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

Chapter IX – Diseases that Result from Sexual Excess and Masturbation. It appears that the good doctor is repeating himself, but no, here we have new disorders. The first is cerebral anemia, which appears to be a sort of slow-leaking brain aneurysm. This occurs because a person is, what else, masturbating too much; it is more likely to occur when the digestion is out of order from gas pains.

What happens when you have cerebral anemia? Vertigo. Dim vision. Fainting “fits” leading to possible insensibility. Some say they have a “lost feeling,” where they feel partially unconscious. He cites another doctor named Jones, who natters on for a very long paragraph about how important this all is. They believed cerebral anemia was caused by deficient blood and that’s why people suffering from this event did not benefit from tonics.

Cerebral anemia can lead to chronic brain softening. This becomes a definite “yes” when the person has been playing with himself. Even though he says that he has not found a case where the cause of brain softening/cerebral anemia was directly masturbation, he claims to have enough cases to tell him that it is direct. Brain softening is a result of malnutrition, not from food, but nerve sources. Whaling on your dork takes a lot of nerve energy, leaving them enervated; an excessive waste of force in your body! Tut-tut.

One of the first symptoms of brain softening is memory failure. Now, Dr. H. does attribute failing memory to other things, such as worry, overtaxed brain, and dyspepsia. He cautions medical students not to automatically assume, unless there are other symptoms to go on. Brain softening is curable if found in its early stages. He claims to present the cure later on. I await it with a snicker.

In the next paragraph, it seems to be present. He advises, for this disease, 1/80 of an injection of STRYCHNINE once a day unless unpleasant reactions form. One might stop administering the drug for a day or two to help the patient tolerate it better. Small doses of opium have also been used as a cure, but “I should dread the effect on the stomach.” No matter which you choose, the poison or the poppy, a vigorous massage is prescribed. For whom? The doctor or the patient? And what type of “massage?” Oh, wait.

Frequent ejaculation is also responsible for other diseases of the brain and spinal cord, many of which are paired with impotence, erotic desires, satyriasis and priapism (a situation which keeps the penis constantly erect, like the severe side-effect of Viagra, without the Viagra). Disease of the cerebellum leads to the derangement of the genitals and their functions. Sclerosis, or hardening, of the cerebellum’s nerves can sometimes lead to daily nocturnal emissions and migraine headaches. Eventually, this will lead to impotence. Oh, that naughty semen!

The doctor tells us that hanged men ejaculate during their struggle to death. Well-authenticated cases have been recorded of men who are still alive, who temporarily hang themselves to masturbate to orgasm. This may be the first medical mention of auto-erotic asphyxiation.

Injuries to the spinal cord produce persistent priapism in some people, and impotence in others, this latter especially when the injury occurs near the genito-spinal portion of the cord. He relates a case from someone named Lallemand who knew a French soldier; this soldier was on his way to his mistress when he fell on the ground and struck his sacrum (this is at the base of the spine and is part of the pelvis). This paralyzed the lower half of his body, resulting in priapism. He masturbated to relieve himself, but to no avail. He tried to soothe the discomfort with his mistress’ ministrations, but he could not come! However, when he was alone and sleeping in his own room he could send out the boys down under. The only thing the doctor says about this case is that it is “strange.” Perhaps he feels he has no more pulpit-preaching about the dangers of onanism? Silly me, that’s the purpose of the entire book, isn’t it?!

Acton (remember him? He’s the one who said all the schoolboys are immoral and mutually masturbate each other, and also stated that married couples have lower risks of pregnancy during the first weeks of marital intercourse. In other words, the stupid guy) mentions a young clergyman – who we KNOW is too holy and good like God to even think of touching his penis, even to clean it – was subject to continuous stiffies. Walking around, riding on his horse, even the friction of his trouser material was making him erect.  Action discovered his trouble – a very tight foreskin – and with a little snipping and a lot of soaking the patient was cured! A similar case was seen by Dr. Howe with a clergyman who had malaria and a slightly enlarged prostate, blah blah blah, bladder cleaning.

Sunstroke was though to be a cause of impotence as well, although the doctor only personally met with one case of this. The usual story: man is healthy until the problem begins, has lots of sex and has a hearty appetite for all sorts of things, then gets ailment (in this case, sunstroke), and suddenly can’t do anything. Boring! What happened to the Faradic currents, and lead washes, and even leeches? Come on, doctor, this chapter was very tough to make amusing!


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