Activism 101: Pleasure as Resistance

I am loving everything I am learning about pleasure as a form of resistance. My first introduction to this concept was, of course, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by adrienne maree brown. This book really helped me challenge the narrative I subscribed to that activism is all about work and grind. Our politics should feel good and what makes us feel good has been politicized.

But pleasure activism has not started here. Activists like Audre Lorde have been doing this work for ages.

You have probably heard the Audre Lorde Quote before: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

Going farther than just self-care for self-preservation is seeking to change the world in order to create one that feels good to live in is pleasure activism to me at its core.

And for so many marginalized and oppressed folks, just surviving is revolutionary, but what if we could live in a world that we can live joyously and pleasurably? I don’t want to just live, I want to feel good living.

As for this topic and most of the Activism 101 series, I offer suggestions because I am no expert and you are the expert to choose the activist paths that feel good to you (see what I did there??).

Here are some other folks I enjoy learning more about pleasure and activism through:

Dawn Serra 

Dawn is amazing! I love her newsletter and have attended a couple of her emotional mapping sessions. I first encountered her through her Explore More Summit in 2020 (and did I need a pleasure-centered conference at the beginning of a global pandemic). She does a lot, so check her out!

Prentis Hemphill

I first heard Prentis speak at the Explore More Summit. I was instantly captivated with their talk! I follow them on Instagram and read their blog posts on their website. The way they talk about embodiment and healing justice is just so beautiful.

Sonya Renee Taylor

Sonya Renee Taylor introduced me to radical self-love through her book The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love. I just love how she draws connections to our oppression being tied to systems that make us hate ourselves. If you interested in starting the journey yourself, you can get her workbook as well! 

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