What can I say about NEEHU that hasn't already been said? Probably not much. Each NEEHU is an experience to cherish. For me it's all about reconnecting with my community friends, making new community friends, teaching, playing, and doing my Hypno Obi-wan thing.
This year I also had another goal: to help inspire and recruit more new people to present. Toward that end, I solicited people to co-present two of my beginner-level classes and reached out to a few people afterward about joining the presenter ranks in the future.
Here's the day-by-day:
ThursdayDani, our friend MissIsis, and I journeyed up the highway by day and made reasonable time getting to the Hyatt House. Familiar faces were already congregating in the lobby, along with one face I knew from online but hadn't actually met yet: Lex, of Entrancement UK. I took advantage of the opportunity to introduce myself and chat him up a bit; Lex is a great guy, and we hit it off right away.
There was no organized plan for Thursday night, so Dani and I went out to eat and pick up a few things for the weekend and called it an early night.
FridayNEEHU started for real Friday morning. We had breakfast in the common room at the Hyatt House among friends, with lots of hugs and hellos, and made our way to The Society. One of the benefits of the expanded schedule (classes all day Friday through Sunday) was that I had more uncommitted time slots to play with, and one of those happened to be the first one of the day. So I took my time getting badged and got a chance to get better acquainted with D'Artagnan, part of the New York contingent.
My first class was "The Art of Teaching Hypnosis" at 11am, part of the campaign to recruit and inspire new presenters. We had a good turnout and the class went well. After class I spent some time with friends Autumn (HypnoTy) and Fraulein among others, which was fun.
Next up, after lunch, came "Kinky Human Tricks." I love doing this class, but for NEEHU 6 we changed up the format a bit and added two co-presenters: my old friend AmHypnotic and Lex. We switched up the format a bit: instead of doing a wider variety of tricks, we picked a topic and then each demonstrated something to be done with that topic. We covered less ground laterally, but more depth.
Given the environment, I felt a desire to experiment so I asked Daja to join me for a doll scene that I'd been wanting to do since the Fetish Fair Flea. She was game, so I dropped her into trance and turned Daja into my ventriloquist's dummy. My idea was to get Daja, who is well known for her talents as a brat, wisecracking and making fun of me. It didn't actually turn out very well; I hadn't really considered that Daja, while she is always up for a little playful fun, really doesn't do rude, and asking her to make fun of someone she knows and is friendly with was asking too much. Still, it was a very interesting game to play; I just need to work on my technique and choose a better way to get the response that I want.
Other than that learning opportunity, the class went very well. Lex and AmHypnotic have very different styles from mine, so the variety of approaches was highly entertaining. They also have delightfully wicked, playful senses of humor (something I can appreciate) that came out during the various demos. As we were running low on time, I spied Unidragon at the back of the room and invited her to come up for a demo of my famous Five-Point Palm Exploding Orgasm Technique. We did the technique and then, because I know she loves to play with this sort of thing, I deliberately suggested that her own subconscious would decide exactly when that trigger would wear off. She had no conscious idea of what her subconscious had decided, so of course we had to test it periodically throughout the weekend. (So far we know that it lasted at least through the end of NEEHU.)
Next, I was scheduled for a mentored trance practice. At first I was the only hypnotist there, but I was soon joined by WhisperOfPleasure so we were able to work with several people right up to the start of the Meet 'n' Greet. By then Dani had joined me (she was unable to attend during the day because of another commitment) so we had fun with friends, watched Daja eat strawberries (an inside joke), and socialized until dinner.
After dinner was the Friday night party, which this year was themed A Taste of Hypnokink. Dani and I were on duty in the back room doing dual inductions, as were our friends DJ Pynchon and WildNutmeg. Dani and I gave several people tastes of the dual induction technique, and then had some time to play around a little ourselves. I borrowed WildNutmeg to give Dani a dual induction and erotic trance, then we returned the favor by doing the same for WildNutmeg. Another friend came by with his partner to have me do a dual induction with him for her, and we made sure that she enjoyed it fully. Later on, LeadPrism and I performed a dual induction and suggestion session with SashasTrance which brought joy to my auditory heart. ;^)
We stayed busy enough that we missed all of the other scenes and group trances that were done during the party, but I wouldn't have missed any of the scenes we did for anything.
SaturdaySaturday started slowly for me; we barely made it to the Society in time for the 10am classes. Fraulein was ready for "Erotic Hypnosis 101." I'd chosen Fraulein a random from a number of volunteers, and as luck would have it she was an excellent choice. She brought the perspective of an empowered, experienced bottom into the class and added a lot; the biggest problem we had was keeping to time (we had to rush the demo).
Right after that, my friend and graduated student CalamityBrain joined me to present "Your Hypnotic Self," a class for beginning hypnotists on developing their own voice and style. Calamity is a professional voice actress, so she was able to provide a lot of good advice on vocal training and care, and again we found ourselves running short on time before material. Which is always better than the alternative.
The third Saturday slot was free for me, so I took advantage of the chance to see Mr. Dream and D'Artagnan do their talk on "Making Mistakes Work for You." They had great chemistry and a good crowd, and the class went extremely well.
After lunch it was time for "Subtle Suggestion," the class on using NLP with erotic hypnosis. I've now given this MEEHU, WEEHU, and NEEHU plus a separate night at The Society in October and it's still popular. Unidragon was on hand, so I picked on her to be my demo volunteer (unsurprisingly, all I had to do was ask). In the process she acquired another trigger, one that causes an intense burst of arousal, and for the fun of it I again gave her subconscious mind control over how long that trigger would continue to work for me. (Again, at least through Sunday.)
Thanks to the expanded schedule, I had three hours before I had to teach again. I'd planned on observing some other classes, but as often happens at NEEHU plans change. I ended up working with some people individually, doing some coaching and mentoring, and only actually made it to Daja and SpiralTurquoise's class on "Hypnotizing a Brat." That was a highly entertaining presentation with a lot of good material in it.
My last class of the day was "What's Depth Got to Do With It?" This was a new class for NEEHU, taking the concept of depth and reframing it a bit. I've done classes before on why depth is overrated, and on how to get someone really, really deep; this one was about how to determine whether someone is responsive enough and able to do a given type of suggestion by using 'trial balloon' suggestions as simple tools. My demo volunteer was Amitus, who dropped so deeply right off the bat that it made the demo look easy. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
After dinner came the play party. The Saturday party is open to all Society members, so it tends to be loud, crowded, and mostly focused on non-hypnotic BDSM play. Dani and I put in an appearance, spent some quality geek time with HypnoMaestro and SpiralTurquoise, but found very little hypnosis going on and called it a night.
SundayLots of people were a little slow getting started Sunday, as is often the case. Quite a few people turned up at 10am for mentored trance practice, though; luckily for me a few hypnotists did as well, so we were able to work with pretty much everyone who came. There were some really satisfying breakthroughs for people, which always makes me very happy.
My 11am period was free and I had intended to go to a discussion panel, but I ended up instead doing an impromptu demonstration of the Esdaile state with Daja in the unconference space. It was definitely time well spent. By the time I had Daja awake enough to be functional (which is about as good as you can get on Sunday of NEEHU) it was time for the Writer's Roundtable. Chewtoy and DreamsOfControl were unable to be there, so SpiralTurqoise and I led the discussion together. We spent most of the time discussing fiction writing techniques and tips, and the group seemed to get a lot out of it.
The last class period of the day I had the "Induction Swap Meet," which is designed to be a see-one/do-one exchange of people's favorite inductions. We had a good turnout for this one, and there were several interesting techniques brought out for the group. I especially liked D'Artagnan's, which involved an imaginary, moving fixation object. I think we also found a new Fet name for one of the attendees, who invented on the spot an induction he called "Mind Finger." (Cue the James Bond music ... now!) At the end I got to demonstrate a non-verbal induction with SuzanneSxySadist, someone I always want to see more of at these things.
Usually my NEEHU ends with the last class on Sunday, but this year Dani had to fly home early (and we are both grateful to DaSade for getting her to the airport while I was teaching) and I did not want to sit around by myself, so I joined the mass invasion of the Chinese restaurant near the Hyatt House. The staff was overwhelmed as usual, but it was nice to hang out with PhotoJoseph, BostonBond, MissIsis, and others.
I couldn't participate in the traditional Sunday night hot tub hang-out, so I went directly to the volunteer suite where I met up with Lex, Lizzidoll, and several others to start the post-NEEHU party there. There were hijinks aplenty in that suite as more and more people arrived, and once there were a number of willing volunteers around I played a game I'd been hatching in my head since clean-up time.
First, I took Lizzidoll down into a nice, deep trance state and stood her up. Then I walked her around to several other people and just had her stare into their eyes while in trance. One by one, my volunteers locked eyes with Lizzidoll and faded into trance. (There's an actual scientific reason for this, by the way -- mirror neurons, the bits in the brain that allow us to imitate behavior to learn. They fire off all the time when we observe things, so when we stare down someone who is already in trance part of our brain automatically starts to follow them in.) It was ridiculously hot and fun to watch. Then, for the fun of it, I woke Lizzidoll and showed her the results of her handiwork: five deeply hypnotized people just standing around, still and quiet. And then, since she had done the hypnotizing, I had Lizzidoll walk around and bring everyone back out.
Listening to Lizzidoll's voice as she brought the others out of trance inspired a slightly selfish impulse on my part. I dropped Lizzidoll again, then suggested that she lock eyes with me, and when my eyes closed she would emerge from trance and take over. I was actually surprised at how deeply I dropped, even knowing how the technique works, and I quite enjoyed having Lizzidoll's deliciously sexy voice (and British accent) in my ear as she let me drift for a minute or so before bringing me back up. The joy in her face, and in her voice as she told Lex how she had dropped Wiseguy, made this little game the highlight of my NEEHU.
There were many more hijinks to be had, and I stayed up way too late, which made for a very happy Wiseguy.
MondayI set the alarm early for Monday so I would have time to gather my things and get on the road. Lex had mentioned that he and Lizzidoll would be leaving around 8, so I made sure to be down in time to say goodbye. There were many hugs, and a little more hypnotic horseplay (not literally), and every time I started to go back upstairs more people came down to say goodbye to.
Finally I did make it back upstairs long enough to throw my stuff into the suitcase and load it into the car. MissIsis and I were joined by SashasTrance, who needed to be in Baltimore for a few days, so the trip home was fun and full of great talk and companionship.
Let's see, MEEHU is what? 4 months away? Hurry up!!