St. Augustine at Confessions, Bk. VI, Ch. 11, speaks of "a greed for enjoying present things that both fled me and debased me."
A paradox of pleasure. Certain pleasures madly striven after prove fleeting and unreal, yet not so fleeting and unreal that they cannot degrade and debase their pursuers.
At the apogee of this mad trajectory, the pleasure pursued issues in death as in the case of David Carradine's death by auto-erotic asphyxiation in a Bangkok hotel room. Is there any more extreme case of the insane abuse of the body as a pleasure factory?