How to Write a Bad Review

And why

How to write a bad review

I’d like to tell you a story about a video I bought a while ago.

By a while ago, I mean eight years, I think. Wow, eight years… anyway…

It was from a new content provider, and it was about an hour long. It also cost about sixty bucks , which I justified spending since it was a dollar a minute for some content I wouldn’t find anywhere else. It was a big file too, coming in at about a gig, it took a while to download, especially since I might have still been on dial up. I watched it, and while there was plenty of hotness in the first fifty or so minutes, the last ten were pretty hardcore humiliation themed, and capped off with a suggestion to piss one’s self.

Nowhere, and I repeat NOWHERE, in the file’s description was there mention of any of that.

Sure, some of you are probably thinking, “Hey, that’s kind of hot. Imagine if it really worked on you, how mind fucked you’d be, and isn’t that what you want, to be really mind fucked by a hypnotist?” And yes, that would have been a hell of a mind fuck, but that wasn’t what I signed up for. And I happen to believe that erotic hypnosis content should be treated just like any other commodity, it should be advertised for what it is.

Now, since I spent 60 dollars, which at the time was the equivalent of a little less than a full day’s worth of work (after taxes), I made sure to enjoy the first 50 minutes until I had gotten my money’s worth out of it. It’s a practice I’ve employed more than a few times with some either poorly researched, or deliberately misleading purchases. I did so in an almost, no, absolutely spiteful manner because that’s the only way I could live with losing that money.

I felt this way any time I’d purchased hypnosis themed content as opposed to genuine hypnosis, or any time I got something that I felt just wasn’t that good.

(Of course, now that I’ve found someone that works for me, I don’t have this problem anymore.)

At the time, I never said anything to the providers about my displeasure, after all buyer beware is a real thing in all aspects of life, and I never went out and stood on a soapbox about it. Partially because that’s generally not what we do in this community (for a whole slew of reasons), and partially because I didn’t know how to communicate what was wrong with it. But I do now. Here is my bad review for that video:

During the last ten minutes of Jennifer Sands 1 by FHRA, after all the cleavage fascination and confabulation oriented hypnosis themed content, you will be given the suggestion to piss your pants. This suggestion follows a series of progressively darker humiliation themed suggestions, and is not included anywhere in the content’s description. I was so bothered by this that I have not purchased, or been even slightly interested in any content generated by this provider.

Notice how I didn’t say it sucked, or threw the people who made it under the bus. I didn’t say I was ripped off, didn’t call names, and didn’t preach about what the content should have been.

I think if I had, you wouldn’t fault me for it, especially if you’ve ever been in a situation like mine. I think you’d understand, and my venom might even have made you feel better. But, it wouldn’t communicate anything about the product or the problems I had with it, it would only tell you that I was unhappy.

We all know reviews are opinions, but our opinions come out of the facts that inform them, and if you want to do more than shake your fists at the heavens, put the onus on the facts, or at least the facts as you see them.
Sometimes you’ll be able to stay dead to rights on what the facts are, other times things will be a little bit more subjective. I called this hypnosis themed content because it was and actress reading a script that was built around troupes and not technique, but there’s a very real chance this video may have put the whammy on someone. After all, the power of suggestion is such a nebulous thing, and trance is a such a fickle sort of phenomenon that the lines between real and pretend can blend seamlessly.

The issue of real and fake may be better served by saying effective and not effective. After all, while there is real technique, MP3s, videos, and even phone calls, aren’t the most ideal way of experiencing trance, and hypnosis isn’t math, two plus two doesn’t always equal four.

On top of that there is the erotic component as well as the power exchange component. Either of those by themselves are enough to muddy up the emotional waters, and incline the reviewer to want to be negative if their expectations are not met, or met too well (or if they just have masturbator’s remorse). The shame we feel for wanting what we want can make us lash out just as much as the disappointment we feel when our fantasies don’t come true the way we want them to.

These are some of the reasons inraptured hasn’t allowed negative reviews. Other reasons include (but are not limited to) bad press as brand warfare, spite, and overall environment management. After all, the fans outnumber the providers by a spectacular ratio, and if even a fraction of us got our hate on, then we could flood the community with negativity.

Now, inraptured isn’t the only hypnosis community site and we’ve all seen other ones (or if you haven’t, you’re missing out, sort of), some above board, others that undermine the hard work and effort of the scene’s content providers. Depending on what any given’s site controlling interest wants it to be, you can see any number of opinions, reviews, and thoughts ranging from brand specific, to unabashedly honest, to just plain wrathful.

In this, like any form of media, like anything at all in this world, it can be great to plunge into the darkness, to get your hate on either through your own voice or the words of others. It can be cathartic, cleansing, and it can be good. But, and in a scene this small it is especially true, that hate can be explosive. More importantly though, for you the fan, it is implosive.

I am making an assumption here, one based off my own experiences and one that I think is probably one a lot of us can relate to, but I think a lot of us have/had a complicated relationship with what we desire. It isn’t normative, it’s pretty weird when you think about it in traditional terms, and there’s a chance you have some self-esteem issues tied in with this. If you do, getting your hate on will turn out to be more self-damaging than anything else.

All of that said, everything I’ve written so far is in service of one idea: that we as a community can find a way to communicate our negative experiences in a constructive and healthy way. That is, of course, if you find a place or a cause to do so. I believe, as it would be in any other community, we should look out for each other and take care of each other when we can. We just have to do it the right way.

What do you think?
 

About Smuthunter
Smuthunter is a lifelong hypnosis fetishist and self-professed gigantic nerd. He is best know for the work he does in the hypno-fetish community, ranging from mind control themed photo manipulations at hypnopics-collective.net, his occasional trouble making at inraptured.net and his seldom updated blog: In real life, he lives in the Pacific Northwest and is working on his first novel, his first comic book, and a table-top role playing game system, none of which are mind control themed. He also has a day job.

1 Comment on How to Write a Bad Review

  1. As an author and hypnotist, I love positive reviews. But… honestly, I also love negative reviews (maybe more as a hypnotist than as an author!)

    For one thing, as near as I can tell from almost two decades of watching this fetish’s various online communities, an individual subject (or reader)’s hot buttons trump most other considerations, for most people. If you get most pervs a little drunk (or a little… sleepy… drowsy… dreamy…) they’ll admit to you that there’s some story or video or recording that is *total crap*, with bad grammar, bad sound quality, poor lighting, an unconvincing hypnotist, but… when they’re *really* horny, they keep going back to it, because it does that *thing*, whatever that thing is for them, that really gets them off.

    So I take bad reviews with a grain of salt. Yeah, maybe it sucked… or maybe you’re just frustrated that it didn’t have that *thing*. There weren’t any saddle shoes in the story, or the hypnotized subject stripped a little too willingly, or… whatever it is, it didn’t randomly happen to push the right button for you. I don’t take that personally.

    But also, it can be hard to *find* bad reviews. Sure, maybe on a site like Inraptured, there’s a danger that dommes will set their subjects to writing bad reviews of other dommes’ work, and that would be noise that isn’t useful to people honestly trying to find which hypnotists and recordings would be a good fit for them. But fawning praise from sycophantic subjects is *also* useless noise for that purpose. (In fact, the excess of fawning praise is the main reason I’ve mostly stopped reading Inraptured.) And even on sites that *don’t* ban negative reviews, I see more fawning praise than vitriol.

    I’ve come to have a subversive love for the hypno warez sites, which as a content producer I should hate; but people there have no incentive not to say exactly what did and didn’t work for them about a particular recording– and *that*’s what I want to know. I can draw my own conclusions about what that means for me– if someone loved Mistress A’s recording because her style is a lot like Mistress B, and I hate Mistress B’s style, that’s useful info for me. If they hated it because it had fetish X and they don’t like that but I do, that’s also useful. If they loved how it did something that I’d like to base a recording around myself, maybe I should buy it and give a listen…

    The warez sites have a negative bias to reviews. They’re not a great source of ego stroking. I find it relatively easy to ignore that (though it’s not my own ox being gored, yet), and notice when an otherwise-negatively-biased person has something positive to say.

    I think your advice is excellent and anyone who can manage to produce detailed yet judgement-free critique is absolutely doing the right thing. It’s what we all should strive for in writing reviews. But it’s not necessarily what I strive for in reading them. And if someone expresses nothing but vague yet effusive praise, I tend to tune it out– in my book, even if it’s not a bad review, it’s a badly written one.

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