I have totally refrained from sexual misconduct and after reading the answers about Masturbation to the previous question on this site I have even refrained from that. Also, I have practically zero sexual thoughts during meditation.

But you see, as we eat food, the body automatically produces semen which is beyond our control. This accumulates and as the epididymis gets full either it ends up in a nightfall or heightened sexual urges which then gets beyond control.

How to deal with this problem? Do monks face this problem?

  • I think this is a duplicate of Dealing with Lust and/or Sexual Desire, Masturbating and Asuba Bawana and maybe others, isn't it? – ChrisW Jul 30 '18 at 14:17
  • I checked them, I think it's not duplicate, as, wrt the first question, I am not asking about dealing with pornography and masturbation, I have crossed that, and wrt to the second question, the lust in question is not regular, its some kind of 'lust attack'. Though the answers somewhat answer my question. I might suggest not close it. – user13135 Jul 30 '18 at 14:25
  • Is the main/only difference (between this question and the others) what you described in the 2nd paragraph of this question (which I didn't really understand)? – ChrisW Jul 30 '18 at 14:30
  • Yes you can say that. What it says that hiw tobdeal with lust that is not much of psychological but a byproduct of biological processes. – user13135 Jul 30 '18 at 15:16
  • Why did you stop with masturbation in particular? If you are spiritually not that developed (meaning that you have no good emotional replacements or not much experience in vipassana), when you live in an environment where you are constantly exposed to the opposed sex, thoughts/urges will inevitably come up and it's not wise to surpress them or feel guilty about them. If you haven't set a specific goal and seen its advantages, your restraint in conduct & the motivation & determination will be short-term. We don't know if all monks live celibate & if so happily? We only see them in videos. – Val Aug 2 '18 at 6:53

What it says that how to deal with lust that is not much of psychological but a byproduct of biological processes.

I read some people describe it as some kind of "physical need", but I don't buy into that theory.

I suppose it's more like an itch, where if you stop scratching then it stops itching after a while.

An itch too is a "byproduct of biological processes": but so what.

I suppose you can "deal with" (or avoid) this problem via a combination of "psychological" measures (e.g. guarding the senses to avoid attaching to objects of sexual desire, e.g. to sights and ideas and bodily sensations); and maybe "physical" measures (e.g. having some other physical exercise, and enough sleep); and maybe "emotional" too (e.g. feeling happy with things as they are); and perhaps "conceit" i.e. comparing yourself to other people (e.g. "they don't, and I can be like them" -- see here and here).

There are other "psychological" suggestions too (e.g. meditation on foulness of the body, graveyard meditation) in the linked topics. But maybe that style or topic of sustained thought is a raft i.e. you don't need it after you arrive on the other shore (i.e. after cessation).

Perhaps people's bodies vary from person to person as well as from time to time, but I'm pretty sure that Buddhism considers food for example to be some kind of necessity, but not lust.

Maybe "the control of urges" is learned over time, e.g. growing from being a teenager to being adult.

Do monks face this problem?

Maybe not: the Vinaya considers it an offence.

Or, who knows, maybe they do: I've also read claims that few monks really live according to the Vinaya.

I once read of a monk (of Western origin) who suicided after complaining of priapism or satyriasis (hypersexuality), and dysentery (reference) -- but I hope that's an abnormal experience.

  • Just because the Vinaya calls an act an offense doesn't mean that monks do not experience an urge, after all they too are just human beings. One cannot by an act of will stop sexual interest. It is by cutting the cause that will lead to disinterest and that happens at the 2nd stage of enlightenment (once returner) – Val Jul 31 '18 at 15:46
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    @Val I thought the question wasn't whether there's ever an urge, but the question says that there are "heightened sexual urges which then gets beyond control" -- I don't know to what extent that's entirely true, and should accepted as an unalterable truth. To the extent that it is true, I suppose the reference given at the end of OyaMist's answer becomes relevant. Perhaps it's a matter of how to interpret the word "urge": i.e. if you have and act on an urge, then is that or isn't that the same as acting "intentionally"? – ChrisW Jul 31 '18 at 15:59

Stuck on the horny of a dilemma? Want to get rid of it?

The Root of All Things (Mūlapariyāya Sutta MN 1)

But he doesn’t conceive extinguishment, he doesn’t conceive regarding extinguishment, he doesn’t conceive as extinguishment, he doesn’t conceive that ‘extinguishment is mine’, he doesn’t take pleasure in extinguishment. Why is that? Because he has understood that relishing is the root of suffering,

There are indeed simple things that can be done. From "I am horny", simply acknowledge "there is horniness". Unhook the self. There is horniness breathing in. There is horniness breathing out. There is a fly in the room breathing in. There is a fly in the room breathing out. There is breathing in long. There is breathing in short. There is cutting vegetables breathing in long. There is cutting vegetables breathing out long. Etc.

In the modern world with dayglow sexuality in all visible forms around you on the internet or even walking down the street seeing exciting attire or cut bodies, there is a constant stream of distraction. Seeking and abiding in solitude can provide relief. You will need time to deal with each explosion of craving. Exposing yourself to constant stimulus is counterproductive. Look down. Look aside. "No, thank you."

As you relinquish the craving, note that there is also danger in relishing the fight against horniness (hence quote above). As Ajahn Chah might have said. "Can you endure?"

Note: While sleeping, if the sperm is released during a dream, no fault is being committed. Just observe and let go.

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    Apologies for not seeing latter part of question. Updated answer with monastic rule reference – OyaMist Jul 30 '18 at 17:26

If you are a layperson you are not expected to abandon all of these urges apart from the actual sexual misconduct, which is mainly harm to others, and depending how people view it, might or might not include masturbation (for some claim it takes two to tango). You are also not expected to abandon your wife as the object of your love and so on.

Unless you, of course, take up Eight precepts, instead of Five. You can, however, attain a decent life full of happiness, joy and bliss getting away with just this simple way. For example, I only take Eight precepts occasionally for short period of time, i.e. a month.

I would not advise to overthink that and be too harsh on yourself and just try to be reasonable about it instead. Too much restriction, too quickly, and the one might get a certain extent of back pressure which causes misery. As such, especially when suppressed, things might get worse, even out of control. In short, take it easy, there will be time and day where you have certain enough insight in Emptiness, or shall I say, things deprived of their Self essence, that you no longer perceive women in such way.

Now, there are antidotes for sexual lust in Buddhism, it might be helpful to read on overcoming Five Mental Hindrances or in Mahayana, Seven point cause and effect method, where practitioner equalizes self and the others completely, for instance, viewing other beings as objects of deepest endearment - here, all women as our mothers.

But most importantly, cultivate patience in regard to such basic and powerful innate instincts, so do not tread on yourself by mistake; this is not liberation from suffering, this is applying it.


This message does not reply directly to the question, but A few days ago I found this sutta


Numbered Discourses 7 Aṅguttara Nikāya 7

  1. A Great Sacrifice
  2. Mahāyaññavagga
  3. Sex
  4. Methunasutta

he phrases the liberation in this term

As long as I saw that these seven sexual fetters—or even one of them—had not been given up in me, I didn’t announce my supreme perfect awakening in this world with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans.

But when I saw that these seven sexual fetters—every one of them—had been given up in me, I announced my supreme perfect awakening in this world with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans.

perhaps you can strive to do the opposite of what a person ''who lives the celibate life impurely'' does


As a lay follower how to deal with uncontrollable sexual urges?

Treat it as you would with any other physical/mental phenomena: observe it with mindfulness in the present moment.

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