Fauxist Investigations in ‘Feminization Hypnosis’: Gender Dysphoria, Autogynephilia, Schizoanalysis, Postmodernism & “Becoming-Woman”…
Posted by Regrette Etcetera on October 22, 2010
This publication documents some of the theoretical, performance and film uses of “feminization hypnosis” and its associated fields undertaken by the Fauxist International betweenMay 2008 and June 2010.
- Project Outline & Aims
- “Superfemalewhammy” (22:53): What is Feminization Hypnosis?
- An Anthropology of Feminization Hypnosis
- Subliminal Sissyfication and “HypnoFemme”
- Feminization as a Technique of Torture
- Pathology: Theorizing of Trans identities
- Autogynephilic and Homosexual Trans: Dr. Ray Blanchard, Etc.
- Transsexuality & Postmodernism: “The End of History”?
- “Initial Fauxist Experiments in Feminization Hypnosis 2008-10”. (Upcoming)
- ““Thanks for helping me free the woman inside”: Selected Testimonials from Fauxist Feminization Hypnosis Users” (2010)
- “The Tasaday Berdache: Hypnotic 2-spirit sub-tribe” (2010)
An under-explored area, Feminization Hypnosis is a recent phenomenon that has been gaining popularity, mainly online. The number of dedicated femmehypno sites has risen from 8 in 2005 to 94 in 2010, the number of products available from 30 to over 2000 respectively, according to sitetrend.com. Some sites boast high numbers of visitors. Most of the products are sold through mail-order/websites, and the Femme hypnotic materials primarily take the form of audio tapes, Mp3’s, CD/DVD’s, but range to phone consultations, hypnotherapist outcalls, and ‘hexed’ hypnotic clothing and accessories.
Put most simply, and following the argot of the vendors, Feminization hypnosis is the process of inducing hypnotic states in ‘men’ which allow them to assume a ‘female’ identification, however ‘deep’ or with whatever longevity. Feminization hypnosis is primarily framed for use in three ways: by transgendered, transvestite and transsexual people; in the context of a dominant/submissive relationship (FemDom); and as sexual experimentation. In a typical ‘session’, the normal ‘male’ personality and perceptions of a ‘male’ body are set aside as a ‘female’/feminine personality, and/or an imagined/projected ‘female’/feminine ‘body’ and ‘sensations’ are created in/for the client. This may be accomplished by traditional hypnosis suggestions (in this case generally delivered by audio recordings and film), metaphorical stories, or intense visualization while under hypnosis. Feminization hypnosis is a controversial type of hypnosis, occasionally classified as a type of voluntary brainwashing, and is generally regarded as fraudulent by registered or professional hypnotists.
As of May 2008, the Fauxist International has initiated a number of investigation and projects around Feminization Hypnosis, as it lies within a number of our areas of interest, namely: Speculative literature, anti-science, trans-motifs, invocational literature/performance, abjection and pathologized identities, and suggests numerous possibilities for deployment in a didactic mode in productions and performance. By unpacking and experimenting with the existing products, and producing our own, we have managed to expand the field and it’s implicit political-cultural baggage.
This Project has sought to:
- Investigate the methodologies, forms and content of these products and their associated framing discourse, and look at the presumptions and assumptions of femininity, feminization- namely the metaphorics of femininity, feminine artifactuality, somatics, performance and simulacrum- through a political trans lens.
- Investigate the role of reaffirmation, reiteration and repetition in ‘performativity’ of gender and psychosomatics.
- Address the pathologization and medicalization of trans bodies and identities, the gatekeeper roles of psychologists and doctors, and the ways in which ‘self-organizing’ identities function and are upheld, specifically in relation to consumer products that purport to offer independent agency. Investigate theories of Autogynephilia(s) and paraphilic identities (see ‘Pathology’ section and video below), regarding how they are called upon and mobilized by Femme hypno.
- Deliberately invoke anti-scientific and anti-rational belief systems, motifs of conspiracy theory, the trappings of charlatanism, quackery, and so on. In the investigation of subliminal, hypnotic and channelling methodologies, and their linkages with received medico-scientific renderings of trans psychology and embodiment, we have endeavoured to unpack the truly conspiratorial nature of gender re/iteration and patrol by hegemonies and authorities throughout history.
- Explore feminization ‘Magick’ and hexing in relation to various uses of trance, invocation, spirit-possession, channeling, and parapsychological phenomena.
- Explore the large crossovers between these techniques- especially ‘sissification’ and ‘femme domme’ hypnosis- and the interrogation-torture technologies of the military-industrial complex globally, most notably in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and the ‘Dark Prisons’ of the US. By looking at the various fetishizations of the torture-interrogative techniques, with their attendant nationalism(s), gender and sexual orders (following Coco Fusco’s “Field Guide for Female Interrogators” 2009) and the ways these feed back into one-another, We seek to combine theories of the ‘postmodern confessional’, the reiterative performativity of gender and nationalisms, and the roles of (hegemonic Western) femininity as a device of coercion.
- Look at popular media’s role as a vehicle of hypnosis and suggestion in the maintenance of femininity and artifactuality.
- Delineate the trans mind-body relationships most commonly found in the Feminization Hypnosis genre, compare and contrast these with the medical/psychological establishment, and with theories of performativity, dis/identifications etc.
- Explore the claims of numerous theorists- notably the work of Susan Stryker, Jean Baudrillard, Donna Haraway and Marjorie Garber- which state that ‘Trans’/’transsexuality’ epitomises postmoderism and/or postmodern identity. And. In doing so, interrogating the ways in which trans identities are ‘looked through’ and used to produce/offer ‘deconstructive possibilities’ for identity politics.
- As such, explore how the transgendered subject is seen as either an apocalyptic or redemptive metaphor.
- Critique the anthropological/ethnographic elements to trans studies. By looking at the deployment of the Berdache, 2-spirit identities (etc) by white &/or western trans academics/activists, and also the libertarian uses of trans as a destabilizaing or deterritorializing space or force. These currents can be found to echo throughout the Feminization Hypnosis materials in subtle yet nefarious ways.
- Publish our investigations and solicit work of others.
- Create a range of critical/hallucinatory-baroque femme hypno materials and merchandise- scripts, recordings, videos- using a variety of means including subliminal and hypnosis software, binaural beats programs, found materials, detourned materials, plagiarism, and so on.
- Continue to expand Our use of femme hypno techniques and media in public performance settings- listening stations, for audiences etc.
- Create ‘environments’ and installations that work on feminization hypnosis principles and motifs, including deployments in architectural work.
What is Feminization Hypnosis?
“Why spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on potions, creams, surgery, etc., when you probably have the absolute best tool already at your disposal! YOUR MIND! Instead of having male and female atributes in conflict with each other, learn how to join the forces of your mind and body – and have them work together to achieve a gender balance and harmony. This CD or MP3 recording will even complement your existing feminization regime – so add it to your feminine box-of-tricks today!”
Richard MacKenzie (www.richardmackenzie.co.uk)
“The process of sorting out sexual identity is a difficult one for many men. For those who self-identify more strongly as a woman than a man, they may seek outlets for their female side including cross-dressing, gender reassignment surgery and, increasingly, hypnosis. Feminization hypnosis can play an important role in helping to prepare or complete gender reassignment surgery.”
Isabella Valentine (www.isabellavalentine.com)
“As you develop the look, the sound and the feel of a woman, you will be motivated on towards achieving more and more of you feminization goals – whether they be total feminization, partial feminization, un-forced feminization, temporary or permanent feminization…There are men who try surgery to become a woman. But surgical operations can only change the outside of your body, it can not make you feel like a real woman, because inside you are still a man. Instead, hypnosis breaks down the psychological barriers that prevent a man to become a truly woman. In other word, you can use feminization hypnosis to achieve the results that you will not get with surgery”.
An under-explored area, Feminization Hypnosis is a recent phenomenon that has been gaining popularity, mainly online. Sold through mailorder and websites, the hypnotic materials take the form of audio tapes, Mp3’s, films, and even phone consultations. The number of dedicated femmehypno sites has risen from 8 in 2005 to 94 in 2010, the number of products available from 30 to over 2000 respectively, according to sitetrend.com. Some sites boast high numbers of visitors.
Put most simply, and following the argot of the vendors, Feminization hypnosis is the process of inducing hypnotic states in ‘men’ which allow them to assume a ‘female’ identification, however ‘deep’ or with whatever longevity. Feminization hypnosis is primarily used in three ways: by transgendered, transvestite (cross-dresser) and transsexual men; in the context of a dominant/submissive relationship (FemDom); and as sexual experimentation. In a session, the normal male personality and perceptions of a ‘male’ body are set aside as a female personality, and/or an imagined/projected ‘female’ ‘body’ and ‘sensations’ are created in/for the client. This may be accomplished by traditional hypnosis suggestions (in this case generally delivered by audio recordings and film), metaphorical stories, or intense visualization while under hypnosis. Feminization hypnosis is a controversial type of hypnosis, occasionally classified as a type of voluntary brainwashing, and is generally regarded as fraudulent by registered or professional hypnotists. The producers go about establishing authority in the usual manner- Satisfied customer statements, repetitive assertions of their veracity, efficacy, vie expert testimonial etc.
Content: Most of the audio/Mp3 tracks last from 16 to 25 minutes, and consist of a central, customized hypnosis section bookended by a standardized hypnotic introduction/induction and conclusion which differ little from session to session. Narrated in the flat, monotonous tone commonly associated with hypnosis, and often with a pervasive boredom bordering on contempt. Many would appear to be made in home/PC environments by amateurs, and some are characteristically poorly executed, with glitch pops and background noise level changes at the transitions between standardised and session-unique content, and obvious re-edits of the narrations. The more professional works contain jingles, music and standardized branding motifs.
Efficacy/Veracity: The effectiveness or ‘reality’ of hypnotic techniques and subliminal materials are fully explored in our publications “Pop Music vs. Islam”, “It’s Hard to Even Think About…”, “Fauxist Subliminal Sleep Audio Tapes”, “One Second Theatre Competition”, “Fauxist Spirit Recording Project” (All available by clicking on the Category group ‘Fauxist Psywar’ at top left).
NOTE: The relative paucity of ‘Masculinization Hypnosis’ or equivalent materials, when compared to Feminization Hypnosis, is another significant facet of the field, and whilst in many ways indicative of the motif of ‘feminine artifactuality’ discussed below, this is beyond the scope of the current publication, and We will leave it up to you to unpack the significance of this important fact.
“You will need to dedicate only 20 minutes a day to listen to the recording (repetition of the suggestions is very important) however the extra time spent on following the instructions, massages and exercises revealed on that recording, will pay huge dividends in hastening and compounding your feminization. Some results, such as the breast enhancement, are pretty much permanent, requiring only a little maintenance, but other results and effects will need more constant manicuring and attention, until they become “second nature”. (Or is that first nature?)”
LINKS: Creators of such products include:
An Anthropology of Feminization Hypnosis
1. Femininity: Psycho-social-intellectual
- – Associated with submissive sexuality.
- – Femininity as, and as producing fetishization, artiface, constructedness.
- – Underwritten by desperation, & secret hysterias.
- – Psychic disjunction and dysphoric mind-body interplay.
- – Untroubled/Unproblematised assumptions of binary gender and psychology.
- – Changes in interests & conversational content, generally informed by veiled misogyny.
- – Heavy focus on quasi-mythic accessories- lingerie, heels, makeup
2. Trans: Specific Proclivities of Transfemme identities to Hypnosis according to associated literature:
- Dysphoric states. Predominantly rendered as ‘Wrong Body’ syndrome.
- Unique Neurochemical/hormonal configurations/conflagrations to be activiated/switched off.
- Exhibiting an adlib mix of ‘Autogynephilic’ and ‘Homosexual’ trans categories whenever necessary.
- A generalized hypersexualization of transfemininity
- A focus on the ‘shemale’ as abject, psychologically fraught/unstable, transgressive sexually.
- abjection of trans desire
- – Comportment: Mandatory Leg-crossing etc.
- – Higher, quieter voice
- – Nicer/softer hair
- – Spontaneous Breast Growth
- – Secondary sex characteristics changed
- – Relevant Genetic De/Activation through hypnosis
- – Rewriting of ancestral/genealogical heritage.
In the context of a domme-sub relationship, forced feminization is a relatively common form of sexual play. In the dominant ‘heterosexual’ context the vast majority of dommes are female (FemDom) (ed. as in the reverse case it’s just patriarchy?). This is generally termed forced feminization as the submissive is “forced” by the dominant to assume a feminine, read as humiliating and/or subservient, role, including the wearing of ‘women’s’ clothing and makeup, but is generally not transgendered in their normal life. Femdom and sissification are key areas in the production and reinforcement of gender stereotypes.
Hypnosis can enhance role-playing in these situations, and brainwashing techniques may be used by the dominant. Some providers employ significant “brainwashing” techniques, including disorientation through extreme volume, confusing voices and imagery, and belittling of the male personality and body while asserting female characteristics. The sessions may or may not include an experience of sex as a woman. In the case of a series of such recorded products by Isabella Valentine, a well known female dominant using hypnosis extensively, brainwashing includes high volume, tremolo binaural brainwave patterns played very rapidly, alternating beats in each ear, white noise, high frequencies, drones, whispers and static to achieve significant confusion for the listener while suggestions and subliminal suggestions are repeated for effect. Some providers offer feminization hypnosis sessions by phone.
Feminization as a Technique of Torture
As explored in our publications “Pop Music vs. Islam”, “It’s Hard to Even Think About…” and “FSAAT” and “Initiations of New Americans at Abu Ghraib”, many hypnotic and subliminal techniques were developed and tested in the 1950’s, adopted by the CIA and military-industrial complex(es), and are now deployed in war interrogation-torture settings globally. Specifically in relation to feminization hypnosis, such techniques are often used to feminize (and thus disempower) a captive, source, or population- replete with a deliberately invoked range of cultural phobias around gender, sexuality, menstruation etc. as seen in the aftermath of Abu Ghraib. This facet of femme hypno, extending the use in Sissification and FemDom settings, is a fertile area of investigation and experimentation for the Fauxists. See the aforementioned documents for more information.
Pathology: Theorizing of Trans identities
– Autogynephilic and Homosexual Trans: Dr. Ray Blanchard, Etc.
Video by Annie Danger (http://anniedanger.webs.com/)
“More and more people are getting interested in feminization hypnosis. This is popular especially among those who want to let out the inner women within them… They are doing this in order to break away from what they see as a lifelong trap – being in the wrong body when they feel like they are more like women than men.” Isabella Valentine
Unfortunately, discussions about, and research on, transsexuality often focus on “etiology” – that is, the cause(s) of transsexuality: Why do transsexuals exist? Why are we motivated to change our sex? Is it due to genetics? Hormones? Upbringing? Living in a plastic-surgery-obsessed culture? Or maybe it’s just a good old-fashioned mental disorder? Such questions represent the intellectualization of objectifying transsexuals.
There has been a recent resurrection of Ray Blanchard’s model of transsexuality, which postulates that all trans women are motivated to transition for sexual reasons. Blanchard’s concept of autogynephilia was an obsure theory only known to a relatively small number of gatekeepers and transsexuals. That is, until psychologist J. Michael Bailey published his 2003 pop-science book “The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism”, which is undoubtedly one of the most sexualizing and sexist books about trans women yet published. The premise of the book is that all transsexual women transition for purely sexual reasons – either to attract straight men or because they are sexually aroused by the idea of being or becoming female.
This sexualizing of trans women’s motives is of course nothing new. In what amounts to a hypersexualization of trans women in our culture, trans women are regularly depicted as either sex workers, sexual deceivers who prey on unsuspecting straight men, or as fetishists who get off on the idea of wearing women’s clothing. The media’s (as well as Bailey’s) assumption that MTF (but not FTM) transsexuals transition in order to fulfill some kind of sexual fantasy not only dismisses trans women’s deeply experienced female gender identities, but also insinuates that women as a whole have no worth beyond their ability to be sexualized. (See also: Anne Lawrence “’Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies’: An Introduction to the Concept of Autogynephilia”)
It’s important to note that, according to Bailey et al, “male” bisexuality does not exist, and “women” are inherently bisexual. Moreover, according to the two-type theory, trans women are men, and thus inherently “gay” or “straight”. Their contention is that ‘autogynephilic’ transsexuals will have sex/one night stands with men to confirm their identities as women, but not because they’re really attracted to them. Thus according to Blanchard there are two ‘legitimate’ sex drives: heterosexuality and homosexuality. A deviance in each causes gender dysphoria, and in extreme cases ultimately causes transsexuality. The deviant form of heterosexuality is called “autogynephilia.” Blanchard defines Autogynephilia as “a man’s [sic] paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself [sic] as a woman.” Bailey not only endorses Ray Blanchard’s theory, but he takes it to an extreme of simplicity.
Apparent types of Autogynephilia:
* Transvestic autogynephilia: arousal to the act or fantasy of wearing women’s clothing
* Behavioral autogynephilia: arousal to the act or fantasy of doing something regarded as feminine
* Physiologic autogynephilia: arousal to fantasies of female-specific body functions
* Anatomic autogynephilia: arousal to the fantasy of having a woman’s body, or parts of one.
Transsexuality, Postmodernism: “The End of History”?
“What does it mean exactly to talk about the death of history? To what extent does such a claim tacitly reinscribe the very logic of temporality that it seeks to negate? And to what extent does a perspective sensitive to gender issues either affirm or complicate the thesis of the end of history and the end of sex?
Epochal change or paradigm shift accompanied by worry, patrol and fascination with category-troubling. Post 9/11 US pop culture’s obsession with trans- on talk shows, reality shows, etc As has been explored elsewhere- in times of paradigmatic/epochal change and troubling, identities and ideas that are confusing/trans-ing to the hegemonic culture become a central, if disavowed, focus. This is often centered around gender or sexuality and its relation to Nature/naturalism. For example: Fin de siele homosexuality (Oscar Wilde), the New Woman and the Dada Cyborg of Weimar berlin (Hannah Hoch), and the transsexual figure of the noughties TV culture.
Many theorists note the pervasiveness of images of transsexuality within much postmodern and poststructuralist thought. For example, in “The Transparency of Evil”, Jean Baudrillard writes, “the sexual body has now been assigned an artificial fate. This fate is transsexuality. Transsexual not in any anatomical sense but rather in the more general sense of transvestism, of playing with the commutability of the signs of sex … we are all transsexuals.” Here transsexuality, or perhaps more accurately, transgenderism, serves as an overarching metaphor to describe the dissolution of once stable polarities of male and female, the transfiguration of sexual nature into the artifice of those who play with the sartorial, morphological, or gestural signs of sex. The media visibility of such celebrities as Madonna, Michael Jackson, and La Cicciolina becomes symptomatic for Baudrillard of a fascination with the exaggeration, parody, and inversion of signifiers of sexual difference which pervades the entirety of contemporary Western culture.
Contemporary critical theory itself both echoes and intensifies such practices of gender bending and blending in its sustained conceptual challenge to the ontological stability of the male/female divide. While male theorists like Derrida, Deleuze, and Baudrillard himself profess their desire to “become woman” by aligning themselves with a feminine principle of undecidability and masquerade, so feminists are in turn increasingly appealing to metaphors of transvestism to describe the mutability and plasticity of the sexed body. Two of the most influential feminist theorists of recent times, Donna Haraway and Judith Butler, have both sought in different ways to break out of the prisonhouse of gender by reconceptualizing masculinity and femininity as performative, unstable, and determined.
See for example:
Stryker, S. (1995) ‘Transsexuality: The Postmodern Body and/as Technology’, Exposure 30(1/2): 38–50.
Susan Stryker, “Christine Jorgensen’s Atom Bomb: Transsexuality and the Emergence of Postmodernity,” in E. Anne Kaplan and Susan Squier, eds., Playing Dolly: Technocultural Formations, Fantasies, and Fictions of Assisted Reproduction (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1999), 157-171.