Lust has been wrongly branded a vice and should be "reclaimed for humanity" as a life-affirming virtue, according to a top philsopher.
Professor Simon Blackburn of Cambridge University is trying to "rescue" lust, arguing it has been wrongly condemned for centuries, the Sunday Times says.
His campaign is part of an Oxford University Press project on the modern relevance of the seven deadly sins.
The list of sins was drawn up by Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th Century.
OUP has commissioned books on each of the sins - lust, anger, envy, gluttony, sloth, pride and greed.
It says Prof Blackburn is aiming to save lust "from the denunciations of old men of the deserts, to deliver it from the pallid and envious confessor and the stocks and pillories of the Puritans, to drag it from the category of sin to that of virtue".
According to the Sunday Times, Prof Blackburn has defined lust as "the enthusiastic desire for sexual activity and its pleasures for its own sake".
The philosopher says that if reciprocated, lust leads to pleasure and "best flourishes when unencumbered by bad philosophy and ideology... which prevent its freedom of flow".
He points out that thirst is not criticised although it can lead to drunkenness and in the same way lust should not be condemned just because it can get out of hand, the paper says.
Professor Blackburn is quoted as saying: "The important thing is that generally anything that gives pleasure has a presumption in its favour.
"The question is how we control it."