I've seen tea served in a gaiwan where a guest drinks directly from it, and I've also seen it treated as a teapot, with the tea poured from it into smaller cups after steeping.
Is this a case where these are regional variations of gaiwan use? (If so, which regions prefer each practice?) Is one the traditional use and the other a more recent innovation?
I've also seen it suggested that men should drink tea out of gaiwans with the lid left on, removing the lidded cup from the saucer to drink, while women should drink tea out of gaiwans with the lid off, lifting the cup and saucer together to drink. Is this an out-dated practice? Any idea how it started?