Taoism pays special attention to sexual energy, almost turning erotic experiences into a spiritual practice. If you’d like to learn a bit more about the understanding of sexual energy under Taoist beliefs, the following guide will acquaint you with the essentials.
A Positive Form of Energy
Sexuality as we view it today is a rather novel concept.
Under Taoist principles, sexual energy is recognized as a form of energy and life force. It isn’t, however, erotic or lascivious by nature. Rather, it is a positive force that every being is in possession of.
According to Taoism, sexual energy has life enhancing properties. This is the main reason why so many practices have been designed for the sole purpose of maximizing it.
When two people have sex with each other, they’re exchanging their sexual energies. Such an exchange, from the Taoist point of view, can contribute to better health and wellbeing. This is also one of the reasons why men have been encouraged to seek out numerous sexual partners and harness the power of their energy.
Retaining One’s Energy
You probably already have some grasp of how this works.
Many Taoist texts recommend non-ejaculatory sex. A common belief is that men lose some of their much-needed sexual energy through orgasms. Interestingly enough, the female orgasm is not linked to a similar energy loss by most authors.
Semen retention is a very important Taoist principle.
There are very specific restrictions, including stipulation pertaining to when and how a man could ejaculate and experience an orgasm.
It’s also interesting to point out that many authors believed the loss of energy and the recovery from it to be linked to age. This is how they explained the ability of young men to have sex numerous times, while older men would require a longer period of time to recover between sessions.
Even though there is no scientific principle that could explain semen retention today, it’s benefits are fairly easy to see.
Sex without ejaculation can continue for longer periods of time, ensuring a partner’s pleasure. It can also contribute to better stamina and better control over one’s orgasm (leading to much more powerful climax in the event of actual ejaculation).
Practicing semen retention is fairly simple. Techniques like edging and using masturbation toys like the ones found at HotCherry can both contribute to excellent results.
The Concept of Injaculation
But let’s take an even deeper look at Taoist sexual energy and orgasms.
Taoist literature does not equate ejaculation with a male orgasm. Rather, the orgasm is a separate event that occurs on a separate plane.
Many texts describe a technique known as injaculation. Injaculation refers to a so-called “inward” ejaculation. In that case, the sperm is directed back towards the prostate instead of being released from the body.
Through injaculation, a man can prevent ejaculation and still experience an orgasm (without the waste of much-needed sexual energy). Taoist texts state that those who master the concept of injaculation will actually enjoy much more powerful orgasms than the men who simply ejaculate.
The 10 Important Indications of Female Pleasure
All of the information presented so far may reveal Taoism as a male-centric philosophy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, lots of writers focused on female pleasure and its importance for the exchange of energy between two people.
Sunu, an important figure in ancient Chinese mythology and an advisor to the Yellow Emperor came up with 10 important indications of female pleasure. If sex were to be performed in a way that met all of these 10 criteria, a woman would produce more jing or essence.
Jing is a term that refers to an energetic substance originating from the human body. Once a body uses up all of its jing, death occurs. Jing loss occurs in many ways and there are also various techniques that can be used to regenerate the essence. Intricate sexual practices are one of them.
In early Chinese history, women played a very important role in Tao due to the fact they were gatekeepers of jing. And since women walk away with undiminished energy reserves after sex, they were perceived as incredibly potent creatures.
A Fine Balancing Act
There’s one final quite interesting fact pertaining to sex and Taoism that deserves to be mentioned.
The techniques described above all aimed to stimulate a woman while keeping a man in control of his orgasm.
Too much stimulation, however, was not perceived as a good thing.
Reflexology of sex organs is a very important Taoist concept. It states that every human organ is mapped internally. When a certain body part is stimulated too much (through foreplay or sex), it can have a profound and often negative effect on internal bodily systems.
This is why having sex was perceived as a very fine balancing act.
Over-stimulation of the sexual organs like the penis or the clitoris wasn’t seen as something good. It could actually disrupt the body’s balance and lead to various kinds of dysfunction. Because of this rather troublesome fact, numerous prescriptions and recommendations were created to enhance sexual practices. Some of these pertained to sex positions, others focused on rhythm, breathing exercises and manners to control arousal.
Every bit of information presented in this text suggests that sex was very important in Taoist philosophy and it obviously was. Taoism, however, was not sex-centric. In fact, the philosophy focused on many other aspects of human existence and the cultivation of sexual energy played only a small role in the overall concept.
The over-sexualized view of Taoism is the result of modern interpretations and a somewhat Westernized view of the philosophy. Some researchers believe that the “view” westerners have of Taoism is much more indicative of Western than it is of Eastern culture.
There are Taoist texts that pertain to retaining body fluids and the energy or bodily essence linked to them. This, however, was a very small part of the lives that Chinese women and men lead. The traditional culture focused on restraints in all aspects of life. Hence, sexual control and its mentioning in Taoist texts were anything but surprising.