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.
Potency Is Fullness of Life
Drawing on ancient Chinese thought and Western thought as they weave through narratives of cases, stories, and personal encounters, chapter 7 redefines potency as life’s fullness. Potency refers, first, to the Chinese notion of the fullness of seminal essence, and, second, to the Western idea of “being in the world” through the body. Together, the capacity to maintain the fullness of seminal essence and the capacity to open up to the world constitute life’s fullness. Under this understanding, men can remain potent even when impotent, because potency is more than the ability to achieve erection.