Originating from ‘hedonismos’, the ancient Greek word for delight, hedonism today refers to a way of life where experience of pleasure is paramount, especially as part of modern consumerism rather than artistic or aesthetic fulfillment. If you too are attracted to this idea and wish for a companion who shares your preferences, here are a few thoughts on dating someone with a hedonistic lifestyle.
A Hedonistic lifestyle
Hedonism started out as a philosophical system which holds that people are motivated primarily by the production of pleasure and happiness as well as avoidance of pain. Thus a person believing in such a lifestyle chooses actions that would accord him/her the maximum pleasure. While the classical proponents of Hedonism like Aristipus and Epicurus accorded a higher value to mental, artistic and social pleasures, over time, Hedonism came to be associated with physical and sexual gratification. Certain modern proponents of hedonism like French thinker Michel Onfray and Swedish philosopher Torbjörn Tännsjö have put an ethical touch to hedonism with the attitude to life based on taking pleasure yourself and pleasuring others but without harming yourself or anyone else. Indeed one of the newest avatars of this ancient philosophy is alternative hedonism which turns its back to consumerist pleasures and instead posits increased time for personal relationships, communion with nature, locally grown food products, emphasis on spiritual growth and minimizing damage to the environment.
What you can look forward to
In today’s popular context though, following a hedonistic lifestyle usually implies endless rounds of partying, drinking, dancing and sexual indulgences. If you are by nature the free-wheeling sort who believes that pleasure is the only real principle in life to live by, the hedonistic lifestyle is for you. And what better way to live this life than by seeking a mate with whom you can taste the supreme pleasures that the material and sensual world has to offer.
What to watch out for
The usual criticism of hedonistic lifestyle hinge on the ultimate futility of a selfish, self-indulgent lifestyle which has no place for honest labor or the notion of giving back to the community. On a more practical note though, the biggest problem with living a hedonistic lifestyle is the economics – if you are not a rich heir who does not have to work for a living, sustaining a hedonistic lifestyle can become difficult. Endless rounds of partying, drinking, material pleasures and sexual indulgences with an equally hedonistic partner can leave you with too intense a hangover or exhausted to go to work the next day. Just like binge drinking eventually does great harm, indulging in drinking and partying excesses even on weekends can have a negative impact on your professional life in the long run. Most importantly as expenses pile up and your earning potential suffers, you may find your credit card maxing out, your bank account depleting and maybe even your home succumbing to a foreclosure. Financial damage is one of the main pitfalls of leading a hedonistic lifestyle.
Then again, if you are the possessive sort, dating someone with a hedonistic lifestyle may not be your cup of tea. While dancing, partying and boozing is all very well, keep in mind that sexual libertarianism is a basic tenet of hedonism and practitioners are far from being strict about monogamous relationships. So if you do not like the idea of swinging parties or your date dancing skin-to-skin with other singles, reconsider if you truly want to date someone with a hedonistic lifestyle.
However the most dangerous outcome of dating a hedonistic partner comes with the health hazards you may be exposed to. Experts now say that binge drinking – which is a common feature in hedonistic parties - can be as bad for your health as alcohol addiction – apart from the damage to your liver and organs, binge drinking is usually associated with car accidents, sexual violence towards women and increased propensity to experiment with drugs – all resulting from loss of reasoning and judgment that binge drinking induces. Then there is the prospect of contracting sexually transmitted diseases if you or your partner have multiple sexual partners.
Savoring the pleasures while keeping safe
And yet, dating someone with a hedonistic lifestyle need not mean that you suffer from its excesses. Like in all things enjoyable, moderation is key here too. If both you and your partner wish to savor the pleasures of a hedonistic lifestyle, explore dating ideas that will give pleasure while keeping your safe. You and your date can luxuriate in a warm spot in the sun in the neighborhood park when the weather is good and the air is heavy with the fragrance of spring flowers. When rainy and breezy outdoors, snuggle in a soft blanket as you delight in sensations of warm skin and steaming cup of cocoa flavored with topped with caramel. For special occasions, pamper each other with a sensual massage or a bubble bath, savor a particularly fine wine or play around with tastes and textures as you cook a meal together. Fragrances, tastes, music, colors and touch are all powerful sources of sensual pleasure and if you are creative enough to indulge these, you can partake of all the pleasures of hedonism while keeping safe from its unhealthy excesses.
How to meet lovers of hedonism
The internet is a great resource for meeting singles from a niche group – so if you are keen to enjoy material and sensual pleasures in the company of a like-minded person, browse through dating sites – some of these cater specifically to singles who are looking for a free-spirited partner while other mainstream dating sites offer you the option of specifying your interests and the kind of person you are looking for. However some of the mainstream dating sites have rules against explicit content so you may need to proceed with caution as your upload your profile and photos. Apart from dating sites, you can also check out blogs and internet groups made up of people who are avid followers of the hedonistic lifestyle. Alternately you can look for such groups or even form them through your social networking site. The more like-minded people you get to know, the higher are your chances of finding a likable single among them.
However if you are in mood for some real-life action, a good place to meet fellow hedonists would be at certain vacation spots. A hedonism resort is quite the rage among strait-laced city workers where a vacationer can run wild and indulge in all the things they usually avoid in normal life. You can drink too much, stay up too late, sleep in and eat all the chocolate cake you desire for dinner – and if you can find a single co-enthusiast to accompany you in all your sinful pleasures, what more can you wish for. Hedonistic resorts are often located in areas outside the United States such as Jamaica or in the Bahamas, but there are also adult resorts in the United States.