Many hypnosis subjects ask how they can be better subjects and/or achieve deeper trances. A deep trance isn’t necessary for suggestions to be arousing (especially with sexual hypnosis). But for many people, deeper trances are more erotic. Deeper trances enable you to feel more fully immersed in a forced arousal, seduction, or submission training scene. So with a deeper trance, fantasy becomes experience.
Some people can achieve a deep trance the first time they’re hypnotized. But most people start with a lite trance, and require practice to build up to a deeper trance. But it’s not enough to practice entering a trance. You must also practice the component skills that enable deeper trances.
Musicians do this. Playing the guitar, for example, requires mastering many different skills, including listening, reading music notation, maintaining rhythm, coordinating the hands and fingers, and moving up and down the fretboard. So when you are learning a song with a difficult position change, it helps to isolate that movement and practice it by itself. You move your hand back and forth from one position to the other without plucking the strings. This builds muscle memory in the left hand, which can be built into a subconscious habit.
Artists also break composite skills into component skills and practice each individually. To learn to draw faces, artists often perform feature studies. They may spend days or weeks just drawing different eyes, noses, or hair styles. (My high school art teacher made us spend a week just drawing different celebrities’ noses.) Comic book artists often draw practice sketches, drawing the same character from several different angles, before drawing the final art.
You can do something similar with the components skills of trance.
The Component Skills of Trance
At a minimum, being a good hypnotic subject involves five component skills:
- focusing your attention,
- quieting your inner monologue (self talk),
- establishing rapport or allowing someone to establish it with you, and
- visualizing suggestions.
Each of these component skills can be practiced separately. And then brought together to achieve deeper, more erotic trances.
Focus Your Attention
Focus is a learned skill. We’re all born with a ‘wild monkey brain’ that flits from one random thought to another. We learn to focus in order to learn other skills, like reading, writing, and arithmetic. But frequent distractions (like advertising, the internet, televisions, coworkers, etc.) can erode this skill.
To regain your focus, or strengthen it, practice being present in the moment. Reduce multi-tasking. Set a goal of focusing on a single task for either a set amount of time or until it’s completed. When random thoughts or distractions threaten to pull you away from that task, remind yourself that you have a goal to achieve, and the distraction will still be there later. Then refocus on the task at hand.
Quiet Your Self Talk
Most people talk to themselves mentally. Its a habit you pick up when learning to read. You imagine the sound of words and get in the habit of imagining that sound in your mind every time you read the word. You build on this habit when playing. You use words to create imaginary scenarios (Calvin & Hobbes illustrates this whenever Calvin imagines himself as Spaceman Spiff.) The habit also helps you analyze situations, solve abstract problems, and plan for the future.
But self talk can interfere with going into trance and enjoying sexual pleasure. To break the habit, meditate. Focus on simply feeling physical sensations like breathing without verbally labeling them. Inevitably, a word or a thought will pop into your mind. Simply dismiss it and refocus on feeling your breath. Do this for as long as you can. You might start with only a few breaths, but you’ll quickly be able to build up to a full minute of breathing without verbalizing.
If this sound like a focus exercise, that’s because meditation teaches focus. I know I said practice each component skill separately. But meditating builds these two skills together.
A lot of people listen only to reply. You see this on television talk shows. The speakers don’t care about understanding each other or learning from each other. They only want to express their own opinions. So they only listen for opportunities to respond. But there are many different ways to listen.
You can listen to learn from the speaker. How do they understand what the topic? How does the subject of conversation relate to your previous experiences? You can listen to analyze the structure of a speaker’s thoughts. How do their premises support their conclusion? You can listen to provide emotional support, which means accepting without judgement. You can listen to empathize and share their emotions, which is how we enjoy music and erotic audio. Or you can listen to visualize, focus on their descriptive terms and picture them in your mind. This is how you go into a trance.
Rapport is harmonious emotional communication, and is arguably the most important aspect of being a good subject (and D/s relationships). Milton Erickson, one of the most influential hypnotherapists of the 20th Century, wrote that rapport is essential to therapist-patient relationships. Without it, therapy can never be effective. John Kappas, another influential hypnotherapist, wrote that establishing rapport and trust is essential for a client to be willing to enter deeper states of trance.
As a subject establishing rapport means allowing yourself to fall in sync with the hypnotist’s rhythms. Think of it like feeling the rhythm of music. When you listen to music (or dance), you listen for the rhythm or beat. You let that rhythm flow through you and move your body. When you allow the rhythm to move you, you’re in rapport with the music and the musician. So listening to and feeling the music is a good way to practice this.
Once you find it easy to slip into the rhythm of music, the next step is to listen to someone talking. Select someone who speaks and a reasonable pace. (Not a newscaster or sportscaster.) Listen to the rhythm and tone of their speech. Listen for the emotional content in their rhythm. And allow yourself to be moved or fall into sync with them. When you feel their emotion influencing your own, you’re in rapport.
Then listen to a meditation or hypnosis recording. When you feel their words to guide the rhythm of your breathing, you’re in rapport.
Visualizing means creating or recalling a mental image. You visualize when you recall something you’ve previously seen or when you imagine something you could see. One of the ways to practice visualization is to look at something for a moment, close your eyes and remember the sight in your mind.
Comic strip panels are great for this. The simple lines and colors are easy to recall minutes, even hours seeing them.
You can build on this skill by recalling physical sensations, like the sensation of raising your arm, being too tired to move, caressing a soft fabric or kissing your lover. You can recall all these sensations, it just takes practice. As you recall these sensations, you can actually feel them, and these feelings can lead you deeper into trance.
Building on Minor Successes
Each of these skills requires practice. It’s likely that when you first start, you’ll only experience minor success. But every time you practice, you strengthen the neural pathways involved. And this enables you to build the skill. Think of an infant trying to walk for the first time. Their first steps are weak, wobbly, and uncertain. But practice strengthens the leg muscles and the neural pathways that control those muscles. So the more the infant practices, the easier it becomes to walk and the further they can walk.
The Master has failed more times than the novice has even tried.
It’s the same with most skills. I’ve been trying to play one of Bach’s fugues on the guitar for months. Some of the stretches have been excruciatingly difficult. But the more I practice, the closer I get.
The more you practice the component skills of trancing, the more easily you’ll be able to go into a trance, the deeper you’ll go, and the longer you’ll be able to stay in trance (or subspace). This will enable you experience more intense arousal and more satisfying sexual pleasure.