There is some difference made between the ascetic, or monk's, application of the Noble Eightfold Path, and those of the lay person. What is considered illicit sex, according to the Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta, for the lay person, is basically not doing anything sexual with those engaged, married, or of legal age. What is at issue is bringing harm to, or corrupting others (the implication, I'm assuming, being corrupting another into doing harm to another). Certainly reading erotic literature for the purpose of masturbation, as a lay person, could be seen as "Right Action" if the circumstances were appropriate. Right Action refers to ethics, not any sort of attempt at complete asceticism. Monks have a path that includes such, but mostly in an attempt to allow them to see both sides, and enhance their ability to enter altered mental states without chemicals.
Even then, though Buddhist monks are often celibate, they are frequently not chaste. Many little monks come from such unions.
For instance: I'm married, and if I was masturbating to avoid sex with my wife, that would be improper. However, if my wife's sex drive is lower than my own, and I masturbate a reasonable amount, thereby aiding avoidance of things that WOULD be considered "misconduct", as they would hurt my wife's feelings, and thereby cause her harm, then I would taking "Right Action".
if two lovers recognize the divinity, the soul, within each other, at the time of the sexual act, this can lead towards enlightenment, and illumination...there are ways to do this...look into each others eyes, salute the soul within the other person, meditate together, etc...then the union is not just of physical bodies, but of the higher self
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