Author Topic: Buddhism, sexual desire, masturbation, guilt, ...  (Read 2913 times)


  • Member
    • Goenka
Buddhism, sexual desire, masturbation, guilt, ...
« on: January 26, 2018, 11:30:36 AM »
Hi folks,

This is something I've been struggling with for quite some time and am hoping to get some guidance from fellow travelers on the path. I had a long struggle with giving up my addiction to porn (some 1 year ago), and during a recent short retreat (3-day "Goenka") I came face to face with deep feelings of shame, guilt and self-hate linked with my sexual desire. I've been trying now to make sense of how I can overcome these negative feelings while at the same time abstain from giving in to sexual urges.

While I have fully overcome the porn addiction, I still struggle with (non-porn-assisted) masturbation. I tried looking up Buddhist guidance on masturbation (whether or not it is considered "sexual misconduct" and a violation of the precepts) but couldn't find anything conclusive. I want to ideally give up masturbation but not from a place of shame, guilt or self-hate. I want to overcome both - my need to masturbate and my negative feelings about my sexual desire.

Any help appreciated.



  • Member
    • Pali
Re: Buddhism, sexual desire, masturbation, guilt, ...
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 11:08:58 PM »
Hi Chin

I gave up sex with women before I found Buddhism due to a personal insight into the harmfulness of non-committed sex & non-committed relationship. But not masturbating was something that did not cross my mind (even though I cannot recall how prevalent masturbation was during that period of my life). All I can remember is I stopped masturbating when I walked into a Buddhist monastery during my travels around the world & both sleeping in a shared dormitory & discovering calmness in meditation naturally stopped masturbation. I have not masturbated since that time. I suppose the point I am sharing is I never intentionally attempted to stop masturbating so I cannot share any guidance from my life experience, apart from developing calmness in meditation.

However, if guidance is needed from the Buddhist scriptures, to stop masturbating, they instruct to view each woman as a 'mother', 'sister' or 'daughter'. Generally, a man will masturbate while thinking thoughts of sexual objection towards women, i.e., have an erotic fantasy that is without the Buddhist virtues of compassion & loving-kindness. Therefore, the Buddhist scriptures advise to view women as mothers, sisters & daughters rather than as sex objects.

This was said by the Blessed One who knows & sees, worthy and rightly self-awakened: 'Come now, monks: with regard to women who are old enough to be your mother, establish the attitude you would have toward your mother. With regard to women who are old enough to be your sister, establish the attitude you'd have toward a sister. With regard to women who are young enough to be your daughter, establish the attitude you'd have toward a daughter.' This is one reason, this is one cause, great king, why young monks — black-haired, endowed with the blessings of youth in the first stage of life — without having played with sensual pleasures nevertheless follow the lifelong chaste life, perfect & pure, and make it last their entire lives.


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