The Higher Purpose of Pleasure

by | Jun 24, 2024 | Advice, Personal Growth, Sensuality, Turned-On Living, Wet | 0 comments

As I was looking at some old files, I happened to stumble on this interview that I did with Kevin Carrell Footer for his brilliant project, People of Tango. Similar to Humans of New York, Kevin meets up with the characters of tango (and there are soooooo many characters in tango) and dives a bit deeper under their skin to illuminate what makes people so passionate about the dance that they would organize their lives around it.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Sometimes I argue with myself, and I ask myself: Am I wasting my life dancing tango? I definitely have that thought a lot of times. Am I just a hedonist? The question has a sort of American Puritanical flavor to it. These are the key years of my life to produce. Did I just waste them all dancing at La Viruta between 2 and 4 AM? I don’t even do that anymore but that was the fear.
But in the end – and this is a big point in the book I’m writing now – that pleasure is very fueling and necessary. The pleasure polishes and shines a person so you can do what’s most important. I think choosing what you do based on pleasure, and because you have pleasure in your life, can make you more brilliant and ideally more strategic about what matters most and not just doing a lot of stuff just to do it.”
I also talked about my personal story of using tango to heal from past sexual trauma, and my curiosity about others who have similar experiences.
It’s been a mission in my life to use tango (and other dance forms) to help myself and others step into their most powerful (and playful) versions of themselves.
Kevin interviewed me back in 2016. The above excerpt about the higher purpose of pleasure gives you a look at some of the questions I am exploring in Wet, the memoir that I am cooking up for you.
As I organize my files, I also look through many drafts. I notice that the only things that are worth writing about are the things that obsess me. Questions that stay with me are the ones that I am motivated to write about.
Questions about the higher purpose of pleasure stick with me because I happen to have organized my own life around the pursuit of pleasure through moving to Buenos Aires to dance tango, and through many other choices such as the choice to become a life coach rather than stay in the tech industry in Silicon Valley, and to be truthful, how I even organize my to-do list.
Putting pleasure first has a way of making things fall into place, and that this choice doesn’t make me selfish. It makes me bigger.
I don’t see pleasure in a narrow way. I see pleasure in a very expansive way. I see pleasure as an important goal in our lives to help us keep oriented toward our own personal good, and the good we can do in the world. In my world, it is far from selfish to pursue our own joy and sensuality, the experience of being inside a body with both pain and pleasure, because pleasures makes us the best, most curious, alive, brave, and bold people we can be.
Ancient philosophers from Epicurus up to Freud have written about the importance of pleasure.  Glynnis MacNicol is also writing about pleasure in her new memoir about a summer when she escaped pandemic isolation to explore the sensuality of Paris, I’m Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself.
There is a new twist that comes into being when women connecting with their erotic life force energy (which goes beyond sex) and their bodies ask these questions. I enjoy being part of that conversation.
Stumbling on this quote from the People of Tango felt like a gift because I am currently talking with women to form a new, awesome cohort of women that will start in September for Turned-On Living. Notice, I am saying WOMEN and not girls. (I’ve noticed in these regressive times more people calling grown women “girls.”)
If you want to be part of a group of grown-ass women dedicating themselves to an expansive exploration of pleasure, and its relationship to self-worth and confidence, then check out the Turned-On Living page. I added a video of us dancing in the woods at our retreat in Providence, and a peek of the soul-commitment ceremonies we co-created at beautiful Gather Farm just outside the city.
Christine, who has joined me for a Tango Adventure in Buenos Aires and for Turned-On Living, wrote this comment on the video, “This brings back such beautiful memories, @sashacagen! I am endlessly grateful to have had this experience with such an incredible group of women “
A new cohort will get started in September.
The max size of the group is eight. I keep Turned-On Living intimate.
The deadline to apply is July 4 so the time is now to be part of this new, awesome group. Summer can’t last forever but Turned-On Living picks up where summer lets off.
There is always more pleasure to be had when we slow down, breathe into our pussies (yes, I did just use that word), and bring our focus to it.
Looking forward to hearing from you, and bringing together another intrepid group!


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Hi! I’m Sasha

Executive and Life Coach on a mission to help women connect with their bodies to pursue their truest desires in the bedroom and the world.

Author of Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics (HarperCollins) + To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us (Simon & Schuster).

At work on a memoir called Wet, about adventures in healing through sensuality.

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