women’s most natural feelings from sin to virtue.
(2 min read)
[Lust is] “the enthusiastic desire, the desire that infuses the body, for sexual activity and its pleasures for their own sake.” – Simon Blackburn
This perspicacious little book is a much needed primer on how lust is ‘good’ even though our culture preaches it’s ‘bad,’ particularly for women. It’s ot only ‘bad’ to feel it, but bad to think it, mention it and most definitely to act on it. And yet, lust is as natural as sex itself and is a prerequisite for love.
Who better to share his elegant and lucid thoughts on this historical debate than Simon Blackburn, professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He’s brilliant. The book is brilliant. As the Washington Times said, this book is “less a study of the sin of lust than it is a sinfully amusing defense of it.”
Blackburn, as only a renowned philosopher can, sets out to describe to us, in much carnal detail, why lust is a virtue not a sin. And for all of us who want to embrace our deep-seated feelings of lust, he succeeds in making a vivid, visceral and life-affirming case.
Just as Dr. Laura Mintz states in her excellent book, Becoming Cliterate, that the ignorance surrounding a woman’s clitoris is a “cultural problem,” so too does Blackburn emphasize that our western culture has always been ignorant, or in denial, about women’s lust. But not so other cultures like Taoism, which claims lust has “rejuvenating and life-giving powers” – as many women will agree with. An exception among history’s prudes was Thomas Hobbes who declared lust was a unifying power and “a delight of the mind.” Most of us would add, and ‘a bliss for our body.’
A few lustful thoughts from the book:
“When something is both intensely desirable, and culturally identified as intensely shameful, we can expect psychic turmoil.”
“It’s as close to ecstasy – to standing outside ourselves – as many of us get.”
“One of the pleasures of exercising lust is the abandonment itself.”
“So delectable that life holds no delight that can give greater satisfaction.”
“Women are lustful like men and prone to temptation.” [Read all about ‘lust and temptation’ in book: Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free.] See book review.
“Nature has done the best she could do. She generated lust and left it up to the way we relate to the world – the luck of the draw applied to the chemical or cultural environments in which we grow …”
They say that philosophy is the study of the meaning of life, and what philosopher Blackburn has given us is a sensuous and expansive meaning of lust, which, in turn, is a reaffirmation a woman’s deep and honest sexual yearnings. We should all lust to read this lust-filled book.
“We can reclaim lust for humanity, and we can learn that lust best flourishes when it is unencumbered by bad philosophy and ideology … which prevents its freedom of flow.”
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