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is impaired, sometimes permanently, and when a patient is at last
obliged to seek medical advice, he is thunderstruck at learning that
his sufferings arise from excesses unwittingly committed. Married
people often appear to think that connection may be repeated as
regularly and almost as often as their meals. Till they are told of
the danger, the idea never enters their heads that they are guilty of
great and almost criminal excess; nor is this to be wondered at, since
the possibility of such a cause of disease is seldom hinted at by the
medical man they consult."
"Some go so far as to believe that indulgence may increase these powers,
just as gymnastic exercises augment the force of the muscles. This is
a popular error; and requires correction. Such patients should be told
that the shock on the system each time connection is indulged in, is
very powerful, and that the expenditure of seminal fluid must be
particularly injurious to organs previously debilitated. It is by this
and similar excesses that premature old age and complaints of the
generative organs are brought on."
"The length to which married people carry excesses is perfectly
"Since my attention has been particularly called to this class of
ailments, I feel confident that many of the forms of indigestion,
general ill health, hypochondriasis, etc., so often met with in adults,
depend upon sexual excesses.... That this cause of illness is not more
generally acknowledged and acted on, arises from the natural delicacy
which medical men must feel in putting such questions to their patients
as are necessary to elicit the facts."
"It is not the body alone which suffers from excesses committed in
married life. Experience every day convinces me that much of the languor
of mind, confusion of ideas, and inability to control the thoughts,
of which some married men complain, arise from this cause."
[Footnote 18: Acton.]
The debilitating effects of excessive sexual indulgence arise from two
causes; viz., the loss of the seminal fluid, and the nervous excitement.
With reference to the value of the spermatic fluid, Dr. Gardner
"The sperm is the purest extract of the blood.... Nature, in creating
it, has intended it not only to communicate life, but also to nourish
the individual life. In fact, the re-absorption of the fecundating
liquid impresses upon the entire economy new energy, and a virility
which contributes to the prolongation of life."
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