Dear Luang Phaw, many single men today believe that sleeping with prostitutes does not go against the third Buddhist precept, which is to avoid adultery. This is because they feel that they are not being unfaithful to anybody. These ladies have consented to the activity. Is this thinking right or wrong?
by Venerable Dhattajeevo Bhikku
There are two issues to address. First, it is against the third precept. Second, it is an opening to hell. Lord Buddha called this the road to ruin. What kind of person sleeps with prostitutes?
They are people with uncontrollable urges. The mind is what separates human beings from animals. Humans and animals live on earth and have sexual needs. However, when animals have their needs, they do not think. They will satisfy themselves with whomever, wherever, and whenever. We, on the other hand, are humans with intelligence and consciousness. We should be able to control ourselves and our desires. We can distinguish what is right and wrong, and what is good or bad. Even though you are single and the women gave their consent, problems can still follow.
It starts when we indulge our every want. If you do not control your urges, it will turn quickly into a habit. So whenever your sexual urge strikes, you will want to sleep with prostitutes. Have you ever thought of what this uncontrollable behavior could do to you? In Thailand, there was headlines news about a well-known man in his sixties who slept with underage prostitutes the age of his granddaughter. When the story became public, the primary court sentenced him to 16 years in prison. The appeal court added another 36 years. Now the Supreme Court is waiting to add more to the sentence. This is the consequence of not being able to control one’s sexual urges.
It is irresponsible to say that sleeping with prostitutes is not against the Buddhist precepts. Not only is one acting against the precepts, but it also shows the person’s lack of moral conscience. He lacks the morality to control himself. What is an old man doing with such young girls? An old person like him should be preparing himself for the afterlife. Death is not the end of our life. You cannot work after you are dead. Your existence after death is dependent on the merits that we accrued while we were alive. If you are spending your life indulging in lust while neglecting merit-making, when you die you will have no merits to save your soul. You will suffer after death. While alive, you are punished by the law. You lose your reputation and money. Your children and grandchildren will be ashamed to have such family.
We all have heard of cases of predators sexually molesting small children, fathers raping daughters or granddaughters. Have you ever thought how these horrible crimes originate? They start from those who could not control themselves. They are used to having their needs satisfied with prostitutes, so they will stop at nothing to satiate themselves. If a person cannot control his needs, it can lead to many problems in society.
I want to warn all the men out there about contracting sexually transmitted diseases, especially AIDS. This is an incurable disease. Besides sickness, you also face the risk of losing your reputation when caught frequenting a brothel. I can’t mention how many lives have been destroyed by such situations. Some are now in jail. But most importantly, I want to discourage you from developing this terrible habit.
What other evil comes from sleeping with prostitutes? It is the attitude of looking down on women. These men are often demeaning to their wives. Be careful!
Moreover, another habit developed from sleeping with prostitutes is insincerity. These women are not sincere to you and you are not sincere to them either. This behavior can carry over to the way you treat your future wife and children, or how you treat the students if you are a teacher. You character suffers, because the value of a person lies in his or her sincerity. Without it, the peaceful society cannot exist. Without sincerity, you have no respect for yourself or your society.
As a monk, I want to warn you about the attachment to lust. It is something you will have to confront all your life. Your mind will tend to linger on lust. If you can not recall your merit, yet you can think of images of lust, then you will leave this earth with a darkened mind. In that case, you cannot go to a favorable place after death. You will likely go to hell because of your attachment to lust. Even if you do not go to hell, your attachment to prostitutes will most likely cause you to be born as one in your next lifetime.
The prostitutes themselves were once men who used such services in their past lives. They were also attached to their sexual desires. In this life they have become prostitutes for men who cannot control their desires. If you don’t mind being one of them in a future lifetime or going to hell, you can do as you please. Think about it carefully.