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Third Precept:  Abstention from Sexual Misconduct

This precept enjoins abstinence from improper or illicit sexual relations. The Atthasalini defines sexual misconduct as the volition arising in the body-door, through the unlawful intention of trespassing upon a person to whom one has no right of going. 

There are four conditions for wrong conduct in sexual pleasures:

  1.  There must be a man or woman with whom it is improper to have sexual intercourse.
  2. There must be intention to have sexual intercourse with such a person. 
  3.  Action must be taken to have such an intercourse. 
  4. There must be enjoyment from contact of the sexual organs.

With reference to the first condition, there are twenty kinds of women with whom men should have no sexual relations. They can be divided into three groups, namely: women under the guardianship of parents, family members, relatives and authorities charged with their care; married or betrothed women; bhikkhunis and religious women observing the Holy Life.  More here..

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