Pleasure Activism is a collection of essays and various media curated by adrienne maree brown that focuses on the intersection between pleasure, sexuality, and activism of all forms.
We're super excited to be reading and talking about this book for this month's sexuality book club! We also understand that not everyone has time or energy to read an entire book in a month or less, but we love the discussions we have during these meetings, so here's the cliff notes on "Pleasure Activism"
So What's with the title: "Pleasure Activism"?
Many books, essays, and scholarly sources surrounding political change and social development tend to focus on deficits and sorrow and pain and how we need to work as a society to fix any assorted social issue to relieve people, including ourselves, from this pain. While this is absolutely valid and a deeply important perspective to take on the issue, it is also honestly a bummer! Living in a world surrounded by inequality and using that suffering to fuel your passion for change alone can definitely take a massive toll on your sanity if you're anything like me.
That's where the premise of this book comes in. adrienne maree brown and many other writers in this collection take the stance that, while yes there is a lot of negativity and inequity in the world that we need to change, we don't have to suffer to help. They posit that political activism can be a deeply fulfilling and legitimately pleasurable feat to undertake! We don't have to sit in suffering and discomfort alone, you can genuinely enjoy the work you do and most importantly: not feel bad about feeling good in something that so often leaves us feeling drained and sad.
I think the following excerpt from the collection, specifically an essay titled "WHEREIN I WRITE ABOUT SEX (Five Tangible Tools of a Pleasure Activist)," really illustrates the theoretical through-line of the collection:
"I have been thinking, what feels good is sustainable. When my body feels good, my life feels good, and I want to keep going, and fight for my right to exist and love and grow and evolve. This is true whether it is in the context of a meeting, or a relationship, or a night of lovemaking. That doesn’t mean the absence of discomfort or awkwardness or hard conversations or learning. But the majority experience should be presence—being fully alive. And I think that comes from experiencing ease, pleasure, connection."
Why should I come to the February Sexuality Book Club?
After you've read this post and hopefully the book as well, you may be wondering what we'll be doing at this coming Sexuality Book Club. At these book club meetings, we always do our best to have fun, engaging, and enlightening conversations about what we all got from that month's book. Something I personally am always entertained by is how differently two people can interpret and apply even the same quote to their lives and learn from it.
I would also like to mention that while there are people of all backgrounds that come to these, there is also the primary organizer, Amanda Auchenpaugh, one of Revolution's licensed therapists who guides these groups and always has some of the most interesting and thoughtful takes on the book and how we can really grow from what we've read.
On top of ALL of this, the book club is completely donation-based, so pay if you can but don't lose sleep over it, AND there's complimentary food (one of my personal favorite parts of it all).
With all of this said, if you have a couple free hours on February 19th, we would all really love to see you there and hear what you thought of the book or even just to engage in conversation!
Hope to see you there!!