The four types of consensual touch based on The Wheel of Consent model:
The use of touch can be a powerful way to learn to notice what we want, and be in consensual agreement. Touch is an innate human need, and a way to give and receive at the most fundamental level. We have all received touch we did not agree to or want, starting when we were very young. We have probably not only allowed touch we don’t want, we have learnt to adapt to it; overriding our feelings to make it seem OK. This can set up a pattern of numbing, not knowing what we want or cause feelings such as resentment.
In The Wheel of Consent there is an invitation to notice what touch we may want, or may not want and to know the difference. Clarifying the different dynamics which can occur when we give or receive touch is fundamental.
Within The Wheel of Consent we distinguish difference between the “action” of who is doing touch, and the “gift” of who it is for…
I am doing the touch and it’s for you.
I am having the touch done to me and it’s for me.
I am doing the touch and its for me.
I am having the touch done to me and it’s for you.
A note here: The Wheel of Consent is not a “touch practice” as that would imply everyone was expected to touch. The main point of learning is not the touch, but the choice associated with it. That is usually where the work is; discovering what we do and don’t want, and communicating such. No one ever does anything they don’t want to do. It’s the noticing and the closing that’s important.