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Taking back pleasure

It's August. Hot, late summer feels like a lull in the year, a natural time to indulge human laziness before starting up again in the fall. My friends in France are on vacation for the month. People all over the world who have the wherewithal to do so are taking a break. Still, lots of people I know are still busy. I am. What about you? Breaks and pleasure are essential for good health and good sex. Even if you're slammed at work or busy getting ready for school to start this month, can you take some time to reclaim pleasure for yourself? Can you stop working a few minutes earlier and make a date with your favorite dinner partner? Can you take a walk around the most beautiful or interesting part of your neighborhood? Can you take a few minutes and indulge an especially hot fantasy when it pops into your mind in the middle of the day? Can you linger for a moment on what you've accomplished rather than what has yet to be done? Can you make some time for sex, and sleep, and a delicious meal? A lot of people tell me it doesn't occur to do these things. You're so stressed or preoccupied or worried, that pleasure takes a backseat. "I'm so stressed, I'll do it when I have time" or "I'll do it when I'm in the mood" are common replies. You might be waiting a long time! As odd as it sounds, we have to consciously carve out time and mental space for pleasure in a world of overwork and over-stress and bad news. Waiting until you don't feel busy to have pleasure is kind of like waiting until you feel fit to go to the gym. "Gosh, I just feel so out of shape. I'll see if I feel more fit tomorrow, and then I'll go." Backwards, right? If you value pleasure, like fitness, you have to show up and do things that you love -- including showing up for sex, if you value it -- in order to feel more relaxed, happy, and in the mood next time. So get out there and indulge, and happy August!

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