The Sexual Dynamic
Healing Through Gender Awareness
by Felice Dunas, Ph.D.“Those who understand the nature of sex will nurture
their vigor and prolong their life. Those who treat its principle with contempt will injure their spirit and shorten their life.” Tung Hsuan Tsu, c. fifth-seventh centuries AD
“Ignorance of the necessity for sexual intercourse to the
health and virtue of both man and woman is the most fundamental
error in medical and moral philosophy.” George Drysdale, The Elements of Social Science (1854)
Like all powerful forces, the energy that drives sexuality can be used for good or ill. Many cultures, including our own, have emphasized the potential danger of unleashing the sex drive: disease, exploitation, unwanted pregnancy, broken families, crimes such as rape, incest and pedophilia. To protect ourselves from the dark side of sex, we have evolved safeguards, just as we have for nuclear power and other energy sources with the potential to either help or harm. These precautions have taken the form of laws and customs geared to suppress sexual expression.
Our professional ancestors also recognized the dual nature of sexuality. In their view, unhappy bedrooms resulted in poor health, marriage and family problems and even a breakdown of social order. But the sexual sages whose ideas form the basis of my book, Passion Play, recognized an important truth: Sexuality can bring joy and blessing to the same extent that it can cause suffering. They held that by maximizing one’s potential as a sexual artisan one could strengthen health and personality while at the same time creating greater harmony in the family and society as a whole.
Look at your own experience. Isn’t life easier when you’re having great sex? Don’t mountains turn into molehills? Aren’t your step lighter and your mind clearer? Aren’t you more at peace with yourself, more optimistic, more content with your lot in life? You no doubt feel healthier, too-more vital and vigorous, with greater physical stamina and emotional strength.
In the west we have assumed that sexuality wanes with age and hormone levels. We know that when men reach their twenties, production of testosterone begins a long, steady decline, and when women reach menopause, estrogen production plummets. For the most part, we accept declining sexual interest and performance as a normal result of biological changes. Attempts at countering the tendency center on hormone replacement therapy, in which synthetic or animal-based substances are used to replenish the body’s supply. By contrast, acupuncturists of centuries past developed natural ways to maintain youthfulness and sexual vigor. These include exercises and lifestyle suggestion, herbs and lovemaking techniques.
Many patients sabotage your work with their sexual habits. Unknowingly they dissipate valuable kidney essence during the act or maintain unhealthy relationships in which they do not deeply desire to give to and receive from their partners. This reticence may create a stagnant condition in the genital system with its many ramifications. A myriad of other syndromes can also occur. It is a complex subject and one that deserves to be seriously examined for the benefit of your patients.
Healing the body with pleasure is an important concept in TCM. Making love and eating are understood to be two of the most pleasurable activities in life. This is why they are art forms with long and evolved medical histories. We spend time instructing our patients in the dietary realm but generally overlook the importance of correct sexual practice. In fact, the power of gender, so basic to the nature of yin and yang, and thus energetic imbalance as a whole, is under-valued.
We must look to the body’s definition of gender if we are to support its healing. The conception and birth of children is the core ability requiring and thus defining the subject. The behavior patterns that are used in this process can be mirrored for success in other areas of life including the recovery from disease.
The yin pattern would be: receive, transform and contribute. Her body receives sperm and is hormonally, anatomically and physiologically receptive. She transforms what she has received into something else (a fetus) and then contributes this new life into the world. Yin creates life through this pattern.
The yang pattern is: contribute, wait, and receive. His body gives his erection for the purpose of giving sperm. He must give sperm that are able to grant life by being the strongest, fastest and healthiest. Once he contributes, he waits for feedback. Is she pregnant? The results of his contribution determine future giving. He gets feedback either in the form of a child or the news that she isn’t pregnant. The information he receives determines his next step. Yang creates life through this pattern.
When you evaluate your patients’ behaviors, are they gender appropriate? As the male body is primarily yang, men must be skilled in altruism (contributing that which is appropriate to create new life) to be functioning in accordance with their gender. If a man is overly yin resulting in pathological behavior, he becomes very self focused. A woman can become a give-aholic if she is not allowing yin to substantially determine her actions. The pressures of success in a male-modeled work environment lead many women away from their inherent nature and into a more masculine mode of functioning. And we wonder why infertility is on the rise. How can conception occur when both sexes are behaving like the other?
As you support your patients in the healing process, consider that their daily behavior, in and out of the bedroom, has a substantial effect on your success. How well they accept compliments or lend a helping hand may have long term health ramifications.Born in Los Angeles and raised in a medical family, Felice Dunas, Ph.D., is an acupuncture industry founder, international lecturer, published author and executive coach. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology/International Health Care from UCLA, and her Doctorate degree in Clinical Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology from Samra University. She uses ancient principles of the body and human behavior to enhance the lives of individuals, couples and corporate executives. Having lectured in over 60 countries, she addresses health, vitality, interpersonal intimacy and sexuality. Dr. Dunas is the author of the best-selling book from Penguin-Putnam, “PASSION PLAY: Ancient Secrets for a Lifetime of Health and Happiness Through Sensational Sex”. For more into, go to: http://www.felicedunas.com