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Sex without attachment?

nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

Not in the sense of a one-night stand, but from the standpoint of Buddhist non-attachment. I would interpret this as being able to enjoy sex, but not craving it and seeking after it. Is this even possible? Or would a practitioner who achieves this just automatically become celibate?

Comments

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 2018

    @nakazcid said:
    Not in the sense of a one-night stand, but from the standpoint of Buddhist non-attachment. I would interpret this as being able to enjoy sex, but not craving it and seeking after it. Is this even possible? Or would a practitioner who achieves this just automatically become celibate?

    Some who identify as "Asexuals" fit this description

    "Some asexuals may be “repulsed” by sex, meaning they are personally averse to the idea of having sex themselves. Some are “indifferent”, meaning they do not mind having sex, despite experiencing no sexual attraction. The same variation exists in the non-asexual population: some sexual people are quite happy to have sex with someone they are not sexually attracted to, but for others this idea is unthinkable."

    Also @nakazcid non-attachment does not mean non enjoyment (sexual or other wise)...It just means not clinging to the experience which like all things is fleeting and will pass....

    Bunkskarasti
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes, it's possible. Momentary and fleeting enjoyment, gratitude for the experience, then back to the fetching water, chopping wood.

    Bunkskarasti
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    wanted to share what poped in my head about co-relationship or co-love.i dont want to be above you,i dont want to be below you,i want to be with you.

    sometimes i envy those in a relation.but the buddhist mindset,happy for others who has a companion,is good.

    ShoshinBunks
  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Veteran
    edited January 2018

    https://tinyurl.com/yd62n5f7
    You may find this link interesting. Not Buddhism technically but related even if controversial.
    I'd think though it is possible. Whether it happens a lot in reality is different though.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    It's definitely possible. One can even be in relationships and have children and respond with immense love and compassion without clinging. Not sayin' it's easy! But it's possible. It'll vary a lot by the person, too. Some people crave sex to a degree it's problematic for them. Others don't crave it at all. Most are in the middle somewhere. I am on the lower end, I find ovulation brings cravings but that is about it. We have a lot of affection and intimacy in many ways in our relationship, but sex just isn't a huge part of it. We enjoy and appreciate it when it happens but we've found a lot of enjoyment in other ways now that we're older.

  • @nakazcid said:
    Or would a practitioner who achieves this just automatically become celibate?

    According to MN 73, celibacy isn't automatic even for a person fitting the description of a stream-enterer.

    “Apart from Master Gotama, the monks and nuns, and the male [and female] lay followers clothed in white leading lives of celibacy, is there any male [or female] lay follower, Master Gotama’s disciple, clothed in white enjoying sensual pleasures, who carries out his instruction, responds to his advice, has gone beyond doubt, become free from perplexity, gained intrepidity, and become independent of others in the Teacher’s dispensation?”

    “There are not only one hundred … or five hundred, but far more male [and female] lay followers, my disciples, clothed in white enjoying sensual pleasures, who carry out my instruction….”

    Bunks
  • AmanakiAmanaki Norway Explorer
    edited January 20

    Living in a relationship and not being sexual active is not a problem as long both agree and understand that the spiritual aspect of life is more important.
    But not everyone will want to live like that.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited January 20

    @Amanaki said:
    Living in a relationship and not being sexual active is not a problem as long both agree and understand that the spiritual aspect of life is more important.
    But not everyone will want to live like that.

    There are countless millions of Incels who desperately wish that life could be so even-sided....

  • AmanakiAmanaki Norway Explorer

    I meant to say, Not everyone will live like this :) Just forgot the word Not, and that gave a totally different meaning to what i did mean to say...

  • ERoseERose Earth, North America, west. Explorer

    @federica "There are countless millions of Incels who desperately wish that life could be so even-sided..."

    Are there? The only uses of the term Incels which I have previously read described a very small subculture of men who express hatred of women denying them their "right" to penetrative sex/intercourse... often expressing this hate by verbal or behaviorial violence.

    Sincerely, please, expand my knowledge, of both numbers and characteristics of those who identify this way.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited January 20

    I am given to understand that of late, there is an increasing number of women, in middle- to late-middle-age whose sex drive is present and active who are with husbands or partners who have for medical reasons or other, gone off or are disinclined towards sex.
    Being an Incel is no longer a male prerogative or privilege.

  • ERoseERose Earth, North America, west. Explorer

    @federica this wikipedia page describes history of the term. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incel Apparently, the abbreviation derived from one woman's blogging/forum project. But the history is complicated. From that page, "she wrote, "Like a scientist who invented something that ended up being a weapon of war, I can't uninvent this word, nor restrict it to the nicer people who need it."[21] Alana expressed regret at the change in usage from her original intent of creating an "inclusive community" for men and women who were sexually deprived due to social awkwardness, marginalization, or mental illness". Most of the article describes Incels are extremists, angry and sometimes violent.

    Moving away from the specific term and its subcultures... The idea that anyone has a right to sex with others troubles me, partly because it seems a rather emphatic Self-centered view, and I believe Self is a delusion. Also, any coercion of physical intimacy seems monstrous to me. :) What is conditioning, and what is sila, I cannot say at this time. (To be clear, NewBuddhist community, that is not a request nor an invitation for any 'splainin.)

    Sex without attachment... I recalled reading in EBT (Early Buddhist Texts suttas) that it's impossible for sex to be devoid of passion; but that is different that attachment.

    I have found very interesting the work of an interdisciplinary team of scientists led by Dr. Helen Fisher at Rutgers; they believe romantic love can be broken down into three categories: lust, attraction, and attachment, each with its own set of hormones sweeping the body originating from the brain. Her TED Talks on this research https://www.ted.com/speakers/helen_fisher?language=en

    However... I am not a Materialist; and biology is a science of materialism... Here an essay and discussion of materialism by Ajahn Brahmali. https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/why-materialism-is-false/10221

    KeromeShoshinColinAlobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I don't think it's a question of having a right to sex. It's merely a question of missing it now it's gone.
    Insistence for the benefit of one's gratification/Ego, goes completely against the third precept.
    Those who for some reason or another, are not having sex when they would rather like it, are not insistent. They are nostalgic and feel unfulfilled, rejected and inadequate.

    Kundo
  • ERoseERose Earth, North America, west. Explorer

    I see nostalgia as attachment, as perhaps a mild expression of craving which creates and maybe cherishes suffering. I see the suffering as unfortunate. But some pains seem or are seen as sweet, because they are recollections of happiness and intimacies.

    May all be happy, peaceful, ultimately liberated from suffering - all suffering. May every life have blessings. Every life, it seems to me, has its own story or stories; may well being manifest in all.

    ShoshinColinA
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited January 20

    All emotions, feelings and weights upon the heart are an attachment. Half the battle in ridding one's self of the unskilful ones is to recognise them as such. But I think it's ok to have feelings (as we're discussing in another thread) as long as they do not control, overwhelm or drive you.
    Feelings are a precious human trait, and I for one would be disappointed if I were ever to conquer them to the extent that I'd be teflon-coated and indifferent to them.

    ColinAlobsterKundo
  • ERoseERose Earth, North America, west. Explorer

    :) Fundamentally agree.

    ColinA
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