Chinese eroticology: "Refilling" through a partner.

From the book by Alexei Maslov. "Battles on satin sheets. Holiness, Eros and Flesh in Chinese Civilization," M: Ripoll Classic, 2020

Continuation of the cycle. Start here

Chapter 6. Responding to heavenly coitus. Battle for the Seed

The essence of sexual intercourse is to "borrow" or "absorb" the energy of the partner, and the very method of sexual intercourse should be structured so as not to lose qi and jing. Against the background of the perception of sexual energy as a "natural resource" the "battle of the sexes" in China has acquired more than metaphorical significance. In Taoist schools, sexual intercourse was called "the battle to get replenishment" or "refill from recruiting" (tsaipu ji chan, z- z, pointing to the peculiarity of increasing their own energy through "military expansion" into enemy territory. Of course, such methods of describing copulation follow the classic texts of military strategists. The fight must be long, but not exhausting, in order to fully gain the energy of the "enemy": "If you find patience for a long "fight," you will be filled with wonderful pleasure.

The Chinese military strategy ordered to avoid a direct rough attack, for example, direct assault of the gate of the fortress, but was based on a series of tricks, deceptive maneuvers, tricks, change of pace of offensive. The same technique of "exhausting the enemy," "baiting," "ambush attack" was proposed to be used for "battles on satin sheets." 

Sometimes, reading such treatises, unfamiliar with the intricacies of erotic texts the reader can really assume that we are talking about military instructions in defeating the treatises of Juge Lian or Sun Tzu.

In another case, copulation is perceived as a refined "battle" where one must ingeniously "build the ranks of your army", wait for the exact time to attack, make several deceptive maneuvers, exhaust the enemy and finally defeat him. A woman appears in such texts under the designation "enemy" or "rival", the man – "great commander."

In secular tradition, such texts acquired the character of mentoring teachings, interspersed with funny stories, so most often called "battles on silk sheets." Taoist texts about the "battle" of men and women are a symbolic description of how a man can be imbued at the expense of a woman, how it opens up the streams of her energy and how he absorbs. Thus, "The True Canon of the Absolute Union of the Ruler of the Pure Yang" (Chongyang Fijun Jijun Jiji zhenjing) clearly draws a "battle scheme" that should lead to the capture of enemy positions.

First, the "commander," that is, a man, must psychologically prepare, "close his eyes and lose himself" so that his feelings and arousal do not prevent him from fighting. When a woman begins to "attack" him, caress and seek intimacy, the "commander" first "dodges direct collision" and only "waits until the enemy is tired." He seduces the "enemy", but as soon as the woman shows active affection, again and again "escapes", inflameing her more and more. Finally, the woman begins to behave like a "robber who brutally invaded the limits of the kingdom" – she finally fell apart. That's when the "commander" slowly enters the battle. He saves his strength, from time to time "retreating", that is, stopping his movements. And even when "the enemy threw his entire army into battle," the man takes the lower position. By the way, this is the analogue of the "secret female" from "Tao de jinga" which "always takes a lower position" and therefore can overpower the male with its own rest (61) – here we see an inversion of roles: a follower of erotic art acts as a "secret female". He "continues to be focused and inevitably wins" – the man must keep control of his feelings throughout the "battle". 

Finally, "exhausting the enemy," he begins the "attack." He "gets drunk" from his "enemy": draws her "food" (language) and "scoops grain from her barns" (enjoys her breasts). After that, the man again becomes passive: "I recline again, like a corpse face up, and wait for the troops to come." As we can see, a woman in this "battle" is given an active role, she takes all actions, "attacks" and the man in all sorts of ways awakens her energies (primarily qi and jing), so that they show themselves at the moment of arousal – after that the "commander" can to borrow her powers.

Once again, the "battle" is resumed, which is symbolized by the hexagram "jiji" , which means "final completion." And as the treatise says, "Final completion" means that I have already got the true beginning of Jan." This is the main purpose of copulation – to imbue itself with the purest energy of Jan's beginnings, and "even one such copulation, if a man received a true Jan, will allow him to extend the years for a period of 12 years." 

At this moment and there are alchemical transformations in the body of a man: his inner pill rushes up, into the head, into the area of "nivan" (literally "clay ball"), and he acquires a state of immortal. The main thing here is to "collect" a woman's energy, and the treatise likens it to the process of "gathering" the land on a small basket to fill a huge mountain, that is, from many copulations with borrowing energy a woman should "build" her longevity.

This method is selfish and aimed exclusively at the man. In all this "battle" the man acts in cold blood and calculatingly, his heart is like "gone ashes" and internally he is not excited not to waste his emotional strength. But his speeches "should be sweet and affectionate, in order to further inflame the enemy." 

The absorption of the energy of the partner is a symbolic capture of his positions. Without such a capture, a man is only pointlessly wasting his energy. To the question of the Yellow ruler "why sometimes a man and a woman can not get pleasure from intimacy", the deity Su-nuy answers precisely in terms of "energy capture": "If a man seeks to achieve the Path of unity between a man and a woman, using methods of supplementing seed-jing and combining pnevma-qi, various methods of massage and exercise in the circulation of qi, the method of "returning to the roots and reapplying the roots", as well as "deepening the roots and strengthening the stem", … but forgets to include the Yin method, the man is only more and more exhausted from copulations and, in the end, loses all sense of pleasure."

If a man "gets drunk" through a woman, he "wastes" his energy not only through a woman, but also through his emotions. In fact, all Taoist practice advises a man, acting with his body, not to be involved in it by his consciousness. By the way, the same advice was given to women in the case of "single practice": exciting the body, a woman should keep control over emotions. 


[1]. Sunyu myolung ("Sophisticated Conversations with the Unsy Virgin" of Beijing: Zungo Shiju Chubanshe 28.

[2]. Chunyang Yangzhenf fijun jiji zhenjing (True canon of the final completion of the supreme faithful lord of the Purest Yang. Taipei: Syuefan yinxiang Chubanshe (2004, c. 9

[3]. In the same, with. 29

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