a taste:

Gail’s eyes slipped shut again as the metronome reached the other end of its swing, her shoulders noticeably slumping into deeper relaxation and her head drooping further and further forward with every tick. “That’s right,” Ryan purred, his words stroking her mind in exactly the same way his fingers stroked her back and neck. “Closing your eyes feels better and better for me, each and every time. It feels so nice, so good to simply relax and let go for me like that. And even though you’re opening your eyes for me again… that’s it, good girl… it feels more and more exhausting. More and more tiring. And easier and easier to close. Good girl.”

Gail let out a soft, sleepy sigh that made Ryan’s cock throb between his legs like a second heartbeat, but he was enjoying the sight of Gail’s slow, helpless descent into trance far too much to even think about physical pleasure right now. He drank in the sight of her–jaw slack and vacant, eyelids fluttering with strain now every time she tried to open them, only the whites of her eyes showing as she struggled so hard to look up at the metronome that now existed only on the edges of her field of vision as her heavy head sank lower and lower. “That’s my good girl,” he husked out, his other hand reaching out to stroke up and down her smooth, soft legs. “That’s my sleepy girl.”

The corners of Gail’s lips quirked into a tiny smile, the only visible sign that she was still listening. Her expression looked otherwise completely blank, her eyelids barely even fluttering now when she heard the ticking sound. He could tell she was losing track of which beat to open and which beat to close on, the steady fractionating influence of his instruction acting to deepen her trance much faster than a traditional induction ever could. She was already on the edge of deep hypnosis. All Ryan needed to do was give her the chance to slip away for him now.

Hope you enjoy it!

Is It Hypnosis? – Part Twenty-One

November 17, 2019

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Having heard a compliment about this series recently, I decided it was time to go back and look at another chunk of stories that feature “real” hypnosis to see how real it really is, and to offer advice on the ethicality of any that seem potentially doable because the last thing I want to do is to say, “Oh, yeah, you could probably achieve some real results by locking someone in your cedar closet for a year with nothing to do but watch the brainwashing spirals” without mentioning OH GOD NO. So let’s get started, shall we?

Miles Away: I’d like to say that this is at least mildly plausible, because it’s a personal favorite of mine and I think that it’s very well-written and very sexy. I’d like to pretend that sure, if Debbie really had a thing for Kurt all this time the way she said she did and her subconscious understood that this was going to get that need met, it might override her conscious objections to hypnosis. I’d love to say that hey, sure, maybe we don’t see it, but these two have had a long-term hypnkinky relationship going and she’s responding to a number of consensual post-hypnotic suggestions that make her think she’s never been hypnotized and that Kurt is a master hypnotist who can put her under and give her sexual suggestions that she’ll be irresistibly compelled to obey.

But nah. It’s total bullshit. Makes a great fantasy, but you couldn’t do this and that is absolutely a good thing.

Turn the Page: And yet, despite being about 90% the same idea, this one feels a lot more plausible. It’s probably because the sexual context is far more open and transparent; Kelly is in a situation where she is openly staring at naked pictures of her friend, pictures in which her friend is acting in the role of a dominant lesbian hypnotist, and Olivia’s seduction is really pretty much just, “Hey, if you want this, you can have it right now,” albeit more classily presented. It’s not unreasonable at all to suspect that Kelly is going to be very receptive both to hypnosis and to sexual suggestions. That’s not to say that this is a model for consent practices or anything – Olivia clearly oversteps a bunch of boundaries, not the least of which is her decision to start groping Kelly’s breasts without asking, and if I were to be writing a version of this that was intended to be realistic and consensual, this would end with a conversation and a playdate for the next day. But it’s believable, at least.

(And again, hot. It’s okay to fantasize about someone knowing that you’re turned on and not needing to ask, even if the real world requires a lot more communication.)

Back and Forth: I hedge my bets a lot here by implying that there’s a history between Philip and Caitlyn that makes him more susceptible to her hypnotic inductions and suggestions, and certainly it’s true that if you’ve spent a while working with the same hypnotist and you have a good, trusting rapport together, they won’t need to work particularly hard to put you under. Especially if you’re getting a secondary reward for following instructions, which Philip very clearly is in this case.

That said, the key there is “good, trusting rapport”, and it’s pretty clear in the story as presented that Caitlyn has a habit of steamrolling over his objections and putting him under whether he wants to or not. That’s generally the sort of thing that the subconscious notices and remembers, and it’s going to make it harder, not easier, to put someone under in future. Absent the usual special pleading that this is a consensual scenario involving hypnotic amnesia (and I’ve considered writing an identical prologue for every single one of my stories where the characters all make it clear that they’re acting out a consensual hypnotic fantasy, for the specific benefits of any bluenoses who might be reading) this is clearly unethical and almost certainly impossible.

Naturally: Wow, I am certainly hitting a lot of my personal favorites today! This is another very hot and very common hypnokink fantasy, the idea of having a trigger that makes you sexually available on demand and wipes your memory clean after each use. Kind of like the ‘sleeper agent’ trope in spy stories, only with less suddenly becoming a badass martial artist and more blowjobs.

But in the real world, a) you couldn’t do the kind of initial deep programming on an unwilling or unsuspecting subject, which Aaron implies that Leah was, b) triggers fade over time without reinforcement, unless the subject strongly wants them to remain and it certainly doesn’t sound like Leah has that kind of feelings for a command she doesn’t remember, and c) you really can’t hypnotize a total stranger into being sexually submissive to you, and that’s a good thing for all of us so please don’t try. Not because it will work, but because it won’t work and you’ll be that creep who pastes a 5000 word wall of text into the FetLife chat that your putative sex slave isn’t even going to read.

One Thing Leads to Another: Okay, look. If you were to ask me whether this was an official Hypnotic Induction, as performed by a Hypnotist in their duly designated role of performing Hypnosis in either a therapeutic or recreational fashion, I’d have to say ‘no’. If you were to ask me whether this is realistic mind control, I’d honestly have to tell you that it’s probably one of the more realistic mind control stories I’ve ever written. Because while hypnosis does work, and it does have the ability to effect real change in the human mind, there’s no mind control technique so powerful as using authority and certainty to gaslight someone into entering an agentic state.

“Agentic state” is one of those cool psych terms that I love to throw around in stories to sound all authentic, but all it really means is the feeling that you’re not in charge. Someone in an agentic state is usually acting under the orders of an authority figure, and they’re likely to feel powerless to dispute or disregard instructions because the authority figure is making it clear (through tone, body language, et cetera) that disobedience simply isn’t an option. This brings us back to the infamous Milgram experiments (which we’ll revisit in a future installment) where it was found that you could get people to do some pretty horrifying things simply by presenting it in the form of an authority figure giving firm, irrefutable commands.

So in this case, Sophie is… well, she’s the kind of young woman who attends a religious university because her parents told her to. She’s deferential to authority, she’s spent her whole life as part of a hierarchy, and she’s clearly not confident about her own beliefs and opinions. Carol is using that, along with a firm and unwavering control of the conversation and yes, a few persuasive techniques not dissimilar to those taught in hypnosis courses, to make her feel powerless and disassociated, and then reinforces them with a lot of pleasure. And at the end, there’s some forced teaming with the “this is going to be our secret” thing, along with a subtle implication that if Sophie tells anyone, she’ll be blamed for seducing Carol.

Sadly, this is something that plays out a lot in institutions like this. And in real life, it’s not very sexy at all.

But again, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it as a fantasy. It’s okay to use this to work out your own feelings about being powerless, or about being in a position of power and wanting things you’re too ethical to have. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, probably in every installment of this series if nowhere else – imaginary people can’t be hurt, and it’s good to use fantasies as a way of learning things about your own emotions that wouldn’t be safe or humane in the real world. That’s why I will continue to write smut, why I will continue to defend it as a decent thing, and why you’ll see me again with this series!

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Xcogitate”!

November 14, 2019

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–“Zero Percent”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Xcogitate” (MC FF)!

In the wake of “Xhalation”, Sarah’s a mindless, drugged out slave to Rowan thanks to the use of X. But Rowan is finding out that the opportunity to have her very own lesbian fucktoy with a very large bank account has a few dangerous temptations involved. Temptations that she’s finding out the hard way could destroy her as easily as they did Sarah if she’s not careful. Here’s a taste:

Even the people who hung out at Kev’s place and smoked with him didn’t get this fucking high. They fucking hotboxed the spare bedroom, turned it into a giant fucking bong so that they could float on fumes and tune in to the sound of the static in their heads, but Becky Boots had them all beat. When Rowan took the pen out from between her lips and she could speak again, all that came out was garbled gibberish and drool. “That’s right, Becky,” Rowan cooed indulgently. “You are a horny little slut for me.”

Not that Rowan was worried. She’d never heard of anyone overdosing on X, and Becky didn’t look like she was sick or anything. Nah, she was just a little too opened up to be able to think her own thoughts anymore, and that was no big. Rowan didn’t exactly want a strong-willed, independent woman right now. She got Becky’s PIN number last week, she got her to tell her job that she was taking a leave of absence last Monday, and that was about as much conversation as Rowan wanted. There were better things that mouth could be doing right now.

“Good little fuckdolly,” Rowan growled, settling Becky’s head back down between her thighs and taking another hit of X. “You just get right on back to it.” God, the X made everything so much better. It was usually too expensive for her to vape more than a cart a week, but Becky’s mad money went a long way with Kev. Even sharing with Becky Boots, Rowan had inhaled almost a full week’s supply in the last few hours. It buzzed away all her distractions with a thick, sticky static of pleasure that clung to her thoughts, giving her a chance to really focus on the pleasure of Becky’s tongue. God, she could fucking lay here all day and get her pussy eaten.

Hope you enjoy it!

Check Your Power

November 10, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 123 delightful and friendly Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

I don’t think it’s any secret at this point that I try to stay politically engaged, even though I’m sure there’s more I could be doing to make the world a better place. (Although really, the sheer number of orgasms I’ve been a proximate cause to has to be worth something, right?) The point is, I see a lot of stuff when people talk about both ‘little p’ politics and ‘big P’ Politics about injustices, unfairnesses, and general cruelty. And I’ve kind of come to a conclusion that I want to share. Because I think if more people understood it, the world would be a better place.

My conclusion is this: People really get off on exerting control over others, and we’re really really good at coming up with justifications for it.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

When you look at the human condition through that lens, a lot of things that seem irrational or absurd begin to make a lot of sense. From pro-lifers who also block women from getting IUDs, to businesses that treat their employees as expendable even though the costs of training a replacement outweigh the costs of paying a living wage, to a justice system that treats it as perfectly reasonable that locking someone in a box for five years is going to teach them how to better manage their anger so they won’t get into fights anymore… hell, even the reaction to Paris Hilton is on some level driven by irritation at a woman who is outside of all the normal structures society uses to exert control over them.

Now, I’m not necessarily saying this is a sex thing. (I’m also not not saying it’s a sex thing.) But there is a powerful emotional charge that comes from exerting control over other human beings, one that we very rarely are asked to think about or interrogate within ourselves. It feels good to have power, it feels good to have a tangible demonstration of that power, and it feels good to know that we have more power than the other people in our environment and that they don’t have power over us. On the rawest, most basic level, that’s a truth.

And one of the more important psychological concepts that’s come out of the last fifty years is the idea that we don’t necessarily follow a path of logic to a conclusion so much as we come to a conclusion that serves our emotional needs and then construct a chain of justifications that allows us to believe that what we’re doing is reasonable. The simple and silly versions are things like, “Oh, I took the stairs today, so I deserve that extra donut,” but it’s present in a lot of our social structures once you start looking for it. People find the contradictions between what they think they want to do (get my students to pay attention to the lecture) and what they actually want to do (berate my students because making them feel small and powerful makes me feel better about myself) and uses justification as a tool to paper over the joins (my students are unruly and this is the only way to get their attention).

The truth is, punishment is always a terrible motivator. This isn’t just me saying this, there’s reams of research to prove it. Cruelty and abuse don’t get people to do something, they get them to avoid the cause of the cruelty and abuse. Smacking your kid for lying doesn’t teach them to tell the truth, it teaches them to become a better liar. Rewards are always superior to punishments… but top to bottom, side to side, every system you look at from the classroom to the courtroom to the boardroom is built on the fear of punishment. Why? Because the people who maintain that system get off on exerting control.

And while certainly a system that rewards exerting control attracts people who get off on exerting control, it’s a huge mistake to think that the people at the bottom are immune to those temptations. The middle manager exerts control over their underlings to relieve the stress of being shouted at by the CEO, the bottom guy on the totem pole takes it out on his wife or kids, and the kid plays a video game to at least be in control of something in their life. (Thankfully, pixel people don’t have feelings to hurt.) And when the order of things is reversed, it just leads to different people taking control. During the Communist Revolution in China, the landlords were oppressed just as brutally by the peasants as the peasants were oppressed by the landlords. Putting new people in charge is not the solution.

The solution, and it’s one of those boring incremental things that has to be done person by person and day by day, is mindfulness. It’s being aware of the power you exert, and checking your uses of that power to ask yourself, “Is this something I’m really doing because it’s going to make the situation better? Or is this something I’m doing because I enjoy the feeling it gives me to yank someone’s chain a little?” And that may involve a lot of introspection, it may involve learning how to really interrogate your motives and thinking not just twice, but three or even four times about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It may involve having to recognize that you’re not always as good as you think you are, which is never fun but which is always necessary if you want to get better.

And it’s also teaching other people the same lessons. Obviously, we’re kind of constrained a little by the incremental nature of the change; you’re probably not going to enjoy what happens when you say to your angry, red-faced, screaming boss, “Are you mad because I won’t work late, or because you’re frustrated by the limits of your power over me?” But when you can, talk to people about this. Help them recognize the situations where they hold power, and the ways that they can avoid abusing it. Ideally, someday, this would be something they taught in schools as early as possible, just like reading and writing. How to Be Emotionally Aware and Coping Strategies to Deal With Difficult Feelings.

Ideally, taught by a very calm, friendly teacher who rewards their students for getting it right.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “The Real You”!

November 6, 2019

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–“Vampires Will Never Hurt You”, teased previously, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “The Real You” (MC FF)!

The shows are all alike. Someone with a lot of problems comes to a lifestyle guru or a fashion designer or a psychologist with dubious credentials, asking to have all their problems fixed in a convenient hour-sized chunk of edited highlights. And then they get a wad of cash for their troubles. Babs has decided to skim a little of that free money by auditioning for Madame Manon’s show, ‘The Real You’, with a lot of fake problems and a lot of attitude. But she’s about to find out that sometimes, Madame Manon finds people she can fix right away. Here’s a taste:

Manon smiled thinly, her bright red lips carving a path across her marble skin like she’d just been sliced open. “We’ll discuss the name later,” she said mildly, and Babs knew the bitch was hooked. “So tell me,” she went on, returning to her original question as if nothing had happened. “Why do you want to be on ‘The Real You’? You certainly don’t seem to lack confidence in yourself; if there’s someone else you want to be, you’re definitely hiding it well. What brings you to see Madame Manon?”

The fucking third person bullshit. Just like on the show. Babs didn’t have any trouble rolling her eyes and huffing a sigh of petulant disdain before saying, “My fucking parents, okay? They’re all like, ‘Oh, you were such a nice girl in school! Oh, you had such a bright future ahead of you! Oh, you should try to make yourself more presentable, get a job with potential, marry that nice young Marvin Zweiback and start pumping out grandkids!'” Babs made a dismissive wanking gesture. “It’s all bullshit, but they said they’d kick me out of the house if I didn’t straighten up. And I saw your show, and I thought, hey. What do I have to lose?”

It wasn’t exactly a lie. Babs’ parents weren’t really fond of her taste in clothes and hairstyles, and they didn’t love her taste in boyfriends for that matter. But they never went as far as threatening to kick her out of the house. It was mostly just polite lectures and dirty looks and that weird sniffing thing Dad did when he thought she’d been over at Lizzie’s apartment smoking weed. When your parents were both professional therapists, life was one long non-confrontational argument after another. They wouldn’t try anything as interesting as an ultimatum.

Hope you enjoy it!

My Favorite Things: Insidious Corruption

November 3, 2019

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 118 fantastic and fascinating Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

I’ve mentioned in the past that one of the hottest tropes in the mind control subgenre is where the subject believes themselves to be acting of their own free will. But there’s a number of variations even on that, and I’ve been thinking about them this Halloween weekend because one of them is more prevalent in horror and I’ve just been watching quite a bit of that. Specifically, the trope where a normal person is ‘infected’ with an alien mindset, and slowly comes to agree with it as they transform into a member of the inhuman group.

It’s often seen with vampires and zombies in horror (I was watching ‘Return of the Living Dead’ last night when I noticed it, although I didn’t find that particular use of the trope to be sexy because context). Someone gets infected, maybe with a bite or a scratch or a dose of the mind-altering substance, and they think that they’re alright at first because their thoughts are their own even if their body is slowly transforming. But over time, they find themselves thinking differently in ways they don’t even consciously notice, until it suddenly occurs to them that of course their friends are merely cattle/victims/potential thralls, and they don’t even know why they ever thought differently. It was that silly old self that was mistaken. They know better now.

As I say, you’ll see it a lot in “proper” horror, and while it’s not sexy at all when someone says, “Hey, you know what would make me feel a lot better? Eating your brains!”, it can be very sexy when applied to a kinky mind control context. I myself used it in “Keep an Eye on Summer”, where the main character is reprogrammed by an insidious corruption spread by gazing into the eyes of the infected, and in “Yes, I’m Ready”, where a slow-burn mind control method spread through subliminal messages on an electronic billboard causes the protagonist to do things that she only thinks she’s doing of her own free will. But I think one of my favorite stories along those lines is an old favorite, a short-but-sweet story from all the way back in 1996 called “The King of Wet Dreams”.

It’s a very simple premise, very well told. The protagonist’s best friend has just remembered that she needs to talk to one of their classmates, and the main character tags along to find out that the subject of their conversation is Cindy’s realization that she’s an obedient sex slave and Kevin is her new Master. She thinks that she’s being perfectly reasonable, that she just learned a new truth about herself and she has to share it with the man who owns her, but when seen from the outside, it’s all completely bewildering and bizarre. (It’s not a long story, but I still won’t spoil any further.)

That idea, that someone could be brainwashed slowly and insidiously until they spontaneously come to the awareness of their new identity all on their own… it’s incredibly hot. And definitely one of my favorite things.