Pleasure has gotten a bad rap. Often deemed superficial or sinful, negative attitudes about pleasure are prevalent. The truth is that pleasure is how the body experiences pure joy and there is no more potent antidote to stress. Pleasure is healing and expansive. Never underestimate the power of the Pleasure Principle.
I learned about that power some years back, close up and personal, in a never-to-be-forgotten experience. A new love interest took me to an outdoor salsa festival. I had never danced salsa before and I rushed out of the house in the wrong shoes -- slip-on platform sandals. Roberto was a professional dancer and should have told me to bring or wear something more suitable, but he wasn’t paying any attention in his urgency to get us on the road. And besides, he was a narcissist who was just using me to get a ride there.
It was a gorgeous spring day in Southern California and I was excited and happy to be out with my new lover. There was a live band playing and they were hot! The dance floor was one of those portable floors made of tongue-and-groove parquet squares slotted together. We began to dance and I quickly kicked off my useless platform sandals. Even though I didn’t really know what I was doing, I was having a blast with my sexy younger hunk. Roberto led me into some basic steps and lots of turns and spins, then pulled me close and pressed his body up against mine. My body lit up and I felt so alive and free. I was in ecstasy, so much pleasure and joy on the dance floor.
I gradually became aware of something under my right foot. It felt like something on the floor, like a wad of paper maybe, and it was getting in my way. On a little break between songs, I looked down, but there was nothing on the floor. I lifted up my leg to see if it had gotten stuck to the bottom of foot. A thick layer of skin had torn off the entire ball of my foot and was hanging by an edge. I felt no pain, none at all. I had been in so much pleasure that I didn’t even feel how spinning barefoot over the metal grooves between squares had ripped my skin off, leaving an open oozing wound. It was only after Roberto helped me off the floor to a chair on the side that the pain came on. I was stunned to realize how powerful pleasure can be and I’ve respected that power ever since.
Here’s what I discovered through deep meditation and inquiry – the Pleasure Principle is a property of Divine Love. Divine Love is how the emotional body registers and experiences pure Beingness. Its properties include joy, pleasure, unconditional love, compassion, aesthetic values and beauty.
I call bullshit on any philosophy or religion that denies the power and divine purpose of the Pleasure Principle. I challenge those life-negating attitudes in all their variety – whether it be the commonly accepted idea that to grow or achieve we must go through struggle and pain, or that sacrifice and self-deprivation are good for us and worthy spiritual aspirations, or any other constructs that deny the life-expanding, joyous power of pleasure.
I write to give my readers pleasure, to turn them on and delight them. I feel so much love for my readers and my characters. When readers tell me (or post reviews) they enjoyed my book, Pink Diamonds, that it turned them on, that they couldn’t put it down, that it inspired them, my heart overflows with love and appreciation. What can I say? “It’s my pleasure!”