MEEHU, A Personal Trip Report, Part 4, Friday Night

I Know Things Now

Or

Scenester Stories.

We found our way back to the hotel and made it just before dinner. Dinner, served by the Unconference, was a selection of some of Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizzas. Now, I’m a fan of thick crust, but must admit that the soup-in-a-bowl nature of the deep dish pizzas was not to my taste.

Nevertheless, it was fantastic catching up with some of my old (you know, “old,” as in, from four months prior) friends over dinner, including Mephki, Marc Cabot, SweetGasp, and others. It was also wonderful to finally meet some of the people I had only known through Hypbook. The atmosphere was, for me, so comfortable and friendly.

I got dressed and joined LeeAllure and, well, everyone, really, in a slightly cramped room for a hypnosis stage show. I walked in just before the show was to start so I wound up sitting on the floor in the corner.

The show was a “classic” hypnosis show. For those of you who don’t know what that means, here you go: Usually, a hypnosis show starts out with the hypnotist/performer discussing the pluses and minuses of hypnosis, what it is and what it isn’t (this portion of the performance was somewhat curtailed for the obvious reasons). Then the hypnotist runs people through various “suggestibility” tests. This usually takes the form of the hypnotist telling the audience to imagine that their hand is attached to balloons, which lift their arm up. If your arm actually moves and levitates (which happens for far more people than you might at first imagine, even if you’re not at a hypnosis conference), then you’re probably fairly suggestible.

The hypnotist will bring volunteers up and perform relatively quick inductions on each person. Then the hypnotist will have the volunteers run through various scenarios. This could be having various subjects believe that another subject smells funny. It could be that the hypnotist tells you you’re singing karaoke, or that the person next to you is extremely attractive or smells weird, or that you’re from the planet “macho” and that you’re going to show just how incredibly manly you are while the Village People’s “Macho Man” plays over the sound system. It can be incredibly cheesy and/or incredibly funny, largely depending on the quality of the volunteers and/or the hypnotist. For a really good fictional account of a hypnosis show, (and a pretty good primer on hypnosis in general) check you this story: http://www.mcstories.com/BusmansHoliday/index.html

The usual question after a show like this is whether the people were “really” hypnotized and/or were “made” to act in such ways: were they made to do things they normally wouldn’t do? The way I’ve always thought of it is that a hypnosis show is somewhat self-selecting: people go into the room because they’re curious. People volunteer to be on stage knowing they’re going to be the center of attention. People who are up there are either unafraid naturally, natural show-offs, or looking for an excuse to “show off” or “come out of their shell.”

After the show, Lee and I retired to my room to do a scene that we had set up beforehand. She had said that one thing that she enjoyed doing was slapping people into a trance. No, really. But, really. And after our experience at NEEHU where she had slapped me across the face a couple of times, (http://wp.me/p4vV5a-l) I was actually kind of intrigued by this concept and asked to experience it.

So Lee and I sat on a couch facing each other. First, she had me do something entirely unexpected; she told me to slap her. This was problematic for all sorts of reasons. Culturally, men are (or, at least, I am) indoctrinated against hitting women. Or a woman. Or any woman. I had never done it, not even in jest. And she wanted me to do it, several times. After making sure it was ok with her, and having Lee walk me through the process I… did it. Several times. There was one slap that was errant, and she said I had caused a slight ringing in her ears. But for the most part, I guess I slapped her…. Well?

It was a very, very, strange experience for me. But then she looked at me and said it was her turn. For the briefest of moments I thought to say, “No thanks; I won the bet. I slapped a sadist. Thanks for the $100 victory.” But then I thought I valued my continued existence on this earth, and decided to endure my turn.

Lee looked me in the eyes, and measured the distance from her hand to my cheek, and began slapping me. The first time was like the shock to my system when she slapped me at NEEHU. Even though I knew it was coming, there was something so visceral about it actually happening that shocked my system. She slapped me, several times, all the time making sure that my face was directed towards her, looking me in the eyes and putting me into a kind of trance. She noted how dilated my eyes were, and was enjoying, it seemed, the power trip.

For a while (and by a while, I mean that it “felt” like thirty minutes, but it was only like about three minutes) it put me into a kind of “sub space.” I felt myself entirely in Lee’s control in a very real way. There was a flush of release as she was slapping me, and I felt floaty and in something approaching a trance-state. She alternated cheeks and varied the amount of force she was using; she obviously did not want to cause bruising.

At some point, however, something very interesting happened; some part of me, whichever part of me isn’t submissive, woke up.

Something in me clicked into place, and all of a sudden, I had to stop myself from slapping Lee back. Lee laughed. “You just switched, didn’t you?” And I smiled back. I could feel a malicious, defiant look in my eye.

She kept slapping few more times, however, just to see what would happen. How I didn’t slap back, I’ll never really know, but shortly after that… it wrapped. It was my very first BDSM “scene.” I wouldn’t say I was as impacted (so to speak) as when Lee unexpectedly slapped me at NEEHU, but it was rather brilliant and wonderful nevertheless. I felt unexpectedly energized. It felt like several different parts of me (whether that was my “top” and “bottom” part of me, I don’t know) had had a work out. I felt “balanced,” for lack of a better word. In short, Ten out of ten, would do it again.

After the weekend, I described the scene to Mrs. Pynchon (and note, I had actually told her ahead of time that I was thinking of dabbling in physical BDSM-type activities). As I told her about the slapping, a look came over her face.

I asked her if something was troubling her about the scene.

She said, “I don’t like it.”

And I felt a moment of panic– had I gone too far? She’d listened as I read her every word of this blog before I published, and was so extremely supportive of everything, but sometimes the actual reality of it can be more troubling than the possibility.

She noticed the concerned look on my face, and said, “No, no. Look, I don’t get it. But I wouldn’t get it if you were into NASCAR.”

I blinked. “NASCAR??”

“Yeah, you know, all those cars going round and round in circles for hours. I’d have more serious problems if you were into that; I wouldn’t understand it at all. But this… I don’t get it. But…whatever. You’re having fun.” And she shrugged.

Lee and I went down to the pool, where the pool water felt really good on my face.

We ran into Em, Seb, and the super-cool and super-tiny Fay and they joined us. I caught up with Mephki some, which was nice.

After the pool, Lee and I went back up for a second scene we had discussed trying, a hypno-interrogation scene.

We hadn’t really worked out all the details. Essentially, although Lee isn’t big on role-play, we decided on having me play a spy with a secret code stuck in my head. Her job was to get the code out of it.

We enlisted the lovely and reliable Tesdenic in the crucial job of holding the slip of paper with the code, to determine if I was lying.

We went to the “red room,” which was the room set aside for BDSM activities. I don’t think we expected to do anything serious—certainly I didn’t—but the other rooms were for much more quiet play. In one corner a couple was engaging in fairly strong impact play, in another corner, one person was slowly tying another up with rope. We went to the third corner, on the other side from the doorway, where there was a chair.

She had me sit down and “tied” my hands behind me and we began.

We quickly established that I was an American spy, and that she was a “Commie Russian Bitch” as I soon described her. (What!? I was in character.)

She tried to grab my attention for a trance, but I resisted. I talked a good game, telling her that I’d rather die than give her the code.

“Soon you will be only too happy to give me the code.”

I resisted looking her in the eyes. She grabbed the shiny pendulum hanging from her neck and tried to pass that in front of my eyes. I looked away.

She grabbed my face (still slightly sore from the slapping) and held me so that I was forced to keep eye contact with her.

And here…. Here is where I lost character for a minute.

You see…. In character, as a spy being held so that I was facing my assailant head-on, this is where I would have spat at her. But… you see, we hadn’t talked about the boundaries of our scene. I also realized that if I had spat at her, we’d be escalating the scene very quickly. And I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that.

Despite my hiccup, we continued the scene.

She pinched me, and said, “That was a special version of Scopolamine. You know what that is, don’t you?” Scopolamine is a drug made from nightshade that is reputed to have hypnotic and amnesiac effects on the user. It was the basis for a fun zombie episode of “Castle” and was a trigger we had used in our sessions for our book project. “But this is a special version of the drug, keyed to your DNA, so it’s even more effective. It will make you very suggestible very quickly.”

I may have used various epithets at this point.

She picked up my cell phone, which had dropped down on the floor in my “struggles.” She flipped through the photos and found one of my dogs. “This dog looks happy. I’d hate it if anything happened to it. Something bad could happen to this dog unless you tell me the code.”

I retorted, “Are you kidding? That one pees everywhere in my house. You’d be doing me a favor. I’ll give you one of the digits of the code if you get rid of him.”

After a while, however the “special Scopolamine” began to “work.” She slowly put me under, all the while I “resisted.” She told me that any lie would cause me pain, and that any time I told the truth I would feel pleasure.

Over the course of the next few minutes, I finally gave her the code: A24601. (I know, I know).

She went over to Tes, who confirmed the code, and came back. Telling me that she may have more tasks for me, that I was to be placed back in my house with no memory of the interrogation.

And then she brought me up, and we finished the scene. I must admit I was exhausted. I had been “in character” for about thirty to forty-five minutes. And although I was in a trance, I was trying to react as if I were someone else and not “me,” if that makes sense. It was fun to step out of myself, but I also understood why people—like Lee—aren’t so fond of “role play”; there is something less “real” about it. It was still incredibly fun, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

I cannot tell you how many people told me that night and later in the weekend that they had poked their head into the room, and were really interested in knowing what was going on with us, but couldn’t because we were on the other side of the room.

After this, we retired to the “Rainbow Room” which was filled with various colored and flashing lights. Among the dood-dads was an LED internally lit egg. For example, like this: http://www.brookstone.com/color-changing-waterproof-led-light-genesis-egg (cheaper ones are out there, but that link has a video (caution: may induce hypnosis)).

We met up with Seb, Emiliana, Tesdenic, and the incredibly tiny Fay in the room.
Seb had, at some point, hypnotized Fay into being thoroughly entranced by the egg when it was in her hands. He was playing with her by alternately placing the egg in and taking it out of her hands, sending her down and then bringing her right back up. She was a human yo-yo, and it was quite a sight to see her ride the roller coaster into and out of trance.

We took turns suggesting things Seb could do to and with Fay while she was under. Finally, Seb groaned and said, “Look, maybe you don’t understand. All those things sound like really hard work. I’m the world’s laziest hypnotist.”

Lee was holding a larger bouncing ball with an internal flashing light.

She said, “You think you’re lazy? Here. DJ?”

I started. “Uh… yes?”

“Be like Fay.” And she tossed the ball right into my hands.

… and I was out. And then she took the ball out of my hands… and put it back in them. And now I was riding the hypno-roller-coaster up and down.

It was both strange and oddly fun to be the center of attention like that, with people watching as Fay and I were put through our paces. (This is all foreshadowing for the next blog, by the way.)

In between trances, it was great “debriefing” with Emiliana and getting her reactions to the events and people of the day. Her blog (http://emilianadarling.wordpress.com) is fascinating, because, while I’ve been a hypno-aficionado, she had almost no frame of reference whatsoever for her experiences.

Somewhere in there, fractionated and a little wobbly, I crept back to my room to sleep. I had covered so much ground, literally and figuratively, (in fact, as I’m recounting these events, I feel almost like I’m just reporting and not really processing or analyzing, but I want to make sure I hit all the fun events). Regardless, I was excited to see where Saturday would take me.

NEXT TIME: Classes! Politeness Wars! Switch Fight! Hypno-Egg Toss! Worst! Induction! EVER!

MEEHU1, A Personal Trip Report, Part 3: Color and Light

Color and Light

Or

Being into Art

 

I woke up in time to make the last few minutes of the snazzy brunch the hotel had provided us. To be sure, the hotel was a perfectly nice hotel.  However, it was a trifle on the run-down end of things- yellow “Do Not Cross” signs hung ominously in front of the entrance to the pool, the only ice machine (on the first floor) made a foreboding racket, and the elevator was slow and ponderous. We had been told that the hotel was in the process of remodeling and transferring from one hotel chain to another. To give you an idea of just how “OK” the premises were, there was a level of surprise when, upon asking the question “When are the renovations going to take place?” the answer “They already have” was greeted with more bemusement than abject horror. Even so, the service by the people who worked there was second to none, and the fact that they were willing to cede us an entire floor of the hotel was rather wonderful.

Lee and I had made plans to visit the Art Institute of Chicago downtown. When we made the plans, I had two things in mind. First, there was (and is) a major Magritte exhibition at the Institute, with his paintings up through 1938 (including the classic “The Treachery of Images,” the painting of a pipe with the words, in French “This is Not a Pipe.”). I’m a huge Magritte fan, and remember seeing a different show at a major museum when I was about 14. I really wanted to see this one. The second thing I had in mind was this blog: http://deeperforme.blogspot.com/2014/05/hypnosis-at-museum-of-fine-arts.html

I was fascinated with the idea of spending some time hypnotically induced into a painting. I knew that the Institute had a fine collection of French Impressionists, including George Suerat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte.” (Which is also the inspiration for “Sunday in the Park with George,” perhaps Sondheim’s finest musical.) I had mentioned this to LeeAllure as something I would be very interested in trying, and she agreed to come along with me and be my hypno-enabler for the day.

Lee was also extremely helpful to me in a personal matter that morning (which isn’t nefarious, just boring) which took longer than it needed to. But regardless, we were off to the Institute.

When we had parted company with Fay, Emiliana and Seb the previous night, we had made some vague plans about meeting up with them Downtown, since they were all staying there one more night before heading over to MEEHU (more on this later).

As for MEEHU itself, it had reserved the entire third floor of the hotel as of 3 pm on Friday. However, they were running some classes from 10 a.m. onwards. We missed some really good classes, but Friday was really the best day for checking out the exhibits–and downtown Chicago– so we left, intending to return by dinner time.

 

First, Magritte.

For me, if there is to be a patron artist of explorers of the unconscious, I will nominate Magritte, and then move to close the nominations. F*ck Salvador Dali.

I have a vivid recollection of seeing his paintings way back when. But seeing them now, after the work I had done with Lee and my own explorations, it was like every painting was a cluster bomb of feelings, thoughts, reflections, and notions, the scattered repercussions of which I am only now really sifting through.

 

Tangent: In Which Pynchon Goes off the Deep End Metaphorically

Consider, this, one of the paintings that was part of the Magritte exhibit: http://fifty2letters.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/coffee-dregs/magritte-rene-tentative-de-l-impossible/

Entitled “Attempting the Impossible,” the description in the museum called it “an example of a single recursion,” intimating that the painting was about the impossibility of painting reality. I laughed. Consider (and strap yourself in, we’re in for a bumpy ride): The painting depicts the artist painting his wife out of nothingness, in short fulfilling the actions of the title, inasmuch as one really shouldn’t be able to “paint” a human being into creation. And yet, we have irony number one: in the world of the painting, the artist is, in fact, creating the wife.

Note the artist is staring at his wife, in the act of “creating” her. If you wanted to get deep into the weeds in existential philosophy (and who doesn’t?) you can draw a parallel here between the Sartrean “Being-in-itself” and “Being-for-itself” (or Kierkegaardean “Subjectivity” and “Objectivity,” if you prefer) where the act of noticing existence is forever separated from the act of existence itself. One can argue that the gaze of the artist in the painting, while trying to paint the object of his attention– literally “drawing into being” the object—is attempting the impossible. One cannot both regard and exist at the same time.

Note also that we are observing the painting of the artist “creating” his wife. What are we doing as observers watching the painting? Isn’t it true that we are trying, in some way, to glean meaning from the painting? And here…. Here is where I started laughing at the meaning of the painting for me in that moment. Because the challenge of all of Magritte’s paintings is that there is no such thing as a passive observer. Because the painting is a challenge that invites you to participate in constructing, and then being part of, the meaning. The act of observing art, to grasp a meaning or a message, is itself “Attempting the Impossible.” And yet, to truly come to terms with art, especially Magritte’s art, is to do just that, because your thoughts and engagement is what make the piece in question come alive.

(End of tangent; here’s the tl;dnr moral.)

 

For too long, prior to me jumping head-first into my interest/fetish/kink/hobby of hypnosis, I was merely an observer. But hypnosis taught me that there is no such thing as an observer. Not any more. The only way to be alive is to engage. And once you engage, once you participate, you cannot go back.

And then I saw this: http://www.artnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/09_13_LK_004_400.jpg

And I lost it.

Well-played, Magritte, well-played.

Fortunately, Lee did not have me committed for all the giggling and running about I did. (I’d have pictures of the actual exhibition, but, unlike Mussorgsky, Magritte’s paintings are still under copyright and there were rules against photography. ) She seemed to enjoy the exhibition as well.

 

Second, Entering the Paintings.

After we went all the way through the exhibition Lee and I made our way to the Impressionists. Our goal was to do something with “Sunday Afternoon” but the way that particular hall was set up, there were no benches in front of the painting and precious little space to do a quiet trance. Instead, we sat on the benches to the side, across from some Monet paintings. Lee sat next to me and started whispering in my ear. She asked me to pick one of the paintings, the one that appealed to me. And as I did, she kept whispering to me to enter trance.

My eyes examined the different paintings and settled on this one: http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/81540?search_no=3&index=10

“The Departure of the Boats, Etretat” By Claude Monet.

Staring at the painting, and, in fact, staring into the painting, I started feeling amazing things. First, I started to feel a little bit of the sea air on my face. I could actually hear the people in the scene, and hear a little bit of the waves on the shore! It was an unreal, literally unreal, experience. I’m not sure how long it lasted. It had been hot and humid in Chicago, and throughout the museum, but sitting there, “on the beach,” it felt cool and calming.

After a while we got up and wandered through other galleries. We settled for a few minutes in front of this one: http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/14624?search_no=4&index=24

Lee whispered in my ear, saying that I was lying against the main haystack, on the other side, and in moments I felt the heat of a setting sun, heard the dog barking from just past the fence, and felt the hay underneath me. It was a magical experience.

Note:

Oftentimes people who have just been hypnotized are somewhat suggestible for a while afterwards. This will be important later.

 

How real did it feel to me? I never forgot that I was in a museum, or that I was “in reality” in Chicago. However, I felt those sensations, briefly but wholeheartedly.

I don’t know if I was as consumed as the lady in Divney’s scene was, but it felt otherworldly and wonderful.

We wondered peacefully through several other galleries on our way out of the museum. I felt very much in a daze. We spoke about how we should call Fay, Seb and Emiliana.

Once in the harsh sunlight, we looked around, caught our bearings…. And there they were. Fay, Seb and Em were all standing at the cross-walk right in front of us. Randomly, they had decided to get pictures taken on the steps of the museum and had finished right as we walked out.

We marveled together at the coincidence, for a few minutes. Seb then led us to lunch across the street, at a place called “Potbelly Sandwich Shop.” Fay, Emiliana and I went to get lunch while Seb and Lee held our table. I placed my order at the service line, and talked to the sandwich maker/cook. Just behind me in line, and standing next to the beverage refrigerator, was Emiliana. I had grabbed a root beer from the fridge, and was considering my order when the following conversations occurred:

“I’d like a tuna melt and some fries, please, I’m very hungry.”

“You’re hungry, huh?” said the cook, “then you should have one of our famous chocolate malts.” And he pointed up.

I looked up, and there was a chalkboard that said “Try our chocolate malts!” And I said, “Thanks! I’d like to try one of your ‘famous chocolate malts.’”

“Great!”

At which point, Emiliana, grabbing an orange juice from the fridge, looked at me and said “God, an orange juice sounds so good right now.”

And I blinked and said, “You’re right, an orange juice does sound really good right now.” And I went and grabbed one. I paid, and Emiliana, Fay, and I made our way to the table. First Lee then Seb commented on the fact that I must be very thirsty. I glanced over my tray.

And I wondered….. why did I have a chocolate malt, an orange juice and a bottle of root beer???

And then it hit me. Oh. Right. Suggestible me.

Emiliana said that the look of utter defeat on my face when I realized what had happened was astounding.

This became one of the running jokes for the weekend, with near strangers offering me a malt at one point.

The other running joke quickly coalesced on that first day: despite about a decade or so in age difference, a gender difference, and a nationality difference, Emiliana and I apparently share a brain. We were finishing each other’s sentences by the end of lunch. We were sharing looks at what our friends or passers-by were saying as if to say “we’re thinking the same thing, aren’t we?” The area where I was slightly ahead of her was in puns. Several times I’d throw some corny joke out and she’d groan and say “I was just about to say that.” It’s not that I’m funnier or faster, it’s just that experience and rote has made my punning fully autonomic (for the people).

After lunch we went to a two story make-up store for…. Reasons. Then we gathered Fay, Em and Seb’s bags from the hotel and sped our way towards MEEHU.

At this point, there’s one more incident I’d like to share, but for that I probably need to explain some background about me. I’m kind of known for being on the mellow side. In fact, few people have seen me lost my temper or get really upset. I am what you might call “even-keeled.” However, Chicago traffic tested my patience. As I was pulling out into traffic, a driver slanted into my lane without signaling. This was about the fifth time that had happened since I had started driving in Chicago the previous day. And so I….

I shudder even to say what I said. I said:

“Jeez. Really!? Come on.”

The conversation in the car stopped.

Finally, after a beat, Fay said, “Whoa! Pynch-rage! Take it easy!”

“I didn’t expect you to Hulk-out!” someone threw in.

And they were off to the races.

So, “Pynch-rage” became one of the other running gags for MEEHU. And beyond.

We made one detour so that I could fulfill one promise I had made to Fay months earlier. I had told her that if we met up at MEEHU I would buy her some chocolate ice cream. We went to an ice cream shop in West Chicago that had been there since the 50s, apparently.

After that, we made our leisurely way to the hotel, where we guided our vanilla friends to the strangeness that is MEEHU.

 

NEXT TIME! Part 2! Deep dish pizza! Dressing up! Slapping! Spies! Scenes! Service with a smile! Circular balls and eggs! Shenanigans!

MEEHU, A Personal Trip Report, Part Two: The Day Off (Before the Day On)

Checking Things Out and Checking In
Or
The Day Off

I flew to Chicago with a different mindset than when I flew to Hartford. I felt more confident and relaxed.

This was slightly unexpected, inasmuch as I’ve always been a very nervous flyer. LeeAllure was very generous in helping me through my fear with a little bit of hypnosis over the phone, as I sat in a mall parking lot miles and miles from home. My work had taken me away from home, and the trip to MEEHU was in the middle of a two week stretch where I had confronted work scenarios I hadn’t encountered in years and years.

Rather than have access to my own home office, I was sleeping on my boss’s couch, struggling to meet all manner of deadlines. Lee and I had talked about her helping me with my flying issues, but our schedules never seemed to allow for it. Finally, about the day before I left, Lee and I had a very quick session over the phone.

Because I had no actual privacy I spoke to Lee while in my car parked in a shopping mall parking lot. No doubt mall security was curious about the gentleman in a suit nodding seriously while listening intently on his phone with his eyes closed. The only tell-tale sign that something unusual was happening was the occasional grin as my subconscious helped Lee with her task.

My flight to Chicago was… uneventful, for the most part. Certainly it was less surreal than my trip to Hartford (which had an escaped cat and a bobbing woman). I was given a free flight voucher for moving to an earlier flight, which was nice, though I still had to wait the extra time at Midway for my bags to catch up to me. It also meant I had to rush to make the earlier flight, which meant I had no extra time to psych myself up into my nervous flier mode. All of which turned out to be very good.

I landed in Chicago and navigated the bête noir of all Southern Californians: public transportation. I found my way, somehow, and with no small help from some pleasant Chicagoans, to the Downtown car rental. It was there I met LeeAllure.

Lee had been in town for a few days, teaching a hypnosis class for the local BDSM club. It was good to see Lee in person. In working on our book, we had probably had over 30 sessions over the course of three months, all via Skype. So we had certainly “seen” a lot of each other.

Lee has said that she doesn’t like descriptions of her, but you can find videos on her YouTube channel and pictures on her twitter feed. I can confidently tell you she looks even better in person. Also, she has a calm presence with a dash of mirth (or is it menace?) lying just underneath. She had expressed some slight trepidation about meeting people so early in the weekend, hoping that they wouldn’t try her patience by the end of the event. I had tried to mollify her by saying that this group was really friendly, and that we’d be doing a good deed by being part of the welcome wagon.

When I had first met Lee at NEEHU she practically trance-pounced me, but here at the car rental place, such a trance pounce didn’t seem appropriate. After catching up and saying hi to each other, we were rewarded with our shiny new rental, a lime green Ford Fiesta which we later christened the “Hulk-mobile.” Shortly, we were off to the John Hancock Tower through Thursday rush hour traffic.

Chicago is a beautiful city, but its citizens could use lessons on the use of turn signals and giving proper space to other cars. We wound up at “Big John” with a minimum of fuss.

We were to meet Fay, Emiliana and Sebastian on the stairs in front of the building. We had timed everything to perfection (more on that later).

Fay is terribly, impossibly short. She is a wee ball of fire- all red hair, good looks and personality. We had struck up a friendship over the previous weeks, comparing notes on being subjects and discussing how much we were looking forward to MEEHU. I had also been trying to give her occasional pep talks on dealing with a previous relationship with someone who was-shall we say- less than supportive of her hypnotic interests. (This comparing of notes had led to her looking on my wife as her personal hero. I wasn’t going to argue with that.)

Fay had brought her friend Emiliana, who is, like Fay, impossibly gorgeous, and on first meeting I can only say that I noted that she had an open, but friendly and searching face and glasses that frame a fierce intellect.

Rounding out the group was Sebastian. He’s about my age, but he’s somehow in better shape, better looking, and better read than I am, all despite being from Iowa (these are the jokes, people). He’s a writer with a writer’s gift for observation and evaluation (and nooooo that’s not self-serving at all).I could kind of tell that he was slightly grinning and bearing being among these new people, but also seemed committed to making the most of it.

We greeted each other and made our way up to the 95th floor. The vistas overlooking Chicago were breathtaking. In one direction you could see the wide expanse of Lake Michigan. In the other, the buildings of downtown gave way to the suburbs and, on a clear day, you could make out the flatness of the horizon that typifies the Great Plains. This evening, on the 95th floor, it was a clear evening.

We ordered high-end drinks (I indulged in a rich, luxurious Chocolate Martini- I thought it important to have desert first.) We made small talk and discussed what we were each expecting from the coming weekend.

Shortly thereafter, Tesdenic and her friend Jennifer joined us. Tesdenic is another gorgeous, lovely and friendly woman (poor me, I thought); we’d been having fun in the chatroom together and share a professional vocation. This was her first live event of any sort, and she, like Fay, had brought a friend for support. Like Emiliana, Jennifer had no prior interest in hypnosis, and almost none in kink of any sort, and was there to support her friend.

We drank a bit at the bar, and then walked through downtown to a restaurant down the street for dinner. Somehow, Tes, Lee and I all ordered the same dinner (more on this later).

There is something magical that sometimes happens, and I hope that you can experience it, where a group of people who meet for the first time find a connection. Not everyone in this group of 7 was into hypnosis, and we were all over the kink-scale, from professional hypnotist to first time toe-dipper. Yet somehow we found something to bind us together in such a short time; really, by the end of dinner, I knew that this was a great group of people and, unless there was some unexpected drama, this weekend was going to be fantastic.

—————–

After dinner, Lee and I drove to our hotel and I checked in.

Well, by “Check in” I mean: My name wasn’t in the system. So I gave them my confirmation number, and they found me. Except that I was listed as a “turnback.” Why was I listed as a “turnback”? Because there was a second reservation listed, for me, checking in on Friday. Which meant that, even though I had reserved a ticket in April (April 10th to be precise) and they had misplaced my reservation (even though it was in the system), and had tried to re-reserve me, I was there at 1 am with no room. Fortunately, the woman behind the desk bent over backwards (figuratively, get your minds out of the gutter) to get me a room. In this case a room with a door that didn’t always close all the way and smelled like an unsuccessful attempt had been made to hide the fact that someone had been smoking cloves in it for about three weeks, but a room nonetheless. Fortunately the nice bendy lady at the front desk gave me a fan and some air freshener, which mitigated matters somewhat.

But all of this was made up for by one fact: I had been given the perfect hypnotic room. “What room is that?” I hear you ask?

3

2

1.

Yep. 321. I placed a post-it with “….sleep,” after the room number. Dancecode told me it put him into a trance at least three times during the course of the weekend. Within an hour after finally checking in, I had formalized plans with Lee for the next day, and turned in. I was beat, I was tired, but I was so very excited about the coming weekend.

And, 7 hours in, I still hadn’t been tranced. And that was ok.

 

Next time: Museum! Magritte! Seurat! Monet! Entering paintings! Perfect meetings! Pynchon singlehandedly keeps the Chicago beverage industry afloat! Shows! Sisterhood! Slapping! Hypno-interrogation! The first appearance of the Hypno-Hand-Egg! May be broken into two parts! Stay tuned!

MEEHU, A Personal Trip Report, Part One: Putting it Together

Coming Home

Or

Putting It Together.

 

As I am beginning to write this part of my trip report, it’s Tuesday morning after MEEHU has finished. I’m on a plane flying towards California. I am tired. I’m harried.

It’s going to be about 10 a.m. when I get out of the airport, and I’ll have been up since 1 a.m. my time, having driven through pre-dawn Chicago to return a rental, and deal with the vagaries of travel and still I have a full day of work ahead of me.

And yet…..

And yet.

Sitting here now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

I guess I’ve been looking forward to it for months: MEEHU stands for the “Mid-West Erotic Hypnosis Unconference” and is located near Chicago. It’s been on the schedule for about a year.

In May, Mrs. P looked at me and said, “You sure there’s not another event sooner than MEEHU in July?” I don’t think I was getting cranky. And I don’t think I was exhibiting a need or an addiction. But I think she knew how much I gained from NEEHU, and how much it fed, and still feeds, me.

So, yes…. I was looking forward to MEEHU.

Back in April (as loyal readers of my blog will doubtless remember) LeeAllure approached me to work on a project with her. The cat’s out of the bag now—it’s a book on working towards, and working with, Hypnotic Amnesia.

When she approached me, I asked her, “Wait, I have to spend several sessions with you attempting hypnotic amnesia, and then write and publish a book about it…… Where’s the downside?”

Before I went to tell Mrs. P about it (and make sure there were no objections) I spent a little time planning how I was going to present it so that we could discuss it. I got as far as “LeeAllure wants to write a book with me-“ when she cut in with, “And you said ‘yes,’ right??”

So I guess you could say my outrageously good luck has continued since NEEHU.

I’ve also spent more time getting to know people on Hypbook, which has become the de facto official social networking site for people interested in Hypnosis. Among those people who I’ve become friends with on the site include Fayvie and Sebastian.

(For those who don’t want to wade through my previous blog-and who otherwise don’t know- most people don’t use our real names at these conventions; first, there is still a stigma attached to these types of explorations for too many people; and, second, there are a lot of idiots out there in internet land. So most of the names I use are the “handles” that they have adopted. It’s weird to step into and out of that world, and to find myself responding to a different name is very, very strange.)

Sebastian lives near Chicago, and Fay lives somewhere in the Maple-Leaf State, but they’ve been brought together online by the wonders of the Hypbook chatroom and a mutual love of hypnosis. Fay had decided that she would take the plunge and come out to MEEHU, both for the sake of meeting Sebastian in person, and for all the stories she heard from hypno-kinksters (including certain people who will remain nameless, but whose name probably rhymes with Incheon) how awesome the –ehus are. And no, there really isn’t anything overtly romantic going on between the two (and it wouldn’t be anyone else’s business if there were).

Perhaps to lessen the stress of meeting new people all at once, Fay had the idea of meeting for cocktails in downtown Chicago. (MEEHU was held in a suburb of Chicago, about 45 minutes due West of Downtown). And so that was the plan: I’d fly into Chicago, meet LeeAllure at the car rental, and then meet Fay, Sebastian and her friend Emiliana at the John Hancock for cocktails on the 95th floor. We would be met there by a mutual Hypbook friend of ours named Tesdinic, who was also traveling from out-of-state, and her travelling companion.

I was excited and really, really looking forward to the event. In fact, I had been working my brain off in the weeks leading to MEEHU; I had so much going on, my flight plans changed a week before the event. Instead of leaving from Northern California into O’Hare, I wound up flying from Southern California into Midway. I was ready for a vacation, and to kick back a little, and face the experiences with a brand new mindset. It was a mindset that had been profoundly changed by my experiences with hypnosis.

One of the consequences of my experiences at NEEHU is that I felt part of a community, really for the first time I can recall. I had a similar feeling at various Sci-fi conventions, but there seemed to me something deeper about the connection I’ve been feeling with these people. On Hypbook chat, we’d be as likely to talk about soccer, current events, movies, sci-fi shows, whatever, as we’d talk about hypnosis. And everyone, to a person, is intelligent and pleasant to be around. I think what I am trying to say is that I’ve felt invested in this community, even if I’ve only truly been a part of it for about 7 months.

One of the other consequences of my experiences at NEEHU is that I started to feel my own shape for the first time in memory. Not to be over-dramatic, but I felt like the “fear” of being judged for who I am and what I want—not just in terms of hypnosis, but in terms of every aspect of my life—is now in the rear-view mirror. I embraced something about myself (my desires, my wants, my inner-most secrets) and found acceptance, with my partner, with the “vanilla” friends I shared my blog with, and with a new community. Rather than being destroyed, my whole life felt liberated. And a consequence of this liberation is that I’ve felt myself more willing to express an opinion on things, instead of apologizing for my own shadow.

I was interested to see what, if any, difference this made upon re-entering the scene in “real life.” (It should be noted that where I live is not conducive to experiencing such things at meet-ups or munches.)

It was this sort of feeling that I was taking with me into MEEHU. I’d be seeing people I hadn’t seen since NEEHU (Mephki, Marc Cabot, SweetGasp, Sleepingirl, CCKitten, Ms. Mesmer, AmHypnotic, Daja, SpiralTurquoise), and meeting people I had only spoken to on chat (Fayvie, Sebastian, SuppleSpiral), and of course, spending time with my writing partner and friend-with-hypno-benefits LeeAllure.

LeeAllure and I had made general plans to work on two things for our book that are more-or-less impossible to do so via Skype: something called the Esdaile state, and dual inductions. We had also plotted out a couple of fun scenes in advance, if we had time, including a visit to the Chicago Institute of Art to visit the Magritte exhibit and spend some time in some paintings. (More on this later).

This time, it was feeling less like a journey into the unknown, and more like a homecoming. I only hoped the travel gods were feeling less surreal this time.

And so this was my headspace entering MEEHU: filled with a different sort of anticipation, and a different sense of self, than I had five short months ago. I didn’t know if my incredible run of luck would continue, or if the whole experience would be an anti-climax.

 

Next time:      Thursday! Meeting People! Chicago Driving! More Meeting People! The World’s Best Worst Hotel in the World! The Best Exotic Hypnotic Hotel Room! And More!

 

Pre-MEEHU Post– WOOOOOO!

Well, in less than 24 hours, if my travel plans pan out safely and in a timely fashion, I should be in Chicago, having finished some cocktails looking out over the Windy City, and forward to a weekend of Hypno-play and reuniting with some fantastic, clever, and awesome friends. (Yes, I give an eff about the Oxford Comma.)

It’s been a long, grueling week, where my work has pulled me into shapes I haven’t been in in so, so long. Which would seem perfect training for a weekend where I’ll be pulled in other, more fun shapes. Any yet, I sit here exhausted and filled with a slight pull of concern; how much can my mind handle?

I’m looking forward to a lot of planned scenes (And work on our book!!!! I KNOW!!!!) with LeeAllure  (www.leeallure.com). I’m also keen to meet people I’ve only met online and on the other side of a computer screen.

Mostly, I’m looking forward to hanging with a bunch of people who are authentic people and being myself among them.

Onward and Upward and Downward and Upward and Downward and…..!

(Oh, and here’s the MEEHU website, for more info.)

Twenty-two (22) things you may not know about me.

I was tagged in one of those memes, so here are 22 things you probably don’t know about me.

 

22 things about me.

 

1.         I am mentioned in a footnote in a reasonably famous film director’s biography.

 

2.         I lived in San Francisco for a while, and the thing I miss most about it is actually the weather; I love sunny cold days.

 

3.         I overuse parentheses and semicolons.

 

4.         If you ask me, and you have about 30 minutes, I will explain my theory for why Phil Collins is a more important (and influential) musical figure than Bob Dylan. Also, I actually believe this.

 

5.         My mother had a book in her bookshelf about “using self-hypnosis to unlock your mind’s potential.” I found it while looking for erotic stories. This explains everything.

 

6.         I used to be incredibly naïve until a relatively old age. At 27, I finally hooked up with a girl I had had a crush on for about two years. At some point in the evening, she looked at me and said “Have you ever pulled anyone’s hair?” There are several correct answers to this question. The best one is probably “You mean, like this?” But there’s also, “Show me what you mean,” or “tell me more about this,” or, maybe even, “yes.” The worst possible answer is the one I gave: “No.” With no follow ups at all. About two years later, thinking back on that night and wondering why she got so cold to me so quickly, it hit me like a cement truck.

 

7.         I have a soft spot for ABBA.

 

8.         My favorite city that I have visited is probably Copenhagen.

 

9.         My formative political views came when I watched an Oxford debate on the relative merits of the Western Nuclear Alliance debated between the PM of New Zealand and Jerry Fallwell. I was 12. New Zealand won.

 

10.       I used to be absolutely terrified of public speaking.

 

11.       My worst birthday was my 12th birthday. At lunch, my class sang me happy birthday (as was the tradition) but no one thought to see if I was there; I had gone to the bathroom. My grandmother called me two days later, and admitted she had forgotten which day my birthday was.

 

12.       I miss Friendster.

 

13.       I have light triskaidekaphobia

 

14.       I think I am more fascinated by the reality and fantasy of “power exchange” and am turned on by its many intricacies, more than I am of being in any particular role. Likewise, many of my fantasies and short story ideas involve a switch in the power dynamic.

 

15.       Until this year, I had not finished a short story since I was in grade school.

 

16.       I have told three friends about my interest (and experience) in hypnosis; all of them have been extremely supportive. I find this amazing and humbling.

 

17.       Until 12 years old, I was going to be a priest. Kelly M’s breasts changed my life.

 

18.       Until Sophomore year in college, I was going to be an astrophysicist. I couldn’t get my head around differential calculus.

 

19.       I am the first person to ever fax an admission application to Oxford University.

 

20.       Prior to my current relationship, my previous three relationships were with woman who—almost certainly—had either borderline personality disorder and/or bipolar disorder.

 

21.       One of those women, when we finally broke up, wrote a seven-page, poorly written e-mail describing how I was to blame for everything and describing certain intimate details about my sex life, particularly the use of a pink vibrator. This email was sent to a master list of about 200 people who had been invited to a jointly-hosted New Year’s Eve Party, many of whom I did not know. This had three consequences: 1) at Halloween that year, my roommate dressed up as the vibrator; 2) at a Halloween party a year later, I started to tell a fellow I had just met about this story, and he interrupted me with “Oh! You’re THAT guy!”; and, 3) my friends stuck by me, despite these details being revealed.

 

22.       I find the judgementalism in this community perplexing; as if people want to hold on to the one quality that has forced us to form this community for some masochistic reason. Yet I also am continually surprised at how kind, open, and wonderful so many others are. 

NEEHU, Part 7: Monday and afterwards

Warning! My sappiest writing ever!

As always, if there’s a mention of you’d like me to excise, please let me know.

Objects in the Rearview Mirror Are Closer than They Seem.

Or

Every Epilogue is Actually a Prologue for Something Else

 

Monday morning I opened my eyes to the sound of the first of two wake up calls, got out of bed, threw open the curtains and looked out onto first snow.

This is what waking up feels like.

That I was able to open my eyes was a feat in and of itself. I think I had only about four hours of sleep, and for me, they were between 11 pm and 3 am, but here I was, at 6 a.m. Eastern time, with my eyes somehow open and mostly alert.

Snow hadn’t been in the forecast at all. It cast an extra layer of difficulty on my day as I ran through everything I had to do. I grabbed my things and walked into the unaccountably bitter cold with my luggage. I ran back into the hotel to get some food from their buffet, and found myself slightly flummoxed by the lack of any NEEHU people around. I looked around and felt a little pang, like being the last kid to be picked up at school, as the setting sun illuminates the spaces where kids were playing a short time ago.

I drove to the airport, turned in the rental car, and made my way, slowly, inexorably, to my flight.

There was nothing surreal about the flight home: no woman almost touching me, no errant cats, no plethora of dogs. Everything went smoothly until I wound up disembarking at my airport, unleashed into a warm 80 degree day and life where I no longer knew what “normal” meant.

This is what waking up feels like.

 

I find it difficult to put into words what NEEHU has meant for me. In some ways, it’s not NEEHU itself, but the people I’ve met there, the experiences I had, the feelings of being among people-friends, really- interested in the same things I am. Some place where I found acceptance. Acceptance. There’s something glorious about being some place where the continual subtext is “There is nothing wrong with you.”

And yet, putting what the weekend has meant to me into words, as something more than just a series of events that I participated in, seems inadequate.

When I departed for the weekend, I had just lost my job and had no idea what to do with myself. When I departed the weekend, I had a spring in my step I hadn’t felt in ages. I wasn’t 100% sure what I would do next, but I knew I had—and have– the tools to handle everything that comes my way. And, more importantly, I knew there would be a “next.”

My wife actually said it best, just tonight: I used to be shiny, but now I also actually have density, and gravity, and form.

Look, I’m not saying NEEHU will cure what ails you, or that it’s a one-stop fix-it emporium for whatever malady you might have. Nevertheless, for me, and for me alone, it was the catharsis of 15 years of fantasy and anticipation and represented the destruction of all the reasons why I couldn’t, why I shouldn’t, embrace what makes me happy.

For those of you in this fetish, someone made the comment that the people who are drawn to it often have some kind of social anxiety. I’ve read blogs by people who have gone to an –ehu or some other convention (and not even a fetish convention) who come home and say how they couldn’t bring themselves to talk to people. I can’t speak for people with social anxiety; it’s something I haven’t really suffered from. But I can tell you that, if you have the strength to go to any kind of gathering of like-minded people, the others are all in the same boat as you are. There’s a reason they’re there. And that reason is that they like that thing that you do. So talk. Pretend you’re someone else for a minute, and say “hello, what brought you to [this common interest]?” The second minute will be easier. I promise.

 

Tangent—Will Hypnosis Change You?

One of the fears of hypnosis is that the subject will be somehow profoundly changed by the nefarious hypnotist, and that their life will be irrevocably altered. If you ask me “will I still be the same person after a hypnosis session?” I will tell you the truth.

No.

You won’t be the same person. You will be different.

But that’s true of anything you experience, isn’t it? Because before the session, you were a person who had never been hypnotized. And now you will never be that person again.

Just as you were the person who had never bungee jumped, or parachuted out of an airplane, or scuba-dived, or seen Reservoir Dogs, or been to Connecticut, or walked down Main Street past a pub that was playing the perfect song for you to hear at that moment. And now that you’ve done that thing, you will never be that person again.

How will that experience change you? That I don’t know. But the Chinese had it right when they said “You never pass through the same river twice.” I am not the same person who left for NEEHU. I think I’m better for the experience, but it’s possible I’m not. You may go and have a terrible time, or a forgettable one—I don’t know. But know this, hypnosis will change you, because everything you experience, changes you. And that’s ok.

If you’ve read this blog, first, thank you. But second, please, find whatever it is you want to do, something you’ve been thinking you might do and do it.

It might be finishing that novel, or going on that trip, or changing a relationship, or, stepping away from the corner of the room and introducing yourself to someone new, or committing to a lot of hard work for a specific end. I don’t know what it is for you. I’m not going to say that it’s as trite as “following your bliss” or “rediscovering your smile.” What I am going to say is that the reasons “why not” are the enemy, and should be vanquished.

A friend of mine who has been reading this blog (hullo, JR) said that she thought I was very “brave” for going across country to a weekend with almost no real life experience in the field, and not really knowing anyone there. I thanked her, and yet, to me, in the final analysis, it would have been foolish of me not to go.

Consider: before I decided to go to NEEHU, I hadn’t successfully finished a story I’d started in years. I finished that short story right before NEEHU because I committed to doing it before I left. Why? I had mixed motivations, but part of it was I wanted to have something to point to that said I belonged with the people I had read about; it was my own personal admission ticket. And that was true even if no one read it; and yet, people did.

Consider: before I went to NEEHU, I had never blogged. I certainly never finished a considerably-sized writing project. With this blog, I will have written I don’t know how many words, but by gosh, I’ll have finished the project.

Consider: only one person in my life knew of my interest in hypnosis. Now, I have so many people I think I can call my friends, who know and accept me for this. I have told a few friends who I thought could handle the secret, and they have not wavered in their love and support. In fact, they’ve bugged me for more posts, and have asked smart, interesting questions.

Consider: I lived in a world where I was sheepish about my interests and had a job that valued conformity. I lived in a world where I was not in my own shape. Past tense. Now I live in a world where I can be myself, do the things I enjoy, and I have been accepted. My mind is open, and I am so very happy.

Again, it may not be NEEHU for you and it may not be WEEHU, or MEEHU, or your local meet up or munch, your local iris club, or political party meeting, or church, or pet rescue, or family. It may be none of them that works for you. But find it. And do it. Life’s too short to do otherwise.

Whereas before I was nervous about attending, and thought about waiting until next year, now I wonder why I didn’t go sooner.

This is what waking up feels like.

 

I should thank some people.

First, to Mephki, the organizer of NEEHU. Her vision is what has formed the foundation for this, and all the –ehu’s. Where she finds the energy, considering her day job, is beyond me. I do wonder, as NEEHU grows, how it can keep the small, family feel, even as the number of attendees rises. But that is a glorious problem to have, and something for another day.

To SweetGasp, for being so awesome. There were actually a few scenes with her that I didn’t write about, mostly because I didn’t know quite how to approach them; I think I figured it out, but I’ll let her have final say on if it’ll actually see the light of day.

To OneEyedStranger, for being so calm and accepting. I knew that as long as he was around, nothing could go too wrong; he just has that aura. Plus, he’s incredibly smart, and I always saw his wheels turning. I look forward to reading his take on events going forward, because I know they’ll come from a place of concern, and care, and not judgment.

To Skyla and D, for running Hypbook. It’s the website that has drawn so many people together, and it’s their blood, sweat and tears that have helped bring so many of us into contact with each other. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to spend more time with them.

To ZanyMo, for being such a caring presence, and for revealing much of her carnal self for the benefit of the trancey-takedown demo.

To LeadPrism, for being so engaging and genuinely excited for me and my experiences. I hope to hear more of his adventures, and what new insights he’ll have next time we talk.

To GleefulAbandon, for letting me torture her with song parodies.

To WildNutmeg, for letting me beat her at arm wrestling, and for her mathematically beautiful tattoo.

To MrDream, for letting me surprise him.

To LeeAnn, for being a hoot. For bringing the party. For being an example to all of us, of enjoying our friends, and our experiences.

To Sleepingirl, for setting the standard for writing brilliant blogs and for how to be a great subject. And also for finding the time to play.

To Ms. Mesmer, for being a muse for a convoluted, but ultimately very hot, Doctor Who scene, for her fantastic blog, and for her friendship.

To Marc Cabot, for his writing and his willingness to listen to my wacky ideas. It was truly an honor to co-top with him, and his ability to improv is second to none.

To LeeAllure, for experiences beyond compare. Whatever she saw in me that was worth fostering I can only imagine, but I am grateful she saw it, and thrilled it was there. Thanks for being sane and sadistic, fiendish and friendly, and generous and dastardly.

And, first among all of these fine people, thanks to my wife, Vanilla Pynchon, who has been such an ardent supporter of my adventures. I can only hope that everyone has the opportunity to have a partner who so whole-heartedly supports them in chasing their dreams and fantasies as much as she does for me. I can only demand that all of you be that person for your partner. I hope that, as much as she has had my back in all these things I’ve done, I can have hers, as she pursues her dreams.

 

So… what of this blog? What have I been up to since NEEHU? What’s next for me?

Well, the work issue has resolved itself, and I now have a job where I’m appreciated, and can work from home, and pays me (assuming the hours continue at this rate) the same as I was making before.

I have built on the friendships I have made at NEEHU, carrying them with me. I am in the Hypbook chatroom quite a lot, and have really enjoyed my time there.

More unexpectedly, I have a larger hypnosis-related project on the horizon. A few days after I started publishing the blog, LeeAllure contacted me on Hypbook chat and asked if I were interested in working on something with her. I’m not yet at liberty to discuss it in detail, but when I mentioned it to Mrs. Pynchon, I didn’t quite reach the end of the sentence before she asked, “You said yes, right?” (I love that woman.) So we’ve been working on that in the last few weeks. Watch this space for updates as that comes closer to fruition.

I have been beyond thrilled with the reaction my blog has received. Thank you all for your comments, and for your attention. Once upon a time (just over six months ago) I had never had anything of my creative writing published anywhere. I had never even completed a short story in I don’t know how many years. But knowing that people were reading and appreciating what I was writing really pushed me through to finish this task. I already have a couple of creative writing projects on the boil, and I’ll be publishing them to this blog. I hope you’ll do me the honor of continuing to read what I put on here.

And as I mentioned earlier, my wife has talked about how much more “up” and yet relaxed I’ve seemed. I haven’t had migraines as much as I used to, and I seem—and feel—sharper.

Since I got let go from my job, since I went to NEEHU, since I accepted and fanned the parts of me that I had let stay fallow, since I started doing the things that fed me, instead of what I could put up with, I can honestly say that every aspect of my life has improved.

This is what waking up feels like.

 

NEEHU, a Personal Recap, Part 6, Sunday

One Trance More, aka Sunday Morning, Coming Down.

In putting together the blogs of my experiences at NEEHU, I’ve been able to assemble a through-line for each part. I haven’t really been able to do that for the blog for Sunday. Partially, I think, it was because everyone was a little woozy from the entire weekend. Partially it’s because, at least for me, it was a mere confirmation of my experiences of the previous three days of revelations. So I apologize in advance for what, almost by necessity, must be a mostly episodic recounting of the events of Sunday.

It is also the case that Sunday was apparently scheduled as a slow day. Whereas Saturday was packed to the gills with things to do, Sunday was a lot more loosey goosey.

I woke up after a fitful sleep and made my way to breakfast. I sat with LeeAllure, ZanyMo, LeeAnn and her husband CrazyTrain. We were discussing some of the things we had seen and done over the course of the weekend. LeeAnn talked about how she had been hypnotized, and had seen LeeAllure hypnotize CrazyTrain a couple of times, but that the two of them (LeeAnn and CrazyTrain) had not actually done anything together. I think you could have seen a visible light bulb go off over my head, and I changed seats so that the two of them could sit next to each other. I suggested that the two of them do the “mirror trance,” as LeeAnn and I had done, relatively briefly, on Friday night. LeeAllure took the lead, and ZanyMo and I provided a little hypnotic assist. It was a joy to watch the married couple, who obviously care about each other a great deal, send each other into trance. I didn’t hear the exact suggestions given to them by LeeAllure, but I did appreciate the smiles that danced across both their faces.

We slowly made our way over to the Society. It seemed like there were fewer people hanging about on Sunday, though, again, the surrounding churches did their best to fill the air with hymns and sermons. In keeping with the more laid back air of the day, my memories of the day are that I drifted from conversation to conversation.

The main distraction for the day stemmed from something LeeAllure had done to me earlier in the weekend and which I have wholly failed to mention. She had installed the “Radio” post-hypnotic trigger. When she said the phrase “Radio On” I would start to feel slightly turned on. Well, let’s be clear; I would begin to feel slightly more turned on than I usually do. Once the “radio” was “turned on,” she’d be able to throw out some numbers, with 1 being a background kind of pleasant feeling, and 10 being a surge of endorphins that would put me fairly close to the brink of orgasm. Periodically throughout the weekend, she’d “turn the radio on” and throw numbers at me per her whim. In a particularly dastardly move, she was even forming Roman Numerals with her hands to give me the particular triggers. I do wonder what people were thinking as she was standing a few feet from me making a “V” sign with one hand and showing me three fingers with the other, and I reacted as if I stumbled over something on the floor.

I only went to two classes on that day. The first was “Trancey Takedown” featuring ZanyMo and Chewtoy. Essentially the two of them performed an extended scene in front of us, transitioning from wrestling, to a trance, to certain bits of pain and conversation, back to wrestling and back to a trance, all over the course of about 30 minutes. I was sitting with GleefulAbandon, LeadPrism and LeeAllure. The scene was very hot, with certain things the two were saying really hitting some of us in the feels. For example, “You can resist all you want, but either way, I win” being the foremost among them.

Despite the hotness of the scene, those of us in the peanut gallery were discussing Phantom of the Opera, and how it is essentially musical erotic hypnosis porn (with the phrase “angel of music” being some kind of trigger phrase for, gosh, I don’t know, doing scales or something). We then talked about how there hasn’t been a very good musical about BDSM, which led to us discussing how the great composer Stephen Sondheim is allegedly… VERY allegedly… big in the gay leather scene and has his own dungeon. Which led me to start re-working the lyrics of “Putting it Together” into a salute to BDSM. For example: “Whip by whip/Putting it together/Slap by slap/Only way to make a real good scene/Just wearing leather is no foundation/Every little squirm just plays a part/Having just permission’s no solution/Everything depends on negotiation/Putting it together/That’s what counts.” You get the idea. This was enough to constitute some kind of torture for Gleeful. Which was fine by me.

Shortly after this, Daja and MistressJaya started an unscheduled class for “hypno-switches” geared mostly for women, but for which I was assured it was all right for me (as a male hypno-switch) to attend. It was a very laid back discussion, and I was very glad it was added to the schedule. Kudos to Daja and Mistress Jaya for running a well-balanced and informative discussion.

I went and volunteered a little cleaning up, and came back to find hypnotists Lee, LeadPrism, SteedIrl and Setsudo involved in a friendly game of Crazy 8’s. Now, as you might expect, this was no ordinary game of Crazy 8’s. This game used special “hypno cards” that had Ellman statements on them. For example, one card would have the prompt “Three Truths.” The idea being that if you made three factual statements and then included, framed as a factual statement, something that you wanted the listener to accept, then the listener’s brain is more likely to accept the fourth item as a true statement. So I might say “It’s Sunday afternoon, we’re in Hartford, we’re having a good time playing this game, and you all want me to win this game.”

The cumulative effect of these cards was that all the participants were in a state of almost-trance. Everyone, that is, except me. For once, my competitiveness meant that I was not falling into any trance-in fact, I was ironically the most hyper-alert I think I felt the entire weekend. While I didn’t outright win the game in the classical sense, I think the fact that I was able to bounce up and accomplish things right after meant I was sort of a winner. This is especially so, since I didn’t see any of the rest of them for a good 30 minutes or so afterwards.

I did briefly get to assist on a trance that LeadPrism enjoyed courtesy of Lee and LuckyAlbatross. I also spent a little more time helping with clean up in the kitchen, but for some reason- whether it was a combination of sitting on hard chairs, my age, the stresses of constantly being on edge for three days, or what have you- my back was killing me. ZanyMo very kindly and graciously offered to do a little massage and realignment, and I must say that my back felt great for weeks afterwards.

I think we did a pretty good job of cleaning up the Society, and bade our good-byes to the place. We were due to meet at a Chinese restaurant a few blocks from the hotel, and I have to say that, for the most part, the restaurant was able to handle the influx of 50 people with great aplomb. I ordered my one and only alcoholic beverage of the weekend. For some reason, my meal showed up well before everyone else’s, and Mephki took a picture of me looking “smug.” This was also the time and place where LeeAnn finally used the “snap” and “sleep” trigger on me that LeeAllure had implanted waaay back on Friday. I understand her eyes lit up at having the effect on me. I can only say that much because, of course, I was under.

After dinner, LeeAllure headed back home; she was starting to feel a little under the weather. I got to bid her a farewell, and thanked her once again for taking me under her wing. (At one point on Friday afternoon, I thanked her for spending so much time putting me under. Her response was something to the effect of: “Yes, DJ, because the only reason I hypnotize you is so that you are happy. I’m getting nothing out of it whatsoever.” Which is a response that I think will provide no small measure of satisfaction to the gentle readers who know me from before NEEHU. I.e., yes, someone actually out-sarcasmed me, if only briefly.)

Because I had had a cocktail, I was fortunate that Ms. Mesmer was available to drive me the quarter mile back to the hotel. I joined the vast majority of NEEHU partiers in the pool and Jacuzzi area. Someone, somewhere had procured an uninflated beach ball and a very energetic game of keep away ensued. At some point I managed to wriggle my way out of being held by three different people at the same time. (Mephki called me “eel-like.” I’ll take it.)

Later, we started a game of high-stakes “chicken” with ZanyMo on my back. Just as we set up, we turned to see two teams, Sleepingirl/CCKitten and Mr. Dream/WildNutmeg heading our way.

Here’s the problem with playing a game like “chicken” with kinksters: the masochists play to lose, and the sadists don’t care whose blood is spilled. Suffice it to say, we had a great time. (Oh, all right, Sleepingirl/CCKitten finished in last, and the other two teams played to a tie.)

We shut down the pool and found our way (after drying off) to the con suite.

I must admit that by this stage I was rather tired. I got to briefly chat with GoddessDarla & Croissant, Daja, Mephki, LeadPrism, Ms. Mesmer, Marc Cabot, SpiralTurqoise, Divney and AmHypnotic at one point or another. However, with how loud it was, and the extent to which my jet lag was finally catching up to me, I was not long for the “after-party.” As I was leaving I saw HypnoTy sitting in the corner, engaged in what seemed like a very hot hypno-scene with someone, and I reflected on how far each of us had come in just a short weekend. I said my good-byes to all the people who were not otherwise engaged in some kind of scene or other.

I went down to my room and remembered that MrDream and ZanyMo were just down the hall from me, so I knocked on the door to say my good-byes. In their room, MrDream was conducting a series of hypnotic experiments (you know, for science). WildNutmeg and GleefulAbandon were there as well. MrDream had hypnotized Nutmeg (who, it must be noted, is rather strong and wiry) to be just as strong as she thinks Gleeful is (who, it must be noted, is somewhat less strong and wiry than Nutmeg). The best way to test the suggestion was to have the two of them engage in an arm wrestling match. Over the course of the next few minutes each of us in the room had a match, both right- and left-handed, with Nutmeg. She handily defeated Gleeful and ZanyMo, and posted a one and one record against MrDream. She and I, however, had two epic matches. Right-handed, I dropped her hand to about an inch above the table. She refused to budge from that position for easily four solid minutes. Stubborn that she is, she refused to give up and met every ounce of strength with enormous resistance. Finally, I pushed through and got her to yield. My right arm was sore for about a week afterwards. After a few seconds to catch our breaths, we did our second match left-handed. Both of us would. Not. Budge. Neither of us moved an inch. After about five minutes of both of us turning red and no actual movement, we declared it a draw.

As ZanyMo and I talked, MrDream hypnotized Nutmeg, and told her that she was afraid of a stuffed bunny Gleeful happened to have, then let Gleeful get motivated to touch Nutmeg with it. This resulted in Gleeful chasing Nutmeg around, menacing her with the stuffed bunny. At some point, Nutmeg came over to where I was and hid behind me. From that moment, I decided to play interference on Nutmeg’s behalf, preventing Gleeful from easy access with the bunny. Zany called out to me “match Gleeful’s energy” and sure enough, I went from tired to energized in no time. I believe I even proclaimed, “Bring it, Gleeful. Bring it!” After a few minutes of this, ZanyMo shouted “Now match her strength, too!” And I, all of a sudden, couldn’t stop her from moving closer to Nutmeg, and, ultimately, hitting her with the bunny.

 

Tangent- On Fractionation and Suggestibility

There is a concept in hypnosis called “fractionation.” Essentially, it is the act of repeatedly putting someone into trance and taking them out again. After a few times going down and coming up, it’s almost as if you enter a near-trance state even when you’re “awake.” What this means functionally is that, while “fractioned,” one is much more susceptible and suggestible. It’s usually a good idea not to drive a car or operate heavy machinery shortly after having a deep hypnosis session. By the end of three days of constant hypnosis, you should probably not operate a car or walk down a hallway without some supervision. You should definitely not plan on buying a car; lord knows what you might be talked into. I’ve seen people talk about the “dangers” of being in the state. I can’t say that I felt in peril on Sunday night, but there was a lingering afterglow of sleepy euphoria. I suppose someone might have been able to take advantage of me in that state, but I certainly felt safer being in and among the people of NEEHU.

What’s most interesting about fractionation is just how suggestible I felt. Certainly ZanyMo never did a formal induction, but her suggestions regarding strength and energy were just as effective as if she had taken me down. Nevertheless, I did feel as if I was a partner in the suggestions, and could have refused to comply. Of course, this could also be post facto rationalization.

If I could suggest one thing to organizers of future events it would be to include a general warning about being careful when re-entering the “real world,” and, perhaps, to conduct a “clearing class” to help people clear away the cobwebs (and, perhaps, remove any unwanted, lingering suggestions).

 

Shortly after the bunny incident, I realized just how little time I had to get some sleep before I had to leave at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. I bid ZanyMo, MrDream, WildNutmeg, and GleefulAbandon farewell, and headed to my room, where I spent the next half hour packing before crashing, with a head full of stories and ideas, into bed.

 

Next Time: Snow! Departures! Arrivals! Sun! Con Drop! Epilogue! Unexpected project! Closing thoughts!

 

NEEHU5, A Personal Recap, Part 5, Saturday Night

Just How Many Settings Does the Sonic Screwdriver Have?

Warning: The Following is Moderately NSFW. All subjects involved have reviewed the portions they appeared in and have given their consent to describing the scenes listed below. Your mileage may vary, consult a Doctor if symptoms last more than 4 hours.  

Heading in to NEEHU I knew a few things about the people I was meeting: they all seemed (by their writings) to be very smart; they are all kinky (or at least pervy) people; and they all seemed witty and funny. But one thing I knew beyond all of that; nearly all of them are, like me, Doctor Who fans.

Sleepingirl had posted a story about how she had been hypnotized to accept one of her friends as the Doctor, and reacted to him as if he were the Doctor for the duration of their “scene.” (To her horror, and to mine as a reader, he took two different women as “companions” into the “TARDIS” at the end of the scene. Look, if you’re going to go through that much trouble, for heaven’s sake, have the Doctor take the drooling girl.)

I also knew that Ms. Mesmer was a huge Doctor Who fan, and had, at one point, mentioned being hypnotized by someone’s sonic screwdriver. For those who don’t know, a sonic screwdriver is a prop used on the show that is about 8 inches long (mind out the gutter, please) and silver and has various functions and settings. Usually it’s used to open doors or set off explosions from a distance or whatever the writers need it to do. It often has a light shining when it’s turned on, and makes some kind of whirring or buzzing noise upon activation.

Moreover, for reasons not important here, I had occasion to piece together a “War Doctor” outfit. (The War Doctor is a character created for the 50th anniversary special, and takes his place in between the “8th” and “9th” Doctors. In the special, he’s played by John Hurt and he is awesome.) I had mentioned this in passing in the Hypbook chat room, and various people, including Mephki, insisted that I bring the outfit. So I did.

All of this inspired me to concoct a Doctor Who-related hypno-scenario, and hoped to get either (or both) Sleepingirl or Ms. Mesmer involved. In an episode called “The Doctor’s Wife” a Time Lord called “The Corsair” is mentioned. It’s established that the Corsair changes genders and is implied to be something of a hedonist. I had an idea that would have the Corsair “taking over” a human body for the evening. I thought it would be fascinating to see how a Doctor Who fan would react to “being” a Time Lord for a while. Beyond that general concept, I didn’t really have an idea how the scene would go; but the question was too cool to pass up, I mean, how would a hedonistic Time Lord react to taking over a human body in a BDSM club, anyway?

I mentioned it to Marc Cabot the previous day as something I’d love to do with Ms. Mesmer. He, very generously, thought it was a fantastic idea, and said he’d spend some time with Ms. Mesmer to get the proper triggers in place beforehand. We agreed that Saturday evening would be the time to do it. I had a sense, both from her writings and from seeing her around the weekend, that Sleepingirl would be fairly easy to get in the proper frame of mind. I mentioned in broad outline the idea I had, and she was agreeable, but the trick would be to catch her in and among the various shenanigans she was up to.

And so my Saturday night plan was slowly being pieced together, but before that, I was taking a well-deserved (and much needed) nap.

I was woken from my evening nap by a call from LeeAllure. She and a bunch of people, including ZanyMo, MrDream and GleefulAbandon, were headed off to a late dinner, which she said, should be “quick.” I needed to eat, and with promises of “quickness” dancing in my head, drove off through the rain to meet them in downtown Hartford. The company was nice and the food was exquisite. I found myself next to ZanyMo and across from Lee. I should mention that one of the mp3s Lee released involved a “dual induction” that she recorded with ZanyMo. We ordered a delicious bisque, which I had a taste of, and which Mo and Lee then used as the basis for a spontaneous induction. Essentially, each taste would send me deeper, and each taste was better than the previous one. I cannot describe to you my elation at finding myself living out that mp3, live, as two gorgeous women with delicious voices sent me into a mind-bending trance. So I won’t. I will say that I may have finished the bisque for them.

As brilliant as the food and company was, the service left a fair amount to be desired, and we didn’t get back to the Society until well after 10 o’clock. I was somewhat anxious about getting to my prospective play partners in time to actually play. [I understand I missed an amazing “Weeping Angel” scene led by SweetGasp. Hopefully there’ll be other chances to see that in action.]

I walked into the Society dressed as the War Doctor. Fortunately the outfit has enough leather and steam punk attributes that I didn’t feel incredibly out of place. I ran into Mephki first. She pounced on me walking from room to room, and noted that she’d be up for hanging out, but had promised to play with someone else that evening. She did say that she wasn’t sure how the sonic screwdriver would be useful.

“Well, it does have a hypnosis setting.” I replied. And I flicked it on so it made a whirring noise and shone its red light right into Mephki’s eyes, which focused immediately. I brought it down in front of her face, telling her it was actually very effective on human brains. And then, “3, 2, 1, sleep.” Her eyes rolled down and her eyelids slammed shut. She fell into trance standing up. I held her upright, and whispered in her ear that she would awaken in a few moments feeling refreshed and ready to have a fantastic time, both tonight and for the entire weekend. And I woke her up so she wouldn’t be late for her scene.

I shortly thereafter found Marc, who said that Ms. Mesmer was ready and would see me as the War Doctor. I could do my spiel, and when the time was right for the Time Lord take over, I would say “Corsair, I need your help!” and she would transition into her Time Lord persona. He had prepped her well.

I saw Ms. Mesmer kind of hiding in the corner. She looked at me incredibly shyly. It was as if she couldn’t believe I was there in front of her. It was quite the confidence boost.

“Oh, hullo.” I said in a vaguely British accent. It was an accent I was to hold on to in very nearly the way Dick van Dyke held on to his accent in Mary Poppins.

“H-hi.”

“I was wondering if you could help me. I’m… I guess you could call me the Doctor.”

“I know who you are.”

“Do you? Oh. Yes. This is the universe where my adventures are some kind of fiction for television. Ah. Well. The Time War has caused things to get all tangled up. Any way, I was wondering if you could do me a favor.”

“Sure!” And she beamed the widest smile here.

“What’s your name?”

“[Mary].” (Not her real name, but, you know).

“Hello Mary. Nice to meet you. You see, I have a Time Lord friend who wants to know what it’s like to be a human being for the evening. The friend’s name is the Corsair. And he’s looking for a suitable host. And…” here I took out my sonic and waved it over her, “it looks like you have the specifications that just might work. It means that she/he’d be in control. You could stop the Corsair from doing anything you didn’t want, but otherwise you’d take a backseat and let the Corsair have the running of things. It’s a bit of an imposition, I know, but I need a favor from him.”

“No. That would be fine. I’d… I’d be ok with this. If it’ll help.”

“Thank you very much, I’m much obliged. Here, have a seat in this chair. Now this will work a little bit like hypnosis. I’ll put the right setting in.” (Here I fidgeted with the sonic.) “There, and then I’ll do a little countdown. Just stare right at it and let the sound invade your mind. And feel your mind go, 10, a little more, 9, take some nice deep breaths, 8, feel more of your own mind slipping away, 7, and leaving room for something else, 6, nice and relaxed, 5, nice and calm, 4, listening just to me, 3, and going deeper now, 2, and very soon, 1. Corsair, I need your help!” She had slipped into a nice little trance, her eyes shut, and her head fell forward on her chest.

When I said the trigger words, I let the sonic buzzing fade out a little.

“Corsair?”

She looked slightly bewildered for a moment, and then it was as if something took her over. She seemed suddenly more measured and deliberate in her gait. It was an amazing thing to witness. I took her on a tour of the Society, as she examined everything with a detached air, noting how “intriguing” everything was. Ultimately, I racked my brains to remember from her blog what were the things that she enjoyed doing. I asked her if she would like to see what it was like to be tied down, as a human, and experience some of the things we had seen. She agreed.

We went into the secondary play room, and I sat her in a chair by the wall, but away from some of the other people who were also playing in the room.

I went and asked Marc for some rope. He, lovely fellow that he is, was also in character.

“Why hello there, ‘Doctor,’ I think I have just what you need.” And he pulled out a length of rope about 18 inches long. “It’s special chrono-temporal rope, adapted from Time Lord technology. Once it’s bound together it’s impossible to break apart without the proper sonic adjustment. And I’ll loan it to you for… just a small favor.”

“Oh yes? Oh…Yes. I should have recognized you. I know you of old, don’t I?”

Marc smiled. “Why yes, yes you do. But it’s just a small favor, Doctor, the likes of which even you won’t mind.”

I sighed, “Oh, very well, a favor for a favor” and then, somewhat impatiently reaching for the rope, “Thank you.”

I brought the rope to Ms. Mesmer and explained its properties. I went behind her and tied her hands together. “This is just for safety purposes. Both yours, and, um, mine. It’s amazing, isn’t it? As a Time Lord, you could just break the string’s bonds and stand up. But as a human, you can’t. Moreover, you can feel time passing by in ways Time Lords don’t. Second by second. Can’t you?”

She nodded as she struggled against her bond. “Y-yes.”

I then clarified with her. “Now you’re not the biggest fan of pain, right?”

She replied, “It’s not too bad…..Just not too much of it.”

“All right, let’s see what your body is capable of. Did you know, for example, that humans have this thing called ‘tickling’? You can ‘tickle’ them and they’ll laugh uncontrollably. Now where is it? Oh yes. The sonic screwdriver has a tickle setting of 1 to 10. So let’s start you off at 1 and see what sort of reaction we get. Is that ok?”

As the Corsair, she nodded yes.

“All right, let’s try a tickle of 1 at your… feet.”

And I pointed the sonic at her feet. She reacted as if I were lightly tickling her feet with a feather. Giggling, but not moving too much.

“Fascinating. Let’s try a tickle setting of 2 at your knees.”

She laughed a bit harder now, and half-heartedly tried to get her knees out of the way.

“Interesting. Let’s try a tickle setting of 5 at your…. Belly.” At this, she started laughing really hard, and squirming. “Fascinating.” For a good five minutes or so, I explored every part of her body at different tickle settings (including getting explicit consent to aim at her breasts and more private areas). The biggest explosion was when I aimed it right at her head and experimented with different settings. I’d be interested to know what it felt like to have someone tickling her brain.

“Now then, let’s see what it’s like to do a different setting. Beyond a ‘tickle’ setting, I also have a ‘pain’ setting and a ‘pleasure’ setting. I understand that both can vary, and I’ll make sure not to above a ‘5’ on the pain threshold. Is that ok?”

She was catching her breath, but she agreed to this. So now I had fun switching back and forth from pain to pleasure and pointing it at various parts of her body. For a while there, I must admit I felt like a bit of a conductor. I could point the screwdriver, like a magic wand, at some part of her body, say the feeling and the intensity and Ms. Mesmer’s body would react beautifully.

Her head. “Pleasure, 8.”

Her stomach: “Pain, 3.”

Her stomach: “Pleasure, 5.”

Her knee: “Tickle, 9.”

Her feet: “Pleasure, 6.”

Her chest: “Pain, 2.”

Her brain: “Tickle 10.”

I had her squirming quite beautifully in her seat.

“You know, I’ve heard humans positively gush about their ability to orgasm. And there is an ‘orgasm’ setting on here. Apparently it sets you on the path to orgasm, it’s more intense and… sexual than the ‘pleasure’ setting, but it doesn’t get you to a climax until you hit ’10.’ Shall we try?”

Poor Ms. Mesmer was rather gasping at this point. But she found her voice, which was still relatively calm and self-assured, “Yes. Absolutely.”

“All right, then.”

And I pointed the wand—I mean the sonic—at her chest. “Orgasm 1.”

Her moan was positively delightful. There is a feeling people experience in the BDSM community called “subspace.” It can be brought about through pain or through service, or any number of ways, really. I believe I had a little bit of that when I was focused on Lee earlier that day. Less discussed, but by no means unheard of, is “topspace.” I believe I was starting to feel that at this point. There is a gratifying sense of power when you have someone being responsive to the slightest twitch of your hand.

“Orgasm 3,” and pointed at her head. Her moans grew a little louder.

“Let’s see how the body reacts when we alternate these things, shall we? Tickle 7.” And her moans turned into laughter.

“Pain 2,” and her laughter turned into a slight groan of discomfort.

“Pleasure 7” and she was sighing and moaning again.

“Let’s see what happens when we put you on the path to an orgasm, here; Orgasm 4” and I pointed it at her knee. She moaned with a somewhat incredulous look on her face. I alternated the various settings, as if I were more mad professor than Doctor. Somehow, I maintained the ersatz British accent throughout.

I brought her closer to the “Orgasm 10” setting, continually flitting through the other settings as well. I think I even invented an “8 ½” to prolong it.

And then I stopped and had another evil idea. “You know what? I am such an idiot. You’re a Time Lord! The ten orgasm settings are for humans, who are much more finicky than Time Lords. Time Lords can handle much higher settings than 10. I was wondering why this went to 100. So, this will get you prepped more and more until you reach 100. Are you ready, Corsair?”

Ms. Mesmer was shaking a little bit at this point. For a second a look of utter frustration passed over her face, and then her Corsair self took hold again.

“This is all very intriguing. Yes. Yes, I’m ready.”

And I started with “Orgasm 11” and slowly worked my way up through the 20s, 30s, and so forth. I didn’t go number by number; that would be cruel. But I did ratchet it back a couple of times, going from 67 down to 51, and occasionally flicking over to the pain/pleasure/tickle settings. Somewhere in the 70s I told her “Listen carefully. When you reach 100, when you have that massive ‘Time Lord Orgasm,’ the orgasm will be so powerful that it’s going to push the Corsair out, and bring Mary back in. For just a few seconds, Mary is going to feel the Time Lord orgasm, before calming down and returning to ‘normal.’”

Ms. Mesmer looked positively delightful and delectable as she squirmed, her arms still bound behind her. Her face had gotten flushed and her long hair drifted over her eyes. She was breathing heavily and insistently. To a person walking by, all that would be seen is a pretty girl sitting in a chair, as someone in a brown leather jacket and a weird vest and bandolier get up kept pointing a large buzzing flashing pen at her. The woman would have appeared to be moaning in some combination of ecstasy and impatience. The man was using the weird device almost like a magic wand, pointing at various parts of her body, and counting upwards, heading inexorably, though falteringly, towards 100.

I counted up, slowing down, relishing keeping her on the edge. 94…95….96…97… 98…98 ½…. 99.

She was practically vibrating in time with the sonic screwdriver.

I said the magic number. “100” and she hurtled over the edge, collapsing in a heap, bent over in the chair, her arms still behind her.

I “loosed” the bonds with the sonic, and made sure she was ok. “Mary… Mary? You there?”

She smiled brightly, though her face was more than a little flushed. “Yes. That was….” And she hid her face behind her hands.

Now, did she orgasm? Was she really feeling the tickles, the pleasure, the pain? I can’t tell you; only she can (and hopefully she will on her own blog). But I can tell you she reacted just as if she were experiencing all those things.

I sat with her for a bit, making sure that she was ok, doing my part for aftercare.

After a while, I brought her back over to Marc.

I must mention that there were a number of hot scenes going on all around me involving various people I’ve already mentioned in this blog. While I wouldn’t have traded in this scene for the world, the voyeuristic part of me was frustrated only getting bits and pieces of what was going on around me.

We ran into CCKitten, who had, I believe, caught the tail end of my scene with Ms. Mesmer. She was eager to try something with Marc and me.

“Well, CC. What is it you like? Do you like pain, or pleasure, or tickling?”

She shyly looked down. “Pain, actually.”

I glanced at Marc, who was standing there with his own screwdriver. His was the Master’s laser screwdriver. He made some comment about his being superior to mine, as you do, and I defended mine’s honor. I said to CC. “Well, how about this. Let’s set this up. I’ll set this for a pain setting of, oh, let’s say 8 out of 10, and this gentleman over here,” and I indicated Marc, “can set his cheap imitation screwdriver at a comparable pleasure setting of 8, and I’ll start at your head, and he’ll start at your feet. And we’ll see what happens.”

“Well, you know, Doctor,” Marc said, “when the waves from each of these meets in her middle, they form a resonance wave that will ultimately crescendo into an orgasm, right about here,” indicating her midsection.

“Well, of course I know that. Let’s see what this lady can handle.”

And we began. We noted that the orgasm would hit on the count of 10, and I’m not ashamed to say that as we hit 7 my sonic “gave out” (darn thing) and that we had to start over. And that as we hit 8, Marc’s laser screwdriver had a feedback issue, which meant we had to start over again. Or that, on the third go around, we encountered an unexpected time dilation effect, which meant that the count from 7 to 8 took about a solid minute in real terms, but described to her as taking a full hour. When we finally reached 10, CC exploded in what appeared to be a rather enviable spasm of ecstasy.

Sleepingirl (“SG”) herself finally showed herself, but she was a little exhausted, and was getting ready to leave. We made tentative plans to find some time to Who-play the following day, and I went to talk to Marc and Ms. Mesmer. About three minutes later, SG came back and said, “OK. I really want to, but we have to make it quick.”

So I obliged. I used the screwdriver as a hypnotic focus, and told her she would see me as the War Doctor and that how I described the screwdriver would be real to her. I woke her up and told her that I needed some help with some unfortunate experiments on the limits of the human body. I asked her what she liked, pleasure, pain, or tickling? She answered, shyly, that she liked pain these days. I said something to the effect that humans always surprised me. I explained to her about the “pain” and “pleasure” settings and that the pain setting of 5 was like a slap across the face. She sat in a chair about five feet away from me, and I proceeded to alternate between “pleasure settings” and the slaps. I felt an odd rush as I stood, five feet away, flicking my sonic screwdriver like a wand, and having SG react to each flick as if she had been struck. Moreover, each “slap” seemed to turn her on more and more. The rather glorious pained-yet-turned-on expression on her face is something I won’t soon forget.

I didn’t have permission to go beyond that from either her or her dom, so we played along these lines for just about 5 minutes. When she said she really had to go, I walked over to her, thanking her for her cooperation. I told her that the Time War was no place for a companion, but that she had what it takes to be one, and I wish I could invite her with me. I sent her back down into trance, removed the suggestions, and told her she’d have a very restful sleep that night, and wake refreshed and rejuvenated.

I bid her and CC good night, and walked over to Marc where he was describing to someone the scene we had done with CC. The person was saddened that they missed it, so Marc volunteered Ms. Mesmer to reenact the scene. We did everything the same, including the screwdriver malfunctions, the time dilation, and the fantastic orgasmic climax. I have a feeling Ms. Mesmer slept well that evening.

By this point we were about to shut the place down. I went back to the hotel and flung my sorry self to bed. It had been a fantastic evening, and, as tired as I was, it took forever to fall asleep. I had been dual hypnotized over dinner, and somehow managed to squeeze in four (4!) hot, hypnosis-related, Doctor Who-related scenes in one evening. This weekend, which had started off exceeding my expectations, had entirely been amazing beyond the wildest dreams I could imagine. And there was still one day to go.

Next- Low energy day! Playing cards with hypnotists, and winning(?)! Watch that dial! Trancy take down! Arm wrestling! Bunny tag! Smugness! Saying good-byes!

 

NEEHU5, A Personal Recap, Part 4, Saturday day

WARNING- Headed into edgy territory with the next two blogs, so if consent issues, power exchange, and off the cuff hypno scenes aren’t your thing, skip to the Sunday blog. As always, if I’ve mentioned you in a post and: (1) you’d prefer I not; (2) you think I’ve gotten something wrong; or (3) you want to send me flowers, please let me know. 

 

NEEHU5, Part 4: Saturday, Part 1.

 

“Let’s Play Master and Servant”

 

            Saturday morning was another early morning for me. Those of us staying at the hotel had fallen into a kind of routine by this point. We would slowly stream in to the downstairs area, mixing slightly with the muggles who were there for other reasons. We would sheepishly share secret smiles, thinking of half-remembered adventures from the day before as we dug into the lovely free buffet.

            I don’t recall there being much in the way of breakfast shenanigans that morning, and I believe I took SweetGasp and OneEyedStranger to the Society with me.

            One of the parts of the set up at the Society which I had forgotten to mention is that Mephki (who was a whirlwind of energy and brightness wherever she went) set up a place over by the vending tables where people could place hypno-personal ads. They could write on 3×5 cards what they were searching for, and who they were or where to find them. Not many people took advantage of this, sadly. I think part of it was that people hadn’t thought about it well enough in advance and so didn’t really pick up on the idea until late in the weekend. (I think I saw 4 or 5 cards there by Sunday.) One person who had placed a card was LeeAllure, who said she was looking for a “Hypno-Slave” to be a step-and-fetch-it for her. I was intrigued. One of the things I was looking forward to over the weekend was experimenting with power exchange, and, in fact, had discussed that with Lee the day before. I had also mentioned in passing that I was hoping to experiment with more physical experiences, if possible (seeing as I was at a BDSM club and all and, presumably, among experts) including being on the giving and receiving end of paddling or spanking or some such.

            Shortly after arriving, I ran into Lee. She and I continued a different conversation we hadn’t quite finished the day before, and we repaired to the back room, where there were a few booths. We started off discussing different induction methods. One method, she said in a teasing voice, involves getting close to a person’s ear and whispering gently, while at the same time kissing and licking that ear.

            “It’s for this reason,” she said, “that you should always have Q-tips handy to have a clean and inviting ear.”

            “Well,” I replied, “that makes me want to buy a lot of Q-tips.”

            “Now, now,” she said, “you don’t use the whole thing; just the tip.”

            And, autonomically, I responded, “. . . that’s what she said.”

            Have you ever made a domme blush? It’s a strangely empowering moment. That moment made us laugh harder than we had any right to.

We decided to talk about the classes that were coming up. For some reason, this quickly transitioned into running through the classes in quick, 5-10 second improvisational bits.

Hypnosis and Yoga: We stretched while seated at the booth.

Your First Induction: “You did this yesterday with LeeAnn.” “Yep, check.”

Hypnosis and Humor: “That’s what she said.” “Shut up.”

Ethics Panel: “Please don’t make me squawk like a chicken, please don’t ask me to strip naked. Please don’t do anything that would embarrass me outside of this building.” “Ok.” “Done. Next.”

Rapport Workshop: We proceeded to try to imitate each other’s body language. “Right, done.”

Erotic hypnosis 101: “All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.” “So all sex is masturbation?” Awkward pause. “Yeah, good enough.”

You can be a better subject: “Pynchon, I believe that you are a good subject now, and as you fall under as I bring my finger from here to here, you will find that you are an even better subject. Now wake up on 1, 2, 3, wide awake! “…Yeah, that’ll work.”

Abreactions: “So, if something bad happens, wake up from trance and ask for help?” “Well, that’s way oversimplifying….” “Good enough for now, next.”

Kinesthetic Trance: She reached across the table and grabbed my hands, swaying them back and forth and then in a circle, and then she pulled them and… I was out. “And 1, 2, 3, wide awake.”

Your hypnotic voice: “It’s actually quite simple. Sometimes you can hypnotize someone by starting off in a higher register and then slowly lowering your register into a lower timbre. Just like this….. and 1, 2, 3, wide awake.”

Acquiring a hypnotist: “Hey Lee?” “Yes, Pynchon.” “Would you be my hypnotist?” “Sure.” “OK, done.”

Non-D/S play to D/s play in hypnosis. “Oh. I saw your ‘personal ad.’ Can I be your hypno-slave for the day? I mean, what does that entail?” “Well, just attending to me during the day, making sure I make it to things on time, keeping me hydrated. Are you sure you’re up to it?” “Yes. Yes, I am.” “Then ok. This’ll be fun.” “Thanks.”

Instant inductions: “Hey Pynch.” “Yes?” <snap>…. And 1, 2, 3, wide awake.”

Basic inductions: “Wait, I have this one. Um. Your feet are relaxed, then your ankles, calves, thighs, hips, back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck and finally head and you’re asleep…. Something like that, right.” “Yep.” “Great, next.”

Blow away limiting beliefs: “So you weren’t sure you’d be a good subject when you came here right? Why is that?” “Well I thought my critical faculties would get in the-“ “Sleep!…. and 1, 2, 3, wide awake.” “…That is so cool.”

Community building roundtable: “I think there should be EEHU’s everywhere.” “I agree.”

Memory Play: I…. actually forget what we did for this one.

How to Push: And here she reached across the table and slapped me. I went into a sort of shock for a second. And then she slapped the other side of my face. I kind of looked down, to avoid her seeing my reaction, which was somewhere between amazement and befuddlement (and possibly a little turned on). She said “look me in the eyes.” So I did. And she slapped me a few more times. After about 4 times across each side of my face, she stopped. And we moved on.

 

Tangent: My reaction to getting slapped across the face

Look, this was possibly the most impactful moment of the weekend, in many ways (and if you’ll pardon the pun). When it happened, there was a moment of shock, as if the world had held still. I had several reactions. First, the (for lack of a better word) submissive part of me was really turned on. (There, I said it.). Second, the more dominant part of me was outraged, and, frankly, wanted to slap her back. I didn’t. I later asked Lee (and we did discuss this at length later) what would have happened if I had slapped her back, and she said she wasn’t sure. Probably, she said, she would have criticized the slap back and then slapped me again to show me how to do it properly. Third, the strict legalistic part of me knew that we hadn’t actually established explicit consent for her to slap me, though we had established that I was interested in pushing the envelope physically. The fourth part of me, the part that understands comedy, thought this was the funniest thing ever. In improvisational comedy, the first rule you learn is to say “yes” to things. We were in the middle of a seat-of-our-pants improv scene and she reached out to “push” me beyond my comfort zone; she said “yes” to an impulse that was edgy, and awesome. Frankly, in my opinion, that’s just brilliant. And funny. Do I think she would have done that with anyone who wasn’t in the same frame of mind as I was, who hadn’t discussed how they had wanted to stretch themselves? Oh dear god, no. But I am glad I got to do that. My only regret? Not slapping back. Because having us trade slaps for a while would have been really, really funny.

 

Hypno-scene negotiation: “So, um, you didn’t technically ask permission to slap me right there…” “Oh, right. Is that ok? Are you ok?” “Yes. And I think I want to do it again.” “Really? ‘Cause I can do that as part of an induction.” “…..I’m in.”

And this is where I realized that we had been sitting there for most of an hour and I needed to get her to the “rapport class,” since, as it turned out, she was teaching it.

I don’t want to give away the secrets of the rapport class, but it wasn’t a typical “hypnosis” class, per se. Rather, the point of the class was to demonstrate how people can establish a level of rapport with someone—and break that rapport—through simple techniques mostly having to do with body language and the like.

I stuck around for the next class, “Kinesthetic trance” taught by the lovely and talented ZanyMo. This class was fun inasmuch as it taught people how to go into trance using mostly physical movements. Once again, I served as Lee’s guinea pig, and was sent down into trance several times in a short period of time. I tried the same thing on Lee, and, although I did not send her into a trance (that I know of) she gave me some good pointers. At one point we had a brief hypno duel where we were both attempting to send each other into trance. To be fair, I had been really fractionated for most of the day, so I probably didn’t stand much of a chance, but I thought for a moment I had her going under. And then she snapped her fingers and said “sleep” and I was out. It’s not fair I tell you.

I got lunch for Lee as part of the “hypno-slave” portion of the proceedings, and then meandered around chatting with people for a while, enjoying the feeling of being around like-minded people in a safe and supportive environment.

I have to take a minute and underline again how awesome a job Mephki did in terms of organizing the event; everything was on time and there was a really broad variety of classes. Furthermore, in terms of general coordination, the selection of food was ideal; there were vegan, vegetarian, and carnivorous options (I think there were even kosher options, but I’m not entirely sure). I’ll thank her again when I finally get to my closing thoughts, but her touch was felt throughout the day. In addition to thanking her profusely, I was delegated “give the coordinator occasional massages throughout the weekend” duty. Mephki told me she enjoys massages that are actually on the painful side, which is a little like telling Usain Bolt to turn it up a notch, thank you very much.

The next class, “How to Push” was taught, not by a hypnotist, but by a fellow named “Max” who had flown in from Seattle and, I understand, conducts many classes in various BDSM concepts. This class was concerned with the question of when it is healthy (or not healthy) to push people to their limits. It was also about setting boundaries, and how to discuss those boundaries in an open and honest way. Max did several demonstrations with volunteers from the audience. In each case, Max went right up to the edge of consent. In essence, he made it clear what he was intending on doing, and gave the person a chance to raise an objection, but never actually asked for explicit consent before engaging (or in one dramatic moment, not engaging) in the activity. He included handouts which were very educational and helpful in terms of setting out the parameters for negotiation, consent, safe words, and aftercare. Even more interesting was watching Lee during this class; she was positively bouncing with glee. This was the kind of thing she likes (obviously). For my part, the legalistic part of me was very concerned; his methodology was not something I would normally subscribe to. I would have liked at least the explicit consent in the following regard: “You understand that I will be pushing your limits and it’s up to you to say when, right?” However, I suppose that by attending a class on “How to Push,” and then by volunteering, you do know that you are going to be pushed to your limits, whatever that is for you. In any event, regardless of my personal qualms, I think it was an extremely valuable, if advanced, class, and I’m glad I attended.

The following class was Wiseguy’s “Kinky Human Tricks.” For this class Lee sat just behind me. I understand that the point of the class was to have Wiseguy perform some basic hypnosis tricks on various people (doing a quiz show in which the subject couldn’t say the answer until after the time had expired, freezing someone, then moving them so they think they’ve been teleported from place to place throughout the room, etc.) I’m pretty sure that’s what went on, but Lee kept putting me under and then bringing me up throughout the class. By now I was so far gone that just by running her finger down my arm she put me to sleep. Run it up the same arm? I was awake again. I must give “good face” while under—at some point Lee brought me up and Wiseguy broke off in mid-sentence to say “Oh, what a great expression.” At least, I assume it was me; it may not have been, I was kind of out of it.

Tangent- On Being Topped by LeeAllure for the Day

LeadPrism and I had hung out for a good part of the weekend, and, at some point on Sunday he asked me what it was like to be “topped” by Lee for the day on Saturday. Somehow, we kept on being interrupted before I was able to give him my answer, so this is it.

It was really fun, to tell the truth. It’s not something I had ever experimented with in my life. The best way I can describe the experience is this: my fetlife profile name is “Herderofcats.” The reason I chose that name is because my usual experience in any group situation is to be constantly scanning the group to see what needs attending to. Is there someplace we all need to be by a certain time? Is someone not having a good time? Is there something I can be doing to get anyone anything? And that’s if I’m not even hosting the event. For the day on Saturday it’s as if all that energy was focused on one person and making sure that that one person’s needs were met. In a way, the focus was a relief; it meant that there was a lot less, paradoxically, for me to worry about. That also may have been because my tasks were relatively simple: keep cup filled with water, keep track of the schedule, and be available for trances. It was an interesting experiment to try for the weekend, and I was glad I did it, and grateful to Lee for the chance.

As for what did Lee get out of it? I’d have to leave that for her to answer, but you know how when cats play with balls of yarn? You don’t ask what the cat gets out of it.

 

[I’m leaving out some fun conversations I had during the day on Saturday with LeadPrism, SweetGasp, DrDream, ZanyMo, GleefulAbandon and Marc Cabot. I also teased Ms. Mesmer incessantly about what Marc and I had planned for her that evening. I also recall that Marc also used the “that’s not funny” trigger a couple of times on both of us. Also, apparently, my skills as a masseuse had not gone unnoticed, and the lovely LuckyAlbatross requested my services at some point to work on a few knots after her long trip. I’d go into further detail on all of these, but then this weekend would turn into rather a Proustian memoir. And no one wants that.]

After all the classes, with all the trancey ups and downs, I, somewhat ironically, needed a nap. I decided to bail on the volunteer dinner and head straight to my hotel room. I called my wife, and filled her in on my day. She said something that she’s repeated to today: I sounded happier and more “me” than I had in years. I had gone to the circus, and found at least one place I belonged. My mind… my life was opening up. And I was so happy.

 

Next time: Dinner! Bisque! Costume! Screwdriver! Scenes! More scenes! Settings! Tune in, won’t you?