Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen: Doesn’t Buddhism Count Homosexuals As Sexual Deviants? Putting The Fallacy To Bed
Feb 2012 24

Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen: Doesn’t Buddhism Count Homosexuals As Sexual Deviants? Putting The Fallacy To Bed

Posted In Blog,GLBT,Love,Relationships,Sex,Society

by Brad Warner

A guy called Mister C asked the following question via Twitter: “Doesn’t Buddhism count homosexuals as sexual deviants?” I’ve already addressed this issue at length in my most recent book Sex, Sin, and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between and even right here on SuicideGirls. But I’ll address it again, because clearly there is a need to since the idea persists that Buddhism believes gays are deviants.

There is no Buddhist Bible somewhere out there in which it is written that a man shall not lie with another man as with a woman or anything like that. That’s the short answer. And now the long one.

The main reason so many people believe that Buddhists consider homosexuality to be deviant is because of statements made by the 14th Dalai Lama. In 1997 in an interview with Dennis Conkin of the Bay Area Reporter, the Dalai Lama is reported to have said, “Buddhist sexual proscriptions ban homosexual activity and heterosexual sex through orifices other than the vagina, including masturbation or other sexual activity with the hand. From a Buddhist point of view, lesbian and gay sex is generally considered sexual misconduct.”

One thing that needs to be clarified right from the outset is that the Dalai Lama is not the Pope of Buddhism whose decries form the official position that Buddhists everywhere must follow. He is, in fact, merely the head of one particular sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the Gelungpa lineage. So he’s not even the Pope of Tibetan Buddhism, let alone all of Buddhism. Other Buddhist lineages like Zen, Theravada, Pure Land, Nichiren and so on don’t recognize him as their spokesman or leader. I, personally, rarely pay him much attention.

I’m guessing that the “Buddhist sexual proscriptions” he refers to are the ancient rules for monks (both male and female). The first Buddhist monastic order was expected to practice celibacy. Apparently some of Buddha’s monks thought this meant only that men were forbidden to have sex with women. They figured it was permissible for men to have sex with each other and that hot girl-on-girl action was also fine and dandy. So Buddha had to educate them by specifying that “no sex” meant no sex at all by clearly stipulating homosexual acts as also being no-no’s for monks.

But that was meant only for monks. As far as laypeople were concerned there were only four types of sexual acts that were specified as wrong. In an ancient sutra about Right Action the Buddha is quoted as saying that a Buddhist, “avoids unlawful sexual intercourse, abstains from it. He has no intercourse with girls who are still under the protection of father or mother, brother, sister, or relative; nor with married women, nor female convicts; nor lastly with betrothed girls.” Although this statement is made from the male perspective, it is understood the same applies to Buddhist laywomen.

As for lesbian and gay sex being “generally considered sexual misconduct” by Buddhists, that really depends on who you ask. For example, the San Francisco Zen Center, one of America’s largest contemporary Buddhist organizations, is extremely gay friendly. They run a lot of workshops and retreats specifically geared toward the LGBT community. Many other Buddhist communities both in the West and in Asia are similarly open-minded.

There are ancient scriptures that do specify certain acts we consider to be homosexual as being misconduct for monks. And I think this is what the Dalai Lama was referring to.

But when looking back at ancient scriptures, one has to be careful not to read contemporary definitions into them. The word “homosexual” is of very recent origin. Its first known appearance in print occurred in 1869. It wasn’t clearly defined until about a decade later. See here for further details. The Indian, Chinese, Japanese and even Tibetan Buddhists of pre-modern times had no concept of homosexuals or homosexuality as we understand those terms today. Neither did Biblical era Jews or Christians for that matter. But we’ll leave that aside.

For Buddhists, sexual behavior was not really an issue in and of itself. It only became an issue when it interfered with Buddhist practice. Thus, monks both male and female were forbidden to have sex not because sex was considered evil or wrong, but because it interfered with the single-minded pursuit of Buddhist meditation to which they had committed their lives. They were also forbidden to eat after noon, to sleep in luxurious beds, to listen to music, to go dancing and so on for the same reason.

These days the rules are usually far less strict. In Japan, monks are even allowed to get married. The more severe rules are observed during training periods and then dropped when monks leave to go to their own temples. When it comes to lay people there really are no rules at all.

However, there is a set of precepts that all Buddhists adhere to across the board. And the third of these is generally given as, “Do not misuse sexuality.” But there are many interpretations as to what constitutes misuse of sexuality. It is generally left up to the individual to determine for himself or herself what is and what is not a misuse of sexuality. Even the Dalai Lama seems to agree with this. In a 1994 interview with OUT magazine he is quoted as saying, “If someone comes to me and asks whether homosexuality is okay or not, I will ask ‘What is your companion’s opinion?’. If you both agree, then I think I would say ‘if two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay.’”

When Buddhists live communally it is sometimes necessary to agree on a specific definition of sexual misconduct. Some Buddhist communities opt for strict celibacy. Others do not. The San Francisco Zen Center, for example, encourages its residents to engage only in committed monogamous sexual relationships. You can get kicked out of their residential communities for violating this rule. But you won’t get kicked out for being gay. That’s for certain. Though you might get the boot for being too slutty in your gay-ness.

So, no, Mister C, Buddhism does not count homosexuals as sexual deviants. Though certain prominent Buddhists, like the 14th Dalai Lama, do.

***

Brad Warner is the author of Sex, Sin and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between as well as Hardcore Zen, Sit Down and Shut Up! and Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate. He maintains a blog about Buddhist stuff that you can click here to see.

Brad Warner will be speaking in Los Angeles soon.

March 10, 2012
10 AM – 3:30 PM
Hill Street Center
237 Hill St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405

March 15, 2012
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Against the Stream
4300 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029

You can also buy T-shirts and hoodies based on his books, and the new CD by his band Zero Defex now!

[Keep Reading...]

SG Radio feat. Porcelain Black, 4th Pyramid and Mickey Avalon
Feb 2012 24

SG Radio feat. Porcelain Black, 4th Pyramid and Mickey Avalon

Posted In All Things SG,Blog,Entertainment,Music,SG Radio

This Sunday (Feb 26) on SuicideGirls Radio we have an outrageously awesome and bodaciously badass music lineup. SG Radio hosts Nicole Powers (SG’s Managing Editor) and Lacey Conner (our resident recovering reality TV star from VH1′s Rock of Love and Charm School) will be joined in-studio by industrial-pop princess Porcelain Black, wax ‘n’ Webslinger 4th Pyramid, and raucous hip-hop reprobate Mickey Avalon.

Tune in to the world’s leading naked radio show for two hours of totally awesome tunes and extreme conversation – and don’t let yo momma listen in!

Listen to SG Radio live Sunday night from 10 PM til Midnight on suicidegirlsradio.indie1031.com/

Got questions? Then dial our studio hotline digits this Sunday between 10 PM and midnight PST: 323-900-6012

And follow us on Twitter because we like cyberstalkers.

_About Porcelain Black

“Everything that I do is a mix of light and dark,” says Porcelain Black. “The contrast represents my music, my hair, my personality.” Fusing hard-hitting rock roots with the sticky, pulsating beats of 2101 label head and producer RedOne (Usher, U2, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Lady Gaga), Black has created a sound she likens to the would-be offspring of Marilyn Manson and Britney Spears. “It’s industrial, dark, danceable pop,” she says. “Bad ass and positive.”

While visiting RedOne’s studio in November 2009 Black’s vibe and epic vocals made an instant impact. “I wanted to sign her on the spot,” RedOne recalls. “She reminded me of Joan Jett. She’s got it all: the attitude, the talent, the look. She can scream and do things with her voice that nobody can do. She is uncompromising in pursuing her own creative vision. She’s taking everything that’s old and making it futuristic and bringing rock and roll back in her own way.”

Now, signed to 2101 Records via a joint venture with Universal Republic Records, Black has just released her second single, “Naughty Naughty.” The song follows her successful first single “This Is What Rock N Roll Looks Like” Feat. Lil Wayne. Both tracks fuse roaring guitars with thunderous dance-pop, a vibe maintained throughout most of her daring, not-yet-titled debut. “Rock & roll is about attitude,” says the heavily tattooed singer, who was once asked by Courtney Love to sing backup when the alt rocker found her on MySpace under Porcelain and the Tramps. “We’re the kids that belong to the night, but just because you’re a badass doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Rock & roll is about embracing people.”

porcelainblack.net
facebook.com/porcelainblackmusic
twitter.com/porcelainblack
youtube.com/porcelainblackmusic

_About 4th Pyramid

4th Pyramid is a MC/Producer/Songwriter from Toronto, Canada. Coming up the ranks as a producer and engineer, 4th Pyramid has quietly stacked credits for the Black Eyed Peas, members of Wu-Tang Clan, MF Doom, and Pete Rock, while licensing his own tunes with Sprite, Scion, and various feature films. Pyramid is also one-half of the DJ/production team The Sheen Bros, along with Cosmo Baker, and together the duo released their 2011 EP through Scion’s A/V label. In December 2011, Pyramid launched his own imprint, Silk Ivory, a boutique label that was quickly signed to Universal Music. 4th Pyramid will release his debut solo album, The Pyramid Scheme, on March 6, 2012.

4thpyramid.com/
facebook.com/4thPyramid
twitter.com/4thpyramid
youtube.com/4thpyramid

_About Mickey Avalon

Mickey Avalon’s back-story begins on the streets of Hollywood, California. Raised by his heroin-addicted father, he began selling pot at a young age, a trade he acquired from his mother. In an attempt to clean up his act, Mickey converted to Orthodox Judaism in his late teens, an effort that didn’t last due to constant family tragedy.

After the deaths of both his father and sister, Mickey decided that he wanted more out of life. Having hit rock bottom after the breakup of his marriage, Avalon moved from Portland back to Los Angeles, and chose to make one final attempt to clean up his act. Shortly after his return, Mickey was befriended by ex-MTV VJ Simon Rex (aka Dirt Nasty), who encouraged Avalon to pursue his passion of hip-hop and even collaborated with him on some tracks. At the time, Avalon was staying in a sober living facility and had a strict curfew, so Dirt Nasty began passing out Mickey’s demo at Hollywood clubs, which helped Mickey develop a following among fans of the Los Angeles nightclub scene.

As Mickey’s popularity grew, he began to sell out clubs throughout California with his legendary live show. Soon after Interscope Records took notice of the guerilla promotions tactics and signed Avalon to the label. Through Interscope, Avalon released his now classic self-titled debut album, which showcased his unique rhyming style and indulgent lyrics. Inspired by his experiences on the streets with drugs and prostitution, the raw honesty of his songs immediately resonated with audiences. Fan favorites “Jane Fonda,” “Mr. Right” and “My Dick” quickly spread across the internet and mainstream radio, turning Mickey Avalon into a household name.

After years spent confined by industry red tape, Mickey Avalon has returned with a brand new album Loaded, which takes fans on a journey through the seedy streets of Hollywood. It is the soundtrack to one the most debauched tales of rock & roll. Filled with excess and exploding with sexual energy, Avalon’s music embraces decadence and celebrates its hedonistic glory. Mickey Avalon simply appeals to voyeuristic side of all of us that want to indulge, let loose and get Loaded.

mickeyavalon.com/
facebook.com/MickeyAvalon
twitter.com/mickeyave
mickeyavalon.com/#9b4/youtube

NEW SG Interview: Carrie Preston – That’s What She Said
Feb 2012 24

NEW SG Interview: Carrie Preston – That’s What She Said

Posted In Blog,Entertainment,Interviews,Movies

by Fred Topel


“I call it a chick flick that’s not for pussies.”
- Carrie Preston

True Blood’s Carrie Preston directed a film that played at The Sundance Film Festival this year. Her husband, Lost star Michael Emerson, was even in the audience to support her. The Sundance rep who introduced the film called it a “pussy comedy.” That’s What She Said is a raunchy girls comedy.

Dee Dee (Anne Heche) is a bitter divorcee who chain smokes, drinks in the afternoon and is happy to call other ladies cunts. Bebe (Marcia DeBonis) is a perennial optimist even though it seems like her dream guy is a married man who’s standing her up. They meet Clementine (Alia Shawkat) in a coffee shop and find she is an emotional wreck with sexual issues.

The day gets worse and worse for this trio of ladies in a misadventure that should appeal to the Bridesmaids audience. Certainly that’s what a studio should be thinking when they consider buying the indie film. When I compared her film to the hit Kristen Wiig movie, I became Preston’s BFF.

Preston’s fabulous True Blood red hair certainly shone against the white snow of Park City, UT. Two days after her premiere, Preston and her cast were partying at the festival and Preston would stay for a full week. We chatted in a warm loft off Main Street about naughty jokes and Arlene on that vampire show.

Read our exclusive interview with Carrie Preston on SuicideGirls.com.

Tease of the Day
Feb 2012 24

Tease of the Day

Posted In Blog,Tease

Callioppe Suicide in Sun Drips

  • INTO: Purity, constellations, the tide, the medicinal values of herbs, divinations, tea readings, wild flowers, nutritional superiority, multiple orgasms, and YOU!
  • NOT INTO: Vanity, arrogance, lies, apathy, junk food.
  • MAKES ME HAPPY: The smell of new books, the change of the seasons, sunrises when most of the city is asleep, hot chai tea on cold days, cold chai tea on hot days, arthropods, cephalopods, epiphanies, feeling a connection with other human creatures, tender moments that make my eyes swell with water, quiet mornings, noisy nights, interpretive dance with the boyfriend when no one is looking, silliness, inside jokes, self reflection, self esteem, self worth, cosmic design, morning sex, electrodes, diodes, and potentiometers, paper mache, fruit trees, semantics, tenderness, truthfulness, connectedness, understanding, flora and fauna.
  • MAKES ME SAD: Slaughter houses, dairy farms, veal boxes, battery cages, and cattle prods.
  • HOBBIES: Cooking, crafting, creating.
  • VICES: I keep my nails short so I can dig into life.
  • I SPEND MOST OF MY FREE TIME: In the produce section of your local grocery store.

Get to know Callioppe better over at SuicideGirls.com!