watching porn can be adultery?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
lotus flower
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watching porn can be adultery?

Post by lotus flower » Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:38 pm

Hello all, :buddha1:

if someone watching porn then can it be adultery? ...
We found the teaching of the Buddha. Be grateful for it... We can meditate... Be grateful for it... We know that this universe is the samsara. Be grateful for it... We have THE CHANCE TO ATTAIN NIBBANA. Be grateful for it... :buddha1: :buddha2:

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Sam Vara
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:26 pm

Both these terms do not, so far as I know, feature in the Buddha's teaching; but both would be considered unskillful.

Outside of the Buddha's teaching, the answer to this question would probably be a qualified "no". In some legal systems (the UK, for example) adultery has a defined legal meaning - and watching porn would definitely not count. Furthermore, most people in my culture would not think that watching porn counted as adultery. It might be upsetting to one's marital partner, but this depends entirely on the couple. Some happily watch it together.

This is complicated by the Christian teaching that
anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
But this is not something that many people I know would subscribe to. This might just be Jesus using emphasis or hyperbole to make a point about how unskilful it is.

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Mkoll
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by Mkoll » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:31 pm

I think it's illegal in the U.S. if the viewer is under 18.
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manas
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by manas » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:06 pm

Adultery is adultery. Porn is porn. One involves having sex with someone other than one's partner. The other involves, essentially, having sex with one's own hands. They are not the same thing.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
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without laying claim.

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manas
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by manas » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:09 pm

Having said that, I think if one feels the need to look at porn, when one already has a partner to lavish one's affections on, there's a problem.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Ben
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by Ben » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:14 pm

manas wrote: The other involves, essentially, having sex with one's own hands.
That is where you are wrong - and making the same mistake as the OP.
Watching porn is not masturbation. Watching porn just involves watching. If you masturbate while watching lorn - that is your chosen response to the dhammas of lust manifesting as a result of craving.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
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manas
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by manas » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:25 pm

Ben wrote:
manas wrote: The other involves, essentially, having sex with one's own hands.
That is where you are wrong - and making the same mistake as the OP.
Watching porn is not masturbation. Watching porn just involves watching. If you masturbate while watching lorn - that is your chosen response to the dhammas of lust manifesting as a result of craving.
Yes, someone could conceivably 'just look' at porn without sexually gratifying themselves. But let's be brutally honest and admit that the reason most folks go to a porn site, isn't to just sit there 'looking'. Porn and masturbation go together like a horse and cart.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Ben
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by Ben » Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:57 am

manas wrote:
Ben wrote:
manas wrote: The other involves, essentially, having sex with one's own hands.
That is where you are wrong - and making the same mistake as the OP.
Watching porn is not masturbation. Watching porn just involves watching. If you masturbate while watching lorn - that is your chosen response to the dhammas of lust manifesting as a result of craving.
Yes, someone could conceivably 'just look' at porn without sexually gratifying themselves. But let's be brutally honest and admit that the reason most folks go to a porn site, isn't to just sit there 'looking'. Porn and masturbation go together like a horse and cart.
For you, maybe. Conflating watching porn and masturbation is no different from conflating watching a violent movie and having been violent oneself. As I said - watching porn involves watching. Nothing more and nothing less. What you chose to do while you watch it - that is a choice you make and something different.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

Sanjay PS
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by Sanjay PS » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 am

But then Ben , why watch in the first place itself. I am not justifying indulging while watching , but to do away from unwholesome content ( whether or not there is subtle or gross mental proliferations occurring ) is very beneficial to the mind and well being . Hence , it is best to side step violence and graphics all together .

sanjay
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by Buckwheat » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:53 am

I was watching a movie a while ago and the love scene pretty much turned into pornography... I did not masturbate.

Also, even more to the point, last night I clicked over to site with nude ladies, but after a few minutes I realized that I did not need to be doing that and left without masturbating.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by Sanjay PS » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:24 am

Buckwheat wrote:I was watching a movie a while ago and the love scene pretty much turned into pornography... I did not masturbate.

Also, even more to the point, last night I clicked over to site with nude ladies, but after a few minutes I realized that I did not need to be doing that and left without masturbating.
one knows well, experiencing sensations with attachment , or experiencing sensations without attachment ; the mind oscillates within these two frames from time to time and from moment to moment . And we can find this happening continually in our day to day living , and also in others who have no idea of Dhamma .

Hence , do we perceive the likes of sensations or dislikes of sensations as a self going about in every day living . Sorry if it is
sounding insipid , but it is the truth of life and living .

sanjay
The Path of Dhamma

The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

U S.N. Goenka

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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by spiral » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:20 pm

When I was married I considered his porn use to be adultery. He knew how I felt and lied about his behavior prior to marrying me. Eventually his porn use was impossible to hide and he would make a point of telling me - telling me how he did not want me because he already got off. But that is a whole 'nuther issue.

:soap:

One of the things that horrifies me about pornography is the amount of suffering that the participants are involved in. There are many stories that come from both women and men who have left the "industry". I believe pornography to be exploitation of the abuse and pain and hopelessness of these people but I can't quote anything to back that up - there is just a feeling that the ultimate consequences are much larger than porn users want to know. The ex would silence me any time I said anything. Voluntary ignorance. And all in all I cannot imagine someone watching porn, cleaning up and then pulling out the zafu for an hour of meditation with any amount of sincerity. It is also worth mentioning that sex, and especially the "supersize" sex that can be obtained through online pornography floods the brain with dopamine just like alcohol and heroin and the dopamine receptors decrease in number because one does not need that much dopamine to be picked up and then there are not enough receptors to pick up "normal" amounts of dopamine so the amount of dopamine has to increase so one must use more of the intoxicant - in the case of pornography that often means increasing the amount of time spent or the level of stimulation - which often means viewing material which is increasingly more corrupt. While the dopamine stuff is not something I could "see" I certainly did experience the effects of porn use on him, on me, on others around us and on our marriage which did not survive. I don't see how something which can do so much harm to so many could be considered "skillfull" in any way.

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by Modus.Ponens » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:03 pm

lotus flower wrote:Hello all, :buddha1:

if someone watching porn then can it be adultery? ...
How could it be?! :shrug:

The Buddha, as far as I know, never admonished his lay followers to not think of other women/men, other than their spouse, when masturbating.

But something very important here is at play: men and women will never understand each other regarding this, so please don't bother arguing me with indignation. A lot of women get upset with their man when they masturbate to porn. And that's because male and female sexuality are very different. There have been studies about who could be "master of their domain" ( ;) ) for the longest. And women lasted far longer than men.

Plus, even though the following is almost impossible for most women to relate, it really is true. When a man cheats on his wife it is completely possible for him to truly love her and their relation be good. When a woman cheats on her husband either the love is gone, or is about to be gone.

Please understand that I am not encouraging any type of adultery. But the nature of the dynamic is this. So instead of getting mad at reality, work with it by recognising that men have these desires, despite the true love. Work with each other to find a constructive way to keep men from cheating.

PS: Don't bother replying with a flame of political correctness. I am giving my sincere opinion with good intentions.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Azramin
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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by Azramin » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:03 pm

With anything of this nature, what you make of it with your mind within the environment you're in determines the perceived nature of any given thing.

EG: My wife is Muslim and therefore doesn't eat pork. It's a cultural religious taboo. I have no belief that what you eat can defile your body. Psychologically if you do believe defilement can occur and you participate, then within your own mind you're pursuing something you believe to be damaging. Therefore your state of mind is negatively impacted. IE: You are knowingly creating bad karma for yourself.
That is to say you're knowingly committing a non-virtuous act.

To a certain degree this is the principal behind the Christian text. It is your intent versus actual deed that defines your nature. Action is merely a result of intent. At some point given strong enough intent it will lead to action. IE: Given the opportunity to actually commit adultery, somebody predisposed to doing so via intent would cease that opportunity with little thought or mindfulness. They've primed themselves to it with thought and intent.

Spiral illustrates another example of what I've outlined. Within her marriage her former husband was participating in something he understood to cause suffering to another. Spiral herself. Thus he created bad karma for himself.

I'm using the term karma based on my understanding that karma is cause and effect. Virtuous behaviour or non-virtuous.

Based on the comments posted by others condoning or condemning pornography I would say this.

When basic human nature is suppressed in some manner, it will find a way to express itself in an insidious manner.
When you first attempt to meditate your mind is like a wild elephant. With time and gentleness you tame the wild mind. You don't stop it thinking things when trying to meditate. You gently guide it back to the focus of meditation until it is calm and trained.

Within modern society via the efforts of many religions our basic human nature has been suppressed. It is therefore like a wild elephant out of control.
On the whole we suppress our sexual nature and indeed disconnect from our physical being by concealing our form in clothing and regarding certain parts of it with disdain.

Were this not the situation, pornography would have a difficult time arising. Young men would have little to no curiosity about the female form if nakedness were not forbidden in the majority of normal contexts.
People probably wouldn't have unhealthy sexual appetites if sex itself wasn't such a taboo subject and regarded in such an unbalanced way.

It's that this situation has arisen that pornography thrives. It's cause and effect. To express a Taoist concept it is the pendulum swinging from one extreme to another.

As such pornography is like pus in a fetid wound. We deny and suppress our basic carnal knowledge and this is the outcome. Sex is neither good nor bad. Like all things in ultimate reality it just is. What makes it one thing or another are the attributes, good or otherwise, that we assign it.
Truth doesn't require belief in order to be true. Only untruth relies on faith to survive.

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Re: watching porn can be adultery?

Post by Modus.Ponens » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:29 pm

Azramin wrote:(...)
Spiral illustrates another example of what I've outlined. Within her marriage her former husband was participating in something he understood to cause suffering to another. Spiral herself. Thus he created bad karma for himself.

I'm using the term karma based on my understanding that karma is cause and effect. Virtuous behaviour or non-virtuous.

(...)
Within modern society via the efforts of many religions our basic human nature has been suppressed. It is therefore like a wild elephant out of control.
On the whole we suppress our sexual nature and indeed disconnect from our physical being by concealing our form in clothing and regarding certain parts of it with disdain.

Were this not the situation, pornography would have a difficult time arising. Young men would have little to no curiosity about the female form if nakedness were not forbidden in the majority of normal contexts.
People probably wouldn't have unhealthy sexual appetites if sex itself wasn't such a taboo subject and regarded in such an unbalanced way.
I am obviously not criticising spiral for her role in the relation. Her husband was an abusive a**hole.

Regarding porn, what you say is not true. Female sexuality is far more repressed than men's _ or at least it was until just recently. And compared to women, men have a lot more interest in porn. There's a biological factor at play here and it's very strong and undeniable.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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