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Jakob Matham, copperplate engraving of one of the seven deadly sins: Luxuria (c. 1600)

The excessive desire for sexual lust, also called voluptuousness (Latinvoluptas "lust, pleasure, enjoyment" or libido "desire, craving"), arises from the active increase in lust associated with the expression and satisfaction of sexual desires. As luxuria (Latin for "opulence"), lust is considered one of the seven deadly vices in the Roman Catholic Church. Its counterparts are chastity and asceticism.

Lust, in this excessive form, means the cultivation of a sensation that is considered urgent and pleasurable, formerly also nefarious and sacrilegious. Lust is not only physical desire, but also releases erotic fantasies. Behind lust, with the fantasies associated with it, are strong driving forces and temptations. In this sense, a counter term is frigidity.

In Catholic Christianity, lust is theologically one of the seven deadly vices from which sins can arise (root sins). The accusation of lust was also one of the typical charges brought by the church against heretics and alleged witches in the Middle Ages and early modern times (see also Inquisition and witch-hunt). For example, heretical groups were often accused of immoral, immoral lifestyles or free love, although such practices did occur in individual sects, but usually the exact opposite was the case and the majority of groups that deviated from the church faith were characterised by particularly rigid morals and sometimes even (Cathars) by an explicitly anti-bodily and sexually hostile attitude. Later, so-called witches were often accused of having sexual intercourse with the devil because of their excessive lust (devil worship) or of celebrating orgies at their Witches' Sabbath. Conversely, the well-founded or unfounded idea of the unchaste life of the clergy was (and to some extent still is) a typical motif in church criticism.