Tuesday, July 23, 2013

REVIEW: "Mind Play: A Guide to Erotic Hypnosis" by Mark Wiseman

So... Wiseguy wrote a book.

If for some strange reason you've been living under a rock in the MCStories or hypnosis community circles, Wiseguy writes... a lot. And does, in my opinion, quite, quite well.

But Wiseguy also does his fair share of demos and presentations for various BDSM and hypnosis groups. I had the pleasure of meeting him at NEEHU4 this year (spoilers!) and attending a demonstration as well as overhearing a lecture/discussion, and I could see that he is a fantastic educator in the world of hypnokink.

Under the name Mark Wiseman, he's just published a book called “Mind Play: A Guide to Erotic Hypnosis”, and, shortly after asking if I could review it, I found myself engrossed in its 200+ pages. And, a bit after that, found myself here with a reinvigorated excitement for our community as a whole.

There are decidedly few resources for hypnosis instruction with an emphasis on Sexy Fun Times (to use a technical term). (The two existing books which come to mind are Wendi Friesen's “How to Hypnotize Your Lover” and Peter Master's “Look Into My Eyes”. Full disclosure is that I have only read excerpts of both.) “Mind Play”, refreshingly, is about hypnokink, for the hypnokinky, by a hypnokinkster.

And you know what? I'm really happy with that. Much of the instruction I've read spends quite a bit of time rationalizing why someone might want to incorporate trancing into their sex lives. But here, it's presupposed that because you have your hands on this book you are interested in and even turned on by erotic hypnosis. What a concept! It was about time someone addressed our little (big!) niche... that is where I see most of the demand for education. As a bonus, I didn't have to sit through 10 pages of “Ever wanted to make your lover orgasm with the snap of your fingers???

As far as the content goes, it almost goes without saying that beginners will be learning a lot here; it's aimed towards them! Concepts that I don't usually see in “intro to hypnosis” material (such as modalities, indirect language, NLP-esque phrasing, etc) are covered as well, and Wiseguy knows how to make the journey down the rabbit-hole accessible to those with no prior background.

Readers with previous experience will be familiar with most if not all of the subject matter he covers (namely the “101” section), though I found it quite beneficial to see exactly how he presents the material and what else he has to say about it. There is something to be said for reviewing the basics... from someone with a very creative mind.

I was quite pleased as well with the fact that Wiseguy approaches most everything from the context of BDSM, and terms and safety protocol known to much of the kink community as a whole are explained for those unfamiliar with them. It's used as a connecting framework, no more and no less, so vanilla-identified individuals won't be alienated by obtuse vocabulary or unrelatable situations. But it does provide some (already existing) necessary starting grounds for ethics and practicality. (I was particularly satisfied with the “Safety When Looking For A Partner” section; I never see enough of these.)

Aside from the “101” stuff, the book is filled with some awesome scene ideas and how to apply newfound knowledge in a practical context. The variety is quite novel – from BDSM-related (rope and bondage and floggers, oh my!) to how-to-make-your-vanilla-sex-better to mind control tropes and common fantasies (like dolls and freezeplay). The elements therein are explored in such a way that the core concepts are outlined (and sample scripts are provided and analyzed), but Wiseguy encourages the reader to do it the way they want to and provides them with the means and know-how to do so.

Absolutely nowhere is it written to go out and read the script to one's significant other – very much the opposite. That's a “win” in my book.

...His book. You get the idea.

There were a lot of fantastic ideas in there; some refreshingly new to me! There is of course discussion on how exactly to make your lover orgasm at the snap of your fingers, but there's also a whole lot of creative and original suggestions (beaten-to-death-pun intended). Enough attention was given to each scene and I was quite impressed with the breadth of knowledge that was included (in general and especially in a book for beginners).

And, you know... a lot of it was pretty hot, too.

The final verdict is that I walked away from the book with a sense of enrichment, glee, and the fact that I had learned a few things and gotten inspiration to stash in my brain for later. For beginners (and even those with marginal experience), I can't recommend this book nearly enough. More seasoned hypnotists will probably pick up a thing or two as well. Get it, read it; spread the goodwill, cheer and mind control.

Happy trancing!