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Wheel of Consent Online Course:
Giving, Receiving, Taking, and Allowing

With
Dr. Betty Martin
,
Sexological Bodyworker
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About This Course

Master the art of mindful touch with this beautiful course from Dr. Betty Martin. You’ll learn how to give and receive pleasure with video lessons, practical exercises, and a bonus quiz at the end.

What You Will Learn

  1. Conscious touch techniques for giving and receiving pleasure
  2. The differences between giving, receiving, allowing, and taking 
  3. A 3-minute game to practice consensual and intentional touch 
  4. How to follow pleasure and see where it takes you

Take This Course and Hundreds More

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Taught by the world’s top experts.

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Quick results & easy-to-follow instructions.

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For everyone. Singles, couples, all genders and orientations.

Your Instructor

Dr. Betty Martin

Sexological Bodyworker

A Sexological Bodyworker, Intimacy Coach, and former Chiropractor well versed in consensual touch, boundaries, and communication skills. As a hands-on practitioner, Martin established the Wheel of Consent to revolutionize the conversation around consent.

More by This Instructor

Lessons and Classes

Total length:
more than 180 min
  1. 1. What It’s About and Where We Are Going
  2. 2. Definitions
  3. 3. Receiving and Giving
  4. 4. Following the Pleasure
  5. 5. What’s It Got To Do With Sex
  6. 6. An Introduction to Learning to Touch
  7. 7. The Pleasure in Your Hands
  8. 8. Geekery
  9. 9. Taking and Allowing
  10. 10. The Allowing Role
  11. 11. For Bodyworkers
  12. 12. Receiving and Giving
  13. 13. The Receiving Role
  14. 14. The Giving Role
  15. 15. The Wheel of Consent
  16. 16. The Receiving-Giving Dynamic
  17. 17. The Receiving Half
  18. 18. The Giving Half
  19. 19. The Doing Half
  20. 20. The Done-to Half
  21. 21. The Taking Quadrant
  22. 22. Thoughts on Taking Quadrant
  23. 23. The Allowing Quadrant
  24. 24. The Giving Quadrant
  25. 25. The Receiving Quadrant
  26. 26. How To Play the 3-Minute Game
  27. 27. Where the 3-Minute Game Came From
  28. 28. References & Resources
  29. 29. Post-course Test Questions
  30. 30. Post-course Test Questions With Answers

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Build confidence and give in to new depths of pleasure.

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Transcripts

So this page, the course on this page is about, first and foremost, a change in the way you experience your hands, and based on that change what then becomes possible. It's also about a practice, a practice that is extremely simple, is very fun, it's for two or more people, involves touch, and will open up for you a kind of clarity and ease that nothing else can. It's not about technique at all. It's much more about what you're able to notice and what happens when you notice that. So the steps here that are in the lessons on this page are a change in the way you feel your hands, and then the two lessons that are the practice. So why a practice and where did it come from? This practice is built on a game that I learned at a workshop 15 or 20 years ago. And the game is extremely simple, very fun, it's called the Three Minute Game, and it goes like this, it's two questions that you take turns asking each other. And one question is, "How do you want me to touch you?" The other question is, "How do you want to touch me?" So each of those questions you're making an offer to give something to your partner. And as I began using this in my practice with students and clients and playing it with scores of people, there's some things that became pretty clear. It was pretty clear right at the beginning that each of those two questions creates a different dynamic between the two players. A lot of other things became clear as well. And one of those is that because of those two dynamics, you have four different roles as you both take turns. And it turns out that each of those four roles is a completely different experience from the others. Each of them frees you up in a different way, each of them is enjoyable in a different way, each of them teaches you something different about yourself, and has a completely different inner experience. So it turned out that these two questions opened up these four different experiences or four different doors to walk through. And what this course is about is how to find each of those four doors. So then there was something else that I noticed as I was doing this with clients and students, is that there's one piece that has to be in place before those four different roles will open up for you. And that is the change in the way you experience your hands. And without that click or change in your hands, the four different roles or quadrants will not open. They just won't happen. So you can take the two questions that I've already given you and take turns asking each other and have a great time, and they could last you the rest of your life, and you have a lovely time. And if you want to find the ease and the clarity and the depth and the freedom that these four quadrants offer you, then you have to have this click in your hands and you have to go through the steps that I give you on this page. So here's your fork in the road, you can take the questions and play the game and have a lovely time, and if you want this other road of clarity and freedom, then the videos on this page are the steps that you need to follow for the whole thing to open up for you. So it helps to know what this page is not about and what this process is not about. It's not about a new sex technique, it's not about a style of touch or a style of lovemaking. It's not really about sex at all. It is not tips, tricks, and techniques. There is no technique anywhere in this course. What it is is a radical inquiry into the nature of receiving and giving, into the nature of consent and knowing what you want and how to communicate that. And by radical, I mean it goes to the root, it goes to the fundamental neural, physiological, somatic, emotional mechanisms that underlie all your experience of touch and of being touched. It's the very fundamental pieces that everything else is built on. So that's what I mean by radical. This process will take you to the core of how it works, and that brings a kind of ease and a clarity and a confidence and a freedom that no amount of technique can substitute for. So why do it? What's the point? Well, first of all, it's a lot of fun, it's a lot of fun. It's very central, it's very playful, it'll open up the communication at the very least. One of the first things that happens is that the quality of your touch goes through the roof. Your hands become very present, relaxed, confident, clear, they become intuitive and creative and very sensual. And that makes it much more enjoyable, not only for the person that you're touching, but much more enjoyable to you as well. And second, you will learn about finding what it is that you want and how to notice what that is, how to trust it, how to value it, and how to communicate it. You'll learn how to receive and how to give, and what they are, and probably more importantly what they are not. You'll learn when to put yourself first and when to put yourself last, and why both of those are important to be able to do, and when you need to do each of them. And all of that creates ease, clarity, fluency, sensuality, confidence, creativity, and a very real presence in all your experiences of touch, whether they have nothing to do with sex or whether they are a part of sex. So if that sounds appealing to you, you are in the right place. So there are some caveats to this process. One is that your standards are going to go way up. That means that you are going to get less and less interested in tolerating touch that is mediocre, unclear, and uninspiring. That could potentially be a problem. What's also gonna happen however is that you are going to learn how to create touch that is sensual, inspiring, and very, very satisfying for both of you. And of course there are some challenges. This is a very liberating process, and you don't have liberating experiences without some challenges. And there'll be some challenges here. There'll be times when it's a little elusive, which is why I'm giving you the step-by-step. There will be times when it feels awkward and tender and vulnerable, and there will be times when you bump into your own self-doubt, fear, shame, guilt, whatever that is bubbling in there that we all have. You are not the only one that has that, we all have it. It will challenge who you think you are as a lover and quite possibly who you think you are as a person. And that is not always an easy path. And it's very much worth it. So that means who it's for is for people who are willing to question what they know, people who want to look deeper, want to understand more clearly, people who want more freedom and more ease and more sensuality. And people who are willing to slow down and bring their attention to the present moment. And I'm gonna show you exactly how to do that. There's nothing esoteric about any of this actually, it's very tangible, it's very real, it's very down to earth. And I talk about some of the physiological processes that are happening in the midst of it because that's what interests me. Most of my work these days is with other professionals who use touch in their work, and so it's very much for you as a professional because this is gonna clarify a lot of the dynamics that happen in your sessions. It's also my intention that it's accessible to people who have no other background, no other training. You can start exactly where you are. And there is in fact a huge range in how people respond to this process. And there's a huge range in the amount of awareness or noticing we have about ourselves, or don't, there's a huge range in our comfort with noticing what we want or communicating, there's a huge range in how much pleasure we easily experience before we hit our self-doubt, there's a huge range, of course, in what kind of touch people like and what interests people, there's a huge range in what kinds of relationships we bring touch into, and there's a huge range in how easy or difficult the process is. For some people it's like falling off a log, it clicks right in, and for other people it's extremely difficult. For most people it takes a little fiddling around with and takes some bringing your attention to it. So there's a huge range and you get to be exactly where you are. You start where you are, you go at your own pace, and that actually is probably one of the most important things in the whole process. All of which is to say that your amount of experience is not the critical factor here. The critical factor is, "Are you willing to question what you know?" And so you could be a complete beginner, you could be someone who has worlds of experience, all that doesn't matter, what matters is, "Are you curious? And do you wanna learn?" And if you do, this is a lot of fun and there'll be some huge ahas and shifts for you. So then, what's the practice actually look like and what should you know about it? It's for two or more people, you don't have to be lovers to learn or to play. Most people learn this practice at a workshop, completely clothed with people they don't know. So you don't need to be sexual partners to play. Something else to know is that it stands on its own and it takes time. This is not a technique you can sprinkle over what you already do, or sort of mix in with what you already do. Because if you do that, you won't find the clicks and the ahas that are here, that change everything. What works best is set aside the time, 20 minutes, half an hour, hour, two hours, whatever you have, sort of enter into this container or this space that you've created for this event, play it, experiment, explore, and then close that door and come back out into your regular life. It does not work well to mix them up. Of course, what you learn here you will take with you, and it will continue to inform your other experiences, but it's not something you can sprinkle over what you do. The other thing I mean by it takes time is that there will be ahas right away, but as a practice, it's something that gets richer and richer as you play it again and again and again. You'll notice some things the first time and you'll come back the next week or the next day and play it again, and you'll notice something new that you didn't notice the other time. And then you come back and play it again, and you notice a nuance that you just didn't have the ability to notice before. And then you'll come back and play it again and it'll take you to another level, and you'll sort of sink in a little farther. And this happens really over years and over decades. I've been playing with it for 15 years now, and I still find new places. So it does take time, it takes time as a separate event and it takes time over the decades. It just gets richer and richer. And the other thing to know is that it is challenging, you will bump into your self-doubt and there will be awkward moments, and I've already talked about that. That's a good thing, actually. And the other thing to know, which I'm pretty sure I already said, is that it is very fun. In fact, doing it for the fun of it is the best reason. And actually you get the most out of it if you do it for the fun of it. So that's what this page is about, that's what this practice is about. You have the two questions of the Three Minute Game that you can play and go ahead and use and ignore the rest of this page, if you want to find those four quadrants and the depth that they can take you through, then you need to follow the steps that are on this page. That's how that works. It's not a tip, it's not a trick, it's not a technique, it's a radical inquiry that takes you to the fundamental dynamic underlying all experiences of touch in the nature of receiving and giving, and how those play out not only in your touch but in your life. It will challenge you, it will wake you up, and it will set you free. Hope you have a great time playing with it. In the next few videos I'm going to give you a couple of definitions and principles that make the whole thing more accessible. I'm gonna talk about the difference between want to and willing to, I'm gonna define receiving and giving as I use them here, and I'm gonna talk a little bit about the physiology of pleasure, following your pleasure, and why it's really important never to push yourself in this process. And that's actually a reassurance that I'm gonna add right here, and that's this, it's very easy to think that in any program or process or instruction that has to do with touch there's gonna be some stroke that you're supposed to do or some way that you're supposed to touch, and therefore, if you're not quite comfortable with it you're supposed to try a little harder and you get comfortable with it. And that is exactly the wrong direction, we are not going that way, where we are going is helping you find out what you already like and how to enjoy that more. There is never anywhere in this process in which you are expected to touch or be touched in any way that does not completely inspire you. There is no such thing here as pushing through your resistance to touch. So you can throw that one out the window. That is not what we're doing here. Another way of saying that is that this process is not about ignoring yourself and trying to figure out how to like stuff you don't like. This process is about learning how to trust yourself and be true to yourself, and that is a very different question. It's also ironically more challenging in certain ways, but it's the way that sets you free. So let's get on with the other videos. - So, let's define a couple things because that will make it easier to find the click that you'll be looking for. First is the difference between want to and willing to. And then I'm gonna talk about, I'm gonna define receiving and giving the way I'm using them here. And then I'm gonna talk a little bit about pleasure and the nature of pleasure. So want to and willing to, very important difference and a very big difference. And one that if you pause for a moment to ponder it, the difference will be pretty obvious, but want to is for something that I want for my own reasons, because it brings me some kind of enjoyment. And it may or may not have anything to do with you. Something that I'm willing to do is something that I wouldn't choose for my own reasons, but I'm willing to do it because it's something that you want, brings you some kind of enjoyment, and I care about you so I'm willing to do that for you. It's a gift really, to be willing to do something for someone is a way of giving them a gift. So there's lots of degrees of want to and willing to. I can be, "Yeah, I'm willing to do that for you. Sure, no problem sounds great." It could be, "Well, yeah, I could make that work." Or it could be, "Oh, I am just barely willing to do that." Or it could be, "I am not willing to do that." So there's degrees of willing to and of course there's degrees of want to as well. We want both of those in our lives, we need times when we are attentive to what we want and we need times when we set aside what we want and we are attentive to what we are willing to give. And life was only one of those would be a pretty puny life indeed, we need both of them. The difficulty is that, if it's difficult to know what you want, or if it's difficult to communicate what you want, or if you have just forgotten how to want which in the realm of touch and sex is pretty common actually. If the wanting part of the equation is challenging, then what you end up with is the willing to part pretty much all the time. And as I said, you wanna be willing to sometimes but it's not the way you can live your entire life. So, we're gonna play with the difference between want to and willing to and just notice that there is a difference. And the the key to if there's any confusion between those two, the key is always noticing more exquisitely what it is that you actually want, what do you prefer at this moment. So, let's talk about receiving and giving. I'm using those words in a very particular way and here's why. First of all, it's a huge, it's a lifelong study receiving and giving and they all have philosophical implications and meanings it's a very rich thing to explore. What we're playing with here is a microcosm, sort of a distilled essence of receiving and of giving and in a very tangible and physical way. So when you get it with your hands and you get it with your body, they suddenly sort of open up and become very, very clear and very, very rich. So one of the difficulties in talking about receiving and giving, is that we use the same words to mean two different things. And those two things are not necessarily related and don't necessarily happen together. So, the word receive for example, the main use of it is that something's moving towards us, or arrives at us or is done to us or happens to us. Whether we want it or not, is not part of that equation. So I can receive a letter, I can receive a gift, I can receive a pass to the 20 yard line, I can receive a caress, I can also receive a grope or a punch in the jaw. I can receive a compliment, I can also receive an insult, I can receive a guest. So, that use of the word received means it's coming towards us, it's happening to us, doesn't mean we want it or not, no indication of whether or not we want it just happen to us. The other use of the word refers to a gift that's for us. So when I receive the gift, it's by definition something that I want and that I like and enjoy for my own reasons. And this is where I want to and willing to come in. That the giver is willing to give it and I'm the receiver, I want it. The form of that gift can be a lot of different things, it can be something that you do for me, "Come over and help me move my piano." or "Give me a nice back rub." It can be something that you bring to me like a present, it can also be something that you allow me to do that I want to do. So you can give me the gift of letting me come over to your house and pick the pears off the tree in your yard, you can give me the gift of inviting me over to use your hot tub when you're not home. So, the gift can be something that's done to us or something it's done for us, it also be a gift of allowing us to do something that we want. So two very different meanings. This one has the meaning of, it's happening to us means it's done to us, and the other meaning is it's something that is for us. So if you're paying attention, you'll notice that when we're playing with touch, those two can get very confused. Sometimes they happen together, sometimes they do not. So in this context, I'm using the word receive, not to refer to what is done but to refer to who it's for. So if it's a gift for me, then I'm the receiver, whatever form the gift is. If it's something that's done to me, then I'll be talking about what's actually done I don't use the word receive to mean that. And the same thing happens with the word give, of course, I can give you something that you want, I can also give you something that you don't want, I can deliver a blow. So that's how I'm using receive and give. They don't refer to what is done, they refer to who it's for. So that's receiving and giving as I'm using them and what we'll be playing with and what you'll find is that the more clearly you take them apart, then there becomes this wonderful flow from the giver to the receiver that is nourishing at both ends and we'll be playing with that. So that's receiving and giving. The other thing I wanna talk a little bit about is pleasure. This is another word that has a lot of different meanings, and a lot of mixed feelings about it because like I said in the other tape, we do have a limit, the comfort limit to how much pleasure we enjoy before we sort of hit our bump of self doubt and shame and fear. So I'm using pleasure... First I use enjoyment in a very broadly defined term, of lots of things to enjoy in this world, good conversation, a job well done, beautiful music, our skin lots of things enjoy. I'm using it in this purpose, pleasure to mean skin pleasure. So enjoyment that comes through our skin. And of course, there's lots of different forms of that, lots of different degrees of that. Pleasure does not inherently mean it's about sex, you can have fabulous pleasure getting a plane on massage with a therapist, you can have a fabulous pleasure of a really good scratch on the back from your kids, you know, so lots of different kinds of pleasure and lots of different degrees. It can be something that's "Oh yeah, that's pleasant, and that feels really nice." Or it can be this full tranced out bliss, ah, state that just transports you. Lots of different kinds of pleasure, lots of different degrees of pleasure. In particular, what we're playing with here is a relaxed state of pleasure. So relaxed means that your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, ah, your blood chemistry changes, your brainwaves change, your breathing changes, your body just settles in. And when that relaxation state of pleasure sort of clicks, that's actually a very important need for our human physiology. It's good for our health, it resets things that, you know, balances your blood chemistry, changes your perspective, very, very important experience to be able to access but not everybody remembers how to access that for lots of reasons. So we're gonna be playing with oh, letting that, ah, click in and there are lots of things that will dependably prevent that click from happening. One of them, like I just said, is that we may have forgotten how and so I'm gonna show you how. And one of them is that we may not feel safe in some way. You know, if the tiger's running behind me in the jungle, I'm not gonna, ah, you know, I'm gonna be doing something else, or maybe sit unsafe in some other subtle ways. If we're having an interaction with somebody else that involves touch, we may be a little worried about, well, what does this mean? And where is it going to go? Or where is it gonna not go and all that stuff? So, there's some unanswered question or doubt, or can I trust him or her? Can I trust myself, you know, what's all this mean? So I'm gonna show you how to clear those up as well. And one thing that in particular that I wanna talk about here, one thing that really prevents that, ah state from clicking, is a sense of effort, or work, or determination that we're gonna push through something. And here's why. So I've watched this cool video shows all these new sex tricks that I'm supposed to like, and somebody's supposed to like, and so we're gonna do this thing but I really not sure I like it, but I really should like it so something wrong with me, I'm supposed to push through this, and if I just make myself do it, I'll learn to like it. Well, what happens is that as soon as you take that effort, stance, your nervous system is on guard. Says, "Wait a minute, what's going on here?" And then that, ah, state can't actually click on. The effort of making yourself do something prevents you from actually enjoying what you're doing. So what we're gonna be playing with here, is how to notice what you already like, what you already want, what already feels good, what already sounds wonderful to try and sinking into that, ah, state there, so your physiology kicks in, your perception changes, your brainwaves change. And when that clicks in, then from there a lot more becomes possible and other things become interesting. And you find out, "Wow, I could do this for a long time." Or "Ah, that feels great. I think that's enough, now I'm interested in something else." Or, "Ah, that feels great, I'm satisfied. I'm done." So what we're playing with here is follow the pleasure instead of trying to tell the pleasure where you think it's supposed to be, or where you heard it was supposed to be or where you saw a video that was supposed to be, or where your partner thinks it should be for you. This turns out to be kind of ironic that you might think that going into a game or a process where you're learning some new kind of touch, what's gonna be difficult is "Oh, dear, can I do it right?" Or, "Oh dear, is it gonna feel good?" Or "Can I make myself like it?" What's actually more difficult is, what is it that I actually want and like right now? And being true to that and following that turns out to be for most people more difficult than going through the action of doing something that they're not really very thrilled about. So we're gonna play with that. It's very, very rich and very, very satisfying and it actually turns out to be really simple. And I'm gonna be showing you how to find that, ah, relaxed, pleasurable baseline sort of base camp state, that other more exciting kinds of pleasure are built on with that relaxed state of pleasure that's the baseline. And I'm gonna be showing you how to do that in a way that's very pleasurable and enjoyable and it's not about effort, because then you won't find it anyway. So truly simple, it's actually quite easy and it may click in a few minutes, it may take quite a number of times playing with it before clicks, really depends. So that's pleasure. We're gonna be following the pleasure where it already is, and letting the physiology click in instead of telling the pleasure where we think it should be and trying to make ourselves like it. That is not the way we're going. So want to, willing to, and the difference between those no snap for yourself. Receiving and giving are not about who is done to, but about who it's for. And then pleasure, follow the pleasure, don't try to tell the pleasure where you think it should go. And then the last one I wanna talk about before we get started, is a little bit about the difference between touch and sex and why it's really crucial. And I'm gonna do that on the next video. - So receiving and giving, obviously a major theme of this whole process and really the whole process and the whole book is about this, so I just want to define here what I mean by that. One of the difficulties in using the words receive and give is that they mean two very different things that sometimes occur together and sometimes do not and so that's why it's easy to confuse them. So the word receive, for example, one meaning is that something is moving towards us, happening to us or being delivered to us. It's just coming towards us. So we receive a pass to the 20 yard line. We receive a package in the mail. We receive a birthday present. We receive a guest, but the difficulty is it doesn't describe whether we actually want that thing. We can receive a caress, we can also receive a blow to the head. We can receive a winning lottery ticket, we can receive a traffic ticket. We can receive a compliment, we can receive an insult. So this use of the word doesn't refer to whether we want it or whether it's a gift for us, it just refers to the fact that it's moving towards us or it's happening to us. So that's one definition of receive. So one of the things that I can receive is a gift. In which case it is something that I want, it is something that's for me. But when you look at the possibilities of the different kinds of gifts that I might receive from you, some of them are things that come my way and are done to me. Others might be things that you allow me to do that I want to do. So the gift is coming this way, but the action is going that way. So in this meaning of word receive, it means something's happening to me whether I like it or not. This other definition of receive means it's for me, but I'm the one that might be taking the action or maybe you're taking the actions. It doesn't indicate action, it indicates that it's for me. So now you have these two meanings of a word receive. Sometimes they happen at the same time, sometimes they do not. And conversely, it's the same thing true with the word give. I can give meaning on doing something to you whether you like it or not, or I can give you a gift of doing something or letting you do something that you want to do just as much a gift. In situations involving touch, these two things get very mixed up and we're gonna be playing with that and that's all gonna become very clear and very freeing. But for now, know that when I say the word receive and give, what I'm talking about is not who's doing, what I'm talking about is who it's for. It's either a gift for me that you're giving me or it's a gift for you that I'm giving you. And it turns out that taking those two apart, receiving and giving a part so that you can really tell which one you're in and you're doing one at a time, opens up a completely different experience than is possible if you can't really tell who it's for or you're trying to do both at once. So this practice is essentially a practice in taking, receiving and giving a part so that you actually can experience them because until you take them apart, you're not actually doing either of them. You haven't found them yet. And each of them have their own particular gifts, each of them meet our needs in a different way, each of them feed us in a different way, each of them are pleasurable in a different way, and each of them are vulnerable and challenging in a different way. So this practice is about taking them apart, and it's a lot of fun. It's pretty common that people resist the idea of taking them apart. It doesn't sound romantic, it doesn't sound enlightened or very spiritual, we have this idea that, well, if I should be giving and I receive something by giving and these things all sort of weave together and what actually is happening is that receiving in particular is quite vulnerable. And if you want to avoid that vulnerability, all you have to do is mush them all together and then you don't have to feel that vulnerability of receiving a gift. And we're gonna play with that and we're gonna find out how wonderful it is. You'll be falling in love with both of them equally. They're quite wonderful. So that's what this practice is about and giving and receiving refer not to the action, but they refer to who it's for. So that's the distinction here. - So let's talk a little bit about pleasure, the nature of pleasure, and following pleasure. You know, it's really strange that, when we have the opportunity to ask for the kind of pleasure that we want, we very often can't figure out how to do that. It's kind of a mystery, but that's what seems to happen. And what often happens, particularly if it's around touch, and particularly if it's around touch that has something to do with sex, is that we tend to think, "Oh my gosh, I have to push through this resistance of mine and I should be comfortable with XYZ, so therefore I'm just gonna make myself do it." That's not where we're going. What can help to know is that, pleasure is a physiological process, happens in our bodies, in our nervous system, and your nervous system knows how to find it. We're born with it. And, it's good for us. Changes our blood chemistry, changes the way our nervous system's responding. Changes our perception of the world, changes our perception of ourselves. It nourishes us in a very tangible, physiological, neurological way. It's not theory, it's not esoteric, and this is very well understood and researched by physiologists. Pleasure is good for you. And, what seems to be less understood is that you cannot push it. You follow it, where it already is. What happens is this. Something very simple feels good. Maybe it's just a little stroke of the arm. But if it feels pleasant, if you bring your attention to it, the pleasantness grows, and what's happening is that, you're recruiting more brain cells for that experience. That engages your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of your nervous system that goes- (sighs) Again, your blood chemistry changes, your blood pressure changes, your muscle tone changes. The rate of breathing and depth of breathing changes. Very physiological process. And once that physiological state kicks in, of course, then you feel different, and also, you then, things look different to you. You begin to become interested in different things, or you may take that deeper, or you may decide that's enough, you wanna go somewhere else with it. That's called following the pleasure. The other way, the old way, and the common way, is this. You have an opportunity to be touched in some way that you like, and you think that there's a right way to do that, and you try to make yourself do that and push through. And the very act of pushing through, engages a part of your brain that turns off your ability to sink into it and, ahh, relax into it. You cannot do them both at once. So as soon as you start pushing and be determined and work at it, you engage this other part of your brain, so that this part of your brain that, ahh, settles in, turns off. You cannot get there that way. So, following your pleasure means, you notice what sounds good or feels good already, right now, and you follow that. And it will take you lots of places. And you follow wherever it takes you. And this is why pushing yourself never works in this process. The image that comes to me about this is like, a goddess in the forest. She's out there holding the lantern, and that's where pleasure is. And it's your job to go towards that pleasure goddess, not to tell her, "Oh no, you shouldn't be over there, you should be over here." That's not the way it works. You go to where she already is, give her your loving attention, and enjoy the pleasure that you already have. And then it will take you where it takes you. And that means that, oftentimes, people think that, "Well, I'm supposed to want more than I actually do want. Or I'm supposed to want something fancier than I want. Or I'm supposed to want something more intense than I want." But if what you want is to have your hand held, or to be held, or to have your arm stroked, or the simplest, simplest thing, that is where you start. And then your physiology kicks in, and then it takes you. Not the other way around. It does beg the question, though, what if something feels a little edgy? That, "Ooh, that sounds exciting, I'm not sure, I have a little resistance, I'm not really sure how I feel about it, it's a little, kind of at my comfort edge." And here's what you do with that. And those are wonderful places to play. What you do with that is you listen for the pull, not the push. Here's what a push sounds like. "Gosh, I resist that, I really should get over myself, you know, that's what I'm supposed to like, that's what he wants me to like, or she wants me to like, so I guess I better figure out how to like it, and I'm gonna get over my resistance and I'm just gonna bust through this." That's a push. Don't go there. This is a pull. "Ooh, boy, that looks, that's a little edgy for me, but I really want it! It looks great! I'm a little scared, but it looks great." That's a pull. Very different experience. So, listening for the pull is part of following the pleasure, because it looks pleasurable. So that's the principle of following your pleasure. - So what's it got to do with sex, great question, certainly a reasonable question. What's helpful to remember is what it's not, it's not new tips and tricks and techniques and new things to do to different body parts. What it is, is an exploration of touch and through that exploration, a discovery of what the nature of receiving and giving are and how those fit together and what you want and prefer makes a difference and how to be generous. So, in those ways, definitely it affects your sexual experience, but it's not about sex per se. So what about touch and sex? And what's the difference anyway? So, touch is a human need that we're born with that never goes away. It's well understood, well-documented, people have been talking about this for a very long time, we need touch, we need actual physical stimulus of our skin, our nervous system needs that, we also need touch with other human beings because that's one of the ways that we connect, we learn who we are, who they are, we want to experience ourselves and other people directly, that's what touch. So that's a need again, we're born with it. We never outgrow it, it's well understood. It's absolutely essential for our wellbeing and in particular touch that is not about sex. Feeds a different part of us, than sexual activity feeds. So, hugging our kids, hugging our friends, giving grandma a foot rub, you know, getting a massage lots of different way and having a nice cuddle, lots of different ways to experience, touch is not about sex and that's actually a crucial distinction. So then what about sex? Our need for sex is not the need for any specific sexual activity, surprise! (laughs) You won't die if you don't do X, Y, or Z. Our need for sex is actually a need for a way to express ourselves as a sexual being in a way that's real for us. So we express our sexuality by how we conceive of and express our gender, how we walk and talk and dress and who we're attracted to and who we're not and how we like to play and how we don't and how we like to feel when we play sexually and how we don't and all those are ways, that we express who we are as a sexual being. Again, it's not the need for any given sexual activity. So our need for touch and connection, our need for expression that's real for us. So, part of what's expression, that's real for most people includes the interest in engaging in sexual activity with other people. So, what about the difference between that sexual activity and touch? Again, two different needs and what's important about two different needs is that neither of them can meet the need for the other. So then what does it have to do with your experience of your sexual activity? What has to do with this? First of all as I have said elsewhere, you don't have to be lovers or sexual partners to learn to play. You can play with friends, you can play with your family, you can even play with your kids with certain limitations, of course so, you don't have to be sexual partners to learn to play the game. How it affects you is that as you learn to take apart touch and sex, and each of those needs, what happens is the quality of your touch goes up. Quality of your sex also goes up. Most people prefer the kind of sex that does involve touch for most of the time. So when you have a better quality touch, you're gonna have a better quality sex. Another way is that the clarity of receiving and giving and, the clarity in that kind of your experience of touch, brings a kind of ease and fluency to your sexual play that gives you confidence and ah, just let yourself and enjoy it. Another way is that those four modes that I mentioned, the three minute games sets up those four different modes or quadrants and each of those opens up and develops for you as a different aspect of yourself in a different aspect of your eroticism. So as each of those four become available to you and sort of click for you, then you have a much broader, richer, deeper experience, and you can access more of yourself for your erotic play. So what we're playing with here is the fundamental dynamic of all receiving and giving and when that's easy and clear, your sexual play is also gonna be much easier and more clear. So that's what has to do with sex, as you discover this about touch and about receiving and giving and that clarity, and you wake up all four quadrants, you have more ease, you have more freedom, you have more fluency, you have more self-awareness, you can just show up more and have a lot more fun. So that's what it has to do with sex. - So the lessons, since you (mumbling) about lessons before we start, one is that they're fun. There's a lot of pleasure, there's a lot of potential for play in there. So the real reason to do them is for the fun of them. And actually it works better. You'll learn more if you do them just because they're fun. The second thing to know is that because of the pleasure and the opportunity to have it just the way you want it, there'll be some challenges. And usually the biggest challenge is the opportunity to ask for what you want and the opportunity to sink into your pleasure, and those will challenge you, pretty much guaranteed. In fact, if there's no challenge in there, you're probably not actually doing it. And by challenge, I don't mean that you should challenge yourself and push yourself. I mean that the feelings that come up will be sometimes awkward. There'll be moments when you're self-conscious, there'll be moments when you bump into your self doubt and your pleasure ceiling. That's what I mean by challenging. Not that you should challenge yourself, forget challenging yourself. You're here to have fun, so do what's fun for you. The other thing to know is that it takes time. There will be some ahahs in the first few weeks that you play with it, but where it really opens up and takes you places is over years and years. It'll take you a few weeks or few months to go through the lessons on this page, but it's over time, that as a practice, it gets really, really rich. The other thing that I mean when I say it takes time, is that it works much better if you take it as a separate activity, instead of sprinkling it over the sexual play that you already have. It's a separate thing. It's an experiment where you get to find out sort of what is your inner landscape and sort of what are the dynamics between you, and because of that, it works much better to take it as its own thing. It stands on its own feet, it's worth doing, just because it's worth doing. So what works best is to create a container in which, okay, we're going to step into our container, we're gonna do this experiment, then we're going to close the container and go back out into the rest of our lives. And inside the context of this container, what is most helpful is to recognize that it's an experiment. I'll be giving you a few things to do and they're extremely simple. And you get to experiment with, well, what's possible here? Who am I here? What do I feel here? And that's the experiment of it. So it also helps to go into it with that spirit of curiosity and that lets you enjoy it a lot more, and it lets you find more. So it takes time means that you set aside 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, two hours, half a day, whatever you like, but you return to it again and again. And it just keeps getting better and better. So the structure of the lessons. The first lesson, first of all, you do them in order because that's how they work. The first lesson is just about you and your hands. So you don't need your partner for that one, although they could certainly be in the same room. That's the one that changes the way your brain handles the incoming sensory data from the skin and your hands. And it's based on that change that all the rest of it becomes possible. Until this one clicks, the others are not accessible, they just won't happen. So the first lesson is crucial. You'll be doing it a dozen times, 20 times maybe. And it's pleasurable, so that's great, anyway. The next two lessons are for the two of you together and you'll be taking turns. And those two lessons are where the two different dynamics in the four quadrants click for you. So you'll be able to tell the difference between each of them. And that's the point of the lessons, to tell the difference between them and to find out what each of those four quadrants feels like for you. Those are done clothed. They are very exact and very sort of strict almost because that is what works to have a click for you. Once it does click and you'll be coming back to these lessons also a dozen times, maybe 20, once it does click, then you'll be, you have the skills and the awareness to then expand your playing field. But in order for it to click first time, it's a very specific and it's very exact, gets you right there where you need to be. So that's the lessons. Takes time, there will be challenges, it's pleasurable, it's fun. Don't sprinkle it over what you already have. It's its own activity, it's an experiment. Be curious. Do the lessons in order, each of them a dozen to 20 times. And I hope you have a great time with it. - So this is the first experience. This is arguably the most important in this entire process. The most important video in this entire page. It's extremely simple, sometimes the hardest part is actually taking it seriously enough to do it. This is the one that changes the way you experience your hands, which means how your hands feel to you. And that's what changes everything else. The experiment here is what happens if I let my hands feel good for no reason whatsoever? And is it even possible to do that? Do I remember how to do that? Is it okay to do that? And what's it take for me to let that happen? Your hands have more nerve endings per area than anywhere on your body other than your lips and your genitals. Huge number of nerve receptors, and therefore a huge number of brain cells dedicated to taking that in. So that means your hands are capable not only of a high degree of specificity in noticing, but they're capable of a very astounding degree of pleasure as well. Most of us have just forgotten how. But if your nervous system's intact, you still have it. What most people notice about their hands is actually very little. When we're using our hands, it's usually because we wanna do something. We pick up an object because we're gonna do something with it, or we're gonna do something to it. And so we're thinking about what's going out our hands. And usually when we touch a person we're thinking about what's their experience? I wanna make them feel good. What can I do that's the right thing to do? So we're thinking about what's going out our hands. In this experiment, we're gonna experiment with, can I notice what's coming in my hands? It's the inflow. You're gonna take in the information, the data, you're gonna also take in pleasure. And you're gonna see what happens when I do that. What's actually true about our hands is that they love to feel things. So we're just going to let them, and here's how that works. The first step is you're going to lean back. So, because if you lean forward, you're engaging the muscles of your trunk and that's gonna distract your brain from being able to notice the inflow. So lean back and lean flat back. Chair, wall, whatever you're sitting in. So you're gonna lean back. You're gonna pick up an object, inanimate object, it doesn't matter what it is just pick it up, bring it to your lap. And the first thing that will happen is automatic. And that is that you will notice, you'll name it. Oh, it's a pillow. Okay, got it. Then what you're gonna do is you're gonna stay there. And you're gonna use your hands to notice every detail that you can. You're gonna notice the shape of it, the texture of it. Where are the rough places, the smooth places, the sharp edges, the round places. Just feel whatever you feel with that object. You'll notice most likely that your mind will wander. Not a problem, that's its job. You just bring it back to your hands again. And then it'll wander somewhere else, not a problem. Just bring it back to your hands again. So you are choosing to bring your attention right here to your hands. Again and again, usually many times. The other thing that you might notice is that the slower you move your hands, the more you can feel. So move your hands very, very slowly. And you also might notice or not, that it's usually easier to see what your hands are doing than it is to feel what your hands are doing, just because you're not used to it. So look at your hands and see what they're doing, and then slow them down by half. And see what changes about what you notice. So that's the first two steps. Lean back, pick up the object, you'll name it automatically and then stay there, and use your hands to notice all the details that you can. And then if you stay there a while the next thing will happen, which is also fairly automatic. And that is you'll begin to notice that it's pleasant. Oh, that feels kinda good when I move my fingers over this little rumply place here, it feels really pleasant. And if you stay there, and bring your attention there, you'll notice that after a while it feels really good. And you might be quite surprised at the pleasure that your hands are capable of, that have nothing to do with anything. There's no one here to give to, or to please, or there's nothin'. Just you and your skin. So that's the next thing that will happen. And as that sort of clicks, and that can take anywhere from a few minutes to quite a few minutes. As that begins to click something else will happen and that is your physiology will shift. Your muscles will soften. Your breath will slow. Your brainwaves will slow down. Your blood chemistry is changing. And you're just, ahh, settling into this mm state. And again, that can take a couple of minutes, it can take quite a few minutes. And sometimes it's extremely difficult, and I'll talk about that in a moment. So that's next thing that happens. Then sometimes with that, not always but quite often, there will be an emotional response which means that feelings will arise that you were probably not expecting. These can be very surprising. And there's a huge range in what can come up. And there's also a huge range in how strong they are. So it might be a sense of surprise and relief. Oh, oh, this feels great, I didn't know it could feel this good. It can also be a little confounding, like what is going on here? This is kind of odd. It can also feel, feelings of sadness are quite common. People will be kind of surprised. Misty eyes, very common. And sometimes a feeling of self doubt, and guilt, and even shame. Like this seems really strange 'cause it's just a pillow, but I feel guilty that I'm having this kind of pleasure. So huge range with what can come up, it's all fine. And a huge range in how strong the feeling is. So to review the steps, you lean back, bring the object to your lap, let your hands explore and experiment. Let your hands notice everything they can notice. That will shift at some point into a feeling that it's pleasant, and it's pleasurable, and quite possibly deeply pleasurable. Your physiology will change. Ahh, you just gotta settle in, your brainwaves will slow down, the world will fall away. Your sensation sort of fills up your entire awareness. And then sometimes there'll be an emotional response. I'll talk later in the next video about what's goin' on here neurologically, it's really kind of interesting. But that's it, and then you just stay there as long as you like. And you can of course try a different object. So it helps to put a pillow in your lap so that you're resting your hands on it. And this one is an abalone shell from the Northwest. Of course it's a completely different sensation. There's sharp edges here, rough edges over here. There's this really smooth, sweet place here. A lot of different textures on this one. And it matters very little what the object is. It can be something very mundane like this. This is a remote piece of plastic, but there's these wonderful little round bumpy things here that feel kinda neat when you move over them, there's this other rough texture on the back. It doesn't matter what the object is. What matters is that you bring your attention to it, and that you let your hands find what is pleasurable to them. And it's just a matter of time, it's there. So what can prevent this sort of shift from happening? The main thing is anything you do with your body that feels like effort, or that evokes a nervous system response of effort. So if you are leaning forward, or if you haven't quite settled back in, your nervous system thinks you're working. So it's not gonna let you find the pleasure response. So that's why you lean back, you let your hands rest on your lap instead of holding them up here in the air, and you move them very slowly. The part of your brain that controls your hand muscle movement is a different part of the brain of course, that takes in the information that you bring in with your hands. And sometimes, engaging a lot of muscle movement will effectively drown out the tactile data that's coming in. And sometimes that's why when you slow down it makes a difference. And sometimes that drowning out is so strong, that you have to actually stop your hand moving at all, just stop it moving. And use your other hand to hold your object, and then use the object to caress, or scrape, or poke, or tickle, or whatever feels good on this part of your hand. And that's just because your brain's not used to doing both of those at once. It's not a problem, it'll click back in. So those are some of the things that can make it difficult. Using your hands too much can sort of drown it out for you. So there's a huge range in how people respond to this. There's a huge range in how easy it is. I've taught over a thousand people, led them through this process. And the number of people for whom it was immediate and obvious was three. Not very many. Most people have to fiddle with it, play with it, explore with it, and will find it within a few minutes. For a lot of people that means 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes is not terribly uncommon. It may seem like a ridiculously long time, but the point is not how long it takes the point is that you give it the time it takes because it's there, and it changes everything. And sometimes it's extremely difficult, and I've said to people, take it home, play with it five minutes a day, and come back in three weeks. Because it's just so unfamiliar. The other thing that can make it difficult is what the feelings that come up. And also of course this is a huge range as I've mentioned. And it can be surprisingly difficult and challenging emotionally to experience that much sensation and that much pleasure. And I talk more about why that is in the other video. But just know that there's a huge range, and whatever it is for you is just fine. Just keep coming back. Even if it's a few minutes at a time, and play with it until you do find something that feels really good. And you begin to trust your body's ability to ahh, sink in and let the world fall away, and just feel what feels good in your hands. It can be quite a revelation. So whether it's easy, or it takes a long time, you're gonna come back here a dozen times or so, at least, until it feels completely natural and you can sort of fall into it without having to remind yourself so much to bring your attention back. You wanna play with this until it's very easy and your attention just very naturally goes to your hands. So that's it, that's the first experiment. It's about noticing what's coming in your hands instead of trying to think about what's going out your hands. It's opening the inflow, and discovering that your hands are a source of pleasure to you, and not just implements by which you accomplish things. And that switch is gonna make all the difference. So hope you enjoy playing with it, and I'll see you in the next lesson. - So, what was that all about, how's it working, and where the heck did it come from? This little piece I discovered kind of by accident. When I first started working with clients and students, and I use the three minute game as a way to assess what they were comfortable with, what they weren't, what kinda skills they had, and as a way to teach and play. I noticed that a number of people really had a hard time kind of finding the click that I knew was there, and it took me awhile to notice that this piece was missing. And I've come to see it as really fundamental to everything else. And I think I mention in the other video that what's happening is that the sensory intake, the nerves bringing that data up here enters the brain. The brain says, "Okay, yeah, that's a shell." And then as you stay there and keep bringing your attention back to the sensation, your brain just recruits more, and more, and more cells. And so the experience kind of gets bigger, and other parts of your brain, the chattering and everything else, sort of (exhales) quiet down and then your body shifts. So, I've come to see that without that ability to access a state of relaxed pleasure through sensation, that's the baseline for everything. And that's, you know, without that, I mean, there's really nowhere to go. So what this does is by eliminating a lot of the other complexities, it lets you see, is that capacity actually working or not? It's like a central function of the human nervous system. Is that working or not? So, here's the key elements that I've come to see over the years. One is that it's not about anything. It's not about love, it's not about sex, it's not about giving someone pleasure, it's not about somebody giving you pleasure, it's not about relationship. There's no goal. There's nowhere to get to, even if you wanted to. It's just not about anything. You can't, there's no meaning and story to get wrapped up in. It's just, are these brain cells talkin' to each other or aren't they? That's all that's left. It's also something that you do yourself. There's nobody else involved. So, it's no one who's trying to please you, it's not you trying to please anyone else, you're not giving anything to anyone. So there's none of the relationship complexity in there. It also means that you are the one that's taking action, and you are taking action towards your own pleasure. So you are in charge of how good it feels, nobody else. Can't anybody else 'cause it doesn't feel good. And at the same time you get to choose how good you want it to feel. If this is enough for now, great. Put the thing down. There's no possibility of being passive in relation to pleasure here. It's nobody doing anything to you. So that's another factor. Another one is that you are taking action. True, but you are taking action towards your own pleasure. You are choosing to do something that's pleasurable. And that's true in a sort of larger philosophical sense, and you can see how that applies to your life in whatever way you want. But it's also true in a neurological sense, we are engaging the muscles of activity. And when you do that, you sometimes drown out the ability to notice the sensation. And that's why I had you, you hold one hand still and caress it with the other hand. And that happens sometimes. But what we're wanting to do is be able to engage the muscle of action and the awareness of sensation at the same time. And this is what happens here. It's not always easy. It's certainly not automatic. But this is what happens here, and that's what we're gonna need in the next lessons. You'll see it. The other thing that's happening here is that you are consciously choosing where you bring your attention, and you're choosing it, for most people you have to choose it over, and over, and over again, maybe every few seconds, until it becomes more natural. But that ability to choose where you've put your attention, pretty important life skill, and very important sensual skill. And then finally, one key element is that you wait until it shifts your whole physiology and you settle into it. And that engagement of a relaxed state of pleasure, the ability to engage that physiology, is actually also crucial to everything else and to a quality of life. And again, it's not a given, not everyone can easily access that. So, this helps your body remember how to do that. So that change in blood chemistry, the muscle softening, change in breath, all those things, I've learned to watch and wait for that to happen before we go onto the next step, because until it does, this function or this link is not functional, and we need it functional. Life is a lot better when that link is functional. So that's what this is about. I've tried to teach the three minute game on occasion, or when I first started teaching it, tried to teach it without this piece. And what I found was it doesn't work very well. I mean, there'll be some ahas and some fun things you can do, but for the four quadrants to open up and be accessible to you, without this piece where your hands can experience pleasure, the rest of it just is not gonna happen. So, I've become very patient and generous with giving people all the time they need for this, and it's been amazing, the different ways that people respond and how hard it is for many people, and what happens when it sorta clicks. And just a short word about why it might be difficult, and what happens emotionally, is that your emotions are a very complex interaction between body physiology, body sensation, and signals, and memories, and meanings, and all kinds of stuff. It's a very complex mixture. But what happens is that when you engage all the sensation, and when you give your attention to it, all those nerve cells are fire. All those brain cells are firing. They are gonna naturally bring up all the emotions, and beliefs, and assumptions that are associated with that state of pleasure. And that's why the feelings of self-doubt, and you know, misty eyes, and confusion can come up, because you're just, those brain cells are very active, and they're connected to a lot of things, and they're also connected to those feelings. And what you'll find is that the feelings that come up may be shame or self-doubt, or, "Do I deserve to feel this good?" Or, "Is it safe to feel this good?" Or, "Can I even, is it okay to feel this good at all?" What you'll notice if you look is that, yeah, it probably has something to do with how you engage in touch, and affection, and sexuality as well. I'll leave that to you. That's not my job to figure out, but that's what happens in this first lesson. You engage the nerve cells, that engages the brain cells, that connects a lot of other things. And the fact that it doesn't have anything to do with anything or anybody, it's that fundamental function. Can this brain cell talk to this one, and when it can, then a lot of other things are possible. And until it can, those things remain inaccessible. So, this is the place to start. I never start anybody without this now. So, that's what this is about, and that's where it came from. Hope you have a lot of fun with it. - Here's the second lesson, in this one you're going to take turns, feeling each other's hands and you can include up to the forearms if you both agree, but no farther. And that's it. So you're essentially taking the, in the first lesson you've opened the inflow of information in and pleasure in. And you're gonna bring that same awareness to feeling your partner's hand which is a very different thing than giving your partner a hand massage or a hand caress. So, the structure is really simple. You're going to take turns. "May I feel your hand?" "Yes, you may." You're going to feel their hand then you're going to thank them and they're going to say, "You're welcome." And then you got to switch roles. That's all, it is really simple. In this video, I'm going to give you a few more details that can sometimes make a really big difference in letting it click for you. And I'll also talk a little bit about the dynamic itself. And then in the next videos, I'll go into a little more depth about each of the two roles in here that we're playing with. You'll be doing this lesson a dozen times, at least. And more times than that if it's a little hard to click for you. But at least a dozen or so times because you want it to be very natural and without having to really think about what you're doing. And it's also helpful to give yourself as much time as you need, just like the first one that's a different amount of time how long it takes for it to click for people. So it's helpful if you can just sort of give yourself some open ended time, if not, you play with it with the time you have and you come back and play with it another time, it will click for you. One way to think of this experience is that you are conducting an experiment and you want to see can you keep your hands open while you're touching your partner? And so you're going to sort of borrow your partner's hand to experiment with so that they're doing you a favor by letting you play with their hand. And so that helps you remember that, "Oh, this is for you. This is not for them." That they are giving you the gift of letting you explore their hand. So it's not about you pleasing them. And that dynamic is the reverse of what most people think of as sort of the normal way to touch. And that's the dynamic that we're playing with here. In the next lesson, we'll be playing with that other dynamic. So in this lesson, here's the steps, you're going to turn to your partner, ask them, "May I feel your hand?" And you're gonna use just those words. If you offer to give them something like would you like massage? Or would you like me to touch your hand? You're going to confuse yourself. This is for you. You asked for what you want. May I feel your hand? And then you're going to wait until they answer. You're not going to get started before they give you a yes. When they say "Yes." Then you will lean back in your chair. Same reasons as before and not halfway back, all the way back. You're going to bring their hand to your lap. And again, it's helpful if you have a pillow in your lap bring their hand to your lap, settle in, explore, enjoy and start with feeling for the anatomy. Find where the joints move, locate the bones. What's the texture? How does this thing constructed? How does it actually work? And then as you continue to explore that hand you will start to notice that it feels pleasant. Just like the first lesson. Oh, it feels pleasant. And then you just let your hands explore in the way that's most pleasant to you. You set aside what you think they might like and do what feels most pleasant to you. And you will probably have to remind yourself a few times many people do that. "Wait a minute, who is this for? Oh yeah, it's for me." So just explore, play, let your hands enjoy themselves. And just like in the first lesson if you bring your attention back to the sensation in your hands, that will make the shifts for you. That's what sort of, it's like you let your skin do the work for you. Bring your attention back to the sensation in your hands. And then you will notice that the gift is not going towards them. It's not going away from you. It's going towards you. They are giving a gift to you. And when that sort of clicks and you get it with your hands, then a lot of things change. You're just like before you sort of settle into the pleasure of it, your ah, your body settles in. And just like before there can be an emotional response. Quite often, it's a sense of relief. "Oh my gosh, I get to do this. This feels great. I forgot that I knew how to do this." Sometimes it's confusing or it feels very odd. And sometimes there can be a feeling of self doubt or shame or guilt. "Oh my gosh, I'm being selfish. What's wrong with me." So lots of range in how that experience can feel to you. So that's what the click is. You let your hands follow their own pleasure. And you notice that they are giving you this gift of letting you explore and play. And then when your time is up or you've given yourself enough time to let that click you turn to them again and you say, "Thank you." And they'll say, "You're welcome." And then you switch roles. So let's talk about the other role in which your partner has asked you may I feel your hand? And the "Yes" is not automatic. I've never actually had anybody say "No" in this particular lesson. However, when the playing field is bigger and you bring in your whole body's in as the playground then your ability to say no will actually be very important. So at any rate, your partner says "May I feel your hand?" Pause a moment and notice, Hmm, is this a gift that I can give easily and with a full heart? And assuming that it is you say, "Yes" you give them your hand and then there's really nothing else for you to do. It will probably feel lovely. Might not, might be boring. It doesn't matter. It's not about you. This is a gift that you're giving to them. The only thing that may be that might happen which is extremely rare is that if they do something to your hand, that's uncomfortable or it tickles or they've bend at your finger too far you say "Ouch or stop, or don't do that." So you are giving, you're setting aside what you might prefer but you are keeping your responsibility to take care of yourself and have a limit. And that's the essence of this particular role. So they're playing with your hand. They probably will feel great because their hands are relaxed and they're very present and they're not on a mission. So often some of the best touch you've ever had. I've heard many people say that, sometimes the hardest part is remembering that actually it's for them. It's not really for you. Still you get to enjoy it as much as you enjoy it. It's a bonus. And then when they say, "Thank you." What you say is "You're welcome." And you say nothing else. And the reason is that if it felt great to you you'll probably be tempted to say, "Oh no, thank you. That was wonderful." But then you're going to confuse who it was really for. And what's the crux of this one is getting very clear about who is this actually for, it's for them. You gave them a gift, say, "You're welcome." And then nothing else. And that, "Thank you." "You're welcome." Is often where it actually clicks for people and they realize, "Oh, that's what I was just doing." And then the optional, if you like you can spend a few minutes to talk about what you noticed about each of yourselves in that experience. That's optional. So a few words about this dynamic and the roles in it. This dynamic is the opposite of what most people are used to and think of as sort of normal. And it's the one that's crucial for this whole process to make any sense. And it's not likely to make any sense until your hands get it. When you are exploring and feeling your partner's hand and it clicks, "Oh, this is for me." That's when this whole thing starts to make sense. If this doesn't make any sense it's just because your hands haven't felt it yet. And when they do this will be obvious. So this dynamic, the doer is receiving the gift. The one who's being done to, is giving that gift. And the gift that they're giving is the gift of access. Not a very sexy word, but it's an accurate word. So in the role where I'm feeling your hand, I call that the taking role. Taking is a word that has connotations that are less unpleasant for some people. But again, it's an accurate word. I'm taking action to collect this gift that you're giving me, as opposed to, for example the gift is being dropped in my hand, in this one I'm receiving a gift but I have to reach out and pick up that gift. The role in which I'm allowing my hand to be felt that's called allowing. And that one's easier for most people. It's pretty simple. There's really nothing to do. The taking role tends to be the most challenging for almost everyone. And a lot of that's because giving and doing are so welded together in your brain, that as soon as you start doing anything, you feel like you're giving. So most of the instructions that I just gave you and then we'll troubleshoot later are really about breaking that well that doing equals giving. Is not until you stop giving that you're able to notice that you're receiving a gift. And that switch is the crucial piece here. And that's what clicks. And then all of a sudden it makes sense. So again, in this dynamic, the action is going. If I'm in the taking wrong feeling up your hand the action is going that way but the gift is coming this way. So that's the instructions, I'm going to bring my friend Will in to demonstrate for you so that you can see how it looks. And then we'll talk a little later about troubleshooting. Hi will. - Hi Betty. - Thanks for coming. - You're welcome, I'm glad to be here. - So Will, has graciously agreed to let me play with his hand. So that's what we're going to do. First I'm going to get more pillow behind me and get really comfy. And you've played this game before, so, - Yup. - Yup, so informed consent we have here. - Yes. - So Will, may I play with your hand? May explore your hand, feel your hand? - Yes. - Great, so we're going to get up pillow in cause it's a little easier. And I'm gonna lean back and bring his hand right into my lap and I'm going to feel the joints of it. What moves, how does it work? What's this thing made of? And I'm just going to feel it, explore it. And at some point that's going to shift into just enjoying it, the feel of it. I like the feel of these knuckles here. I like this little bit of hair on the back of the hand. I like the warmth of it. And so I'm just going to play with that. And it may I include up to your elbow? - Yes. - Can I use the other hand will be easier to reach? - Yeah. - Thank you. Again, I like feeling the shapes here. It's pleasant and this nice little bony spot right here feels nice. And then we're going to go for a while until I noticed that," Oh, I'm doing this for me. I'm not doing it for him, ah, yeah." And there's that click that we talked about and then I'm going to say, thank you. - You're welcome. - And then we're going to switch. - Betty may I feel your hand? - Hmm yeah, you may. It's always interesting to me how differently different people feel a hand. I've played this with many hundreds of people and so many different ways to feel a hand. It's pretty fascinating. The gift that I'm giving here is just letting him do what he wants to do. It does feel kind of nice actually. - May I include up to your elbow as well? - Ah, yeah, you may. - I'm mostly interested in the wrist, I like wrists. - Mmhh, a lot of bones in there. - Mmhh, move in all sorts of ways. - We could continue this for quite a long time but in light of the viewing audience, we'll say that, that's it.(laughs) - Thank you. - You are welcome. Anything that you wanna share that you noticed? - Uumh, I noticed, well first of all, in the giving angle, I noticed just how I have to sometimes struggle to relax and let myself get out of directing, get out of, you know step out of oh, you know sort of indicating and just let you take my hand. - Yeah. - I find that to be a very difficult direction to work. Taking because I'm more practiced in it. And I have practiced it consciously has become more easy for me over time. And so letting my curiosity and playfulness really start to take over, I am pretty adept at it and it's a lot of fun. - Yeah. - So that, but still I struggled with the giving. - Yeah, with the allowing. - Yeah, the allowing. - Yeah, yeah, cool. Thank you. - You're welcome. - So one more little troubleshooting piece about finding the taking role. And that is that many people will say to me "You're talking about touching for my pleasure but it's giving them pleasure. That gives me pleasure. So what I really want to do is give them pleasure." And that sounds really great at first until you look a little deeper and here's, what's happening with that, I think of it as a direct route to pleasure and sort of an indirect route and here's what's happening. So here's your brain and here's your hand. And of course the nerve endings in your hand fire up the nerves that travel up to your brain and that's where your brain says, "Okay it's a shell, it's a hand." Whatever it says. And then it goes over to the pleasure center and lights that up. So that's a direct route, just comes right up the nerve cells into your brain, right up to your pleasure center, very simple. We're born with it. The other route is that here's your partner over here and you do something to them that they like makes them smile or moan or whatever it is that you want to see. And then you see that response and then that lights up your pleasure center. So that's an indirect route. You have to sort of throw out a boomerang and catch this response and bring it back in order to have your pleasure. That's a lovely way to enjoy it. And it's not to say that that's a problem. It's wonderful to see your partner in pleasure. Of course it is fabulous. And it turns out to be problematic if that's your only route. And here's why that happens, for most of us to some degree this inborn innate direct route has been shut off for various reasons and various ways. And the first lesson where you're feeling the object is about opening that, and that has to be open before you can experience the taking quadrant. And if this is closed off then this becomes your only option. In which case it's no longer an option, it's a requirement. It's really more of a prison. So you have got to go this way, you got to get that smile or that moan, or you don't really enjoy yourself. And we'll come back to why that's problematic. But if you hear yourself say, "Oh but it's giving them pleasure. That gives me pleasure." This is the route that you're talking about. But in the taking role, this is the route that we're playing with and it opens a completely different door. So that's what's happening there. So that's taking and allowing. May I feel your hand? Yes, you may. Feeling their hand, enjoying it. The gift is the gift of access. What you'll do is you'll come back and play this at least a dozen times, maybe 20 times because what you find is the first time or two there'll be an, aha! And then when you come back to it the next time you'll have to kind of start over and get that click again. And then the next time you come back to there'll be a little easier and a little more immediate but you want it to be able to just click right in as soon as you begin and it's there it's just a matter of playing with it and coming back to it so that you're very comfortable with it. You have ease with it. If you want to, you can alternate this lesson with the next one. So you can do this lesson and then tomorrow do that one. And the next day come back and do this one and then do that one. That's fine. But if you do that, make sure that you know which one you are in, which one you're doing because the whole point of it is to be able to tell the difference. And if you can't really tell the difference you're not in of them. You may have a lovely time, but you're not doing this, you're doing something else. So this one, a dozen times, maybe 20, that one another dozen times, maybe 20 alternate them, if you want either way is fine. What you'll find is that it's this one, the taking in the allowing that makes your hands much more sensitive much more sensual, much more clear. They just feel better. And then that one will also feel better. Thanks. - So let's talk about the allowing role in this dynamic. In the allowing role, you are the one who's giving the gift here and the gift is the gift of access. So what you get to learn here is that there's more than one way to give. In allowing, you set aside your preference for how you might like your hand to be touched, but you keep your responsibility for having a limit. You do in fact, have a limit to what you're willing to give, and we're not likely to hit it in this lesson, but when your whole body becomes playgrounds for both of you, you'll hit a limit there and you need to limit there. There is a limit to what you're willing to have done to you. So the allowing role is the arrest on that principle and is an opportunity to learn how to take responsibility for your limits and how to honor them, respect them, and communicate them. So that's sort of the essence of the allowing role. In this particular lesson, it's almost always easy and it's almost always quite enjoyable, and sometimes the hardest part can be actually noticing that you really are giving something here because it feels great. And usually that's because your partner's hand is not on a mission, and so it's relaxed and the touch is often very sensual, very present, it's very sweet. So, because it's so easy, it's hard to notice that there's actually quite a lot happening here. And again, most of this will show up later when you're playing with your whole body and playing gets more complex. So I wanna talk about just a little bit about that, the principles that are at play here. So the main principle at play in the allowing dynamic is that we have all, every one of us, been touched against our will in ways that we did not want and we did not like. And we also did not get some of the touch that we did want, and all of this happened before we could walk and talk. That means it's very deep in our nervous system. Our bodies know how to go along with stuff that we don't want. And to some degree that feels kind of normal, and for many people, it feels so normal that it's hard to imagine anything else. So you might know in your mind, hopefully you do, that you have a choice about what happens to you. What's important is that you learn it with your body, and that's what this whole role is about. The degree to which you know in your bones that you have a choice about what happens to you and you take responsibility for your limit and communicate your limit, to that degree, the allowing role becomes very easy, there's a great deal of joy in just going with the flow of it. If you have any doubt at any level that you don't really quite have a choice, or you don't know how to exercise the choice that you do actually have, to that degree, you will be guarded and you just won't be able to relax and go with the flow and play with it. So that's the principle that we're playing with here in the allowing role. And that's also why, even though the taking role is hard for almost everybody, the allowing role is all over the map. For some people it's easiest like falling off a log. And for other people it's extremely difficult and everything in between. And the reason is that big variation in how confident we are, that we have a choice about what happens to us, and that we take responsibility for having a limit, respecting our limit, and communicating our limit. So that's what the allowing rule is all about. What's far more likely is that it will feel great. I've had many people say, gosh, that feels so good, I feel like I'm receiving, which is really kind of just a misnomer about the nature of receiving. You have made an agreement to give access, so you are giving. The fact that it feels wonderful to you is simply a bonus, it has nothing to do with giving or receiving, it's just a physiological bonus that's happening for you. Pleasure is not something that you can actually give or receive because pleasure happens inside your nervous system. So you are still giving, it feels wonderful, great, aren't you lucky? And there is a certain joy and freedom in that allowing flow of letting someone play with you, that's quite lovely if, as I said, you trust your own limits. So that's the other principle, is that what determines what role you're in is not how good it feels, they all feel good. What determines what role you're in is what was your agreement? So on this role you agreed to give, it feels great, terrific. So what's the allowing role like as you play with it over time? Like I said, it's usually very easy here as you expand your playing options, that's when it's all over the map, it can be very easy, it can be very challenging. And it depends on that inner confidence that you have about you setting a limit and having a choice. And then what often happens here is that you get to feel, you get to go with the flow, you get the pleasure of being touched and played with, you get to explore the experience of surrender, which can be quite sweet. There's a certain relief in this dynamic, because if you have often felt like you were just going along with stuff, you weren't really sure why, now when that dynamic is clear, it can be a big relief, like, oh, this actually is what's happening, and that's quite wonderful. So there's a lot of freedom here, fluidity, flexibility. It's quite fun to play with. And you also find here that quality of noticing that you are enjoyed and desired. Many women have the feeling that they've been desired, but for many men, this is a completely new territory and can be quite a revelation. So what you find here is that what you're giving is yourself and that you are indeed worthy of someone's desire, very sweet. So what the allowing role has to do with gender is nothing. This is not the so-called feminine role, every person, regardless of what sex you are, regardless of what gender you are, you need time to be in the allowing role. And there are lessons here for you to learn and joys here for you to have, there's nothing to do with gender, it's applicable to everyone. So to recap all of this, it's the allowing role that teaches you that you do in fact have a limit to what you're willing to have done to you, and that as you take responsibility for that limit and you learn to notice it and respect it in yourself and communicate it to that degree, you will be trustworthy to yourself, and to that degree, you will trust yourself, and to that degree, you will relax and play and enjoy the flow. So any tension or anxiety in this role is a signal to you that you don't quite know that you do have a choice, in that there's an opportunity here to learn how to take responsibility of that choice. Again, most of this won't come up here in this lesson because it's just your hands, it's gonna be pretty easy, but it definitely is a factor and will come up as you take this role into playing with it with the rest of you. So that's the allowing role. We'll go into it in more depth later when we talk about the whole wheel and draw it out and all that. But it's usually very easy to find here in this lesson. Hope you enjoy playing with it. - So, a note here for bodyworkers. I am one also, this is my community. I teach workshops for hands-on professionals all over the country and all over the world, so I know this community, and what I've noticed about bodyworkers, and by bodyworkers, I mean if people pay you to put your hands on them. Anywhere from therapeutic massage, to particular bodywork modalities, to even physical therapy, even physicians sometimes, and all the way through the spectrum to more erotic forms of bodywork, so if people pay you to put your hands on them. What is often the case, not always, but almost always the case is that the taking quadrant can be very elusive for you. I've had bodyworkers particularly have challenges with this, and then big ah-has with this. And there's several things I think going on. One is that we helping professionals are notoriously bad at receiving the loving, attentive support, and help of other people. Embarrassing but true, and really pretty messed up. And I go into that quite a bit in my workshops with professionals. One could speculate forever on why that is, or what's the sort of emotional, psychological makeup behind that, and I'll leave that to somebody else, but what I think is happening on just a purely neurological level is that the information in flow in our hands is very open. We are palpate, we take in the muscle tone, we're taking in subtle changes all the time, and that is wide open, that flow. And we're aware of it often, although sometimes it's not so conscious, our hands just sort of to know what to do. So we're taking in information, but for that information to then open up the pleasure center, sort of open that other file folder, that door is thoroughly and securely closed. And there's a very good reason for that, because it it doesn't have any place in our work. We're here to massage this person and help them, we're not here to feel them up, so that pleasure door is closed. And so what that means is every time we start moving our hands, our tendency is gonna be to move them in the way that we move them when we're working. Working on someone. And so as soon as you start moving your hands, well, you start using these techniques and strokes that you already know, and so that even more so is gonna to reinforce this sort of nervous system pattern that I'm working, am I'm doing the right stuff? And that pattern just runs very, very deep for most bodyworkers. And the problem is that that's very appropriate when you're working, but it's not so helpful with your lover. Your lover's not here to be worked on. Your lover is here to be with you. So that's what's happening with the neurology, it's really just habit, those are very well-worn pathways. But the interesting thing that I've noticed is that once bodyworkers, and I'll tell you how to make it easier for you in a moment, but once bodyworkers, it sort of clicks for them, and they feel that taking in of pleasure of touching another person, there's very often a big a-ha, and quite often misty eyes, tears, like, oh my gosh, this is totally different. And very often a sense of confusion, or doubt, or shame, or oh my gosh, is this okay to do? Tears are very common. And it's showed me over the years that I think what's going on there, and then, you know, who knows what's going on in other people's minds, but this is kind of how I've come to think about it. What I've come to think is that, when you're using strokes and techniques, you're doing something to someone, it has a purpose. And so you can sort of rest secure in that purpose. And it implies on some level that I am allowed to be here because I'm being useful, and I'm doing something for you, to you, so therefore I get to be with you. It's like, in order to be with you, I have to be doing something useful for you. But what the taking quadrant is about is not that. The taking quadrant is about, I get to be here with you and just be with you, and enjoy you, even if I'm not doing something productive. And that's a very fundamental, really, that's kind of a spiritual question, and a certainly deeply held and not always a conscious belief and emotional sort of set, that what the taking quadrant is about is being with this person and enjoying them without having to be productive, or useful, or doing the right thing, or taking the right steps, and that's very, very difficult. It's very often difficult for bodyworkers, partly I think because of the sort of neurological habit, and partly I think because we often have that belief that we're supposed to be doing the right thing and be useful or else we don't really do to be here. So again, that's for you to notice. I certainly can't look inside your head. What's true is that in order to touch someone, you don't need to give to them. What you need is their permission. And that's what the taking quadrant is. In order to touch someone, you don't need to be giving to them, or doing something for them, or to them, or certainly you don't need to be fixing them. What you do need is their permission, and that's what the taking quadrant is. So one of the things that's difficult, makes it more lucid is that we're in session, I'm giving somebody a therapeutic massage, and it's clearly for them, it's very professional, but even so, it's pleasant already. Just the very act of giving a massage is pleasant. And so I just assume that, well, that's what pleasant is. But in fact, in the taking quadrant, where we're being really clear that it's for me, and I'm feeling you up, there's a whole 'nother layer that goes much, much deeper emotionally, as well as sensually, and possibly erotically. So because it's already pleasant to do it the old way, it can be hard to hard to know beforehand that there's this whole other really fabulous layer to it. So what can help it be not so elusive for bodyworkers, all the things that I've already given you in the instructions will cover that, but there's a couple of things in particular that make a big difference. One is that you lean back, because again, if you're leaning here, and your partner's hand that you're feeling is out here, and your hands are extended, your whole body posture, and you're engaging your muscles in your trunk, you're gonna just put yourself into the mindset of working, because your body's in the position of working. So it's just gonna drive you into that habitual road faster. The other thing is don't sit opposite your partner. So if I'm sitting here, and you're sitting there, and your hand's held out here, then there's a symmetry again. It's gonna call up that same habit of working on, so it's gonna be very difficult not to give a massage. So have your partner sit next to you. And all these instructions are in there, but they're particularly important for bodyworkers. Get out of symmetry. Have your partner sit next to you, bring their hand over into your hand, and then lean back. So all of that makes a difference because it gets you out of the habit of effort. And the other thing is to start out feeling for the joints, and the movement, and sort of start out palpating. And your hand will gradually start to notice more and more detail. If you start out sort of petting, and stroking, and caressing, it's often harder to find out that it's for you. And the other is to move your hands very, very slowly. And like I said elsewhere, you can often see them more clearly than you can feel them because the habit is so strong. So look at your hands, look at how fast they're moving, cut 'em in half, cut the rate in half, don't cut your hands in half, cut the rate in half. And that also just opens up a whole new ability to notice. Just, it gets you out of your well-worn path. And the other, of course, which I've said elsewhere is go back to feeling that object so that your hands open up for pleasure. And what I've often done with people is feel the object, now feel my hand, now feel the object again, now feel my hand again. Just sort of go back and forth so that your body can remember, oh, this is what it feels like to just feel for pleasure. Now here's this hand. Can I still do that? Oh, this is what it feels like to feel for pleasure. So that can help sometimes, too. And later when you're playing with more body parts than just your partner's hand, you're having the opportunity to explore their whole body. Again, still, you want to get out of symmetry. I've had people say, well, may I feel your shoulders? And if you sit behind someone and feel their shoulders with the same kind of symmetry with which you would be giving them bodywork, it would be very difficult to find. So turn 'em sideways, use one hand. Or if you're feeling their head, don't have them sit in front of you like this, have them lay down, put their head on your lap, use one hand to feel their face, their head, whatever you've asked for and you've agreed to. So slow down, get out of symmetry, lean back, and be very conscious of the words that you use when you're asking permission. You're asking, may I feel your hand? You're not asking, may I give you a hand massage, or would you like a hand massage, or would you like me to touch you? Because those words, whatever words you use set your mind up to be able to open this door instead of that door. And you learn that it's okay to be with somebody without having to fix somebody, or work on somebody, or give to somebody, or do the right technique, or do the right thing, that it will sort of challenge your thinking and feelings about who you are as a person like that, and that's a very powerful thing. So this is a really rich exploration for bodyworkers. And lots of a-has, it's likely to be elusive, so just be very attentive, and don't give up until it really clicks for you, and it feels very, very different from when you're working. So what happens to your bodywork when this stuff becomes clear is just phenomenal. The quality of your touch goes way up, because you become just more present. And even if you're giving a therapeutic massage, you're not there to enjoy yourself, and certainly not there to follow your own desires, but still, your hands are more open, and more relaxed, and once you really learn the taking quadrant, and it clicks for you, and you notice how wonderful it feels, and you sort of, oh yeah, I get this, this is a good thing. Then you're no longer afraid of it, so that you don't, when you are working professionally, then you're not afraid of yourself and afraid of your feelings. You keep them out of the session as is appropriate, but you're not afraid of them, so that means your hands relax, much more present, much more sensually enjoyable to your client. So that's for bodyworkers. I feel very fortunate to be paid to have my hands on lots of people, it's wonderful work, and this kind of clarity will really make your sessions more clear and more satisfying, both for your client and for you. And really, your hands will become much more sensitive, and perceptive, and also sensually enjoyable to the other person. And yeah, have fun with it. - So this is the third lesson. In this one, you get to play with the other dynamic of the two dynamics. That lesson was one, this is the other one. This is the one that for most people feels more normal or natural. At least it's the one that makes sense. Although you will find there are some things to learn here as well. So the format is the same. You're going to be taking turns, giving and receiving and you'll ask your partner, but it's a different question. And this is the question. How would you like me to touch your hand? So in the previous one you were asking for what you wanted. I want to feel you up. In this one, you're asking how do you want me to touch you? So it creates the opposite dynamic. In this one, when you're doing, you are giving the gift, you've set aside what you want, you're going with what they want. And when you're the one being touched it's what you want that counts. So instead of giving yourself over to be felt up you are receiving touch in just the way that you want it. And being able to tell the difference between that dynamic and this dynamic, is it the crux of the whole process. So here, I'll give you the steps and say just a little bit about the dynamic itself. And then in the next two videos, I'll go into more depth in each of the two roles, sort of how to find it, how to make sure it clicks and where it takes you over time. So here are the steps. When it's your turn to give you turn to your partner and you say, "How would you like me to touch your hand?" So you are asking them what they want. What you want doesn't matter for now. How would you like me to touch your hand? And then you wait for the answer. And then they tell you and you let them get comfortable. You do what they asked as best you can. When they say, thank you you say, "You're welcome." and say nothing more. And then you switch roles. Now you're in the receiving role. Your partner's going to ask you, "How would you like me to touch your hand?" And then you pause for a moment and you consider, "Hmm, what is it that sounds really wonderful right now?" And for many people, this is a completely new question. That's okay. You may not know what you want and there's no special secret there except just to wait. And those few seconds can seem excruciating but they're actually really crucial and we'll talk about it later. Your partner asks you, "How do you want me to touch your hand?" You consider, "Hmm, what sounds really great right now?" And you ask for that. Well, would you tickle it this way, or would you massage it this way? Whatever it is that you would like. And then lean back, this is familiar to you by now, lean back, put your hand where you want it and let your giver situate themselves however they need to, then you drink it in. If there's anything that you would like different, you say so, "Would you go slower please? Oh, deeper right there. Or softer, please?" Whatever you need to do so that it feels great for you. And then when your time is up you look them in the eye and you say, "Thank you." and they will say, "You're welcome". That's it, really simple. And like the previous one, it helps at the beginning... In the first few times in particular, it helps if you can be a little open-ended in your time because it takes a different amount of time for it to click for people. But you'll be doing this a dozen times or so until it's really easy and clear and simple. The click is, it becomes very, very clear who it's for. When I'm on the receiving role and it's for me and I really get it that it's for me, and I stop trying to give my giver a good experience, that's the click. So that's the steps. How would you like me to touch your hand? Will you please, blah, blah, blah? Then I do that. Thank you. You're welcome. And then switch roles. So a few notes about this dynamic. This is the one that feels most comfortable and makes most sense to people usually. It's the one in which when you are doing, you're also giving. So those two definitions of giving are both happening at the same time here. And what you're giving is your action. When you are receiving and you're being done to in the way that you've asked, then both of those definitions of receiving are applying here. You're being done to and it's for you. So the gift that's flowing from you is your action. What's true about giving, which is true in any form of giving is that you set aside what you might prefer but you keep your responsibility for having a limit to what you can give. That's true of any kind of giving. And that's what lets you be generous. What's true about the receiving role, and this also is true about any kind of receiving is that you respect the limits of your giver, what they can and are willing to give you but then you put your own desire and pleasure first. So when you are in the receiving role it's about what you want, not what you're willing to go along with, or put up with, or be okay with, it's what you want. in the giving role, what you want, it doesn't matter. The question is what are you willing to give? And what is it that's within the range of what you're willing to give? And when you take responsibility for that limit then you become very generous. So that's the giving and receiving dynamic. I've invited my friend Will over to show you what it looks like. And then in the next two videos we'll go into more detail about each of those two roles. So thanks for coming Will. I've invited Will to come and give me a great hand massage today. So you get to witness that, lucky you. (laughing) So this is the dynamic in which we get to ask each other how we would like to be touched. So how would you like me to touch your hand Will? - I would like some deeper touch in the sort of these, where these bones and joints come out from the center of my palm to here, primarily on my left hand, I was playing guitar yesterday and I kinda overdid it. - Okay. - So having that would be wonderful. I would love that. - Okay. And so I'm gonna move around here so that I can reach a little better. But Will is gonna lean back and get comfy. Move that one, there we go. - Yeah. - So in here? - Yeah, there too and the top of the palm. - How's that pressure? - It's good, you can even go deeper if you want. - Well, this is a lot of muscle work. - That's true. - It's not about what I want, It's about what you want. - I would like you to even go deeper. - Okay, great. - Yeah. Yeah that's perfect. - Oh good. - That's perfect. - Good. We could do this all day, but sadly we're not. - Thank you. - You are welcome. We're gonna squeeze. - Yeah, how would you like me to touch your hand? - Mmm, hmm. I would love just some light tickles. Okay, if you go up to my forearm? - Yes. - Some light tickles and then some fingernail, some scratches on my inner forearm and down the palm of my hand out my fingers. Would you do that? - Yes. I'm just using the tips of my fingers 'cause I don't really have much finger nail. Is that a good pressure? - Lighter, like feather light. - Got it, okay. Is it more like that? - Oh yeah, yeah, that's great. Even lighter. Oh yeah, yeah, there you go. Yeah, that feels good. I feel tingly all the way down to my fingertips. And then heavy in there. Hard, yeah real hard. Light here and then heavy there, yeah. - Light, light, light, light, light, light and then, that kind of hard? - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - Yeah. - One more. - Yeah, as light as I can. - Oh yeah that's great. Mmm, (exhales) thank you. - Your welcome. - So, any noticing about that, I could take? - I like being able to articulate what I want with that kind of precision. You did that little correction of you can do that if you want to, this is what I would want. It's subtle, but there's such an amount of power in that. And there's so much... It's this sort of autonomy thing that I feel really supported in that correction in being able to ask that way and get what I want. That's one of the things that I really like about that kind of direct asking for what you want. - Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it does seem like a luxury to be able to have the space to ask for what you want. - Yes. - Because, we don't always have that. And because it's hard to ask for what we want often I find that having sort of more room and more spaciousness makes it easier for it to come out of me. Yeah, yeah. Great, thanks for coming to play with us. - Oh, you're welcome, and my pleasure. - Great. - So let's talk about the receiving role in this dynamic. Back at the beginning, we talked about two different meanings of receiving. One is meaning being done to, and the other means it's actually for you, it's a gift for you. And in this particular role, both of those happen at the same time. You've seen elsewhere that they don't always happen at the same time, but in this role they do. So this is what most people think of as what receiving means. Even so, the idea that receiving means being done to can be confusing. Because if your experience of being done to isn't necessarily pleasant or what you wanted, then when you say receiving, describing being done to, you're gonna sort of automatically your body's gonna automatically think that "Well, something's being done to me, therefore I guess it's supposed to be for me, even if it's not what I like." That is not where we're going here. Where we're going here is, what is it that I actually do want right now? What sounds really wonderful right now? So let's look at some steps about how to make that easier to happen. The first thing that happens is that your partner's gonna ask you how you want your hand to be touched. And what I do in the studio in my workshops is take 20 seconds to notice what is it that sounds wonderful here? And in my workshops, we use a timer. I mean, I'm strict. Take some time here to notice what you want. And the reason is very often people will say, "Oh well, you can do such and such." But if I actually make them take the time, they'll notice, "Oh, you know what? That's not what I want. Actually, what I want is this thing." So give yourself time. The question here is not what is within the realm of what you are willing to tolerate and be okay with. The question is what sounds really wonderful right now? And many of us have never been asked that question. Many people, when I say, how would you like to be touched? Even, how would you like your hand touched? "I have no idea. No one's ever asked me that before. I don't even know how to know." So this role is an opportunity to learn how to notice what you actually want, and that it can actually be for you, 100% for you. So your partner asks you what you want, 20 second pause, what is it that I actually would like? And then you ask for that thing and you ask it in the most direct and simple way you can and give them the information that they need. So I would like for you to squeeze my wrist and then massage these muscles here. Would you do that for me? Or would you tickle the back of my hand and just stroke and caress it? Or would you massage my forearm and then tickle my fingers? Whatever it is that you want. And you do have to actually ask it in a question that ends in a question mark. You don't get to hint, " Oh, I always like to have my hand rubbed this way." That may be true, but it's not actually a question. The question is what would you like right now? So then you ask, "Oh, would you bloody bloody blah?" And then you wait and give them time to consider if this is a gift that they can give you right now. It also may be that they needed a little more information. You have said, "Well, rub my hand." They need to know, "Well, do you want that deep or soft? Or do you want, you know, what part of your hand, anything." So they may ask you for more information. "Great. I'd be happy to do that. Tell me a little more about what you actually, give me a little more detail about what that looks like." So they say yes, then you again lean back. You're the one receiving here. Lean back, put your hand wherever it's comfortable and they'll figure out how to get themselves comfortable as well. And then just soak in and drink it up. And if there's something you would like different, then you ask for that. "Oh, that feels great. Slower please." Or, "Oh yeah, right there. Would you go deeper into that muscle right there?" Whatever changes you want, it's your job to ask. They can't read your mind. And another factor here is, you let your giver have whatever experience they are giving. Is not your job to try to give your giver a good experience. A lot of people get lost in this one. They're grown up, they're gonna have whatever experience they have. So you don't choose based on what you think they want to give, neither do you pretend to like something that you don't actually like. Let them take care of that. Your job is to sink and enjoy yourself. And the fact is that if you are trying to please them, they can't actually have the experience of giving to you because you're not even there to receive the gift that you said you wanted. So a lot of people get lost in that little twisted turnaround there. So let your giver have the experience that they're having. Don't try to give them a good experience. And then finally, as you sink in and settle in, "Oh, this is for me, this is wonderful. It's just what I wanted." There will very often be again, just like the other two, there will very often be an emotional response of tenderness, gratitude, just getting lost in the sensation of it. It can feel like a big relief. Sadness is pretty common. Sometimes confusion or guilt because, "Oh my gosh, here I am taking up all this time." Really you know, it's only three or five minutes so get over yourself. This is your turn to receive. And then when your time is up, you turn to them, look them in the eye, say, thank you. And they're gonna say, you're welcome. So about the experience of receiving, you might think it's easy. It sounds pretty easy. I mean, how do you want your hand touched? Or I want you to rub it this way. Sure. That's great. What could be easier? But it's not always easy. There's a huge range in our comfort level with enjoyment. There's a huge range in our comfort level with how much of a gift we are comfortable receiving. And what I mean by that is that, if you get antsy or feel guilty or worried about your giver, that just means that you've bumped up against your comfort edge of how much you're comfortable receiving. And your self right behind that comfort line is your self doubt and your shame and your guilt and all the other stuff that we all have in there somewhere. The question is not whether we, any of us has a limit in what we're comfortable receiving, the question is, where are you gonna bump into it? You probably, you may not bump into it in this lesson although you might, but you'll certainly bump into it at some point as you continue to play the game, We all have a comfort limit. So if you get antsy while you are receiving what you are wanting, three reasons for that. One is that what I just said, it's not you're hitting, you're about to hit your self doubt. Another reason may be it's not what you actually want but you don't really quite know how to say anything different. So it may be not what you quite want, or it may be what you want, but it may be more of it than you want. Maybe you've just had enough. So this is where the principle comes in of following your pleasure. If it feels good, keep doing it. If it doesn't feel good, then why the heck are you still doing it? So that's when it's time to say, actually you know what, would you change that? Or turn my hand over and do the other side please? Or, here I'd like you to do this hand now, whatever it is that you want to change. Or it may be just enough and it's time to stop and say, that's enough for now. Thank you. So if you're getting antsy, check in. Is this what I actually want? Or is this more of it than I want? Or is this what I want but I'm just hitting my fear and myself doubt? It's one of those three. There's a fallacy that comes into play with the receiving role. And again, it may not happen in this lesson, but it'll happen at some point. And that is that okay, something's happening to me and this is something that somebody wants to give me, therefore I'm supposed to like it. And if I don't really like it, then there's something wrong with me and I just need to get a better attitude about receiving. This is completely backwards. The question is not why don't I like what, you know, why don't I like receiving? The question is what is it that I actually do like? What is it that I actually do want right now? What is it that actually does sound great right now? And again, for many people, any experience of being done to it all feels like, "Oh, well, I'm just going along with something." So the receiving role is your opportunity to notice that it actually is possible that it really could be for you and how to experience that and how to have that happen. And the basic answer is you go for what you want and not what is in the realm of what you're willing to put up with. So the receiving quadrant is about you. And that means that you get to have it the way you want it, instead of the way someone else wants you to want it or thinks you should want it. Or somewhere you read about that you should want, or some video you saw that this is what you should want. None of those apply here. What applies here is what is it that sounds really wonderful. And if it's not clear what it is that you want, then all you gotta do is wait a while and it will become clear. So when your partner says, how would you like me to touch your hand? Or any other part of you, then you wait until it's clear until you do know. And that may take 20 seconds. It may take 20 minutes. It doesn't matter how long it takes. What matters is that you give it the time it needs. And it's there. It's in there. You just be quiet and wait, it'll come up to your awareness. So what do you learn in the receiving role? Well, besides getting a great hand massage, what you learn is that it is in fact possible to be touched in the way that you want. And that you are in charge of that not somebody else. You also learn to have a great deal of respect for the person who's giving to you, and you learn to respect the limits of what they are willing and able to give you. So within those limits, then you can be selfish and really sink into your own experience. It also means that you respect their right to have their experience and you stop trying to manage their experience by giving your giver a good experience. So that is all about respecting your giver. And you also have the opportunity to sink into your experience in a way that is not distracted by stuff that you feel like you should be doing. So that can be a huge relief. It can also be very challenging because again, it's gonna take you right to the edge of your self doubt. You also noticed that there is in fact something that you want and like, and that it's different than what you are willing to go along with. And that if that matters, that what you want actually matters. I've had many people tell me, "Thank you for showing me that what I wanted matters. I didn't know that it did." So in the receiving role, you have an opportunity to notice that. You also learn that that process of noticing what it is that you want is very, very precious actually. This applies to both kinds of receiving. This kind of receiving and the taking role. Is that there is in fact, something that you want, something that you would prefer, something that you would love to have right now. It sounds wonderful to you. And sometimes the road from that knowing can be long and windy and dusty and filled with logs before it gets up to your conscious awareness where you can speak it. But it's there. And at some level you do know what you want. And the only thing to do is to be patient and wait for it to bubble up. And it may seem like forever, but it really is only taking a few seconds or a few minutes. But let it bubble up. And that you learn to value that process and to trust that process. And it does get shorter and shorter, and that'll start to apply to the rest of your life as well. You become much more clear about, what am I going along with? And what is it that I actually would prefer here? And you begin to trust your pleasure. That, "Oh, this feels good on my hand or my back or wherever we're playing. And you begin to trust that experience in yourself and that it's worthwhile and it's worthy and it's nourishing to you. So all these things are happening in this receiving role. Again, they may not so much show up here in this lesson, but they will definitely show up as you're playing with this over time and you bring more of your body into play. So what you also learn in the receiving role, is the difference between, want to and willing to. You learn what want to feels like, and you learn what in the allowing role, you learn what willing to feels like. And when you can tell the difference, then each of them are much richer and more fun. So what becomes possible over time as you play with this is that as you learn to notice what you want and value that and trust it and communicate it, you begin to be curious about lots of other things. So you begin to, your interests become varied, and you want to know "How does this feel? How's this feel?" Because you, you trust yourself and you trust your experience. And also it becomes possible as some, besides a lot of fun, is some very profound state sort of bliss like stage which really change your physiology and also nourish you. Both in relationship with each other and just nourish you in relationship with yourself. Very rich and important place to be able to experience is this role. So that's the receiving role. Again, it's one of the four quadrants, and I'll talk about it more in depth later. But hopefully that's enough to get you started and to experiment and find, "Oh, this really is for me. Mhh. How fabulous!" So enjoy playing with it. - So the giving role. This is where both meanings of giving happen at the same time. You are taking the action and you are also giving the gift, and the gift that you are giving is your action. So let's look at a little more detail, the steps in the instructions so you can really do a great job of it, and then a little glimpse about what it means and where it takes you over time. I said the gift that you are giving is your action, but really the real gift that you are giving here is a certain spaciousness to let their desire show up and to put yours on the shelf for now. That's what the real nature of giving is about. Any form of giving. So let's look at how that looks like in the steps. Number one is of course you're gonna ask them how would you like me to touch your hands? And you are going to wait until the answer. Doesn't matter how long. You're not gonna give a hint, you're not gonna give a suggestion, you're not gonna sort of help them out by speeding the process along because they need that time to notice what is it they actually want. You don't actually know what they want, even if they always want the same thing, you don't know if that's gonna be true today. And then when they ask you for what they want, you are gonna take a 20 second pause and ask yourself, is this something that I can easily give with a full heart? And yes is not a given. In this lesson it probably is gonna be pretty easy. But as the field of play expands, it's not necessarily gonna be a given. Or it may be that they didn't give you quite the information that you need. Maybe they said, would you rub my hand, but you don't know whether that means deep or soft or whether it's a caress. You don't really know what that means so you need information. So your job at this point is to ask for that information. Yes, I'd be glad to do that. Do you want that deep or do you want that soft? So that's part of your job is gathering the information that you need. And then, once you have that, you're gonna say, yes, I'd be glad to do that, and then you're going to do what they ask for as best you can. You're not gonna do extra stuff that you think they might like, and you're not gonna make up new stuff. You're gonna do it exactly the way they asked you, and that's how you respect them. That's part of what you're giving here. And then, and this is part of the art of the giving role is that you get over your idea of how you think they should respond, or how you want to see them respond. For one reason, it's not an accurate indicator of how much they're enjoying it. So enjoyment can look like a lot of things. Someone could get very excited and get very turned on. They could also get very laxed and practically fall asleep, or actually fall asleep. Their response is not an indicator of how much they're enjoying it so get over that idea. The other reason why people often wanna see a response is because, well, it feeds our ego, it makes us feel good, of course it does. Or we've seen that response in a video somewhere and that's what we wanna see them do. That's about you. Get over it, put it aside. Your job is to do what they have asked you to do as best you can, and let them have the experience that is theirs; that experience belongs to them. It doesn't belong to you. Still you do want to take in and notice their response because if they suddenly become tense, you wanna notice that and you wanna stop and say, is this what you actually want or do you want something different? And because your hands are now open, as you've learned the taking quadrant, your hands are now open and you're able to take in more information, and that just happens automatically. So you'll take in information with your hands, you'll also check in with them, how's this pressure? Would you like anything different? And so again, you're creating the space for them to bring their desire forward. And that's just part of the art of giving. And again, it may not be so important here, but it very definitely will be important as we expand the playing field. As you're asking them for any feedback, it's not so helpful to say, does this feel good? Because pretty much anything feels good sort of. You don't wanna know if it feels good. What you wanna know is, is this what they're actually liking, how's this pressure, how's this speed, is there anything you'd like different? Those questions are actually more helpful. The other thing that you're doing is that because you're the one who's wide awake here, it's your job to watch the clock. So if you're playing with an open good time, terrific, you can just go until you're tired or til they get it. But if you are playing with a clock, then it's your job to watch the clock. And then when the time is up and they say thank you, then you say you're welcome and you say nothing more. Again, the same reasons as in lesson two. Because it's not about you saying thank you and you're welcome sort of anchors the fact that there was a gift that was just given here. And even if you did enjoy it, which you probably will, you are allowed to enjoy giving, it's quite a lot of fun usually. Even if you enjoyed it, that wasn't the gift that they gave you. It was just the nature of the situation that's quite pleasant to give. So you are allowed to enjoy it, but it's not a gift that they're giving you. It's just a bonus of the situation. So that's the steps of the giving rule. Let's look at a couple principles that are at play here. One is that what you are giving your partner is not an experience; you're not giving them an experience, you're not giving them pleasure. What you are doing is contributing to their experience, and the experience belongs to them. And the way you are contributing is that you are making space so their desire can show up, and you are doing what they ask you to and you are letting go of your idea of where it should go or where it should look like. Another way of saying that is that it's for them, it's not for your entertainment and it's not for your gratification. When you give to your partner and they respond in ways that you like, there's a certain way that that feeds the ego, there's no doubt about it. But when you give to them and you give up your idea of what it should look like and let it be for them, so it's really true giving, that satisfies your heart in a way that nothing else can; it's very rich. So in that way, true giving is a humbling experience and you feel that it's a privilege and an honor to contribute to your partner in this way. It's very different than getting the response that you wanna see. So what that looks like is the things that we've said already. You wanna create spaciousness so you ask, you wait, you be very patient, you get comfortable with doing nothing. That's really part of your gift is giving them all the time they need. And you set aside your idea of what it should look like. All those things are about creating this spaciousness and making a real contribution. So what makes you really good at giving is not the technique. It's your ability to take in information. Both verbal information about what they're asking for, and tactile information about how their body is responding. And to ask for more information as you go along, that's what makes you a good giver is the art of giving; not about technique. And where you learn that ability to take in with your hands is back in the taking role. So that's one of the big reasons why learning the taking role is what makes you really good at the giving role. So the giving role then is about contributing, not about controlling the result. And you learn that it's less about the action that you take, and more about your ability to communicate and take in the information that's in front of you. And what you learn is that it's those skills in communication that really make for a very good giver. So what happens over time as you develop these skills is that your giving gets very effective, it's very satisfying to you and it's very satisfying to them. And that the learning the taking role and the skills that we've just been talking about, those are what make your giving really satisfying and effective and really yummy all the way around. So that's kind of a lot to say about the giving role and much of it you won't need to be aware of here in this lesson, but those are the factors that are at play, even this simple experience. And as you become aware of them, you'll notice them more and your skill and presence will increase and you'll have more fun and they'll have more fun. So enjoy, I hope you enjoy exploring it. - So, this is where I get to draw out for you the quadrants and how they fit together and how they work. And it's one of my favorite things I'll have to admit. I'm an engineer at heart. So, this is where I get to like think in flowcharts which is the way I usually think. So, here's how it came about when I started playing this with my clients and to the degree that my friends would let me, with my friends. What I noticed was for each particular thing that we were doing, like, if I said, how do you want me to touch you? Or they said, how do you want me to touch you? Whatever combination there was. There were two questions or two factors. One is, who's doing the doing? And the other is, who's giving and who's receiving or who is it for? So, you can look at one person touching another and you can say with pretty good certainty, who's doing the doing. That's clear. But who is it for? That's a different question. And it's not always who it looks like. It's not always by definition for the person who's being done-to. This chart will, if you've played the three minute game and if you've gone through the lessons this will explain what you've already noticed. This is just a way to see it visually but you've already felt it. If you haven't done that. And you're just starting out the process by watching this video. It may or may not make any sense. In fact, it probably won't. And if you find yourself sort of scratching your head like, what is she talking about? What happened, how that work? Then that's because you haven't felt it in your hands. When you feel it in your hands this will become very obvious. It just sort of falls in your lap. So, after I was playing the three minute game a while and I noticed there's a difference here. Who is doing is a different question than who it's for. And so, I noticed that they fit together. Those two factors overlapped. And so, I began to think of it like this. So, one person is doing. The other person is being done-to. The other factor is, who's giving? And who's receiving? It's like in the old paradigm. There was one line. The doer was the giver and the receiver was the one that's being done-to. But we've taken that one line and gone. So, now there's two lines. Two different factors and this is how they overlap. So, what you've already played with in the lessons and in the three minute game, here's how they fit together. When you are on the doing half, you're either giving, it's for them or you're receiving, it's for you. And knowing the difference is what makes them each really great. When you're on the done-to half, you're either giving, you're giving your body for them to be able to play with. Or you're receiving you're being touched in a way you want. So, those are two options. And when you're on the giving half, you're either giving a gift of doing or you're giving a gift of access. Letting yourself be done-to. And when you're on the receiving half, you're either receiving what someone's doing to you you're being done-to or you're receiving the gift of being able to do what you want to do. So, let's name them. Which you've already done in the lesson. So, when you're doing and you're giving this is what most people call give. It's sort of the normal or right way. The most comfortable way that most people think of as giving. The essential dynamic here is like a massage. A massage is clearly for the benefit of the person who's on the receiving end of it. So, when you're doing and giving, that's give. And your partner over here is being done-to and they're receiving the gift. So, I call that receive. And this is what most people call receive. It's different use of the word than this received. So, remember back at the beginning we talked about receiving. Receiving can mean being on the receiving end of some action or it can also mean receiving a gift. Whatever form that gift may take. Well, this refers to the fact that it's a gift for you. It comes in different forms. This receive refers to both of those, happen to be happening at the same time. You're on the receiving end of being done-to. And you also, you're receiving a gift. So, that's a give and receive. In giving and receiving the action goes this way. And the gift also goes that way. And the sort of, as I said, the quintessential example of this is a massage. Okay. So, that's giving and receiving. What about the other one? In lesson two. When you were feeling your lover's hand or feeling your partner's hand just to enjoy it for yourself. You are doing and you are also receiving the gift and this is what we call taking. And as I explained there, take is a word that can have a lot of connotations for different people. What I've noticed is, it can be a little off putting. What's important to know about this form of taking or the taking quadrant is that it's not stealing. It's not using, it's not usurping, you're not taking away something. Sometimes people really have a hard time just getting over the word. But the taking quadrant is receiving a gift and you're receiving a gift by taking action. So, it's like you have to go and collect that gift. You have to take action to collect the gift. And the gift that you're receiving is the gift of access to the other person. So, the taking and receiving I mean, I'm sorry. When you're doing and you're receiving the gift of access you're in the taking quadrant. Your partner is over here. They are giving the gift of letting themselves be done-to. So, that is allowing. Again, allowing is not putting up with, tolerating, enduring, going along with, or subjecting yourself to. It's a true gift in which you give access to yourself gladly and with a full heart, it's a true gift. So, you're giving a gift and the gift is essentially you letting yourself be done-to. So, that's allowing. In the taking and allowing dynamic, the action goes that way but the gift goes the opposite way. Goes from the allower to the taker. And so, you can see that the dynamics are opposite. And if you were to look in the window at two people. One person's stroking someone else's arm, you'd be able to tell who was doing and who was being done-to. But you would not be able to tell probably who was actually giving the gift or what the gift was. You couldn't really tell who is it for, by looking. The quintessential example of this dynamic is ravishing. And we'll come back to that. What you might notice is that a massage this dynamic is available in many, many different kinds of relationships. Many different kinds of situations not only a professional massage therapist. But you and your partner, you're rubbing your grandmother's feet. You're holding your children to comfort them. You're having some physical therapy and the person's moving your joints around. All those fall in this dynamic, because they are for the benefit of the person who's being done-to. And yeah, lots of different flavors of this. Lots of different reasons for this. Lots of different kinds of situations in which it's appropriate. This dynamic, take and allow. If you went to your massage therapist and they started out giving to you, but pretty soon it felt like they were just feeling you up, major creep. This dynamic almost always happens only among lovers. The other place that you'll see it, is in small children where you pick up a small child and they want to reach out and stick their finger in your nose and feel your hair, and just sort of feel you and climb on you and experience you. That can also be this. But among adults it pretty much is only happens among lovers. This is why I call this particular dynamic the lovers touch. And we'll come back to that later. So, two different dynamics. You want them both in your life. At least I do. Most people feel like this is the right kind and therefore it's kind of the only kind that's available. And they think that even in sexual play or lovemaking this is the only right kind. And this kind gets sort of, for most people is they don't even know it's there. Don't know how to find it or it's very confusing. Because what do they really want? What about consent and all that stuff which we'll be going into. For most people this is just absent or really misunderstood or very scary or confusing or lots of stuff. And yet among lovers, this is the one that really lets you play and express your eroticism and express your desire for your partner. So, in life you want all four. And in your relationship, particularly with your lover you want all four. You want to be able to access all four. So, the other thing that's important to know here is that what actually creates these. They exist only within a certain condition. And that is consent. These things happen within the circle of consent and only within the circle of consent. So consent, most people think of consent as meaning permission. And when you hear people say, yes, I give consent. What they mean is I give permission, but permission is only one kind of consent. And it's not always the kind that fits your situation. Consent as I'm using it here is in a much broader meaning. Which means it's the agreement. What's our agreement? Who wants what? Who's doing what and for whom is it? So, when we have consent it not only includes, what's the activity? But it includes, who's it for? Whose desire are we following? So, when I say, may I feel your legs? Then you say, sure. Then we have consent. And because I have said, may I, and I've asked for permission to do what I want to do. That consent creates this dynamic. May I feel your legs? And you say, yes, you may. So, we're doing this. If I say, how would you like to be touched? You look tired would you like a foot rub? I'm making an offer to go here. And you're saying, yes, I would love that. And now you're here. So again, it's our agreement that has created this dynamic. So, all of this happens only within the circle of consent. And it's the consent that creates the dynamic. That's how you know which one you're in. It's also true for each of these. Each of them is distinct from the other. None of them are the same as the other. It's easy to confuse when you're in it. Before you learn how to tell the difference. You can sometimes be not sure which one of these you're in. Or you can sometimes be sure not which one of these you're in. But once you learn them and understand that your agreement is creating that. Then each of these is a very distinct experience is different from the others. And each of them is inherently pleasurable. In fact, if it's not pleasurable you're not really quite in it, something's off. The fact that it's pleasurable is one of the signs, one of the signs that you're in it. It's not the only sign however, because they're all pleasurable. So, the fact that you are experiencing pleasure does not indicate which quadrant you are in. So, I can be allowing you to feel me up in whatever way we've agreed to. And it may feel fabulous to me. Oh, therefore, I feel good. I'm experiencing pleasure. So, I must be over here, I guess. No. What determines what quadrant you're in is the agreement that you have made. Not the fact that you're experiencing pleasure, because they all are pleasurable. Each of them will also challenge you in its own particular way. There are some themes that are pretty common. I'll be talking about those but they're also unique to you. That each of these will challenge you in a different way. And quite often, the challenge is because you don't quite know who it's for. Usually once that clicks, then the rest of it starts to make sense and sort of opens up for you. So, each of them is distinct. Each of them is created by the agreement. Each of them has its own challenge for you. And each of them has a particular aha or a gift for you. Each of them has its own way that it frees you. That liberates you. Each of them also, and I'll give you an example of that. Taking is the one that's hardest for almost everybody. If you don't know that this even exists or you kind of have an idea, but it looks horrible and just terribly scary, because it seems selfish. If you don't have access to this one then the only option you have for touching anyone is this one. And so, you're here pretty much all the time. But the problem is that if you don't really have access to this one. This one's going to be kind of muddy and mixed up and confused because it's trying to do more than what it's really there for. You're trying to get something by giving. And so, when you learn how to access this you become free to play here which you weren't free to play here before. And that means you start to understand that, yes you're enough. You are allowed to touch and enjoy and be with this person. Your desire and curiosity about them can come out and play. Which doesn't really get to come out and play here much. Your desire, your curiosity about them. Your ability just to move and express yourself in ways that are spontaneous and authentic for you. All that comes out of here, doesn't come here. When you access this a lot of things get more freed up like confidence which is really what's born here too. That doesn't come from here. That's an example and they all have those examples. And I'll come and back to those. We'll be talking about each of them separately. They also in my experience. Each have a particular kind of a spiritual nugget or an emotional aha or sort of a gift. You can think of as philosophical. However you want to think of it. But I've noticed this for me and I've noticed it in a lot of other people too. So, I will come back to all those in a moment. So, I've said elsewhere that this experience is kind of a microcosm for how we approach relationships in our lives in general. As I've pondered my own life, as I've explored this over the years. And made enough mistakes to sink a battleship and to really clear it up for me. What I've noticed is this, the sort of the essence of giving is that you're taking action for the benefit of somebody else. So, you're taking action to benefit someone else. And that's the essence of giving and that's called service. We want to have lives in which we are useful to other people and offer service, whether we get rewarded or not. And so, that's a really important part of life and would be a pretty pale life without the ability and access to do that. So, giving is about taking action to benefit others. And this is also called serving. In fact, often I call this quadrant serving because it's just easier for me to keep track of. Receiving is the ability to benefit from the action of others, or receive the benefit of someone else's actions. Also a really important skill to have in life. It would be a pretty paltry life as well. If you didn't know how to receive benefit from someone else's actions. So, that's the essence of those two. The essence of taking, is taking action for your own benefit. Also a pretty important thing to be able to do in your life. In our society we have a very confusing relationship with this dynamic here, taking action for your own benefit. We think of our culture as being me, me, me just get what I can sort of hedonistic. And we do have a certain ability as a culture to be incredibly selfish in regards to how we treat the rest of the world. That's a whole different topic. But we're taking action for our benefit all the time. On the other hand, what I've noticed is that most people a have a pretty big difficulty actually entering this quadrant and experiencing pleasure in a very direct, simple, tangible way. And I Believe those two are connected. I'll talk about that later in the taking quadrant. But I think that, our inability to actually experience real pleasure. Really contributes to our tendency, to grab, grab, grab, grab everything sight. So, I'll come back to that there. So anyway, taking. The essence of it is taking action for our own benefit. In the essence of allowing means allowing others to take action for their benefit even if it affects us. Allowing others to take a benefit, even if affects us. Maybe even shortening it saying allowing others to benefit from us. So, the gift that we're giving here is ourselves. The gift that we're giving here is our action. The essential elements of what they are. Kind of spiritual nugget that I have found here. You may find something different, but this is what's been true for me. The gift and the aha in the giving quadrant has been serving. This is serving. That's a spiritual path on its own. And I've also learned here to what the real meaning of generosity is. So, serving and generosity. The spiritual aha here for me has been gratitude. In states of receiving quadrant when you have time and you really just melt and delve into it. There's a sort of an altered state that you can get into there because it's just you and your sensation. You're not trying to do anything back. There's some really deep and profound states that you get in here, that are available no other way. That's true of all of them. There are states that are available no other way. Just the experience in your body with that much sensation and that much pleasure doesn't have to be sexual even. That, ah, really has wakened for me, my awareness of gratitude. Allowing. This is about surrender. Surrender is a word again there's a lot of meanings to surrender. This particular microcosm of surrender, you're surrendering to the other person. In this one you kind of surrender to your sensation. That's true. But in this one you're surrendering to the other person. You take responsibility for what your limits are and you don't give up that. You don't surrender that. But once you make that agreement of how they may enjoy you, play with you and use you. Then you get to just surrender. It's also a kind of generosity. Also profound states there. Surrender is also a spiritual path or spiritual principle on its own. So, this is where you get to really explore that. The taking quadrant kind of really surprised me because what I found here was integrity. here's how I noticed that. If I want to do something and I don't know that it's okay for me to want that or even sort of how to want that. Then what I have to do is to offer to do it and sort of pretend that it's for you. So, if I want to get my hands on you and just enjoy you, because you feel yummy to me. If I don't know how to do that or even that it's accessible or it's possible or that it's permissible, then what am I going to do? I'm going to offer to give you a massage. But giving you a massage It's true I'll get my hands on you but it's not really what I wanted. I just want to feel you up. In the taking quadrant you learn to take full responsibility for what it is that you want to do and the fact that you do want to do it. And that has taught me integrity. And what I've come to realize here. And I'll talk about this later in the consent video. This in particular has taught me that. If there is something that I want and it involves another person, the only thing to do, that has integrity is to ask for it. That means hinting, making an offer trying to get you to want it, or just taking it anyway. None of those have integrity. The only thing that has integrity is if I want something that has to do with you the only thing for me to do is ask for it. This is what taught me that. Okay. So, the circle of consent. All this happens only because you have an agreement. You can feel like you're in one or the other, but it's your agreement that determines where you actually are. What happens most often in heterosexual sexual relationships is that the man thinks he's here because he's doing all the stuff that he thinks he's supposed to do and then hopefully she likes. He thinks he's here. And because he feels like he's here, he assumes that she is here. But she, feels like she's here because she's letting him do all the stuff that he likes to do. And our sort of cultural paradigm about heterosexual sex is that he does the stuff and she lets him do the stuff. So, she feels like she's here. Well, if she feels like she's here, she assumes that he's here. And so she has this idea in her mind that, well he's just doing what he wants to do. He doesn't really care what I want to do, what I want. And he has this in his mind that, well she's getting all the benefit of me doing all the work. And you know, I'm most doing all the work. So, they're both over here. So, who's receiving anything? Actually nobody. It's not to say that you can't find some enjoyment there. People find enjoyment there and that's where many people spend their entire lives trying to do that. So, the point here is that whichever one you feel like you're in, you will assume your partners in the opposite one. If you feel like you're here, you'll assume your partner's here. If you feel like you're here, you'll assume your partner's here. And most people feel like they're in the giving quadrants most of the time. So, how you feel is not an indication of which one you're in. And the fact that it's pleasurable is not an indication of which one you're in. What determines which one you're in is, what did you agree to be in? And then find that one and stay in it. The more you solidly, you stay in yours. The more solidly the other person can stay in theirs. Particularly if you're a couple and you're learning this together. What you find is that as you each get better at being clear about which one you're in. You learn together to hold it, so that you're more firmly in the one that you've agreed to be in and then you can dive in deeper and deeper and deeper. And that's when it gets really fun. So, one more part that I want to add here, and then we'll take these apart and look at each of them. That's this. So, we've been talking about what happens inside the circle of consent. It's also possible to have the same dynamic, but without consent. So, each of these quadrants has a shadow. And this is what they are. The giving, if you are sort of stuck here or you're trying to give without really, the other person doesn't really want it The shadow of this is the martyr. And you forget yourself. You forget that what you want also matters. I've had many people who've told me, wow thanks for showing me that what I want mattered. I really didn't know that. So, the shadow here is the martyr, forget yourself. The do-gooder. Trying to do good things, whether other people want them or not. So, that's the shadow of give. Also the shadow of this when you're taking action for someone else's benefit. This is the slave. And I'm not talking here about role play or erotic role play. Where you play with one person having all the power. I'm talking about the actual slavery that happened in our country a couple hundred years ago and still happens in other places. That's the essence of slavery is that you're giving your actions for someone else's benefit and you don't have a choice about it. So, the receive. The shadow of that is, lazy, entitled, and this is the slave owner. This is the person who's receiving all the benefits of somebody else's action. Even though they didn't really want to give it. And again, we're not talking about slave as kinky BDSM way to play. We're talking about actual slaves in our country. So, that's that dynamic. So, it's a beautiful dynamic inside the circle of consent. Outside the circle of consent, pretty ugly. Allowing and taking outside the circle of consent, the shadow of taking is groping, using, rape, assault and war. Also, inside the circle of consent really beautiful. Outside the circle of consent, pretty ugly. Fear of going here is what keeps many people from actually discovering this. So, what's the shadow of allowing? Another one here is perpetrator. The shadow of allowing is the doormat. Passive. Tolerate. Endure. The victim. And again, I don't mean necessarily victim as a mindset. The mindset that we all want to not have basically, but victim as in real life. You walk down the street, you get punched. Again, taking, allowing, inside the circle of consent really fabulous, very fun to play in, absolutely luscious and essential to having a full and mature erotic life. Outside the circle of consent. Yuck. So, the difficulty is that, the circle of consent is a very clear line that's made by a verbal agreement. May I, feel you up? Yes, you may. That's an agreement. The problem is that there's a kind of a fuzzy edge here. You don't really, it's not really, I don't really want to go along with that but I kind of I don't know how to say no. Or I'm afraid if I don't then she'll be mad. Or you just kind of like freeze up because you forgot that you have a choice about what happens to you. This is a muddy place here. Many people spend their entire sexual and touch lives right here. It's a very sad place to be. I'll come back to that one. When I talk about that quadrant. There's a muddy place here where you're not really sure you want to give it but you don't know how not to. So, you kind of, well yeah, okay. So, the muddy part up here is where you, move forward because you don't really know how to ask. So, you just start doing stuff and you figure if it's the wrong thing, they'll tell you. Or you just sort of bulldoze your way through. Not so useful. As you can imagine. When this muddy part meets this muddy part then you got really a lot of mud. And we'll talk about that later. It's not a happy situation, but it's also the situation that many people are in most of the time. So, that's the quadrants. Two factors. One is you're either doing or being done-to. And it's either for them or it's for you. Two kinds of doing. If you're doing and it's for them, you're giving. And if you're doing and it's for you, you're taking. And there's two kinds of being done-to. You're being done-to and it's for them, you're giving them the gift of yourself, that's allowing. And if you're being done-to and it's for you because it's the way you've asked it to be, that's receiving. If you are in the giving half, you're either giving the gift of your action or you're giving the gift of access to you. Two different kinds of gifts. When you're in the receiving half, you're receiving their action, this kind of receiving. Or you're receiving access to them, this kind of receiving, you're taking action. So, it's the two questions of the three minute game that create these quadrants and create the dynamics. When I say, how would you like me to touch you? I'm stepping into here and offering this dynamic for you. And you say, gee, would you scratch my back right here? And I say, sure, then we've created, our agreement has created this dynamic. When I say, how would you like to touch me? And you say, Hmm, may I play with your hair and feel your back? You say, may I play with you hair and feel your back? I say, yeah, I can let you do that. Then our agreement has set up this dynamic and this is what we're doing. So, it's the agreement that creates the dynamic. What often happens is that you may feel like you're in one. And if you feel like you're in one, you're going to assume that your partner's in the other and that may or may not be true. Because they may feel like they're somewhere else. So, what you feel like is not the indicator of which quadrant you're in. It's your agreement that creates these. And it's those two questions of the three-minute game that create that agreement. So, that's how all those fit together. Each of them is inherent to being human. They have nothing to do with gender. They have nothing to do with what sex you are. I've had people say, well, that's the masculine one. Well, the feminine one. Not at all. Every human being regardless of your anatomy or your gender needs access to each of those. So, they're inherently human. They are distinct from each other. None of them are the same, although they can look similar. And I've had sometime people say, well, these are the same to me as if, well, that's really wonderful. Actually just means that you haven't found either of them. Until you can tell the difference. You're not in either of them. So, each of them is inherently human. Each of them is distinct. Each of them will have its own particular challenge for you. There's some themes that run through but yours will be unique to you. Each of them will have its ahas and its insights. Each of them will give you access to a different aspect of yourself and of your eroticism. It's okay to have favorites. But avoiding one, does not constitute the other one being your favorite. Dang, huh. Once you have access to all of them and once you find the enjoyment in all of them. Then you can claim the right to have a favorite. But until you can access all of them you don't actually have a favorite. You're just avoiding some of them or you haven't had the opportunity to find them yet. Each of them is inherently enjoyable. If it's not enjoyable, you're not actually in it. You're doing something else. You haven't quite found it yet. You're doing something else. If you're in the giving half and it's not really enjoyable. What you haven't found yet is your responsibility to have a limit. And when you have a limit to what you can give and you communicate that. Then your giving becomes very generous and very enjoyable both kinds of giving. If you're in the receiving half, and it's not particularly enjoyable. It means you haven't yet discovered that it's really for you. And that when it's for you you get to have it the way you want it. Then it becomes inherently enjoyable. If it's not enjoyable you haven't quite figured out that it's for you yet. And you get to have it the way you want it. So, each of them is inherently enjoyable. If it's not enjoyable, you're not in it. You're doing something else. Each of them can be very erotic and has a different erotic flavor when you play sexually. But none of them have to be erotic. They can be very comforting, cozy, affirming very healing and nourishing. They can be really any flavor. Any of them can be just about any flavor, from the comforting and cozy, to the highly charged erotic, to the playful, to the exploratory. So, each of them has a particular part of your own eroticism that it will give you access to. But they're not inherently erotic, nor do they need to be. When you're giving you grandma a foot rub because she's had a long day, you're here but it's not erotic. Or when you're holding your children to comfort them. Same thing. It's not erotic. So, each of them is inherently human. Accessible to everyone. We need all of them to be mature and have integrity and a lot more fun. They can be very erotic, but they're not necessarily erotic. Each of them will challenge you in a different way. And each of them, in order to find them you have to enter each of them one at a time. Trying to do two at once you will not find it. And that's sometimes the most challenging part. So, once you do find them, which is the purpose of the lessons and what the game opens for you. The purpose of the game is to have fun with it. The other thing that happens with the game is that each of these open up and become accessible for you. Once you learn to make your own agreement and stick to your agreement. Then that's when each of them opens up. And that's when each of them gives you access to a different aspect of yourself. So, that's where it becomes a lifelong game, a lifelong practice, a lifelong exploring. They just get richer and deeper and more fun. And again, the more clear the distinction is, the more fun they become. And that's where, the three minute game becomes a practice. And also it can be a spiritual practice. You want to learn generosity or you want to learn gratitude. You want to learn integrity or you want to learn surrender. This will take you there. There's one more thing I wanted to add about this. What we're playing with here is taking these apart so that you can dive in and find out who you are in each of them and find the fun that's in each of them. And that is not a substitute for your life. What happens is that because these skills are so foundational to being able to relate to each other, with clarity and with ease and with generosity and gratitude. As you learn this and get comfortable with it. Then you carry those skills into your other times of relationship when you just want to hang out together. So, this doesn't mean that everything that's happening in your life falls into these categories. What you will notice is how this applies in lots of ways that you didn't think it did before. And that will happen. It clarifies the rest of your life and it gives you the skills for the rest of your life. It is not a substitute the rest of your life. It's not a substitute for those times when you just want to hang out and play together and be together. Without that sort of strict giving and receiving flow. There's giving a gift. There's receiving a gift and then there's just hanging out together, enjoying each other. None of those are a substitute for the other. So, that's the three-minute game. That's the two questions. That's the quadrants. That's how they all fit together. That's what each of them has to offer you. In the next videos, I'm going to take each of them apart and talk more about them. What it's like to experience them and what they can teach you. Hope this has been helpful for you. Hope you enjoy exploring it. - So let's talk about the receiving and giving halves of the circle. People can spend their entire lives pondering this topic and the nature of them and how they work. And while it's true that there are big philosophical and spiritual and personal implications of this whole question, what's true is that in the three-minute game and in the exploration of the quadrants, what we're doing is distilling it down to its simplest, most fundamental elements. And that lets us experience it in a way that is very tangible, it's physical. So it takes it out of the realm of theory. And it also makes it more challenging in some ways, because it's right here. So there are bigger implications to receiving and giving in lots of different ways to think about the words and define them and what they all mean. And what I'm going to be talking about here is what is the experience of them in this practice and in this process. And it's really a radical inquiry into the nature of them. And pretty much everything I know about receiving and giving has come from my experience in these quadrants. That has clarified it for me and also has made me look at it in a very sort of exact way. So all that, to say that when we're talking about receiving and giving here, we're talking about the distilled essence of it that you find in the quadrants. So the giving half and the receiving half are not about who's doing and who's being done to. Way back in the beginning, we talked about the way that people often use the word give as synonymous with doing and people often use the word receive to mean this one is just being done to. And that what this is, this whole process will do for you is break that will, and that can be hard to do, partly because we think that when you're doing, you're supposed to be giving. And also there's a fear of selfishness that comes in there as well. So what the wheel does is shows you that there's a difference between who's doing and who's giving, and that difference makes all the difference. So in the giving half of the circle, either of these quadrants, you set aside what you want or you prefer, but you keep your responsibility to have a limit. So whether you're doing or not doesn't matter, it's who it's for that matters. And in the giving half the circle, it's for them. So you're either giving them your action or you're giving them access to you. And you can tell it's for them because you ask them what they want. From giving, you ask them, how would you like me to touch you? And from here you ask, how would you like to touch me? So you are asking them what they want and that shows you that it's for them. It's not for you. So on the receiving side, you are of course respecting the limits of what your giver is willing to give but your desires come first. And you can tell that because you are asking for what you want. You're saying, "Would you scratch my back? Would you rub my feet?" or whatever it is. Or you're saying, "May I feel you up? May I play with your hair? May I play with your hands?" So again, who's doing doesn't matter. What matters is who it's for and in the receiving half, it's for you. So what you're receiving in the receiving half is when you're in the taking quadrant, you're receiving the gift of access. In the receiving quadrant, you're receiving the gift of their action. So what actually is the gift? There's more to it than that. The gift really is time and attention. And when you are giving, you are giving your time, you are giving your attention and you are setting aside what you would prefer. And it's the setting aside that's the real gift here. And you're receiving, of course, you're receiving their time, you're receiving their attention, and you're receiving an opportunity to put your desire first. And of course you don't get to do that all the time and all your life, and I'm not even sure you'd really want to, but in the receiving half of the circle, you do get to put in your desires first. And that's why it's so wonderful and also why it's so challenging. So another way to say this which is probably the shortest way, is that the doing and done to halves are about what's happening. And the giving and receiving halves are about who it's for. And that distinction is what makes all the difference in the world. So one way to look at receiving and giving in that dynamic is that I should think of it as irrigation pipe, I grew up in Southern New Mexico. We irrigated the alfalfa and the cotton. So there's an irrigation pipe. There's a valve at the top end. There's also a valve at the bottom end. And of course, both valves have to be open for the water to flow. So in this context, that means that we're talking about receiving and giving between two people or two or more people. I'm not talking about receiving in the larger sort of spiritual or philosophical sense from God or the universe, we're talking about between two or more people. And both of those people are there because they want to be there. So the receiver, it's about what the receiver wants, and it's about what the giver is willing to give, and not the other way around. It's not about what the giver wants to give and the receiver is willing to go along with. That's not really it. That's attempting to push the water back up the pipe. So it's about what the receiver wants, the giver is willing to give, and it's created by an agreement between the two of you. It's not created by your intention. You may be intending to give but if it's not what the receiver wants, it is not giving, it's you pushing something along. So two or more people, both of you are there by choice, what the receiver wants, what the giver is willing to give, and that's created by the agreement. And when you do that, that creates this wonderful flow that goes one direction at a time from the giver to the receiver. And the more clear you are about who it's for, the greater the flow, so the larger the gift that can be delivered. It's also true that the flow that's created feels good on either end. So it can feel great to give and it feels great to receive. So the fact that it feels good to you is not an indicator of whether you're giving or receiving. What an indicator of whether you're giving or receiving is what is your agreement? What often happens is that people resist the idea of taking, receiving, and giving a part. Because of course, you do have to take them apart in order to experience each of them. It's true that you wouldn't want to go through your entire life, at least I wouldn't, in this sort of strict giving and receiving roles that we're creating here, but the experience of taking them apart allows you to know what they are and clarify what they are. And then when you go back in your life and you can kind of hang out and play around in the middle, that's great. But until you can take them apart, you cannot claim to know what they are or how they feel. So this is a practice about taking them apart. At any rate, people often resist that idea. One is that it doesn't sound romantic or it doesn't sound very spiritual, or they have this myth that well by giving, that's how I receive. The main reason, however, is because receiving is inherently vulnerable. When you are in the receiving end of the flow, it is a vulnerable place to be, no doubt about it. If you think of, someone leaves you a present and puts it on your porch, in order to take that present in, to receive that present, you have to open your front door. That means that now the cold wind can blow in and now you're vulnerable to danger, the door is open. But the fact is that you cannot take that present in without opening the door. It's just inherently vulnerable. So what I've noticed about people who resist taking them apart is that once they finally do learn to do that, it's a very tender and vulnerable place to receive. So this practice is about, obviously about, taking those two apart and finding out who you are and what happens for you in each of those. What's also true about receiving and giving is that each of them is a human need that we all have. There are times when we need to be in the center of someone else's loving care and attention and time and support, and that we need that time sometimes. And there are other times when we need to contribute to someone else's wellbeing and enjoyment. And life without either of those would be a pretty sad life. So we need some time in the giving, we need some time in receiving, no question about it. So receiving and giving are each an inherent human need and neither of them can substitute for the other. You cannot meet your need to receive by giving and you cannot meet your need to give by receiving. You have to take them apart, and there are lots of fun when you take them apart as well. - So let's look at receiving. As I've already said, it's inherently vulnerable, and it's an inherent human need. We need times when we can be the recipient of someone's care and attention. We need times that we can put ourselves first, and there's no substitute for that. So what do we do if it's vulnerable? Well, our time-honored way to deal with that is to just not go there. We keep ourselves in the giving role all the time. It's vulnerable and it's risky. We risk acknowledging that there is, in fact, something that we want, that's risky right there. When we do acknowledge that there's something we want, we risk, first of all not getting it. We risk the ridicule, disappointment, someone thinking that that's the wrong thing for us to want. You know, all those things are risky. And we also risk feeling wonderful. We all have a limit to how wonderful we are comfortable feeling before we (fist claps hand) hit our self-doubt. We all have a limit with how much of a gift we are comfortable receiving before we hit our self-doubt. And those two are very much related. So when you're receiving what you want, and it's touching your heart and you're enjoying it, you risk that feeling of wonderful satisfaction, and validation, and acceptance. And so you run into your doubt, (hands clap) you run into your guilt, (hands clap) you run into your shame, (hands clap) and you run into your gratitude. And if you feel enough gratitude, that is if your gratitude fills you up enough, there will be tears, pretty much guaranteed. It's just a question of how much gratitude it takes for the tears to fall over the top, and they will. No wonder we avoid receiving, it's just too risky. So again, if you want to avoid receiving, just stay in the giving half of the circle all the time. Or mix them up so you can't really tell what you're doing, and that will also serve to keep you out of the vulnerability of receiving. So there's two quadrants in the receiving half. There's the taking quadrant in which you are receiving the gift of access, you're being allowed to play with your partner's body. And there's the other quadrant of receiving or accepting, which is what I usually call it at home, accepting quadrant in which you are receiving the gift of your partner's touch in the way that you want. What happens for both of those is that there's a couple things happening. One is the sensation, either the sensation in your hands while you're feeling in the taking role, or the sensation on your skin when your partner's touching you. There's the sensation of it that's pleasurable. There's also noticing that this is for you. This person has set aside their preference for the time being, and is putting your preference first. And that combination is what sort of clicks in both of these so that you really get it, that it's for you; and those are very often the part that makes it sort of tender-hearted and, yeah, touches your heart. What's true about receiving is that it's very often difficult to experience that it's for you, and I'll talk about that in each of the separate quadrants, why that is, but when you do believe it's for you, then you act like it's for you, which means that you ask for what you want, you take the time that you need, you change your mind, when you've had enough you stop doing it. And the degree to which you are not doing those things, to that degree you don't quite believe it's for you. We'll talk about that in the other videos. So when the receiving half of a circle is difficult for you, what happens is that you either avoid it or you dilute it so you can't really tell. That means you don't ask for what you want, or you don't notice what you want, or you forgot how to notice what you want. And when you don't ask for what you want, your option is either to just kind of starve, or to grab and sneak and get what you want some other way without actually acknowledging it. Also, if it's difficult, you want to have some connection with people, and so you give, give, give, because that's your only way that you know how to make a connection with people; in which case your giving is not really giving, but you are giving because it's an effort to get something back, some kind of connection, some kind of acknowledgement, some kind of appreciation. Whereas when you actually learn to receive, you get that in a direct way and it's very clean and it's very satisfying, there's no ulterior motive in your giving. So learning to receive is really crucial in being clear about your receiving. And of course it feeds a part of you that nothing else can feed. What can be surprising about difficulty receiving is that it can be just as hard to live with the person who can't receive as it is to live with the person who can't give, because it just stops any of that flow from having. It's very difficult to sort of get around the wall that you've put up when you can't receive. When receiving is easy for you, you develop integrity and clarity about the fact that there is, in fact, something that you want. And that as you take ownership of that fact, it's much easier for those people around you to decide is that something that they're willing to give you. And so you develop this integrity and a great deal of respect for other people's boundaries and limits about what they want to give you or not. It's very humbling, and it also develops a kind of graciousness and gratitude about receiving the gifts that you do receive. It's very humbling, it touches you, and it feeds you in a way that nothing else can feed you. And as I think I said elsewhere, it's learning to receive that enables you to be a better giver. In the first place, now you actually have something to give, and now your giving is not an avoidance of receiving, and it's not a sneaky way to get something back, but it becomes very clean, and very clear, and effective, and satisfying on both ends of the flow. So that's the receiving half of the circle. In taking, you're receiving the gift of access. In the receiving quadrant, you're receiving the gift of your partner's action. In both of those, you get to learn that you do get to have it the way you want it, and what you want matters. So that's receiving. - So let's talk about the giving half of the circle. Just as we have a need to receive and put our desires first sometimes, there are also times that we need to set aside what we would prefer, and make a contribution to someone else's wellbeing and enjoyment, would be pretty sad life without that opportunity. So they giving half of the circle is about that. The quadrants here are giving or serving in which the gift that you're giving is your action and allowing, which the gift that you're giving is access to you. In both of those, you set aside what you would prefer, and you keep your responsibility to have a limit to what you can give and what you're willing to give. And that limit is your responsibility. The more you take responsibility for that limit, the more generous you will be. And that is the perhaps ironic thing about giving. Is that the more clearly you take responsibility for having a limit, the more generous you will be within that limit. Because you're no longer guarding and worried about what if they want too much and what if I give them too much? What a limit is about is this far and no further, or I can give you this much, I can't give you that much, or I can give you this thing. I can't give you that thing. So the question for you, when you feel some resistance to an opportunity to give is not what's wrong with me, I should be able to give that or you know, why can't I give that? The question is, what is it that I actually am happy to give? What is within the limits that I am happy to give? That's a very different question. So if you feel resistant to giving, don't blame yourself for not giving, ask yourself, what is it that I actually would be happy to give? And there will be something there, even if it seems small, if it's given, that's why the examples in the lessons are, is this a gift that I can give with the full heart? And likewise, if you find yourself feeling resentful, the question that I usually ask myself, and it's always pretty fruitful is, what did I not say no to here that I wanted to say no to? So that in both of the giving quadrants, you get to learn how to do that and what a joy it is to do that. So what happens over time, as you learn to take responsibility for having a limit and to notice what your limits are, to trust them, and to value them, and to communicate them, what happens is that you become trustworthy to yourself, and then you begin to trust yourself. And as you begin to trust yourself, then you become very generous and you become very fluid and flexible, and what you actually are willing to give. Because you're no longer afraid of not honoring your own limit there. Then that's when giving becomes a lot more fun and a lot more satisfying for both of you. So the key then to giving and the key to generosity and giving is taking full responsibility for your limits. It's easy of course, to be stuck in giving, which usually really just means that you are avoiding receiving in its various forms. When you are good at giving and giving is easy for you. It means that you take full responsibility for your limits, and then you become... then you trust yourself, you become generous, and you become very flexible and fluid, and you become very relaxed about it because you don't... you're not attached to what it is that they want, or what they do with that particular gift. If you have something that you want them to want, that's not about giving, that's about something that you want. In which case you need to take responsibility for the fact that you wanted, which means you want to receive. So then you need to ask for what you want. When you are clear about your giving, the question is not what I wish they would want this. The question is, what is it that they do want, and am I willing and able to give them that. Very different question. And when that's more clear, then you're giving has integrity and a lot of heart in it, a lot of fun. So then in the back of the circle, the giving half of the circle, the giving or serving quadrant in which the gift that you're giving is your action, and the allowing quadrant in which the gift that you're giving is access to you. You're giving yourself, and everything that we've just said about giving applies to both of those quadrants. Your responsibility for having a limit that creates your generosity and your flexibility, all that. So life is very rich when you can give and give with the full heart. I hope you enjoy playing with it. - So one thing that happens when you look at the wheel, is that you notice there are two halves actually there's four halves. Don't tell that to your math teacher. But the the doing half and the done to half. And the receiving half and the giving half. And it can be helpful to look at those as halves. So that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna talk about the doing half and the done to half first. So the doing half is you are the one who's touching your partner. And the doing half includes of course the giving quadrant or the serving quadrant, which means you're doing it for them. And the taking quadrant which means you're doing it but it's for you. So the crux of which one it is, is who is it for. And that's the distinguishing line between those two doing parts of the experience. It's unfortunate because it makes it a little trickier to talk about that for most people, doing is synonymous with giving we use the word give when what we actually mean is do. So lots of times when people are exploring and discovering the taking quadrant they'll say oh, you mean when I'm giving I'm receiving. And it's no actually when you're doing, you're receiving When you're receiving you're not giving at all. In fact, the only way to learn to receive is to stop giving. That could be said to be one of the main things that you learn in this whole process. So, know that when we're talking about doing that the giving is a different question and that's what really creates the entire wheel actually. So we're talking about the doing half. In touch, true in a lot of life as well but definitely in touch. There's sort of two different ways to go about doing. One is to create a feeling that you want to have or to create a setup or an experience that you want to have. And so you do this, so that that other thing happens. Or you do this, you touch in this way so that you feel this or your partner feels this and that's a strategy. And in our lives certainly we need to be able to use strategy sometimes. I do this so that other thing. That's one way of doing. The other kind of doing is to express a feeling that you already have. So this is the kind little children are particularly great at. This is where you move your body in ways that express a feeling that you already have. So you express affection that you already feel. You express joy, you express sadness you express your own turn on. This is when you run through the part shouting and singing for joy because you're excited. It's probably been a long time since you did that. Which is a great example to show that doing as an expression of how we already feel is often very difficult for us as adults. We've long since learned to turn that volume down. So, you have strategy doing to create a feeling that you want to have and you have expression, doing to express a feeling that you already have. Guess which one is more satisfying, kind of depends on the situation. But there's a kind of when you express a feeling that you already have it's inherently innately satisfying. And that's the kind of doing that we are mostly exploring here particularly in the taking quadrant. For most people, most of the time particularly around touch and especially around sexual touch, most of what seems to be taught in and the approach that's mostly taken is the strategy. You do this stroke so that they will feel this way. Or so so that therefore then you can feel this other way. So, that can work sometimes but there's something very important that's lost when you're going the route of strategy. A lot of things actually. In the doing half of the wheel you get to discover and play with the difference between doing as a strategy and doing as an expression. And you get to find out that doing as an expression is actually possible. And it's in the taking quadrant that you learned that. And that with the consent skills where you trust yourself not to harm or annoy your partner, that's when your ability to move in touch as an expression of yourself, really blossoms and that's where it gets to be a lot of fun. So there's something interesting in the doing half in the relationship between the giving quadrant and the taking quadrant. And that's this, the crux of the difference of course is who it's for. Most people want to get good at the giving quadrant and that's what most instruction is about how to do this technique to this body part. But what actually makes you a better giver is mastering the taking quadrant and here's why. Number one is that your hands relax and show up in the present moment. They are not on a mission. Hands that are on a mission do not feel good. Unfortunately, that's the only kind of a touch that most people had experienced is hands that are on a mission. So you're gonna find something completely different here. So in the taking quadrant you learn to take in, you learn to notice, you learn to bring the information in both with your hands and verbally and so, that means that you can actually show up better. And in the giving role you definitely, you want that. It also means that your hands are relaxed they become more intuitive, they sort of know what to do. They become more sensual. It's very difficult to relax under a pair of hands that is tense. So that's really important. The other thing that happens is that you learn that you are welcomed here, that you belong here, that it's okay to be here and show up and be you and bring your curiosity and your passion and your desire with you. So that you're no longer sort of avoiding that and again, that makes you tense. And finally as you master the taking role, that need is met, the need to just experience and touch a person that need is met and so you don't have to use giving as an excuse to get your hands on someone. That means your giving can become clean and clear and really is for the other person. So that it's easier for you to make space for them to bring their desires forward. So if you wanna get really good at giving, first of all master the taking role. And then you relax your hands show up, you're able to take in and notice, then you become much better at giving. and you're giving is clean and satisfying to both of you. So the doing half of the circle is a lot of fun it's just fun to do stuff, in both forms particularly when you know the difference. It is easy however to get stuck here and very often it's because you are afraid or resistant to being in the done two half. We'll talk about that in a moment. So the doing half of the circle loads of fun, the crux that distinction between the two giving and taking is who is it for? And the more clear that is, the more fun each of those two quadrants are. And what determines that is not what you feel like or not what your intention is. What determines that is what is your agreement? How would you like me to touch you, you're giving. May I touch you this way or that way, you're taking. And when you have that agreement that determines which of those two quadrants you're in. So, enjoy lots of fun doing. - So let's talk about the done-to half of the circle. So again, it's important to distinguish between the use of that word receiving and being done-to most people use those synonymously and that kind of receiving when you use receive to mean being done-to, you really talking about you're taking delivery of something or something's arriving at you something's happening to you and whether you actually want to or not is a different question. So it's really important to make that distinction in this half of the circle that's why I say done-to. You might also think of it as the active half of the circle and the passive half of the circle. The reason I don't use the word passive is because there is one meaning of passive which refers to action being taken on you. But most people use the word passive to mean or imply that you don't have a choice about it and that is never true in any of these quadrants. So that's why I don't use the word passive here. You could also think of it as the active partner and the non-active partner. You can use whatever words work for you. I'm just calling it doing half and the done-to half. The single biggest factor that affects everything, every experience of being touched or being done-to is this one fact that everyone of us and with no exceptions, we have been touched in ways that we did not want and did not like and it happened to us before we could walk and before we could talk. That means it's very deep in our nervous system, it's very deep in our psyche. We know how to go along with stuff that we don't like and to some degree because it happened so early, that feels normal. It can just feel like, well, that's the nature of being done-to, stuff just happens to you and then you have to figure out what to do with it. And it's amazing, I mean, we were looking at these two quadrants here and the difference of course is who is it for? And the receiving or accepting quadrant it's for you. You have asked to be touched in the way you want and so that's for you. In the allowing quadrant you're giving the gift of access it's for them. So the distinction is what makes that the key there but it's amazing how many people when you offer to touch them the way they would like will say instead of what they would like, will say what it is that they're willing to go along with. You say, "How would you like to be touched?" And they'll say, "Oh, any way you like," or, "Well I'm okay with such and such," or "You could do such and such". Even people on the massage table, I mean, I've been through many, many workshops, clients, it's amazing how often this happens and what that tells me is that they don't quite know what it's like to, that they do have a choice, it is for them and that what they want really matters. And I'll talk about more about this in the quadrants, but in the done-to half of the circle this becomes really critical, really crucial because so many of us at some level feel like, well, stuff's happening to me, therefore I'm supposed to like it somehow and that is not what this is about. So there's that fact that your body knows how to go along with stuff and your psyche knows how to go along with stuff and as we're playing here you always have a choice about what happens to you, either you get to choose what you're willing to allow or you get to choose what it is that you want. And so the learning gem in the done-to half of the circle is to really get that in your bones that you have a choice about what happens to you and to the degree that you get that, you really get it in your body. To that degree, the done-to half is a great joy. Whatever tension and resistance and anxiety you have about being done-to, it's that question. You don't quite know that you have a choice or you're trying to like something that you don't really like. So your learning task, if you will in the done-to half is to notice that you have a choice and to exercise that choice and to communicate that choice. And again, that's the whole point, that's what you learn here in the done-to half of the circle. So another way of looking at this is distinguishing between want-to and willing-to in the allowing quadrant it's about what you're willing. You set aside what you would prefer and you decide what it is you're willing-to have done-to you well what you're okay with. In the receiving quadrant, you throw out the idea of willing, this is about what you want. So, the done-to half is a great place to explore the difference between want-to and willing-to and the key of course in distinguishing between want-to and willing-to is giving yourself the opportunity to notice what you want. We'll talk more about that in the as we talk about the receiving quadrant, but if you don't know how to want, you can't tell the difference between want-to and willing-to, you're in the sort of willing-to go along with all the time. And again, that's fun sometimes but it's not fun all the time. So that's the doing half and the done-to half. Let's go have a look at the giving half and the receiving half. - So the taking quadrant, I could talk about this one all day. It's been so full of surprises and a-has, and insights about what's actually going on there. It's just been completely fascinating to me, and I never would have guessed it from the outset. It's all come just from exploring it, playing with it, teaching it to people. So I'm gonna try to stick to my notes so that we can get through this in less than a day. The taking quadrant is the intersection that includes both receiving a gift and taking action. And it's the one, obviously, that deconflates that doing is always giving. It's also the one that is the most challenging for almost everybody. It's not a question of whether it's gonna be challenging. It's just a question of how much, and there's a huge range to that. Because it's on the receiving half of the dynamic, it carries all the vulnerability that receiving a gift of any kind carries. And so there's a, you have a comfort level with how much of a gift you are comfortable receiving. And because it's on the doing half of the dynamic, it also carries a certain vulnerability there, you have the certain risk of, like, what if I do the wrong thing? So that makes the taking role vulnerable and challenging in a lot of ways. First of all, you have to acknowledge that there is in fact something that you want to do without covering that up by the giving role. You're taking action for your own pleasure. So there's the guilt and the self-doubt that come along with that, plus you may not even know how to do that. In the taking role, you discover your lust, which I'm defining as the impulse to do something sexual to another person. So that's gonna show up. And on top of all that, you're doing all those things in the presence of your partner, so it can feel emotionally risky to let them see all of this in you. Then there's the image of taking as using, grabbing, stealing, just taking what you want, and disregarding anybody else's limits. That's what gives taking, the word "Taking" a bad name. And then there's the image of taking as taking charge, having passion, that's what we're supposed to be able to do. So you mix all this together and get this big huh, you know, taking is just a big confusing mess. So let's talk about it. So in taking you get to discover that if you want to touch someone, you don't need to be giving to them. What you do need is their permission. And furthermore, it's okay to do that, to touch someone. That can be a big revelation. It's the agreement that you make that creates the role of take and allow. What constitutes actually being in the taking role is that, number one, you are respecting the limits of your giver, your allower, and number two, you are putting your own pleasure first, so you're not disregarding them. You are receiving a gift from them. Big difference. The old image of taking the sort of negative images that you use someone, you just use their body for your own means, and you're doing whatever you can get away with. And the selfishness implied there can be absolutely terrifying. So that's one reason why it's hard to go into the taking experience. And sometimes it's also why it's hard to even say the word. So if you want to avoid the taking quadrant, the most time-honored way is, of course, to go into the giving quadrant, and then you're touching, but you're doing it for the right reason. And you also get credit for being skilled, technique-wise, when you get credit for being generous, and a good lover, and you get to avoid your own vulnerability and confusion about the taking experience. What's also true is that whatever quadrant you feel like you're in, you assume your partner's in the opposite one. So what happens is that for many people, and this is particularly true for women, we've been inculturated to be passive in sex. And so because we feel passive, we assume that the man is just doing whatever he wants to do, which is actually rarely true. What actually happens is that for most men, actually finding the taking quadrant is extremely difficult, because there's the fear that you're going to be the perpetrator, or the fear that you're gonna get it wrong, or are you gonna do the wrong thing, or you're gonna alienate your partner. So it's ironic perhaps that many women feel like their men are always in the taking role, but most men don't feel like they're there, and they really have trouble getting there. So playing with this, all these quadrants, clears all that up. So you have a lot more freedom. And while we're here, let's talk about gender. What does gender have to do with taking quadrant? The answer is nothing. This is not the so-called masculine one of the quadrants. Every human being needs access to all quadrants. What is true, usually, is that for women, it's often easier initially to find the taking quadrant. We seem to have a little more access to our skin sensation, mostly I think because of conditioning. So it's often easier to find the taking quadrant, but then it's often more difficult to really go into the lusty part of it. And very often, women, if they're used to being in the done to half of the circle all the time, don't have much confidence in doing really anything at all. What's often true for men is that the taking quadrant becomes quite scary, because as I just said, it feels like it could be perpetration, or, you know, alienating your partner, and nothing more terrifying than that. So for many men, it's extremely difficult. So let's talk about getting good at the taking role, the mining the treasures that are there for you. First of all, it's not something that you can fake. You can kind of get away maybe with faking giving, but you can't fake taking, because it's something that rises out of you. Neither can you give it. It's not something you can do for someone else, 'cause as soon as it's for someone else, it's no longer from you. In order to find and experience the taking quadrant, a couple of things have to be present, and I talked about this back in the lessons, that is that your hands have to be open to the in-flow to taking in. You have to take in information. You have to take in pleasure. If that's not happening with your hands, the taking quadrant will not happen. The other thing that you need is permission. So you need skills of consent to notice that you want something, to notice what it is, to ask for it, to wait for the answer and to respect the answer. All those consent skills have to be in place before you really find the taking role. It's the agreement that creates the taking role. "May I feel your hand and arm?" Like we did in the lesson. "Or may I play with your hair? Or may I climb around and roll around on you?" You say yes. Now we have the quadrant. So it's the agreement that creates the role. Without the agreement, there is no taking quadrant. So then how do you go about learning it. First is that you start small. You start with short segments of time, three minutes, five minutes maybe. You start with body areas that are not particularly erotically charged for you. And you start with relatively smaller body areas too, particularly that's challenging for you. And you start by using your hands to do the feeling, because your hands have more nerve endings than anywhere else. And they engage a lot of your brain cells because of that. So it's much easier to start out finding it with your hands, and that's what the lessons are all about, of course. And as you do that, you develop consent skills. As I just mentioned, the ability to notice what you want to ask for, and so forth. And as you develop those consent skills, you begin to trust yourself that you are not gonna alienate someone, or do harm to someone. And with that trusting yourself comes a tremendous amount of freedom. Also, as you're doing that, you're developing your ability to continue noticing the state of your partner. So your hands will notice if they tense up, or if they relaxed, or if they're breathing, or if they suddenly stopped and hold their breath, you'll continue to notice that. So you're developing that as you play with it, and it becomes quite natural. And you're developing your emotional comfort with your own desire, with your own sensuality, with your own lust, and with your own arousal. And that can sometimes be the hardest part. So again, starting slow, starting small, find the dynamic and half fields to actually take in with your hands. So then with that clarity and those skills, then you'll start to gradually expand as you like, and more of your body becomes a playground, more of their body becomes available to you, and more of your body comes into your play. And then you'll hit your edge of self-doubt and shame again. You'll get turned onto more, and then you hit that level of shame, then you get turned on more, and you'll hit that level of shame. So it's a lifelong journey. And something that helps in understanding this is the intensity factor, and that's this, when we're learning something new, where we're creating new neural pathways in our brain, and it requires that we slow down and we put some attention to it, so that we can create this new pathway, and that goes along great until you increase the intensity. And then you're gonna default back to your old pathway, and do it the old way that you always did it before. By intensity, I mean either emotional intensity, either so-called positive or so-called negative, you're excited, it looks really great, or you're scared, or sexual arousal, that kind of intensity, where you start getting more turned on, or simply moving your body faster. When you move your body faster, you will automatically tend to go into your default mode of how you've always done it. So when you're exploring taking, it's kind of new and you're really having to be attentive to find it. And if you start moving fast, you start adding sex to it, and you start, your fear comes up, you're gonna flip back into your default. So that's why it's really helpful to take it gradually. And it's fun all the way along anyway, so why wouldn't you? I've seen a lot of people who the taking kind of clicked for them, and they can take just fine. If it's an arm or a leg, they're moving slowly, and then the situation gets sexier, and everything they've learned about taking flies out the window, on their right back to getting the job done. So that's why take it gradually, and that's what works best. For most couples, even couples who have been partners for a long time and sexual for a long time, I say, start in the living room and start with your clothes on until you get it. So to recap all that, to learn taking, you start slow, you start small, you start with a short turn, you gain those skills of noticing that it's for you, and those consent skills, and those skills then sustain you as your interaction becomes more complex. If you jump right into sex, trying to find the taking quadrant, it won't work. You'll just jump back to your default. There is an art to taking. The bare minimum of taking, of course, is that you respect your partner's limits. The art of it is that instead of just sort of going along, because, oh, I guess I have to, and maybe I could start to sneak over the edge a little bit. Like, you can do that. I don't recommend it. The art is that once they set their limit, you actively take responsibility to guard that limit. And that means that they don't have to. It also means it gives you a lot more freedom, because now you trust yourself more, and that gives you freedom to express yourself more. And part of that is not just the verbal agreement at the beginning, but continuing to notice as you're going along, you're doing exactly what you want, and it's what they agreed is fine. But your hands notice, oh, they've suddenly become tense, or they stopped breathing. Then it's time for you to stop and check in. Are you sure you're okay? And give them the spaciousness for them to be able to check in, see if maybe it is a little too much for them. So that's the art of taking. You guard their limit, not just acquiesce to it. And that's what makes it a wonderful experience to surrender to you. So I've mentioned a couple of times that shame is gonna show up. So I want to talk about that a little bit. Shame about pleasure and sexuality is endemic. You can't grow up in this culture without some degree of shame and confusion about that. First there's shame about just the very experience of pleasure and the desire. And then there's the other shame that comes in that I get that we're somehow supposed to know all this stuff, and be able to take charge, and do the right thing, and know what the right thing is to do. So then that gets added to it. So then again, it gets mixed up into a big mess. And the degree of shame and confusion we feel about, of course, is a huge range. It can be just a minor blip that doesn't show up very often, and it can be debilitating and paralyzing, and it can show up right there in that very first lesson where your hands learn to feel. And of course, or that one might be easy, and it can show up in the taking quadrant, where, oh, it's okay to feel pleasure, but not with someone else's body. So it can show up anywhere. The short definition of shame that I'm using here is not that you feel that you did something wrong, but that you yourself are wrong. It's just wrong to be the way you are, or to feel the way you feel. And that's an irrational... It's an irrational phenomenon. It's not something that you think, it's something that you feel. It's a body response. And the result of that is that you avoid whatever it is that's gonna bring up that body response, that emotion. So you want to hide it away. You hide away from your partner. You also hide it away from yourself, but the problem is we need this aspect of ourselves. We need our sensuality. We need our impulse to take action. We need our playfulness. We need our desire. And we need to stop working at sex. And it's the taking role that recovers all that in a very gentle and gradual way. And when you recover that part of yourself, it's a big relief, and it gives you a tremendous amount of freedom, it let's your heart show up in your hands again, and also brings integrity and maturity to your eroticism, and it's a lot more fun. So the antidote to this kind of shame is exploring the taking quadrant a step at a time at your own pace. And that will widely vary by person to person. So let's talk about the erotic elements in the taking quadrant. There's a few things that are sort of general in that realm. And that is that it's the taking quadrant that lets you stop working and show up to the present moment, and that lets you bring your desires forward. Without the taking quadrant, whatever impulse you have to do, or to touch, or to reach for someone, has to be funneled and framed in this only one way you're allowed to do that, which is giving, which means that you are always on task, you're always exerting some effort, your perhaps seeking some validation from the person that you're trying to give to, and you are stuck on your goal of getting from here to there. And when you are stuck on a goal, your brain narrows its focus so that you are determined to get from here to there, and therefore all this information and wonderful stuff that's happening right here, you can't even notice it, because you're very focused, it's a narrow focus. So also in the erotic element, there's something about your hands that really changes in the taking quadrant. And that is, because you are tending to what's coming in your hands instead of what you are trying to send out your hands, your hands relax, they show up, they tend to be sort of softer and drape around the contours, you take in all the contours of your partner. They tend to wander. They're not predictable. They're not repetitive. And they become curious about your partner's entire body. The idea of, well, they have an erogenous zone here, and so therefore I have to do with it, that stuff flies out the window. It's just bunk. Your entire body is erogenous. So because your hands are taking in, their entire body becomes interesting and desirable to you, instead of focusing on these parts that you think are supposed to do something. And so of course that opens up this wonderfully grand, big field to play in. So then your hands are becoming intuitive, very sensual, creative. There's a sense of presence in your hands. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely, you can feel it. And your hands invite trust, which invites surrender. It's extremely difficult to relax under a hand that is tense and on a mission. So all of this is learned in the taking quadrant, not in the giving quadrant. And that quality of touch affects everything that you do erotically. So taking is where you get to bring your desires forward, where the sensuality develops, where your confidence develops, where you're being able to express yourself in a way that's real for you. It's also where the primal comes out and the passion comes out. So also of interest, talking about the erotic elements here, is that there's a huge range of moods that's available and shows up in the taking role. It can be comforting, nourishing, cozy, sensual, languorous. It can be this sort of trance-inducing, slow, blissful state. It can be very tender-hearted. It can be curious, and playful, and silly, and it can also be lusty and passionate, and boisterous, and the wild animal in you gets to come out and play. And emotionally, also, any of those sort of moods can be affirming and comforting emotionally, and they can also be a little disconcerting emotionally. So you have this huge range of moods, and that's a good thing. So this particular dynamic, erotic dynamic between taking and allowing, I want to talk about that a little more. There's a lot of talk these days, particularly among books and programs for men about encouraging men to learn how to take charge and to ravish their beloved. What's missing though is, how do you actually go about doing that? Particularly since you can't fake it or give it, what you do is you access it, and you have the consent skills so that you can express it freely. That's where it comes from. It doesn't come from some of technique. Still, ravishing is the sort of quintessential taking dynamic. It's what romance novels are full of. And it's also a dynamic that's unique to lovers. It's not a dynamic that you have with your massage therapist. So if you don't know how to access it within yourself, or you don't have the consent skills, then the whole ravishing thing is just some big mystery. And again, this touches into gender. It's not that men need to learn to ravish women, it's that everyone needs access to the taking role. And everyone needs to be able to learn how to take charge in a way that's authentic and also, of course, respectful. That's what taking's all about. I do want to add one note for males about erections, and that is that it's desire that fuels your erection, not giving and not performing for someone else. So if erections are a problem for you, almost always it's the taking quadrant that's going to clear that up. You learn to relax in just being here and then everything's easier. So to recap all that about the taking quadrant and erotic elements of it, it's the taking quadrant that lets you stop working and stop guessing, and lets you show up with all of yourself, including your desires, in all the different ways that shows up, in all the different ways it changes and develops over time. There's one more thing you want to say about the erotic element of the taking quadrant, and that is that, if you play with it a while, you'll start to notice that, quite naturally, it invites the opportunity to play with power, which is often called dominance and submission. When you're in the taking role, you're dominant or you're the one with the power. And as you play with that over time, and develop your consent skills, and you become trustworthy to yourself, then you can really dive in and have some very deep and very fun experiences. But this is the basic dynamic where you can easily, if you want to, explore dominance and submission, or power exchange. Very fun and very rich place to play. One thing that often surprises people is that it's the taking quadrant that lets you be a better giver, Because now that you're no longer afraid of taking, you don't have to use giving to avoid taking, nor do you have to use giving to try to get something back. So you can tell the difference. And now you're giving can become very clean and very clear. So the flow is more satisfying both to you and to your receiver. And the other thing, which we've already talked about, is the quality of your hands being able to notice and take in information, and that they relax and become intuitive, so that also makes you a better giver. And when your hands become intuitive, they're not stuck in technique, they're very present. What happens in your life when this quadrant is difficult or not easy to access? What taking is about is that inner mechanism of doing something for your enjoyment, and also that inner mechanism of respecting someone's limits. And if either of those is off, then taking's gonna be hard to find. Mostly what's hard for people is the first part, the ability to do something just for the enjoyment of it. Granted, we are all selfish beings and have done things that are very manipulatively selfish. But what we're talking about here is a very real, tangible, sensory, heartfelt, physical experience. And that is what tends to be difficult. So when taking is hard, it's easy to be very passive. You're waiting for someone else to do something. And passivity always leads to resentment. That's where it's gonna go. So you're gonna be resentful. It can be hard to know what actually that you do want, and take responsibility for it. It can also be hard to really know that it's okay for you to take up space in this world. So there's a certain kind of timidity that shows up when taking is hard. And taking is hard. The only way that you can let yourself do anything at all is to frame it or make it about somebody else. But that's not actually giving. It's just avoiding taking. If taking is hard, you're gonna tend to get stuck in giving, which means that you're always on task, you're always on effort, you're depending on technique, and you can't really quite show up and bring your desires with you. Not much fun. And if taking is hard, it's often difficult to have self-care, just in the very tangible ways of taking care of your physical, emotional, and financial needs, 'cause if you actually take care of yourself, you feel guilty. Or if taking is difficult, because you're not getting that sort of heartfelt need satisfied, and you don't really trust that process, you become kind of presumptive, and you reach out and grab things and take things without regard for other people. And this can be very subtle. And it's kind of ironic that that's not a sign that you're too good at taking. It's a sign that you actually are not good at taking, because you're not letting it into your heart, so you have to go out and grab everything that you can. When the taking quadrant is easy in your life, you trust that what you want matters, and you learn to acknowledge it and ask for it easily. And at the same time, you develop a very high regard for other people's limits. So that means you're not pushy, and you're never presumptuous about what you get to have, but you take responsibility for wanting it, and you ask for it with gentleness and clarity, and you create the spaciousness for the other person to have whatever limits they have. And when taking is easy, you get good at self-care. You are aware of and tend to your emotional needs, your physical needs, your wellbeing, your health, your financial needs. And you do that in a way that works for you and is respectful of others. So there's a spiritual element in the taking quadrant, as there is with all of them. And that is that all spiritual paths have something to say about desire. They talk about it differently or define it differently, but all paths have something to say about desire. The taking quadrant makes you acknowledge and come face to face with the fact that you desire to do stuff. And so that practice of acknowledging that can be a spiritual path all its own. And that leads to integrity. Acknowledging what's real for you instead of pretending that it's something else. And when you take full responsibility for it, of course, that frees you up. It also frees up the people around you. You no longer have to guess. This sort of complete opposite to the taking role is passivity. There is nothing spiritual about being passive. And we'll talk about that a little more in the allowing quadrant. So the taking quadrant has a shadow too, of course, as they all do. And this is where the word "Taking," it gets a bad name. It's the co-opting, using, grabbing, stealing, just reaching out and taking something that you want without regard for the other person. And that, of course, is outside the circle of consent. And the shadow of it is why it can be often difficult to find the experience of the taking quadrant, because you stand there in the middle and you look out at this horrible stuff out there, and, "I'm not going anywhere in there." So that's why it can be kind of scary to even go into taking quadrant. In exploring the taking quadrant, what I've come to see is that our entire culture is built on that shadow of the taking quadrant, our ability to reach out and grab other people's land, oil fields, cheap labor, tungsten mines, you know, we just have subtle and not so subtle ways of reaching out and taking whatever we want. Our culture is based on that. So even though we may abhor it, the shadow of taking, we're also, every one of us, complicit in our cultural pattern of taking. That can be hard to face. The irony of it, perhaps, is that when we have an actual, physical, tangible, skin-to-skin, heartfelt experience of taking as a gift to us, it touches our heart, and we come to clarity and peace with it so that we know its place. And that gives us, teaches us respect for the other person. And so that kind of taking and grabbing becomes just like unthinkable. So it's ironic perhaps that it's the experience of receiving the gift of taking that allows you not to have to go steal, to get that need met. It's a very different experience. So perhaps we should open all meetings of Congress by playing the three minute game. That's a world vision for you. So that's the taking quadrant. I hope you have many years and lots of good times exploring it. - So, so the, The Three Minute Game is, I learned it through the power of surrender intimacy workshop later, which you developed in the group. They framed it as two questions. What do you want me to do to you? And what do you want to do to me? - Yes. - Yeah. And, but what most surprised me was that, the first question, "What do you want me to do to you"? We can kind of figure it out. Like we may not be very good at it, but we at least have some context of what it means. And the second question, "What do you want to do to me"? That's the one that completely threw people. - Underneath this, there is the idea that I have permission. - Yes. - To want something for myself. - Yes. - And want to do something to you. - Yes, absolutely. - So that is hard. - Yes it is. (laughing loudly) That's why.. - I have permission to say, I would like to hold your hand. - Yeah. - So behind me, there could be all kinds of voices. - Yes. - That say, that's the most ridiculous thing. You're a grown man. Then you wanna hold this woman's hand. - Yeah. Yeah. - So I need permission to say, I don't know why, but that's what I want. She might think I'm ridiculous. - Right. - You might think I'm ridiculous for asking that. - Yeah. - Or it could be even deeper. It could be involved with fetish. - Yeah. - Like I wanna look at your sandals if I'm not putting them for sure. - That's right. - I just wanna look for three minutes. - Yeah. - Because I've never been able to do that because it's always, we got into a rush. - Right. - With something - Or you have to sneak a peek. - Sneak a peek that's right. You could ask, that's a good thing to ask people. What peaks have you been sneeking? Because we all have that. (laughing loudly) - That's a great question. - Yeah. Like, Oh, and I have that personal experience. - Yeah - For various historical reasons. - Yeah. - That I would be sitting on a train. And I would be looking across from me at a man's hands would have to be looking this way. - Yeah. - And my eyes going that way, because there's something about this that is almost overwhelming to me, looking at these hands. And I was fortunate enough to have, I was involved with reevaluation counseling for many years, and I was able to accomplish all of this. I wanna look, and then I wanna, I mean, not really wanna look and then I wanna touch just your hand. And this is like crazy. Who wants to do these kinds of things? - Well, you know, actually most people do. I think (laughing) I do. Yeah. So based on what, similarly what I found is once you actually get it that you have for once I actually get that, I have permission to touch you in some way. And it's, for me, it's like, I get to do that. You know, because we're born wanting to do that. We just don't have enough context to do it in once we grow. - The children do that, don't they? - Oh, yeah. - Whenever they want - Little kids will climb all over you, stick their finger on your nose - Yes. - Yeah. - And dogs. - Yeah. Right. Yeah, exactly. So, and, and as you said, it's hard. It's just, you know, to acknowledge that there's something that I want to do to you. And that just because I want it, it's not because I'm being generous. - Yes. - Yeah. That's - I don't wanna, It's not to make you feel good. - Yeah. Because I want it. - So in this power and surrender dynamic, you come close to somebody and you can ask for anything. - Yeah. - So this dynamic is a way of really exploring a lot of personal material. And you mentioned that if you are doing this work, the people you're doing it with call you to be authentic. You can't really force your way through this or other people will see it. They will recognize it if you're not authentic. - Yeah. Yeah. It's that, that the opportunity to ask for what we want, often times there's nothing scary, and, or we don't even know what to get most often as well. Whatever, I don't know I want no problem, I will just wait till you do it, because they'll take, what if it takes awhile? No problem. - A lot of people, certain personalities don't know what they want. They're completely open to you running the show and then feeling unsatisfied. - Right. Because they didn't get what they actually wanted, that they didn't notice if they wanted or didn't admit that they wanted. Or I can certainly think of doing that. - So the allowing quadrant, loads of fun this one, well, they all are. The allowing quadrant is the intersection between the done-to half of the circle and the giving half of the circle. What you are giving, the gift that you're giving in the allowing quadrant is access to you. In the allowing quadrant you're doing two things. One is that you set aside what you prefer and you keep your responsibility for having a limit to how much you can give and are willing to give. Limits are about this far and no farther, or I can give you this, I can't give you that, or I'm willing to participate in this, I'm not willing to participate in that. That's the nature of having a limit. Some people call that a boundary. So in allowing you get to explore your responsibility for having a limit to what you're willing to give. And what you find is that when you take full responsibility for that, then you become very generous, and you relax and then you enjoy and you go with the flow. And that is exactly the crux and the key to having a lot of fun and play and surrender in the allowing role. Another way of saying that is that the degree to which you are confident that you have a choice about what happens to you, and you really know that all the way into your bones, to that degree you can be generous. If you're not really quite sure, then there's no way to be generous because you're on guard as to what you should be. The taking quadrant is difficult for almost everybody. It's just a matter of degree. The allowing quadrant is all over the map. It can be completely easy and natural, like falling off a log, and it can be a little challenging and confusing and it can be absolutely terrifying. And what makes the difference is what we just said, the confidence that you have a choice about what happens to you. And the reason I say confidence is because you probably know in your head that you have a choice about what happens to you, if you don't, what are you doing in the same room with this person? So you probably know in your head that, "Yeah, I have a choice about what happens to me." But you have to know it in your body and you have to know it in the midst of the flow of what's happening. So that's why I say confidence, it's a feeling more than it is a knowing in your head. And to the degree that you really get that, again, that's the degree to which you relax and enjoy allowing, and to which you become generous in allowing. There's one key factor that affects every experience of being touched, I talked about this back in the done-to half of the circle, and that is that we have all been touched against our will in ways that we did not want and we did not like. And that this happened before we could walk and talk. That means that it's very deep in our nervous system, it's not particularly conscious usually, and it's very deep in our psyche sort of our assumptions about the nature of being touched. And to a large degree it just feels like the normal state of things. Something is done to me, or I'm touched, and therefore I have to kind of figure out how to like it or how to be okay with it. And that assumption is not usually a conscious process, but it shows up, I've seen it countless times and I've been there myself countless times, in how people respond to being touched and how they communicate about being touched. So in the allowing quadrant, what you get to explore and sort of experiment with yourself is what is it that is within the range or the limit of what I'm willing and happy to give. And what is it that I'm not really so happy to give and how much responsibility do I take for that? So that's what you get to play with in the allowing role. And gosh, I've made it sound sort of dismal, but it's really fabulously fun when you have, when you really get it that you have a choice. 'Cause then you can surrender and you can go with the flow and I'll come back to that in a moment, but it's a lot of fun. So here's an example of that principle and what often happens. This was with a client that I had who was a man in his mid-sixties or so. And he had very little experience with women and in relationship, and was just pretty much terrified of all intimacy, and that's why he was coming to me to get some help. And I'm teaching him the game and we're going through the different steps, and after three or four sessions, you know, we're exploring each of them. And this day it's his turn to be in the allowing role. So I give him the instructions, what you say to me now is, "How would you like to touch me?" He's supposed to say that to me. And he gets very tense and scared and you know how you are when you sort of build up your courage, "Okay, ready? I think I can do this." You know, so he's like, "Okay, ready? I think I can do this. Okay." You know, and he's really getting up his courage to say so. And he says, "Okay, do whatever you want." And that was a big aha moment for me because I realized that that's what he thought the question was. And I, you know, obviously we talked about that, but he wasn't even able to hear the words, "What would you like to, how would you like to touch me?" The whole concept of it in his mind was, "Do whatever you want." And no wonder it was terrifying because that means that I don't have any choice about what happens to you, just do whatever you want. So that again, that was a big aha for me that day. And it showed me that that dynamic shows up lots of times. And certainly I've been in that place perhaps not to that extreme, but the same dynamic shows up that you forget that you have a choice and you get to have a limit. Not only do you get to have a limit, you have a responsibility to have a limit. And that's your responsibility and nobody else's. So that's the allowing quadrant. There's a big fallacy that shows up here in the allowing quadrant. And that is that people will say this, "You should trust your partner. They're not trying to hurt you, they're trying to be good to you. So therefore you should trust them." And what I always wanna ask is, "Trust them to do what? Read my mind? They can't do that." The implication that you should automatically trust your partner is completely backwards. Not because you think your partner is gonna do you harm, if you think they're gonna do your harm, get out of the room. Not because you don't trust them to have good intentions, but because the person you need to trust is yourself to take responsibility for your limits. The idea that you should trust them is just mean it is is trying to tell you that you should stop being responsible for yourself and hope that the other guy figures out what it is that your limits are or what you want, and that is completely backwards. So the idea that, "Oh, no, you should just trust your partner," is perilously close to, "You should stop taking responsibility for yourself." And none of us really need any more encouragement to do that, I don't think. We already know how to go along with stuff we don't want, we don't need to practice that anymore. So then how do you get really good at the allowing quadrant so that it's fun, easy and generous? The answer is that you start small and you start slow. And that's what the lessons do for you. When you make your partner the offer, "How would you like to touch me?" And they say, "I would like to play with your hair, or feel your hands, or feel your legs." Whatever it is, then you take a pause, and if you're in my studio, we use a timer and I make sure you take at least 20 seconds to pause and notice, "Is this something that I can give with a full heart?" And you wait for that resounding inner yes. And if you do have some resistance or you feel tension, you have an unanswered question. And that's either an unanswered question that you need to ask your partner, which is something like this, "I'm not sure. Can you tell me more about what you have in mind and what you'd like?" 'Cause there may be some detail that you don't know. Or you need to ask yourself a question. The question is not, "What's wrong with me that I can't give this thing?" The question is, "What is within my range of what I am a resounding yes for?" And that's a very different question. So if you feel resistance to what they're asking for, those are the two things to ask yourself, either ask them for more information or ask yourself, "What is it that I actually would be happy to give?" And when you ask for that yourself, when you ask yourself that, you wait until you know and then you feel your body, "Ah, okay." Then you feel that inner resounding yes, and then it is a great joy to give that. So that's what makes the allowing quadrant easy and fun and quite wonderful is the distinction between acquiescing and truly giving a gift. And to truly give a gift you have to own that gift before you can give it. So you have to own your responsibility and then you can give access to yourself. So the allowing quadrant is then where you learn that the ability to say no is actually the key to intimacy of any kind. If you can't say no you really can't afford to be in the same room with anyone because stuff's just gonna happen and you're gonna go along with it. So when you can say no and own your limits, then you can become actually very, very close, and that's a surprising key to intimacy. So what's some of the erotic elements to the allowing role. The allowing role is the star in romance novels. This is where, you know, she is so beautiful that he can't help himself, and he ravishes her and she surrenders to the bliss, okay? That's the allowing role. So what happens in the allowing role is that this is where you, this is the desire to be desired. This is where you get to experience your partner's desire for you, and to surrender to that. You're surrendering your sort of micromanagement, which is a great freedom and surrender to your partner's desire. A lot of fun with that. And again, the ability to do that is based on you trusting yourself. And in order for you to trust yourself, you have to gain those skills of taking responsibility for yourself. That's the order that it happens. So a lot of fun, a lot of eros in the allowing role. For some people just being in the allowing role at all feels wonderful and feels erotic. Because that's sort of can be a theme for us sometime. What you also find in the allowing role, the taking, allowing dynamic is that this is where you can notice, if you play with it a while, that you have the opportunity to play with the exchange of power, that in this dynamic the taking partner has the power, and you are sort of handing over that power temporarily. You've made that decision based on your empowered choice, but then in the experience, you just get to sort of hand over your power, and that can be a lot of fun to play with, and is the basis for a whole field of ways to play with power and surrender. And what does the allowing role have to do with gender? If you've watched the other videos you already know this, it has nothing to do with gender. Every single person of whatever sex you are, whatever gender you are, you need some time in the allowing role. And if it's challenging for you, then this is where the real learning is, and where the real freedom is. It's interesting that both men and women can have a lot of erotic charge here and also have a lot of fear and resistance here because, you know, men they're supposed to be in charge, so why should they wanna go here? And yet the highest paid sex workers are quite often those women who take men deeply into these surrendered states with a great deal of skill, because they wanna have that experience. And for women also can be very sweet, and have a lot of erotic charge. And it can often also be embarrassing because it smacks of being used in the old sort of sexist ways of approaching sex. So, you know, "I don't wanna be thought of as being submissive." However, we all have that ability to enjoy the surrender, and so this is where you find it. So what it has to do with gender is nothing. So what about the muddy mess at the edge of the allowing quadrant? Where you're kinda going along with it, but it's really not very inspiring, and it's not much heart in it because you really don't know what else to do. It just feels normal, it feels like this is the nature of being touched is that you just sort of go along with stuff. Not a happy place to be, although many people spend their entire lives there. So in that muddy place what's most likely happening is either the taker, the person in the taking role, your partner, is being a little presumptive or a little pushy, or a little unaware, or didn't ask, or you in the allowing role are not taking responsibility for yourself. It's usually a combination of those. And what happens then is that you become resentful either immediately or it gradually builds up over time. Not a happy place to be. It also, you become very dulled and bored with the whole thing, because there's no heart in it, there's no flow in it. So what about when the allowing role is difficult for you? What happens? What that means is that you don't have that confidence that you have a choice and you haven't taken responsibility for your limits that we talked about. And when that happens, you kinda have a couple of choices, either you just go along with everything and you become the doormat, in which case you get bored and resentful, or you put up a very strong guard and just don't wanna do anything, or you have to sort of micromanage what happens because you can't really afford to get out of this very careful step-by-step approach, because you don't really know how to go with the flow. What also happens is that everyone becomes a little suspect. If you don't know how to say no and have a limit, then everybody looks selfish to you, and they may or may not be, but they sure look that way to you because you don't know how to say no. So that's what happens when the allowing role is difficult for you. When it's easy and you really get that ownership of your limits and your responsibility for yourself, then there's a great deal of joy in the flow of surrender, and that, you know, it's the going with the flow, it's the positive aspect of going with the flow. What also happens is that you enjoy surprises. You kind of get your sea legs under you as it will, so that as things change you can change with them. And you become comfortable in a wide variety of situations, both sexual situations, social situations. And you develop a high respect for other people's desires. You don't have to be afraid of their desires because you own your limits. So there is a spiritual principle at play here in allowing as well, and that is surrender. In the Three Minute Game, obviously we're playing with a very tangible surrender to your partner's desire that also can lead you to experiences of exquisite surrender to God, to the universe, to forces larger than yourself, surrendering to bliss, one spiritual path calls this radiant acquiescence. And that surrender is a spiritual path on its own, and you get a taste of it here in the allowing role. What's also possible in the allowing role as you're playing with it over time, and as you gain trust in yourself is that when you do this for an extended period of time, you can enter some profoundly blissful states that are just centrally and emotionally exquisite. So there's another aspect to the allowing quadrant, which I think of as social, for lack of a better word, and that is that when we take responsibility to not allow other people to treat us unfairly or unjustly, we stand up and say, "No, I will not participate in this. I will not allow you to harm me, or I will not allow you to harm these other people." So that could happen as an individual, it could happen as a group, and this is where we develop the ability to stand up against injustice and oppression. Basically, it's where we say, "No, you don't get to hurt these people, you don't get to treat people this way, and it stops right here." That is that beautiful line around the allowing quadrant that just says, "Nope, you don't get to do that." I think of that often when I'm thinking about social justice issues, that comes from this place right here. So that's the allowing role, lots of fun, very erotic, also very playful. And again, start small, start with just exploring your hands and your forearms, like it's in the lessons on this page. And know that as you explore it, you will make some mistakes, that's guaranteed. And you'll come back and you'll question yourself, "I didn't really wanna do that." And then the next time you'll be more clear, that's gonna happen. So enjoy, have a good time playing with it. - So the giving quadrant, the one that everybody wants to be better at, the giving quadrant, of course, is where giving intersects with doing. And it's what most people think of as what giving actually means. But what you've come to see by now is that giving is not the same thing as doing. In this particular quadrant, of course, they're both happening together. So that's what most people think of as giving. It's the one that for most people feels the most comfortable. And it's also, as I said, the one that most people seem to want to get better at. And that is based on a certain myth, which is that sex is something you do. And if you do it the right way, it's better, but what's actually true is that sex is not so much something that you do, but it's something that you feel, it's an awareness. It's a feeling, you can do all manner of fancy stuff and feel pretty bored. You can also do sometimes very little and feel extremely blissed out and turned on. So the fanciness of what you're doing is not necessarily what makes you feel great. What makes you feel great is learning how to feel great and how to actually show up in the moment where you are. The other myth about the giving quadrant is that, this idea that there is some particular stroke or technique that if I could just get that one right, everything would be fabulous. And that also is a myth, partly because as I just said, what it really is about is learning how to show up and how to feel good. And it's also true that no matter how fancy the technique or the stroke, if it's not what your partner actually likes or wants, then not only is it useless, it's counterproductive. So this idea that, Oh, if I could just learn this particular stroke, then gosh, the whole heavens would open up. It's not true. So where do we get that idea? One place we get that idea, of course, is media. Almost all instruction about how to have better sex is about this particular quadrant. How to do this technique, how to touch this body part in this particular way. So that the heavens open up. What's actually true is that as you learn to show up, which means how to be with your partner right there in the moment, and how to be comfortable with your own desire and your own eroticism and your own sex, your own sensuality. And as you learn how to communicate, then it becomes possible to express yourself with each other in ways that are real and satisfying for you, which will be different than the ways that are real and satisfying for somebody else. So it's not the technique that makes great sex. It's learning how to show up. And that's really what this entire game and process is about. So that's one reason why everybody wants to get better at the giving quadrant is that myth that it's the right stroke that makes the difference. So another thing that happens when you believe that myth, that sex is something you do, and if you get the right stroke, it'll all be great. Is that what happens then is you don't really know anything else to do, that's the right way to do it. And so that's all there is. Another reason why everybody wants to get good at the giving quadrant is that they don't know the taking even exists, or they're confused about what it is. It's just not accessible. So giving becomes the only right or legitimate way to touch. Another reason, of course, why you might want to get good at the giving quadrant is because of your care for your partner and your generosity towards them, which is a good thing. To truly give, however, both in the general sense of the word, and in this quadrant, you need to find out what is it they actually want. The blind spot in learning technique is that if you learn a technique and apply it, it carries the assumption that they are supposed to like it. And that might not be what they like. So that's some of the kind of confusion about the giving quadrant. We are going to come back in a few minutes and talk about how to really get good at it. So don't worry. So the giving quadrant then is the intersection between doing and giving. So you have to take into account that your done to partner will at some point, quite possibly slip into that going along with something that they're not really wanting to or doesn't really inspire them. And so a big part of the doing aspect of this is taking that into account and finding out what they want and being sure that you know what that is and that finding out what they want is perhaps the biggest part of the art of giving. So for the giving aspect of the giving quadrant, your responsibility is first of all, to notice your limits and respect them and communicate them. So that means both in terms of what you are willing to do for your partner. And also while you're doing it, if that changes or you need to change and get more comfortable, are your legs falling asleep or whatever you need to take care of that, is your job. So you are giving a gift. You are not giving away your responsibility to take care of yourself. Your next possibilities to set aside what you want. And that includes what you feel like doing. It also includes the result that you hope to see, or the response that you hope to see as a result of what you're doing. And we'll talk about that in great depth in a few minutes, and then your next responsibility is to find out what they want. And that's the biggest part of the art of giving. And we're going to talk about that as well. So then the couple of main things to answer about the giving quadrant are then what is the art of it? How do you get really good at it? And how do you find that ease and the joy in it for your part of the experience? And also there's a trap in the giving quadrant. And then we'll talk about that as well. So the art of giving, what you're giving is your time and your attention. And in this quadrant, you're also giving your action. What you don't get to decide is what it is that they should want or what it is that you hope they want, or how you hope they respond, or how they should respond, or how some video said they're going to respond. So what you're really giving here is by setting aside what you want, you are creating a spaciousness for them to bring their desires forward. And as we've already seen, and you've already seen probably it's very difficult for many people to notice what they want and say it. So the more spaciousness you can create, that makes it easier for them to notice what they want and make room for what they want. And that's really the art of the giving quadrant. So the first way you do that is of course, you ask, how would you like me to touch you? And then you just zip it and you wait, you don't get started with stuff before they have a chance to really notice what it is that they want and that can be very difficult. What it requires is that you get over your self importance about all the groovy stuff that you can do to them. You just need to get over that because it's far more important to find out what they want than it is to start doing stuff and hope that they like it. That's really not the giving quadrant. And of course, once you get started and you're doing what they've asked you to do, then you'll be checking in with them. How's the pressure, how's the speed? Is there something you would like different? So you're continuing to notice and invite them to communicate with you. And as most people notice in the giving quadrant, that information is very useful, right? That's what the information that you want because when you know what they want, you can give it. If you don't know what they want, you're guessing. So that's the principle and the art of spaciousness and create spaciousness for them to bring their desire forward and creating that spaciousness, giving them the time that they need is oftentimes the biggest part of the gift. And that leads to the trap of the giving quadrant. The trap of the giving quadrant is doing something so that you get the result that you want to see, guess what, that's not actually giving. So why would we do that? Well, one reason is because the media and everything that we've been shown and taught about sexual activity is that you do this technique, this response happens. That makes you feel good. So it's this and that, particularly pornography, it's not actually sex. It's performance art. That's not what sex actually looks like. So that's a great way to learn that you're supposed to get this response from this technique, but it's just not true. The second reason why we might be attached to the result is because we have not yet accessed the taking quadrant. We don't know how to find taking. And earlier in the videos I talked about the direct route to pleasure that basically comes through your skin. And if you don't have access to that, the only kind of pleasure that you can experience is vicarious. So that means I have to get a result out of you or I don't have any fun. So one reason that people want a result is because they haven't yet found the taking quadrant, which hopefully you have by now. Another reason why people go for the result is that it feels powerful. It feels less vulnerable than being on the receiving end of the flow of yourself. I had one person tell me this, that he was embarrassed and ashamed about his own sexuality, his own arousal, which of course we all are to varying degrees and that when he could get his partner turned on and she would become expressive, then he didn't feel so ashamed about getting turned on himself. And so he's essentially using her turn on to make it okay and less fearful for him to get turned on. Well, guess what? That's not giving either, but what it is does do is, in fact, it's, in my mind, it's about the worst kind of manipulation because you are asking them to get vulnerable in order for you to avoid your vulnerability. So that's the trap of the giving quadrant. Why is it not so good? Well, for one thing, it's not accurate. Your partner's response to what you're doing is not an accurate indicator of their level of enjoyment. You can be very quiet and in a completely blissed out, cosmic state, and it looks almost like you're asleep, can be very, very quiet. You can also be hanging from the chandeliers and delirious and maybe enjoying it, or maybe not. So how enjoyment looks is a huge range. And so you can't use that to judge their level of enjoyment. Another reason is that it's no fun for you because you then have to be desperate. If you're determined to get that result, you're going to do everything you can to get that result. And then you become tense. Then your partner becomes tense and they start performing for you because they know that you're wanting to see them have a result. And so they start performing for you. In which case they are no longer receiving and you are no longer giving. So basically it's just a big mess all around. Unfortunately, it's kind of our cultural norm, partly because of media depictions. And partly because we just don't have access to the taking quadrant. And as I'll talk about shortly, it's the taking quadrant that cleans all that up. What is true about giving or serving, I often call this quadrant serving, is that your action is contributing to their experience and they own that experience and they get to do with it what they wish. That's the nature of giving a gift. I give you a gift. You get to do what you want. And if I'm attached to what you do with it, it's not really a gift, it's something else. So what about the joy in the giving quadrant? It is lots of fun. Though you're not attached to the result of your actions, you do get to enjoy them. It's quite wonderful to see someone in pleasure. My goodness, it's just gorgeous. And there's a certain way that we naturally ride along with each other's arousal that's quite wonderful and totally fine. The giving quadrant, the giving quadrant does not mean that you have to sort of keep it all at arms' length. It just means that you need to be clear about who it's for. You do get to enjoy it. And when you are clear about who it's for, the flow from you to them becomes very, it's like crystal clear water. It just becomes very clean and very satisfying. Getting a result is good for your ego, but true giving is good for your heart and it satisfies in a very sweet and real way. The other source of joy in the giving quadrant is that the act of choosing brings joy automatically into what we're doing. When you don't feel like you have a choice, of course you are resentful. Why wouldn't you be? The more you take full responsibility for your choice. Then you have a freedom and a joy that follows automatically. So that's why I say, when your partner says, will you do such and such, check in with yourself. Is this a gift that I can give with a full heart? And then if there's a, mmm, you're still not sure, the question is not, I should be able to give that. The question is, what is it that I would be happy to give that's related to that or that's in that realm? That's the question. And then that's what enables you to have the joy in your giving. I want to also acknowledge that for a lot of people, the giving quadrant can also feel a little vulnerable. And that's generally about the fear of not getting it right, as long as you're trying to guess what they like, that's no way to feel confident about that. So the feeling of vulnerability is an indication that you don't really trust that you do know what they want. And the solution to that is to gain the communication skills to find out what they want. And then what happens is that you stop worrying about getting it right and you start communicating about what is it they actually want and anything that they want differently. So the quality of touch, this in my experience is far more important than any stroke or technique that you could have. You could have all kinds of fancy strokes and techniques. And if your hands are not relaxed and present, it's not going to feel good. So when I talk about the quality of touch, what I'm talking about is that your hands are very present. Well, what does that mean? That means that you are not, that first of all, that your hands are relaxed and where you learn to relax your hands is not here in the giving quadrant. It's in the taking quadrant. The reason is it's in the taking quadrant that you open the inflow of information that comes in your hands. And that is what allows your hands to relax. And that is what gets you off the goal and the strategy and the tension in your hands that comes from having a strategy. And so what you learn there in the taking quadrant, you bring with you into the giving quadrant. That's some about the joys of the giving quadrant. What happens if you're stuck here? And why would you be stuck here? Most common reason is you don't know what else to do. You could get stuck here because this is your self image as the generous lover and the competent lover. You could get stuck here because you think this is what your gender is supposed to be doing. Typically, that means this is what men are supposed to be doing. You can also get stuck here because you just really haven't had the opportunity to explore anything else. You can also be stuck in the giving quadrant because you're afraid of the other three, the other three, if they feel vulnerable to you, then staying here in this one, you can avoid those feelings of being vulnerable. And that's pretty common actually. You can also be stuck in the giving quadrant because it feels like that's where the power is. If you're in charge and you're in control, then you don't have to reveal your vulnerability to your partner or you staying in power. Because in the giving role, you can sort of be the righteous one that's doing all the right things. You could be stuck in the giving quadrant because it's tied up with your self worth. The only way to be worthy of being loved and being close to someone is to be doing the right stuff. That's a sad place to be, but it's also pretty common. You could be stuck in the giving quadrant because you don't yet know how to ask for what you want and how to receive. And you haven't yet learned that what you want does matter. I've had a number of people tell me, thank you for showing me that what I wanted mattered. And you could be stuck in the giving quadrant because you don't know that the taking quadrant exists. You're confused about it, which is natural because it's not well understood out there. And you could be horrified of the idea of doing something that, because just because you wanted to, and again, it's because of the shadow of the taking quadrant is a horrible place out there. And so you're not going anywhere near that. So then you're stuck in the giving quadrant. It's the only thing left. And many people spend their entire sexual lives pretty much just in the giving quadrant. And what you end up with then is exhaustion and resentment. And you end up with this whole aspect of yourself that just is not fed. So given all that, how do you then actually get good at the giving quadrant? 'Cause it's fun to get good at the giving quadrant. Most of this I've already talked about, but I do want to put it all in one place. The first thing you do to get good in the giving quadrant is that you get good in the taking quadrant. In the taking quadrant, you learn to notice, you learn to take responsibility for your own desire to do stuff. And that means in the giving quadrant, you can be clean and in the taking quadrant, your hands relax. Number two is you get very clear about who it's for. And that includes the fact that the purpose of the giving quadrant is not for you to get a response to entertain you or to make you feel better about yourself. Get very clear about who it's for. The third thing you do to get good in the taking quadrant is start small. You start with these short three to five minute turns. You start with body areas that are not particularly charged. You start with experiences that are not sexual. It helps to start with experiences that are clothed and it helps to do it somewhere other than the bedroom. And this shows you how to give in a way that is not a strategy to get to sex and starting small teaches you the communication skills that you need when it gets more complex. So starting small is where you learn to find out what they want and to check in with how it's going while you're doing it. That's how you develop your awareness and your skills upon which high quality giving is built. And then number four is that you gradually increase the time and the geography that's includable. And as you do that over time, you will notice more where it is that you are clear and where it is that you are not clear. And by not clear, I mean, you are trying to get some result that you think is the right result. You'll notice when you're doing that and your ability to notice that will go up. So it's like your antenna gets stronger. So ironically, it's not about technique at all. That stuff will follow once you do these other things. So I'm gonna say those again. How to get really good at the giving quadrant. Number one, get good at the taking quadrant. Number two, get very clear about who it's for, which means giving up your idea of what the result is that you'd like to see. Number three, start small, smaller body areas, shorter turns, not sexual. And that teaches you among other things, teaches you communication skills, how to find out what they want and how to continue to check in as you're going along. And number four, then you gradually increase the time and the body parts involved. So that's how you get really good at giving. So what is the place, if any, for learning some cool techniques, great question. Almost everything of what's taught out there about quote how to have better sex unquote is about technique and also about communication, but a lot of it's about technique. So is there a time when it's okay to learn some of that? Yes, there is. The time is after you learn the taking quadrant and after your communicating becomes easy. So it becomes easy to find out what they want. And then you stay in your integrity by asking for what you want, which is I would like to learn some more techniques. Would you be interested in that? Then you're asking for what you want. You're taking responsibility for what you want, instead of pretending that it's about what will make them happier and probably will make them happier, but it's you that wants it. So you take responsibility for acknowledging that you want it and for asking for it. And as you're learning those new things, your most important job is to keep the communication opening, which is essentially, how's this feel, well, how's this feel? Well, the book says to do this, does this feel good to you? Because again, the point is not getting the strokes right. The point is, do they enjoy it? And what is it that they would enjoy? And what is it that they might enjoy even more? Doing great strokes if it's not what they like is not the point. So that's where books and videos about techniques and strokes can be useful. The trouble with them is that if you think that that's the key, then you get stuck in doing the right thing, but not actually finding out what your partner wants. So in the giving quadrant is finding out what your partner wants that counts. The techniques are secondary. So to recap all of that, is first of all that giving or serving is not a way to control your partner. It's a way to contribute to their experience and they own the experience, they get to do with it what they want to do with it. And that the real gift of giving is creating a spaciousness so that they can bring their desire forward. And that is most often the highest art in the art of giving. The key to your generosity is taking responsibility for your limits and respecting your limits. And if you're feeling iffy about what you can give, the question to ask yourself is within what limits would I be glad to give and communicate those. And when you you're able to do that, you will automatically be generous. And the trap in this quadrant is trying to get a response that you want to see. First of all, because it's not accurate. And second of all, because it's not really giving. That said, you are allowed to enjoy yourself in the giving quadrant. It's naturally fun. That's great. And finally, the way to learn good giving is to get very good at the taking quadrant. So what happens when the giving quadrant is difficult? And what I mean by difficult is not that you don't give enough or that you don't give as much as you think you should, but that your giving is stressful to you. You're worried about it, which really means that you are not clear on what your limits are, or you're not taking responsibility for them and respecting them, which means you are giving more than you really want to or can or can sustain. That creates stress. Then you become fearful of people actually asking for something or wanting something, because you can't say no. So you become resentful or you stay away from people or you feel overwhelmed by being around people. And all of those are really symptoms of not being able to say no in its various forms. So when you are good at giving, what that means is that you are good at having a limit and saying no. And then that lets you be very generous and you develop an ease about it. So when the giving quadrant is difficult, what I mean by that is that you are not being true to yourself about what you can give with a full heart. Doesn't mean that you are not giving enough. Usually it means that you're giving too much, meaning you're not being true to yourself. When the giving quadrant is easy, which means that when you are fully responsible for your limits, so that within those limits, the generosity shows up, you are naturally generous with your time, with your attention, perhaps with your money, whatever the situation is. And because of that self-responsibility, your giving becomes very real and becomes very useful to the people that you're giving to. And you let them, your receiver have their own experience, which means that you are no longer attached to the result of what you've given, which then means that your heart is at ease. And then there's a clean, clear flow from you to them that is very satisfying for both of you. You also notice over time in your conversations with people that you become skilled in finding out what it is that people are actually trying to ask you for, and they may be hinting or they may be trying to make an offer when it's actually something that they want. And you get more skilled about very gently and graciously clarifying what it is that they're actually asking for. And that is a very useful skill. Save you a lot of confusion and trouble in your life. So that's the giving quadrant, a lot of stuff in here. Just a few words about the bigger picture of the giving quadrant. The giving quadrant is about taking action for the benefit of other people. And that's serving, that's being of service. Being of service is naturally satisfying because we do have a natural human need to be of use to other people and to contribute to other people's quality of life and enjoyment and service is a spiritual path, all its own. And this is the quadrant where you find that. It's also humbling to be in the serving quadrant. It touches your heart in a certain way to be able to contribute in such a direct way. So I hope you have lots of opportunity to be of service to others and to contribute to your partner's wonderful experience and hope you have a lifetime to play with that. - So this is the receiving quadrant. I call this quadrant "accepting" to distinguish it from the receiving half of the circle, because taking is also a form of receiving. So really I call this "the accepting quadrant." Even the word "accepting" can have connotations that aren't pleasant. It can mean putting up with something that you don't want. So it's ironic perhaps that almost any word you choose that is about being done to is gonna have, one of the definitions of it is gonna be about putting up with stuff. So, that's interesting, isn't it? At any rate, this is the accepting quadrant. It's the one that many people are afraid of, it's the one that everyone seems to wanna get better at, and it's also the one that many people seem to think that everybody else is always in this one. So in this video, I'm gonna talk about the mix up or the confusion in this quadrant, what it actually looks like when it's working, what's possible in it, and what happens in your life when it's easy and when it's difficult. So the accepting quadrant is, of course, the intersection of being done to and receiving, meaning it's for you. So it carries the challenges of receiving a gift, the vulnerability and the sometimes discomfort with that. It also carries the vulnerability of being done to, because we all have had experiences of being done to which were not pleasant and can feel vulnerable. So this is the intersection of two very distinct kinds of vulnerability. So it's quite understandable that it's challenging for many people. So there's a very big mix-up or confusion in this quadrant, and that's this: in this quadrant, something's happening to you. Your partner is doing something to you, and your partner intends that this is for you, and they have a good intention, and you assume that they have a good intention, but it doesn't feel that great, so now you have a fork in the road. One fork in the road is this: "Well, it's happening to me, "so I guess it's supposed to be for me. "So if it's not that great for me, "there must be something wrong with me. "There must be some way "in which I don't know how to receive." And by that line of thinking, becoming a "better receiver" means becoming better at putting up with stuff that you don't really like very much. So that's one fork in the road. The other fork in the road is, "What is it that I actually do want? "What is it that would be absolutely fabulous right now?" And this fork, that is the only one that actually leads to the accepting quadrant. This other fork of trying to figure out how to like something that's being done to you is not where we're going, and it's the automatic road that many people go on, sometimes all the time. That's not this. So the crux in this fork in the road is, "Who is this actually for?" And if I believe it's for me, to that degree, I will act like it's for me. I will take the time I need to decide what it is that I want. I will change my mind. I will give feedback about what it is that I do want. I'll ask for it clearly and with full responsibility for myself. I won't hint; I'll actually ask. It's not about what I'm willing to go along with. It's about what I actually want and what actually sounds and feels fabulous. That's the accepting quadrant. So this fork in the road between what I actually want and what I'm willing to go along with, it shows up in a number of ways. The first way it shows up is in words. Your partner is going to ask you how you want to be touched, and if, instead of considering what you want, you're considering what sounds okay, you're on the wrong road, and how it shows up in your words will be this. Your partner will say, "How do you want me to touch you?" And you'll say, "Well, you could do this," or "It's okay if you did this," or "I'm open to that," or "Whatever you want," or, "I'm fine with this," or "Such and such would be okay." All those words indicate that it's something that you're willing to go along with. When it's something that you want, you use these words instead. You say, "Will you please such and such?" Or you say, "I would love such and such. "Will you do that for me please?" And that request creates this quadrant. What's also true is that you mostly won't notice the words that you use. If you were in my studio, I would notice, but you're not likely to notice them, because that's just what you're used to. So part of what you get to learn in this practice is how to notice those things, and you will. So asking for what you want, it's no news that that's not always easy to do. And quite often, the hardest part of that is that you don't know what you want. There is no magic bullet for knowing for what you want. There is one way, however, to find that out, and that is simply to wait and give yourself some time. And three seconds can feel like an eternity. If you're in my studio, I make you wait 20 seconds at least, because I want to make sure that you don't feel rushed. Here's what happens. Inside of us somewhere, we know exactly what we want, but the road from that inner awareness, wherever it is, to bubble up to our language centers can be rusty and dusty and filled with fallen logs and just seems like it takes forever to that awareness to bubble up. I seen it take a few seconds, a few minutes. I've seen it take 45 minutes. It doesn't matter how long it takes. What matters is that you give it time. So you begin to notice what it is that you want, and I say "notice" instead of "know what you want," because you do know what you want, somewhere in there. The process is that you get to notice what that is. So you notice what you want, and you begin to trust it and value it, and then you learn how to communicate it. So in the accepting quadrant, this is what you get to practice, and it's quite wonderful. So taking the time to notice what you want, trusting it, valuing it, and communicate it, is part of a bigger process or principle that I describe as, "When you believe it's for you, you act like it's for you." I mentioned that a moment ago. When you believe it's for you, you take the time for that noticing to happen. You trust what you want, and you value what you want. You know that what you want matters. You choose based on that what you want instead of what you think your giver wants to give. So you stop trying to manage your giver's experience. You stop trying to protect your giver or entertain them. You let them have their experience. And when you believe it's for you, you change any time you want to change your mind, anytime you want to, you know, "I'd like this instead now. "Will you do this? "Deeper please, softer please, "slower please," whatever it is. That's part of the gift that you are being given. And finally, you settle in, let yourself enjoy it, and you let your body respond however it wants to. Again, you're not there to entertain your giver. And when you believe it's for you, you stop when you have enough. Why would we go on when it stops feeling good is beyond me, but we often do. That's the way it is. So in the accepting quadrant, you learn that it really is for you, and you act like it by doing those things. To the degree that you are not doing those things, then there's something in you that doesn't quite believe it's for you, or, doesn't really know how to have an experience that is for you, and that's actually very common. So that's another thing you get to learn in the accepting quadrant: "What's it like when it really is for me? "Do I even know how to do that?" And it's making the request that opens up that possibility. The biggest deterrent to not really understanding that it's for you is that mix-up that we talked about at the beginning, the feeling that, "If something's happening to me, "therefore, I'm supposed to like it." And as we said, that's backwards. So there is a trap in the giving or serving quadrant that your partner is in we talked about there, which is that they are trying to get some response that they wanna see, and of course, there's a corresponding trap in the accepting quadrant, which is you are trying to give them that response 'cause you know that they wanna see it. This is very easy to fall into. It can be conscious and chosen. This is the land of the faked orgasm. It can also be very subtle, just the way you breathe or move, and you'll get better and better at noticing that subtlety. Your antenna gets sharper. The problem here is that if they're trying to give you, supposedly give you something, and you are trying to give them a response that's not actually real for you, then there's nobody actually home to receive what they're offering. The flow is all mixed up, and it's not satisfying for anybody. It's kind of good for their ego, but it's not good for their heart. It's not good for your heart. It's pointless. So the vulnerability in the accepting quadrant. It's no news that this is a very vulnerable quadrant. It can bring up a lot of feelings of self doubt. In fact, it will bring up feelings of self doubt to the degree that you get close to your pleasure ceiling. It can feel vulnerable because you're in the done to half, and whatever you're in the done to role, so whatever tendency you have to go along with stuff that you don't want or to put up with stuff that you don't want, that can click in. It can feel vulnerable because you are the one asking for what you want, so your desire is now visible to your partner. That can feel vulnerable. You're now subject to disapproval or ridicule or disappointment. It can also feel vulnerable because your experience of pleasure is now visible and exposed, and to some degree, your body is also visible and exposed, and your experience of arousal and turn-on is also visible and exposed. So this can be a very vulnerable place to be. It can also be vulnerable and challenging in that it can challenge your idea of who you are as a generous lover, because here you are, just laying back and receiving. And what really happens here is that when you have asked for what you want and you are receiving it, you really get it that it's for you, it touches your heart. It elicits a feeling of gratitude, and when that feeling of gratitude is large enough, that will be tears. That is the nature of gratitude. So if you want to avoid all of that, then don't go in the accepting quadrant, and many people spend their entire lives avoiding this quadrant. So how to get comfortable here in the accepting quadrant and get really good at it so that really feeds you, and that is you start slow, you start small. You start with body areas that are not sexual, which is of course what the lessons do for you. For most people, to stretch out and have a two-hour full body cosmic orgasmic massage would be kind of frying their circuits. However, three minutes of getting a great back rub or three minutes of having your head scratched, those are pieces that are small enough to bite off that you can digest and thereby learn how to actually have it be for you, and then that expands over time. So having a great, big dramatic experience in which you're really struggling with it and don't quite get it that it's for you is not the point. It won't work. What does work is a smaller digestible experience in which you really do get it, that it's for you, and that is what changes your nervous system. So following your pleasure. We talked about this principle back in the beginning, but it's particularly potent here in this quadrant. That is the surprising tendency that we all seem to have that even though we know it's our turn, we turn it into work, or we turn it into trying to do the right thing for the other person. So following your pleasure shows up here in this quadrant, in these ways. Your partner asks you what you want, and you choose based on what actually sounds fabulous instead of what someone else thinks you should want or what some video says you should want. So you follow that pleasure. Second, it shows up when you're actually in the experience. Again, instead of trying to like something that doesn't feel that great, you go with what already feels great, and that changes your nervous system, engages different parts of your nervous system. Your blood chemistry changes, your whole body changes. That is then what leads you and takes you somewhere else. You don't get to that point by pushing yourself. You get to that point by following the pleasure of what already feels good and diving in there, and then it naturally expands. One way that I like to think of this is, if pleasure is a goddess in the woods, you don't tell her where she's supposed to go. You go to where she already is and you follow her. That is particularly true in this quadrant. And that also leads to the question then, of course of, "Well, what if something is kinda edgy for me? "What if I wanna try something that's kind of edgy for me?" What I tell people here is, "Listen for the pull, "not the push," and here's the difference. This is a push: "Oh gosh, I'm supposed to like that. "My partner wants me to like that. "The video tells me I should like that. "And so, I'm gonna try my best to like that. "I'm just gonna push through this barrier that I have, "'cause I guess I have a bad attitude." That's a push, not so useful. Here's a pull: "Ooh, that looks a little edgy for me. "It's kind of scary, but I really would like to try it. "That looks great." That's a pull, and again, it's a form of following the pleasure. Even though that might be a little edgy for you, it's still following the pleasure. So listen for the pull, not the push. So, gender. What does the accepting quadrant have to do with gender? And by now, you already know this: It has nothing to do with gender. What is true is that very often, not always, very often, men are uncomfortable here just because they're not used to it. It's also true, however, that in men's culture, it's pretty acceptable to go and pay for an erotic massage where you are in the accepting quadrant for an hour and a half, so it's not entirely unknown. This is also the quadrant of getting a great hand job. What often happens for women, and sometimes for men as well, it's just more common in women, is that most experiences of being done to feel like it's for somebody else. So it's very hard to actually experience what it feels like if it is for you. And so, you tend to sort of slide over into allowing and going along with. For many women, pretty much everything feels like allowing and putting up with, and finding out how to have it be for you can be a big revelation. And again, neither of those things are unique to males and females. It's just part of, some of those things are common based on our culture. So what is possible in the accepting quadrant? First of all, there are experiences possible here that are possible no other way. There's a degree of settling into your skin sensation and your inner experience that you just can't do when you're actively doing stuff. So that's of course a wonderful thing. And there's also a way that that leads to a sense of self-acceptance and self worthiness, again, that it is accessed no other way. It just really feeds something in your heart. That is true when the experience is not about sex at all, and it's also true when the experience is very erotic. They feed different parts of your heart. What you learn here in the accepting quadrant is that you learn to notice that there are in fact things that you want. You learn to notice them, to trust them, to value them, and to communicate them. You learn to put yourself first at the same time that you respect the limits of your giver. You learn to trust your experience of pleasure. You learn to trust your own feelings that come up and that you can navigate through those, that you'll be fine. You learn to bring your attention to your sensation and to the sensuality of it, and that you learn that that nourishes you in a way that nothing else can. You learn that what you want matters, and that you don't get to have it all the time, of course, but when it's your turn, you do get to have it. You learn what it's like to have it be 100% for you, and that changes everything. The experiences in the accepting quadrant can be a wide range of moods and modes. It can be very nourishing, cozy, comforting, reassuring. It can really meet that need of self-acceptance and comfort. It reminds you that you are worthy, that you are a good person, that you are a sensual person, and you don't need hours in order to access that. You can do that in three minutes. It's amazing, once you know that it's for you, how quickly it can sink in. So it can be that very comforting mode. It can also be playful and silly. It can be experimental and exploratory. "Well, what's this feel like? "What's that feel like? "Well, let's try this." It can also be, of course, very erotic, and it can be both erotic and comforting at the same time. So lots of different modes here, and of course, lots of different feelings that can come up with those, and it can be just a whale of a good time. And the "whale of a good time" may not actually seem like it's very profound, but it is neurologically and emotionally nourishing. The essence of the accepting quadrant is of course receiving the benefit of someone else's action, and that of course is an important skill to have in life, and it's not necessarily easy either. If this quadrant is difficult, it will show up in your love life as you always thinking that you have to be the one who's taking action. And of course, that's delightful sometimes, but not all the time. When this quadrant is difficult, it shows up in your life as it's hard for you to ask for favors. You feel guilty if anyone actually offers to help you. When this quadrant is difficult, essentially, you're lonely. This part of you is just starved. So I've learned that when I feel lonely, I ask myself, "What is it that I want to receive that I'm not asking for?" And there's usually something there. When it's easy and when you're good at it, you're able to combine those two pieces of respecting the other person's limits or respecting their no and knowing that your desires count. You're able to do both of those at the same time. So that means you can trust that there are things that you want and need, and you can ask for them with clarity and ease and with respect for the other person. And it's because of that knowing how to respect the other person's no that your heart is at ease in being able to ask for what you want. So getting good at receiving doesn't mean that you just take everything in sight. It actually means that you are very respectful about making your requests. There is a spiritual principle here in the accepting quadrant, which is noticing and acknowledging that we human beings need each other, and we need each other's help. In the accepting quadrant, you get to face-to-face with that and you get to find the pleasure and nourishment in that. There's some idea about spirituality which is that we should always be giving, giving, giving, and while it's valuable to encourage us not to be self-centered, it's also true that there is nothing spiritual about not being able to receive. As we learn to receive from each other in this very tangible sensory way, we also tap into our ability to receive gifts of a less tangible nature from God, from the universe, however you think of it, and the practice of gratitude is a spiritual practice all its own. In some spiritual paths, this is the experience of grace where we receive, but not because we deserve it. We receive simply because we are loved. Like all quadrants, this quadrant has a shadow as well, a selfishness, a disregard, laziness, sense of entitlement. So that's the accepting quadrant, the intersection of being done to and of receiving a gift. Very rich, very fun, often challenging, but it's a lifetime worth of exploring there. Hope you enjoy playing with it. - Hi, my name is Betty Martin, and this is a little video about how to play the 3-Minute Game which I think is probably one of my favorite things in the whole world. I have a body of work that's been developed around this for many years, and you can see more about that elsewhere but it was originally not invented by me, it was invented by a man named Harry Faddis who was at that time 20 years ago, teaching workshops with the Body Electric School. So that's where it came from. So here is a 3-minute game, extremely simple, it is for two or more people and it consists of two questions and you take turns asking each other these two questions. The two questions are how do you want me to touch you for three minutes? The other question is how do you want to touch me for three minutes? That's it, that's the 3-minute game. So what it looks like is this, I'm gonna ask my partner how would you like me to touch you for three minutes? And then they're going to ponder, hmm, what is it that I do want? What sounds really great right now? And they asked for that, gee, would you scratch my head and can I put my head in your lap to do that? And then I have heard their question, I'm gonna ponder, Hmm, is that something that I can give with a full heart? And if it is, yeah, absolutely. And if there's some, well let's see, I'd be happy to scratch your head but I'm not comfortable with your head in my lap so let's think of some other way to do that. So you have a little conversation about what works for both of you. So that's the one question. Most people can't make sense of the first question, it can be a little awkward because most of us have never really had anybody ask us how we want to be touched. And sometimes it feels like, Oh gosh, I have no idea or it can be a little awkward, sometimes it's a big relief, well, thank God somebody finally asked. So the responses vary but at least with the first question, most people understand what it means how would you like me to touch you? The second question, how do you want to touch me, can be a little, what? Most of us definitely have not been asked that question. And it's kind of a reverse of what most people think of as sort of the normal or right way to touch. When my partner asks me, how do you want to touch me, what they're asking is what is it that I want, what sounds really great to me? Where do my hands kinda wanna go? What sounds nourishing or fun or interesting to me? And so I'm going to ask for that and this one also may take a little time to figure out what is he talking about? Or, you know, what is it that I do want? I don't know, I've never had an opportunity just to touch somebody the way I wanted. So it can be worth taking a moment to really know this. How do I want to touch this person? Well, maybe I would like to play with there legs or maybe I want to play with their hair, or maybe I'd like to sniff the back of their neck or maybe I'd like to kind of wrap up and hold them or maybe I'd like to hold their hand or explore their hand or play with their hand. So it's really about what is it that I want to do to this person? So I ask, you know, I would like to play with your hands and arms and just explore your hands, is that okay with you? Now I'm asking permission and they're gonna ponder, hmm, is that a gift that I can give a full heart? Yeah, I'd be glad for you to do that, help yourself, or maybe there's a limit, oh yeah, I'm okay with giving you my arm but only up to my elbow, okay. So and once I set a limit, I'm gonna be pretty generous with what is within my limit. And then again, we go ahead and do that we set the timer. So that's the two different questions. How do you want me to touch you for three minutes? How do you want to touch me for three minutes? And by the time you each take turns, you've played them back and forth, you'll notice that each of those questions sets up a very different dynamic. When I'm touching you the way you want, that's the dynamic in which I'm giving you a gift. When I touch you the way I want, that's a very different dynamic and in fact, you're giving me a gift, you're giving me access to you. So two very different dynamics and that's worth a lifetime of exploring right there, that's on different page on the website but that's the three minute game. What can be helpful in starting to learn it is to know that it's not necessarily a sexy activity. Most people learn the game in a workshop or a class or in sessions with me fully clothed, with people they don't know so it's not necessarily a sexy game, in fact, you'll learn more and gain more out of it even or especially if you are sexual partners, to start playing in ways that are not particularly sexy. Start with short turns, start with things three minutes, five minutes, start with body areas and kinds of touch that are not particularly charged or intense for you, that's start where it's easy so you'll get comfortable with how it works and you'll regain confidence gradually in that. Oh you know what? Asking for what I want actually works. And when you start to understand that and feel that in your body, then you'll discover that, Oh, there's all kinds of things that I might want to ask for that I never even thought of before now. So yeah, start with short turns, start with body areas and kinds of touch that are not particularly charged. Start with what is easy first. So a PS on this, is that the way I've given you the 3-minute game, how do you want me to touch you and how do you want to touch me, is one version. There's actually another version which is kind of a broader question. And this was the original version, which is what do you want me to do to you? And what do you want to do to me? Kind of a broader question that's also fun to play with, you can play with it either way. So that's the 3-minute game, two questions, take turns asking each other, those two questions. And not wanna give you a few clips of what it looks like when people are playing. - What do you want me to do to you for three minutes? - How do you want me to touch you for three minutes? - How do you want me to touch you with three minutes? - How you want me to touch you for the next three minutes? - How would you like me to touch you for three minutes? - How do you want me to touch you? - How would you like me to touch you for three minutes? - Would you stroke my hair like this? - Would you kiss my neck? - Could you try to steal my T-shirt? - I would like you to scratch my back with me lying here. - I don't want to be touched right now. (speaking in foreign language) - Will you put your hand on my navel and shower it with love? - Squeeze my shoulders pretty firmly and soft, slow, will you do that? - Would you spank me? - I would love it if you would be cuddling me, and just laying my head in your bosom and just holding me. - Okay. - Well, especially up here, I would like it a bit firm but then on the rest of the back, kind of loose. - Soft fingertips on my arm slowly, slowly. - Massage my skull firmly and strong. - Then I'd love to lay down and I want you to have you press with heavy weight on my back. - On you back, just up and down on your back? - Along the spine. - Along the spine, - Will you massage my feet? - Could I lie down and have you do some kind of percussive slapping with the heel of your hand on my sacrum? - I would like you to stroke the insides of my tuck thighs like this, can you do that? - I'd be happy to. - Yeah, do you want your shirt on or off? - Kind of with your thumb like this. - Yeah I can do that. (laughing) - Can you do it a little bit harder, please? This is excellent. - Okay - And I like it slower. - Quite little bit slower. - You can do it with more pressure. - Can you do it a little bit lower, please. - Okay? Yes, that's fine. - I like to have my big toe pulled. - Big toe pulled, like that? - Could you do it just a little harder? - Okay, is this good? - That's better, Oh, that's excellent. (moaning) - Yeah, just like that. (moaning) - Thank you. - You are welcome. - oh, thank you. - You're welcome. - Thank you. - You are welcome. - Thank you. - You're welcome. - Huh, that was fun (laughing). - How would you like to talk to me for three minutes? - Oh, what do you want to do to me for three minutes. - And how do you want to touch me for three minutes? (speaking in foreign language) - So how do you wanna touch me for three minutes? - How do you want to touch me for three minutes? - I would love to explore the skin here from your throat down to your cleavage. - May I touch your face? - Can I lick your ears? - May I explore your hands? - Ears, the hair around the ears and the ears. - May I hold your hand and play with your fingers? - I'm lying on my back, you're lying on your tummy on me and I'm playing with your face. - Okay, I can do that. - I would like to be your leg, maybe squeeze it a little bit then explore, can I do that? - I would like to put your head in my lap and play with your hair, explore your face a little bit. Is that okay with you? - May I do that? - Yes, as long as you don't pull very hard. - Yeah, that seems good. - I would like to spank your bottom. - Okay but with the jeans on. - So please, please don't pull my hair. - Like this? - oh, that's perfect. - So, let me know if know if it's too harsh. - I will. (spanking) - Thank you. - You're welcome. - Thank you. - You're welcome. - Thank you. - Thank you. - Welcome. - Thank you. - You're welcome. - Thank you. - Thank you. - You're welcome (laughing).

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