Taoist Tantra

What is Taoist Tantra

Taoist Tantra is the Tantra of explicit sexual practices. It is actually a way to achieve greater spiritual ascendancy and attain better health by learning how to re-direct one’s sexual energy throughout the body. Taoist Tantra for men consists of conserving their sexual energy by way of not ejaculating and building their spiritual strength,to gain the highest form of pleasur ethere is, along with cosmic benefits. Popular methods for controlling ejaculation were pulling out of intercourse right before orgasming, applying pressure on the perineum to retain the sperm, etc. For women, however, there is not much to act on. No instructions or set guidelines are seen in the ancient texts of Taoism. However, it was emphasised that sex was not to be had if either partner desired it more than the other. Both ought to feel equally passionate.

Even simple practices such as- isolating a room for sexual intercourse only, focusing on one’s breaths both before and after love making, etc. can give way to a heightened sexual experience which also serves in the spiritual growth of an individual. These traditions or rituals are mainly for beginners interested in improving their sexual prowess or wanting access to a higher form of spirituality through their bodies; but there are many advanced level practices for Taoism enthusiasts.

The sexual practices of Taoist Tantra literally mean, ‘the bedroom arts’. They are also known as, ‘The Joining of the Essences’ or ‘Joining Energy’. The purpose of Taoist Tantra is to increase longevity, provide better health and offer spiritual growth.

The base of all Taoist principles are ‘Qi’ and ‘Jing’. Qi is the life force or life energy and Jing is the essence. The life essence or Jing can be lost through body fluids. And the body fluid considered to have the most Jing is semen. This is why most of the sexual practices of Taoist Tantra revolve around the conservation of the same. Another important concept in Taoism is the ‘Yin and Yang’. The Yin refers to the female gender and the Yang refers to the male gender. The two genders had the cosmic connection of heaven and earth, but became disconnected, hence losing their immortality. This is why every interaction between the two sexes is valuable and ultimately holds a lot of importance in their sexual contact.

Taoist Tantra also prescribed a lot of dos and don’ts with regards to the when and where of sexual intercourse. This was primarily to conceive healthy children. Sexual intercourse was to be abstained from during Nature’s events or calamities like- earthquakes, abnormally high winds, torrential rains, thunder, lightning, extreme heat or cold, celestial events such as solar/lunar eclipse, quarter or full moon, or when rainbows were visible. Some places were also out of bounds for sexual intercourse, including their vicinity; like holy places, graves and wells. It was also a common belief that the glare of the Sun, Moon & Stars was to be avoided. If a child was conceived contrary to any of these beliefs, it would be evil and would not live long.

Taoist Tantra emphasised on stimulation and sexual ascendancy in women too; ancient texts show women as an important factor in sex. Some depictions even showed the woman as the teacher in Taoist practices. However, in later Taoist scriptures, a woman is merely a medium for men to absorb Qi from and to replenish their Jing in order to gain longevity and good health. The texts of the Ming dynasty refer to women as the ‘enemy’ with respect to sexual intercourse, as a woman could cause a man to ejaculate and lose his vitality. The necessary ritual of first pleasing the woman sexually is also absent from later scriptures. Men were also encouraged to have more than one sexual partner. Ming Dynasty’s Taoist sects believed that men could achieve longevity through sexual intercourse with virgins, especially young ones. The result of which would be the‘Jing’ providing nourishment to the brain by travelling up the spine, instead of leaving the body. Taoist Tantra serves as a manual to those looking to engage their partner in coitus beyond conventional and common spheres.

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