Archive for August, 2019

A Defense of Hedonistic Kink (Rough Take)

Posted: August 11, 2019 by Isaac Cross in Uncategorized

This “Rough Take” post has been published without review, editing, or revision. Rough Take posts are designed to communicate thoughts and ideas that haven’t been fully developed in order to spark discussion and responses which may fuel later, more refined articles. 


What is Hedonism

Hedonism is an ethical theory that pleasure (we’ll define what we mean by pleasure in a minute) is the highest good and proper aim of human life.

In the more casual usage, hedonism means indulging in the senses. People use it to describe those who are unashamed of their love of food and music and sex and aroma and everything else that feels good.

And hedonism gets a bad rap.

The primary objection relates to the first, more formal definition. Of course there are other sources of meaning and other worthy pursuits in life besides just feeling good as often as possible. Living in the moment, achieving meaningful accomplishments, mastery of skills, preservation of knowledge. Any number of things can be a source of meaning and fulfillment. So that criticism is valid. (Google Robert Nozick’s experience machine thought-experiment for more on that)

But lets never mind the formal definition and focus on the other, most common use of the word. When we leave the formal definition behind, we no longer have to defend the position that pleasure is the only or at least the most important goal in life.

Instead, the modern hedonist says that we should strive first and foremost for pleasure, as did their predecessors, but with an additional emphasis on personal freedom and equality.

And for the average person ascribing to hedonism, this could result any any one of a variety of lifestyles. But I want to talk about the path that might lead one to kink and BDSM. And I want to talk about the derision that hedonistic kinksters face in a BDSM/Leather community that so often (and so ironically) emphasizes formality and rigidity and conformity. (more…)