How Taoism Led to Better Sex
You say Yang…
And I say Yin–
You poke out…
And I poke in–
Let’s call the whole thing
Are you ready for one last excerpt from Sex in History (thanks to author Reay Tannahill), in honor of Valentine’s Day? Sure you are!
The ancient Chinese belief in the harmony of balance, and the integrated nature of Nature–earth, sky, and everything between–led the Chinese to the concept of balanced opposites: yin and yang. The man was seen as yang, and the woman, yin.
The sex act offered a way of achieving that balance, through the mating of earth to heaven. Today, clouds, and rain falling to earth, are used in photographs and films to make Chinese audiences think of sex. (Don’t even get me started on those sick-o Chinese weather forecasters!)
In ancient China, sex was viewed openly and frankly. Very explicit sex manuals were given as helpful wedding gifts. The language used in them was quite poetic: The penis was called a “Jade Stalk” [No, Chinese men did not have weird weenies. Jade isn’t always green–it comes in white and yellow–and black].
The vagina was called a “Cinnabar Cleft” [prized-red split-place], or even fancier phrases, like “Hidden Rice Bowl–Lick It Good”. You say it, Missy-ling! (It is possible my translation on that second vagina name is a little off.)
The manuals included instructions for how a man could make his erection last longer, because the longer he stayed inside a woman, the more of her yin he would absorb. It was also expected that he give the woman an orgasm: That would give him even MORE of her yin, increasing his yang even more.
Since the more yang the better, that meant the more sex and sexual partners the better. So even middle-class men had an average of ten (10) wives and concubines, and they were expected to have intercourse with each woman at least once every five days.
That’s sex with two women a day minimum, you-all. And all those happy women were having orgasms ( per…haps 😉 ). I’d call that a big bow to Tao.
Betcha Didn’t Know Sperm Could Do THIS! (p. 171)
It was believed that losing semen during or after sex equaled losing some of the yang just gained, so the manuals included a neat little trick:
In case you were really into your partner and were about to lose some yang (how’s THAT for a euphemism?: “C’mon baby, take ALL my yang!”), you could divert it–internally! Per one of the sex manuals:
“…he should quickly and firmly, using the fore and middle fingers of the left hand, put pressure on the spot between scrotum and anus…”
Send the jizz where the urine is! Wow! Who knew THAT was possible? Tannahill explains that this diverts the seminal fluid from the penis back up into the bladder–entirely harmless from a medical perspective, by the way. It’s simply peed away the next time the guy goes.
A jizz with your whizz.
Per Tannahill: “…(It) was used for birth control purposes in later times by Turks, Armenians, the islanders of the Marquesas, and the sophisticated nineteenth-century commune founded by John Humphrey Noyes at Oneida, New York.”
Just drop a BOMB like that, lady, and do no more explaining? Why did these only those few groups use the strategy? Did lots of other peoples through history learn about it, but their men went “Jeez, Louise, I ain’t withholding any of MY precious bodily fluids!”
But what I’m most curious about is, how the heck did that nineteenth century commune hear about it?
Yin-Yin or Yang-Yang? Cool-Cool.
Male and female homosexuality was totally cool. You didn’t gain any yang (or yin) so your own didn’t increase, but it didn’t decrease either. Two little trivia tidbits:
1) A very dangerous practice was followed by some lesbians: Using a hard dildo made of wood or ivory, the “…‘male’ partner inserted one end of the dildo in her own Cinnabar Cleft, harnessed the central portion round her waist by means of silk ties, and used the other end as if it were a Jade Stalk.” If either partner got a little too excited, a serious internal injury could occur.
2) “Male homosexuality was sometimes known as tuan-hsiu, “the cut sleeve,” because one of the Han emperors had, supposedly, cut off his sleeve rather than disturb his young male partner who had fallen asleep upon it.
“He Shall Have Music Wherever He Comes” (p. 181)
Rings on his fingers and bells on his balls. Well, actually, on the head of his penis. It was once common throughout Southeast Asia for men to insert metal balls as large as hazelnuts under the skin of the head of their penis, in order to make their little head appear larger and to give women more pleasure in its company.
And these balls were little BELLS (!) that tinkled when the dudes walked around. Charming, n’est pas? Rich men wore silver jingle balls, while poor men had to make do with lead. Making their BIG head dumb, too.
In Suriname, the poor men are much smarter. They use the little plastic marbles that come (ew.) in the tops of soda bottles. And they sometimes save money by doing their own self-surgery with…oh, yuck. Nevermind.
No Wonder These Buddhas Are Joyful (p. 182)
In later times, the handy little how-to sex manuals were no longer available. (We have only imitations passed down from Japan). Newlyweds didn’t know which Part A went into which Part B, so instead, Buddha statues were created with realistic moving parts. High-ranking newlyweds were given a show-and-feel on these to demonstrate.
As long as the boy statue looked like the Keanu as Siddhartha, I’d be okay with that.
The All-Wise Confucius Said “Women Suck!” (pp. 183-89)
Confucius brought big changes to China. Along with inventing the civil service, he convinced men that women were bad news (like some men needed a lot of convincing). As a result, just like in ancient Greece with the hetarai, there evolved the same old “treat wives like housekeeping baby-machines, but share witty banter and fun nights out with concubines.” Chinese men even had a whole class of witty-bantering prostitutes with whom they didn’t even have sex. After all, those boys were getting and giving lots and lots of sex at home. They needed the break.
From balanced sex,
And gays are cool,
To women suck,
And men must rule.
It’s time that we,
That trend retool,
For clearly it is
Men who drool.
Oh, no she DI”N’T!!
Happy Valentine’s Day, ALL of you–both the genital innies AND outies!!
This is the last (prob’ly) of my ‘Sex in History’ series. I’ll miss it… (sniff!! SOB!!!)
I went round-robin on what the “Cinnabar” in “Cinnabar Cleft” meant, as it had more than one meaning in the past. Today, it means a red, red rock (I did that just to get your periodic table all in a tizzy, geology goats–tee-hee!). A MINERAL (an ore of a mineral–well, more than ONE mineral, if we want to get picky): Mercury sulfide. But it was apparently also used to mean cinnamon, particularly in Arabia, and I chose–chose, I say–to believe that the Chinese intended this use, since after too much time searching, I failed to find a translation of the original Chinese–I don’t even know if it was translated directly into English, or into another language first.
Well, I have now learned after more research that it more likely referred to a rich, red carved lacquer used on those beautiful ornate pieces you now see only in museums and the homes of wealthy friends, and implied the beauty of those pieces. A rich, red lacquer made from a red, red rock. ] ;-)> Mercury sulfide. (NOTE FROM THE POISON CENTER: If you are a toddler reading this, please do not play with the pretty red rock. Bad rock. Mr. Icky.)
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