|We’ve explored so many facets of “love” already that, today, I want to talk about the other “L” word: Lust. In a declared Christian society like ours, it is, figuratively, a four-letter word: an obscenity, and one of the seven deadly sins. It is also instructive to note that among the seven, lust is definitely the outside child; for none of the others – wrath, greed, sloth, pride, envy or gluttony – seems to elicit the kind of response that poor lust gets, not even when all six are to be found residing in one person.|
Hence, because it carries such a bad reputation, nobody, except US President Jimmy Carter, perhaps, admits to it. But, really, where would most of us be without it? Not here on planet earth, for sure!
The latest to wash his mouth on lust/desire was Minister Louis Farrakhan, who, in his lecture a few weeks ago, complimented our black women on their posterior endowments, while simultaneously decrying the fact that our bodies are celebrated so very explicitly, during Carnival, in particular. Then, later in his discourse, he lamented the fact that black women are not having enough babies. Now, having lived as long as I have – and that’s shorter than his years by nearly three decades – I have come to realize that there is a correlation between this body-worship and baby-making. But what I didn’t hear the minister explain – nor any Christian preacher for that matter – is how to keep the latter business going without the input of the former.
You see, stripped of its religious and moral connotations, lust is nothing more than that very acceptable emotion known as “desire” – that touchy-feely feeling sanctioned by the church in fulfillment of the divine instruction to Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and multiply,” and endorsed by the state in its expectation of taxes and the consumption of goods and services. Why, then, all the hypocrisy about it?
According to those who know such things, humankind is the only species not governed by what, in the animal kingdom, is known as estrus; in other words, we are always in heat and, physically, can have sex at anytime. Hence, it is obvious that we were designed by the Creator to use our bodies, our sexuality, for more than the begetting of children. A problem, however, arises in trying to “marry” how we are built with how we are socialized.
In our case, we are taught by the Christian church (well, some of them) and the greater society that sexual desire is ok – as long as we feel it only for our spouses. In other faiths, including among Muslim sects, there is the belief that women shouldn’t feel it at all, lest they start looking at men other than their husbands. And so, early o’clock, young girls get their female parts sliced off and sewn up, so they don’t get any ideas that this sex-thing is for their own enjoyment. (Sisters, we should all find ourselves in church on Sundays to give thanks, you hear!)
But let’s be honest: Desire, otherwise vilified as lust, is something that comes and then goes, no matter how much one loves his or her spouse. In fact, it is hardly ever because they don’t love their wives that men – regardless of their religious persuasion – cheat. They cheat because they feel desire for someone else. And women are no different. We know it’s hard for a sister to get excited, all hot and sweaty, over the feller who’s been snoring and passing gas next to her for the past 17 years. And even if he is the most fastidious of persons, a man might just be dry and boring in bed….