Hedonism is a philosophical belief that pleasure and happiness are the ultimate goals of human existence and should be pursued above all else.
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There are few catchier, ear-wormier musical phrases than those violent minor chords in “Phantom’s” title song. And there are few songs in the Broadway canon more romantic than “All I Ask of You.” The score is laced with intricate musical gifts — in the lush contrapuntal waltz of “Prima Donna,” or the ominous hedonism of “Masquerade.”
Like many of America’s bases in the Pacific, Guam mixes hedonism with war jitters. Japanese and South Korean visitors revel on the sand of Tumon Bay, a coral-reef lagoon. Above, F-15 fighters and B-1 bombers bank to land at Andersen Air Force Base nearby. Below, nuclear attack submarines slip in and out of Apra Harbour. The marines are building a base up the road. Around lie reminders of the Pacific war between America and Japan. The last Japanese soldier surrendered in 1972.
L’Oréal chief executive, Nicolas Hieronimus, described Aesop as a “superb combination of urbanity, hedonism and undeniable luxury”.
More skin was flaunted at Roberto Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana. The former channeled hedonism and excess, with patchwork leather trimmed in crystals, animal motifs, lots of faux-fur and black lace reinvented in countless different ways from corsets to figure-hugging dresses. Dolce & Gabbana meanwhile reached for a glamazon aesthetic through lingerie dressing — bras with metal cups, lacy teddies, embroidered slips — paired with feathered parkas, white tuxedos and hourglass shaped double-wool coats — no doubt a nod to the brand's ongoing collaboration with Kim Kardashian, who was seated front row.
In his 2016 essay for New York Magazine, “I Used to Be a Human Being,” Andrew Sullivan explores the emotional and spiritual costs of a very online life. He argues that “the greatest threat to faith today is not hedonism but distraction.” If attention gives birth to devotion, then perhaps part of the mission of people of faith today is to counter distraction by calling people to the goodness and wonder of the material, embodied and natural world.
I wonder what the eventual consequences of the broken contract will really be. You might expect, for example, an uptick in hedonism among millennials and gen Z (the instant gratification generations?) but, aside from a little quiet quitting and perhaps a taste for expensive brunches, we haven’t seen much of this.
The Saronic islands, a small cluster islands not far from Athens and the Peloponnese, have a history of hosting hedonistic , off-the-beaten track retreats for writers and artists. Leonard Cohen, writer Henry Miller and artist Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas were just three of the big names who hid out in Hydra in its early days of tourism – car-free to this day, this magical isle is glorious for hiking and swimming in craggy coves, with a compact but glam dining scene back in the port.
It’s both a lifetime must-see and a complex grid of honking cars and rushing commuters, full of potential frustrations. New York City has its own microculture, made up of tip-demanding cabbies, incredible restaurants, brusque deli owners, spendy museums, hedonistic rooftops and straight-off-the-screen sights.
Did you know there’s more than one way to have fun? While the typical, type 1, hedonistic style is something uncomplicated and instantly enjoyable in the moment (sunbathing, swimming, ice cream, tasting wine), type 2 is a different beast altogether. It involves feeling challenged and potentially even suffering in the moment.
Open 24/7, this roof terrace hot tub at Soho’s original rock ’n’ roll hotel on Warwick Street – owned by the mangers of Iron Maiden and nightclub impresario Mark Fuller – has a hedonistic feel. Elevated from the lounge area, and surrounded by loungers, in the summer it’s a great place to sunbathe, while a retractable roof covering ensures autumnal and wintertime soaks remain an attractive prospect.
Enjoy the hedonistic atmosphere, plus a sauna, plunge pool and hot tubs (Marston Park)
Although a monologue establishes that she only became a sex addict because she was abused by a psychiatrist as a child, the film (again) seems to think this sort addiction is mostly just hedonistic fun, and which makes Tattoo Girl and Charlie perfect for each other. The only problem is that Tattoo Girl has an abusive if phenomenally well-endowed porn-star boyfriend (Benedict Garrett), so our young lovers hatch a plan to rip him off, which involves buying a gun from a shady dealer known as the American (Patrick Bergin).
The Nadler sits at the heart of Liverpool’s hedonistic nightlife district but offers an oasis of style on a budget. It’s not quite an aparthotel, but all rooms come with mini-kitchenettes. Recent refurbishment has added a rustic feel – think oak desks and dark base tones – to the decor, while original artworks throughout bring out a sense of personality. Some rooms have the original oak beams and skylights of the former cork warehouse.
This vibrant city has a strong cultural scene and a hedonistic nightlife, plus a rich heritage of classical architecture, notably the Unesco World Heritage-listed sweep of the waterfront. And let’s not forget that in 2023 it will also play host to the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of former champs, Ukraine.
First is a theory about which values to promote. “ Hedonistic utilitarians” seek to promote pleasure and reduce pain. “Preference utilitarians” seek to satisfy as many individual preferences, such as to be healthy or lead meaningful lives, as possible.
A lot of comedians are into food. It might be because we have a lot of free time and we travel, so we can get into food in a way that people with nine-to-fives probably have less time to do. And we’re hedonists really. Our work is based on pleasure and so we really appreciate pleasure and weare always chasing pleasure.
Not everyone can afford to leave a steady job in the middle of a cost of living crisis, of course, which may be why the much-predicted Great Resignation post-Covid hasn’t quite materialised in Britain. (Although there was a spike in the number of people moving jobs in summer 2021 after a sharp fall when recruitment was frozen during lockdown; a rise in economic inactivity among the over-50s, meanwhile, appears more driven by ill health than hedonistic early retirements.) But growing interest in four-day weeks, home working and “quiet quitting” – refusing to go beyond the bare minimum at work – suggests at the very least a desire to claw some time back.
It turned out the worms did respond, and cannabinoids made them hungrier for their favored foods and less hungry for their non-favored food. The research ultimately revealed that the worms, like humans, engage in hedonic feeding — a phenomenon more commonly known as the munchies.
Meanwhile, I have remained a child, failing to feed myself properly on a regular basis, killing houseplants, and indulging in wild, hedonic pleasures like going for a run every morning and having a clean living room.
Solace came in the form of Mia and Laura, two glorious hedonists 10 years our junior. They had moved to Manchester from London just before the first lockdown, and Ian had joined their band on bass.
After that, it’s time for drinks, and food, and then maybe more drinks, and more food, with some shopping in between. Because, let’s face it, for most people Bangkok means hedonistic pleasure rather than spiritual history, and the Big Mango is happy to serve up sensuous joys and brilliant bargains, in multiple ways and means — and sometimes covered in foam.