Type 2 Fun Explained – Why It’s Superior (+30 Examples)

Exhausted woman scrambling through a wet mud challenge in South Africa

We all love having a good time. But fun activities don’t have to be fun while you’re doing them. Sometimes the onset of fun can be delayed and preceded by suffering. This is called type 2 fun (our favorite!). In this article, we will explain four different types of fun. The first two are enviable experiences, while the latter two should be avoided at all times!

FYI: Our site is entirely dedicated to maximizing type 1 and type 2 fun, while taking precautions to avoid them deteriorating into a type 3 experience!

The 4 types of fun

The following table represents our definition of the four types of fun:

Type of funFun at present?Fun in retrospect?Makes a great story?Regret?Example
Type 1YesYesMaybeNoRiding a helicopter over a volcano
Type 2NoYesMaybeNoA 6-hour hike to a volcano during rainy weather
Type 3NoNoYesTypicallyFleeing from an erupting volcano
Type 4YesNoNoYesGetting drunk and spending cash in Vegas

Type 1 – always fun

Type 1 is your textbook definition of a good time. The joy is consistent. It is as fun as you expected it to be and will be fun to remember. With this type, you’re never happy it’s over. Type 1 fun can also occur on a smaller scale, such as finding a spacious parking lot in a crowded city. 

Everyone appreciates type 1. It is safe, consistent and doesn’t entail a sacrifice. Even physically demanding activities, such as hiking or swimming across a river, can be type 1 fun under the right circumstances (i.e., the weather is sunny, the water isn’t too cold, and the views are stunning.)

Examples of type 1 fun

Type 2 – delayed gratification

Type 2 sucks while you are doing it. You are likely physically or psychologically suffering in the present. But in hindsight, it was a whole lot of fun. Some activities that you expected to be type 1 fun may turn into type 2. Either due to conditions out of your control (i.e., clouds obstructing the view from the peak of the mountain) or lack of preparedness (i.e., wearing the wrong shoes on a muddy hike). If your activity makes you feel despair and regret while doing it, you are probably on the right track to experience a healthy dose of type 2 fun. The timing of the delayed onset of type 2 fun can vary wildly. With a bungee jump, It’s likely right after your cord is extended to its maximum. After summiting Mount Everest, you may only think of it as fun once you safely make it back to base camp.

Why type 2 fun is addictive and superior.

Suffering is the yin, while the rush afterward is the yang. Type 2 fun is a valuable lesson about delayed gratification and shows you that fun is always relative. It also likely makes you appreciate the smaller things in life and the comfort you are privileged to enjoy. For example, after having a painful blister from wearing the wrong hiking shoes on a long hike, taking a foot bath at home will feel 10 times better than it would without the initial suffering.

Type 2 fun makes you grow as a person. It forces you to expand your comfort zone, shapes your character, and gives you bragging rights later on.

Examples of type 2 fun

Type 2 fun can be anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone, so most extreme sports or endurance sports fall into this category

  • Sleeping in a cave (can be type 1 if you prepare well!)
  • Bungee jumping off a bridge (if you’re afraid of heights)
  • Your first round of gold
  • Running your first marathon
  • Waddling through knee-deep snow
  • Survival camping
  • Mud challenges
  • Ice bathing
  • Rock climbing
  • Police academy

Type 3 – making the local news

Type 3 is never fun. Neither now nor in retrospect. These experiences are often times dangerous. The news media seems to have an insatiable appetite for these types of stories. Any type of fun runs the risk of deteriorating into type 3 type of fun. Maybe you got lucky and will have a good laugh about it in a few weeks, but perhaps you ended up with a permanent injury and will regret it for the rest of your life. Type 3 fun can be that life-changing event that causes thrill seekers to retire from thrill-seeking.

If you said one of the following, you likely had type 3 fun:

  • “What was I even thinking?”
  • “How about we never do that again?”
  • “Sorry, I don’t want to be interviewed right now, I just want to hug my family”
  • “I am done with [enter activity here] for good”
  • “I promised my wife I’ll never do it again”
  • “You saved my life. I will forever be grateful”

Examples of type 3 fun

  • The Franklin Expedition
  • Getting trapped on a ledge while climbing
  • Suffering from dehydration
  • Getting lost in the outback in Australia
  • Fighting altitude sickness during your first alpinist climb
  • Getting caught in a riptide while swimming
  • The entire Thai cave rescue fiasco

Type 4 – the fun you don’t want to remember

Type 4 fun offers immediate gratification. It releases lots of dopamine instantly, but will make you feel empty or remorseful the day after. It is often times addictive, but not in a good way, as type 2 fun would. It is the type of fun that causes lots of damage to our society.

Examples of type 4 fun

  • Spending all your savings in a casino in Vegas
  • Bar crawling (not fun to remember if you can’t remember much!)
  • Binge-eating Halloween candy
  • Binge-watching a TV show all night before a long day at work
  • Engaging in certain behaviour that leads to catching an STD.

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