Ask my friends to describe me and they will say courageous, adventurous, wise, and with a huge, loving heart. They may say I’m a little crazy too, with an urge to go the extra mile to give people a little nudge and do what it takes to support them to get where they want to be. They will describe me as the one who always knows the best connections for their new project, with some advice, ideas, and a ton of inspiration to come along with that.
I like building bridges. During my studies on herbivores in nature, I connected the faculties of nature conservation and animal biology. Now I build bridges between neuroscience and felt experiences, between the niche of folks interested in my workshops and the larger world – through connecting with science, education, arts, theater, and music.
Once I was a shy girl who hid in the corner. Passion won over fear. Nowadays I love to stand in front of crowds and talk about how I think we can change the world through touch and consent, and collaborate with a wide range of creators, scientists, educators, and artists. I believe that through collaboration and mutual support, we can make more impact than any of us could ever do alone.
Besides my work, I am the mother of three daughters (born in 2008, 2010, and 2011).
TEDx Koenigsallee 2019, full TEDx page here.
Exploring Deeper / 2011 to Present
Exploring Deeper is the main brand under which I produce my own events, including workshops on intimacy, consent, boundaries & desires, sexuality, neo-tantra, etc. I have facilitated hundreds of workshops for up to 250 people all over the world, mainly as a solo teacher, but also collaborating with some of the best teachers in this field in the world, including Betty Martin, Reid Mihalko, Seani Love, Francesca Gentille, Monique Darling, Ruby May, and Rupert James Alison.
Red Flags in Workshops / 2021 to Present
Red Flags in Workshops is a not-for-profit project where I create and co-create creative commons licensed materials meant to increase the safety in interpersonal workshops. Since #metoo shook up the world, more abuse and harm has come to the surface. In the realms of workshops involving touch, this is far from an exception. By creating free materials for mainly participants, I hope to create a bottom-up approach of empowerment, knowledge, and accountability.
The Intimacy Festival / 2018 to Present
The Intimacy Festival is a concept based on authentic connection, celebrating expression, and radical inclusion where the most amazing leaders in our fields gather together to share their favorite tools, workshops, art, performances, experience, products, and music.
Cuddle Workshops International / 2014 to Present
Cuddle Workshops is a concept I created in 2014, which has now spread throughout the world. Cuddle Workshops are structured workshops based on consent, platonic touch, and communication. These workshops are amazing places for healing trauma, wellbeing, and belonging. I host workshops and train teachers.
Subsidy Advisor / 2015 – 2017
I have successfully written subsidy proposals for sustainable projects in The Netherlands and internationally, including agricultural projects and textile production in Afghanistan.
Board of Advice @ Staatsbosbeheer / 2013 – 2016
The task of the advisory board is to give solicited and unsolicited advice to the board of Staatsbosbeheer. I represented entrepreneurs on this board.
KruidenThuis / 2011 – 2014
Subscription-based herbs and spices sent home with a monthly theme and recipes.
International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) / 2004 – 2008
Several positions including President (2005-2006) during my studies. Some of the things I focussed on in my years for IFSA were getting fixed agenda time in meetings of professional organizations like CFA, IUFRO, and the different UN conferences.
2022 Urban Tantra Practitioner Training – Barbara Carrellas
2022 Creating Safer Spaces – Shelby Leigh
2022 Neuroscience of Attachment, Arizona Trauma Institute
2021 Consent Advocate Training – Ariana Coveney, Consent Academy
2021 Certified Trauma and the Sensory System Training, Arizona Trauma Institute
2021 Certified Trauma Informed Specialist, Arizona Trauma Institute
2019 Pelvic Heart Integration, Tanya Rozenthal
2019 Kink Practitioner Training, Seani Love / School of Erotic Mysteries
2018 Like A Pro, Wheel of Consent Practitioner Training, Betty Martin / School of Consent
2005 – 2008 M.Sc. Forest and Nature Conservation, Wageningen University & Research Center
2002 – 2005 B.Sc. Forest and Nature Conservation, Wageningen University & Research Center
Besides these, I have followed numerous workshops in the realms of human relationships, trauma, attachment theory, (neo-)tantra, kink, sexuality, and ecology. I have studied in person with a.o. (besides already mentioned teachers) Barbara Carellas, Steve Pavlina, Jamie Catto, Reid Mihalko, Francesca Gentille, Krishna Prem, and Seani Love. I have also learned from the materials from a.o. Dossie Easton, Janet W. Hardy, Bessel Vanderkolk, Deb Dana, Stephen Porges, Mark Wolynn, Jan Geurtz, Resmaa Menakem, Raven Kaldera, Judith Schuyff, Robyn Wall Kimmerer, Jessica Fern, Sonya Renee Taylor, and Meg-John Barker. All these teachers have impacted my life and my work.