As Chinese civilization evolved during the first millennium BC, two distinct, yet complementary philosophies shaped Chinese culture – Daoism and Confucianism, both that addressed sexuality.
Daoist sexual practice stresses the balance of the primordial energies of the universe – the yin and yang. Sex plays an integral role in one’s search for immortality. Confucianism looks at sex more pragmatically. Its most important purpose is to produce sons, ensuring the continuity of the family. While not mutually exclusive, both philosophies caused social and cultural tensions and divergent norms of behavior throughout China’s long history.
Sex Among the Lotus: 2500 Years of Chinese Erotic Obsession provided visitors with a sweeping survey of Chinese erotica – from erotic Bronze Age poetry and tomb tile with explicit imagery dating from the 2nd century BC to the sexual excesses of the Emperor and his Court and the latest pornography hot off the commercial presses.
Throughout the dynasties, sex was considered a natural and essential act. In fact, sex and nature are synonymous, sharing the same word “xing.” Therefore, nature’s outdoor realm provided couples with the most satisfying settings for sex, in both fact and metaphor.