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What can we as bodyworkers can learn about intimacy, ethics, consent, touch, and boundaries, from people working on the other side of the no-sex "firewall" that (appropriately) separates our profession from erotic and sex work? Betty Martin is a leading author, thinker, and trainer in the field of consent and touch; listen in as she and Til talk it through.

NEW: Watch the video of their conversation and the full transcript!

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About Whitney Lowe  |  About Til Luchau  |  Email Us: info@thethinkingpractitioner.com

(The Thinking Practitioner Podcast is intended for professional practitioners of manual and movement therapies: bodywork, massage therapy, structural integration, chiropractic, myofascial and myotherapy, orthopedic, sports massage, physical therapy, osteopathy, yoga, strength and conditioning, and similar professions. It is not medical or treatment advice.)

Full Transcript (click me!)

The Thinking Practitioner Podcast:
Episode 80: What We Can Learn From Sex (with Betty Martin) 

Whitney Lowe:
Welcome to The Thinking Practitioner Podcast.

Til Luchau:
A podcast where we dig into the fascinating issues, conditions, and quandaries in the massage and manual therapy world today.

Whitney Lowe:
I'm Whitney Lowe.

Til Luchau:
And I'm Til Luchau. Welcome to The Thinking Practitioner.

Whitney Lowe:
Welcome to The Thinking Practitioner.

Til Luchau:
Hi, Til Luchau here. Whitney will be back with us next episode. When I was looking for a publisher for a book I wanted to write, I was fortunate to have ended up with two offers. One from a large international media conglomerate and the other from Handspring, which at that time was just a small publisher run by four people with a love of great books and a love of our field. To this day, I'm glad I chose to go with Handspring as not only did they help me make the books I wanted to share, The Advanced Myofascial Technique Series, but their catalog has emerged as one of the leading collections of professional level books written, especially for bodyworkers, movement teachers, and all professionals who use movement or touch to help patients achieve wellness.
Handspring has joined with Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Integrative Health, Singing Drag, and Imprint. So, head on over to their website at handspringpublishing.com to check their list of titles and be sure to use the code TTP like The Thinking Practitioner at checkout for a discount. Thanks, Handspring.
Sex is an edgy topic and may be particularly difficult to...

Betty Martin:
We're just going to jump right in.

Til Luchau:
We're going to go for it. ...May be particularly difficult to talk about in our field, maybe because there are such very good reasons to have crystal clear boundaries around sex and bodywork; but maybe also because as a profession, some of us think, might be reacting to the cultural confusion between touch and sex, by simply eliminating sex from our discussions and our thinking. That makes it hard to talk about if we eliminate it. Some of us are starting to talk more openly about what we lose by leaving that out. Maybe we're thinking we've thrown some babies out with the bathwater. Maybe there's a certain amount of ownership we could be doing intimacy as one of our work's superpowers. And maybe there are things we could learn from writers, thinkers, and professionals who are working openly and clearly in the realm of sexuality.
Betty Martin, you are one of those people. You are the originator of the Wheel of Consent model, which has been enormously influential in sex education, sex therapy, and many other fields. Welcome, Betty.

Betty Martin:
Thank you. Thank you.

Til Luchau:
I want to hear from you in a second about a lot of things about your bio, from your book, the Art of Receiving and Giving, say "Why would most people endure unwanted or unsatisfying touch rather than speak up for their own boundaries and desires? It's a question of a myriad of answers, and one that Dr. Betty Martin has explored in her 40+ years as a hands on practitioner, first as a chiropractor, and later as a Somatic Sex Educator, Certified Surrogate Partner, and Sacred Intimate." So, Betty, I'm so honored and pleased to have you here. I want to talk about that question. Why would people endure unwanted or unsatisfying touch, especially how can we work with that as bodyworkers? But maybe you could tell us a bit more about yourself and your work and your interests and that thing.

Betty Martin:
Sure. Yeah, that is a great question about why we do that. I would love to come back there and I'm going to start as you suggested with a little bit about my work. As you heard there, I was a chiropractor for 30 years. So, I had my hands on a lot of people and just loved that work. I just loved it. In my mid-40s after a divorce, when I was still working as a chiropractor, I took a workshop in sexuality. This one was for women and it was with the organization called The Body Electric School, who's still around. It was very physical, very hands on. It was two or three days. It just completely rocked my world as far as how I saw myself and experienced myself as an erotic being, which was that I pretty much had no clue before the workshop.
I met with a group of friends who had also taken that workshop and a couple more. We explored regularly for a couple years. When I tell people about exploring sexuality, they immediately think often, "Oh, it means you're having a lot of sex." Actually, that's not true if you define sex as intercourse, but we were exploring with movement and breath and sound and touch and things that can awaken your understanding and develop your understanding of yourself that are not about hooking up with each other. That's often a difficult idea to get to, but I think what it has in common with bodywork is that if I'm getting bodywork from you and I'm on your table, it's not about the connection between you and me. It's about what you're doing to me and it's about my experience.
Whether it's pleasant or relaxing or challenging or we're working in a more therapeutic mode, it's about my experience. It's not about some connection between you and me. It was similar in these erotic explorations that we did massages on each other and all kinds of stuff. It wasn't about the hookup. It was about, "Oh, what is my body capable of? What does it feel like to be this turned on and not do anything with it? What does it feel like to have all these tears and fears and joys and bliss come up?" So, it was a lot of that exploring. After a few years of that, I realized that I was interested in offering that to other people, some of those opportunities.
So, I closed my chiropractic practice in a small town near Seattle and moved into Seattle and opened up a new studio and calling myself a Sacred Intimate and a sex coach and working experientially with people to help them, number one, learn how to be comfortable in their skin, which is really hard for a lot of people. Number two, how to notice their desires, what they wanted and communicate them. I was working with touch because I'm good at touch and I'm very comfortable there. So, asking people, for example, we're completely clothed, "How would you like me to touch you right now for just a few minutes as they get acquainted to touch?" They've no idea.
Many people would say, "Oh, I don't know. I'm always the giver," or "I don't know. No one's ever asked me that," or "Well, you're the expert, you should know what to do," or "I don't know, just do something." So, this happened enough times that I begin to wonder, "Why is it so hard for people to notice the simplest thing of how they might like to be touched for a few minutes?" It was really obvious to me. Oh, I want my head scratched, or I want my hand massaged, or I want my feet rubbed, or I want to be held, or I want to stretch my arm this way. Those answers were quite obvious to me, but they weren't for most people. And then what would happen, so then I would have to coach them and support them in finding something that they wanted.
So, okay, will you scratch my head. So, I'm scratching their head. They still acted and spoke as if it was for me. I was doing something for them, but they felt like they had to go along with something or they couldn't change their mind or they couldn't stop when they were done or they would say things like, "Well, the first minute was great, but the next two minutes, I was wondering if it was okay to say stop." So their actions betrayed the fact that they felt like it wasn't really for them. Or that the action was more important than how they felt about it. So, they would make themselves go along with something that wasn't pleasant, which just seems really strange to me. I thought, "Why?" Of course, I do it too.
Why do we humans do that? So, this gets to your question of why we humans do that. I started thinking, "Well, every one of us is touched against our will in ways that we don't want and we don't like and we are powerless to stop. It happens before you can talk. Universal." You can't get through your first couple years of life without being touched in ways that you don't want. It's not just people who have suffered abuse. It's everybody. Even if you had the best parents in the world, you got your diapers changed, you got your teeth brushed, you got picked up out of oncoming traffic.

Til Luchau:
Put in your car seat, whatever it was.

Betty Martin:
Put in your car seat. Oh, my God. So, we learn how to go along with stuff that we don't like. It is a skill you possess and I possess. To some degree we learned that this thing that's happening is more important than my ability to say no or stop. So, we just go along and go along and go along. This feels normal. This is what touch is to many people. I found this in my work with sexuality too, was that people didn't know that they had a choice. When they would find out, "Oh, I have a choice," oh, my gosh, I didn't know that or like I said, going along with something that they don't really want or not really excited about. I think that's where it comes from.

Til Luchau:
A lot of us recognize those examples even in a different context. It sounds like your context there in Seattle was a very open one, where it's about you being comfortable in your body and there's a lot of things that are possible. Even in the context of a straight ahead bodywork sessions.

Betty Martin:
Absolutely.

Til Luchau:
I recognize all of those responses, all of those questions that come up.

Betty Martin:
I've been on the massage table. When I am paying for somebody for a massage, it's for relaxation and enjoyment. They do something I don't like, and I just keep going. As far as I can tell, we all do that.

Til Luchau:
It's a real art and skill to be able to create the context, create the mood, whatever where clients feel okay about speaking up-

Betty Martin:
Absolutely.

Til Luchau:
... and are invited to.

Betty Martin:
Absolutely.

Til Luchau:
There's a lot, like you say, working against it in our history-

Betty Martin:
Absolutely.

Til Luchau:
... in the context we're in and the culture.

Betty Martin:
And then there's the "Well, you're the expert, so I'm here to do what you think is right," which is appropriate in some situations. If I'm going to a surgeon, I'm not going to tell them what to do. They're supposed to know. The same with many types of bodywork. The modality that I was using in my colleagues, the modality isn't the cool stuff that I do to your body. The modality is pleasure. The healing element is the experience of pleasure. So, that it's a whole different approach. That's the difference between the bodywork that most of your folks are doing and working with pleasure, because the experience of pleasure neurologically and chemically in the body changes you. It changes the way you think. It changes your perspective. It engages the pleasure centers of the brain, and it heals.

Til Luchau:
Yeah. Pleasure itself is healing.

Betty Martin:
Pleasure itself is healing.

Til Luchau:
On the emotional level, but you're talking about on the physiological level and the neurological level, all those levels.

Betty Martin:
Absolutely. Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Til Luchau:
In your role, in your profession, you're taking a stand for that. You're saying, "That's what we do."

Betty Martin:
Yes. That's what we do. Yeah.

Til Luchau:
Yeah. I think most of us on this side of that line would say, "Yeah, we recognize that that's important too. Of course, that's a big part of what we do," but it is a little complicated to stand for in the same way. I think there's more-

Betty Martin:
Oh, yes, absolutely. I mean, thinking back to my chiropractic days, that's not someplace I would or could go or was interested in going or no. It's a whole different thing. It's a whole different thing. It's important too. It's very important. Yeah. Yeah.

Til Luchau:
I'm thinking about my early training as a Rolfer, where it wasn't supposed to feel bad, but the way it felt was not my primary concern. In the straight ahead view.

Betty Martin:
Exactly.

Til Luchau:
The clients presenting symptoms were also not my primary concern, nor what they requested or what they wanted. I had a pretty clear model of what I was going to do.

Betty Martin:
Yeah. That's an important way to work. I mean, if I'm coming to you for Rolfing, that's what I'm paying you for to see those things.

Til Luchau:
That's the contract thing. Okay, a good point. Yet, I mean, my early training was in other kinds of work, that felt really good. I was there at the Esalen Institute on staff, so it was all about the senses and awakening, the full range of experience and awareness. So, then when I went to the Rolf Institute to train, I'm like-

Betty Martin:
Maybe we met.

Til Luchau:
Yeah. Oh, my God. It's like these people don't know a thing about touch from my point of view, from that point of view of this needs to at least feel decent. Really, it became my personal mission. I went eventually got hired there and taught there for 20 years with that mission being we can do this work and not have it feel so bad to do that.

Betty Martin:
Yeah. Good for you.

Til Luchau:
Well, I mean, there's so many questions about your work and this context we're talking about. You've talked about the relationship between pleasure and healing. What about the difference between intimacy and sex or how you define sex or how we sort that out if we need to?

Betty Martin:
Well, sex, most people think of it as intercourse or at least something involving an orifice or other and involving the genitals. That's a decent definition, but it's a little short of what actually happens and what's actually possible. It's possible to have sex without touching genitals. It's possible to have sex without being in the same room. So, I think of sex as the presence of your arousal and you're choosing to act on it. If it involves someone else, which it doesn't always, if it involves someone else, they are also choosing to act on their arousal.

Til Luchau:
Interesting. So, the presence of my arousal, my decision to act on it, if you involve somebody else, the same on their side.

Betty Martin:
Yeah. And then intercourse might be an option, but you might also dance and sing and read sexy stories and make out and give each other erotic foot rubs. I mean, all kinds of things can happen.

Til Luchau:
That's all sex.

Betty Martin:
I consider that all sex. I realize legally that's not how sex is defined. I realize that, but I'm in the business of helping people learn how to enjoy themselves more. So, it's a broader definition.

Til Luchau:
Nice.

Betty Martin:
Legally, of course, it's a different story. So, sex and that meaning, I mean, it's implied that you're both enjoying it and there's something for you there, but it's primarily a physical and mental activity. Intimacy, I think of as being close to someone in a way that you reveal yourself. I am intimate with my bookkeeper financially, but not sexually. I'm intimate with my lover sexually, but not financially. I may be intimate emotionally with my best friend, but not financially or sexually. So, intimacy is one of those words that is often a euphemism for sex, but it's a different thing. You can have sex that is not at all intimate. Okay. You can have intimacy that is not sexy. Lots of people have sex that's not intimate.

Til Luchau:
What about physical intimacy?

Betty Martin:
Well, I think, yeah, you could be physically intimate. I mean, in a way, I'm physically intimate with my physician because he knows my body, but I'm not sexually intimate.

Til Luchau:
So, it's that revealing aspect.

Betty Martin:
I think of it as if we're intimate, I can see parts of you that you don't show to other people and vice versa. So, we can be emotionally intimate without being sexually intimate. And we can be physically intimate without being sexually intimate.

Til Luchau:
Okay. That's what I'm trying to tease apart.

Betty Martin:
Yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of people conflate those two. It's unfortunate because different people have different experiences emotionally with the same activity. I may meet with my lover and we make out and mess around and have a great time. I feel, "Oh, my God, so intimate." My lover's like, "Yeah, that was fun. Whatever." Or vice versa. It doesn't mean that one of those is wrong. It's because we are two human beings and we have different experiences. We have different inner experiences. I think it's helpful to recognize that we are different human beings.

Til Luchau:
We're different human beings, and we're in different roles. In the context of this podcast and the work people do here, there is, I think, an enormous amount of intimacy.

Betty Martin:
Yes.

Til Luchau:
On the client side, on both sides really. It's within that context, within that realm.

Betty Martin:
My bodyworker's going to see sides of me that other people don't. I mean quite literally, probably.

Til Luchau:
Right. And then in that intimacy and I'm just thinking of the sacred term you used, there's a reverence or certainly a respectfulness and an understanding of the vulnerability there, but also a specialness and an elevation and a meaning aspect that we can bring.

Betty Martin:
Yeah. Yeah. Of course, you're all drunk on oxytocin.

Til Luchau:
Altered state, above the legal limits.

Betty Martin:
You're in an altered state because you've been on the table for an hour. Oh, yeah. Or you've been focusing on your client's experience and you get in the zone. Of course, you do. Thank goodness.

Til Luchau:
Right. Okay. So, here's a question I'm trying to formulate. What are the vulnerabilities you see us, bodyworkers, having by virtue of our role or the position we're in? How do we get set up for confusion?

Betty Martin:
Yeah, that's a good one. Well, I think a couple of ways. One is that for most people, touch and sex are conflated. So, any time touch is anywhere in the room, my mind goes to, "Okay, sex is also in the room." It's really important to de-conflate those because they're not the same. Absolutely. But for many people, as soon as touch is about to happen, they get a little aroused, which is fine because you get over it. So, I think there's that confusion for people, clients mostly.
So, that they have a wonderful experience on your table and then they think they're in love with you. That happens. I'm guilty of that. I think another part of it is the natural power imbalance. Anytime you're seeing a practitioner, whether it's a physician or a teacher or a professor or a bodyworker, you're going to hold him up to a certain-

Til Luchau:
Pedestal-like stature.

Betty Martin:
... pedestal or something. It's also the fact that if I'm on the table, you do have certain power over me, just in the very tangible, physical way.

Til Luchau:
The physical modeling of the situation. Yes.

Betty Martin:
So, there's the power imbalance that is inherent. There's also the power imbalance that is all in my head as the client. They make a potent combination. So, if you as a practitioner, if you have any degree of questioning your boundaries or you think, "I'm cute," any little chink in the armor, I'm going to jump right in. So, that is a risk of this work. I imagine all of your practitioners are well aware of that. I imagine they've all been schooled in don't go there. Of course.

Til Luchau:
Hopefully. Yeah.

Betty Martin:
It's very important that you don't go there because the client is extremely vulnerable in multiple ways.

Til Luchau:
Yeah. So, that's describing the state that happens for the client of looking up physically in the room, relationship and seeing our wonderfulness because of the context. And then from the practitioner side, there's the trap of believing it or not just necessarily believing it, but of just believing only that maybe. Saying, "Okay, so yeah, maybe I am pretty great," or whatever.

Betty Martin:
Look at this cool stuff I'm doing to you, right. Aren't I cool?

Til Luchau:
That's right. Look how good you feel afterwards.

Betty Martin:
I imagine most of us have been there.

Til Luchau:
Right.

Betty Martin:
Yeah. Unfortunately, to some degree, well it's not unfortunate, our work is largely very pleasant. We enjoy our work. We love our work. So, it makes it easy to draw some satisfaction from our work. I hope your work is satisfying. Absolutely. It's easy to eroticize that satisfaction a little bit. Hopefully, we don't do it. Hopefully, if it does happen, it's extremely rare, but it is easy. Particularly, if our own personal, sensual, and erotic life is not satisfactory. So, if you have a partner, hopefully, you're having a wonderful time with your partner. If you don't have a partner or even if you do, at least get a relaxation massage regularly so that your tank is full.
So, that you don't need your clients in order to fill up your tank of worthiness, of sensuality, of I'm a good person. I deserve to live on the planet at this time. All those meanings that we draw from our work, and I can relate to this. I imagine many of your people can relate to this. If you don't work for a while, your hands get hungry. You are like, "Oh, I just want to get my hands on somebody, because it's just so satisfying and it feels so good and it's connecting." If you don't have a source of sensual enjoyment and physical enjoyment, not necessarily sexual, but just physical and sensual enjoyment, it's going to be very easy to drink that in with your clients. That doesn't work.

Til Luchau:
That's great. So, we have professional continuing education requirements. It would be the wrong thing to do, but it makes me think we also need pleasure requirements.

Betty Martin:
Yes. Right. Yes.

Til Luchau:
How many hours of pleasure have you managed to accomplish this year?

Betty Martin:
Pleasure that's all about you. I mean, it's great that you're having a good time with your sweetie, and you need pleasure and enjoyment that is only for you. I learned this when I was in my chiropractic days. If I didn't get a massage every week or two, I was ragged emotionally, just ragged. It had nothing to do with sex. I needed an opportunity to be tended to and cared for the way I was caring for other people. Of course, we need that. If it's physical and sensory, all the better.

Til Luchau:
That really resonates with me and for sure get our intimacy needs met, but also, your Wheel of Consent model lays it out in a very clear way that I saw this and I go, "Oh, I am living in this part of the wheel, the part that is touching for someone else's benefit." There's lots of pleasure and benefit I get from that, but I wasn't moving around the wheel very much. I'm still trying to figure that out. But it's so easy as a caregiver, as a helper to be getting all of our satisfaction from that giving act.

Betty Martin:
Yeah, it's not the same. It's not the same. I mean, it's great that it's satisfying. That's one of the joys of this work. In my chiropractic days and later in my Sacred Intimate days, it is very satisfying work. It's great. It's not the same. Get on the table.

Til Luchau:
As an ethical act.

Betty Martin:
As an ethical act, get on the table and put it in your calendar so that it happens regularly so that you don't have to figure it out and make an appointment that's different all the time.

Til Luchau:
Nice.

Betty Martin:
Every Tuesday at 2:00, I am on the table.

Til Luchau:
So in your training, which in full disclosure, I just finished, I'm so impressed with your-

Betty Martin:
Thank you. It was great to have you in the class.

Til Luchau:
... Like a Pro training. In your training, you really emphasize the importance of the hands and how they in some ways are the door or doorway or they're opening a first step. Can you say something about that?

Betty Martin:
Yeah. So, the wheel of consent is about distinguishing between who's doing and who it's for. So, if I'm touching you, I can touch you for you or I can touch you for my own enjoyment with your permission of course and within whatever boundaries you have set. So, I can give you a massage or I can feel you up, very different experiences and it's important to notice the difference. So, when I was working with clients starting to play with this, I noticed it's very difficult for most people to touch someone else for their own pleasure. For some people, it took some fiddling around and trying it out. For some people, it's just impossible.

Til Luchau:
For me, for example, I realized that I had so found a way to take that out of my touch, at least energetically from my side, that it was completely uncomfortable and threatening.

Betty Martin:
Yeah, it's very common with bodyworkers and I work mostly with bodyworkers. It's very common for bodyworkers to just not be able to get this brain cell talking to this other brain cell. I think it's partly because it's already pleasant and what you don't realize is there's another layer. So, I was working with this one person couple decades back and trying to get him to be able to touch... He was touching my arm and I was coaching him with feel for the shape, feel for the texture, feel for the warmth, just trying to get him to be able to feel my arm for his own enjoyment. He couldn't do it. He couldn't do it. I looked over.
Next to me on the counter was a river stone that had these nice textures. I thought, I said to myself, "Aha, let's see what he does if there's no one to please." So I picked up the stone and put it in his hand. I said, "Feel this." He couldn't feel that either. He knew it was a stone, but he couldn't take in any of the sensation. It wasn't clicking. It wasn't going anywhere. That was a big aha for me because that made me realize, "Oh, it's not that he can't feel an arm. It's that he can't feel anything. His hands are just not hooked up to his brain in a certain way."

Til Luchau:
In a certain way.

Betty Martin:
So we played with that and I started playing with that to other clients. And then I noticed what a big deal it was for many people. So, now I do it with everybody, and there's a video on YouTube called Waking Up the Hands. You can see me taking people through this.

Til Luchau:
We'll link that in the show notes. Yeah.

Betty Martin:
It's when I take an object in my hands and feel it and feel is the accurate verb here, because to feel means you touch something for the purpose of taking in information and perhaps pleasure. So, in our work, we call it palpate. You're probably very good at palpating. You take that same ability to take in sensation. In the context of you're at home on your couch with a shell, instead of a human being, you can notice, "Oh, it's very pleasant, this shell. I can rub it along my hand. I can run my fingertips on it." You start to notice that it's pleasant. There's very often an emotional response of some kind, surprise, delight.
Sadness is very common that will come up. When people started having these emotional responses, that told me that we're onto something here. Something's going on in there that is meaningful. So, I now do that with all my people. Some people, it takes a few moments. Some people, it takes a few minutes. Some people, it takes weeks. It's fascinating feelings.

Til Luchau:
It is. The feelings that come up for people when they're touched, when they come to their body, the same thing happens, but you're talking about evoke through the hands or actually touching and what happens in the hands.

Betty Martin:
Yeah. Yeah. I do this now before I teach people how to touch another person for their own enjoyment, because the nerve pathways from the hand to the brain have to be open. For many people, they're not. Well, of course, the nerves are there. It's the brain connections that are happening. The hand connections are already there neurologically. Yeah. So, waking up the ability of your hands to experience enjoyment with your sensation.

Til Luchau:
Yeah. That was the distinction that really made me realize I was so used to one mode of touching appropriately.

Betty Martin:
Absolutely. Yeah.

Til Luchau:
That in my life or in my wholeness as a nervous system, there's a lot to learn.

Betty Martin:
Yeah. Yeah. For most bodyworkers, we spend so much time touching for the other person's benefit as we should. Switching gears to touching someone for your own benefit is often very difficult, because we've trained ourselves so well to not go there. Of course, it's not appropriate with your clients. It's appropriate with your lover or a practice buddy.

Til Luchau:
A practice buddy, who knows, but you talk about how it's a felt sense too, how it's very much a different body state. Different directionality of that pleasure. Okay. So, do you mind telling us a little more about your trainings? Who goes to them? What percentage of that, of bodyworkers? What are they going for? That thing.

Betty Martin:
The trainings that I offer now are five-day trainings called Like a Pro. It started out 15 years ago, mostly for sex workers, because I realized that I had some professional experience as a chiropractor that would be useful for sex workers, many of whom, some have had other professional experience, but some hadn't. It started out mostly sex workers taking the class. And then we started getting massage therapists and sexological bodyworkers and other kinds of bodyworkers in different stuff. And then it started expanding and then we started getting therapists. We've had several physicians and counselors and coaches and teachers. Now, it's probably about half hands-on and half not hands-on. We get a lot of therapists these days.

Til Luchau:
Talk therapists.

Betty Martin:
A lot of talk therapists, and of course, a lot of other kinds of bodyworkers and somatic educators and Somatic Experiencing practitioners. It's all people who are into the body in some way. Therapists are not going to be touching if they're talk therapists. They're not going to be touching their clients, but they may be guiding their clients and touching each other at home or something. Because the work comes from a background of working with sexuality, we're very open in talking about sex. There's usually some sex workers in the group. We address it very openly just as we have here. So, it's built on this legacy of sex work.

Til Luchau:
Good to be clear about that. What are they coming for? I mean, especially those not erotic workers.

Betty Martin:
That's a really good question. What do you come for?

Til Luchau:
I came because I just stumbled across one of your YouTubes and I recognized an adept teacher in you. I mean, I'm a teacher and I think one of my roles is to help simplify complex things for people. I spend a lot of time figuring out how to do that. I recognized a particular genius in you. I just want to bow to you in that sense too.

Betty Martin:
Well, thank you.

Til Luchau:
Yeah. It was a part of my own inquiry into who am I in all these realms, at this stage in my life, the circumstances I'm finding myself in. How am I enlivened by the roles I have and haven't I lived yet? What haven't I lived yet? What haven't I experienced?

Betty Martin:
Yeah. Yeah. Beautiful.

Til Luchau:
Professional curiosity about what is happening to us that we don't make room for intimacy in the same way or that's the reactivity around. Rightly so. In many ways, like I said, the boundary questions around sex, how does that affect me personally? So that's what brought me to your door. Really, it helped me gain very clear conceptual maps, find new experiences, really understand where I'm learning and where I get to grow.

Betty Martin:
Yeah. Beautiful. Thank you. Well, that's why most people come, not necessarily for my brilliance, but it's the training in using the Wheel of Consent with your client. First two and a half days or so are about you so that you experience each of the quadrants of the wheel of consent in your own body. And then we open it up and talk more about the principles and how to teach it and how to share it with your clients. Like you're describing, what is your role in a session and what contributes to you being able to stay in your role in integrity and also how's it affecting your personal life? Yeah. It's a lot of fun. It's all clothed. There's nothing sexy happening in the training.

Til Luchau:
The door is open to all of the learnings and lessons and applications.

Betty Martin:
Yes. Absolutely.

Til Luchau:
Okay, so you wrote a cool book called The Art of Receiving and Giving. Anything else you want bookmark here on the way out about how people can find out more about you and your work?

Betty Martin:
Yeah, wheelofconsentbook.com. It's where you can find the book in about me. My website is bettymartin.org. The school where all the teaching happens from is schoolofconsent.org. You can find me on YouTube as well.

Til Luchau:
Good. I will link some of those ones you've mentioned. We'll put those links in the show notes as well.

Betty Martin:
Yeah.

Til Luchau:
Anything else you want to say?

Betty Martin:
Thank you.

Til Luchau:
Thank you. Anything else you want to leave us with?

Betty Martin:
This conversation's been quite enjoyable.

Til Luchau:
It really has. Thank you so much for your time.

Betty Martin:
Yeah, you're so welcome.

Til Luchau:
Okay, our closing sponsor, thanks to them too. Books of Discovery has been a part of massage therapy education for over 20 years. Thousands of schools around the world teach with their textbooks, e-textbooks, and digital resources. Books of Discovery likes to say learning adventures start here. They see that same spirit here on The Thinking Practitioner podcast, and they're proud to support our work knowing we share the mission to bring the massage and bodywork community and livening content that advances our profession. Check out their collection of e-textbooks and digital learning resources for pathology, kinesiology, anatomy, and physiology at booksofdiscovery.com, where thinking practitioners save by entering thinking at checkout.
Thanks to all of our sponsors. Stop by our sites for show notes, transcripts, and extras. I think we're going to have a video of this one if it works out. Whitney will be back in a future episode. His site is academyofclinicalmassage.com. My site, advanced-trainings.com. If there are questions or things you'd like to hear us talk about, guests you'd like to hear us interview, feedback you have for us, email us at info@thethinkingpractitioner or look for us on social media just under our names, Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe.
Please do rate us on Apple Podcast. Take a second for that. That really helps the show have a bigger reach, helps more people find out about it, and gives our sponsors actually good feedback about you listening and being worth their support. So, if you can take a second, rate us on Apple Podcast, that helps us and everybody else. You can find us on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, wherever else you listen. Thanks for sharing the word, telling a friend, and thanks for listening today.

 

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Your Hosts:

Til Luchau Advanced-Trainings        whitney lowe

         Til Luchau                          Whitney Lowe

Thanks for listening and subscribing to the podcast! Make sure to connect with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on all of the latest! Show your support for the show by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!

Your Hosts:

Til Luchau Advanced-Trainings

Til Luchau

whitney lowe

Whitney Lowe

Thanks for listening and subscribing to the podcast! Make sure to connect with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on all of the latest! Show your support for the show by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!

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