As a general rule, playing mind games in relationships is not a good thing. Of course, if those mind games are intentional, consensual, and designed to draw lovers closer in ways they didn’t know were possible, then it’s great! Read on as we explore erotic hypnosis, or “hypnokink”…the surprisingly common kink you’ve probably never heard of.
When most folks hear the word “hypnosis”, they likely think of one of two things: 1) A cheesy performative “hypnotist” on stage at a variety show, making full-grown adults walk like dinosaurs or passionately proclaim their love for a ficus tree without embarrassment, or 2) Expensive audio downloads or an hour in a clinical setting where a hypnotherapist says words at your subconscious to help you lose weight or quit smoking. While those both are certainly types of hypnosis that exist, that only scratches the surface. We’re here to talk about a much more organic, real, and sexy application of hypnosis. Turns out, the same principles from controlling the subconscious mind to quit a bad habit can be used in the bedroom – or anywhere your lover is comfortable with it – to make you feel, do, and experience all sorts of sensual, arousing fantasies and feelings. Enter the world of Erotic Hypnosis.
Ok, so what is it?
Erotic hypnosis is a broad term for a wide variety of erotic activities which involve hypnosis, and is commonly referred to as hypnokink, as it is a “kinky” practice outside of the sexual norms. Erotic hypnosis uses hypnotic suggestions to increase arousal, incite pleasure (i.e. giving hands-free orgasms), indulge one’s deepest, darkest sexual fetishes or fantasies, “freeze” partners in place or simulate bondage, impact, or other physical sensations, or to enhance role play, including through “transformations” such as “droning”, bimbofication, robot play, doll play, or pet play and animal transformations.
While I won’t go into tons of detail here, as this is an introductory post, I think the easiest way to clear some things up is with a few frequently asked questions:
Who practices hypnokink?:
While hypnokink is commonly practiced in the context of BDSM relationships and communities, it can also be enjoyed by the most “vanilla” of folks. While hypnotist/subject falls naturally into a top/bottom or dom/sub framework, it can be fun to swap roles to play with that power dynamic. Even dom(me)s need a day off now and then! It’s a great ” starter kink” to explore, as hypnosis can fulfill all sorts of desires and fantasies, and it can be done anywhere and with little to no equipment. Anyone who is curious and has an interest in the possibilities hypnosis can realize in their sex life can learn & practice erotic hypnosis.
Is hypnosis mind control?:
Yes and no. Hypnotizing someone, or putting them in a trance, is technically a way of controlling someone’s mind; their subconscious mind, to be exact. However, even when someone “lets go” enough to be hypnotized, their body and conscious mind are still active in the background enough to keep them safe. A hypnotist would have a very hard time making someone do something they really don’t want to do, because their conscious mind, still standing guard, will allow them to say “no” to the suggestion. As a subject, it is important that you can wholeheartedly trust your hypnotist, as they will be making suggestions that can make you do things temporarily and/or embed in your subconscious mind. Just remember, even in a trance, you are always ultimately in control.
Is hypnosis/hypnokink safe?:
Just like almost all other types of ‘kink’ or BDSM play, there is always some risk involved, and it’s important to be aware of that. Hypnokink can be especially risky and scary, as you’re literally playing with someone’s thoughts, mind, and most inner self. Just like any RACK (risk aware consensual kink) practice, though, there are things you can do to minimize those risks. Generally speaking, though, hypnokink is often (at least physically) safer than a lot of other kinky play, especially when it “replaces” the real thing – i.e. hypnotic impact play is safer than actual physical impact play.
Just like with any other type of kinky or BDSM sexual play, it’s important to discuss, establish, and respect the rules for the scene. As a hypnotist, your chief desire should be to respect your subject’s boundaries and limits, and of course, to respect the sanctity of their mind. The old camping reminders about cleaning up your trash and leaving a space better than you found it is a good one to keep in mind. Immense trust is obviously required between subject and hypnotist that they will abide by the established boundaries and do a good job “cleaning up” and taking care of them.
Popular instructional hypnokinkster, sleepingirl, offers a much more comprehensive safety guide than I ever could on her incredible “Learn Hypnokink” resource page. While this is a great place to explore everything about hypnokink in more detail, check the safety page out here to make sure you’ve considered everything before you begin any type of hypnosis.
Is hypnosis real?:
A great deal of medical and psychological research has gone into hypnosis. While many of these studies aim to measure the therapeutic potential of hypnotherapy, a lot of them are just out to answer whether or not a “hypnotic state” is physiologically a real thing. Most of those studies agree that hypnosis effects brain activity and really does work for most people – especially if those people believe it will work – and that being in a hypnotic state allows new options for therapy through the power of suggestion. Psychology Today and The Cleveland Clinic have more on this subject, if you’re interested.
Hypnotic states or trances can create feelings of relaxation and release, and even more intense emotional and physical sensations. Putting someone in a hypnotic state opens their mind up for suggestibility, or being able to make them think, feel, or do certain things with your suggestions. Whether you use your suggestions to send them on a mini mind vacation to the beach or make them have an orgasm with no touching involved is up to you! Everything about hypnosis is real if you believe it’s real, and can accomplish whatever you believe it can.
How do you hypnotize someone?:
The first step of hypnotizing someone, or putting them in a trance, is called the induction (more on this below). This part is likely what you think of when you hear the word “hypnotize”…and you probably picture someone swinging a pocket watch in someone’s face saying “you are getting very sleepy”. There are many, many ways to induce hypnosis (and yes, one of them is swinging a pocket watch), and many hypnotists and subjects will play around with multiple styles until they find what works best for them.
Generally speaking, the induction is typically where you say a few basic words to excite the subject and introduce what you’ll be doing with them. Then you invoke some sort of inducing trigger – such as counting down, snapping your fingers, pulling their hand, giving them a certain look or touch, or having them watch a swinging object – which will distract their conscious mind enough to drop them into trance.
Can anyone be tranced?:
Some people may be harder to drop into a trance than others, but pretty much anyone can be tranced…if they allow themselves to be. It’s again an issue of trust, belief that it will work, and a desire to let your subconscious be set free in that way. If you want to be a hypnosis subject, it’s important for you to go into a scene with an open mind, and the belief that since you want to be tranced, your subconscious will absolutely allow that to happen. Then you can fully enjoy all the pleasurable outcomes of what your partner wants to do with you after you’re in a trance state!
Stages of a Hypnotic Scene:
*Note: For anyone sensitive to it, this section does contain some small samples of written hypnotic language.
Alright, so you and your partner have decided you’d like to try a an erotic hypnotic scene. After you’ve done your due diligence of researching & learning, giving and getting consent, and trying some very simple practice runs, this is the general structure a more advanced hypnokink scene will follow:
This is the process where the hypnotist and hypnotee discuss and agree on what will happen during the scene. Boundaries, hard and soft limits, and a safe word should all be established. Negotiation should always occur before any hypnosis is done, when both parties are in their normal state of mind. At least some basic negotiation should be a part of the scene even with established, trusting partners.
This is where the hypnotist guides the hypnotee (or subject) into trance. The speed of this process and the method used will vary depending on the partner, the setting, the desires and needs for the scene, and the experience level of the hypnotist and subject. Inductions may be non-verbal (a certain close stare or arm touch) or verbal (“talking them into trance”). Many hypnotists develop a “hypnotic voice”, which as soon as they begin to use it, lets their partner know it’s almost time to be dropped into trance.
This step is optional, and may or may not be useful depending on your scene and your subject. If the subject is already in a pretty deep trance, you may not need one. If, however, you’re not sure how well the initial trance worked, and you want them “deeper” in a trance for a more effective erotic experience, you can use a deepener. These are often physical (stroking the hair) or verbal (“down, down, down, deeper down you go, letting all those normal thoughts just float out of your brain”).
Once the subject is at the correct level of depth of trance, the hypnotist gives “suggestions” that will help the scene play out as desired. Basically, the hypnotist just tells the subject what they want them to do, feel, and experience. As the hypnotist, remember that your subject is in a trance, and their brain is not exactly firing on all cylinders. You may find it helpful to use shorter, choppier sentences and commands than you would in your everyday speech. This helps to simplify the language and make it more effective for the tranced person.
There are often hypnotic “triggers” involved, (“if I do/say A, then you will do B”) which can be left open or closed with specific qualifiers & boundaries given during the suggestion stage. These include suggestions of things that will take effect during the scene (“Until we leave this bedroom tonight, every time I squeeze your butt, you will say ‘give me more, daddy!’ and come closer and closer to orgasm.”), as well as posthypnotic suggestions – things that will occur even after the subject is no longer hypnotized (“From now on, as long as we are alone and in a safe place for it, when I say ‘Bow down, subject’, you will get on your knees and immediately start kissing my feet”). It’s important to be over-specific when giving your suggestions, so you get exactly the results you want, and the triggers or suggestions will only last as long as you want them to.
After all the desired suggestions have been given, and either acted on immediately or accepted by the subject to enact later, the hypnotist brings the subject out of trance, back to their full, normal, waking state. This is often done through verbal guidance paired with a certain touch (tapping the forehead, counting up, squeezing their chin). Even though the subject emerges from the trance, this is not necessarily the end of the scene.
Once the scene is over, the participants need a chance to talk things over and see how it went. This is often a good time to talk about the scene and what the subject remembers during it. What did they feel? Do they remember what they did? This information gives the hypnotist a good idea of what worked and what they can do differently next time. This is usually just a good time to cuddle, get a drink of water, brush their hair, sit with them under a blanket, or whatever the subject needs to feel “like themselves” again when they come out of trance. Aftercare needs will often be different based on the scene, the subject’s mood, the nature of the relationship, etc.