The mention of hypnosis in the kink community often provokes quite hysteric reactions, so perhaps for the purposes of this introduction you could think of it as a kind of mind work, similar to meditation. Its purpose is to induce a trance-like mental state. That helps individuals to relax and access a deeper level of their mind.
In qualified and professional hands, hypnosis can be useful as a form of therapy (hypnotherapy), to help improve an individual’s life. For the more general purposes of kink, it can be more like a bridge between the everyday conscious state of mind and the more subconscious levels. That’s a bridge we commute every day as we fall deep into sleep and dream (the subconscious), and as we slowly wake up and walk away from dream into the everyday reality (consciousness).
i personally find myself always being mindful about where i am situated in terms of that bridge of subconscious and conscious mind. Especially when i paint, i drift way from the every day reality into a trace-like space, as my hand and body become a kind of communicative instrument, letting different emotions and energy flow through me onto the canvas.
i am not an expert in hypnotism, but i tried some of the erotic hypnotism audio files from Neil the Erotic Hypnotist a few years ago when i was exploring different BDSM resources online, and i found them very interesting. Recently, there was a detailed discussion on the nosafeword podcast, where PupBrutus did an awesome Hypnotism 101. I highly recommend anyone who is interested in hypnotism, and how hypnosis works in a BDSM context to go check it out. Pup Brutus have also published a free self-hypnosis audio – “Reprogramming – Anal Switch – Horny Button”, be sure to check it out too, it is free!
Does hypnotism work? The mind has always been a deep mystery, and more often than not there isn’t an accurate way to describe exactly how our conscious/subconscious operates. Perhaps Foucault offers something close, where he discusses the mad man and the reason man in Madness and Civilisation:
In the serene world of mental illness, modem man no longer communicates with the madman: on one hand, the man of reason delegates the physician to madness, thereby authorizing a relation only through the abstract universality of disease; on the other, the man of madness communicates with society only by the intermediary of an equally abstract reason which is order, physical and moral constraint, the anonymous pressure of the group, the requirements of conformity. As for a common language, there is no such thing; or rather, there is no such thing any longer; the constitution of madness as a mental illness, at the end of the eighteenth century, affords the evidence of a broken dialogue, posits the separation as already effected, and thrusts into oblivion all those stammered, imperfect words without fixed syntax in which the exchange between madness and reason was made. The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue of reason about madness, has been established only on the basis of such a silence. I have not tried to write the history of that language, but rather the archaeology of that silence.
(Foucault, 2001, p. 12)
Foucault, M., 2001. Madness and Civilization, Psychology Press.
• Wikipedia – Erotic Hypnosis
• Submissive Guide – Getting Started with Erotic Hypnosis
• Deviance & Desire – Combining BDSM and Hypnosis
• Psychology Today – Hypnosis and Sexual Health
• Thrillist – An Erotic Hypnotist Can Make You Orgasm Just By Touching Your Wrist