Cyber Sex
The Cyber Sex Addiction FAQ
Possibilities of Cyber - Sex, be careful!
Cyber-sex scammer jailed
Cyberstalking - Cyber Criminals Most Wanted

Overcoming Masturbation - a Christian perspective, very useful
Masturbation: Up to No Good (cf Persona Humana, element 9)
The Pastoral Problem of Masturbation (Catholic)
Wasting Seed / Birth Control (Jewish presentation)
Articles on Masturbation and Islam

Here is a classic example of a person who thinks that the euphoric sensations found in sex are actualy spiritual. This page is worth reading to see the motivation of lusty persons in action, totally absorbed in the bodily misconception of life and aggrivating their sexual energies through Tantric Yoga in charging the sexual energy up the spine through the chakras without ejaculations as the primarily goal of sex and other masturbation techniques, and thinking it's all spiritual.

Friends Threat to Marriages
How a devotee I know nearly ruined his marriage through developing an "on-line friendship"

Brahmacharya - II - Celibacy

Cyber Sex

There are organizations out there to help you.

Cyber Sex Chat Addicts Anonymous™ CyberAA™

Helping Cyber Addicts find the power to come clean forever...
                         Restoring our faith;
                             Restoring our families;
                                   Restoring our lives.

     Cyber Sex Chat Addicts Anonymous exists as an online resource for people who have become addicted and realize the harm this addiction has caused in their lives. Composed of recovering addicts and those just now seeking help, we come together to help each other break this addiction and come clean forever.

Cyber Sex Chat Addicts Anonymous is most importantly just that: Anonymous. The privacy of those who come seeking help is of the utmost importance. DO NOTgive out your real name or your real e-mail address in any of the discussion boards or forums that exist here.

Definition of “Cyber”

            “Cyber” in this context is a verb. It refers to the act of “having cyber sex,” which in it’s shortest and most explicit definition is, “a combination of communication and masturbation.” It is a selfish gratification of one’s sexual desires while sharing one’s most intimate thoughts and fantasies with someone else. It is nearly identical to phone sex, the only difference being the method of communication. As computer networks become ever more sophisticated and voice chat more common, even this distinction fades. The newest problem comes in the form of video conferencing, which adds visual images making the activity even more addictive.
Is this adultery?
            Allow us to put this way; Yes. For a married person to engage in this activity constitutes a form of adultery. From a legal viewpoint, a moral one and a religious one, it is clearly cheating. Legally speaking, it is a gray area, but only because the courts haven’t caught up with the times. Some courts might define it as adultery. Others might define it as abandonment, but virtually all would consider it grounds for divorce. Morally speaking, if a married person does this in secret, attempting to fulfill themselves while abandoning their spouse, they are clearly engaging in a most selfish form of cheating. Religiously speaking, placing anything in life before God is a form of worshipping idols. Placing anything other than God in front of your spouse is a form of adultery.
So what’s the harm?

            The harm comes not so much in form of what we have been doing, but rather in the form of what we have not been doing. As addicts we spend ever-greater amounts of time feeding our addiction, taking us away from our spouses, away from our families. As we turn to this fantasy world to make our intimate connections, we lose the ability to connect intimately with our spouses. We lose the ability to be intimate with our spouses on both emotional and sexual levels. As we attempt (unsuccessfully) to fulfill ourselves in this fantasy world, we leave our spouses totally unfulfilled. This unfulfilled need causes other problems for couples, in time leading to the inability to communicate fairly on even the most superficial of subjects. Eventually the marriage is destroyed. The family is destroyed. We become so addicted we neglect the things in life that were once the most important of all. Through this neglect we hurt our spouses, and we hurt our children. The children suffer most of all.

Is this a problem for singles?
            Retreating into this fantasy world and depending on it for intimate relationships severely handicaps our ability to develop intimate relationships in the real world. It hurts us, and it hurts someone else. Out there, somewhere is a person that perhaps we haven’t even met yet. This person is living an unfulfilled life, suffering from loneliness because we are their soul mate. They are the person that we are supposed to share our life with, which we are supposed to share our joys with and bare the burden of our heartaches together with. Our addiction is keeping us from meeting them. This person will continue to suffer, as will we as long as we continue to feed our addiction.

Coming clean

  Many of us think of this addiction as “our dirty little secret.” Therefore “Coming Clean” is logical phrase to describe breaking the addiction. “I have been clean for....” however long is something that we commonly say as we recover. “Coming Clean” means more than just abstaining from cyber sex. It means becoming clean, in our bodies, our hearts and our minds.
     The eleven steps described in this web site are the road to coming clean. Not only can we break our addiction, but we can start a new life in which we are proud of who we are and of the things that we do.

Higher power

  As addicts, we realize that we do not have the power within ourselves to quit. If we did, we would not be addicts. Therefore, there must be a higher power or else there would be no cure. Each of us has our own concept of what or who this higher power is. Even for those of us who are atheists, there must still be a higher power. Perhaps in this case our higher power is simply our own subconscious mind, and calling on this higher power is merely autosuggestion training our subconscious mind to direct our conscious activities. Whatever our individual beliefs may be, calling on this higher power is necessary to bring about the healing that we seek.
     Before we can call on this higher power, we must be at peace with our own beliefs. If we are atheists, and we have no doubts or fears about our beliefs, this may be fine. However, if we have uncertainty, doubts or fears, then we are not true atheists. These doubts and fears cause our lives to drift without direction. It is this lack of direction that may have caused us to drift into this addiction to begin with. Finding this direction is necessary to guide us out of addiction.
     If we do not have spiritual peace, then we must find it. We must find God in our own way, as we understand God to be.

“Why is prayer part of the steps?”

     Prayer is an important part of any deep personal change. It is believed to bring help from God, but even if it doesn’t, it brings a belief in ourselves that with this help we can and will change. Regardless of our religious faith, or lack of, prayer is important. Prayer unites us in our common struggle. It brings us together and helps us to share our experiences in a way that simple discussion cannot. Prayer is a cornerstone in our search for healing.
     Cyber Sex Addicts Anonymous does not endorse any particular religion over another. However, it is the experience of many that overcoming this addiction requires help from more than the just latest self-help book. We need help from God, in whatever form we believe God exists.

1) We admit to ourselves that we are powerless over our addiction. We admit to ourselves that we are not in control.
Sometimes we must verbally and consciously admit the truth.

2) We come to believe a Power Greater than ourselves can restore us.
As we realize we are powerless over our addiction, we must seek a higher power.

3) We make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God.
There is help available, but we must consciously make a decision to accept that help.

4) We make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
The time for kidding ourselves is over. We must face who and where we are before we can move on.

5) We admit to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
We must face the darkest defects of ourselves.

6) We humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings.
We want to come clean.

7) We make a list of all the people we have harmed and become willing to make amends.
We accept responsibility for our actions, for the things we have done, and for the things we have failed to do.

8) We make amends to all we have harmed, except when to do so would cause more harm.
We must remember we do this to help them, not just ourselves.

9) We continue to take personal inventory and when wrong, promptly admit it.
We not only accept responsibility for the things we have done, but also for the things we do.

10) We seek through prayer and meditation to improve our contact with God as we understand God. We pray for knowledge of God’s plan for our life and for the power to carry it out.
We seek to not only stop doing wrong, but to accomplish things for the good of all.

11) We reach a spiritual awakening. When possible, we carry this message to others who need it. We practice these principles in all our affairs.
We come clean, forever.

We make amends to all we have harmed, except when to do so would cause more harm. 
     As we make a list of the people we have harmed, it almost always includes our spouse and our kids. Sometimes it includes relatives, if they have been the shoulder our spouse leaned on, if they have had to share in the pain. It is very important for us the reveal the exact nature of our wrongs to our spouse. It is not necessary to reveal the “exact nature” to our kids or anyone else.
     In the case of a man, it would be important for him to say to his kids, “Your mom and I have been having problems. I’m sorry you’ve had to witness us treating each other the way we have. It’s mostly my fault. I have neglected her. I have failed to take the time and put in the effort to make her feel special they way that I should. I’m sorry. I understand what I’ve done wrong and I’m going to make it right. We both love you. We love each other, and we need to make sure you see us treating each other that way.”
     As stated in “Definition,” the harm comes not so much from what we have been doing, but from what we have not. Making amends means making a commitment to do those things we should have been doing all along, and making good on that commitment.
     Many times when making the list of people we have harmed, we find a former cyber partner on the list. Perhaps we have harmed this person. However, “We make amends to all we have harmed, except when to do so would cause more harm.” Staying in contact with a former cyber partner can only do more harm than good. The best way to make amends to this person is to deny them the activity that has been harming them, much as we deny this to ourselves. Staying in contact is just too much temptation for both.


    This is probably the most important area of the site. This is where we communicate with each other, sharing our struggles and our triumphs. There are rules. There are not very many, but they are important.
DO NOTgive out your real name, your real e-mail or any information that would identify you.
DO NOTask anyone else to do so.
Most of us use our real first names, but no last names.

DO NOTattempt to contact another recovering addict by any other means.
Especially, but not limited to inviting one of us to a chat room. Some of us may have relapses, but we must not drag someone else down who came looking for help.

DO NOTgo into any details of your cyber experiences.
The words cyber, sex and masturbation are permitted, but going into any further detail is not. Such details might fuel the fantasies of another who is weak. We came here to help each other, not make things worse.

DO NOTget into arguments over religious beliefs.
If your religious faith has been helpful in your recovery, please feel free to share the details, but be respectful of others who have very different beliefs. These arguments over religious differences have been going on for thousands of years and will continue to go on as long as mankind lives on this earth. Such an argument would only serve to divide us. We have far too much in common to allow that to happen. We all struggle with the same addiction, and we all came together to help each other. We can disagree on many things, and still treat each other with respect and help each other overcome this addiction.

DOstart your posts with “My name is (name). I have been clean for (however long)...” Then post a question, answer someone else’s question or tell your own story of recovery.
DOask yourself, “Does this post belong here?”
The message board is monitored, and any questionable posts will be removed.
Click the link below to enter:
The CyberAA Discussion Board

The Cyber Sex Addiction FAQ

Q: I spend many hours a week online in cybersex activities, and I enjoy every moment. How do I know if I am a cybersex addict?
Q: The cybersex activities I most often engage in are masturbation with pornography. Can this be a part of sex addiction?
Q: If alcoholics and drug addicts define "being sober" by not drinking or using mind altering chemicals, how does a cybersex addict define sobriety --abstaining from sex altogether?
Q: My wife caught me several months ago in online cybersex/romantic chats and porn viewing. Although I've gotten help for my problem and have not acted out sexually since that time, she continues to be distant, critical, angry, and mistrustful.
Q: I have a larger sexual appetite than my partner, so for years to satisfy myself I've involved in affairs, both online and offline, use porn, and regularly receive sensual massages. Is this really a problem?
Q: I am a married woman and my time online is mostly spent in sex and romance chats. I've had brief offline affairs with some of these men. I am afraid and embarrassed to ask for help. Yet I think I am a sex addict and I really struggle with this.
Q. My partner and I haven't had sex in months. I suspect he's spending nights viewing pornography online, and maybe even meeting people for sex. I asked him about this, and he denied it. I'm sick at heart, but I just don't know what to do.
Q. After the intensity and novelty of cybersex, can sex with an ordinary long-term partner ever be just as good?

Q: I spend many hours a week online in cybersex activities, and I enjoy every moment. How do I know if I am a cybersex addict?
If you repeatedly spend more time on cybersex activities than you intended, if you continue despite significant negative consequences in your life (if you are risking your relationships, your job, your health, or your legal status), and if you are obsessed or preoccupied with these activities when you should be focused on other aspects of your life, then you are likely a cybersex addict. Research suggests that cybersex addicts spend at least 11 or 12 hours a week on the Internet, and often it's double or triple that amount of time.
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Q: The cybersex activities I most often engage in are masturbation with pornography. Can this be a part of sex addiction?
Yes. Compulsive masturbation with or without pornography and compulsive viewing of porn with or without masturbation both present long-standing problems for many cybersex addicts. Whether it is through cybersex, phone sex lines, videos, porn magazines, or simply through fantasy, sex addicts can lose hours daily to the isolating activities of fantasy and masturbation. Loss of control, continuation despite negative life consequences, and preoccupation or obsession with the activity, are the characteristics of any addiction.
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Q: If alcoholics and drug addicts define "being sober" by not drinking or using mind altering chemicals, how does a cybersex addict define sobriety --abstaining from sex altogether?
Fortunately no. Sobriety for cybersex addicts consists of avoiding the sexual and cybersexual activities that cause the addict to feel shameful, hold secrets, or which are illegal or abusive. Cybersex addicts may also have to avoid nonsexual activities -- such as surfing the Web or just spending lots of time alone with the computer which can lead them back to cybersex activities.
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Q: My wife caught me several months ago in online cybersex/romantic chats and porn viewing. Although I've gotten help for my problem and have not acted out sexually since that time, she continues to be distant, critical, angry, and mistrustful.
Most partners feel betrayed and emotionally abandoned by their spouse's online sexual activities, even if a real-life affair has not occurred. Rebuilding trust takes time, many months. Give your partner space and understanding to express his or her hurt and anger without trying to avoid, dismiss, or make it different. In time things will improve. Consider couples counseling, or attending a couples' support group to help work through the rough times.
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Q: I have a larger sexual appetite than my partner, so for years to satisfy myself I've involved in affairs, both online and offline, use porn, and regularly receive sensual massages. Is this really a problem?
Part of what determines whether someone is a sex addict is not just looking at the person's sexual behaviors, but also at how he or she is living his or her life . Many sex addicts constantly lie to their partners, keep sexual secrets, and find ways to justify their sexual behaviors. How does your current sex life affect your sense of integrity and your own personal values or belief systems? Have you risked your marriage or primary relationship, your job, or your health, in order to maintain access to your sexual activities?. Try not having sex at all for 30 days. If you cannot maintain this commitment to yourself, you may have a problem.
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Q: I am a married woman and my time online is mostly spent in sex and romance chats. I've had brief offline affairs with some of these men. I am afraid and embarrassed to ask for help. Yet I think I am a sex addict and I really struggle with this.
There are many women sex addicts. Unfortunately, while our society often rewards men for excessive sexual behavior, it simultaneously punishes and devalues women for the same activities. No wonder it is so difficult for women to come forth and admit they have a problem. About 60 years ago or so when AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) was getting started, most of those meetings were male dominated. Alcoholics were assumed to be males, usually found drunk in back-alleys and half-way houses. Of course, now we know there were many women alcoholics. Increasingly, Twelve-Step sexual addiction recovery programs are welcoming women. It is essential that women in sexual recovery seek out and find the fellowship of other recovering women to share their stories and reduce the stigma of being a woman with this problem.
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Q. My partner and I haven't had sex in months. I suspect he's spending nights viewing pornography online, and maybe even meeting people for sex. I asked him about this, and he denied it. I'm sick at heart, but I just don't know what to do.
Whether or not your partner is indeed engaging in cybersex, your relationship is in trouble.. Go together to see a couples counselor, preferably one who is knowledgeable about how the Internet can affect relationships. If your husband is unwilling to go, then it is very likely that he is hiding some behavior. In this case, it would be helpful for you to see a counselor alone in order to sort out your options. You might also consider joining an online support group for partners of sex addicts. The only requirement for membership is that you are being affected by someone else's sexual behavior. These days, cybersex addiction is a major topic of discussion on the online support groups.
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Q. After the intensity and novelty of cybersex, can sex with an ordinary long-term partner ever be just as good?
Cybersex gives the participant a concentrated dose of those early intensity-based days of sex in a new relationship. But cybersex has many drawbacks as well, and the price can be exorbitant. Alone with only the computer for company, cybersex participants are in fact isolated from real human contact. Cybersex objectifies the participants. They are often reduced to body parts. Real-life sex with a committed partner can evolve an intimacy that makes it much better than sex with one's own hand and a picture on a screen.. But real intimacy takes dedicated work, communication, and play.

Possibilities of Cyber - Sex, be careful!

It's a TRUE story (ed. note: Just like all Urban Myths. This is from an e-mail I received recently.)
Normally when I hear embarrassing stories about my friends I sort of chuckle a little and let it pass, however when my friend at CU Boulder wrote me this letter telling me about her embarrassing experience, as sick as it was, I could not help but become hysterical. I know with the sick sense of humor my friends have, that ya'll would appreciate this as well. I asked, my friend if I could write it up. She didn't mind as long as I didn't use her name, so here it is.
An anonymous girl, lets call her Jen, is a junior in college attending school in Colorado. Like all college students, she is wrapped up in the partying and the wildness college life has to offer. Jen being the computer science major that she is does, however, have a lot of work to do on her computer. So when she's not out having a good time, she's working her butt off designing computer programs and installing software.
One day, soon after she had broken up with her boyfriend, she was home alone on a friday night for the first time in the three years since they had been dating. She was sad, alone and depressed, so she decided to make a new homepage. She was playing on the net when she decided to get onto a chat channel, being the wild psycho that she is she decided to get onto a sex channel. So Jen got onto a sex chat and started playing around on it. On the channel, she met a guy who identified himself as Jeremy. She started playing with him. She gave a false name, saying her name was "Katie" and started getting into detail about what she would like to do to him with her tongue. He responded by telling her to picture being naked while his hands ran over every square inch of her body. Soon they were having cybersex. This went on for awhile, and then she got off the channel agreeing to meet him back on the computer the following night.
Saturday night rolls around, and Jen is on the line with Jeremy again, they become even closer this night, so they continue like this for a week. At the end of the week, they started talking about other things, and got into very intimate issues and feelings. They became close, exchanging their lives. Jen didn't tell Jeremy that she was in college, because she was afraid of sounding like an immature college girl. She felt guilty, but after a few weeks, she really liked this guy. This went on the two of them like this for months, and months turned into a year. By the end of the year they had exchanged the most intimate thoughts, and yet had never even spoken on the phone. They were afraid of ruining the mystery. They had done everything sexually possible over the net, they were affectionate as well, waiting for the day that they could some day be together.
They finally decided they had had enough. They wanted to meet each other. They were in love and they had to meet. They didn't care about age or looks or anything but each other. Jeremy told Jen he thought she could be his next wife. Jen was wary at first but decided she didn't care how old he was or how ugly, she loved him. He was the only one she could feel comfortable with.
So...they planned a trip to meet in Vail, Colorado. They were going to spend the weekend together and finally meet. Jen didn't want the hassle of having to find him, so she said, why don't you just get the room and we'll meet in the room that way there will be no mistake. Jeremy agreed. Jen showed up at the resort first, and checked into the room telling the desk lady to hold the key for the next party, so she went into the room. She wanted things to be special so she lit some candles, put on some music. She stripped naked and climbed into the bed under the covers, deciding to surprise Jeremy when he got there. The time soon came the lights were out, the mood was right, and she heard a key in the door, she heard someone walk in and around the corner, and she whispered, "Jeremy"? Jeremy said, "Katie?" (this was the false name she had given him.) Yes she said, so he fumbled for the light, and turned it on to see Jen on the bed naked before him.
Then next thing heard around the world were two blood curling screams. Jen covered herself up, and with her most humiliating voice said, "Dad?" and Jeremy said, "JEN!!!"

Think of what you would do in this situation.. now realize this really did happen. Their lives will never be the same.
ed. note: Except this sounds like a typical Urban Myth. If you know this to be true, or can document any of the myths on my page, please email me.

Uncle Ken

Then there are those who do similar and find themselves raped by several men, and or even murdered.

Cyber-sex scammer jailed
Correspondents in Singapore,7204,5135514%5e15405%5e%5enbv%5e15306-15322,00.html,4057,5135514%255E15322,00.html
SEPTEMBER 20, 2002

AN 18-year-old Singaporean woman has reportedly been jailed for two-and-a-half years in a cybersex scam in which she stimulated men who were then blackmailed.

Norhafizah Raziki "got intimate - short of sex" with the men, the Straits Timessaid. She met two men in an internet chatroom and agreed to meet them privately.
A group of male friends later accused the victims of having sex with a minor and told them to pay up to $S30,000 ($31,000) "for the shame inflicted" on her family.
Raziki's lawyer argued she was not the mastermind of the operation and did not receive any money.

But while Judge Malcolm Tan acknowledged that having to stimulate the men was "very denigrating" for the young woman, he added "the crux of the matter is she did this act with her eyes open".

Of six men also involved in the extortion, two were jailed for five years and given six strokes of the cane, one received a 30-month jail term and three have yet to appear in court.

Agence France-Presse

.....and there are thousands of cases like this every week.

Brahmacharya - II
Continued from the previous issue
Etymologically the word brahmacharya means, to dwell in, to be attuned with, and to realize one's identity with, Brahman, the Supreme Spirit. Vyasa, the commentator of the Yoga Sutras, however, defines brahmacharya as the control of the organ of generation and giving up of all forms of lust, which means not only abstaining from gross sexual indulgence but also thinking, willing, seeing, talking, observing and indulging in sexual entertainment mentally or through other senses. Thus, brahmacharya can have various dimensions: transcendental, subtle or mental, and gross, physical or physiological. Finally, sex plays such a dominant role in the life of most of the people that it is worth considering another of its dimensions, viz., social. Ever since the postulation of the theory of libido by Sigmund Freud and the consequent sexualization of the western culture, the social dimensions of sex and brahmacharya have gained much greater importance.
We may not agree with the postulate of Sigmund Freud that sex is the most important driving force in man and that the fullest sexual development, both physical and psychological, is the goal to be achieved for a complex-free psyche. But we must admit that Freud has provided us with deep insights into the workings of the subconscious mind. The roots of lust are indeed deep. Even Sri Krishna has hinted at it in answer to a pertinent question by Arjuna. He not only describes the power of lust but in a significant in-depth analysis, points out three seats of lust:
Arjuna asks: Prompted by what does a man commit sin, even though unwilling, being goaded, as it were, by force?
The Blessed Lord says: This is desire (lust), this is anger, born of the constituents of rajas, of inordinate appetite and is most sinful. Know it to be an enemy here. O son of Kunti, knowledge is covered by this enemy of the wise in the form of desire (lust) which is like an insatiable fire. The senses, the mind, and the intellect are said to be its seats; covering knowledge by these, it deludes the embodied being.
Thus according to Sri Krishna, desire, especially lust, is extremely powerful and can overpower even a wise man. Secondly, it has three seats, i.e., it acts and rests at three levels. That a person enjoys the objects through the senses is understandable. But lust also rests in the mind. That means, an individual 'enjoys' through imagination, memory, and mental cogitation also. The third seat of lust--intellect--is the most significant and deep. Intellect is that function of the mind which arrives at firm conclusions and decisions which later take the form of beliefs and convictions which prompt our thoughts and actions. So what is the meaning of having intellect as the seat of lust? When one, through experience, reason or by false belief, is convinced that indulging in sex is good, that it conduces to health, peace and happiness, that it is the only true goal of life and that there is nothing wrong in fulfilling one's lustful desire by whichever means, then lust is firmly established in its deepest, surest seat in the intellect. It is easy to control the senses; one might with some effort abstain from sensual imagination, memories and thoughts pertaining to lust, but it is extremely difficult to conquer lust if it has taken firm root in the intellect in the form of a firm conviction. Hence Sri Krishna, while advising Arjuna 'to kill this sinful thing which destroys the realization of knowledge, by first controlling senses at the very outset,' also advises him thus:
Thus knowing that which is beyond the intellect (self) and controlling the mind by the intellect (self), kill, O mighty armed one (Arjuna), the enemy in the form of desire (lust), which is difficult to conquer.
It is important to thoroughly understand this mechanics of lust if one really wants to practise brahmacharya. In the Katha Upanishad we get a concept of shreyas and preyas. Shreyas means that which is beneficial and conducive to well-being in the long run. Preyas means that which is only pleasant and attractive, and though providing momentary joy and pleasure, is harmful in the long run. Human beings are naturally attracted towards the pleasant. That lust is the most attractive and pleasing need not be mentioned, but very few people know or realize that when uncontrolled, it may lead to total destruction and ruin. And if it is proved by reasoning that enjoyment of sex is also the most beneficial, how difficult it could become to conquer it! Today this is being propagated all over the world, with the help of multimedia.
Of the five yamas or moral values, brahmacharya alone has a physiological dimension which has been studied by the Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, there are seven dhatus or elements in the human body. The food that we eat is digested and converted into its essence or rasa which is absorbed into the system. Rasa is transformed into blood, blood into flesh, flesh into fat, fat into bone, bone into marrow and marrow into shukra or seed or semen. According to this theory semen is the seventh dhatu and naturally the most important and refined. It is the very essence, as it were, of all the preceding six dhatus. Hence its loss is considered a great loss. If preserved, shukra gets absorbed into the system and is converted into ojas. Ojas is something subtler than the dhatus. It has a physical aspect as well as a subtler mental aspect. It nourishes not only the physical body but also the brain and the nervous system. It imparts physical lustre and charm to the body and sharpens the intellect, heightens the memory and conduces to general serenity and blissfulness.
According to Ayurveda, therefore, excessive loss of shukra through sex would lead to weakening of the preceeding six dhatus by draining them out, and would also reduce ojas. It is, therefore, expressly advised that shukra must be discharged only for procreation and not otherwise.
Is there any counterpart of this theory in modern physiology? Probably not. It is difficult to confirm this theory of Ayurveda on the basis of the knowledge of allopathic physiology. Both the systems--modern Allopathic medicine and Ayurveda--have their own theories and concepts, entirely different from each other and it is not a sound policy to try to confirm one concept with the help of the other.
According to modern physiology the human body is governed by two set of nerves; one which is under the voluntary control of the individual and the other which works involuntarily and is not under the control of the individual. The latter, the autonomic nervous system, has two components: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. These two are highly excited during sexual intercourse. Whenever we are emotionally disturbed--be it in anger, fear, or sexual excitement--the autonomic nervous system is activated. The heart starts beating faster; the respiration becomes fast and irregular; there is perspiration, increase or decrease in salivation, etc. Such repeated stimulation of the autonomic nervous system and the consequent unnatural excitation of the cardio-respiratory system may ultimately produce permanent damage to these systems.
It has been shown that the seminal fluid contains secretions from a gland called prostate situated at the base of the urinary bladder. This prostatic secretion contains phosphates which, it has been proved, are useful for cerebral functions. Glycerophosphates are often used as brain tonics. Besides, prostate also produces chemicals called prostaglandins which have a wide range of anti-inflammatory protective effects on various organs of the body. Synthetic prostaglandins are nowadays extensively used as anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic drugs. It seems that the secretion of natural prostaglandins was Mother Nature's method of keeping the body protected against a large number of inflammatory reactions and providing natural resistance.
To what extent the loss of semen affects the natural prostaglandin-regulatory system and leads to loss of natural phosphates, and whether such a loss is significant for the physical and mental health of an individual, is difficult to say. But it is quite understandable that if the above facts are true, over-indulgence in sex and excessive loss of semen might adversely affect the physical and mental health of the individual. Ojas, in terms of modern physiology can well mean greater natural resistance and an ability to bear greater stress and strain, both physical and mental.
There are also many other ways in which these chemicals can be lost or gained. Even according to Ayurveda, ojas can be lost in many ways other than sex. It also remains to be determined what is the counterpart of shukra or semen in women. It is therefore irrational to lay too great a stress on the physiological aspect of brahmacharya. However, one fact cannot be denied. Sexual indulgence leads to excitement of the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems. No sadhaka aspiring to have deep, prolonged meditation can risk such excitement. One may, by practice, be able to sit unmoved in one posture for a long time as a physical feat, but without Brahmacharya it is impossible to have deep and prolonged one-pointed meditation.
Since lust has various seats--senses, mind and intellect--the practice of brahmacharya can also be done variously. Sri Krishna advises Arjuna to first of all control the senses: 'Therefore, O best of Bharata line, first of all you should control your senses and thus kill this enemy, destroyer of knowledge and self-realization.' It is always a safe policy to avoid people, places, activities and situations which might stimulate lustful thoughts. In the spiritual warfare, flight is the best way of winning over this deadly enemy, lust. Let us never be too self-confident. Lust must never be faced directly.
Some restrictions about food can also help in reducing the pull of the turbulent senses. Mahatma Gandhi had done a number of experiments with diet and was of the opinion that occasional fasting helped in subduing lust. The control of palate is often underestimated and not practised as rigourously as it should be. It is impossible to subdue lust without controlling the palate. Then there are certain Hatha-yogic practices, which, though effective, have the disadvantage of making one all the more body-conscious. They may, however, prove useful for some temperaments.
As we know, Sri Ramakrishna did not approve of Hatha-yogic practices. He dissuaded Yogen (later Swami Yogananda) from learning them. Instead he asked him to practise Japa with concentration, and Yogen soon derived great benefit from it. He asked another of his disciples to meditate upon the Divine Mother Kali on his chest when lying on bed to sleep. He asked Latu to think of the Master himself whenever he found impure thoughts arising in his mind. All these techniques have one thing in common--to think of the Divine.
It must be remembered that lust is not outside. It is within our mind. Hence it is more important to change our attitude towards the opposite sex. To Swami Vijnanananda, however, Sri Ramakrishna had given an extreme instruction--to totally eschew all contact with women. But he told others to look upon women as the embodiments of the Divine Mother. In Adhyatma Ramayana, Narada, in his hymn to Sri Rama says that males of all species are Rama and females are Sita. This attitude is most beneficial in sublimating our outlook towards people.
The ultimate solution, however, to the problem of lust is to develop Atmabuddhi--to consider ourselves and others as sexless, pure, blissful Atman rather than male or female bodies. Unfortunately it is not so easy and requires persistent, prolonged effort.
These are some of the general means and methods for the practice of brahmacharya. Modifications and alterations must be made according to the individual and his station in life. For example, Sri Ramakrishna has advised married people to live as brothers and sisters after one or two issue. He knew that all cannot practise absolute brahmacharya and has made concessions for householders. There are similar rules regulating the sex-life of the householder votaries in all religions, and the observance of these rules is far more important than the practice of an absolute vow of brahmacharya by a miniscule few monastics. It is heartening to see that many married couples, inspired by the ideal of Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Sarada Devi, are trying to practise brahmacharya in married life and endeavouring to reinstate the institution of marriage to its sanctified height once more.
According to Pitrim Sorokin, there is an odd, unidentified revolution taking place in modern times. This involves only individuals and has no army, or civil war. And yet this silent revolution, which he calls 'Sex Revolution', is being carried on by billions of people all over the world leading to sexual anarchy. This is as important as any other revolution because of its profound effects upon the individual and society. Sorokin, in his book, Sane Sex Order, discusses the harmful effects of sex anarchy on the physical and mental health and creativity of individuals, and upon society in general. One of its most dreaded effects is the breakdown of the family which is the unit of a sane and stable society. In USA and European countries, family life is rapidly deteriorating. In Britain, every year 150000 children under 16 are added to the number who experience the divorce of their parents. Never-married mothers quadrupled to 360000 over the period 1971-89. In 1980, 12 percent births took place outside marriage; in 1990, 28 percent did so. One-parent families now comprise 19 percent of the total, and more than 30 percent of births now take place outside marriage.
In USA, the epidemic of teenage pregnancy, 'Children having children', has become a public health crisis, and divorce rate has doubled in ten years. Two-fifth of children live in single-parent homes for at least some part of their youth.
It is not that children from single- parent families cannot prosper, but they do worse on average than those from traditional families in every dimension--physically, emotionally, behaviourally, educationally, economically and in terms of smoking and drinking. They die earlier, do less well at school, are less well nourished, suffer more unemployment, are more prone to deviance and crime and more susceptible to psychiatric illness. And community in one sense is family writ large. Loss of community life finds expression in crime, vandalism and violence. Establishment of a sane sex order and a stable marriage system are, therefore, the most important sociological needs of the times.
Anthropologically, there are many kinds of marriages. In Hinduism eight kinds of marriages have been described but monogamy with mutual consent is the accepted pattern. In Islam polygamy is allowed. Then there are tribes where polyandry is in vogue. There are also many kinds of family, apart from the traditional joint families and nuclear families with two stably married indidviduals living at home. While these traditional modes of marriage and family patterns may not be the ideal ones for industrial and post industrial societies, the need for human care and support by carers close to us, ideally our parents, until we are at least 20 and thereafter support of a spouse 'in sickness and in health' ...'till death do us part,' is one of the most notable features of being human.
All this cannot be fulfilled in the modern day culture dominated by sex anarchy and illicit sex relationships. Sorokin, therefore, suggests a scheme of ennoblement of culture and social life as a means to establish a sane sex order. It basically consists in liberation of our culture and institutions from the curse of sexuality. The main change in such ennoblement must involve desexualization of our fine arts, multimedia, including radio and TV, recreations and sports, our sciences and philosophy, social and humanistic disciplines, ethics and law; in short, our total way of life. Idealistic ennoblement of love, marriage and family are also a part of this great transformation.
This, then, is the sociological dimension of Brahmacharya, which must not be overlooked even while practising Brahmacharya in thought, word and deed.


Ayurvedic Anatomy and Physiology:
Dr. Satish Kulkarni.

We discussed in the previous article that the three basic constituents of the body (treedoshasi.e. vaat-pitta-kafa) are created by five supreme powers i.e. Earth (pruthvi), Water (aap), Divine Fire (tej), Air (vayu) and Universal Space (aakash). Amongst these powers, Divine Fire (tej) is the precursor of pittaand body fire (agni) is the successor of pitta.

Agniplays a vital role in the creation and maintenance of body tissues (dhatus). The human body is made up of seven basic tissues or vital substances called dhatus. The meaning of the sanskrit word dhatuis ‘that which binds together’. Dhatuis the element which constructs our body. Dhatuis the base of growth and survival. Dhatustake different forms in our body to maintain life. Different organs (sharir avayavas) and different body systems (strotasas) are made out of dhatus.Our nourishment and development is fully dependent on dhatus.

Ayurvedabelieves that there are seven dhatusin all. They are: life sap (rasa),blood (rakta), muscles (mansa),fatty tissue (med), bones (asthi),bone marrow and nervous tissue (majja)and semen and reproductive system (shukra). Each dhatuhas its own agnii.e. dhatu-agni. Our food intake is converted into life sap by agniof rasa dhatuand rasa dhatuis produced. Likewise, agni of rakta dhatuprepares raktaout of rasa and so on. Every dhatuis a precursor of the next dhatu. Rasais transformed into rakta, raktaprepares mansa, mansais further transformed into meda, medais used to make asthi, asthiforms majjaand majjaproduces the ultimate dhatui.e. shukra.

Ayurvedaresearchers must have observed that food is the starting point of life. Food enters the body from the inlet— the mouth and the end products come out of body through the outlet— the genitalia and anus. The second important observation must have been that any living creature (including human beings) survives and grows with food and dies without it. They must have seen that starvation retards growth of the body and destroys the body in the end. Thus, this theory of dhatus must have arrived from these observations.

Dhatusprotect our body from external encounters. They are responsible for our immune mechanism. If there is wasting (kshaya) of dhatusthen the body construction collapses and ultimately life ends.
Ayurvedarecognises shukraas the most important dhatu. It states that one needs a hundred drops of blood (rakta) to produce one drop of semen (shukra). Shukrais the essence of all the body tissues and is that creation of mother nature which has the capacity to produce new life. In any case, it should not be wasted without substantial reason (i.e. reproduction).

Disorder in doshas (vaat-pitta-kafa)affects dhatus. These affected or defective dhatus hamper the quality of life. Proper diet (ahar) and proper life style (vihar) help in maintaining the balance of doshasand in producing healthy dhatus.

To summarize, dhatusaccount for the ayurvedic explanation of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Our body processes consumed food and transforms it into life sap, which in turn creates a chain of further body tissues i.e. dhatus. Their gain gives quality to our life and their loss destroys life.

Semen Loss / Semen Value
Dhat Syndrome: Northern India

"Ayurveda itself teaches a physiology of the production of sperm, based on the central idea that there are seven essential constituents of the body (the seven dhatus: chyle, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and semen) produced through a cycle of successive internal cookings and transformations. The ultimate distilling, the most concentrated and hence the most precious, is semen" (Bottero, 1991: 306).

"The present study indicates that the attitudes toward semen loss constitute an organized belief system... [more common in] low-education and low-income groups...  Semen is considered a precious material formed by the distillation of blood. Forty meals gives rise to one drop of blood. Forty drops of blood give rise to one drop of bone marrow. Forty drops of bone marrow give rise to one drop of the elixir of life, semen. One ejaculation of semen will lead to wastage of a wealth of energy. This belief can be traced back to the holy scriptures (Sushruta Samhita, 1938; Charak Samhita, 1949; Gandhi, 1957; Kuma Sutra, 1967).

It is being propagated by the lay and pseudoscientific literature (Mishra, 1962; Chand, 1968) and has fascinated many scientific investigators..." (Malhotra and Wig, 1975: 526).

"Celibacy improves the condition of your semen. However much semen you are able to retain, you will receive in that proportion greater wisdom, improves action, higher spirituality and increased knowledge. Moreover, you will acquire the power to get whatever you want. (Yogacharya Bhagwandev 1992: 15)"[Alter, 1997: 280]

"If semen remains in the body, it is the essence of vitality, and many writers spare no hyperbolic in their descriptions of a body glowing with energy of semen.
Semen! What a beautiful, sparkling word! When reflecting on it one's mind is filled with grand, great, majestic, beautiful, and powerful emotions. [Shastri n.d.[a]:10]" [Alter, 1997: 284]

[Abstract] "A large segment of the general public from all socioeconomic classes believe that semen loss is harmful. Seminal fluid is considered an elixir of life in the physical and mystical sense. Its preservation guarantees health, longevity, and supernatural powers"(Malhotra and Wig, 1975: 519).

"Nocturnal emission, or svapna dosh(dream error), is given special consideration by all authors. Kariraj Jagannath Shastri devotes his whole book to the subject, and because of its 'involuntary' nature, calls svapna dosh the worst of all 'personal diseases'"(Alter, 1997: 287).

Overcoming Masturbation

Archibald Hart wrote a book entitled The Sexual Man(Waco, Texas: Word, 1994). His book contains surveys he conducted on the subject of masturbation. When asked how married men feel about their masturbation, "almost all (97 percent) said they did not feel guilty. Only 2 percent said that it was shameful, and 8 percent that it was abnormal. But on the other hand, only 13 percent said they felt normal about masturbation. So what does this mean? Either they genuinely don't know how they feel or they have a lot of ambivalence about their feelings. On the one hand, 97 percent said they don't feel guilty, but only 13 percent said it felt normal."
I think these results show that a rationalization has taken place in our society. In spite of what society and books and "sex experts" tell us -- in spite of what men say they believe -- men still don't feel right about masturbation. Many of the married and unmarried men I have spoken with agonize over their practice of masturbation.
Sex is good and right and pure. It was created by a loving, imaginative God for procreation and pleasure. God created sex to be ENJOYED, but only within the right context: marriage.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.... God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:27, 31.

Masturbation is not mentioned in the Bible. So we have no clear commandment in the Scripture regarding masturbation. In the absence of a clear command, we must always be careful of creating condemnation where God never intended it. Little boys and little girls explore their bodies. Touching their sex organs feels good. This is not sin. It is normal curiosity.

However we do have a clear command, concerning the lust of a woman who is not your wife. Jesus says this is essentially the same as the sin of adultery.
"Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."Matthew 5:28.
Therefore, if you are masturbating and in your masturbating you are lusting after a woman that you are not married to, then your masturbation is a sin. If you are using pornography or imagination to lust after a woman who is not your wife, then you are "missing the mark" (the meaning of one of the Greek words for sin). You are committing a form of adultery. You are involved in something that is unhealthy for you and for those around you.

In spite of what some single people imagine, masturbation does not stop magically when you get married:

Archibald Hart in his book The Sexual Manclaims "61 percent of all marriedmen surveyed masturbate."
Sex in marriage has its interruptions and boring times.
Thought control does not get easier; it gets harder after marriage since you know what sex is all about.

The key to self-control in masturbation is control of your mind by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.Romans 8:6-7.
Your mind controls your sexual arousal. Your most important sex organ is your mind.

We dream up wild fantasies in order to masturbate. Wild fantasies become the only way to physically excite you. They are not at all like the physical relationship in marriage. This will put a strain on your marriage.

They cause guiltfeelings which make it hard for you to relate to other people. Sin blunts your feelings toward God.

Fantasizing in your mind makes you want to enact your fantasies -- worse sin, big trouble.

Your lack of self-control may make you susceptible to unfaithfulness in your marriage.

The guilt you feel can be transferred to thinking that all sex is dirty and wrong.

Because of the concentration on your own orgasm or release, it can train you to be selfish in marital sex. It is also common for masturbation to create a problem with pre-ejaculation in your marriage.

Scripture Memory - Get these Scriptures into your head and heart. Quote them when you get up in the morning and whenever you are tempted. They will help you to renew your mind and teach you to think differently.

Romans 13:14 "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature."
Romans 8:6 "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace."
John 8:34,36 "Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Work on victory only one day at a time:

Neverthink about getting victory for the rest of your life.
Here is the way to think: "The guys are all out of the apartment. Lord, just let me get through this one afternoon."

Remind yourself how long it's been since the last time you masturbated.

"I've had victory for a whole week. Praise God! Now do I really want to go through that guilt again just to start over again? NO, not today!"

Remember and review the long-term effects of masturbation.
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 16:13

If you sin, it's a little bit easier to sin the next time; but the opposite is also true -- resist and it will make you stronger.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:7.
Resist the devil, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.1 Peter 5:9.

Engage in some type of strenuous exercise. Go and burnout and it will lessen the desire. One guy would go and do chin ups until his arms felt like they would fall off.
Therefore, I do not run like a man aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.1 Corinthians 9:26-27.

Avoid any situation that tempts you personally. Avoid it. Change it. Expose it. Remove anything from your home that causes you to want to sin sexually -- books, magazines, videos, etc.
Flee from sexual immorality.1 Corinthians 6:18.
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.2 Timothy 2:22.
Find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.Ephesians 5:11.

Be accountable to another Christian brother. Call a Christian friend with whom you can fellowship during this time of temptation.
He who trusts in himself is a fool.Proverbs 28:26.
Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies. Let a righteous man strike me--it is a kindness; let him rebuke me--it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it.Psalm 141:4-5.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.James 5:16.

Change your habits of thinking. This is also the area that will take the most work. Quick and easy victory is unlikely. This is a war, not just a battle.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is. Romans 12:2.
Ask the Lord to show you why you have wrong desires. Give some serious thought to figuring out why you masturbation. A chronic habit of masturbation is usually a emotional substitute for something. It's like a drug we use to anesthetize our emotional pain. Are you using masturbation to overcome sadness, feelings of rejection, or fear of failure? If so, then you are confusing psychological/spiritual issues with sex. Masturbating isn't going to help you mature emotionally. It will only keep you childlike. Take some time to really figure out what masturbation is being used for in your life. Then separate out the psychological issues from God's gift of sex. Ask God to reveal any burdens or anxieties you are carrying, then give them back to Him.

Get in the habit of praising and thanking God for the way you are, including your sex organs. Thank Him for making you a sexual being and ask Him to help you control yourself so you can enjoy sex in its proper context.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Psalm 139:14.

If you yield to the temptation, confess as soon as possible, and don't dwell on it. You will feel guilty because you have given in to your flesh and have obeyed it desires, but don't keep punishing yourself about it; instead rejoice in the cleansing, forgiving power of the blood of Jesus Christ. Renew fellowship with God and again reckon yourself dead to sin.

Grow spiritually. Don't stop serving or learning. Sometimes guilt makes us feel like we are not worthy to serve in the church or associate with other Christians. That is Satan's trap to keep you away from God's grace (Romans 8:1). Don't run from the streams of God's grace. Stay involved and active. Becoming more like Christ in other areas will help you in this one.

For more on weapons to use in your battle against lust see Weapons for the War.

Friends Threat to Marriages

THE PRESS, Christchurch, New Zealand - Tuesday, May 7th 2002 - page 25.

Male-female friendships outside marriage are a form of adultery, says Gary Neuman, a Miami Beach psychologist. While that might seem an extreme view, even his critics agree that marriages can be harmed, writes PETER JENSEN.

Are you a woman who shares secrets with a male friend? Are you the kind of man who reviews his weekend plans with a female co-worker? Do you go out for drinks with a colleague of the opposite sex?
If you are married and answer yes to any of these questions, then therapist Gary Neuman has a word to describe your behavior: unfaithful.
“We can’t fool ourselves into believing that we can have intimate relationships at work and still have a great relationship at home,” says Neuman. “My message is that if you want to infuse passion and have a buddy for the rest of your life, you have to keep that emotional content in your marriage. Otherwise, it’s not going to happen.”
Neuman, a Miami Beach psychologist, has raised hackles in the marriage conselling field with his recently published book, Emotional Infidelity (Random House). It says male-female friendships outside marriage are a form of adultery.

The funny thing is that while Neuman’s views might seem extreme, even his critics say his central premise – that friendships between members of the opposite sex can harm marriages – is probably valid.
“It’s a concern,” says Shirley Glass, a Maryland psychologist and longtime researcher into marital infidelity. “Many love affairs begin just that way.”
Marital infidelity, the sexual kind, is hard an uncommon phenomenon in contemporary America. Nor does it show any sign of abating. According to a 1998 survey by the University of Chicago, about 25% of married American men and 17% of married women admit to have being unfaithful.
Glass suspects those numbers are too low. Her own research suggests it is probably closer to 25% of women and 40-50% of men.
How many married men and women might admit to an emotional infidelity? Probably 55 to 60%, she says. She thinks numbers are growing.
Her own definition of emotional infidelity is more cautious then Neuman’s. Glass thinks a friendship between members of the opposite sex must have three traits to be an infidelity: emotional intimacy that is greater than that within the marriage, sexual tension, and secrecy.
 “Friendship becomes a problem when it becomes a replacement for a marriage or takes place outside a marriage,” says Glass.
 Hamit Aizen, 38, says she used to think that opposite gender friends were fine for married couples. After nine years of marriage she no longer feels that way. Instead, she puts a greater priority on preserving intimacy with her husband.
 A married father of five, Gary Neuman, 37, belives society generally underestimated how harmful these emotional infidelities can be. He has counseled too many couples not to have noticed that marriages suffer when men and woman seek intimate relationships outside of home.
 Even if the relationship doesn’t escalate to sex, it can be debilitating to the marriage.
Consider, he says, the husband who gripes about work with a female co-worker and then comes home and doesn’t really want to repeat his complaints all over again with his wife. The result? She is isolated from the significant part of his life.
Or what about the wife who flirts with other men? Will she feel better or worse about her marriage when she compares their reaction to her husbands behavior? He might seem much less fun and exciting. In his book, Neuman refers to research that shows it’s where most extramarital affairs get started – perhaps as high as 78%, according to one study.
 He sees the opportunities for inappropriate behavior behind every lunch, every trip for drinks after work, and every business trip where men and women are thrust into prolonged social contact without their spouses.
 Modern “team building” retreats where male and female co-workers climb walls or abseil down cliffs? Neuman would like to see them end.
“We can’t fool ourselves into thinking we can have these intimate relationships at work and still have a great relationship at home.”
Gary Neuman admits his views are unconventional, but in the three months since his book hit the shops, the volume of hate male he has received has surprised him. Many of those letters are from women who angrily accuse him of condemning the presence of educated women in the work force and rekindling a kind of Victorian attitude towards them.
 Even Glass thinks he overstates the harmfulness of a friendship. “It’s fine as long as it’s not a replacement for marriage. You just have to ask: If you say or do things you wouldn’t want your spouse to see or hear then you need to take a few steps back.”
But Neuman insists that he has not overstated the destructiveness – if only because marriages can be such fragile things that get neglected and too easily reduced to “kids and bills”. He points to the Internet as an example of how men and women can have emotional entanglements without physical contact. He has heard stories of people who have spent hours on the Web sharing secrets with people they’ll probably never meet, in the process of denying their spouses the same intimacies.
 Marlene Maheu, author of Infidelity on the Internet (Source Books), agrees that such relationships can be a “serious disruption” to a marriage.
 Susan Townsend, another psychologist, says that it is usually the emotional intimacy that develops in affairs that devastates marriages, not the fact that one partner has had sex with another. Whether that develops over the Internet or from direct contract doesn’t seem to matter. “People can end up feeling isolated and lonely in their marriages,” she says.
 Barry Glazer, a 57-year-old lawyer who is a student in Townsend’s class, says he has never believed married men and woman should have close friendships outside marriage. Mother Nature, he says, just doesn’t work that way.
“It’s way too complicated. I worry why it would be open to something more,” says Glazer, who is in a long-term relationship. “Maybe that’s not fair, but when you try to make nature fair, you’re banging your head against the wall.”
 Townsend and other therapists say such male-female friendships are possible when both parties understand their boundaries. One of the first steps toward “affair-proofing” your marriage is simply to make sure a couple spends some time on the weekly basis having a meaningful conversation.
 “The more a couple knows each other, the better off they are,” she says. “If you strengthen the bond between the couple, there is not so much temptation to look elsewhere.”
 Glass suggests that friendships become a problem when there’s some attraction involved. If you sense that chemistry, she says, that’s when it’s time to put the walls up – maybe avoid some social situations that “create a more male-female situation”.

- Baltimore Sun

How to stay true

Here are 10 rules for avoiding emotional infidelity:
- Keep it all business in the office
- Avoid meetings with members of the opposite sex outside the workplace.
- Meet in groups
- Find polite ways of ending personal conversations.
- Take particular care not to have regular (perhaps daily or even weekly) conversations about your life outside work.
- Don’t share your personal feelings
- Be unflinchingly honest with yourself
- Avoid cordial kisses and hugs, or dancing with members of the opposite sex
- Don’t drink in mixed company
- Show your commitment to your spouse daily.