Hedonism is a term I have had a love/hate relationship with for a long while now. Growing up, I had equated it with gluttony, since the only way I had ever really heard it used was in relation to food. I don’t think that gluttony is an attractive thing. We all need to eat, and you should enjoy what you eat, but eating for eating’s sake never seemed like a very good thing to promote. I mean, there’s plenty of bad things that can happen to you if you eat merely to eat. You can get sick (too full!), you can get food poisoning, heart burn, health issues if you do it constantly. Etc. Hedonism was a thing to avoid, to not do. Hedonist was a thing to not be.
When I got older, I realized that Hedonism wasn’t related to extreme over eating, but rather, that Hedonism was the belief that pleasure or happiness is the highest good. There are lots of ways that people find pleasure. Food can be one of them, and there’s nothing wrong with including food in hedonism.
Then, once I began to understand that it was okay to be hedonistic, because pleasure is awesome, and joy is good for you, it began to take on another connotation to me. Many people who described themselves as Hedonists seemed to be very selfish. In other words, they just seemed to constantly take from others to suit their own joys and needs. I didn’t like the idea of labeling myself a Hedonist if that’s how others would see me. While I might be very hedonistic inside, if other people would look upon me and assume that meant that I didn’t want to give of myself, or to make other people happy unless it also suited myself, then I could definitely do without it. “Selfish” and “taker” are not really words which apply, or that I want to apply to me.
It was quite some time after that most recent discovery, that I realized that some people just completely misunderstand hedonism. Hedonism means that you enjoy pleasure, but it doesn’t mean you only enjoy receiving pleasure. You can find much, much joy is giving it too. And, being a hedonist doesn’t have to mean anything aside from the fact that you love pleasures of all kinds: a bubble bath, sex, food, sun bathing, incense.. Whatever it is that you enjoy, constantly seeking out more pleasure and more joy makes you a hedonist.
I feel hedonistic when Master and me eat an amazing meal together.
I feel hedonistic when I’m giving Master a back rub.
I feel hedonistic when someone bites my ear.
I feel hedonistic when I lounge in the bathtub for an hour, for absolutely no reason besides the fact that it feels good.
I feel hedonistic when I’m lying naked on one of Master’s velvet sheets.
I feel hedonistic when I drink water from a bowl on the floor.
I feel hedonistic when I am curled up with a book.
I seek pleasure for pleasure’s sake, and I do this absolutely as much as humanly possible. Being a hedonist doesn’t mean that I want to hurt others, or take what isn’t appropriate to take. I also find pleasure in serving other’s needs. Pleasure is found in most things I like to do, and if it is not, then I seek to further my joy in other ways.
I am a hedonist. I am proud.