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BDSM & Hypnosis

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Recently, hypnosis as a form of play is becoming more popular in the Dutch BDSM-scene. Although it’s still concentrated in small circles, in other countries it is a much more well known kink. But there are a lot of misconceptions going around about hypnosis. Some people just don’t see the link to BDSM, others have expectations of it that could never be met. Still others see it as scary, or even dangerous (bollocks!). In this article I’d like to present my ideas on combining BDSM and hypnosis and to explain a bit about hypnosis. The article is meant as an introduction, not a study-guide.

To start with a popular misconception: Hypnosis is not a magic tool to force someone to do whatever you want. Stage shows, and shows like those of Derren Brown, might make you believe differently, but those shows usually start with a careful selection of participants. But: with a willing partner you can certainly achieve magical results!

BDSM & Hypnosis

Before discussing hypnosis in more detail, I would firs like to say a bit about BDSM and hypnosis. What could hypnosis be used for? After all, if there’s nothing in that area that you like, you can stop reading here 🙂

One option is conditioning your partner. For instance, having an orgasm on command, or assume certain positions on command. Assuming the position, while not forced, becomes a subconscious process. Of course, conditioning is quite possible without hypmosis, but using hypnosis it can be done a lot faster and easier. For using the command (often called “trigger” in hypnolingo) your partner doesn’t need to be in hypnosis. The conditioning takes place in hypnosis, but the command will work even when your partner is out of hypnosis again. This is also called a “post-hypnotic suggestion”.

Another option is sensation play. For instance, magnifying or dampening of sensations. You could, for instance, give the suggestion that a whip will hurt more with every stroke. But you also could gag someone hypnotically (make them unable to talk) or bind someon (not being able to move). The age old stage hypnosis trick with the voodoo doll can be used perfectly in BDSM: everything the doll feels, the subject feels, every move of the doll by the hypnotist, the subject will make as well. Use your imagination!

Thirdly. you liven up role play. Instead of just playing that schoolgirl, you could become her in hypnosis, and truly feellike that girl. And you could really see your partner as that angry teacher. The same goes for all popular form of role play, whether you wish to turn your bedroom into a prison cell, or turn yourself into a pirate.

Finally (well, there might still be other options), there are possibilities that toch more on the normal, therapeutic side of hypnosis. Hypnosis is a perfect instrument to work with fears. In hypnosis, someone can, guided by a hypnotist, deal with the causes of his or her fears, or learn to approach them diffrently. It’s not unthinkable that a hard limit for, say, “needles” could disappear. If someone finds it hard to submit to a dominant, you could use hypnosis to find out what’s preventing his submission, and perhaps take away the root causes. Of course, these options involve more knowledge of and experience with hypnosis than the previous examples.Hypnosis, by the way, doesn’t have to be limited to the bottoms. Dominants could profit from hypnosis just the same. A little extra confidence never hurts, does it? And what if you, the Dominant are afraid of uding needles? Hypnosis is, first and foremost, a powerful tool for self-improvement!

What’s hypnosis?

Still reading? Then now is the time to explain a bit more about the phenomenon hypnosis. Hypnosis a state or a condition in which the subject is highly susceptible to suggestions. It’s a state that can look a bit like sleep (hence the name hypnosis, from the Greek word “hypnos”), but in which one is fully awake and often highly concentrated. Hypnosis is also often associated with a high level of relaxation, but relaxation is not truly necessary.It’s a very natural state. A lot of people go into hypnosis daily while being totally consumed in a book or film, or, when driving, realise that they “missed” a big part of the ride.

A few misconceptions about hypnosis keep coming up. To bust a few myths: You can’t stay “in it”. If the hypnotist were to drop dead, you would come out of trance naturally. In the worst case scenario, you would fall asleep… and wake up normally. The hypnotist will not force his will upon you and doesn’t have any super powers.  If something really goes against your deepest morals, you are likely to just pop out of trance. In hypnosis, you will not fall asleep and stay fully aware of what’s happening (except perhaps for very deep trance levels).

Almost everyone “can do it”. Only a small percentage of the population is hard to hypnotise or can’t go in hypnosis at all. Some people, however, go into hypnosis easier and deeper than other people. Not all induction techniques work for everyone. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of fitting the right induction to the right subject.

How does hypnosis work

Generally speaking, a hypnosis session consists of several phases. During the induction, someone is guided into hypnosis. During the deepening, the trance level is deepened. Subsequentl, suggestions are given (and possibly post-hypnotic suggestions for after the session). Finally, the subject is guided out of hypnosis again.

There’s many, many methods to induce hypnosis, varying from the long and often tedious “imagine lying in a wide green meadow” progressive relaxation induction to superquickshockinductions, and just about everything in between. There’s not a single best way. The best inductin to use depends both on the hypnotist (who has to have mastered the induction and the subject (for whom the one method will work better than the other).

Deepening the trance level can be good idea for several reasons. For instance, because someone who is in hypnosis only lightly, could come out of trance after a while. But also, for some applications like seeing things that aren’t there, a deeper level of trance is required.

The suggestions, of course, can be anything. For instance, there are suggestions for during the hypnosis session (what to feel/do/experience/etc.) and post-hypnotic suggestions for after the hypnosis session, like having orgasms on comand. This is kind of the core of the session, where the kinky stuff takes place.

Getting someone out of trance is an important part the session. After all, the subject must be able to function normally again after the session, and for instance be able to drive a car safely.


Hypnosis in and of itself is perfectly safe. It’s a harmless natural state that won’t hurt you. Some psychiatric conditions, however, can be a contra-indications. If you have one, please discuss it with your physician or psychologist before experimenting.

What you do with hypnosis can be dangerous. What you do with hypnosis van vary from harmless bed games to heavy edge play, and – as with all forms of BDSM – you will need to discuss wishes and boundaries in a way that fits your relationship. Also, you need to formulate triggers carefully and make sure they aren’t fired unintentionally. Making someone get horny from drinking a cup of tea can be great fun, but it might be wise to make sure it won’t lead to unintened, possibly harmful, results at work the next day.

Preferably do hypnosis with someone you trust. For starters, that way you will likely go into hypnosis easier and deeper, but it’s also nice if you can trust your hypnotist not to do strange things with you. If you use an mp3 from the internet to go into hypnosis by yourself, make sure there are no hidden unwanted suggestion in it. There are mp3’s with suggestions of buying more mp3’s but you also could get other unwanted triggers installed. It’s wise to listen to such an mp3 without going into trance first, or have someone else screen the mp3 for you.

Also, when you go into hypnosis, there might be an “abreaction” in which the subject feels very bad or responds very emotionally while in hypnosis. This could happen, for instance, during a spontaneous regression in which the subject, without any suggestion, goes back into the past, and not necessarily to a pleasant point in time. ALthough the chances are slim that you will have this occur to you, the hypnotist should know what to do – and what not to do – to handle such a situation.

Learning Hypnosis

Learning how to hypnotise someone is not very difficult. On YouTube only,there are hundreds of video’s demonstrating various induction techniques. But learning hypnosis should be more than that. You should learn how to formulate suggestions effectively and safely to icrease your chances of success. You also should learn how to get someone out of hypnosis and how to deal with spontaneous abreactions.

The wisest course of action is probably a workshop or course in hypnosis. Here and everywhere there are one-day hypnosis courses that can give you a decent foundation to start experimenting with the simpeler applications of hypnosis. Often these courses are presented by companies or trainers who also teach broader hypnosis or NLP courses. If you want more depth, you could take an extended course in hypnotherapy, like the 7-day basic course from the National Guild of Hypnotists to three-year professional courses.

If you are unable to take a course, you could always try to find someone in the scene who has the knowledge and experience. On Fetlife, there are several groups on BDSM and Hypnosis, like Hypnose Nederland and Erotic Hypnosis, where you can ask for advice. Otherwise, at least try to get a good book on hypnosis. There are plenty of them, both more therapeutically oriented ones, and ones explaining hypnosis for stage shows.

If you have any questions about this article, feel free to contact me.


NGH, Hypnotherapie: Opleiding tot gediplomeerd hypnotherapeut.

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