Did the Victorian doctors get it right?

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by mumchance, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. So someone just PMed me asking what the "self-pollution" in my counter meant. Self-pollution was the term used in old Victorian literature around the turn of the 19th century to refer to masturbation. I looked up the term and found an old medical journal from 1890. This is what it had to say about "Self-pollution":


    When I was reading this I was like, holy crap, this Victorian doctor is describing what we all know happens when we PMO! I've highlighted the particularly apt symptoms in red. What he is describing is social anxiety, loss of motivation, brain fog and insomnia, all symptoms we ourselves have experienced and are part of the reason we are on this forum.

    THEY KNEW ABOUT THIS STUFF AT LEAST MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS AGO! And yet everyone is telling us nowadays that masturbating is a healthy activity. What happened?! Why did we suddenly decide that these Victorian doctors, who apparently knew what they were talking about, were wrong? Is it just because every one does it? Is that how we are conducting medical science nowadays? If a large amount of people do a certain activity, then it can't be harmful, right? How can we be so stupid?
  2. Thanatos

    Thanatos Fapstronaut

    Well the victorian doctors were wrong about a lot of other things.
    Unfourtunately as humans we are catergorizers by nature.
    We think if someone is bat shit insane on one thing or most things then they must be wrong about everything. The case is no one is ever 100% right about every aspect and we tend to listen more if they are mostly right and if they say something totally off the wall then we throw out everything they say.
  3. KeenEye

    KeenEye Fapstronaut

    Great post! I hope I'll be able to find more on typing the keyword 'self-pollution'. Until this century, masturbation was regarded as a vice and in some places it was called self-abuse. I guess doctors started masturbating themselves and decided it was healthy. Is it so hard to realise that ejaculating our semen by having solo sex is unnatural?
  4. I think its more than that. Yes the Victorian doctors got some things wrong, but I think that in general we tend to dismiss the wisdom of our ancestors. We think we in the modern age are smarter and that people in the past, because they didn't have access to our technology, couldn't possibly be as accurate as we are today. But we are discovering, in a lot of areas, that your ancestors were right. Heck warnings against masturbation go all the way back to the beginnings of Taoism! It's generational chauvinism, that's what it is.
  5. Thanatos

    Thanatos Fapstronaut

    You are right mumchance about us discarding or dismissing the wisdom of the ancients.
    We have this false belief that we are more evolved and it does influence they way that we look at our past. We aren't anymore evolved then we were thousands of years ago.
    I think they didn't understand why things worked in regards to the body... they just knew that it made them feel better or worse.
  6. OurLiP

    OurLiP Fapstronaut

    They were right about some things, and this is definitely one of them. Hopefully the rest of the population at large can get on board, because the side-effects are not worth it.
  7. Phibz

    Phibz Fapstronaut

    Wine is good for some of us. It make you feel good and it is healthy on one hand. But it's detrimental to some. I'd be fine with masturbating regularly. But in my case, I simply can't.
  8. himmelstoss

    himmelstoss Fapstronaut

    They tried to deal with nocturnal emissions by putting rings around boy's penises that had spikes on the inside. When the patient's penis became erect the spikes would start digging in and wake him up.

    Meanwhile the women were allowed to practice homosexuality (boston marriages) while everyone pretended they were pure little angels (kind of like today)
  9. IGY

    IGY Guest

    himmelstoss - boys have spontaneous erections 5/6 times a night. I would suggest being woken that often every night would cause more brain fog than masturbating once every week to ten days! :eek:
  10. IGY

    IGY Guest

    mumchance - according to your red/black split in the quotation, the Victorian doctors got three quarters of it wrong!

    Also, could you explain the phrase, "generational chauvinism"? I don't understand what that means.
  11. himmelstoss

    himmelstoss Fapstronaut

    Here you go
    This one was introduced in 1880.
  12. I only highlighted the red because those were the more frequent effects, but people on these forums have complained about the others, including worsening eyesight, unsteady hands (experienced this myself),involuntary seminal emissions, weight fluctuations, pale skin and dull eyes etc. The only symptoms I haven't heard corroborated from people on this forum are blindness, consumption, spinal affectation, insanity and idiocy, though perhaps you can roll the last two into brain fog. Not saying the doctor who wrote this was completely right, but he described enough of the symptoms to tell me that he knew what he was talking about.

    And by generational chauvinism I simply meant thinking your generation has all the answers and past generations were unscientific idiots.
  13. DireWolf

    DireWolf Fapstronaut

    that was amazing, thanks for posting! they actually got it perfect, Victorian times were different in my opinion people were devout to learn, brave to go on adventures and see the world, wanted to do something to change the world!, that is why PMO was considered a degrading vice.

    our times i like to call, we live in the "age of greed", as in everything is valued in monetary gain, in an endless and predatory persuit, so the once called vice, now is "normal", well guess what its not normal for me, not anymore.

    great post!
  14. oberon

    oberon Fapstronaut

    Great post; I hadn't heard this before--I guess I assumed that PMO wasn't widespread enough in older times to be reported on medically. Fascinating that it was.
  15. willem20

    willem20 Fapstronaut

    I find it strange how often I discover an ancient wisdom regarding sexuality which is still applicable today, but has been forgotten ever since.

    Especially Eastern wisdom. Ever heard about 'semen retention'? It basically is just keeping your semen in, and all the positives that come with it. Apparently it was practiced by Samurais, a technique that has been around for ages, yet in this contemporain time so few know about it.. It's a pity
  16. Moxie

    Moxie Fapstronaut

    Growing up in the USA, I had health classes almost every year, Physical Education every year, and they reminded us every year not to smoke. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was well educated about the damage of smoking on the body. It was successful because I never became addicted to smoking. I had the sense not to smoke, imprinted on me from my education. I think society has a responsibility to teach us not to watch porn, and masturbate, because really its just as damaging as smoking cigarettes, and the psychological addiction to porn and cigarettes are very similar. Why not include in the very simple rubric for health classes information about PMO! Please. There are only a few things to know 1. Hygiene, 2. Excercise, 3. Diet, 4. Abstinence or contraception, 5. Don't smoke or do drugs, add 6. Don't watch porn and masturbate!
  17. The famous, funny definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Like PMO-ing regularly and expecting your problems to magically disappear. Doesn't that fits the description?
    (I know they meant different but still...)
  18. lifeistooshort

    lifeistooshort Fapstronaut

    wow. this just strengthens the case against this evil! thanks soo much for sharing!
  19. Haha, yes. I never thought to apply it to the scientific process however.
  20. e5s

    e5s Fapstronaut

    Okay. I'll give this a shot. I've bolded the claims currently backed up by anecdotal (but not scientific) evidence. The ones that are regarded by most folk as off-the-wall I've italicized.

    The blindness and idiocy claims have actually been refuted by scientific studies. No amount of self-pollution will cause blindness or persistent, measurable mental disability.

    You know what the Victorians got right? Association. Depressed, lonely, and socially awkward people are more likely to masturbate often. Victims of physical disability, when they have very little to occupy their minds and the good side of their bodies, and when they're socially shunned (as were all the case in Victorian times) are obviously more likely to turn to masturbation as a means of energy release.

    And as for the "idiots"? The archaic meaning of "idiot", used here, is a person suffering from moderate to profound mental retardation. Well, DUH. Why not masturbate if you have the mind of a 4-year-old in an adult's body, but with gonads a-blasting? Have you ever tried to teach a 4-year-old not to take from a cookie jar that's within easy reach at all times? Accepted practice is to move the cookie jar. And indeed, caregivers for the profoundly mentally handicapped often have to put their wards in clothes that prevent public self-touching, for the comfort of everyone around.

    So, yes, the Victorians were onto something, sort of. But correlation does not equal causation. So I say, do your own experiments with your own self. See how commonly accepted bad behaviors affect your mood. It's kind of like with artificial sugar. Some people can tolerate high levels of it (though they probably shouldn't) and others have to go full paleo to feel halfway decent most of the time. The science is still underway (and no, nobody's hiding the shocking truth, conspiracy theorists). We do what we can with incomplete information in the meantime.

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