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Virtual Reality and Erotic Hypnosis Could Make Sex a Lot More Interesting

Virtual Reality and Erotic Hypnosis Could Make Sex a Lot More Interesting: Courtesy Citor3

Courtesy Citor3

It can happen in the quiet, dark solitude of a bedroom or in the chaotic, percussive mayhem of a bustling subway station. The word is “dissociation” and it describes a person’s detachment from their surrounding reality.

It exists on a continuum and isn’t necessarily frightening like the loss of reality experienced in psychosis. Instead, it’s more innocuous and is commonly experienced in simple acts like daydreaming. In hypnosis, a state of trance is a dissociative one. It’s also prevalent in gaming, where the term is more frequently referred to as “immersion.” With the rise of virtual reality it’s about to become a lot more prevalent, and with the rise of virtual reality sex things are about become a lot more exciting.

I would love to experiment with virtual reality

Ember Larimar,
“hypnodomme”

Studies have shown that virtual reality in particular is capable of lowering a person’s attachment to their objective reality. If dissociation is as essential a part of virtual reality as it is with hypnosis, then could it be that the two concepts have a potential relationship? Some experts studying psychology or working in fields pertaining to hypnosis believe it just might.

Ember Larimar is one such expert. “I’m fascinated by human suggestibility,” she tells me. She speaks in a rapid clip that conveys her passion and excitement over the subject matter—a style dissimilar from the pace and cadence of her professional, working voice.

Ember is a “hypnodomme,” a dominatrix working in the field of erotic hypnosis. People come to her for a wealth of reasons: “One is that you can experience things in hypnosis with a little bit more richness than just a fantasy creation for things you can’t experience in real life.” She recalls a client who had a fetish for extreme superhuman female muscle growth. The script she wrote and performed for him “was about magical four-foot-tall, hyper-muscular fairies with paper thin skin who end up crushing the listener. That was the ultimate fantasy for him.”

She uses audio as her medium and sells custom scripts for upward of $2,000 to clients. She’s meticulous about this and the process from scripting to mixing the audio, which utilizes mesmerizing music and binaural frequencies, can take hours upon hours to reach a quality that she is satisfied with. Ember is of the belief that virtual reality hardware like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive could be an interesting way of delivering a high quality final product that immerses and engages the client on an unprecedented level.

“I would love to experiment with virtual reality, especially with some of the animated stuff to create inductions,” says Ember.

Inductions are an early part of the hypnosis process that help to guide people into trance, and Ember takes them very seriously, despite some critique from a subset of her listeners. For some, she tells me, “it is just that they want to pretend they are going into hypnosis. The idea of it is sexy. And, so, those people will get irritated if you spend too much time on an induction. Like, I’ll have inductions that are between 12 and 18 minutes usually, and I’ll have people just complain. Just a handful going ‘oh my god, her inductions are so long.’ Well, that’s ‘cause they’re real.”

Dr. David Patterson is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington who has been researching hypnosis and virtual reality for around 7 years. According to him, induction is an essential part of hypnosis. “What seems to happen with hypnosis, in the early part of the induction, if it’s going right, is basically that people seem to shut down their left frontal lobe. And the way that shows up is that they just become a lot less judgmental and critical; their critical thinking just seems to go away. And when that happens, it’s really remarkable. It’s as if you can talk directly to the part of the brain that you’re targeting.”

LISTEN TO THE SOUND OF MY VOICE

Courtesy Oculus VR

Courtesy Oculus VR

Patterson’s research does a lot to help dispel common myths and skepticism surrounding hypnotism; skepticism that largely arises from its portrayal in pop culture and from people like stage hypnotists who deceive audiences for entertainment value. “Up until about 30 years ago, I guess I could say the skepticism regarding hypnosis was warranted because there wasn’t really any good scientific data,” says Patterson. “Hypnosis is kind of an elusive phenomenon to define and a lot of people define it differently and do it differently. But over the last 25 years or so, the scientific research and data has just been blossoming. And I put the evidence in two categories. One is clinical trials, in particular, randomized clinical trials in health problems. The other is from the changes in brain function and neurophysiology with hypnosis.”

Patterson uses a virtual world that features 360 degree vision and bright, captivating colors, enabling the user to virtually “float calmly above a tranquil river.” When it is time to enter trance, users start to slowly descend down the tree-lined river. David feeds them numbers and they hear audio of his voice. Then the video cuts out to black and they just hear his voice and his suggestions.

Instead of just making a ‘humping game,’ we want to warm up the user.

Jari Vuoristo,
owner, erotic game maker Citor3

In theory, hypnosis could be used to increase the realism of the virtual reality experience. It can also create a state of prolonged immersion or creativity that could help users enjoy the virtual world they’ve been introduced to. I asked David if hypnosis could be used in erotic games and he told me “Hypnosis can have tremendous effects on people’s creativity. It can get them functioning out of a different part of the brain that’s more creative. I see no reason why you can’t go through hypnosis and have suggestions for enhanced performance or really enjoying sex more. It would make sense that you could give those suggestions and a certain percentage of the people would follow them.”

Another way hypnosis can have a profound effect on virtual reality users and, indeed, a reason many of Ember’s clients use her services, is in its ability to create sensations that aren’t grounded in a person’s physical surroundings. Tests that determine whether or not someone is highly hypnotizable often include suggestions that get the subject to smell ammonia when a glass of water is placed under their nose. David will often show such physical manifestations of hypnosis in demonstrations.

“I’ll hypnotize someone and I’ll tell them that their hand is falling asleep, often in front of 100 people. I’ll have someone come up and tell them that their hand is falling asleep and for two minutes they’re not going to be able to use it. And a lot of them are just unable to pick up objects and they’re really confused; it’s as if their hand has actually fallen asleep.”

Currently the best way to optimize the relationship between virtual reality and hypnosis is by alternating between the two. David explains, “I think one of the things that you can do is use audio to get people to really relax and get past things. We have used hypnosis to enhance the effects of virtual reality. We’ve done some studies with college kids and in one condition we [use] hypnosis and we tell them that when they go into the virtual reality world that they’ll find the world much more real and captivating.”

PRACTICAL EFFECTS

[Flickr/Ray Scrimgeour](https://www.flickr.com/photos/128502356@N07/15919149982/in/photolist-qfHNF9-9adJuV-4N9syZ-4NdAmN-Fnu54-pB2rh6-mT5DDD-qU2Rq-dA3Kdd-5R5CVe-dzXfu2-dns2Mx-Xc819-qUJW4Q-qEzBzR-8tSPRA-dA3JGm-7NzDZn-heYgp-pMETUx-8cFtkx-nqsL4r-svvDr9-pMYRVC-eiiqRs-8R2w3K-5XACd6-6j3PzK-6j3Nrg-6j7XCj-6j3LU6-6j3KZe-6j7Vwf-6j3JvD-6j7TFm-6j3GhM-6j7RKj-6j3CGc-6j3BuZ-6j7Mm5-6j7JN5-6j3yxv-6j7H4L-6j7FxC-6j3tP6-6j3sge-szL3mz-vELU9-aHTASV-eacm2U)

Flickr/Ray Scrimgeour

Patterson says to regard “lay hypnotists”—those not accredited by a university—with a degree of caution when actual health issues are a concern. But “for people that want to pursue personal growth such as creativity or enhanced sexual experience, then a lay hypnotist can be useful at times,” Patterson says. And it seems that some have already begun monetizing the relationship between virtual reality and hypnosis for the purposes of entertainment and pleasure.

In Finland, a developer is also working on incorporating light hypnosis into the adult entertainment he is designing for the Oculus Rift. Jari Vuoristo, the owner of the virtual reality software company Citor3, wants to create pornographic material that is artistic. He’s putting effort into the storyline, the plot, the lighting and the environment. But the most important part to him is the feeling of the game.

“A large part of sex comes from your own brain. Most of the experience is happening from within. Instead of just making a ‘humping game,’ we want to warm up the user,” he says. “That is where the light hypnosis comes into play. It won’t be required for users, but it is an option for those who would like to try it.” There will also be ASMR, which is a pleasant physiological experience associated with certain visual and auditory triggers. Like Ember, Vuoristo plans on incorporating binaural beats to help get around the left frontal lobe of the brain. All these things are meant to lend to the erotic feeling of the game.

The systems David Patterson and his colleagues use to experiment with virtual reality can cost around $40,000, but with the quality consumer versions of virtual reality headsets finally coming to the market this year, we’re likely to see more products that offer hypnotic experiences. It’s just a matter of people using the technology properly to really make believers out of people.


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