The Other L Word: A Guide To Lust

The first time I snogged someone, I thought I was in love with them. They were all I could think about, I kept fantasising about who’d give the best speech at our wedding, and I was glued to my phone waiting for them to text back every hour of the day.

Looking back a decade later, it definitely wasn’t love – we barely knew each other, and we had nothing in common. Not to mention

the nearest we’d got to quality time together was sitting in Wetherspoons

drinking the cheapest pints they sold* and debating which celebrity boobs were our favourites.

*I had my first kiss when I was nearly 19. #LateBloomer

But it wasn’t as a crush either – I’d spent enough time as a teen cutesy-crushing on mates and teachers to know what that felt like (cheers Ms Taylor 😉), and this wasn’t it. This was the feeling that everyone brushes under the carpet as the thing to be ashamed about,

the feeling that nobody actually tells you about: lust.

Lust is hard to explain because it can mean different things to different people. For me, the best way to explain it is this: love is to lust what a wood-fired sourdough pizza is to a sloppy 3am pepperoni pie.  They’re both awesome, and they look kind of the same, but take a bite and they’re a whole different beast.

Love is a slow warmth that builds and builds, and lust is a smack of fire to the arteries.

And quite often we beat ourselves up for craving the crappy takeaway pizza when we know we ‘should’ be aiming for the ‘good’ one – but you want what you want, and you can’t squash your feelings. 🍕💛

I can’t remember someone ever even trying to explain how lust would feel when I was growing up. It was the bit they always skipped over in Sex Ed classes: you’d always go straight from putting condoms on plastic dongs, to talking about babies and marriage (hoorah for heteronormativity…). 

Problem is, it’s something lots of people feel,* and neglecting that makes life so much more confusing if it kicks you unexpectedly –

and that’s even harder for us queer folks.

*even if not everybody does! Oodles of love to the ace community!

When we’re trying to untangle who we fancy and who we love and what’s a one-off crush and what’s a lasting thing for us, it’s all a pretty heady rollercoaster as is. If you suddenly get smacked with this whole wave of intoxicating, passionate feeling nobody bothered to tip you off might appear, it gets even more confusing and overwhelming. And if you haven’t come out, that can get even more lonely and intense, and kinda builds up in an echo chamber of guilt and lust.

So, my fellow UNICORNs, I want to put it on record that lust is not only a valid feeling, it can be a pretty strong one – you might even mistake it for love sometimes.

It’s OK to feel lustful,

and who you’re lustful for doesn’t have to define your sexuality or romantic identity.

It can feel overwhelming sometimes, and it can feel like a massive buzz at others. 

What you decide to do or not do with it is your jam (be safe, kids), but there’s no need to be ashamed of it. 

Now, to order a Hawaiian pizza with stuffed crust and extra cheese… 🍍

Written by Maddie Jones

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