This article isn't about sex or my sex life, if you're interested in that pick up a Cosmopolitan Magazine. What I want to talk about is pleasure. Feeling pleasure, finding pleasure, tasting pleasure, living a pleasurable life.
I feel it is my duty as a woman who grew up in a multitude of cultures (East/Chinese, West/USA, South/Brazil) to have the pleasure talk with you.
How many people in the US or Western societies wake up every day to the hideous sound of their alarm clock, drive through traffic, grind at their day job, eat lunch while walking or standing or at their desk, drive home, have a drink to relax, put on their sweatpants, and have a Netflix and chill kind of night to unwind from a stressful day?
By the time the weekend comes there's chores, errands, other responsibilities to catch up on and by the time Sunday rolls around - once again, laying around in our sweats, over-indulging on some junk food, and watching your favourite show becomes pleasurable. You get to go to bed knowing that your bank account and belly are full, your chores are done, and you get to look forward to the next episode of your favourite show tomorrow night.
But what if I told you that wrapping yourself in a blanket on the couch might be laziness, watching someone else's story on a TV show is a distraction, and over-indulging in a bag of chips or bowl of ice cream is gluttony. Sounds a little extreme, but bare with me.
Have you ever built a garden? Planted your own seeds, watered them, watched them grow, literally picked the fruits of your labour, and sat down to eat what you created? If you have, you know the feeling that comes with that. The magic, the simplicity, the naturalness.
Many of us have confused what pleasure is and how to feel it because so much, today, can be bought or rented or fabricated. What is real and what is natural has been replaced with what is affordable OR what is convenient OR what is fashionable.
Pleasure starts with human connection. Those long, late night conversations with a friend or a stranger where you feel as if it is free-flowing, effortless, serendipitous. When you share so much of the good, the great, the bad, the ugly, and lose track of the time realizing it's late and you should go to bed.
Pleasure continues when you think of that someone and you don't picture their face, but how they feel & how you remember them. When you catch yourself smiling or laughing at a distant memory.
Pleasure happens when you connect with your surroundings. It may start with a car ride through a beautiful place, one you've seen before or maybe somewhere foreign, and take notice of what's around. Pleasure continues as you interact with what is natural: jumping in the cool lake, smelling the mountain air, seeing the sun rise, floating in the ocean.
Pleasure evolves when your connection turns to intimacy. When that single connection turns to a hand-hold under the covers, a long hug or embrace, a kiss. For some, playing in the waves or simply feeling the sun warm your skin.
Pleasure happens when you nourish yourself and know that you nourish others. When you give time and care to your "garden" and eventually you don't eat for the sake of convenience but you sit down to taste and appreciate food & the labour that went into its flavour. You might share this with others.
Pleasure happens when you find focus on what is right in front of you, doing it right & doing it well. The past nor the future takes away from that moment.
Pleasure happens when you find gratitude in every choice you make and realize that this life is not a right or a race or about having more. It is just us sharing the same air, the same space, the same struggle, the same joy, the same pain, the same longing for connection & understanding.
Less Tinder, More Hello's. Less Texting, More Love Letters. Smaller House, Bigger Dinner Table.
Pleasure does not come from the impulsive or short-term or impermanent overindulgence or spending on things that will collect dust & decay. Pleasure doesn't come from being distracted by other's drama or success or fame and competing to have the same, the more interesting, the more expensive, the better version. Pleasure definitely doesn't come from filling every hour of every day with work or busy-ness or socialness in hopes that someone somewhere is going to recognize you and your worth.