The Darker Side of Pleasure

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

As an add-on to my post Masturbation as Meditation, I would like to share with you guys another excerpt from Betty’s Dodson’s  Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving that I really like.

While I continue to believe that my spirituality and sexuality are closely connected, if not one in the same, I don’t want to go overboard and turn sex into a religion. And I don’t want all my orgasms to be sacred, ecstatic, ritualized communions with some divine purpose. There are times I just want a “maintenance orgasm” with a scuzzy, low-down fantasy. For me, being in the limelight on a full-time basis becomes unreal and I’m dehumanized. I don’t want to deny or ignore my dark side; that mean little person who’s envious and angry and who flirts with evil thoughts and plays with fantasy violence. When we ignore the dark side, the light of our spirituality becomes dim and we’re in danger of turning into mindless automatons willing to follow a false leader.

Aren’t books great? I could sit here all day and share with you all some of my favorite excerpts.

This idea of indulging the darker side of our psyches is something that I’ve always given a lot of thought to. Growing up, when I was in the early phases of becoming a teenager, I found myself developing my own sense of self, and of right and wrong. That was the period in my life where I questioned “life, the universe and everything” the most. I’d have endless conversations with friends in which we would define our values and the ways in which we saw ourselves leading our lives.

Moving away from home, when I was seventeen, was the period in my life where those thoughts and ideas would come into play and actually become part of who I am. I think that everyone goes through a period in their lives where there’s a dichotomy between the person you want to be and the way in which you define yourself through action. For example, honesty is a quality that I value greatly and aspired to, but I also found myself living the kind of life style that seemed to require a lot of lying to my parents or my friends parents, in terms of keeping certain facts and behaviors secret.

Living that kind of extreme contradiction is rather difficult and can lead to some serious emotional/mental problems and when the stress becomes too much, like it did when I was twenty, you need to change it all around or risk harming yourself. So that’s what I did, I started to live according to this image of what I thought it meant to be a good and wholesome person. Frankly, I needed that break from the lifestyle I had been living (some crazy stuff happened in those days), but the downside is that living this ideal of perfection, although healthier in many respects, lead to another kind of extreme. An extreme in which I lost parts of who I was. And let’s be honest here, I have a wicked dark streak.

After doing my best to change my very nature, I realized that I was so removed from certain aspects of who I was that it became an actual handicap and I needed to change things again. That is when I came to the conclusion that you can’t live a balanced live if you don’t also indulge in your dark side. I am by no means suggesting that you go out and act on some crazy desire that is ultimately destructive and only serves to hurt others, but somewhere, and this is up to you, you have to make little compromises with yourself and say “I know that technically this is wrong or maybe not the best decision, but I give myself permission to do it anyways.”

Indulge you’re little sins, give in to the darker side of pleasure, at least once in a while and I guarantee you’ll live a much more balanced life. When you repress all those things about yourself they tend to resurface in pathological ways. No kidding, it can lead to some serious problems with anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and a whole host of nasty little problems that are a hell of a lot more difficult to deal with than, I don’t know, never wearing your seat belt or having sex in public places.

Crossposted from Cuntlove.

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