Hedonism, by definition, is the pursuit of satisfying pleasures as a rule. Treating yourself is the name of the game! Hedonism is something that’s talked about seldomly and in hushed tones, and it’s often seen as shameful or taboo. Hedonists are labeled as greedy pleasure-seekers with no moral compass.
But that’s such an archaic stereotype!
Such negative views of hedonism likely stem from religious views that advocate for moderation, modesty, and chastity, rather than self-indulgence and complete personal bliss. So many structures in our lives seek to both limit our pleasure and to shame us for it. Without getting to much into the politics of it all, the Church, for example, shames sexuality enormously and seeks to limit sexual experimentation and so many other pleasures. In fact, the Church’s Seven Deadly Sins (lust, pride, sloth, greed, envy, wrath, gluttony) are basic human feelings that, as a hedonist, I feel we shouldn’t be shamed for.
Our society as a whole seeks to limit our pleasures, too. Self-indulgent people are constantly shamed. Indulgent eaters are seen as slobs; sexually experimental people are seen as perverted or dirty; people who have a lot of sex are devalued and shamed as whores, etc.
The purpose of life isn’t to stave off death for as long as possible by living in total moderation and keeping your head down. After all, safety is a complete illusion — we could all drop dead of any number of things at any given moment. So, if I’m craving cake for breakfast, I’ll treat myself to a goddamn piece of cake for breakfast. I explore kinks freely and shamelessly, as a rule. I say what’s on my mind without restraint or fear, and I get everything that I want in life. I live a hedonistic life of luxury. comfort, and indulgence.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t help others or that I’m inherently lazy, nor does my hedonism make me a bad person. I’m an animal welfare advocate, and donate regularly to causes I support. I have a strong sense of ethics and believe in being a good person! Hedonists are simply self-advocates who go after what they want in life. We’re happy people, and we want happiness for others, too.
So, yes. I am a hedonist, loud and proud. I eat. I dance. I’m blunt. I indulge. I have sex. I avoid things and people that make me feel badly and pursue only positivity. Please stop radicalizing hedonism and shaming hedonists! Oh, and remember to treat yourself. You deserve it!