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Chinese Erotica
Posted by: Yarik (IP Logged)
Date: February 07, 2008 02:17PM
"Let us now lock the double door with its golden lock,
And light the lamp to fill our room with its brilliance,
I shed my robes and remove my paint and powder,
And roll out the picture scroll by the side of the pillow,
The plain girl I shall take as my instructress,
So that we can practice all the variegated postures,
Those that an ordinary husband has but rarely seen,
Such as taught by T'ien-lao to the Yellow Emperor,
No joy shall equal the delights of this first night,
These shall never be forgotten, however old we may grow."

Chang Heng A.D. 78-139
from T"ung-sheng-ko

The origins of Chinese erotica can be traced back to a series of depictions of lovemaking found on sculpted bricks from the eastern Han period around the first century A.D. The date might be a little misleading as Chinese erotic art really began its development around the 10th century A.D., with the growth of the courtesan culture and the prosperity enjoyed by many merchant cities throughout Southern China, such as Suzhou and Hangzhou. A popular subject for the poets was love and erotic love play. The amorous adventures of the young couples were described in a circumspect and discreet fashion, Time brought with it a greater acceptance and tolerance and a consequent explicitness in erotica.

In the fashion that Jayadeva's Kamasutra is a reflection on India's religious and cultural philosophy as much as it is a reflection on its society, China's sexual practices, erotic art and literature draws from and has inescapable links to, the philosophy of Daoism. The basic point of contact between Daoism and sexology is that both are predicated on an understanding of the cosmos as the binary intercourse of yang and yin, projection and reception, active and passive, male and female.

The chief goal of the earliest tradition of Chinese sexual practice was to improve the health and longevity of the male practitioner. The Mawangdui sexual treatise, He yinyang (Uniting Yin and Yang), speaks of absorbing the jing upwards in order to live forever and be equal with heaven and earth . This earliest fragment of sexual literature reveals the basic direction that Chinese sexology comes to take: the goal of sexual practice is not the conception of children, nor the erotic stimulation of the partners, but increasing their vitality. Wile explains:

The Yellow Emperor, summarizing the lessons of his sexual initiation in the Classic of Su Nü, concludes, "The essential teaching is to refrain from losing [jing] and to treasure one's fluids." Because loss of semen depresses the body's entire energy economy, semen is seen as possessing a material and energetic aspect. … If the semen is retained, the sexual energy will support superior health.

An intrinsic connection is made between sexuality and vitality: releasing sexual fluids is the way to beget offspring; conserving sexual fluids is the way to conserve one's own vitality.

Evidence of the use of sexual practices in Daoist religion comes from the early celestial masters communities. A Daoist text documents a sexual ordination or initiation ritual known as the Ritual of Salvation of the Yellow Book of Highest Clarity. The Daoist master presiding over the ritual, a specifically patterned progression of movement and prayer is followed by the initiates. Both partners have an equal role to play with the activities of one corresponding to the activities of the other. Deities are invoked throughout the ritual and coordination is essential between the cosmological and numerological patterns and the couple's movements. The religion of the Celestial Masters hinged upon establishing registers of life by which people were initiated into a celestial society; this ritual symbolized the merging of celestial registers and initiation of a couple into this society.

The incorporation of the cosmological principle of the harmonizing of yin-qi and yang-qi with the social character of religious liberation in Celestial Masters' communities is the true import of this ritual. Concordance of the ritual with the various cycles of the calendar illustrate their truly correlative nature.

Perhaps the most important commonality of Daoist practice and Chinese sexual yoga is the universal Chinese cosmology of yin and yang. The patterning of the cosmos according the principles of yin and yang was correlated with the sexual reproduction of the human species. The birth of life takes place by means of the interaction of these two fundamental principles, and the sexual act takes on a mystical import. As esoteric sexual practices became more common in the Ming dynasty, practitioners drew upon a wide range of Daoist, Confucian, alchemical and cosmological theories in order to justify their practices.

Rooted in Antiquity, erotic art is an important aspect of Chinas cultural heritage. Its heyday was in the late Ming period, at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Leading Chinese artists have contributed to the genre. Chinese erotic art reached its peak in the late-Ming Dynasty (early-17th century) before the conservative attitude towards sex and its depiction ushered in by the Qing dynasty. The Chinese erotic paintings and drawings are known as 'Spring Palace Paintings'. The word 'Spring' refers to the archaic springtime rituals during which girls and boys separated by a brook, sang love-songs to each other. Later, when love-making had become part of refined imperial court culture the word 'palace' was added as an allusion to the emperors residence. Erotic art developed concurrently with the rise of the rich mercantile cities of southern China from the 10th century on. Suchow. Hangchow and Quangchow were among the most sophisticated places in the world. Usually drawn under the guise of being a teaching aid for the inexperienced, with some of the paintings and drawings captioned. Their prime function is clearly sexual arousal. Even so, Chinese erotica does more than just titillate - it is a source of great aesthetic pleasure too. Most classical erotica drawn is done rather elegantly with the artist often painstakingly detailing the setting instead of concentrating solely on the action. Rarely was it ever drawn in a crude, pornographic form - instead, the artist's chose to emphasize the beauty and the harmony in the environment and the people involved. Beauty and harmony are paramount, and supplementary details have a deeper symbolic meaning: the lotus blossom, for instance stands for purity and a gnarled tree-trunk for health and longevity.

Chinese erotica embraces a variety of themes and possibilities in terms of the visual narrative. Young couples appear often enough, threesomes aren’t uncommon, and sometimes even more engaged in some orgy. The subjects are sometimes masters sleeping with their female servants, or old men with their concubines, female with female, or bearded men with other bearded men.

Su E Pian is a Chinese erotic novel dated ca. 1610, the late Ming dynasty. It is also translated as The Lady of the Moon a four-volume work of Chinese erotica, ca. 1640, from the Ming Dynasty. Su E Pian tells the story of Master Wu Shan Si, a historical figure of the Tang Dynasty, and his beautiful concubine, Su E (translated as Lady of the Moon), who captivates Wu completely. Various natural settings inspire the couple to engage in sexual intercourse using different positions. To each, Su E gives a poetic name, one of which is Flowers Longing for Butterflies. The positions are illustrated with wood engravings and accompanied by verse in the traditional Chinese style. With beautifully illustrated woodcuts, the story tells of a master and a maid who performed in forty-three sexual positions together.

The golden age of Chinese erotic art coincided with the end of the Ming period (1368-1644) when a relative liberal policy promoted the development of art and science. The quality of the works rose sharply and artists began to sign their pictures. Later periods often harked back to this heyday.

An intriguing aspect that permeates all aspects of language, ranging from erotic poetry, novels, and performances to food writing, myths, folk songs and ditties, and secret women's writing, some of it hidden in embroidery, is the Chinese practice of footbinding.

Stretching the boundaries of sexual convention, one of the most erotic acts for the Chinese lover was to smell and fondle a bound foot. "Every night," one foot lover wrote, "I smell with pleasure her foot, burying my face in its heart. It is a smell like no other." Tiny feet were given names such as "lotus" and the "new moon." Many drawings and prints show men caressing the feet of their lovers.

The origins of the strange custom of footbinding are not clear. The most popular explanation is when the Empress Taki (11th century) was born with clubfeet, her father did not wish her to be considered odd and made an edict for all high born women of China to have their feet bound. This may well have been a myth appropriated by the Christian Church but research indicates the truth was far removed from the myth. Empress Taki's father had a large troupe of erotic dancers with small feet. They used to dance on a floor of lotus leaves (Buddhists consider the lotus as a symbol of the vulva) for his sensual pleasure. This form of erotica became popular but because not all noble persons could afford a dance troupe, foot binding was an attempt to emulate the emperor's dancers. The habit plunged hundreds of millions of Chinese men, from highbrow mandarins to lowly middle classes in into ecstasies of sexual passion for nearly one thousand years. Binding started at about age four and the feet were kept bound till eighteen. In the superior class women were traditionally trained to do the binding, but otherwise the task fell on mothers and grandmothers. Bandages were renewed daily and the foot left bare while it was washed and rubbed with alcohol, as a precaution against ulceration. Later the manipulated foot was usually confined within a strong convex soled boot to force the toe of the foot towards the heel. For genteel lovers the tiny foot provided endless amusement, with often the smell of the unwashed foot having charms for some, who referred to it as a fragrant bed aroma. Further heightened sensuousness was experienced by the increased curvature of the sole of the foot, which was referred to as a second vagina. The big toe was proportionately large and tactile. Foot kissing and sucking was a common practice with the whole foot being placed in the mouth. Bound or lotus feet were considered the source of magical eroticism. Lotus feet were looked upon as the most erotic part of a woman's body, and the delicate slippers or bootees worn to cover them were no less delectable. Chinese husbands respectfully coveted their wives' tiny Lotus shoes and would sometimes display them on a small plate (with room to spare) to show off the foot size. Women commonly owned several hundred pairs of these shoes. They spent long hours embroidering them with symbols of fertility, longevity, harmony and union. Shoes worn on the wedding night often depicted explicit erotic scenes as a way of instructing the virgin bride.

Chinese erotica describes an unabashed sensuality that would seem to have much in common with erotic art from other 'Eastern' nations, in their openness and wholehearted acceptance of the erotic arts as being healthy, pleasurable and indeed essential.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2008 05:49AM by Yarik.

Re: Chinese Erotica
Posted by: Yarik (IP Logged)
Date: September 06, 2008 03:16AM
I want to fully read this poem:
"Let us now lock the double door with its golden lock,
And light the lamp to fill our room with its brilliance,
I shed my robes and remove my paint and powder,
And roll out the picture scroll by the side of the pillow,
The plain girl I shall take as my instructress,
So that we can practice all the variegated postures,
Those that an ordinary husband has but rarely seen,
Such as taught by T'ien-lao to the Yellow Emperor,
No joy shall equal the delights of this first night,
These shall never be forgotten, however old we may grow."

Chang Heng A.D. 78-139
from T"ung-sheng-ko . "

Can you tell me where I can found it? Also I want know other poems of this author.
I looked for in Internet but I cant found.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2008 03:19AM by Yarik.

Re: Chinese Erotica
Posted by: Guestpass0001 (IP Logged)
Date: September 06, 2008 11:55AM
It's from a very famous and very old book called, "Book of Dreams: The Yellow Fever Mystery." smileys with beer

Re: Chinese Erotica
Posted by: Guangzhouboy (IP Logged)
Date: October 12, 2008 03:17AM
oh my god

Re: Chinese Erotica
Posted by: Pepsipolo (IP Logged)
Date: October 12, 2008 06:12AM
Guangzhouboy whats wrong? where is mistake? I think all right in artical "chinese Erotica"

Re: Chinese Erotica
Posted by: Onthink (IP Logged)
Date: February 21, 2009 12:36AM
Every culture has two sides.



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