When one thinks of Hedonism, in this day and age, one usually thinks of debauchery and excess. However, that is not the case. Hedonism is a rather complicated school of philosophy with many branches attached to it. One branch of particular interest is Ethical Hedonism. Ethical Hedonism views pleasure as the result of the correct action in any given situation and pain as the result of the wrong action. This school of thought has a long and storied history reaching all the way back to ancient India. Being that pleasure is at the center of Ethical Hedonism, there are well thought out parameters as to what constitutes pleasure.
In all the branches of Hedonism the definitions for pleasure vary slightly. The most common definition of pleasure is a series of sensations that we interpret through our senses. Sources of pleasure that fit into this definition are things like eating, drinking, music, and sex(1). Applying this definition of pleasure to Hedonism is what conjures up images of gluttonous pigs. Pigs that shovel ice cream and cake into their mouths while stroking their genitals. The problem with this simple definition of pleasure is that it doesn't account for any kind of abstract pleasure. Abstract pleasure is the kind that you receive from something like the satisfaction of a job well done. It's for reasons like this that most people accept that there is a also a mental component that combines with physical sensations to create pleasure. There is also a more recent definition of pleasure where it is seen as a pro-attitude. A pro-attitude is a positive psychological stance towards something. This pro-attitude could be directed at anything; a thought, an object, or a sensation(1). This would explain the pleasure that someone who partakes in BDSM would get. Having a beautiful women in latex whip you while you jerk-off is the peak of pleasure for these people. However, the pain of being whipped is not something that appears pleasurable. Certain people get immense pleasure from being whipped because of their mental stance. These definitions of pleasure have evolved throughout the history of Ethical Hedonism and Hedonism in general.
Before Hedonism evolved into Ethical Hedonism its past reached deep into the annals of history. The earliest record of any philosophy that aligned with Hedonism comes from ancient India. There are ancient writings from India known as the Carvaka. This Indian philosophy is based on the Barhaspatya sutras. The Carvaka philosophy promoted skepticism and pleasure seeking. Similar principles would later emerge in the Mediterranean. A school of Greek philosophy, known as the Cyrenaics, grew to promote these values. The Cyrenaics placed immediate physical pleasure far above mental stimulation. They taught their students that they should rush to find immediate pleasure, all the while avoiding immediate pain, with no regard for future consequences. This form of Hedonism has come to be known as Hedonistic Egoism(1). As time moved on in ancient Greece a more moderate form of Hedonism gained prominence.
The roots of Ethical Hedonism are credited to the Greek philosopher Epicurus. Epicurus' form of Hedonism was much more moderate in comparison to the Cyrenaics' teachings. These teachings were left on one of Epicurus' writings, the Letter to Menoeceus. This letter explains that Epicurus believed everyone should be living in a way where each action is aimed at minimizing pain and maximizing pleasure(2). According to Epicurus, one of the main forms of pain was due to fearing the Gods and death. This philosophy also taught that simply reducing pain isn't enough to make you happy. You need to actively seek out new pleasure and increase the pleasure that you feel. Epicurus also stated that you would be happier the fewer desires that you held on to. As history reached into the middle ages, European philosophers began to disapprove of Hedonism. They saw it as a sinful philosophy that would lead people down the path to Hell. This began to change during the Renaissance. Two of the biggest philosophers of the Renaissance, Erasmus and Thomas More, argued that Hedonism actually aligned with God's desire to see human's enjoy happiness(2). This entire history all funneled together to culminate in the creation of Ethical Hedonism.
Ethical Hedonism is also known as Utilitarian Hedonism. According to the teachings of Ethical Hedonism, the correct action is the one that will create the most pleasure for everyone that the action affects. Whereas the action that brings about pain for yourself and others is the wrong action and should be avoided. Ethical Hedonism does not put the individual above the group. In every scenario, an Ethical Hedonist thinks about how their search for pleasure is going to impact anyone and everyone connected to their action. According to this philosophy, the Ethical Hedonist must give the people effected by their action as much consideration as they would give their own desire for pleasure(1). This type of thinking puts Ethical Hedonism in opposition with Hedonistic Egoism. Hedonistic Egoism is in line with what the Cyrenaics taught. This philosophy puts the individual above the group. The Hedonistic Egoist doesn't need to think about how their actions are going to affect others. According to this philosophy everyone should be pursuing their own pleasure without concern for others. Some that adhere to Hedonistic Egoism claim that they shouldn't harm others because the guilt that they would feel is a form of pain. Therefore, guilt should be avoided(1). However, that line of thinking brings it closer to being Ethical Hedonism. Ethical Hedonism is the perfect philosophy to attach to sex toys.
Sex toys are created for the sole purpose of creating and elevating pleasure. They can be used to do this whether you're alone or part of a group. When whipping up this pleasure sex toys do not do so at the expense of others. When you work yourself up into an incredibly intense orgasm the ability to do so isn't taken away from another. The only people that are effected by that orgasm are part of the same sex act. The universe does not randomly pluck the ability to cum from a stranger. Sex toys only intensify the orgasm of the people that they're touching. They perfectly compliment Ethical Hedonism. Ethical Hedonism teaches that the adherents should chase down as much pleasure as possible. Sex toys enable the users to intensify their orgasms as much as possible. Ethical Hedonism teaches that while pursuing pleasure other people shouldn't be harmed. When using sex toys the only people who will be effected are the ones touching the toys. Sex toys are completely complimentary to the philosophy of Ethical Hedonism, take the Wildfire Slimline G-Vibe for example.
The Wildfire Slimline G-Vibe is a toy that is carried on www.maniclove.com/vibrators, this toy is completely complimentary to the philosophy of Ethical Hedonism. The Wildfire is perfectly designed to apply earth shattering pulsations to the incredibly sensitive g-spot. Thereby broadening the pleasure, and by extension the happiness, of the ladies using it. However, women are not the only ones who can harness the seismic energy of the Wildfire Slimline G-vibe. This toy is also perfect for making the male prostate, or p-spot, quake with glee(3). Both genders can wield the rumbling magic wand known as the Wildfire, taking their levels of joy and bliss to brand new heights. Not only does this magical toy bring happiness wherever it goes but it is unable to bring harm. The Wildfire is made of material that is completely body safe and hygienic. This magical wand not only channels pulsations of pleasure directly into you, but the seamless design offers strength and precision. Thereby making sure that this toy will not injure those using it(3). The Wildfire's design forces it to live up to second part of Ethical Hedonism: to not cause harm while delivering pleasure.
Hedonism has garnered a bad reputation due to a poor understanding of it's teachings. Ethical Hedonism is a very specific branch within the school of Hedonism. It teaches that those that live by Ethical Hedonism should expand happiness by increasing the amount of pleasure in their lives. However, Ethical Hedonism also teaches that while seeking out that pleasure you need to consider how it will affect other people. It took centuries of philosophers contemplating Hedonism to reach the point of Ethical Hedonism. This version of Hedonism is perfect for the use of sex toys. Sex toys fulfill all of the beliefs of the Ethical Hedonist.
“Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Hedonism,” accessed on November 27, 2016, http://www.iep.utm.edu/hedonism/#SH1e
“Hedonism,” accessed on November 27th, 2016, https://www.utilitarianism.com/hedonism.html
“Wildfire Slimline G-Vibe,” accessed on December 2, 2016, https://www.maniclove.com/vibrators/wildfire-slimline-g-vibe