I recently spent 5 days training in the amazing Betty Martin Wheel of Consent.
Betty is a fantastic Sexuality and Intimacy Coach who has developed this great wheel.
For more information, you can visit http://schoolofconsent.org/downloads/ for lots of generously provided, free resources.
Here is a quick thought for each day of the training and details of a short group I am running to start getting this stuff out there!
Day 1 – We need to wake up our hands.
We spent most of the morning touching an object such as a stone, a shell or a feather, before moving on to feeling the hand of a partner, for our own pleasure. The realisation was how it all starts with us, especially if we are going to ‘Take’ pleasure from touching another person. Once our hands wake up, we learnt about the idea of a ‘pleasure ceiling’ where we find it hard to allow ourselves to go beyond a certain amount of pleasure. Some emotion, like shame or fear, comes and interrupts it. I have returned home with literally more sensation in my hands and fingers and more pleasure signals reaching my brain!
Day 2 – We all struggle to ask for what we want.
The room was full of other sexuality professionals, who like me, have focussed a lot of interest and study on the subject of pleasure. Even in this room of people, most people found that there were barriers and thoughts holding us back from asking for what we really want, or even knowing what we want. We explored all the many personal, cultural and social reasons why we might not be able to get in touch with and ask for what we really want and desire.
Day 3 – Consent is about far more than ‘permission’.
The usual definition of Consent is about one person asking to do something and the other person giving permission, which means ‘I am willing to agree to what you want’. We explored the expanded definition, that consent means ‘the whole process of coming to an agreement about what you are going to do together’ and that this is changeable. The Wheel of Consent is such a great tool for helping us to explore and dig deep into what this agreement process feels like. Through the actual practice of touch, outside of usual intimate encounters, we can find our real wants and desires, our willingness to, our reluctance and resistance, and to find our voice about all this.
Day 4 – Body pleasure is not always sexual or erotic.
I had the chance to ask for an experience with another person for 20 minutes. I noticed how sexual and erotic experiences are at the top of some hierarchy of importance and that there was some internal pressure from my thoughts to ask for a more ‘sexy’ experience. I realised how in the past I might have ignored my other needs. The impact of asking for a more nurturing, non-sexual experience made me feel incredibly vulnerable. It felt powerful and healing when the person gave this to me. It was particularly important that I trusted their ability to say yes and no, and that I really believed they were happy to give me this touch.
Day 5 – The asking and communicating is more important than the doing.
Many people come to Sex Coaches and Sexological Bodyworkers thinking they want to learn genital massage, or receive a particular kind of touch to have an experience. What we often do is help clients to see that actually, the missing piece and one that is going to have a lasting impact on their life is noticing what you want, trusting it, valuing it and asking for it. They are vital skills to have fantastic experiences of intimacy, touch, sex and pleasure, which our childhood’s fail to teach us. Workshops or one to one sessions are great places to develop these skills and gain confidence.
I was inspired to share more about the Wheel of Consent and its benefits! I have created a 6-week group to meet in Wigston, Leicestershire on 6 Tuesday evenings, coming up soon. Please get in touch ASAP if you are interested. See flyer.
If you are interested in one to one sessions and would like a free 30 min consultation, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.