Joy is like sex

“I’m going in search of the adventure of being alive.

And it’s complicated: why am I not looking for happiness when everyone has taught me that happiness is the only goal worth pursuing?

Why am i going to risk taking a path that no one else is taking?
After all, what is happiness?

Love, they tell me. But love doesn’t bring and never has brought happiness.

On the contrary, its a constant state of anxiety, a battlefield; its sleepless nights, asking ourselves all the time if we’re doing the right thing. Real love is composed of ecstacy and agony.All right then, peace.

Peace? If we look Nature, there is no peace.
The winter does battle with the summer, the sun and d moon never meet, the tiger chases the man, who’s afraid of the dog, who chases the cat, who chases the mouse, who frightens the man.

Money brings happiness. Fine.
In that case, everyone who earns enough to have a high standard of living would be able to stop work.
But then they’re more troubled than ever, as if they were afraid of losing everything.
Money attracts money, that’s true. Poverty might bring unhappiness, but money wont necessarily bring happiness.I spent a lot of my life looking for happiness, now what i want is joy.

Joy is like sex – it begins and ends. I want pleasure. I want to be contended, but happiness?
I no longer fall into that trap.”
Athena, the main character in ( “The Witch of Portobello” )


  1. I wrote about this a while ago, it’s reassuring to see you think something similar.

    Good post.

    1. Angela says:

      very nice writing Carlos I enjoyed reading it! Thank you

  2. Shiva says:

    Just wanted to share with my fellow WOL’s and ofcourse Mr. Coelho.

    The strange woman in the mirror by Attiya Dawood

    The strange woman in the mirror,
    What is she thinking?
    I ask her – what is it? She avoids me.

    I paint my lips red, she begins to sob.
    When I look in her eyes, she asks me questions,
    which are even more strange.

    Home, husband, children…..I have all
    that makes up happiness.
    But I don’t know what she wants.

  3. Free not whore says:

    Joy is like sex, so sex is like joy????

  4. jeeva says:

    You attract 2 things in life,
    1. Things you love
    2. Things you fear

    If you love joy ,you shall get joy. And you’ll have joy until you think of what joy can do to you………
    Being at present, unconditional love is the answer. Or is it?

  5. The Odd says:

    Joy is a state of mind escaping a clear thought.

  6. Flora says:

    When it goes away you cry a river, hapiness … when you felt you were no longer one cause you were once one with the one who brought hapiness joy and sex into your life, joy is no longer the same, sex no longer has the same taste, and you wonder if hapiness is fiction or reality as you can only close your eyes and dream about joy and sex. Pleasure is sometimes a lonely state and love can leave you … what to do, what to do, when the one is silent and sex in no longer joy but only pleasure!…
    ”Real love is composed of ecstacy and agony”

  7. james says:

    Joy is like sex, but sex is cool & joy like sex is temporary….in-a-nutshell…..a state of mind……

  8. Rebecca Johnson says:

    Happiness, like joy, exists only in the moment. When I can let go of that moment as freely as I entered it and embrace the next one then I am free.

    Happiness is a way of seeing, a form of perception, that asks nothing of the external world, but knows how to sing with the Divine in everything.

    It is, as it is and it is perfect as it is. Inbetween is the paradox of life that can appear so beautiful and yet so ugly, so inspiring and yet so terrifying. Happiness is being able to hold both in the depth of your being and knowing that what you experience in the moment is a choice between them – that the struggle between them is only an illusion. The true warrior knows that she is not defined by the battle, she is greater than it.

  9. Shagun Suhail says:

    it is so true!

  10. Mathilde says:

    Het geloof is geen verlangen.Geloven is Willen. Verlangens zijn altijd dingen die vervuld moeten worden, de Wil is een Kracht. De Wil verandert de ruimte om ons heen. Maar daarvoor is wel een Verlangen noodzakelijk. witch of portobello.
    to be Different..

  11. concepcion says:

    Amor y alegria yo tengo para dar siento que están dentro de mi y a veces simplemente me brota incluso sin quererlo. Pero la felicidad, es responsabilidad de lo que cada uno recoge y como lo recoge en la vida. Nadie puede dar felicidad.

  12. Mariazinha says:

    Comentei duas vezes no post da Lou Salomé – ontem e hoje- e meus comentários ní£o aparecem…
    Vc separou os comentários em portuguíªs dos demais?

    Bjo, até mais.

  13. Dear Paulo,

    -Joy is just joy not like sex. You can get joy from just watching the sunlight or moonlight or any light.

    -Sex has beginning and an end but sex is an addiction which keeps on coming back and forth.

    1. Robin says:

      And you think that people are not addicted to joy..?

  14. Magalena Sztuba says:

    ecstasy and agony ..that is what Michaelangelo thought of his talent it brought him both sometimes at the same time… And I agree with You Mr. Paulo I don’t want happiness cause it’s a flat feeling …I want joy and I want to feel … so carpe diem…

  15. J says:

    paulo, love is happiness is joy. true love, that is; the unconditional kinds. if you feel anything other than ultimate bliss, in love, then there’s a good chance that that is not true love. it could be anything ranging from an obsession, a desire, or maybe even a temporary liking. sadly though you can’t look for love, it finds you, unawares .. :)

  16. Olta Ana says:

    Joy is great, but it might be not enough or it might be too much. A great feeling which fills the soul and impacts our heart. Can you imagine? Die of joy!
    I love my cousin’s expression : “To faint because of pleasure!”
    Maybe the author has meant more than one side of sex when referring to Joy similar to sex. I think it would be fear enough.
    Life has the mother’s face so there is this constant fight, and that is where it stands its beauty. A beauty a bit hard to understand just like that, but the golden middle makes that even greater.
    Weird but I can’t imagine my life only feeling Joy, even though I don’t like pain and suffering, and when I think of that I feel happy (even though afraid too).
    Often we like to think that pain is there to give us lessons, but I am thinking that unhappy moments aren’t supposed to be there just to give us lessons.
    Well that I don’t know, but I know that BLACK is what makes life interesting and it gives life to my paintings. heehe
    I know that without BLACK they’d look pale and lifeless. So that teaches me something.
    Joy is like sex. Glad to be so than!
    Happiness meaning Joy??? I’d like to think that it is the first one leading to the other. Sometimes even bitter tears can bring happiness…
    Don’t have enough light on this right now, but for the moment this is what I think.


  17. Olta Ana says:

    Agree! I need to find that book again and the Alchemist too.
    I love those two books.

    Love Olta

  18. jo van roekel says:

    Its al about alchemie
    Make everithing into gold

  19. Piyush says:

    Why go in the search for anything specific – why not experience all of it. Why choose between, happiness, joy, sex, love….
    why not experience what the moment brings, even if it is sometimes misery and failure…
    I love movies and I do not watch only comedies and love stories – once in a while tragedies and even horror stories entertain me – why have a different attitude towards life when that is the biggest entertainment out there?

  20. […] from the novel The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho and also reproduced on his blog. A novel that explores the feminine side of […]

  21. Alexandra says:

    Today I found a video from Sade, I thought it fit for the quote. Soldier of love…
    Arent we like in a battlefield, fighting for love?
    THe video is not available, just the one with lyrics I can share, but original with images is really great.

  22. maria-dove says:

    An ancient Greek Philosofer Epicurus, first talked about pleasures in life, emphasising their significance to human nature. Joy and pleasure is the salt of life sweetens the heart and make the life torreable.
    Religion and christian tradition on the other hand trying to estamblish a more spiritual life almost banished joy and pleasures stating that doesn’t suit to a christian way of life.
    Saints and monks lived deprived from both on the their quest to spiritualism.

    Is it true, joy is not a virtue for the faith?
    If you seek only for the joy finally you will be consumed by that, because joy is never enough, you keep wanting more and more untill you get no joy at all.
    If you live without joy life will become borring, a never ending monotonus state.
    On the other hand God endowed us with joy, we are destined to find joy or else he wouldn’t give us such blessing.
    I wonder if moderation is the key to this, as moderation in joy means controlled joy and that is not joy enough.

    I tend to think that living with joy is a decision, a way of life not an actual state, because as happiness doesn’t stay forever it comes and goes and that is the beauty of it.

    Joy comperred to sex? Is definately a way of getting joy (not the only one luckily, so i think that the example wants to pinpoint that joy in any form involves at least two people you can’t be joyfull by yourself

    So, in conclusion, joy ends up boosting sharing and enhancing human bonds, well i cann’t think of any other better methode for achieving that, so i say yes to joy.

  23. Marie says:

    For me, the last year has been extremely tough. I had reached a point where happiness was non-existant.

    But, a regular reader, an avid fan; the books have always given me what I needed at that moment.

    I live each day, appreciating every experience. Every single situation or incident brings with it something positive, something to look at and go ‘wow, lucky it worked out this way’.

    I try to live by that philosphy each day. It makes alot of difference.

    Love, Joy, Happiness are not far away. They are there, its for us to go and get them. I have stopped ‘EXPECTING’ and the minute I’ve tried to do it, I’m CONTENT.

    1. mehboobeh says:

      so like what i am feeling at the moment.
      thank you for sharing.
      i have expected a lot from myself and from others to give me happiness.
      now, i started living and experiencing each day as it comes, and that’s the time i experience contentment.
      and now i’m happy.

  24. THELMA says:

    The Spiral, of my dream!
    The Signs are … everywhere! You wrote to me dear Paulo Coelho: Follow the signs…
    Thelma xxx

    1. katie says:

      sorry, thelma …
      I don’t believe in this video-series.
      – I really cannot see the fibonacci series on all those examples … but the spirals are gorgeous, indeed :o)
      – part 4 of this video series is a kind of confusing:
      why do they show first a picture of Karl Marx when talking about Darwin?
      many of the examples are not based on the latest known facts …
      e.g., birds are warm blooded – one knows this for a long time,
      one assumes that they developed from dinosaurs today.

    2. Tarek says:

      I don’t know what to think about these kinds of “proofs”.
      I think one cannot proof or disproof God existence by today’s science..
      To put it in another way, if one wants to believe he’ll see in this and similar video, discussions, etc.. a proof.
      On the other hand, if one does not want to believe he can bring also “scientific facts” that disproof the existence of God..
      “Mind have thousand eyes, heart but one”

    3. Tlou says:

      I have not heard anything like this before and yet it has been right before and i totally agree. One writer says, “it is impossible to understand without faith”

    4. ahmed elawad says:

      no need for proof for the god existance .. coz his existance inside , which mean , if u want something to get from bottom of ur heartt and u juss said oh .. god plz i need this thing .. believe me u will get … so that god existance is everywhere …around us but most important should be in our inside us and that wht make us believers … with many thing beyond this like destiny ….. and others .. so think well and thn say wht u want to say …….

  25. Cristina says:

    Joy is like sex because both are “manifestation of Agape”.
    Maybe we’re not strong enough to understand the infinity of Love, so Love reveals him/herself sometimes in bad experiences, sometimes in good experiences.
    Bu He/she keeps us going on in Life.