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involuntary seminal losses.
The masturbator knows nothing of this disease so long as he continues
his vile practice; but when he resolves to reform, and ceases to defile
himself voluntarily, he is astonished and disgusted to find that the
same filthy pollutions occur during his sleep without his voluntary
participation. He now begins to see something of the ruin he has wrought.
The same nightly loss continues, sometimes being repeated several times
in a single night, to his infinite mortification and chagrin. He hopes
the difficulty will subside of itself, but his hope is vain; unless
properly treated, it will probably continue until the ruin which he
voluntarily began is completed.
This disease is the result of sexual excesses of any kind; it is common
in married men who have abused the marriage relation, when they are
forced to temporary continence from any cause. It also occurs in those
addicted to mental unchastity, though they may be physically continent.
It is not probable that it would ever occur in a person who had been
strictly continent and had not allowed his mind to dwell upon libidinous
Exciting Causes.--The exciting causes which serve to perpetuate this
difficulty are chiefly two; viz., local irritation and lewd thoughts.
The first cause is usually chiefly located in the urethra, and
especially at the mouths of the ejaculatory ducts. Distention of the
seminal vesicles with a superabundance of seminal fluid also acts as
a source of irritation. Constipation, worms, and piles have an
irritative influence which is often very seriously felt.
Unchaste thoughts act detrimentally in a two-fold way. They first
stimulate the activity of the testes, thus increasing the overloading
of the seminal vesicles. Lascivious thoughts during wakefulness are
the chief cause of lascivious dreams.
Emissions do not usually occur during the soundest sleep, but during
that condition which may be characterized as dozing, which is most often
indulged in early in the morning after the soundest sleep is passed.
This fact has an important bearing upon treatment, as will be seen
At first, the emissions are always accompanied by dreams, the patient
usually awaking immediately afterward; but after a time they take place
without dreams and without awaking him, and are unaccompanied by
sensation. This denotes a greatly increased gravity of the complaint.
Certain circumstances greatly increase the frequency of the emissions,
and thus hasten the injury which they are certain to accomplish if not
checked; as, neglect to relieve the bladder and bowels at night, late
suppers, stimulating foods and drinks, and anything that will excite
the genital organs. Of all causes, amorous or erotic thoughts are the
most powerful. Tea and coffee, spices and other condiments, and animal
food have a special tendency in this direction. Certain positions in
bed also serve as exciting or predisposing causes; as sleeping upon
the back or abdomen. Feather beds and pillows and too warm covering
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