The Case for Fully Embracing Enjoyment
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ before. It’s how our smart friend describes their newest reality TV fix, or how our partner explains away their go-to afternoon snack of popcorn with extra butter and parmesan cheese.
And while this common phrase seems on the surface to be lighthearted – a way to poke fun at the things that we think are weird or tacky about ourselves – it reinforces the idea that we should feel guilty for partaking in the things that give us pleasure. It implies that we don’t really deserve the things we enjoy. Which, if you ask me, is pretty weird.
It’s not surprising, of course. We live in a society that does not encourage us to prioritize what we enjoy, what makes us feel good, what helps us recharge, and what makes us laugh. The world at large is busy, stressful, and challenging to navigate even for the luckiest of us. But we firmly believe that the best antidote for fear, anxiety, and stress is pleasure. And when we attach feelings of guilt to what we enjoy, it keeps us from being fully in our happiness. But as adrienne marie brown writes in one of my personal favorite books, Pleasure Activism: “
“pleasure is a measure of freedom.”
What this means is that we are at our happiest, freest, and most powerful when we pay attention to and embrace the things that bring us pleasure. And while I certainly can’t speak for everyone, I can absolutely recognize that to be true in my own life. When I restrict myself, attach guilt to my joy, it is nearly impossible to feel truly fulfilled, at peace, or happy. When we are fully embodying our pleasures, we are better able to show up for both ourselves and others who may need it.
And so, as we come to the end of another year, we want to encourage you to banish the phrase “guilty pleasure” from your vocabulary. When Adwoa Aboah, a british fashion model, was asked what her guilty pleasure is, she is credited as saying “I don’t feel guilty about any of my pleasures.” As you move into the final chapter of 2021, we encourage you to make this your new mantra!
As with all things, we should try our best to be mindful; there is absolutely such a thing as overindulging ourselves. But taking pleasure, joy, and enjoyment out of the good things in our lives – even the little things – is integral to living a joyful and fulfilling life. Not to mention a fun and satisfying sex life. Pleasure connects us to our bodies, teaches us to listen to our needs, helps us attune us more closely to our desires, and helps us figure out what it is that we truly want in order to enjoy our lives.
So go ahead and watch that corny show that makes you laugh, eat your favorite ultra-indulgent dessert, and engage in self-care rituals make you feel good in your own skin! It can be something obviously pleasurable, like masturbating, but it doesn’t have to be! It’s important to remember that pleasure is not only sexual – we can take pleasure from anything that we enjoy!
Pay attention to all the good feelings that you get in your body and mind when you do what makes you happy, and consciously embrace them. Remove any sense of guilt from the equation, and simply let yourself enjoy the things that you enjoy.
Life is hard enough. Give yourself permission to experience pleasure without any guilt attached. Trust us, you deserve it.
What are some things that bring YOU pleasure?
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!
Comment at least one thing that brings you pleasure below! Everyone who submits a relevant comment before Midnight on January 1, 2022 will be entered to win a Sway Double-Ended Warming Vibrator by Lora diCarlo – a $150 retail value! – absolutely free.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!