I am leaning into pleasure this year! Does the word “pleasure” feel dirty to you? To me, it feels freeing! I started 2023 with one word: pleasure. As I recalled in a New Year’s blog, I wasn’t enjoying the music or commercials so we turned off the NYE show and I read my book until 20 minutes before midnight. I did something that made me happy, that brought me joy.
That’s what I want to encourage myself to do this year. Evaluate parts of my life, moments in time, and see if they bring me joy. Do I find pleasure in this? If not, I’ll stop and redirect. There was a time that would have felt selfish or I would have endured because I felt like that’s what I should be doing.
Pleasure in Being You
The world “pleasure” is often associated with sex. It feels “naughty”. But really, at its most basic definition it’s about happiness and enjoyment. I take great pleasure in learning. The last few years, reflecting on what I’ve enjoyed most – it was in that such pleasure. Learning to love my body, my curls, my fashion, in using my voice to advocate for foster children, and as an ally. I had so much happiness and enjoyment in researching important topics and bringing them to all of you through my blog and podcast!
Pleasure in Sex & Feeling Sexy
Now, don’t get me wrong, pleasure can absolutely refer to sex. As I mention in my post on sex positivity, sex is one of our FEW biological drives and bodily functions that depends on pleasure for survival. Our hormones, and thus health, center around our sex hormones. Sexual pleasure:
- Lowers risk of heart attack
- Counts as exercise
- Increases immune strength
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces pain
- Reduces stress and Cortisol
- Improves sleep
- Reduces chances of prostate cancer
Beyond that, pleasure in itself has all these amazing health benefits as well, with the added benefit of getting in touch with yourself. That being said, despite having Dame as a sponsor (Save 15% site-wide with code WHOLEVIEW), sharing about their products on social media, and doing ads that tens of thousands of you have listened to, not one person expressed discomfort with that. THANK YOU for understanding this is part of health.
That said, of course I will continue to peel the layers back on this onion. Here’s one about fatphobia and sex, for those of you who aren’t squeamish:
Pleasure in Fiction
In 2022, I found pleasure in reading – especially fiction and reading in community. Not only did I rediscover my love of reading this past year, but also I found community through books with so many of you! I started a book club, the Naughty Book Club (NBC). We meet once a month over Zoom and also chat through my favorite messaging app, Voxer. I have felt so honored to be part of so many fun and important conversations. The phrase “guilty pleasure” comes up so often, but I’m here to advocate that there is no need to feel guilt in finding pleasure!
Reading sex in books at first made me feel uncomfortable because I realized I was judging myself for enjoying something that went against my education – that books are elevated for learning… and that if I’m reading/enjoying “smut” I was judging myself. It took my friends literally forcing the NBC on me and enjoying romance books for SO much more than the sex to see it as a full picture representation of real relationships. I think I have some judgements and assumptions about women who read steamy books being unfulfilled in their own relationships or in life that I needed to let go of, too. -NBC member
I’d love you to join our Naughty Book Club, we read one book a month so you can pace along around 5 pages a day – totally doable!
I’d love to know – what’s your word of the year? And, how will you find pleasure this year?
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