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On eagles wings: Our recovery from Coronavirus (XXXV). Lust, the opposite of purity of the heart.

Have a beautiful first Tuesday of August 2020. As you already perceived, before starting to explain what is the virtue of purity of heart, we have to visit the opposite, which in this case is lust. Lust or licentiousness.

What is lust in the context of this saga? Lust is an overwhelming desire or craving for sexual pleasures. “Lust is an idolizing of sex in the sense of an unethical and uncontrolled expression of the sexual impulse”. It is more than an intense eagerness or enthusiasm for sex only. Lust is not just a matter of the act of the body, but the thoughts of the heart and the mind. Lust is not a feeling of admiration for someone else, like when any of us see an attractive person and states the “good looking” appearance of that creature. Lust happens when humankind puts sexual constituents as the “core” of everything that is related to any type of decision making. Lust procreates several types of consequences such as promiscuity, pornography, adultery, incest, seduction, prostitution, sexual violence, rape, crime and bizarre sexual interactions outside the holy matrimony.


Sea otter baby_edited x blog

“Sea otters protect themselves”. An aquarelle exercise by Eleonora Escalante. Handmade with love in paper Fabriano Artistico Grana Satinata. Sea otters have webbed feet, water-repellent fur to keep them dry and warm, and nostrils and ears that close in the water. Sea otters are meticulously clean. After eating, they wash in the ocean, cleaning their coat with their teeth and paws. They have good reason to take care of their coats—it helps them to remain waterproof and insulated against the cold. 

There are many examples of the anti-virtue of lust that I would like to share, but I will try to keep these under the “marriage for a reason parasol”. Let´s see four examples of lust below.

  1. Virginity is not treasured anymore. Sexual relations are holy, and sexual desire is therefore part of the sexual activity to practice in matrimony, only between a man and a woman, when love-making to give and receive love. In consequence,  lust and sex to profess love should be only conceived and done when a man and a woman are perfectly tied in marriage. The sexual intercourse is by biblical standards, not only procreative but expressive as the ultimate representation of intimacy, the complete and unconditional unveiling love. In such a context, a sexual relationship outside marriage is an act that is misleading and damaging. Nowadays in many societies, regardless if Christocentric or not,  to have sex is so common,  like going to watch a movie.  In developed economies, sex usually happens in adolescence when teenagers still have no idea of what they want in life. Virginity has been crushed as “unnatural”, and the imported norm that we see in movies or TV series is to practice “casual sex”, for the sake of immediate sexual pleasure, or as soon as possible when beginning a relationship.  Without the “marriage parasol”. Girls and Boys, who wish to wait to have sex until marriage, are mostly considered as “weird”, “from the Victorian age”, and set up into public ridicule, socially mobbed and criticized, often with gossip and suffering damage.
  2. Lust ignites marital rape in matrimony. A sexual relationship has to be agreed upon and in consensus between wife and husband. Whenever any of them sees the other one “merely” as the object of sexual desire, becomes not the sexual partner, but rather the pleasure of “the services” that the partner can provide. Many women feel abused by their husbands, because, they feel empty, not loved, but simply used “without consent”, when it comes to making love “without permission” but only on a duty “lust” basis.  Marital rape is so common nowadays, where love is so absent from “love-making”. Marital sex routines are shown as purely physical and one-dimensional rather than total between the two members of the couple.
  3. Lust has dehumanized the experience of sex. When people use their brains when it comes to sex at the level of “animalization”, we return back to the most basic Maslow´s needs, to the level of the Neanderthals. When sex is not seen as a medium for loving your partner, but as a “selfish” use for “filling the basic animal instinct if self-pleasure”, lust essentially “uses” and dehumanizes another.  And the users deceive themselves in the intent. When lust drive seduction without caring and loving personal engagement, it ends only in the void of empty-armedness and an even deeper longing.
  4. Lust triggers sex as a reason for sheer boredom and discontent. The life-style of the work-alcoholics who are never at home, working between 70 and 100 hours a week, don´t allow quotidian interaction with their partners. As time passes by, the distance between husband and wife rises. Sexual relationships are usually happening only on the weekend or bi-weekly basis, or on automatic mood because there is no time to share anything, not even time for kids. So sex happens sometimes only for procreation, setting the stage for the isolation and/or exaggeration of the sexual impulses.

sea otter giffyLust is in the eye of the beholder. Lust is personal. It is in each of our minds. The degree of lust for you is completely different than mine or someone else. Some men get aroused simply by the observation of woman collarbone or legs, meanwhile, other men experience lust by perceiving the woman´s hands or her hips; meanwhile for others, looking at those physical features is less of sexual stimulation. In the case of women is the same. Some of us are stimulated by the eyes of him, or the whole allure, or their speech, or his gentile solidarity. One thing is to be stimulated by a feature of someone, another one is to use those features with indecency for making profits. But what is indecency?  Indecency is a behavior, an image, a set of attire or apparel or actions that are likely to offend or shock people because they are against social or moral standards or because they involve sex or show your sex organs in public. In the case of the collective, if enough people (members of a community) believe that certain sexually oriented actions or certain parts of the body appearances are indecent to show, the causes of the lust of the community standards reflect this belief.  That is why in some Middle Eastern societies, women are not able to show any piece of skin and are required to be hidden under obscure burkas; meanwhile, in eastern societies, the usage of jean shorts and swimming bikinis has nothing to do with causes or appeals for lust.

Lust as the cult of sexual pleasure has been capitalized by advertisers. During the last 50 years, the most recognized advertising and marketing houses of prestige, have capitalized openly on lust, sometimes with an explicitness that would have been unthinkable by the parents of the baby-boomers generation.  The cult of sexual pleasure and physical beauty has therefore been made essential to identity, clothing, lifestyle, fashion and status in a sex-obsessed popular culture. Sex sells, and this blatant sexiness appeals that we found in magazine covers, romance novels, most movies, and television shows are always fantasy lust in the minds. Lust, therefore, feeds other anti-virtues like envy and anger (growing out of frustration for not being able to do what we see on the ads). Plastic surgeries are the promise to fix whatever you don´t like on your body.  And photo-shop creates a perfection fake image that has enkindled lies embedded on the youngsters who feel so unfulfilled, in their “search for a perfect” physical appearance. Millions of millions of dollars have been originated by advertising campaigns that trigger lust for the sake of selling products and services all over the world. Marketing tactics using obscene or indecent sexual appeals, which are found offensive have generated public scandals that generated millions of dollars, worth of free publicity which caused exponential sales for the flagging products. In the music industry, it is common to see many artists using their “body” sex appeal to create awareness of their hits, which generate enormous publicity. It is so hard to believe that artists do not know the difference between the exploitation of lust and sex appeal for increasing their audiences.

Lust is a top tool used in advertising. Lust and sex appeal started to be used in advertising since the end of World War II. Particularly with women. Advertisers portrayed women as the “chiefs femmes du menage”, and still during the 60s, “woman” were selling the home appliances for “endless sacrificial housework”. Later with the feminist sexual revolution, advertisers converted women as objects of lust and desire. During the last 50 years, women, have been sexualized or used as sexual appeals in advertising, and that seems to be normal. Girlie calendars for mechanics, commercial advertising showing almost naked women in any product of multiple industries, from construction to music to movies to cars/motorcycles to jeans to underwear to repair spare parts or maintenance and sodas.  The impact of 50 years of such sexualized advertising has lowered the standards of decency, and nowadays, you can see the lust in the criteria of the youngsters, which are using “lust” in many of their social media posts and interactions as if it is reasonable and fine. Watch some sexualized advertising below.

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Sex sells, the objectification of women in advertising. According to an article from Deutsche Welle (DW):  “An exploration of the effects of sexualized advertising is posed by sociologist Esther Loubradou. Loubradou points out that the advertiser’s main goal is to persuade the consumer and attract attention. To do so, she continues, an ad must make our brain react. Sexual advertising “appears to have all of these ingredients” by titillating emotional areas of the brain, transgressing taboos, and appealing to basic needs”.

The majority of sexualized ads have historically presented women as objects of lust and erotic wish to possess, promoting an idealized lifestyle. In a world of social media, where, everyone wants to be his/her own advertiser, the internet quickly disseminates lust images to viewers, making brands and advertisers fight even harder for attention. This race for getting massive amounts of views,  likes, and followers have led to an abundance of lust images (for free), which have broken restrictions in billions of consumers. In consequence, what was obscene or indecent 50 years ago, seems to be normal nowadays.

Lust as a power of suggestion or obscenity?. Since each brain is different, any viewer reacts differently to each sex-appeal advertising, as much as what is in their brain and to the extent of what and how can they imagine about it. Any advertiser will defend their sexual appeal ads as merely suggestions, as non-explicit, sometimes provocative creations, which imply lust, but not directly hinted. Nevertheless, during the last 50 years, for worst, sex-appeal advertisers role-modeled and taught Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z,  how to cross the line of the minimum standards of universal decency, to the point that many societies have accepted obscenity as the rule of thumb that is expressed through social media.  As I already mentioned above, lust is used as a “normal advertising tool” by anyone who exposes his or her life in social media. That is why we can observe nudity and precarious control of sexuality, lack of privacy, demonstrated in indecent clothing in millions of social media posts, to the point of obscenity. Obscenity abounds because everyone wants to be the advertiser to sell their own. “For obscenity to occur three conditions must appear: It appeals to prurient interests, it is manifestly offensive and it lacks any redeeming value”. Sexual Obscenity is illegal and has to be regulated, penalized,  monitored, and removed at its roots from universal social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik-Tok, etc.

Can we learn something from the sea otters? Nevertheless, “it remains difficult for the communications industries´ regulators on sex-appeals or government policymakers to know how to treat “lust ad sex” in this social media era. Banning lust posts maybe a way that can save our societies from future disasters, but business owners are the key to the change. All CEOs must not allow the creation of lust-sex appeal advertising. In the case of social media companies, if these ones are not enforced to comply with certain criteria when it comes to lust or sex appeal notifications, so little can be done to save our decency standards in the future.  A wake-up call for remembering what is decency is also urgent.  Without taking specific actions to stop the anti-virtue of lust in the customer content, social media companies have begun to be the channel to destroy the purity of the hearts of our civilization. As the sea otters take care and clean their fur coats – their fur helps them to remain waterproof and insulated against the cold -, human beings need urgently to learn to cleanse themselves from lust.

In my next publication, we will explain what is the purity of the heart. “Whereas lust blinds and dissipates our strengths of decency,  purity of heart means a soul devotion for what is true, authentic, simple, wholly itself, and therefore cleansed. The purity of the heart is completely tied to grace and forgiveness.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: El Salvador is on vacation this week. San Salvador city is celebrating its festive celebrations honoring the Divine Saviour of the World. Eleonora Escalante Strategy will relax for a few days. We will return back next Monday the 10th. Thank you for your understanding. Until then, thank you for reading to me.


Some references utilized to write this article:

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.


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