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Pornography and mastubation

Just wondering what buddhism thinks of masturbation and pornography. I mean, we are all lay people, but at the same time we know that masturbation and pornography is not good for us, so what should we do as buddhists. I have to admit that I have done this, but I have been very confused since I don't think the venerables would have accepted this. So I would be very glad to have an answer on this difficult question.
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Comments

  • edited May 2010
    I for one dont think there is anything wrong with masterbation.
    Porn on the other hand could be problematic. I find it highly unlikely that the majority of the "performers" are happy with their situation.
  • thickpaperthickpaper Veteran
    edited May 2010
    shenpen nangwa;104962 said:
    I for one dont think there is anything wrong with masterbation.
    Porn on the other hand could be problematic.
    I find masturbation on the other hand could be problematic, but its an issue of dexterity not morality:p

    Moving on....
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2010
    sagara;104957 said:
    Just wondering what buddhism thinks of masturbation and pornography. I mean, we are all lay people, but at the same time we know that masturbation and pornography is not good for us, so what should we do as buddhists. I have to admit that I have done this, but I have been very confused since I don't think the venerables would have accepted this. So I would be very glad to have an answer on this difficult question.
    I imagine that the "venerables" would see this activity as a waste of time, as with most other sensual indulgences, but there's nothing inherently evil or wrong with it either. I'm sure that the "venerables" would advise us to find pleasure in more worthwhile activities such as cultivating things like mindfulness, compassion, loving-kindness, etc., but let's be honest, masturbating is a completely natural act and, as long as we aren't hurting anyone else in the process, we shouldn't feel bad if we indulge in it once in a while.
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran
    edited May 2010
    My view is pornography is something very delusional. It is not so much a matter of lust but one of delusion.

    Pornography does not represent the reality of what is required for happiness to exist and be maintained between people in general and between partners.

    The Buddha taught real sustaining love is friendship & kindness.

    Do we see friendship & kindness in pornography or behaviour that is often sadistic & centred on humiliation?

    How many pornographic actors have we read about that have major drug addictions or commited suicide?

    Pornography is a very strong beguilement. Little of lasting value can be found in it. Eventually, it just burns people out.

    Kind regards

    :)
  • edited May 2010
    As the old joke goes, masturbation is sex with someone you love. Unless you want to give up sex completely, I can't see any point in avoiding masturbation.

    As for porn, nobody knows what the majority of performers think of their job. I've talked to ex-prostitutes, strippers, transexuals, and other people whose sexual behavior is considered perverse, and they felt that the biggest problem they faced was attitudes of other people. In dealing with people you don't know much about, the fall back position for a Buddhist is to recognize that they are humans much like yourself. Or as someone once pointed out to me in a discussion about porn performers, the Buddha taught kindness.

    The only thing I'm going to say about looking at porn is that almost any response you have to it is going to be a fantasy. In some people these are fantasies that condemn and in others they are fantasies that indulge, but they are all fantasies. Anything involving sex seems to have this effect on people, and I've never met anyone who's immune.
  • edited May 2010
    You might learn something from this article.....

    Buddhist Sexual Ethics
    by Winton Higgins

    Buddhist Sexual Ethics » A Rejoinder
    Religious traditions help us to find our basic orientations in many aspects of our lives. The most important aspect of our lives is how we interact with others. Among other things, this means religions often have a lot to say about sexual ethics. What sexual ethics does Buddhism promote? In this area our tradition speaks more quietly than others, which can leave newcomers wondering if it addresses the subject at all. In fact it speaks quite firmly. In opening up the subject I'll highlight those questions that bear on the issues raised by various liberation movements - by the women's movement, by gays and lesbians, and by the smaller sexual minorities. I don't think I could be too wide off the mark in saying that all these movements whatever else they are about, are engaging with various forms of prejudice, and with violence and violations based on those prejudices.

    Prejudices against women and against sexual minorities are usually reinforced by certain standard features of social psychology, such as intolerance of difference and the often deep-seated insecurities of those who regard themselves as 'normal' but aren't quite sure. An important ingredient in this nasty little cocktail, however, is various forms of prejudice, inhibition and repression associated with theistic religious fundamentalism.

    Like all religions, Buddhism takes a strong ethical stand in human affairs and sexual behaviour in particular. The most common formulation of Buddhist ethics are the five precents:

    I undertake the training precept of:

    1. Refraining from harming living beings/practising loving kindness
    2. Refraining from taking the non-given/practising generosity
    3. Refraining from committing sexual misconduct/practising contentment
    4. Refraining from false speech/practising truthful communication
    5. Refraining from intoxicants/practising mindfulness.

    These precepts take the form of voluntary, personal undertakings. They are not commandments; there is no god in Buddhism, so none to issue any.

    The precepts express basic principles rather than fixed, legalistic rules that any one action falls inside or outside of. Like any non-fundamentalist ethical system, Buddhism provides us with general guiding principles while in no way relieving us of the obligation to make appropriate moral judgements in each morally significant situation we come across. Moral judgement is never a question of blindly applying a rule.


    the rest of the article is at......


    http://www.buddhanet.net/winton_s.htm




  • edited May 2010
    Hi Sagara,

    Start from where you are. Any kind of addiction will take time to break (think how much time it has taken to build up the addiction), so be patient with yourself.

    You could try the asubha meditations. If your mind begins to get negative you are probably doing too much asubha, balance it out with some Metta meditation.

    With Metta,

    Guy
  • lightwithinlightwithin Veteran
    edited May 2010
    I think that even good things can be overdone and overused. There is such a thing as too much masturbation. But I believe the upper limit is an individual thing each one has to decide for themselves.

    That said, if you find yourself doing it too often (according to your OWN limits, not societies or anyone else's), constantly obsessing over it, craving it badly and not able of controlling your urge to do it, then it would be safe to say you need to re-assess the neutrality and purity of your intentions.

    Masturbation and porn can become crippling addictions, just like any drug, and I've heard it's a really difficult addiction to overcome.

    The upper limit to the amount your masturbate, should be set by your own standards, but a clear attachment to pleasure of the senses can be easily seen in people who overdo it and rely on it as their sole method of sexual satisfaction.

    I agree that porn can be demeaning, violent and dehumanizing, but just like masturbation, as long as you use it wisely, it shouldn't become a huge hindrace in your path to a more wholesome life and spiritual clarity.
  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    edited May 2010
    I asked one of my teachers about this actually, wondering if it would ultimately delude my mind. His response was much like Dhama Dhatu's response, focusing on the reality we are observing in the porn movies. As far as a personal release, your body demands it. There have been chaste priests who suffer because of sexual dreams where they have emissions... and they have to come to terms with it. So to speak.

    I would look first into why and how you have decided it is wrong, and go from there. Certainly there are lots of potential hooks when examining sexual actions.

    With warmth (and washed hands),

    Matt
  • lightwithinlightwithin Veteran
    edited May 2010
    aMatt;105040 said:
    As far as a personal release, your body demands it.
    This is very true. Our sexual side as humans is there no matter what we do to deny it and keep it at bay.
    There have been chaste priests who suffer because of sexual dreams where they have emissions... and they have to come to terms with it. So to speak.
    This seems like undue suffering over something you can't even control. I'd tell those priests to enjoy the dreams and stay chaste in their waking life. haha.
  • edited May 2010
    This seems like undue suffering over something you can't even control. I'd tell those priests to enjoy the dreams and stay chaste in their waking life. haha.
    I'd tell them to practice meditation and to find happiness which is not dependent on the five senses.
  • lightwithinlightwithin Veteran
    edited May 2010
    GuyC;105048 said:
    I'd tell them to practice meditation and to find happiness which is not dependent on the five senses.
    That seems like much better advice. I was merely speaking from my heavily leaning mind.
  • edited May 2010
    Masturbation and pornography are deluded gene of improper teachings from the society that has etched in the mind. It still need the proper gene on bliss of essence mind to take root - train your mind.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited May 2010
    You're implying therefore that masturbation is improper behaviour....

    What's improper about masturbation?

    I think you're adding your own prejudices here. There is nothing improper about it at all.
    It is an attachment, as with anything else, but there is nothing anywhere in Buddhist teachings that informs us it is improper.
    Please whatever calling you purport to follow, don't start moralising and casting judgemental attitudes.
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited May 2010
    sagara;104957 said:
    Just wondering what buddhism thinks of masturbation and pornography.
    Not so much Buddhist or any religions advice but it is common sense that pornography is poison to your mental stability and peace. It is as destructive as drugs.

    As DD said, look at what pornography promotes. Look at the reality and the corruption of the entire industry and how it is linked with suicide, drugs, discrimination, violence and criminality. If only brings you the type of pleasure that a scratching wound brings when you start scratching it. At the end of the day your overall mental health will be that of a fresh bleeding wound causing you suffeirng in all kinds of ways.
  • edited May 2010
    Methinks Sagara was already here but had to create a new alias just to admit to masturbation. ;) It's okay Sagara, you're among friends.

    Masturbation and pornography is no different than any other attachment. When your understanding increases, you will put such things aside. Just... don't think it will be soon. Not until the third stage of enlightenment is all sexual desire extinguished. It's built-in to propagate the species. You could in this way say that full enlightenment is unnatural, as it removes this drive, but if it's your goal it's your goal. As it turns out, you may not have any choice in the matter.
  • edited May 2010
    So you are therefore implying that venerable masters is wrong to maintain a blissful samadhi mind and actions free from masturbation behavior?
    Regarding excessive sex (with partner) or masturbation, it is highly vata - pitta disturbing and depletes ojas more than any other human activity. Thich Nhat Hahn calls this moderation and control of sexual desire the “Third Mindfulness Training: Sexual Responsibility”
    Those who ruin their bodies through masturbation—even if they don't engage in sexual misconduct with others - Master Hsuan Hua.

    Prahlad Jani is under 24-hour observation at a hospital in Ahmedabad, India. He says he has fasted for 70 years, but his claim may be impossible to verify.

    Jani is under 24-hour observation at the Sterling Hospital in Ahmedabad by scientists working with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India's defense research agency, and other medical doctors. Jani is not eating or drinking anything during his hospital stay, while doctors monitor his condition.
    http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/afrikan-wholistic-health/42104-prahlad-jani-has-lived-70-years-without-eating-drinking.html
  • edited May 2010
    Are you talking to me? I wasn't implying such. I was under the impression it was from the lay viewpoint, and not the monastic one, that the question was asked. All attachments will eventually lose out to wisdom of their reality as the means of suffering.
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Stephen;105100 said:
    Not until the third stage of enlightenment is all sexual desire extinguished.
    The Buddha advised a stream-enter has excellent, near perfect sila.

    There is a canyon of difference between the trifling & rare sexual desire of the first & second stages of enlightenment and partaking in sexual actions.

    Your are inferring beings in the first & second stages of enlightenment watch pornography and masturbate.

    This thread is about harming & non-harming actions (karma). Pornography is something that can cause harm & addiction in some people.

    The subject matter is not connected to enlightenment in any way, shape or form.

    :)
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited May 2010
    GuyC;105048 said:
    I'd tell them to practice meditation and to find happiness which is not dependent on the five senses.
    You forgot the 6th sense.
    :)

    Ever wonder why there is almost universal agreement that the porn industry is considered exploitative and has a propensity to attract those with unskillful tendencies.
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Deshy;105092 said:
    Not so much Buddhist or any religions advice but it is common sense that pornography is poison to your mental stability and peace. It is as destructive as drugs.
    I think I agree with you and if someone could elaborate that would be great.
  • thickpaperthickpaper Veteran
    edited May 2010
    ...but it is common sense that pornography is poison to your mental stability and peace. It is as destructive as drugs.
    That is a bold claim. For some people, and some pornography, it is certainly true, but not for all.

    Sure, masturbation is not diligent Dharma practice however you wrap it up. But nor is reading a novel, having friends round for dinner or playing beach volleyball.

    The precepts (that, as been said, don't mention onanistic pursuits) are not judgements or rules but teachings about the reduction of suffering and the path to enlightenment.

    namaste
  • edited May 2010
    pegembara;105151 said:
    You forgot the 6th sense.
    :)
    The happiness of the mind (6th sense) is the happiness we should pursue through meditation (i.e. Samma-Samadhi). It is the other senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) that we should not indulge in.
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited May 2010
    GuyC;105170 said:
    The happiness of the mind (6th sense) is the happiness we should pursue through meditation (i.e. Samma-Samadhi). It is the other senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) that we should not indulge in.
    Can one indulge in fantasies?
  • edited May 2010
    Fantasies are usually about the five senses. I wouldn't recommend it.
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited May 2010
    GuyC;105173 said:
    Fantasies are usually about the five senses. I wouldn't recommend it.
    Even if they are not about the five senses they are not to be indulged in.
  • edited May 2010
    To each thing take up the question: Why do I do this? What drives this thought, this action? Is it a desire? If so, what is it that desires? What is desire in the first place? What causes it to be?

    Actually that's a lot to ask. You get the picture though. :) Or not. Yeah, that's confusing. Read on then...

    If there is something that you do because you want to, because it fulfills a desire, yet it does not lead anywhere (is repeated only for the sake of itself, to fulfill that desire)... consider that it is not a skillful act that will lead to wholesome results.

    Almost everything that we do in this societal structure is based on self-centered desire. That which we do for entertainment is of the self. That which we do to satiate the senses... of foods we "prefer", shows, sex... is of the self. Indeed it is difficult to find anything that is not driven by this self, which through proper examination reveals itself as a false self; a Non-Self.

    If we understand this Non-Self concept more fully, we can answer questions such as this one about porn/masturbation from that knowledge; it is all built upon the same foundation.
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited May 2010
    First there is wanting and not wanting, then there is the I making. No wants, no intentions, no selfing.
  • edited May 2010
    I don't think there is anything wrong with masturbation so long as you are fantasizing about moral behaviors/situations. I wouldn't condone someone who is masturbating while thinking about choking a hooker. But for an individual to close their eyes and think about their wife who is on a business trip... Why not?

    But I agree with whoever said that pornography is delusional. Most porn films do not depict real life situations or even real girls for that matter. I've dated almost ten different girls, and trust me, none of them resembled porn stars! Nor did any of them want to be treated like porn stars.

    image
  • edited May 2010
    Whenever this hand starts to..... move there. I bite it as hard as I can and stamp my foot on the ground. Usually after about forty-five minute of this, the urge passes.


    But seriously.... Awareness really takes the allure out of Spanking the monkey. Masturbation is a half-light thing.


    Pornography makes me queazy, by how it portrays women as just dying to get men off, and also by what I have seen it evoke in me.
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited May 2010
    shanyin;105153 said:
    I think I agree with you and if someone could elaborate that would be great.
    Try Google ;)

    Here are obvious ones:

    1) Addiction
    2) Pedophilia/rape/sexual harassment (It seems that most criminals who commit such offenses are porn addicts)
    3) Drugs, alcoholism
    4) Objectification and discrimination of the subjects of your fantasy

    More subtle ones:

    [LIST=1]
    [*] Voyeurism — An obsession with looking at women rather than interacting with them. Brooks contends that the explosion in glorification and objectification of women's bodies promotes unreal images of women, distorts physical reality, creates an obsession with visual stimulation and trivializes all other mature features of a healthy psychosexual relationship.
    [*] Objectification — An attitude in which women are objects rated by size, shape and harmony of body parts. Brooks asserts that if a man spends most of his emotional energy on sexual fantasies about inaccessible people, he frequently will not be available for even the most intimate emotional and sexual moments with his partner.
    [*] Validation — The need to validate masculinity through beautiful women. According to Brooks, the women who meet centerfold standards only retain their power as along as they maintain perfect bodies and the leverage of mystery and unavailability. And the great majority of men who never come close to sex with their dream woman are left feeling cheated or unmanly.
    [*] Trophyism — The idea that beautiful women are collectibles who show the world who a man is. Brooks asserts that the women's-bodies-as-trophies mentality, damaging enough in adolescence, becomes even more destructive in adulthood. Furthermore, trophies, once they are won, are supposed to become the property of the winner, a permanent physical symbol of accomplishment and worthiness. This cannot be so with women's bodies.
    [*] Fear of true intimacy — Inability to relate to women in an honest and intimate way despite deep loneliness. Pornography pays scant attention to men's needs for sensuality and intimacy while exalting their sexual needs. Thus, some men develop a preoccupation with sexuality, which powerfully handicaps their capacity for emotionally intimate relationships with men and for nonsexual relationships with women.
    [/LIST]
    Here

  • edited May 2010
    Bees make honey and wasps make paper yet no-one knows or wants to know what flies make.

    Do you really want an answer to this question?
  • thickpaperthickpaper Veteran
    edited May 2010
    sambodhi;105186 said:
    Most porn films do not depict real life situations or even real girls for that matter...."
    I often come home to find that two burly delivery men are delivering my neigbour's new washing machine and one thing leads to another and.... OMG! YES!
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Stephen;105177 said:
    If we understand this Non-Self concept more fully, we can answer questions such as this one about porn/masturbation from that knowledge; it is all built upon the same foundation.
    This matter is on the level of sila rather than anatta.

    :smilec:
  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator
    edited May 2010
    Wilfred;105085 said:
    Masturbation and pornography are deluded gene of improper teachings from the society that has etched in the mind. It still need the proper gene on bliss of essence mind to take root - train your mind.
    Seriously, are you using Google Translate? That wasn't even coherent.
  • edited May 2010
    I really dont know.I would think that porn comes under wrong living,therefore to watch porn may be seen as supporting wrong living.While it may be true that some porn stars are happy to be in these movies I believe that many are forced into this,either by human traffikers,drug addiction,debt or what ever.
    As for masturbation,I am not sure that buddhism frowns upon it as such,unless you are a monk,in which case it is a no no.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited May 2010
    No, I think Babblefish......
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Isn't resisting the pull of desire part of right intention? Part of the eightfold path not be hedonistic?
  • edited May 2010
    Before the act, it is a good example of desire. After the act, it is a good example of release and extinguishing the desire. I know when I'm done, I no longer desire it anymore. :)
  • thickpaperthickpaper Veteran
    edited May 2010
    shanyin;105591 said:
    Part of the eightfold path not be hedonistic?
    I don't think the Buddha could have been against "fun" in itself, rather against the attachment to fun (or anything) because, as is shown, it is self-defeating in the end.

    I love the fact the Dalai Lama is a fun guy, rather than some grumpy curmudgeon...
  • edited May 2010
    Transmetaphysical;105594 said:
    Before the act, it is a good example of desire. After the act, it is a good example of release and extinguishing the desire. I know when I'm done, I no longer desire it anymore. :)
    ...for now...but by following through with the desire this time you are further conditioning yourself to be more prone to repeat the same act again and again in the future.

    It is also possible, with mindfulness, for a desire to arise and to cease without acting on it.
  • lightwithinlightwithin Veteran
    edited May 2010
    GuyC;105625 said:
    ...for now...but by following through with the desire this time you are further conditioning yourself to be more prone to repeat the same act again and again in the future.
    Agreed.
    It is also possible, with mindfulness, for a desire to arise and to cease without acting on it.
    Of course it's possible, nobody said it wasn't. But it damn sure ain't easy to accomplish.
  • nakazcidnakazcid Explorer
    edited May 2010
    Not saying I agree, but the wikipedia entry on the 14th Dalai Lama attributes this quote on homosexuality and masturbation to him:

    "Buddhist sexual proscriptions ban homosexual activity and heterosexual sex through orifices other than the vagina, including masturbation or other sexual activity with the hand... From a Buddhist point of view, lesbian and gay sex is generally considered sexual misconduct".

    According to the footnote, the quote is from "Dalai Lama Urges 'Respect, Compassion, and Full Human Rights for All', including Gays." Conkin, Dennis. Bay Area Reporter, 19 June 1997

    Personally, I think that masturbation does not violate the third precept since I can't see where any exploitation or harm is occurring. I suppose you could argue that you are harming yourself, but that seems a stretch. Pornography is a whole other kettle of fish. Perhaps one could come out of making a porn flick without being exploited or harmed, but I doubt it.
  • edited May 2010
    I saw an interview with Sharon Mitchell recently. She was a porn performer for almost twenty years and performed in, quite literally, thousands of porn films. In the interview she talked about how exited she was the first time she saw her vagina sixteen feet high on a movie screen. This was back when it took more than a year after shooting was finished before the editing and other post production work was finished and a porn film could be released. So by the time she saw herself, she done a number of other porn films.

    Like any other entertainment business, porn producers get their performers mostly from agencies. The agents that represent porn performers get so many girls coming into their offices that want to go into porn that the agents are turning them away. The pay is good and there's a certain amount of short lived fame. A lot of people find that attractive.

    Generally, performers are rather ordinary people whose attitude towards sex is different from yours or mine. I've gradually come to the realization that, to paraphrase Haldane, other peoples' sex lives are not only queerer than I imagine, but possibly queerer than I can imagine. That doesn't make them whores or idiots or mean that they're being exploited. It does mean that I have to avoid assuming that my sexual behavior is normative and everyone else's is pathological.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2010
    nakazcid;105755 said:
    Not saying I agree, but the wikipedia entry on the 14th Dalai Lama attributes this quote on homosexuality and masturbation to him:

    "Buddhist sexual proscriptions ban homosexual activity and heterosexual sex through orifices other than the vagina, including masturbation or other sexual activity with the hand... From a Buddhist point of view, lesbian and gay sex is generally considered sexual misconduct".

    According to the footnote, the quote is from "Dalai Lama Urges 'Respect, Compassion, and Full Human Rights for All', including Gays." Conkin, Dennis. Bay Area Reporter, 19 June 1997

    Personally, I think that masturbation does not violate the third precept since I can't see where any exploitation or harm is occurring. I suppose you could argue that you are harming yourself, but that seems a stretch. Pornography is a whole other kettle of fish. Perhaps one could come out of making a porn flick without being exploited or harmed, but I doubt it.
    To begin with, it should be made clear that Buddhist precepts aren't equivalent to commandments in that precepts are training rules that are voluntarily undertaken rather than edicts or commands dictated by a higher power and/or authority. In essence, these precepts are undertaken to protect oneself, as well as others, from the results of unskillful actions. Actions are considered unskillful when they arise out of the mental defilements of greed, hatred and delusion and lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others or to both (MN 61).

    In regard to Buddhist sexual ethics, the third precept states: "I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct." This, of course, will naturally lead one to the question, What is the definition of sexual misconduct? To answer that question, however, we must take into account the other four precepts. The five precepts are an integrated whole, and each precept helps to support the others. The other four precepts are (1) to refrain from harming living beings, (2) to refrain from taking what's not given, (3) to refrain from false speech and (4) to refrain from taking intoxicants that lead to carelessness.

    Therefore, generally speaking, we can say that sexual misconduct consists of any sexual conduct that involves violence, manipulation and/or deceit. As the Ven. S. Dhammika elaborates, "If we use trickery, emotional blackmail or force to compel someone to have sex with us, then this is sexual misconduct. Adultery is also a form of sexual misconduct because when we marry we promise our spouse that we will be loyal to them. When we commit adultery we break that promise and betray that trust. Sex should be an expression of love and intimacy between two people and when it is it contributes to our mental and emotional well-being."

    To summarize, from what I've been taught by my teachers, as well as from what I've read in the suttas, sexual misconduct includes any sexual activity that leads to self-affliction, to the affliction of others or to both, or that involves any person who's already in a committed relationship (e.g., engaged, married, etc.), protected by law (e.g., under age, etc.) or under religious vows entailing celibacy (e.g., monks, nuns, etc.). Hence in Theravada, sex between consenting persons of legal age who aren't already in committed relationships and haven't taken vows of celibacy isn't considered misconduct.

    In regard to anal and oral sex, there's a prohibition against sex concerning "inappropriate orifices" (i.e. anal and oral) that can be found in Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakosabhasyam, as well as a few other Sarvastivadin texts, but there's no such prohibition found in any Theravadin source. The same goes for masturbation. These were most likely introduced by later commentators such as Vasubandhu.

    Personally, I think that a lot of the views concerning marriage and sex are influenced more by cultural, religious and social norms than by any universal constant. And regardless of what any tradition of Buddhism has to say about, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with sex or masturbation; although I do think that strong sexual desires can cause discomfort in the mind when in deep states of concentration, and can actually make it difficult to develop more refined states of mind in the first place.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2010
    RenGalskap;105815 said:
    I saw an interview with Sharon Mitchell recently. She was a porn performer for almost twenty years and performed in, quite literally, thousands of porn films. In the interview she talked about how exited she was the first time she saw her vagina sixteen feet high on a movie screen. This was back when it took more than a year after shooting was finished before the editing and other post production work was finished and a porn film could be released. So by the time she saw herself, she done a number of other porn films.

    Like any other entertainment business, porn producers get their performers mostly from agencies. The agents that represent porn performers get so many girls coming into their offices that want to go into porn that the agents are turning them away. The pay is good and there's a certain amount of short lived fame. A lot of people find that attractive.

    Generally, performers are rather ordinary people whose attitude towards sex is different from yours or mine. I've gradually come to the realization that, to paraphrase Haldane, other peoples' sex lives are not only queerer than I imagine, but possibly queerer than I can imagine. That doesn't make them whores or idiots or mean that they're being exploited. It does mean that I have to avoid assuming that my sexual behavior is normative and everyone else's is pathological.
    Excellent point. Some people just really enjoy having sex and don't mind being paid to have it.
  • edited May 2010
    Wilfred;105119 said:
    Jani is under 24-hour observation at the Sterling Hospital in Ahmedabad by scientists working with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India's defense research agency, and other medical doctors. Jani is not eating or drinking anything during his hospital stay, while doctors monitor his condition.
    http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/afrikan-wholistic-health/42104-prahlad-jani-has-lived-70-years-without-eating-drinking.html
    Ive seen this guy and read the article on a previous occaision. He's not exactly a happy looking fellow. I'd be more likely to tread the path of someone with a smile in their eyes like TNH.
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran
    edited May 2010
    RenGalskap;105815 said:
    I saw an interview with Sharon Mitchell recently. She was a porn performer for almost twenty years and performed in, quite literally, thousands of porn films.
    Sounds like the lady is still advertising for financial reasons.

    If she really gained happiness from her porno work, would she have been a heroin addict and spent these years in a "blackout"?
    As an erotic performer, Miss Mitchell was a soft butch lesbian. She also performed sex scenes with men (often as part of a bisexual threesome with another female performer), but this was usually in her early career. She contracted herpes, chlamydia and trichomoniasis during her career.

    During her adult work, Mitchell was addicted to heroin for about two decades, a habit which she eventually overcame. She contracted hepatitis from needle use. She subsequently referred to her 16-year addiction to heroin as her "blackout years."

    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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  • edited May 2010
    Dhamma Dhatu;105830 said:
    Sounds like the lady is still advertising for financial reasons.
    I'm not sure what you mean by that, but she founded and runs AIM, a non-profit that provides medical services. She has a Ph.D. and appears to be supporting herself.
    Dhamma Dhatu;105830 said:
    If she really gained happiness from her porno work, would she have been a heroin addict and spent these years in a "blackout"?
    Do you have some evidence that that her addiction was linked to porn? I know about her only because of her work with AIM, so perhaps you know something I don't. When she talks about her career in porn, she gives no indication that she felt exploited or that she thinks she was harmed by it. She still seems to view it as a legitimate way of earning a living.

    Drug abuse is very common in the west among all socio-economic classes. Middle class users make up an important part of the drug market in the US. Unless you have specific information, there's no reason to assume that her drug use was linked to her job any more than drug use is linked to bookkeeping or computer programming. She's quite upfront about both her addiction and her porn career, and I'm not aware that she's indicated a link between them.
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran
    edited May 2010
    The Buddha recommended to refrain from intoxicants.

    Why? The mind-heart becomes spiritually disconnected.

    As for her heroin, who knows?

    Possibly being off her face in a heroin stupor & disconnected from her mind whilst doing it may have saved her alot of trouble.

    :smilec:
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