Sexuality plays an important part in our health and well being, but it is often not addressed in our rushed, modern world. Our puritan background and overachieving work ethic may have something to do with our reticence to delve there. Many people have taboos and wounding that can be triggered when they start looking into their sexuality. The ancient practices of Taoism and Tantra with their rich viewpoint can offer us a reawakening of a healthy sexuality.
Both Tantric and Taoist principles consider sexual energy the same as life force, and both practices use the energy centers of the body to increase life force as a means to increased spirituality and improved health and longevity. Both Tantra and Taoism have practices for conserving and building sexual energy. Joining of sexual energies by two partners is purported to bring the highest pleasure and spiritual enlightenment.
Medically, when two people make an intimate connection through sex, stress hormones decrease and serotonin increases. This provides a potent internal milieu for optimal health.
In researching Taoism, there is mostly information available on practices for males to use to energetically conserve their “jing” (life force) by learning to redirect the energy of orgasm throughout the body without ejaculating. The ancient texts gave much more instruction to men, and considered women to be merely a vessel or cauldron. While the place of women has changed over the years, less information is available for women to learn to redirect sexual energy. The Taoist practices are best learned with a teacher.
Tantric practices seem somewhat more approachable to the Westerner. Some simple steps for beginners are to create a sacred space, take it slowly, look into one another’s eyes, and work with the breath. Breath is the most important element in Tantra. Using your breath, you can spread orgasmic energy from your genitals through your entire body. With your partner, you can synchronize the breath, one inhaling while the other is exhaling. There are more elaborate practices for moving the sexual life force energies through the body, some that are safest to practice with a teacher.
If you are ready to open up more energy and health by harnessing sexual energy, you may find Tantra or Taoism a helpful pursuit.