swinger's [sex] party or engage [with] multiple, even random, sexual partners. While it might not be sexual misconduct in the first instance, might [it become] that if [it] developed into an accustomed habit over expos[ing] oneself sensually? To keep with the spirit of the Dharma, would it be better to let go of craving, or is it neither-here-nor-there to cultivate such [a habit]?"
- Sexual misconduct: conducting oneself in a detrimental manner (to oneself, another person, or both (society?) with regard to sensuality. Namely, one has intercourse with those 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 to someone else, (9) protected by law, and even with (10) those betrothed with a garland" (Book of the Tens, AN, X.206).
|"Think about it; you don't have to answer now."|
as we pursue our sensuality.
|Sex and Buddhism (Suite101.com)|
|Buddha at Thiksey (Ragg Burns Imaging/Flickr)|
If it becomes an "accustomed habit," that does not make it misconduct. "Misconduct" technically refers whom we choose as partner(s). The ten to be avoided are those dependent on another, unable to give consent, and those promised to another. By avoiding these, we avoid blame and harm. Consenting individuals, if they can be found, pose no problem. Nor is sensual experience the problem with independent partner(s).
The real question is this: "To keep with the spirit of the Dharma, would it be better to let go of craving, or is it neither-here-nor-there to cultivate such [a habit]?"
Yes, it would be better to let go of craving. That is easy to do. First, one develops the habit of giving, which is a kind of letting go. We cultivates non-clinging or detachment. One takes a sober look at what one is holding onto and abandons the craving for it, first by sharing, then by giving away, then by not picking up the object. This will never lead to real letting go! Real letting go does itself when we develop insight:
|Christy Turlington (sportforus.com)|
The first five are the "five strands of sensuality" -- what is experienced as pleasurable by way of sights, sounds, tangibles, tastes, and fragrances. The other five are the Five Aggregates of Clinging -- physical form, feeling, perceptions, (50) mental formations, and consciousness.
When the absorption-purified mind/heart knows-and-sees things as they really are (impermanent, impersonal, and suffering), it lets go. The temporarily-released heart (freed by concentration) is permanently released by wisdom.
So do what you want. Avoid hypocrisy. Avoid harming anyone in the process. And it should be okay, we say. Oh and, most importantly, call and invite us to the party: (555) WIS-DOM Q.