Why Pleasure Matters Way More Than We Think
Good morning Dear Ones,
Spirit has nudged me for about a week now to share this topic with you. If you’d told me ten years ago I’d be sharing this with you all, I’d have laughed HARD in your face for five solid minutes:
Is what I would’ve said. Maybe in movies and pornos. But in real life? I think not, my dear confused friend. Here on earth, hard work and hard work alone is the rule—the only thing that gets you anywhere or anything in life. So thank you, but no, thank you. I’ve got WORK to do.
Or something to that effect.
Let me also say, Dear Ones, that this topic may trigger a number of you. It most definitely would have triggered me seven years ago. If it does, I invite you to stick with it, be curious about what beliefs the triggers are revealing. Despite your resistance, gold might be waiting for you on the other side of the journey, as there was for me.
Thank God Almighty, beginning around the time that I was 26, a series of life crises brought me utterly to my knees, face down in the crap of the work-worshipping life I’d created and clung to for so long.
I’ll spare you all now the story about how one day the universe shoved the essential role of pleasure in my face. For now, I’ll just say it involved a retrospectively hilarious night when I mistook a speed dating event for a networking event, and in overcompensating for my error with wild charisma and chattiness, I met a woman who became a mentor and who was— go figure—an orgasm coach.
Okay, I hear you asking, “What on earth is Anastasia talking about? Let’s get to it. Why DOES pleasure matter, SO VERY MUCH?
This subject truly deserves several beautifully written books, but here are just a few good reasons to get started:
- Discovering our pleasure helps us overcome our blocks and the “SHOULD” thinking our culture so loves and frees us instead to connect with our DESIRES. And the more we allow ourselves the courage to identify and nourish our desires, not only is every day made utterly satisfying, but eventually, we discover our soul’s purpose, and we remain intimately connected to it as we evolve over the course of our lifetime.
- As we open to our genuine desires and our pleasure, we discover who we are in our ESSENCE. Doing this not only frees us from the existential anxiety of wondering who we are and doubting why we’re doing what we’re doing, it allows us to cultivate relationships with people who love and treasure the REAL us, not some performative or half-understood version of who we are. With each day we open to our authentic pleasure and desire, we KNOW better who we are, so we can SHARE that essential self with everyone we choose.
In her book, Pussy, Regina Thomashauer explains that our desires are the way the Divine reveals to us what we are here to do and experience— what will bring us into our pleasure and into our purpose. I could not agree more! Following my pleasure led me to leave my job at what is now the world’s largest hedge fund to follow my desires first to become a filmmaker, and ultimately to embrace self-love and relationship coaching, which I utterly adore and where I belong.
- When we allow ourselves to pursue our pleasure and our desires while believing that it is GOOD for us to do so, we open ourselves to EVERYTHING.
- We receive more.
- We FEEL more.
- We leave toxic relationships.
- We attract soulful and nourishing relationships.
- We build businesses of passion and purpose.
- We say NO with ease and grace.
- We say YES to things that light us up.
- And despite ingrained beliefs that doing all this will implode our lives in a sea of chaos and irresponsibility, we discover we are SO MUCH MORE ABUNDANT, POWERFUL, CREATIVE, GENERATIVE, HAPPY, LOVED and LOVING than we were before we decided to make Pleasure Our Guide.
- And if we let ourselves, we can fully surrender “should” thinking and let the “Choice for Pleasure” become our new normal.
Let me share with you a quick comparison of two days that highlight what we’re talking about (making the Choice for Pleasure is definitely a practice until it becomes our default!):
Painful “Should” Day:
I wake up, and rather than giving myself the usual time I take to connect inwardly with my desires or with Spirit, I let my ego convince me there is “so much that should get done today; there’s no time to pray or dialogue or even ask what I might actually desire to do,” So I fall into mindless doing, and the pain begins almost as immediately as my unconscious choice to not prioritize my pleasure.
I tell myself I MUST buy a set of suitcases for my husband for our upcoming trip, and they MUST be perfect in every way: (perfect functionality, lifetime warranty, stylish, you name it).
Several hours later, I am feeling angry, resentful, actually full of hate (seriously); why the hell does anyone need suitcases anyway? When my husband comes home, I ask—no, demand— he tells me which of the best models I’ve identified would bring him the most pleasure (as if pushing demands have ever yielded pleasure). He tries his best to answer but isn’t exactly sure, and in my unconscious “need” to move the day forward, I insist he chooses NOW! (You know you’re in “should” land when the voice driving your choices cannot wait lovingly for an answer.) This leads us to a fight, and I storm out of the house in tears, feeling unloved and unsupported.
I spend the next several hours feeling into where everything went so horribly wrong. In the shadow of the pita stand where I eat sad falafel, I see how I created the whole mess we’re sitting in by deciding unconsciously to do what I thought I “should do” instead of choosing to start my day with pleasure, and then feeling into what I desired to do with my day from the start.
Fortunately, my husband and I are practiced at making repairs when one of us goes unconscious like this, so we proceed to swiftly correct this wrong turn. But the point is all this suffering could easily have been avoided by choosing to start my day with pleasure instead of “shoulds” and letting my authentic desires guide my day.
Delicious Pleasure Day:
I wake up, give myself all the time I need for my usual meditation, prayer, and inner dialoguing. I make the choice for pleasure and move my body in ways that feel amazing and let it feel as good as it possibly can. I emerge from this sweaty, delighted, nourished by pleasure and overflowing with energy. I feel deeply connected to my desires (something I NEVER used to feel). I ask myself, “what do I desire next?” I look at the to-do list on my desk from the day before but choose to pause and ask myself what would really bring me pleasure now. The answer is clear: there’s a workshop I’ve been wanting to create to teach people how to love themselves through the holidays. Immediately, I sit down and type it out, feeling with pleasure into everything participants will learn from this experience. I notice the desire to share my idea with a dear friend to see what she thinks. So I send it to her, without attachment, and share that Spirit moved me to ask her if she thinks it might bring joy to the college alumni she serves.
I follow my desire for a leisurely walk outside, and admire the beautiful old trees everywhere, feeling grateful to have honored my authentic desires so well this morning. Within an hour I come home and discover my friend already replied: “I LOVE THIS!!! Let’s pick dates and get this on the calendar!” And a joyful, pleasurable collaboration with a woman I love and admire is born, all from choosing to honor my authentic desire to create. I feel joyful, alive, connected, turned on, and overflowing with gratitude. Had I followed my “should list” my living room table might have been cleaned and some bills paid, but I’d likely feel blah or more likely pissed because I’d overlooked my truest desire to create in that moment.
Does this make sense?
So how do we find our pleasure and let it lead us where it wants us to go?
And, having found it, how do we let our pleasure matter in our lives?
- We Become Willing
- We recognize that in each moment we have a choice whether to do those things that our ego/society/familial conditioning tells us we “should” do, or to do those things which our intuitive center knows we truly desire (and what’s pleasurable, and ultimately what’s in our highest good).
- I’ve found that the earlier in the day we make the Choice for Pleasure, the better. Like breeds like, so why not start your day, turned on, and choosing pleasure, so that more and more of that can unfold and be magnetized to you the rest of your day? This is so much easier than correcting the path of a day started with the choice of “shoulds,” disconnection, or any other ugly form of action out of unconscious obligation.
- We Become Aware of Our Pleasure Producers
- We experiment! We become detectives of our own pleasure. As soon as we’re willing to see where our pleasure takes us, we begin the gorgeous journey of exploring what turns us on, lights us up, feeds our soul, inspires & energizes us.
- We Commit to Doing Some (if Not All) of Our Pleasure Producers Daily
- For some us, pleasure looks like recreating your favorite restaurant dish at home in your own kitchen until you make a version of it that’s even tastier than the original.
- For some of us, that looks like giving ourselves permission to consciously expand our ability to receive by giving ourselves 10 orgasms (or more!) each morning. You might affirm “I’m a millionaire in the making and I TOTALLY deserve this much pleasure, (and then some!!). Or “Pleasure is my birthright, and I open to receive more of it now with every deep inhale I take.” (You thought I was joking about the triggers didn’t you? If this one makes you uncomfortable, I invite you to put down this article and go try it now. I’ve seen this be a game changer for clients who don’t know how to receive well yet.)
- For some, it’s going to Babeland, in person or online, and ask a knowledgeable staff member to recommend the very best vibrator or toy they have in the store!
- For some of us, this is as simple as turning off the TV and creating conscious community with friends or showing up in service to those in need.
- For some, it’s an Epsom salt bath after a long day (or after a pleasurable day— just because it feels so good!)
- For others, it’s singing/screaming along to Sia’s “Straight for the Knife” in your living room or car as you shed the necessary tears over the heartbreak of your breakup or divorce. (Allowing yourself to feel your core feelings is a HUGE part of the opening to a life led by Pleasure — as Brene Brown taught us, we can only go as high as we allow ourselves to go low). Note Dear Ones: If you have trauma or suspect there are more feelings than you feel comfortable processing alone, pleasure also demands you give yourself the necessary support of someone trained in allowing grief and other core feelings.
- For some, pleasure feels like going out on twenty interviews over the next six months to discover the position and place of work that most deeply resonates with your soul.
- For others, it’s quitting your job before finding the next thing and trusting that in so doing you are creating space for something better to come around the corner. (This is especially appropriate when you’ve done all you can to improve things and discover that it’s impossible for you to live in integrity with your values—and thus in your truth or your pleasure— in your current position or place of work).
- For some, it’s writing first thing when creativity strikes (writing this article for you all to share what I’ve been learning feels incredibly pleasurable and delicious). And doing work in general or “getting shit done” as Sage Lavine calls it is very often pleasurable when it comes from pleasure/desire and not from unhappy obligation.
- For some, it’s stroking your cat’s fuzzy belly on your couch.
- For some, it’s running, pole dance classes, Kundalini yoga or any other juicy form of physical movement.
- We Cultivate a Mindset that Lets Pleasure Be Our North Star
- As we become super skillful Pleasure Producers, opening to greater abundance by allowing yourself more orgasms, using affirmations of what’s really true about our deservingness to receive great pleasure is one of the most loving things we can do.
- Whatever you discover brings you pleasure and feeds your desire, use affirmations like these to strengthen your worthiness to receive and to make having your desires met and feeling pleasurable your new norm:
- Thank you, Universe for this delicious soup I just made myself. I totally deserve to cook myself healthy, delicious, flavorful food like this all the time.
- I was created to experience pleasure & I open to receive more of it now.
- This movement in my body feels AMAZING and I affirm how deeply I deserve to feel this amazing every day. Moving forward, I commit to generating movement that feels this good every day.
- We Become Actively Grateful for All the Miracles that Naturally Start Unfolding
- Because the truth is, Dear One, as you allow yourself, over and over, to make the Choice for Pleasure, you start to feel AMAZING, loved, nourished, on-purpose, satisfied, connected, and FULL OF PLEASURE, as often as you desire.
- At first, so much goodness can be a shock to our system, so to allow us to sustain our Choice for Pleasure, it’s essential that we find a way to “Empty Our Cup,” so to speak, so there is room for even more pleasure and goodness to come in.
- How do we do this? If you don’t already have a gratitude journal, now is the time to start one. It can be in paper; it can be in the notes part of your iPhone, it can be a notebook in Evernote. It really doesn’t matter where it is. But DO, PLEASE, make the time to write down how AMAZING you feel, how FULFILLED your choice for pleasure leaves you, and how all the MIRACLES start showing up in every area of your life as you make the courageous and ultimately most empowering choice any person can make — to let pleasure become your priority.
You get the picture, right?
Did you notice that you don’t need anyone but you to do any of these Pleasure Producers? How fricking exciting is that?!
And the list of possible Pleasure Producers we could include here is endless. The list of personal affirmations that allow YOU to receive pleasure happily and easily is equally endless.
The only catch is – these lists are PERSONAL – Your Pleasure is Your Business. And no one can chart your pleasure map except you.
Similarly, no one can identify what affirmations or truer truths you need to affirm that will let you open to receiving more.
But the very good news is, the minute you say yes to letting Pleasure lead, books and teachers meant explicitly and entirely for you to expand your pleasure and joy will fall at your feet!
And what can you expect will happen once you fully open to the Choice for Pleasure?
Well, in short, everything.
The more pleasure we give ourselves, the more we acknowledge that we deeply deserve to experience all this pleasure DAILY and then some, the following starts to occur:
- More pleasure starts finding us!
- Opportunities for more joyful work, experiences, and relationships flow to us through the woodwork of Life. In my own experience, it was as if Life had been waiting, ecstatically and for years, to give me unlimited gifts of pleasure and joy beyond anything of my wildest imaginings, but it was simply waiting for me to give it full permission so it could begin filling my world with wonders.
- We become magnetic and turned on people!
- You know those people who feel and look glowly, alive, and, well, turned-on? That, my beloved, is YOU as you allow pleasure to be your new roadmap. How fricking sexy is that?!
- Relationships improve radically
- Because you’re now committed to being a CONSTANT SOURCE of Pleasure in your own life and drop those things that do not bring you pleasure or fuel your desires, people around you are magnetized and inspired to bring even more pleasure to you! Like attracts life. And all minds are joined. So inside your Choice for Pleasure, every person in your world will feel and know without your saying a thing that you’re only open for Pleasure Business. Nay-sayers won’t even try to rain on your Pleasure Parade (at least not more than once when you laugh them away with a “no, thank you!”). And best of all, people will be drawn to you unconsciously, wanting to learn what on earth you’re doing so they themselves can get in on the action too!
- This was my story of being drawn to my own Pleasure Mentor that fateful night of meeting my “Orgasm Coach” at that speed-dating-actually-a-
Perhaps your own Choice for Pleasure will follow a more subtle narrative than mine. Perhaps this article is just the spark you needed to even begin to open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there might be a better, more pleasurable way to move through your life. Or perhaps you’ll waltz into Babeland right after finishing this and get your Pleasure Party started.
Whatever your path looks like, Dear One, please know, I am here, rooting for you and your Pleasure-fueled, Badass Life 2000%!!
Because as we all know and have heard a million times, the world needs turned-on people who’ve come alive. And if you’ve made it this far, Dear One, well, that’s about to be you. Or an even bigger version of the luscious you you already are. And I, for one, can’t wait to see what is now about to unfold in your Pleasure-fueled life!
So why don’t we start right now?
Right this instant, write down your answers to the following questions (I DARE you!):
- What do I desire most in this moment?
- Notice if you can do what you desire right now and if so, go do it!
- If it needs to wait, decide when you can make it happen, and book a time in your calendar when you are gonna make it happen, then DO IT!
- Is there anything I’m doing now or in general that brings me NO pleasure?
- See if you might be willing to stop doing that thing THIS INSTANT or within a week or a timeframe that works for you to rid your world of this Pleasure Sucker.
- What might bring me great pleasure that I could instead put in its place?
- Commit to doing this as soon as you can.
***Note For Those of You Who Are Feeling Triggered:
First of all, thank you for making it this far. I’m impressed with you. Seriously. I don’t know if seven years ago with all my spiritual, emotional, and psychological obstacles to receiving pleasure or pleasure being a good thing in any form, I could’ve made it here myself.
If seven years ago someone had asked me what I desired, I would have stared at them blankly or with deep confusion, and if really pushed, maybe said, “Tacos?”
So if all this desire-talk has left you feeling tricky, nauseous, afraid, resistant, threatened, or confused, that’s GREAT NEWS!!
Seriously that’s EXACTLY how I felt when I met my Pleasure Mentor.
These feelings you’re feeling are simply great information that there are some ingrained beliefs you’re carrying from any number of sources that will need releasing so you can receive the pleasure-fueled life that is your birthright.
Here is how you might approach these feelings:
- What am I telling myself is true about my worthiness to receive pleasure, in this moment (or ever)?
- For instance, I used to carry a belief from my childhood with a narcissistic parent that “Pleasure is for other people. And it’s my job to give it to them.” So for decades, receiving pleasure was out of the question (which made relationships deeply problematic as I’m sure you can imagine).
- What might a truer truth be about my worthiness to receive pleasure (or whatever your block might be)?
- The deeper truth I discovered, honestly one night from Divine Spirit is “I deserve to receive pleasure – now and ALL THE TIME. So I choose to open to receive it now.” And this began healing not only my relationships but just about every other area of my world.
- What am I afraid might happen if I let desire lead my life (instead of work, etc.)?
- For example, “I’m afraid I’ll do nothing and my life will collapse in a ball of sweaty sheets and I’ll lose my job and the respect of my boss, friends, family, and, well, EVERYONE.”
- What might be a truer truth of what will actually happen if you let desire lead your life (instead of work)?
- For example, “I’ll be super energized by how GOOD I’m feeling, and have MORE energy to do the things that actually matter most; I’ll start CREATING MORE THAN EVER, and I’ll start ENJOYING ALL MY RELATIONSHIPS because they’ll be built upon an authentic relationship with the REAL ME who I’ll finally know fully, maybe for the first time ever, or in a very long time.”
I know, I know. These deeper truths almost sound too good to be true. That’s exactly how I felt at first too.
So I really encourage you to just fake it until you make it here, Dear Ones. And through experience, over time, I promise, you’ll come to discover the profound truth of the truer truth statements above. And just watch how your life lights up like a menorah or Christmas tree.
If this historically neurotic and indecisive Virgo/Libra-rising could decide to make the Choice for Pleasure, and watch as my work, my love, and my decisive, self-honoring choices began cultivating the most beautiful version of my life I’ve ever experienced, YOU CAN & WILL TOO!!
Surround yourself with women and men who you sense are living turned-on lives, and find out what they’re doing. Try some of those things on that resonate yourself. Experiment! As my mentor says, “you can’t do you wrong!”
So go for it! You have EVERYTHING to gain, and only anxiety, depression, fear, confusion and low energy to lose!
I really hope all of this helps those of you who needed to read this now!
If you feel like sharing what Pleasure Producers you take on this month with me or on FB, I’m all ears!
Let’s DO this!!!
With all my love and SO MUCH PLEASURE!!