October 5, 2018
The below is an excerpt from some old book.
Masturbation is not a disease, but an act that if persisted in leads to a dirty, shiftless, worthless life and in extreme cases to imbecility or insanity. It is, as a rule, barring those inherited, the first sexual ill that afflicts humanity. The act, if we may judge by the books of Kraft-Ebling, Hammond and others, may be performed in a variety of ways, but the effect sought is the same – a pleasurable ejaculation of semen. It is always well for readers to understand the terms used, and that can best be accomplished by giving the roots of the word.
“Masturbation” is derived from two Greek words, manus, meaning, in English, “hand” and stupro, “I ravish”. So, literally, it is ravishing or raping one’s self with the hand or in some other unnatural manner.”
“Spermatorrhoea” is from sperma, “seed” and to “sow”, and rheo, “flow”, or “I flow”. Meaning, as now used, and involuntary emission of the seminal fluid.
Boys may discover how to masturbate, or it may be taught them by other boys, or worse, by men, or even women. The acts gives them a few moments of what seems to be ecstatic delight, and some of them resort to it as often as possible at first. They do not know that it is a sin against God, the human race and their own physical welfare. Such boys are to be pitied rather than blamed. There are very few adults indeed who have not passed, to some extent, through this unholy fire, and fortunate are they who, by means of a plain, sensible book, or through the words of some friend, have been warmed of the dangers, the final disgust and ruin that attend the practice when it degenerates into unchecked licence.
In too many families the subject of the sexual organs is regarded as a topic that must never be mentioned, and children are left in entire ignorance only to be enlightened, too often, by bitter experience. If parents or guardians cannot, or will not instruct the young, and warn them of the dangers that beset them from this source, at least let them procure a book that plainly treats of such matters and place it in the hands of the young at the proper time, for forearmed is forearmed. Should any young person read this book, let him know that if he persists in the habit of masturbation the result will be that he will gradually become weak, nervous and sallow, with a face full of pimples, sunken eyes, with dark rings about them; he will become bashful, timid and, in extreme cases, the end will be impotence, imbecility and death. Not many go to that extreme, but the actual number is not small. It is said that about three per cent. Of the inmates of insane asylums were sent there directly by masturbation; the number there indirectly from that cause must be very large.
Girls equally with boys are victims of the “secret vice” (secret error would be a truer term), and its effect on them is perhaps as bad as on the other sex. It is shown by nervousness, headache, indifference to the pleasures sought by the healthy minded, unwholesome, blotched and pimply skin, dull eyes, melancholy, and a look of decay. The habit in both sexes may develop chorea, epilepsy, hysteria, palpitation of the heart, and convulsions, if there be a latent tendency to those diseases. In fact, the train of ills that follow in the wake of this practice may well be called “Legion” – no one pen could name them all, but can only give a general outline, for each case differs in some respects from others just as human beings differ. It is from this reason that homoeopathic physicians “individualize their cases”, I.E. , they treat the patient according to the symptoms he presents.
After indulging in the practice for a greater or lesser period of time the masturbator discovers, even without being told, that there is “something wrong” with him, and he instinctively knows the cause. It is at this point that the great majority break way and are saved, though not without much physical and mental tribulation. No man can overcome an evil in himself until he has seen it and acknowledged it to be an evil. This act though done in innocence is nevertheless an evil, moral and physical. But his secret, lustful, hot and sweaty imaginings with which he has filled his mind while practicing the habit will not away at this simple bidding, neither will the furious burning desire to commit the act again and again. Both must be bitterly fought. The state of one passing through his ordeal has been so vividly described by Tissot that it has been said that his book brought many to despair. That is wrong, for what is wanted is the truth; and the truth is that no sufferer need despair, for all many be rescued from this unclean condition into which they have plunged themselves if they will to be saved. It is something like drinking liquor to excess; the victim fully realises his condition, but the desire is stronger than his will to abstain. Man’s will is that part of him wherein his passions, desires, and lusts reside, also his good impulses. His intellect can scan the actions and impulses of his will and correct them, so far as the man determines that the truth he intellectually perceives shall rule over his lawless will. When the better things the intellect sees are followed there comes a change, and in time the will itself is changed to no longer desire that which is hurtful because it feels the influence of the better way and desires it as before it desired the way of error.
This is not “a mind cure”, or “Christian science”, or “prayer cure” book, but those practices, though laughed at by many, when properly understood, are very needful and helpful in the cases under consideration. In nothing are they so needed and necessary as in overcoming masturbation and its attendant lust. Medicine is powerless until the mind can be brought into play, and even after that both it and the mind may find the lust too strong for them. If this be the case, and it often is, then who shall dare to say that a prayer to God for help avails naught ? There is really no “cure” for this condition save the Divine one, “Cease to do evil”.
There are cases in which masturbation is the result of abnormal physical conditions. In such cases surgery or a thorough course of constitutional homoeopathic treatment is required; but such cases do not come within the scope of this book.
Very young children also develop this habit, and no amount of punishment will avail to break it. Such cases, according to Dr. Burnett, in his interesting book, Delicate, Backward, Puny and Stunted Children, must not be regarded as evidence of inherent depravity, but as a disease that can, and should, be cured by constitutional homoeopathic medication or surgical operations. N Circumcision is sometimes effective.
When the victim, or sinner (take your choice of terms), has at last opened his eyes, if not to the spiritual, at least to the physical, evil into which he is plunged, he has not only to fight the lustful imaginings, dreams and burnings of his mind and body but he is also, in his search for help, confronted by those harpies, the advertising doctors and vendors of secret nostrums, who seek by every wile known to a wily tribe to get him into their power. They even beg for only your “name”, but do not sent it. Their advertisements vividly picture the inferno that awaits the “young man or boy” who suffers from “lost manhood”, and the glowingly depict the state off those “cured” for this condition save the one we have outlined, which to be sure may be aided by proper medical treatment, but it must first, and essentially, be a “mind cure”, or mind-clearing; a casting forth of lusts and imaginings, for so long as these are cherished no cure is possible. None of these advertising “doctors” can cure you, all they can do is to take your money. And if they get your name and not your money you will hear from them for years afterwards threatening, imploring or bullying your to submit to their “treatment”.
The attitude of the world towards the practice of masturbation is not a good one, for with, perhaps, a large majority it is simply one of jest, too often of added obscenity; yet it should be one of stern negation to the masturbator, of relentless hostility to those who seek to teach it to the young innocent, but kind and helpful to those who are struggling to free themselves and regain a wholesome life.
As already indicated, the first and the chief treatment of this condition – it can hardly be called a disease, save in a few cases, though it is a breeder of disease such as never microbe equaled – must be a mental one. It will not do to will to avoid the physical ill and yet at heart cherish the lustful imaginings. The first is easily done, for no one wants to be physically harmed, but to cast out the lustful imaginings will require a great effort of the will power, weakened as it is by the act of masturbation. It can and must be done, however, if the sufferer would regain health.
One great aid to a cure is cleanliness. Wash the affected parts frequently and keep the whole body clean. Wear clean clothes, keep the teeth and nails clean and the hair combed and neatly trimmed. This does not refer to the soiling of hands, or body, that results from honest work, or occupation, but the bodily filth and neglect that too often accompanies the filthy habit of masturbation. Indeed the experienced eye can almost surely detect the youth who indulges in this practice by an indescribable air of filthiness that pervades him- his sphere proclaims, though silently, “unclean” !
Sleep on a clean bed, with as light covering as is consistent with comfort, not too soft, and in a cool room. If possible sleep alone. Live in the open air as much as possible. In very extreme cases hard work on a farm has been known to greatly aid in a return to normal. Any outdoor work will do.
Take an interest in things, force yourself to do so if it does not come naturally, in social life, the church, politics, sports, the theatre, dancing, anything to take you away from the solitary habit into which most masturbators fall.
Among medicines to repress the frantic sexual desire that ever and anon assails one who is trying to abandon the habit under consideration, the homoeopathic preparation of Cantharis 6 is the best for males and Platina 30 for females. When one feels the desire coming on, generally after going to bed, get up and take a dose of the remedy, walk about a bit and then go to bed again.
After the habit of masturbation has been definitely abandoned, the next stage that affrights the struggling victim is “spermatorrhoea” (or “wet dreams”), as it is commonly termed.