Sex, Sin, and Zen

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Sex, Sin, and Zen

A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between

Brad Warner writes about sexual activity from a Buddhists point of view. Topics range from masturbation to sexual orientation and the possibility of rightness, wrongness, or neither a possibility when speaking of such subject matters. The author has a great sense of humor with unabashed honesty, showing realness without the glamour.

Throughout the there are at least one or more asterisks on each page that interrupts your reading so you can read extra information or a humorous joke about what he has said. Some of these asterisks are useful, some of them are immature in a fun way, and some of them are annoying because you don’t want to take the extra time to break away from your reading rhythm to see what “extra” he has to say. Nonetheless, I usually enjoyed the small breaks in concentrated reading.

I completely enjoyed the bluntness and language this author chose to use. I don’t need prim and proper, especially when talking about sex. Though it may not be someone else’s cup of tea, it definitely caught my attention and I felt like this guy spoke the way I would have if talking with someone else about the same topics.

For me, this book was a hard read. It isn’t overly wordy or too long, it was just that I had to take a very long time reading his explanations about a certain topic and a Buddhist’s perspective and response to it. Being as I am not Buddhist, nor do I know that much about the religion, it was difficult for me to grasp all of what he was saying. I would have to read, then re-read, and then sometimes re-read again to try to process the information I had just read. Perhaps if I wasn’t new to the ideas of Buddhism I would have grasped the concepts better. Furthermore, many explanations given would try to get you to see a certain viewpoint that had many different possible answers to the topic at hand. In other words, many explanations were “maybes” rather than concrete “yeses” or “nos.” It wasn’t upsetting; it was just a new-to-me perspective that had me working to wrap my mind around.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun read, for a different perspective, and for something new.

Book Blurb for Sex, Sin, and Zen

With his one-of-a kind blend of autobiography, love of pop culture, and plainspoken Buddhist philosophy, Brad Warner explores an A-Z of sexual topics — from masturbation to abortion, gender identity to pornography. In addition to approaching sexuality from a Buddhist perspective, he looks at Buddhism — emptiness, loving kindness, karma — from a sexual vantage point. Throughout, he stares down the tough questions: Can prostitution be a right livelihood? Can a good spiritual master also be really, really bad? And ultimately, what’s love got to do with any of it? Though he’s no Puritan when it comes to adventuresome sex, Warner offers a conscious approach to sexual ethics and intimacy fit for all appetites. Since Buddhism is no longer the province of sequestered seekers, this is real world wisdom for our times.


Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2010 4.25