Fetish Friday: Introducing Erotic Hypnosis! (Part 1 of… probably lots.)

Okay. It’s been long enough. This is the ninth Fetish Friday post, it is about damn time that I tell you about my very favourite fetish, my very first fetish, the kink about which I am most passionate, and the skill to which I am most powerfully attracted:

You are feeling sleeeeeeepy...

You are feeling sleeeeeeepy…

EROTIC HYPNOSIS!

Yes, I am a hypnokinkster.

Now, dear reader, you might be thinking to yourself, Sarah! You’ve been so open with us! If you’re so passionate about this, why have you waited until now to share?

Well, the truth is, erotic hypnosis is one of those kinks that, while much more common than it seems, tends to be auto-filed under OMG TOO WEIRD FOR ME before it’s given a fair shake. So I wanted to warm you up to the Fetish Friday Feature with material that’s a little more culturally recognizable, things you’ve probably run across in various articulations of pop culture, before taking you into territory that is lesser known to the general public.

It also took a bit of a run-up before I felt confident enough in this medium, on this platform, to talk about something so intimately personal to me. Because erotic hypnosis is deeply intimate. It can reach so far beyond the trappings of socialization and enculturation, and tap the deepest, most primal wellsprings of arousal, desire, and pleasure. It can breathe life into the most hidden, taboo fantasies, manipulate the mind to perceive unimaginable amounts of sensation and stimulus, crack me right open like a ripe melon, revealing all my hidden desires and pleasures, raw, pulsing, bathing in arousal…

(gif: starlaluna.tumblr.com)

(gif: starlaluna.tumblr.com)

Oh my. I need to take a breath.

You see why I’ve put off writing this? It’s a little difficult to maintain the critical distance required to make this somewhat educating for you, dear reader. Perhaps this will end up being a new genre… edurotica? Anyway. Back to the subject at hand.

Hypnosis itself has a long and well-documented clinical history spanning more than a century. It has been successfully used for surgical anaesthesia, smoking cessation, chronic pain management, as well as  psychotherapy for all manner of personal issues. It was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to use hypnosis to improve sex, right? Although it is difficult to find documented sources of the history of hypnosis being used erotically, anecdotal knowledge suggests that, much like vibrating machines and electricity, sexual experimentation was among the earliest applications of hypnosis.

What cultural depictions we do have of hypnosis being used in an erotic context, usually depict it being used to coerce nonconsensual sex acts out of hapless, ensnared victims. The film Svengali (1931) may be one of the most iconic representations of erotic hypnosis; certainly, Svengali and Trilby continue to stoke the fantasies of many a hypnofetishist.

Svengali has Trilby deep under his spell.

Svengali has Trilby deep under his spell.

But don’t get us wrong. The vast majority of us DO NOT CONDONE using hypnosis in this way. It’s unethical and, in some areas, illegal to use hypnosis on someone without their express, enthusiastic consent. Much like all other fetish play, erotic hypnosis must be practiced with the full informed consent of both partners. I could write an entire article on the ethical practice of erotic hypnosis (in fact, I will), but this is not that article. I want to introduce you gently, dear reader. I want to take your hand and wade with you in the shallows, and simply tell you about why and how hypnosis can be so erotic, intimate, and pleasurable.

Imagine being with a partner you trust. Someone you care for, and who you know cares for you. This is a person you feel like you can open up to, and have an hours-long conversation about those things that matter. Imagine being physically comfortable with this person, maybe reclined on a bed or in your favourite overstuffed chair. You enjoy their company. The sound of their voice comforts you.

Now they are speaking to you, encouraging you to relax and not worry about anything but listening. You can feel yourself relaxing and growing more comfortable. Because you trust your partner, you aren’t afraid or inclined to resist their suggestions. After all, you feel good following their suggestions to relax, and so you will continue to relax and follow. This is the phase we call the induction, during which the hypnotist guides the subject into a state of trance, not unlike a state of meditation, in which the subject becomes restful, relaxed, and completely focused on the words of the hypnotist.

The Swinging Watch; surely one of the most commonly-recognizable symbols of hypnotism.

The Swinging Watch; surely one of the most commonly-recognizable symbols of hypnotism.

Being in trance doesn’t mean you no longer have any willpower or resistance, or that you are functionally “asleep.” You retain your autonomy and identity; the part of the brain responsible for making choices remains active under hypnosis. What changes is the part of the brain that worries about the consequences (especially social) of one’s actions. You’ll find yourself feeling less inhibited, more open to trying new things and following suggestions. Your mind and body become more receptive to stimuli.

While in this relaxed, very pleasurable trance state, the hypnotist partner can use the power of language and suggestion to create and enhance an endless variety of experiences, ranging from heightened sensitivity to pleasurable stimuli to elaborate visualized fantasy scenarios. For example, the hypnotist could suggest to you that your wrists are firmly but comfortably bound in place, and you find yourself feeling bound by invisible ropes, unable to move, knowing full well the effect is an illusion but revelling in the pleasure of the experience regardless. Feeling bound, you, the subject, become more open and vulnerable to the caresses and touches of your partner, both physical and aural.

Or perhaps the hypnotist wants to create a fantasy scenario, describing the setting in elaborate detail, the sights, the sounds, the temperature of the air, the feelings of textures against skin. They suggest that you are finding this scenario so tantalizing, so very arousing. You follow your partner willingly into the scene now, trusting their investment in your pleasure, deploying the fantastic power of imagination to create the environment within the mind. Breathing grows heavier. Skin and flesh become pink and flushed, the body may begin to gently move to the rhythm of its desire.

The intimacy is palpable. The erotic energy grows tangible, crackling between bodies and minds so closely connected.

It is fully possible for many to achieve orgasm without even touching themselves, simply through the power of hypnotic suggestion and imagined stimuli. It’s also possible, in a session of erotic hypnosis, to experience unbelievable pleasure without ever reaching a physical climax. The mind our most powerful, most potent sexual organ; learning how to practice hypnosis allows us to unleash some of that power and channel it into hitherto unimagined erotic explorations, limited only by how far we are willing to push the imagination.

It is important for me to mention, before I wrap this up, that before jumping into this kind of play, it’s important to learn how to do it responsibly and safely. Because hypnotic trance is a very vulnerable state for a person to be in, we must be vigilant and aware of their needs, limits, and physical and psychological safety at all times. The mind can be a bit of a tricky place to tread. This article provides some basic beginner information, as well as a list of resources that you can check out to learn more. I’ll give a special mention to the book Mind Play: A Guide to Erotic Hypnosis by Mark Wiseman; it is an excellent primer with lots of great information on playing safely and creatively.

I practice this fetish as both a hypnotist and as a subject, as does my primary partner. We have both put a significant amount of time and practice into developing our hypnotic skills; hypnotizing and being hypnotized are  not the hardest things in the world to learn how to do, but it does take some time and dedication, and an ability to accept and learn from criticism, to get comfortable and confident. That’s okay! The good news is that practicing, even when things don’t go quite right, is still generally very fun and sexy.

There is so much more to say on this subject, which is why this article is only part one of many. If you have any specific questions about erotic hypnosis, or any of the fetishes and kinks I’ve written about so far, please feel free to ask them, either in the comments, or on the Ask Me Anything page. Have an excellent and erotic weekend, sexcapaders!

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