The full title of this next book is Excessive Venery, Masturbation and Continence: the etiology, pathology, and treatment of the diseases resulting from venereal excesses, masturbation and continence. Gee, do you think this book is going to deal with venery in excess, not to mention masturbation and continence? The author is one Joseph W. Howe, M.D., and a brief bio follows. He is author of three other books, namely “Emergencies,” “The Breath,” and “Winter Homes for Invalids.” Um, okay. In addition, he is a professor of surgery, a practicing surgeon, and so on, so I suppose he feels he’s qualified to talk about sexual matters. This book was published in 1887, so he came before Mary Wood-Allen and her slew of books. Also, for the curious, this book’s price is listed as $2.75.
The preface (note there are no commendations in this one from others, as he’s a man, and a doctor, so he’s automatically taken seriously) tells the reader that this book was originally formulated as a series of lectures, as well as the good doctor’s own personal experiences. This book was meant for a medical student, I presume. This might be a serious undertaking, folks. Lots of medical words!
Chapter I – General Considerations. No one is teaching young people about sexual matters, and this is a problem. The health and happiness of the human race depends on teaching such things prior to puberty. Physicians are the only professional people who can SEE the importance of such a matter, especially teaching against the “ignorant assaults on the genital organs.” Very few can see the difference between the false side of life, or the real suffering due to bad habits, and while a little advice from a well-meaning parent, or a teacher, can be all the help one needs to avoid such situations, the doctor is the BEST suited for this task, solely because he’s a doctor. Already this guy is a prick.
The doctor finds it a sad commentary on life that married men and women had no knowledge of sexual matters prior to their wedlock. The marriage might not have been consummated for several days, while the newlyweds tried out strange positions that definitely would not work! And then, horror of horrors, they would not know the difference between temperance and excess until their nerves were frayed, their bodies enfeebled, and only then would they seek advice from their olders and betters, only to find that it was too late. Of course, Dr. H must mention that this sort of ignorance pertains more to women than men, but his point remains the same.
To offer food for thought, he gives us this anecdote (which I have related to you with modern non-medical terminology). While on holiday in the Adirondacks, he visited a patient in a hotel who had tuberculosis, which had handicapped him. When he examined him, he found an abscess on his “taint,” and a congenital defect wherein his foreskin was too tight on the head of his penis, which meant it couldn’t be fully retracted (ouchie, and I don’t even have one), and therefore, became inflamed. So what did the good doctor have to do? CUT IT OPEN. But the important point is what the lad said to him later, when he had had some relief. If he’d only been told about his sexual organs, and what was normal, and what was not normal, why, he’d be healthy in his middle age, not dying from consumption! The blame lies with his parents, of course, for, when he was younger, he had very painful erections that kept him up all night, and when he asked his father where he could go for relief, his father just laughed and told him it was normal. So, what did this young man finally do? Masturbate. Masturbate, masturbate, and masturbate some more, skipping his way down that road of Solitary Vice. Which of course, was a gateway drug to whores, and now he had tuberculosis. If he’d only known his problem could have been cured by a simple operation!
So, what the doctor proposes is what people should really do now, in modern times. Explain to children about sexual matters, to their level of understanding, from when they are very young. Of course, he’s proposing to LIE to kids about masturbation causing health defects, but his heart is in the right place, I guess . . . “Fear is an essential element of controlling this class [the precocious]” Okay, I take that back. He’s an asshole.
Okay, my version of this book is missing pages. Strange.
Dr. H. quotes a member of the clergy, who agrees with his sentiment about teaching children early, particularly about avoiding “meddling with his secret parts” and therefore weakening the energy that God has ordained for him only to expend within marriage. People will know of his sin, if he’s whaling away on his dork, you can be sure of that! Especially since it will be visited upon his children. No one ever says how one WILL know that someone was a chronic masturbator, solely by looking at his children . . . Procreation, not pleasure. Procreation, not pleasure. Once you go down that road, you’re sure to have your mind constantly on it, and nocturnal emissions are your fate. Your health will deteriorate, and frankly, you’re fucked: blind, dim-witted, and feeble.
Dr. H. quotes another man, by the name of Mr. Acton, who believes that schoolmasters should definitely keep a close, careful eye upon the young men in their care, so that they will best be able to know when the boys are falling under the spell of the penis. Also, to make sure that the older boys are not attaching themselves to a younger boy, for a more-than-friendship. Dr. H. does not believe that the schools are as rampant with immorality as this man says, but he does believe that young men should be given the right advice, and the rest depends on the young man’s natural manliness. And what if that “natural manliness” develops into a monster appendage? No advice is given.