As anyone who fantasizes about being shrunk to the size of a pencil and placed on a lady’s momentous bosom knows, some fantasies can be hard to pull of in real life. In fact, lots of fantasies are — whether they’re hard to materialize for logistical reasons, shame or the simple lack of a creative and willing partner, it can be frustratingly difficult to experience our more “imaginative” desires.
That is, unless you’re Neil the Erotic Hypnotist, a guy whose job it is to help people experience the deepest breadth of their fantasies through the power of consensual mind control.
For many people, hypnosis bears the unfortunate connotation of snake-oil salesmen swinging shiny objects across the eyes of sideshow attendees, but it’s hardly a hoax. If anything, it’s a centuries-old, much-researched therapeutic technique used by skilled and qualified professionals that utilizes an altered mental state called a “trance” to access the subconscious mind. While scientists still aren’t entirely sure how it works, hypnosis has been proven effective in treating everything from post-surgery pain and fatigue to alcohol and tobacco addiction.
Erotic hypnosis is exactly what it sounds like — a more X-rated application of this service. Many people seek out Neil and other erotic hypnotists to enhance sensation, explore fantasies that are hard to pull off in real life and for power exchange in kinky settings (amongst other things).
What erotic hypnosis is particularly great for, though, is helping people experience sexual or sensual sensations in the absence of physical stimuli. Often, these sensations aren’t only easier to bring about under a hypnotic spell, but much more intense-feeling as well. “Anything you’re able to imagine, I can make you feel,” says Neil. “I can make someone feel like they’re tied up, or I can make them feel like they’re being flogged. I can make them feel like they’re being sucked off or made love to. I have clients who are what’s called microphiles — they’re into being shrunk. I can make them feel small.”
Neil explains that hypnosis is able to create these sensations through the power of suggestibility, which refers to a person’s capacity to believe the false, but plausible information they’re being told by the hypnotist — “You are getting sleepy,” for example. Or, in Neil’s case: “When I touch your wrist, you’ll have an orgasm,” and “When you wake up, you’ll feel as if you’re one inch tall.”
The more suggestible a person is, the more likely they are to respond to hypnotic suggestions, and the more effective hypnosis will be.
There aren’t a lot of erotic hypnotists in the world, but according to the internet, Neil is one of the best and most well-known (one VICE writer gushed that Neil gives the most “mind-bending, dick-splitting orgasms on the planet.”) Regardless, though, of whether his clients come to see him for “dick-splitting” or something entirely different, it’s Neil’s job to hack into their subconscious and guide them down a hyper-personalized path into their deepest erotic fantasies.
Fascinated by what that must be like, I Skyped Neil in his New York City home and asked him who he hypnotizes, what they they want from him and how he manipulates people’s minds into thinking they’re having very real, very powerful sexual experiences.
What’s it like to live the life of an erotic hypnotist?
I do both therapeutic, non-sexual hypnotherapy for things like diet adherence, phobias or moving forward after an assault, but I also do erotic hypnosis to help people explore fantasies and enhance certain sensations.
The latter plays really well into my own personal interests — I’m kinky and dominant, and erotic hypnosis is an effective, interesting way to have a consensual power exchange with someone. That aspect of it has kind of fallen by the wayside over the years, though — now it feels more like a job than a kinky thing.
How did you get into the erotic hypnosis business?
Around 1999, I had this boring IT job that gave me a lot of time to sit around and surf the web. One day, I stumbled across an online sexual hypnosis group. I was fascinated by what I saw and immediately wanted to study it. I found some hypnosis tutorials online and bought some books. I found plenty of people to practice on by putting something like “I can give you 10 orgasms in a row” on my gay hookup site profiles. Later on, I took a hypnotherapy certification course at a school in New York City. Eventually I got really good at it and decided to quit my day job to do hypnosis full-time.
Who’s your average client?
I get all types of people for hypnotherapy, but for my erotic stuff, it’s mostly gay men. I’m gay myself, so I tend to advertise or interact in a lot of gay spaces; hence, I attract a lot of gay clients. Because I can relate to them the most, it’s often easier for me to understand and get inside the minds of other gay men — it’s easier to be erotic with someone you could feasibly be attracted to.
However, I do have straight and bisexual male, female and trans clients as well.
Okay, so, men. What’s going on with them? What kinds of issues or fantasies do your male clients have?
It runs the gamut, but the most common things I get are erectile dysfunction, being unable to bottom (receive anal sex) and an inability to orgasm during partnered sex. They’re fine when they’re on their own, but when they have sex with someone else, they’re unable to finish.
Hypnosis works really well for that kind of thing. When they’re in a trance, I give them confidence that it’s possible to come with someone else in the room, then I’ll give them a hypnotic trigger they can use in their daily life to remove anxiety and nervousness around other people that keep them from performing.
With bottoming, I often start out by doing hypnotherapy where I give them a hypnotic suggestion to be able to relax their minds and anal sphincter so they can bottom more easily. If they’re also interested in doing some erotic hypnosis, I can have them use a dildo or vibrator to show them that penetration has become a lot easier and feels a lot better.
What are some less common — or more memorable — things people ask you to do for them?
I’ve done everything from simple erotic scenes where it’s just about creating or enhancing sensations, to giving people hypno-orgasms, to doing dom/sub scenes or hypno-bondage. Sometimes, I get very specific fantasies and fetishes like microphilia, meaning they’re aroused by the idea of being tiny while the rest of the world is huge. People want me to guide them through a scene where they’re shrunken. A smaller minority of people are turned on by the actual process of hypnosis itself.
I also get a lot of people who are interested in trying kink and BDSM for the first time, but want to start with hypnosis because it’s often more comfortable than real kink scenes or bondage. Sometimes, people don’t want to deal with the side effects of things like impact play [bruising, pain], so they come to me to feel the sensation without the consequence. Other people don’t have partners they can try certain kinky things with, and I’m able to take them through the experience.
In general, though, I get a lot of people who are just interested in the idea of being controlled. One common way they want to do that is through what I call hypno-bondage, which is making someone feel like they’re in some sort of restraint. That’s actually one of my more common requests.
Hypnosis is also more of a “meta-kink” in the sense that you can use it to explore other kinks. For example, a lot of people are into chastity. Hypnosis is a great way to enforce chastity without having to wear an actual device. It can also be used to simulate kinks that are impossible to create in real life. Often, people want to be turned into something like a superhero or a mythical being. You can role play that, sure, but with hypnosis, you can experience it in much greater accuracy, sensation and detail. It’s really the best way to explore desires you can’t feasibly pull off in real life.
Do people ever ask you to hypnotize them to experience anything that’s illegal or culturally inappropriate?
Yes, and I’ll indulge them to a degree and on a case-by-case basis. For example, many people have rape fantasies. This doesn’t mean they want to experience rape in any way, but forced sex is something we can explore in a safe, touch-free manner through hypnosis. It allows them to get close to that desire in their imagination without being traumatized in real life.
Turn-ons like that don’t go away. If someone’s turned on by something, they’ll eventually seek it out one way or another. Hypnosis is the safest way to explore those feelings, but it’s also a good way to release the tensions, guilt and shame they can bring about.
However, if someone has fantasies that are probably best left unexplored, perhaps because doing so may make them more likely to do that behavior in real life, I say no.
How real are the feelings people feel when they’re in a trance?
It really depends on the person. With hypnosis, we’re tapping into the imagination, which is part of the subconscious. If a person has a very vivid imagination, they tend to experience stronger sensations because it’s easier for them to picture being in the scene we’re working through. For instance, when it comes to hypno-orgasms, some people’s knees may buckle; others may just experience a pleasant sensation.
One writer said you gave him a “dick-splitting orgasm” that was the “best of his life.” How is it possible you can do that just by talking to someone while they’re in a trance?
A hypnotic suggestion can make sensations feel way more intense (or less intense, depending on the application). Most of the orgasm happens in the brain anyway, so it’s hard to say if the orgasm is physically more intense, or if the subconscious just interprets it that way. It doesn’t really matter, since the result is the same: a dick-splitting orgasm!
How, though, does this work? Walk me through a session.
In the first session, we do a lot of talking about the history of hypnosis, how it works, how the sessions will go, what they want to get out of the process and what their limits and boundaries are. We go over what issues they want help with on the therapeutic side, and what they want to experience erotically.
I do this to build rapport and trust so they can get comfortable with both me and the idea of hypnosis. When people are more comfortable with their hypnotist and their surroundings, they become more suggestible, which makes it easier to put them in a trance.
Once all the talking is done, I have them lay on my couch (or their bed, if I’m making a house call), and start to gradually talk them into a trance. I start off with what we call an induction, which is a technique to get them into a light trance, and then I’ll use some deepeners, which are techniques to deepen the trance. I tailor my techniques to each client, but they all basically involve me droning on and on. Once I’m convinced they’re in a deep enough trance, I’ll start giving them suggestions
During the session, I tend to wake people up a lot and check in, which not every hypnotist does. I find that it’s helpful for people to talk about what they’re experiencing and for me to know how they’re reacting to various techniques so I can tailor my approach to their needs. It also gives me the opportunity to reaffirm their consent.
Often, people touch themselves, and sometimes, if they request it, I will also touch them. That depends on their limits and comfort level.
I prefer to do erotic hypnosis using post-hypnotic suggestions. Those are suggestions I give the client while they’re in a trance, but they take effect when they’re awake, as result of a trigger. A trigger can be a word I say or an action on my part (or a combination of the two). For example, I like to link hypno-orgasms to my touching of the client’s wrist. Another example would be me touching the client’s forehead and saying the word “statue,” which causes them to be immobilized. This is a form of hypno-bondage.
Usually, I remove the triggers and suggestions when my clients leave so they’re not orgasming or becoming immobile every time someone touches their wrist, but some clients want to keep theirs going. Triggers can last for an indefinite amount of time, but they tend to fade away if they’re not continuously reinforced. Sometimes people ask me to give their partners the trigger, which is fun.
So you do couples?
I do. I’ve had two types of couples. One type comes in to do a session together. I put them both under and have them interact with each other in the erotic part of the session, and that’s always fun. The other type are couples who want me to hypnotize one of them and give the other control over that person. Usually, that’s because they already have an established dom/sub relationship that they want to enhance in hypnosis.
How do people know that you’re not going to just take total control of their mind and body?
Hypnosis doesn’t work that way. How much control I have is limited to how much someone trusts me, and if I do something that invalidates that trust, they’ll pull back control. The subconscious is in charge of sensing danger and is where our drives toward self-preservation lie, so even when someone’s conscious mind is quiet during a trance, people still have innate defense mechanisms that kick in when they don’t feel safe. Because of this, hypnosis can’t make you do anything you feel is dangerous or against your base personality.
That’s why I spend so much time discussing people’s desires and limits at the beginning. I will never knowingly go over someone’s limits or make them do anything they’ve said they don’t want to do.