What does Hinduism say about lust?

Sex and religion: which god allows how much pleasure?


The TV appearance of a Muslim scholar sparked a debate about the sex precepts of Islam. Which taboos do other world religions know?

"Oral intercourse at an advanced level" is taboo for Muslims: a Turkish scholar of Islam caused amusement with his remarks on forbidden sexual practices on a TV show. But the topic moves Muslims around the world. Scholars disagree on whether oral sex is forbidden, "disgusting but not illegal," or at least unproblematic. The Islamic Central Council (IZRS) writes in a guidebook on its website that in Islam anal sex and sexual intercourse during menstruation is forbidden. On the other hand, there are no known writings that would conclude that Muslims are not allowed to have oral sex.

But what about sex bans in other religions? What's going on in bed, what's not? 20 Minuten spoke to religion experts and representatives.

Christianity: Prevention is forbidden

Some prohibitions are clear and precise in the Bible: masturbation or homosexual intercourse between men, for example, are taboo. The Catholic Church in particular went further for decades, says Christoph Uehlinger, religious scholar at the University of Zurich. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Catholic moral theology "very much like the Turkish religious scholar" dealt in detail with questions of permitted and prohibited sexuality. For example, the ban on artificial contraception was issued. Basically: Sex should serve the purpose of procreation, otherwise sexual pleasure is a sin.

At the moment, however, there is also a debate in the Catholic Church about possible new interpretations of sexual morality. The universal church wants to discuss the topic at a synod in autumn. Pope Francis had already asked believers around the world about marriage, family and sexuality. In contrast to the Catholics, according to Uehlinger, Protestant churches have for some time not "looked into people's bedrooms". However, there is also a counter-movement - for example in the form of evangelical free churches, which, among other things, define themselves through conservative positions with regard to sexuality.

Judaism: the sheet myth is "nonsense"

In Judaism, sexuality has positive connotations and is expressly desired - at least within marriage. "Sex is not only seen as a means of reproduction, it should and should be fun," says Raphael Pifko, an expert on Judaism at the Zurich Lehrhaus. "There are no practices that are strictly forbidden." However, it is important to distinguish between liberal and orthodox Jews. "For example, while oral sex is part of a normal sex life for many Jews, Orthodox believe that the man's semen is so wasted." Homosexuality, masturbation and sex before marriage are also judged differently by the various currents.

On the other hand, Pifko does away with an old cliché: "The rumor that Jews only have sexual intercourse through a hole in the sheet is pure nonsense." It does not apply to strict or liberal Jews. Presumably a traditional Jewish robe is responsible for the misconception: "It is possible that a non-Jew saw this robe with a hole for the head on a clothesline and drew the wrong conclusions from it."

Hinduism: Kama Sutra as a Standard Work

Hinduism has traditionally been tolerant of sexuality. Not only revealing depictions of sexual positions in Hindu temples testify to this. "The Kamasutra book is also part of Hindu culture," says Vignarajah Kulasingam, Hind representative from Basel. Even if not every Hindu today has a copy of the erotic textbook on the bedside table, this shows that there are hardly any limits to the imagination. "As far as I know, nowhere is it written that oral sex or other practices are prohibited."

Kulasingam says traditionally sex was only intended within marriage. "But that is no longer seen as closely today as it used to be." Basically: “Sex is a private matter. What happens in your own four walls by mutual agreement is fine. "

Buddhism: Sadomasochism allowed if both like it

Even Buddhism hardly dictates sex to believers. However, the principles of religion can be applied to the bedroom: "With sexuality - as in all other areas of life - care should be taken to treat oneself and one's partner sensitively and with a sense of responsibility," said Wilfried Reuter, Buddhist director of the Lotos -Vihara Meditation Center in Berlin, in the German magazine of the Federal Agency for Civic Education.

Buddhism does not explicitly prohibit or allow anything in bed. "If certain practices happen out of compassion and both partners see it that way, then nothing stands in the way of even extreme practices such as sadomasochism." Tantrism, which arose from Hinduism and Buddhism, even understands sexuality as a means of expanding experience and awareness, adds religious scholar Christoph Uehlinger.