How to approach sexuality wisely
To be a Taoist is to experience life as a harmonious flow of life energy. In the traditional Taoist terms, this flow in humans is from “chi”, to “ching”, to “shien” — from breath to sex essence to spirit. It flows both visibly and invisibly, in a never-ending cycle, as it circulates within you, between you and the world, and between Heaven and Earth with man in the middle. It is the blood that flows between heart and kidney, the love (and hate) that passes between man and woman, the storms and sunshine that circulates between sky and earth.
Many people drown in this flow of life; they are simply overwhelmed by it. Some can’t “get” enough flow and feel cheated or bitter. Others drift aimlessly without purpose, alienated and unaware there is a flow. Regardless of your attitude toward life, nearly everyone seeks, at some point, to anchor themselves in a love relationship. Such is the power of the flow of ching chi, of sexual essence between man and woman. This much is obvious. What is also obvious, but is almost always overlooked, is the polarity between male and female, and the subtle flow between their two magnetic poles.
This polar exchange is overlooked because the flow is invisible to the physical eye, and because its workings are often too subtle for the uncultivated mind to perceive. That is why Taoists study the workings of chi, ching chi, and shien. These energies, also called the three treasures of life, are the subtle language of life and to speak them properly takes years of practice and refinement. At first, it may seem like learning a foreign language. But after a few lessons you quickly realize you were born speaking this language and merely forgot the subtle grammar of chi energy while being intensively schooled by parents and teachers in more mental subjects.
This flow of energy between opposite poles of male and female is the key to harmonizing the flow of energy in one’s life. It is the simplest and most basic secret, not only of the Taoist masters but of every esoteric tradition. It is the key to mastering the Taoist secrets of love. It’s simple because it’s based on the natural law of the universe — that positive and negative forces attract and bond with each other. The Taoists called this polarity yin and yang, terms that have become popular today in the field of holistic health, but are not well understood in terms of their functioning in sexuality.
One way the Taoists describe it is with the simple metaphor of cooking. Yang is fire, and yin is water. Man is the fire and woman is the water. When man makes love with a woman, he cooks the woman’s water (in her womb) with his fire (penis). The woman is most always sexually stronger, for her water puts out the male fire; his erection loses its flame. Yin, the soft and yielding, always conquers yang, the hard. In the same way water (rivers are “yin” or female) triumphs over solid rock. Thus, a stream slowly wears away a giant mountain and carves the Grand Canyon a mile deep.
Yin and Yang: Battle of the sexes
This battle between yin and yang is seemingly endless, just like the never ending battle between the sexes. In fact, the Taoist sages also used the metaphor of combat to elucidate the act of sexual love. For some men love is a passionate struggle for domination and surrender; to the Taoists it was more a lawful play of opposites. Ideally you enter the battle of the sexes with a spirit of gamesmanship. You approach not with the intention of defeating your lover, but in the hope of matching her grace and receptive energy with the exact complementary male skill and force.
Unfortunately, few men today seem to proceed with such tact in lovemaking; as a result, most are beaten soundly within minutes by the woman. This failure is due to tactical ignorance of both the male sex organs and the nature of sexual energy. Misunderstanding of love’s strategic laws is so widespread that a myth has developed that the average man cannot fully satisfy a passionate woman.
In fact, the average man can unfailingly satisfy his mate when he learns to discipline his forces. Untutored, man’s nature is to attack; he possesses the offensive weapon. Woman’s is to defend, she protects without exhausting herself. When man assaults furiously and discharges the sperm, he crumbles. Yet, the woman may remain most eager to continue, even if she kindly denies it and thus “spares” her opponent.
To pursue the martial metaphor of the Chinese…. The woman’s shield and short sword is her vagina and clitoris. Man is armed with a long spear alone, his penis. If man attacks too violently with his love weapon, woman easily fends off his thrusts and does him in when he exhausts his seed. But if man remains beyond woman’s striking range, she drops the shield from fatigue. The contest will be over before man has lost his vehicle of higher vitality.
The point is this: Man must stop throwing away his sexual energies. When he stops the sperm loss, woman is no longer in a position of superiority. She meets her match and no longer suffers disappointment. Man doesn’t exhaust himself and retreat in humiliation, yet feels he has met a good match. Woman reaches the limits of her erotic capacities and is ready to make real peace with her opponent.
The battle between man and woman is over when both recognize that neither can “win” by either dominating or submitting. At that moment, both become free to surrender to each other and exchange their deepest love. Their vulnerabilities have been matched and their fear of losing is neutralized.
Reaching Higher Orgasm
But how to reach that point of tenderness, where both lovers joyously yield and receive life from one another? The single most important point to remember about polarity is that yin and yang energies are not separate energies: they are one and the same energy, but with two different charges. They never exist apart from one another, but are always in fluid motion, like a pendulum swinging back and forth passing from hot to cold and gradually moving to stillness at the perfect moderate temperature. Another metaphor is to see man and women as two sides of the same coin. During love, the coin spins rapidly, fusing the two sides into one.
That is how man and woman can become “one”: they simply realize the flow of sexual energy between them is continuous and belongs to them both. Each lover is at opposite ends of the polar flow. When the exchange of ching chi reaches a certain intensity and balance, the solid bodies of the two lovers begin pulsating as if charged with electricity. The feeling of having solid flesh disappears. You are suddenly a pillar of vibrating energy held in exquisite balance by your lover’s field of energy. This is a total orgasm of body and soul. The flow of sex energy alone cannot complete this circle; love must be present. The mind must participate in sex with a totally attentive feeling. This circle of energy cannot connect if a man only joins his penis with a woman’s vagina without loving her with his heart. A true orgasm occurs when both man and woman continue to pulsate together. Their sexual energy completes a full circuit between their two magnetic poles, charging each of them more fully than before. This circle is the Tan, the black and white teardrop symbols of yin and rang flowing into each other in perfect circular harmony.
Points To Remember
The ejaculatory orgasm to which most men are so deeply attached restricts their life force to the genitals. During sex, the penis literally bursts with life, as it is too small to contain the expanding sexual force. The penis was not designed to hold your life-force any more than it was designed to be your brain and central nervous system. The real function of your penis is to conduct life into and out of the body. The sex organs are only doors through which life enters and issues forth.
Why Use Taoist Sex Practices?
You are right to ask why bother learning these seemingly complicated and time-consuming Taoists exercises and methods of sex energy transformation. Why not just love your woman the way you know now, and let nature take its own course? Why meddle with the one pleasure that above all others should be free of schooling?
The simplest answer is that Taoists are trying to help nature take its course within humans, not to alter its basic processes. The radiant and loving couple you know could be doubly radiant and live 10 or 20 years longer in good health to enjoy their love if they conserved their ching chi and practiced the transformation of the sex energy. Perhaps their radiant happiness is more dependent on external circumstances than you are aware — a good job, preoccupation with children, etc. Will they appear radiant in old age? Is it progressing to more subtle levels?
The Taoist love techniques serve to speed up, intensify and stabilize your natural evolution. There is no limit to the scale of good health and profoundity of love possible. At the higher levels there are always new spiritual challenges to be met. The balance of polarity moves beyond the poles of man and woman and you become aware of the play of opposites between Heaven and Earth.
The Taoists know this high level of harmony is a tangible experience that can be permanently known to man — they call it Immortality. They prepare for it by conserving their sex energy and harmonizing their spirit with their lover. In this way lovemaking becomes, in western terms, a way to draw nearer to God. It can become the worship of divinity in the temple of your lover’s body and soul.