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The Three Minute Game

The Three Minute Game was created by Harry Faddis and incorporated into the work of Betty Martin - you can watch the two of them in conversation here. Before playing this game, I recommend that you read my posts about the Wheel of Consent, the Spectrum of Consent and Direct and Indirect Pleasure. The text below is inspired by Betty’s pdf available here.

This is a game for two people who take turns offering gifts to each other for three minutes. Set a (nice sounding) alarm on your phone and keep within the three minutes! Having a safe time container can ward off anxieties that you are taking too much from the other person. Finishing the three minutes wanting more is no bad thing.

Offer #1: How would you like me to touch you for 3 minutes? 

(Please scratch my back, kiss my neck, bite my toes, hold me, etc.) 

Offer #2: How would you like to touch me for 3 minutes? 

(May I feel your arms, explore your back, play with your hair, etc – Do not offer to ‘give’ anything, like a massage. This is for your pleasure as the toucher.) 

When you make the offer, you are giving a gift. Negotiate as needed to ensure that you stay in the Wanting and Willing zones of the Spectrum of Consent. Never give more than you are happy to give - you will otherwise enter Tolerating and Enduring. 

Each of the four rounds of the game is a chance for you to take on the four different roles in the Wheel of Consent. Either you are doing or they are doing – and either it is for you or it is for them. Those two factors combine in four ways: – you are doing and it’s for you (Take) – you are doing and it’s for them (Serve) – they are doing and it’s for you (Accept) – they are doing and it’s for them (Allow) 

Each of the four is enjoyable and challenging in different ways. Each will teach you something different about yourself and will access a different aspect of yourself and your sexuality. The point is to distinguish between them. Ask yourself: Who is this for? Go slowly, start with short turns and neutral (non-sexy) body areas.

Accepting Quadrant 

Most people call this ‘receiving’, but this is not the only kind of receiving. ‘Taking’ is also a form of receiving. 

To Accept: 

1. Put yourself first. Set aside what you are OK with. Go for wonderful. You’re aiming to be in the full moon of Wanting on the Spectrum of Consent. 

2. Take all the time you need to notice what it is you would like. This is the most important part, and often the hardest. 

3. Ask as directly and specifically as you can. No hinting, no ‘whateveryou-want-to-give’. If you're an English person who prefaces every request with, "Um...could you maybe..." this is your moment to experiment with directness.

4. Stop trying to ‘give’ your giver a good experience. That’s their job. 

5. Change your mind any time (and ask for something different). 

6. Say thank you! 

Essence: Receiving the benefit of the actions of others.

Serving Quadrant 

Most people call this ‘giving’, but this is not the only kind of giving. Allowing is also a form of giving. 

To Serve: 

1. Set aside what you prefer (including the response you hope to see). 

2. Ask what your partner wants – and wait for the answer. Making spaciousness for their choice is the most important part. 

3. Decide if you are willing and able to do that. Honour your limits. Ask yourself: ‘Is this something I can give with a full heart?’ If you will be Tolerating or Enduring, renegotiate and offer something different.

4. If it is, do so as best you can. 

5. Say you’re welcome! 

You contribute to their experience. The gift you give is your action. 

Essence: Taking action for the benefit of others.

Taking Quadrant 

This is hard for almost everyone, and often feels odd, elusive or scary. Taking is receiving the gift of access, a true gift. In order to receive this gift, you must stop trying to ‘give’. You are aiming to receive direct pleasure from the touch, rather than the indirect pleasure of knowing that you are pleasuring your partner.

To Take: 

1. Ask your partner what their limits are and abide by them, completely. 

2. Take the time to notice what part of them you would like to feel. 

3. Ask ‘May I...’ not ‘would you like?’ 

4. Use your hands to feel, not to serve. Move slowly; the slower you go the more you feel. Feel for the shape and texture. 

5. When you start trying to give to them, remind yourself it is for you. 

6. Say thank you! 

Essence: Taking action for your own benefit.

Allowing Quadrant 

This is very easy for some, very hard for others. It depends on knowing you have a choice about how you are touched. Allowing is a form of giving. The gift you give is access to you. Set aside what you would prefer. Keep responsibility for your limits. 

To Allow: 

1. Take time to consider your limits. Ask yourself: Is this a gift I can give with a full heart? Avoid Tolerating and Enduring. If these emerge as time passes, pause and renegotiate. 

2. Wait for a resounding inner ‘Yes!’ 

3. If you are hesitant, it’s one of these: 

– you need more information 

– it’s a ‘No’ waiting for you to hear it 

– if you set a certain limit, it would be a yes; ask yourself what that limit is.

4. Say you’re welcome! 

Essence: Allowing others to take action, while keeping your own limits.


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