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Wow, so that just happened. After a 3 year delay (because Covid), it was finally time and possible to run HYDE, a weekend-long, erotic hypnosis conference on mainland EU, in Germany. A lovely full weekend affair that was both overwhelming and wonderfully enjoyable.
After the initial chaos of everyone arriving, getting to their room and having a bit of dinner, we started the intro talk. First, the brief welcome by @Unicado, followed up by an elegant consent workshop by @Sinister and @Imaginatrix to get the ball rolling. It touched on things from the house rules, red flags to look out for, respecting others and how to keep yourself safe.
It was soon followed up by the loud insanity that is “Kinky Bingo.” If you’ve ever done this in a large room full of 60+ people, you know what it’s like. The Koala box after was a bit more organized. Suggestions were written down by the audience, randomly pulled out of a box and offered for a hypnotist and subject to do it. Because there was no other activity at the same time, most people were present and it made the group quite big, which was a little intense I think. The two I did were how a subject to trance is like a moth to a flame and becoming a giant teddy bear for someone to hug.
The campfire that was lit outside allowed people to spread out more and random discussions and play started to happen everywhere, always a lovely sight. I also spent some time at the fire and shared tiny cinnamon sticks, a very Dutch candy, with everyone who wanted to try them.
Saturday started very early, with @MrSnake giving a Hypnosis 101 workshop at 9am. Fortunately, most people were out of bed by then and it was a great way to start the day. My workshop on “Making Mistakes” at 10 had a lot more people than I expected, in the most positive way. I wasn’t sure how the idea would be received, but apparently others were interested.
I first talked about my past, mistakes I’ve made as a hypnotist, how things have changed now and how much easier it is to find learning materials. Plus how to mitigate a lot of mistakes and finally an assignment for the audience.
The first two parts, about my past and how things have changed, will be in another writing on my main site at a later time.
With mitigation, we discussed subject feedback and the power of helping each other grow from mistakes. Subject agency is the ability to reject or modify suggestions, to speak up about discomfort and communicating your wants and needs.
The workshop assignment was to watch a demo with @Merinthe as the subject where “things go wrong”. The audience could write down mistakes that they saw and call them out afterwards. These varied from the obvious (saying one thing and doing another) to the more subtle (ignoring signals from the subject).
I put my notes on the learn site here
The demo itself went very well, or at least intentionally wrong in the right places. It really impressed me that with everyone together, they noticed all of the planned mistakes and shared some I did not show but are also very important. In the middle of the discussion of mistakes, I also dropped the subject again as an interruption. This showed that they had very good subject agency and could reject my suggestions if they so choose. Yes, this was also planned.
While we discussed all of this in detail before the event, performing it in front of an audience made it a lot more vivid. It was incredible to feel the engagement of the audience. Some of our communities are very shy about critical feedback or discussing mistakes. It felt very freeing to actively ask for criticism in a public setting. We also discussed that a lot of the mistakes are not a problem by themselves, it’s how you behave when they are discussed. Being graceful in receiving feedback and encouraging a subject to speak up allows for any issue to be openly discussed.
Afterwards, I also briefly talked about the additional challenges I face as a content creator and presenter, which creates a power dynamic before I speak and requires being extra considerate with people to give them a lot of space to make up their own mind.
The talk was very intense for me, both to share a lot of my own mistakes as well as opening myself up so publicly for everyone to critique. The reception was incredibly positive and I was happy to see people openly engaging with the concept of making mistakes discussable.
I didn’t have much time to relax as the class ran a little longer than I had planned and @Undine‘s workshop was shortly after. This is one that I was very much looking forward to and she definitely delivered. It was a very nice, almost scientific talk about how to make certain suggestions more effective by utilizing the subject’s ability to create their own internal reasoning and then allowing themselves to let go of the knowledge of it being a self-suggestion.
The day continued with several other really amazing workshops. Sadistic pleasure by @Sinister and @Imaginatrix was delightfully teasy to observe. @Caprea‘s workshop on Finding the Fun in Fearplay was quite inspired.The structure of the latter was very focused on what fear play is, how to do it safely and how to build a scene with it, with a lot of audience participation.
My second talk of the day, Unusual Inductions, was a lot of fun. I started out simple by holding up a spoon. How would you use a spoon to hypnotize someone?
Almost 10 minutes and over 20 approaches later, I interrupted the very enthusiastic audience to let them know how busy and engaged they had been about “just a spoon.” It set the tone well.
The workshop continued by talking about a lot of different ways to use everything around you. Objects, surfaces, clothes, locations, temperature, sound, light. With a few demos as well. Using paper slowly or quickly torn into ever smaller pieces to let the sound and imagination become a deepening trance. Or how something that can be nice (or distracting) to listen to can be used to shift their focus, which allows for a suggestion to be snuck in underneath. Another interesting one was to show that discomfort, like rough clothes, can be used as a focus as well, finally letting the trance be the escape for the subject after focusing so much on the feeling. All of the subjects that volunteered were amazing. Thank you all so much!
The play evening started with some speed trancing. Mine varied between gentle, a lot of fractionation and pretty teasy fantasies. The campfire was going again and the vibe of positivity lasted well into the night. Some people had asked for sessions with me which had some very interesting themes and ideas.
I appreciate it a lot when someone approaches me with a specific request, like “can you let me feel frozen in place?” as opposed to a more generic “can you hypnotize me?” The more specific, the easier it is to discuss very specifically as well. Hypnosis has so many options, after all!
For Sunday, there was an unconference with a lot of interesting ideas and more random sessions. There was a really informative workshop on “the single word induction” by @Dutchman, in which the hypnotist repeats only a single word to create an unconscious Pavlov reaction by saying it whenever they notice a specific reaction in the subject. It could be a blink, a giggle or anything else that they want to amplify. It was a small, cozy group with some slight teasing before we left. Then returned… And then left again.
After the closing, thanking everyone, especially the organizers, presenters and consent team, and a bit of cleaning, it was time to go home once again. Back to life, back to reality.
Thank you, everyone, for the amazing time!