Giving Up Masturbation

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Sādhaka
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Sādhaka »

Malcolm,

The guy was a respected M.D. from Oxford; and if he fell off the wagon and became an “quack”, then whatever; but I did a little digging myself, and well, just read the wikipedia article on him, and since it’s wikipedia it likely has an leftist & pro-pharma slant. Therefore it’s probably not going to give his side of the story.

J.D.,

There would be levels of dopamine-release seeking related to addiction; and although fapping without porn may not be as harmful as doing it with porn, it’s still kind of up there near heavy drinking, hard drugs, obsessively spending hours each day on social media, etc.

K.T.,

Well pumpkin seeds seem to have the most zinc out of all nuts (and I think that it’s Brazil nuts for selenium), and it would be a big handful even there; and moreover pumpkin seeds also have an anti-nutrient called phytates or phytic acid, which binds to zinc; and therefore its uncertain as to how much of that zinc is even bioavailable.

About five ounces of red meat may do the trick. Then again, zinc and iron compete for absorption in the intestines, so one might need more than five ounces. However perhaps it is only non-heme iron and zinc that compete for absorption, and not zinc and heme iron. I’m not sure.

I mean if we’re at least following the advice of general Tibetan Medicine on the issue of ejaculation-frequency, and don’t have an crappy diet; then maybe it’s not “the end of the world“. But to mention it again, masturbation often leads to binge periods, and is not always easy to “just do every once in awhile”.


Anyway, all the debate about precepts etc. aside; the bottom line again is that wanking is one of the least-skillful to take up out of a number of other options.

Like I said, Yoga practice (also a good idea for celibate monks to practice Yoga as I already mentioned) and/or a actual sexual relationship, would be preferable; even if there is occasional ‘loss of seed’ in a sexual relationship. At least there is some emotional connection there, and not only building fantasies.

And as Dharma practitioners, we are trying to transcend fantasy (not keep feeding it) are we not? Some people may consider Dharmic visualizations as fantasy (and ultimately they are from the viewpoint of advanced Dzogchen praxis, but that’s beside the point for this discussion), but for us, said visualizations are related to the Lineage Transmission and are related to a Path. Fantasizing about the scantily clad woman we saw at the grocery store is not.

Anything else is likely only rationalization. Yet to say it again: Your mileage may vary.
Last edited by Sādhaka on Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Malcolm
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Malcolm »

Heimdall wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:35 pm If we are strictly going off of what the traditional sources tell us, I'm not projecting Western mores anywhere near to the degree that many on this thread are, like Malcolm claiming that "sex work" and "polyamorous relationships" are fully in line with Buddhist mores.
Lets see, Central Tibetans were often polyandrous, Eastern Tibetans are often polygamous, as were Indian men, like the Buddha himself. The Buddha counted active sex workers among his disciples, like Ambapali, who met the Buddha towards the end of his life. He certainly never condemned her, and even accepted her invitation to dinner:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amrapali

What were you saying about traditional sources, now?
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Genjo Conan
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Genjo Conan »

Sādhaka wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:33 pm
J.D.,

There would be levels of dopamine-release seeking related to addiction; and although fapping without porn may not be as harmful as doing it with porn, it’s still kind of up there near heavy drinking, hard drugs, obsessively spending hours each day on social media, etc.
OK, let's be real here. I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. I kept bottles stashed around the house so my wife couldn't find them all. I stole opiates from people recovering from surgery. I know what addiction is like. Jerking it ain't that. Come on.
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Sādhaka
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Sādhaka »

I’m not putting fapping on the exact same level as alcoholism or drug addiction. I’m referring to J.D.’s comparing it to petting animals; and am saying that wanking is way above that on the dopamine-release seeking scale, even if not quite at the same level as other hardcore addictions.
Last edited by Sādhaka on Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Heimdall
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Heimdall »

Malcolm wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:52 pm
Heimdall wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:35 pm If we are strictly going off of what the traditional sources tell us, I'm not projecting Western mores anywhere near to the degree that many on this thread are, like Malcolm claiming that "sex work" and "polyamorous relationships" are fully in line with Buddhist mores.
Lets see, Central Tibetans were often polyandrous, Eastern Tibetans are often polygamous, as were Indian men, like the Buddha himself. The Buddha counted active sex workers among his disciples, like Ambapali, who met the Buddha towards the end of his life. He certainly never condemned her, and even accepted her invitation to dinner:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amrapali

What were you saying about traditional sources, now?
"The Buddha was polygamous"

Incorrect.

He was given several women as a handsome young prince by his father to tempt him to remain a prince but only married one of them. And then he renounced her anyways by becoming a monk. He also refused the temptations of Mara's three daughters.

Having a few non love-based one night stands doesn't mean you are polygamous or polyamorous (not that I condone that anyways).

"The Buddha counted active sex workers among his disciples, like Amrapali"

First of all, I would like to know what actual sources show that Amrapali was actually a prostitute. Some Indian nobles called her that... does that mean necessarily she was that? Buddhist tradition makes it clear her trade was being a sensual dancer. That isn't selling sex.

Her sensual dancing career does not equate to making a profit off of selling sex.

Second of all, she very clearly renounced her entertainment career / sensual lifestyle to become a follower of the Buddha. So even if she was a prostitute, she renounced it, meaning she wasn't an "active" prostitute.

Third of all, treating someone with respect and dignity by their inherent worth of their personhood doesn't equate to condoning their lifestyle.
If you are nice to a heroin addict, you don't endorse heroin.



I can't speak to Tibet because I'm not in that tradition nor familiar with that history. But considering your other claims, I would need sources for that.
Last edited by Heimdall on Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Sādhaka wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:11 pm I’m not putting fapping on the exact same level as alcoholism or drug addiction. I’m referring to J.D.’s comparing it to petting animals; and am saying that wanking is way above that on the dopamine-release seeking scale, even if not quite at the same level as other hardcore addictions.
I don’t think you understand the brain science behind these things at all. Getting that intense of a dopamine hit comes -after- someone has developed an addiction, simply normally masturbating does not produce the kind of of response you are talking about.

Second what produces the addiction is a kind of feedback loop where’s person becomes basically temporarily dopamine deficient when they aren’t getting that hit. It again requires -repeated and concentrated- action, as well as a whole host of biological, social, and psychological factors to spiral into what you are talking about - addiction.

Addiction is not an immediate on/off switch in the brain, it’s a progression.

Masturbation and sex with another person are both very stimulating, they do not become addiction without the process of addiction taking place.

‘Alcohol’ is not an addiction, it becomes an addiction after a certain process takes place in and around the person using it.

Getting dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, all kinds of boosts from different activities is just a functional evolutionary part of human makeup.

As far as substances and things people easily get addicted to, masturbation pales in comparison to alcohol and gambling, both very old things in human history and ones which people with a predisposition to can become addicted to easily. Much more easily than masturbation. Sex addictions are real, they often co-occur with certain drugs as well. By and large though they are less common by orders of magnitude.

Simply having a habit one wants to stop does qualify as ‘addiction’ addiction again (simplified) means continued use despite negative consequences

Obviously, even food becomes an addiction for some people.

Predisposition could mean specific genes for alcoholism, psychological factors such as impulsivity, poor coping skills, etc. It might also involve social factors such as availability of alcohol, social group etc.

Developing that kind of relationship to masturbation would be similar - some kind of biological temperamental predisposition combined with the right social/environmental and psychological factors to produce an alteration in the brain chemistry over time as a result of repeatedly hitting that ‘reward button’ in a way that exceeds normal, healthy behavior and negatively impacts a persons life.

So ‘masturbation’ itself, which brain-chemistry wise is sex, is not an addiction. If you want to object based on scriptural stuff that’s fine, but you are severely misrepresenting the other stuff.

Habituation and the reward center of the brain alone do not constitute ‘addiction’, those are just general human behavior. Claiming they do is ignorant of science on the subject, and simply lacks common sense.
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Malcolm
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Malcolm »

Heimdall wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:30 pm
He was given several women as a handsome young prince by his father to tempt him to remain a prince but only married one of them. And then he renounced her anyways by becoming a monk.
You really have this wrong.
There on his perfect couch, he lay surrounded by his wonderful retinue of consorts, who all resembled goddesses. All the girls were virtuous, agreeable, and wholesome in conduct.
https://read.84000.co/translation/UT220 ... 46-001-701

You are right about one thing, he gave it all up, consorts and all.

First of all, I would like to know what actual sources show that Amrapali was actually a prostitute.
The Buddhist tradition makes it clear she was a very high-priced call girl, in other words, a sex worker. You can look up her entry in the Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism on page 36.
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tingdzin
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by tingdzin »

Heimdall

There are plenty of sex workers in Asia who would take offense to your claim that sex work and being a Buddhist are incompatible. That is, if they gave a tinker's dam about a Westerner's opinion at all.

It's just a form of arrogance to superimpose your own values on something you know little about and claim "that's what the Buddha taught."

You also have to recognize that what was expected of monks and what was expected of lay people was not the same.
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Malcolm »

Sādhaka wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:33 pm Malcolm,

The guy was a respected M.D. from Oxford; and if he fell off the wagon and became an “quack”, then whatever; but I did a little digging myself, and well, just read the wikipedia article on him, and since it’s wikipedia it likely has an leftist & pro-pharma slant. Therefore it’s probably not going to give his side of the story.
I did not derive this idea from Wikipedia. The Medical establishements respect for him in Britain is not all you think it is, and you still have not provided any evidence-based studies for the claim you are making, which is essentially a medical claim.

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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Matt J »

That's absolutely terrible in my mind that people would make others feel adharmic for one's sexual orientation. Traditional Buddhism has a lot of things wrong with it--- beliefs in flat earth, strange models of atoms, Mount Meru as the center of the universe, and bigotry especially toward women and people with different sexual orientation/gender identities. I don't think we should accept such things simply because some ancient worthy said so. And there are plenty of teachers out there who agree.
Könchok Thrinley wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:02 am I always found the restriction of oral and anal sex quite strange and a bit excluding for me as a gay man. I usually try to live by your quotation of Dudjom Rinpoche "hole is a hole", however it still comes up and makes me wonder/worry from time to time. Does simple definition of sexual misconduct as not hurting with sexuality (so no cheating, not involving people who don't agree with it in my sexual activities (eg. doing it in public), rapet etc) for me mean I can uphold the vow partially at least (like the butcher not killing at night)? Would Garchen Rinpoche's advice to do it not for oneself but for the partner to bring them some pleasure/happiness make it possible for one to engage in these acts since adhering to bodhisattva ideals makes some prohibited bahaviour possible? What would be your interpratation?
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Matt J wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:43 pm That's absolutely terrible in my mind that people would make others feel adharmic for one's sexual orientation. Traditional Buddhism has a lot of things wrong with it--- beliefs in flat earth, strange models of atoms, Mount Meru as the center of the universe, and bigotry especially toward women and people with different sexual orientation/gender identities. I don't think we should accept such things simply because some ancient worthy said so. And there are plenty of teachers out there who agree.
Unfortunately that happens. I mean it is enough to go to our sister site dhammwheel where people are still reffering to lgbt+ people as 'pandakas'. However, here I am mostly talking about my own anxieties coming from my light study of Gampopa and such where such enumerations are found.

It has to be said that anal and oral sex are not equal to lgbt+ identities, however it would be nice to see some discussion of these enumeration by teachers. If it is something that is seen as inherently harmful (be it because it shows too much lust, or damaging energies or whatever), or if it is there due to the time and place the original texts where written. For example sex during a daytime. How many of us actually keep this prohibition? IT is a very logical prohibition in case of cultures where the entire family lives in one room which is also used for working during the day, however in modern developed countries where we usually have our own rooms? Etc.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

For those who do virtuous actions,
goodness is what comes to pass.
For those who do non-virtuous actions,
that becomes suffering indeed.

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Malcolm
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Malcolm »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:33 pm If it is something that is seen as inherently harmful (be it because it shows too much lust, or damaging energies or whatever),
Anal sex can mess up the penetratee's downward voiding vāyu. And the penetrator can get E. coli, etc., infections from it. The former is the energetic issue. The latter is the hygiene issue. Also aggressive fellatio (gagging) can cause problems with both prāna vāyu (responsible for swallowing) and the ascending vāyu (talking etc.).

Likewise, intercourse during menstruation can cause problems for women.

But obviously in India we can see oral and anal sex were well known and understood, for example the Khajuraho, etc.

https://www.holidify.com/pages/sex-temp ... -4413.html


And in the end is really none of my business what people do, solo, in couples, or in groups.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Malcolm wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:52 pm
Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:33 pm If it is something that is seen as inherently harmful (be it because it shows too much lust, or damaging energies or whatever),
Anal sex can mess up the penetratee's downward voiding vāyu. And the penetrator can get E. coli, etc., infections from it. The former is the energetic issue. The latter is the hygiene issue. Also aggressive fellatio (gagging) can cause problems with both prāna vāyu (responsible for swallowing) and the ascending vāyu (talking etc.).

Likewise, intercourse during menstruation can cause problems for women.

But obviously in India we can see oral and anal sex were well known and understood, for example the Khajuraho, etc.

https://www.holidify.com/pages/sex-temp ... -4413.html


And in the end is really none of my business what people do, solo, in couples, or in groups.
Thank you for this explanation. Naturally you don't care what others do in their free time, would be weirder if you did. :lol:

But from your personal standpoint do you see any reason for modern practitioners with condoms, lubes, douches, privacy etc etc to follow these prohibitions (together with the other ones such as not during day, etc which do not directly harm partner/s)? Sorry if I put you into an uncomfortable position, feel free to ignore.

My main problem with these prohibitions is that they seem to me to be rather time and place restricted and secondary at best when compared to the other ones. Most of the other ones are obviously harmful and make sense, sex during a day less so. Outside in front of people? Sure it creates trouble, disturbs people and all kinds of stuff. Alone in a room with consenting partner.... not so much and even less so completely alone in a room (to tie it to the topic of this thread). After all even vaginal intercourse is potentially harmful.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

For those who do virtuous actions,
goodness is what comes to pass.
For those who do non-virtuous actions,
that becomes suffering indeed.

- Arya Sanghata Sutra
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Malcolm »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:32 pm
But from your personal standpoint do you see any reason for modern practitioners with condoms, lubes, douches, privacy etc etc to follow these prohibitions (together with the other ones such as not during day, etc which do not directly harm partner/s)?
Nope.
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Toenail »

How can we restore the winds after doing all these things you mentioned?
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Malcolm »

Toenail wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:57 pm How can we restore the winds after doing all these things you mentioned?
Good question. Refrain from doing them, if you have disturbed the winds.
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Heimdall »

Matt J wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:43 pm That's absolutely terrible in my mind that people would make others feel adharmic for one's sexual orientation. Traditional Buddhism has a lot of things wrong with it--- beliefs in flat earth, strange models of atoms, Mount Meru as the center of the universe, and bigotry especially toward women and people with different sexual orientation/gender identities. I don't think we should accept such things simply because some ancient worthy said so. And there are plenty of teachers out there who agree.
One's knowledge on gravity is distinct from how one should conduct their life in relation to other human beings.

If instead of changing ourselves to the Dharma, we demand the Dharma to change to ourselves, don't you fear that you may not be practicing Dharma to begin with?
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Heimdall »

I'll give an example with Hinduism:

Savitri Devi was a French Born, Greek, Hindu practitioner during World War II who preached that Hinduism was the truth, but more specifically, the "Jewish influence on the West" was a product of Kali Yuga and that Hitler was literally Vishnu incarnate meant to kill the "Jewish menace".

Was she a legitimate practitioner of Hinduism?

If you concede that religious moral norms are subject to the changes based on a cultural whim, how can you criticize Savitri Devi's interpretation of Hinduism as an invalid one?
Malcolm
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

Post by Malcolm »

Heimdall wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:23 pm
Matt J wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:43 pm That's absolutely terrible in my mind that people would make others feel adharmic for one's sexual orientation. Traditional Buddhism has a lot of things wrong with it--- beliefs in flat earth, strange models of atoms, Mount Meru as the center of the universe, and bigotry especially toward women and people with different sexual orientation/gender identities. I don't think we should accept such things simply because some ancient worthy said so. And there are plenty of teachers out there who agree.
One's knowledge on gravity is distinct from how one should conduct their life in relation to other human beings.

If instead of changing ourselves to the Dharma, we demand the Dharma to change to ourselves, don't you fear that you may not be practicing Dharma to begin with?
We all do our best. That’s all anyone can expect. Our karma belongs to ourselves alone, so, unless we are harming someone, what we do and how we practice is no one’s business. Savitri Devi’s view were perverse, beyond the wrong views she held as a pseudo Hindu.

Further, taking an inordinate interest in what other people do in their bedrooms as well as having a lot of judgement about it is rather pathetic, no? It’s none of our business.
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Re: Giving Up Masturbation

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Heimdall wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:30 pm I'll give an example with Hinduism:

Savitri Devi was a French Born, Greek, Hindu practitioner during World War II who preached that Hinduism was the truth, but more specifically, the "Jewish influence on the West" was a product of Kali Yuga and that Hitler was literally Vishnu incarnate meant to kill the "Jewish menace".

Was she a legitimate practitioner of Hinduism?

If you concede that religious moral norms are subject to the changes based on a cultural whim, how can you criticize Savitri Devi's interpretation of Hinduism as an invalid one?

All traditions change, the question is whether they evolve and change in a manner that is consistent with their core tenets.

Comparing a neutral view of masturbation to a belief of Jews being responsible for the worlds ills is beyond hyperbolic, c’mon.

Magnifying minor sexual misconduct issues (at most) into “The Dharma” as a whole is also just plain ignorant, the amount written on masturbation Dharma wise s dwarfed by so many other subjects, including simply basic ethics as regards interaction with others.
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