Losing Jing: The Taoist Perspective

A few days ago I started a discussion about the Taoist theories of jing-loss through male ejaculation. Here are some more gems I've gleaned from "The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity": "Some men are strong, some are weak, some men are old and others are in their prime. Each should live according to his own vitality and not try to force the joys of sex. Forcing joy is harmful. Thus, a robust male of 20 may ejaculate twice daily, but an emaciated one should do no more than once daily. A 30-year-old male may ejaculate once a day, but only once every two days in he's an inferior specimen. A flourishing man of 40 may emit semen once every three days, but if he's weak he may do so every four days. A robust man of 50 may ejaculate every 5 days, but once only ten days if he is weak. A 60-year-old man in good health may emit once every ten days, or once every 20 days if his health is poor. A 70-year-old man may emit once a month, but a weak once should no longer emit semen at all."

Take that, Hugh Hefner.

Also:

"When having sexual intercourse with a woman, a man should emit semen only two or three times in ten."

And...

"In spring, a man may permit himself to ejaculate once every three days, but in summer and autumn he should limit his ejaculations to twice a month. During the cold of winter, a man should preserve his semen and avoid ejaculation altogether. The Way of Heaven is to accumulate Yang essence in winter. A man who follows this guideline will live a long and healthy life. One ejaculation in cold winter is one hundred times more harmful than an ejaculation in spring."

So, does this mean that men should resign themselves to a long, cold, sexless winter? Not at all! According to Taoist theory, this is where ejaculation control comes into play. Now, as you are reading this, please note that I am not any sort of expert in this arena, and I have no medical background regarding this technique. Semen retention is an age-old method used by Yogis and those interested in the teachings of Tantra, but I have heard that there are downsides to the practice as well (namely, if done incorrectly, the semen can back up, causing physical and emotional stagnation.) I'm not promoting this practice, just sharing information..so don't hold me responsible for any penile injuries you may attain from being inspired by this blog!

Basically, semen retention is the act of having an orgasm without ejaculation. Although there is a spiritual component to this, many people utilize this practice to enhance their sex lives (after mastering the technique, the "grand finale" can be postponed for a very long time-making the female happy and providing the male with bragging rights). There are Tantric sex classes that you can research online if truly interested in becoming proficient at this, but I'm just going to give you the basics.

To control the release of semen, you need a coordinated effort of body, breath, and mind. Like most Yogic practices, the effort begins with the breath. Deep, rhythmic abdominal breaths should be used during intercourse. The object is to keep your pulse rate as normal as possible during sex. Long, calming breaths will stop your heartbeat from speeding up. This is important, because according to Taoist theory, "When blood stops, semen stops." Here is some advice from Taoist physician Lee Tung-hsuan regarding the protocol of what a man should do when he is on the verge of ejaculation:

"...He should close his eyes, concentrate his mind, press his tongue against the roof of his mouth, arch his spine, and stretch out his neck. He should then open his nostrils wide, close his mouth, and take in a very deep breath. If he does this in time, he will not ejaculate. Instead, the semen will return and ascend naturally by itself. In this manner, a man may completely regulate his ejaculations."

Sun Ssu-mo, perhaps the most well-known and respected physician of Chinese medicine of all time, suggested going further with this method by telling men to open their eyes as wide as possible, while gnashing their teeth, to draw vital-energy up to the head and away from the sexual organs. I'm not sure about orgasm suppression for men, but I'm pretty sure witnessing this spectacle would be more than enough to effectively suppress the female's orgasm!

Ejaculation can be further suppressed by a point we acupuncturists know as "Ren 1". This is the point between the anus and scrotum, and is also indicated for hemorrhoids and, oddly enough, drowning. Deep breathing and pressure on this spot will stop the ejaculation.

The last step to control is referred to as "Locking the Gate." Basically, it is the male version of kegel exercises. The male contracts all the muscles in his anal sphincter, ureter, prostate, and entire penile shaft. To practice isolating these muscles, it is suggested that the male use these muscles to repeatedly stop and start the flow of urination. Eventually, the male will learn how to focus his intentions and use these muscles outside of a bathroom. When using this method during sex, the muscles should be tightened when orgasm is approaching, while the breath is drawn in until the lungs are completely filled. Hold the muscles locked throughout two or three complete, long inhalations and exhalations. Then, the muscles can be released slowly and gently.

Males reading this are probably asking themselves, "but why the hell would I go through with all this bother, just to set myself up for sexual frustration?" Well, first of all-you're saving your jing! And if you don't buy into that, once you master this art, you will be able to achieve an orgasm even without ejaculation. In fact, some say that this type of orgasm is much, much stronger than a regular one, and can last for several minutes.

To all the ladies who are fortunate enough to be the partners of the males who have gotten ideas from this article...you're welcome. And you'll love me even more tomorrow, when we explore the female perspective of Taoist sexual theory.