Did Buddha say any thing about sexual promiscuity?

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SarathW
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Did Buddha say any thing about sexual promiscuity?

Post by SarathW » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:57 am

I got the following reply for one of my posts in stack exchange.
What is your opinion on this?

==========
DN 31 states it is the duty of parents to arrange the marriage of their children; as occurred in India for thousands of years; probably until only very recently. Therefore, what place is there in Buddhism for “promiscuity”? In DN 31, it is clearly stated a sexual “liberal” or “rogue” is a bad or dangerous friend. As a Sri Lankan, you should know this. Sounds like you have been reading too many posts by dodgy Western monks on DW & SC. The suttas clearly state a Buddhist not only practises morality but speaks in praise of morality (SN 55.7)

https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/ques ... 1890#21890
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Dharmic
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Did Buddha say any thing about sexual promiscuity?

Post by Dharmic » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:12 am

SarathW wrote:I got the following reply for one of my posts in stack exchange.
What is your opinion on this?

==========
DN 31 states it is the duty of parents to arrange the marriage of their children; as occurred in India for thousands of years; probably until only very recently. Therefore, what place is there in Buddhism for “promiscuity”? In DN 31, it is clearly stated a sexual “liberal” or “rogue” is a bad or dangerous friend. As a Sri Lankan, you should know this. Sounds like you have been reading too many posts by dodgy Western monks on DW & SC. The suttas clearly state a Buddhist not only practises morality but speaks in praise of morality (SN 55.7)

https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/ques ... 1890#21890
Hi Sarath,

Whether they be Western,Eastern,Tibetan or from any place, no monk/nun/lay follower will encourage harmful sexual behavior.

From : Romantic Love
The Buddha had a deep enough understanding of the human heart to know that despite the many tribulations romantic love could bring, it was also a source of great happiness and a real benediction. He often spoke of what he called “the satisfaction and the dangers (assādañ ca ādīnava) in sensual pleasure” (M.I,85), of which romance and sex were the most significant. And there is satisfaction in romantic love – the wonderful feeling of being cherished and having someone to cherish, the companionship, the fun, the exhilaration of sex and the delight of sharing things. It can also nourish virtues such as loyalty, giving, unselfishness and patience.

The Buddha was also realistic enough to understand that whatever he said most people would fall in love and probably wish to marry. Therefore he encouraged his lay disciples to be responsible in their intimate relationships. The third of the Five Precepts, the rules of behaviour that all Buddhists undertake to live by, is the vow “I take the Precept to avoid sexual misconduct”. Although this precept is primarily about sexual behaviour it overlaps with romantic love because the two are so closely connected. Wrong sexual behaviour was, the Buddha said, intercourse with those under the guardianship of their parents, i.e. under-aged; those protected by Dhamma, i.e. monastics or those who had taken a vow of celibacy; those already married; those undergoing punishment, i.e. prisoners; or those bedecked in garlands, i.e. already engaged to be married (A.V,264). This does not mean that one already married will never fall in love with such people but it would be wrong from the Buddhist perspective to encourage and pursue such feelings. Romantic love should not be confused with dalliance (nandi or kāmarāga). There can be sex without love just as there can be love without sex. Some people have a strong appetite for sexual gratification and little or no interest in emotional involvement or long-term commitment. They may pretend to be emotionally attached to someone but only as a strategy to get more sex. The Buddha called this sort of thing “sport” (dava), perhaps similar to the Greek ludus, and is what we are talking about when we say that a particular person “sees love as a game.”
For detailed info. read this whole post : Buddhism, Weddings And Marriage

:anjali:
Aho! Buddho! Aho! Suddho! Aho! Saṃsuddhamānaso!
Aho! Aho! Mettāsindhu! Buddhaṃ taṃ paṇamāmyahaṃ!


Natthi me saraṅaṃ aññaṃ Buddho me saranaṃ varaṃ
For me there is no other refuge, the Buddha is my excellent refuge.

Warrior_monk1
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Did Buddha say any thing about sexual promiscuity?

Post by Warrior_monk1 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:40 pm

Dharmic wrote:
SarathW wrote:I got the following reply for one of my posts in stack exchange.
What is your opinion on this?

==========
DN 31 states it is the duty of parents to arrange the marriage of their children; as occurred in India for thousands of years; probably until only very recently. Therefore, what place is there in Buddhism for “promiscuity”? In DN 31, it is clearly stated a sexual “liberal” or “rogue” is a bad or dangerous friend. As a Sri Lankan, you should know this. Sounds like you have been reading too many posts by dodgy Western monks on DW & SC. The suttas clearly state a Buddhist not only practises morality but speaks in praise of morality (SN 55.7)

https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/ques ... 1890#21890
Hi Sarath,

Whether they be Western,Eastern,Tibetan or from any place, no monk/nun/lay follower will encourage harmful sexual behavior.

From : Romantic Love
The Buddha had a deep enough understanding of the human heart to know that despite the many tribulations romantic love could bring, it was also a source of great happiness and a real benediction. He often spoke of what he called “the satisfaction and the dangers (assādañ ca ādīnava) in sensual pleasure” (M.I,85), of which romance and sex were the most significant. And there is satisfaction in romantic love – the wonderful feeling of being cherished and having someone to cherish, the companionship, the fun, the exhilaration of sex and the delight of sharing things. It can also nourish virtues such as loyalty, giving, unselfishness and patience.

The Buddha was also realistic enough to understand that whatever he said most people would fall in love and probably wish to marry. Therefore he encouraged his lay disciples to be responsible in their intimate relationships. The third of the Five Precepts, the rules of behaviour that all Buddhists undertake to live by, is the vow “I take the Precept to avoid sexual misconduct”. Although this precept is primarily about sexual behaviour it overlaps with romantic love because the two are so closely connected. Wrong sexual behaviour was, the Buddha said, intercourse with those under the guardianship of their parents, i.e. under-aged; those protected by Dhamma, i.e. monastics or those who had taken a vow of celibacy; those already married; those undergoing punishment, i.e. prisoners; or those bedecked in garlands, i.e. already engaged to be married (A.V,264). This does not mean that one already married will never fall in love with such people but it would be wrong from the Buddhist perspective to encourage and pursue such feelings. Romantic love should not be confused with dalliance (nandi or kāmarāga). There can be sex without love just as there can be love without sex. Some people have a strong appetite for sexual gratification and little or no interest in emotional involvement or long-term commitment. They may pretend to be emotionally attached to someone but only as a strategy to get more sex. The Buddha called this sort of thing “sport” (dava), perhaps similar to the Greek ludus, and is what we are talking about when we say that a particular person “sees love as a game.”
For detailed info. read this whole post : Buddhism, Weddings And Marriage

:anjali:
That's truly beautiful. Thank you for your wise comment :anjali:

SarathW
Posts: 12740
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Did Buddha say any thing about sexual promiscuity?

Post by SarathW » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:55 pm

If some one goes to a sex worker, does it consider promiscuity? I am thinking about the sex workers and harems of kings used to have in Buddha’s time.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Dharmic
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Did Buddha say any thing about sexual promiscuity?

Post by Dharmic » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:39 am

Warrior_monk1 wrote: That's truly beautiful. Thank you for your wise comment :anjali:
Hi Warrior_monk1,

The portion I quoted is from one of the links. Both posts were written by Ven. Dhammika, all credit should go to the him. And I agree with you, both articles are good. :thumbsup:


SarathW wrote:If some one goes to a sex worker, does it consider promiscuity? I am thinking about the sex workers and harems of kings used to have in Buddha’s time.
Hi Sarath,

Ven.Dhammika mentions about this in his post, I hope you read it. ( I also checked three Buddhist encyclopedias I had access to, couldn't find anything about this. )

I'll say a few words about Kings.

I think Kings had harems because they had the power to do whatever they wanted. They could control people and had resources to sustain such lifestyles.

(To be clear - adultery is out of the picture, nobody supports it.)

In the case of multiple 'official' wives, there could be number of reasons. Sometimes it was for stability in the Kingdom. Suppose there are three neighboring countries and a King married daughters of both the neighbors then its like a peace deal. An alliance in this case is a preemptive measure to prevent wars and violence. Of course, it was not because of some great concern for peace, Kings did it mostly for protecting their thrones. In rare cases, if the first wife was infertile, to continue the dynasty another women would be married. Also having more wifes means having more children, chance of dynasty lasting would increase, even if one or more children passed away in battle, others would fill in.( I read this was one of the reasons why most families were bigger in the past than now. More children = free labor to work on farms etc. Life expectancy was low then. Due to lack of modern medicine many children used to die, due to sudden sickness or epidemics, before reaching adulthood.) In the Buddha's time it may have been ok to have more than one wife. We see things very differently today as norms and morals have changed. It seems that there was polyandry in some places but it was much less common than polygamy.


Having multiple spouses, apart from leading to issues such as jealously, fighting between spouses and step children etc., could result in legal complexities today. Say a person with two spouses suffered an accident and was declared brain dead. If one spouse agrees to end life supporting systems and the other spouse says to continue hospitalization, then whose decision should be considered? Same when it comes to property disputes and so on, the existing systems are barely able to do justice to one spouse relationship.

I've heard many arguments against and some even supporting sex work. In the past, I would have simply said one word - no, and explained I'm against it because it involves much exploitation and human trafficking. Still I oppose due to the same reasons. But there was an article, IIRC in the BBC, about a single mother who got into this because she had a disabled child who needed 24 x 7 assistance. No matter how hard she worked she couldn't afford a nurse to look after the child when she was away during the working hours. The only way she felt she could meet the high medical costs was by entering sex work. I don't want to get into this actually, you see - its a very complex issue. After reading about her I realized we mustn't simply judge other peoples lives. Its not all black and white, though we tend to see things in that way always. Does her action count or her intention?


Like all common people we have many desires, not just sexual but also for so many things, we like this food or don't like that food, prefer this type of dress or that type...... Buddhism is about moderation, it is the middle path. Like it is said somewhere in texts, "if the string is too tight it will snap, if it is too loose it wont play. If it is properly tuned then there is harmonious music."


Anyways all issues aside and I can only speak for myself, personally my vote is for a committed relationship like this :
The ideal Buddhist couple would be Nakulapitā and Nakulamātā who were devoted disciples of the Buddha and who had been happily married for many years. Once Nakulapitā told the Buddha in the presence of his wife: “Lord, ever since Nakulamātā was brought to my home when I was a mere boy and she a mere girl, I have never been unfaithful to her, not even in thought, let alone in body” (A.II,61).
On another occasion, Nakulamātā devotedly nursed her husband through a long illness, encouraging and reassuring him all the while. When the Buddha came to know of this, he said to Nakulapitā: “You have benefitted, good sir, you have greatly benefitted, in having Nakulamātā full of compassion for you, full of love, as your mentor and teacher” (anukampikā, atthakāmā, ovādikā, anusasikā, A.III,295-8). From the Buddhist perspective, these qualities would be the recipe for an enduring and enriching relationship; faithfulness, mutual love and compassion and being each other’s spiritual mentor and teacher.

:anjali:

P.S. You asked about promiscuity but I'm speaking in a tangential manner. It would be helpful if other members chip in with their understanding.
Aho! Buddho! Aho! Suddho! Aho! Saṃsuddhamānaso!
Aho! Aho! Mettāsindhu! Buddhaṃ taṃ paṇamāmyahaṃ!


Natthi me saraṅaṃ aññaṃ Buddho me saranaṃ varaṃ
For me there is no other refuge, the Buddha is my excellent refuge.

justindesilva
Posts: 1049
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Did Buddha say any thing about sexual promiscuity?

Post by justindesilva » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:15 am

No where in Buddhist texts one can find that sex is promiscuous or wrong. What is said by Lord Buddha or buddhism is that what's wrong or harmful in life is attachment or craving to 5 senses.
Lord budda explains in agganna sutta the evolution of beings in to genders as male or female is a result of over attachment to sensual attachments by beings.
The 3rd precept is an undertaking that sexual feelings will not be misused. Though a sentence has a greater meaning to the effect that attachments to sexual feelings will be controlled in spite of the extent of attachments.
Those who expect to reach the state of nirvana has to totally free oneself from sexual attachments.
Sex is a need for the world to go on and is meant as conditioned rebirth indirectly in paticca samuppada as rebirth is mentioned.
Hence I once again reiterate the fact that if at all is promiscuous it is not sex it is craving to the six senses.
Last edited by justindesilva on Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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