Buddha had it right. "Of all the worldly passions," the gentle genius wrote, "lust is the most intense. All other worldly passions seem to follow in its train." So it makes sense to open our series on the Seven Deadly Sins with everybody's favorite, the one that made Jimmy Carter confess to a lot of action in his heart and mind, the one most enjoyed by its participants and most reviled by its inevitably hypocritical finger-pointers.
Over the course of the next year, Metro Times will look at the rest of them gluttony, pride, envy, sloth, wrath and that all-American favorite greed. Maybe our age isn't that of a latter-day fall of the Roman Empire; this may not yet be Armageddon. But it's no less ripe for a discussion of what truly drives the so-called civilized world in the 21st century.
There's a downside to all seven frailties, of course, and it's often hideous. When the proud and boastful gourmand, greedy to taste all of the world's finest foods and wines, grows jealous of and enraged by anyone who gets a bigger serving or a better bottle, it drives him to even greater consumption, to a morbid laziness imposed by his size, until his lust for just "one thin mint," one nibble over the line, leads to explosively fatal results.
The subject of lust covers a lot of ground, but most often focuses on sex. Who are we to quibble with that? Besides, this week brings Valentine's Day. And past a certain age, whatever sweet gift you may give in its observance, we know what you want in return. And we know what drives it. So the timing's right.
Have fun. But don't forget to say you're sorry that you did. Ric Bohy
Confessions of a smut reviewer
Porn went mainstream, but it took him to the edge
Turning porn on its ear
In Japan, and now the U.S., yaoi finds an audience.
Lust in our hearts
The sexperts say it's not about spreading legs so much as opening minds.
Anatomy of an artwork
Virtues and vices of peasants who know how to party.
Metro Times arts staff
Would you like more?
Three poets on the subject of eros.
Taking a peek at one of the world’s largest collections of antique vibrators.
Under your skin
Cole, crunk and the death of subtlety.
Metro Times arts staff
Quotes from Kiss and Tell: A Trivial Study of Smooching by Kevin Dwyer (Quirk Books, $14.95)