October 21, 2014

The Pleasure Manifesto.


We have the right to pleasure.


Say it.

It’s slow, it’s sensual, it has a lovely shhhhhhh sound right in the middle.


We have a right to feel good in our skin. It is, in fact, a divinely given right bequeathed via our senses, who, like little angelic messengers, or devas, are constantly bringing us a bounty of sensations upon which to feast.

Breath. Skin. Sight. Taste. Sound. Smell.

We live in a culture that is terrified of pleasure.

“It’s—sexual,” they whisper furtively, and quickly move to strap down any unseemly impulses. “How indecent! If we let it go, who knows what would happen next!”

Pleasure is powerful.

Wars have been fought over the restraint of pleasure.

Women enshrouded head to foot, both sexes circumcised, emotions pushed down, sexuality twisted into dysfunction. And when we do have the occasional pleasurable moment, we almost immediately turn to either shame,

“You shouldn’t have eaten that cake, slept with that man, bought that velvet couch.”

Or are dreading its imminent demise.

“This can’t last—I don’t deserve to feel this good.”

We don’t dare trust that we could actually feel good and not be somehow punished for our impertinence.


We have a right to pleasure.

And not just sexual pleasure; we have the right to claim the more subtle pleasures that are embedded in the fabric of every moment.

The pleasure of breathing and feeling our lungs stretch, the smell of coffee, the feeling of our favorite sweater, the taste of our food. Most of the time, we rush past these delicacies and move on to “doing something important.”

I, for one, have eaten far too many un-tasted meals.

When we allow ourselves to feel, we get present to now and who we are, which can be truly terrifying. Feeling pleasure may open us to feeling other things which may not initially seem quite so appealing—fear, anxiety, sadness, longing.

But here’s the crazy thing: we can still feel pain and still feel pleasure at the same time.

We can be uncomfortable or sad, and still marinate in the deliciousness of life. In fact, those emotional colors will actually heighten our ability to feel pleasure more thoroughly, more completely, and in every moment.

Imagine a world where we dared to feel pleasure.

A world where we didn’t have to wait to be perfect, or pretty enough, or successful enough to fully embrace the sensations of life. One where we are already beautiful, delicious, and fully sexy.

Feeling pleasure makes the preciousness of life unavoidable. Having a greater connection to our feelings leads to empathy, joy, truth, and deep relationship. Ultimately, it leads to peace.

Dating is an opportunity to actively cultivate our capacity for pleasure.

We must practice opening ourselves afresh to the exquisite sensations of being alive. We must be bold in claiming for ourselves our birthright.

The Pleasure Manifesto:

I am a delicious and miraculous child of the Universe.
I claim pleasure as my birthright and accept fully-heartedly the gifts of my senses.
I relish my body’s aliveness, sensations, and vibrancy.
I discard shame as an antiquated social imposition, and I feel the pleasure of each and every moment.
I am brave and choose to live more fully, freely, and passionately NOW.

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Apprentice Editor: Carrie Marzo, Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: media library, Riana Frankel

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