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Individual and Couples Counselling in Calgary

  • Writer's pictureRovena Magidin

The 3 Minute Game

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Happy Couple, marriage counselling works

Today I want to share one of my favourite resources for couples and introduce you to one of my favourite teachers - Dr. Betty Martin. I met Betty in 2011, had a privilege to study with her in person, and since then shared the tools I learned from her with thousands of people in my Relationships Workshops and Marriage Counselling.

The tool I wanted to talk about is called “The 3 Minute Game”

It’s simple, can be done in 3 minutes, and it gives you so many insights into your partner's and your own wants/needs/desires/likes/dislikes, your relationship with pleasure, your ability to give or receive, your stuck points, your ability (or inability) to ask for what you want and so much more. It can create a sense of profound intimacy.

It’s simple, but it’s not always easy.

The first part of the 3 minute game goes like this “For the next 3 minutes, how would you like to be touched?”

You ask, your partner tells you, you discuss boundaries, set the timer (or find a song that's approximately 3 minutes) and go for it.

What can be easier and more fun?

So much fun.

And yet. In reality, for most people, growing up in this culture, we don’t always have the healthiest relationship with pleasure, asking, or receiving.

Sometimes we don’t even know how we want to be touched. We say - oh, just touch me how you want to touch me. But that’s not the point of this game.

Sometimes we know, but we can’t ask. It’s too vulnerable. Scary even. The throat feels like it’s going to shut down. We can’t find words.

Maybe we ask for something that we think is ok to ask, or for something we think we can get, but not necessarily for something we really want. We give up on ourselves and our desires. We cop out. (What I really want is for you to very gently and slowly, with just one finger tip, trace my body from the top of my head all the way to the tips of my toes, and sensually repeat it a few times, so I can feel it in every cell of my body, while whispering sweet things about me ............ but what I ask for is a shoulder rub.)

Sometimes we can ask, but we really don’t know how to receive, fully. We stop ourselves, we only allow ourselves to feel so much. We say, well, that’s enough for me, let me touch you now. (that’s why you set the timer)

Sometimes you ask, but your partner is not quite giving you the touch you want, and you settle. You just sit there, enduring, or pretending you like it. Maybe you ask again, but then, for most of us, we usually reach the limit when it becomes “too much", so we stop asking.

The point of this game - keep asking until you are able to receive the touch you want, and then give yourself a chance to feel as much as you can feel. How much pleasure can you feel, even from a very simple touch.

After you receive for 3 minutes you switch, and then …..

And then, then the game gets even more interesting. The next part is:

“For the next 3 minutes, how would YOU like to touch ME for YOUR pleasure?”

That’s where most people have an epiphany. They often have no idea. It never occurred to them that it’s ok. That it’s ok to TAKE your pleasure. That your partner can be a source of your pleasure without them doing anything.

Of course this have to stay within the wheel of consent. Talk to each other, negotiate. Tell your partner what’s off limits. I strongly suggest you start with non-sexual touch.

How much pleasure can you feel?

If you are receiving touch - your job is to NOTICE WHAT YOU FEEL. Become aware. Stay present in your body. Take it all in. It is your job to be able to tell your partner right away if something doesn’t feel good. We are building trust here. Your partner will be able to relax into their exploration if they can trust you’ll tell them what feels good and what doesn’t. Set each other up for success.

If you are asked for something you are not wiling to give - same thing. Tell your partner right away. It’s not rejection, there’s nothing wrong with what they asked - it’s about boundaries, building trust and safety, and being free to play when the trust is there. If your partner is a no to something you ask, instead of shutting down, become even more curious, what else would I want, how else do I want to be touched?

Here’s a quick summary:

The 3 minutes game:

- for the next 3 minutes, how would you like to be touched?

- switch

- for the next 3 minutes, how would YOU like to touch ME for YOUR pleasure?

- switch

- check in with each other. What did you discover?

If you play through the whole game it’ll take just about 15 minutes.

Have FUN with it, practice, be creative. Ask boldly. Give generously. Receive fully.

Let me know what you discover.

If you want more information, here’s the video from Betty talking about the 3 minute game

Here’s her video on the Wheel of Consent:

And here are a lot more resources on Consent and Touch:

I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. Have fun practicing!

Rovena offers relationship support, couples coaching and counselling, pre-marital therapy, somatic sex therapy - If you want to explore more, click here to schedule your free consultation.


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