Consent for Students
Student consent workshops typically focus on the important issue of how and why consent can go wrong. At the Art of Consent, we take a different and complementary approach: teaching the best consent skills available so we can get consent right - bringing more clarity, authenticity and pleasure to all areas of life, and particularly to shared touch and intimacy.
This workshop is probably for you if:
You have ever said ‘yes’ to touch you wanted to say ‘no’ to because you didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings
You have ever experienced touch that you didn’t like but pretended you did
You haven’t asked for some touch you really wanted, because you felt anxious about being judged for it, or hearing a no
You’ve agreed to have sex with someone, when what you really wanted was a cuddle
You’d like more sex and intimacy in your life, but don’t know how to go about it
You’d like to feel more at ease sharing simple non-sexual touch with friends
You’ve experienced difficulty expressing your boundaries or desires due to a power or privilege imbalance between you and another person
Art of Consent workshops are for people of all genders, orientations and relationship status. Our workshops expand on section 6 within the Oxford Student Union Sexual Consent workshop, namely: ‘How can you communicate and check consent?’ for which just five minutes is typically allocated. Instead we give space over two or three hours to develop our consent skills much more deeply, using a practice called the Wheel of Consent.
The Wheel of Consent goes beyond the idea of consent as simply ‘permission’, instead understanding it as four different types of agreement we can make, and it provides a clear language to help us clarify and communicate each of them. It is also an embodied practice, helping us down-regulate the nervous system and notice our feelings and responses to shared touch, in recognition that emotional triggers, trauma responses and cultural conditioning can all impair our capacity to make informed and authentic consent agreements.
The workshops centre around invitations into experiential exercises, with space for sharing and reflecting, and a small amount of theory. Handouts will be provided. We may also include an invitation for participants to share some simple touch, limited solely to hand-to-hand contact, in order to have an embodied experience of each of the Wheel’s four consent dynamics. Shared touch is never a requirement or expectation of attendance, and alternatives to shared touch are always offered. Participants are supported to be in fully informed choice throughout the workshop.
Contact us to discuss running a workshop at your university or institution.
Upcoming dates for this workshop:
NB - All our 'in person' workshops have been postponed in response to the coronavirus crisis. We have booked provisional dates with venues in June, September and October, which will be confirmed or otherwise nearer the time. If you sign up to our newsletter we will keep you posted.
In the meantime, we are now offering an online workshop: 'Consent and the Nervous System - Self-Care and Community Resilience in the age of COVID-10'. See details here.
Contact us if you would like to be kept up to date with our forthcoming workshops.
Our workshops cover a wide range of material and can be presented in a variety of formats. Contact us to join our mailing list and we'll keep you informed of all the events we're running.
Alternatively, we can present a workshop at your event or organisation. We'll teach you to get really good at consent, so life can become richer, more authentic and more enjoyable for everyone.
What is the Wheel of Consent?
Dr. Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent is a cutting edge model of consent based on, but not requiring, exchanges of touch. It distinguishes between the ‘doing’ aspect of an interaction - who is doing; and the ‘gift’ aspect - who it is for. This creates four dynamics or quadrants of experience, which occur all the time in human relating, and are of particular importance when we interact physically.
The Wheel is also an embodied practice, which uses breath and awareness to bring us into a deeper noticing of our feelings and our bodily impulses.
Our workshops last anything from 1 hour to 3 days. Please contact us to find out more