Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sex and the New Anti-Rape Condom

"RapeX is an anti-rape female condom invented by a South African woman named Sonette Ehlers. As a former employee with the South African Blood Transfusion Service, she treated many rape victims, which served as her inspiration for creating this device. RapeX is a female condom that is inserted into the vagina much like a tampon. It is made of latex, like a normal condom, but it is lined with 'shafts of sharp, inward-facing barbs.' If a man attempts to rape a woman, once he penetrates the woman, the condom would attach itself to the penis and cause severe pain to the man during withdrawal. Ideally, once the man is writhing on the floor, the woman would have enough time to escape the scene. In addition, the perpetrator would be unable to remove the female condom from his penis; he would have to get it surgically removed which would be a tell-tale sign to authorities and help in legal prosecution." More>>
(WQ) One undertakes to uphold the training rule to abstain from sensual misconduct (kamesu micchacara). This precept is often translated too narrowly as relating only to sexual misconduct. But it covers overindulgence in any sensual pleasure, such as gluttony. Clearly, restraint is more beneficial for everyone.
The AP investigated sexual misconduct in American schools, most of which is perpetrated by men with most attention going to women (

The Buddha defined it very specifically as intercourse with ten prohibited persons. The ten are those dependent on or under the "protection" of: (1) father, (2) mother, (3) parents, (4) brother, (5) sister, (6) relatives or clan, or of (7) their religious community; or with (8) those promised [in marriage], (9) protected by law entailing a penalty, and even (10) those betrothed with a garland [or some cultural symbol signifying engagement].

Does this mean that sex is to be avoided? Not at all. This Buddhist precept seems to suggest that sex freely entered into by persons able to consent is fine. Again, overindulgence, as in the case of gluttony, is best avoided. "Misconduct" means trying to fulfill one's desires in a way detrimental to others and society as a whole. When someone becomes independent, then that person is able to make his or her own decisions regarding sex. Have sex if you wish, but avoid sexual misconduct. Buddhists living in this way have much greater peace of mind and therefore a better ability to progress in meditation due to their skillful karma.

Temporary celibacy (even from thoughts of sensual indulgence) during periods of retreat or intensive meditation are an excellent way to move forward even while living in the world. It is expected that monastics, who needn't worry at all about this great time-consuming pursuit, are able to make much more progress. And for them it is vital to abstain completely (even from masturbation) because a serious lapse entails immediate expulsion along with karmic consequences. But we can neither have celibacy imposed on us, nor impose it on any independent person who is unwilling. Doing so has the tendency to yield nothing more than hypocrisy, guilt, shame, and remorse -- none of which are wholesome states of mind, which is particularly ironic when the act itself may not have been unwholesome.

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