• Daoist sexual practices for health and immortality for women

    Author(s):
    Elena Valussi (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Group(s):
    Chinese Religions, Women in the Study of Chinese Religions
    Subject(s):
    Society for the Study of Chinese Religions (U.S.)
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    gender, chinese religions, Daoism, Body, health, chinese medicine
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/f506-x804
    Abstract:
    his chapter discusses Daoist views on sexuality, health and immortality in relation to gender, mostly covering the Late Imperial period of Chinese history. The sources are Daoist practice manuals, which in large part are non-gender specific, and in small part directed specifically at women. In Daoism, references to the female principle (yin 陰) abound. Scholars have interpreted these references as indicating that women had a larger and more positive role in the Daoist tradition than in other religious traditions like Buddhism, which criticises female bodies and sexuality for being a distraction from detachment from worldly affairs. However, while this may be true in theory, it is not always the case in practice; looking at a variety of texts describing physical practices for health and immortality helps us to understand the multiplicity of views, positive and negative, concerning the female body. References to feminine elements are quite common in Daoist scriptures; however, the role of women in the Daoist religious and intellectual community was not as central as those references might lead us to believe. Women’s roles in practices of health and immortality, sexual and non-sexual, were also quite complex and varied. This chapter will discuss Daoist views on sexuality, health and immortality in relation to gender. The sources will be Daoist practice manuals, which in large part are non-gender specific, and in small part directed specifically at women. While I will give an overview of early practices, this chapter will mainly cover the Late Imperial period, since the early period is covered in Pfister Chapter 22 in this volume.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    Attribution
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