Embodied delight: what's your pleasure?RECEIVING AND GIVING: THE WHEEL OF CONSENT®
Healing your relationship with pleasure
Sessions online using Zoom: embodied, therapeutic and educative enquiry: elicit deep insights from your whole being, more than "just talking".
Wheel of Consent sessions average 1.5 to 2 hours. Longer sessions and workshops by negotiation.
The Wheel of Consent – Healing Your Relationship With Pleasure
“Why would most people endure unwanted or unsatisfying touch rather than speak up for their own boundaries and desires?”
Dr. Betty Martin – The Art of Receiving and Giving
Communicating limits and boundaries: growing up, most of us learned to tolerate and endure touch we didn’t want. From instructions such as “be good” and hug your aunt uncle, through to bad things that happened: many of us didn’t learn an embodied sense of our limits and boundaries, let alone the ability to communicate them.
Pleasure and asking for what you want: many of us also learned to sit still and behave, over-riding the desires arising within us. We typically were taught not notice what feels good in our bodies, or even to feel guilt and shame about things that feel pleasurable.
This kind of conditioning is not without consequence: many of us when asked “what do you want?” can find it embarrassing or difficult to answer the question. Quite simply, we endure unwanted and unsatisfying touch, because we learned to growing up.
We can however rewire our relationship with pleasure, by going to our bodies and learning how to:
Notice – how relaxed pleasure feels, touch and our skin is a good place to start.
Trust – relaxed pleasurable sensations in our body, helping to release past pain, guilt and shame.
Value – make relaxed embodied pleasure a priority, learn to create space for it to happen.
Communicate – our desires to others, welcoming limits and boundaries (our own and other peoples).
We also need to learn to ask vital questions such as “who is this for?” For example: if someone hugs or massages me, who is the touch for? We tend to associate doing touch with ‘giving’. However sometimes we give a hug or massage because we want touch: embarrassed to ask for what we want, we give to receive.
To share pleasure with another person, we need to know how and when to put forwards our own desires. We also need to know how and when to put aside our desires, so we can be in service to another. We can’t do either of these things without being able to feel and communicate our limits and boundaries.
The Wheel of Consent® helps us learn to notice, trust, value and communicate our desires, limits and boundaries; to create more nuanced consent agreements.
What is the Wheel of Consent®?
The Wheel of Consent is an embodied practice and a model, describing dynamics of exchange that occur in relationships of all kinds. The practice and theory combined, help us negotiate clear and consensual agreements in all areas of life.
We begin with a solo practice called Waking up the Hands. You learn how to experience relaxed feelings of pleasure in your skin; how to notice and choose what feels good. This one practice alone can change alot – including radically improving the quality of your touch!
You can continue to learn through touch exchanges with another person if you want to. These exchanges are initially limited to the hand and arm, they can be done in a workshop, in a session with me or at home with a partner or friend.
The touch exchange practice creates a great foundation for sensual, sexual and erotic play: you can continue the practice using your whole body (and any toys you fancy!) with a lover or partner.
However, it is in the simple clothed touch practice that the greatest breakthroughs occur, so this is the focus of the Wheel of Consent® work.
Through these touch exchanges you learn that what you want really matters. You learn to notice and ask for what feels good. You learn to set aside your desires to serve another. You learn how to notice and communicate your boundaries.
As you practice more and for longer: everything you have come to unconsciously associate with pleasure may surface to be felt. The body keeps the score; embodied memories of bad things that happened can arise as we do the practice.
In this way, the practice can also help you heal. It does this through rewiring neural pathways with positive disconfirming experiences: those of your boundaries being heard and your desires mattering.
There is also a whole heap of underpinning theory and realisations spiralling out from the practice, so much so Dr. Betty Martin has written a 411 page book (see below)!
How can I learn the Wheel of Consent®?
Individuals: learn Waking up the Hands (in person or on Zoom) or learn the full practice with me in person (see FAQs “what happens in a session”), or attend a Wheel of Consent® workshop.
Friends, couples or polycules: book a session and learn the whole practice together in person or online: 2-3 hours is the minimum needed. You can also come along to a Wheel of Consent® workshop together.