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This is a written exercise that participants can do alone to explore how they relate to activities that give them pleasure—identifying which activities they enjoy, and to what extent they regularly experience these activities in their daily life. It is often a surprising exercise for participants, as they often realise through the process that they have stopped engaging in most pleasurable activities in favour of work.


Individual written exercise, group discussion

Required materials

'Taking time for pleasure' exercise, in appropriate language.

Key explanation points1

  •  Ask participants to sit alone and fill out the ‘Taking time for pleasure’ questionnaire.
  • After they have filled out the questionnaire, ask them to come together as a group to discuss their reactions to the exercise, and as appropriate, to share some of the steps that they will take to reconnect to pleasurable activities in their life.

Facilitation notes

  • Making time for pleasure and sexuality requires a determined effort on your part to overcome inertia and to combat the obstacles that stand in your way. It also means changing your perception of your self, which also could be preventing you from enjoying your sexuality. Never forget that pleasure is a key strength.
  • Try to identify things or activities that give you pleasure and are not linked to your work or your activism. As activists, often we declare that our activism is a source of ‘great pleasure‘ for us, and this is very good.
  • In this exercise, though, we want you to pinpoint other things that give you pleasure, adding variety to it and making it more sustainable.


Adapted from: Bernal, M. (2008) Self-Care and Self-Defense Manual for Feminist Activists, Artemisa, Grupo Interdisciplinario en Género, Sexualidad, Juventud y Derechos Humanos and Elige, Red de Jóvenes por Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos, A.C. English edition of the manual translated by Sharmila Bhushan and printed by CREA