ANTICIPATION IS HALF OF SEDUCTION
I had the honour of writing a commissioned essay for Jonathan Homsey’s latest curated exhibition, which launched at Blindside Gallery. Jonathan is a master of so many mediums, but his curation is stunning and thoughtful, and he's so damn kind.
He attended one of my workshops for Small Beyond where I supposedly said "anticipation is half of seduction". I don't remember saying it, but he did! So he created a whole exhibition around this exploration. I wrote this piece about what I feel pleasure is, and the process of cultivating and honouring it.
Below is the full piece.
Pleasure isn’t a wasteful frivolous distraction. Pleasure is enjoyment. Pleasure is political. Pleasure is health. Pleasure is resistance.
Our bodies moving through time and space is fundamentally sensual, this world is full of sensual delights. We perceive the world through our senses, even if we often forget we have a body, and are stuck in the most northern compartment of our bodies, whirling through a list of things to do to prove our productivity.
So if we can cultivate more pleasure, by experiencing more pleasure, which lubricates our lives with more pleasure, how do we actually experience more pleasure? Pleasure isn’t just sex, penetration, shared with someone else, or orgasm. Pleasure isn’t created in a vacuum, provided on demand, orgasms served by others with expectations with instant gratification, or disappointment.
No, it’s a forever slow dance of anticipation, seduction, waves, and tension generated by ourselves for ourselves. Our sensuality is lubricated by the smaller moments in our lives, in the small dances of our day to day.
But how do we remind ourselves to bring pleasure into the process, and allow ourselves and the world to seduce us over and over? To centre pleasure in our actions, body, tasks, and days?
Perhaps cultivating pleasure is asking yourself what you want and need and providing those moments, like self pleasure, boundaries, or joy in a task or process. It’s developing agency and a full sense of autonomy with your body and it’s feelings, rather than submitting your body, pleasure, comfort, and self to a situation, another person, or society.
Perhaps experiencing pleasure is through micro-movements and adjustments to your body, to make it a little more comfortable and enjoyable. To breath, move, make sound and allow your body and pleasure to take up space. Being aware of the nuances and range of sensation, the pressure of gravity on our bodies and how to play with the resistance and impact, the wind on our skin, how our body relates to our surroundings, the tension and release of movement, or impact from objects.
Or perhaps lubricating pleasure is the allowing of fantasy to lure you into infinite ways of being, doing, seeing, desiring. Your imagination mirroring and revealing your wants, needs, and desires to yourself. Then potentially bringing elements of those fantasies into reality. Or not. Perhaps leaving them in the fantasyscape as they have more seductive power there, are more appropriate, or ever-fulfilling.
We must gently keep asking ourselves and centring the question: how do we nurture the fragility of pleasure in our world and bodies, and safely take up space with our pleasure?