Birth of an Analyst
Not for those under 18 (or whatever the legal age for this sort of stuff is in your area). If you’re not that old, Boo! Go away now. If you are offended by graphic descriptions of sexual activities, especially non-consensual ones, then don’t read this. All characters and situations are fictional.
Copyright 2022 firstname.lastname@example.org
Archived on the Read Only Mind web site by permission of the author. This story may be downloaded for personal archiving as long as this notice is retained.
“Hi,” The voice had Madison looking up from where she was peering at her computer screen. She’d spent all morning trying to make sense of her latest experimental results.
Looking up, she saw one of her fellow PhD students, Ethan, leaning on the divider screen that surrounded three sides of her desk, a typical smile on his lips. Maybe he thought it made him look casual, but there was an insouciant edge to it that always rubbed her the wrong way.
“I was wondering if you had a minute.”
Oh God, no. Here it comes.
She’d seen the way Ethan looked at her. It had only been a matter of time until he made some sort of move. She couldn’t just send him away. They both had desks in the same room, one of the open plan areas that the department gave over to its PhD students. Often they were the only two there, the other students being slacker in their attendance than Madison thought was good for them. She didn’t want to spend the rest of her candidature with the only other person in the room glaring at her. So she’d let him down gently after whatever line he was going to use. And anyway, maybe a break from staring at her screen was what she needed.
“Your PhD is in addiction, right?” Ethan began.
Well, yeah. You were at my seminar. Assuming you didn’t sleep through it. She told herself that she should be politer than that. “Yes, um, why?”
“Well, mine’s in agency,” Ethan replied, a little nervously. “How people think about it. What it actually is. How it interacts with the use of hypnotherapy. You know. Of course you do. You were at my seminar.”
Ethan was looking at her expectantly. “Um, yes?” Madison replied. Maybe she’d misjudged him. If this was some way of leading up to asking her out it was one of the most oblique ones she’d ever been subjected to. And she’d had her share. More than her share. The slim brunette wasn’t unaware of her looks. Even if she didn’t exactly go out of her way to highlight them at university. Jeans or stretch pants and a loose top were her go to for that. Minimal makeup, if any. She’d leave that, and short dresses, for her very occasional clubbing with friends.
“So,” her fellow PhD student continued. “I’m writing my ethics section. Not for my experiments, I did that. Obviously. But the discussion of what it means. My work that is, not ethics. What someone could do if they tried pushing the boundaries. So I thought I should talk to you.”
“Ah, right.” There was a look in Ethan’s eyes that Madison recognised from her professors. Gleaming with excitement, all caught up in their subject. He’d probably make a good academic someday. Personal skills weren’t exactly a job requirement. As if confirming her opinion, Ethan didn’t appear to notice her distraction. “When you put someone under you can tell them to do things. Like raise their hand. And they don’t think it’s their agency. Like, it wasn’t them that made their hand rise. But what if someone tried to make them addicted to raising their hand?”
Madison couldn’t see why someone would try to do that.
“And then I thought,” Ethan continued. “What if someone tried to use it to get someone addicted to something they really didn’t want? Something bad. I don’t want them using my work to do that. So I was thinking I could put some don’ts in the discussion. Red flags. But I wasn’t sure what they should be.”
Madison frowned. Ethan should know most of this. He’d done the same undergraduate courses she had. “Well, you should probably watch out for anything that looks like operant conditioning. Repeated positive reinforcement is quite powerful.”
“Right, right,” Ethan nodded eagerly. “I’ll put that in. But that only applies if you can get the subject to carry out the behaviours. If someone was aiming for something the subject really didn’t like they wouldn’t be able to get them to do it in the first place to be in a position to give the reward. Hypnotism has its limits, you know.”
“Hmm. True.” It was an interesting thought problem. Even if Madison still couldn’t see the point. Anything like this wouldn’t get past the first glance of an ethics committee or a professional standards board. “Addictions do usually start from something the subject is willing to do. Even gambling or drugs. If it was something they didn’t want to do they’d probably have to be socialised to it. By repeated exposure. Probably in some sort of positive setting, or at least a familiar one. I can give you some references if you’d like.”
“That’d be great!” Ethan exclaimed. The looked sheepish. “So socialisation is a requirement. Thanks. I’ll let you get back to what you were doing. Sorry for the interruption. Are those experimental results?” he added, peering at her screen. “God, I that part of it. All those numbers.”
“Yeah,” Madison shrugged. “But we have to do it.”
“Yeah, I know, but really. It’s so draining.”
There was an edge to Ethan’s voice that hadn’t been there before, Madison’s eyes flicking from the screen back to her fellow PhD student. The way he’d said ‘draining’ she’d almost felt something running out of her. And what was he doing with his watch? Ethan’s other hand was grabbing his watch, twisting it, the light catching the metal band.
“It’s just so tiring. You look at all those numbers and your eyes just glaze over and you feel so sleepy.”
He had a point there. Sometimes the results did make her eyes glaze over.
“Just so tired. Your eyelids so heavy. But you have to keep them open. Doesn’t matter how tired you are. And you are so tired.”
God, she was. She could just go to sleep. But she had to keep her eyes open.
“Just drifting down. Let go and float away, going deeper and deeper. Forget the numbers. It’s easier just to listen to my voice.”
For a moment Madison thought there something wrong with that. Something she should be remembering. About what Ethan did. Or what he was doing. But the light reflecting from his watch was so fascinating, a constant, steady, rhythm to the flashes. And it was easier just to listen.
“Drifting further down. Listen to my voice as it takes you down. So much better than looking at the numbers. So sleepy that thoughts are drifting out of your head. One after the other after the other. So nice to feel them go. As I count down you’ll feel so much better, so much deeper. So good to let your thoughts, go. Just drifting away. Ten, feeling so sleepy.”
Madison did feel sleepy. What time had she gotten to bed last night?
“Nine, letting go of your thoughts.”
That would be a good idea. Maybe she’d be able to make sense of her results if she didn’t think about them for a while.
“Eight, letting your mind clear.”
Exactly. Clear her thoughts.
“Seven, listening to my voice.”
Ethan did have a nice voice. He probably would make a good lecturer.
“Six, feeling so sleepy, drifting down.”
That was, if he didn’t put his students to sleep. Maybe a little snooze would be a good idea.
“Five. Drifting so much deeper now. So hard to think, just a pleasant fog in your head.”
Madison was having trouble putting thoughts together now but it didn’t bother her, the fog around her mind so comforting.
“Four. Feeling so relaxed. So deep. So ready to drift off.”
She was. Maybe she should take naps more often.
“Three. Knowing my voice can help you feel this relaxed. Knowing my voice can bring you back to this wonderful, relaxed state.”
All the tension had gone out of her body. Coming back here would be wonderful.
“Two. Going even deeper now.”
Madison was just drifting, hardly aware of where she was or what was happening.
“One, all thoughts gone from your head.”
There was just the pleasant, restful feeling, So wonderful.
“And asleep,” Ethan declared.
Ethan grinned down at the girl. She was so gorgeous. Silky hair that fell straight to the middle of her back. Beautiful features, with lips that just begged to be kissed. They’d look better with some lipstick. Ruby red would be good, but oh well. And something more appealing than the loose top that only hinted at her figure. She was thinner than some men liked, but he preferred his women on the slim side. She looked even more attractive now than she had awake, those beautiful, dark eyes glazed and empty. Nervously he looked around. He and Madison were alone for the moment. But who knew when one of the other PhD students that shared the large space might turn up.
“Madison, stand up and follow me.”
Without a word, that empty look never leaving her face, the brunette did exactly as she was told, Ethan leading her to an empty meeting room.
“Sit down,” he ordered, as he locked the door. Hypnotism can’t get you to do what you don’t want, huh? I wonder if you want to be in a locked room with me? Let’s see. “Madison, take off your top. Oh fuck.”
If Ethan had thought she’d looked gorgeous before, having his fellow student sitting in front of him in just her bra was even better. His eyes traced the line from where her hips tapered to a wonderfully narrow waist, caressed the smooth skin of her almost flat belly, then travelled up to her breasts, nestled in a plain black bra.
“Loose the bra.”
Ethan grinned as the brunette did just as she was ordered, her arms falling loosely back to her sides after she complied. Her breasts were a dream. Nice handfuls the size of oranges, wonderful and firm and perky. Topped with pink areola. Her nipples weren’t large but he could just imagine what it would be like to wrap his lips around them. Or wrap his hands around those breasts. It was tempting.
He could have her on her knees right now. Have her full lips wrapped around his cock. He’d spent years studying how to use hypnosis to get people to do things they didn’t want to do. He had the inductions down pat now. As he’d just done with Madison. The right tone, the right focus, like the light flashing off his watch, the right words and they’d follow whatever commands he gave. But he had been telling the truth when he’d told Madison that hypnotism had its limits. At least, his hypnotism did. He could order people to do almost anything. God, the number of blow jobs he’d had from pretty co-eds, their eyes just as vacant as Madison’s now were as their checks hollowed out as they sucked. And then afterwards making them forget all about it. So many other things. There was a cute blonde in the class he was TA for that now knew she had to stay behind every week to give him a special thank you that went way beyond blow jobs. But he couldn’t make them enjoy it. Ordering someone to do something was one thing. Making them want to do it was something else. Why he hadn’t thought of using addiction before was beyond him. Especially with how gorgeous Madison was. Maybe it was because she sat in the same room as him. Too close made her too much of a risk.
Familiarisation, huh? We’ll deepen your trance, give you a trigger or two. Then make a start.
Madison blinked before looking up at where Ethan was still leaning on the divider. “Uh, sorry,” she managed. Did I drift off there? Was he saying something about being tired? That didn’t make any sense. They’d been talking about his PhD. Maybe he was feeling stressed as his submission date loomed.
“I’ll let you get back to it,” Ethan smiled. The eager light in his eyes didn’t look stressed at all. “Takes it out of you, doesn’t it? But thanks.”
Doing the analysis was tiring but she’d just have to trudge through it. Her own submission date wasn’t that far away.
Madison was feeling tired and fed up by the time she returned to her sparsely furnished student accommodation that evening. She’d managed to do some of the analysis, but not as much as she’d wanted. With an exhausted sigh she slumped in front of her computer. It wasn’t what she’d been planning, not after spending the day in front of one. But she didn’t have the energy for anything else. Maybe she’d play a game or something. She wasn’t sure.
While she’d been trying to decide what to do, her hand had apparently had its own idea, opening up her browser.
And landing on a porn site.
“What the fuck?” She didn’t watch porn. Most of it was demeaning to women, objectifying. She went to close the window.
Then she stopped. Maybe this was what she needed. She hadn’t had a boyfriend in a while. Maybe she was wound too tight. She liked sex as much as the next woman. Maybe a little more. And well, most porn was just watching sex.
What would it hurt to give it a try? At least, that’s what a voice in her head was telling her.
She watched for a while, a twinge of arousal spreading through her. Not enough to make her do anything about it. It was porn after all. Not something she watched. Not normally, anyway. But somehow she knew she had to watch it now. After a while the urge to look died a little. Oddly, she didn’t regret what she done as much as she thought she would. It was like she’d done a job she had to do. She opened up another window, started browsing the web. News sites, her favourite streamers. She could have closed the porn. But she didn’t. She just shrank it down and left it running in the corner of the screen.
It wouldn’t hurt anything there.
The voice told her that. It sounded so much like her own voice.
The next day her hand did the same thing again, Madison frowning. Watching porn two days in a row was definitely not her. But it hadn’t hurt anything watching some porn the day before. It had been almost relaxing. That seemed the right word, relaxing. Familiar, somehow. The right thing to do. So she let her hand have its way.
She did it again and again over the next few days. Every time she opened her computer at home she’d watch porn for a while, then leave the window running in the corner of her screen. Sometimes her attention would flick to it, drawn despite herself. But it was always there, even if only in the corner of her eye. Just something that was part of her routine.
She wasn’t entirely sure why she did it. It wasn’t like it was turning her on. Well, not much. But it was … satisfying.
Ethan was back at Madison’s desk on Monday morning. She’d watched more porn over the weekend. Not for the whole weekend, she did have other things to occupy her time. But it no longer bothered her. It was just something she did, a slight current of arousal accompanying the act. Sometimes she frowned, just a little, at what she was doing before a voice in her head told her not to worry about it. She did what it told her to do. It was her voice, she why shouldn’t she? After a while she stopped worrying. Even if some of the things she saw still made her a little reluctant she found the act of watching comfortable, like an old pair of shoes.
“So, after the subject is sufficiently socialised to the ideas, they might be willing to take on more of the behaviours. And that’s when positive reinforcement could really come in to play?”
“Yes,” Madison replied. “Of course, there’s a large range of possible reinforcements. Food is often used in animal experiments. With humans you have a larger range of possibilities. Anything from intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation will work, depending on the subject. As long as they find it pleasurable.”
“Pleasurable huh,” Ethan nodded thoughtfully. “And what if the behaviour initially reinforced isn’t the one that’s really being aimed at? I mean, if someone is being unethical they might try something marginally acceptable, before moving onto the real goal.”
Madison shook her head. “Do you really need to go this far? Anyone subjected to something like that would probably notice. And I can’t see that even a thesis would need this. Just warning against unethical behaviour should be enough.”
Ethan’s eyes lit up. “Should. You said should. And I agree with that. But I’m trying to run through all the possibilities just to see what I really need to cover.”
She could see the sense of that. “I suppose. Okay. Well. Yes. If there is some link or progression between the behaviours someone trying this could start with one and then have it lead onto another. They’d need to be careful about when to make the change so that initial behaviour wasn’t too reinforced.”
“Right, right,” Ethan nodded. Madison was starting to get used to that thoughtful look. “That’s really good. Drop for me Madison.”
Lead on to the next behaviour, huh?
(To be continued)