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first of all, sorry for my bad English.

Frankly says, I bring up this topic because personally I masturbate to avoid having sex with other people. I have to admit that I've masturbated quite a lot, but generally I really don't want to have any sexual intercourses with any one else though I kinda love sex. I've been keeping my body away from sexual desire with other men and found masturbation as a good feeling. I've never had any imagination of anyone else or rarely (if it does, it should be a person that I really like or dating with but I just keep desire away from him, again rarely)... I also have known that masturbation could prevent sexual assaults. I mean those points just mean good to myself- control, but I'm still so confused if this is still a sin or not?

Please help me to answer this question and thank you so much.

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First off, Buddhism and karmic faiths generally don't really have a concept of 'sin'. 'Sin' is a Western conception — a feature of Abrahamic (Jewish, Christian, Muslim) faiths — that points at behavior that is punishable by some divinity. In karmic faiths, behaviors contain the seeds of their own consequences. Behavior that leads one astray isn't 'sinful'; it is misguided, unskilled, steeped in ignorance, etc...

Masturbation isn't sinful for a Buddhist. The question for a Buddhist is whether the act leads one further into ignorance or towards realization.

Buddhist monastics set aside sexuality less because of its outward consequences — social evaluations, pregnancy, possible diseases, etc — than because of its inward consequences. Sexual activity produces strong emotions, and can lead to attachments, desires, cravings, etc. Sexuality does not easily lend itself to the cultivation of peace and detachment that lies at the core of Buddhist practice (though Tantric practitioners might disagree), and since monastics are intent on creating the best possible environment for realization, sexuality gets in their way.

This isn't as true for lay practitioners, who aren't as dedicated to the practice (at this point in their spiritual development), and who live within the conventional world of love, marriage, children, and such. Lay practitioners are advised (more or less) to keep sexuality from becoming the kind of obsessive behavior that causes harm to oneself or others. Affairs, 'playing around', abuse or degradation, etc, are not 'sins', but they can cause harm to others and foster unhealthy attitudes in oneself, and so one must 'take care.' In that same vein, there is nothing specifically wrong with masturbation, except that it too can foster unhealthy attitudes, and can have an impact on your relationships with others. If you are constantly thinking about masturbation and the pleasure it brings you, for instance, you will find it very difficult to maintain a calm, peaceful mindset, and who knows what effects that constant craving for pleasure might have on your worldview? One can be fixated on masturbation just as easily as one can be fixated on having sex with others; neither fixation is likely to work out for the best. Meditating through a bout of sexual energy might give you a lot of insight into whatever karmic forces are at play in your life...

P.s. Just so it's said, masturbation does not prevent sexual assaults. Masturbation certainly does not prevent anyone from being assaulted by others — I mean, how would that work? — and while masturbation might ease the momentary frustrations of some person who is likely to commit sexual assault, it is not a cure or solution. Sexual assault is not about sexuality; it's about power and dominance (in the same way we sometimes see dogs mount each other to establish leadership), and relieving the momentary sexual urge does nothing to relieve the deeper tanhā for subduing others. That is a hazardous misconception; please don't spread it.

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Masturbation is not a sin (transgression) for laypeople in Buddhism. It is only a sin for monks.

Masturbation is incomparably far safer than engaging in sexual acts.

Uncommitted sex with others leads to separation from the loved and other negative emotions resulting in sticky addiction, humiliation, shame & regret.

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It hurts you, it is like buying something you know you can't afford.

It might hurt you less than doing something else but it still hurts you.

It is maybe not immediately evident how it hurts you but neither is living beyond your means immediately painful.

It is like stealing from yourself because you are with that conditioning your brain in a wrong way and it is you who will have to put in the work to undo it in order to direct the mind to the Eightfold Path.

Furthermore when you understand your behavior to not be in line with your ideals you will experience a lot of anxiety and vexation.

This can not be avoided because your brain is then wired in a way that you know that you are essentially breaking yourself when you do what you know you shouldn't do and aren't doing what you think you should be doing.

When you have work to do for the undoing of unwholesome tendencies which are a result of a frequent giving of unskillful attention, then you are just adding insult to injury by signing up for more sadness that doesn't have to be there by doing more of what got you into trouble in the first place.

Does this make it a sin?

I don't know this term's application here but it's certainly on a spectrum of bad behavior, even tho the thoughts of restraint & avoiding women are more or less skillful.

That being said restraint is good in all circumstance and if feel this makes things easier for you then it's obviously the lesser evil and you should pick that over having intercourse until you can undo & overcome.

Id say don't worry about it but also don't fool yourself into thinking that there is no harm in that for you because it certainly is a stumbling block and you should recognize danger in trifling things because it's likened to grasping a hot rock, it is better to know that ut's hot to minimize the damage.

Here pali sutta instruction

Bhikkhus, to the bhikkhu practicing the perception of loathing and abiding much in it, the sexual thought keeps away, it shrinks and rolls away.

[a] “And what, Ānanda, is the perception of unattractiveness? Here, a bhikkhu reviews this very body upward from the soles of the feet and downward from the tips of the hairs, enclosed in skin, as full of many kinds of impurities: ‘There are in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, snot, fluid of the joints, urine.’ Thus he dwells contemplating unattractiveness in this body. This is called the perception of unattractiveness.

[x] "Furthermore... just as if a sack with openings at both ends were full of various kinds of grain — wheat, rice, mung beans, kidney beans, sesame seeds, husked rice — and a man with good eyesight, pouring it out, were to reflect, 'This is wheat. This is rice. These are mung beans. These are kidney beans. These are sesame seeds. This is husked rice,' in the same way, monks, a monk reflects on this very body from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down, surrounded by skin and full of various kinds of unclean things: 'In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine.' "In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[y] "Furthermore... just as a skilled butcher or his apprentice, having killed a cow, would sit at a crossroads cutting it up into pieces, the monk contemplates this very body — however it stands, however it is disposed — in terms of properties: 'In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property.' "In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[6] "Furthermore, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground — one day, two days, three days dead — bloated, livid, & festering, he applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate'...

"Or again, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground, picked at by crows, vultures, & hawks, by dogs, hyenas, & various other creatures... a skeleton smeared with flesh & blood, connected with tendons... a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected with tendons... a skeleton without flesh or blood, connected with tendons... bones detached from their tendons, scattered in all directions — here a hand bone, there a foot bone, here a shin bone, there a thigh bone, here a hip bone, there a back bone, here a rib, there a breast bone, here a shoulder bone, there a neck bone, here a jaw bone, there a tooth, here a skull... the bones whitened, somewhat like the color of shells... piled up, more than a year old... decomposed into a powder: He applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate.'

Or developing this line of reasoning acc to comy if u want to try;

“When this body is born it is not born inside a blue, red or white lotus or water-lily, etc., or inside a store of jewels or pearls, etc.; on the contrary, like a worm in rotting flesh, in a rotting corpse, in rotting dough, in a drain, in a cesspool, etc., it is born in between the receptacle for undigested food and the receptacle for digested food, behind the belly lining, in front of the backbone, surrounded by the bowel and the entrails, in a place that is stinking, disgusting, repulsive, and extremely cramped, being itself stinking, disgusting, and repulsive. When it is born thus, its causes (root-causes) are the four things, namely, ignorance, craving, clinging, and kamma, [599] since it is they that bring about its birth; and nutriment is its condition, since it is that that consolidates it. So five things constitute its cause and condition. And of these, the three beginning with ignorance are the decisive-support for this body, as the mother is for her infant, and kamma begets it, as the father does the child; and nutriment sustains it, as the wet-nurse does the infant.”

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    It hurts one in that it requires a giving of unwise attention to the theme of attractiveness and this becomes an inclination of mind. It being an inclination one will be beset with hindrances on it's account and were one to die not having overcome & undone this will lead to a lower than otherwise birth and plenty of vexation.
    – user8527
    May 20 at 1:53
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    There are beautiful objects; frequently giving unwise attention to them — this is the nourishment for the arising of sensual desire that has not arisen, and the nourishment for the increase and strengthening of sensual desire that has already arisen. — SN 46:51
    – user8527
    May 20 at 1:56
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    What one feels, one perceives. What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one "papanca" (objectifies?). Based on what a person papanca, the perceptions & categories of papanca assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future forms cognizable by the eye.. - MN 18
    – user8527
    May 20 at 2:11
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    Seclusion from hindrances isn't only for monks; the Blessed One said to him, "Householder, you have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick, but you shouldn't rest content with the thought, 'We have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick.' So you should train yourself, 'Let's periodically enter & remain in seclusion & rapture.' That's how you should train yourself." - AN 5:176
    – user8527
    May 20 at 2:13
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    Seclusion from unwholesome states is what is talked about, such as pleasure of sensuality, hindrances & vexation.
    – user8527
    May 20 at 2:18

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