The green room was quiet except for the sound of my pacing. Rudi, the sound tech, had already been and gone. I wore another of her lavalieres under my shirt and had the cordless hand mic in my jacket pocket. According to the wall clock I had just a few minutes before I should advance to the wings.
A tentative knock on the door caught my attention. "Yes?"
The door opened a crack. "Mr. Trancer?"
I knew that voice, but couldn't place it right away. I approached the door and opened it the rest of the way to reveal a man on the other side. A quick memory search brought up the name. "Will, isn't it?"
Blushing slightly, he nodded. "That's right. My girlfriend and I were in your show over the weekend." He looked up and down the hallway furtively. "I was wondering ... can we talk for a minute?"
"By all means." I stood back, waved him in, and closed the door behind him. "I should warn you that I only have a few minutes before I need to get backstage."
"I know," he said, nodding. "I'll be quick. You know how sometimes, after a couple has been together for a while, things can get ... routine? Maybe even boring?"
It didn't take a psychic to see where this was heading. "In bed, you mean?"
"That's right. Amy and I were pretty much at that stage when we got here. But something you said to us that first night made a huge difference when we got back to our room. It was ..." He blushed again. "Let's just say it was great. Wild. Better than our first time."
I was nodding with him. "And you'd like to keep it that way?"
A relieved grin came over him. "You guessed it. I've seen you in the restaurant with those two girls; it looks like you're teaching them how to hypnotize each other. Could you teach me to put Amy under and tell her the same things you did, any time I need to?"
Just what I needed -- another hypnotist wannabee. "When do you go home?"
I pretended to think about it. "There really isn't time to teach you all you'd need by then," I told him. "But if you bring her by here right after the show, I think we can do something for you."
"Sure," I assured him. "It's my way of saying thanks for helping to make that show a success. And of making sure you'll stick around for this one."
He chuckled. "Wild horses couldn't drag us away. Thanks." Then his manner turned hesitant. "I don't know what you charge for that sort of thing ."
"I'm on vacation," I told him. "I don't charge anything when I'm on vacation. But there is something you could do for me, if you don't mind."
His face brightened. "Name it."
"You've seen my two students. They're getting way too good at hypnotizing each other; there's no challenge anymore. They need someone new to work with."
His eyebrows rose. "Me?"
"Unless you think Amy would mind."
"Probably not," he allowed. "She'd probably like it if she got to watch. She thinks hypnosis is pretty hot."
"Great," I said. "You could come join us after breakfast. Say, ten thirty?"
We shook hands, and he left. I checked the wall clock once more then made my way through the inner hallways to the backstage area.
My risers were ready to go. I took my place just behind the edge of the fake cityscape and waited. Being a weeknight, there was no opening act; I'd be introduced over the speaker system when the time came.
Right on schedule, the house lights dimmed. "Ladies and gentlemen," the PA announcer called, "Prepare to be mesmerized! Uninhibited is pleased to present for your enjoyment our very own Master Hypnotist, Jack Trancer!"
A spotlight picked me up as I darted downstage and helped me find my mark. "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen," I began. "Before we get started, how many of you were at my show this past weekend?"
About half the people in the audience applauded. "That's great. So it sounds as though at least half of you have some familiarity with what hypnosis is, and what kinds of things I do in my show. Knowing that, how many of you are thinking of coming up on stage tonight and being part of the show?"
I was impressed - the applause was only a little quieter than the first time. "Great," I repeated. "Now, how many of you are only saying that to get your dates to come up here and get hypnotized?" A wave of nervous laughter swept around the room. "That's what I thought. For those of you who weren't here last show, and for those of you who were and just don't remember..." I waited a moment for the chortling to subside. "... let me explain about what hypnosis can and can't do, and what I'll be asking you to do tonight."
I launched into a speech similar to the one I used in my first show, interspersing it with joke lines designed to put my audience at ease. By the time I was done the people I could see were looking pretty relaxed, and a lot of heads were contemplating the empty seats with interest despite my slightly stronger warnings (for Monica's benefit) about the kind of adult behavior that might take place.
The house lights came up, and I asked for potential volunteers to step up on stage. Theo Kane, my blowhard from the dining room, was among the first to claim a seat, with his girl "Barbie" in tow looking dubious at best. I did my best to be reassuring, of course, and it was most gratifying to see that there were still a lot of people trying to get to the stage even after the chairs were full.
The induction went smoothly. My spiral ascended and descended on cue, and when the lights came up at the end of it most of my volunteers and a large portion of the audience were looking thoroughly zoned out. An excellent start.
I put my volunteers through a few preliminaries to weed out the ones with less potential. Four of my volunteers remembered their names after being told to forget them, so I sent them back to their seats. Three more, including Barbie, didn't react to a suggestion that they were being tickled by an unseen hand and were dismissed with thanks. One, a stocky bald guy, woke up unexpectedly when the girl next to him, a dazzling blonde in a skin-tight dress, got so relaxed that she landed in his lap. I gave him his choice and he opted to sit back down in the audience.
That left me with ten solid performers. In the front row I had Theo Kane; Paul and Rebecca, a married couple taking a vacation from their kids; Liz and Tammy, nursing students on summer break; Warren, a self-described computer geek; and Roxy, my blonde bombshell, who described herself as "an actress." Every guy in the audience cheered for her immediately. The back row held Sima, a hair stylist; Jay, a photographer; and Nadine, a book editor.
Time for the fun to start. I moved Theo to the empty seat next to Roxy and had my three in the back row move together. Then I took them deeper into hypnosis, making sure Roxy would be able to stay in her seat. "At the count of three," I instructed them all, "I want you to open your eyes and sit up, feeling completely awake, but still remaining deeply hypnotized and following my every suggestion. You'll also feel very comfortable and willing to talk about anything that comes to mind. But when I snap my fingers like this, all of your clothing will dissolve and you'll be completely naked. Everything you see and feel will confirm that you and everyone else in the seats around you are naked." I walked over to my married couple. "For the people I am touching right now, you are deeply in love with each other and don't care who sees it. In addition to every other suggestion you're going to get tonight, every time you hear the audience applaud, you will feel an overwhelming desire to kiss. Each time you kiss, the kiss will be longer and more passionate than the time before." Then, for good measure, I went over to Theo and touched him. "For the person I'm touching now, you will also have a special instruction that will last for the entire show: you feel a strong sexual attraction to the girl next to you that gets stronger each time she speaks. You don't know her, and she doesn't know you, so you'll want to tell her things about yourself. You want her to know you well, so naturally the things you tell her be of an increasingly intimate nature. No matter how she responds, you'll continue trying to woo her this way until the show is over." And to make things complete, I touched Roxy. "For the woman I'm touching now, the man next to you is going to be coming on to you tonight. You'll be mildly flattered by that, but the truth is he isn't even remotely attractive to you. You'll try to turn him down without hurting his feelings, but as he tells you more and more things about himself you're going to get the idea that this guy is some kind of weirdo and you need to keep him at a distance."
I did my three count and watched my performers open their eyes and sit up, apparently wide awake. "This is the part of the show where I like to find out a bit more about my volunteers," I explained. "I know that to you it probably seems like the whole beginning of the show went by just like that," I said, snapping my fingers into the mic, "but I'm sure by now you realize there's a lot going on." I watched my volunteers for their reactions to their sudden nakedness. Roxy didn't bat an eyelash, of course; she looked down at herself, smiled, and wiggled a little in her seat. My married couple showed surprise, then as the audience began to applaud they locked eyes on each other and began kissing. The nursing students got a stunned look on their faces and checked each other, confirming that they were in fact naked, then started laughing. Theo's hands went to his lap, but aside from that nobody looked uncomfortable or overly embarrassed - a good sign.
I put the mic between my married couple's faces. "So how long have you been married?" I asked conversationally.
Rebecca broke off the kiss to answer. "Six years."
"How old are your kids?"
"Four and one," she replied.
"Who's watching them while you two are at Uninhibited?"
Paul smiled. "My sister. She totally disapproves of our choice of vacation spot. I think she's afraid we're down here getting naked in groups."
Rebecca cleared her throat. "Umm, honey?" With a hand, she waved vaguely at their bodies.
Paul gulped. "Oh. Right." The audience laughed and clapped, and Rebecca pulled Paul's face back to hers for more kissing.
"Jack?" The voice was coming from behind me: Liz, one of the nursing students.
"Did you have a question?" I asked, putting the mic in front of her.
She nodded. "What happened to our clothes?" More laughter from the crowd.
I scratched my head. "To tell the truth, I don't entirely understand it myself. It just seems to happen when people get on stage. I think it has something to do with the intensity of the spotlights."
She looked puzzled. "Then why didn't your clothes melt off, too?"
"They do," I assured her. "It just takes a bit longer. In fact, I can feel them starting to dissolve now. When I snap my fingers, you'll see that I'm also completely naked -- and extremely well hung." I snapped, and Liz stared at my body as she saw my clothing disappear.
"That's weird," she said. "Isn't that weird, Tammy?"
Tammy was leaning forward staring at my crotch. "I think it's cool," she said. "Are you married?" The audience roared and clapped.
I plopped into the seat next to Roxy and held the mic in front of her. "You don't seem fazed in the least by all this," I remarked.
She shrugged. "I'm used to being nude in front of people," she explained. "It sort of goes with the territory."
"That's right, you're an actress. What kind of films do you act in, again?"
"Adult films," she said, to enthusiastic applause from the men in the audience.
Theo leaned in to the mic, still holding his hands in his lap. "I like porno films," he offered.
Roxy gave him a practiced smile. "That's nice." Then she looked back to me, turning her body slightly away from Theo.
I put everyone back into deep hypnosis and set up the next gag. "When I next count to three, you will open your eyes and feel wide awake while remaining deep in hypnosis, obeying all of my suggestions. You will be fully dressed again in your normal clothes, and so will I. All of the other suggestions I've given you so far will still be in force, plus you will realize that the people on stage are all former members of the cast of a daytime soap opera called 'Passion's Prisoners' that has recently been cancelled after a 10-year run, and that you are on stage at a convention held for fans of the show. Those of you in the audience are die-hard fans of the show. The fans don't realize it, but throughout the entire history of the show there was more sex, scheming and backstabbing going on among the cast and crew off camera than there ever was on the actual show. Your contracts required you to keep all that hushed up while the show was still on the air, but now that it's gone you can't wait to tell the fans what really happened on that set when the cameras were off. Each time one of you tells the audience something that happened, you're going to think of something even more outrageous that you'll want to share when your turn comes."
Reaching over a couple of bowed heads, I put a hand on Sima's shoulder. "For the person I am touching now: you were the makeup supervisor for the show for its entire run. You had to put the makeup on everyone all by yourself because after paying the actors' bloated salaries there was never enough money in the budget for an assistant. Several of the cast members here today had bizarre, demanding requirements that drove you nuts on a daily basis, and now's your chance to show them up for the bunch of prima donnas they are."
For Nadine: "You started with the show as a script girl and worked your way up to head writer, which is what you've done for the last three years. For ten years you've been listening to this bunch of overpaid, scenery-chewing amateurs tell you what the characters you conceived should think, say, and do, and you've kept quiet about it to keep your job. Now you don't have to any longer."
And for Theo: "You were the male lead, the star of the show, for its entire run. In that time you've done love scenes with every female on the cast, and you've seduced every female on the cast and crew off-camera as well, except for the girl next to you right now."
Then I put a hand lightly on Roxy's shoulder. "To all of the women on stage except the one I'm touching right now: the man in the light blue shirt at the end of the front row is the male lead, the star of the show. Every single one of you has allowed him to seduce you, and each one of you discovered when he did that he's really a lousy lover and a totally self-absorbed, shallow personality."
Now that I'd sprinkled the stage with gasoline, it was time to drop a match. I brought them up and turned to the audience. "Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you all for coming to this question and answer session with the cast and crew of 'Passion's Prisoners.' It's always a sad thing when a popular show gets cut for no apparent reason, and-"
"It was cut," Nadine interjected, "because nobody with an IQ over fifty could stand to watch the thing anymore." There was a general murmur of protest from the audience.
Paul sneered. "Well, if we'd had scripts that were halfway believable, that might not have been a problem."
Nadine fumed. "My scripts had wit and style," she insisted. "You so-called actors delivered my lines as if you were reading them off of cue cards."
"They were reading them off cue cards," Sima chimed in. "Heaven forbid these spoiled rotten assholes should have to actually memorize their own lines, after all."
"Excuse me," Theo broke in, adopting the air of an authority figure. "If you were a member of the profession, you'd understand how difficult it is to memorize dialog less than hour before filming, which is when we usually received the edited pages. A serious actor needs time to digest the words and make them his own." My hypnotized "fans" in the audience applauded and cheered.
"Is that why you act even worse than you fuck?" Rebecca charged. There was a collective gasp from the fans, but the rest of the audience went wild. Paul and Rebecca groped for each other and established another passionate lip lock.
Theo looked indignant. "I'll have you know that every woman I've ever bedded has begged me for more."
"That's right," Tammy confirmed. "More length, more width, more skill, more duration."
Warren motioned for my attention. "The real reason the show went under," he told the audience, "was interference from the network. They kept trying to dictate how the story should unfold and forcing cast changes on us, like bringing her in." He pointed to Roxy.
Roxy looked daggers at him. "I resent that," she said. "The only reason I joined this turkey of a show was because the producer thought I could help turn it around."
"Was that before or after you started fucking him?"
"That's a lie!" she spat. "I never slept with the producer." She shifted in her seat and looked directly at me. "It was the executive producer." The got another split reaction from the crowd, with the fans murmuring and the rest laughing.
"So what?" Sima called out, looking at Warren. "Is that any worse than you insisting on imported Norwegian hair gel for your two scenes every show? I could have hired an assistant for what they spent on your head."
"I happen to have a delicate scalp," he snipped. "And having your claws digging into it didn't help things. Besides, considering I had to wear my own clothes because they blew the entire costume budget on her," he added, jerking a thumb at Roxy, "you can hardly begrudge me proper hair care."
"Bullshit!" Roxy cried. "I spent half my scenes either in bed with someone or just coming out of the shower. Last season I did a whole week's worth of episodes in the same white bath towel. People thought I was a whore and a compulsive bather."
"Well, they were half right." Thunderous applause rose from the audience - the fans and the rest seemed to agree on this one.
Theo Kane leaned over to Roxy. I got the mic there just in time to pick up his line: "I spend a lot of time in the shower too. It's my favorite place to jerk off."
The audience loved that. I ended the gag there and took everyone back down, removing the soap-opera scenario from their minds. I looked my volunteers over, quickly rifling through the possibilities in my head. Warren had impressed me, so I decided to make him the focal point of the next bit. I had him open his eyes long enough to move over to the left end of the front row. I moved Paul and Rebecca to the back and brought my book editor, Nadine, up to the front next to the nursing students.
"People on stage," I said, "when you open your eyes next, you will be part of a game show called 'Find A Date.' It's a lot like the old 'Dating Game' show, but our game only appears on cable TV channels so we have an adult-oriented format. In fact, you know that each of you will receive a bonus if the show is sexy enough to pump up the home video sales, so you'll want to do everything you can to help make that happen."
I touched Warren on the shoulder. "For the person I am touching now, you are the contestant on today's show. Your job is to answer my questions and to watch and listen while the three women contestants try to impress you and get you to select them for your date. The date is actually a week-long vacation at a clothing-optional Caribbean resort like this one."
Next I turned my attention to Liz, Tammy, and Nadine. "For the women I am touching now, and now, and now: you are the female contestants on the show. Each of you, when you open your eyes, will look at the man on the end of the row and find that he is the sexiest, most incredibly attractive man you've ever seen in your life. There will be nothing you want more than to have him pick you so you can spend a week having sex with him. You will do anything to top the others and gain his attention. When you are asked a question, you'll come up with an answer that will show Warren just how much you want to be with him. If you're not the first to answer, you'll come up with an even better answer than the person before you did, even if you have to make up facts to support it. It's okay to let your creativity run wild on this."
There were just a few more touches to add. "For those of you on stage whom I have not touched and given instructions to yet: you are the celebrity panel for this game. It will be your job to help Warren evaluate the female contestants to see which one he should choose. When I call on you, you will either ask the contestants a question or pose a challenge to them that they must do to show how they might behave on the date or to show how much they want it. You know that your bonuses are riding on how sexy the show is, so you'll want to ask questions or pose challenges that will keep people watching."
I counted everyone up and turned to the audience. "Welcome back, everyone, to Find a Date for Warren. Before we get started, let's meet our lucky bachelor." I sat down next to Warren and held the mic between us. "Tell us a little about yourself, Warren."
He leaned forward a little into the microphone. "I'm 28, and I'm a UNIX sysadmin." Then he sat back as if he'd said everything worth hearing.
"What do you do with your spare time, Warren?" I asked, putting on my best smarmy game show smile.
He leaned forward again. "I, uh, don't get much of that. I mostly just work and hang out on IRC."
That figured. "So tell us, Warren: what would your ideal woman be like?"
Warren contemplated the mic with trepidation. "She'd have to be smart," he said. "Someone I don't have to explain every little thing to." When the mic didn't bite him, he began to warm to it. "And she shouldn't talk too much. I hate senseless gabbing." I started to take the mic back, but Warren grabbed it for one more thought. "And she needs to be hot. And she should dress like it."
The audience chuckled. "Anything else?"
He thought. "Well, it would be nice if she was easy."
I let the audience's laughter subside before continuing. "Well, Warren, we're going to find out tonight which of these three eligible bachelorettes comes closest to being your ideal woman. Ladies, why don't you introduce yourselves to Warren?"
Nadine shifted forward and leaned toward Warren, letting the neck of her tank top gape open in Warren's direction. "Hello, Warren," she said in a sultry voice. "I'm Nadine. The only thing I love more than curling up with a good book is cuddling with a good man."
Liz took the mic next. "Hi, I'm Liz. I'm ranked third in my nursing school class this year, and I love to play chess for high stakes. Pick me and we can play doctor together." She toyed with the buttons on her blouse as she spoke.
Tammy was chuckling. I waited for her before handing over the mic. "I'm Tammy," she announced. "I'm valedictorian of my nursing school class so far, and I beat Liz at chess all the time. Pick me and we'll do a lot more than play."
A round of appreciative Oooohs swept through the crowd. "Now it's time for our celebrity panel to pose either a question or a challenge to the bachelorettes. I think we'll start with a man who needs no introduction, Jay."
The audience applauded for Jay, which prompted Paul and Rebecca to attach faces again. Jay leaned into the mic and looked at the girls. "How do you let a guy know that you're really interested in sleeping with him?"
Nadine started. "I seduce him by listening to everything he says as if he were the most fascinating man on earth. I sit very close, letting his body touch mine in as many places as possible, and I caress him in seemingly innocent places until he's putty in my hands."
Liz came next. "I don't play silly games like that," she said. "If I'm interested in a guy, I let him know up front by telling him so. I'll invite him over, and when he gets there I'll be dressed in nothing but a silk kimono. I'll hand him a glass of wine and lead him directly to the bedroom."
Tammy didn't hesitate. "When I'm interested in a guy," she said, making firm eye contact with Warren, "I walk right up to him, put my hand inside his pants, and say, 'If you can get hard in 10 seconds, I'm yours for the night.'"
Warren's eye widened at Tammy's answer. She handed me the mic with a satisfied, catlike smile.
I went to Sima for the next challenge. "Kissing is very important," she said. "I think each of them should show Warren how well they can kiss."
"All right," I agreed. "Bachelorettes, let's see how you kiss."
Nadine stood up, walked over to Warren, and bent over, letting the tank top open to give him a completely unobstructed view. Then the lifted his chin toward hers and planted one right on his mouth. The audience murmured appreciatively as she sauntered back to her seat.
I couldn't resist. "How was that, Warren?" I asked, putting the mic in front of him.
His head bobbed up and down. "That tasted like more."
It was Liz's turn. She walked slowly across to Warren, swinging her hips and loosening the top couple of buttons on her blouse. Instead of bending over him, she sat down on the empty chair to his right, letting the blouse open to his view. She snaked her left arm around his neck and gently pulled him to her. The kiss lasted a good 10 seconds before she broke it off. Smiling, she stood up and fixed her blouse on the way back to her seat while the audience applauded.
Tammy was up before Liz finished sitting. She locked eyes with Warren on the way over in a look that made lusty promises. Once in front of him, she hiked up the bottom of her dress enough to give him a flash of black panty and settled herself in his lap, straddling him. She pressed forward, grinding her crotch against his, and encircled him with her arms until his face was buried in her cleavage. Then she lifted his face to hers and locked lips. For a good thirty seconds she toyed with his hair and rocked in his lap while their open mouths remained tightly pressed together. She pulled away at last, then came back with three quick kisses. Her eyes met Warren's one more time before she stood up and returned to her seat, pausing to acknowledge the whooping and cheering of the audience.
Warren looked dazed. It would have been nice to give him a few seconds to recover himself, but I had a show to run. I held the mic in front of Roxy. "Do you have a challenge or question for the bachelorettes?"
"Sure," she replied. "I think each girl should show Warren her best physical asset, up close and personal."
I was about to pull back the mic, but Theo leaned towards it. "Mine is my ass," he said. "I can crush a beer can with it."
"Thank you for sharing," I told him, pulling the mic away. "Ladies, you've been challenged to show Warren your best physical asset."
Nadine wasted no time. She traded me her tank top for the mic and sauntered over to Warren. "Here they are," she said, waving her chest close to his face. "I'm a 32A, and as you can see I don't need a bra for support. That means I can wear very tiny bathing suits. In fact, a lot of the time I only wear the bottoms." She came back to me and traded back, slipping the tank back on.
Liz stood and contemplated Warren. Her fingers worked casually at the clasp on her skirt and it fall to the stage. Then the blouse joined it, leaving Liz standing there in a white lace bra and panties. "I have a world class ass," she announced, sauntering slowly toward Warren and putting it on display. As soon as she was directly in front of Warren, she pivoted on her heels and bent over, sliding the panties slowly over her hips to her knees. "Don't you think so, Warren? I do half an hour on the StairMaster every other day to keep it nice and firm." She looked back at his face, wiggling her rear end tantalizingly in front of him. "You can touch it if you want, Warren. Go ahead. Feel how smooth and strong it is, and imagine the fun we can have with it."
Warren reached a tentative hand up and stroked her right cheek. "Mmmmm," Liz purred. "Nice touch." Then she stood up, pulling the panties back up in the same motion, and returned to her seat. The crowd applauded loudly when she sat down without redressing.
I tried to hand the mic to Tammy, but instead of taking it she positioned my hand to hold it for her. She hooked the straps of her dress with her thumbs and pulled them away from her shoulders. "I can't decide," she said. "Some guys like my breasts," she continued, lowering the straps and letting her dress fall to the floor, exposing an exquisite pair of breasts and a black G-string. Caressing her breasts, she turned to Warren. "Aren't they nice? I'll bet they'd each fit perfectly in one of your strong, soft hands."
Tammy stripped off her G-string and tossed it into Warren's lap, to wild cheers of appreciation from the audience. She took the mic from me and caressed it suggestively while she casually strolled over to Warren. "I had a lover once who swore I had the sweetest, best-tasting privates he'd ever experienced. I keep myself nicely trimmed and ready for you." Then she turned slowly about. "And, as you can now see, I have a splendid bottom. It's round and soft, like a woman's bottom instead of a horse's." She sat in his lap and took his hands in hers. "Wouldn't you love to feel this pressed against you, while your hands squeeze and caress my breasts?" As she spoke, she put Warren's hands on her breasts and encouraged him to squeeze.
The crowd went wild, of course. Cheers and whistles and loud protestations of love accompanied Tammy back to her seat. She sat down without dressing, simply handing me the mic and smiling at Warren.
In show business, and especially in comedy, it pays to follow the rule of threes. Three contestants, three questions -- it was time to wrap things up. "Now, Warren," I said, approaching him. "You've heard each of these lovely women tell you how they show interest in a man, you've sampled their kissing skills, and you've seen their best physical assets up close. Now it's time for you to choose. But first, let's see what our audience thinks. People in the audience, how many of you think Warren should go on the date with Nadine?"
There was a smattering of weak applause from the crowd. They never pick the first person. "Okay. And now, how many want Warren to choose Liz?" That got me a lot of noise from a small pocket in house left and a slightly better noise level from everywhere else. "And now, how many want him to pick Tammy?"
It was no contest. Tammy got a standing ovation from a good two thirds of the men in the audience.
"I'm not sure," I joked to Warren, "but it seems as though the audience has a slight preference for Tammy. Which girl do you choose?"
Warren looked at each of them in turn. "Nadine seems very smart," he assessed, "and she looks hot. Liz looks even more hot, though, and she does have a very nice ass. But Tammy not only looks hot, she acts hot and she's not afraid to let everyone know it. I'll take Tammy!"
Tammy stood up and raised her arms in celebration, drawing another round of applause from the horny crowd. She and Warren met center stage and embraced, sharing another hot kiss. As the applause died down, the unmistakable sounds of a woman in orgasm issued forth from the back row of my risers: Paul and Rebecca, still acting on their earlier instructions, were locked in an embrace. Paul's hand was under Rebecca's skirt working busily as she gasped and moaned. The crowd applauded more, which only made things worse for them.
Above the din I heard a loud SLAP behind me. I turned in time to see Theo Kane rubbing his left cheek. Roxy was glaring at him and sitting rigidly on the far edge of her seat from him. "Is something the matter?" I asked her.
Still watching Theo suspiciously, she leaned toward the mic. "This sicko tried to put his hand up my dress! I want another seat."
I promised to look into it and triggered everyone back into a deep trance state. Since Paul and Rebecca had taken things about as far as I dared, I removed the suggestion that had them reacting to the audience. I had Liz and Tammy put their clothes back on. Then I turned to the audience and took a quick look around. A good three fourths of the ones I could see were sitting quietly with their heads down, just like my volunteers on stage. I didn't need any more people for the stage so I was about to wake them up with thanks and let them enjoy the last bit. Then I had a thought: I hadn't really used the audience in the soap opera bit, so why not do a finale that included them?
"People on stage," I began, "when I count to three you will open your eyes feeling wide awake, but remaining in deep hypnosis and responding to my every suggestion. You will also know that you are all adult film stars here at a press conference to promote your latest projects. I want each of you right now to take a moment and let your imagination suggest to you what that project is. Members of the press will be asking you questions about yourselves and your films. No matter what they ask, you will find the questions to be perfectly acceptable and will be happy to answer them; however, being porn stars, you have reputations to protect so your answers will have little or no grounding in reality. Instead, they'll be designed to reinforce the idea that you're having wild, hot sex whenever you want with whomever you want. When you hear someone else answer a question, your mind will supply you with an even more outrageous answer than the one you just heard and you'll want to share it with everyone."
Remembering the slap, I put a hand on Roxy's shoulder. "For the person I am touching now, the man to your right is your costar in your latest project, a how-to guide for new lovers. You haven't actually begun filming yet, so you've never had sex with him, but you now find him extremely attractive and anything he says or does will only make you more and more attracted to him. In fact, by the time we've had two questions from the reporters you're going to be bored with the press conference and start amusing yourself by trying to get him as turned on as you can."
I could have gone a lot further in seeding ideas with the volunteers, but I wanted to see what they came up with on their own. Instead, I addressed my hypnotized audience members. "For everyone in the audience who has their eyes closed now, when I count to three you will open your eyes and feel wide awake while remaining in deep hypnosis and following all of my suggestions. Each of you will realize that you are a reporter for a trade magazine serving the adult film industry, here to ask questions of the porn stars on stage. You took this job because you are a big fan of adult movies yourself and have a genuine admiration for the people who act in them. As a result, you'll ask questions that an interested fan might ask. It's perfectly okay if those questions are of a very personal nature because these are porn stars - they talk about their sex lives and body parts all the time. When you have a question to ask, you'll raise your hand so I can call on you and then you'll say who you want to direct the question to and what it is. You'll speak loudly and clearly so the stars and I can hear you. You'll want to listen to the questions that come before you so that your question will be fresh and different and more personal than the ones that came before you. Also, before you ask your question you'll give your name and the name of the magazine that you write for. The interesting thing is that while you all work for different magazines, by an amazing coincidence you all have the same name: Izzy Cumming. This will seem perfectly normal to you."
I counted everyone up and launched immediately into the bit. "Thank you, members of the press, for coming to this briefing. As you know, Uncut Productions has a number of new and exciting projects underway using the best and brightest stars in the adult entertainment industry. Before we start taking questions, let's have some of our stars describe their new projects to you."
Since we all knew what her project was anyway, I started with Roxy. "Theo and I are doing an instructional video series," she explained, "to teach new lovers all the different methods of sexual expression. In the first tape, Theo and I demonstrate a number of typical sexual encounters that a couple might have. This is the first video series to cover all aspects of a sexual experience without skipping. You'll see everything: setting the mood, deciding to have sex, undressing, getting each other aroused, foreplay, intercourse, orgasms, all the way to cooling down afterwards." Roxy put a hand on Theo's thigh and stroked it. "I'm getting slick just thinking about it," she added.
Sima was trying to get my attention, so I handed the mic to her. "My new video is called 'Tantric Tease'," she said. "I keep one guy hard as nails for three hours and don't let him come until the very end."
Liz took the mic directly from Sima. "Tammy and I are in a new bondage film," she said. "It's about a BDSM superhero called The Silver Mask. We play roommates who get captured by a white slaver and sold to a right-wing Congressman with a secret fetish chamber in his basement. We get drugged, tied up, ball-gagged, chained and handcuffed ... pretty much everything, alone and in pairs."
I was going to start the questions there, but Paul and Rebecca had been so good and they wanted the mic, so I let them have it. "Our new film is called 'Swap Meet'," Rebecca said. "It's about four couples who do a group yard sale, only it turns out they're all swingers."
There were some murmurs of appreciation from the audience. Most of my "reporters" had their hands up, so I advanced to the stage lip and chose my first one, a twenty-something guy in a Hawaiian shirt.
"Izzy Cumming, Nuts to Butts magazine," he began. "I want to ask Theo how he prepares his body to do an extended lovemaking scene like the ones in his new video."
"I have a very strict diet and exercise regimen," Theo explained after I relayed the question. "If I know I have a long shoot coming, like the ones we have planned with me and Roxy, I'll add in an extra tablespoon or two of yohimbe to my liver and oyster shake that morning, and I'll probably only put it to my girlfriend once before I head in to work instead of two or three times."
The audience cheered his bravado. My next reporter was a cute young thing in a pink dress. "Izzy Cumming, Crotch Shots," she said. "This is for Paul and Rebecca. Do you swing in real life?"
Paul took it. "Absolutely," he said. "Rebecca and I are constantly chatting people up for sex with each other. In fact, we were wondering if you had any plans for later."
I let the audience cheer for a minute, then went on to the next question. "Izzy Cumming," a bearded man in a polo shirt and jeans announced, "Hardcore Weekly. For Roxy: is it true that you've had three breast augmentations?"
Roxy was busy whispering something into Theo's ear, so I got her attention and repeated the question. She looked daggers at the guy who'd asked the question. "Absolutely not," she declared. Then she stood up, flipped the straps off her shoulders, and peeled her dress down to the waist. "I'll have you all know that these boobs are one hundred percent natural and always have been." Hefting her bare breasts, she turned to Theo. "Theo, do you see any scars under these?"
He stared intently at Roxy's orbs for a good long time before replying, "Nope. Nothing."
"Here," she offered, "Feel them for yourself. Do these feel fake to you, Theo?"
Again, Theo took his sweet time fondling Roxy's mammaries before answering. "They feel totally real to me," he assessed. "Not to mention fantastic."
Roxy sat down without fixing her dress and put an arm around Theo, who didn't object. With her other hand, she absentmindedly toyed with a breast. With the house lights up slightly, I could see "Barbie" back at her table looking daggers at him.
Another guy, this time in a button-down shirt. "Izzy Cumming, Lingus. The trades are still talking about that show-stopping kiss between Liz and Tammy during the Adult Video Awards show. Is it true that you've sworn off men and are committed lesbian lovers?"
Tammy took the microphone. "Guys are so childish," she said, throwing an arm lazily around Liz. "Liz and I have been friends and roommates since college. We got into the business together, and we love to work together. But we're not lesbian lovers. That's totally silly. Isn't that right, Liz?"
"That's right," Liz confirmed, grinning. "We're bi."
"And if you'd like a little demonstration," Tammy offered, "you can come up to our room later. And bring a friend."
As the audience cheered Liz and Tammy joined in a long, drawn-out, open mouthed kiss. Meanwhile, Theo now had his arm around Roxy and was fondling her breast while she blatantly groped and squeezed on the bulge in his pants.
I still needed a good, strong ending, so I took one more question from a busty blonde in a tube top. "Izzy Cumming, Nude Nation. This is for Roxy: is it true that you can make a guy come in less than 10 seconds?"
I couldn't have asked for a better setup. I relayed the question to Roxy and stood back. "Of course," she declared. "Watch this." With one smooth motion Roxy rose up on her seat, slipped one hand inside Theo's tenting pants, and put her mouth near his ear lobe. She licked him and whispered something while her hand worked unseen magic. The others on stage started counting out seconds.
They got as far as six. Then Theo's legs jerked outward and he cried out, "I'm coming! I'm fucking coming!" His hips thrust upward hard enough that he almost fell out of the seat, and a dark stain began to spread across the tan fabric. The audience and the rest of the volunteers cheered and applauded Roxy. The starlet, grinning with satisfaction, withdrew her hand and wiped it on Theo's pants leg before pulling the tight dress back over her breasts.
I let the applause die down before ending the bit. "Ladies and gentlemen of the media, that's all we have time for today. Now I'd like to invite everyone on stage and everyone in the audience to close your eyes and sleep ."
I was in the dressing room, staring absently into the mirror while I pulled off the lavaliere. The tape from the cord took some chest hair with it but I barely noticed.
"Interesting show," noted Rudi, the sound tech. "It was ... different from the first one."
Yes it was, I agreed silently. "The people make the show," I explained mechanically. "Each group is different, so each show is unique."
She was nodding. "If I'd known you were going to have that much talking across the stage, I would've put a couple of shotguns above the risers. That would have saved you all that hopping around with the hand mic to keep up with them.
"Do you want me to do that for Friday night?" Rudy asked, insistent.
"Sure," I replied, handing over her equipment.
Rudi gave me the thumbs up. "Will do!" Then she hustled out the door.
I barely had time to get my shirt tucked back in when there was another knock on the door. "Mr. Torrance?" It sounded like Regan, the camera operator.
"It's okay," I told her, "I'm decent."
One side of her face cleared the door. "I just wanted to let you know that there's a couple of people in the green room waiting. They said you told them to meet you there."
I'd almost forgotten about Will and his girlfriend. I thanked Regan and finished getting the makeup off my face.
They were sitting on the sofa in the green room when I came inside. "Great show, Mr. Trancer," Will said, rising from the couch. "This is my girlfriend, Amy."
"I remember," I assured them, taking Amy's hand in mine. She was a petite brunette, short-haired and cute. She wore a white halter dress and moderate heels. Her cheeks blushed just a little when she met my gaze. To put her a little more at ease, I started off with small talk. "Beautiful weather we've had down here, don't you agree?"
We talked temperature and humidity until I'd managed to match her breathing rate and then bring it down to a more soothing level. I pulled up an ottoman and sat beside the couch on her right, facing her, mirroring her body posture as well. When I sensed we had rapport established, I moved to the topic at hand. "Let's talk about what you'd like me to do for you, Amy."
Her brow wrinkled. "I thought Will explained ." She looked back to her boyfriend as if for help.
"He explained," I assured her. "But I need you to tell me yourself. You can do that now, or you can go into hypnosis first if you'd rather."
She gulped quietly. "I think I'd be more comfortable talking about it if I was hypnotized first."
"We can do that," I said, letting my voice slow down and soften into my trance voice. "Or, really, what I mean to say is that you can do that. Because I really can't make you go into a trance ... that's right ... unless you want to. Going into trance is something you already know how to do. It's as simple as focusing on my voice, feeling your body relax and grow heavy ... that's right ... and perhaps even allowing your inner mind to remember the sensations you experienced when you were on my stage, going deeper and deeper ... as your eyes close down, and you can just let them go ... now."
Amy's eyes grew distant and glassy almost from the start as her mind responded to my soft cadence and embedded suggestions. I did a few Elman-style arm drops until she was nice and deep, and then asked her to tell me what she wanted me to do for her.
"Make me sexy," she said quietly.
I looked at her slumped figure, curvaceous and well-toned, and a dozen emotions boiled up inside my chest. The entertainer gave way to the therapist. "You are already sexy," I said softly. "You have a lovely body and a powerful mind. Any man who does not find you sexy is unworthy of your attention. Go deeper, now, and tell me what you really want me to do for you."
She sunk a little further into the couch with a sigh. "I want you to help me have better sex with Will."
That, I could do. "Okay," I said. "In order to help you have better sex, we first need to determine what good sex feels like for you. With your permission, Amy, I'm going to lift your arm." She nodded very slightly. I took her arm and lifted it, supporting the elbow, until it was raised to a level just above her shoulder. "And now, Amy, you can let that arm sink slowly and easily down to the arm of the couch only as fast as your unconscious mind can recall the best sexual experience of your life - that sexual experience in which you felt most aroused, most satisfied, most alive." Her arm floated briefly, then started to slowly sink down. "That's right ... allow yourself to remember that experience. Feel the arousal, the joy, the satisfaction. When your arm reaches the arm of the couch, you'll be able to feel yourself in that experience at the height of your arousal, just moments away from climax."
Her arm continued its descent. Will watched wide-eyed as Amy's breathing became labored. Her eyes darted and fluttered under closed lids. Her nipples pushed hard against the halter dress, and in a few moments the unmistakable scent of a highly aroused woman began to reach my senses.
"That's right," I encouraged, lifting her arm back to its original position. "The more your arm lowers itself, the more aroused you become. The more aroused you become, the better sex you're going to have. Lower and lower, more and more aroused, climaxing only when your arm touches the arm of the couch."
I gave her a hell of a ride: each time her arm came close to the arm of the couch, I lifted it back up and reinforced the suggestion of increasing arousal as it went down. After a few repetitions, Amy's arm dropped faster and faster as her body writhed with extreme arousal. I caught the arm one last time, holding it just barely above the arm of the couch.
"Amy," I said, "you are now more aroused than you've ever been in your life. When you have your orgasm, it will be ten times better than any orgasm you've ever had before. It will be completely and totally satisfying in every way. Would you like Will to be able to make you feel this way, and to make you come like that, whenever you want to?"
Her head bobbed. "God, yes! Please, yes!"
"Good girl. Imagine that Will is with you right now. Imagine that this is Will squeezing your shoulder right now." Making sure Will was watching, I took one hand and squeezed Amy's right shoulder. "From now on, Amy, any time you feel Will squeeze your shoulder like this, you'll return immediately to the state of arousal you feel right now. You'll remain fully awake and alert, but you will become completely aroused, absolutely aroused, ready for the best orgasm of your life. You'll be able to orgasm as often as you like, as many times as you like, until both you and Will are satisfied. Will that be okay with you, Amy?"
I lifted the arm a few inches. "Then when your unconscious mind has accepted this suggestion permanently, let your arm lower to the arm of the couch and give you the best orgasm of your life."
Her arm sank steadily, and this time I didn't stop it. As soon as she felt the arm of the couch Amy's back arched and her body thrashed about wildly with the strength of her orgasm. "That's right," I said. "Let your entire body feel the orgasm. This is the best orgasm you've ever had. You can let it last as long as you want it to and then return to your deep trance state."
By the time Amy quieted down and became still again, almost four minutes had passed. Her skin gleamed all over from perspiration. And Will looked completely beside himself.
I spent several more minutes with Amy reinforcing her new trigger. I also took her through some reframing and worked on having her become more adventurous in the bedroom. Then it was time to count her up.
"Welcome back," I said as her eyes blinked open. "How do you feel?"
She peeked inside the top of her dress and moved her legs. "Like I've had the ride of my life," she replied. "What happened?"
"I'll let Will explain it - or better yet, Will, why don't you demonstrate?"
He gave me a puzzled look. "Now? Here?"
I shrugged. "Sure. Just be ready to head to your room immediately. Or lock the door behind me."
As I headed for the door, Will got up and sat beside Amy on the couch. He pulled her to him for a kiss.
"Don't," she chided. "I'm all sweaty."
"You ain't seen nothin' yet," he said, and squeezed her right shoulder. I stayed long enough to see Amy gasp in amazement, then dive hungrily at Will.
Sometimes I just love my work.