The Problem With Sex in Buddhism --
a talk given at a High School in Los Angeles.)
Photo - Bob Heide
seems these days in Los Angeles, it's OK to do or be anything
you want sexually... And if you're lucky enough to find your
true sexual identity, you will be happy and fulfilled the
rest of your life.
Well, in this world of *Samsara it just doesn't work that
The Buddha more than anything else was a man, who went from
childhood to manhood, got married, and at the age of 29 had
his first child. He went through all the stages men go through
sexually, but at the age of 35 ended his sexual desire forever
The big question today is... Does the desire for sex always
lead to suffering? The answer is, Yes! But the reason may
The Buddha in everything he said about sex implies... The
activity of sex will never ultimately satisfy the desire for
this is a real bummer if you think about it. You can have
sex a 1000 times, and want it a 1001. You can be 90 years
old... Blind and cripple... Still want to have sex, and not
be physically able to. You will never get rid of your sexual
desire by having sex. In fact, it seems the more sex you have,
the more sex you want.
I think sex is a lot like hunger... And to be honest with
you, I'm so tired of being hungry. I have been hungry every
day of my life. I'm hungry in the morning, in the afternoon,
in the evening. Think of all the time and money I could save
if I gave up eating!
what if tomorrow, I get up real early and eat
as much as I desire, and anything I want. Whatever looks
good, I'm going to eat it and keep eating it, until I am
so full and satisfied, I will never want to eat again.
Well, if I were to do that what would happen? I would wake
up the next morning and still be hungry and sex works the
very same way!
You might be saying to yourself, "Well Kusala is a monk,
and monks don't have sex, so maybe if I choose celibacy I
won't have to suffer."
wish life were so easy!
The people who choose a celibate lifestyle ('desire' not
to have) suffer in a different way from people that choose
to have sex ('desire' to have). But all people (monks
too) suffer when it comes to sex, if they have desire.
The only way to have sex and not suffer, is to have no desire
to have sex. It sounds like a 'Zen Koan' doesn't it? To end
our suffering we need to end our desire, our craving, our
a Buddhist does end his/her desire in Nirvana, would there
be any reason to have sex simply for pleasure???
The problem with sex according to Buddhism... Is not the activity
of sex, but the desire for sex. The sexual desire of a human
being will never be ultimately satisfied through sexual activity.
Samsára: 'round of rebirth', lit. perpetual
wandering', is a name by which is designated the stages of
life ever restlessly heaving up and down, the symbol of this
continuous process of ever again and again being born, growing
old, suffering and dying.
Nibbána, (Sanskrit Nirvána): lit.
'extinction' (nir + Ö va, to cease blowing, to become
extinguished); according to the commentaries, 'freedom from
desire' (nir+ vana). Nibbána constitutes the highest
and ultimate goal of all Buddhist aspirations.
Also by Kusala
I Became a Buddhist
Buddhists Go to Heaven
Buddhists Believe in God
Enlightenment vs Nirvana
Buddhist Approach to Health Care