The Difference Between Love And Lust: A Sex Education Refresher For Almost Grownups

Credit Joel Sossa / www.flickr.com/photos/xsossa/
Credit Joel Sossa / www.flickr.com/photos/xsossa/

Most of us have already had sex education since we were teenagers, many have probably had their fair share of sexual relations and many are also already quite aware of what goes on and their mechanics.  I’m not here to tell you how to orgasm or anything like that, nope, sorry!  But, I’d like to clarify what sex actually means and WHY we have sex at all.

Firstly, we’re the only species (besides dolphins supposedly) that have sex not just to procreate but for other reasons, and that’s a whole stack of other reasons.  I want to get into those ‘other’ reasons, which probably accounts for the majority of the time we actually have sex.  So why have sex?  What does it mean to us??  Two reasons/meanings:  1) sex is for lust, and/or 2) sex is for love.  Simple right?  Not quite!  Lust and Love are two very, very heavy things, and I’ll get into it next.

Lust is one of those things that almost all religions condone.  Why?  Simply put, it combines all the the unwanted human traits:  qualities of ego, attachment, greed, jealousy, anger… you name it.  Not to mention, lust puts all these vices into a very real, physical act that just reinforces the power of such vices within oneself.  For example, you have sex with someone and you automatically feel jealousy and anger if they have sexual feelings/relations with someone else, you also feel like you want more from this person (greed), then you start having a sense of ownership or belonging to that other person (attachment), then finally, your ego is fed because you just feel so damn good (but that was just the endorphins whether the sex was good or bad!).  Does this sound familiar to anyone?? 

The funny thing is, these vices work so subtly, especially when it comes to sex, and before you know it, you’re feeling tired and unhappy largely from the underground root causes of these traits, such as ego.  Unfortunately, most religions don’t really explain sex or lust in this way, they just downright ban it.  But the truth of the matter is, these ancient wisdoms actually do have some merit.  Who wants to reinforce their traits of ego, attachment, greed, jealousy, and anger?  It’s not really a fun way of living.

Now for the good part:  Love is the complete opposite of lust.  Love combines all beautiful qualities that humans experience:  love is the fruit of peace, purity, happiness, truth, and power.  Wow!  No wonder almost all movies, novels, music are about love.  Unfortunately, love is not to so easy to find these days, especially love between two individuals.  The true manifestation of love is to have all these beautiful qualities of peace, happiness, truth and power within ONESELF first, and then to find a partner who can complement these, that’s when you have what many love stories call a happily ever after union.  Why else would love stories have the two lovers overcome a lot of adversities on their own before they can finally be in each other’s arms?

But here’s the catch:  if sex is the expression of both lust and love, how is that possible?  Today, many of us confuse what sex actually means, and unfortunately, lust often prevails.  It’s just not possible to have both lust and love on our minds at the same time (although many of us would like to think so – even the phrase ‘passionate lovemaking’ triggers both lust and love at the same time).  You can’t be at peace, happy, truthful, and powerful, while simultaneously being egotistical, attached, angry, and greedy all at the same time. 

So which is it?  Do you have sex for lust or love?  Certainly there are different degrees to which our vices come out but ultimately, if two individuals who possess all the beautiful traits of love in themselves, they likely don’t need the physical manifestation of love in sex anymore.  No wonder all forms of religions universally and coherently encourage celibacy, since celibacy means you’re overflowing with love, but most of them don’t bother to explain why.  So that leaves us with the question to have sex or not?  And if you chose sex, do you do it for lust or love?  Sex education back when I was a teenager definitely didn’t explain much… I hope this post gave you something to think about on a the very confusing and expansive topic of sex.  Living here in Miami, one of the ‘sexiest’ cities in the world, it can be especially confusing. TC mark

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