FIRST THINGS FIRST
The first thing (Well... *one* of the first things) you need to know about hypnosis is that it's a completely natural state. People enter trances all the time without even realising that's what's happening.
Any time you become very focused on something, you're in some form of hypnosis. It happens when you lose track of time because you're embroiled in a book, it happens when you feel happy or sad because you're emotionally invested in a movie, it happens when you daydream, or when you concentrate hard on study, or play, or you're doing something complex but familiar that over time has become very natural to you, like driving home, drawing, writing, or even tying knots (if you're into rope-play).
Any time you feel like you're "in the zone", you're in some form of natural hypnosis.
Because it's a natural state, very often people don't realise that they're even hypnotized. A lot of people expect to feel *very* different once they're under, and just because they don't suddenly feel like a zombie, slavegirl or robot, they'll think that means they're not under.
The blame for this lies largely with Hollywood.
Classically, (In most movies and TV shows) hypnosis is portrayed as a very unusual and mysterious state of mind, where the person in trance has no awareness or control of what's going on. They're often presented as being little more than a puppet or plaything, and the person who's placed them in trance, (The Vampire, The Svengali, The Stage Magician) has total control of that person's thoughts, actions and experiences.
Now... this *can* be how hypnosis works. Especially if your subject is attracted to the idea of feeling that way, but for someone who's just interested in exploring trance itself, and hasn't come to hypnosis through Hollywood's or The Jungle Book's portrayal of hypnosis, rather than blank minded obedience, most people will just feel very very chilled out within trance.
This brings us to the *other* first thing you need to know about hypnosis (I did say there was more than one):
All hypnosis is *Self Hypnosis* to some degree, and how a person will feel in trance depends on what they expect to feel, what they **want** to feel, and who's hypnotizing them.
This leads us to one of the most important things to bear in mind when you're hypnotizing someone:
THE BEST TRANCE FOR YOUR SUBJECT
ALWAYS find out from your subject up front what it is she or he wants from the experience.
If your subject just wants to feel relaxed, comfortable, chilled out and safe... there's not much point in doing an induction with them that focuses on helplessness and loss of control. They'll become uncomfortable with the ideas you're presenting them with, they might feel wary, they might feel irritated, they might feel scared, and either way they won't be engaging with your words, or relaxing effectively.
Equally, if your subject is a kinky so-and-so that *wants* to feel manipulated, helpless, coerced, teased and toyed with, but your induction focuses on feelings of safety and empowerment... they'll probably find the experience very dry and boring, as a result they won't engage effectively, as a result, they won't achieve the kind of trance that you're both interested in exploring.
ALWAYS tailor the experience to your subject so you can be the hypnotist of their dreams.
Here's a (none exhaustive) list of possible trance "Flavours"
YOURSELF AS A HYPNOTIST
Speaking of being the hypnotist of their dreams, this brings us to the most important thing to remember about yourself as a hypnotist, and that is:
Confidence is key.
When guiding someone into hypnosis, they need to be relaxed and at ease. If it's your first time hypnotizing someone and you *tell* them that, then no matter how much they like you, they're not going to feel particularly confident in your abilities. If you don't know what you're doing, or you're not quite sure of how it works or what will happen and you say any of the following:
"Can I try to hypnotize you?"
"I've never done this before..."
"I don't know if this will work..."
"Sorry, I don't know what I'm doing..."
"I don't really know how this works..."
Then you're pretty much shooting yourself in the foot.
Even if you're not entirely sure of what you're doing, what direction things are going to go in, or whether or not it'll work, you need to present a confident face to your subject. This puts them at ease and creates the expectation that everything will be going swimmingly.
Using words and phrases like "Try" "Unsure" "Sorry" "Don't know" "Never" and "Newbie" will kill any confidence in it working.
Alternately, if you say any of the following:
"Would you let me hypnotize you?"
"It's easy, you get hypnotized often without realising anyway"
"You like feeling helpless? Well you'll find trance *deliciously* helpless"
"You like feeling relaxed? You'll find this more relaxing than anything!"
"After you've been hypnotized, you'll feel like you've had the best sleep"
"In trance you'll feel all your favourite things."
You're creating the expectation that not only is this going to work, but it's going to be deeply enjoyable for your subject.
There's actually some NLP (Neuro Linguistic Progamming) in there. That's not something I've studied it in any great depth, but in essence you're using predictive language to create assumptions and shape expectation. In the examples above, you're basically telling your subject that:
a) This is going to work.
b) It's going to be very enjoyable.
c) I'm very confident that it'll work (So you should be confident in that too.)
Speaking of "Right?" that's another thing.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
If you can get your subject to agree to you several times, that places them in a more acceptant, agreeable and directable mindset. If you get them to say "Yes" three times, that naturally places people in a state where they're more likely to continue agreeing.
This is why it's important to build trust and rapport with your subject. If you know up front that your subject wants to feel enchanted and intoxicated... but doesn't want to feel *too* out of control or sexual, then you can build the start of your induction out of ingredients that you already know.
Hypnotist: Would you like me to hypnotize you now?
Subject: Yes okay.
Hypnotist: And you're happy to feel enchanted, a little dazed, and intoxicated, right?
Hypnotist: But you don't want to dance around naked *just* yet... right?
Subject: Heh, right.
Even though in the example above, something has been presented that the subject might not be keen on (dancing around naked), it's been highlighted as something they *won't* be doing (making them feel happier), a joke's been made about it (making them feel amused and comfortable) and they've still followed up the question with an affirmation, right? ;)
"Are you with me?"
Are all phrases that invite agreement from the subject. Society and language being what they are, many english speaking people have been trained to agree in response before they've even analysed what it is they're agreeing to.
Anyway. You've discussed with your subject what they want from trance and how they want it to feel. You've hopefully put them at ease by making it clear the trance you'll be doing with them is tailored to their own specific interests. Now how do you begin?
Again you need to tailor your induction to your subject.
Back to the trance flavours above. Once you're ready to begin hypnotizing your subject, try to use language that reflects their chosen flavour. If they want to feel dominated and overpowered: be dark and dominant. If they want to feel safe, be reassuring and calming. If they want to feel objectified: talk at them like they're an obedient thing before they're a person. You'll find you have much more success that way than if you use the same induction on *everyone.*
I'm assuming first time round you'll be doing some form of progressive relaxation with your subject. It's not too flashy, but it's what a lot of people expect. (Though if your subject **expects** a rapid instant SLEEP induction, then by all means, do that with them!)
Spend about 5-10 minutes talking softly to your subject, guiding them and relaxing them as much as possible.
You might notice them twitch a little (a sign the muscles are relaxing)
You might notice their eyelids flickering (a sign in some of entering trance)
They might grow totally still and limp.
They *might* be kind of a fidget (annoying, sure, but not everyone will immediately go into deep comatose states.)
HOW DEEPLY HYPNOTIZED ARE THEY?
In the early stages of trance, a person feels disarmed and agreeable. After a hypnotic stageshow in which they were lightly hypnotized, they might carry out every suggestion they're given, but come away from the stage saying "I was just playing along. I don't think I was *really* hypnotized"
In medium states of hypnosis, people feel very focused and involved. They'll say after the show that whilst perhaps they knew they weren't *really* Lady Gaga, they kinda felt like they *had* to dance and act like her whenever they heard a hypnotic trigger or piece of music.
In deep states of hypnosis, people can feel so enchanted and hypnotized that they believe almost everything they're told (within reason). After the show they're likely to admit to believing for a while that they *were* Lady Gaga, that the audience were totally naked, or that they firmly believed that the hypnotist was the cutest guy they'd ever met.
GETTING THEM DEEPER
There are lots of tricks you can use to get a subject's trance deeper.
One tool is "Fractionation". This is using contrasting states to deepen the level of trance.
I often have my subjects picture a scale from 0 to 10.
0 is wide awake, full of energy and bouncing off the walls.
10 being totally enchanted, obedient in every way.
(Or whatever analogue fits their preferred flavour.)
If my subject says she's at a 5 or 6, I'll ask her to allow herself to drop to their deepest level of relaxation every time I say "Sleep"
Then I'll tell her she can easily follow my words into or out of trance. To begin with, I might start counting them out of trance, counting from 5 to 1, then telling them that at 1 they feel more or less awake... the only difference being that they're calm, and still, and their eyes are closed.
Demonstrating that trance is easy to come out of by following my words naturally creates the counter belief that trance is easy to get into by following my words deeper.
Then I'll say "Sleep" and tell them to notice that they've gone from almost awake... to very very calm and still.
Do this a few times, counting near 0 and telling your subject that she can move and stretch and open her eyes and smile... then telling her to "SLEEP" and telling her that she's too calm, too dreamy, too dazed and too still to do anything but breathe, relax and follow.
If your subject likes the idea of feeling helpless, you could initially place control over their depth with them, telling them that as they count, they take themselves deeper or bring themselves out of trance. If this works, you can then tell your subject that they *can't* bring themselves out now, and that any attempts to do so only take them deeper.
(Be aware, you should only use this particular method on someone who *likes* the idea of being locked helplessly in trance.)
SUGGESTIONS AND DEPTH
In a light state of hypnosis, you can affect someone's behaviour.
In a medium state, you can affect their memories and drives.
In deeper states, you can affect their senses and experiences.
In order to build depth throughout your sessions, with most subjects you'll want to start at the lighter end of the spectrum, as opposed to immediately aiming for deep and potent suggestions.
Use deepeners, stick to your subjects favoured areas, and work your way down the depth scale and you'll soon have a subject trained to experience whatever hypnotic phenomena you wish them to feel almost immediately!