Pleasure Activism Quotes

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Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by Adrienne Maree Brown
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“I believe that all organizing is science fiction - that we are shaping the future we long for and have not yet experienced.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“Liberated relationships are one of the ways we actually create abundant justice, the understand that there is enough attention, care, resource, and connection for all of us to access belonging, to be in our dignity, and to be safe in community”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“I touch my own skin, and it tells me that before there was any harm, there was miracle.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“Our radical imagination is a tool for decolonization, for reclaiming our right to shape our lived reality.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“In her essay “On the Issue of Roles,” Toni Cade explains that if we want to have a revolution, we have to craft revolutionary relationships, in action, not simply in rhetoric.56 She explains that a revolution cannot be created by conforming to existing roles in relationships already defined by the systems we want to overthrow. We have to practice creating new relationships.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“This is relationship building. And this is building trust. And consensually understanding how to be moved and inspired by each other without sometimes assuming that energy has to be sexual. That maybe that’s just an erotic exchange that’s actually about sharing knowledge, memory, power, and that to me is understanding levels of intimacy in relationship to liberation.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“Your no makes the way for your yes. Boundaries create the container within which your yes is authentic. Being able to say no makes yes a choice.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“We need radical honesty—learning to speak from our root systems about how we feel and what we want. Speak our needs and listen to others’ needs. To say, “I need to hear that you miss me.” “When you’re high all the time it’s hard for me to feel your presence.” “I lied.” “The way you talked to that man made me feel unseen.” “Your jealousy makes me feel like an object and not a partner.” The result of this kind of speech is that our lives begin to align with our longings, and our lives become a building block for authentic community and ultimately a society that is built around true need and real people, not fake news and bullshit norms.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“There is no way to repress pleasure and expect liberation, satisfaction, or joy.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“I believe our imaginations—particularly the parts of our imaginations that hold what we most desire, what brings us pleasure, what makes us scream yes—are where we must seed the future, turn toward justice and liberation, and reprogram ourselves to desire sexually and erotically empowered lives.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“Pleasure activism is the work we do to reclaim our whole, happy, and satisfiable selves from the impacts, delusions, and limitations of oppression and/or supremacy.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“Pleasure is the point. Feeling food is not frivolous, it is freedom.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“...it must become an incredible pleasure to be able to be honest, expect to be whole, and to know that we are in a community that will hold us accountable and change with us.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“We also learn that love is a limited resource and that the love we want and need is too much, that we are too much. We learn to shrink, to lie about the whole love we need, settling with not quite good enough in order to not be alone.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“I have seen, over and over, the connection between tuning in to what brings aliveness into our systems and bring able to access personal, relational and communal power. Conversely, I have seen how denying our full, complex selves—denying our aliveness and our needs as living, sensual beings—increases the chance that we will be at odds with ourselves, our loved ones, our coworkers, and our neighbors on this planet.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“so many of us have been trained into the delusion that we must accumulate excess, even at the cost of vast inequality, in order to view our lives as complete or successful.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“sister” is a verb.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“Ultimately, love for the self is the deepest pleasure we deny ourselves. I work daily to be courageous enough to indulge in the purest pleasure of self-love.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“Pleasure is not one of the spoils of capitalism. It is what our bodies, our human systems, are structured for; it is the aliveness and awakening, the gratitude and humility, the joy and celebration of being miraculous.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“My intentions for readers of this book are that you recognize that pleasure is a measure of freedom; notice what makes you feel good and what you are curious about; learn ways you can increase the amount of feeling-good time in your life, to have abundant pleasure; decrease any internal or projected shame or scarcity thinking around the pursuit of pleasure, quieting any voices of trauma that keep you from your full sacred sensual life; create more room for joy, wholeness, and aliveness (and less room for oppression, repression, self-denial and unnecessary suffering) in your life; identify strategies beyond denial or repression for navigating pleasure in relationship to others; and begin to understand the liberation possible when we collectively orient around pleasure and longing. Bonus: realize you are a pleasure activist!”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“And consensually understanding how to be moved and inspired by each other without sometimes assuming that energy has to be sexual. That maybe that’s just an erotic exchange that’s actually about sharing knowledge, memory, power, and that to me is understanding levels of intimacy in relationship to liberation.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“Pleasure Principles What you pay attention to grows. This will be familiar to those who have read Emergent Strategy. Actually, all the emergent strategy principles also apply here! (Insert eggplant emoji). Tune into happiness, what satisfies you, what brings you joy. We become what we practice. I learned this through studying somatics! In his book The Leadership Dojo, Richard Strozzi-Heckler shares that “300 repetitions produce body memory … [and] 3,000 repetitions creates embodiment.”12 Yes is the way. When it was time to move to Detroit, when it was time to leave my last job, when it was time to pick up a meditation practice, time to swim, time to eat healthier, I knew because it gave me pleasure when I made and lived into the decision. Now I am letting that guide my choices for how I organize and for what I am aiming toward with my work—pleasure in the processes of my existence and states of my being. Yes is a future. When I feel pleasure, I know I am on the right track. Puerto Rican pleasure elder Idelisse Malave shared with me that her pleasure principle is “If it pleases me, I will.” When I am happy, it is good for the world.13 The deepest pleasure comes from riding the line between commitment and detachment.14 Commit yourself fully to the process, the journey, to bringing the best you can bring. Detach yourself from ego and outcomes. Make justice and liberation feel good. Your no makes the way for your yes. Boundaries create the container within which your yes is authentic. Being able to say no makes yes a choice. Moderation is key.15 The idea is not to be in a heady state of ecstasy at all times, but rather to learn how to sense when something is good for you, to be able to feel what enough is. Related: pleasure is not money. Pleasure is not even related to money, at least not in a positive way. Having resources to buy unlimited amounts of pleasure leads to excess, and excess totally destroys the spiritual experience of pleasure.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“After that, Jodie asked for explicit permission to talk about us to each other, to trust that we would speak of each other with the intention of helping each other. I thought that was so radical, to bring that out into the open. The interdependence really kicked off then.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“What is the freedom and accountability that accrues when “sister” is not just a static identity that you have but is something that you do or don’t do, with consequences. What happens when I apply that to all of my relationships? What happens if we replace the roles patriarchy has scripted us into with actions guided by what we want to create instead?”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“We have been raised to fear the yes within ourselves, our deepest cravings. But, once recognized, those which do not enhance our future lose their power and can be altered. The fear of our desires keeps them suspect and indiscriminately powerful, for to suppress any truth is to give it strength beyond endurance. The fear that we cannot grow beyond whatever distortions we may find within ourselves keeps us docile and loyal and obedient, externally defined, and leads us to accept many facets of our oppression as women.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“Pleasure activists believe that by tapping into the potential goodness in each of us we can generate justice and liberation, growing a healing abundance where we have been socialized to believe only scarcity exists.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“We need to learn how to practice love such that care—for ourselves and others—is understood as political resistance and cultivating resilience.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“I believe that we are in an imagination battle, and almost everything about how we orient toward our bodies is shaped by fearful imaginations. Imaginations that fear Blackness, brownness, fatness, queerness, disability, difference. Our radical imagination is a tool for decolonization, for reclaiming our right to shape our lived reality.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
“The principal horror of any system which defines the good in terms of profit rather than in terms of human need, or which defines human need to the exclusion of the psychic and emotional components of that need—the principal horror of such a system is that it robs our work of its erotic value, its erotic power and life appeal and fulfillment.”
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good

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