Preface for my upcoming book, Understanding Erotic Hypnosis

I’m thinking about using the following as the preface for my upcoming book, Understanding Erotic Hypnosis

Note: text below is an early draft. I’ve revised it since this posting.

In the 1960s and 70s pop culture was obsessed with hypnosis and mind control. It was literally everywhere, in comic books (Daredevil, Batman, etc), sci fi (Lost in Space), Saturday morning cartoons (Scooby Doo, Superfriends, Underdog), sit coms (Gilligan’s Island, Get Smart), crime dramas (Hart to Hart, Charlie’s Angels), spy films (Our Man Flint) and horror movies (Dracula). It’s impossible to recall which of these gave me my first impression of hypnosis. But I still recall which gave me the most indelible one: Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968).

When I first saw this movie, I was immediately struck by the power of hypnosis. Not just to control someone, but to captivate them. To hold them entranced while you take them from frightened stranger to devoted servant and lover. When Dracula meets Zena on the road, she is at first startled and little frightened. But the vampire quickly captivates her. Within a few seconds, his power relaxes her, strips away her fear and fills her with euphoric bliss. And this plain looking girl becomes beautiful. When Dracula enthralls Maria, her transformation goes all the way to sexual arousal, and is even more beautiful.

I didn’t see that movie again for over 25 years. But my memories of the hypnosis scenes inspired me to learn about real hypnosis, experiment with my lovers, and develop my first erotic hypnosis mp3. When Youtube became available in 2005, I looked up several of the hypnosis scenes I remembered from my favorite old movies and TV shows. But none lived up to my memory. They weren’t erotic at all; only laughably superficial and inaccurate. (It didn’t help that I had been suffering from a chronic migraine for several years.) In spite of this disappointment, I still believed that hypnosis was intrinsically erotic and I continued to explore it.

I approached erotic hypnosis like an art. I studied what other hypnotists were doing. I read what they wrote, listened to what they recorded, learned from them, and explored new media. I also approached it like a technical writer and novelist, the cross-pollinators of ideas.

For my recordings, I researched hypnosis, NLP, sexual fantasies and inhibitions, BDSM, mindfulness, paranormal romance, and even erotic horror. For my first two novels, I researched human trafficking, sexual abuse, and repressed memories. For my third novel, dark matter, music, ethnomusicology, and steampunk bands. And for articles on this subject I researched personal growth, interpersonal communication, cognitive science, storytelling, epistemology, pop culture, and literature. I applied what I’d learned from these subjects to my art, and evolved as an both a writer and recording artist. I wrote the novels and short stories that I hoped would expand the genre and produced audio files to share my vision of what erotic hypnosis could be.

In 2019, while researching an article for my web site, I again looked up the hypnosis scenes from Dracula has Risen from the Grave. This time, instead of seeing it through eyes of a hormone-driven teenager or a migraine sufferer, I saw this scene through the prism of all the research I’d conducted. I saw this scene exemplifying perfect rapport (the activation and synchronization of two people’s mirror neurons) and the sharing of erotic desire. And I saw it portrayed with exceptional skill. This made the scene even more erotic than when I’d first seen it.

I’m relating all of this to illustrate two points. The first is a point that Dr. Nagoski makes in her book, Come As You Are. Dr. Nagoski discusses how context affects whether we perceive something as erotically meaningful. Context includes all the knowledge you derive from previous experience, your health, your state of mind, and your current mood. This means that a touch or kiss that stimulates you under some circumstances, could fail to affect you under different circumstances. The same touch or kiss that ignites your passions on your honeymoon could fail to affect you when you’re worrying about losing a job. And that’s normal.

Nagoski may have been the first credentialed researcher to scientifically demonstrate how this principle applies to interpreting sexual stimuli. But technical writers have always known that a reader’s previous knowledge and experience determines how well they interpret written text. Speech writers have always known the importance of setting up context to get a message across. Hypnotists have been helping people reframe experiences for decades. And storytellers have been providing context for the understanding of experience for thousands of years.

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

The second point is that French philosopher Henri Bergson< was correct when he wrote, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” Exploring erotic hypnosis, I learned this applies to sexuality as well as many other aspects of human nature. I became an artist recreating my own sexuality each time I explored another application of erotic hypnosis. And I’m not the only one. Many people who explore this genre do so just for fun. But many also discover they have the ability develop the sexuality they want. Some learn to increase their libido, others overcome sexual inhibitions, some train themselves to orgasm on command, others explore dominance and submission, and some change their orientation or gender identity. But most importantly, they discover the satisfaction of engaging in self-directed growth through their explorations.

Everyone who explores this art does so for their own unique reasons. And everyone develops their own approach. But we do learn from each other. And I hope that sharing what I’ve learned will help you explore erotic hypnosis and direct your own personal sexual growth.

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