Edwardian Sex Questions Answered
Edwardian Sex Questions Answered
Edwardian Sex Questions Answered

Practical Questions Answered, excerpted from Self Knowledge, T.W. Shannon, 1913.


If this advice were universally followed by teachers, ministers and parents among all children over ten, youths and adults, it would immediately reform and purify society.

When should parents begin telling a child of his origin?

When a child asks about his origin he is old enough to be told the first story. Some children will ask about this by the time they are three or four years old, others not until they are five or six. A normally developing child will certainly become interested in this matter by the sixth year. If a child has not asked about his origin by the time he is six, it would be wise for the parents to ascertain by questioning him whether he has received this information elsewhere.

If they find he has gained this information from the vicious, what should they do?

I would suggest that they wisely, tactfully and kindly ask him to tell them all he has heard, promising him that they will tell him the real truth in a number of very interesting stories. If he has received only very limited information, I would tell him at once the story of the plants and promise him another story in a few days or weeks about the oysters. If he has received considerable information in half-truth and learned several vulgar expressions, I would tell him these stories of life, one at the time and one each day until I had covered all the half-truths he had learned. I would endeavor skillfully to impress him with the sacredness of the laws of life. I would try to induce him to discard every false name he has learned by giving him the chaste pure names. I would teach him that we should be modest and discreet regarding these organs, and when and how to speak of them; that we should carefully avoid entertaining the idea they are in themselves sinful or that they are our shame and humiliation; that these organs and their functions are sacred, delicate and pure; and that they are our pride and our glory.

If this advice were universally followed by teachers, ministers and parents among all children over ten, youths and adults, it would immediately reform and purify society.

‘If a child, especially a boy, is not fully satisfied with the information contained in these stories, and should ask for a more detailed explanation of the child’s origin, how would you answer him?’

I would first try to decide whether the child is prompted by natural or morbid curiosity. If the child is sincere, very bright and inquisitive, you will have a very pleasant task and one that should result in only good to the child. I would start with the plant and show just how the two natures reach each other in the seed. Then I would pass in my detailed explanation to the oyster and fish. I would call his attention to the real visible examples of mating among the insects, birds, and domestic animals. I would call his attention to the father and mother of insects and birds as they build their cells and nests to receive their eggs when laid. I would call attention to the fact that food is stored up in the egg or cell for the young before and after it is hatched. I would call his attention to the fact that among the animals where the young is born alive, that the mother furnishes the young with food before it is born. If the child has witnessed the mating of the birds and domestic animals and this is explained to him in detail, the necessity for a detailed discussion of human mating will be avoided. The child could be informed that human mating is practically the same.

If the child is prompted by morbid curiosity, the task is a more difficult one, the ideal results are not so certain, but the above method is the only one that can be safely followed.

To be able to give sex and social purity truths effectively to children and youths, what qualifications should parents and teachers have?

(1) They should have tact or skill. It is possible to approach them in such a way as to do great harm. This qualification comes to one as a result of careful study of these subjects, the consciousness of personal responsibility and a realization of the child’s need of being safeguarded by a clear knowledge of the truth.

(2) They should be able to discard all words and phrases they learned from the ignorant on the street and playground. They should be able to use a chaste, simple, scientific sex vocabulary.

(3) They should be free from all mental and moral taint. No one can tell or willingly listen to a lascivious joke and then be able to tell effectively a child of his origin, the functions of his sexual system and his temptations and dangers in connection with them.

‘Would it be safe for all parents and teachers to give sex information to children?’
It would, if all possessed the qualifications mentioned. A thief is not the proper person to teach honesty to a child. A liar is not the proper person to teach truth. A tobacco-using father is not the one to teach his boy not to use cigarettes. A swearing man is not qualified to teach his boy not to swear. Occasionally a child is saved from one or more of these vices by becoming utterly disgusted with the vice in his father. The child is an imitator. The child is quick to detect the difference between teaching and practice. One must practice what he teaches, if he expects his child or pupil to accept and follow his teaching.
If parents and teachers do not possess these qualifications, what should they do?
It is their duty to prepare themselves for this service. Under present social conditions, they are not qualified to be at the head of a family, or to teach children unless they have these qualifications. Those who have these responsibilities upon them and feel that they cannot at present effectively perform these duties can secure the services of others or they can place in the hands of a child or youth a safe and interesting book containing what the child needs to know.
If a child is told these delicate truths will he not tell other children about them?
That will depend upon the nature of the child, the way he has been trained and the tact used in telling the story of life. Some children have inherited a gossipy nature and some have been unfortunately trained. They would. But most children would not seek to inform other children; they would not seek this information from the vicious when they know they could obtain the truth from parents and teachers.


The young man who would offer to present a young woman with a suggestive post card or book is stupidly ignorant or viciously immoral.

How young can a girl become a mother?
It would be possible but not likely for her to become pregnant soon after her first menstruation. If the ova should be fertilized at that time she would become a mother. In most cases the ova would be too weak for impregnation to be perfect. Should it occur, as it does in some cases, soon after puberty begins, it is always unfortunate for the girl and her child.
How old should a woman be before she becomes a mother?
She is not a matured woman until the close of her adolescence, which is about the twentieth year. Marriage means motherhood. Motherhood should not take place until she is matured or practically so. Marriage before eighteen should be universally discouraged. Children born of mature parents are healthier, stronger, and live longer than do the children of immature parents.
Is there any way to lessen the inconvenience and pain of menstruation and child-bearing?
Women of the savage races, women of the laboring classes of Europe, and to some extent laboring women of this country, do not suffer the inconvenience of menstruation and the pain of child-bearing that most women do. If our girls and women took more outdoor exercise, if they did not displace their sexual organs by tight lacing, if they did not abuse these organs in other ways in single and married life, they would suffer less of penalties peculiar to women. Habits practiced for generations become fixed characteristics and are transmitted to children. Hence part of the suffering of present-day womanhood is due to the errors of the past.
What causes displacement of the womb?

By reading Mother’s First Talk you will be able to fix in your mind the location of the womb and ovaries. You will find that they are near the center of the abdomen, just behind the bladder and are supported from above by long, broad and round ligaments. These ligaments are stretched across the abdominal cavity and are attached to the abdominal walls. The small end of the womb rests upon the vagina. This tube being flexible affords but little support for the womb. If a woman wears a corset, or tight waist band above her hips, the organs of the abdomen will be pressed downward. This is the principal cause of the womb’s being forced down into the vagina, bent upon itself, tipped forward or backward. The displacement of the womb interferes with the functions of the bladder and rectum. Leucorrhœa and inflamed conditions of the womb often follow. The fault is not in God’s arrangement of these organs, but in woman’s slavish devotion to fashion. Were all girls taught by means of charts the location of these organs, and their relation to the other organs of the abdomen, fewer girls would try to be like fashion plates.

Is there some natural method by which a woman can replace her own womb and avoid exposure, operation and expense?

Yes; if the following advice is followed early enough: Having removed your outer clothing, so as to give you perfect freedom, assume a position on the bed that will throw your hips above the rest of the body. This is easily accomplished by kneeling and then bending forward until the head and shoulders rest upon a pillow. Now contract the muscles of the abdomen in such a way as to appear to be trying to draw air into the body through the vagina. In this way all the abdominal organs are drawn toward the chest. When the womb falls into place, a gurgling sound will be heard caused by the air rushing into the vagina and the womb. This is the evidence that the womb has dropped back into its proper place. Now assume an easy position and be perfectly quiet for one or two hours. Then arise, dress and go about your duties. Don’t strain yourself or over-work. Very likely the womb will continue to drop out of place for several days. Keep up this method and soon the womb will remain in place.

Very likely you will not succeed in replacing the womb, the first effort. It may be several days before you succeed.

What are the causes of ovarian trouble?
The answer to the last question applies in this case. Anything that interferes with the menstrual period, such as taking cold, lascivious thought, secret vices; if married, sexual excesses. These conditions cause a rush of blood to the sexual organs, and this keeps them inflamed.
Should a woman have her womb and ovaries removed because of these conditions?

Only in the most extreme cases, and, even then, only upon the united opinion of several capable and honest physicians. In recent years operations for these troubles have been too frequent. A woman is never quite herself after one of these operations. If women were taught plainly and scientifically how to obey the laws of sex they would in almost all cases recover without an operation. It is generally estimated by hospital authorities that from sixty-five to eighty per cent. of married women who are operated upon in their sexual organs have been infected by gonorrhœa. In almost every case they were infected by their husbands who thought they were cured. In the initial stage this is usually treated by the wife as leucorrhœa; later she is treated by the doctor, or operated upon and the real cause is kept secret from her. In most cases an operation might be avoided, by going with her trouble at once to a doctor.

How may young women know they are marrying men free from venereal infection?
This will not be possible in all cases. A young lady should not become engaged to a young man until she is acquainted with his record. She could have her brother or father look up his record. Your family doctor, or some reliable doctor that knows him, might be profitably interviewed. When we have laid aside our mock modesty and foolish prudery and shall come to regard these questions in a practical way, matured young women will not hesitate to ask the young man for a statement from a reliable physician, showing that he is free from all communicable diseases.
What is the cause of pimples on the face and sometimes on a girl’s back from twelve to seventeen?
They are due to the change she is passing through. By some they have been considered as evidences of the secret sin [masturbation], but they are not, at least in many cases. Many girls have these bumps who are perfectly free from the secret sin. It is true that they may be caused in some cases by the secret vice.
What remedy would you suggest for these puberty pimples?
Tonics, lotions and cosmetics will do no good. Common-sense remedies may mitigate this evil. Avoid rich pastries and highly seasoned foods, take plenty of outdoor exercise, bathe frequently, forget your pimples and be cheerful and happy. This is the best you can do. Nature in her own good time will remove the pimples.
Is there a safe way by which a young woman can develop her bust?
Several methods are advertised. Most of them are fakes. The vacuum method is perhaps the least injurious. If a young woman keeps her body healthy, does not abuse her organs of sex mentally or mechanically, her bust should be normal. The greatest injury done by any of these artificial methods is, they lead a girl to be lascivious in her thoughts. By studying the lower animals we find that motherhood is nature’s plan of developing the bust. It is natural for single girls to have small breasts. There are some exceptions to this rule. It is, therefore, unwise to try to enlarge them.
What injuries may follow artificial development of the breasts?
Flabbiness, inability to nurse a child, tumors and cancers.
What effect upon the morals of men has the wearing of low-necked dresses by girls and married women?
All normal adolescent youths and adults possess sexuality. Occasional consciousness of sexual desire is natural. These experiences simply indicate that we are in possession of creative energy. If we keep control of our thoughts about the opposite sex, this energy will be converted into physical strength, mental brilliancy and soul beauty.

It is through the influence of the sex life upon the social nature that the opposite sexes are attracted to each other and their association is made sacred, beautiful, enjoyable and mutually uplifting.

God’s greatest blessings to man may be abused by misuse. This is preëminently true of our God-given sexual nature. Improper thinking about the opposite sex leads to special excitement of the sexual organs and results in conscious sexual desire. In the normal man such thoughts and wishes are awakened by suggestive and inviting environment. A dress that only partially conceals the breasts of a woman, that reveals the delicate curves of hips and limbs, has this influence upon the mind of the normal man. The normal man usually fights off these temptations. Sometimes they overcome him.

Few men are normal. Licentiousness is transmissible. Most men have inherited very strong tendencies toward lust. Most men have received an unfortunate training from childhood. This has led to mental sex perversion. Improperly dressed women are a special temptation to these weak men.

The time has come for a reform in woman’s dress. She should not dress in a way that makes her a source of temptation to men.

It is natural for a woman to desire the attention, courtesy, gallantry, respect, reverence and love of men. The normal sex nature in woman will develop those indefinable feminine physical, mental and moral charms. If she dresses modestly and becomingly, if she is discreet, versatile and entertaining, she will have her admirers.

Is there any relation between the nude in art and immodesty?
Yes and no. There are great masterpieces of beautiful figures of men and women, which stand for some lofty ideal, which represent some phase of ideal thought in life, some exposition of grace and strength, and, while they are nude, they are no more immodest than perfect landscapes. There are other famous nude figures of men and women which appear conscious of their nudity. Such have a bad influence. There are some ignorant or evil-minded people who would be injured as much by one of these classes of art as by the other.
Are there reliable tests of the virginity of a girl?
The only test which a man has a right to make before or after marriage is a modest demeanor, absence of familiarity, a pure state of mind and an innocent expression in the face and look of the eye. The physical presence of the hymen, or a flow of blood at the consummation of marriage, should not be made the test of a young wife’s virginity. In some cases the hymen is absent from birth and in others only partially represented. Where girls may have had leucorrhœa the parts are relaxed and no blood appears. In stout blonds the presence of blood is the exception and not the rule.
What is the relation of ‘spooning’ to the sex problems of young people?
This is a growing evil. It is the kindergarten to prostitution. Young people cannot engage in ‘spooning’ and maintain a pure state of mind. When the mind is engaged in sensual thoughts and wishes the sexual system is stimulated and inflamed by a rush of blood to those parts and passion becomes more or less intense. In this state virtue is in great danger.
What is the relation of suggestive pictures and books to the problems of sex in young people?

The suggestive sentences and pictures on post cards, bill boards, the novel and serial story all tainted with immorality; and in the moving pictures found in most five and ten cent shows, are positively pernicious. They lead young people to believe that hugging, kissing, lying or sitting on each other’s lap, and all other forms of ‘spooning,’ are natural, harmless and a necessary part of the entertainment among young people. The young man who would offer to present a young woman with a suggestive post card or book is stupidly ignorant or viciously immoral. If young ladies value their virtue and have the proper regard for young men, they will not accept such cards and book, nor allow them in their parlors. All women and girls and all virtuous men should protest against the production, sale and distribution of all books, cards, and pictures encouraging ‘spooning’ and the improper dress of the female as an insult to virtuous girlhood and womanhood and dangerous to the virtue of boyhood and manhood.


Is there a safe method by which small organs, due to the secret sin, may be enlarged?

Are men naturally more passionate than women?
The accumulated hereditary effects of the double standard for centuries and his acquired tendencies have made man more sensual than woman. Reasoning from the lower animals and from all natural conditions there is no reason why a woman should be less passionate than man. Centuries of false training in impure mental revelings, obscene language and vicious habits have had a growing tendency to establish lust in man. Most of man’s lust is the child of his own cultivation. If the double standard had never existed and men and women had been equally moral, men would be no more passionate than woman and both would be better sexed and far less sensual.
What are the causes of acquired sensuality in men?
The chief cause is wrong mental relations to matters of sex and reproduction. The following are contributory causes: The false impressions made by parents on the child; the half truths clothed in the most obscene language received from servants and playmates; obscene books, pictures, shows and the dance. All these lead to sexual excitement through the mind. The use of tobacco and alcoholic drinks tend to inflame the passions.
What are the principal causes of sterility in men?

Some authorities claim that twenty per cent. of childless homes are due to men having had certain chronic forms of gonorrhea. Excessive use of tobacco and alcoholic drinks produces temporary sterility. The secret sin, when continued for many years, often results in temporary sterility. The inability to become a father, due to one of the last causes, may be regained on one or more years of abstinence from the cause. Loss of reproductive powers due to gonorrhea, in most cases cannot be restored.

Eighty per cent. of sterility among married women is due to gonorrheal infection. In nearly every case they were infected by their husbands who thought themselves cured. From these facts we see that men, not women, are largely responsible for sterile homes.

Are occasional seminal emissions natural?
If men inherited normal sexual conditions and never violated sexual laws, it is reasonable to suppose that men would be as free from sexual losses as are the males of lower animals. But this ideal state does not exist with men. Nature has wisely provided for the escape of all surplus secretions from the various glands of the sexual system. This occurs without any special shock to the nervous system and the amount of loss is usually small. Often what is called an emission is but the loss of fluid from the seminal vessels and not from the testes. This does not contain true semen. Practically no harm results from these last discharges.
When do these emissions begin on a young man?

This depends upon the sexual development and the habits of the youth. In some it occurs much earlier than in others. If a young man has lived a continent life, he may expect an occasional emission when he is eighteen or twenty. If he has used narcotics, entertained impure thoughts, or practiced the secret sin, he may expect them sooner. All young men who practice the secret vice would have frequent emissions if they were not disposing of their surplus energy in this way. The young man who thus voluntarily gratifies his sexual desires is losing more energy than he would be doing if he were to discontinue the habit.

Among many letters received recently are letters from two young men living nearly a thousand miles apart. Their cases are very similar. Each began the secret sin when he was only six or seven years old; both were taught the vice by companions older than they; neither ever received a word of warning from a parent or teacher. One got to practicing the vice as often as seven times a day before he was thirteen. He is now eighteen and having emissions as often as four times a night. He has varicocele on both sides. The other one is now twenty-two, has practiced the secret sin as often as four times a day, and now has varicocele on the left side. Of course these are extreme cases, but they are more common than most people think.

Are there some young men who never have emissions?
It is no doubt true that all normal young men who are living pure lives have an occasional emission. In a few young men it may occur during urination and therefore be unobserved. A young man who willfully dissipates his energy as fast as it is formed, by means of masturbation or prostitution, may not have emissions. But let him stop his bad habits and he will experience them.
Are seminal emissions injurious?
Unnatural emissions are injurious; the natural emissions are not.
What is the difference between a natural and an unnatural emission?

The natural emission is a discharge from the seminal vessels; the unnatural emission is a discharge from the testes. The natural one contains no sperm cells; the unnatural one does. The first is wholly involuntary; the second one is due to sexual excitement caused usually by impure thinking. If a young man keeps his mind pure and avoids all habits that excite the sexual organs, practically all the sexual life formed by the testes will be absorbed. Whenever he maintains a high state of passion for several minutes, several hundred of the latent sperm cells in the epididymis will take on active life and be sent over to the ampullæ, and emissions under this condition would contain many sperm cells. This is why the unnatural emission is injurious. Owing largely to our artificial methods of living, when a boy is eighteen, the seminal vessels secrete more than can be absorbed. The surplus is thrown off from one to four times a month. This is nature’s plan of relieving the gorged condition.

How can one prevent too frequent emissions?
Such dietetic measures as eating non-stimulating foods, discontinuing the use of tobacco and alcoholic drinks, and such hygienic measures as emptying the bowels and bladder just before retiring, sleeping on the side, and preventing constipation, will aid in the control of emissions. But the most important measure to be used is that of mental control. The cure in all cases will be gradual and the time required will depend on the condition of the victim and his determination to conquer the habit.
Can seminal weakness or loss of manhood be cured by the use of medicine of any kind?
The idea that a young man suffering from this trouble, by opening his mouth and swallowing pills or drinking medicines, can cure himself is an absolute false hope. No intelligent, conscientious doctor will advise the use of drugs for seminal weakness. The only safe, sane and sound prescription that can be given one in this condition is a strict continent life, aided by pure thinking, proper diet, and hygiene.
Would you advise the use of any drug or medicine in case of seminal weakness?
Absolutely, No. I have no confidence in medicine for such cases. In no case place your trouble in the hands of a specialist who claims to cure seminal weakness. Your home doctor is your best friend when you need medical advice. No well informed doctor will recommend the use of drugs in such cases.
How may manhood be restored?
One suffering from seminal weakness must abandon the secret sin, get control of his mind, have only pure thoughts, exercise the mind along other lines, take plenty of outdoor exercise and avoid all stimulating foods and drinks, especially narcotics. If not a Christian, become one at once. A genuine conversion will be the most helpful means of bringing his mind to a pure state of thinking. Remember that the creation and distribution of this energy is largely under the control of the will.
How long will it take a young man to recover from the effects of masturbation?

There are so many things to be considered in each individual case that this question cannot be answered in other than general terms. The age when the habit was commenced, the age when the habit was quit, the frequency and the number of years of indulgence, the inherited constitution, the extent of lascivious thinking and the use or non-use of coffee, tea, tobacco and alcoholic drinks, all play a part in the correct answer to the question. I recall one young man of a frail constitution and a nervous temperament, who had practiced the vice two to four times a week for four years. He had nearly all the complications resulting from a greater excess and a much longer period of indulgence. He used coffee, tobacco, and had been addicted to much impure thinking. His will-power was weak. He had a long, hard struggle in breaking the habit. It required four years for him to recover. Here is a remarkable example. One of my correspondents, twenty-eight years old, began the habit at the age of eight and practiced the habit two and three times a day for twenty years. He had very few of the troubles following the habit of masturbation. Satisfactory recovery took place in a year’s time. He had everything to his advantage. He had inherited an ideal constitution and moral tendencies. He had never used coffee, tea, tobacco or alcoholic drinks. He had never allowed himself to indulge in obscene language, to read immoral books, to associate with bad company or to have improper thought about women. He had cultivated studious and industrious habits, and tried hard to live a Christian life. These ideal conditions had largely counteracted the injurious effects of the secret sin and made recovery possible in the brief period of one year. I regard this as the most remarkable case that I have ever had under my advisement.

Where one has practiced the secret sin from four to ten or more years and had the symptoms of greatly injured or lost manhood, it will require from one to four years for nature to restore his manly powers. Nature cannot counteract the loss of vitality and restore years of waste in a few days or weeks of time. Where one has been a victim of this habit for years he must be patient with nature. Years of practice have established a stream of waste from his body. In most cases it will require six months to one year for nature to check this waste. Until this is done, the patient cannot hope to be conscious of the delightful thrill of manhood being restored. Just here, I find many of my correspondents become discouraged. Failing to realize results in a few weeks, they are tempted to feel that the advice found in this book will not bring relief when followed, or that their case is a helpless one. They need to be patient with nature in her slow but sure method of producing real results.

What per cent. of children should be circumcised and when?
The best physicians are not agreed on this. Many would say one-fourth to one-third. It is best to do this when the boy is only a few days or weeks old.
Should a young man be circumcised after he is grown?
If the prepuce passes back freely and there is no irritation or soreness, I would not advise circumcision. If there is, I would advise circumcision. In extreme cases of the secret sin, circumcision would help in breaking off the habit.
Is there some method of dilating the prepuce and thus avoiding the necessity for circumcision?
Yes. In many cases doctors are able to break up the adhesions and dilate the prepuce as a substitute for circumcision.

In this matter most parents neglect their boys. When the prepuce is not passed back every few days and the secretion removed, an adhesion takes place between the prepuce and the head of the penis. A large number of boys labor for years, from the age of six to twelve trying to pass the prepuce back. They have not the right motive in doing this. It is impossible for them to handle this organ in this way, several times a day for months or years, without discovering the secret sin. In this way they dilate the prepuce and break up the adhesions. It is strange that this experience among boys has not suggested to parents the following natural and practical method of solving this problem.

Where the prepuce passes back naturally in babyhood, the mother should occasionally take a damp cloth and remove the secretion. When the boy is two years old the mother should have the boy trained to do this every two or three days.

Where the prepuce is long and the opening small, if the mother, every time she cares for the little fellow’s body, would endeavor to pull the prepuce back, by the time the boy is one year old, nine times out of ten, the problem would be solved. This should be done so gradually and carefully as not to produce soreness. If this is done before the boy is three years old sex consciousness and passion need not be awakened. I would not advise the mother to begin this after the boy is two or three years old.

Is there a safe method by which small organs, due to the secret sin, may be enlarged?
There are some methods advertised by ‘quacks’ and certain firms, but most of them are unreliable or injurious. The vacuum method is perhaps the most satisfactory. This consists of an appliance that removes the external pressure from the organ and allows the blood to rush into the capillaries. This practice must be kept up for a considerable time to be effective. While this is the most natural method, I would not, in any case, advise the use of it. Any method used tends to call the attention to the organs and this leads to continual sexual weakness. A restored virility is of far more importance than the size of the organ. Because this organ varies in size, many men who have practiced the secret vice to some extent, fear that this organ has become in a measure atrophied.
Would you advise marriage as a remedy for weak manhood?
No. One would simply substitute marital excess for excessive self-abuse or prostitution. If a man has impaired his manhood he should recover his manhood by conserving sexual life, proper diet and physical exercise for a few years before he marries.
What effect will a period of self-abuse have upon one’s offspring?
Perfect children are born of parents having a strong vitality. This vice weakens the vitality. Where a young man has noticeably injured his nerves, his vitality, his health, he should seek to regain his manly powers before he thinks of becoming a father.
Should a young man marry who has for a number of years practiced masturbation?
It is always best for a young man who has practiced the secret vice for five, ten or fifteen years to quit the habit and live a continent life for one or more years. During this time he becomes normal in his sexual life and sexual demands. If he has practiced the habit only in a very limited way, so that he is not suffering from any bad consequences, postponement of marriage is not necessary.
What should a young man do when he discovers that he has varicocele?
The approach of this disease is first noticed by a dilation of the cord leading to the epididymis of the left testis. When the veins become full of impure blood and feel like a handful of tangled earthworms and the left gland becomes painfully tender and begins to become much reduced in size, then the individual has a real case of varicocele. If, when the veins are only moderately large and there is but little soreness, the causes are abandoned, no serious results may follow. This disease is caused chiefly by the secret sin and impure thinking. In some cases it is caused by a bruise or the ‘falling of the mumps.’ The patient must abandon the cause; if it be the secret sin, quit it; if impure thinking, quit that; if ‘spooning’ with girls, a most common cause, be a gentleman and quit it.

Buy two silken suspensories, so they can be kept clean. The suspensory holds the testes up close to the body and prevents much of the uneasy dragging feeling. If this advice is followed for several months a surgical operation need never be necessary. Not one of several hundred young men who have carefully followed this advice have had to be operated on. If the patient fails to get relief and cure after several months of following this advice, he should consult a home physician.

Does varicocele caused by the ‘falling of mumps,’ lead to sterility?
It does not. If neglected, varicocele, however caused, may lead slowly to sexual weakness and this finally to temporary sterility, or inability to become a father. Prompt attention should be given to the advice found in the answer to the previous question.
When a testicle has become reduced in size can it be restored to normal size?
If in the earliest stage of varicocele, before the gland has become much reduced, the advice found elsewhere in this book is followed, the gland may become normal in size. When the gland has become much reduced in size, it will not be possible to restore it fully.
When a young man has become infected with venereal disease, should he treat himself with a patent remedy purchased in a drug store or send away for a remedy?
A young man’s money, health and life are too valuable to be jeopardized by resorting to either method. Most of these drug store remedies advertised in gentlemen’s closets are guaranteed to produce a cure in one to five days, and, it is further guaranteed, that the disease will never return. There should be a law prohibiting the sale of such drugs. They are an encouragement to uninformed men to visit the prostitute. When the young man finds that the patent remedy has failed to cure him, he is then perhaps in a chronic state of infection. Now the best medical talent may fail to produce a permanent cure.
Should a young man who has had a venereal disease in a chronic form ever marry?

Few questions are more important and few more difficult to answer. The right of being a husband and father may be annulled by inherited defects or acquired conditions. The wife and child have incontrovertible rights. The specific disease germs producing gonorrhea have been found in the genital vessels and ducts ten years after the victim considered himself cured, and the germs producing syphilis have been found in a man’s brain twenty-two years after he considered himself cured. Sixty-five per cent. of married women who are operated on in their pelvic and abdominal cavities, a very large per cent. of imbecile children, and eighty per cent. of blind infants are traceable to uncured infection in their husbands and fathers. Where the diseases have been properly treated and a cure has been effected in the first stage, no serious after effects will be experienced. Where the seeming cure has been effected several months or years after taking the disease, quite a large per cent. are never free from the effects. If such men marry at all, marriage should be delayed a few years after they consider themselves cured. At intervals of once or twice a year they should be carefully examined by the State Health Board. If no disease germs are found after two, four or more years, the individual may marry with some measure of assurance that he will not infect his wife or child. Even when these necessary precautions have been taken, children to the third and fourth generations may have to suffer for life for the sins of their fathers.

Can gonorrhea and syphilis be permanently cured?
If gonorrhea is promptly and properly treated, it can, in many cases, be cured without danger of return or any serious effects being transmitted to the wife or child. It is also a fact that in many cases of gonorrhea, even when properly treated, there is a strong tendency to run into chronic conditions. When the disease has been neglected or poorly treated, or when a case by its own persistency runs into a chronic state, many such cases are never cured so that they may not return in some form. Weakened germs have been known to remain in a quiescent condition in the genital ducts for years.

In recent years many prominent physicians have changed their views regarding venereal diseases, as they are now known to be more insidious and persistent than was formerly thought. Some physicians claim that syphilis may sometimes be cured; but many eminent physicians claim that it is quite probable that when one has once been infected with syphilis that his body is never entirely free from the disease germs. Some authorities claim that the syphilitic germ has been found in the brain twenty years after the disease was contracted. Many leading physicians now consider gonorrhea worse than syphilis.

When a man experiences a sexual desire, does that not indicate that the desire should be satisfied?
Sexual desire results from the conscious possession of creative energy. This creative energy can be disposed of in any one of the following ways: (1) For procreation; (2) Built into the body and converted into health, strength, labor and length of days; (3) Built into the brain and converted into mental attainments and achievements; (4) Built into the feelings, sentiment, emotions, and converted into sympathy, love and service; (5) It can be selfishly dissipated and reveal its misuse in a blighted, wasted life. What disposition shall be made of this creative energy is up to the individual to decide.
How can a young man judge of his sweetheart’s virtue?
In the same way that a sensible girl would decide upon the virtue of her best gentleman friend. She would consider his reputation, the company he keeps, his general demeanor and his facial indications of chastity. A modest demeanor, absence of familiarity, a pure mind, innocent expressions on the face, and look in the eye, are the only evidences of a young woman’s virtue by which a young man can be guided.
Would it be wise for a young man to test the virtue of his best girl by using the methods of the seducer?
How would he feel if he knew that some young man was practicing the same test on his sister? Not very comfortable, if he had a spark of manhood about him. There is no excuse for or justice in such a test. Under the pressure of the seductive methods used, promise of marriage oft repeated, a pure girl might be induced to surrender her all to the one she loves and trusts. As a rule, such a young man would then refuse to marry the girl he has ruined. If he does marry her, the mistake may mar their future happiness.
Would it be proper for a young man to ask his sweetheart if she has kept her virtue?
Certainly, if he can first assure her that he has kept his own. If he cannot offer a square deal he should, at least, be willing to take chances.
If a young woman is not a virgin should she be expected to confess this to her lover?
If it were customary for men to make such confessions, then it would be fair for a woman to do the same. Since men do not consider it wise or necessary for them to confess their sins before or after marriage, they should not expect this of women. If the question of virtue is raised, let the innocent party introduce it.
If the arm is not exercised it becomes helpless, withered and weak. If a young man should remain single for five to ten years and live a continent life, will not his sexual organs lose their function, wither and atrophy?
These questions appear to present a most perfect analogy. Based on the information the average young man is supposed to have, even if he be a college or university graduate, not one out of a hundred could extricate himself from the conclusion, that he must reach, viz., continence in the single life leads to a loss of the reproductive powers and to atrophy of parts. When we consider that this is the argument of the immoral doctor, the ignorant and the vicious, the classes to whom young men of the past have been compelled to go for all their sex information, it is not surprising that almost all young men hold to the ‘sex necessity lie.’ In the past, ministers, teachers and parents have not been in possession of facts with which to combat this sexual heresy.

The solution of this problem lies in the fact that the male and female organs of reproduction have two functions. One is a continuous and regular function, taking place day and night, asleep and awake. The other is a periodic and special function. To illustrate: The breasts of a woman are a part of her reproductive system. A married woman becomes a mother for the first time at the age of twenty. She nurses her babe at her breasts. This function is called lactation. But, it would have been possible for her to become a mother at fifteen and to nurse her child. Then, there were five years during which she did not perform the function of lactation, and yet, she did not lose this function. Suppose she does not become a mother the second time until she is forty. Again her breasts perform this special function as perfectly as they did the first time. But, remember, there were nineteen years during which she did not perform this function, and yet, she did not lose this function. The other sexual organs of a woman have special and periodic functions, such as, menstruation and ovulation. The normal performance of these special functions is determined by their general and continuous function.

If the female sexual glands, ovaries and breasts, were removed from a girl in her infancy, she would never develop the indescribable physical, mental and social charms of ideal womanhood. If these glands were removed at any other age under forty, she would lose in physical, mental and moral tone. This illustrates the nature of the general and continuous function of these organs. This function consists in these organs generating an internal secretion which, if not interfered with, will build and maintain a perfect womanhood. This continuous function gives constant activity to these organs; keeps them healthy and strong and prevents the loss of their special function, that of motherhood.

Day and night, asleep and awake, the male sexual glands are generating an internal secretion which, if retained in the body, will build and maintain perfect manhood. It is this continuous function that gives constant activity to these organs, keeps them healthy and strong and prevents the loss of their special function of reproduction.

What effect upon his sex problems has a young man’s keeping company with young women?
We have a social nature. It should be normally developed. The sex nature and the social nature are vitally related. Improper social relations lead to sensuality and proper social relations lead to purity of manhood and womanhood.

If a young man would develop an ideal social nature, he should to a reasonable extent, associate with modest, discreet and chaste young women. This is natural and in every way helpful. If a young man who has sexual weakness, due to youthful indiscretions, purposes reform and desires to regain his manhood, he will find association with young women of the above type to be very helpful. The normal young man, as well as the sexually weak, should studiously avoid association with girls whose actions, conversation or dress suggests impure thought.

What is the relation of ‘spooning’ to a young man’s sex problems?

A single example of ‘spooning’ will answer this question. January 19, 1912, a college young man, in a personal interview, explained that since April 14th he had been completely impotent and wanted to know of me, if there was any hope for him to have his manhood restored. I assured him that there was. He then asked me what he must do. My reply was, ‘That depends upon what you have been doing.’ I found that he had been guilty of the secret vice and prostitution to only a limited degree. Convinced that these habits would not explain his condition, I said to him, ‘The trouble is in your mind. You have in some way aroused and maintained a high state of sexual excitement for hours at a time and over a period of months or years. Can you explain?’ He confessed that for nearly two years he had spent two or three hours, two or three times a week, in company with a girl friend who permitted him to hold her hands, play with her hair, pat her cheeks and chin, kiss, caress and even fondle her breasts, but absolutely refused to permit further advances. Then I explained to him how this intense sexual excitement had brought on varicocele, loss of sexual power and spermatorrhea.

Spooning is a growing evil. It is more injurious than the secret sin. Our suggestive post cards, pictures on billboards, novels and serial stories, and the moving pictures in five and ten cent shows are all giving young people the idea that spooning is natural and expected as a part of the entertainment, when a young man calls to see his ‘best girl.’

The girl who permits spooning will lose many of her personal physical charms. The eyes that once sparkled with intelligence and glowed with luster become lusterless, stupid and sunken; the cheeks once rosy and plump become pale and poor; the handshake that was once warm and full of life, is now cold and lifeless. Health is gone. She ends her days in heart trouble, wrecked nerves or consumption.

If cohabitation is not a physical and sexual necessity, or conducive to health, why do married people live longer and have better health than those who remain single?
As a rule married people are more temperate in their sexual lives than are the single. But this does not prove that sexual gratification is ever conducive to health and long life. All nature contradicts such a conclusion. The embodiment of life in seed is a universal sacrifice. Many flowering plants wither, fade and die as soon as they embody life in their seed. If young fruit trees bear fruit too early in life, they are stunted in their growth and die prematurely. There is a suspension of growth in all the vegetable kingdom as soon as the function of reproduction is completed. Among the lowest forms of animal life, as soon as the eggs are fertilized, the animal dies. Among all the higher animals, including man, there is abundant evidence of some bodily depression and nervous exhaustion after each act of cohabitation, showing the act to be one of sacrifice. The arrested growth, susceptibility to disease and premature decay among plants, trees and animals, when premature or over-production occurs, are significant illustrations of the baneful effects of youthful dissipation of the sex principle and of marital excesses.

All nature teaches that the normal expression of sex is the unselfish act of embodying life in a new being and that means sacrifice. The story of the cross is typical of all nature. Christ sacrificed his life that humanity might have redemptive life through a process of spiritual reproduction, regeneration.

Through centuries of bad heredity, a misunderstanding of the nature and true function of sex and years of violation of sex laws have combined to give men an abnormal sex nature. It has remained for the people of this country to discover and apply the laws of heredity, to learn the true nature and function of sex and to restore to humanity a normal sex nature. The results of centuries cannot be corrected in one generation. Few men will be able to reach the ideal life, but it is the privilege of every man to struggle toward the ideal.

For young people to regard sexual gratification as the one reason for marriage is positively degrading and shows that our ideas of marriage should be corrected. There are many reasons why the married life is the ideal life. Man is a social being. He needs a companion. He is not complete in himself. He represents only one-half of a complete being. He is never quite satisfied until he finds the other half, the complement of himself. A demand for companionship is found in the very physical, mental and moral natures of man and woman. Their constant association, their mutual home interests and sacrifice for their children are very conducive to health, happiness and a long life.

What is the philosophy of the relation of sex to a happy courtship and marriage?
The sexual life forms the basis of these experiences. Without the creative principle, these social relations would be impossible. The love and magnetism that draw the sexes together in courtship and marriage, that harmonize their differences and blend their personalities and make the husband and wife one are the expressions of the sexual life. Young people who get the idea that marriage means unrestricted sexual privilege, will sooner or later land in the divorce court, or be compelled to live miserably together. If they live in harmony with the laws of sex, their honeymoon will be lifelong.

My subject is before you. While we may differ as to some minor particulars, we are agreed that the violation of the laws of sex is the most prolific source of wrecked manhood, and that a pure life is the only possible road to perfect manhood. I have tried to lead you to loathe and abhor all forms of sexual impurity and to form a purpose as lasting as life and as strong as death, that you will never again violate the laws of sexual purity. The attainment and maintenance of perfect manhood, the recovery of wrecked manhood, the transmission of potential perfect manhood to your offspring, all absolutely depend upon your faithfulness to the principles of sexual purity enunciated in this book. If the truths presented in this book keep one boy out of the pit of sensuality, or if they lead one poor faltering man to form an undying purpose to become pure, or if just one man finds help, strength and life through faith in Christ, the author is repaid a thousand-fold. It is a higher honor to wear a crown of perfect manhood than to wear the crown of an angel.


Most normal women seek sexual gratification to please their husbands or out of a desire for motherhood.

What is the primary purpose of marriage?
While there are several subordinate reasons for marriage, the one paramount reason is that of having and rearing a family. The only admissible reason for not having children is positive incapacity or mental and physical unfitness.
How many children should there be to a family?
The number should vary according to circumstances. Every child has an incontrovertible right to be well born and to be well cared for after he is born. It is far better to have three to six children, who have good heredity and who are properly cared for and trained, than to have ten or twelve unfortunately born and largely neglected. Where the parents are both strong and healthy and are able to support them, a large family is commendable.
Is it wrong purposely to limit the size of the family?
If no laws are violated and the limitation is made to safeguard the wife’s health and the best interests of the children, there can be no wrong done.
Does nature use any safeguards to the wife’s health and the right of children?
She does. The woman is sterile before puberty, after the change of life, in most cases during the period while nursing a child, and a few days between the menses.
At what periods during the month is a wife most likely to become a mother?
Just before or after the menses.
What would be a natural method of regulating the size of the family?
Have sexual relations for procreation only, or for a few days only, about midway between monthly periods.
Is the last always safe?
No. Impregnation with this precaution might occur, but it would be rare. If a woman’s menses are irregular, or if she ovulates at one time and menstruates at another, she would be likely to become pregnant at any time. This last case is very rare among women.
Are there other methods used?
Yes, but none of them can be recommended. They are unnatural. They violate nature. Those who use them suffer sooner or later. One of the most common is that of withdrawal. This has all the bad effects of the secret sin on both husband and wife. Injections and the use of artificial contrivances, while in some cases appearing to violate the laws of health but slightly, lead to excess and thereby become morally and physically wrong. In this way tumors, ulcers and other physical ailments and poor health may be produced.
What are some of the evil effects of over child bearing?
Among feeble wives, much of womb diseases can be traced to this. Puny, sickly and short-lived children are other results. Then there are some women who suffer greatly during pregnancy and each time their lives are endangered.
What is ‘race suicide’?

There are three kinds of race suicide, all of which are very prevalent among American born people, (1) The various methods of preventing conception. This is perhaps the most common. (2) Willful abortion, or prenatal murder. It is estimated that 250,000 cases come to medical attention annually. If this is true, perhaps 100,000 succeed in destroying prenatal life without medical attention. This would mean 1,000 prenatal murders daily in the United States. If these figures are true, then it is reasonable to suppose that 100,000 attempts are made that fail. Many of these unwelcome children inherit a tendency toward homicide or suicide. This is evidently one of the main causes of the appalling increase of crime. As a rule, men who have not learned self-control are more responsible for this crime than are their wives. This is a national sin, found in all grades of society. This sin cannot be checked until people learn self-control and all youths are safeguarded in their sexual development by being given a correct knowledge of sex. (3) The third form of ‘race suicide’ is the ever-increasing production of degenerates. The chief causes of this form of ‘race suicide’ are strong drink and lust.

How frequently should husband and wife have sexual relations?
There are three theories held by people. (1) For procreation only. Where both mutually agree and have perfect self-control, no harm can come from this plan. There is no more necessity for sex gratification in the married life than in the single. Those who have this self-control will be able to avoid all dangers, sins, and diseases incident to a lack of control.

There are some difficulties connected with this theory. This self-control is not possessed by the mass of mankind. Where one companion tries to force this view the other may be driven to marital infidelity, or family discord which may lead to the divorce court.

(2) Some consider marital congress to be an act of love. Where this is confined to once, twice or thrice a month and to a few days midway between the menses, except when a child is desired, no wrong will be done; the sacred fire of love will be kept aglow in their hearts, health will reign in their lives, the initial of each child can be intelligently planned for, his prenatal rights be respected, his nativity be warmly welcomed and he be given the best possible environment.

(3) The other theory is that of physical necessity, especially for man. Among the unmarried this theory leads to prostitution or the secret sin. Among the married it means legal prostitution, leads to marital excess, poor health of parents, loss of vitality, puny, scrawny, short-lived children and to ‘race suicide.’

Should coition take place during pregnancy?
Among the lower animals sexual indulgence never occurs during pregnancy. We are told that the savage races observe this law. Doctors differ on this subject. All agree that it should seldom occur. There is a growing conviction among some of the most eminent physicians that man should observe the law that nature demands of the lower animals and that savage man respects.
What injurious effects may follow sexual intercourse during pregnancy?
It robs the mother and child of the vitality that both of them need. Sometimes it causes miscarriage. If the initial of a child’s life takes place as a result of uncontrolled sexual desire and its prenatal rights are not respected, it will inherit sensual tendencies. The fact that it is recorded in the Gospels, with great clearness and emphasis, that ‘Joseph knew not Mary until after Jesus was born,’ has a redemptive significance for the human family of which but few theologians have ever caught a glimpse.
What is the difference between impotence and sterility in man?
The first is an inability to perform the act of coition. A sterile man may be able to perform the act of coition, but his semen contains no sperm cells, or at least, no healthy sperm cells. The first could become a father, if he could perform the act of coition; the second can perform the act, but cannot become a father.
What are the causes of impotency?
The inability to consummate marriage is very rare. Venereal disease is the chief cause of impotency. Malformation of parts from birth or accident, self-abuse, obesity and the use of opium are other causes. In many cases impotency can be cured. Where a man knows himself to be impotent he should not marry. Wives have a contempt and a most perfect aversion for impotent husbands.
What are the causes of sterility in man?
Sterility is much more common than impotency. Venereal disease is the most common cause. Excessive secret sin may temporarily deprive the semen of its fecundating power. Some malformation of parts is sometimes responsible.
Is the wife ever incapable of coition?
Very rarely. Excessive sensitiveness of the parts is the most common cause. In such cases, which are very rare, the sexual act would be so painful as to be wholly unbearable. Such cases require medical treatment. The sooner it is begun, the better. A very rigid hymen, or the vagina being partly absent from birth, or grown together from an accident, may make coition impossible. In the first and last case a surgical operation can remove the difficulty. Eighty per cent. of sterile wives, are due to gonorrheal infection received from their husbands who thought themselves cured.
Should husband and wife sleep together or in separate beds?
In many cases, owing to lack of self-control, it would be better for them to sleep in separate beds. If there is no other reason why they should sleep apart, and they have self-control, it would be better to sleep in the same bed.
Are women as passionate as men?
Centuries, of the double standard of morals, have established by heredity, more of passion in man than exists in the average woman. Among the lower animals, except where they have been forced into polygamy by man, the male controls himself fully as easily as does the female. Many women do not feel any sexual excitement whatever, others only to a limited degree. This is doubly true of women during pregnancy, and lactation. Most normal women seek sexual gratification to please their husbands or out of a desire for motherhood. There are some women who have inherited or acquired strong sensual natures.
Should coition take place during the menses?
Absolutely no. For sanitary and hygienic reasons, if no other.
What is the ‘climacteric’ period, or the ‘change of life’ in a woman?
This occurs between forty and forty-nine years of age. It usually covers a period of from two to five years. The menstrual flow often occurs every few days. This is often a critical period in a woman’s life. When this is completed they are sterile, or incapable of reproduction.
Should sexual relations take place during the ‘change of life’?
For sanitary reasons, it should not. For the hygienic reason, that it would most likely cause flooding, it should not.
Is there a corresponding period in a man’s life?
Yes. It usually occurs some five or ten years later and is more gradual. If he is well preserved he does not become impotent or sterile. The sexual appetite begins to abate and they no longer experience perfect erection. There are also physical changes taking place that make this period a crisis in his life. Certain brain affections, sometimes resulting in unexpected death, is due to sexual indulgence at this time. Many men do not know, that if they are to have a beautiful sunset, they must conserve their sexual life.
Is there any way to determine the sex of a child?
This is evidently governed by some definite law, which has not been discovered. Many theories have been advanced, but none are generally accepted.
What is the best season of the year for conception to take place?
In the spring. A larger per cent. of the children are healthy and long-lived than when the initial of their lives occur at other times.
What is the difference between an abortion and a miscarriage?
The first is where the expulsion of the fetus is willfully produced; the other where it is purely an accident.
Is abortion ever justifiable?
Only when it is done to save the life of the mother.
What are some of the causes of miscarriage?
Intercourse during pregnancy and nursing a child after conception are the chief causes. The child should be weaned as soon as a mother suspects pregnancy. Venereal diseases, straining at stool, over-exertion, physical accidents and ill health may sometimes cause miscarriage.
When does life begin in a child?
At conception. It is as much a crime to destroy the life of a fetus one day old as it is after its movements are felt.
Is it possible to lessen the inconvenience of pregnancy and the pain of child-birth?
Yes. Avoid all tight lacing; eat chiefly a diet of cereals, fruit and vegetables; take light, regular open-air exercise, of which walking is best, and have little or no intercourse during the time. Tight lacing has been the chief cause of the inconvenience and pain experienced by civilized woman.
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