Let’s get comfortable talking about our sexual desire and sex life. Why are we so shy about it? It is so important to our overall holistic health to allow sexuality to flow freely.
Let’s look at sexual desire from another important approach, specifically through the Daoist lens, further normalizing sexual health. Remember, our sexual energy is the source from where all life is birthed - it is powerful and potent! We cannot ignore or abuse it, but rather nurture it with compassion and acceptance.
Daoism and Sexual Desire
Broken down into a digestible summary, here is the lowdown on the Daoism approach to sexual desire and sexual energy.
Sexual energy is…energy
Daoists view sexual energy as a sacred responsibility. It is known as a form of energy with reproductive and creative potency - just as Hindus believe with the sacral chakra. There is not the same baggage that exists in Western society, as Daoists approach sexuality fluidly, with dedication to allowing Qi to flow freely. Sexual energy comes from the Kidney, which belongs to the Treasure known as Jing. Jing is known as the root of essence and life, holding all the energetic reserves for vitality.
The Three Treasures
To achieve balanced sexual energy, one must generate, circulate and store Jing, which is then transformed into Qi, also known as life force energy. This is then converted into Shen, also known as spiritual energy. This process is known as the “Path of Transmutation,” whereas the opposite way is known as the “Path of Generation” or “Path of Manifestation.” These are important because they represent balancing your entire body, mind, soul, and spirit, which need to be aligned to allow sexuality to flow freely.
Sexual energy and age
In Daoism, your sexual life experiences are separated into three life stages. In youth, sexual practices help release Qi while one learns to engage with the elements of mind and spirit. In middle age, sexual vitality is focused on releasing mental and emotional energy, while engaging with the body and spirit. Lastly, in old age, one learns to connect with spirit to find a home in oneself, as you draw closer to the end of your time with this physical body.
How we lose Jing
With the advent of modern high-paced and technologically driven lifestyles, many humans have lost their true electrical roots to nature’s circadian rhythms. They are naturally disconnected from the constant earth connection that keeps us healthy. This breeds stress, which essentially drains all Kidney Qi and is one of the biggest impediments to a healthy sexual desire. Stress shuts down central nervous system response, blocking sex drive and flushing interest and/or performance down the drain. Daoism teaches us to work on controlling our response to stress, rather than removing the stimuli itself.
How we balance Jing
Daoism teaches a multitude of practices for restoring Jing such as through herbalism, movement, like Qigong, breathing exercises, and much more. These practices work by harnessing your Qi to release blockages and allowing Jing to flow freely. This promotes balance in your emotional and mental health as well. Finding true equilibrium in your sexual energy is a long process, sometimes an entire lifetime of healing and progression. This is why Daoism teaches that sexual energy is broken up into three stages of life, where we can fully absorb and learn as we grow wiser and older.
Let’s not forget about herbalism in the quest to heal sexual blockages. When we look at plant medicine that enhances libido, we look at herbal aphrodisiacs, which have the ability to increase sexual desire, potency, or pleasure, also fertility, and performance. They are wonderful additions to light your sexual fire and in the words of Austin Powers “bring your mojo back.” Do not be afraid to awaken your sexual appetite and presence, as orgasms activate serotonin. However, please remember herbal aphrodisiac effects vary from person to person. A holistic whole-body approach would need to be taken to look into why libido has decreased. Luckily, you can find amazing herbs to help enhance your sexual vitality right here at Superfeast.
These berries allow for sexuality to flow through the body while increasing physical stamina and endurance. A nice treat in bed huh? In fact, traditionally Siberian Nanai hunters would use berries to improve stamina in the freezing hunting conditions. Schisandra also helps preserve youthfulness and enhance physical radiance, which definitely helps your self-worth when cultivating sexual drive.
This root is known as a cure-all in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for good reason. It is also used in Unani, Middle Eastern, and Massai medicine as an aphrodisiac. In TCM, it is known for its ability to improve the quantity and health of sperm, increase testosterone levels, oxygen flow, and blood circulation down under. It is also prized for its ability to reduce stress and regulate the central nervous system, which helps calm the mind from wandering or preoccupation for better orgasms and reduced emotional blockages.
This is bound to get your sexual vitality bursting. It is beloved by especially men looking to improve sexual function, increase the weight and strength of their testis, strengthen erections, and support testosterone production. A fun historical fact, Deer Antler’s first documented use was found on a 2000 year old scroll excavated from a tomb in Hunan, China. It was found to be used as a tonic to improve bone health, nourish the blood, reduce swelling, and treat impotence.
Cordyceps brings essential Jing to the body. It's renowned for its ability to increase athletic performance, so now imagine this fire in the bedroom. Its ethnomycological history mirrors its modern day use. Cordyceps was said to have been first discovered over 2000 years ago by local herders in the Himalayan tablelands. Shepherds would observe that their graving livestock that consumed this strange caterpillar fungus became strong and stout, which in turn, improved vitality, milk production, and reproductive qualities in the animals. From here, shepherds explored the medicinal properties on humans, consuming them and noticing enhanced vigor, vitality, and aphrodisiac effects. It also appeared in ancient medical books, such 15th century Tibetian text “An Ocean of Aphrodisiacal Qualities,” which claimed that it increased sexual vigor and primary motive life force. Today, we use Cordyceps to build strength, sexual vigor, and longevity, while decreasing impotence and increasing rejuvenation.
Korean Ginseng is a lesser-known Daoist herbal aphrodisiac that tends to slip into formulas unnoticed. Known as Renshen in Chinese, it is roughly translated to “fountain of youth” and was traditionally used for its stimulating effect on youth with strong Qi, but also as a restorative tonic in the sick and elderly. It is used to improve performance, reproductive capacity, and sexual vitality, while also stimulating body heat and balancing the endocrine system.
Can’t decide which single herb is right for you? Well, why not start with an all-in-one blend? Remember the subject of Jing we spoke about earlier? Superfeast literally offers a formula dedicated to building Jing in the body - aka getting your fluids flowing! Or if you are interested in a softer feminine approach, Beauty Blend boasts Schisandra berry and other gentle herbs to balance hormones and nourish the body.
It's important to remove the stigma that we must be “turned on” all the time. The truth is libido goes up and down throughout all genders’ lifetimes. In this article, we discuss libido, including the Chinese herbs that specifically help enhance libido. However, it's essential to mention that choosing not to have sex is a perfectly healthy option.
This article is written for those who are on a deeper knowledge seeking experience and perhaps looking to increase desire or sexual vitality. Intimacy between partners and yourself exists outside of sex, so do not feel pressure to have intercourse, as the two are widely considered synonymous. However, the nuances of pleasure and eroticism allow for a multitude of ways to release your sexual energy beyond penetration. Having a connection and awareness to the fluidity of the human form can release emotional bonds and bring balance to the body, mind, and soul.