The Story Behind the Store
It all started with the war on hypno.
It was 2015, and the tiny new genre of “gender affirming self hypnosis” videos was taking off on Tumblr and various porn sites like Pornhub. These videos, which we call ‘hypnos’, use techniques derived from professional hypnotists to calm fears and overcome the social programming that haunts the millions of people worldwide who are suffering under gender dysphoria. Hypnos help trans women to remove the fear and years of religious programming that keeps them from seeing themselves in their real identity.
In 2015, these Hypno videos caught the eye of a game designer and entrepreneur. As this young designer watched and internalized these messages, they awoke to their own dysphoria and began the long road of transformation that would eventually lead to a beautiful new woman, Mia.
As her own transformation blossomed, Mia participated in online communities like Reddit and Twitter, hoping to help others like her discover themselves through hypnos. But then, in 2017, the war started. It wasn’t a normal war, with bullets and bombs. It was a financial war. And it started with Yahoo!
Yahoo!, once the darling of internet search engines, started to fade in the second decade 2000s. After going on a spending spree in the 2000’s to build a veritable internet empire, proudly based on free speech and open communication, their fortunes were waning under the onslaught of Google and Facebook. But by 2017, it was clear that Yahoo! was no longer the power player they once were, and the entire company was sold to Verizon for less than five percent of its peak value.
While there had been attempts to wipe out Hypnos before, the money war began with that acquisition. As part of the acquisition of Yahoo!, Verizon shut down any sexually explicit content Yahoo’s social media platforms, which included Tumblr. Thus, in one transaction, Tumblr, with almost no warning, kicked off thousands of small artists who had created a thriving market for gender affirming self hypnosis captions and animated GIFs. Overnight, thousands of people who had turned to this art were left hanging.
Some new sites attempted to recreate Tumblr while many of the content creators moved over to other social media sites. However, the spark that was the Tumblr community faded. Mia was heartbroken but rather than complain, she decided to act.
As a game designer, she had published media titles and understood the process. Buying the rights to a “youtube-like software platform”, she designed Hypnotube, a website dedicated to gathering videos and images related to feminization, transsexual women and the men who love them. A sleepy little site at first, Mia put her heart into the growth of Hypnotube, and it gradually grew to a half million visitors a month. She quit her job and dedicated herself to growing the community and the platform, but money was tight. It was always a matter of being one month ahead of the bill collectors.
Then the second stroke came in the fall of 2020 with a series of sudden and damaging changes on Social Media (rumored to be led by Chase Bank, the largest bank behind Mastercard). Instagram announced new terms of service that kicked off sexually explicit material, followed by Tiktok banning sex workers. Then, in the biggest blow of all, a series of damaging reports emerged on the BBC and in the New York Times. Porhhub was found to be profiting from child sex trafficking and the news stories were agonizing. Children, mostly girls, some as young as toddlers, were being abused and their videos were being uploaded to Pornhub who made money from the web traffic.
This vivid and disgusting revelation led Visa and Mastercard, the largest credit card companies, to immediately put a hold on all payments to Pornhub. Seeing their revenue crash, the adult site immediately announced major changes to their policies hoping to earn the trust of the credit card companies. Unfortunately for the transfem community, those changes went too far.
In their desperation, Pornhub almost immediately deleted over nine million videos. If the person who uploaded the video wasn’t a known verified porn studio with permission from every performer documented in writing, the video had to come down. (The gambit didn’t work. Credit cards are no longer honored on Pornhub. It was all for nothing).
Now known as “the Pornhub Purge”, this mass deletion of videos went far beyond deleting offensive and illegal content. It also meant ending any creative content that was derived from legitimate video. Pornhub, in their zeal, deleted almost every hypno from their massive catalog. Any trans artist who took snippets of video from different videos, composed them into a new work, and added captions or hypnotic messaging, found their videos deleted overnight. Many did not even have time to save their material.
One of those content creators, Goddess By Night, who lost 40 videos in the purge, spoke to Vice news. “I don’t plan on returning to Pornhub because of this. It was a betrayal, especially to the loads of creators they explicitly welcomed after Tumblr’s ban two years ago. I know some creators who lost work that they may never get back because Pornhub didn’t offer a grace period.” (source: Vice)
Fortunately, Hypnotube had been in operation for a few years and thousands of feminization videos had been carefully curated, reviewed, and saved in the Hypnotube library. Given the fact that none of the revenue of Hypnotube was derived from memberships paid through credit cards, the sudden decision by Mastercard and Visa had no effect on Hypnotube. Thousands of fans of hypno jumped over to Hypnotube, which blew up overnight.
“It was amazing. At that point, the community came together in one place. That gave us the opportunity to serve the community in a big way,” said Mia. It had always been the policy of Hypnotube to carefully review every video submitted, so there were no child porn or abusive rape videos on the site. The reputation of Hypnotube spread quickly and it became the most trusted site on the web for gender affirming self hypnosis videos.
All this happened as the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had pushed millions of white collar workers to their home offices. Dealing with isolation, good internet, and lots more free time, a growing community discovered Hypno. To capitalize on the trend, and the backlash from the Pornhub purge, Mia set up a chat group using the popular gaming app Discord. It quickly gathered thousands of fans eager to build a community. (Discord attempted to kick off all sexually explicit communities in the spring of 2021 at the behest of Apple but allowed a narrow workaround that lets the community survive).
Unfortunately, success is not free. Mia had been surviving on advertising for revenue and while site traffic was up, so were expenses. The costs of delivering all that video started to increase. Undaunted, Mia pressed on. She gathered volunteers from the Discord community and began looking for ways to build an all-new approach to sharing connections, content, and encouragement among the transfem community. Dedicated to building a community that cannot be “fucked” by big banks and media companies, she planned for a future based on crypto currency. With her rag-tag group of volunteers, she envisioned an altogether new approach to social media, one built around the needs of this under served community.
As Hypnotube grew, so did expenses. While the volunteers were wonderful, there wasn’t enough money to build the ambitious new version of the Hypnotube site that Mia had envisioned. And that’s where the Hypnofem club comes in. In October of 2021, one of Mia’s volunteers who goes by Captain Nick opened the Hypnofem club store as a retail outlet dedicated to the community. While the vision of the store is to be “a safe place to feminize,” the underlying goal is to raise funds to build the new Hypnotube. A long time veteran of the software industry and an early Internet company founder, Captain Nick is actively partnering with Mia to build the new social media site for the community.
“We had to flip the script,” opined Captain Nick. “ Hypnotube was getting by, but it was never going to have the funds to replace itself.” He explains that while the world of social media kept advancing, Hypnotube and the sites like it were stuck in the past. “The war on the trans community is still raging. It’s very real. It was change or die, and we decided to change for the sake of everything we wanted to build.”
Every sale to the Hypnofem club site contributes to that goal. Hypnofem funds help pay for Hypnotube as well as paying for the construction of the new site to replace it. It may take quite some time to cover the costs of that new site, but with the revenue from the Hypnofem club, we hope to accelerate progress.
Welcome to the Hypnofem club. We are glad you have come to visit the site and support our efforts to build a whole new community. An unfuckable community. A community that refuses to be put back into the closet. We are here. We are visible. And we are not afraid.