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The Art of Receiving and Giving: The Wheel of Consent
by Betty Martin and Robyn Dalzen



  • The book explores receiving and giving based on the author's experiences coaching people around sexuality and intimacy.
  • It examines two key questions: "What do you want me to do to you?" and "What do you want to do to me?" and the dynamics they create.
  • The practice of taking turns answering these questions gives rise to a model called the Wheel of Consent with four quadrants.

Part 1: Two Offers

  • The author tells her backstory and how she came to examine receiving and giving through asking clients the two questions.
  • The terms "receive" and "give" are redefined to refer to who the action is for, not who is doing the action.
  • The four quadrants are introduced: Taking (doing, for self), Serving (doing, for other), Accepting (done to, for self), Allowing (done to, for other).

Part 2: In Search of the Quadrants

  • Three lessons guide readers to experience each of the quadrants through touch exercises.
  • Taking is usually the most challenging quadrant for people to access.
  • Once the quadrants are established, three labs provide further guidance to explore Taking/Allowing and Serving/Accepting in more depth.

Part 3: The Wheel of Consent

  • The Wheel model and its implications are examined in detail.
  • The Doing, Done-To, Receiving and Giving halves are discussed, as well as the Take-Allow and Serve-Accept dynamics.
  • Each quadrant poses unique challenges and opportunities for growth. All are necessary for full sexual and relational expression.

Part 4: Social and Spiritual Implications

  • The quadrants have implications for personal growth, sexuality, relationships, and society at large.
  • They foster skills in boundaries, consent, integrity, generosity, and surrender.
  • Recovering consent and choice on a personal level can transform how we treat each other politically and socially.


  • This simple practice of noticing who an action is for has profound impacts on self-awareness and relationships.
  • By recovering our ability to receive and give with clarity, we can create a more consensual society.