Real Simplereaders reveal how they indulge their hedonistic sides.

By Real Simple
Updated June 30, 2009
Burcu Avsar

Buying designer shoes.
Maria Mariquit
Staten Island, New York

Easy. Facebook Scrabble. In lieu of any other activity.
Barbara Mayden
Nashville, Tennessee

Elmo and chocolate. Elmo goes on for my kiddos, and I sneak away with the chocolate.
Anika Screnock
Lakeville, Minnesota

Watching Gilmore Girls all day.
Hannah Smith
Columbia, South Carolina

The Real Housewives of New York. Do women actually act like that?
Kara Slater
Holland, Michigan

I make sure that anything that goes against my skin is as soft and supple as possible. This has led me to some amazing fabrics and materials, like my favorite bamboo sheet set. These sheets are softer than silk, never pill, and are eco-friendly, expensive, and spectacular.
Kim Johnson
Los Angeles, California

Skipping work, leaving the kids in day care, and watching a girly movie in the middle of the afternoon…with a bowl of ice cream.
Elizabeth Deschenes
Barrington, Rhode Island

Hot chocolate in the summertime.
Elsa Mehary
Brooklyn, New York

I have a toddler, a house to clean, deadlines to meet, and grass to cut, so my time is limited. But when I have time and I can do anything I want, I take a mile hike on the Appalachian Trail with my best friend to a secret pond, where we spend the afternoon swimming; eating lunch; talking about kids, life, marriage, and work; picking blueberries; and listening to the buzz of insects and the croaking bullfrogs. It is always a blissful time for me. I let myself do it just twice each summer (while my husband entertains our daughter). I take the day off. It always feels like I’m playing hooky.
Jen Matlack
Bethel, Connecticut

Checking celebrity gossip online at work throughout the day.
Megan Givens
Columbus, Nevada

Letting myself daydream. It especially feels like a guilty pleasure if I have a lot of things on my to-do list. One minute I’m folding laundry, and the next I’m staring out the window, no more chores, lost in the moment.
Nikki Gregoroff
Montclair, New Jersey

Lifetime movies on Sunday mornings.
Jacqueline Montalvo
Mahwah, New Jersey

Coming home from work and sneaking into the house so the kids don’t see me and then having a masseuse slip in for an hour massage while my babysitter watches the kids. They don’t even know I’m home until the massage is over!
Hilary Plattus
Scarsdale, New York

Letting someone think that what I’m wearing is expensive when I got it for mere pennies at a yard sale.
Cheryl Riggs
Redlands, California

Buying that third, fourth, or maybe even fifth pair of red shoes. You know, the ones you really don’t need.
Jane McCollum Brady
McMinnville, Oregon

Spending afternoons at the local bookstore with a chai latte, a scone, and a stack of magazines that I love to read but don’t subscribe to.
Hilary Brewster
West Chester, Pennsylvania

Vodka―with tonic and lime!
Kimberly Silvernale
Denver, Colorado

Salt. I have a savory tooth. Most women I know tend to go through a half gallon of ice cream or some other sweet treat during breakups or on bad days; I go through a half pound of smoked brisket.
Kelly Treleaven
Austin, Texas

Swimming nude.
Ilka Eberly
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Babysitting my friends’ kids for free. They think I am doing them a huge favor, but it’s actually for my own personal enjoyment. It gives me an excuse to do things like pet baby goats, play dress-up, and dance in the middle of the mall.
April Klaassen
Greensboro, North Carolina

I have three: developing crushes on professional athletes, those rubbery “cutlets” you can stick inside your bra to fill out a dress, and caller ID, which allows me to ignore 80 percent of the phone calls I receive.
Sheila Attaccalite
Winchester, Massachusetts

My unsophisticated taste in alcohol. Give me a fuzzy-navel wine cooler or a bottle of Arbor Mist Peach Chardonnay and I’m a happy camper.
Rachel Thurman
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Lately, watching the news makes me so sad and angry that I find myself escaping to the wonderful world of Indian cinema. Bollywood films, with all their singing, dancing, romance, and beautiful people, are long, lush, and magical beyond belief.
Robin Vankleek
Boise, Idaho

My guiltiest pleasure is lingering in bed. My dog needs to go out and there are a hundred things to do, but I ignore them all. For the next 5, 10, sometimes even 20, minutes, all I do is bask in the warmth of my sheets and watch the sun shining through the blinds. The dog and the rest of it can surely wait.
Julie Solorio
Fairfield, California

Anything my husband whispers in my ear.
Kara Slater
Holland, Michigan

Cheese. All kinds. Any kind. All the time. Cheese.
Despina Georgiadis Betza
Bloomfield, New Jersey

Using profanity. I dislike myself afterward, but it sure feels right when, for example, I discover that I left my car lights on all day while I was at work.
Emily Kuhn
Pawcatuck, Connecticut

Hiring a housekeeper and taking cabs more frequently―even in this economy.
Patricia Clough
Astoria, New York

Dark chocolate, chorizo, dirty martinis, and killer high heels.
Genevieve Bahrenburg
New York, New York

Watching awesomely bad action movies. I love the car chases, the stunts, and the ridiculous dialogue. Bring on the buttery movie-theater popcorn!
Pattie Murphy
Rosedale, Maryland

My hidden candy-bar stash. Bad for teeth (guilt). Bad for inner thighs (guilt). Bad for honest relationship with husband (guilt). But…well worth it!
Pam Pettit
Blacksburg, Virginia

Dreaming about winning the lotto. I like to think about how I would financially reward those who have treated me well and punish those who have treated me poorly.
Faith Pipitone
Maspeth, New York

Hormel Vienna sausages. I buy organic and local fresh foods for my family. I read labels carefully to avoid hydrogenated oils and hidden sugar and all kinds of chemicals. But on a car trip I occasionally give in to the temptation of canned Vienna sausages from the gas-station quickie mart. And, no, I don’t read the label.
Janice Hogan
Cold Spring, New York

Sneaking in a purchase for myself when I go to Target for “groceries and diapers.”
Carrie Henick
Smithtown, New York

Reality TV on Bravo. I don’t actually feel much guilt when I watch, say, any episode of the Real Housewives series. But I do feel a twinge when I rewatch that same episode on the weekend. More shame than guilt, come to think of it.
Julie Mattock
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reading an entire book, from start to finish, in one day!
Amie Freed
Lewis Center, Ohio

A jar of Nutella and a soup spoon. I am sure it will be the death of me, but after a busy day with my two little boys, who cares?
Whitney Ingram
Rancho Cucamonga, California

My guiltiest pleasure is shopping for clothes online, filling up the basket with $400 or so worth of stuff, and then closing the Web page without buying a thing.
Oxana Towe
Charleston, South Carolina

I am a vegetarian, but about once a year I sit in my car, all by myself, and eat a big piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken. I don’t tell a soul because I am so embarrassed by this. But it tastes so good and reminds me of the wonderful and comforting time I spent at my grandmother’s house as a child.
Traci Hammond
Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania

All My Children. The soap, not my actual offspring. I love getting involved with all the characters, twists, and turns. It gives me a break from an overwhelming day. My second-guiltiest pleasure? Guessing what will happen next on All My Children while chatting on the phone with my mom.
Cathy Porlier
San Antonio, Texas

Lying on an exercise mat at the gym, ostensibly to do sit-ups, but then remaining prone and reading a gossip magazine instead.
Kitty Colton
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Doing nothing. My job was eliminated in January and I was devastated, but I decided to approach things realistically. Our family immediately cut back on almost everything, from paying a cleaner to making coffee runs. I’m excited about my next career opportunity, but in between part-time work, job hunting, and driving my kids around, I’m in full-scale “nothingness mode” and I’m loving it.
Judy Katafiaz
Penfield, New York

Playing video games. It just brings out the kid in me, and that hardly ever happens.
Tryna Rhodes
Lakewood, Colorado

Purposely missing the only flight home in order to stay “just one more night” at an upscale resort.
Cindy Butler
Medford, Oregon

The first cup of coffee out of the pot! Somehow, it always seems to be the richest, warmest cup. My husband is a good sport on those days when he winds up getting that second cup.
Carol New
Glenn Allen, Virginia

Consuming the entire “Gotta Have It” size at Stone Cold Creamery. What could possibly be more enticing than downing more ice cream than can be reasonably safe?
Katrina Chipping
Salt Lake City, Utah

Facebook. As much as I hate it, I can’t help but check it five times a day. What do I do when I’m bored? I check Facebook. What do I do when I should be working? I check Facebook. Some people are addicted to cigarettes, some to shopping, but me, I’m addicted to Facebook.
Allison Feike
Lenoir City, Tennessee

A new Coach handbag. There is absolutely nothing better than the latest designer purse to brighten one’s day, week, or month. The guilt comes because I buy a new one every three months or so.… I’m a very loyal customer.
Elizabeth Veiss
Union, New Jersey

Eating a juicy cheeseburger while watching The Biggest Loser every Tuesday night. Is that twisted?
Melissa Walker
Brooklyn, New York