Why Does there Have to be Guilt Associated with Pleasure?

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

If so, what would you say is your guilty pleasure?

Here is a definition I found online for guilty pleasure: something, such as a movie, television program, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.

Recently, I have been in the process of editing some podcasts lately and I had started asking this question to all of my guests: what is your guilty pleasure? Some would say chocolate, watching Netflix, the Bachelor, even Bollywood movies as well as some others. One guest I had questioned had rightly corrected me and said she did not believe in pleasure being seen as guilty and it definitely had me thinking about how often the things that I do or consume, which aren’t necessarily bad for me, could be construed as a guilty pleasure. Either by what society says or programming from my childhood that has led me to believe that what I am doing that gives me pleasure and makes me feel good is actually bad for me.

I ran into an article that was written this summer in the New York Times that talks about this very thing and quotes Adrienne Marie-Brown who wrote Pleasure Activism and states that too much of a good thing is never good, but having an understanding and knowing of what brings us pleasure is important if we want to find that balance.

I think it is common for us to either feel bad about what we consume, whether in our bodies or our brains, and therefore call it a guilty pleasure. Or to feel that doing those things are for lazy people, such as napping, and instead we keep ourselves always busy and occupied and thus find no rest and no real pleasure in our lives.

So, I no longer constitute eating a piece of chocolate, watching a show in Netflix, taking a nap or dare I even say it, masturbating 😲 a guilty pleasure because they all give me pleasure and allow me balance in my life.

Instead of guilty pleasures, let it just be a pleasurable and what you enjoy, don’t carry anymore guilt around it. So, tell me, what do you do that gives you pleasure?