Lust - Stimulants and Latest Fashion
Lust is a self-destructive drive for pleasures of all kinds
Lust is the insatiable drive for sensuality, for more and more experiences of power and pleasure, where self-worth and self-esteem are augmented usually at the expense of others. I am not speaking of lust in sexuality alone. I am speaking of an ever-escalating craving for high-toned experiences in areas of power, pleasure, and sensuality; a piercing craving that is not satisfied with normal experiences of an every-day good life.
Lust for extreme pleasure and gratification can arise as a result of perceived failure in life or business. Thwarted intentions of achieving a certain level of success in life and unrealized expectations of reward for those achievements, are often the precursors of lust. If my business fails I may find it necessary, for my own sense of self esteem, to excel in another area of life. If my sense of self worth is tied up with being seen to achieve success or status then I may develop a strong craving for personal exploitation of a nature and at a level that would be considered out of bounds for most of my peers.
If I am not praised for the success I believe I have achieved or not rewarded appropriately for my outstanding performance, as I see it, then I may slip easily into fantasies of what life would be like if reality matched my expectations and dreams. For some it becomes difficult to separate reality from fantasy; the dream world becomes the real world where anything goes and the day-to-day real world fades into a monotonous dream.
Lust is Disguised as Enlightened Normalcy
The experience of lust is rather like taking extreme mood enhancers, and just as powerful mood enhancers can destroy, so can lust. Today, lust (not just sex) is disguised as enlightened normalcy in personal and business relationships. The tolerant acceptance of lust portrayed on television, in films, on the internet, and in personal communication media is titillating and regarded as an enshrined right in this free world. In the media, lust may bring a person to ruin, but we often feel a kinship with the romantic hero who risks it all for the woman of his fantasies or the business of his dreams.
As a person becomes enslaved by lust he will unashamedly use other people as objects to satisfy his driving need for extreme pleasure and satisfaction. They must be prepared to bring him coffee, drive his car, wait on him without complaint so he can remain focused on his 'master plan'. In order for him to succeed, not only he, but those around him, must learn how to play this game. And the ‘game’ is dictated by the latest fads of a society preoccupied by pleasure, power, sex and achievement.
As lust and sex are seen to be joined, and are seen to be the 'acceptable' way to really live life, lust-sex becomes the custom everywhere. Unfortunately though, this combination quickly becomes the norm, the routine, and is expected in all situations. Normal sexual pleasure becomes boring and is seen as routine. The new lustful sexual pleasure is all that is wanted, all that is acceptable. So it becomes the norm. Not only is the craving for extreme pleasure and gratification required, it is seen as the standard that must be met. This erotically mutated, (once private) pleasure becomes blown out of proportion and context, to become a publicly acceptable and admired goal for all to achieve. It is then further fed by a multi-billion dollar sex industry that turns it into a fad.
No one takes responsibility for these mighty forces turning something once regarded as 'sacred' into a lustful craving for personal gratification in an overly indulgent society. The real danger is when something this habit-forming enslaves people. It becomes boringly repetitive. And anything boringly repetitive requires spicing up.
Mardi Gras & Carnival
Don’t Be a Party-Pooper, a Downer. This is the Way Young People Are Today
The stimulants that encourage lust to rear its ugly head are found in so many day-to-day activities: Advertising around certain television programs, many TV sitcoms, raunchy talk among friends drinking after work, headlines in newspapers and magazines, promotion on the internet, and pornography on the internet.
The stimulants for lust are also found in women’s clothing designs – low necklines, low slung pants, thongs to emphasize body contours – and in women’s shoes – high, high heels. Stimulants to lust are found in eye and lip makeup – smoky eyes and puffy, pouty lips. For men it is found in their accessories, their toys and their cars. Body piercings and erotic tattoos are found in both men and women. There is not much wrong with many of these things in and of themselves.
Taken one at a time, each of these stimulants is regarded as a modern expression of creativity and youthful enjoyment. For those not part of the younger generation or willing to promote a lustful lifestyle, they may feel that they are seen to be a little stuffy or oppressive.
“I may not want to wear what the young people wear, or show so much skin myself, but I guess it’s OK on others, especially the young people.”
And there are places where lustful behaviour is quite acceptable. In fact, if you don’t look and act in a lustful manner you are generally ignored or scorned. Sitting at a bar or in a nightclub. Flirting on the beach or at a party. It is common behaviour. Consider Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Both are excellent examples of tremendous fun and excitement. Both demand long hours of building and decorating ostentatious colourful floats. Special costumes are made and fitted precisely. And beautiful people share in the more carnal festivities just before Lent.
Unbridled Lust Thrives
Unfortunately, as celebrating a very licentious form of sex becomes more and more normal and acceptable, it also becomes dangerous. The problem is that if it were just sex and revelry that were being celebrated it would be acceptable to some. But it is not just sex and revelry that are being celebrated, it is lust and instant gratification that participants celebrate. And the more one participates, the higher the level of stimulus is required to achieve the new and demanding level of gratification needed to satiate.
This leads to a vicious spiral of escalating sexual demands that require ever increasing stimulation that can be provided only by sophisticated, sexually attractive people. This epitome of sexual perfection is unattainable by most people yet society demands that we try.
Peer pressure plays a significant part in demanding that this unreachable state of perfection becomes essential to a successful life. So if you do not have “it” you had better get “it.”
Lust Thrives in a Decadent Society
Lust thrives while lives are ruined, marriages break down, morals are rationalized and principles are marginalized. People can waste a great deal of precious time just daydreaming about the object of their lust.
Pleasure in attaining the object of one’s lust soon evaporates leaving a vague sense of disillusionment which requires new experiences and escalating stimulation. It is a shame that society praises perfection and the achievement of that perfection. To be successful, to be seen as successful, you must have _____ (you fill-in the blank)! It is unfortunate that the object of one's lust is so attractive.
The shame is that men and women spend huge amounts of money and go to great lengths to participate in this ritual when there are so many other ways to experience pleasure and great satisfaction. It is just that these other ways of enjoying life do not get the same press, the same media attention, nor do they cost as much money.
A Small Delight or a Serious Craving
At the beginning of this article I said that lust is the insatiable drive for sensuality not just sexual pleasure. Although I have devoted almost the entire article to lust for sex and how it impacts our lives, I wish to note here that there are other cravings we can have that may appear less dangerous. That is not true. Other extreme cravings are also dangerous perhaps more so because they are hidden.
Take the craving for writing articles. If I can’t wait to get home to write another article and because of that I ruin another person’s enjoyment of the day or evening, the craving is serious and needs to be acknowledged. If I stay up most of the night to continue to work on something then can’t perform properly the next day because I am exhausted, I have a problem as serious as addiction to substances.
My lust may not be in a sexual area. My lust may be a craving for the extreme pleasure I get from writing. If I do not use discipline to schedule this activity I could literally ruin my life. You may not think this is as serious as other cravings. But I have experienced becoming so preoccupied with my writing that I didn’t go out for six weeks. I mean I didn’t go out for groceries, to see friends, or anything. I just stayed in and wrote and wrote and wrote. When I ran out of fresh food I chewed on ice cubes.
My craving was a drive for the sensual pleasure of giving birth to a beautiful series of articles for a very worthwhile cause. This activity fed my ego, my creative expression needs, my self esteem needs, and on it goes.
A real craving is lustful in nature.
When it involves a piece of chocolate it is not a problem. But when lust involves an out of proportion drive for something to satisfy our reason for living, we have a problem. Lust is dangerous and we all should watch for signs of it rearing its ugly head.