Why women need to stop conflating shame with pleasure to live fulfilling lives.
There is no one around and deep inside, you feel a powerful urge to express the depth of your ache. You ache for deep, fulfilling pleasure, and you want it now!
Scenario 1: You reach for your hidden stash of chocolate and with trembling fingers, rip open the wrapper to reveal the silky, forbidden darkness. As you bring it to your lips, your mouth is flooded with a gush of saliva. One bite and your eyes roll back into your head; you are filled with pulsing delight.
Scenario 2: You start to move your body in ways that allow your pleasure to amplify and express itself more fully. Slowly, in the most luscious ways, you touch your body, and moans of delight escape your throat.
Finale: Both scenes end abruptly when you realize what you have indulged in and quickly, you are flushed with berating thoughts. You swear you will never do it again.
In our liberated world, it's astonishing to see that the words "shame" and "pleasure" are almost synonymous. How did this happen? Why is it so prevalent?
Let's first look at shame. In some definitions, it has a positive light of providing us with a sense of humility, albeit at times false, and thus, hopefully leading us to behave respectfully. Those of us who have no shame are regarded to have a lack of humility and thus, believed to behave in disrespectful ways. This biased definition assumes that we do not have a conscience and that we're not capable of behaving according to society's rules and guidelines. Do we honestly need shame in order to guide our behaviors? Can we become more aware of ourselves without the need to take on shame as our chaperone?
And what about pleasure? Let's consider the ancient myth of Eros, the God of Love, and Psyche, the Goddess of the Human Soul. When they finally marry, they give birth to Hedone, the spirit of Pleasure, whose name became the root word of Hedonism. The modern interpretation of hedonism is often linked with negative aspects of sexuality. However, the original definition of a hedonist, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, is a "follower of any ethical system in which some sort of pleasure ranks as the highest good. The Epicurean identifies this pleasure with the practice of virtue." Keep reading...
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