Decolonizing My Desire

Decolonizing My Desire

Adrienne Maree Brown

Since I was a kid, I have had a penchant and passion for my touch on my body. This was sometimes shameful, sometimes wonderful, and deeply private from fairly early on, as I received messages from family and neighbors that it wasn’t “right.” It has only been as an adult, as i have witnessed every single child I have ever met come into pleasureful awareness of their bodies, that I have understood that it was a natural part of growing into my body.

in my early twenties, i learned about pleasure activism. My self-touch took on a political power.

…I have traveled to other places where i have been celebrated immediately for my size and shape, my color. [N]ot so in the U.S…. But I realized that if i wanted to truly be radical in the world, truly see white and skinny as one way people are born as opposed to the physical supreme, which pours over into every other aspect of life, i had to decolonize my desire. I had to learn to desire myself, my body, my skin, my rhythms, my pleasure….

The results were life changing. This practice changed the way i dressed, the way i walked, the way i flirted, the way i made love to others, the way i spoke—because i had seen, heard, and felt my power. I mean both my physical, earthly power, and the divine power inside of this body, this light brown, big, queer, glasses-wearing body. It wasn’t ego, it was sitting with what is and finding beauty. And now no one could take that from me, however they might regard my body. I was a pleasure unto myself, i was a guaranteed delight in my own hands and my own eyes.

When my body feels good, my life feels good, and I want to keep going.

Note: this reading was woven together from pages 117-122 of Pleasure Activism.