Seventy-Five Days of Phobias– Day 2: What’s With The Guilty Pleasure?

by Jeff Yuan via Nikki Chicoine

by Jeff Yuan via Nikki Chicoine

What scares you?

Hope you’re ready to share your fear. Today, Day 2 of 75 Days of Phobias, you get 2 phobias.

Hedonophobia Kids. It’s the fear of pleasure and Bibliophobia, the fear of…books.

I have a few Questions about these phobias, questions with a capital Q. If you can answer them, or have thoughts on them, please let me know.

  1. How exactly does one feel guilt for finding pleasure?
  2. Why would one be afraid to feel pleasure?
  3. Should we blame religion for guilt over pleasure — you’ know good ol’ ‘Catholic guilt,’ the pious Puritans, or neurotic Woody Allen and Jewish mothers?
  4. Whose idea was it that one ought to feel guilty or apologetic for reading popular or genre fiction, especially when the genre is romance fiction?
  5. Why the hell should I feel guilty about reading anything I enjoy?
  6. What law of the universe deems that I ought to feel guilty for enjoying good-old-fashioned escapist fun?
  7. WHO is responsible for giving the world this Bibiiophobia, this fear of books, because it has lead to this Hedonophobia, this FEARING OF PLEASURE.

I for one don’t feel guilt for anything I read, any movie I see, any cookie I eat, and I have no need to hide or apologise for my reading choices. Humans are built for pleasure, and I don’t just mean sexual pleasure.

If you ask me, those who bitch that popular and genre fiction turns brains into mush, are probably bibliophobic hedonophobes who could possess a Woody Allen-ish guilt complex, but it’s more likely a God complex, which by the way, is not a clinical term and does not appear in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5), a book clinicians use to classify disorders like Hedonophpbia and Bibliophobia.

I ain’t afraid of no books. Silverfish on the other hand…

Now it’s your turn, kids. What scares you and why does it scare you?



11 thoughts on “Seventy-Five Days of Phobias– Day 2: What’s With The Guilty Pleasure?

  1. Today (June 20. Don’t know what day 3 is about) I am experiencing the fear? Anxiety? of losing my mom someday, but thankfully not last night or today. The feeling of being the one left behind, abandonment? and eventually the ’empty nest’ syndrome . Distracting myself w/light cleaning and soothing a kitty who is terrified of thunderstorms.


      • It actually helped calm me. Gave me something else to focus on and because She needed soothing, kind, calm words it soothed and calmed me. Every time this happens I find myself telling this kitty, ” it Ok, it’s just God and The Angels bowling, ” which is what my mom always told me when I was a kid and needing some calmness and soothing. My mom was very good at hiding her own distress by finding a way to calm me. I learned this in my adult years. Go mana! I never knew. I always thought my mom was a brave woman and adventurer


  2. It took me the longest time to feel comfortable admitting to people my ‘guilty pleasure’ for square dancing. I love it and when I’m physically up to it I can do every second Tuesday in my neighborhood


      • Because it was considered old-fashioned, outdated and not Cool. I think my introversion helped me in the sense that I don’t always need another person to enjoy my company, space or entertainment. I enjoy the company of my fellow square dancers and, not surprisingly, the the discovery of friends and neighbors who also enjoy this activity.

        Long long ago I had a friend who asked me to participate in a survey for psychology. The last ? Was I’m walking/ hiking through woods, how do I feel? I started to answer, then stopped and asked if it was night or daytime. He was puzzled. Thought about it and said “I don’t think it matters. What did y see when I first asked?” I went on to say that at first if Zi was in a shaded or darker part of the woods I would initially feel scared because of all the “bad” things that happen to u in the dark, but based on prior experience w/ hiking Zi know that at some point I will walk into a funny section, non- shaded section and I will feel better but miss the physical coolness of the shade, notice the absence if the plants and animals that do not prefer sun or cannot survive in direct sun, and I know for the rest of my journey I will encounter both darkness and light and everything wil be OK. Supposedly, how you answer this ?us how u feel about the future.


      • I wonder who thought that question of an indication of how you saw the future? Reminds me of the Rorschach test. The ink blots all look like butterflies to me because those ink blots are like the butterfly paintings we made in preschool. Sheet of paper, drop a blob of paint in the middle, fold, open. See? Butterfly!


  3. Sandra –

    1. I think if someone is jealous or doesn’t understand your pleasure, they are assholes about it and make you feel guilty for enjoying something they don’t understand or like.
    2. I have no answer for that because you should find pleasure where and when you can. No one is going to deliver a tray of pleasure to you and say, :Enjoy yourself!”
    3. I think religion, of any kind, thrives on guilt.
    4 – 7. I think people who don’t read make fun of people who read for pleasure and I think people who want to be surrounded by ignorant people who never ask a question and believe everything they say are the ones who instill the feat of books. I am still amazed by the number of people who don’t read for pleasure or for any other reason. When the girls were little and we would go shopping I would always let them know if it was a buying day or a looking day. They were quick to figure out no matter what day it was, Mama would always buy them a book. We have friends who will ask what we did over they weekend and when I say we all read all weekend, they are amazed. Reading is one of the few things in life that gives so much pleasure, information, solutions, imagination, questions, and something everyone can do if they choose.

    I fear people who don’t read…..


  4. Silverfish are the devil’s spawn! I hate them! No fear though, just rage at the books they eat and the wool jumpers. Devil’s spawn!

    Ahem. Rant over.

    Being afraid of books would be terrible — and the poor sufferers certainly couldn’t visit my house 🙂


    • I wonder, Jenny. Would a bibliophobe have an anxiety attack upon reaching the front of a library or is a mere paperback book enough to set off the terror??

      Silverfish are icky and make my skin crawl. My skin is crawling just thinking about them now.


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