Why is adultery and prostitution bad?

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Adamantine
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Re: Why is adultery and prostitution bad?

Post by Adamantine » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:40 am

Also re: prostitution, its legal in a number of countries and
regulated, with consistent STI testing etc. and this is far different than people sold or manipulated through illegal sex trafficking.

Even here in the U.S. I've had friends who have been sex workers at times and were not desperate or addicts.. and actually enjoyed the work.. more than most of my friends who've been stuck in office jobs.. so there's a lot of sweeping generalizations here.
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Re: Why is adultery and prostitution bad?

Post by Dan74 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:52 am

As other posters have said already, sexual desire in Pali Canon Buddhist texts is considered a form of clinging which is to be ultimately abandoned.

What does this mean for us lay Mahayana and Vajrayana practitioners is a much bigger question and there are certainly many skilful (and unskilful) ways of working with sexual desire until then. Repression, guilt etc are not skilful attitudes. Investigating it, is.

As for prostitution, it's one of these interesting topics. On the one hand, some people bring out the 'free choice' trope, 'good for them', etc. On the other, not many of them would be exactly happy for their children to go down that route. But the interesting thing for me comes from those actually familiar with the sex worker community which paints a very different picture to what we might imagine in our ignorance or projection. Pink Trike, a retired therapist who for many years worked with prostitutes, shared a few times over at the other Wheel. My impression from his posts, was that sex workers are in a sense, in the eye of the storm of the samsara, taking care of our most basic (base?) needs, and as such they are sometimes the wisest to it and most compassionate. In any case, it's very different to being promiscuous, polyamorous, etc.
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Re: Why is adultery and prostitution bad?

Post by Drenpa » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:18 am

Hi Adamantine,

Responses interspersed.
Adamantine wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:35 am
Wow I'm quite surprised by some of the binary and purely
culturally-conditioned thinking exhibited in most of the answers here.
This is mahayana sub-forum, what did you expect? I'd imagine an entirely different discussion might evolve in some of the Vajrayana subs.
Polyamory is the closest parallel to our biologically developed human sexual needs as evidenced by humans for the majority of our existence on the planet...which only changed at the advent of agriculture and the resulting property/land -ownership which denigrated the role of women and tranformed sexuality into a business-transaction called marriage. See the book "Sex at Dawn".
A more substantiative reference or line of reasoning pls, this is way too sweeping. Are you talking our hardware needs, or software needs? First of all, you need to differentiate between men & women, and you are most obviously a man.

Hardware-wise, it seems to me we're wired for a man to be polyamorous, and a woman to be less so and skew towards monogamy. Why? A few thousand dedicated men could make great strides towards impregnating the entire world (if you believe Wilt Chamberlain's) theoretically. Women's hardware forces them to focus their bandwidth on a relatively small group of offspring, and equips her to take care of them herself, while men run off to play, which is usually the case.

A lot of what we actually observe between men and women comes and the way sexual and other roles play out in their more common iterations & given the very recent scope of history can be explained by hardware alone. How does hardware dictate polyamory? Never mind software, which women have a lot of say about.


It doesn't. Sexual hardware dictates a struggle between the sexes, tension. Women on one pole pushing in the direction biology nudges them towards a relatively small amount of brood that she can care for herself, if need be (as is often the case).

Men's hardware pulls them the other way. If feels reeeaaalll gooood to spread that seed around, and there are few if any hardware based concerns involved. The only way to keep a man in check is through the software - his conditioning and programming, which society, culture, religions (and women) do their level best to implement with an "early and often" policy. That is what we actually observe. Freewheelin' poloyamoury of the bonobo type many men fantasize about doesn't seem like it would happen that often unless this tension between the sexes gravitates too far towards the yang aspect.
If polyamory or any number of relationship custom-designs are mutually agreed on then there's no sexual misconduct. Also in the Mahayana the idea of skillful methods create space for quite a number of activities to be seen as permissible relative to the distinct situation and one's ability to benefit others. Not to mention Vajrayana!
One need look no further than Guru Rinpoche himself, or Yeshe Tsogyal.. or the more contemporary Chogyam Trungpa, to see successful examples of Buddhist saints who were also polyamorous. Some might find the book "Work Sex Money" by Trungpa illuminating in the section on sex... as well as his wife Diane Mukpo's personal accounts in her memoir Dragon Thunder.
Agreed that in theory there's no misconduct if everyone has the rules straight. - but the OP is a teenager asking questions in a Mahayana forum, in case you've forgotten the context here. You needn't presume that so called 'binary' responses are driven by binary thinking in every case, and that it's necessary for you to stoop from your vajrayana roost to educate a mahayana audience with tales of Ms. Mukpo's accounts (loved her book, and generally anything by or about the Vidyahara FWIW) or of Yeshe Tsogyal and Guru Rinpoche.

Vajrayana uses sex as skillful means. Got it. You're very modern and laid back, hip and evolved, as is your religion - got it too. But when a young person is exploring publicly questions like this, it's also helpful to take the question seriously and explore it fresh. You're simply asserting the other side of the binary equation you profess to despise.
Also re: prostitution, its legal in a number of countries and
regulated, with consistent STI testing etc. and this is far different than people sold or manipulated through illegal sex trafficking.
Legality has nothing to do with the OP's question. S/he was discussing morality and precepts, Buddhist precepts. Legal prostitution is different from illegal prostitution, but I'll assert (admittedly just based on my thoughts around this) that your anecdotes notwithstanding, the way sex workers are treated and their reasons for participating aren't any different than the reasons behind legal and illegal porn. Same diverse motivations, with MOST of them, 99tile i'd say, skewing toward straight-up hellish suffering before, during and after for the workers. Bad at the beginning, bad in the middle, and bad at the end.
Even here in the U.S. I've had friends who have been sex workers at times and were not desperate or addicts.. and actually enjoyed the work.. more than most of my friends who've been stuck in office jobs.. so there's a lot of sweeping generalizations here.
I admitted that this is possible, but while your anecdotes and attitude are indications of where you're at with this issue, I don't think you're representing women's views realistically.

Look at what is obvious. I don't know much personally about prostitution or the creation of porn, and I haven't studied this in detail, just probing here and taking the youngster's question seriously to help, myself and all of us explore these questions we apes all face.

But it's easier for my stomach to seriously compare women's participation in porn somewhat with prostitution - by that I mean for the sake of this argument, we can compare your assertion that legal prostitution breeds willing sex trade workers - happy ones who enjoy their jobs more than your friends stuck in an office.

These days if one spends any time on the internet, it's impossible not to become somewhat aware of the staggering variety of porn and depictions of women everywhere. Men too, but let's focus on women for the moment because for reasons I discussed earlier (only talked about hardware, software is beyond the scope of a single post obv) there is still WAY more porn that exists that was made for men.

So these days we see lots of depictions of girls taking off their own clothes, and letting themselves be filmed doing all kinds of things. I witnessed this myself as a younger person, traveling often to New Orleans where this kind of thing went on for a long time, albeit on the flat part of the curve, prior to tipping and going j-shaped as the internet's pervasiveness became what it is today.

Still, how large of a slice is this when compared to all depictions of women in porn? It's still relatively small. And it is impossible to tell how much of this stuff is voluntary and not submitted by the men who film it. How much of it is produced by men who want to create the illusions that women love nothing more than to go full gyno-cam for the world, for their own selfish ends? This simply doesn't square with what my entire life tells me about my experience with those same American women you speak of. Also women everywhere in the world today.

When women engage in displaying their bodies for men, I'd submit that it's a very, very, very small percentage who do it knowing full well at the time they behavior goes on that:

a) This image will exist online until the end of time. Many of the women doing this kind of thing are (no surprise) much too young to understand the long-term implications of these actions. We know now that the higher-brain functioning that has a real perspective of time and is able to weight information accurately with anything involving a scale over a month or two comes online at about age 25. This alone I think explains a lot of the self-submitted porn we see, especially the "cam girl" craze that we see amongst millennials. Unless a VERY large portion of the population begins to adopt this behavior as normal, and we are still far from being there (you'd have to agree given how binary and unenlightened you saw the responses to the OP, to the point where you felt the need to tell a teen to chillax with an appeal to authority and bad logic) then these women will indeed suffer as we move closer to the horrifying promises of "big data" and what it will mean for classifying and tracking us all, until the end of time. These people willfully compromise their future for a few bucks now, and while history will be understanding and empathetic, I'm willing to bet that there are enough self-righteous slut shamers out there who haven't participated that they won't make these women's lives hell wherever possible until we reach a tipping point (if ever, if we don't have another response to the madness as history has dictated, back to beaver cleaver)

b) That the man they are doing this for isn't interested in a committed relationship. Many times user submitted porn is submitted for the man that the woman is interested in for whatever reason at the time. And she trusts him not to widely disseminate it. She's not okay with it going viral, and if she is, see point a above. Women over the age of 25 who are fine with porn going viral would have to be very rare, and may be almost entirely accounted for by other factors, say related to financial needs or mental health issues.

c) That any money or compensation that they will receive for "willfully" submitting to mens desires to film them doing all kinds of things will never make up for the potential life-wrecking consequences of having the images around until the fire at the end of the maha-kalpa.

Yes - there are women who voluntarily, and perhaps not falling under a, b & c above who participate in the porn industry. But for the reasons I've given, (there are many more) I submit that they are a tiny sample.

So what is there to say about your assertion that prostitution isn't so bad and that when legal, many sex trade workers don't have it that bad, that it isn't extreme suffering? Nobody could argue that while related, working as a prostitute is a much, much, bigger deal than simply participating in the creation of porn, for women.

I just don't any reaons your anecdotes about the women you know are an accurate portrayal of anything that corresponds with wider reality.

I think that in light of what I actually have observed in my life that the precepts still held dear about sexual conduct & prostitution by many Buddhists in the world, in the majority of cases, can really help guide people, especially young people without the hindsight of their own experience, in making good choices that will allow them the greatest possibility to realize their potential in life and practice, at least at first. If you see this thinking as simply and binary, unevolved, I'm fine with that. It's simply not true tho.

To say that polyamory is the way nature & nurture has pulled humanity in such sweeping terms seems weak. If you have some interesting info from the book you cited, love to hear it.

But have to call BS on the whole "women are okay with prostitution and happier in general than those who have office jobs" kind of thing you were going with. Simply ridiculous.

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Grigoris
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Re: Why is adultery and prostitution bad?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:21 am

Ricky wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:38 pm
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:36 pm
Ricky wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:32 pm
In Buddhism all sexual acts are unwholesome
I've never heard that anywhere before...
Then why is it prohibited for monks?
Because they are monks. Lay people are not monks, so shagging is not prohibited.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Why is adultery and prostitution bad?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:41 am

MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:09 pm
After looking through some Tv shows and forums, I finally got to the point where I needed to find out why adultery and prostitution is bad. I always wondered , prositutes - they and I myself , we both agree to have sex and are ok with it ( there is no pain for us in the process ). We are not forcing the other to have sex with one another - perhaps if I call for a prositutiye , she would be happy to have sex with me , so do I. Is this okay regarding third precept ? I didn’t cause harm to anyone because she is willing to do it .

Also adultery , well I’m not really talking adultery , but another vswrsion of adultery. What if I have 5 wives , whom I love very much. They all love me too and are aware that I have 5 spouses and are totally fine with it. Suppose they become best friends too and we would often hang out in a group. We have sex at times one on one occasions and we are perfectly fine with it. Is that a violation of third precept? Again , I am not harming anyone feelings with having sex and going out with 5 girls.

I just feel that , imagine , a group of unique and maverick thinking people , who they break away from the social conditioning of the world , decides to reinvent culture and ethnics of their own. So like , being naked in streets is considered normal , scolding children and elders are considered equally bad or good depending on ones motivation eg.

I will say that my thinking is weird and out of the world. I am still a teenager, which means I reject social etiquettes and conditioning.
Remember this thread?

viewtopic.php?f=111&t=27478

You asked the exact same questions here too.

Instead of rehashing the whole thread again here, I suggest you go read the old thread.

Topic locked.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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