Epicureanism can be argued to be a form of Hedonism, holding the belief that pleasure is the only source of what is intrinsically good. The distinction between the two, as Hedonism seeks to maximise the net pleasure experienced in life, as total pleasure offset by total pain. Epicureanism regards ataraxia as a state of pleasure.
Ataraxia, is the result of absence of distress and suffering, as opposed to the actual experience of pleasure in and of itself. An analogy would be ataraxia is the polaroid negative of pain, as opposed to the true image of pleasure itself.
Epicurus advocated avoiding conflicting and vexatious situations and people. He himself was celibate, although he did not state categorically to avoid sexual relationships he did advocate against intense relationships or possibly very intimate relationships.
It could be argued the Epicureanism strives for avoidance,moderation and is risk averse, to an almost stringent point, as to exclude the more intense experiences of pleasure and in fact sounds like a life of boredom for many, as the emotional highs and lows can be a source of pleasure to some people.
Is it a valid argument that the Epicurean definition of a maximised pleasurable state, is more focused on the absence of pain, rather than the pursuit of pleasure, ergo Epicureanism is not a form of Hedonism?
Is this risk aversion really maximising net pleasure or just minimising pain; in the process of avoiding pain, they may be reducing the net gain in pleasure.