Other frequently-asked hypnosis questions
Whenever I talk to people about hypnosis, and about using hypnosis and sex, some questions just keep cropping up. Here I'd like to answer a few of these and deal with a few common misconceptions and fears.
Can hypnosis be abused?
If you have in mind that hypnosis might be used to take advantage of someone, or get someone to have sex even if they don't want to, well, it can't be used like that. Alcohol is a much better leg-opener, takes less time and is easier to administer.
For a start it typically takes ten minutes or more to hypnotise someone and this is difficult to do without them realising something fishy is going on. I mean, getting them to sit still and look at the tip of your finger, at a spinning spiral or into your eyes while you're both in, say, a bar is pretty obvious.
On top of that someone in a trance is actually conscious the whole time and doesn't lose sight of their morals or ethical values. While they might be more relaxed in a trance, they're simply not going to do something that's objectionable or unethical.
What's it like to be hypnotised?
Being hypnotised is usually very relaxing. The person who hypnotises you typically gets you to focus on some object or some mental image, and then uses their voice to guide you into a state of deep mental relaxation. As they do this you'll typically find yourself not thinking about anything except their voice and you can become completely unaware of other sounds or voices in the room, and even of your own body unless it's touched.
This sometimes confuses people because it doesn't seem that different to when they're awake. They remain conscious, just very relaxed, and many people doubt that they've been hypnotised unless there's some convincing evidence--such as how they responded during the trance or to any post-hypnotic suggestions the hypnotist gave them.
While you're hypnotised you'll probably be given instructions to follow and it'll often seem like it's automatic to follow them; you won't spend much time, if any, thinking about them and instead you'll just do them (unless they're morally dubious or unpleasant).
The time when you're most likely to realise that you've been "under" is when your hypnotist wakes you up. While the process of hypnotising you can take many minutes and the gradual relaxation sort of creeps up on you, the process of waking you up is quite quick and you often notice the drastic change in your focus as it occurs.
My partner isn't interested in sex any more. Can hypnosis help?
If you can't rekindle the fire without hypnosis then it's probably time to see a therapist or counsellor. Hypnosis might be part of some form of therapy or approach to getting your sex life back on the rails, but it isn't and can't be a cure in itself.
Neither this site, nor my book, Look Into My Eyes, will help you fix a broken sex life. What they can do is enhance and add variety and spice to an already-good sex life.
Can I be left in a trance?
No. Someone who is left in a trance for any reason will do one of two things: they'll either fall into a natural sleep and then eventually wake up normally, or else they'll come out of the trance on their own.
How quickly this happens will vary, but usually it's at most a couple of hours. If they become aware of some emergency, such as they hear their hypnotist fall over heavily, then they can "snap out" of the trance almost instantly.
Will I remember what happened to me while I was hypnotised?
Tricky question. Generally the answer is yes. When you are hypnotised you are actually conscious the whole time. This means that everything that happens to you and around you goes into your memory just as it would normally. In this sense it's not possible for what happens during the trance to be completely forgotten or erased. That said, it's not uncommon for someone to not remember all the details of what happened to them once they're awake. Usually these details are ones that aren't particularly interesting, and they come back over the next few hours or days anyway.
On the other hand, sometimes the person who hypnotises you might tell you--while you're still in the trance--to not remember some particular thing after the trance. This can be effective and works by blocking you from remembering. It doesn't mean that the memory isn't there, it just means that at the time you can't actually remember it. This doesn't mean that you won't ever remember, because sooner or later this post-hypnotic block will wear off and you'll be able to remember the thing again. Sometimes people experience this type of post-hypnotic suggestion as having something "on the tip of their tongue" but not being able to quite get hold of it. This is sometimes used for a little harmless fun where the hypnotist tells someone not to be able remember their surname, the name of their partner or similar.