First comes the appetizers, or foreplay, which can become a full meal of its own; next, the main course, or intercourse; and finally the dessert—physical satisfaction, release, relaxation and increased post-coital, emotional bonding.
You can also choose to have spiritual dessert—sexual practices that lead you to internal balance, compassion and universal love. Each course has its pleasures and joys. But to fully discover and experience them, you have to get the chi fully going in yourself and your partner.
Taoist Sexual Practices
As people make love, the chi in their bodies amplifies and swells pretty much on its own. We feel more alive, creative and vibrant as chi becomes more abundant and intensified. Our blood and other fluids flow more strongly, making us feel tingly and flushed. For many, the release that follows orgasm is often the time when we feel most relaxed and when the mental and negative emotional chatter seem to disappear. We feel fully present to our experience.
Now, the Taoists are not concerned with much of the cultural, moral and religious baggage that sex might be associated with in the West. They are more interested in exploring energetic motivations and, as such, the Taoist practices were designed by studying consenting heterosexual adults using safety precautions and no force. All things considered, they approach sexuality unabashedly and pragmatically to explore the potential of stimulating free-flowing chi inside people.
Sex Makes It Easy to Feel Your Chi
Feeling your chi is just plain easier during and after sex. Feeling your chi in one instance makes it easier to feel it in other contexts, such as by yourself while practicing tai chi, qigong or any internal art.
The sexual act itself causes your energy to naturally become obvious, vibrant and accessible to you. If you have a very difficult time feeling what’s going on within your body or feeling your chi—and many do—the easiest time to make it possible to feel anything related to your life force is during the sexual act. This is because sex, which unleashes the procreative capacity, also unleashes extreme human creativity and awareness. When the inside of your body becomes high, hot and fully functioning, the capacity to become aware at physical, energetic, mental and psychic levels intrinsically opens up.
So the sexual act is a natural method for enhancing your ability to feel what was previously numb and unaware. Because your chi is so accessible to you, it becomes easier to learn and incorporate the 16 nei gung into any other practice to feel, strengthen and gain control of your chi.
Sex can be likened to a form of super qigong that can awaken and charge your chi.
Relax into Sex
Many people, even physical laborers who work 12-hour days, are able to have sex all night, especially when they are young. Although the body is tired, the nerves are not. Others, who might not have even expended much physical energy in their workday, have no sex at all because they are stressed out.
Anxiety and tension do not make room for relaxation, and that includes sex. When the nerves are shot and depleted, which is common in our overwhelmed, over-scheduled, over-caffeinated and technology-driven lives, our interest in sex and our ability to have it diminishes. When the sex drive is shut down by the central nervous system, particularly those nerves that are stimulated during sexual activity, it makes people incapable of feeling and responding.
This is especially true after long periods of excessive visual and mental stimulation with no physical outlet. It is the case for people who work on computers much of the day; they experience nervous rather than physical exhaustion. Men can’t “get it up” when they are uptight because their nerves are shot and the blood does not flow into the sexual organs. It’s the same for women who find themselves “dry”: When people are anxious and stressed, the sexual fluids just do not flow.
Sexual chi practices help release the nerves and increase blood flow—without pills and salves. What does that mean? The more relaxed you become, the more easily the chi begins to flow; more abundant chi leads to a greater capacity for cultivating sexual vitality and pleasurable sex.
Deeply Connect with Yourself
From the Taoist point of view, strengthening your chi and specifically directing its flows during sex helps you achieve all the wonderful benefits of any chi practice. When all that juice is flowing, you learn to guide your chi so it is not just some random supercharge.
Feeling your chi during sex makes it easier to get out of your head and connect to yourself. Harnessing your chi can help release blockages, make you healthier and allow the positive emotions, such as happiness and compassion, to flourish. You become more open to your emotions and mental energies, so you can effectively smooth out the suppressed, uneven and jangled emotions. You can use that expansive sense of chi not just to stop the mental chatter but to increase mental capacities and bring out your creativity.