This is what the ancients can teach us about sex.

In the early days of television when everything on the tube was black and white, all three of the existing channels completed their programming by midnight. People who watched TV simply enjoyed what they had. Only a dreamer would look at that small, grainy screen and imagine seeing a full-color picture, much less a high-definition flat screen.

And yet here we are, 90 years later, enjoying exactly that, plus round-the-clock programming on more channels than most of us bother to count. That much variety, depth and color — more, in fact — can be brought into your sex life.

Like so many of my women friends, I’d been led to believe that I should be able to tell a man, even “train” him, how to please me in bed. This purportedly enlightened, liberated approach always left me feeling more like a drill sergeant than a sex kitten. By the age of forty, I was deeply frustrated. I kept thinking, “There has to be more to it than this.” I knew I hadn’t fulfilled my sexual potential and feared that I never would.

Then I met someone unusual. Here was a man who knew more about what my body wanted than I did. Sweet surrender. I could finally get out of my head and into my body. He was a natural — so brilliant in bed that I could let go of being in control and allow our mutual arousal to take us into unknown territory. No more following a predictable routine, making love became a sensual adventure, our bodies a playground. Everything that happened was fresh and new, unpredictable in the most delightful way. This wasn’t just chemistry; this was a special type of genius. I began to refer to it as sexual intelligence.

As a marriage and family therapist with innumerable friends and clients who endure frustrating sex lives, I couldn’t help but wonder if this type of sexual intelligence could be learned. I wasn’t willing to accept that a person is either born with the gift or not, but I knew of no comprehensive training to increase a person’s sex IQ.

Even in the San Francisco Bay Area, the tantric sex capital of the Western world, very few people seem to understand that sex isn’t something you do — it’s a place you go.

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Try as I might to describe my experience and develop a curriculum, I couldn’t find the words for what my special lover just seemed to know. Then I received the first draft of a book about Taoist sex meditation by Bruce Kumar Frantzis. After I finished reading it, I felt encouraged: here was an author who could teach men how to read the intricate signals that reveal what a woman’s body wants.

The manuscript also contained crucial information that women should have about what gets a man turned on. Even more exciting, the author himself wasn’t born with the gift; he had developed it through specialized training.

Frantzis was once as oblivious to the secrets of a woman’s body as the average man on the street. At the age of 18, he left his home in New York City to study martial arts in the Far East. Initially in Japan and then in China, Frantzis trained intensively, studying under renowned masters of qigong, tai chi, hsing-i, bagua and Taoist meditation for fifteen-plus years.

Early in his training, he had the rare opportunity to be invited into a secret Taoist community that practiced sexual meditation as an accelerated spiritual path. This marked the beginning of a radical departure as Frantzis shifted his allegiance from pure martial arts training to the ancient three-fold path of the warrior-healer-priest.

Since his return to the West in 1987, Frantzis has taught over 20,000 students and certified hundreds of tai chi and qigong teachers around the world. He has written more than ten books, establishing him as a definitive authority in the field. My personal favorites are his groundbreaking Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body, which details core principles of qigong, and The Power of Internal Martial Arts, a fascinating read and consummate guide.

In any given area of study, certain individuals stand out for their mastery and expertise. In the best-selling book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell examines what makes these people unique. One factor he identifies is having undergone at least ten thousand hours of training. By conservative estimate, Frantzis has trained and taught for fifty thousand hours in various subtle arts of energy, or what the Chinese call qi. This puts him in a unique position to teach us about energy sex and to use it the way the Taoist’s do: as a springboard for sexual meditation.

In a world where self-proclaimed “sexperts” flood the Internet with advice, finding your way through the maze of information is no simple task. Truth be told, information alone cannot possibly usher us across the divide that separates us from our slumbering sexual intelligence. This type of crossing cannot be accomplished in a tantra weekend. However, the seed of potential planted in us by the Absolute will start to germinate when we meet a true master like Frantzis.

At first I asked myself, “Why another book on Taoist sexuality?” What I discovered is that Frantzis’ perspective and teachings are distinct from those of other authors in two very significant ways.

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First of all, most of what has been written about the Taoist’s sexual practices has been primarily limited to sexual qigong; the deeper subject of sexual meditation has not yet been brought to the West.

Secondly, most (if not all) authors who write about Taoist sex are describing the Fire tradition of Taoism. Unfortunately, the approach used in the Fire tradition emphasizes the use of force and pushing through limits, which often results in injury.

The Water tradition is relatively unknown in the Western world. Nearly lost to antiquity, this approach focuses on letting go and relaxing into a natural state of pure Being. Even in China, it would be difficult if not impossible to find a lineage master in the Water tradition, let alone one who was willing to teach.

Frantzis was able to study under such a master — the Taoist sage Liu Hung Chieh — on a full-time basis for three solid years. What’s more, Liu took the unprecedented step of adopting Frantzis as his son and passing on the lineage. Rarely, if ever, has an American received such an honor.

Bruce’s story of a joining a secret Taoist group and being adopted by an old Taoist sage initially struck me as far-fetched, even unbelievable. However, once I got to know him and watched him teach qigong and other energy arts, I could feel the veracity of the pure Taoist lineage he carries. Clearly, the man is a master of qi, exceptional in his command of subtle energies most people in the West don’t even know exist. He demonstrates a level of mastery in Taoist qi-based arts that has inspired thousands from around the world to study with him. He is uniquely positioned to deliver this esoteric tradition to Westerners in digestible form.

For millennia, the Taoists have harnessed sexual intelligence as an essential part of their religion. Take an ancient tradition that has actualized the spiritual potential of sex for thousands of years, cross-pollinate it in the Western world through a master like Frantzis, and you get a truly important breakthrough.

In Silicon Valley, advances of this magnitude are often referred to as a “disruptive technologies” because they upend the status quo. With the sexual status quo of so many people locked onto a setting that reads “unsatisfied,” this is one disruption that is long overdue.

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Change can be challenging, of course. Whether we’re adapting to new technology or increasing our sex IQ, we progress through a natural learning curve. Once we achieve a higher baseline, all sorts of possibilities that were previously unimaginable are ours to enjoy.

In the sexual realm, the terrain is infinite — literally — and that’s the Tao.

What I’ve seen of where this information can lead has given me tremendous respect for the Taoists’ wisdom. Their intricate, exacting system can reveal the true nature of human beings. This is the ultimate aim and destiny of every sentient being: to achieve an extraordinary degree of body-mind integration and ecstatic union with the Tao.

I recommend you approach teachings such as those offered by Frantzis with deep curiosity. Suspend any expectation that simply reading words on a page should result in comprehension. A book like Taoist Sexual Meditation is more than a book — it’s a transmission. The content has a vibrational quality that will not translate to your linear mind. Instead of trying to comprehend what you read, consciously intend that your deeper self will be moved. You cannot understand what you have not yet experienced, so let go and surrender to an instinctive encounter.

A book such is this is not designed to inform so much as to plant seeds in your mind, seeds that will be watered subliminally by the Tao out of which your very thoughts arise. When this type of transmission becomes personal, direct knowledge, the reality words can only point to reveals itself in the field of your awareness.

This has happened for me a number of times since I first read the manuscript. Detailed instructions I don’t even remember reading suddenly just transpired, revealing new terrain. For example, one evening I found myself focusing on my lover’s upper body rather than responding to what was going on below his waist. According to Taoist theory, this allows his yang energy to build. I worked on my man’s head, neck and shoulders while he pressed into me with his yearning. I could feel his essential yang more tangibly than ever before, which gave my yin nature a new of level of permission to receive and be nourished by his masculine energy.

On another occasion, a surprising revelation occurred with respect to the Microcosmic Orbit, the alchemical energy current that flows through the human body.

I’d always been intrigued by drawings of lovers whose bio-electric circuitry was intertwined like a caduceus. But the actual existence of this co-joined inner current remained conceptual, nothing more than a lovely idea.

Then, shortly after I completed a qigong instructor training with Frantzis, my lover and I were in the throes when, out of nowhere, the Microcosmic Orbit became a tangible reality. It was as if a river of energy was running through my body. While feeling and sensing the movement of this river, I discovered that I could connect with that flow moving through his body as well.

This gave me a glimpse of who and what he might be beyond the ordinary construct of a “person.” And that made me very excited to learn more about the two of us beyond the ordinary construct of “man and woman.”

Deep inside every one of us there is a seed that has never left the Tao. That part of you may be stirred by a book like Taoist Sexual Meditation. You can consciously evoke this inner quickening by reading the information as if it is native, rather than foreign. So sit back and relax. Somewhere in the multiplex of universes, an ancient Taoist sage has just sent you a personal invitation to discover the truth of who you truly are.

Geralyn Gendreau, LMFT, is an author, editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has been helping authors finish their books for 20 years. Connect with Geralyn and she’ll show you how to build emotional momentum and become one of those authors who says: “My book practically wrote itself!”

A psychotherapist, author, and soul-provoking life coach, Geralyn loves to tackle the impossible. Her favorite brain hack is jumping out of an airplane.

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