Sexual Misconduct

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

Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby ground » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:]Let me get this straight, sex is not to be the object of humor?


in the context of beings being bound to samsara through it.

Do not try to deviate from this context!

Kind regards
I have not a clue as to what you are talking about here.


about the dangers of sex.

Kind regards
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:24 am

TMingyur wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I have not a clue as to what you are talking about here.


about the dangers of sex.

Kind regards
Is not sex dangerous no matter what in terms of samsara?
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
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby ground » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:34 am

adeh wrote:
TMingyur wrote: phil wrote:

I do not feel that humour is appropriate in the context of what binds beings in samsara.



Hi Mingyur

I would never joke about any kind of sexual violence or anger, or about many other forms of delusion that lead to harmful behaviour. But there is something absurd about how the perception of sex is created as being something beautiful, so I can't help but find it humorous.


A sad absurdity, yes.


I personally think this type of attitude to sexuality is just as unwholesome and unhealthy as one of overindulgence. Aversion to sexuality brings as much, if not more, suffering as it's opposite. This type of prudish aversion can bring about self loathing and ironically can be responsible for the worst types of sexual perversion. One only needs to look at the recent sex scandals in the Catholic church for evidence of the type of suffering and long term damage that is caused by unhealthy and repressive attitudes to sexuality. Shouldn't we be treading the middle path even when it comes to sexuality? Some of you seem to take the attitude that all sexuality is misconduct....and I don't think that is what the precept is about....it's about exercising your sexuality in a healthy and responsible manner and not causing suffering for yourself and others. Notice that in the quote from MN 73 the Buddha says that they are 'enjoying' sensual pleasures and not torturing themselves about it.....


Interesting how what may appear "unwholesome, aversion, suffering, prudish and a basis for perversion" to some may appear "wholesome, virtuous renouncing, joy, unbiased and a basis for liberation" to others.

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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:38 am

TMingyur wrote:
adeh wrote:
TMingyur wrote: phil wrote:

I do not feel that humour is appropriate in the context of what binds beings in samsara.



Hi Mingyur

I would never joke about any kind of sexual violence or anger, or about many other forms of delusion that lead to harmful behaviour. But there is something absurd about how the perception of sex is created as being something beautiful, so I can't help but find it humorous.


A sad absurdity, yes.


I personally think this type of attitude to sexuality is just as unwholesome and unhealthy as one of overindulgence. Aversion to sexuality brings as much, if not more, suffering as it's opposite. This type of prudish aversion can bring about self loathing and ironically can be responsible for the worst types of sexual perversion. One only needs to look at the recent sex scandals in the Catholic church for evidence of the type of suffering and long term damage that is caused by unhealthy and repressive attitudes to sexuality. Shouldn't we be treading the middle path even when it comes to sexuality? Some of you seem to take the attitude that all sexuality is misconduct....and I don't think that is what the precept is about....it's about exercising your sexuality in a healthy and responsible manner and not causing suffering for yourself and others. Notice that in the quote from MN 73 the Buddha says that they are 'enjoying' sensual pleasures and not torturing themselves about it.....


Interesting how what may appear "unwholesome, aversion, suffering, prudish and a basis for perversion" to some may appear "wholesome, virtuous renouncing, joy, unbiased and a basis for liberation" to others.

Kind regards

This is supposed to answer my question?
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
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby ground » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:38 am

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I have not a clue as to what you are talking about here.


about the dangers of sex.

Kind regards
Is not sex dangerous no matter what in terms of samsara?


Now I am the one who does not understand ...
anyway ... to use the words of the Buddha (transl. by B. Boddhi). "the gratification and the dangers and the escape from" are to be considered.


Kind regards
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:42 am

TMingyur wrote:Now I am the one who does not understand ...
anyway ... to use the words of the Buddha (transl. by B. Boddhi). "the gratification and the dangers and the escape from" are to be considered.


Kind regards
Well, I have no idea as to what you are saying. I can only shrug my shoulders here.
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
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby ground » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:45 am

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Now I am the one who does not understand ...
anyway ... to use the words of the Buddha (transl. by B. Boddhi). "the gratification and the dangers and the escape from" are to be considered.


Kind regards
Well, I have no idea as to what you are saying. I can only shrug my shoulders here.


My fault ... too scrupulous about avoiding categorical statements that may appear to exceed what is accessible to me.

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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby phil » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:06 pm

adeh wrote:
TMingyur wrote: phil wrote:

I do not feel that humour is appropriate in the context of what binds beings in samsara.



Hi Mingyur

I would never joke about any kind of sexual violence or anger, or about many other forms of delusion that lead to harmful behaviour. But there is something absurd about how the perception of sex is created as being something beautiful, so I can't help but find it humorous.


A sad absurdity, yes.


I personally think this type of attitude to sexuality is just as unwholesome and unhealthy as one of overindulgence. Aversion to sexuality brings as much, if not more, suffering as it's opposite. This type of prudish aversion can bring about self loathing and ironically can be responsible for the worst types of sexual perversion. One only needs to look at the recent sex scandals in the Catholic church for evidence of the type of suffering and long term damage that is caused by unhealthy and repressive attitudes to sexuality. Shouldn't we be treading the middle path even when it comes to sexuality? Some of you seem to take the attitude that all sexuality is misconduct....and I don't think that is what the precept is about....it's about exercising your sexuality in a healthy and responsible manner and not causing suffering for yourself and others. Notice that in the quote from MN 73 the Buddha says that they are 'enjoying' sensual pleasures and not torturing themselves about it.....


Hi Adeh

I think maybe you haven't read quite carefully enough. I don't think anyone has claimed all sex is misconduct for householders ( as defined as breaking the precepts or akusala kamma patha which is of strong enough a degree to lead to rebirth in unwholesome realms) and I think I have clarified that in a couple of posts. But there is also no escaping that the volitions behind sex are technically unwholesome (akusala), that is absolutely a fact. We don't have sex out of metta or some kind of pure "love", that just ain't the way it works, because such a "love" doesn't exist in Buddhism, only attachment does, or, if truly disinterested and selfless, metta. I don't know about others, but I certainly don't have a prudish attitude towards sex, but seeing it as beautiful is a mistake, that's all. I would rather see it as humorous, sorry if that seems horribly Catholic or something, it ain't...

As for the celibacy of Catholic priests leading to trouble, I personally ahve not heard many or even any such stories about Buddhist monks. That is evidence to the superiority of Buddhist celibacy rooted in panna and other kusala factors as compared to the celibacy of Catholic priests which is rooted in ignorance of the truth, supersition, whatever else it is rooted in. I'm sure there are cases of Buddhist celibacy leading to trouble, and in fact it contributed to the impending breakup (very amicably, fortunately) of my marriage but that is my own particular business and does not reflect the merits of celibacy as a whole.

I really do think this keeps going off topic, sorry. The topic is sexual misconduct, and led me clarify again, nobody is saying that sex is *misconduct* for householders, as defined by the Buddha. Only breaking the precepts and performing akusasla kamma pattha is misconduct, as far as I know. Wilfully and habitually accumulating strong lust-rooted volitions is not misconduct, it's up to panna and virya and other factors as whether to give it up or not. :smile:

p.s and I agree there should not be "torturing" oneself about it, I certainly am not, see my post about the lute strings the other day, the middle way is not just about letting them slacken and slacken, we have to experiment with and honour tightening the strings too, that is not so popular....
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby adeh » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:02 pm

I have read the thread carefully and I was just giving my opinion on this and also some of the opinions stated in the thread on masturbation...I just think that a balanced attitude to one's sexuality is much better that swinging to extremes...If you wish to be celibate...well that's great, but it's also good if you don't wish to..as lay people we have that choice...don't forget that sensual desire is something that is not eliminated until you reach the stage of non-returner which could be many lifetimes away...
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby phil » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:01 am

adeh wrote:I have read the thread carefully and I was just giving my opinion on this and also some of the opinions stated in the thread on masturbation...I just think that a balanced attitude to one's sexuality is much better that swinging to extremes...If you wish to be celibate...well that's great, but it's also good if you don't wish to..as lay people we have that choice...don't forget that sensual desire is something that is not eliminated until you reach the stage of non-returner which could be many lifetimes away...


Hi Adeh, that's true and you're certainly right that celibacy for lay people is a rare alternative and likely to crumble (as I'm pretty sure mine will eventually) and is not explicitly praised as standard practice by the Buddha. (There are suttas in which a householder declares celibacy, but they are excpetions rather than the rule, surely.) So we can return now to the original topic of this thread (which my comments led us away from) which is sexual misconduct.

To get back to the topic, here is something that I have wondered about. I've often wondered why in the ten akusala kamma patha (deeds of which the kamma is strong enough to condition rebirth in woeful realms) there are various forms of sexual misconduct through the body, as we know, but it doesn't appear that to perform those deeds as mental volitions (i.e fantasizing about them) is akusala kamma patha, whereas covetousness and ill will are. I suppose such fantasies would fall under covetousness. I personally find it difficult to understand how such a volition could not be akusala kamma patha while idle chatter (which certainly leads to carelessness and an increased risk of bad deeds) is defined as akusala kamma patha. Interesting.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby Tehuti » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:36 pm

Dear All,

This is a very interesting topic, albeit one that I have been giving a lot of thought lately.

It appears to me, (as a philosopher), that attitudes toward sexuality are very much ingrained in our cultural 'matrix', little talked about, and much misunderstood.

Up until the latter half of the 20th century, attitudes towards sexuality were, (and still are in some circles), predominantly prudish and hypocritical. The much-hyped 'Sexual Revolution' of the 60's and 70's seemed to turn attitudes 'inside-out' and promote a more laissez-faire attitude toward sex. People could have their cake and eat it, but there wasn't much consideration of how overindulgence in cake could be harmful to your karma.

Education about sexual ethics in schools and religious institutions languished somewhat as the old cultural norms eroded. There was a lot of talk about casual sex being acceptable behaviour provided the proper 'precautions' were taken. It's almost as if the old hypocrisies were turned inside out.

Coming to terms with one's sexuality is not an easy task, if we are to be honest. Civilization has always placed a great deal of emphasis on Mind as opposed to the Body and gross senses, and the modern post-industrial mindset has only sought to intensify this. Is this a bad thing? - the answer is that I really do not know at this stage, but it is interesting.

It almost seems to be part of our existential make-up to endorse body-mind dualism. A state of pure mind, pure being in the moment is seen as desirable, and the ultimate goal of spiritual attainment. The body and senses are seen as a 'barrier' to this, being part of the gross, ephemeral and illusory.

This is a recurring theme in spiritual traditions, oriental and occidental. Modern culture seems to be caught in the quandary of either revelling in the pleasures of the flesh, or denying them outright in the name of a 'higher' attainment.

I think it is time to wrap up here, without embarking on a treatise. The problem is not so much about mind or no-mind, or sex versus abstinence - more about the repercussions of one's actions and how they impact on others. If we abandon our obsession with Mind and integrate Compassion into our actions, and above all be honest with ourselves, then I feel that sexuality will become less of a problem, less of a guilty pleasure, and more a part of life.

Thank you.

:namaste:

PS. I am aware that this thread has been inactive for some time - please feel free to quote or cross-post at will.
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby Yana » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:08 am

VeganLiz wrote:The Five Precepts speak against sexual misconduct.

But what exactly does that imply? Just terrible things such as molestation / rape? Or does it imply that sex is between lovers in a committed relationship only? Is casual sex advised against?

I am curious. Sex is a new thing in my life.


I think most people are have different views what compromises sexual misconduct..

So what i do is just see what the purpose of this precept is..why is it there in the first place..

i see this precept's ultimate goal is to "eradicate lust".

I know you can not eradicate something as powerful as lust through purely just obeying some rule and restraining yourself,you will have to do it by purifying your mind..it has to happen in the inside to truly let it go..the problem is this could take ages...lifetimes perhaps..and bad kamma is not going to wait around for you to come to your senses..which could jeopardize your chances of Realizing the Truth and finally put a stop to all your suffering.so in the mean time what you Really Can Do is restrain yourself..knowing that you are contributing a large effort in eradicating lust from your mind.

Because everybody has different views i can't tell someone else not to do something i think is unskillfull..which is why i don't really worry about other people and mostly just focus on what works for me..I Also don't accept something only because other people think there's nothing wrong with it.I first learned to know myself..and understood what calms and what aggravates my mind..it's just a cause and effect and got nothing to do with what's right and what's wrong or what you think or what i think.

It's something i know that if i do has brought me bad results.

Personally, Sexual misconduct for me would be:

1.Rape,Molestation,Sexual Abuse.
2.Adultery,Cheating,Flirting.
3.Masturbation.
4.Pornography,Nudity or any Erotic subjects.
5.Prostitution or working in any type of sex based industry.
6.Sexual fantasies or day dreaming, dirty thoughts.I always put a stop to it the moment i notice it.someone once told me don't argue against these thoughts,you'll lose, just stop.Yana does not negotiate with "terrorists'. :evil:
7.High Sexual content on TV programs..i'm not a kid anymore..it's not like i have to close my eyes or anything..and there's probably nothing wrong with it..it's just "normal" that's what people say..ofcourse there's nothing wrong with everything i just mentioned before,but any thing that could make Lust arise in my mind is not worth my time.My favourite break up line:It's Not YOU it's ME.
7.Too much sex.Not that i have anything against sex but I have to be balanced because too much sex caused loss of energy for me.and makes me almost lethargic.

So at the end of the day i am not saying all these things are unskillfull..there is nothing wrong with a brothel..it's just a building..made out of stone..or nudity it's just body parts..you should judge something as a sexual misconduct on whether they cause lust to arise in your mind or not..so yeahh..that's prettttty harrd stuff and most of us including me can't do all of it.. but we all gotta start somewhere...

So PERSONALLY this is my point of view, ( again everyone is different so i don't care if other people,Buddhist or Not, do it ..i only care that I don't do it)
because from personal experience and observations, i will feel very aggravated and unstable..and it will take a lot of work to get me back to calm my mind.

:anjali:
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby Sambojjhanga » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:41 pm

For myself, I have found that complete abstinence (aka celibacy) works best for me, for now. I say for now because I would perhaps consider becoming non-celibate if I got married. So I wanted to clarify. I'm not against sex, per se, but against the WAY sex is used in this culture (Western, especially American, culture.) Sex is HIGHLY manipulated in Western culture for the purposes of marketing. The master marketers of the West are experts in applied psychology ala Edward Berneys, etc.

I believe we live in a highly sexualized, highly dangerous culture. Sex is the single greatest addiction there is which binds us to Samsara. Sex is one of the primary destroyers of relationships! I've seen this with my friends and family over and over again.

Most people in the West do not dress modestly and, indeed, many dress HIGHLY provocatively. This leads to a great tension of lust. People can dress in a very nice manner without dressing in a sexually provocative manner, yet due to marketing, peer pressure and "style" (gee, WHO decides this style...think marketeers), this is not the case. People hone their bodies in the West, NOT simply due to wishing to be fit or athletic, but specifically to enhance their sex appeal. Case in point, there is NO reason to stuff bags of silicone or saline under one's pectoral muscles for ANY other reason (save perhaps for the few who have true body defects.) The same is true with fake suntans. Obviously, if you get a suntan from being an outdoor athlete, that is one thing, but to specifically go to a tanning salon with the express purpose to make yourself bronze, you are doing it for sexual purposes.

Really standing back from the entire "sexual merry-go-round" and LOOKING at what is going on is a true eye-opener. Then we wonder why so-called sexual crimes are at an all-time high!

Our culture is awash in sexual innuendo. As a man, you are considered abnormal if you're not constantly "on the prowl". Men are constantly discussing and trying to "one up" each other over their "sexual conquests". Women are forever doing things to their bodies, spending untold amounts of money on what appear to be extremely uncomfortable clothing, just to be the "hottie". When men and women relate, there is a falsity to it, all geared toward flirting and possible sex.

Sex is like any other addiction. The more you have, the more you want and it becomes a very vicious cycle.

Sexual disease is rampant. Not just the true killers like AIDS/HIV, but all manner of odd and bizarre conditions which we all hear about in the media. Pornography, which was once nearly underground, can be found discussed on mainstream TV and other media. Women, who once considered porn actress as the lowest of the low are now emulating them. I was visiting my mother the other day and she was watching some daytime TV talk show where they were discussing "porn sex"! I was rather shocked, to be honest with you all. There are exercise classes which teach women to "pole dance" like is done in strip clubs. I live in Southern California, which is known as the porn capital of the world, and hardly a day goes by that I don't see women dressed like porn stars. Huge boob jobs, super-tight fitting clothing, ridiculous high-heeled shoes, etc., etc.

The worse things is the sexualization of our children! I've seen halloween costumes which basically have little girls dressing up like porn stars! Friends, this is SICK in my opinion!

Personally, I don't really care what people do behind closed doors as it's frankly none of my business. But I DO care that our children are being totally sexualized and exposed to material that would probably make porn stars themselves blush 10 or 20 years ago. It's gotten completely out of hand.

So, for me, the best thing is to completely remove myself from the game, so-to-speak. In doing so, I am able to relate to people in a much more genuine manner without sex always being the undertone.Since that is not at all an issue for me, I'm able to be completely honest and upfront with everyone and, frankly, it's very refreshing.

Of course, I can't expect others to behave as I do. That's just ridiculous. But for me, celibacy works well. And, since we live in such a highly sexualized culture anyway, I find that it doesn't really have any effect on my lust. IOW, it's pretty hard NOT to have something thrown in one's face each and every day that might cause lust.

Just one man's opinion....

Metta,
Sabba rasam dhammaraso jinati
The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby Yana » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:38 pm

Sambojjhanga wrote:For myself, I have found that complete abstinence (aka celibacy) works best for me, for now. I say for now because I would perhaps consider becoming non-celibate if I got married. So I wanted to clarify. I'm not against sex, per se, but against the WAY sex is used in this culture (Western, especially American, culture.) Sex is HIGHLY manipulated in Western culture for the purposes of marketing.

I believe we live in a highly sexualized, highly dangerous culture. Sex is the single greatest addiction there is which binds us to Samsara. Sex is one of the primary destroyers of relationships! I've seen this with my friends and family over and over again.

Most people in the West do not dress modestly and, indeed, many dress HIGHLY provocatively. This leads to a great tension of lust. People can dress in a very nice manner without dressing in a sexually provocative manner, yet due to marketing, peer pressure and "style" (gee, WHO decides this style...think marketeers), this is not the case. People hone their bodies in the West, NOT simply due to wishing to be fit or athletic, but specifically to enhance their sex appeal. Case in point, there is NO reason to stuff bags of silicone or saline under one's pectoral muscles for ANY other reason (save perhaps for the few who have true body defects.) The same is true with fake suntans. Obviously, if you get a suntan from being an outdoor athlete, that is one thing, but to specifically go to a tanning salon with the express purpose to make yourself bronze, you are doing it for sexual purposes.

Really standing back from the entire "sexual merry-go-round" and LOOKING at what is going on is a true eye-opener. Then we wonder why so-called sexual crimes are at an all-time high! .

Of course, I can't expect others to behave as I do. That's just ridiculous. But for me, celibacy works well. And, since we live in such a highly sexualized culture anyway, I find that it doesn't really have any effect on my lust. IOW, it's pretty hard NOT to have something thrown in one's face each and every day that might cause lust.

Just one man's opinion....

Metta,


Hi Sambojjhanga,

I absolutely agree with you..even before i became a Buddhist or into any religion. I noticed how something as natural as sex could be blown all out of proportion. Pornography in particular upseted me from an early age,to the point of having an intense disgust for men and being suicidal because i really didn't understand what role a woman had besides being a sex object. Girls were always trying to look like that and it made me sad..I also felt so much grief and i didn't want to bring a child into this world..i thought if it's a girl she'll grow up thinking it' okay to be degraded if it's a boy he'll think it's okay to treat women like that,maybe not all just "some" women who are asking for it.. and not all the time just "some' time..

No.that's unacceptable.

and if i have a child i will make it my business to teach them to respect both men and women.And all types of people.and All the Time.Not just when your not feeling horny.All The Time.

Nobody deserves to be exploited or degraded like that on a normal basis let alone for entertainment even if they don't know what's good for them.even if their ignorant.I'm sorry but being ignorant is not a good enough excuse for those who should know better.If your going to do it then at least know in your heart it's wrong.. don't do it and deny and say it's normal.hypocrisy..that's what i mean.

All the men in my life kept telling me, porn's normal, but I felt that they were all turning a blind eye because it suited them more.You might think this is so cliche,but I'm not the type of person to act like everything's alright when it's not..if i know in my heart that something is wrong i will tell you sincerely.. even if you think i am supposed to be your 'friend'.Society's decline starts with morality's decay.

i caused myself untold mental suffering with grief and self harm but then i realized..i can't change the whole world..i can only change myself.And this thought is what freed me.I focused on myself, Practicing the Dhamma,concerned only with my own progress. So when my husband friend comes to the house and talks about strip clubs instead of getting upset,i just note it and move on.I abide by the,It's your life your business, rule.

My goal at least in this lifetime is to purify my mind from lust/sexual misconduct.Or at least cut out a huge part of it out.By keeping the 5 precepts through out the remainder of my present life,i am restraining myself and through repetition hopefully i will carry this trait into my next human life.I don't want to be reborn in my next human life and still have to face the same old hindrances..lust is a weak spot ..i view it as the weakest link..few people can truly master themselves and go beyond it.....if you can master it..eradicate lust.. which is a grosser form of greed,then the rest should be a smooth sailing towards the other shore :hug:
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby Dan74 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:14 am

Sambojjhanga wrote:For myself, I have found that complete abstinence (aka celibacy) works best for me, for now. I say for now because I would perhaps consider becoming non-celibate if I got married. So I wanted to clarify. I'm not against sex, per se, but against the WAY sex is used in this culture (Western, especially American, culture.) Sex is HIGHLY manipulated in Western culture for the purposes of marketing. The master marketers of the West are experts in applied psychology ala Edward Berneys, etc.

I believe we live in a highly sexualized, highly dangerous culture. Sex is the single greatest addiction there is which binds us to Samsara. Sex is one of the primary destroyers of relationships! I've seen this with my friends and family over and over again.

Most people in the West do not dress modestly and, indeed, many dress HIGHLY provocatively. This leads to a great tension of lust. People can dress in a very nice manner without dressing in a sexually provocative manner, yet due to marketing, peer pressure and "style" (gee, WHO decides this style...think marketeers), this is not the case. People hone their bodies in the West, NOT simply due to wishing to be fit or athletic, but specifically to enhance their sex appeal. Case in point, there is NO reason to stuff bags of silicone or saline under one's pectoral muscles for ANY other reason (save perhaps for the few who have true body defects.) The same is true with fake suntans. Obviously, if you get a suntan from being an outdoor athlete, that is one thing, but to specifically go to a tanning salon with the express purpose to make yourself bronze, you are doing it for sexual purposes.

Really standing back from the entire "sexual merry-go-round" and LOOKING at what is going on is a true eye-opener. Then we wonder why so-called sexual crimes are at an all-time high!

Our culture is awash in sexual innuendo. As a man, you are considered abnormal if you're not constantly "on the prowl". Men are constantly discussing and trying to "one up" each other over their "sexual conquests". Women are forever doing things to their bodies, spending untold amounts of money on what appear to be extremely uncomfortable clothing, just to be the "hottie". When men and women relate, there is a falsity to it, all geared toward flirting and possible sex.

Sex is like any other addiction. The more you have, the more you want and it becomes a very vicious cycle.

Sexual disease is rampant. Not just the true killers like AIDS/HIV, but all manner of odd and bizarre conditions which we all hear about in the media. Pornography, which was once nearly underground, can be found discussed on mainstream TV and other media. Women, who once considered porn actress as the lowest of the low are now emulating them. I was visiting my mother the other day and she was watching some daytime TV talk show where they were discussing "porn sex"! I was rather shocked, to be honest with you all. There are exercise classes which teach women to "pole dance" like is done in strip clubs. I live in Southern California, which is known as the porn capital of the world, and hardly a day goes by that I don't see women dressed like porn stars. Huge boob jobs, super-tight fitting clothing, ridiculous high-heeled shoes, etc., etc.

The worse things is the sexualization of our children! I've seen halloween costumes which basically have little girls dressing up like porn stars! Friends, this is SICK in my opinion!

Personally, I don't really care what people do behind closed doors as it's frankly none of my business. But I DO care that our children are being totally sexualized and exposed to material that would probably make porn stars themselves blush 10 or 20 years ago. It's gotten completely out of hand.

So, for me, the best thing is to completely remove myself from the game, so-to-speak. In doing so, I am able to relate to people in a much more genuine manner without sex always being the undertone.Since that is not at all an issue for me, I'm able to be completely honest and upfront with everyone and, frankly, it's very refreshing.

Of course, I can't expect others to behave as I do. That's just ridiculous. But for me, celibacy works well. And, since we live in such a highly sexualized culture anyway, I find that it doesn't really have any effect on my lust. IOW, it's pretty hard NOT to have something thrown in one's face each and every day that might cause lust.

Just one man's opinion....

Metta,


:goodpost: from another crusty old male

That said though, I would offer that for the vast majority of us a healthy sexual relationship with a partner is a good thing and that there is a lot of unhealthy aversion to sex here which mirrors the unhealthy obsession with sex that you speak of. The middle way for the layfolk is a loving attentive caring passion, perhaps.

This too can be relinquished when the time is right of course.

But bundling it all with gross lust and projecting all sort of demons upon it is often just hiding from ourselves, I think, which is what all of us are good at. Very often it seems that it is just another form of control and the fear of losing it.

PS Yana, I respect what you say and can only begin to imagine the burden this culture places on a sensitive girl. I have a 4-year-old daughter who may well grow up to be a beautiful woman and people are already warning us of the dangers to come! On the other hand, somewhere between the upbringing and the social conditioning we all have to find our own way of being. I recall Ajahn Thanasanti exploring this theme especially from the angle of a female monastic. There are also some great essays by nuns here:

http://www.amaravati.org/downloads/pdf/nuns_Freeing_the_Heart.pdf
_/|\_
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby Tehuti » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:46 am

Dan74 wrote:
That said though, I would offer that for the vast majority of us a healthy sexual relationship with a partner is a good thing and that there is a lot of unhealthy aversion to sex here which mirrors the unhealthy obsession with sex that you speak of. The middle way for the layfolk is a loving attentive caring passion, perhaps.

This too can be relinquished when the time is right of course.

But bundling it all with gross lust and projecting all sort of demons upon it is often just hiding from ourselves, I think, which is what all of us are good at. Very often it seems that it is just another form of control and the fear of losing it.


I agree absolutely, but I must point out that for 'novice' monks and other celibate persons, never having known what romantic love is like can be a terrible burden.

From personal experience, I have always had this unconscious obsession with 'purity', and an innate disgust for bodily functions etc. Coming in contact with spiritual traditions has strengthened this, to an extent, but the desire for the love of a woman still knocks on the door of my soul from time to time.

Regards,

Tehuti

:namaste:
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby Sambojjhanga » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:35 pm

Yana wrote:
Hi Sambojjhanga,

I absolutely agree with you..even before i became a Buddhist or into any religion. I noticed how something as natural as sex could be blown all out of proportion. Pornography in particular upseted me from an early age,to the point of having an intense disgust for men and being suicidal because i really didn't understand what role a woman had besides being a sex object. Girls were always trying to look like that and it made me sad..I also felt so much grief and i didn't want to bring a child into this world..i thought if it's a girl she'll grow up thinking it' okay to be degraded if it's a boy he'll think it's okay to treat women like that,maybe not all just "some" women who are asking for it.. and not all the time just "some' time..

No.that's unacceptable.

and if i have a child i will make it my business to teach them to respect both men and women.And all types of people.and All the Time.Not just when your not feeling horny.All The Time.

Nobody deserves to be exploited or degraded like that on a normal basis let alone for entertainment even if they don't know what's good for them.even if their ignorant.I'm sorry but being ignorant is not a good enough excuse for those who should know better.If your going to do it then at least know in your heart it's wrong.. don't do it and deny and say it's normal.hypocrisy..that's what i mean.

All the men in my life kept telling me, porn's normal, but I felt that they were all turning a blind eye because it suited them more.You might think this is so cliche,but I'm not the type of person to act like everything's alright when it's not..if i know in my heart that something is wrong i will tell you sincerely.. even if you think i am supposed to be your 'friend'.Society's decline starts with morality's decay.

i caused myself untold mental suffering with grief and self harm but then i realized..i can't change the whole world..i can only change myself.And this thought is what freed me.I focused on myself, Practicing the Dhamma,concerned only with my own progress. So when my husband friend comes to the house and talks about strip clubs instead of getting upset,i just note it and move on.I abide by the,It's your life your business, rule.

My goal at least in this lifetime is to purify my mind from lust/sexual misconduct.Or at least cut out a huge part of it out.By keeping the 5 precepts through out the remainder of my present life,i am restraining myself and through repetition hopefully i will carry this trait into my next human life.I don't want to be reborn in my next human life and still have to face the same old hindrances..lust is a weak spot ..i view it as the weakest link..few people can truly master themselves and go beyond it.....if you can master it..eradicate lust.. which is a grosser form of greed,then the rest should be a smooth sailing towards the other shore :hug:


Dear Yana,

I'm truly sorry for the pain you have suffered in Samsara due to sexual misconduct. I also agree with Dan74 that a healthy sexual relationship as part of a loving relationship between a couple can be a wonderful experience. You are very wise to realize that the only thing we can change in Samsara is ourselves. I must admit that I've spent more time than I care to relate thinking otherwise in my younger years.

Much metta to you!

:anjali:
Sabba rasam dhammaraso jinati
The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby Sambojjhanga » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:38 pm

Dan74 wrote:
:goodpost: from another crusty old male

That said though, I would offer that for the vast majority of us a healthy sexual relationship with a partner is a good thing and that there is a lot of unhealthy aversion to sex here which mirrors the unhealthy obsession with sex that you speak of. The middle way for the layfolk is a loving attentive caring passion, perhaps.

This too can be relinquished when the time is right of course.

But bundling it all with gross lust and projecting all sort of demons upon it is often just hiding from ourselves, I think, which is what all of us are good at. Very often it seems that it is just another form of control and the fear of losing it.

PS Yana, I respect what you say and can only begin to imagine the burden this culture places on a sensitive girl. I have a 4-year-old daughter who may well grow up to be a beautiful woman and people are already warning us of the dangers to come! On the other hand, somewhere between the upbringing and the social conditioning we all have to find our own way of being. I recall Ajahn Thanasanti exploring this theme especially from the angle of a female monastic. There are also some great essays by nuns here:

http://www.amaravati.org/downloads/pdf/nuns_Freeing_the_Heart.pdf


Well said, Dan. I quite agree with you. As I mentioned to my reply to Yana, a healthy, loving sexual relationship can indeed be a wonderful thing. For my life now, celibacy is what I need.

Thank you for the link to Freeing the Heart. I have not read it before and have just started it. I think that I am going to enjoy it very much and receive much wisdom from it.

Much metta to you, my friend.

:anjali:
Sabba rasam dhammaraso jinati
The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:05 pm

Live and yearn. :tongue:

BB
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
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Re: Sexual Misconduct

Postby SarathW » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:33 am

Hi Everyone
This is a great debate! However I will ask the question “What is the final outcome” The answer depend on what you need to achieve. For example you will not be able to attain Nirvana by abstaining from sexual misconduct. This will be a Lokiya Samma Kammantha(as far as I know)
Sexual misconduct come under the Sila (virtue) aspect of NEP which may lead you to Samadhi (concentration) and Panna (wisdom). However, if you develop wisdom it will lead you in to virtues and concentration. I understand there should be a balance among these three factors and they all complement each other. But we should be paying more attention to develop wisdom. This could be the reason that they are the first two limbs of NEP. Your comments are very much appreciated.

(For the benefit of the biginners who read this post)


The Noble Eightfold Path is sometimes divided into three basic divisions, as follows Division

Wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā, Pāli: paññā)
1. Right view( Superior right knowledge)
2. Right intention( Superior right liberation)

Ethical conduct (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla)
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood

Concentration (Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi)
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration
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