My original series of posts for PainAsPleasure was recently reposted on this blog MELODY’S STORY – part 3, hypnosis in BDSM and I am very grateful to one concerned commenter with whom there was a wonderful conversation allowing me to expand on the safety aspects that aren’t apparent in the posts on hypnosis.
Re-reading that conversation I was struck by the following section in one of my replies
However, there’s a dark corner inside of me, whether it’s for CP or hypnosis, that wonders about flirting with that line. What would it take to go over that line ?
We know that I can’t cross that line in CP sessions and the same is probably true of hypnosis but I don’t think we’d put it to the test as we can with CP.
I realised that there’s a fresh post discussing safety in these few lines.
What do I mean in the above quote about ‘the line’ ? It’s the point where you’ve been so dismantled that you’ve been destroyed physically and/or mentally. Maybe to the extent that you can’t put yourself back together. There’s a common sub fantasy that I find distasteful of wanting a domme to ‘destroy’ them. I don’t think most have a clue what they mean and the fantasy is often accompanied by a deep lack of self-respect and self worth. However, it’s a dark question lurking like a foul demon in the background of my mind, ‘what if ?’
I have previously touched on my response to being pushed in CP and no doubt will do so again. I described it in my first ever post:-
… as every ounce of rationality is stripped away I go so deeply inside my core that there’s nothing left. That point where you’re convinced that you can’t take any more and the little voice in the head says – well, maybe one more. It’s always one more!! The inner core can’t admit it is at the limit because that’s a rational act. Being rational means that you can’t be at the limit and you’re trying to cheat.
What do I mean when I say that we know I can’t cross that line in CP ?
In essence, that inner voice that always says ‘maybe one more’ never shuts up, it keeps going until I black out. She’d love to draw tears from CP but respects this barrier that frustrates her intent. Not that she’ll give up trying, though.
The point of all this preamble is that both I and she are very well aware of my physical reactions to CP and can recognise when I’m at the limit.
Which brings me to the real point of this post, the intriguing questions of how do you know when you’ve been pushed to the limit by hypnosis ? How do you even know where the limit is ? By the time either of you notices any warning signs, it’s probably too late already.
How do you minimise the risks and ensure a safe environment ? Even with people who are very much SSC/RACK aware.
There is no manual or user guide I can point people at, though there is plenty of literature and research about hypnosis in general. The first answer I can suggest is that it’s all done very slowly with constant testing. From the narrative of my posts it can come across that my hypnosis journey has been swift. It hasn’t, so far we’ve spent over two years taking baby steps in reaching this stage. A wrong step with CP is immediately obvious and correctable. You can’t say the same for hypnosis. A wrong step may be inadvertent and certainly not obvious. How does it manifest ? And would it even be correctable ?
Every D/s relationship should rely on extensive communication. Adding a hypnosis component makes that communication even more essential and in much greater volume.
Hypnosis is essentially subtle hints and suggestions that help to accentuate or reinforce existing emotions, beliefs, desires and behaviours such as my natural desire to submit, for example. One of the surprises is how it can also uncover very deeply hidden and repressed parts of the mind. This is an area to be very careful with. As the subject it can take time to assimilate what can appear as new ideas and concepts before understanding that they were part of you all along, especially in the context of D/s hypnosis where they might be quite dark.
Everything she does is about positive reinforcement. I should note that there are some out there who might find enjoyment in negative reinforcements, both as hypnotist and subject. I find that reprehensible in both parties as it really can lead to psychosis and mental health problems. In the case where the hypnotist tries this without consent, it is abuse, it is assault and it is in the same category as stealthing !
For me, my sub-conscious is a protective gateway, even more so now that I have extensive session amnesia. Both of us need to trust that the sub-conscious is working and listen when it speaks up. For example, she has on occasion fed suggestions that she knows I ought to reject. I’ll come out of the session having forgotten everything except for that ‘wrong’ suggestion. And it’s imperative that I tell her straight away that this was wrong. I’m not sure what she would do if my sub-conscious failed to report a wrong suggestion, as far as I know it hasn’t happened.
Communication and discussion are vital after each session. Well, it’s often not so much a discussion as me over analysing and reporting back :-p She does me the courtesy of not rolling her eyes at what I write and always takes time out of a busy schedule to read it. She may not discuss it directly but I know she reads everything and her own feedback is usually incorporated in to the next hypnosis sessions.
The slowness, the care and the attention to detail are all things to ensure safety and I do feel safe. I know my own mind infinitely better than I did before. I’m now highly sensitised to my feelings and emotional responses. This is especially important when recognising those that come primarily from melody.
Despite what is now years of thinking on the subject, I have no idea where the line is or what it looks like. All I know is that I trust my sub-conscious implicitly, as much as I trust her. That dark demon is still there with the tempting whisper of ‘what if ?’ and it’s the biggest warning there is to not go down that path.