Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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UpekshaL
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Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by UpekshaL » Tue May 30, 2017 4:44 am

Greetings!
Is having no sexual desire a good thing for dhamma practice and eventually to enter the monastic life. Or is it a hindrance as one can not get the so called pleasure in life and then understand the nature of things to eventually let go. If I think of sex as any other sensual desire, there's no need to go through that particular experience to understand how mind works (I have plenty of others!). But as people say, it is THE most difficult thing to let go hence am I going to miss something that can be a great teacher at the end.
As a side note; is being a-sexual something weird/ un-natural?

binocular
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by binocular » Tue May 30, 2017 9:29 am

UpekshaL wrote:As a side note; is being a-sexual something weird/ un-natural?
Some people certainly see it as unnatural.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexuality
Is having no sexual desire a good thing for dhamma practice and eventually to enter the monastic life. Or is it a hindrance as one can not get the so called pleasure in life and then understand the nature of things to eventually let go. If I think of sex as any other sensual desire, there's no need to go through that particular experience to understand how mind works (I have plenty of others!). But as people say, it is THE most difficult thing to let go hence am I going to miss something that can be a great teacher at the end.
There is the possibility of applying a kind of equalizing standard for all humans, and considering any deviation from that standard as something abnormal, and potentially a hindrance. I think it's worth looking into whether such an equalizing standard is really justified or helpful. It certainly seems helpful if one's aim is social harmony where it is of crucial importance that people be as similar as possible. How useful that is to making an end to suffering is another matter.

Parallel to your question, one could also ask:
Are those who grew up in abject poverty and have become frugal and modest living in such poverty in some way disqualified from practicing the Dhamma?
Are those who were born with some serious lifelong disease or who have suffered a serious injury in some way disqualified from practicing the Dhamma?

In comparison to the ordinary, relatively healthy and relatively wealthy population, people who are very poor or ill or seriously injured don't experience many of the pleasures that the ordinary population can. So what should they do? Quit? Consider themselves fatally hindered as far as making spiritual progress goes?

R1111
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by R1111 » Tue May 30, 2017 9:35 am

i think it is probably very good and maybe such people already have weakened the fetter of sensuality in previous existence

SarathW
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by SarathW » Tue May 30, 2017 10:56 am

is being a-sexual something weird/ un-natural?
The way I understand it is quite natural.
Buddha, while he was a prince enjoyed the six sense faculties.
It is not possible for a person without sense faculties to realise Nibbana.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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_anicca_
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by _anicca_ » Tue May 30, 2017 3:06 pm

Being asexual is helpful on the spiritual path because you have one less desire to work with.

However, some people see homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality as abnormal psychology and a hindrance to attaining path and fruition, but I personally do not believe this.
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

http://vipassanameditation.asia

R1111
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by R1111 » Tue May 30, 2017 8:40 pm

_anicca_ wrote:some people see homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality as abnormal psychology and a hindrance to attaining path and fruition, but I personally do not believe this.
I dont think so either, if i recall correctly there was one homosexual who attained Arahantship in Buddha's time (dont quote me on that tho). In regards to homosexuals and bisexuals i think it these might have trouble ordaining and should train as householders up to Anagamiship, doing solitary retreats/courses if they can find something suitable.

binocular
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by binocular » Wed May 31, 2017 11:47 am

As a meditator who considers oneself asexual, I think it's worth asking oneself some questions about one's asexuality:
Is it possible to discern a cause for it? What is it related to?

Because it might very well be that one's asexuality is due to overly high self-esteem, low self-esteem, trauma, perfectionism, aversion, disappointment, a way of coping with societal pressures about sexuality for a person who doesn't live up to societal expectations in terms of physical appearance or other factors of sexual desirability, or maybe some other source.

It appears then that in such cases, there is what can be called "secondary asexuality", and that is not the same as simply having no interest in sexuality.

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purple1
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by purple1 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:14 am

UpekshaL wrote:Greetings!
Is having no sexual desire a good thing for dhamma practice and eventually to enter the monastic life. Or is it a hindrance as one can not get the so called pleasure in life and then understand the nature of things to eventually let go. If I think of sex as any other sensual desire, there's no need to go through that particular experience to understand how mind works (I have plenty of others!). But as people say, it is THE most difficult thing to let go hence am I going to miss something that can be a great teacher at the end.
As a side note; is being a-sexual something weird/ un-natural?
Will be a detailed note below.
Last edited by purple1 on Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Swatantra
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by Swatantra » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:44 pm

Being asexual is not weird or unnatural, none of the LGBTQ spectrum is, it is just how we are. Embrace it and as you said, see how it is a huge benefit to your path.
:heart:
"One is not noble who has injures living beings.
One is called 'noble' because they are harmless to all living beings."

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"Silent in body, silent in speech,
Silent in the mind, without defilement,
Blessed is silence is the sage.
One is truely washed of evil."

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purple1
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by purple1 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:16 pm

UpekshaL wrote:Greetings!
Is having no sexual desire a good thing for dhamma practice and eventually to enter the monastic life. Or is it a hindrance as one can not get the so called pleasure in life and then understand the nature of things to eventually let go. If I think of sex as any other sensual desire, there's no need to go through that particular experience to understand how mind works (I have plenty of others!). But as people say, it is THE most difficult thing to let go hence am I going to miss something that can be a great teacher at the end.
As a side note; is being a-sexual something weird/ un-natural?
Hi. I do not clearly understand from your post that are you asexual or not. But if you are asexual or any other people is asexual who visit this page.... There are so many karmic reasons of asexuality. I know a man who had a childhood sexual trauma and it caused that he became asexual. He clearly remember about his memory. But do not worry about what is the reason of your asexuality, is asexuality weird or unnatural. Asexuality is a blessing for those who want follow the Buddha and want attain Nirvana. Many peoples in the world do not hear about asexuality. I am on the ACE spectrum too. There is a spectrum which is called as "ACE spectrum". There are three sexual orientations on the whole ACE spectrum: "asexual", "grey asexual", "demisexual". I use the "grey asexual" label for labelling myself. Grey asexual means grey asexual people experience sexual desire rarely or on a very low level. With other words grey asexual people have low libido, low sex drive. In my case I have a very low sex drive, I am able to feel sexual attraction but I don't feel the need for sex. I bornt like this. I was never interested in having sex, do kissing, cuddling. Having sex, kissing, cuddling and other romantic activities were indifferent for me. These were totally neutral activities for me. Later my indifference turned into finding sexuality as disgusting on a personal level. Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction toward others. Grey asexuality is a bit different, I wrote about it above. Grey asexuality means low sex drive. Demisexuality is different than asexuality and grey asexuality. Demisexual people need develop a strong emotional bond toward someone to be able to feel sexual attraction. Asexuality, grey asexuality, demisexuality are sexual orientations on the "ACE spectrum". Many asexual peoples have romantic desires and most of them suffer from loneliness because they hardly find another asexual people as a companion. Many asexual peoples are in romantic relationships with another asexual peoples. There is nothing sexual in their relationships. Their relationships are romantic, they do romantic things, for example hugging, holding hands, cuddling or even kissing. I can't tell about myself that I have romantic desires. Peoples who have no romantic desires are called as aromantic. There are some dating sites for peoples who are on the ACE spectrum. There are asexuals who are in long distance online relationships with each other. Do not worry about the reasons of asexuality, do not worry about is asexuality weird or not, et cetera. See the good side of asexuality, attaining Nirvana is much easier for asexual peoples. At least we don't struggle with letting go sexual desires. ;) There is a popular quote from asexuals "Cake is better than sex!" :D And it is true, I still have a big attachment to cookies and sweets.... But at least I don't struggle with letting go sexual desires. :woohoo: Asexuality can coming from previous life Dharma practice also. I believe I practiced asubha meditations in my previous life ;)
Note: there are three types of asexuals: sex-repulsed asexuals, sex-neutral asexuals, sex-positive asexuals. Sex-neutral asexuals find having sex as indifferent, sex-repulsed asexuals find sex as disgusting on a personal level, sex-positive asexuals can enjoy having sex. The most important thing is asexual peoples can not feel sexual attraction toward others. There are sex-repulsed peoples who are not asexuals and are not on the "ACE spectrum". Sex-repulsion DOESN'T means anti-sexuality. Anti-sexuality and sex-repulsion are different.
Last edited by purple1 on Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Garrib
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by Garrib » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:47 pm

There is another active thread right now about Nanavira Thera - who committed suicide, apparently partially because he was stricken with extreme, excessive, persistent sexual desire (I hope I have this right?). Then think of all the immense evil that happens in the world because of extreme sexual desire. Then think of all the pain and dejection and depression people feel because of things like infidelity, unrequited love, etc...Then consider how all sexual gratification is impermanent and unsatisfactory and inevitably leads to suffering!

If someone is actually asexual (and not just kidding themselves, or repressing their desires) I think this is a most excellent situation! There are people who strive and strive for years on end to rid themselves of sexual desire and fail. Anagamis and Arahants are a-sexual!

If you want to have a family and reproduce, then being born asexual seems bad. But if you want to practice the Dhamma to the best of your abiilities, I'm inclined to say it is a blessing.

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purple1
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by purple1 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:11 pm

Garrib wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:47 pm
There is another active thread right now about Nanavira Thera - who committed suicide, apparently partially because he was stricken with extreme, excessive, persistent sexual desire (I hope I have this right?). Then think of all the immense evil that happens in the world because of extreme sexual desire. Then think of all the pain and dejection and depression people feel because of things like infidelity, unrequited love, etc...Then consider how all sexual gratification is impermanent and unsatisfactory and inevitably leads to suffering!
So true.
Garrib wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:47 pm

There are people who strive and strive for years on end to rid themselves of sexual desire and fail.
Yeah, many meditators trying to avoid sexual activities by practicing asubha meditation and some of them fail. But you can see that skillful monks having great benefits from asubha meditation.
Garrib wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:47 pm

If you want to have a family and reproduce, then being born asexual seems bad. But if you want to practice the Dhamma to the best of your abiilities, I'm inclined to say it is a blessing.
By the way, some asexuals who have romantic desires like the idea that they marry with each other and even having children. They have sex only for reproducing.

dharmacorps
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:00 pm

Being "asexual" is just a label you apply to yourself (just like being "straight" "gay" or any others) which is impermanent, suffering, and not-self. If you seem to observe you have limited sexual desire in comparison to others (comparison to others is always a risky thing though), that could be helpful on the path. But also, you could be on the path and have sexual desire arise or increase. Either way don't make a problem out of it.

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phil
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by phil » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:47 pm

Yeah, many meditators trying to avoid sexual activities by practicing asubha meditation and some of them fail. But you can see that skillful monks having great benefits from asubha meditation.


A bit off topic but worth noting there is a sutta in which someone is asked how the young monks can live so blissfully without sex. It is taught that while thinking about women as one's sister, mother, daughter etc as one method and asubha as another method are helpful, lust can be so powerful that it overcomes such reflections. The ultimately victorious way is said to be satipatthana, if I recall correctly. Happy to be corrected.
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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Sovatthika
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Re: Is being born as a-sexual good or bad

Post by Sovatthika » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:47 am

i imagine this could be offensive, but i doubt asexuality, aside from overcoming the fetter of lust. unless there is a hormone issue. of course, when you contemplate the drawbacks of sensual pleasure your desire becomes less. i had come across self-identified asexuals or 'ace' people in radical political circles, almost exclusively on the left wing. i am a homosexual male and i identified as non-binary, genderqueer, trans*, etc. but my point here is these were just conventions (all saṅkhāra)
i'm attracted to the male form but sex has and does often gross me out, tho aspects of it were enjoyable. does this make me asexual? i'm expressing reluctance to this
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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