The term Taoism (or Daoism) comes from the Chinese and can be translated as ‘the teaching of the way’. Taoism is a philosophy, an ideology and a religion that emerged in around the 4th century BCE.
In addition to Confucianism and Buddhism, Taoism is one of the three great teachings that had a significant influence over China and, from the second half of the 20th century, also influenced the religion and philosophy of the western world. In China, elements of Taoism influenced politics, culture, art, philosophy, economics, literature, nutrition and martial arts.
An important aspect of the teachings are the cosmological ideas of heaven and earth, the teaching of qi (life force) and yin and yang. The search for immortality is another aim that is said to be achievable via breathing control and other techniques such as tai chi, qi gong and meditation. Sexuality plays an important role in achieving immortality.
Today, around eight million Taoists live in Taiwan as this is where Taoist groups seek refuge from persecution. There are thought to be around 60 million Taoist followers living in China.
Over the centuries, Taoist practices and teachings have been described in works and texts relating to sexual practices, philosophy, liturgy, medicine, alchemy, morals and meditation techniques.
Erotic massage is common in Taoism. The most well-known of these erotic massages are Tao massage, lingam massage and yoni massage.
Tao massage is one of the most meditative forms of massage as it focuses on the recipient’s subtle body according to the body’s own yin and yang principle. The main aim of the massage is to arouse, calm and place the recipient in a state of deep relaxation and sexual excitement. Parts of the body around the genitals are thoroughly massaged.
Lingam massage also involves a sensual massage of the genitals and is used as part of Tantra massage. The lingam massage concentrates solely on the male genitals. The sexual flow of energy, which, according to Taoism, is constantly present in the human body, is aroused in a sensitive manner. The recipient is shown new ways of experiencing sensual pleasure.
The female counterpart to lingam massage is the yoni massage where the focus is on the female genitalia. The basic structure of the yoni massage was developed by the American tantric practitioner and porn star Annie Sprinkle and sexologist Joseph Kramer and is nowadays practised in Europe in various forms and variants. Knowledge of yoga, Taoism, Tantra and other esoteric methods are included in the massage. Breathing and physical control are important elements as they stimulate the body’s energy into flowing.