What is Desire?

What Does Desire Mean

We all know in one way or another what desire is, that which the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy defines as an “affective movement towards something that is desired”. That's because we've all had the experience of wanting to achieve or get something, yearning for it, or hoping for it to happen .



When we think of the word desire, the first thing that comes to mind is the children's story of the genie in the lamp, which upon being liberated grants three wishes to his liberator, that is, he undertakes to magically satisfy three of his expectations, of their wants or desires. This means that desire, in principle, consists of the expectation of having something that you do not have, but you want.

In fact, the history of the word itself traces its origins to the Latin word desidium , translatable as “leisure”, “laziness”, because it comes from the verb desidere , “to remain seated”.

However, to these meanings the verb desiderare was added by analogy : “to miss” or “to miss”, whose presence is recognizable in the words desire or desirér (both translatable as desire or desire) in English and French respectively. So desire is linked to what we miss, what we want to have.

Today, however, we associate desire with many other senses . The word is used to refer, for example, to sexual attraction (sexual desire), to the vital impulse of creativity (psychoanalytic desire), and even to the obstacles of worldly life that must be rid of in order to experience enlightenment. , as proposed by Buddhism and Eastern philosophy.

However, in all cases the desire represents an impulse, a push, that leads us to act , often comparable to hunger and thirst.

Desire can be a source of pleasure or suffering. It is compared with natural or primitive forces that nest within the human being , using metaphors such as the sea, fire, etc.

It can serve you: Lust

Desire and need

In the specific field of marketing or marketing, a distinction is usually made between desire and need when analyzing the consumer drives presented by the public in a given commercial sector.

In this sense, the need is what the consumer needs to satisfy, for biological, psychological or emotional reasons , and that obeys primary, basic impulses for their survival. Hunger, for example, is a need to be satisfied.

Instead, desires refer to the consumption of a specific object to satisfy a need through it . In the case of the satisfaction of hunger, the desire to eat pizza constitutes a specific desire, different therefore from the desire to eat sushi, or the desire to eat Mexican food.

This classification operates at different levels and adapts to the characteristics of each consumer public, which can be immensely different from each other, according to cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic and other characteristics.

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