You want enlightened sexual bliss. But what does it take to get there? Far from unattainable, lovers of various spiritual traditions are seeking it via Taoist sexuality. What started out as a branch of Chinese philosophy and medicine, Taoist sex has been regarded as sacred sex for five thousand years.
The rewards it offers are huge. Sexual union is seen as key to health, longevity, and spiritual perfection. Equally appealing — practitioners claim greater sexual pleasure and sensations, stronger orgasms, and heightened spiritual energy in this earthly form of a greater cosmic dance.
Here are some of the secrets Taoist “pillow books” have been spilling when it comes to greater pleasure pursuits:
Own Your Chi
All of us have chi — your life energy — coursing through our bodies all of the time. Your sexual energy, a.k.a. “jing chi,” is held as a vital aspect of this life energy. According to Taoist thought, sexual desire is a mechanism for healing and spiritual growth. Connecting with your desire is also a primary means of owning your personal power.
All of this makes you a more empowered sexual being. Instead of controlling and restricting your desire, you are to embrace it for a better life and sex life. After all, healthy sexual energy ultimately inspires us to live more fully and vigorously!
So how do you own your chi and direct your sexual energy? One way is by developing your ability to move it.
Direct Your Energy
To awaken your passion, you must guide and refine your sexual energy. One way to do this is by practicing energy work known as Chi Kung. Using breath and concentration exercises, you activate and move your chi. Such meditating may, for example, involve directing your chi up your spine as you inhale, then sending it down the midline of your abdomen, known as your Front Channel, with the exhale.
Such practices also serve to energize lovers while relieving them of stress. Both of these components are essential to more magnificent sex. They also enable partners to shed their shields and meld into each other as they make love.
Taoist sex stresses the harmonization of our dual energies, known in many cultures as Yin and Yang, God and Goddess, and/or darkness and light. Passion and intimacy combine and direct dual energies within the self and with the partner. Now able to go beyond the limits of the self, you experience oneness with everything — your partner, creation, and beyond.
New pleasures are found when a sexual relationship is joined with spirituality. One’s sex drive then becomes spiritual energy, rising above the physical body and coming into a state of heightened consciousness.
To achieve this, it is important to understand the differences of Yin/Yang in the relationship and the balance that is needed. Lovers need to respect each other’s differences or else they will be at odds with one another. Harmonizing your dual energies is nourishment for the whole self, with “healing love” helping couples to create this balance and unity.
Engage in “Healing Love”
For Taoists, sex is a means to aligning one’s self with the structure of the universe. Yet, in order to do that, one must first have a harmonious relationship with the self. The healing power of lovemaking allows for this, with sexual intercourse called “healing love” because of its reviving properties.
Healing love practices for the self and with a lover use sexual energy in bettering the health of one’s body, mind and soul. With sexual acts considered vital and energizing, especially in bringing positive and negative energies together, sexual positions aim to stimulate chi and harmoniously join Yin and Yang.
The Taoists also believe that when you’re touched lovingly for a long period of time this touch recharges energy in the body.
Put Her First
Remember those pillow books mentioned earlier? These are actual manuals of sexual techniques that were developed with advice in the form of discussions between sages and archetypal females. Originally used by newlyweds, and often part of a bride’s trousseau, these poetic, but practical guidelines involved explicit instruction.
While male and female satisfaction is equally emphasized, Taoist sex texts teach men to fully satisfy their lovers first. This is in part because the Taoists see the female’s capacity for sexual pleasure and orgasm as exceeding that of the male.
With Taoists hailing semen as the fundamental source of life, a male is not to waste his essence. Taoists believe that men can live longer and increase their vitality by avoiding exhaustion and the loss of energy that follows orgasm.
It is also believed that if the body is able to save sexual energy by not having to replenish sperm, then it can further nourish the vital mind, body, and spirit connection. Yet perhaps the most renowned aspect of Taoist sex is its encouragement to delay release in hopes of experiencing multiple orgasms and spiritual illumination.
Pursue Holistic Health Practices
Beyond healing love practices, lovers should pursue traditional Chinese medicine practices that help to balance the body. You can increase and improve your chi via holistic health practices like acupuncture, massage, and energetic meditation. These will make your sexual energy even more potent.
Overall, cultivating and harnessing your sexual energy require time, patience and practice. This is a comprehensive physical and spiritual system you’re trying to master. For those serious about the Taoist approach to sex, you may want to consider working with an expert specializing in this area.
Alternatively, Taoist sexuality guru Mantak Chia has written a number of books on sexual energy as nourishment for the self. Taoist sex involves many more secrets than what one column can tackle!
Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."