Thank you for your post. This probably shoud be a seperate post topic - what is lust and passion.
I understand you to say that you see passion, desire and lust as points on a continuum. So I see the difference here between us as I see lust and passion as polar opposites, two opposing forces.
Rape and perverse sexual torture of a child are two examples of an extreme form of lust. The person who commits these acts is a wolf.
A man who sacrifices his life for another is an extreme form of passion. A soldier who jumps on a grenade to save the lives of his buddies is a good example. He is a hero.
So to me lust is like darkness and passion light.
These reflections I have gleened from the Sexaholics Anonymous program. There is a wisdom of 30+ years and the testimony of so many men who working the program have gained a progressive victory over lust. I have been in other S programs including at gay and lesbian centers, but this is the only program which has doubled in size last year. I think the proof of its truth is in the fruits of its labor. I have also read Dr. Carnes "Out of The Shadows" and "Don't Call It Love." I found these two books helpful.
You stated that "sex without connection is mechanical..." I would add that lust is not an indicator that connection was made during sex. In fact many of us have come to realize that the presence of lust is an indicator that we are not present. We are somewhere else, lost inside our minds. This is what I meant in the initial post, the third point, "intensity=imtimacy."
Thank you again Grant for responding to my post. I enjoy talking with you.