Author Topic: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma  (Read 884 times)

Chaska

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  • Practicing vipassana meditation 🧘🏼‍♀️
    • Vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka
Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« on: February 23, 2020, 05:26:35 AM »
Hello Dhamma sisters and brothers

I am in a difficult time right now and I am asking here to have some guidance or to hear about some of your experiences regarding couple relationship sex and Dhamma.

Context: I have a boyfriend for about 3 years now. He practices meditation with me we sat 2 vipassana and I feel grateful to have him in my life but sometimes I don’t have libido for him anymore. We live in two different countries which doesn’t help.
I am very attracted to other people (sexually speaking) women or men and sometimes I have movies in my head - I do play games because the urge is so strong from time to time but never breaking the sila (I mean not physically but for sure mentally I broke it).

It’s very hard for me and I am asking myself « am I normal? What’s wrong with me? » I told my boyfriend about it and he has hard time to understand as he doesn’t face this kind of urge (he said he only wants to have sex with me - which make me feel guilty because I do not feel the same way).

I don’t know what I should do.
Would you say open relationship and having sex with other people while being honest about it is still wrong? Or would you say I should try meditate more and more to observe the passion dissolving?

I am very confused as recently a friend of mine ask me out, I know it can be “dangerous” to accept and now I don’t know what I should do. I don’t want to hurt anyone and myself included.

Please if anyone as an experience that can relate or somehow help I would be so grateful to read it.

Thanks a lot this community is so helpful for me in difficult times.

With kindness

Chaska
My life is a stepping stone for something bigger

nicktw

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Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2020, 09:43:49 AM »
I see you have practice in the Goenka system. He answers this question a few different ways here..  I can't post the link but you can Google this: A-store-house-of-answers-by-Shri-S-N-Goenka#what-is-the-difference-between-right-and-wrong-sexual-conduct-is-it-a-question-of-volition-



Quote
Mr. S. N. Goenka: No. Sex has a proper place in the life of a householder. It should not be forcibly suppressed, because a forced celibacy produces tensions which create more problems, more difficulties. However, if you give free licence to the sexual urge, and allow yourself to have sexual relations with anyone whenever passion arises, then you can never free your mind of passion. Avoiding these two equally dangerous extremes, Dhamma offers a middle path, a healthy expression of sexuality which still permits spiritual development, and that is sexual relations between two persons who are committed to each other. And if your partner is also a Vipassana meditator, whenever passion arises you both observe it, at the level of bodily sensations as Vipassana trains you to do. This is neither suppression nor free licence. By observing you can easily free yourself of passion. At times a couple will have sexual relations, but gradually they develop towards the stage in which sex has no meaning at all. This is the stage of real, natural celibacy, when not even a thought of passion arises in the mind. This celibacy gives a joy far greater than any sexual satisfaction. Always one feels so contended, so harmonious. One must learn to experience this real happiness.

I feel your situation. In my experience it is usually the man that feels like this and the woman is normally content with just one partner. If there was a pill I could take to cut off all libido I would probably take it. Maybe that pill is more practice? About 10 years ago I chose to be celibate nearly 2 years but mentally it was quite destructive as I was constantly giving myself a hard time for lustful thoughts and occasional self action. I even started to look into tantric sex things to give the sexual focus a different meaning. And looked into non monogomous relationships.

Currently I'm with a partner but we will be separating in 4 months, then I have to make the decision of getting into another sexual relationship or not. Luckily the older I get the less I feel the need for it.

Hope you find your way.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 04:03:33 PM by Matthew »

raushan

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Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2020, 06:51:16 PM »
From my experience repressing sex has never worked out for better. It should come from the understanding. I am not relationship expert so take it as a grain of salt. 
Yeah to be honest with him seems better option than to be dishonest.

Also today's society is lot different than Buddha's society.  So, I don't think there is any definite answer. Ask yourself before taking any step how would you feel if someone else do to you. If seems alright to you then go ahead.

As far as Goenka retreat is concerned I felt that he suggest to have single partner at a time.

Chaska

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    • Vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka
Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2020, 06:52:44 PM »
Thanks Nick
It helped a lot

I meditate more today and yesterday night.
I found myself sooo agitated. With a lot of movies and pleasurable sensations. It was way more difficult for sure to get over it than the painful ones.
I guess I realize that wanting to have sex with someone else than my partner is purely passion and it is not for the person but for the sake of sex and that it is a bottom less box. I felt the waves of craving for sending a text for example and the aversion not receiving a reply (which never happen with my current boyfriend because it is not based on passion).
I then decided to let go of that possibility (polyamory life) because if i do have strong urge for romantic relationship it means I do have Sankara of passion and by indulging I might just keep on reinforcing the bad habits.
Tho during the time I am into the passion state my mind say the complete opposite and it is so difficult to see things clearly. I can tell myself totally crazy things such as “‘maybe I can do it (have sex with that friend of mine) and just broke up with my bf if he is not ready for a open relationship // or I am built that way so it’s just normal for me, I should not live fully and not let  this kind of opportunities go away” this seems
Like  a lot of b***** but in the moment it seems soooo réal I cannot make the difference.

I do hope I will be able to see the men I like (physically and mentally speaking)!with a more kind and compassionate love than seeing then as potential romantic partner. Because it is very exhausting and it feels sad sometimes or I do feel weird.

Regarding your choice of celibacy I think your reflection is very interesting and for sure the middle path looked like a better alternative for your mind.
I also found interesting your point regarding libido and how you will enjoy having a pill that could suppress it. I think I do have attachement to that sensation (of passion arising) and I do want to in a way keep it in my current relationship. Probably because I have the belief that without the libido I might put in danger my couple...

Difficult subject indeed :)


@Raushan
It’s a great poing regarding “how do I feel if my boyfriend will do the same” I guess I would be hurt but in the same time i enjoy the fact of not “possessing” his sexuality. So it’s a hard choice. I do want to give a try to polyamory but for the reason I mention earlier I think it’s a dangerous way in a sense than the intention are not wholesome in my heart (as I am not about wishing love to someone but wanted to have pleasure with them). So probably I should just give up the idea.
Thanks for the comment
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 06:56:06 PM by Chaska »
My life is a stepping stone for something bigger

Matthew

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Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2020, 09:11:18 PM »
Quote
...  but for the sake of sex and that it is a bottom less box

This bottomless box can be investigated in your practice to see where the feelings arise from and go to. Without suppressing your sexuality, it's worth investigating.

You used the word passion a lot. The etymology (root) of that word is interesting. It comes from Latin passare - "to suffer", the same as the word patient (as in somebody who is unwell). Hence the "Passion of Christ": his suffering.

Being clear and upfront with your partner, whatever decisions you make, is the wholesome moral attitude. You will not have to worry about your feelings and actions if you follow this.

Celibacy is interesting. The first month's and years the habituated mind and natural born instincts can raise themselves strongly in the mind. Then one begins to conquer these arisings through letting go and self examination/understanding/insight. But it's not for everyone. You are living the householders' life, not the monastic life 🙂
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Siddharth

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Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2020, 03:37:05 AM »
Your boyfriend's exclusive desire for sexual relations can also be his psychological structure not open to register attraction he might have for other people. This can be rooted in the fundamental conditioning of what a relationship means to him...
What I mean to say is that we are all suppressing a lot inside us, which manifests clearly to us only when we are able to take it with some minimum degree of equanimity. Thus giving too much weightage to the fact that your boyfriend does not feel sexual attraction towards anyone else but you can be a mistake. It is quite possible that he is just not ready to realise when he does that himself..

I am not blaming him or anyone here, just pointing out the possibility of self deception which is present at some level in everyone who is not enlightened..

Overall guilt is something which should be probed in deeply as it can open pathways to understanding our deep insecurities and cravings/attachment.

Regards and Metta,
Siddharth
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

nicktw

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Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 05:22:12 AM »
Before I decided to be celibate, I was at my purest I guess. Whenever I slept with my then partner I would feel physically sick. I would put the books with my teachings in a draw. I would feel sad for the loss of life in ejaculation. The decision then was easier to stop, but it came from within. It was guided by teachings about sex outside of marriage etc but my understanding was not just words words in a book, but something that truly came from within. At the time, when I met someone who was also spiritually pure,with a similar understanding, the thought of sleeping with them was abhorrent. The thought of pulling them out of a pure state and potentially causing them to lose their way was enough not to act on my feelings.
Maybe your friend is not in the dharma so you feel safer about fantasies with him.  How do you feel about it if you imagine him as a pure spiritual being, or a God sent to test you?
I think it's very hard to stop a fantasy thought train. I think psychological NLP techniques such as PatternIinterrupt are more suited in this context. It seems you don't really want to indulge in this act? Or you need to have a good think about coming up with a clear answer. Of you don't want to then think about the reasons why you don't and then magnify them 10times. Come up with a mental image that is so strong it will out an end to any of the thinking. Check and change your body posture. Change your location. What are you doing when thinking? Change that. Create an internal guardian against the thinking. There are lots of ways. But you need to know and be sure about" yes I want to do it or no I don't"

Mert

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Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2020, 04:33:09 PM »
There’s a saying which comes through long generations, “Gözden ırak olan gönülden de ırak olur” translated as “Out of sight, out of heart”, with high probability, the solution is to get together permanently or break it off to grow in life separately.

What makes you suffer might be your attachment to your emotions, which makes you drive further from monogamy.

Desktop User

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Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2020, 10:05:40 PM »
sounds like he needs to become mysterious, emotionally strong, masculine etc to re ignite that spark, esp mystery, or danger wo things like this u can unfortunately lose passion

Desktop User

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Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2020, 10:06:44 PM »
he needs that SPARK

Matthew

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Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2020, 09:35:22 PM »
sounds like he needs to become mysterious, emotionally strong, masculine etc to re ignite that spark, esp mystery, or danger wo things like this u can unfortunately lose passion

What a lot of pre-conceived nonsense.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

raushan

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    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2020, 10:32:41 PM »
Hi Matthew,

I feel there is certain element of truth in it. Scientific studies says that higher testosterone level is co-related with sexual attraction.

Dhamma

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Re: Sex, monogamy and Dhamma
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2020, 02:05:55 AM »
Yuttadhammo Bikkhu, a popular Theravadan monk teacher, has much to say about celibacy on the Buddhist path. While I might not agree with everything this dear monk utters, I agree wholeheartedly with the bulk of his teachings. To me, this man is quite enlightened.  He says that repression and shame are never good (nothing wholesome about them). In the same vein, ultimately, sex, like any other sensual pleasure, only promotes clinging and greater suffering. It's all about "seeing clearly" what sensual pleasures are all about (sex, food, status, money etc). The human body underneath skin is not beautiful anyways (heart, lungs, intestines: we are the same, both men and women). But it's much more than that: sex is just chemicals to be interpreted by the mind. You become a slave to chemicals. And all pleasures cease and then you want to relive the same experience over and over again...  There is no ultimate and lasting pleasure to any sensual pleasure. These are the hard, cold or "liberating" facts.  But, again, sexual desire and masturbation are nothing to be ashamed of, nor should they be repressed within reason. One has to come to see clearly ultimate reality. Then, the craving is naturally no longer there.

^ I suppose, after all, understanding the "emptiness" of all things helps to explain how one really comes to stop clinging for sensual pleasures. Nothing exists inherently, or independently frozen in time: like beauty, the "self", objects....even emptiness itself. Yeah...you really have to understand emptiness to finally make progress in light of a few others said things.

I have been celibate for years. It is quite easy for me. However, I still have lust at times and react as most men do without any sexual partners.  I never feel ashamed , nor do I feel repressed.  But I sincerely wish to be liberated from all lustful thoughts and desire some day.

This topic is difficult for Western men as our culture is sex-obsessed. I have given this topic much consideration of the past year.

Let me finish with this: all sensual pleasures are indeed hindrances in the path. I see in my own life every single day.

Peace and enlightenment to all.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 02:18:32 AM by Dhamma »
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