Move over self-care;
PLEASURE HAS COME TO TOWN.
Here at Thalia we believe beauty is realised through the pursuits of pleasure, and is absolutely essential to us living our most beautiful life.
Pleasure can absolutely include self-care, but isn’t limited by it. Pleasure to me feels expansive, unlimited, creative, all encompassing and well… Just a little bit naughty.
Pleasure is one of the most important nutrients your body can get. It is an antidote to stress and essential to our wellbeing, our hormones, our emotions and even our skin. Its benefits are simply endless, and I believe it to be the secret sauce for radiance.
According to teacher and best-selling author Regena Thomashauer, from her Ted Talk, aptly named “The Pleasure Revolution” we have 8,000 nerve endings in our body dedicated to pleasure! After just 30 seconds of the good stuff, our blood starts to oxygenate and circulate; our body is flooded with Nitric oxide, which turns on neurotransmitters, including the release of beta-endorphin and prolactin. This reduces stress, dulls your pain and produces a feeling of euphoria. Prolactin is the bonding hormone, so just 30 seconds later, already we feel better, closer, more positive and quite simply fabulous.
Add to this the research and support of Dr. Christiane Northrup, a pioneer in the field of women’s health, author of New York Times bestseller “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” and “The Wisdom of Menopause”, proclaims clearly that for her, the missing ingredient in her life was – yes you guessed it – pleasure.
So like any good scientist, she decided to put it to the test. In an article that featured for Regena’s “School of Womanly Arts”, she explains her study into the biochemistry and benefits of joy and pleasure, to uncover out why it was so powerful and why feeling good is such a key component in health. What she discovered was a connection between pleasure and the gas nitric oxide.
Turns out Nitric oxide (not Nitrous oxide, the laughing gas) rises in response to all forms of pleasurable activities, such as laughing ‘til you pee your pants, dancing, walks along the beach or staring at a sky full of stars. Nitric oxide is produced by the endothelial lining of every blood vessel in the body. It increases the circulation of blood, and brings more nutrients to our cells.
As if that weren’t enough, it is an “uber neurotransmitter” that actually helps to balance the levels of all other neurotransmitters (like serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and beta-endorphin) in the brain and body.
I see this as seriously good news for both our skin and our souls.
When I look back throughout history, the ancient Egyptians saw beauty as a path to the divine, but I believe it was not beauty for the sake of vanity; it was beauty through the pursuit of pleasure.
The reason I chose the name Thalia, derived from Thallo in Greek, meaning to “blossom”, is that I feel inextricably drawn to epicurean times. The meaning of Epicurean means a disciple or student of the Greek philosopher Epicurus, and can be defined as a person that seeks sensual enjoyment.
In Greek Mythology, Thalia was also known as one of the Charities (Three Graces) reputed to be the essence of beauty, charm and grace. They served as the attendants of Aphrodite (Goddess of love) adorning her at the temple doors with exotic oils and sacred scents that were far more precious than gold.
For me personally, this era of civilisation conjures up images of ancient priestesses dancing with juicy grapes in their mouths, I imagine Cleopatra laying in a luxurious bath house, I imagine women anointing themselves with delicious oils, singing sweet music and sharing secrets.
It was a time when our desire for beauty was realised through the pursuits of pleasure… this is beauty not in the name of vanity but in the service of self-love.
It was a time when our bodies were inhabited as our deepest homes, honoured as a source of joy and endless wonder, and we explored every inch of them as way to transport us into a pleasure filled life. Deep down in our genetic cores, I believe we remember the sensual imprint of living this way, our bodies are aching to feel once again, to be touched, soothed, caressed and pampered instead of prodded, pinched and judged. Our bodies are longing to rediscover the lost art of sensuality, the lost art of pleasure, and the lost art of being a woman.
Fast-forward to today, and this concept may seem utterly far-fetched, but as modern women there may be something in this for us. All too often I have found myself stuck in the energy of doing rather than being. I think many of us have been hardwired to believe that we must look after everyone else first, and whatever time or “crumbs” as Regena explains are left over, they are ours. We are taught that pleasure comes last, after all our more pressing duties are fulfilled…and then and ONLY then, are we entitled to feel good. But there are huge consequences when women fold on their pleasure, and before we know it; feelings of depression, anger and frustration begin to bubble up from within.
I can see why Regena lovingly refers to this topic as “The Pleasure Revolution” and Dr. Christiane Northrup called it “The New Feminism”.
Pleasure turns us back on, it makes us feel alive, joy filled and juicy, but more than that, it makes us FEEL beautiful.
Let us also address the giant elephant in the room, yes yes.. The other form, you know the one you instantly think of when the word pleasure is mentioned! Well, I once heard a sex expert refer to orgasm’s as the fountain of youth, and while this woman who was 70 looked not a day over 50 (I could offer many more examples). There are no scientific studies to substantiate this claim (probably because they’re free!).
However the sentiment rang true for me, and when we think about the science behind it, orgasms can actually perform wonders for your skin. They produce a huge burst of nitric oxide, which helps to balance your hormones, which in turn keeps your complexion clear. It delivers better quality sleep, while the increased blood and oxygen increases circulation, delivering more nutrients to our cells, to bring back our glow. AND the icing on the cake is that oxytocin makes us feel friggin fabulous! What’s not to LOVE?… (In a safe and responsible way of course! …Oh… and just a reminder, you don’t need a lover, all you need is to love yourself!)
But it’s SO much bigger than just the bedroom.
The forms of pleasure available to us are simply endless.
You see pleasure can be simply defined as something that PLEASES.
You could explore this concept the epicurean way through the senses, touch, taste, scent or sight. You could anoint your body with beauty, you could feel it from human touch, a massage, a kiss or a cuddle, exploring nature, a mouthwatering meal, music, dancing, laughter, the arts, or wait for it…Laying on your back, staring at the sky, doing absolutely nothing but eating juicy grapes.
Pleasure is more than just skin deep. I see it as a VITAL nutrient our skin needs to keep us youthful, alive and luminous. It turns an everyday woman into a showstopper. You can’t quite put our finger on why, but she has a certain je ne sais quoi, a star trek style magnetic force that draws you to her. It reminds me of that famous quote from Roald Dahl quote about “good thoughts shine out of your face like sunbeams”, well for me, sweet and simple pleasure brings “radiance”.
Pleasure is found through feeling instead of thinking. It moves us down into our bodies and out of our heads, but best of all it makes us FEEL beautiful.
Now here’s the thing.. No one will give you permission for pleasure, you MUST give it to yourself.
I love to imagine a world where women make pleasure their priority. A world where women are tuned in to their deepest desires and turned back on by bringing them to life.
The pleasure revolution has begun ladies! Allow pleasure to become an act of self love, or better still, gather your girlfriends and fill up on pleasure together. I believe with all my heart that when women gather, the world heals.
Last but not least, pleasure makes us a joy to be around, which in turn ripples out, impacting the lives of those lucky enough to be around us in magical ways.
So go get yourself some pleasure… Our blossoming depends upon it.