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Thread: sex and prostitution

  1. #1

    sex and prostitution

    I'm struggling with a somewhat sensitive issue and changed my mind several times about starting this thread but here goes. I have suffered a variety of emotional problems throughout my life and have never been in a loving or stable relationship with anyone. Since I became a buddhist several years ago I've decided to follow the third precept as best I can and have chosen not to have sex until I was in a relationship with someone I loved and have therefore been celibate for a number of years.

    lately however, for the past 8 months or so, I have really struggled with sex and sexual desire. to be blunt, I'm plagued/obsessed by thoughts of sex. I've tried to let things be thinking they would pass in their own time but I no longer think I can, and nor do I feel I should continue to fight/not fight what is a natural human impulse.

    I feel my choices boil down to the lesser of two "evils". a sexual but loveless relationship or sex with a prostitute. either way I think it's a lose/lose situation and I'd like to know what others think.

    Ghasso
    Rob

  2. #2
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by stranger
    I'm struggling with a somewhat sensitive issue and changed my mind several times about starting this thread but here goes. I have suffered a variety of emotional problems throughout my life and have never been in a loving or stable relationship with anyone. Since I became a buddhist several years ago I've decided to follow the third precept as best I can and have chosen not to have sex until I was in a relationship with someone I loved and have therefore been celibate for a number of years.

    lately however, for the past 8 months or so, I have really struggled with sex and sexual desire. to be blunt, I'm plagued/obsessed by thoughts of sex. I've tried to let things be thinking they would pass in their own time but I no longer think I can, and nor do I feel I should continue to fight/not fight what is a natural human impulse.

    I feel my choices boil down to the lesser of two "evils". a sexual but loveless relationship or sex with a prostitute. either way I think it's a lose/lose situation and I'd like to know what others think.

    Ghasso
    Rob
    Wow, you've put yourself in a real bind here, or so it seems.

    Why not try the loveless relationship? It's the tried and true way of men everywhere and it often leads to a loving relationship seemingly against one's will.

    Honestly though, if you try to behave as if you're less deluded than you really are, it leads to conflicts like this. You've been suppressing your urge to do the nasty and now it simply will not be silenced. Why are you using Buddhism to justify your totally neurotic attitude toward sex? It is an abuse of the precepts, I dare say. It is certainly more harmful and violent to oneself than would be an honest dalliance with a willing partner.

    Chet

  3. #3
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    2,904

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Hi Rob,

    Yes, obviously, you have got yourself into a a real hellish situation. Sex has been discussed in previous threads, regarding the precepts for Jukai. You may have a look. I don't see anything wrong in relaxing and enjoying life and sex, the way Buddhists see sex vary a lot , but it has very little to do with the Christian take on the whole matter. Sex, for most of us, is an important and healthy part of life. Relating to a prostitute won't quench the thirst and seems to me a violation of more than one precept. Having sex and building a relationship as you go along is also a valid option as Chet points out.


    And please, don't disregard this urge. Look at it in much more friendly way. Look into it. Look deeper. Look at the core. Beyond the flame and the burn. Beyond the madness and the painful impulse. You may, in the very middle of this, find a peaceful and vast space.

    gassho


    Taigu

  4. #4
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFiresky
    Is there some reason you can't settle for flying solo? :wink:

    Phoenix
    I don't know about other guys, but for me - it is just so much 'not-the-same'. They are almost two different types of sexuality for me...

    Chet

  5. #5

    Re: sex and prostitution

    well, where ever this takes you, make an attempt to be honest with yourself, and hopefully with others involved -- that is awareness, practice -- that is my only golden rule(other than a condom), not any "thou shalt not..."' -- and i'm aware as i type this that i am saying it to myself, sorting this difficult issue out personally -- still

    depending on what setting your biologic drive is at, stopping sex is like stopping taking a shit -- not healthy -- and i remember the "body hunger" being not even touched by masturbation

    on a humorous note, check out robin william's take on this in "the adventures of baron von munchausen", by terry gilliam -- "the head is dead, long live the bodˇ!"

    my old teacher, who was a horny sort, and just a lover of life, taught that the body had its own intelligence -- so when doing a painful sit, you see the difference between the body's pain, and all your thoughts surrounding that -- often, once the surrounding thoughts are dealt with, the pain is not that big -- same with this sex thing, make an attempt to seperate the obsessive thoughts, from the body need -- then maybe the body's need isn't that great -- or maybe it is

    the sterotype is correct: sexually frustrated people are nasty -- check out the history of religion -- so sit, shit, eat, drink, and screw, completely, and with gusto -- we are all animals, we are all one animal, so go celebrate

    oops, too one-sided -- the other half is that what really matters is intimacy, just holding someone close, and whatever happens, or doesn't happen, thats fine -- and i do wish for you, as i can see you desire, that that will be yours someday -- but in the meantime.......

    gassho, roky

  6. #6

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Hi,

    We had a very nice chat on issues of sex in study for our last Jukai (and I am sure we will for our upcoming Jukai too) ...

    viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1207

    As currently interpreted in most of the modern Zen traditions, the emphasis is on "not misusing sexuality" in place of strict "celibacy" (although there may be times in life when celibacy, as with any form of fasting or other mild forms of self-denial, are good practices for a time).

    "Not misusing sexuality" fundamentally comes down to seeking, as one can, that "nobody get hurt" either in obvious or subtle ways. A stable, loving relationship is usually the best vehicle for that, although perhaps (as with most aspects of the Precepts) even that is not intended to be applied as an iron law or "commandment" ... more a guide to healthful, harmless living, a sound rule of thumb, an arrow pointing to a helpful path and peaceful way of life. Very few, if any, actions or relationships will even be purely harmless and perfectly healthful ... and life is often a mixed bag. But to the extent we can, amid life's tangles, we head in the direction of the healthful and avoid harm.

    The Buddha, and traditional Buddhists (even today in Asian countries other than Japan) have had a very strict attitude toward sex ... requiring celibacy of monks (although never of unordained householders). Over the centuries, the attitude moved more toward one of balance, moderation, avoiding excess and harm (same for sex as for food and drink). The emphasis became less the suppressing and denial of the drives and senses, and more simply avoiding excess and misuse. I believe it a very good change.

    I believe that the comments by others above are sound ... How are you yourself talking yourself into this bind for yourself? Who is making this dilemma for you but you?

    I am sorry that some terrible trauma has caused you to feel that you must struggle to have a "loving or stable relationship with anyone" ... but (in addition to any other therapy or help you are receiving for that) that is one thought about yourself that you can certainly drop on the cushion. Our self's thoughts create such fears and and assumptions about ourself, and those can all be left behind. I hope you find love and happiness in this life with a good, long term partner.

    And in the meantime ... get out there, start dating and looking for that person. If it feels pleasant and balanced, and nobody gets hurt ... it is probably just fine.

    Gassho, Jundo

  7. #7

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Rob, I don't think this is just about sex. It's more about being in a relationship. You can take care of your physical sexual needs right now. The next step is making a plan to find somebody to build a relationship with. As far as love - like the song said 'Love is just a four letter word' - what you do in the relationship is what matters. You can be happy on your own, but having someone to help and support is very rewarding. Good Luck!

  8. #8

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Give up celibacy. Find a girl you like. Not necessarily in that order.

    Good luck

    Cam

  9. #9

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Hi, Rob.

    Others have already said a lot that I would agree with.

    Your solution (loveless sex or hookers) is, I think, too simplistic an answer for a complex issue. Yours seems particularly complex given your admission of emotional issues.

    The idea that having sex will diminish your urges to have sex is, in my experience, unrealistic. Sure, the urge will diminish for a short period, but in the long run, sex will not rid you of your sexual urges, it may even make them stronger. There is nothing particularly wrong with urges anyway, it is the actions that follow them that matter. It is our discomfort, our thinking "I shouldn't have to live with these urges," that most often is the problem. Having the urge to eat a quart of ice cream is not the same as having to eat a quart of ice cream. An urge is just a thought . . . an annoying, unrelenting, vivid, primal thought, but still just a thought. Thoughts are no big deal unless we act on them in ways that hurt ourselves or others.

    I hope you find the answer you need (even though it might not be the answer you want).

    Peace,
    Bill

  10. #10

    Re: sex and prostitution

    thank you all for some very insightful replies. I have to admit I was heading down the 'loveless sex = evil' path, it's a weight off my shoulders to hear some different perspectives.

    As Rich has said, this is about more than just sex. I've felt an intense longing for a relationship for a long time. It's not like I haven't tried either. It just seems to me that no one is interested. I asked out someone I was very fond of last year and when she turned me down it triggered a relapse of my depression (I posted about it at the time). Since then I've asked out 3 other women with the same result. All of this just adds more fuel to the 'unloveable' fire and there's only so much rejection I feel I can take. Ironically, wanting a partner so much is probably hindering my chances of finding one because it if it's playing this heavily on my mind, it must come across in my interactions with women.

    The 'loveless' relationship I was talking about before involves someone who has hurt me before. She's trouble with a capital T and I don't even find her particularly attractive but she's the only one who seems interested.

    it's not all bad news though. thanks to therapy and zazen I've gone from a socially anxious, depressed & paranoid recluse to someone who doesn't need or carry those labels around any more. there are now many more good days than bad ones, and every now and then even just days, neither good nor bad.

  11. #11

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by stranger

    it's not all bad news though. thanks to therapy and zazen I've gone from a socially anxious, depressed & paranoid recluse to someone who doesn't need or carry those labels around any more. there are now many more good days than bad ones, and every now and then even just days, neither good nor bad.
    Yes, continue with the therapy ... and some courses on "talking to the opposite sex for shy guys" and such ... and the Zazen. All can go hand-in-hand.

    I am sure there is love in your future. Something good awaits. Somebody is out there who, the Japanese and Chinese say, you are tied to with a red string (akai ito de musubareta) from even before you were born.

    "An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,
    regardless of time, place, or circumstance.
    The thread may stretch or tangle,
    but it will never break."
    - an ancient Chinese belief


    Gassho, Jundo (painfully shy once ... which I now realize was my own mental creation)

  12. #12

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Nothing insightful here but i learned this from experience...

    when you stop TRYING really hard and to find that some one you end up banging smack in to them.

    Sexual drive is normal and like all things... ALL Things...you push hard against it will naturally push hard back. This idea that suppressing a drive is holy or right goes against the very teachings we try to work with and make work. Clinging to the idea that YOU MUST NOT TOUCH is not healthy. Nothing wrong with choosing to do so unless your harming your self. You and your body know will find that balance.

    "flying solo" is not a sub for a relationship...but all relationships are not sexual forever. Everything changes including that...being married and 2 little ones, working and living - there isnt always Sex on demand - every time your feeling like it..hell I may be on but my wife maybe off or my 5 month old maybe hungry or my 3 year old had a night mare or the 4 cats wanna see whats going on , the roof is leaking, etc on and on.

    Any way i think you got the picture long before i posted.

    Gassho, Shohei

  13. #13
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by stranger
    thank you all for some very insightful replies. I have to admit I was heading down the 'loveless sex = evil' path, it's a weight off my shoulders to hear some different perspectives.

    As Rich has said, this is about more than just sex. I've felt an intense longing for a relationship for a long time. It's not like I haven't tried either. It just seems to me that no one is interested. I asked out someone I was very fond of last year and when she turned me down it triggered a relapse of my depression (I posted about it at the time). Since then I've asked out 3 other women with the same result. All of this just adds more fuel to the 'unloveable' fire and there's only so much rejection I feel I can take. Ironically, wanting a partner so much is probably hindering my chances of finding one because it if it's playing this heavily on my mind, it must come across in my interactions with women.

    The 'loveless' relationship I was talking about before involves someone who has hurt me before. She's trouble with a capital T and I don't even find her particularly attractive but she's the only one who seems interested.

    it's not all bad news though. thanks to therapy and zazen I've gone from a socially anxious, depressed & paranoid recluse to someone who doesn't need or carry those labels around any more. there are now many more good days than bad ones, and every now and then even just days, neither good nor bad.
    Yes, women can smell 'hunger' and they avoid it.

    Chet

  14. #14

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Rob, finding and building relationships is a skill and art which can be learned (as Jundo pointed to ) and it has very little to do with how you look. go to some of the dating sites like Yahoo Personals and read all the articles, tips and techniques and then just practice. I am definitely not an expert but when i became a widower, I did jump into this and came up smiling. I have a feeling yu will be truly amazed.

  15. #15
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: sex and prostitution

    I have some considerable experience in being rejected. You are going on the assumption that you must be with another, and everyone else is feeding that assumption. They mean well, but reassurance is not very helpful in the practical way you need. The idea that you need to be with someone is natural, as most people are with someone else, so they go with that personal reality. But just because most people share that reality doesn't mean it is true for you right now at this moment.

    I argue that it is NOT about you being with another; it is about you being with you. It is about accepting yourself as you are right now: alone. Harsh, but accepting yourself as you are now needs to happen before others can bring you into their life in an intimate way. If you can fully accept yourself, fully and completely embrace who you are and all you are in a personally intimate way, even the not-so-good stuff that you want to change, then that's all you need. By fully accepting yourself the need for another drops away. She may come, she may not. There may be a "red thread," as Jundo says, but there may be not. In any case, it won't matter. To believe in this destiny of another in your future just sets up a waiting type of desire that is just another stumbling block when you have already stumbled too much. Drop it! Dropping this idea of a need for another has been my answer to my history or rejection, so maybe it can work for you too. But it takes lots of time, practice, and patience.

    There is no peace to be found in others, only in yourself. But this doesn't mean to further isolate yourself or to stop trying. Keep going out there, keep talking to women, keep being social. Make friends, play well with others. Just do so while giving up on the idea that someone somewhere someday somehow will make it all better for you, because that is a big delusion.

    From one sufferer to another, metta to you!

  16. #16

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    I have some considerable experience in being rejected. You are going on the assumption that you must be with another, and everyone else is feeding that assumption. They mean well, but reassurance is not very helpful in the practical way you need. The idea that you need to be with someone is natural, as most people are with someone else, so they go with that personal reality. But just because most people share that reality doesn't mean it is true for you right now at this moment.

    I argue that it is NOT about you being with another; it is about you being with you. It is about accepting yourself as you are right now: alone.
    Very very beautiful reminder, Alan, thank you. Yes.

    When with someone ... be that, be fully that. When by oneself ... be that. All complete.

    If looking for someone, if not looking for someone ... just your life. Things as they are.

    If fear is keeping one from looking, well, perhaps we can drop away that fear. But if life just leaves one on one's own ... or if we really like it that way and are at home in that ... then just be on one's own.

    If I may mess with the words of those Great Masters ... C, S & N (and sometimes Y)

    if you canít be with the one you love, honey ... be at one with just what is (cause that is who you are), love the just what is, (cause that's the one you are).

  17. #17

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by stranger
    thank you all for some very insightful replies. I have to admit I was heading down the 'loveless sex = evil' path, it's a weight off my shoulders to hear some different perspectives.

    As Rich has said, this is about more than just sex. I've felt an intense longing for a relationship for a long time. It's not like I haven't tried either. It just seems to me that no one is interested. I asked out someone I was very fond of last year and when she turned me down it triggered a relapse of my depression (I posted about it at the time). Since then I've asked out 3 other women with the same result. All of this just adds more fuel to the 'unloveable' fire and there's only so much rejection I feel I can take. Ironically, wanting a partner so much is probably hindering my chances of finding one because it if it's playing this heavily on my mind, it must come across in my interactions with women.

    The 'loveless' relationship I was talking about before involves someone who has hurt me before. She's trouble with a capital T and I don't even find her particularly attractive but she's the only one who seems interested.

    it's not all bad news though. thanks to therapy and zazen I've gone from a socially anxious, depressed & paranoid recluse to someone who doesn't need or carry those labels around any more. there are now many more good days than bad ones, and every now and then even just days, neither good nor bad.
    Yes, women can smell 'hunger' and they avoid it.

    Chet
    Well, I think healthy women will avoid unhealthy men just as healthy men will avoid unhealthy women. If you are not healthy, you will attract an unhealthy partner and thus begins the toxic relationship. Alan's on target. Focus on yourself. Be patient. Don't strive for or be distracted by mental representations as your life passes by, let things unfold as you do whatever it is you do. It's not so much the consideration of the future, but the decision made and action done in the present. One day, BAM, you'll meet someone. I really like that poem Jundo posted. I'd never heard that before. It is a nice thought. My advice for finding someone is to evaluate your interests and then do them in public, in groups, in clubs, take a class in something, do things you once enjoyed in the past but somehow set aside, etc. etc. You are guaranteed to have things in common with the people you will meet. DON'T DO THIS ONLINE!!! You need to see the eyes... and other things. ;-P

    Cam

  18. #18

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Rob,
    Thank you for starting this thread. With too much to share here, I sent you a PM.
    One of the things I said to you there and will repeat here is that sex is mysterious to me, as are relationships in which sex takes place.
    I don't know how, but when they work, they work and I don't know why, but when they don't, they don't.

    wishing all of us the best of luck in these waters--from wading pool to wide ocean--!

  19. #19
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadbuddha
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by stranger
    thank you all for some very insightful replies. I have to admit I was heading down the 'loveless sex = evil' path, it's a weight off my shoulders to hear some different perspectives.

    As Rich has said, this is about more than just sex. I've felt an intense longing for a relationship for a long time. It's not like I haven't tried either. It just seems to me that no one is interested. I asked out someone I was very fond of last year and when she turned me down it triggered a relapse of my depression (I posted about it at the time). Since then I've asked out 3 other women with the same result. All of this just adds more fuel to the 'unloveable' fire and there's only so much rejection I feel I can take. Ironically, wanting a partner so much is probably hindering my chances of finding one because it if it's playing this heavily on my mind, it must come across in my interactions with women.

    The 'loveless' relationship I was talking about before involves someone who has hurt me before. She's trouble with a capital T and I don't even find her particularly attractive but she's the only one who seems interested.

    it's not all bad news though. thanks to therapy and zazen I've gone from a socially anxious, depressed & paranoid recluse to someone who doesn't need or carry those labels around any more. there are now many more good days than bad ones, and every now and then even just days, neither good nor bad.
    Yes, women can smell 'hunger' and they avoid it.

    Chet
    Well, I think healthy women will avoid unhealthy men just as healthy men will avoid unhealthy women. If you are not healthy, you will attract an unhealthy partner and thus begins the toxic relationship. Alan's on target. Focus on yourself. Be patient. Don't strive for or be distracted by mental representations as your life passes by, let things unfold as you do whatever it is you do. It's not so much the consideration of the future, but the decision made and action done in the present. One day, BAM, you'll meet someone. I really like that poem Jundo posted. I'd never heard that before. It is a nice thought. My advice for finding someone is to evaluate your interests and then do them in public, in groups, in clubs, take a class in something, do things you once enjoyed in the past but somehow set aside, etc. etc. You are guaranteed to have things in common with the people you will meet. DON'T DO THIS ONLINE!!! You need to see the eyes... and other things. ;-P

    Cam
    You don't have to be unhealthy to be hungry.

    Take a look at your own mind. Most of what's going on in there isn't relevant to anything. Hell, most of it isn't even coherent, irrelevant bullshit. Isn't that amazing? Yeah. Every woman you meet has the same crazy shit-storm going on in her head...the same unconscious programming...everything. Rejection isn't personal - hell, it can't be personal - because whatever representation her crazy-shit-storm brain comes up for you is so far from the mark that she's mostly just rejecting unconsciously projected parts of her own mind. And of course, this is all true of you too.

    Stop trying to get laid, but don't avoid it. By all means, when you start hearing the 'bom-chicka-bom-bom' music (every man knows what I'm talking about)- dive in! In the meantime, get to know just how batshit your internal environment is. Get intimately aware of just what's driving you (both to sex AND to celibacy).

    IMHO.

    Chet

  20. #20
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: sex and prostitution

    And for some reason, this made me think of a Modest Mouse song..

    "No one really knows the ones they love. If you really knew everything they thought about, you'd wish that they'd just shut up."

    Chet

  21. #21

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by stranger
    I feel my choices boil down to the lesser of two "evils". a sexual but loveless relationship or sex with a prostitute. either way I think it's a lose/lose situation and I'd like to know what others think.
    I will assume that you may consider sex with a sex workers/prostitute not just once, but a couple of times during a year.

    Take aside the issue of comodification of sexuality.
    Take aside how by in large part prostitutes are treated by their "pimps." (violence, etc).
    Take aside the reason why a good number end up becoming prostitutes.

    There is an issue of health. Sexual health. Having sex with someone with multiple partners who in great probability did not protect themselves (used condoms, do not do intravenous drug use, keep up with health checks, ask their clients about their sexual health, etc) may run you the great risk of contracting an STD or STDs.

    Sure. Getting the BB's may get you all into a bundle of emotions and what not....but....there are ways of satisfying your sexual health and appetite that does not require you to get into a situation that may be a great health risk.

    Caveat: And yes. I know not all sex workers are walking health disasters, but they are not living the Pretty Woman lifestyle. :wink:

  22. #22

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    I have some considerable experience in being rejected. You are going on the assumption that you must be with another, and everyone else is feeding that assumption. They mean well, but reassurance is not very helpful in the practical way you need. The idea that you need to be with someone is natural, as most people are with someone else, so they go with that personal reality. But just because most people share that reality doesn't mean it is true for you right now at this moment.

    I argue that it is NOT about you being with another; it is about you being with you. It is about accepting yourself as you are right now: alone. Harsh, but accepting yourself as you are now needs to happen before others can bring you into their life in an intimate way. If you can fully accept yourself, fully and completely embrace who you are and all you are in a personally intimate way, even the not-so-good stuff that you want to change, then that's all you need. By fully accepting yourself the need for another drops away. She may come, she may not. There may be a "red thread," as Jundo says, but there may be not. In any case, it won't matter. To believe in this destiny of another in your future just sets up a waiting type of desire that is just another stumbling block when you have already stumbled too much. Drop it! Dropping this idea of a need for another has been my answer to my history or rejection, so maybe it can work for you too. But it takes lots of time, practice, and patience.

    There is no peace to be found in others, only in yourself. But this doesn't mean to further isolate yourself or to stop trying. Keep going out there, keep talking to women, keep being social. Make friends, play well with others. Just do so while giving up on the idea that someone somewhere someday somehow will make it all better for you, because that is a big delusion.

    From one sufferer to another, metta to you!
    I was going to reply in much the same vein, but you said it all much better than I could have. This is something that I've experienced myself. Heck, it's even something I knew before, while I was going through it. But I think it's one of those things you have to really internalize yourself...just being told it won't get through, even if you hear it and it makes sense. You've really got to be okay with being alone, deep down. When you are, you are a more interesting, more healthy person, who is much more attractive (in every way, even attracting straight, same-sex friends) than someone who's needy and looking for someone to give them attention--even meaning that in a nice way. I've been alone, and I've been romantically involved with people...both have their good parts and bad parts, and I can be happy and content either way. When you're really okay with being just you, yourself, not-involved-with-someone, it frees you up to develop as a person. Read about things that intrest you. Learn a musical instrument. Learn to paint or take photos. Volunteer for a charitable cause. All of these things can have a deep value for your life and contribute to it greatly. And hey, guess what? Being able to do these things makes you more attractive to others. When someone does come along, you'll have so much more to offer.

  23. #23
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by kfrance0
    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    I have some considerable experience in being rejected. You are going on the assumption that you must be with another, and everyone else is feeding that assumption. They mean well, but reassurance is not very helpful in the practical way you need. The idea that you need to be with someone is natural, as most people are with someone else, so they go with that personal reality. But just because most people share that reality doesn't mean it is true for you right now at this moment.

    I argue that it is NOT about you being with another; it is about you being with you. It is about accepting yourself as you are right now: alone. Harsh, but accepting yourself as you are now needs to happen before others can bring you into their life in an intimate way. If you can fully accept yourself, fully and completely embrace who you are and all you are in a personally intimate way, even the not-so-good stuff that you want to change, then that's all you need. By fully accepting yourself the need for another drops away. She may come, she may not. There may be a "red thread," as Jundo says, but there may be not. In any case, it won't matter. To believe in this destiny of another in your future just sets up a waiting type of desire that is just another stumbling block when you have already stumbled too much. Drop it! Dropping this idea of a need for another has been my answer to my history or rejection, so maybe it can work for you too. But it takes lots of time, practice, and patience.

    There is no peace to be found in others, only in yourself. But this doesn't mean to further isolate yourself or to stop trying. Keep going out there, keep talking to women, keep being social. Make friends, play well with others. Just do so while giving up on the idea that someone somewhere someday somehow will make it all better for you, because that is a big delusion.

    From one sufferer to another, metta to you!
    I was going to reply in much the same vein, but you said it all much better than I could have. This is something that I've experienced myself. Heck, it's even something I knew before, while I was going through it. But I think it's one of those things you have to really internalize yourself...just being told it won't get through, even if you hear it and it makes sense. You've really got to be okay with being alone, deep down. When you are, you are a more interesting, more healthy person, who is much more attractive (in every way, even attracting straight, same-sex friends) than someone who's needy and looking for someone to give them attention--even meaning that in a nice way. I've been alone, and I've been romantically involved with people...both have their good parts and bad parts, and I can be happy and content either way. When you're really okay with being just you, yourself, not-involved-with-someone, it frees you up to develop as a person. Read about things that intrest you. Learn a musical instrument. Learn to paint or take photos. Volunteer for a charitable cause. All of these things can have a deep value for your life and contribute to it greatly. And hey, guess what? Being able to do these things makes you more attractive to others. When someone does come along, you'll have so much more to offer.
    What you should ask yourself re: relationships, IMHO, is this: What do I think will change if I get what I want? It's an old joke that the single selectively craves the benefits of being a couple while forgetting the downsides while the coupled selectively craves the freedom benefits of being a single while forgetting the downsides.

    Stephanie gives me a lot of crap about the fact that I say that, as opposed to previous times in my life (under the influence of Borderline PD) when I've felt desperately in need of a relationship, recently I don't feel that need so much. She gives me crap about it because I've been in two relationships since then. But hey! There's no reason to avoid a relationship to 'prove' that you don't really need them.

    Chet

  24. #24

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse

    What you should ask yourself re: relationships, IMHO, is this: What do I think will change if I get what I want? It's an old joke that the single selectively craves the benefits of being a couple while forgetting the downsides while the coupled selectively craves the freedom benefits of being a single while forgetting the downsides.

    Stephanie gives me a lot of crap about the fact that I say that, as opposed to previous times in my life (under the influence of Borderline PD) when I've felt desperately in need of a relationship, recently I don't feel that need so much. She gives me crap about it because I've been in two relationships since then. But hey! There's no reason to avoid a relationship to 'prove' that you don't really need them.

    Chet
    Always appreciate the perfection** of the grass on one's side of the fence.

    Also appreciate the perfection** of the grass on the other side of the fence.

    So, nothing to prevent one from abiding on this side, or visiting the other side, as the mood strikes.

    One should not crave the other side of the fence from this side, nor be attached to one side of the fence or the other ...

    But yet wander from place to place ... always here, and here, and here.

    Gassho, J

    ** NOTE: that's a "perfection", by the way, which has nothing to do with which is truly fuller and greener. Our lawn is always perfectly our lawn, each blade of grass holding the entire cosmos within ... and that is true whether there are weeds and bald patches and brown spots or not. In fact, each weed is perfectly weedy!

    Now, that be said, nothing to prevent us from plucking weeds and watering

  25. #25

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Rob,
    I appreciate considering the different facets your thread brings up for me, and I appreciate the various responses posted here.
    I got to wondering about the limitation in the 'choice' you had given yourself (loveless relationship or prostitute), and it had me thinking about the limitations I pose on 'choices' for myself. This has been quite a revelation to me--that when I supposedly am giving myself a 'choice,' in fact I am cutting off almost all other infinite possibilities.
    Also I got to think about assumptions: I assume I know what sex is and I assume I know what having sex with another person is about or means, when really, even though I have engaged in sexual behavior with a partner (or not), the truth is, I really don't know what was actually occurring even though I was right there and somewhere in the middle of it at the time.

    From my experience, the more specific and particular I have made my expectation of something--the more unsatisfactory it is when I receive it
    Is it possible for me to not have an idea about what it is I am expecting/anticipating? Or at least, is it possible for me to be vague?
    When the event occurs, I don't even think I experience it--I think I am experiencing instead my 'this-didn't-meet-my-expectations' I've projected onto the event/or person.

    I know I wrote above that sex is mysterious to me and that relationships in which sex takes place are mysterious but I fell far far short in that statement--because the longer I look, I find that everything is mysterious and all relationships are mysterious whether or not 'sex' takes place in them or not.

    It has been said that 'koans arise naturally in one's daily life.' Assuredly this thread is a discussion of your current koan.

    I thank you again for your post, Rob, and I thank others here for wonderful, considered answers.

  26. #26
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
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    1,259

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Consider this, Rob:
    How do you feel about yourself right now?
    How will you feel about yourself if you have sex with a prostitute?
    How will you feel about yourself if you have sex with a woman you describe as "trouble"?
    Can you accept yourself now? Will you be able to accept yourself better if you take one of these choices you give yourself? As Keishin says, what other choices might you have? And how might the choices you make affect how you feel about yourself?

  27. #27

    Re: sex and prostitution

    this thread continues to provide food for thought (not always a good thing) but my attitude on the whole situation has changed drastically in the space of a few days. I'm now 'OK' with the idea of sex without love or commitment. That in itself is a big deal for me. I'm a bit of a romantic at heart and have always clung to the idea that sex is something special between two people who love one another. It can be that of course but it can also just be a fundamental human act no different to eating, sleeping or breathing as some of you have pointed out.

    With the change in attitude however,it feels as though a great burden has gone. I can't remember the last time I felt so at ease with things. Yesterday and today I've had the odd thoughts of sex but nowhere near as intense or as frequent as on other days. It seems my sex drive is back to 'normal' . After all that anguish and conflict was it just a case of wanting what I thought I couldn't have? It seems to me that now it's no longer off limits it's lost some of it's appeal. I think my new attitude - if it happens it happens - is much healthier and one I hope will stick around.

    you and me baby aint nothing but mammals so let's do it like they do on the discovery channel

  28. #28
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse

    What you should ask yourself re: relationships, IMHO, is this: What do I think will change if I get what I want? It's an old joke that the single selectively craves the benefits of being a couple while forgetting the downsides while the coupled selectively craves the freedom benefits of being a single while forgetting the downsides.

    Stephanie gives me a lot of crap about the fact that I say that, as opposed to previous times in my life (under the influence of Borderline PD) when I've felt desperately in need of a relationship, recently I don't feel that need so much. She gives me crap about it because I've been in two relationships since then. But hey! There's no reason to avoid a relationship to 'prove' that you don't really need them.

    Chet
    Always appreciate the perfection** of the grass on one's side of the fence.

    Also appreciate the perfection** of the grass on the other side of the fence.

    So, nothing to prevent one from abiding on this side, or visiting the other side, as the mood strikes.

    One should not crave the other side of the fence from this side, nor be attached to one side of the fence or the other ...

    But yet wander from place to place ... always here, and here, and here.

    Gassho, J

    ** NOTE: that's a "perfection", by the way, which has nothing to do with which is truly fuller and greener. Our lawn is always perfectly our lawn, each blade of grass holding the entire cosmos within ... and that is true whether there are weeds and bald patches and brown spots or not. In fact, each weed is perfectly weedy!

    Now, that be said, nothing to prevent us from plucking weeds and watering
    Gassho, Jundo.

    Chet

  29. #29

    Re: sex and prostitution

    Quote Originally Posted by stranger
    this thread continues to provide food for thought (not always a good thing) but my attitude on the whole situation has changed drastically in the space of a few days. I'm now 'OK' with the idea of sex without love or commitment. That in itself is a big deal for me. I'm a bit of a romantic at heart and have always clung to the idea that sex is something special between two people who love one another. It can be that of course but it can also just be a fundamental human act no different to eating, sleeping or breathing as some of you have pointed out.

    With the change in attitude however,it feels as though a great burden has gone. I can't remember the last time I felt so at ease with things. Yesterday and today I've had the odd thoughts of sex but nowhere near as intense or as frequent as on other days. It seems my sex drive is back to 'normal' . After all that anguish and conflict was it just a case of wanting what I thought I couldn't have? It seems to me that now it's no longer off limits it's lost some of it's appeal. I think my new attitude - if it happens it happens - is much healthier and one I hope will stick around.

    you and me baby aint nothing but mammals so let's do it like they do on the discovery channel

    Oh, now that Bloodhound Gang song is stuck in my head! There's been so many good insights in this thread, but your last post drew me back to one of Chet's first replies...about going after sex without love and finding that it leads you where you didn't expect it. This really is the way a lot of men go, been there and done that myself.

    I should also mention, though, that when I indulged in loveless sex, it was the darkest, most depressing time of my life...until I met my would-be wife. Don't be surprised if things get worse before they get better. And remember that when you "hook up" with someone just for sex, there's a lot more involved whether you want it or not.

    Peace,
    Dave

  30. #30

    Re: sex and prostitution

    We practice through the shit. Urges, confrontation, delusion, aggression, desire, greed and so on.

    Name one person who has never gotten angry, greedy, full of them self, depressed, worried, or doubtful.

    Gassho

  31. #31

    Re: sex and prostitution

    it took me a lot of time to replay for this post so i am sorry for that. but still here it goes...

    i think its wrong to look at it that way. i think sex is something that can be wonderful and a normal human urge and yet could be twisted in to something sick.
    i used to have friends with benefits for a while ( i had a few in my day ). it did bother me whether or not it is ok since i am having sex with no commitment to the girl i was with. but i gave it some thought and i guess its ok. since i always been nothing but honest with each girl i slept with and always treated her with respect and as a friend. it never became a situation where someone was used. since it was always things that were agreed upon and nothing against ones will. and we made a deal that if anything ever feels wrong we say it and stop. and so we did.
    everytime the relationship seemed to be exhausting itself we just parted as friends.

    i guess what i am saying that if you do it right and respect and treat the other person right, honestly and compassionately it seems alright.
    as for love and a relationship, i have a girlfriend that i love for the last 2 years and it just came by itself. dont push it... i always said 2 things about relationships and i still stand firm by it.
    1. first you must be fine with being alone and accepting yourself for who you are before you try and build a relationship and accept someone else.
    2. it is more dishonest to be in a relationship that is devoid of love and feelings for one and other than to have a friend with benefits.

    if you are in a relationship and you know its not right but you stay in it just because you dont want to be alone or because its familiar and comfortable while you are afraid of change and stay in it for the wrong reasons. you are deceiving the person you are with. it is better to be alone. i have always believed that and that is way i never stayed in such a relationship. guess thats way i had more friends with benefits than girlfriends, but at least i know that my current girlfriend isnt just a thing for now but a partner to build my life with.

    Gassho, Dojin.

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