The notion of “enjoyment as a political factor” is a key motif in Lacanian psychoanalytic social theory. This article explores the notion of enjoyment/jouissance—a type of “negative pleasure” or intense libidinal arousal—as an instrument of political analysis. Crucial here are a series of qualifications that refine an understanding of the concept. The article clarifies that enjoyment is: sexual (or libidinal) in nature; bodily rather than unconscious; necessarily excessive (since it is “beyond the pleasure principle” and linked to the functioning of the death drive); and illicit, incurred in acts that apparently transgress laws or socially prescribed limits. A series of critical arguments are noted, such as the idea that jouissance cannot be extrapolated to the level of the social, and the contention that as “extradiscursive,” modes of enjoyment float free of the symbolic. Contrary to such contentions, I offer a series of examples—most typically of racism—to demonstrate how jouissance occurs within the symbolic, implies a dialectic of possession, involves the functioning of the law and superego, entails particular rules and contracts of enjoyment, and is structured by fantasy. Jouissance understood in these ways necessarily supports and extend social structure.