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Words by Self Care Originals

Is the erotic a resource for resistance?

In a world that promulgates capitalism and the patriarchy, it truly is. It’s a complicated and layered fact. One that is eloquently explored in Audre Lorde’s timeless essay, ‘Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power’.

'Of course, women so empowered are dangerous. So we are taught to separate the erotic demand from most vital areas of our lives other than sex.' Lorde offers.

Her writing provides the perfect intersectional vantage point to assess pleasure as a value, as she advises on the personal connection of eroticism in relation to self-affirmation. Speaking primarily to cisgender women, we learn that to deny participation in pleasure is to deny the pursuit of social power.

Finding and accepting pleasure into our lives are two distinct skills. By virtue of the patriarchal system we operate within, honing the skill requires a conscious rejection of the ideals that suppress our impulses. With that in mind, when we embrace pleasure, we work to establish the idea that external pressure pales in comparison to internal erotic power.

Emphasising and chasing our need for pleasure also asks us to consider our idea of desirability. When bodies are marred by models of regression, we further suppress pleasure as a condition for personal connection. Between the push and pull of what we desire and what we are bound to, the pleasure economy prevails. Instead of recognising pleasure as a healthy need, we are sold alternatives that neglect human desires.

The ability to identify and refute social standards bound by patriarchy and capitalism is the first step to true empowerment. Challenging what is standard and engaging in acts of pleasure for pleasure's sake is defiance; it's a load bearing pillar of socially-aware self care.

To prioritise identity and passion for one’s own needs, we need to centre sensation and connection to our innate desires. When we are open to pleasure, we give weight to its effect and the power available to others.

TDLR - Embracing pleasure is an act of defiance. When we seek pleasure (over work, capitalism, the patriarchy), we are affirming our value. So, welcome pleasure. Make time for play. Embrace your worth. Seek your own happiness. And watch your self-confidence, self-acceptance, and self-love grow.

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Self Care™ Originals respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country on which we work, the Wurundjeri Willam people, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.