Gentleman’s Guide to Sexual Sublimation

Sexual sublimation

Friedrich Nietzsche coined the term sexual sublimation, explaining that a sexual impulse could be channeled into a creative spiritual activity instead of being “discharged” in the normal sexual fashion.

Small pellets of dry ice sublimating in air, (Photo Credit: APN MJM)

Small pellets of dry ice sublimating in air, (Photo Credit: “Dry Ice” by APN MJM)

Sublimation in science describes the transition of when a solid goes directly to a gaseous state. For example, fresh snow in a freezing cold day will evaproate directly into the air instead of going through liquid water before evaporating into vapor. So the concept is that the man’s vital essence will be vaporized back into himself, giving him much more power and virility than a man who squanders his vital essence.

Napoleon Hill also spoke of this “sexual transmutation” in his famous masterpiece, Think and Grow Rich. “Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires.” Hill explains, “When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will power, persistence…which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling, including, of course, the accumulation of riches.”

Gentlemans Guide to Sexual Sublimation 2 - Jon HeinrichCenturies before that, the ancient Taoists also believed in emission control as a pillar of a healthy long life. Their belief lies in the science of how much essence and energy a man must expend to replenish emissions and rebalance hormones after a man has a release. When a man releases too frequently, it can lead to chronic fatigue, irritability and energy deficiency and in extreme cases, premature senility, memory loss, confusion and hypersensitivity to sunlight.

Benefits of sexual sublimation

The school of Taoism believes that retention of a man’s vital essence when reabsorbed into the body, provides a rock solid basis for a man’s creative energy pool. This is partially because the most common liquid in the body is cerebrospinal fluid, which is one of the most energetic substances in the body. Reabsorption will increase the amount of this highly energetic, nutritive fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, causing more nutrition and power liquid around the central nervous system, which in turn benefits cognitive abilities.

Perhaps that is why the French call it, la petite mort, or “a little death.”

Secondly, from a sexual standpoint, having a full supply of this vital essence will be reflected as power and longevity during love-making.

Building the discipline and strength of the “mula bandha”, or perineum is part and parcel of the retention technique and worthy of a lifetime study. Not only will this play out in the bedroom for pleasing your goddess, clamping the mula bandha will allow that kundalini energy to move up the spine, bringing energy to your higher chakras.

The practice of “locking the gate” is an exercise involving body, breath and mind—or as the Taoists refer to it, the Three Treasures, essence, energy and spirit—and will be addressed in more detail in a subsequent post.

Finally, very literally the vital essence is a man’s creative power. In its original sense, it is to create a child. But from an artistic sense it also is the power to create literature, art or, as Napoleon Hill described, the accumulation of riches. So the retention of the vital essence will boost the resiliency of the disciplined man and instead of leaving him tired and empty, he will feel strong and powerful to tackle his life pursuits.

Gentlemans Guide to Sexual Sublimation - Jon HeinrichAfter the art of retention is developed, women too will notice. They have a sixth sense that we men can not understand, but once a man starts practicing this retention, he will have much more attention from the ladies than before. Women are much more intuitive than men and can sense the strong from the weak.

And if that interest plays itself out onto the “flowery battlefield”, the most powerful of mystic gentlemen will continue to retain the vital essence even during a “poetry writing session” so that he may please his lady over and over again instead of the alternative of falling asleep after climax.

One great book that goes into much greater detail is The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity: A Modern Practical Guide to the Ancient Way (Fireside Books (Fireside)) by Daniel Reid, which is highly recommended as a manual to assist the evolved male in the ancient bedroom arts, as well as other topics around health and wellness.

We will continue to explore ways of sharpening the sexual sword in other chapters of The Gentleman’s Guide, but for now we will leave you with some guidelines passed on from the Yellow Emperor aforementioned Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity:

Some men are strong, some are weak, some men are old and others are in their prime. Each should live according to his own vitality and not try to force the joys of sex. Forcing joy is harmful. Thus, a robust male of 20 may ejaculate once a day, but an emaciated one should do so no more than once daily.
A 30-year-old male may ejaculate once a day, but only once every two days if he’s an inferior specimen. A flourishing man of 40 may emit semen once every three days, but if he’s weak he may do so only once every four days.
A robust man of 50 may ejaculate once every five days, but only once every ten days if he is weak. A 60-year-old man in good health may emit once every ten days, or once every 20 days if his health is poor.
At 70, a robust man emit once a month, but a weak one should no longer emit semen at all.

And another important guideline from Master Liu Ching from the Han Dynasty described the cycles of nature as an important factor:

In spring, a man may permit himself to ejaculate once every three days, but in summer and autumn he should limit his ejaculations to twice a month. During the cold of winter, a man should preserve his semen and avoid ejaculation altogether. The Way of Heaven is to accumulate Yang essence in winter. A man who follows this guideline will live a long and healthy life. One ejaculation in cold winter is one hundred times more harmful than an ejaculation in the spring.

There is much more detail in this book, The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity: A Modern Practical Guide to the Ancient Way (Fireside Books (Fireside)), highly recommended!

- Article and photography by Jon Heinrich


Image of dry ice: “Dry Ice” by APN MJM – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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