Does voluntary S&M violate the third precept?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Does voluntary S&M violate the third precept?

Postby Individual » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:35 pm

My TV happened to flip onto some documentary about S&M, I believe. For those who might not know what that term means, S&M means "sadism and masochism," a sexual fetish where a person either enjoys causing pain, suffering, and humiliation (sadism) or receiving pain, suffering, and humiliation (masochism).

With most types of voluntary sexual activities, I think it's safe to say that it's permitted. It's also safe to say that serial rapists who engage in sadistic activities are clearly not permitted.

What I'm getting at here is voluntary S&M: Would this be regarded as "unwholesome"? Cittas associated with sadism or masochism are unwholesome. Would this still apply, though, in voluntary activities like this?
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Does voluntary S&M violate the third precept?

Postby Fede » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:55 pm

"YourTV just 'happened' to flip...?" :roll: :D

Providing both members are ready, willing, able and enjoying it voluntarily, without coercion or force - it' does not contravene the third precept.
But I'd be hard pushed to believe many Buddhists would indulge.
there again, each to his own..... ;)
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Does voluntary S&M violate the third precept?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:54 pm

Greetings Individual,

Individual wrote:What I'm getting at here is voluntary S&M: Would this be regarded as "unwholesome"? Cittas associated with sadism or masochism are unwholesome. Would this still apply, though, in voluntary activities like this?


Volitional physical actions are the byproduct of wholesome and unwholesome mental states, rather than the causality being the other way around. Therefore, observance of the manifested action can only ever provide an approximate estimate of the mindstates underpinning it.

But does it violate the precepts? No.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14622
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Does voluntary S&M violate the third precept?

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:04 pm

Hello Individual,

Kamma does not operate like civil law ... i.e. many things are legally O.K. between consenting adults. It is set in motion by cetana (intention).

The Buddha urged human beings to live non-injurious lives, hurting neither themselves [masochism], nor others [sadism] and neither themselves and others [sado-masochism].
Each intentional action of thought word or deed accrues either wholesome (kusala) or unwholesome (akusala) kamma and vipaka (results).
Akusala citta includes mind states with greed/lust, delusion/ignorance, or aversion. Kusala citta includes all wholesome, or skillful mind states.
Sado-masochistic thoughts and behaviour most certainly strengthens latent tendencies and adds to unwholesome kammic accumulations.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7374
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Does voluntary S&M violate the third precept?

Postby nomad » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:48 am

Fede wrote:"YourTV just 'happened' to flip...?" :roll: :D

Providing both members are ready, willing, able and enjoying it voluntarily, without coercion or force - it' does not contravene the third precept.
But I'd be hard pushed to believe many Buddhists would indulge.
there again, each to his own..... ;)


Don’t be so quick to count people out when it comes to something like this. There are people with sexual paraphilias that come from all walks of life, and it’s not necessarily against Buddhist principles (i.e. third precept) if it’s with a willing partner.

From Access to Insight...

Misconduct is regard to sense pleasures is formally defined as "the volition with sexual intent occurring through the bodily door, causing transgression with an illicit partner".8 The primary question this definition elicits is: who is to qualify as an illicit partner? For men, the text lists twenty types of women who are illicit partners. These can be grouped into three categories: (1) a woman who is under the protection of elders or other authorities charged with her care, e.g., a girl being cared for by parents, by an older brother or sister, by other relatives, or by the family as a whole; (2) a woman who is prohibited by convention, that is, close relatives forbidden under family tradition, nuns and other women vowed to observe celibacy as a spiritual discipline, and those forbidden as partners under the law of the land; and (3) a woman who is married or engaged to another man, even one bound to another man only by a temporary agreement. In the case of women, for those who are married any man other than a husband is an illicit partner. For all women a man forbidden by tradition or under religious rules is prohibited as a partner. For both men and women any violent, forced, or coercive union, whether by physical compulsion or psychological pressure, can be regarded as a transgression of the precept even when the partner is not otherwise illicit. But a man or woman who is widowed or divorced can freely remarry according to choice.


~nomad

:sage:
"I am because we are." -Xhosa Tribal Saying
User avatar
nomad
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 12:59 am
Location: Dayton, OH

Re: Does voluntary S&M violate the third precept?

Postby Ben » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:41 am

Chris wrote:Hello Individual,

Kamma does not operate like civil law ... i.e. many things are legally O.K. between consenting adults. It is set in motion by cetana (intention)...

...Sado-masochistic thoughts and behaviour most certainly strengthens latent tendencies and adds to unwholesome kammic accumulations.

metta
Chris


An excellent post, Chris.
Metta

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15953
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Does voluntary S&M violate the third precept?

Postby Individual » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:41 am

Fede, it honestly did just flip on. My mom left the TV on for a few hours,.. I just ignored it. Also, it turns out it was a documentary about gay people, called "Queer Street," I think, and it just had a large segment on S&M.

Also, I'd have to agree with Chris that it is bad karma, although that doesn't mean I'd be judgmental towards anybody who likes that sort of thing.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am


Return to Ethical Conduct

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests