Lust is a psychological force producing intense desire for an object, or circumstance while already having a significant other or amount of the desired object. Lust can take any form such as the lust for sexuality (see libido), money, or power. It can take such mundane forms as the lust for food (see gluttony) as distinct from the need for food. It is similar to but distinguished from passion, in that passion propels individuals to achieve benevolent goals whilst lust does not.
Religions tend to draw a distinction between passion and lust by further categorizing lust as an immoral desire and passion as morally accepted.
Lust is defined as immoral because its object or action of affection is improperly ordered according to natural law and/or the appetite for the particular object (eg sexual desire) is governing the person's intellect and will rather than the intellect and will governing the appetite for that object.
Whereas passion, regardless of its strength is maintained to be something God-given and moral, because the purpose, actions and intentions behind it are benevolent and ordered toward creation, while also being governed by the person's intellect and will. A primary school of thought on this is Thomism, which speaks on the intellect, will and appetite, and draws from principles defined by Aristotle. However, the exact definitions assigned to what is morally definite and ordered toward creation depend on the religion. For example, differences between religions based in pantheism and theism will differ what is moral according to the nature of the "God" acknowledged or worshipped.
Lust is a feeling that alters the chemicals in our brains. Hormones like testosterone, pheromones, and androgens all factor into how lust may be experienced. This is also a part of our natural biological processes and the human instinct to procreate.
Upon seeing someone we find ourselves attracted to, we may experience lust and desire sexual intercourse with them to continue our species.
If your feelings are only sexual in nature
If someone becomes less attractive after you recognize their flaws
If you do not have any desire to build a deeper connection with the person you experience lust toward
The relationship is short-lived
You want to become intimate with the person who inspired the feelings in you
You are extremely attracted to somebody on a physical level
Your heart rate increases
Your palms may perspire
You experience butterflies around someone
You want to touch the person frequently
You want to leave after having sex with somebody instead of staying to spend time with them
If you are experiencing a stronger connection with somebody and want to foster a deeper bond, then it's possible you're developing feelings of love instead of lust.
Lust is a common, natural biological reaction that can offer many benefits. "When acted on with respect, lust can be fun, deepen a connection in a relationship, and even help repair issues within a relationship," adds Zajac. Whether you're single or in a committed partnership, acting on lust in a healthy way can transform your relationship depending on how you navigate it.
If you still find yourself wanting to act on your feelings of lust when the opportunity may end up being destructive or might cause harm, consider seeking the help of a relationship therapist or psychologist. This person may assist you in understanding where these feelings are coming from and what you can do to express it in a healthy way moving forward.