Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Becoming Hypnotist Galiana

Four months into doing phone sex, I have opened up a Hypnotism listing: The one lone piece of feedback on there so far was from the listing's start as a regular Mistress listing, but my Fetish - Fem Dommes listing is where I'm getting those calls, not in BDSM - Mistresses. 

As I explained in an early blog post here, being hypnotized erotically was new to me when I started this job. But being hypnotized was not new to me: I successfully quit smoking via hypnosis in the 1990s.

What I did not reveal in that blog post is that I had extensive childhood experience performing hypnotism. For about three years in grade school and middle school, a group of friends spent many late-night hours at camp-outs and lock-ins and sleep-overs "playing" with hypnotism.

It started with the "light as a feather, stiff as a board" game: one girl laid down, other girls knelt around her in a circle, and each girl had one finger from each hand under the girl, pressing lightly upward. We calmly said, "light as a feather, stiff as a board" over and over. At some point, the girl on the ground would float upward, carried on the weight of our fingers. Inevitably, someone would giggle or "Wow!" at that point and the floating girl would drop back an inch or two to the ground. We put pillows under them to soften the fall, and thought it was neat.

Then the idea of hypnotizing someone entered into the group. The girl being hypnotized would lie down with her head in the hypnotist's lap. The hypnotist would rub the temples of the girl going under and do a classic relaxation-type induction. When she passed an "I can't open my eyelids" check, we'd do all kinds of harmless things: extract information about who she liked (almost never a surprise), make her feel ticklish without touching her, or give her a post-hypnotic suggestion to do a handstand or to flap her arms and cluck like a chicken. Silly things.

Nobody else could get me all the way under, I always remembered everything, and post-hypnotic suggestions never worked on me, so other girls gave up trying to hypnotize me. At the same time, consensus built that I could get people under the deepest, and I had the best ideas of goofy stuff to have them do, so I became the designated hypnotist unless someone else wanted to try. Other girls would talk to me mid-session if they had an idea or a question, but the girl in a trance would usually only be able to hear my voice. 

The idea of age regression came to us somehow, so we started regressing people back to their toddler years, and asking about early memories. The rare times when older sisters were with us, or girls asked their parents about it later, memories were confirmed. It was a little creepy, but incredibly fun. The tone of the sessions changed - they felt less silly - and although I don't remember discussing it, I think we understood that we were doing something more serious, and we needed to be cautious. We only asked questions when people were regressed, and we never made suggestions to regressed people.

Then we started trying past-life regressions. The first few were uneventful, weakly constructed, sometimes obviously faked (giggles give you away), or seemed to be springing from the imagination of the person being hypnotized. Or in one case, when she crossed the bridge from this life to the former, she just popped herself out of the trance. Boring.

Then came the past-life regression that shut us down. "Laura" was as normal as anyone ever is, unremarkable in her background, unremarkable in her speech patterns among her peers, had never traveled outside the US, and had never done acting or taken dialect coaching. When Laura stepped over the bridge and went back to her previous 20-year-old self, she instantly developed a thick brogue (Irish? Scotch? Welsh?), an antiquated speech pattern, and used words that sounded like local slang that none of us had heard.

Eyes grew wide. Girls backed away. Fear hit all of us, I think. It didn't feel faked. Laura wasn't the type to be able to pull that off. I remember holding up my hands in a calming motion and making a "shhhhh" face - in fact, that may have been the moment when I learned that it only takes one calm leader to stop a stampede. I knew instinctively that we needed to stay calm and quiet to get Laura back safely. The other girls settled back in around Laura, silent but freaked out, and watched while I casually asked a few questions, so it wouldn't seem odd to her that we had come here.

For about five minutes, she told us of her life: she was raised as a farm girl, married a farmer, and had two children. She had brothers and sisters, including a sister lost to a coughing illness. Everyone had names. Everyone was specific. Every answer was startling in its mundane truthfulness.

I walked her slowly back across the bridge, taking my time, asking for confirmations, covering every base I could think of to ensure that Laura came back to us safe and sound and... well... that she came back to us as Laura. When she got back to her actual age, sounding like herself again, I emerged her.

She didn't remember anything. She felt relaxed and calm. She had no idea why we were all spazzing our little heads off. If she had created that, I believe she would have pulled a "Gotcha!" on us as we talked about it ad nauseum for the next hour, because she wasn't a subtle, manipulative, plotting girl like that. She was an easygoing goofball who followed others' lead, not the type to perpetrate and reinforce fraud on a group of her panic-stricken best friends.

We agreed never to touch it again. We agreed never to talk about it again. I am deeply grateful that we were a group of basically well-meaning kids who simply walked away when we got in over our heads. And I wonder how the heck we got our ideas and techniques... I remember coming up with a few things myself, but I have no idea how we got all the way to past-life regression. That's heavy-duty stuff.

And then when I was 39, a new phone sex worker, browsing other listings, I found myself fascinated by hypno offerings, hypno blogs, and hypno theory. I started soaking up benevolent training on the internet (no "how to hypnotize people without their knowledge"). I feel confident in my research skills, and in my bullshit detection. Over the course of about a month, I soaked knowledge from respectable resources who offer state-accepted hypnotherapy certification training.

(side note: I love people who understand that by giving away some of their expertise, they become seen as experts, and attract more people asking for their expertise. Yay for super-smart marketing)

(side side note: I know some hypnotherapists would claim that whatever training I participated in over the internet was quackery, but every sub-culture has hobbyists, experts, academics, researchers, practitioners, and in-fighting... and every body of knowledge is now available on at least a surface level to curious folks with good research skills. I'd love recommendations for safe, competent, training, but I can't yet afford Big Bucks to go to live training.)

Then, since the Law of Attraction seems to work sometimes, I had someone call on my Mistress line (which does not mention hypnotism) asking to be hypnotized. And another. And then the first one called back. So I wrote out my preferred method of induction (a script? reminders? something like that), so I don't forget stuff. I would never use someone else's script - I'm waaay too picky about my rhythm to do that. And it's really just induction and emergence where I want to be consistent - the stuff in the middle is just as improv as regular phone sex.

I understand that hypnotism can be extraordinarily powerful, and I will be treading very lightly. I don't have the urge to drain someone's bank account or have them roll around naked on their front lawn or anything like that. Nothing illegal, nothing abusive, and hopefully nothing harmful. I'm going for a helpful, sensual, fun vibe with this. If I want to go deeper into more therapeutic behavior / cognitive modification, I'll get training. For now, it's just for feel-good.

My listing emphasizes: Intelligent (I'll let that one stand without further observation), Interactive (I'm not following a script except for induction and emergence - the rest of it we're creating together), Erotic (I can do non-erotic, but at the moment, erotic is more interesting to me), and Beneficial (hypno-slaves putting themselves in harm's way for me is just as unappealing as BDSM slaves putting themselves in harm's way - I'm here to help, not damage).

Hopefully that will attract people who will want what I'm offering!

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