Sunday, 1 June 2014

How I became a hypnotist.

I get asked the question How did you get into this? so often, that I guess I should really write something down.

This particular memoir is mainly lighthearted, but does take a slightly dark turn later on. It’s presented honestly, but we’re talking about my earlier hypno days where I was a little less ethical and a lot more pushy. (It doesn’t excuse it, but I think a lot of young tists have the mistaken belief that “Hypnosis is MAGIC! I can make people do anything I want and get away with it!!” and I was no exception.) I don’t want to sugar-coat, miss out elements or fictionalise my past too much though, and if it helps developing hypnotists become more aware of how to respect their subjects, that’ll hopefully only be a good thing and lead to better trances all round.

Anyway. That comes later…

Like many folk my age with a hypno-fetish, my introduction to the concepts and ideas that would later become full fledged kinks and fetishes came largely from 80s cartoons and kids tv shows. For me it wasn’t Daphne getting hypnotized by the clown in Scooby Doo, or Kaa the snake in the jungle book, it was mainly these bad boys:

  • The Disney show Gummi Bears had an episode called The Sinister Sculptorabout a villainous fraud with a bag of magic powder that he could throw in the faces of anyone he liked (bunnies, small cartoon bears, cute teenage princesses) to turn them into living statues which he’d then sell under the pretense that he’d “sculpted” them himself.

  • The “Star Wars: Ewoks” cartoon had an episode called “The Totem Master” with a villainous fraud with a magic ring (Hmmm, am I spotting a recurring theme here?) that he could use to mind control anyone he liked and transform them into both obedient thralls *and* living statues who’d then become part of his totem pole of captive thralls! He’d travel from village to village, doing tricks by day, then bringing his minions to life at night and having them steal all the things of value in the village.

  • There was a British science fiction show called “Kappatoo” about a teenage guy from the future exchanging places with his identical time-twin. (The slightly less oddly monikered “Simon Cashmere”) Being from the future meant he had access to seemingly magic technology, like a wristwatch that could stop time. One or two scenes per episode would feature attractive teenage girls frozen like statues whilst the eponymous hero continued moving and aware around them. My nine year old self couldn’t *quite* put his finger on what made that so interesting… but it was filed away with my growing list of diversions.

  • The sitcom “Out of This World” had a similar concept: A teenage girl who’s dad was an alien developed “powers” on her sixteenth birthday. The first one was the ability to stop time any time she pressed her forefingers together. More timestop shenanigans ensued.

Looking back, that’s probably where pre-teen me was exposed to the potential possibilities for mischief and play. It probably also explains why a lot of my childhood games revolved around bondage, sleep or magic in some way. Yes, seven year old me enjoyed playing “The tying up game” where I’d tie friends to chairs, blindfold them and then do stupid things in front of them to make sure they really couldn’t see anything. Hmmmmm. :P

I think mind control, magic and technology being used to control people has always been a staple of kids shows. It’s a safe form of “threat” that villains can use without having to resort to guns or violence.

For 60s and 70s kids it was ScoobyDoo’s ghost clown or the magic ring episode of Gilligan’s Island. For 80s kids it was all those cartoon bears (and we wonder why so many 80s kids ended up being furries) For 90s kids I know Kim Possible had a mind control chip overriding her brain one episode... and Totally Spies had scenes of the girls getting captured controlled or brainwashed in some way. I don’t know what kids are watching these days, but I’m sure mind control mischief still features fairly regularly.

As for how I got started doing actual hypnosis… I can remember as a young teenager trying to hypnotize friends at sleepovers. Usually I’d just tell them to feel “Sleeepy, verrrry sleeepy” for a while and eventually they’d either fake falling asleep to mess with me, or genuinely fall asleep through boredom. The one time I think I actually had it working, when I told the friend to “Open your eyes”, whilst he obediently did so… moments later he was blinking in confusion and fully awake. I should probably have told him “Remain relaxed and in trance…. but allow your eyes to open.” Ah well. You live and learn.

My first breakthrough. The time where I discovered that hypnosis wasn’t just real, but could be every bit as powerful as the movies portrayed it to be came when I was 17.

***Dim the lights! ***

***Cue the wibbly flashback visual and the tinkly sound effects.***

My first sexual relationship had just ended fairly badly. Not because anyone had gotten pregnant, but because at the time we didn’t have the maturity to take things at a sensible pace, so the only times we’d gotten to “do it” were in the snatched moments where parents / little brothers and other siblings were out or had been otherwise engaged. It was also during that awkward time in adolescence where you really want to see members of the opposite sex naked… but find the thought of being naked yourself in front of anyone (Let alone an attractive member of the of the opposite sex) ball-shrivellingly terrifying.

Having sex whilst mostly dressed isn’t anywhere near as easy as TV makes it look… when you’re brand new to to the experience it’s also a bit of a treasure hunt trying to work out where everything goes. (Angles of approach, whether you should make conversation at the time, that kinda thing.) Consequently our first few times were pretty rubbish, and when a much more experienced “friend” who’d been boasting about what a fantastic lover he was (having lost his virginity at the much more enviable (enviable at the time anyway) age of 15) showed up, she decided to drop me and try him on for size.

Ah teenagers. So fickle. And horny!

Next thing I was in a rebound relationship with a girl called Emma that I’d met through a band mate. (I was playing third clarinet in an orchestral wind band at the time. To quote Eddie Izzard: “First clarinet plays the melody. Second clarinet plays the harmony. Third clarinet plays the bits left over”) Emma was a couple of years younger than me, and whilst she was (or claimed to be) a virgin, she wanted me to be her first… and in every other respect was pretty damn voracious. Either way she was keen to help me discover my sexual potential.

At that time of my life, I was coming from a fairly churchy background, so for me to shack up with someone, any relationship had to have the potential for truly romantic feelings there, as opposed to being simple sexy funtime. Modern me would absolutely have loved to carry on with a lady like that... (not her age, obviously, but her outlook) 17 year old me was much less keen to have four legged frolics with girls he wasn’t particularly serious about. Good on him, I guess. :p

Anyway, it was Emma who actually suggested we play around with hypnosis, and whilst hugely interested in the idea in concept… I knew that if she did manage to hypnotize me, getting me to tickle her tummy from the inside would be the first thing on her mind, and for some reason, 17 year old me had a problem with that. So I asked another girl, my bandmate Hannah if I could practice hypnosis on her before hypnotizing Emma.

How effective hypnosis is, depends as much on the person being hypnotized, as it does on the person doing the hypnotizing. You might very well be Peter Powers, but if your subject doesn’t believe in your ability to hypnotize them, it’s unlikely anything much will happen.

Hannah was lovely. Slim, blonde, kinda punky… she was a drummer and was into Greenday and Nirvana. She was smart, quick-witted, open minded. She also had a small crush on me at the time. Basically she was the perfect subject.

When I asked if I could hypnotize her, she was more than happy to try it out.

That was how I discovered that cliché can actually have a place in a hypnotist’s bag of tricks. It doesn’t always have it’s uses… but in the right place, it can be like a surgical strike.

Many subjects will roll their eyes and call “Bullshit” if you pull out a pendant, pop on a top hat and begin twirling your moustache…

With Hannah, when I sat her on my bed, took hold of my earphones (I didn’t have a pendant at the time) and began swinging one earpiece back and forth in front of her eyes, she obediently followed it.  

Many people expect more than just the repeated word “Sleep” to put them under.

When I told Hannah that she was feeling “Sleeeeepy, Verrrry Sleeeepy” her eyelids did grow heavy, and a minute or two they flickered close, her head dropped down, and she sat there in trance, calmly breathing, chin resting on her chest.

Up until then, every “trance” I’d seen with friends had been nothing but a pretend performance. Playing along for as long as it took for the hypnotist to suggest something that would make the subject jump up and yell “FOOLED YOU! HAH!”

Watching Hannah breathing slowly, eyes closed, facial muscles peaceful but expressionless, something definitely seemed different… but I wanted to be sure. I knew she was really ticklish. Ridiculously so. So my first test was this:

“Hannah… on waking up, you’ll no longer be ticklish. It doesn’t matter where or how you’re tickled, it just doesn’t affect you. 3. 2. 1. Wake!”

Hannah’s eyes blinked open, she shook her hair out of her face and looked at me.

“So how was that?” I asked.

“How was what?” she replied.

I also knew Hannah to be a pretty terrible liar, so the fact she seemed to legitimately have no idea what was going on began to give me tingles.

“Mind if I try something?” I asked her, leaning in and giving her sides an experimental pinch.

Nothing. No reaction. Not so much as an involuntary intake of breath. I looked up at her face and she was politely watching me tickle her. Minutes before she would have been shrieking, kicking me, threatening to wet herself… right now though, here I was squooshing her sides… tickling with my fingertips and… nothing.

“Shit… it works!” I exclaimed with a genuine dose of glee.

“What does?” she asked, bemused.

“You're not ticklish!” I cried ignoring her question.

“So?” she gave a shrug, like she’d never been ticklish.

“But… usually you are!”

“I am?” she said, looking at me skeptically, like I was making stuff up. Then she frowned, remembering and said “Oh yeah” as though, for a second, she’d temporarily mislaid that knowledge. She still didn’t react to my ticklings though.

“I hypnotized you!” I said, jubilant.

“You did WHAT!?” she asked, incredulous.

It turned out that not only could Hannah barely recall ever being ticklish. She couldn’t remember being hypnotized at all. It took a couple of confusing minutes to explain why exactly she’d suddenly ceased to be ticklish to get her to believe that she’d really been under. In the meantime this being my first time, I’d neglected to give her any kind of reinduction trigger. Good thing she was proving to be such a good subject.

The second trance went even quicker than the first. Again, all I had to rely on was cliché and stereotype to get her under. I didn’t realise at the time that in doing this, I was setting myself up for future frustration… but more on that later.

This time round, I gave Hannah a “Sleep” trigger so I could put her back under quickly. I wanted to see if it was really possible to have a hypnotized person seeing and feeling things that weren’t there, so the next suggestion I gave her was: “On waking… everyone will look totally naked!”

Silly old me should really have thought through the repercussions of this a little better before giving it to her. (Remember, this was the awkward age where nudity was something to be avoided at all costs, not excitedly embraced.)

“3. 2. 1. Wake!” came my words.

Hannah blinked her eyes again and looked at me as she sat up. First her face showed bafflement, then a rising blush in her cheeks. She bit her lip and smiled as her eyes travelled down my chest to my crotch. She let out a noise halfway between a laugh and a scream before covering her eyes with one hand, holding the other so it would obscure my manparts and averting her gaze. Her shoulders shook with nervous giggles for a moment before she must have caught sight of her own (apparently naked) body. The next scream she let out was far louder.

“Oh my GOD I’m NAKED!” she shrieked, unceremoniously punting me off the bed and wrapping her (fully clothed) self with my duvet.

I rubbed my leg where she’d punted me and took in the sight of my clothed ladyfriend blushing more and more profusely as she sat wrapped in bedsheets. She didn’t seem to know where to look, her eyes kept flitting back to my groin, so I even though I wasn’t, I actually began to feel a little exposed.

I ended up grabbing a pillow and holding it in front of myself. This was as much for my benefit as hers, the attractive flush in her cheeks was getting distracting.

“I take it you still don’t remember being hypnotized by me?” I asked.

“Hypnotized!? WHAT?!” more incredulity.

Oh well. At least this time I’d come prepared. I snapped my fingers and told her to sleep.

The next couple of hours saw the pair of us performing all kinds of hypnotic experiments.

I worked out that if I told hypnotized Hannah to remember her trances on waking, she would actually remember it.

The “nudity trigger” became something she could turn on and off at will by pinching an earlobe, it even worked on the people on TV. Gardeners World was swiftly passed by (Far too many bearded pensioners) but she quite enjoyed watching the news. (Particularly if the newsreaders were standing up, instead of being seated behind a desk.)

I had her temporarily falling in love with my 16 year old younger brother, who at the time both of us saw as more of a pest than a person, and believing that the guy at orchestra with the most boring drone-like voice actually had a really sexy one.

And of course I gave her a freeze trigger.

Seeing a friend frozen was pretty much a dream come true. Here she was, all chatty, playful and quizzical. Say “Freeze” to her though, and watch her lock in place totally. Eyes staring fixed in front of her, face in whatever half expression was forming if I caught her mid conversation, body stiff. I found I could move, pose and reposition her however I liked and she’d stay there, a thoughtless doll, glassy eyes unblinking, utterly unaware of time’s passage till I felt like unfreezing her.

She spent a lot of time in those early sessions being little more than an ornament or life sized doll around me. Fortunately I was enough of a gentleman to leave the majority of her clothes on.

The following weeks led to more experiments, we’d be walking down the street then I’d tell her that we were in the future, and that all the cars were flying, or that it was sunny when it was cloudy, day when it was night, or that we were in the jungle, and that the road was a river, and the cars were crocodiles.

In school I’d regularly see her smiling to herself, resting one hand on her own shoulder, fingers poised at her earlobe, ready to pinch and see everyone in their underwear, or totally buck naked.

I thoughtlessly broke up with Emma so I could play hypnogames with Hannah. If I’d thought things through a little better, I could have had two hypnotized ladyfriends, but younger me, who’d been raised religious and was slightly worried that hypnosis might be occult in nature felt the need to keep his hypnotic shenanigans a closely kept secret.

It was also pretty damn sexy, and the subject of much of my private pleasuretime. When it was mentioned to friends, it was usually revealed as though it were some deep dark conspiracy, as opposed to being something fun and entertaining, and I usually felt like I was admitting to being some kind of deviant, so that’s probably how I (eventually) made my second breakthrough, and why so many of my early attempts to trance other people were met with nothing but frustration.

Breakthrough number two, (Which is actually Hypnosis 101 if you’ve read my “How do I hypnotize others?” guide) was that confidence in oneself as a hypnotist and expectation of success in the minds of your potential subjects are powerful tools. They can guarantee success in many circumstances, and if they’re missing, means that failure and frustration are far more likely.

Case in point:

Hannah’s neighbour was a little older than us, but good friends with her, and when I ummed and ahhed and asked if I could try hypnosis out on her, because it was something I’d “kinda sorta managed to do with Hannah, and it’s pretty fun... if you want to try it out... maybe….” she agreed, but must have gathered by my demeanour that I didn’t really know what I was doing. Though I’d had Hannah under dozens of times by now and had given her all kinds of triggers, I didn’t really know how and why it had worked on her. Unsurprisingly, when I began to tick-tock a biro in front of her neighbours skeptical face (didn’t have a pendant or a set of earphones this time round) nothing happened.

My one other piece of sole success / hard home truth occurred with an old highschool crush. (Yep, here comes the slightly dark bit.)

This was a girl who I had some unrequited affection for, called Gina. She had a habit of dating guys that I thought were assholes whilst telling me what a great friend I was, and how I was like a brother to her.

I’m well aware that this is the lament of every self absorbed muppet who’s ever wanted to get with a girl who just wasn’t interested in them, but don’t worry, I managed to mess that friendship up and moved myself into moderate asshole territory with what happened when I hypnotized her.

Gina was (and still is, thankfully) a great friend. We’d hang out with groups of 5-6 buddies on street corners like typical teenagers, chilling in parks and play areas, sitting on swings and see-saws that were intended for kiddies and later on having house parties at each others houses where we’d drink far too much alcohol. She and I were born 3 days apart and had known each other forever, so were pretty comfy with one another. It wasn’t unusual for us to spend time at one another’s houses, even if it was just to watch tv or a vhs. (This being back in the internet frontier days of the late 1990s)

Hannah had got herself a boyfriend. Actually it was the guy from band that whom I’d hypnotized her to believe had a voice that was music to her ears as opposed to it’s actual drone. Come to think of it, they’re married now… I don’t think I left that suggestion in place…

Anyway, I’d been hypnotizing Hannah much less, so managed to persuade Gina to let me try hypnosis out on her. Just like Hannah, she proved to be a good subject, only, whilst Hannah had been happy for me to do pretty much anything I liked with her… this time the crush went in the opposite direction. (I was the one with the infatuation.)

Back then I didn’t really have a firm understanding of how the conscious and unconscious minds worked. I thought that someone hypnotized was completely powerless to resist or disobey any command given them.

With Hannah, (submissive, romantically interested in me) this was very much the case.

With Gina, (trusting but not wishing to have a romantic relationship) it wasn’t. Not exactly.

So this is where things get a little uncomfortable and I reveal that I went through the same pushy asshole phase that many young hypnotists go through.

I had Gina freeze whilst I posed and moved her, and she had no idea what was going on…

I had Gina flash her underwear at me, and she did so automatically and unthinkingly…

I had Gina snog me, believing that I was Jude Law and we were hanging out at the beach…

And... it was horrible.

The kiss wasn’t horrible, she’s a great kisser, but it was very clear to me that in her head she wasn’t kissing me, she was kissing someone else. I felt like some weird voyeur. Like I was getting to experience something I didn’t have any right to.

The fact I had pretty much tricked her into it made me feel sneaky and underhanded, and not in a good way.

The fact she didn’t consciously remember anything afterwards made me feel almost like I’d gotten away with a crime… I almost had.

Sure it was just a kiss.

Sure I could have tricked her into doing plenty more…

But from that day till about 10 years later, we never hung out one-on-one together.

Even if she didn’t consciously remember what we’d done. Part of her mind was unconsciously telling her that she’d rather not be alone with me.

Thankfully these days I’m far more aware of the importance of consent when it comes to hypno-play or BDSM. It took a friendship being damaged to hit that point home though.

So thats the darkest bit done… where did I go from there?

Roundabout this time (1999 I guess) Yahoo Messenger had itself a chatroom function, and users could create their own public rooms based around whatever interests they cared to come up with.

It didn’t take me too long to discover the Yahoo Erotic Hypnosis room, and begin to trance and hypnotize people on there. Finding subjects as myself (a 17 year old guy with limited experience) proved tricky… but I found out if I masqueraded as a hot 19 year old girl, and tweaked my backstory so Hannah was a guy and our early hypnotic exploits had been a tad more steamy, I had wayyyyy more success.

People wanted to believe in the hot bisexual (did I mention she was bisexual?) hypnogirl so much, that just having her flirt with them was enough to start putting some people in trance.

This is why these days whilst I don’t condone pretending to be someone you’re not online and in hypno rooms, I totally understand why some people want to do it. In some cases know it’s the only way you’re ever going to get hypnotized or manage to hypnotize anyone. Even now, whilst I have plenty of (comparitive) success finding subjects, it’s partly because I’ve got a couple of hypnosis sites, videos and blogs to my name. Even then, many people would much rather be hypnotized by a cute hypnogirl in her 20s to a grizzled hypno-veteran in his 30s. (I’m speculatively guessing that it’s going to take me a good 15-20 years to get to my 40s. ;)

By the way, my apologies to anyone who back in the early 2000s was being hypnotized by HypnoHottie, PleasureKitten81, LadyMindMelt, or Hypno_Jewel by the way. That was me. :P

I suppose this means I can also admit to my actual first MCStory: (

Hmm… along with Morning Heat ( both my MCStories contain puppy / dog / furry elements.

I’m not a furry. Honest. ;)

Those cartoon bears from the 80s have a lot to answer for.

A couple of years of trancing in the Yahoo chatrooms under various different pseudonyms clued me into the fact that expectation plays a hell of a big part of whether or not someone gets hypnotized.

Nervous male 17 year old hypnotist? Odds are slim to none.

Confident female 19 year old hypnotease? Odds are moderate to high!

By the time Yahoo shut it’s chatroom service shut down, (They got into some legal hot water for putting corporate adverts on user made rooms with titles like “daddy daughter play”.) I’d hypnotized a few hundred people over a 2-3 year period and had far more knowledge about hypnosis, how it worked, why it worked, and what I could do with it.

Soon afterwards I’d be making my own videos.