Gwyneth Paltrow is on a mission to show us how to 'revel in that feeling of pleasure'
Gwyneth Paltrow knows it’s not always easy to embrace pleasure, to savor a moment without pangs pushing you to be productive.
“I think we feel guilty sometimes when we experience the pleasure of enjoying food or downtime or just watching Netflix,” the Goop founder and Oscar-winning actress says. “Honestly, wind in your hair can feel so pleasurable, but how often do we stop on the sidewalk and close our eyes and just feel that sensation and revel in that feeling of pleasure? It's like ‘I got to go. What am I doing? I'm wasting time.’ ”
But it’s time for winds of change, Paltrow says. “It’s about making that shift that feeling pleasure is a good thing, and we all need to feel more of it.”
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“Leaning into Pleasure” is one of four topics addressed in an Audible audio series The Goop Pursuit, available now, which also includes episodes titled “Healing in a Sick Society,” “Coming Home to Yourself” and “Finding Beauty.”
“Not like physical beauty,” Paltrow explains. But the “divine, life force within us that feels resonant and powerful.” Each episode of the series is about 90 minutes.
“Leaning into Pleasure” is hosted by Penda N’diaye, founder of Pro Hoe, which aims to provide women of color with sexual wellness knowledge. The episode is the only to feature Paltrow, who shares she had to shake the idea that good girls weren’t sexual and learn how to communicate what felt pleasurable.
“It's still something I struggle with,” Paltrow says. “But I've been practicing just saying – if my husband (producer Brad Falchuk) holds my hand or squeezes my back – even just saying that feels good. Just voicing that, for myself more than anyone else, that I can say that you want something and that you have the language to ask for it.”
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N’diaye wants listeners to remember “sexuality is human” and “to let go of some of the expectations that have been imposed on us about what sexuality should look like.”
As we are “ever-evolving, I think it's important to always keep that in mind that sexuality and pleasure should always be evolving as well,” she says. “A lot of us can get stagnant in the ways that we say, ‘Oh, we don't have enough time for pleasure or self-care. We don't have time for all these things. But it's really kind of retraining our minds to think a little bit differently about what sexual liberation looks like.”
And it’s time to redefine one’s idea of beauty says host Jodie Patterson, an author and LGBTQ advocate. It’s not superfluous, but a necessity amid a trying environment she says.
With war, political uncertainty, a fading pandemic and economic challenges “as the backdrop, we sometimes block things that we don't feel are critical,” she says. “I want us to remember that beauty is something not to be forgotten, not to be pushed aside for another time. It actually can be the salve and the elixir for times like these.
“We're not talking about the color of your lip, or the beachy wave, or the blush,” she continues. “We're talking about a much broader way of looking at beauty in terms of like the vibe that you have for the day, the emotions that you want to project.”
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