Wednesday, March 03, 2010

You are in my power...

Among the ads from the 1899 issue of Black Cat Magazine I showed you yesterday was an ad selling hypnotism. Hypnotism ads have been popular over the years. I have several examples that I've taken from various sources.

The popular view of hypnotism still has the fictional stereotype of Svengali, a person able to control another person through hypnosis.

Reading about hypnosis is fascinating. There's a somewhat long but interesting entry about hypnotism on Wikipedia here.

I've never been hypnotized. I read that about 25% of the population can be readily hypnotized and 20% can't be hypnotized at all.

According to one source a good clue as to whether someone can be hypnotized is whether they watch a television program and get into it totally, blocking out all external distractions. That's not me.

My guess, based on some of the ads, is that hypnotism is being sold to influence someone sexually. Some of the ads show women, either in the somnambulist state (the hypno coin ad from the 1960s or hypnotism by TV ad from the 1970s), or the ad "How to hypnotize," that appeared in comic books in the 1940s and '50s. That full-page ad was apparently very successful, because it shows up a lot.

Some of the young guys who read comic books in the 1940s and '50s saw the man wiggling his fingers at the girl and thought, since I can't get a girl any other way I'll just send Stravon Publishing $1.98 plus postage, learn how to hypnotize Suzie and get her in bed. I'm sure those guys were disappointed. Lots of ads in old comics seem to be aimed at the socially awkward; you know, the kind of people who read comic books.

Let's face it, men, if you can't find sex without hypnotism then you probably aren't going to find sex.

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