A Taoist view on sexuality
The sexual urge is the strongest impulse in nature, and thus in the man. It is a source of either pain or pleasure and the eternal subject of questioning and researches. Regardless of the sexual revolution and more or less open access to the topic of sex in our society today, the frustration and ignorance are still present, and we lack a proper understanding of this deep and powerful force. The answer is presented to us by the Taoists – the ancient Chinese thinkers and sages. They have studied the natural laws and their application in everyday life for over five thousand years, in order to enable everyone to live in harmony with themselves and their environment, and enjoy a long life in good health, happiness, and harmonious relationships.
In Eastern traditions, including Taoism, the material world is considered to be built by two opposing forces, which make the universal whole and constantly crave for mutual harmony. These forces are the Yin and the Yang, which are manifested as dark-light, night-day, cold-warm, water-fire, magnetic-electric, etc. A man and a woman are two polarities – the complementary halves of the one whole. They are the earthly manifestation of the cosmic creative forces. Men are yang, or Heaven, and women are yin, or Earth. When they combine in a sexual act, Heaven and Earth are joined together.
In Taoist tradition, sex is viewed very differently than in the Western societies. In their conception of sex, there is no sin. It is believed that the sexual energy is the way to health and vitality and a way to intimately connect with the divine – a state of unity and completeness that is present in all of us. If it is not understood and used correctly, it causes the frustration, destruction, and general unhappiness in our lives.
According to Taoists, there are three energies in the human body - ching, chi, and shen. Ching is the creative sexual energy, formed in the sexual glands. In men, it is located in the sperm, and in women in the ovaries and eggs. This energy is dense and raw (unrefined). It is constantly renewed, but it is also continually used – through the ejaculation and menstruation. On the physical level, it is manifested through the proper functioning of the sexual glands, which are in a great deal responsible for the vitality and overall health of a
person, as well as the proper functioning of other endocrine glands. Chi is the vital energy, which flows through energy channels (meridians) throughout the body and nourishes all organs. Its seat is in the abdomen. Shen, the finest one, is the spiritual energy, which is located in the head, and manifests itself in the eyes.
If we know how to transform sexual energy or ching into chi, and chi energy into shen, we can vastly increase our vitality, improve our health and prolong our lives, not to mention the positive qualities and harmonious relationships with our environment. It seems so simple in theory, but is it really so? The practitioners of Taoist techniques claim that it is. There are exercises for self-cultivation of ching, as well as exercises with the partner. It is necessary to master the techniques for self-cultivation first, because the energy during sex is much moreintense and requires much skill and self-control in order to “deal” with it properly. Those who have decided to practice celibacy are able to use the self-cultivation techniques to completely transform and sublimate the sexual energy and avoid the frustration due to inability to carry
out their sexual urges and the potential problems caused by the suppression of these urges. With the regular practice of the techniques for cultivation of sexual energy, the practitioners invariably notice a positive change at all levels – physical, emotional, and mental. The body gets stronger and healthier, the emotions become more stable and positive, and the mind becomes clear and creative.
As can be seen on the well-known image of a yin-yang circle, there is always a little bit of yin in yang and vice versa. And so it is in nature. Although the man represents yang, it is not entirely yang, just as a woman is not entirely yin. They both possess the opposite quality, as well. Taoists understood that men and women need to balance each other, like the two halves of the universal whole. This means that we should first understand and respect the differences between the sexes, not to fight them, and use them to create harmony. Misunderstanding and rejection of these differences only lead to anger, frustration, and disharmony between the sexes. The goal of sexual wisdom is to create harmony between men and women, yin and yang, at the energy level.
Proper understanding of the differences between the male (yang) and the female (yin) sexual energy is the key to achieve this goal. Sexually, men are like fire – they ignite fast, burn, and extinguish. Women, however, are more like water – it takes them a long time to heat up, and they stay hot longer. Women need foreplay, gentle stroking and passionate embraces, because it takes time for the fire to warm up the water and bring it to a boil. It is for this reason that male Taoists used various techniques to sexually satisfy a woman completely, in other words, to keep their energy long enough to bring a woman to a complete orgasm.
Emotionally, women are like fire (yang), and men like water (yin). Women express their emotions very easily, they easily get excited about something, cry, or feel. For men it is more challenging to be in contact with their heart center. In this way, men and women balance each other emotionally and sexually. Women open and warm up the heart (emotional) center in men, while men open and ignite the fire in the sexual center in women. The goal of the Taoist practice is to achieve a harmonious flow and exchange of energy.
By cultivating sexual energy, that is, by learning to transform ching into chi, men become better lovers, stronger and younger, and activate their heart center. For women, the cultivation of sexual energy is a way to transform the blood into chi (control the menstrual cycle). This transformation leads to an abundance of energy, balanced emotions, and inner strength. One can also master the techniques to achieve full orgasm, which, unlike the genital orgasm, brings the energy up to the brain and nourishes and rejuvenates the entire body. In this way, not only that the pleasure is a several times greater, but it also preserves and exchanges all awakened energy. Also, this experience can be repeated as many times as you want. This is possible because the man does not ejaculate, and thus does not lose an erection, which enables for the sexual act to be extended for an unlimited period of time.
With the practice of sexual techniques, the understanding of the differences, and the honest communication, the harmonious and fulfilling relationship is quite possible, according to Taoists. It is only necessary to invest a little bit of time and effort for the mastering of relatively simple techniques and practice them regularly. It really pays off in the end because the results are truly amazing.
There is a constant tendency to improve ourselves in every aspect and rise to a higher level. The time has come for the cultivation of sexual energy. Taoists provide us with a key for true happiness, great satisfaction and fulfillment, a deeper connection with ourselves and our partners, and a long life in harmony and balance with the most subtle forces of nature.