My Journey with ‘Yes’ and ‘No’


Written by Sian Johnson

I’m passionate about helping men and their partners navigate the beautiful complexities of intimacy, desire, and relationships. As a Bodyworker and Sex Coach, I blend innovation with a holistic approach, considering not just the physical body but also the mind, heart, and soul. My goal is to create a safe space where genuine connections and transformations can happen.

March 25, 2024

My challenges with consent and boundaries

I soooo used to struggle around ‘yes’, ‘no’ and boundaries.

I used to have such a reaction when someone said ‘no’ to me. It would feel like the bottom had dropped out of my world, like there must be something wrong with me and I would get angry and defensive and say terrible things and be unbearable to be around.

This isn’t how I wanted to behave and I didn’t understand why I felt that way! I was confused and hurt and it was making life really difficult for myself and the people around me. And then in other ways, because I didn’t understand boundaries, I would just let people walk all over me. And I got into some very difficult — and sometimes funny — situations based on a fear of not being loved and my misguided ability to read minds.

That’s my experience. What about yours?

The nuances of consent

I know that you know the difference between a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’, but how often do you find yourself doing things you don’t want to do? Or you’re not really sure whether someone else is doing something for you because they feel they have to or because they really want to? Or do you find yourself going along with something because it’s easier than speaking up? Or do you get told that you take people for granted, but that doesn’t make any sense to you?

Life is tricky and no one teaches us how to communicate this stuff. Most of us are working from guesswork and attempted telepathy and simply trying to get things right. The Wheel of Consent can help us to understand the dynamics of how we are trying to relate with each other and how we can make getting along so much clearer using some fairly simple tools.

Surprisingly for a Sex Coach, this is not so much about sex — though trust me, it can massively improve your sex life!

Improving communication with the Wheel of Consent

The Wheel of Consent is about communication; understanding your wants and needs and being able to express these more clearly in your life. And being able to hear the needs of the people you love, without feeling criticised and wrong. It’s about generating kindness and compassion for ourselves and for others around us so that we can get our needs met and reach agreements on how best to meet each others’ needs. In this sense of the word, consent really is revolutionary.

Agreed, the Wheel of Consent diagram is tricky to understand just with your mind. That’s because it’s an embodied practice — which means you need to feel it in your body.

Let me help you to get it! Join my Consent Revolution workshop on 6–7 April and The Consent Jam on 6 April in Salford. I would love to welcome you.