By Julian Wolf
What is a Hedonist? The Oxford Dictionary defines a hedonist as “person who believes that the pursuit of pleasure is the most important thing in life; a pleasure-seeker.” Most everyone dabbles in hedonism from time to time- everything from fine dining to a wearing a comfortable pair of shoes can be considered an act of hedonism.
Oxford University Press defines a Dandy as “one who studies above everything to dress elegantly and fashionably; a beau, fop, ‘exquisite‘. c1780.” Max Beerbohm, an English writer and caricaturist wrote “Dandyism is the result of an artistic temperament working upon a fine body within the wide limits of fashion.” Dandyism isn’t just about the clothes however. An enjoyment of refined language, an aristocratic sensibility and frequently strong political action is all part of being a dandy.
Greetings and Salutations. I’m Julian Wolf and I am, among other things a hedonistic dandy. I’ve identified as a gentleman since I was a young child, idealizing my father and wanting to be every bit as gallant and chivalrous as he. He started taking me with him to pick out the accessories for his suits by the time I was in elementary school. I saw girls as a beautiful mystery and spent much of my time playing adventure games with the boys. I started taking the time to enjoy the little things at an early age as well, encouraging my somewhat bemused family to do everything from feeling material to sampling a variety of foods. Frequently, my clan was not interested in the texture of the table cloth or whatever culinary creation I produced, but I wasn’t discouraged from the path of simple pleasures.
In this column, I’ll be sharing experiences and delights of living as an intentional hedonist, including recipes and propositions for my readers. I’ll also be sharing my experiences living as a dandy- and the challenges and rewards of being a female who identifies as such. Each month I hope you will take a few moments to focus on the gentile, and see what things life has to offer that you might be missing.
So, dear readers, let’s start this off in a style which I have become accustomed. Let me offer you my first proposition: I propose that you allow the next sip of liquid that you let pass through your lips not simply make its way quickly over your tongue to slide down your throat, but that you let it meander over your taste buds. Take a moment to close your eyes and experience the sensation of that liquid in the pleasure center we call a mouth. Feel its temperature, and feel it alter the temperature of everything it comes in contact with. Inhale through your nose before you finally swallow, and don’t open your eyes until you have take the time to actually experience what has just occurred. Such a delightfully simple act can quench more than just our sense of thirst.
I look forward to spending time with you each month. Please, feel free to ask questions, comment or correspond via the field below.