To become a hypnotist, you must first hypnotize people.

Most of us will start closer to home with someone we know and trust. You can start with a friend or relative. I prefer the term "partner" over "hypnotic subject" as it emphasizes that hypnotism is collaborative, and I’ll use non-gender-specific terms.

The advice here is intended to be general and open-ended, so that your partner has opportunities to respond and provide feedback without feeling pressured. Please do what is best for you and your partner’s relationship.

People often get bogged down in how to say "I want to hypnotize you." It’s rare for people to simply say something so baldly, but it’s not clear how to begin to broach the topic.

This is fair. It seems like a straightforward sentence, and yet there are three or four discussions packed into this sentence. Let’s break down the sentence into concept, interest, and intent. You may have all of these discussions separately, or they may all happen in a single conversation.


The first sentence is "Hypnotism." Just say the word. If you can’t say the word, that’s where to start. The discussion is bringing up the concept of hypnosis.

If your partner does have preconceived notions of hypnosis, especially if there are strong feelings about hypnosis, then let them talk about it. Listen and ask questions to make sure you’ve heard them, without correcting or explaining anything.

It can be very tempting to tell your partner that they are wrong or incorrect, but this can only come after they’ve had an opportunity to speak. Once they’re done talking, ask if you can share your opinion about hypnosis. If they say yes, then you can talk.

This is called active listening. It’s a skill that doesn’t come naturally to most people, and it’s easy to think you’re listening when you’re really just waiting to talk.

As an alternative or as a preamble to an in-person conversation, it may help to send a link in an email or forward an Instagram/Tiktok video. Pick something that explains the theory, rather than trying to impress people.

Here’s a good SFW video showing Buzzfeed employees trying out hypnosis.

Here’s Richard Barker talking with Health Magazine. This one is more relaxed than Buzzfeed.

Here’s a NSFW debunker.

If you have strong feelings about hypnosis, that must also be addressed. This applies especially to people with a hypnosis fetish who have been sitting on this for years. For example, some people feel guilt, shame, or even panic attacks. Handling strong feelings is best done by talking to a trained therapist, but even talking anonymously to others in the community can be a big help.

There is the question of how and when you "come out" to your partner as having a kink. I believe you have an ethical obligation to let someone know when their activity is involved in your kink ahead of time. If your primary interest in hypnosis is to be turned on, rather than as a disinterested guide, then your partner has a right to know. You don’t have to bring it up on the first conversation, but you should have that conversation before you start practicing.


The second sentence is "I want to hypnotize."

The discussion is bringing up an interest in hypnotizing or in being hypnotized in general. At this point, you’re saying that hypnotism is something you want to practice, but you’re not attaching the idea to your partner specifically.

Your partner will infer that you are floating a question in their direction, but this is an opportunity to volunteer or give a soft no. This is less stressful than a direct ask followed by a hard refusal.

Floating the question also provides more options. Your partner may not want to be hypnotized, but may be fine with you hypnotizing other people, or your partner may want to defer the question and have some time to think about it.


The final sentence is "I want to hypnotize you." Your partner should know you’re curious and/or have a hypnosis kink by this point. If your partner doesn’t know, you should bring that up first before you propose the activity.

This is best couched with a date and a context. Setting a date makes it easier to plan ahead, and it also gives your partner an opportunity to defer without a hard refusal. Setting a context lets your partner know what kinds of activities you’re planning.

For example, you can say "I want to hypnotize you Friday night. Just stress relief and positive self-image suggestions, no stage hypnosis stuff."

If your partner says yes and wants to know more details, then you are onto negotation.