It wasn’t until a recent encounter that I realized the difference between lust and desire. When I met him I thought that I desired to experience him; his caress, his body, his motions. But what I craved from him was not out of desire, because everything I sought to gain was fulfilling my own selfishness. Beyond what our one encounter would accomplish, I did not care.
Until the next morning.
At sunrise, when the situation was long-gone, an emptiness settled in my bedroom. I thought for a moment that perhaps I really did want something deeper from my experience with him. It bothered me because I have felt this in the past. I’m terrible with fleeting moments with men because even though I walk in the situation with a steady heart, afterwards it feels so precarious. Here is where the difference between desire and lust is important.
Think of a scale. On one end is lust, which is a fully carnal, selfish, physiological need; on the other end you have desire. Desire is ruled by the mind, the psychological need. It thrives more on knowledge, community, and reciprocity. The scale is love.
The reason I get so torn after an encounter with a man is because my scale is unbalanced. Without both desire and lust there is an emptiness; some can last longer unbalanced, but I can’t. For any sort of wholeness or completeness there needs to be some sense of desire.