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It seems to have been a while since I’ve gone back to my old stories to see if the hypnosis contained within them is at all realistic, and if so whether there are any good lessons to be learned about ethical kink therein. Again, I think this is really valuable; something featuring vampires or tentacled monstrosities or brainwashing helmets is obviously a fantasy, but I think it’s worth discussing what can really be done with hypnosis and why sometimes it really shouldn’t. So let’s get started, shall we?
Exercise One: This one, I think, may fall ever so slightly into that creepy gray area between “nah, you couldn’t possibly” and “let’s never find out, shall we?” Certainly, there are a lot of ways that people have exploited that bond of social conformity to bring people along to extremes of behavior that they wouldn’t otherwise do. There’s a lot of well-known psychological experimentation that demonstrates that humans have an inherent tendency to go along with the group, to say nothing of our tendency to follow authority figures. It’s not at all implausible to imagine that Jessica might find herself in a position where she assumes that if nobody but her has a problem with Professor Doakes’ methods, then it must be her that’s wrong.
Regardless of whether this is possible, it’s very clear from Jessica’s (probably realistic) reactions in the story that it’s going to do extremely awful things to someone’s head to be subjected to this kind of programming, and you shouldn’t do it. If you find yourself wanting to start a sex cult, I really hope it goes without saying that you should check that urge and seek help. Charles Manson, R. Kelly and Keith Raniere are not role models.
Take a Bow: (Private confession – I think this one turned out terrible. Not for reasons of realism; I just never really felt satisfied with it.) In any event, it’s probably not really feasible. You could certainly go a long way toward using hypnosis to assist in method acting, especially with a willing subject; it’s basically just a form of visualization exercise to help you get into character. That part is believable. But the subconscious isn’t easily fooled, and Charles would in all probability snap out of the trance himself even without a handler there to wake him after the cameras stopped rolling. His natural association would be to do so, in fact. Most of this is just contrivance. Hmmm… maybe that is why I never liked it after all?
Fascination: I was torn on whether or not to even put this one in here, because the ‘hypnosis’ is so patently unbelievable as to almost be a magic spell. But the story presents it as a real event with natural causes, a simple stroboscopic fascinator that happens to be extremely powerful due to random chance and hypnotizes the viewer without the need for a formal induction. And also puts the viewer into a trance so deep that they absorb all suggestions irresistibly. And also causes intense pleasure because sure, why not? Needless to say, this one is total bullshit, even if it’s immensely hot total bullshit.
Nobody Does It Better: And speaking of total bullshit… look, do I even have to say that this one is deliberately and consciously ludicrous? It’s an overt parody of the ‘hypnotist’s harem’ style of EMC story, a clear (and hopefully amusing) over the top version of the tropes used in other stories about improbably talented lesbian hypnotists collecting kinky young women like Pokemon and watching them perform for her amusement. Nothing in here is achievable in a million years, probably not even with eager and consenting subjects with a lot of experience going into trance. It’s funny, but it’s not real hypnosis.
Since U Been Gone: I do think it would probably be possible to do this one with a willing subject; certainly, the suggestion provides a self-reinforcing incentive to comply by giving the subject sexual pleasure every time they forget the letter ‘U’. I’m not sure if you could have long-term success with it – or if you would want to, as it would probably wind up being a pain in the ass for a number of reasons – but short-term “forget letters/numbers” is an old hypnosis party trick. That part is pretty believable.
But with an unwilling, or an unwitting subject? Nope. Especially not someone who was a stickler for grammar or spelling. There’d simply be too much incongruence between the conscious and unconscious mind to overcome. Given that I know some spelling sticklers who won’t even read this story, I’m pretty sure that anyone who hated the idea would simply reject the suggestion.
And oh, hey look! That’s another five stories in the books! See you next week for another blog entry, and ((shrug emoji)) for another installment in this series!