In a Ballard living room on a rainy Sunday afternoon, ten educators and consent activists gathered to create a team of volunteers dedicated to changing the world through collaborative consent education. “Consent has become part our daily conversations; a constant topic in the news, our schools, and our homes. People everywhere are talking about consent and we decided it was time for us to do more than talk.,” says Sar Surmick, Director of the newly created Consent Academy.
“We live in troubling times. We find ourselves confronted with images, statements, and media that depict people having their consent taken away as if it were normal or even desirable. People have suffered. People are angry. And people are confused, wondering how to even talk about the complexities of a consent culture. We established the Consent Academy to address just that,” adds Surmick, a Marriage and Family Therapist.
The Consent Academy works to meet the needs of organizations, schools, and individuals who struggle with the complex issues around consent. Members of the collective provide workshops, trainings, consultations, and resources designed to make consent accessible and understandable. The team seeks to bring consent education to as many people as possible and through that work to build and maintain a greater consent culture for all people. “Learning how to integrate healthy consent practices into your daily life is vital at any age,” says Rachel Bowen, a Consent Academy educator. “The daily practice of respect for boundaries, no matter how small, fine tunes your skills and lessens the perceived ‘gray’ areas that cause confusion.”
Resources and events are offered for organizations as varied as universities, burning man camps, non-profits, churches, and PTA groups. “In a world where ‘good Christian folk’ can excuse sexual assault from political candidates, collegiate athletes, and a countless list of others, it is clear that churches need a more nuanced ethic than sex before marriage is bad,” says Rev. Austin Adkinson, Minister of Just Discipleship at First Church Seattle (firstchurchseattle.org) and educator with Consent Academy.
The Consent Academy provides a wide range of customized offerings for individuals, organizations, schools, and corporations on all topics of consent. If you, your organization, or a group you know needs help with trainings, conversations, or issues around consent they can be found at: www.consent.academy
Before November gets busy with the Thanksgiving holiday, we scheduled a fun, sex education filled weekend! On November 19th and 20th, we have three classes to get you excited. Please note that is you purchase tickets in advance, you can get special discounts that are not available at the door. Most events do not have special Duo or Trio pricing at the door.
Mapping The Vulva is a two part workshop. Duo tickets are for those who will be attending both parts of the workshop as a pair. Voyeurism during the hands-on part of the class is not welcome. We want everyone to feel comfortable exploring and practicing their new skills. Thank you for helping to create a respectful space.
Saturday, November 19 — 1:00pm
So You Want To Tie People Up ~ Educators: Suspended Animation
Club Sapphire: $35. Advance: $30 (Solo) $54 (Duo)
A playful introduction to erotic rope bondage. Interested in adding some bondage to your life, but not sure where to start? Our introductory bondage class will introduce you to the basics of rope bondage and give you the skills you need to safely and confidently start exploring bondage on your own.
If you’re new to kink, you may know that you’re interested in bondage but not know exactly what you want to do with it. We’ll help you figure it out by demonstrating a wide range of bondage styles and positions.
Once you know what kind of bondage you’re looking for, we’ll teach you a set of basic knots that you can combine to create almost any bondage position you want. This is a bondage class, not a knots class: we want you to master a small number of versatile techniques so that you can focus on having fun with your partner rather than struggling to remember numerous different knots.
Sunday, September 20 — 1:00pm
Asking For What You Want: Communication in the Bedroom ~ Educator: Stella Harris
Club Sapphire: $25. Advance: $18 (Solo) $34 (Duo) $50 (Trio)
Knowing what you want isn’t as easy as it sounds. Asking for it can be even trickier. That kind of honesty puts us in a vulnerable place, and opens us up to rejection, or to being shamed for our desires. People of all genders and sexualities have a lot of cultural baggage to work through. From messages implying that wanting sex or pleasure is slutty (and that that’s a bad thing) to sex tips that make it sound like we’re supposed to be able to read our partners minds. All of this sets us up for failure, and for those reasons and more, many people never take the chance to open a dialog with their partner(s). But being able to talk about your wants and needs is the only way to get them met.
In this class we’ll talk about ways to put yourself and your partner at ease, styles of communication, and specific examples of tools and phrases to try. We’ll talk about ways to start the conversation and ways to incorporate communication into dirty talk. Not even sure what to ask for? We’ll talk about some common fantasies you might want to try.
Sunday, September 20 — 3:00pm
Mapping the Vulva: Anatomy, Communication, Touch, & Pleasure ~ Educator: Stella Harris
Club Sapphire: $25 (Solo, 3pm-5pm) $65 (Duo, 3pm-6:30pm).
Advance: $20 (Solo, 3pm-5pm) $50 (Duo, 3pm-6:30pm)
There is so much mystery surrounding vulvas that it’s become a pop-culture joke. From Orange is the New Black to Gay Men Draw Vaginas – where even the title is inaccurate. Unfortunately, the joke is on us. With vulvas being a place of mystery, and worse – a source of shame – women’s ability to receive pleasure from this area of their body can be extremely diminished. In this class we will dispel misinformation and teach you all about the vulva from anatomy to styles of touch. In addition to the external genitalia the underlying anatomical structures, the vagina, and the g-spot will also be covered.
But we won’t dive straight in. As with all of my classes, the content is shown through the lens of intimacy and connection. We will cover styles of communication that will set both the giver and the receiver of touch at ease and give you tools to communicate your desires. There is a whole world of pleasure available if giver and receiver are willing to learn how to relax, open up, and to touch and receive touch.
People of all genders and sexualities are welcome to attend, either solo or with a partner or friend. This class will be a safe, supportive environment for people to learn. The class will be part lecture with visual aids and part live demonstration. We will use index cards so that attendees can ask questions anonymously.
This is a two part class. The first part is 2 hours will be interactive lecture and a live demonstration. After a 30 minute break, the second part will begin an hour long, hands-on practice section. People purchasing a Solo ticket attend the first part. Pairs who purchase a Duo ticket attend both parts one and two. (Special Trio pricing available upon request.)