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Lust is a sensual, sexual desire and pleasure that is experienced during sexual activity , satisfaction or sexual fantasies. Lust includes active action to increase sexual satisfaction.

Lust describes the cultivation of a sensation that was considered urgent and lustful, previously also nefarious and outrageous. Lust is not just physical desire, it also releases erotic fantasies . Behind lust and the fantasies associated with it are strong driving forces and temptations. In this sense, the opposite of lust is frigidity .

Etymology and conceptual history of lust

The word lust comes from the Old High German willilust and wolalust . It then originated in Middle High German and Middle Low German lust. It is a combination of pleasure and a pre-form of well-being. For this reason, from the 16th to the 18th century , lust was also written as lust . At the beginning of its genesis, the word, which occurs frequently in legend poetry and mystical literature , did not yet have the rather disreputable and pejorative meaning in the sense of 'vice' and 'debauchery', which only arose in early New High German , but was used as a term for 'feeling of pleasure' and 'something that gives pleasure.

Wanders German Proverbs Lexicon (5 volumes) offers 80 proverbs for lust; z. B: He is full of lust, like the donkey full of farts .

Lust in Roman mythology

Ancient Roman mythology knows the deity Voluptas ; it corresponds to the Greek goddess Hedone (ἡδονή hēdonḗ ). The Latin noun voluptās originally denotes “pleasure”, “enjoyment” and “lust” in both the good and the negative sense and is derived from the adverb volup “enjoyable” from the verb volo (velle) “desire”, “wish”.

Lust in Christianity

Lust is considered one of the seven main vices in Christianity.

In the teaching of the Catholic Church , lust ( Latin luxuria ) is one of the seven deadly sins from which other sins arise. It is opposed to the virtue of chastity ( castitas ).

The accusation of lust was also one of the typical charges brought against heretics and alleged witches by the church in the Middle Ages and early modern times ( see also Inquisition and witch persecution ). So was heretical groups, for example, often sweeping an immoral, amoral lifestyle or free love assumed, although Although such practices at individual sects occurred, but usually the opposite was more exactly the case, and the majority of deviating from the teachings of the Church groups by particularly rigid morals and in some cases even ( Cathars ) characterized by an explicitly anti-body and sex-hostile attitude. Later on, so-called witches were often accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with the devil due to their excessive voluptuousness ( devil's compensation ) or of celebrating orgies on their witches' sabbaths .


  • Simon Blackburn: Lust. The most beautiful mortal sin, Publisher K. Wagenbach, ISBN 3-8031-2601-0 .
  • Franz X. Eder: Eros, lust, sin. Sexuality in Europe from antiquity to the early modern period, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt 2018, ISBN 978-3-593-50954-9 .
  • Ernst Friedrich Ockel: About the morality of lust. Bey Jakob Friedrich Hinz, Mietau, Hasenpoth and Leipzig 1772.

Web links

Wikiquote: Lust  - Quotes
Wiktionary: Lust  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Pfeifer et al .: Etymological Dictionary of German. 8th edition. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-423-32511-9 , Art. "Lust", page 1579.
  2. Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Wander (Ed.): Deutsches Sprich emphasis-Lexikon, Volume 5. Leipzig 1880, Sp. 394-398, 1817, Art. Lust .
  3. Karl Ernst Georges: Art. Voluptas , detailed Latin-German concise dictionary. Hanover 8th edition 1918 (reprint Darmstadt 1998), Volume 2, Sp. 3547-3548.
  4. ^ Libreria Editrice Vaticana (ed.): Catechism of the Catholic Church . Vatican City 1997, section 1866 ( ).