Sexual misconduct and prostitute

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Locked
steve19800
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:20 am

Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by steve19800 » Tue May 19, 2015 12:31 am

Hello all,

The purpose of Buddhism is to free us from all bondage and desire, to attain nibbana. Five precepts are for lay people who are not yet ready to leave worldly pursuit. It is a general rule not the ultimate goal.

What is considered as a sexual misconduct?

"He avoids unlawful sexual intercourse, abstains from it. He has no intercourse with girls who are still under the protection of father or mother, brother, sister, or relative; nor with married women, nor female convicts; nor lastly with betrothed girls."

It's very clear that any sexual relationship with any person mentioned above is considered a sexual misconduct. Having intercourse with one's own wife or husband is not a sexual misconduct. Masturbation is not wholesome but is not considered as a sexual misconduct. Prostitution existed in Buddha's time but is there any reason why it is not included in the list of 'prohibited' person?

Thanks guys.

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6417
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by bodom » Tue May 19, 2015 2:03 am

Not to be contented with one's wife but to be seen with a prostitute or the wives of others — this is a cause of one's downfall. -Snp 108
:anjali:
The heart of the path is so simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

- Ajahn Chah

rohana
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:43 pm

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by rohana » Tue May 19, 2015 2:20 am

steve19800 wrote:Prostitution existed in Buddha's time but is there any reason why it is not included in the list of 'prohibited' person?
Perhaps because whether it's sexual misconduct or not would depend on the person sleeping with the prostitute? (e.g. a married person vs. an unmarried person.)
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43

steve19800
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by steve19800 » Tue May 19, 2015 9:02 am

Thanks guys for the prompt reply.
bodom wrote:
Not to be contented with one's wife but to be seen with a prostitute or the wives of others — this is a cause of one's downfall. -Snp 108
:anjali:
Yes the rule seems quite obvious if one already has a partner.

rohana wrote: Perhaps because whether it's sexual misconduct or not would depend on the person sleeping with the prostitute? (e.g. a married person vs. an unmarried person.)
I thought it's sexual misconduct regardless of the person marital status.
But it's not mentioned anywhere, I must have missed it. Or maybe prostitution is very common at that time.
Last edited by steve19800 on Tue May 19, 2015 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4832
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Jaroen Dhamma Cave, Mae Wang Huai Rin, Lamphun

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by Dhammanando » Tue May 19, 2015 9:48 am

steve19800 wrote:I thought it's sexual misconduct regardless of the person marital status.
No, it's sexual misconduct only if the man is already married or if the prostitute already has an appointment with another customer, in which case she falls into the "betrothed" category.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

User avatar
fearandloving
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:45 pm

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by fearandloving » Tue May 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Isn't a large part of why there is the goal to refrain from sexual misconduct to refrain from the power of that attachment/addiction?

Obviously sexuality can result in harm ranging from hurt feelings to physical harm, which is one aspect of it, but on the subtle level we are refraining from jumping on our animalistic instincts to have sex all the time, to have control over ourselves.

I don't see how you can justify paying for sex with this in mind. Regardless of it's been spelled out by the Buddha or not.

I think the same would go for pornography or anything that further entrenches you in the snare of that desire.

I'm also not sure how I feel about "it's ok as long as she's not owned by another man". Seems a little... odd.

Am I misinterpreting something here?

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 17001
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by mikenz66 » Tue May 19, 2015 8:27 pm

Hi fearandloathing,

The five precepts are the very basic minimum of sila. Following those prevents acts that cause overt harm to others. So in this case, assuming that it is a legitimate business transaction, not involving coercion or mistreatment, there should be no overt harm.

That's not to say that such actions are a postitive thing. However, the five precepts are a minimum, standard, not the ideal standard.

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4832
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Jaroen Dhamma Cave, Mae Wang Huai Rin, Lamphun

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by Dhammanando » Wed May 20, 2015 1:08 am

fearandloving wrote:Obviously sexuality can result in harm ranging from hurt feelings to physical harm, which is one aspect of it, but on the subtle level we are refraining from jumping on our animalistic instincts to have sex all the time, to have control over ourselves.
I think you’ve effectively answered your own question here. The five precepts are not the sīla of a brahmacari renunciate, but rather of a householder furnished with the five strands of sense-pleasure. As such they are not really concerned with subtle levels. They’re concerned with ensuring that a householder’s unskilful states of mind don’t find expression in grossly unskilful actions of body or speech.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

steve19800
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by steve19800 » Thu May 21, 2015 2:50 am

Dhammanando wrote:
I think you’ve effectively answered your own question here. The five precepts are not the sīla of a brahmacari renunciate, but rather of a householder furnished with the five strands of sense-pleasure. As such they are not really concerned with subtle levels. They’re concerned with ensuring that a householder’s unskilful states of mind don’t find expression in grossly unskilful actions of body or speech.
But the purpose of precepts I thought is to increase good deeds and avoid bad deeds. With the practice of good deeds, it's expected that practitioners can also improve his virtue, conducive mind that prevents him from falling away. With the practice of basic precepts, one can intensify his practice (if he wishes) to undertake more precepts.
It is said that keeping five precepts can deliver us to the lower level of heaven or even rebirth as a human being.

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4832
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Jaroen Dhamma Cave, Mae Wang Huai Rin, Lamphun

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by Dhammanando » Thu May 21, 2015 7:05 am

Hi Steve,

As best I can tell, what you’re saying doesn’t dissent from what I said. My point, to put it another way, was simply that the third precept taken in the wholly renunciate form, abrahmacariyā veramaṇī, is a higher good, while that taken in the ameliorative form, kāmesu micchācārā veramaṇī, is a lower good. The observance of the former cuts off all kammas that provide fuel or reinforcement to sexual desire. The observance of the latter cuts off grossly harmful sexual kammas that lead to remorse in this life and bad destinations in future lives.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

steve19800
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by steve19800 » Fri May 22, 2015 3:06 am

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Steve,

As best I can tell, what you’re saying doesn’t dissent from what I said. My point, to put it another way, was simply that the third precept taken in the wholly renunciate form, abrahmacariyā veramaṇī, is a higher good, while that taken in the ameliorative form, kāmesu micchācārā veramaṇī, is a lower good. The observance of the former cuts off all kammas that provide fuel or reinforcement to sexual desire. The observance of the latter cuts off grossly harmful sexual kammas that lead to remorse in this life and bad destinations in future lives.
Thanks Bhante,

But how can someone, for example, undertake the lay people's five precepts, sleep with prostitute but at the same time cuts off harmful sexual kammas?

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4832
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Jaroen Dhamma Cave, Mae Wang Huai Rin, Lamphun

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by Dhammanando » Fri May 22, 2015 4:29 am

steve19800 wrote:But how can someone, for example, undertake the lay people's five precepts, sleep with prostitute but at the same time cuts off harmful sexual kammas?
There is no kind of sex that is entirely free of unskill, for all sex involves lust and reinforces the tendency to lust. Observance of the third precept sets a limit on the degree of unskill. By observing it one ensures that one’s sex life is not disruptive of family life (one’s own or others’) or social harmony.

As for prostitution, I really don’t understand why so many western Buddhists have this idée fixe about there being something inordinately evil in a man’s paying a woman to have sex with him. Ceteris paribus, having sex with a prostitute is no more unskilful than having sex with one’s wife. In fact in some respects it might even be less unskilful. For example there’s far less deceit and hypocrisy involved in it. Unlike sex with one’s wife, after sex with a prostitute a man can just get up, take a shower and then go read a book or meditate or something. He doesn’t have to waste an hour lying in bed reluctantly feigning post-coital affection.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

steve19800
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by steve19800 » Fri May 22, 2015 5:22 am

I don't know for sure, Bhante. But in my opinion, having sex with prostitute is different to the worldly love performs to one's partner. The cultivation of the latter one is expected to deliver happiness. While for the former one, keeping the precept could possibly bring the opposite result, let alone the cultivation of tiracchana quality. This is only my opinion.

alan
Posts: 3114
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by alan » Sat May 23, 2015 1:14 pm

Agree, Dhammanado. And I appreciate your forthright attitude. So many get mixed up in emotional reactions to this subject.

User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 2472
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Sexual misconduct and prostitute

Post by Bundokji » Sat May 23, 2015 3:15 pm

Dhammanando wrote:As for prostitution, I really don’t understand why so many western Buddhists have this idée fixe about there being something inordinately evil in a man’s paying a woman to have sex with him. Ceteris paribus, having sex with a prostitute is no more unskilful than having sex with one’s wife. In fact in some respects it might even be less unskilful. For example there’s far less deceit and hypocrisy involved in it. Unlike sex with one’s wife, after sex with a prostitute a man can just get up, take a shower and then go read a book or meditate or something. He doesn’t have to waste an hour lying in bed reluctantly feigning post-coital affection.
Thanks for your realistic answer Bhante :anjali: Your post reminded me of Bertrand Russell when he said:
Marriage is for woman the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], DooDoot, dpcalder, one_awakening and 176 guests