The short answer is: it’s another part of my sexological “bag of tricks.” But I think this question also requires a longer explanation.

All sexologists, sex counselors, sex coaches, and sex therapists develop a menu of therapeutic strategems, tips, techniques, and recommended products, books, and media to share with our clients. Most of us give classes and workshops on everything from orgasms, oral sex, erotic massage, tantra, coping with pelvic pain, aging and sexuality, and so on. We’re always looking for new, effective ways to assist our clients and students with their sexual concerns.

We also often give our clients “homeplay” exercises to do between sessions. For couples, there may be a sensate focus series, non-demand touch exercises for building trust and somatic awareness, first used by sex therapy teams like Masters & Johnson and Hartman & Fithian, and still in wide use today. For a man with rapid ejaculation, there may be a program of mindful masturbation exercises designed to build his capacity for “lasting longer.”

As a sexologist, I often use hypnosis in my practice, and I teach self-hypnosis and other mind-body skills to my clients. And this is good. But there’s more that can be done!

For the last couple of years I’ve envisioned a well-designed mini-course in erotic hypnosis techniques which could be just as helpful as many of my other sex counseling staples. I’ve been working on the design of this course and have now refined it so that it is user friendly, based on wisdom culled from both the hypnotic world as well as the sexological one.

I am convinced of the value of this endeavor. Hypnosis is so versatile! For example, lovers could use hypnosis to:

• help each other relax before lovemaking (especially helpful in dropping the stresses of the work day or family life);

• restore and renew that new relationship sensation of being entranced with a lover; and

• to shower each other’s subconscious with ego-strengthening, affirmative, appreciative suggestions that promote confidence in each other and in the relationship. Can you imagine anything more nourishing than relaxing in a light trance state while being showered on a daily basis with words of love and appreciation, pouring right into your mind and heart?

I suggest that these are great additions to an expanded erotic hypnosis repertoire – which includes the ability to heighten sensation, enjoy “hypno-gasms,” create variety through hypnotic fantasy, explore power play, and so on. In other words, lovers can empower themselves and their relationships through the skillful, consensual use of erotic hypnosis.

Erotic hypnosis can also be a valuable tool for people who have some kind of physical impairment or disability, but who’d like to enjoy the fullest possible sex life. Think about it!

I believe too that erotic self-hypnosis is a powerful tool for understanding one’s own erotic nature and core themes. Too often people are as disconnected from this awareness as they are from their own, and their lover’s, bodies. Why not explore your own eroticism through a combination of self-hypnosis and self-pleasure, for example?

This is the potential I see – and I would like to alert my colleagues in the sexology field about this. I am launching my extended Erotic Hypnosis for Lovers courses (first one on August 17th), and am hopeful that people will realize their value. Yes, there are plenty of people exploring and enjoying erotic hypnosis and doing very well on their own – but I’d also like this modality, as a structured program, to make its way into the hands of sexologists, counselors, and therapists – as well as clients.