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The Art of Receiving and Giving: The Wheel of Consent Kindle Edition
Why would most people endure unwanted or unsatisfying touch, rather than speak up for their own boundaries and desires? It’s a question with a myriad of answers – and one that Dr. Betty Martin has explored in her 40+ years as a hands-on practitioner, first as a chiropractor and later as a Somatic Sex Educator, Certified Surrogate Partner and Sacred Intimate. In her client sessions, she noticed a pattern wherein many clients would “allow” or go along with discomfort or unease rather than speak up for what they wanted or didn’t want. Betty discovered there was a major component missing for people -- the confidence that we have a choice about what is happening to us.
In her framework, “The Wheel of Consent®” Betty traces the fundamental roots of consent back to our childhood conditioning. As children, we are taught that to be “good” we must ignore our body’s discomfort and be compliant: to finish our food even if we’re full, to go to bed even if we’re not tired, to let relatives hug and kiss us even if we don’t want to. We learn that our feelings don’t matter more than what is happening, and that we don’t have a choice but to go along, whether or not we want it.
As adults, this conditioning remains with us until we have an opportunity to unlearn it, which is why consent violations are often only called out after the violation has occurred - because we have not been taught or empowered to notice our boundaries, much less value or express our internal signals as the unwanted action is happening.
In this book, Betty guides the reader through the Wheel of Consent framework, and shares practices to help us recover the ability to notice what we want and set clear boundaries. In these practices, we discover that the Art of Giving includes knowing our own limits so we can be more generous within those limits, and not give beyond our capacity. We also discover that the Art of Receiving invites us to notice and ask for what we really want. This knowledge, and its embodied practice, is foundational for creating clear agreements and bringing more satisfaction into relationships.
While much of consent education focuses on noticing what we don’t want, or prevention of violation, Betty has developed a “pleasure-forward” approach to teaching consent. By first accessing and awakening (sometimes re-awakening) our bodies’ relationship to pleasure and what we want, we can practice noticing and verbalizing what we don’t want. Such an approach provides a more holistic frame in which to unlearn the childhood conditioning that taught us to be silent and compliant, and in which individuals can learn to ask for what they want and state what they don’t, in a more empowered way.
The implications of this approach to consent education extends beyond touch and intimate relationships. When we forget how to notice what we really want, we lose our inner compass. When we continue to go along with things we don’t feel are right, we lose our ability to speak up against injustice. This has a profound effect on society. We allow all manner of inequality, corruption, theft of natural resources and our planet’s future health - because “going along with it” feels normal.
The #MeToo movement exposed the pervasiveness of boundary violations in modern culture. The Wheel of Consent offers a deeply nuanced way to practice consent as an agreement that brings integrity, responsibility, and empowerment into human interaction, starting with touch and relationships, and further expanding our understanding of consent to social issues of equality and justice.
About the Author
Robyn Dalzen has been training, traveling and teaching with Betty since 2014, and her insightful collaboration on the book helped get it across the finish line. Robyn has a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Sustainable International Development, working for 15 years in the non-profit environmental sector. She is certified as a Transformational Leadership Coach and a Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercise (TRE(R)) provider. Robyn has been teaching the Wheel of Consent around the world since 2016, helping people discover how to have safer, deeper, and clearer interactions and to fully respect and honor those with whom they interact. www.robyndalzen.com --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B08VF983WV
- Publisher : Luminare Press (February 19, 2021)
- Publication date : February 19, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 2357 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 424 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #357,483 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Top reviews from the United States
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Read this book and open new mental models and a new way to broaden your view and experience of life in relationship with others.
Betty Martin has been working in the area of touch, pleasure, consent, and self-awareness for many years. She has been generous in sharing her knowledge and experience on her excellent website and in seminars. Now she has done the hard work of putting these years of experience into an excellent book. It is clearly written, with memorable examples, gentle guidance and thoughtful steps for practicing the wheel of consent. She has been sharing her version of the 3 minute game and the diagram of the wheel of consent and now there is detailed guidance for how to implement it in your own life. I recommend her work for everyone from teens beginning to explore their sexuality to couples of all types who have been together for decades. I believe we can all learn and heal from what is in this book if we are willing to explore the practice of the wheel of consent. Thank you, Betty, for all your work to bring this to us!
Top reviews from other countries
To put the Wheel of Consent into perspective, at the simplest level (what I’d call ‘Consent 101’) are things like the ‘Consent is as simple as Tea’ video. It seems this approach has encouraged people to communicate more about sex, and to ask questions of each other, rather than just assume. However it only goes so far. Most cultures have far more taboos and shame around sexuality than they do around tea, and people are much more likely to hold trauma in their bodies related to sex than tea-drinking.
A good example of the next level (‘Consent 201’) is the ‘FRIES’ acronym, which asserts that consent needs to be: Freely given (no coercion), Reversible (you can change your mind), Informed (relevant information which might affect your decision is not withheld), Enthusiastic (‘hmmm, well, I guess so’ is not a clear enough yes) and Specific (consenting to one thing doesn’t mean you’ve consented to anything else). This is clearly a big improvement in defining what needs to be present for consent to be established, and it applies to many situations, not just sex.
Then there’s the Wheel of Consent (‘Consent 301’) which goes further than FRIES in two key respects. The first is that it takes a closer look at the word ‘Enthusiastic’, where a more nuanced approach reveals there are two different kinds of a full ‘yes’. The first is ‘Want To’ – saying a wholehearted yes to something I want and which is for me. The second kind is ‘Willing To’ – saying a wholehearted yes to something I am willing to do for you. Asking these two questions, ‘Who Is Doing?’ (you or me) and ‘Who Is It For?’ (you or me) creates four possibilities, each of which has a different flavour, and requires a different kind of consent agreement to be made. Many insights can flow from this.
The Wheel of Consent is also an embodied practice. Betty Martin’s book clearly describes some simple practices to help us notice and communicate the nuanced sensations and emotions which arise when making and responding to touch requests. This simple, naturally trauma-sensitive practice has transformed my relationship with consent in all areas of my life. Buy the book!
The Wheel of Consent is fascinating in its simplicity and scope and Betty Martin is wonderfully clear in explaining her model and defining terms. Be sure to engage in the practices in addition to reading however; intellectual understanding is only part of the Wheel as this is an embodied praxis, made up of practices that continue to give back the more they are experienced.
However, sometimes great teaching is let down by how it’s translated into book form. Not with The Art of Receiving and Giving!
Martin (and Dalzen) manage to explain the Wheel, complex at first but penny-drop-obvious once you click with it, in a way I’d liken to peeling layers off an onion. After establishing the basic concept, chapter-by-chapter they go deeper into the nuances, while also referring back to the basics to always anchor in the fundamental question of Who It’s For.
This work changed my life profoundly and enduringly. To see it elucidated so clearly in book form is exciting indeed because it will reach a much wider audience.
If you’ve heard something about The Wheel of Consent - and even if you haven’t - make this the next book you buy!
This book should be on a read list for all schools. This should be part of our education system. Simply put, read the book, and then live it in your life and see how it blossoms...