Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.

Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby Still Searching » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:37 am

Can Buddhists be gay? Is it wrong?
I understand that Buddhist Monks/Nuns cannot have sex nor even masturbate or have desires for another human.

As long as a lay Buddhist or non-Monk is faithful & loyal to their partner, are they allowed to be homosexual or bisexual?
Do they have to be married to have sex?
Is masturbation strictly prohibited?

How do Buddhists for about transgender people?
Is Gender Reassignment Surgery wrong?
Do they find Gender Identity Disorder disgusting?
Or are Buddhists okay with the LGBT community?

I do apologize for bringing this up, I know these questions can be very uncomfortable to answer for some Buddhists.
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." ~ Siddhārtha, Gautama Buddha
User avatar
Still Searching
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:28 pm
Location: United Kingdom


Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby Still Searching » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:23 am

David N. Snyder wrote:http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Homosexuality


Thank you David :smile:
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." ~ Siddhārtha, Gautama Buddha
User avatar
Still Searching
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:28 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:59 am

Still Searching wrote:Can Buddhists be gay? Is it wrong?
I understand that Buddhist Monks/Nuns cannot have sex nor even masturbate or have desires for another human.

Homosexuality isn't wrong, although for monastics there is a rule regarding who can be ordained which seems to ban homosexuals from ordaining. However, this is not always followed as it is not something which prevents them from staying ordained when they do become ordained.
Mendicants cannot have sex, period. However, masturbation is a rehabilitating offence. i.e. they do not loose the status as a mendicant due to it. But they should strive against desire, particularly sexual desire, although it should be remembered it is a gradual path and they are human.

As long as a lay Buddhist or non-Monk is faithful & loyal to their partner, are they allowed to be homosexual or bisexual?
Do they have to be married to have sex?
Is masturbation strictly prohibited?

Yes
No, but marriage is not how we see it in all societies, and can be a social contract more than a religious duty. I believe the commentaries distinguish several forms of wife and not all of them are what we would consider to be a wife today.
no. but it is advised against.

How do Buddhists for about transgender people?
Is Gender Reassignment Surgery wrong?
Do they find Gender Identity Disorder disgusting?
Or are Buddhists okay with the LGBT community?

this is more of an individual bias than a Buddhist bias, however the term I refer to earlier which may prohibit homosexuals from ordaining also covers transgender people and has been used to discriminate.
but again this is an individual bias, not something specific to Buddhism.
do remember that some rules came due to complaints from lay people and sometimes cultural influence is found within the rules.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:33 am

It should be pointed out that there are many ways to interpret the prohibitions against Pandikas:

"A type of person called a pandaka is occasionally mentioned in the Vinaya in contexts that make it clear that such a person is some kind of sexual non-conformist. The Vinaya also stipulates that pandakas are not allowed to be ordained, and if, inadvertently, one has been, he is expelled. According to commentary, this is because pandakas are "full of passions, unquenchable lust and are dominated by the desire for sex." The word pandaka has been translated as either hermaphrodite or eunuch, while Zwilling has recently suggested that it may simply mean a homosexual. It is more probable that ancient Indians, like most modern Asians, considered only the extremely effeminate, exhibitionist homosexual (the screaming queen in popular perception) to be deviant while the less obvious homosexual was simply considered a little more opportunistic or a little less fussy than other 'normal' males. As the Buddha seems to have had a profound understanding of human nature and have been remarkably free from prejudice, and as there is not evidence that homosexuals are any more libidinous or that they have any more difficulties in maintaining celibacy than heterosexuals, it seems unlikely that the Buddha would exclude homosexuals per se from the monastic life. The term pandaka therefore probably does not refer to homosexuals in general but rather to the effeminate, self-advertising and promiscuous homosexual."
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:49 am

Cittasanto wrote:there is a rule regarding who can be ordained which seems to ban homosexuals from ordaining.
No, there is not.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19559
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:26 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:there is a rule regarding who can be ordained which seems to ban homosexuals from ordaining.
No, there is not.

please explain this then tilt.
"A paṇḍaka, if unaccepted (unordained), is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled." — Mv.I.61.2

although I did make the mistake that they could remain. paṇḍaka is understood by some to incorporate homosexuality.

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=1698#p22410
Regarding paṇḍakas, in the Vinaya Atthakathā these are classified as being of five types:

1) āsitta-paṇḍaka: — (literally, a "sprinkled one") a man who finds sexual fulfillment in performing fellatio on another man and bringing him to climax. (For some reason, other homosexual acts, even though they were known in ancient India, are not included under this type nor under any of the types in this list.)
2) usūya-paṇḍaka: — a voyeur a man who finds sexual fulfillment in watching other people have sex.
3) opakkamika-paṇḍaka: — A eunuch - one who has been castrated.
4) pakkha-paṇḍaka: — A half-time paṇḍaka - one who is a paṇḍaka only during the waning moon.
5) napuṃsaka-paṇḍaka: — A neuter - a person born without sexual organs.
(I have followed Ven. Thanissaro's translations of these terms)

Of these five kinds, the first two may ordain as bhikkhus, the other three may not. So, given that the āsitta-paṇḍaka —the type closest to what we call a "homosexual" today— is permitted to ordain, I think we have to take it that such persons are in fact capable of awakening.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:06 pm

Cittasanto wrote:paṇḍaka is understood by some to incorporate homosexuality.

Yes, but those who choose to believe such a definition of paṇḍaka are, in my opinion, completely without justification.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:07 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:there is a rule regarding who can be ordained which seems to ban homosexuals from ordaining.
No, there is not.

please explain this then tilt.
You have answered your own question with the quote from Ven Dhammananado.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19559
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby Annapurna » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:33 pm

Wasn't there also something about using the right or wrong orifices...?

Anybody have a source?
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
User avatar
Annapurna
 
Posts: 2639
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:04 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:53 pm

Annapurna wrote:Wasn't there also something about using the right or wrong orifices...?


That is from a Mahayana Sutra, not in the Theravada Pali Canon. In this case, we (Theravadins) are the more progressive ones.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8112
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby Aloka » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:01 pm

Annapurna wrote:Wasn't there also something about using the right or wrong orifices...?

Anybody have a source?


I think that's from Tibetan Buddhism.....this is from the Berzin Archives:

...... "Gradually, other forms of sexual behavior were added as being inappropriate. For instance, certain orifices of the body were listed as inappropriate for sexual intercourse, such as the mouth and the anus, even with one's own wife. The rationale behind this was undoubtedly that having sex in an inappropriate orifice would be motivated by obsessive desire. Dissatisfied with vaginal sex with one's wife, one would become a sexual explorer and adventurer, and feel that one had to try every posture and every orifice in order to have more pleasure"

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/world_today/issues_buddhist_sexual_ethics.html


.
User avatar
Aloka
 
Posts: 3659
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby plwk » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:38 am

Wasn't there also something about using the right or wrong orifices...?
It's attributed to sources like Vasubandhu in some of his works like the Abhidharmakosa and amusing to see the attitudes towards sexuality those days and culture and even today when one reads Mahayana Sutras like the Lotus Sutra, it has a brief mention in one chapter on those one should be watchful on in associating with certain sections of society (including 'Hinayanists'! lol) and again, like the Vinaya quotes above, the term pandaka is used but oft glossed over by many as to what this term mean and cover. In another, the Upasaka Sila Sutra, there is a lot of debate and glossed over misinterpretations on what is 'appropriate place, time and persons'...
That is from a Mahayana Sutra, not in the Theravada Pali Canon. In this case, we (Theravadins) are the more progressive ones.
Progressive? Depends on which Theravadin interpretation one is referring to... [url=http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/8.7-Sannoga-S-a7.48-piya.pdf]2. Abnormal sexuality[/i] And you should meet some of the Theravadins I met some years back, as fiery as the evangelist fundamentalists on this subject... at the very most, they express pity for the GLBTIs for stuff like 'bad past kamma'....
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
VSM VMM WBB TBHT WTBT My Page
plwk
 
Posts: 1154
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am

Re: Buddhism & Sexuality: My thoughts & Questions

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:You have answered your own question with the quote from Ven Dhammananado.

not really considering I only provided a list of interpretations of the term from the commentary, and not cited a story from the Mahavaga. And there is number four in the list which Thanissaro explains using this canonical story.
In the origin story for this prohibition, a paṇḍaka who had received Acceptance unsuccessfully propositioned some bhikkhus and novices, then succeeded in propositioning some horse- and elephant-trainers, who spread it about, "These Sakyan-son monks are paṇḍakas. And those among them who are not paṇḍakas molest paṇḍakas."


LonesomeYogurt wrote:Yes, but those who choose to believe such a definition of paṇḍaka are, in my opinion, completely without justification.

Yet it is the understanding some have. and it didn't come from nowhere.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin


Return to Discovering Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests