Making Your Characters Feel Feelings: Lust

“I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets. Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.” 

-- Pablo Neruda

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Like desire, lust is not an emotion, but a feeling in which your character will experience a range of emotions. You can lust for money, power, recognition, but for the sake of this article, we’re going to focus on carnal lust. Lust of the flesh. 

Lust: a very strong sexual desire for someone. 

The Seven Deadly Sins aren’t listed in order of severity or, uh…deadliness, but lust is the very first one on the list. But I’ve always wondered why lust was such a grievous sin. My hypothesis, based solely on the indoctrination of my very young mind into Christianity which I swiftly undid by reading too many books is that this philosophy was born from men who also rejected the idea of romantic love. I believe they rejected romantic love out of fear and I guess they had good reason to be so fearful? Love and lust can make you think and do irrational things, and that’s what makes it so fun to write!

There are two ways to write your lustful character

An argument can be made that most initial attractions are born from lust. When your lustful character first meets their soon-to-be object of their desire, they will experience all of the giddy, lightheaded feelings of infatuation and an almost undeniable urge to strip them down and do the dirty. This may or may not lead to love, and your lustful character will react differently if it does. For now, here’s a list of reactions that might read a little harsh, but we’re talking about lust not love, right now folks. 

1. Lust is pleasure focused.

When your lustful character interacts with the subject of their desire, they will be focused on one thing, getting naked. All of their efforts will be focused on getting those needs satisfied, and the moment they are, they lose interest until they need to scratch that itch again. 

2. Lust is entirely based on physical attraction. 

Your lustful character is like that dude at the bar with his eyes glued to a woman’s rack. They have no interest in the object of their desire’s personality, likes, or dislikes unless it’s something that translates to their bedroom behavior. 

3. Lust is transactional.

These are two lustful characters who are consenting adults and knowingly enter this arrangement to satisfy their carnal needs, and that’s it. There’s no expectation of friendship. Neither wants a relationship. NO flowery words are exchanged. It’s all about achieving mutually satisfying orgasms with no strings attached. 

4. Lust is a thrill.

Whether the sex is between two people who should be together or if they’re telling moments from work or other obligations, lust adds another layer of excitement. That doesn’t mean that all characters don’t experience a thrill when the relationship is hot and new, but your lustful character, the thrill is the goal. 

These are definite motivations for your lustful character to give in to their carnal urges. Sometimes these urges lead to love and long-lasting relationships. However, romantic love deserves its own examination. That’ll be the next Making Your Character’s feel Feelings post!

Happy writing!

Tasha