The Impotence Epidemic: Men’s Medicine and Sexual Desire in Contemporary China
Everett Yuehong Zhang is Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies and Anthropology at Princeton University. He is the co-editor of Governance of Life in Chinese Moral Experience: The Quest for an Adequate Life, and co-author of Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person.
The Loss of Jing (Seminal Essence) and the Revival of Yangsheng (the Cultivation of Life)
2015. "The Loss of Jing (Seminal Essence) and the Revival of Yangsheng (the Cultivation of Life)", The Impotence Epidemic: Men’s Medicine and Sexual Desire in Contemporary China, Everett Yuehong Zhang
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This chapter discusses the relationship between two opposing trends—the loss of jing (seminal essence) and the revival of yangsheng (the cultivation of life). Having been discouraged in the Maoist period, yangsheng regained legitimacy in post-Mao China. In a countertendency to the rise of sexual desire, many men chose to regulate that desire by preserving seminal essence and adopting a moderate attitude toward sex. Instead of repressing sexual desire, then, yangsheng can be seen as a practice of its ethical regulation. It is therefore a technique of self-mastery, a way to form an ethical self.