I will not have discussed this except that casual reading of this quote may cause some beginner Buddhists guilt. So I felt it necessary to point out the counter argument to spare them the pain of guilt.
manas wrote:Just my opinion, but I think he might have included Internet and other porn under 'sexual misconduct' for lay disciples. Even an otherwise virtuous man (or woman, though I hear it isn't nearly as common) striving to practice the Dhamma, can get lured down into a descending vortex of sensuality by this pernicious activity. A modern day man can see more naked or scantily clad women in one day, via the Internet, than a man in the Buddha's day would have seen in his entire lifetime. Very hyper-stimulating, and opposed to the cultivation of true metta for our fellow human beings.
Is porn a sexual misconduct, if it is seen by a person who is not married or in any relationship ? I doubt it will be misconduct for a lay follower. One of the attractions of Buddhism is, it is not puritanical and nor was Buddha puritanical.
Porn industry is legal in many places. Participants are extremely well paid. How is it a misconduct (if the said production is from an established tax paying business with a brand name) ?
The fact that barber massaging a man's scalp is not misconduct though it produces pleasure, but one person's genitalia touching another person's is misconduct is clinging to a notion. Note I stressed two criteria - lay and single.
Unless it hurts / harms it cannot be a misconduct.
Then is visiting a topless beach at summer also misconduct for a lay, single follower ? I have heard Ajahn Brahm use the word "arse" in a lecture about meditation. In same session he also said Buddhism welcomes gays. So I hope this lends some perspective.
I am not advocating a lay, single Buddhist beginner watch porn or visit a topless beach. All I am saying is casual, non addictive indulgence in same is not a misconduct.