sexualite dans le bouddhisme

Buddhism is a religion founded by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, more than 2,500 years ago in India. With approximately 470 million followers, scholars consider Buddhism to be one of the world's major religions. Historically, the religion has been the most important religion in East and Southeast Asia, but its influence is increasing in the West. Many Buddhist ideas and philosophies overlap with those of other religions.

Nowadays, Buddhism is becoming more and more widespread throughout the world. And people ask a lot of questions about this religion, including those about "sexuality and Buddhism". That's why we would like to give you more explanations on this subject.

Buddhism and sex

The Buddha taught that there are two goals for religious life, what we might call a primary goal and secondary goals. The first and ultimate goal of Buddhism is to achieve the peace and freedom of Nirvana. Although this can be done in the present life the Buddha was well aware that many people, probably the majority, will take the time to disentangle themselves from worldly activities and desires. Buddhist spiritual life is a gradual practice and training.

While asking all his disciples to keep their eye on the primary goal, the Buddha also taught a series of secondary goals suitable for the majority: to be a good, kind and honest person, a spouse or a parent loving, a generous donor, a hospitable host, a responsible citizen, and so on.

Sexual restraint is encouraged

For those moving toward Nirvana in the present life, the Buddha encouraged sexual restraint or even celibacy. For others, he taught sexual responsibility as described in the third of the five precepts. For those who wanted the first option, he emphasized what he called "the dangers" of sensual indulgences and the second, he recognized "the satisfaction" they provided.

Having been a husband for almost two decades, the Buddha was well aware of the positive side of sex and marriage. But as an insightful psychologist, he also saw that sensual indulgence can easily become a preoccupation leading to attachment, selfishness, boredom, and neglect of the lives of others. That said, it is also true that some of the Buddha's disciples achieved some of the highest spiritual states while leading happy married lives, Isidatta being a good example of this.


Why are monks celibate?

The Buddha required his monks and nuns to be celibate (brahmacariya). When speaking to them, he often spoke of sex as a "village practice" (gāma dhamma), something suitable for simple people. So much so that he considered violating the rule of celibacy that sexual intercourse (methuna) is one of only four offenses for which he will be removed from the monastic order.

A monk or nun will be summarily expelled from the monastic order if he or she has sexual relations. For there to be no ambiguity as to what exactly constitutes sexual intercourse, it must be defined exactly. According to the Vinaya, sexual intercourse is deemed to have taken place if the penis enters the orifice of a being, of a sex, living or dead. Other types of sexual behavior, although serious and punishable by specific penalties, do not result in expulsion from the Sangha.

Buddhism and premarital sex

Are you wondering if you can have sex before marriage? The answer is yes, as long as you are committed to each other. Sex should be part of a romantic relationship, which is considered to be best represented by marriage.

Buddhists follow the five precepts when considering how to live. The third precept says that Buddhists should not commit sexual misconduct. This includes adultery, which is hurtful to another person, and promiscuity, which is seen as satisfying a desire.


How is sex in marriage?

Buddhists should avoid sexual misconduct, which includes a wide range of activities.

Oral or anal sex?

In 1997, the Dalai Lama said: "Even with one's own wife, using her mouth or other hole is sexual misconduct."

What about contraception?

Is the use of contraceptive methods recommended in Buddhism? Well, that doesn't cause any problems, as long as you have what's called "good intention." Buddhists seek to avoid suffering, and because unplanned pregnancies or STIs can create suffering, contraception is acceptable.


And abortion?

Like many other religions, Buddhism does not condone abortion unless there is danger to the mother or the baby is suffering. Speaking in 1993, the Dalai Lama said: “Of course, from a Buddhist point of view, abortion is an act of murder and is generally negative.” But it depends on the circumstances . If the unborn child will be delayed or the birth will create serious problems for the mother, there may be an exception. Indeed, abortion should be approved or disapproved depending on the circumstances.

Read also: Sexuality in Buddhism

Buddhism and homosexuality

Does Buddhism accept homosexuality? Well, the Dalai Lama confirms that Buddhists cannot tolerate homosexuality. He claimed that a relationship between two men or two women is false. Some sexual behavior in marriage is also wrong.


However, nothing in the original Buddhist teachings suggests that homosexuality is incompatible with Buddhism, and Buddhist monks are celibate so it's irrelevant to them anyway.

The Dalai Lama also made it clear that he did not believe homosexuality was compatible with Buddhism, but he also did not praise it, saying: "If the individual doesn't have faith, that's another story. If two men really love each other and aren't religious, that doesn't concern me."

1 comment

Aka Adjé Paulin

Je vous remercie pour ces precisions sur la sexualité. Car vous avez touchez le maximum de details dans ce domaine.

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