Romantic movies and greeting cards have long suggested that love is infinitely more satisfying than lust. Love can be forever, while lust fulfills a temporary need. One is about short-term gratification while the other is about a life partner. And while I'm not knocking true love, lust is good for you, too— and it's not getting nearly the credit it deserves. Lust can be better than love in many ways just as love can be better than lust, but it all depends on the dynamic of the exchange or interaction your looking for with someone else, says Dr. Yvonka De Ridder, known as Dr. Yvonka, clinical head of JasminTV's new #sexishealthy campaign.
"Usually most relationships spawn up from the lust phase because being the sexually driven species that we are, it all starts with lust and naturally we would like it to end there as well, but if we were to be 100 percent honest with each other… real love can be boring and that is just a sad truth for many," says Dr. Yvonka. "For some, boring is just fine and there is nothing wrong with that, but eventually it becomes a problem for just about anyone, usually a problem they ignore and then it becomes too late," she says.
But if you happened to be the type of individual who wants excitement and passion, then you may benefit from a different type of relationship, the open one. "Don’t get me wrong, real love can be passionate and exciting but it takes a significant amount of effort and work and most people in our current society either don’t know how to do it properly, or aren’t ready for that amount of work yet," Dr. Yvonka says.
That “in love” feeling is what it’s usually referred to but the beginning stages of a relationship couldn’t possibly consist of the trust and substance that comes with love, says Dr. Yvonka. "That takes time; a lot of it. So at the start, every relationship thrives off of lust and that is normal," she says.
1. There's no commitment
Lust can be better than love when you’re looking for a “no strings” attached relationship, says Dr. Yvonka. That is when you want to chase that chemistry and passionate physical connection, otherwise why else waste your time if you aren’t planning on building a future or life with that person or aren’t ready for one?
"At that point it becomes about the sex, the kissing, the touching, the excitement for the next moment you get to caress each other’s bodies, it all becomes about the lust and frankly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think if all of us understood this and accepted this concept when we were younger with mutually beneficial agreements in our relationships with others, we may be able to prevent a lot of heartaches and friendship ending unnecessarily," Yvonka says.
Just be clear about what you’re looking for with yourself and with the other person and make sure you’re on the same page.
2. You're motivated
Lust, or sexual arousal, is associated with more motivation than feelings of love, says Nicole Prause, Ph.D. Motivation is what gets us out and moving. Being motivated to be sexual does not just mean walking around with an erection or wet, but motivating behaviors related to lust. The jokes about going to the gym more consistently and going out to clubs or new places we might normally not bother when we are seeking (or have) a new partner could be seen as evidence of how strongly motivating lust can be in our life more generally.
3. You can own your sexuality
Lust forces you to own your sexuality, which makes having sex more passionate and satisfying, says John Wilder, author of Sex Education For Adults: Secrets To Amazing Sex And Happily Ever After, Too . By engaging your lust, you can have sex more freely, says Wilder, and can in turn make you more desirable to the object of your attentions. Win-win!