How to Make Pleasure a Priority: Strategies to Invite More Pleasure into Your Life Beyond the Bedroom

By Dr. Jess Health Invite More Pleasure into Your Life Beyond the Bedroom

Pleasure is Your Birthright; It’s Multidimensional.

Unfortunately, our definitions of pleasure are often narrowly defined or shrouded in shame. We think of pleasure as merely erotic or sexual. We deem pleasure superfluous as opposed to essential. We consider pleasure naughty and self-indulgent. We define pleasure according to socially prescribed standards that may not align with our values, desires, or experiences. We view pleasure as a reward for good behavior or sacrifice (e.g., consider diet culture’s toxic approach to eating only after we’ve worked out). We relegate pleasure to domains of privilege, not realizing that it ought to be an equal opportunity pursuit. And we hide pleasure in the crevices of shame and secrecy rather than celebrating pleasure for the sake of pleasure itself.

But pleasure is all about relishing in the many layers of exploration, self-expression, joy, connection, intimacy, wellness, and more! And its benefits are many. From improved mental and physical health to more meaningful connections and a more fulfilling life, pleasure may be the closest thing to a panacea when it comes to healing and happiness. So how can you invite more pleasure into your life and make it a priority? We believe the key is to embrace more pleasure across all senses and in every realm, so we’re sharing our seven-step pleasure plan.


7 Ways to Make Pleasure a Priority

Eat and Drink for Pleasure

When was the last time you ate mindfully and truly relished in the pleasure of food and drink? When you enjoy a juicy fruit, a fresh salad, a rich dessert, or a hearty bowl of noodles, do you allow yourself to relax and indulge in the experience? Do you taste every bite and tune into the flavors and textures? Or do you rush through the process? Do you permit yourself to enjoy every morsel, or do you feel guilt or shame around eating? Consider eating for pleasure for just 24 hours and see where it leads you. Take note of how you feel when you permit yourself to enjoy every element of food and drink without judgment. Diet culture suggests that food ought to be a reward for exercise or other supposedly “good” behaviors, but this approach can be toxic and has been tied to eating disorders, higher levels of anxiety and stress, and decreased immunity. This isn’t about judgment, of course. Some people are given more permission and privilege to indulge in all types of food while others face judgment and shaming due to various layers of identity – especially body type and weight; the abovementioned questions are merely for personal reflection if you want to consider eating more mindfully for pleasure.

Luna Matatas, a Pleasure Educator who travels the globe to sprinkle pleasure in every corner, explains the effects of diet culture and tying food to weight, size, and appearance: “Your personal appearance is likely the least captivating aspect about you as an individual and also the most fleeting (considering the inevitable aging process). Just envision a world where our worth isn’t tied to our physical looks. The issue with diet culture extends beyond limiting our food choices; it also imposes restrictions on our enjoyment and pleasure. When our focus is consumed by shame, our capacity for pleasure diminishes rather than expands. Inviting more pleasure into your life through food is a great place to start to shed some of the shame associated with pleasure. And the more you make space to feed your body pleasure, the more likely you are to rewrite shame-based scripts and expand definitions of pleasure.” Matatas not only teaches about sex and pleasure but also shares a celebration of food-based pleasure on The Sensual Foodie’s account. If you struggle to let go of shame, whether it’s related to food or sexual pleasure, check out her Plus Size Sexy Skills and Sexual Confidence In And Out Of The Bedroom webinars, where she addresses issues related to body image, shame, and pleasure with humor and grace.

Indulge in the Pleasure of Fantasy

Do you hold yourself back from exploring sexual fantasies on account of social pressure or restrictions? Do you block yourself from playing specific sexual roles because of your real-life roles (e.g., I’m a mom now, so I can’t do that)? Do you stifle sexual thoughts because you don’t want them to snowball into a sexual desire on account of a perceived lack of time or energy? Do you police your daydreams because they stray from reality or the probable? Or do you embrace every possible fantasy knowing that just because something turns you on or excites you, it doesn’t mean that you want to try it in real life?

It’s normal to fantasize about scenarios, people, and experiences that arouse (or soothe) your mind but would be off-putting or illogical in reality. If you want to let your mind wander into unchartered territory, consider reading erotica or streaming content with sexy scenes or storylines. is a great place to start. Remember, you don’t have to enjoy every line or every moment. Sometimes identifying what you’re not into can help lead you down a path of pleasure as you fine-tune your focus and desires. For more on how to explore and talk about your sexual fantasies, check out this article packed with practical tips on our blog.


Strategies to Invite More Pleasure into Your Life Beyond the Bedroom

Move Your Body for Fun, Playfulness, and Pleasure

Whether you enjoy stretching, walking in your neighborhood, yoga, lifting weights, dancing, climbing, or wandering in nature, movement can bring pleasure for the sake of pleasure itself (as opposed to moving to count calories burned). Moving for pleasure can help you to feel more connected to your body, which can improve the way you feel about yourself. When your body responds, performs, and/or serves you in functional or pleasurable ways, you’re more likely to feel deserving of all good things, from the pleasure of movement to touch, connection, arousal, and orgasm.

Talk to Your Partner(s) and Friends About Pleasure

Don’t keep pleasure to yourself. Instead, explore and discuss the concept to normalize the topic. Simply ask them what pleasure means to them and share your thoughts in turn. Discuss all the ways that you welcome pleasure into your lives, both together and on your own. Ask them how you can help to bring them more pleasure, and let them know how they can enhance your pleasure pursuits. Share what holds you back from embracing pleasure and make space for them to do the same. This can be an open-ended, ongoing, and evolving conversation as opposed to a one-shot deal.

Put Pleasure in Your Calendar

 If you want to do something, chances are you’ll make time for it. From meetings with a potential client to time spent with loved ones, being intentional about how we spend our time has become more important than ever. So, if you want more pleasure in your life, pencil it in. From time alone in the bath to an evening out with friends to an hour in bed to try out a new toy, it’s okay to put pleasure in your calendar. Putting it in writing may help you to follow through on your pleasure pursuits and schedule them first as opposed to allowing them to be distant afterthoughts.


Invite pleasure into your everyday life with seven strategies for pleasure


Learn to Be a Receiver (Of Touch)

 Many of us are far more comfortable giving as opposed to receiving pleasure, but learning to take is just as important as being giving. If you have trouble asking for pleasure, start with the simpler task of being willing to say yes to offers of any kind. When someone offers you a ride, a coffee, help with an errand, or any other gesture, practice saying yes. Oftentimes, we say no because our focus is on the other person’s convenience or feelings as opposed to our own; but if they’re offering, it’s the perfect opportunity to start saying yes. Once you’ve practiced saying yes to offers of various kinds, you may find yourself feeling more comfortable acknowledging and prioritizing your own needs – this can pay off when it comes to pleasure.

Consider taking the next step and asking a partner for a 2-minute hand caress or massage. Tune into their touch – the pressure, rhythm, flow, movement, temperature, and sensation. Don’t worry about their experience; instead, focus on your pleasure. Can you enjoy it? Or do you feel pressure to reciprocate? Try it a few times, and hopefully, you’ll find that you become more accepting of being in the receiver role. As you become more comfortable receiving nonsexual pleasure (e.g., through a hand caress), hopefully, you’ll become more open to receiving erotic pleasure – through all forms of touch ranging from erotic massage to oral to toys and more.


How to Make Pleasure a Priority

Explore All Five Senses

We’ve already talked about gustatory pleasure, and we’d be remiss not to explore the pleasure potential of sound, scent, and sight. The pleasure of sound (e.g., music or voices) can be as exciting, passionate, and arousing as physical pleasure for those who are auditory learners and lovers. Consider making a playlist of songs that soothe or excite you and turning it on when you’re in the mood for any type of pleasure. Research suggests that those who listen to music have more sex, and it makes sense that music can shift your mood. The contagion hypothesis suggests that our moods reflect what we hear in our environment, so consider how you need to feel to embrace pleasure as you craft your pleasure playlist.

Scent can also be a route to pleasure – erotic, emotional, and sensual. Smells can seal our fondest memories, so seek out candles, incense, and perfumes that please you or help you to recall pleasurable memories. When it comes to visual pleasure, the world is your oyster. You might redecorate your living room with art that makes you smile or dress your bedroom in fabrics and colors that bring a sense of calm and comfort. It’s up to you to decide how you want to embrace visual pleasure –from the living room to the kitchen table to the bedroom.

Bonus: If You Want to Explore Sexual Pleasure Specifically, You Have So Many Options At Your Fingertips.

Explore new and surprising erogenous zones that allow you to spread pleasure across the body from head to toe. Check out this erogenous roadmap to get started. Learn new pleasure techniques starting with these hand job moves (for him and her) on our YouTube channel. Watch ethical porn. Videos that depict real pleasure by enthusiastic performers will leave you feeling good in more ways than one. Try a new lube. Lube opens a whole new world of pleasure, and we’re offering free samples if you want to check out flavored or organic options, for example. Experiment with toys. From rings to vibrators to strokers, sex tech gadgets are growing in variety and volume every day.


You deserve pleasure of all kinds no matter how you define it, so ditch the pressure and tune into all the joy, all the intimacy, all the ease, all the passion, and anything else that pleases you today. XOXO