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Gendering Sexual Pleasures in Early and Medieval China

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AbstractEarly and medieval Chinese texts on sexual body techniques frame sexual pleasure in a gendered way. The texts display a psychodynamic scenario for sexual encounters between men and women wherein the woman is staged in her full potency, as emitting fluids and ejaculating, as experiencing uncontrolled muscular spasms and having immense pleasure (kuài 快) during the enfolding events. Male ejaculation is seen as a short-time pleasure (zàn kuài 暫快); it is considered better to avoid it, and instead attempt to stay in an intermediate state of bliss, and eventually to experience illumination, by way of controlled counter-measures and by being fully focused to female bodily signs, to which the male partner should be prepared to react adequately.


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