Sexual Techniques of the Taoists

Myths and Methods
  • Fang Fu Ruan
Part of the Perspectives in Sexuality book series (PISE)


Taoism is China’s only genuine indigenous religion. Buddhism, a religion which certainly has been influential in Chinese culture, was imported from India. Confucianism, the other major indigenous system of thought, is secular in orientation, concerning itself with politics and ethics rather than the supernatural. Taoism, by contrast, possesses an herbal lore including medicines and aphrodisiacs; a cosmogony based on the principles of Yin and Yang and the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth); systems of magic, witchcraft, and astrology; a pantheon; a priesthood; and all the accompanying folklore. Thus, as noted Chinese scholar Lin Yutang remarked, ‘Taoism... accounts for a side of the Chinese character which Confucianism cannot satisfy... [offering] all those paraphernalia that go to make up a good, solid popular religion.... [It] was... the Chinese attempt to discover the mysteries of nature“ (Lin, 1935).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fang Fu Ruan
    • 1
  1. 1.The Institute for Advanced Study of Human SexualitySan FranciscoUSA

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