Let’s Look at Both Sides of Consent, from the Light and the Shadow:  What is it Really?

I’m going to discuss the different aspects of consent from 4 different perspectives coming from what’s known as authentic consent, or consent in the light.  As well as talk about the 4 different aspects of the shadow side of consent.  This information is taken from Dr Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent, www.bettymartin.org which I’ve been taught as a Somatic Sexological Body Worker and use in my practice.

The Shadow Side of Consent…


When you are in the shadow and coming from the place of “doing” you are in fact giving from a place of control, cohersion, entrapment, bullying and martyr slavery.

When They Are Doing Touch

When in a place of they are “doing” to you, its allowing the behaviour and will bring feelings of abuse and being violated, which can allow you to become the victim.

When they are coming from the “doing” mentality it’s for their own gratification, it’s about being lecherous, getting a feel, groping, molesting, leering, abuse and rape.

When in a place of “doing” to you it’s about receiving their behaviour of being manipulative, selfish and cohersive.  In other words it’s all about them.

No person should ever experience the shadow side of consent, however it is prevalent in society.  The #metoo campaign which I also wrote my about my experience is paving the way for change.

So how do we bring about change for ourselves?…


When one person thinks they are giving and the other person thinks they are allowing, then no-one is actually receiving.  We are tolerating it and it’s on the edge of consent and we think about it…how often are we doing this time and time again.

In part 3 of this blog series of 5 we look at boundaries.  How can we recognise what they are for ourselves and some fun games to practice it.