Michael Dresser

Wheel Of Consent

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Kiss and Tell

Look at this picture and ask yourself the following question: can you tell who the kiss is for?

You might be thinking: well they both look like they’re kissing each other so it must be for both of them…

But now look at the picture again and imagine each of the different scenarios below…

 

[ezcol_1quarter]I push my mouth against yours, taking my fill with my lips.

I am doing what I want.[/ezcol_1quarter]

[ezcol_1quarter]I accept your lips into mine so you can kiss me just the way I like it.

You are doing what I want.[/ezcol_1quarter]

[ezcol_1quarter]I allow your lips to explore mine.

You are doing what you want.[/ezcol_1quarter]

[ezcol_1quarter_end]I put my lips against yours, serving you the gentle kiss you asked for.

I am doing what you want.[/ezcol_1quarter_end]

Nothing has changed about how the kiss looks, but suddenly the experience of both kissers is very different, depending on the intention.

Is it consenting?

Now imagine if, in any of those scenarios, one of us had not been fully in agreement with the way it was happening. Suddenly the experience becomes very different again. If you are kissing me for your own pleasure but I don’t want to allow that then what you are doing quickly becomes an assault (or at the very least an invasion) which I have to endure.

So, contrary to what the popular song suggests, a kiss (or a hug, or a fuck, or a myriad of other exchanges, both erotic and non-erotic) is not just a kiss!

Who is it for?

In fact if any exchange is to be fully enjoyable for all participants, the crucial question everyone needs to agree on is: who is this for?

Of course life doesn’t usually allow us time to pause and ask that question before every exchange. Which is why it’s so important that we learn the tools which will allow our bodies to tell us what we really want (as opposed to what we think we ought to want or what we’ve been told to want) and how to communicate that clearly.

As you can see from the examples above its not always as black and white, or as simple as we’re led to believe by songs, movies, porn, and many other social influences.

Taking pleasure

One of the hardest things for most of us to do is to openly and consciously take for our own pleasure. You may think this sounds counter-intuitive in our self-centred culture, but just think about how many times you may have touched somebody else in a way that you actually wanted to be touched yourself. That person may not have wanted the caress or massage you gave them, and so you were taking from them under the guise of giving, in the hope that they would reciprocate something you actually wanted for yourself.

Similarly you may have experienced times when you wanted someone to offer you a massage but they were more interested in your hand caressing them. One of you probably ended up compromising, and neither of you got what you really wanted.

The Wheel Of Consent

This may all be sounding complicated but luckily there is an incredible tool, developed by Dr Betty Martin, called the Wheel of Consent, which allows us to learn, from the ground up, some life-changing skills for getting this stuff right.

So if you want to learn how to kiss, and tell who that kiss is really for, then get in touch or read more about my Concscious Consent coaching pathway, and let me help you dive into a deeper and healthier understanding of how to get, and give, what you really want.

Explore more:

Navigating relationships

A powerful practice for couples. 6 essential sessions to help you start navigating your relationship in a conscious, healthy way.

Read More
man giving an apple

Giving & Receiving

Learn about 4 different kinds of giving and receiving. And the 2 essential questions that will help you understand which one you’re doing.

Read More

Overwhelmed? Learn your Want from your Willing

If you’re feeling overwhelmed the Wheel Of Consent provides a great framework to look at how you make decisions about what you do or don’t agree to – and why.

Read More

The quadrants

Each quadrant in the Wheel Of Consent creates a different experience and teaches you something different about yourself. Learn more about each one:

Serving
Taking
Allowing
Accepting

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