There is a solution to consent violations beyond ‘getting a verbal yes every step of the way’. 10 years ago, I became determined to be a fully sexually expressed man whom also moved through the world with deep integrity and a love and honor of women. I developed a way of being that allowed me to meet all these values while creating a life that most men couldn’t even dream of. Learn how to show up and engage with women in a way that will get both of you far more of what you most desire…

(Destin comes on after Betsy’s introduction at the 3 minute mark)



Betsy Finkelhoo:
Exactly a year ago I was working with him and one other friend, putting together a event called A-Fest. Many of you might have been there. Who was there? Okay, a couple, a handful. It was this awesome event and yup, I remember meeting you there. It was this awesome event and the three of us just went for it. We were like, “Okay, we have six days to plan this event.” We got this awesome DJ, we got all these things going for this party, and we’ve done so many parties before in our area, but we haven’t really put together much of a platform for speaking at festivals and things like that, a little bit here an there. This beautiful brother invited us to use his home, which is a retreat. It’s a gorgeous sanctuary up in the hills and it was a full house.

In six days over 200 people, we had 12 speakers, we had a silent disco. It was amazing. That’s why we had a DJ and speakers because there was a silent disco. It worked really well. I remember at the end of that night I stood up there with Destin and a couple of other people that were there putting it on, and there was this level of deep presence in the room. It blew me away and I knew that we had to keep doing this. Afterwards we debriefed and Destin said, “Yes, whatever I can do to support you, let’s keep doing it.” He was a major driving force of inspiration and hell yes to making it happen. I’m just so, so grateful to introduce him up here to come share with you tonight.

A little bit about Destin, many of you may know him and if you don’t, you will get to meet him and learn a little bit about what he offers in a short window. He does huge events where he is speaking to hundreds of people for many hours at a time, so this is going to be really interesting to get 15 minutes of his time, you can see how he condenses it down. He travels the world and also speaks about sexuality. He really is an advocate for men’s work. I reached out to him tonight to come share because I know he is a very strong voice in his community as well. Recently, many of you know, there was a meeting about consent and what is that. There was sort of a council and he was a strong voice on that, so he’s coming to share on a broad spectrum with many things with consent and sexuality.

He’ll probably touch a little bit on some other things that I’m not sure about, but the title of his talk is Sexual Attunement. Who here has any idea what that is? Of course Kimberly knows. Well, you’re about to find out, so please welcome Destin up to the stage.

Destin Gerek:
The full title was Sexual Attunement: From Enticing Desire to Erotic Superpowers. Just full of buzzwords there. Where this is really rooted is that we are having this conversation about consent not just in this community, but all over the place more and more. This is one of the real gifts of our time. Some people can look at it and think, “Oh, this is a sign of the problem.” Yes, but the problem’s not new. What’s new is we are talking about it, we are addressing it like never before. So personally, as somebody who has been in this conversation for a couple decades now, it’s exciting.

Now, I’m not always too thrilled with how it’s handled, though. A lot of it is reactionary. It’s very understandable that it’s reactionary. We’re at a point where there’s a lot of distrust of men and the masculine in the world, much of it deserved. Rape, sexual assault, abuse is pandemic. And even that, there is about as much denial of it as there is of climate change. It doesn’t make it less real. While on one hand we have this old paradigm of masculine expression, including masculine sexual expression, which is really a lot about dominance, and control, and entitlement, and what we have now is an ever increasingly vocal backlash against that way of being. One, it’s very clearly still here. We have a caricature of it in the White House today, but that vocal backlash is a lot of what men and the masculine is doing wrong, and what makes it dangerous.

Again, very understandable, very arguably needed, but I also believe we need something else. That something else is not just for men, and particularly young men, to get told what’s wrong with them and what not to do, but also inspiring models to aspire towards, to grow towards, like, “Yes, this.” I bring a lot of my focus around dealing with the consent issue sideways in. Really focusing on what I view as an empowering solution for men is to focus on what I call sexual attunement.

In that conversation of no means no and yes means yes, or getting that yes every step of the way, When in doubt, ask. Absolutely. Being able to use your words and your voices, especially around sexuality, is a skill we could all, men and women, really cultivate much more. Additionally, though, we need to get more in touch with this. We need to get more in touch with our bodies, and the communication that both our bodies and the person that we’re engaging with is constantly speaking to us. Whether the lips are moving or not, there is constant communication there. As a man, we tend to have a harder time with that than most women. Women seem to be more naturally attuned to this.

As men we learn from a very young age, these are gross generalizations, I know they do not fit 100%, but they’re pretty spot on. As men we learn from a young age to disconnect from this, that to distrust our bodies, to shut out feelings of pain, anything that could be construed as weakness, to shut down our emotions. We have so many men who are very much stuck in our heads. Our society today amplifies that even more because what do we do? We sit behind the wheel of a car, we sit in front of a TV screen, we sit in front of a laptop, or computer screen, or on our phones. All of this has us here (in our heads) and here (focusing our attention outwards through our eyes). I know I can get guilty of that myself. All the more we’re more disconnected from this.

That attunement process, this sexual attunement, starts with getting in touch with this. In your own body, what are the messages that this is saying to you and then from there to be able to tune into your lover’s body or this person you’re just meeting right now, your would-be lover. Tune into all of the micro-communications. What I mean by these micro-communications, this can be body language. I’m going to speak to the men primarily here. Women, I think you’ll appreciate that I am. Is her body turned towards you or turned away from you? Very easy thing to start paying attention to. If she is more turned towards you, that is a communication of engagement. Turned away from you, it’s a defensive posture. It doesn’t necessarily mean go the fuck away, it might, but it may simply mean I need to be opened up more.

All of these constricting or defensive movements that we’re speaking of, ultimately you could look at as that call (to be opened more). That ‘if you want to move forward with me in this way, I need more safety created, I need more opening created.’ This is something that is really key because one of the foundational components to this is not taking shit personally. This can be a really big one for a lot of men. Rejection can be scary, and how she responds to me, ‘it will validate or invalidate my existence, or my worthiness as a man’. That needs to be gotten over first and foremost. This is really focusing on that self love, focusing on that internal validation, that enough-ness, that doesn’t require anybody or anything else to tell you so. You’ve got it here.

It can be a strange one to bring in when speaking about sexuality and consent, but I really have found that it starts there because if you don’t have that, everything else starts to become a head game. It’s how do I get this validation? Whether it’s the direct validation from her, or it’s the validation from your buddies, or imagined buddies, or that validation of getting X, Y, and Z from her, getting her number, getting in her pants, what have you, that’s what makes me a man. All of this cuts you out of being here with her. What she wants and what’s going to allow her to open to you most is you being here with her.

More of the microcommunications. The biggest ones that I pay attention to are breath and muscular contractions in the body, so let me explain that. When we speak of attunement, if you are so tuned into her that you are aware of her every inhale and her every exhale, that is attunement. By matching her breath, you get a sense of what it feels like in her body. Your energetic systems, your neuro systems start to align when you’re breathing in time. Secondly, as you begin to engage with your eyes, with your touch, with your lips, her body will respond in some way. It may be big movements and often there are these micro-movements, these slight little tensions or relaxations of the body that most people would completely miss, but they are there. If you start to pay attention to them, if you start to watch for them, feel for them, you can notice this constant communication that’s occurring.

By doing so, if you can notice that slight little, like you can see them right now. Some of you it might be a little far, but the slightest little movement of the shoulders and any collapsing type of movements versus where her body opens, her body language opens, her breath exhales. All of those things are signs of opening and signs of her opening to you. That’s generally a sign of More, please. A constriction doesn’t mean you suck, you’re doing something wrong, stop right there, go away. If you’re listening to those micro-movements, you can respond and redirect your energy before she ever even has the opportunity to say something. She’ll start to feel like you’re able to read her mind because before she could ever say something, you’ve noticed. You’ve noticed and you’ve started to shift.

It doesn’t need to be, “Oh, sorry.” Any of that. In fact, that’s not what she wants. It’s just a redirection, drawing back a little bit. Even there, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is the hard boundary. It often means not yet, so another key piece in this process of guiding the woman, leading a woman sexually, is pacing. This is an area where men tend to shoot themselves in the foot.

You heard that response, that audible response of the women present.

Please also audibly respond to this. Have you ever had that experience women, where you wanted the same thing he did, you did. You wanted to go there with him, but he just seemed to be trying to get there faster than you were comfortable with and it led to you closing down, shutting down, or maybe going along with it, but not really from the place of full ecstatic yes, enjoyment. But so many men end up wanting to go usually all the way, so to speak, but they’re not listening, they’re not attuned to her body, her responses, her pacing. They’re so focused on that goal of where they’re trying to get to that they’ve left her behind. Until she starts to shut down more and more, her body’s contracting more and more, and is like, “I have to go.”

There’s this song that I like a lot. A part of the chorus says “Sometimes the fastest way to get there is to go slow.” When we speak of going slow, don’t get me wrong, sometimes it means taking that speed of touch that we were doing earlier, and going half that, and then half that, and then half that. Sometimes when we’re talking about going slow to get there, it just means turning it down 10%. Sometimes even 1% can make all the difference. This is where just listening, listening with your eyes, your ears, to the shifts in her breathing patterns, the shift in her sounds. Her breath suddenly goes {short sudden intake of breath], the body clenched up with that. That often means ‘that was a little much’ or ‘that was scary’ in some way.

Again, especially with how rampant different forms of, whether we’re talking about consent issues or full on sexual assault, and that whole range of spectrum. When we talk about that range of spectrum, there is basically not a woman out there that I have ever met that hasn’t experienced some form of having her boundaries crossed. What that means is that there can be that fear and that contraction that might not have much to do with you. Men can be afraid of that boundary because feeling like when she throws up that boundary in some way, this is her basically blocking me from where I want to go or because I’ve done something wrong.

I ask you instead to embrace that first boundary. Look for it, celebrate it because there’s something magical that happens when the first time she puts up that first type of a boundary and you respond to it completely without taking it personally, completely with an honoring of it, “Oh, okay, well let’s just play up to or around that boundary.” There’s something in her that goes, “Aah.” That knows now aah, I can trust you with my body, I can trust you, I can play with you from a place of relaxation without needing to be on guard. Something magical tends to happen there, and often, when that happens, the boundary moves.

There’s a lot on this whole thing of sexual attunement. I call it enticing desire to erotic superpowers and I have an iPad here where if you give me your email, I’ll send you a 24 minute video I created called, “The One Thing in Bed That Separates a Lover She Remembers Forever From all the Men She Quickly Forgets.” I touched upon little pieces of it, but it just allows us to go much further in that video. This notion of Enticing Desire, recognizing women as sexual beings with sexual desires of their own, not just women who can block your desire or maybe let you, but to be able to actively spark her desires, draw forth her desire so she craves you. Sound good? [loud response from audience]

Name, email, my gift to you. From there, I’ve built this whole paradigm around this with all sorts of fun games, and skill sets, and techniques, and all that called Erotic Superpowers. It’s really rooted in that attunement and then once you have that attunement, the magic that you can create as a result, full on Erotic Superpowers.

I didn’t actually originally name it. A woman referred to me one time as having erotic superpowers and I’m like, bookmark. It can seem like that. It’s like ‘what are you doing?’, How did you do that?’ ‘How do you know all of these things?’.

If you want to hear them, well, I reverse engineered all of this and created it for you. Thank you very much, I love you. I do this work in the world.

The world is calling for more men to step up and as men who are on a conscious path, I believe that you have a responsibility, a responsibility to claim your power because there are too many men out there who are shut down in their hearts, who are disconnected from any spirituality, who are claiming theirs. This is a time where we must rise up and create the world that we know is possible because if not, well, we see what could be happening otherwise. You have a responsibility, I’m here with you, come talk to me. I love you.

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