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he·don·ist (noun):
a person whose life is
devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification.

I am a hedonist. In the past I only said it jokingly – I, like most in American culture, internalized the belief that there is something wrong with pleasure. We can have all kinds of discussion about Puritanical values, racism and a host of other things, but I don’t really care why I believed it. I just know I had to get over it.

Robyn Vie-Carpenter

Pleasure feels good! Why would anyone want to deny her or himself pleasure? It goes against all logic: If something feels good, how is that bad? It’s not a discussion about the extreme ways people find pleasure – I have nothing to say about it one way or the other.

I am here to discuss being a hedonist.

One of my favorite times to people watch is late in the evening at a dance party, be it any night at X Bar or at a Babes Around Denver First Friday. Liquor has hit a lot of people’s horny spots, and they’re in the right place to let their freak flags fly. I love it. I’ve done it. I know exactly when it’s about to happen. I look for a perch and watch the heat rise wishing there was popcorn and a cushy chair, because it’s always a good show.

Jackets and shirts come off. Though I may not have the desire to see everyone begin undressing, it’s one of the first signals that things are heating up. People have let go of the notion that they still need to keep their cute outfits together. Now they can let loose and get down to the nitty-gritty. I love it. Sweat and arms are flying. The music is pumping and people are grinding. Sometimes I feel like I need a cigarette by the end of the night.

I’m a hedonist in all things, striving to find pleasure in all aspects of my life: Food, friends, frolicking, each thing adding pleasure to parts of my day, giving me the opportunity to experience more layers of pleasure. Doesn’t that sound good? Wouldn’t you prefer a day filled with thoughts and feelings of pleasure instead of pain or dissatisfaction?

If there are so many pleasurable things and experiences available to us every day, then it stands to reason that pleasure is more the point of existence than suffering. Who am I to argue with Divine Order? I’m just here to learn.

Instead of trying to make me feel somehow inferior for allowing myself to find pleasure in life, embrace me and say “good job.” I have found a way to get to the succulent parts of life, where the sweet juiciness lies.

We all need life to be sweeter. I refuse to play the “how many things can I cut out of my diet” game. Our sole purpose in life can’t really be to suffer. Why would butter, cheese, wine and chocolate be so delicious if we weren’t meant to enjoy them? Who’d sign up for that? And if our divine design is really geared toward pleasure, then we are dishonoring ourselves by not experiencing it.

We must give ourselves permission to enjoy the pleasures that life has to offer. We must remember that just because someone else is experiencing a pleasurable life doesn’t in any way deter from having one ourselves. So, stop sending evil vibes toward your ex. Everyone deserves pleasure, even people that were a source of pain for you.

You have to decide that you’re ready to own your hedonist. Are you ready to connect to the succulent sides of life? Are you ready to say yes to pleasure?

Great! So, if you find yourself in a tropical local, and you see someone that looks like me dancing naked in the moonlight, just smile and wish her a lovely hedonistic dance.