What a wonderful image I hold in my mind after teaching my day workshop, The Sweet Spot: How to Give and Get the Touch You Want. I looked over a room of 22 folks, soft with pleasure, their bodies draped over backjacks chairs, their faces peaceful and content. We had found such simple and satisfying ways to express desires and be touched. One student said, “Gee, that was the funnest time I ever had keeping my clothes on!”
We’d just spent the day finding out what we wanted on our body as well as what we wanted to do to someone else’s body–all with clear consent, of course! In the 3 Minute Game we experimented for 4 different types of touch scenarios, each with their own challenges and rewards. Some times we worked in duos and other times trios. Gender of one’s partner wasn’t important to mastering the skill.
We slowed down by using one directional touching, “for you” or “for me,” and learned why that’s so important. Watching a room full of deeply engaged, focused givers and receivers is a privilege I never take lightly. In the final circle of the day, students could barely talk–ha!– all for trying to engage the Left brain when you’re steeped in the Right. I looked over a Sea of Well-touched People, and believe it’s the foundation to World Peace.
The whole room was swimming in an endorphin/ serotonin stew. Blood chemistry changes–it’s a fact! And you could see the proof. We sat in “ec-stasy”–or ex-status–which means out of status (or out of status quo.) In this altered state, it’s tricky for a teacher to get students to speak about their experiences–but what came out was truly profound, “I really loved touching her for my pleasure, it was amazing.” “I’ve never asked for things for me.” “I felt wanted and I didn’t even have to do anything.”
We did end up brainstorming questions like, “Why is it hard to ask for what we want?” What do we do instead?” “Do we say yes when we mean no, and no when we mean yes?” “What lengths do we go to try to have someone guess what we want?” And, “What is vulnerability?” “What is intimacy?” Students found new and enjoyable ways to touch; they used clear communication and expressed themselves authentically. They will take that home with them.
I left students with these closing words: “Notice what you want—it is different that what you are ‘willing to give or allow’. Notice what you want…value it, trust it, communicate it. Your desires are your highest intelligence; they will steer you into a life of wonder. Choosing what you want on your body is a Spiritual Act. It is more important that any fancy things we do to each other. The act of ‘choosing’ is more important than the act of “doing.” Deciding what happens on your body is the heart of self-responsibility and the soul of erotic empowerment.”
Charla Hathaway, Intimacy educator