It is scarcely possible to take up a newspaper, eves? in our remotest country towns, where the weekly circulation has reached only a few hundred copies, in which we do not find advertisements making de lusive promises to all unfortunate sufferers of a sure and speedy cure, to be effected in a few days, of pre mature decay, lost manhood, impotence, and all debility of the sexual organs. There is in all this advertised deception a sad story of suffering and need; but the lying glamor which deceives so many into the wholly false idea that sexual diseases of whatever character, even the worst forms of syphilis and entire loss of virile power, are easily overcome, especially when brought about by youthful indiscre tion, helps to keep the ranks of such sufferers full.
No more deadly delusion can be disseminated, and every parent, teacher, and guardian in our land should know the truth and take pains to counteract the baleful influences of such falsehoods. When we remember that states of thought and feeling stir the sexual desires to their intensest activity, and have power in this way to drain rapidly the deepest foun tains of life-force, we can readily see that early or frequent sexual indulgence, mental or physical mas turbation, and those incessant activities of the aphro disiac feelings that find little rest save the temporary relief of indulgence, may become potent causes of nervous exhaustion, sexual weakness, and impotence. Over-excitability and intensity of sexual feeling is not only the sign of weakness, but everything which keeps up this excitement only urges to excess, and consequently greater loss of power. All the forms of spirituous liquors and tobacco tend to produce greater excitability of these feelings, as well as gen eral nervous irritation, as shown most clearly by the depression which follows upon their withdrawal. In the fullest strength, and under the most favor able conditions in marriage, any but the most mod erate activity of this great central drainage of power is always excess; and in a low state of the system, where there is deficient strength, as in nervous ex haustion, sexual excitement and its indulgence should be forsworn entirely. In all the history of medi cine we find the victim of excess seeking the physi cian for some potion to rouse the half-extinct virile sensibilities, but all such stimulation is only playing the death march of creative power in double quick time. Maintenance of the mental and bodily health of the entire man is necessary to full virility, care fully maintained self-control from early childhood, securing coolness and balance of nerve power, being, next to good health, the secret of its preservation.
Injuries of the spine, especially the lower half, from blows, falls, or overstrain, produce weakness and sometimes entire loss of action in the sexual organs.
Heavy work, or lifting until the lower part of the back becomes very tired, and its sudden chilling by sitting upon the ground, may cause, in persons of rheumatic tendencies, impotence as permanent as the spinal congestion. Blows or other injuries upon the back of the head may result in an insane activity of the creative powers, or hopeless impotence.
Non-descent of the testes, being retained in the abdomen from birth, is an incurable cause of impo tence.
Constitutional disease causing soreness or irrita tion of the urethra or bladder, of the lower bowels, or any portion of the procreative organs, such as eruptions upon the scrotum, ascari des, piles, or chronic diarrhoea, may induce tempo rary loss of sexual power. If the general and local condition be improved, and the brain and spine are sound, many cases of impotence are entirely curable. The cure of syphilitic disease in external organs of generation sometimes leaves weakness in that portion of the spine from which the nerves which supply those organs take their origin. A few attacks of gonorrhoea cured (?) apparently in a short time, and seeming to the patient, at the time, of little moment, always leaves a more or less debilitating effect upon the back and interpelvic nerves, paving the way for permanent weakness, though often not recognized until too late. There are methods of treating the diseases we have been considering which are not wise, although they seem at the time successful, and for this reason I would urge those who suffer to go frankly and at once to the trusted family physician, or to some one to whom he would recommend him,— not to strangers, for at no time do they need more trustworthy friends and counsellors.
Shame and fear of exposure drives many an unfor tunate away from home for medical treatment, only to become the prey of those untrustworthy charlatans who feed upon the fears and sufferings of those who trust them. While there is no one cause more cer tain in its destruction of virility than excessive sexual indulgence, — the crime of Sodom, masturba tion, or sensual emotion habitually indulged, whether in man or woman, — the fact is often disbelieved be cause the evil results in strong constitutions may not be seen at once.
It is the children of such, if they become parents, upon whom the heavy burden falls, in a greatly lim ited vitality, with sexual precocity, early puberty, and an excitable, even insane, sensuality, which brings early and premature decadence of creative power.