+3 votes
by (410 points)
I am 19 years old (male) and heterosexual, and currently i acknowledged that my sexual urges and desire for an attractive female body is not useful and it gets in the way for me to see clearly about other people for who they are because i lust for a human body. I have tried abstaining from masturbation but i become more sensitive towards pleasure to the point where talking to another opposite sex gives me the joy.

1.) Is it okay and healthy to abstain from performing sexual activities? If yes, how should i do it the buddhist way to prevent myself from going to a bad direction.

Thank you
by (250 points)
It also depends on the effort and mental inclinations of the person, brahmacariya needs to be handled with care and compassion with the correct tools. Also I believe it's best to clean the exterior to purify the interior in order to keep it successfuly.

3 Answers

+1 vote
by (240 points)
Yes, it's more than okay to abstain from sexual activity. It can be quite liberating to realise that you don't have to be a slave to the urges.

Have you been keeping the 8 precepts? If not, it is recommended if you want to be celibate. The 8 precepts contain celibacy, but also other forms of sense restraint. This makes it easier to be celibate. Because if you watch movies, but abstain from masturbation, then your mind will protest. Why? Because you're simultaneously saying to your mind "indulge in sense pleasures" and "don't indulge in sense pleasures". Then you're playing tug of war with yourself. If you're keeping the 8 precepts, keep at it. If not, make sure you've established keeping the 5 precepts consistently first. Otherwise you might overwhelm yourself and fail miserably.

Celibacy IS hard. But it's definitely worth it. Ajahn Chah used to go out to secluded areas of the forest and do walking meditation without his lower robe to avoid the friction of fabric against genitalia. As lay people we might not be able to avoid sexual excitement as much as he did. But it's possible to remain celibate.
by (250 points)
It also depends on the effort and mental inclinations of the person, brahmacariya needs to be handled with care and compassion with the correct tools. Also I believe it's best to clean the exterior to purify the interior in order to keep it successfuly.
+4 votes
by (710 points)
I think a lay person trying to force celibacy usually fails as they often don’t have all the necessary tools and necessary environment to keep sexuality at bay. It’s better to try to be mindful, and to see how sexual thoughts and feelings affect the mental state and other areas in life. Although abstaining can be good ,yes , as it may show people how life is without indulging in sexuality.

It sounds like you are already noticing the less pleasant effects, I am guessing the best thing to do is try to keep practicing mindfulness consistently , increase the intensity of practice ourselves, or even better, to take an opportunity to go on a retreat. The more intensively we practice, the weaker the grasp of sense pleasures on us.
+1 vote
by (2.9k points)
I agree with Chie.

The mind will only give up things it sees as painful and undesirable. This letting go and giving up then happens without any struggle at all. Instead it is quite natural. There will no longer be any urges at all whatsoever.

So long as there is lust there is no understanding of the suffering entailed. So, being mindful and seeing all things regarding sexuality is important.

Another thing Bhante suggested in one of his videos is to dissect what's actual happening. Investigate all the bits and pieces. When touching occurs how does that actually feel? Is there really something special going on there? Often our minds add to the sensations.

If you're really tired of it all and want to be a bit more drastic, I would suggest to mediate on the body a lot (kayanupassana) and to throw in some asubha mediations now and then. Like meditation on a rotting female corpse etc. Sooner or later the mind will pick up on the downside and will realise that, although a female body can look good now, it too has to become this rotting thing at some point. Interest will decrease by itself. But, be careful with these sorts of meditation. Guidance, someone to talk to, might be useful if you want to try these.
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