While much consent work is black and white and is mostly about ‘no means no’, the Wheel of Consent (WoC) offers a brilliant way understanding the many nuances of consent with clarity and ease.
The Wheel of Consent is a body of work created by Betty Martin which explores all the roles we can take in our relationships- giving, receiving, taking and allowing. Originally designed around touch, it applies to our everyday life and every interaction we have, from who does the dishes to who is this blow job for.
I got really excited about clarifying these roles at a recent Wheel of Consent workshop I attended, facilitated by Corinne Diachuk*- we explored the roles using consensual non-sexual touch. I loved how clear it all was, how freeing it was to be in full consent with the folks I was interacting with. We talked about the difference between ‘wanting’ and ‘willing’ and the difference between a request, an offer and an invitation. We talked about the generosity of giving and the passion of ta...
I have a beautiful big apple tree right beside my front deck, and every time I pass it, I notice that the fruit is getting bigger and redder. I’m noticing that the sun is rising later and setting earlier, and the acorns, while still greenish, are starting to drop from the mighty oaks guarding my back fence.
As the seasons change I am reminded to pay attention, to notice what’s different in my world, and my gathering basket is overflowing this harvest. Since last August, I have a new granddaughter and news of another on the way, new friends and a new home, and my mother has transplanted herself from the prairies to move in just down the road.
My somatic sexuality education private practice is expanding- I’ve been collaborating with colleagues, attended two Canadian sexuality conferences, completed 216 hours of Somatic Experiencing Trauma Resolution training and a 30 day mindful masturbation challenge, and taken on the position of Creative Administrator for the Institute for the Study of S...
I didn’t celebrate international women’s day. Or rather, I didn’t actively celebrate. I read all my friends’ message on Facebook, I reposted a few things about fabulous women we should know, I talked to a few women friends, my daughter, my mom.
But not mindfully. I didn’t make my own post. I don’t think I mentioned it to anyone out loud.
And then I got up this morning and chatted with a friend who was telling me how she celebrated…and I was like, Oh. Oops. Maybe I’m a bad woman, maybe I should be turning in my empowered feminist woman badge.
But hey, I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole. I can appreciate that some days are better than others, that some days my best is better than it is on other days.
Today, I can appreciate me, in my life, right now. I can pause and think about the strong amazing women in my family, there are many who have nurtured me and encouraged me. I can appreciate the many circles of women who have supported me through the years, and continue to do so, near and...
“Let it be dorky and hot.” My brain just cannot let go of these words shared by sex educator Felice Shays at the Playground 2018 Conference recently.
And they pretty much sum up my conference experience. While the ‘it’ was specifically about rough sex (check back soon for more on that), the lesson here is about life.
“Let yourself be dorky and hot.” I could live the rest of my life by these words. Giving myself permission to be my own original dorky self, embracing dorky as good and real and worth celebrating.
When I celebrate my dorkiness, I give myself permission to explore, to make a mistake, to try something new. I can ask questions, admit I don’t know something, and say what I’m thinking and feeling. I can yes. I can say no. I can say let me think about it while I launch into an interpretive dance.
Embodying dorky means that can look silly, get dirty, and relax. In dorkiness there is room to move – I can stretch boundaries and grow and bounce back, limited only by my imagination and m...
Today, let’s be generous with ourselves, when we look in the mirror, when we fall down, when we make a mistake or a fool of ourselves. Can you be self-ish enough to pick yourself up and help yourself feel better? Can you be self-ish enough to fill yourself up with love, and appreciation and kindness? Even when, especially when, the world is clamoring for your time and attention?
Can you dare to be your big, beautiful, perfectly imperfect self? Can you be self-ish enough to do whatever it takes to embody all of you? Can you move through fear towards courage, the courage to be yourself? Paint that picture, wear that blouse, take that class, write that blog, eat that cake, sing that song, whatever it is that makes your heart sing, that makes you feel like you.
And how generous are you willing to be with the world? Will you show up with all your gifts and your flaws and be in the world with me? Will you generously share your triumphs and your failures so that I can learn and grow and celebra...
Life is energy. We are energy, and we were all born from sexual energy, that core of fire within that burns to have experiences, to connect, to create, to bloom, to feel pleasure and joy. Our sexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are, and connecting to our erotic energy invites joyful living, bringing pleasure and aliveness into our life experience and our relationships. It’s not just about getting turned on sexually, but getting turned on to life- creatively, sensually, intellectually, and by making a difference in the world.
Humans are made to experience pleasure. Pleasure nurtures and heals. It alters blood chemistry and enhances brain function. Pleasure invites connection, building trust and resiliency. Allowing and experiencing pleasure is an invitation to express our true selves with courage, passion and creativity.
Unfortunately, limits to pleasure are pervasive in a culture that shames sexuality and fails to teach us how to honor and celebrate our creative, generative, life-fo...
Oh the pleasure of being satisfied and the satisfaction of experiencing pleasure. That feeling of being enough, so completely and deliciously full, replete. That place where the cares of the world drop away and there is just you in your body in the moment.
Great sex can get you there, to that place. But what is it that makes good sex great?
Often, folks tell me that for sex to be real, pleasurable and satisfying, there must be genital orgasm, almost as if everything that comes before the orgasm only matters if there is an orgasm.
But without the expanding cycles of arousal, excitement and enjoyment, we often cannot reach orgasm, and even if we do, we might get the release, even pleasure, but not the satisfaction.
We don’t go on vacation to get to it over with; it’s the being on vacation that’s the fun part. We want to arrive home feeling satisfied, and it’s our enjoyment along the way that gets us home tired, sunburned, and full.
It’s the same with great sex. It’s not the doing of it, but...
I send my clients home to practice the skills we’ve explored in session. “What can you do at home,” I ask them, “to support your learning?” I invite them to consider when where and how they will take some time for their own exploration and expansion.
But I don’t always practice what I preach.
Many a morning a freshly-brewed pot of coffee and a long to-do list have distracted me from my own self-pleasuring practice. Somehow that load of laundry or deck to clear or phone call to make gets my attention and I forget my intention to practice self-care.
And then Monday comes again, and somehow on Mondays my intentions are clearer, and I recommit to my self-care. I lie in bed and consider what would feel best today – dancing, orgasmic yoga, a walk in the forest, writing in my journal, or maybe some delicious combination.
This morning I chose to dance, finding the steps and music to a sacred circle dance choreography I’ve been thinking about but haven’t practiced for years. I’ve been humming the m...
It starts with a whisper of heat at the back of my neck. Just a hint, and then the warmth builds swiftly, radiating across my shoulders, chest and belly. I feel the power tingling through my arms and down my thighs. I breathe into it, savouring the secret deliciousness of my own personal inner fire. I feel supercharged and alive. These are not my mother’s hot flashes.
I remember my grandmother standing in her thin cotton nightie with the back door flung wide to the winter chill. Among my mother’s friends there were litanies of complaints: hot flashes, sleepless nights, mood swings and cravings, dry skin, vaginal dryness and weight gain. It sounded horrible to a young woman entering puberty, and I admit to tuning it out, preferring my Teen Beat fantasies and erotic imaginings- menopause had nothing to do with me.
And yet here I am. And unlike my Nana, I’m loving it. From the moment I realized that I was having hot flashes, I’ve been pondering why I am so enjoying myself. When I think abou...
My daily missive from The Universe today: “It's (Life’s) got everything to do with being yourself, trusting the magic, following your heart, dreaming big, and having fun.
Hell yes! Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? But maybe you’re wondering how to get there?
Maybe you’ve been searching for the map, the book, the guru to lead the way? I have good news and bad news.
First, the bad news; there is no map or book or guru who can teach you how to live a delicious, embodied life. The good news; you don’t need a map or book or guru.
Your wild, creative, pleasure-filled life is all around you. It’s right there, pulsing, filled with your biggest desires, yours to step into whenever you are ready. You’ve been holding yourself in, holding yourself back, buried under pressures and expectations and a belief that there is one right way to do and be. But there is only your way. As the poet Mary Oliver says, “You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”