Sex Education: Lusty Love
12th August, 2010
The Free Love of the 60s is back!
Well, it is according to some free spirit gurus who want to spread the lurve in London.
Under the guise of self-help therapy, people have gathered in a room, stripped off and made statements to other people about their bodies and how they make them feel (strange, but they never did that on the last course I attended … would have added an interesting slant to the proceedings, I guess).
Well, this is certainly a different approach. Forgive me if you don’t agree with what I’m about to say on this subject, but I can only describe my own personal experiences ...
Of course, people have indulged in this kind of ‘free love’ behaviour for years. Regardless of whether you think that going away for a couple of weeks on a course to ‘find your true self’ has some kind of ugliness to it (to the partner left at home perhaps), it is still going on in the name of spiritual enlightenment. And in the name of love.
But is it love? Is lust a type of love? A love of the self? Is it a way of being able to satisfy yourself sexually without fear or guilt or shame? What is the difference between love and lust?
Surely, it all boils down to one thing – sex?
Here’s an interesting statement:
“Love making involves the experience of sensing the other’s subject state: shared desire, aligned intentions, and mutual states of simultaneously shifting arousal with lovers responding to each other in a synchrony that gives the tacit sense of deep rapport. Lovemaking is, at its best, an act of mutual empathy, at its worst it lacks any such emotional mutuality”
So says Daniel Stern, a psychiatrist at Cornell University School of Medicine.
Bit of a mouthful, I must admit. But he is a psychiatrist, so that’s to be expected.
Anyhow, the latter comment (at its worst) explains how people are able to bring their bodies together with no feeling whatsoever. The former comment (at its best) goes a long way to helping us understand a little more about love and all its complexities.
However, I do question the bit about the ‘no feeling whatsoever’. As, when you bring two bodies together, there is always a sensation of some kind. Whether that is a pain or a pleasure, there is always a physicality to it and physical involvement brings on sensations that touch the nerve endings – and it can’t only be skin deep, as the heart is pounding away in a concerted effort to keep up with the antics being played out above it.
So, the question that plagues my mind is: does lust derive from sexuality and love from sensuality?
To be sexual is to hold the body, alone, in awe – as is lust. Love, however, is likened to being sensual and involving all five senses (or six if you’re a particularly sensitive person). Both sexuality (lust) and sensuality (love) can include the subject of sex with the body fully involved.
Without this ‘love’ thing getting in the way, there would be only lust. I don’t believe lust, in itself, is a bad thing. After all, it’s that drive that brings us together in the name of love. However, I can understand how lust, on its own, could lead to a compassionless, dull experience – notably so if all it leads to is nothing than a romp in the sack.
So, can lust and love be described? Can they be defined?
Rather than make a statement that lust is all about desire and wanting and trying to get to the ultimate goal (into someone’s knickers), lets try to describe the physical sensations at play here.
If you’ve ever lusted after anybody’s body you’ll know what it’s like (men - brains in particular - are especially adept at this sort of thing, so an expert should be consulted perhaps ? ). Taking a quick tip from the previous blog, if the RODS in a man’s eyes focus on a bountiful breast or curvy bum it will create a big enough stimulus to get his brain’s ATTENTION GRABBER on alert, so that his ALARM SYSTEM rings several bells, urging him to act immediately on the information being handed to him.
A woman, on the other hand, upon receiving a ‘welcome’ flirty word or two, her DATA CONNECTOR can run into overdrive, to such an extent that she stumbles over the words that stream in an uncontrollable dribble from her mouth. Obviously, her CONTROL CENTRE needs very much to be putting the brakes on at this point, but the NEURONS in her brain are firing away, making her blood flow faster fuelling her THOUGHT processes.
Leaving that aside for a sec, if we take the rest of the body into consideration, there’s a burning fire in your belly (and a ‘tingle in your vagina’ ), it’s kind of like a burning heat, a form of energy building up in your body, a sensation that takes over as your thoughts rage on the fantastic possibilities that are available to you. The brain’s MEMORY PROCESSOR is REMEMBERING the emotional triggers from a time before (or instinct is kicking in there) so her imagination plays a big part in how that surge of tingling, jumpy, energetic sensations touch the nerve endings deep within her body. Ewh, enough already!
It feels so bloody darned good (personally, I can’t understand why it’s been classed as so wrong).
Shall I take that ‘fire in the belly’ thing a little deeper? From my point of view, it can be anything as flippant as a yearning for precious moments to a hot fervency for deep penetration of the body. A desire to be inflamed, ignited, electrified, super-charged.
You want it so badly that when you get it you can erupt into a dance of ecstasy – so much that an explosive orgasm can come so easily.
Hang on a minute. So we’re onto the subject of love now then – ‘cos that’s what that is about, isn’t it?
Love is a sort of gratitude that you feel inside, for all that is being given to you.
So, by that measure, lust is a kind of physical pleasure? And love an emotional pressure?
We’re getting there.
Clearly, sexuality is expressed through energy. A pleasurable energy. A force that is vibrant, it can be expressed in the contortions on your face or the way you carry your body or both. When you feel sexual, your body and voice says to the world (albeit indirectly) “Open all your doors – I’m coming to get you!” (a bit like Davina on Channel 4’s Big Brother echoing through the mist of television memorabillia).
The sex act itself is a powerful force – a force that many still don’t understand. When you think of the energy that is used and the friction created in physical act of sex, you begin to understand the magnetic forces at play. Getting physical with another body can actually draw you closer to it and, inevitably, to the person that lies hidden beneath the skin.
While your nerve endings tingle and fluids mingle – oddly enough emotions start to merge. Your heart pounds within its cage of bone and blood, and begins to move the fluids faster. Everything around you becomes magnified and intensified. Sounds can appear and disappear in an instant. Looking into your lover’s eyes can be such an emotionally loaded and intimate moment - yet it can make you feel so distant too.
If we leave the moment for a second and glance back to another time - way back in time – a time when the ancient philosopher’s words were adhered to by the ever faithful. It was said that “if the person you are exchanging bodily fluids with, brings the pain of the past with them – you will feel it too.”
And it’s true. You can’t help but do that. You’re so close to them. Touching them, rubbing against them, sliding in them, feeling their skin against yours, moving in yours, smelling their sweet sweat mixing with yours. All these sensations merge to create intense feelings beyond the simple pleasures of a cup of tea and a scone (I don’t care what Boy George says!).
So is lust wrong? Are the devout followers of the world who live their life by the guidance of one big book, right? Is love all there is to abide by? Should we forgo lust at the alter of love? Do we have to deny what is inherently our animalistic right to the pleasures of the physical flesh – simply to stop ourselves from the possibility of being hurt by the act of lusting after someone?
But, in what way can lust after another body hurt us?
As we all know, being sexually repressed can lead to pain in a myriad of ways. People get frustrated, frustration leads to anger, when bottled up anger causes a tremendous amount of grief. Sex creates the greatest source of energy, and thus relief, from all these emotions. But I’m told that sex without love can attract all sorts of bad types of passion: guilt; anger; fear; resentment. Strangely, though, these emotions all come from a place of love. Or rather, lack of it. Of wanting love and of being unloved.
As a result, does this mean it all boils down to the simple explanation that lust that leads to sex relieves emotional stress and eventually ends in this thing called love?
Sex can free you from anger buried deep inside - until compassion wells up and you meet another on a level that is comfortable for both of you. But there’s one ingredient that needs to be present in order for that to happen. It’s what lust, ultimately, is all about.
Not only a desire to share another body – to change from one body to another.
But a desire to change.
To alter what is within you in order for you to be free from the fear, the guilt and the anger of past hurts.
However, it takes courage to admit that change is needed. Shifting your life, from one place to another, has to come from yourself first – there is no way you can change another person (ladies take note!).
When you find yourself in a relationship that seems to be going nowhere or where the flames of passion are making a pathetic attempt to flicker in a fire where only embers smoulder, it takes guts to admit that what you have is not what you lust for, not what you have already got.
My gran always told me that “Courage is ‘being afraid – and going on’, regardless of what the future may hold as a result of your decision to change.” She was a wise and strong woman. Having been through a few relationships myself, I begin to understand what she means.
When you resist change and accept what is in your life as it stands, this can only bring more pain - extra anger, increased guilt and an intense fear that can only intensify.
But what is it about the act of change that is so frightening?
The fear of change itself? Or the fear of what that change will lead to? Is it the fear that your situation might be worse, instead of better, than it was before you took the leap?
Take heart. Change almost always brings us mountains to climb … err … sorry … challenges. Challenges give us more choice. Through the power of choice we gain in confidence. So, change can either help us to grow into bitter or better people. We can either view the challenge as a mountain or as a molehill. Either way, if we make the effort to take the first step towards it, it can help us look inward for the answers and, ultimately, learn to forgive.
When you think on that a little more, that is what lust is all about.
It is a burning need, or a desire, inside to change what is. Lust is your body’s physical message urging you to change your mind from its present state and to make a decision: to bring two bodies together and make love happen?
Therein, lies the ability to ‘make love’.
When you open yourself up to making love, you can be freed from the fears that plague you through the thoughts of lust and you can have sex without judgement. Sex without fear.
Lust and love combined can allow you to be free with a loving partner – a partner that you can trust and have faith in, and a willingness to explore. With that kind of partner, sex can be simply fantastic.
Therefore, are we to assume that making love with only lust in our eyes is far from lacking any emotional mutuality? For lust, it seems, stems from one another’s shared desire to “align intentions” until a sense of “deep rapport” is achieved. So, rather than lacking any “emotional mutuality”, instead, it appears to be the beginning of the feeling of empathy required on our journey towards love. Eat that Daniel Stern!
From this point of view, sexual desire and lust is a wonderful experience for us to go through. It keeps us alive. Lust gives us the courage to get up and get out, get moving and going along a path that to who knows where it will lead. Desire gets our minds thinking and our bodies shaking. Whereas love gives us strength, it helps us to be staunch in our efforts to change. Lust is in the mind. Love is in the heart. Neither of these sensations nor body parts need be separate. They simply need to merge without fear, guilt or anger being allowed to enter in.
Both lust and love can bring us peace and unity. Together they can bring us that spiritual enlightenment that we continually search for - that inner yearning to find ourselves complete. So, there really is no need to get naked with a stranger and tell them that they make you tingle in your most private of all parts, in order to find yourself.
We simply need to acknowledge what part lust plays in the game of love.
While we leave the subject of lust and love, I’ll give you something to remember that the Queen of the Bedroom (Madonna) has said in one of her songs …
“Don’t play with something you should cherish for life”
Related articles from our experts
Dr Kornilia Givissi, Counselling Psychologist (HCPC Reg, DCounsPsy)March 16th, 2017
Matt Fox - Psychosynthesis Counsellor MBACPMarch 5th, 2017
Andrea Harrn Psychotherapist and Author of The Mood CardsMay 13th, 2011
Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Supervisor (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,MBPsS)March 29th, 2015
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.