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pillow talk with a play gurrrl
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a blk gurrrl in search of utopia - pillow talk with a play gurrrl pleasure zine

a blk gurrrl in search of utopia: a performance essay in 3 movements

olaiya1089

a blk gurrrl in search of utopia: a performance essay in 3 movements

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

prelude

joy

abundance

boundaries

balance

democracy

reciprocity

harmony

bliss

sensuality

silence

slowness

stillness

sweetness

gracefulness

rest

peace

eroticism

ease

collective care

interiority

intimacy

desire

thriving

these are my pleasure principles

these are the ethics/values/and principles that guide me

these concepts undergird everything that i do

what are yr pleasure principles?

i am a blk gurrrl in search of utopia

i won’t settle for anything less than paradise

the last two years have perhaps been the most unpleasurable in the history of my life

i have been stressed out/depressed/anxious and just generally unhappy

i am hungry for something more

i crave adventure

i crave fluidity

i crave a change of pace and new energy

i want to live my most abundant/joyful/pleasurable life

i know that we all do

bur how can we get there?

how can we transform ourselves and the world to be a more pleasurable place?

movement 1: what are the barriers to pleasure?

we live in an anti-pleasure world

the matrix of domination that we operate under does not center pleasure

it centers product

the roots of capitalist productivity have puritanical underpinnings

the puritans believed that a person achieved favor with god thru how much they labored

the idea of american exceptionalism is rooted in this ideology

early americans saw this country as a “city on a hill” that towered over and looked down upon other nations because of the so-called american work ethic

the lie that we have been told is that if we work hard we will get far

but we know that this country is rooted in white heteronormative cisnormative patriarchal capitalism and not everyone is meant to get a piece of the pie or ascend to paradise

the great conundrum then is that only certain people are allowed to “go far” while others, because of their race/gender/sexuality/class work just as hard and settle for less

all my life i have worked hard but this has not garnered any personal happiness

i am a single 33-year-old black trans womxn

i live in a small studio apartment

i have tons of student debt

my success in navigating systems has yielded little pleasure

and so the question i find myself asking is what waz it all for?

now don’t get me wrong

i am grateful for all that i have (i will discuss gratitude and abundance in later essays)

i love my mind

i love who i am

i love myself despite the structures that i am forced to live under

and this is where pleasure starts

inside ourselves/not outside

when we look inward/we find hidden treasures

our interior lives are powerful and give us sustenance to keep going

when we stop focusing on outward productivity and focus on our own internal processes we are practicing pleasure/we are tapping into a primal way of being

movement 2: tapping into an ancient self

it is my belief that earth waz once a utopia

a utopia that we as a human race yearn to get back to

scientifically speaking human beings were not made to work a 40 hour work week or go to school for 40 hours a week

we were all hunters and gatherers once

migrating from place to place

living off the land and taking care of it

our bodies and brains were not made to labor

we were made to love

were made to live our most pleasurable/joyful/abundant lives

this is our birthright

this is why we are here

capitalism is a distraction

it keeps us occupied so that we forget our true mission and destiny

we don’t know how to take care of ourselves or each other

we are slaves to time and money

we think there are limited resources

but if we look at the natural world

the world that we have been cut off from

we would know that this is a lie

if we were not bamboozled by this bullshit system

we would know a lot of things

we are cut off from our own internal wisdom

the external has become privileged over the internal in this empire called america

under this trash ass system called global capitalism

movement 3: the future is a utopia

the past waz a utopia and so the future shall be one as well

what we are experiencing now is rebirth

and rebirth is messy

it is not clean or precise

but the process can and should be pleasurable

because what’s on the other side is beautiful

the other side is joy

the other side is pure unadulterated pleasure

and we can get there when we divest from systems and ideologies that no longer serve us

and when we invest in our own pleasure

we must annihilate to rebuild

we must break down to be rebirthed

it is only then that we can manifest our own personal paradise

and make the world into a utopia

oh how sweet that day will be

oh how sweet

coda

i am a blk gurrrl in search of utopia

i won’t settle for anything less than paradise

doing pleasure work is holy

it is a practice

it is a journey

journeys are so much better when you go on them with other people

will you create a community with me?

will you come on this pleasure journey with me?

A red sign with the word "Utopia" on it against a greyish white building.

Photo by Johnny Cohen from Unsplash