Excessive Venery, Masturbation, and Continence by William Howe – Chapter Five

Chapter V – Results of Sexual Excess and Mental Emotions. While sex in excess is bad, it is not as bad as masturbation, for sex is natural, and masturbation is not. This is when I start to think of a drinking game for this book. Every time the word “masturbation” or “onanism” is used, take a drink. You’ll be sloshed in no time! Even if the man expends his sexual energy in intercourse several times a week, ill effects will not be felt, for this is a natural and healthy thing to do, and the man will feel satisfied by his sexual congress, whereas the same amount of energy expended in masturbation is deleterious, for the act itself is degrading, and insulting to manhood. The masturbator knows this, and therefore, participates in the ill effects visited upon his person and his penis. Of course, if sex is making you feel like this, then you must stop doing it so much, for it clearly is too much for your person.

Apparently, in Acton’s view (that guy would thought all the boys at school are vastly immoral), conception can’t take place during the first few months of marriage, as the couple will be having sex more frequently, thereby lessening their chances. Some men have epileptic seizures at the point of orgasm; so does the rabbit. Napoleon I, also, suffered from a seizure every time he participated in sexual intercourse. This can result in death, and indeed, there are many cases of men who have died after copulation. Acton then cites a third guy, named Burmeister, about termites (!): after the hot season, the male and female termites come together and indulge in sexual congress; afterwards, the male immediately dies, but the female is impregnated with thousands of eggs.

Now, back to the good doctor. Prior to spermatorrhoea, impotence occurs, because of sexual excess. The two symptoms are always seen together. Most of the time, it results in a man completely unable to have sex. Here’s what happens: guy ejaculates prematurely. He stops having sex for a bit, and begins to have nocturnal emissions. So, he starts having sex again, only to find he is once again a premature ejaculator, which depresses him. Lather, rinse, repeat, until he becomes completely impotent. The seminal fluid then is discharged with the fecal matter. Horseback riding or similar exercise can also make a man impotent. Usually, these men are robustly healthy – except for what’s in their pants. Not to worry, though – impotence from too much sex has a much better treatment record than that which occurs from excessive onanism. Unless you have brain lesions. Then, all bets are off.

Mental emotions. The mind is not separate from the body, no, sir! It definitively affects the body, many times for worse, not better. We are possessed of powerful imaginations that sometimes will make our lives hell. He is talking expressly of hysteria. For example, he had a patient once that was put next to another patient who was suffering from peritonitis. Within twenty-four hours, the healthier patient was experiencing symptoms of peritonitis without having it, even down to the swollen abdomen! When she was removed to another room, she recovered shortly thereafter. This same patient also exhibited symptoms of an inflamed mammary gland, and some sort of brain softening. These happened at different intervals, the latter a year or so later.

To further illustrate his point, he also discusses a Wall Street broker who had suffered severe monetary losses, which essentially made him neurotic. He slept badly and was distressed at all hours of the day. Then he read in a paper about a man falling down in a fit in the middle of the street and dying. This caused WallStreet to not want to leave the house and was afraid to go out alone, for the same fate might happen to him. This continued for a year before he saw Dr. H. Dr. H’s method was first to argue with him that such a thing was nonsense. He then began to treat his fear with baby steps, making him come out of the house and walk for one block unaccompanied, and so on, until his fear was treated. This is the first sensible thing I have read in this entire book!

So, what is the doctor REALLY driving at? Our emotions affect our body physically, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the genital regions. Mental causes definitely play a factor in all cases of impotence, even those not resulting from chronic masturbation. Anything disagreeable can result in a morbid change in the genitals, but particularly, fear of failure. The first failure causes the second, and so on, and so on. Even others telling you of their failures in this vein can cause it in yours. Why, the doctor has a friend, a lawyer, in excellent health, with two children who read in a medical journal about impotence befalling even healthy people, and what do you know? It caused temporary impotence in him!

Here’s a weird one: he cites someone named Roland, who speaks of a man who was taken by a woman in “full walking costume.” He had relations with her for a year, in clothes, before moving on to a different woman, and realized he could not have sex with the second woman, unless she was fully clothed while he did the deed.

And of course, we have the madonna/whore scenario. A guy can’t fuck his wife because she’s too pure and good to “profane” her in such a way, so he goes out and gets whores to service him instead. He goes to the doctor and the doctor tells him he’s supposed to fuck his wife, that’s what she’s there for. So the guy tries again, and again sees the doctor, saying it’s no use, she’s too good to be sullied. The doctor then prevails upon himself to see the woman, and tells her to be more “free” with her husband, presumably to act a little like a whore so that he’ll fuck her. Here we have again that strange dichotomy, that will be with us forever.

Finally this evening, gleet. Discharge caused by the clap, or gonorrhea. It causes mental distress as well, which could result, as before, in impotence. A patient of the doctor’s will fail to ejaculate if he notices the gleet-leak prior to the act. Another has problems if he’s sexing his wife, but not if he’s going to prostitutes. Well, that’s because prostitutes are not real people, so it doesn’t matter if you give them diseases.

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