My Story

I first learned about consent culture at a weekend partner dancing event in 2013. I picked up a bright pink zine called Learning Good Consent, and ended up sitting on a cliff overlooking a beautiful swimming hole with a new friend who I thought was cute. We were taking turns reading and answering questions from the opening pages of the zine.

 

“How do you define consent?”

“Do you know people who define consent differently than you do?”

“Have you ever been unsure about whether or not the person you were being sexual with wanted to be doing what you were doing?”

“Do you think it is the other person’s responsibility to say something if they aren’t into what you’re doing?”

The questions put things into words that I’d never thought about before. Asking myself these questions opened new ideas inside me. After about eight questions, I turned to my companion and asked, “Can I kiss you?” We kissed, and laughed, and then we jumped off the cliff together into the clear water below.

 

This zine changed my life. I carried it around for two weeks, talking to all my friends about it, because I couldn’t shake this radical idea of consent culture. It was new to me. I knew about rape culture- for as long as I could remember I had been angry about rape and sexual assault- but I didn’t know something already existed that could replace it, something called consent culture. 

 

I started teaching workshops in 2014. These workshops led me teach at festivals and facilitate for communities- dance communities, co-housing communities, learning communities and more. I worked with brilliant teams of people to create explicit cultures of consent for events and for long-term community transformation. 

 

Naturally, talking about consent also includes talking about non-consent. My work invited me to hold many heart-breaking stories, and I started looking for ways to do healing work on the other side of all the pain I was encountering. 

 

I learned about Sexological Bodywork and Somatic Sex Education in 2015, and I knew immediately that it was my path. I patiently waited for the right time to train in this radical work, and finally completed my Somatic Sex Education certification in 2019. 

Schooling

 

  • Somatic Sex Education Certification through the Insitute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education

  • Like a Pro: The Wheel of Consent for Practitioners with Betty Martin

  • Trauma Aware Conflict Transformation with Rain Crowe of the Village Mystery School

  • The Burning Times Never Ended with Rain Crowe of the Village Mystery School

  • Longing To Belong: An Unsettling Journey with Rain Crowe of the Village Mystery School

  • Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Education from University of Redlands in Redlands, CA

  • Certificate in Environment, Education, and Community from Islandwood, Bainbridge Island, WA

  • Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Washington

©2020 by Carey French