This related question already has an answer: Avoiding Lust in Hinduism?

This is a bit strange to ask, but I'll proceed anyway.

In specifically Buddhism (I'm a Hindu though) there are prescribed ways to cultivate metta/loving-kindness towards women. I know that lusting for the flesh is bad, and I also know all the ethics of preserving chastity for marriage, but during my abstinence period, I can't stop thinking about women. I have tried "loathsome meditation" or to meditate on the unpleasantness of the body, even satipathana, but it still doesn't work. I tried to give the pedestal of mother or sister, but still it's difficult to imagine them as kin members without actually being so. This is all because of this oversexualized stimuli that the modern consumer world is exposing us to. What should a brahmachari do to deal with this?

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    Congratulations young brachmacharyi. I hope this article helps: meditationexpert.com/yoga-kung-fu/… I would also recommend mantak chia's methods of sexual retention which is what the rule is ultimately about.
    – Ahmed
    Feb 2, 2017 at 22:27

4 Answers 4


Implicit in sexual fantasies is the underlying wrong view that the actions in the sexual fantasy are not harmful & will bring happiness to both sides. The Dhamma states in many places that sexual liberalism or sexual promiscuity harms, defiles & degrades women.

Unchastity/misconduct taints a woman.

Dhammapada 242; AN 8.15

And how, householders, does a wretch live together with a wretch? Here, the husband is one who destroys life, takes what is not given, engages in sexual misconduct, speaks falsely, and indulges in liquor, wine, and intoxicants, the basis for heedlessness; he is immoral, of bad character; he dwells at home with a heart obsessed by the stain of miserliness; he insults and reviles ascetics and brahmins. And his wife is also one who destroys life, takes what is not given, engages in sexual misconduct, speaks falsely, and indulges in liquor, wine, and intoxicants, the basis for heedlessness; he is immoral, of bad character; he dwells at home with a heart obsessed by the stain of miserliness; he insults and reviles ascetics and brahmins. It is in such a way that a wretch lives together with a wretch.

AN 4.53

There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in associating with evil companions, namely: any gambler, any libertine, any drunkard, any swindler, any cheat, any rowdy is his friend and companion

DN 31

And as I remained thus heedful, ardent & resolute, thinking imbued with sensuality arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with sensuality has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Nirvana...I foresaw in unskillful qualities drawbacks, degradation & defilement, and I foresaw in skillful qualities rewards related to renunciation & promoting cleansing.

MN 19

The Dhamma also teaches the goal of a woman is to have a husband, to not share a husband with another woman, to dominate the relationship & that sons are her support in life.

A man is a woman’s aim, her quest is for adornments, her mainstay is sons, her desire is to be without a co-wife and her ideal is domination.

AN 6.52

This is why sexual fantasies are 'misogynistic' according to the Dhamma because they are based on the intention to harm women rather than the intention to have metta (loving-kindness) for women; and they are based in making a woman submissive to the desires of men rather than giving authority/dominance to the woman in a male/female relationship.

A wife is ministered to by a husband by handing over authority to her...

DN 31

Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) is the hatred of, contempt for or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women and sexual objectification. Wikipedia

For thousands of years, women have been forced to serve as concubines, mistresses, prostitutes & sex slaves for men. This has probably not occurred because men intrinsically want to oppress women. It probably occurs because men are generally so ignorant, so blind & so heartless that they cannot see the intrinsic harm of the sexual exploitation.

Sexual fantasies are similar. In sexual fantasies, the man views his actions towards the woman that is the object of the fantasy is intrinsically harmless, when it is not. Sexual fantasies are misogynistic sexual objectification.

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, much harm has come to women. For example, the 2nd wave feminism that arose concurrent to the sexual revolution promoted complete sexual liberalism for women. However, due to the consequences of this, the 3rd wave of feminism became divided over the sexual liberalism promoted by 2nd wave feminism.

Unlike the determined position of second-wave feminists about women in pornography, sex work, and prostitution, third-wave feminists were rather ambiguous and divided about these themes (feminist sex wars). While some thought these sexual acts were degrading and oppressing women, others saw it as empowering that women were owning their sexuality.

Third-wave feminism: Wikipedia

The following articles describe the 'dukkha' that impulsive heedless sex has brought to women, which are similar to the 'hungry ghost' & 'hell' worlds of sensuality described in the Potaliya Sutta.

Women And Prescription Drugs: One In Four Takes Mental Health Meds.

Failure of sexual revolution.

Or read about the lives of the world's most famous sex symbols, how many sexual relationships & sexual affairs they had and what it brought them:

Monroe's troubled private life received much attention. She struggled with substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. She had two highly publicized marriages, to retired baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, both of which ended in divorce. She died at the age of 36 on August 5, 1962, from an overdose of barbiturates at her home in Los Angeles.

Marilyn Monroe

In 1974, Bardot appeared in a nude photo shoot in Playboy magazine, which celebrated her 40th birthday. On 28 September 1983, her 49th birthday, Bardot took an overdose of sleeping pills or tranquilizers with red wine. She had to be rushed to hospital, where her life was saved after a stomach pump was used to evacuate the pills from her body.

Brigitte Bardot

In conclusion, returning to the Dhamma method of viewing women as 'mothers, sisters & daughters', for a woman to be a good mother, it is best she has a good mind. Women engaging in heedless sex does not contribute to a good mind for motherhood. This is a reason why the Buddhist looks upon women like mothers. Mothers love their family & want a strong stable family. Women engaging in heedless sex does not contribute to good families and a woman's true happiness. The Buddha explained this respect for mothers in the Lokapala Sutta.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – ChrisW
    Feb 3, 2017 at 22:29

I would presume you are male. In which case it is not advisable to practice Metta to women as this itself may arouse lust. You are generally not supposed to practice Metta on someone of the opposite sex, especially a specific person. Do not imagine are shape of form if you generally spreading metta towards a women. More on this see this answer. If it does not arouse lust may be you can do Metta towards all women, but if it arouses lust better avoid it. When you spread metta to all being this includes women.

Loathsome meditation may help the case in reducing lust towards women. For more in this see this answer.

Don't get overly obsessed with thoughts of reducing lust because then you are still dealing with the subject matter of lust and also perhaps developing aversion to lust. When doing this lustful thoughts may pop up. Some techniques to get rid of these distracting thoughts found in the Vitakka Saṇṭhāna Sutta.

Though not limited to lust for opposite sex, methods to overcome kāmacchanda which is one of the hindrance is useful. Whenever sensation arise which may trigger sensual lust, try to keep a equanimous mind knowing they the stimulation is impermanent. At an intellectual level you can also contemplate the gratification is also impermanent. Essentially keeping you mind free from unwholesome roots and vipallasa reduces lust and other hindrances. For more on this see: Kāma-c,chanda by Piya Tan and The Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest: Selected Texts from the Pali Canon and the Commentaries compiled and translated by Nyanaponika Thera. In addition, see: Vipallasa Sutta

If you get aroused by seeing, hearing the voice, smell of scent, memories of someone. Then this form of lust can be avoided by guarding the sense door. What every experience you get avoid it leading to the unwholesome roots by being equanimous and seeing impermanence. For more on this see: Indriya Bhāvanā Sutta, Sal,āyatana Vibhanga Sutta, Cha Chakka Sutta, etc.

  • but for a novice level, the studying of five mental hindrances is enough, isn't it?
    – user10546
    Feb 2, 2017 at 16:38
  • and i completely agree with you sir, the more i contemplate, the more i get entangled within it.
    – user10546
    Feb 2, 2017 at 16:41
  • Study what every is easy for you and apply it to daily life. Feb 3, 2017 at 2:39

At certain stages in our lives, such as adolescence and young adulthood, sexual energy levels are very high in the body, apparently due to some preconditioned need to mate and procreate. As we get older these sexual energies dissipate naturally.

For those on a spiritual path, the best thing to do with these sexual energies is to sublimate them by sending them up the channels from the sexual chakra to the higher energy centres. However, the problem with sublimation is that it does not necessarily cause these energy levels to dissipate, but can have the reverse effect and cause the energy to increase in intensity as a flowpath is opened up. Once this energy becomes too difficult to control in this manner, we have no choice but to try to repress this energy; repression of energy in the body is necessarily a harmful thing, both to the body and the mind; this can lead to sickness caused by imbalance in the body, and a loss of mental equilibrium, and this can quickly lead to a spiritual blockage, preventing our ascension and weakening our bodies.

For those who are trying to pursue the spiritual path while engaged in the modern world, this is a particular problem. When we go on retreat, we are expected to dress moderately, even conservatively, to avoid the mind falling into the trap of sexual desire; out in the world sexual desire is one of the primary distractions modern consumer society seeks to stir up, encouraging us to believe that it is normal and healthy for our lives to be dominated by lust and greed. In my view, therefore, and I do stand to be corrected if this is an incorrect view, when we are faced with an unsurmountable barrier of sexual energy, be it because of our environment or our hormones, we need to be able to release the surplus energy if we are not able to sublimate it.

However, great care must be taken in this act. We must release this energy mindfully, and not allow ourselves to be overtaken by sexual fantasy. We must do it, so to speak, in the moment, and be aware that what we are doing is a simple physical act, similar to urination and defecation, which we manage to do regularly without attaching any great importance to it. If we relive ourselves in this way, as a simple physical action devoid of significance or emotional attachment or feelings of lust or shame, then this excess energy will quickly lose its power over us.

This action is then analogous to ‘cleaning the mirror’ and permits us to return to our path free from the encumbrance of excess physical desire.

  • just curious, but why did the Buddha not recommend such releasing of energy? he solely relied on sublimation, or found that a release was simply never justified? Sep 2, 2019 at 17:34

One who has read, seen and experienced suffering caused by STDs will know what lusting for sex does ultimately.

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