Subject =/= Submissive
Subject =/= Submissive
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Picture for a moment the quintessential “Subject”; the baseline from which all other Hypnotic subjects are measured. Chances are the ideal for most people is pretty similar. Smiling, Simple, drooling, completely subservient to their hypnotic master and following every suggestion like a geas placed upon their feeble little minds.
This is the assumption that has been the bane of my existence as a Hypnotist. The preconceived notion that going into trance is an inherently submissive act and that all subjects do or even should act like this.
That going into trance with someone else somehow makes you weaker or less of a dom. It is a mindset that has locked so many people away from the wonderful experience of trance for fear that they might somehow lose a piece of themselves, or be thrust into a subordinate position. And that’s without even getting into the mindset among many guys about submission being negative or somehow a flaw to be corrected.
Now in fairness, the association with Hypnosis as being inherently intertwined with BDSM and Sub/Dom Dynamics as a whole does have a strong history. I recall as a subject when most of the tists I’d interact with would instantly demand submission, devotion, unquestioning loyalty. Centering themselves and their domination at the crux of our interactions regardless of if that was what I was looking for or not (Note well for any novice subjects. That is a definite red flag).
And many who’s burgeoning interest in hypnosis spawns from media they watched as a youth often feel an attraction to that loss of power. Obedience to another’s whims, letting someone else take control of their life; where oftentimes language of weakness and submission comes almost instinctually. I’m not contesting that for a lot of people the appeal to hypnosis comes from that arrangement of power. But in my mind that is not all hypnosis is or should be.
Many people approach hypnosis thinking that its essence is about submission. Giving in and accepting being inferior; giving up some vital part of yourself to a hypnotist like the thrall of some vampiric master. As if all it takes to put someone into a trance and affect the very core of their being is to dominate them. As if the whole range of sensory experiences and transformative revelations that can be gleaned from trance boils down to a simplistic power dynamic oft perverted by many of its proponents..
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is a well known fact that many athletes from the ferocious Mike Tyson to the prolific Tiger Woods have used Hypnosis to boost their skills through the roof. Psyching them out before a match. Pushing them far past the point of mediocrity in their training. Making them love the sport and Dominate the playing field. Does it seem like any of them would have submitted to become subservient, obedient boys in the face of trance?
Trance is often used in a therapeutic Context. Easing pain, reducing anxiety. Allowing the subject to indulge in pleasure and experiences that benefit their mental state. Augmenting their minds, but never subjugating it. Would anyone ever assume that these experiences take away from the subject? Make them less than they once were? No on both counts. I personally have interacted with and tranced folks who could very easily and in many cases have dominated me entirely. Strong Alpha personalities and muscled bodies who gravitate to trance in order to supplement their own pleasure or to enhance their innate power.
Why then is the default position by so many people approaching trance that it must be an interplay of submission and domination?
It’s a viewpoint that I think the community as a whole needs to be weaned off because in the end it does more harm than good. Not only for the potential subjects who believe their dominant natures to be incompatible with trance; and therefore hardening their minds for when they actually do attempt it. Missing out on all the wondrous experiences and benefits of hypnosis.
Not only for practiced subjects who assume that because a tist is dominant it means they are effective and to be worked with (Thereby contributing to the glut of bad experiences in the community). But also for many Hypnotists who feel forced to put on this dominant façade in order to be taken seriously. Who affect the aloof and distant nature of pop culture Dom/mes the world over and ultimately end up reducing the quality of the experience both for themselves and for their subjects. Folks who restrict themselves to interplays of Power and the Sub/Dom dynamic and lock themselves out of experimenting with different styles, genres and themes.
So then, if submission isn’t the essence of trance, what is? Well I reiterate as I have before. Trust and communication are at the core of all Trance and all Hypnotic relationships. Trust in your Hypnotist or Hypno File Creator, allowing you to be at ease with them and focus on the trance itself, on the gorgeous sensations of relaxation without having to worry about the ulterior motives or somehow losing a part of yourself. Communication with your subject, checking up on them. Learning about them as people and not as play things. Developing that rapport and building a true relationship, or in the case of file creators, learning about your audience and understanding their motivations and mindset in order to put out a superior product.
Submission comes as icing on the cake for those who want it. And it certainly doesn’t feature as a central focus of all Hypnotic work. So for those doms interested in trying out some beneficial trance, let go of that apprehension and dive deep into the abyss. You might find it only increases your dominant tendencies.
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