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Friday, January 3, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: You're Getting... Permission...

Posted by on Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 4:09 PM

I have an unpopular but harmless fetish. While courting my now-husband, I made him aware of it and the quite ridiculous extent to which I find it pleasant. He said he was open to trying it out. I also asked if he had any requests of his own (which I actually meant) and he expressed unambiguous delight with the fetish-free status quo. I nodded, not wanting to talk my husband out of such a nice compliment. Now two years into our monogamous marriage, my ever-complimenting husband has implemented it about one-and-a-half times. I recently asked why, and the man of my dreams replied that he is 'just not into it' and far more likely to take up macrame. I pondered this, different strokes for different folks and all that, though he then added that he accepts that I will eventually act on it with another person. He then asked me to pass the salt.

I have no desire to be unfaithful. The fetish in question, which I find more sexual than most or all typical sexual acts, could be acted upon successfully by two fully clothed adults wearing turtlenecks, with little more physical contact than a handshake. Thoughts?


P.S. It's hypnosis, if you're curious.

My response after the jump...


Yes, I was curious—thanks.

My only thoughts are these...

1. You are lucky to live in the age of the Internet, G.

Your chances of finding a like-minded/boned hypnoses fetishist were very, very slim in the pre-Internet era. Back in the bad old days, G, your best bet in the wake of your husband's ain't-gonna-happen-with-me announcement would've been finding a man who wanted to fuck you so badly that he was willing to do a hypnosis scene with you in exchange for full sex. But nowadays you can get online, find someone who is into precisely what you're into, and enjoy your kink without having to remove your turtleneck.

Everything is amazing, just like Louis CK says, so count your blessings.

2. Your husband shouldn't have told you he was open to trying out your kink if he wasn't.

Now maybe your husband was open to trying your kink—maybe he was being honest—and it took him 1.5 tries to realize that this kink was somewhere he couldn't go even to please his wife, e.g. erotic hypnosis so squicks him out that he isn't capable of taking pleasure in the pleasure it gives you. But here's another blessing to count: your husband didn't turn around and do what so many other vanilla types have done to their kinky partners. Your husband didn't promise to indulge your kinks before the wedding and then, zero tries and one or two kids later later, inform you that he can't do that kinky thing and then forbid you from doing it with others. ("I know I lied about giving your kinks a try but you're married to me now and you have to be faithful to me and live without your kink—the kink you informed me about before we married—because if you cheat on me, gosh, then you lied when you took your wedding vows! And that's so much worse than my lie, sucker!") Instead your husband told you that he was fine with you exploring your kink with other men and asked you to pass the salt.

3. You're not being unfaithful if you have your husband's consent to explore your kink with other people. Ask him if he meant it, make some ground rules, get online.


Comments (43) RSS

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emma's bee 1
Good answer, except I would give husband a lot more credit here. He tried, at least 1.5x.

I guess your perspective depends on whether hypnosis is considered AFTF. Considering the potential loss of autonomy/control, I would say yes.

So, LW, get out there and happily explore your FTF with like-minded souls.
Posted by emma's bee on January 3, 2014 at 4:36 PM · Report this
I do not get kinks. Three years of reading SL and trying and I still. do. not. get them. Complete failure of imagination. My next effort will be trying to find men attractive.

So I sort of get LW's husband's disinterest. He may not be as supportive as he could be, but at least he is groovy enough to let her strike out on her own. Which is definitely not cheating. Personally I think that would be better than trying to engage an uninterested but game spouse (not that he is game). She should totally do this with someone who enjoys it as much as she does.
Posted by LateBloomer on January 3, 2014 at 4:45 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 3
Hypnosis is now a fetish, a kink, a hipster sexual oddity? This is shocking.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 3, 2014 at 4:48 PM · Report this
Perhaps this is simply a failure of my imagination, but how on earth could one incorporate hypnosis into sex in such a way that it disturbed the non-fetishistic partner to the point that they'd open up the relationship against their monogamous tendencies?

Is it just that G's Husband hasn't been honest about wanting things open, perhaps even with himself?

It sounds like the discussions renegotiating the rules of the relationship will resolve this either way.
Posted by You Are Getting Sleepy on January 3, 2014 at 5:37 PM · Report this
One difference between this and a lot of similar scenarios is that it sounds like she doesn't have to actually have sexual intercourse with her scene partner in order to do a scene. I can see how the husband wouldn't consider something like that cheating.
Posted by DRF on January 3, 2014 at 5:43 PM · Report this
I'm admittedly curious about what kind of communication occurred post-disclosure pre-wedding. Presumably they got married knowing he couldn't do her kink? Irrelevant now, perhaps, but they'll need to have regular open communication going forward whether or not she branches out.
Posted by wxPDX on January 3, 2014 at 5:51 PM · Report this
Rotten666 7
Wait, what? Hypnosis? That's a thing now?
Posted by Rotten666 on January 3, 2014 at 5:52 PM · Report this
If she wants to totally and intimately submit to her husband, the man she loves, she isn’t going to want to do it with someone else. It just won’t be the same.
Posted by Alison Cummins on January 3, 2014 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Yep, hypnosis is a thing (take it from a a guy with a hypnosis fetish), and the letter writer should have no trouble finding people delighted to indulge. The internet really is wonderful.
Posted by random guy on January 3, 2014 at 8:16 PM · Report this
rob! 10
Worried about their less than exciting sex life, a young wife sent her husband to a therapist who wound up teaching him self-hypnosis. And, to her joy, everything got much better. However, she could not help but notice that each night, early into their lovemaking, the husband would dash out to the bathroom for several minutes. This tormented her until finally, one night, she followed him. There she found him saying to the mirror: "She's not my wife... She's not my wife... She's not my wife..."
Posted by rob! on January 3, 2014 at 8:18 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 11
The LW's strange passive-aggressive writing makes me think she's not telling us something. Probably something crucial too. But we'll never know so whatever.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 3, 2014 at 8:26 PM · Report this
"One and a half" suggests she's not easy to please in this regard. Seems like she should have tested his abilities & willingness more before marriage. But hey, it's still pre-kids (or they don't plan on kids). I think they should re-evaluate how compatible they are at this point.
Posted by EricaP on January 3, 2014 at 8:58 PM · Report this
nocutename 13
Did anyone else interpret "pass the salt" to the equivalent of sticking one's fingers in one's ears and saying, "la la la; I can't hear you!"?
Posted by nocutename on January 3, 2014 at 9:11 PM · Report this
nocutename 14
@8: What makes you so sure she wants to totally submit to her husband?

@11: I wondered that as well. There's something obfuscating about the letter's style.

Also, everyone seems to think that because people can remain fully clothed, this isn't a sexual kink, when it's clear that to G, her husband, and the guys she could meet online seem to consider it a form of sexual contact/conduct. Maybe the husband, knowing exactly what hypnosis means to his wife, isn't really all that game to allow her to get her hypnosis-kink fulfilled by someone else.
Posted by nocutename on January 3, 2014 at 9:16 PM · Report this
Sorry, but can someone explain how hypnosis is a kink? I.E., does she want to hypnotize her partner, or does she want her partner to hypnotize her? And is that it? Or does the one who is the mesmerist get the subject to have sex under hypnotic control? Is it a "scene," that is pretend, or is there a real trance involved? WHERE IS THE SEX?! (Sounds like maybe nowhere if you can do it without removing your turtleneck! So maybe that is why the husband didn't get a turn-on?)
Posted by Lindie on January 3, 2014 at 9:26 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 16

Though not a hypnosis fetishist myself, I'd feel quite comfortable in wagering that the answers to your posed questions there is yes.
Posted by mikethehammer on January 3, 2014 at 9:57 PM · Report this
Wife? If so, she gets credit for breaking gender roles and doing the courting.

Hypnosis is a bit of a tricky one. In many cases, I'd be inclined to agree with Mr Savage's semi-snark. Here, though, LW says Husband has "implemented" 1.5 times. That's not quite the picture of clarity, though in neither direction is it an easy ask, assuming LW means the real thing and not play acting. If this were merely a question of play acting, I think Mr Savage would be on to something. Husband didn't apparently get squicked, and if not he doesn't seem to have made much effort to take compensation for it not being his thing in LW's extreme pleasure. But if LW enjoys the real thing from either side? Someone being hypnotized who doesn't like it isn't a recipe for success. If "implementing" implied that Husband tried to hypnotize LW, there's a skill set involved. As Mr Darcy points out to Sir William Lucas that dancing has the advantage of being as accessible to savages as it is to the most refined society, so shall I assert that such activities often connected to kinks as spanking or tickling can be undertaken at least in some rudimentary form almost universally and almost immediately upon first introduction of the idea. Ranking, "He won't hypnotize me," with, "He won't spank me," is like attributing Tivvy's not playing Costly Colours at Jancis' caking in Precious Bane to willful disinclination rather than inability.

Perhaps there was evidence removed that LW really meant pretend hypnosis. LW seemed to me to enjoy the real thing.
Posted by vennominon on January 3, 2014 at 9:58 PM · Report this
I omitted that I also lean towards divorce rather than outsourcing - although more tentatively than usual (again, to paraphrase Mary Crawford, I would have almost everyone divorce as soon as he can do so to advantage) because the letter is so fuzzy.
Posted by vennominon on January 3, 2014 at 10:05 PM · Report this
Ophian 19
rob! @10, FTW
Posted by Ophian on January 3, 2014 at 10:11 PM · Report this
@15, google orgasm under hypnosis to see some samples. Real hypnosis, real orgasms.
Posted by EricaP on January 3, 2014 at 10:23 PM · Report this
nocutename 21
@17: Sorry; my heteronormalizing is showing! I actually saw the "courting" line after I'd posted and wondered. Then I thought it was fairly sexist for me not to think a women could do the courting. So I'm hanged for a sheep as well as a lamb!

I also seem to have missed the part where the husband who doesn't want to participate in the hynosis says he expects his spouse to find a substitute. But I still don't know what he meant by that. It could have been said with bitterness, resignation, joyfulness, who knows?
Posted by nocutename on January 3, 2014 at 10:34 PM · Report this
To second Mr. Venn, I also did not find any gender signifiers whatsoever in this letter. I was actually imagining two men while reading it. Why is everyone assuming she's a she?
Posted by lizza on January 3, 2014 at 10:35 PM · Report this
I also thought that the LW is a man. But Dan referred to the LW as "wife".
Posted by migrationist on January 3, 2014 at 10:56 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 24
Everyone is assuming she's a she because it's the average. When you have no other information, you should always regress towards the mean.

In my humble-yet-statistician-opinion
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 3, 2014 at 11:49 PM · Report this
Thanks @20 -- I did! So now it would seem that what she wants is for him to hypnotize her into having a very intense orgasm with no need for actual sex (that is, the turtlenecks can stay on!) And maybe that's why it's not much of a kick for him, even if she returns the compliment and gives him a hypnotic organism as well? (Hence only 1.5 successes?) And yes, @16, I guess the answers to all these questions might be "yes" as well!
Posted by Lindie on January 3, 2014 at 11:54 PM · Report this
Here's how it works: friend of mine did some hypnosis play with her bf, setting up a scenario where she associated increasing levels of pleasure to a number, and set a keyword to "break the spell," as it were. Then she woke him up, but since she hadn't said the word the associations were still in place. we met up and went to a concert. He didn't have any conscious knowledge of what had been "programmed" and she had great fun randomly whispering "five" or "seven" or "three" in his ear and watching the response.

Now if for some reason you aren't receptive to suggestion, hypnosis won't work. If she accidentally hit the "cancel" trigger, that could be the .5 time. Or they could have been interrupted and she stopped the scene.
Posted by i forgot my login on January 4, 2014 at 5:43 AM · Report this
A Bell Award for M? Forka.

Ms Cute - Of course, there's no reason why a woman wouldn't court a man. It may happen statistically less often even with gender roles removed because the term implies a financial outlay that the wage gap still keeps tilted the other way.

The most interesting part is that Husband expects LW to act eventually "with another person". That opens up several possibilities, some more relevant than others. Possibly the most interesting is that LW, if monosexual, has a nongendered kink, which could contribute to a variety of reactions from Husband.

M? Forgot @26 - That sounds very dodgy.
Posted by vennominon on January 4, 2014 at 8:17 AM · Report this
nocutename 28
Okay, if the lw is the one who wants to be hypnotized, it seems that husband could/should be willing to indulge him/her (unless husband finds it too difficult/tedious/time consuming to hypnotize lw or lw complains that husband is "doing it wrong") from time to time. Like maybe once every 3-4 months. That might be enough for the lw, and it seems easy enough to indulge, even if the husband isn't getting anything out of it. (Questions to consider: how long does it take to hypnotize the lw? How difficult is it? How much set-up or follow-through is required? In other words, how much real effort does the husband have to make?)

If, though, the lw wants to hypnotize the husband, that's a different story. Husband may not believe that hypnosis works; husband might not be able to be hypnotized; husband might not actually get off from/during the experience (and isn't that what lw would want?).

The lw says s/he has "no desire to be unfaithful," but it is unclear whether or not s/he would consider an erotic hypnosis scene to be an act of infidelity, especially since s/he later describes it as being more sexual--to him/her--than "most or all typical sexual acts" but also qualifies it in ways which most of us would initially consider non-sexual in key aspects: participants can remain fully clothed and don't have to make much physical contact.
So to the lw this is a sexual act and s/he seems to want to perform it only with his/her husband. Does the husband perhaps not regard it as sexual enough for him to be upset if his spouse acts on it with someone else? Does he feel relief at outsourcing it? How does the husband feel about open marriages or outsourcing sex acts in general? If the husband, say, didn't like to perform oral sex and the spouse really wanted it, would the husband be as nonchalant about bringing up the fact that he "accepts that [his spouse] will eventually act on it with another person?"

Way too much information left out here.
Posted by nocutename on January 4, 2014 at 9:17 AM · Report this
-B- 29
Hypnosis does not exist
Posted by -B- on January 4, 2014 at 10:37 AM · Report this
Puty 30
Gilbert Hernadez' graphic novel porno "Birdland" has a lot of sorta-hypnosis sex scenes. The LW might like it.
Posted by Puty on January 4, 2014 at 11:03 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 31
@11: I do wonder what's missing.

A little puzzling is the women into Hypnosis, the hypnosis forced-consent seems to be more of a male-centered phenomena. I'm sure I could probably find a few women posting in forums devoted to it if I cared to research, I guess.

@29: Well, duh :) People don't really get forced to do things they don't want to under a trance state.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 4, 2014 at 2:27 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 32
Part of my confusion here is also in the whole-

"The fetish in question, which I find more sexual than most or all typical sexual acts, could be acted upon successfully by two fully clothed adults wearing turtlenecks, with little more physical contact than a handshake. "

-it's all in the getting put into a "trance state"? Nothing else? No discussion of anything naughty? I know simplistic things can have power, but if you're going to complain that it's too easy to be dismissed, go into a little more detail for the peanut gallery!

All I've heard about online are those who want fantasy ability to use hypnosis to "have their way" with any woman.

If it was that, I could understand why the husband would be slightly more hesitant to participate, though I could probably find a way to compromise.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 4, 2014 at 2:36 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 33
@26: "Now if for some reason you aren't receptive to suggestion, hypnosis won't work"

I believe the word is "credulous".
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM · Report this
@undead, I don't know. I can't be hypnotized, I just sit there thinking, "well, I could raise my hand to please him, or I could not raise my hand since I'm not hypnotized."

But my husband certainly does all sorts of weird, embarrassing stuff when hypnotists ask him to ("Cluck like a chicken!"). My theory is that the hypnotist is just giving him an excuse to do the embarrassing stuff. (Maybe my husband wants attention?) But I haven't figured out whether my husband himself feels it's all just an excuse to act silly in public, or if he has fooled himself into believing that he's in a trance.

It has always seemed to me that an emergency would snap him out of the trance. Does that mean it's not a trance at all?
Posted by EricaP on January 4, 2014 at 3:26 PM · Report this
@34 clarification: the question of raising my hand comes when the hypnotist is trying to find the susceptible people in the audience. He/She does some mumbo-jumbo and then all the easily-hypnotized people end up raising their hands, or standing, or otherwise indicating that they're easily hypnotized (or credulous, or game to be embarrassed, or whatever).
Posted by EricaP on January 4, 2014 at 3:28 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 36
IDK about the practicality. I've gotten myself into a trance state, but haven't really tried with another person, interactively.

As they describe here-

A legitimate trance state and stage hypnosis are likely two separate things.

Honestly, I'm more interested in hearing from Sloggers about sexy-hypnosis than I am in poo-poohing stage hypnosis!
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 4, 2014 at 3:57 PM · Report this
I'm pretty sure hypno-fetishism is just a variation on that old theme of power exchange and control.

The hypnotist has the power, you see, and the person hypnotized is "helpless" and must obey and blah blah.

It is just a mental version of handcuffing a person (or using silk neckties to tie a person), so the mystery of "hypnosis is a thing???" shouldn't really be so mysterious.

It is just a specific variation on that broadest and widest segment of the kink-spectrum: power/control, Dom/sub, and the like.
Posted by Functional Atheist on January 4, 2014 at 4:10 PM · Report this
@ 31: I had a girlfriend who had fantasies involving being used sexually while drugged or unconscious. She was also very interested in erotic hypnosis. It's probably a lot more common than you think, as it's just a variation on the rape fantasy (aka resistance play when acted out) which many women have - in both cases, the fantasist is giving up control and responsibility for her sexual desires. Not unusual in a society which programs women to believe they do not and should not have sexual agency.

I agree that the LW is maddeningly vague about what she wants (to be hypnotized? to hypnotize him? to then talk through a fantasy scenario, or to actually be ordered to do things?), which makes me very skeptical that her husband (Dan does say "wife") really understands that this experience is "more sexual than most or all typical sexual acts".

Nor is it clear whether her lack of desire to be "unfaithful" means she would do it with another with her husband's permission or she only wants to do it with her husband (Alison @8 may be right).
Posted by Chase on January 4, 2014 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Yes, but our sample size is not The World. Our sample size is the set of People Who Write to Dan Savage. Do you really think that their sexual orientations and gender identities are distributed as a bell curve?
Posted by lizza on January 4, 2014 at 5:40 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 40
Ten years ago, probably not. Today? Yeah.
I would guess at this point Dan probably gets way more letters from heteros than homos. Probably not a perfectly normally distributed curve, no, but close enough that it shouldn't seem unusual to assume a hetero couple in most unidentified cases.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 4, 2014 at 8:56 PM · Report this
Chiming in to say that although I'm generally a skeptic and I don't "believe in" hypnosis the way it's used on stage, I have in fact been hypnotized and it was a nice experience. It's really just assisted meditation, and helps lower inhibitions to the point where you sit there thinking "I guess I could open my eyes, but eh, why bother?" Your contentment with your current state gets to be greater than the desire to try to prove someone wrong.

That said, I've never done erotic hypnosis, but hypnosis-induced orgasm sounds plausible to me. (I'm female, by the way.) Again, all about the meditation and the internal awareness - the mind is our greatest sex organ, after all. "Hypnosis" to get your partner to do lots of crazy, kinky things? Not so much. "Post-hypnotic suggestion" to make them orgasm immediately on command? Definitely still skeptical. But hypnosis-assisted getting off on fantasy and voice alone? Sure, why not?
Posted by Slartibartfast on January 5, 2014 at 4:07 PM · Report this
I hate it when people bury the lede. BORING.
Posted by aaronbrethorst on January 5, 2014 at 9:09 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 43
Maybe I missed something, but it seems like she talked to him about it, and, having told him about it, made her fetish entirely his responsibility. Is he responsible for surprising her with hypnotism? Is this a fetish that relies on the fetishist never stating the desire to be hypnotized? I would think "I want you to 'hypnotize' me tonight/this weekend/a random day next week" would be a part of the communication, especially if it wasn't the SO's particular thing.
Am I being thick here?
Posted by aureolaborealis on January 6, 2014 at 5:59 PM · Report this

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