I guess it’s no secret now that my life held a sexual past. Google my name and it’s out, mainly because I chose to lift the lid off shame from my past. I confess, the main reasons why I did what I did was because I justified my sexual desires with one tiny word – ‘love’. It became the backbone for every sexual intention I followed through on. I refused to buckle under the religious opinion that it was lust, lust was what other people felt, be it for a dashing someone in front of them, or for how they felt about a brand of dark roast coffee – but me? Well I made love. I had a ‘solid’ thesis for my actions, a reasoning for the ultimate in vulnerability. I didn’t do this with everyone – just the ones I loved. Few argued with me, mainly because I was accountable to no one. I did what I believed was right, living in a vacuum of me, my boyfriend and I.
Turns out that I wasn’t alone. And as I walk in a very different light today, this is the same argument why some frown when I mention that I hold out for the ‘entente’ of marriage. This is the reason why I’m labelled as ‘inflexible’ to being open to good men, when I talk about celibacy. This is why the world is getting more confused, because we are confusing ourselves. They frown because they think I can’t love fully. I frown because they’ve mistaken what love means.
But to be clear, before we go any further, I don’t want to be that pastor who spurts out the word lust like the many religious folk have before, alluding to a prude persona that doesn’t appreciate the need for sexual desire. It’s vital and we need it for the human race to function. I’m not some nun, now valiant to charge everyone with a vow of chastity. I want to revert back to where it’s powerful and more importantly, where it’s not.
The definition of lust is to have ‘a very strong sexual desire for someone’. That’s it.
That’s it. It’s not making love, it’s not fireworks that last the test of time. It’s not commitment, it’s not the fight to keep you, it’s not the foundation that will make you trust someone, it’s not the thing that will comfort your tears, or place needs above another’s needs. No.
Lust bolts, love stays. Lust forgets. Lust blanks out. Lust has no forethought. Lust lyricizes the glamour of one-night stands, love writes lyrics that says it’ll catch a grenade for you. Lust utters empty nothings, love has follows through on its promises. Lust defends without humility, love always says sorry. Love makes space to wonder, lust asks what time is it? Lust has double standards – ones that only work for the self. Love listens to the highest standard and fights for it. Lust sends a text to finish a romantic dalliance, love talks face-to-face.
How often we merge passion of lust and believe it’s love is too common an occurrence that something needs to be said. Lust is not love, it is a by-product of beauty, but so rarely is it followed through with the real depth, the real substance of love. For the first time I’m a supporter of 50 Cent when he said “I’m into having sex, I’m not in into making love.” I’m glad someone in the world of influence acknowledged that there’s a difference. Even if it doesn’t carry a responsibility of taking care of a girl’s heart.
And these days, amid the bikini shots on a beach, the provocative facial seflies – all subtle callings for men to check us out in lustful ways, I say there’s something far more powerful to be emblazoned on everyday expression. The deeper sway of tenderness, of listening, of conversing over cuddling, of grace over physically grabbing. Because none of that lasts and just like the amusing viral of a tiny hamster eating tiny burritos – it’s over.
We must be careful to not define the meaning of love on our own experiences, but on the solid truth of what love itself defines itself as: it is kind, it is patient, it is not self-seeking. The definition has been in our midst for thousands of years, inspired by the very inventor of love – time to go back to the drawing board, before more families break apart, before pansexuality becomes another ‘thing’, before we act in a space that says anything and everything goes. It can, of course it can, but that doesn’t mean you’re making love, if anything, sweetheart – you’re making it up.
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