Throughout the course of history, sex and power have often been associated with each other, however, few would equate the sex act as being a significant part of the religious experience other than for the miracle of birth.
Like the universe, intercourse was viewed as a microcosm representing the union of powerful male and female forces of cosmic and natural energy, namely yin (feminine) and yang (masculine).
In complying with the strict rules regarding sexual practice, the sex act was considered preventative and energetic medicine, assisting with longevity, stamina, immune enhancement, and a positive force to a host of physical, emotional, and spiritual factors.
In ancient China, sexual practices were "learned" from the emperor, who served as a role model for virtually all males when it came to sexual practices. Even though the emperor was in a class by himself with the sheer numbers of females at his command, the average Chinese gentleman in the ancient dynasties fashioned himself after the Heavenly One, as the emperor was referred to.
A balanced ancient Chinese male would often have intercourse with nine females in one session. He would make sure all achieved orgasm, but control his ejaculation. Ejaculation was for the express purpose of impregnation. He engaged in oral sex but would seldom have it performed on himself. He encouraged lesbianism, but reject male homosexualism. He encouraged female self-stimulation, but avoided personal self-stimulation.
On the wedding night, the male would present to his bride a scroll depicting the nine primary sexual positions, but 30 positions were commonly practiced, with many involving more than one female partner. Taoism dictates that man is born to lie facing downwards and woman on her back. This belief was from the observation of how humans drown: men generally face downward and women face up. This basic positioning referred to in the West as the "missionary position" has a history long before European missionaries taught (and demonstrated) the "right way" to make love.
In ancient sexual practices, foreplay played one of the most significant aspects of the love act, since it helped to achieve female orgasm with the least number of penile strokes. The man performed thrusts of nine to avoid ejaculation in an effort to preserve his stamina.
Male on female oral sex was strongly advocated as it was the belief the vaginal secretions would strengthen the yang (male) essence. Sucking of the breasts likewise accomplished the same thing. Female on male oral sex was permitted but never to the point of ejaculation. This would weaken the males essential ching chi (sexual energy), which according to the Chinese is stored in the kidney meridian.
It was the sacred obligation of the ancient Chinese husband to provide a regular sex life for his wives and concubines. The li-chi, one of the earliest texts of love, states that until a concubine reaches 50, the husband shall have intercourse with her once every five days. Bear in mind the usual ancient Chinese male may have had three or four wives and five or more concubines. This was an incredible obligation. The husband was allowed to retire from his sexual obligations when he reached the age of 60. An historic document known as the Po Hu T'ung, written in 79 A.D., states that at age 70 the male shall start having sexual activity again.
Qi Gong, Tai Chi Chuan, and Taoism all taught male sexual techniques designed to avoid ejaculation, with the exception of the intent of producing a child. Intercourse was interrupted as soon as the female experienced orgasm, but before the male ejaculated. In the case of multiple sex partners in the same session, the male would go on to satisfy each of the females, exercising extreme self-control through qi gong breathing exercises and a technique known in China as huan ching. By pressing on the ping -I point between the scrotum and anus (GV 1), it was believed the sperm would avoid passing into the penis. The aborted semen would then, according to belief, rise by way of the kundalini through the spinal tracts of the ida and pingala and into the brain where it would rejuvenate the entire body, especially the neurological and ching lo mai (meridian system).
Throughout the course of study of Chinese medicine, there are numerous references to premature ejaculation and the treatments for it. According to the Chinese physician, this was a major problem. Besides general acupuncture treatment, there are a host of medicinal Chinese herbs which have a great effect in gaining and maintaining erection, while avoiding premature ejaculation. These treatments are as popular today as in ancient China and readily available.
Concubines were literally sex toys to the Chinese male, however a wife, even if she was one of many, were thought of in an entirely different way. Prior to marriage, women were very closely guarded to protect their sacred virginity. Penetration of the hymen to induce bleeding was a major part of the marriage ceremony and was usually witnessed by numerous female family members. If no blood was produced on the wedding night, the bride was most often returned to the family, or at worst, became a concubine.
The male sexual energy and organ itself is in direct relationship with the ears. Firmness in the auricular tissue is a sign of sexual prowess. The overall energetic relationship to the male sexuality is through the kidney meridian, therefore a healthy, balanced kidney meridian is essential in sexual energy, as are Chinese herbal formulaes which effect the kidneys.
The royal physician was constantly challenged to provide the maximum sexual energetics to the emperor, who for all intent and purpose was literally regarded as a deity by his subjects and to all around him. The imperial harem consisted in ancient times of the empress, three first ladies (consorts), nine wives, 27 concubines, and 81 nymphs (assistant young concubines). This was a total of 121 women in the harem. It was the duty of eunuchs (castrated males) to observe and record all sexual events, and to summon a female to the emperor at the proper time.
The emperor's sexual duty was to absorb the yin (female) essence from the orgasmic fluid of the 81 nymphs and 27 concubines so that the yang (male) essence would be strengthened. This was done to impregnate one or more of his nine wives, but most importantly the empress. In a very methodical and planned schedule overseen by the royal physician, the emperor would receive his concubines and nymphs on 13 consecutive nights in groups of nine. Following this the three first ladies (consorts) spent two nights with the emperor one night before and one following the one night spent with the empress.
The 108 total concubines and nymphs provided the emperor with the yin energy which was received through the penis as long as the emperor did not ejaculate. This was referred to as "drinking from the jade fountain." The yin strengthened the yang. By the time the emperor was scheduled to be with the nine wives, three consorts and the empress, whom impregnation was desirable, the court astrologer and royal physician would advise the emperor at what hour the ideal time would be to ejaculate to produce a male child. The whole matter was orchestrated. And you thought being the emperor was all fun!
Obviously times have changed in China and the matters discussed here are of only historical significance. To this day, however, couples go to great lengths to produce a male child, which is deemed desirable in Chinese society. Every year, thousands of female babies are literally abandoned in alleys or killed, a result of the pressures put on couples by the Chinese government to produce only one child. All of that just to pass on a family name.
The emperor, according to history, was quite successful at producing male offspring. I only wonder how many females were born which were never counted. Guess we'll never know.
John Amaro, DC, FIACA, Dipl.Ac.
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