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Yoga, Sex, and the Teacher-Student Relationship

Since I started tracking the steady stream of news, controversies, and online debates in today’s yoga world, I’ve had to struggle repeatedly with the challenge of confronting beliefs that are profoundly different from my own – both with regard to yoga, and many other issues as well.

On the whole, this has been a positive experience. Most of the time, when confronted with radically different sensibilities, I’ve been able to push the envelope of my own perspectives and find common ground. It’s been enlarging, and at times enlightening to discover ways of connecting with people who hold very different views on issues ranging from the advisability of “yoga for weight loss” to the foundational nature of the universe.

When I read Cameron Shayne’s recent post defending the righteousness of male yoga teachers who choose to pursue “hot, casual sex” with as many female students as they fancy, I knew that I’d hit a point where I didn’t want to bridge the divide separating our views. In this case, I believe that setting a clear boundary that says “NO” is more honest, clarifying, and potentially valuable than trying to find common ground.

The fact that Shayne’s post received a lot of enthusiastic support (including from the lead editor of Rebelle Society, which published it) suggests that a cultural rift has developed in the yoga community over the issue of whether teachers should enjoy open sexual access to their students, or respect long-standing norms requiring sexual restraint.

Considered in conjunction with the recent wave of high-profile yoga scandals, it’s clear that the issue of sex and the teacher-student relationship demands our attention – as well as an appropriate response.

 

Addressing the Conflict

To be clear, I’m not advocating some sort of war between the forces of sexual freedom and restraint. Nor am I in favor of issuing wholesale condemnation of any particular individuals or groups. The last thing we need is for the yoga community to replicate the same sort of hateful, vicious, polarized dynamic that infects so much of our culture and politics.

At the same time, I believe that the ethical standards and teaching protocols advocated in Shayne’s article should be unambiguously rejected.

How, then, to deal with the fact that Shayne and his supporters will undoubtedly think that it’s my views that are wrong, and not theirs? Is it possible to assert strong differences on the highly-charged issue of sex and the teacher-student relationship without falling into damaging negativity and conflict?

Only time will tell. But I’d suggest trying to accomplish this by:

  • Acknowledging that the divide on this issue is too big and too important to ignore
  • Working to depersonalize the conflict by debating ideas rather than attacking individuals
  • Strengthening the role of a regulatory body (e.g., Yoga Alliance) capable of distinguishing teachers who support norms governing sexual restraint from those who reject them as outmoded “dogma.”

 

Analyzing the Argument

Shayne believes that yoga teachers should not be subject to ethical or regulatory restraints that limit free sexual access to their students. (Presumably, this means adults capable of giving formal consent, although these criteria aren’t stressed.) To my reading, his argument (which is echoed in many of the comments) reflects a mixture of two larger streams of thought that are quite influential in U.S. culture: hyper-individualist radical libertarianism, on the one hand, and irrational New Age spirituality, on the other.

This, in my view, is a toxic mix: capable of legitimating all sorts of power abuses, while at the same time advancing a twisted logic that “blames the victim” when they occur.

Here’s how I’d break it down most simply:

1)    Hyper-individualism refuses to recognize the fact that systemic power differences really do exist. The idea that there are no power issues in play in the teacher-student relationship because we’re all free and equal individuals replicates the larger cultural logic which holds that it’s wrong to limit individual contributions to political campaigns because a billionaire and a homeless person have an equal right to “free speech.” (Yeah, right.) Any sort of more realistic understanding of how individuals are necessarily affected by the larger social context of which they’re a part is rejected out of hand in favor of a dogmatic adherence to the hyper-individualist view.

2)    Hyper-individualism easily slides into self-serving “blame the victim”-style reasoning. For example, Shayne asserts that the “issue of vulnerable idealistic adult students being taken advantage of by egomaniacal male teachers for me is like the war on drugs: another completely corrupted strategy designed to deal with the symptom rather than the disease”:

The guru/students manipulation — like cocaine — is the symptom of a larger problem; the student’s lack of self worth, identify and voice. Clearly the corrupted guru is a problem, but the student, like the user, is the real disease.

By extension, it is solely up to the individual student to cure her personal “disease” of vulnerability to the predations of others, not least including the yoga teacher whom she may have turned to for guidance and support.

3)    Radical libertarianism represents the logical extension of hyper-individualism into the social realm. If you believe that the only proper way to see people is as individuals divorced from any consideration of social context, then it makes sense to see all norms or regulations established for the collective good as illegitimate and oppressive.

Again, you see this sort of reasoning in American society frequently: for example, the belief that any sort of gun control laws – even limiting convicted felons from acquiring machine guns! – is an intolerable infringement of individual liberty.

4)    Combine hyper-individualist radical libertarianism with New Age magical thinking, and unrestricted teacher-student sex is easy to justify. Anyone who’s spent any time in the yoga world is probably familiar with New Age spiritual platitudes such as “everything is exactly as it’s meant to be,” “everything happens for a reason,” and so on. In general, this pairs nicely with hyper-individualist radical libertarianism, as it provides a “spiritual” explanation of why we should never concern ourselves with pesky issues of abuse of power and exploitation – after all, everything’s perfect just as it is!

Hence, Shayne assures us that “you cannot have sex with the wrong person — only a person that provides you with another intrinsic part of the whole that becomes your story”:

As with all action, its meaning is assigned by us, created by us, experienced by us and remembered by us . . . the very idea that you can project onto sex a special quality that may exist for you, but not for another, is arrogant, assuming and stepped in antiquated dogmatic ideology.

5)    Logically, then, if a student ends up feeling sexually exploited by a yoga teacher, that is simply because she is “choosing” this negative perception. Notably, there are also many “Tantric” variations on this sort of irrational New Age thinking, which I won’t go into there as they weren’t featured in Shayne’s post. They do, however, come up in some related comments – and, I’m sure, are quite familiar to those who remember the recent Anusara debacle.

 

The Teacher’s Responsibility: Zero

Illogically, Shayne’s argument that exploited students “chose” their negative perceptions is presented in conjunction with an explanation that the reason that yoga teachers “sexually misbehave” today is “because they finally can”:

The majority of all yoga sex scandals involve one or more desperate devotes and a teacher who figures out, maybe for the first time in his or her hopelessly hip-less life, that they can get laid . . . They are doing what any male or female given sudden persuasive license would do when bombarded with adoring energy — engage it. Only the naive and emotionally underdeveloped would fall prey to it.

There is a horribly circular logic at work here: the exploited student is the “real disease” because she is “naïve and emotionally underdeveloped” – yet, when she is exploited by a power-hungry teacher, she is faulted for “assigning” a negative meaning to the encounter, rather than embracing it as an independent choice that she made to support her own self-development and spiritual growth!

Meanwhile, the teacher is conveniently off the ethical hook and gets a pass – and, no matter what his abuses of power, should presumably remain so to prevent oppression by dogmatic social norms.

 

Ethics, Community, and Tradition

Personally, I find Shayne’s argument so shallow that it would be laughable were it not for the fact that many yoga practitioners apparently embrace it quite fiercely.

Initially, I was shocked to see how much support his post was generating. Quickly, however, I realized that given its resonance with influential currents in the larger culture, its popularity is not so surprising.

Yoga, like any other tradition, necessarily evolves in interaction with the larger society of which it’s a part. If it didn’t, it would quickly lose its relevance and meaning to most people. Therefore, we can expect that variations of the cultural divides that we experience in the larger society will continue to replicate themselves within the yoga community.

As noted above, however, one dynamic that I’d really like to avoid is the establishment of mutually hostile camps that are constantly hurling hate at one another. Right now, I think we are pretty far from that point. But things can change quickly. And there’s no question that the tone in the yoga blogosphere has become frequently meaner in the past few years.

I’ve tried to avoid gratuitous meanness in this post by critiquing what I see as the central ideas in Shayne’s post, rather than attacking him as an individual. For all I know, he could be a great guy in other ways. On the issue of teacher-student sex, however, I believe that the views he’s advocating are dead wrong and need to be forcefully countered.

The contemporary yoga community needs to honor the historic yoga tradition by adapting it to speak to today’s needs and concerns. The Yama of Brahmacharya has informed the yoga tradition for thousands of years. Given the materialism, hedonism, and sexual confusion that trouble our society today, this is a particularly bad time to simply throw it out as antiquated “dogma.”

Instead, we need to reflect on how best to interpret and adapt this restraint to support the meaningful transmission of yoga in our time. Considering the profusion of recent scandals involving teacher-student sex in the yoga community and the incalculable suffering they have caused, the need to do so is urgent. Shayne’s provocative post is helpful to the extent that it spurs those of us who believe we must uphold sexual norms that protect vulnerable students in the yoga classroom – and, by extension, support and elevate the practice for everyone – to reflect on what we can do, and take action.

 

* * *

CH photo   Carol Horton, Ph.D., is the author of Yoga Ph.D.: Integrating the Life of the Mind and the Wisdom of the Body, and co-editor of 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice. She holds a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Chicago, served on the faculty at Macalester College, and has extensive experience as a research consultant specializing in issues affecting low-income children and families. A Certified Forrest Yoga teacher, Carol teaches yoga to women in the Cook County Jail with Yoga for Recovery, and at Chaturanga Holistic Fitness in Chicago. For more information visit her website.

 

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  • Emily

    Thank you for a well-written, thoughtful critique. (Overall, I SO appreciate the level of writing and thoughtfulness on this blog!)

    It’s like the “blurred lines” conversation – his article may be catchy [to some, or just plain annoying] on the surface, deeply disturbing & creepy once you pay attention to what he is actually saying.

  • Katie Mulligan

    In another professional organization I am involved with I had to sign, and have to sign again each year, a Code of Ethics contract. One of the points on it is to not become sexually involved with a client. My dad, who is a professional astrologer, has that same “rule” for himself, he won’t even date a client. So, as a yoga teacher, where we do have a level of responsibility to our students, our self, as well as our profession, why would we not honor this boundary? It would be different if a friendship formed, a genuine caring, respect, etc. then maybe the student would find a different teacher and date the former…but to have random sex with students, in my opinion, does not benefit anyone long term. Not the teacher who, also my opinion, is in denial of the repercussions spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, nor the student, and certainly not the profession as a whole. We ask our students to trust us, to open, to allow their vulnerabilities to arise, we in turn are responsible to put their well being ahead of our own short term gratification.

    • Peter anderson

      I believe we are all grown ups and we set our own boundaries… if you don’t want to drink and drive, that is your choice, if don’t want to have a relationship with your students, then don’t… set your own ethics, set your own boundaries…. there are laws that protect everyone if something is done against their will.

  • Westley Anson

    Brilliant piece of writing Carol! This is the type of response that needs to given by the…quote..”leaders” in our Yoga Community. However, they more likely will be concerned with selling clothes, jewelry, DVDs, Retreats, and their latest Workshop/Teacher Training.

    • Rogelio Nunez

      what leaders are you refering to? if you consider the top money making modern yoga teachers as leaders then your idea of yoga is a bit warped….
      I don’t know about the other systems and TTI, but the one i went thru it thoroughly states ethics of being a yoga teacher, our leader is very strict when it come to these matters, there is great discipline if anything like this happens with our teacher…and has happened….

      • Westley Anson

        The “Leaders” I am refering to are quite obvious and easily recognized. They are the ones Headlining these Yoga Festivals, featured in Journals, and promoting their wares incessently.

        You may not call them your “Leader” and they are not mine either. However, they are the ones the General Public view as most recognizable and the current (though may not be accurate) face of Yoga.

        • Rogelio Nunez

          hi Westley, my mistake i thought you considered these celebs leaders of the yog community…
          unfortunately, the general public put these celebs on a pedestal and bow to them as Gurus…

  • Cameron Shayne

    Mrs. Horton, I appreciate your fair and reasonable article. I am confident you are a very intelligent and caring soul. And, with all due respect, I think the final line from your response to my RebelleSociety article revels a mind set to which I would like to draw your attention. Your quote reads: “Shame on you Cameron Shayne.” My response to you Mrs. Horton, is no thank you. I will pass on being shamed by you, or anyone else. Shame would suggest that I should feel “bad” for something I have done. It seems that with your vivid projections and imagination you have surmised in my one page article all that you need to know to judge and shame me for being bad. You and people of like mind have created with your imaginings, of me walking around a room preying and hitting on weak and vulnerable women. Why? Because I acknowledged that I have had intimate relationships over my 30 years of teaching, with women that I have meet in my class room? Your inaccurate assumptions that these women were incapable of making clear decisions for themselves is unfounded and inflammatory. They suggest worst case scenarios, manipulation and victimization, all of which are unfounded and only true in the stories you tell your selves. These are not my experiences, or my truths. These are yours.

    You have an orthodox view of Yoga. This is demonstrated by your statement, “The Yama of Brahmacharya has informed the yoga tradition for thousands of years.” I support your perception and interpretation of yoga, while at the same time reminding you that YOGA is not a religion or dogmatic theology for all of us, but rather a concentration and awareness of body and mind. And for others something completely different. It is not for me or you to judge or determine what Yoga is. I see a a yoga class no more or less sacred than any other space. All space is as we see it. Nothing more, nothing less. How I see it and conduct it are further imaginings of your mind when you suggest I use it as a place to pick up women. My intention with my article was to point out the misdirected blame solely onto the teacher and simply exonerate the student for being vulnerable. Our society seems obsessed with identification with the title of victim, demonstrated starkly by our judicial systems overloaded lawsuit epidemic. I am quite clear that people are extorted, manipulated and lied to. I am very clear that these dynamics occur everywhere, not excluding the yoga classroom. That for me does not conclude that consenting adults, whatever titles held, should have you, me or anyone else dictating their personal freedoms. Plenty of beautiful and profound connections, marriages, and children including my own have come from these conditions.

    Students who give up power walking into a class room to a teacher is a massive problem that has persisted and been indoctrinated into us by Religion. Why you see so many people agreeing and relating to my article is simply a reflection of peoples frustration with another institutions fundamentalist and orthodox members trying to control everyones experience. You clearly believe that a rule or policy would dissuade corruption. Yet rules do not instill ethical behavior, but rather bind us further to mindless cooperation with institutionalized ideology. Instead of creating more policy, we may want to focus on encouraging and inviting people to explore their own thoughts, feelings and intentions, and yoke them with their actions. So that they may know themselves deeply and truly, and by doing so take care of one another. I call this yoga. In conclusion, I am not suggesting that it is okay for men/women teachers to prey on anyone under any conditions. I am suggesting that this problem cannot be solved by villainizing the act of intimacy between student and teacher. But rather deal ing with the massive amount of projection, fear and displacement of blame. No place is safe from corrupted behavior. I am advocating the focus be on developing more aware and accountable practitioners. Thank you for your time and your thoughts. Respectfully Cameron Shayne

    • Carol Horton

      Cameron, thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate your willingness to show up and dialog.

      I freely admit that I felt angry for a good day or so after I read your post. My comment on Rebelle Society was written when I was still feeling more emotional. The article that’s posted here was written after I’d had time to think through my feelings more. I’m not attached to shaming you or anyone else. So I am happy to retract that statement if you’ll accept that.

      It’s important to understand that my rejection of what you wrote is not based on my assessment of what you do or don’t do with your students sexually (or otherwise). I don’t know and can’t assess it – nor am I interested in even trying.

      What I object to very strongly is the ideas that you’re propagating. Even if you were the most considerate person in the world to your students, I’d still object to them just as strongly.

      It is not a question of individual behavior on an isolated, case-by-base basis. It is a question of common norms, ethical standards, and respect for the integrity of the student-teacher relationship. Unlike you, I believe in pro-social norms, ethics, and commitments. I do not think they are inherently oppressive. I think that they are simply a fact of life, as human beings are by nature social creatures. We are all affected by the culture we are a part of. Conversely, we all play a role in shaping it.

      I would like to see yoga culture move in a different direction than that one advocated in your post. I am by no means a traditionalist. On the contrary, as stated above, I believe that it’s inevitable that yoga, like any other tradition, will evolve in conjunction with the culture of which it’s a part.

      The question is what direction will yoga in North America go? (And by extension, worldwide – I am only familiar with what’s happening in NA, however, so restrict my comments to what I know.) You’d like to see it go in a direction that I strongly believe will be harmful to many people, and negative for the integrity of the tradition overall. We have major disagreements.

      I do agree that trying to regulate someone like yourself through draconian means is not the way to go. It won’t work and will create more problems than it solves. I think that it would be much better to have something like the Yoga Alliance registry that’s truly restricted to teachers who chose to abide by certain standards, along with a separate market for those who don’t. But I do think that it would be good to have that distinction be clearly made.

      I also feel that those of us who believe in maintaining community norms that support sexual restraint int the teacher-student relationship should step up, take a stand, and figure out how to make that commitment a reality – if only within certain clearly defined organizational networks.

      One thing that I found truly helpful about your post is that it revealed how many people agree with your to my mind radical position. As noted above, I was initially quite surprised. But, just as with the “body beautiful” commercialism that’s become so prevalent in yoga, it’s not surprising upon reflection. After all, one of our two major political parties has become irrationally committed to destroying government at all costs because they can’t imagine that any useful form of regulation could exist.

      It’s the state of our times, and while I don’t like it, this sort of radical, anti-social libertarianism is a powerful cultural current. I’m just doing my little bit to turn the tide in the yoga world, which I think that many more positive directions it could be more fruitfully exploring.

      • Cameron Shayne

        Thank you for the retraction and dialogue Mrs. Holt. May I offer this. The question of regulation in the yoga community has been on going and difficult to find common ground in. This i believe is due to the fact that there are strongly contested ways in which people experience yoga. It may be that a new brand of yoga: YOGA THERAPY, may be necessary to create clear division between the esoteric/experiential interpretations and the more clinical/therapeutic approaches. Neither is right or wrong but could be more clearly defined. If a teacher chooses to enter into a profession that is clearly regulated and they sign an oath or agreement, then that is clear and honorable. The student would then know what to expect and the teacher to what standards he or she is being held to.

        • Carol Horton

          Perhaps one issue we agree on (at least in principle) is the value of honesty and transparency in yoga teaching philosophy, practices and ethics. If teachers are open about their commitments and perspectives, then students at least have the opportunity to know what they are signing up for when they choose to study with someone. It seems that you are doing that, and I do see that as a good thing, even if I disagree with the positions stated.

          It’s true that there are always going to be important disagreements among yoga teachers. And I’d much rather have clear lines drawn to clarify major differences than have them all rendered invisible by being mushed in one big “it’s all yoga, We’re All One” soup.

          In my view, the teaching differences that that have the potential to directly impact students in a serious way are the most important. So, I think that this question of sexual access to students is critical. Really abstract philosophical questions that don’t impact what happens in the classroom are really only important to the individuals involved – so I’m not concerned with those.

          Yoga therapy is already a reasonably distinct subfield and not what I had in mind in my previous comment. It’s much more oriented toward incorporating yoga into an integrated health care approach. I was thinking more along the lines of having the “Code of Ethics” stated by Yoga Alliance actually mean something. They already specify that yoga teachers who register with them are supposed to agree to abide by the Yamas and Niyamas. If this could be fleshed out to have some real meaning – e.g., like taking a stand on the issues we’re debating here – then belonging to YA could mean something more than sending in some membership dues. And, those teachers that did not agree with their approach could simply not join.

          While I’m not sure that anything like that could ever happen, at least in theory it seems like the best reform move I can think of given the current state of the field.

          PS I never use the term “Mrs.” and my last name is Horton, not Holt. But feel free to call me “Carol.”

  • Chantel

    An explosive range of opinions on a highly relevant topic worthy of calm, intelligent and mature discussion. I welcome other points of view to test my own values and ethical boundaries as well (loved Carol’s article. Had to read Shaye’s to see what was happening). After reading both I still conclude the following:
    1) “Bad news is good news”. Being deliberately controversial is a great way to promote oneself and one’s agenda. Until today I never heard of Shaye Cameron, and reading his brief bio attached to his article makes me feel a bit sad for him. It’s important for us to trace our lineage as a credential; instead he is more interested in promoting all the celebrities he’s interacted with. He seeks the cult of the celebrity, and the more people who contribute to his article will continue to propagate that seed of intent.
    2) both Carol and Shaye are making interesting position statements that require anyone who calls them self a yoga teacher to assess where they stand. Ideally a broader discussion is required in an open forum (like FB possibly?). However I strongly posit that to have them both define it as an essentially American issue is myopic and incorrect. Yoga in the 21st century is too global and pervasive to contend that sexual politics and yoga are divorced in other countries other than their own. Navel gazing will not benefit this discussion.
    3) I wanted to sound unbiased, but I confess I firmly stand on Carol’s perspective. Yoga is changing at a rapid pace, and is always mutable considering it has at its core a philosophy of the path inward to oneself and how we are reflections of the universal perusha. The question emerging from this is how we choose to define “teacher”, & “student”, but also examine where our standards lie in elevating yoga as a profession worthy of medical/wellness/therapy.
    – if we choose to define these terms loosely, and make it more about choice and individualism, sharing and dabbling in playful introspection in a collective setting…then I can see how many people can choose to mix sexual energies in their community freely. There is nothing wrong with that perspective. However- one can then no longer label people as “teachers”, “students”; or call it a “class”. There is no learning there to be conducted other than what one chooses for the self, making it less of a wellness/medical/therapeutic process. Oh, and spirituality must be separated too for the same reasons. It simply becomes an exercise of body movements, without philosophy, without any sense of communal sharing/support.
    – if we opt to make it about learning… If we choose to have the labels of “teacher”, “student” and “class”…. Not only are there long standing traditional ethical boundaries associated with those terms, but they are associated for a reason. Beyond the power differential, the projected anima/animus that blurs reality of a person’s true self in an unequal setting… There is simply the idea that a person’s mind/spirit AND body is being cultivated. So to infer that people show up in a classroom to seek sexual gratification, or teach to relieve sexual desires is actually incorrect. Sexual interactions are meant to be examined in a different environment because it cannot exist equally in a learning environment. One can choose to have a lecture on it and make it as dry and as stale as one might think in an attempt to make it purely mind oriented and academic. However still, the power of sexual energy is like water: just as the Japanese are attempting to freeze the ground water to form an ice wall to prevent nuclear waste seeping into the ocean: the ancient yogis were wise enough to discuss Bramacharya as energy that must also be contained. It is too dominant, too easily all consuming, and to volatile a substance to believe it can be controlled rationally. It’s as if someone wants to stick their toe in hydrofluoric acid believing their strength of will and maturity in their approach will prevent their flesh from dissolving.

  • Kate Holly

    Very compelling conversation between Cameron and Carol. I wonder if the yoga community and its teachers can ever be regulated or held to a common standard in the way that you are advocating for, only because “yoga” is viewed and utilized in so many different ways. I would feel differently about a Zumba instructor having an intimate relationship with a student, or a rock star having relations with a groupie, than I would about a therapist or religious leader having a relationship with somebody they are mentoring or counseling. Its not that I condone the first two, but I would be less inclined to advocate for a regulated standard of ethics. Yoga has taken on many forms and yoga instructors play many different roles in our society. Cameron Shayne lists among his top accomplishments giving several female celebrities “their incredible physiques”, indicating that he is more of a celebrity athletic coach than a spiritual mentor. I think Carol, you are raising (and have raised) important questions on how seriously we want to take ourselves as professional yoga teachers. The more we hold ourselves to the professional standards that are a given in many other healing fields, the more we will develop the trust of students, society and other health professionals, and the more we will create opportunities for teachers to advance their career beyond becoming “yoga celebrities”. My aspiration as a yoga teacher is to be of service in the fields of preventative medicine and mental health, to be able to bill insurance so that more people who need it can afford private yoga sessions, etc. These things will not come to fruition until it is possible to distinguish between yoga teachers who are willing to work with professional standards and regulations and those who are more interested in creating a brand out of themselves.

    • Peter anderson

      we live in a FREE world, where adults get to do what they want, when they want, how they want and who they want with….. no one forces anyone to go to yoga, if you don’t like it, then leave, that simple.

  • DrK Run Fitness

    Third article I have read about this in the past week, including Shanyne’s. I practice dentistry, and in most professions, there’s a legal line drawn about touching patients and regulations about using one’s practice for the purpose of their own personal sexual satisfaction. That makes it easy. You don’t do it. It’s illegal. It’s fraught with peril. On the other hand I constantly hear about tennis pro’s, fitness instructors, and personal trainers having sexual relationships with clients. One of our local yoga teachers has a strong view about not engaging in sexual relationships with students… And then there’s Shayne and others. Here’s what I have: each of us is the arbiter of our own sexual needs. What is needed by some is offensive to others…and I have no need to tell others what to do, how often, with whom, how or why… but there are a few things I do know — All things are easier to get into than out of… when in doubt: DON’T and most importantly… to be sexually active on a repetitive basis with one’s students creates blurred lines… And as a male who is seriously considering launching into a 200 hour TT I am seriously weighing these questions… This is important stuff…

    • Michael Joseph

      This IS important stuff, my advice is to go by your gut instinct. If you are approached by or attracted to a student that is vulnerable, inexperienced or troubled then don’t go there. If, however the student is aware, self-empowered & aligned then go for it! SIMPLE!

  • Speak_Truth_to_Power

    Mr. Shayne’s article and his response to yours is indicative of a superficial, narcissistic, egoistic, purely physical adherence to the Asanas, and is otherwise completely devoid of the metaphysical connection to the Prana.

    Yogis and Gurus with sexual agendas are in a unique position to exploit a dominant power relationship over students and followers, not unlike physicians, psychologists, teachers and priests may illegally and unethically take advantage of their relationships with patients, students and flock.

    For many, Yoga is a journey toward healing, peace, harmony, balance, spiritual union and a connection with the universal.

    Sexual temptations cast about by horny teachers like Mr. Shayne are predatory in nature, an adulteration of the Yogic principles described by Patanjali 10,000 years ago, and an abomination of the sacred Om. It also expresses a possible sexual addiction on his part, or his inability to divorce his ego from the materialism of the world around him.

    Further, sexual relationships with students risk corrupting the healing process Yoga is capable of delivering to those who seek it, or to those who may need it because of emotional fragility, recovery from trauma or who simply may not be psychologically stable.

    If Mr. Shayne wants sex with students, I suggest he become a personal trainer at a health club, a male stripper or a massage therapist. Otherwise, he should keep his paws off the students, or risk being sued by a scorned (harassed) lover, a suit that no doubt would include his studio.

    No amount of justification on his part can excuse his behavior within the sacred confines of Yoga.

  • Vanessa

    Dear Carol, I am so happy that you are adressing this!
    Thank you for your open and clear article, it will help many.

    As a former student of Cameron Shayne I have both witnessed and been what I call a victim for his sexual habits. It is not so innocent as he will have it to be in his comments, he use manipulation and other horrible ways to get what he wants with the girls. Supression techniques is what he uses to anyone trying to confront him. He always looks for ways to get power over his students, and have you believe that you are to blame for the problem he creates.

    So thank you again Carol, it is so important that people get to know the dangers of teachers like Cameron Shayne.

    • Cameron Shayne

      Another flagrant use of social media to harm people and their reputations. I have never heard of you “Vanessa”, and you present no evidence to support such ridiculous claims including your name. You are the same person that clearly has been posting under different false names on each of these article. Hopefully your comment will be removed from this forum like your others.

      • Speak_Truth_to_Power

        Vennessa, thank you for pulling the curtain back on Mr. Shayne. He’s a charlatan, a posuer, a fake and a flim flam man. I have no doubt you have witnessed that which you describe and Mr. Shayne’s reaction is that of a rat exposed to the light. He should be stripped of his certification.

        • Michael Joseph

          I give up!

    • Peter anderson

      I can’t believe what i am reading in this yoga forum…… incredible…. sounds to me Vanessa, that you had a relationship with someone “Shayne” he did not like you as much as you liked him and now you are trashing him and accusing him of using you, manipulating you, etc. you could have just said no and not had the relationship and that was that.
      un-real…
      i don’t even know Shayne, but for him to be trashed because he has relationships with ADULTS, WILLING and of sound judgment, is crazy….,.

  • Sebastian Brosche

    Having met Shayne in person, it is brilliant to read such a great analyzis of his reasoning and mental gymnastics from just reading one of his articles. Please note that Shayne chose not to comment any of the perfectly written points of critiqe about his article and way of teaching, but instead found one weak spot in an argument made on another site. (A supression technique that Cameron uses on a daily basis)
    I found this article Extremely well written and profound.
    Cameron Shayne is too proud and unaware to feel shame, and is very likely too driven by instincts and ego to do any real yogic work.
    Find a teacher with morals and stay far away from guys like him!

    • Cameron Shayne

      Mr. Brosche, it could be that your projections and pain come from the fact that your girlfriend is a former partner of mine and that you are quite unresolved. Ironically your current girlfriend was in fact your yoga teacher and still is. You meet in a Budokon Yoga class she taught and you fell in love. I think that is wonderful. Possibly you may choose to focus on that rather than the past, and not weigh in on a subject that you clearly aren’t clear on yourself.

      • LA

        I’m reading this story for the first time, and so had to catch up on the related news. Thanks for the clarification that you feel shame, guilt, and emotion “like all other humans” Mr. Shayne, because the rest of what you write and think comes off as so narcissistic and manipulative that I’d have been more inclined to think you were sociopathic. What sort of “teacher” whose “wellbeing of people matters greatly to them” makes a public response like this? I certainly could never imagine the noble peace prize winning Tich Nhat Hanh taking this approach, as it’s of no value other than to defend your pride and shame the accuser. Seems like you could possibly use to take the patronizing advice you are scolding Mr. Brosche and some of the other commenters with.

        • Cameron Shayne

          With respect, your anger, character assassination and name calling hardly progress us froward. It only reflect the hypocrisy that underlies the orthodox yoga community. Namaste (i recognize the light in you as the light in me) doesn’t seem to mean much when you are odds with another persons opinion LA. My article simply suggested that I have had meaningful intimate relationships in the past with someone I meet in class. As well as the fact that this has been vilianized as if it were intrinsically evil. That is simply peoples imaginations and fear. In my opinion, If student and teacher have something to explore, the student could remove themselves from the position as student. This may clear the space for even ground. But making blanket policy and judgements about each persons situation is what I am calling attention to. Possibly it is idealistic to think people can think for themselves, but I will error on the side of free choice. To suggest a women or man cannot simply say no if their asked out by a teacher is ridiculous. And what is further ridiculous is that they should be denied the choice. And how could a rule stop truly harmful behavior? It will not. It never has. Possibly my blind spot is that I simply don’t relate to being to weak, vulnerable or unaware to make such a decision, or think that policy will stop it. I think transparency and honesty are crucial and practical solutions.

          • LA

            With respect, I feel no anger at all. It seems you have a fair (albeit idealistic) argument, however, the approach of scolding/ shaming each person while neglecting to address their accusations is of an influence to my stated opinion. We can agree to disagree, as I haven’t any emotional investment other than being of the sex that has less rights in the world than yours. That said, I can relate to a lot of things, including being weak and vulnerable. Just because you cannot, does not mean that there are not vulnerable and weak people. There are millions, likely billions. I do not believe in any singular belief or path is a wise approach to this life, personally. However, I’ve read all the major books, including the Gita, I mentioned. Tich Nhat Hanh because he is a master of compassion. He is gentle. He does not shame. instead, he teaches to ask the person we are communicating with if he has done anything to upset that person. He looks towards himself first. He does not blame the other. That is why he is so respected…even by those who prefer to have sex than be a monk, like myself. In the past 30 years, I have watched men abuse their power with the “vulnerable” in many industries, including ones who offer a belief system, such as Yoga. In my industry,it is the producers that objectify women. Meanwhile, all over the world females are subject to abuse and do not have the same rights as men. They don’t get to choose.. In some countries, just saying “no” will get a woman killed. When any promise of enlightenment is upon us, there are many who will deify the person they feel can help guide them to some truth that the teacher supposedly has that the student lacks. It happens with priests, who abuse their power to have sex with little boys. And of course the Hare Krishna. Their Guru Prabuhada believed man should have sex with a girl by the time she was 13- she’d be forever theirs. In Iskon and many other practices, women are taught they can only get to God through man. We could go on and on and discuss the vulnerability of the woman, and men who abuse their position, especially in all the societies globally that make women the property of man. So while you cannot relate, not all humans practice responsible action ( including yoga teachers, self titled gurus, etc). And not all women are as strong as your idealism hopes for. Yoga is a global community, and women’s suffrage is very real, as it has been throughout history. I hope this effects you well enough to look at what you are a proponent for a little closer. Best to you.

          • Speak_Truth_to_Power

            LA take solace in the fact that Mr. Shayne’s character cannot be assassinated because he has no character, or he is one big character a/k/a a clown, however you want to describe him. His thesis is nothing more that a mastrubatory fantasy of bendy girls in their Lulu Lemons. Let’s face it, he’s creepy. Everyone else get it but him.

          • Michael Joseph

            Pleaaseeee! Are you guys for real?!?!?

          • Michael Joseph

            I’ve been sexually assaulted, abused & scolded in Yoga by female teachers, never men. Just saying….

          • Peter anderson

            abused? assaulted? where is the police report filed at? exactly, there is none….

        • Michael Joseph

          Cameron, come move to Australia, the woman are gorgeous (& the men too!) & we are far less judgmental & open. ‘Sociopathic’?!?! Please!

    • Michael Joseph

      “Cameron Shayne is too proud and unaware to feel shame” What gave you the moral authority to decide that?

    • Peter anderson

      You should not be judging anyone.

  • Mark Tanaka

    This topic is extremely troubling to me because I hold yoga in a bigger context than just physical exercise. Within the context of the yoga practice being a therapeutic and spiritual activity and the fact that the teacher can and is often held as a spiritual guide and healer, there is an inherent- IMO- responsibility for the teacher to hold that role with great responsibility. The psychological power dynamic between a student and teacher is not absolute but heavily programmed and implied in our psyches and it triggers a whole host of unconscious relating mechanisms in our body, mind an emotions.

    People will often inevitably project and attempt to subconsciously work out their parental issues with people in power. It’s not a choice. Its an unconscious compulsion. With eduction and training such patterns can potentially be shifted but it takes becoming clearly aware of the dynamics and projections and some serious therapeutic work.

    These dynamics inherently arise often as a result of the implied power dynamics. The discussion cannot be carried on effectively unless we all become more educated on the topic of projection and transference.

    If we are to be responsible, caring yoga teachers it is essential that we understand transference and projection clearly and accurately. Once we do we will see the complex psychological interplay occurring between students and teachers and hopefully realize that it is respectable and a responsible choice for the teacher to take the initiative to be exceedingly more careful to not use the dynamic for their own selfish motivation to fulfill their sexual appetite but to use the dynamic to help heal the student.

    Learning how to effectively and responsibly relate to our students in our conduct is just as important as learning how to help their body align safely in a yoga class. As yoga teachers We Have Impact.

    It’s a topic that must and should be studied in depth by any individual that holds positions of power. It should be an essential course of study for any yoga teacher that seeks to not unintentionally harm their students by inadvertently playing out these dynamics in a way that is careless. Ignorance is not an excuse.

    I have personally spoken to, met and been confided in by many women who have been adversely impacted by the abuse of these dynamics to know the harm, hurt, violation can be extremely deep and real. It is not a light subject and neither should it be taken lightly. There is a reason why it’s illegal for psychologists to sleep with their clients.

    To denounce our responsibility on how we impact each other in the name of New Age pseudo-spirituality, saying we all create our own reality and that its the student’s fault for having that issue is completely irresponsible and selfish and a harmful idea that espouses sociopathic behavior. This is not spirituality. It is the exact opposite.

  • Amy Overman Watkins

    Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! Thank you!

  • paul

    I think this article overreads Shayne’s position, which is in its way asking for
    everyone to take responsibility, something we all do need to do even
    while exploring the consequences of what we cannot control. He could
    have presented his arguments better, giving some practical advice to achieving the equality he would like rather than relying on insistence. Yet, this same insistence is seen in this article, which tries to drown him as a “New Age hyper-individualist radical libertarian” using “New Age” as it usually is, as the hippy hipster of religious discourse, the vacuous undefined ignoramus whose low status forever stumbles so long as as it can only be gestured at, rather than explained. (And quotes saying it is about determinism do not support newness..) I agree with the sentiments of this article, and rants can have good use, but name-shaming is a disservice to dialog and understanding, especially when there is so much that is demonstrably wrong (like Shayne’s “Sex is simply another thing we do together.” etc).

    • Cameron Shayne

      Paul, Thank you for a balanced ear. I will be coming out with a second piece to further explore some of the very points that you mention. Regarding my statement “sex is something we simply do together”, Let me explain further my position. Sex is an act primarily of the physical body. I recognize that all aspects of consciousness can be included in this act as well. What I am suggesting is that Gazing into someones eyes can be as, if not more, intimate that sexual penetration. A women or man can bring themselves to orgasm without touching another persons body or even their own. Therefore the physical act of sex is what we mentally make it be. We show up with what we are ready to share in that space. It does not have to be anything more than physical pleasure or as much as the deepest bonding and yoking. What it is for me is irrelevant and not consequential. When you try to tell another person what sex is or is not for them, you create suffering because they will search and compare what they experience with what they have adopted from your beliefs and experience. We can only share our personal values and ethics, not insert them through manipulation like the christian church has done for decades. This clearly does not work. I have a daughter. I would prefer she be safe and sound. I would prefer she see sex as a place to share love, as I do, but I will not indoctrinate her with my truth so that I can feel a false sense of certainty. I can guide her to love herself and to ask her what she feels and sees about herself and to look for those qualities in another person to share that with.

      • paul

        Sex comes with a lot of baggage and consequence whether acknowledged or not; it is not just something people do together, perhaps for some, but not most.

        I agree that gazing into someone’s eyes, or even writing comments on forums, can effect a person more deeply than sex. But not usually, which is why you can correctly say your (or my) own understanding is irrelevant in the larger context, yet the larger context, our histories, is something I think you are not acknowledging. We are born with genetic predispositions, and into a culture of predispositions, and even today when the influence of these are common discussions, most people choose to ignore this and think we act of our own free will, when that is only a part of why and how we act; we are not automatons nor are we blank slates, we are unique and the same. Too, we are highly manipulable, whether by institutions like a church or government, by music, and of course by ads. People constantly take advantage of our malleability, disrespecting our capacity for autonomy and that we oughtn’t differ, and I think it is essential to acknowledge this, as you do to an extent, but I think you are overly idealistic, looking at our free will as if it wasn’t smothered by a lot of imposed impulses that are usually unacknowledged even when known, and as if recognizing our own autonomy is somehow automatic and not requiring a lot of space and patience away from the constant stream of who we ought to be to develop or be uncovered.

        Ideally, we should always have the space and information (and faculty to process it) to understand or even choose our own ethics and action, but that is rarely the case. This is why we need guidelines, especially against violence, in addition to our sharing and interactions, as they offer the space; respecting consent means respecting that the knowledge consent can be given may not be recognized, to not conflate nurturing with creation.

        I think a lot of people go to yoga, or studios, to find this space, and I think that is what you are arguing for. But because your argument tends to set aside the who/how/where most people are in favor of the idealism that we can all suddenly respect ourselves, that the violence people continually do to themselves and other beings can disappear with a phrase, it seems more like an argument for being manipulative.

        Just as we cannot communicate without a common language, nor communicate as equals without recognizing and respecting our capacities and histories, we cannot respect one another’s autonomy without respecting the boundaries we set, even when those boundaries are not of our own creation or limit joy. We can make a space, and these boundaries can be explored on our own terms.

  • Speak_Truth_to_Power

    Mr. Shayne’s assertion that “No person determines the ethics of another,” is simply ridiculous. WHAT ABOUT JESUS, MOSES, MOHAMMED, BUDDHA, CONFUCIUS, PATANJALI. Their ethics certainly determined the ethics of others, and served as foundations for dominant religious and philosophical practices around the world.

    Ethics is an area of study that defines the difference between good and bad, what is morally acceptable and what is not.

    Contrary to Mr. Shayne’s understanding, Nazis and slave owners did not have ethics. They had organized systems of dominance over weaker populations supported by social and political structures that fell outside acceptable ethical boundaries. Just like murder, theft and rape, and yes genocide and slavery, fall outside our accepted ethical norms.

    Mr. Shayne’s flimsy application of ethics to justify conduct that falls outside the scope of the acceptable, is simply bogus.

    Indeed, has Mr. Shayne ever heard the Sanskrit term, Ahimsa अहिंसा; It means “do no harm.” Or, put another way, don’t fuck your students.

    • Michael Joseph

      Kiss my Asana!

  • SImple Truth

    Hot sex with teachers/students ? Have we all lost the plot or what ? lol The “Yoga community” (and that means me included) has become a very materialistic and superficial society. Yoga for the body is supposed to be secondary and to keep us healthy so that we can do better things in life with our hearts and mind. Dont give in to the fake mission of Lululemon (child-labour and unethical marketing and business code of conduct), Wanderlust Festival (alcohol and fresh prime rib steak after your enlightened Yoga class) – cause this will what you get – back to square one. It’s up to us to make a difference. Yoga has become full of ego, money, sex and superficiality. It’s quite disgraceful as we are meant to be using our healthy bodies for service, love and compassion. No mercy for Lululemon capitalism..sorry!

  • chicnj

    I think there are way to many people quick to judge someone’s character based on one article. What makes people in the yoga community so amazing is the fact that there are so many unique and varied opinions and people that we can learn from. When did having different opinions become so offensive? You don’t have to like Cameron’s opinion but then that is the beauty of this practice is that you can do it in the way that makes you feel happy, healthy and self expressed. As a student of Cameron’s I can tell you that I have never met a person before who would do so much for any student in his class is a respectful and selfless manner. I think we all could do to remember that differing opinions is what makes this practice so beautiful and rich for so many of us in a daily basis.

  • Lisa Knowlton

    Exquisitely written. Bravo!

  • Rogelio Nunez

    The unfortunate part or negative side effect of yoga practice is that we gain certain powers, siddhis, and in the sutras it states that they are a sign that we are on the right track, goal of yoga, and to let them go. but if we become attached to these powers, or think that this is the goal, we being human will misuse them…I don;t know this Mr. Shayne, but this may be the case… he may have acquired certain powers over people and is able to take advantage of them. even if they are responsible for their own actions….someone with yogic powers can use them to overcome any bodies sensibilities….
    without a firm foundation in the Yamas and niyamas this can happen easily…there is also abhyasa and vairagya, also written into the Sutras in order to reign in our human tendencies….
    I am wondering if in his TTi did he sign an agreement on ethical practices?
    I also feel that the studio where he and other teachers that agree with him, are also responsible to inform students of this issue….
    if these so called teachers do not agree with the 8 limbs of yoga, then maybe they should not be able to call themselves Yoga teachers but some other title/brand…..
    As a male teacher these feelings do come up in class, on my part and in some students, my job is to commit to the higher purpose of Yoga….
    There are many places now a days where one can meet strangers and have sex, why in the Yoga class? are these teachers so insecure outside of the yoga scene to go there instead…
    I am a rather introverted person in social situations, but when i get in front of a class, something changes in me and that persona takes a back seat…. people see me differently and react differently than when i am out and about…..But i choose not to use this other persona/power to take advantage of another.

  • Doug

    Mr. Shayne, it is clear that your point — as far as you are concerned — is that blanket policies or an imposed rule “robs people of the opportunity to establish their own code of ethics, rather than obeying social law and/or policy. After all, beliefs handed down or imposed rather than learned through practical experience…”

    It is clear that you wish to declare your freedom to write your own principles and learn from your own experience. What is missing is your own statement of principle with regard to your feeling of responsibility toward others — not only toward the partner with whom you choose to explore a relationship, but toward the other students who doubtlessly become aware of your explorations (if your love interest continues to attend your classes and receive your attentions), or toward the studio, if you were working for one.

    Your essay is essentially a declaration of your freedom to establish your own code of ethics by which you ratify your own behavior. But limitations on behavior are not inevitably imposed from the ‘outside.’ Limitations express a sense — and a precedence given to a sense — of responsibility. Had you clearly expressed your code of responsibility that takes account of the effects of your actions upon others (as seen from THEIR perspective — is ‘do unto others…’ too harsh and capriciously authoritarian for you?) the fallout from your post would not have nearly been so messy.

    At the very least you must admit that your declaration (and rather thinly veiled humblebrag) has revealed a rather significant blind spot that you might want to contemplate — taking into account the urgings of others — as well as a certain lack of judgement. This was a mess of your own making.

  • Regan Jane

    Thank you so much!! I am still disgusted and upset by Shayne’s article. It was sent to me by a young woman who was a “victim” of his inappropriate behaviour at a yoga festival this year. http://yogauonline.com/yogaspirit/downloads-page/743-sadhana-sundays-october-bonus-talks
    This is a very fascinating free discussion regarding yoga and trauma-sensitive students. I believe it has important information for yoga teachers and public health workers alike. It outlines very well that you can affect affect students lives in a terrible, negative way if you are unaware or uncareful. Cameron Shayne is both, and I feel he is blinded by his ego. I do respect that he was honest, but I absolutely reject the ethical standards and teaching protocols advocated in his article. Thank you for continuing this discussion. It is SO important.

    • Michael Joseph

      Regan, with all respect, if you read his article Shayne is NOT advocating interference with trauma – sensitive students. Infact I don’t know a teacher in their right mind that would do that.
      Its about the exchange between an aligned, responsible teacher & their equally sound student.
      I like his honest, common sense approach.

  • jef.morgan

    Mr. Shays is not oblivious to the valid concerns of others stated here – he is merely impervious to them. He’s already made up his mind and justified himself. For the great majority of people that find his premise creepy to say the least, they will go elsewhere for their training, and Mr. Shays can work his ego with the remainder.

  • Mari
  • This is a well presented and developed article. I agree wholeheartedly. There are so few circumstances where the teacher / student relationship would ethically include a casual sexual encounter as a healthy development that Shayne’s article rankles deeply. I applaud your ability to stay above the easy lines of divisiveness in your writing. I was so shocked and appalled that I was unable to comment wisely in any form. You have set the stage well and have also urged the yoga community not to fall into an “us” v “them” paradigm. Soon, I hope, I will be calm enough to follow your lead.

    • Michael Joseph

      ‘distinguishing teachers who support norms governing sexual restraint from those who reject them as outmoded “dogma.”…that would be a classic ‘us’ VS ‘them’ statement in my books. Please lets be honest & say it like it is.

  • Michael Joseph

    EEK! Come spend time in Australia!

    Downunder we were spared, although not completely, much of the religious undertones & self righteous, monastic Yoga teachings that have permeated the USA Yoga Community. It seems as if we are so afraid to come up with our own code that we follow what feels safe & comfortable by falling into the code of religion. What are we so afraid of?

    Freedom of choice doesn’t equate to abuse. It’s actually the imposition that does ie ‘distinguishing teachers who support norms governing sexual restraint from those who reject them as outmoded “dogma.”

    Excuse me?!?!?? I’d like my power back thank you! BTW I don’t see what you are proposing as ‘outmoded’ but extremely dangerous, dis-empowering & disrespectful.

    NOTE: If you take issue with Teachers having conscensual sex with Students then YOU don’t have sex with your students. Leave everyone else to negotiate that themselves.

    Carol, I think your “dead wrong and need to be forcefully countered.”

  • Michael Joseph

    SOLUTION: My advice is to go by your gut instinct. No amount of regulation will change that.
    No single person or professional body should have the arrogance to come between the authentic energy of you & your student.

    If you are approached by or attracted to a student that is vulnerable, inexperienced, troubled or inclined to seek a guru-student relationship then absolutely don’t go there.
    If, however, the student is aware, truly self-empowered & aligned then go for it!
    SIMPLE!

  • Peter anderson

    I stopped reading when I read “male teachers” having sex with as many students… I guess, I want to ask, why “male teachers”
    some info for everyone….. female affairs are happening now in days more than male affairs AND females are filing for divorce more than men are, therefore, to make the statements “male teachers” is a statement that you should NOT make, unless, you have witnessed all of these acts first hand and know for a fact that they are all males and have counted them.

  • The root of all evil is exploitation of the vulnerable. Casual sex is a lifestyle choice, exploitive sex is wrong

  • dd

    It’s honestly this is not a difficult debate to navigate. This doesn’t need to be complicated.

    As a yoga teacher, you act as a guide, mentor and teacher. You take money for your service….ergo…you don’t sleep with your students. It’s abuse of your position. It’s pretty clear.

    Unless of course you see yourself as a glorified gym instructor, then yes, sleeping with your students is no big deal 🙁

    Yoga teachers who sleep with their students should be ‘outed’. They should sign an agreement with the studios they work at, not to sleep with their students. Yoga studios should be on point with this.

  • Ramapriya Ramanuja Dasi

    atidurlabham trayam evaitat devanugraha hetukam |
    manusatvam mumukshatvam mahapurusha samsrayah ||

    Three things are extremely hard to obtain and it is only through the grace of the
    gods that they are achieved – human birth, the desire for liberation (moksha) and the association of great teachers.

  • Vandna

    Yoga is sacred. its not a f**k house. Anyone who wants relationships (student-teacher or vice versa) may do so in their own house. Yoga is a lifeline given to all of us. Before imparting it, it warns that the (this) knowledge is not to be given to anyone who does not believe, does not believe in god, who is of overt nature, slimy, selfish, arrogant, pervert, indulges in unrighteous sex, seeks undue favors, seeks sex with his teachers or their spouse even.

    So all of you here and everywhere, please dont make a good lifeline corrupt by adding sex into it. The tantra (hindu ideology on gaining mystic powers) mentions ways of having sex, but these are for mature legally wedded couples to be performed in secrecy.

    For Gods sake, be human. You lot profess yourselves as of advance, mature and reasonable people. I find you as backward as the neanderthals and pithincathropus to have sex wherever the agreement is found. Atrocious.

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