Why is not lustful speech classified under wrong speech?

The standard sutta definition of wrong speech is speech that is false, malicious, harsh and trivial. These forms of speech seem to arise from the unwholesome roots of aversion (dosa) and delusion (moha). I have been wondering why the sutta definition ignores speech arising from the unwholesome root greed (lobha), “lustful speech”.
I shall be grateful if anyone will throw some light on this.


Whereas lay person can observe right speech completely, most lay person who intent to get married cannot avoid speech which is meant to attract partners. Until the lay person attains to non returner, they still might want to get married. The logic is that the noble 8fold path is the minimum to attain to the fruits. Since married lay can attain to stream winner and above, lustful speech is not part of the general noble 8fold path. Of course, the lust itself shouldn’t be there during meditation, can slow down the progress with family responsibility etc.

For monks, there’s the Vinaya rules to prevent such lustful speech, it’s on Sanghadisesa rules, the highest you can break and still be a monk, super serious, lots of heavy consequences etc.


Thank you Bhante (@NgXinZhao ) for your reply. It does make some sense. However, the average and even the somewhat earnest lay person cannot entirely avoid trivial speech either. But still trivial speech is classified as unwholesome or wrong. As you suggest speech rooted in desire may still be within the limits of decency for the non celibate layperson. But it could easily turn to be frankly obscene which by no means could be classified as anything but wrong or unwholesome speech.

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Dunno if this helps shed any light, but AN 3.68 says greed is mildly blameworthy, but slow to fade, while hatred is very blameworthy, but quick to fade.


I have no experience in romantic relationships, but I think between the couple who are deeply in love, I imagine that they can say whatever obscene lustful things to each other, I don’t see aversion arises from either side.

Anyway, yes, one way you can put it too is to regard lustful speech as unbeneficial speech and don’t say it, and then wish good luck to the marriage of the couple who tries this. Most likely they can still make it, especially after the initial honeymoon period is over, but they remain committed out of metta more than lust.

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I think the explanation is in the precepts. In the five precepts, you have that sexual misconduct is not related to consensual relationships. In other words, lustful things and speech are not considered wrong at all within a relationship. As the Venerable has explained, monks have specific rules, so since right speech is not just for monks but everybody, it makes sense not to have lustful speech.


just speculating - i think that sort of talks can be categorized as sexual misconduct when target is not appropriate.

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The practitioner should approach this contemplation mindful of the themes of body and mind running through the noble eightfold path. Right thought has the components of non ill-will, harmlessness, and renunciation opposing hatred and greed. Right view opposes ignorance. These two wisdom factors govern the formulation of the sila group of bodily expression. The mental theme is taken up again with right effort leading the final three links as a corrective strategy, mind being the basis.

Right speech presents faults which have their strongest characteristic expression at the verbal level- lying, slander, harshness, idle chatter. The strongest danger of sensual desire is bodily, therefore it is dealt with in right action.