What a whirlwind.
For me, Wales is always a highlight of the year and this was only an exception in the sense that it became even more intense and wonderful than last years. A lot of (subtle) improvements in the organization have allowed it to run much more smoothly, especially behind the scenes.
This report will be a little different from normal as I don't want to go into detail as much on the other classes plus I've written some of my notes for the classes on the learn site, so I will link to those.
Before I begin proper; thank you, you amazing presenters! With your fancy sexy amazing presentation and content. With your deep love for the craft and wonderful energy you brought to the room. Thank you for the content and how you delivered it. For your evil smiles and gentle care. Thank you.
Oh, and the awesome nerd puns. They are good too!
As always, we did the introduction, the consent talk and the chaos that is the kinky bingo, tentacles included. The Koala box, where we put in random suggestions to be done by volunteer hypnotists and subjects was as always a very fun success. A few highlights for me include:
The play evening afterwards contained some fun teasing but there wasn't much time left.
Classes were split in a nice way, allowing for new people to go to a hypnosis 101 class while more experienced people could visit in-depth ones.
The one I ran was Observing Your Subject - click for notes, with a really lovely volunteer from the audience to observe. It was a little scary to be more open about my enthusiasm on how I do hypnosis. In the past I took things a little more/too seriously, which tempered the tone quite a bit. This time, I just let it happen as it did, especially with how much I enjoy figuring out new things, observing unusual or different reactions and being surprised by a subject. It was also really nice to hear from the audience how different people are aware of their own reactions. Like how going into trance can be relaxing and chill but also exciting as it's really happening!
Also since, someone coughs, skipped out on their responsibility to run the Creator's Workshop discussion to view @Matsuru's Practical Ericksonian hypnosis talk at the same time, I was asked to step in to run it. It was a very nice chat to connect and discuss some of our experiences. We talked about choosing a name, forming an identity, growing as a creator and how to present yourself online. As always it's heartwarming to support one another in this kink that we all share. Thank you, that same secret someone, for coming up with this idea last year.
The rest of the day was a lot of different trances, some puppeteering, a lot of teasing and perhaps a hair-pull or two. The evening got a lot more wild again as people dressed up (from diva to swashbuckler) for the play evening and speed trance. There were 9 rounds, which was a bit much, but for me it was very fun. I connected both with old and new people in a whirlwind of hypnotic adventures. Anything from a simple relaxing first trance after a long time, to a sparkly cue ball. From some subtle teasing with ambiguous language to evil scientist brainwashing in a castle. And a little fun.
After the speed trance, we did some fun things, like a 9 hypnotist round-robin with one word per person. It became a bit of a mess, but also very fun for the 3 subjects in the center. I also got challenged to do an induction duel by @Matsuru, doing quick inductions where we'd switch half-way. So they did one half of the induction and I had to finish it. Then I'd wake the subject up and did the same. The subject was VERY happily fractionated by the end of it, which was caused by the other hypnotist (shakes fist in fake anger) using the 7 +/- 2 overload induction. Good fun and great practice.
We might have stayed up a little late.
Sunday was a bit of a weird day for me. I had the first class in the morning and the first one after lunch. In between I had some private sessions and much-needed tea (or water) to take care of myself.
The detailed notes of these two more intense talks will be shared later as I'm still considering how to share them.
Of course all demo subjects experienced subjects, with good agency, where consent and content was discussed in advance. As well as their comfort to be in front of an audience. Both of them also included clear content warnings for the audience, as they were both intense in their own way.
My first talk was "Arousal Gas and Other Aphrodisiacs", a talk about how to do hypnotic drug-play and some fun props you can use. I'd brought a prop syringe with a retractable needle that is used for medical training and movies which looked very realistic. And I'd brought my home-made perfume that I use for chloroform play, plus some paper towels for hygiene reasons instead of the cotton handkerchiefs I would normally use. My two familiar, eager demo bunnies, @Unicado and @SecretSab were an absolute delight as always. With the former I showed off how to use the hypnotic effects for sedating with the chloroform, the subtle struggle as it knocked her out. The latter on the other hand had to endure the ravaging effects of an arousal drug being injected multiple times into her system. Squirming was had.
The second talk was "Volatile Vampire - Emotional / Unstable play". This one is... different. Normally the hypnotist is stable and plays with the subject's state by suggestion or control. Here, the purpose is to let the hypnotist itself be unstable. From controlling to out of control, from dominating to begging, from gentle and respectful to strict and ruthless. @Nehalenia and @Merinthe were fantastic subjects for this. They know each other (and me) quite well, but hadn't seen this kind of play before. And the nature of the play would ensure some (strange) surprises would be had. It really showed the trust we have built up over the years. After the demo, they shared their experiences with the audience, and the audience shared some of theirs back as well. It's hard to express how it was for me, in a good way. It was intense.
Fortunately I was also able to see some of the other presentations as well, as they are always so inspiring. It's amazing to see the passion on display at an event like this.
Goodbye was bitter-sweet in the best of ways. Many hugs were given and received. It had been an awesome event once again, even better than the last.
I'm glad I'm able to write all of this shortly after, instead of much later. I'm sure con-drop will hit soon enough but I still was very much on the up today.
There has already been a lot of constructive feedback this year of making it even better for everyone, new and old alike.
Also, I finally did kind of get my deserved plush bunny pelting this year... It was about time. Even if it was only finger puppets, still... The thought was there.