Another evening, another time to write my thoughts on something or another. I was happily surprised to see that my blog last week was not all that badly received by you, my dear readers, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
So tonight I want to talk about a lesser known side of bdsm, one were there are no physical restraints present but where almost literally it is all in the mind. While I haven’t written about this subject in a long time, I have planned to dedicate a blog to it, since about September 2012. Procrastination as such is indeed an art.
For those that not know this, I have a very long standing interest in hypnosis and the subtleties of mental play within bdsm. These probably started very early in my teens with the books of Arthur C Clarke and were certainly fuelled for weeks onwards after seeing an old showing of the adventures of the young Sherlock Holmes. Really that movie has so much to answer for. Over time I have found various websites dealing with this subject that educated me more and fuelled my desires.
So let’s explore this topic in some more detail. Please make yourself comfortable and take a couple of deep breaths …You will now get all verrrry … sleeeppy….
But before we go any further, I would like to categorically state that I am neither a qualified or trained hypnotist, or hypno-therapist. As per usual I am writing this from my own point of view and while I am trying to be as clear as complete as possible, I would like to point out that I am not aware of having ever gone in more than just the lightest of trances, never to the point of where I can’t remember or wasn’t aware of my actions nor not in control of things.
While I may name or go into detail on some of the techniques that I have come across, I think that before you would even want to attempt hypnosis, you should read up (a lot!) and understand what exactly you are working/playing with. Please do not be someone who tries and uses hypnosis without consent on another people. While the fantasy as such given by the media and books maybe exciting, remember that consent is key above all.
And I also believe that hypnosis is a relational process in that it’s something between a hypnotist and their subject. As far as I am concerned there is no “standard” procedure. So having said that, let’s us delve somewhat deeper in the topic.
What is hypnosis? Hypnosis could be defined in the following way:
a special psychological state with certain physiological attributes, resembling sleep only superficially and marked by a functioning of the individual at a level of awareness other than the ordinary conscious state.
There are various theories of what hypnosis precisely is. One theory for example suggests that hypnosis is a mental state, while another theory links hypnosis to imaginative role-enactment. However, most commonly these days hypnosis is described as a wakeful state of extremely focused attention, heightened suggestibility and diminished peripheral awareness.
The psychologist Robert White is cited to have described hypnosis or rather hypnotic behaviour as following: “[…] a meaningful, goal-directed striving, its most general goal being to behave like a hypnotised person as this is continuously defined by the operator and understood by the client“.
However, in a recent discussion on reddit, I read the following statement: “Does it really matter whether or not it’s considered “hypnosis”? At the very least, it is part of the process and it is playing with your mental state to an extend“. So as you can see there are many ways people view hypnosis.
Within hypnosis, there are several ways to, as it is called, trance a subject. Most people seem to prefer the standard ‘relaxation induction‘, while media and Hollywood seems to rely more often not on types of ‘eye fixation induction‘, (think of this as the most famous swinging watch) if not on some sort of other special effect or magic or what have you not. But I am not going there.
The biggest problem with the a lot of would-be hypnotist on the Internet is that most of them seem to be a one-trick pony. They read about one type of induction and assume it will work for everyone, and they will apply it ad-nauseam. And really it just does not work this way.
As I mentioned before, the relationship between a hypnotist and his subject is a close one. You need to know how your subject is going to react and more than that. If you know that your subject won’t react well to a certain method you should be able to change that to what suits them best.
But there are other types of mental play (and I am not talking about the type of play where you have a submissive in a padded cell in a straitjacket) that touch sides with hypnosis. Which is also what I want to talk about in my blog. What I am talking about is various form of NLP, and mantras.
One of the things that I have come across in my many years being on the Internet, is a so called “yes set”. This is a form of classical conditioning, which really is basic psychology. In its simplest form it means to get the submissive answer yes to most if not all questions. And while you start with simple questions, once the submissive has become used to answering yes, it may give way to deeper questions.
The reason a yes set can be so powerful and important is that it predisposes you to answer yes to things that you might not ordinarily accept, and once your subconscious accepts something, particularly if your conscious has also accepted it, it’s much more difficult to ignore than if, say, they says something and you say “no.” However weak it may be, refusal is still refusal.
Most people trying to build a yes set will also use heavy amounts of positive, approving language. Say “good,” or “that’s right,” or some such after every positive answer; this not only strengthens the yes set, but used correctly (for some values of the word correctly) it can set an anchor to give you feelings of approval, something nearly everyone craves, any time you accept one of his suggestions, which in turn helps anchor the positive feelings to the suggestions, which over-potentiates them and makes them much more attractive choices for your subconscious.
So be careful of people who are employing yes sets, because they may not always have your best interest at heart. I have seen the above combined with making the submissive not being allowed to use any ‘negative’ words (such as don’t, can’t, won’t, etc). Which, in term will make it more difficult for a submissive to refuse a direct question, or to answer in the negative. Even if she frames her answer in such a way that indicates refusal of some kind, without using the negative wordings, the fact it is that it makes it harder for her to flat out refuse and that over time combined with say a yes set, is geared to leading the submissive to a path of her making agree to things she may otherwise not have to, with or without her being aware of her doing so.
And all the while of course while I am all to aware of the dangers of such things, I can’t help but feel the attraction of them as well. I always have had a fascination how words can form our action and our behaviour.
The last item I want to touch upon is mantras. While mantras can be used for positive effect (see their use in say meditation), they can also be used in BDSM to enhance or confirm a submissives feeling.
I am aware of various mantras that are used within the BDSM scene at the moment. Again these are sort of the same rehashed over and over again. The interesting fact of it all seems that most of these mantras are designed so that in effect they are looping back on themselves and thus reinforcing them.
But not everything that is being repeated is going to be bad for you. Repetition is still one of the most effective ways to learn and absorb information. Thus it can be used to great effect for a submissive to learn, repeat and thus memorise their rules. This in fact is often demonstrated by me having to recite my bed-time rules (don’t ask)
So there are many ways that mental play and hypnosis can be used in BDSM to great effect to enhance your relationship. I know I did not go as deeply as I could have into the hypnosis part but I think there is plenty of information out on the web if you want to know more about it. And perhaps it gives me a chance for a follow up blog.
From what I have seen, the couples that incorporate hypnosis and mantras and other kind of mental play into their relationship have only done so after long and hard communicating about the various pitfalls. And believe me when I warn you to take these seriously. You are after all playing with someone’s brain and you may not ever know what kind of trapdoors you open. Remember we are not always honest with even ourselves about the fears, dreams and phobias and traumas that reside deep in our psyches. So do thread carefully.
And on that warning, I am going to post this blog, please be careful with who you let play with your mind, and above all, if you do it with someone who you love, adore and explicitly trust.
Be safe and have fun!lexi