Sex should not happen if one or the other partners desire it more. A person had to avoid having intercourse on quarter or full moons and on days when there were great winds, rain, fog, cold or heat, thunder, lightning, darkness over heaven and earth, solar and lunar eclipses, rainbows and earthquakes. Ge Hong also warned it could be dangerous if practiced incorrectly. In order to avoid ejaculation, the man could do one of several things. Taoist texts described a large number of special sexual positions that served to cure or prevent illness. The fluid believed to contain the most Jing is semen. Nevertheless, the "retention of the semen" is one of the foundational tenets of Taoist sexual practice. After AD, Confucian restraining attitudes towards sexuality became stronger, so that by the beginning of the Qing dynasty in , sex was a taboo topic in public life. If on these days the man ejaculated after midnight, the child would likely be male. The sexual arts arguably reached their climax between the end of the Han dynasty and the end of the Tang dynasty. Men were encouraged to not limit themselves to one woman, and were advised to have sex only with the woman who was beautiful and had not had children. Children conceived at these times would be mad, stupid, perverse or foolish; mute, deaf, crippled or blind; unfilial and violent.
Women were often given a position of inferiority in sexual practice. In later sexual texts from the Ming, women had lost all semblance of being human and were referred to as the "other," "crucible", or "stove" from which to cultivate vitality. Indeed, the sexual arts had to be practiced alongside alchemy to attain longevity. Women were also considered to be a means for men to extend men's lives. Also important was selecting the right day for intercourse if a person desired children. If these suggestions were followed the family's offspring would be good, wise and virtuous. Man and Woman were the equivalent of heaven and earth, but became disconnected. The importance of pleasing the woman was also diminished in later texts. These Confucians alleged that the separation of genders in most social activities existed 2, years ago, and suppressed the sexual arts. A person had to avoid having intercourse on quarter or full moons and on days when there were great winds, rain, fog, cold or heat, thunder, lightning, darkness over heaven and earth, solar and lunar eclipses, rainbows and earthquakes. Many of the texts discuss sex from a male point of view, and avoid discussing how sex could benefit women. Zhao Liangpi concludes that the ideal ding is a premenarche virgin just under 14 years of age and women older than 18 should be avoided. When in the act of lovemaking, jing would form, and the man could transform some of this jing into qi, and replenish his lifeforce. According to some Taoists, if this was done, the jing would travel up the spine and nourish the brain instead of leaving the body. As a result, some of the texts survived only in Japan , and most scholars had no idea that such a different concept of sex existed in early China. Nevertheless, the "retention of the semen" is one of the foundational tenets of Taoist sexual practice. In order to send the jing into the brain, the male had to refrain from ejaculation during sex. Therefore, Taoists believe in decreasing the frequency of, or totally avoiding, ejaculation in order to conserve life essence. People had to avoid the glare of the sun, moon or stars, the interior of shrines, proximity to temples, wells, stoves and privies, and the vicinity of graves or coffins. Because of this significance, every position and action in lovemaking had importance. Men were encouraged to not limit themselves to one woman, and were advised to have sex only with the woman who was beautiful and had not had children. One of the reasons women had a great deal of strength in the act of sex was that they walked away undiminished from the act. While the man had to please the woman sexually, she was still just an object. Many of the ancient texts were dedicated explanation of how a man could use sex to extend his own life. While, if done incorrectly can cause a retrograde ejaculation , the Taoists believed that the jing traveled up into the head and "nourished the brain.
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