THE WAY OF YIN (female) & YANG (male)
The Way of Yin & Yang is of paramount importance in the Taoist system of health & longevity. It is also one of the most ancient elements of Chinese thought on record. The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Archives ever since the time of Yellow Emperor & his various Taoist advisors.
As w/ the Tao itself, the essential elements in the Tao of Yin & Yang are balance, harmony & the union of opposites:
For a man nurturevhis male powers, he must nourish his Yang essence by absorbing Yin essence. When men & women indulge freely in sex, exchanging their bodily fluids & breathing each other's breath, it is like fire & water meeting in such perfect proportions that neither one defeats the other. Man & woman should ebb & flow in intercourse like the waves & currents of the sea, first one way, then another, but always in harmony w/ the Great Tide. In this manner, they may continue all night long, constantly nourishing & preserving their precious vital essence, curing all ailments & promoting long life. W/o this basic harmony of Yin & Yang, neither medicines refined from the 5 minerals, nor the most potent aphrodisiacs, will be of any use. If the vital essences are dried up due to excessive emission or complete neglect, they can never be revive. -- Su Nu Ching Dorris Wedding one shoulder asymmetrical wear for wedding
When sex is performed according to the Way, it becomes an inexhaustible source of energy, like a well that never runs dry, rather than an exhausting ordeal. However, sex can also 'drown' you if you don't know how to stay 'afloat' during intercourse.
Unless you are a highly accomplished adept who has mastered the transmutation of sexual energy into pure spiritual power, celibacy will harm your health as much as reckless indulgence:
Yellow Emperor: I do not wish to make love any more.
Plain Girl: As human beings, we must not do anything that contradicts nature. Now, your majesty wishes to refrain from sexual intercourse & that is entirely against nature. When Yin & Yang are not in contact, they cannot complement & harmonize each other. We breathe in order to exchange stale old air for fresh new air. When the Jade Stem (male organ) is not active it will atrophy. That is why it must be exercised regularly. If a man can learn how to control & regulate his ejaculations during sex, he may derive great benefits from this practice. The retention of semen is highly beneficial to man's health. -- Su Nu Ching
Preserving semen lies atbthe very heart of Taoist bedroon arts, as illustrated in tye following line from a commentary on the adept Pien Chang's biography in Dynastic History of the Later Han:
The art of bedroom consists of suppressing emissions, absorbing the woman's fluids, & making semen return to strengthen the brain, thereby attaining longevity.
Thus, a man must treasure & conserve his semen during intercourse; whenever he does emit it, the loss must be compensated by absorbing the 'essence' of woman's secretions. That is why ejaculations through mastirbation or homosexual relations are regarded as being especially harmful to the Yang essence & energy.
By now, male readers must be wondering, 'How can there be pleasure in sex w/o ejaculation?' This question also occurred to the Yellow Emperor after his advisors encouraged him to start regulating his ejaculations. The Emperor's enquiry on this matter sparked the following exchange between two of his closest counsellor's, Peng-Tze & the Rainbow Girl, recorded in Secrets of the Jade Bedroom:
Rainbow Girl: It is generally assumed that a man gains great pleasure from ejaculation. But when he learns the Tao of Yin & Yang, he will ejaculate less & less. Will this not diminish his pleasure as well?
Peng-Tze: Not at all! After ejaculating, a man feels tired, his ears buzz, his eyes get heavy, & he longs for sleep. He is thirsty & his limbs feel weak & stiff. By ejaculating, he enjoys a brief moment of sensation but suffers long hours of weariness as a result. This is no true pleasure!
However, if a man regulates his ejaculations to an absolute minimum & retains his semen, his body will grow strong, his mind will be clear, & his vision & hearing will improve. While the man must occassionally deny himself the fleeting sensation of ejaculation, his love for his woman will greatly increase. He will feel as if he could never get enough of her. Is that not the true & lastingbpleasure of sex?
The last point is a particularly subtle & significant observation: a man who maintains consistently high levels of testosterone, sperm, semen & other male-essence by practicing ejaculation control will experience an overwhelming enhancement in his love & affection for his woman. He will also gain the capacity to act upon the loving urge over & over again.
Compare this w/ the adolescent attitude toward sex revealed in the best-selling book Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex, written by the self-styled American sex expert David Reuben. He writes:
"In eating, the first bite is tastiest, the first helping the most appetizing. The third helping of strawberry shortcake just doesn't taste a good as the first time around. The third copulation of the evening is more for the record books than the enjoyment of the participants."
Reuben writes from the point of view of a man who has already ejaculated twice & must now force himself to rise to the occasion once more, 'for the record books.' He doesn't even consider the feelings & point of view of the woman, for whom a third round is no effect whatsoever & who, like water slowly simmering over a firE, is still 'hot' after the first two rounds. For a man who knows the Tao of Yin & Yang, there is always room for a 'third helpinG of strawberry shortcake.'
In Taoist lovemaking, the emphasis lies not on romantic love but rather on correct technique; therefore it's like a football game or cricket match: wanting to win is not enough-both teams have to be 'in shape', in practice, & know the rules of this game. This approach is well illustrated by the traditional Chinese literary anallgy of boudoir as a 'flowery battldfield.' But the Chinese image of sex as battle is not at all the same notion as the Western 'battle between the sexes.' The latter indicates a fundamental conflict of wills & severe competition for sexual supremacy that extends beyond the boudoir, while the Chinese metaphor stresses the practical, tactical aspects of actual intercourse-what the Chinese call 'bedroom strategy.' In the Ming Dynasty erotic novel Prayer Mat of the Flesh by Lee Yu, we find an amusing rendition of this martial approach to sexual relations:
"Apart from the number of combatants involved, are there really any differences between battles fought by armies & those fought in bed? In both cases, the commanders' first priority is to survey the terrain & assess the opponent. In sexual encounters, it is the hills & valleys of the woman that first attract the man's attention, while she is most curious about the size & firepower of his weapons. Who will advance & who will retreat? In bed as in war, it is just as important to know yourself as it is to know your opponent."
Unlike battles fought w/ swords & spears, however, it is women who hold the advantage over men in sexual engagements, & therefore men require the most 'training' to prepare for the 'battle.' Most men, however, fondly regard themselves as 'stronger' than women & therefore consider their 5-blitzkriegs in bed to be par for the course.
In order to fully satisfy his partner in bed, as well as nurture rather than deplete his essence & energy, a man must learnto prolong the act as long, & resume it as often, as is necessary for his partner to experience complete satisfaction. The Plain Girl calls this method 'contact w/o leakage.' In Secrets of the Jade Bedroom, the Taoist sage Peng-Tze urges men to treasure & preserve their semen as a fundamental source of life:
In sexual intercourse, semen must be regarded as a most precious substance. By saving it, a man protects his very life. Whenever he does ejaculate, the loss of semen must then be compensated by absorbing the woman's essence.
-- The Tao of Health, Sex & Longevity by Daniel Reid