As a sex and intimacy coach, my most important job is to give people permission to have more fun. I’m a pleasure activist. My mantras are “Choose fun. Do it for you. Have it your way. Say yes to desires—and express them!” I encourage women to flirt, turn themselves on, and brag. I help men trade in their intellectual minds and preoccupation with “doing” for timeless moments enjoying and feeling in their bodies. I see a softness wash over the faces of my clients, liveliness and hope returns, and the hidden girl or boy comes out to play. I’ve seen it and I love watching it happen.

I like to imagine a world serious about pleasure. You greet a friend excitedly: “Want to hear about the greatest orgasm I had last night?” Or, “The funniest thing happened when I was self-pleasuring in the laundry room this morning.” Or, teasingly, “Did I ever tell you about my imaginary lover?” We’re all ears. We’re kids at heart. When did we stop playing? When can we start again?

Saying yes to pleasure is an acquired skill in our culture.

Having fun every day is not usually written into our agenda. Our knee-jerk reaction to pleasure is, “Sounds nice, but I don’t have time.” Unfortunately, we don’t do pleasure well.   How many of us get touched enough in our daily lives? When we were babies, we were held, rocked, and touched all day long. Do we really believe that as adults we don’t need it anymore? In our busyness, do we hide a deep hunger to feel cherished, appreciated, and desired?

We all remember being “caught” daydreaming as a child and reprimanded by a parent or teacher—“Quit daydreaming; you’re wasting time.” However, what was being wasted in that time? Maybe being busy all the time is a waste of time. We call ourselves human beings, but we never seem to get around to “being.” We’re a world full of human doers. And in our frenetic doing and achieving, how much joy and freedom do we feel?

Often our fearful, dualistic thinking leads us to believe we have to choose between two extremes. You don’t have to decide between a life of hard work or pleasure; rather, it’s possible to have both! Balance enriches our lives, and it’s important to learn how to exercise creative solutions to the monotony of everyday existence.

You can elevate your pleasure ceiling.

If you experience boredom and routine in your life, I prescribe a regular dose of touch—the sensual, no-pressure, no-destination kind of touch. I suggest you schedule some time—five, ten, or twenty minutes (and occasionally longer) most days—to explore the body erotic with simple self or partner touch activities outlined in my book Erotic Massage: Sensual Touch for Deep Pleasure and Extended Arousal, Quiver Press, spring 2007. Pleasure is a discipline. Put it on the schedule.