Should sex be demonized so much?

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Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby manas » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:32 am

This topic will only be of relevance to laypersons who are not yet willing or able to keep complete and utter celibacy. As laypersons, complete and utter celibacy is not required of us. It is ok for us to engage in sex life, so long as it conforms to the restrictions given in the suttas, which most decent people would agree with anyway (partner should be of correct age, not already with another, etc).

I have noticed in myself and other Buddhists, a kind of underlying assumption that sex pleasure is inherently 'bad' or 'unwholesome'. In my case, I got this neurotic notion from earlier Christian conditioning, and not from Buddhism, but I must say that Buddhist ideas about sex did not do much to overturn it. It is only recently that I realized that I have been mistaken for many, many years. Sex is not bad or sinful. It's just another aspect of Nature, just like eating and sleeping. Sex is how Nature replicates itself, that's all. Neither bad nor good, but morally neutral.

I put this topic here in the wellness' topic because along with my letting go of beating myself up for having perfectly natural and understandable desires in the course of having this physical human body, comes the understanding of how much harm I did to myself previously, by feeling a sense of failure every time I would 'give in' to sex desires. The guilt and shame around sex must be a great cause of mental and emotional illness in society, because it creates a terrible conflict in the average person of not ever being able to live up to their 'ideals'. (Until one reaches anagami - which is a very lofty and faraway goal, however!)

Where sex can be harmful, as I now understand it, is in the loss of life-force with every ejaculation of a man. There are literally millions of sperm cells thrown out of the body per ejaculation, and the body imbues the semen with the life-force needed to start a new life. This is why we can feel depleted and tired if we ejaculate too much. But there is actually a way to engage in sex pleasure without this loss of energy. It is by drawing that energy upwards, instead of letting it flow out of the loins. Most men conflate orgasm with ejaculation, but they are actually not one and the same thing. It is possible to have orgasm without losing any semen. There are exercizes that can be learned whereby, at the moment of orgasm, the orgasmic energy is channeled upwards, flowing up the back and ultimately to the brain, then down again through the front of the body, in what is called the 'Microcosmic Orbit'. I believe that this art should be learned by any layperson who is still sexually active, so that they can stop the terrible wastage and depletion of energy (chi, life-force, prana) and recirculate it into their own bodies, to the benefit of health. I cannot see how it would contravene any law of dhamma to do so.

with metta.

:anjali:
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:51 am

manas wrote: But there is actually a way to engage in sex pleasure without this loss of energy. It is by drawing that energy upwards, instead of letting it flow out of the loins.


I have heard that these practices can be dangerous if you dont know what you are doing. If anybody is going to try this checking with some one who teaches chi gung might not be a bad idea.
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:53 am

As laypersons, complete and utter celibacy is not required of us.

Who says? Maybe a if - then is needed in addition. Is not required for what?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:45 am

Not wanting to nit pick, but...
manas wrote:[T]he body imbues the semen with the life-force needed to start a new life. This is why we can feel depleted and tired if we ejaculate too much.
and
manas wrote:orgasmic energy.
These two terms, life-force and orgasmic energy, are not at all supported by physics. Life isn't a mystical force, and energy is simply an arbitrary quantitative measure of the capacity to do work. I only mention this because these ideas of 'wasting life force' are simply not based on reality, but rather superstition; knowing that might help reduce any guilt felt.
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby DAWN » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:30 am

manas wrote: Sex is how Nature replicates itself, that's all. Neither bad nor good, but morally neutral.


When there is birth, there is suffering of the one who is birn.
When there is birth of human child, there is more distruction of earth and other living beings, death of these living beings.

By an scietifical point of view, if humain being will kepp this tendence, in 2050 his nutritive needs wiil grow up by 40% for each person, and so in 2050 peoples will need to cultivate + 2-4 billions of hectares and torture, exploit and kill many much others living beings.

If the one practice well, he will rapidely reach state of jhanas, and when this state is reached, and the one dwell in it, there is no more need to sex or others "primitive" pleasures.

With Mette for all living bengs that suffering due to human race-egoism :pig:
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We are not concurents...
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby cooran » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:30 am

Hello manas, all,

This article may be of interest:

Buddhism and Sex by M. O'C. Walshe
Preface
Buddhism and Sex
The Bhikkhu
Ancient India
The Lay Buddhist
Sexual Pleasure and the Concept of "Sin"
Marriage
Sex Outside Marriage.
Sex, Religion, and Anti-Religion
What Sex is Really All About
Sex and Rebirth
Sex and the Stages on the Path
Gaining Control
Conclusion

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el225.html

with metta
Chris
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:56 am

Reading the conglusion I have to rember a quote of Ahjan Fuang:

"When we see Hindus worshiping Siva lingas it looks strange to us, but actually everyone in the world worships the Siva linga — i.e., they worship sex, simply that the Hindus are the only ones who are open about it. Sex is the creator of the world. The reason we're all born is because we worship the Siva linga in our hearts."
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:57 am

Hanzze wrote:Reaging the conglusion I have to rember a quote of Ahjan Fuang:

"When we see Hindus worshiping Siva lingas it looks strange to us, but actually everyone in the world worships the Siva linga — i.e., they worship sex, simply that the Hindus are the only ones who are open about it. Sex is the creator of the world. The reason we're all born is because we worship the Siva linga in our hearts."
I prefer worshipping the Yoni.
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.

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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:08 am

Well... as long as it makes "happy". Or some sensations of being released from stress. We cross the path often, put are atteched to do not lose our street.

Another saying of him:

"Sensual pleasure is like a drug: One taste and you get addicted. They say that with heroin it's hard to break the habit, but this is even worse. It goes deep, right into the bone. It's what made us get born in the first place, and has kept us circling through birth and death for aeons and aeons. There's no medicine you can take to break the habit, to wash it out of your system, aside from the medicine of the Buddha's teachings."
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Caraka » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:17 am

Your topic reminds me of a story I heard about how old schools educating about masturbation. They literally explained 'Do not masturbate! Cause when you do you leak brainfluid. The seemen from your masturbation comes from your brain, and the more you masturbate the stupider you will get'.

So Dawn is pinpointing something important here. You can, depending on isolated statements (facts or not), make the truth goes either way. Thus missing the whole picture.

Actual I think sex is not a problem, masturbation is not a problem, and none of it is a sin. It's as you wrote, it's a part of nature, your body, and your body craving for pleasure. So, if it is our body craving that causes sex, then how should this be related to the non-sex life of monks?
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:33 am

Would there be much sex in the brain if there have not been mastubation in the youth? I guess that this explaining was not that bad at all but we use intelect to overbridge the message.

Can you explain what craving of the body should be? The body is able to do so?

And to beware of misunderstanding, its not only a matter of being a monk that people abstain from sexual (inter)actions. If one likes to talk in allowed and unallowed mearues, it is also allowed for layman/woman to abstain from it, to take this precept.
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should Demons be Sexed so much?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:41 am

Yes, even in the compassionate teachings of Buddhism, sex is unwholesome. It is not possible to engage in or even to think about enjoying sex without an unwholesome mind rooted in greed (lobha mūla citta).

However, not all unwholesome kamma (akusala) is evil kamma (pāpa), leading to the lower realms. Only sexual misconduct is immoral kamma.

Treat fire with the respect that it deserves and you won't get burned.

Piya Tan's article on the Methuna Sutta explains the seven bonds of sensuality.
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:56 am

Thanks for sharing this sutta.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:53 am

A monastic of many decades once told me that sensuality does not go away, you just experience it differently, and express it differently.

Maybe this is the key - to bring practice to sensuality. I know I get jealous of the chocolate bar when I watch my wife eat it. So sensuality can be experienced in many different ways and this may take some pressure off the sexual act that many of us men in particular think is the only way we can experience life as sensual beings.

There are many angles on this and many ways to perceive it. Especially once one is no longer completely enthralled by sex. In any case letting go of the guilt is certainly a good move, manas!

:thumbsup:
_/|\_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:59 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Hanzze wrote:Reaging the conglusion I have to rember a quote of Ahjan Fuang:

"When we see Hindus worshiping Siva lingas it looks strange to us, but actually everyone in the world worships the Siva linga — i.e., they worship sex, simply that the Hindus are the only ones who are open about it. Sex is the creator of the world. The reason we're all born is because we worship the Siva linga in our hearts."
I prefer worshipping the Yoni.


Yes, I am sure you do!
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:24 am

Dan74 wrote:In any case letting go of the guilt is certainly a good move, manas!

Guiltiness feeling are better solved by seeing a mistake and make a new resolve. Of cause, step by step is a way but suppressing is not let go of the hook.

I wonder why there are so less supports in how to overcome sensuality and desire and so many hints how to look over them. Desire for sex is a perfect object of mindfulness as all precepts are, for sure a more present object as killing or stealing for the most.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:29 am

Hanzze wrote:
Dan74 wrote:In any case letting go of the guilt is certainly a good move, manas!

Guiltiness feeling are better solved by seeing a mistake and make a new resolve. Of cause, step by step is a way but suppressing is not let go of the hook.

I wonder why there are so less supports in how to overcome sensuality and desire and so many hints how to look over them. Desire for sex is a perfect object of mindfulness as all precepts are, for sure a more present object as killing or stealing for the most.


I was neither talking about overcoming nor overlooking.

But often before one is truly ready to let go, it is a good idea to actually see what one is letting go of. And if one is full of aversion, it is unlikely he is going to be able to take a proper look.

Besides to everything, its season, as they say in that other religion.
_/|\_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:33 am

Hanzze wrote:Desire for sex is a perfect object of mindfulness...


Yes, technically, it (sex) could be used as an object for mindfulness meditation. However, without training yourself by observing less intensely pleasurable, or for that matter unpleasant, sensations with sati sampajjano then you could be just confusing mindfulness with craving.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:49 am

What is easier to observe, something that is very present or something that is very subtile? I guess from the raw to the fine is the normal way. The silas (to a good level of perfection) are just the raw mindfulness objects.

I guess the require of understanding the causes and effects are very needed. Just produced a spot on my cloth while running after sensuality ("just" coffee!) but need to think how to get the spot cleaned without having/using cleaning agent. We have very less problems if we are mindful. At the beginning, in the middle and at the end.

Not to think how many actions in our life are co-denpendent and conected with the strive for sex.

Of cause it would be good to wear a sticker "Caution! I am practicing chasteness, so keep distance" while in training, but I guess that is also with everybody who undertakes a drug withdrawal treatment.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Caraka » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:22 pm

I was reading about Ten Immoral Kammas and Their Effects (http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Kamma/kamma.html#Classification), and thinking about your post. It states:

The evil effects of sexual misconduct are: having many enemies, getting an unsuitable spouse, rebirth as a woman, or rebirth as a transsexual.

I must say, I found this a bit problematic cause it indicates woman, transsexual (I guess this statement also goes for all flavour of sexuality execpt beeing a hetrosexual man) are lower beeings than a man :shrug:
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