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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Check out this 1861 Victorian sex manual

The proper time for sexual indulgence is an important consideration, inasmuch as carelessness in this respect may tend to dyspepsia, indigestion, and other affections of the stomach. Persons who are predisposed to such diseases should never have sexual intercourse just before eating, nor very soon after a full meal. Its peculiar effect on the stomach is calculated to weaken digestion, particularly on the part of the male; and many a miserable dyspeptic might trace his unhappiness to imprudent acts of sexual intercourse. From two to three hours after or before eating a full meal, is the proper time for this business.
Another excerpt:
When a man is performing this act, if his thoughts wander, the product will be feeble, and if his wife become pregnant the offspring will be inferior. This fact is applied to the offspring of great geniuses, who are supposed to be thinking of something else when they beget their children, and hence their descendants are often much below them in intellect. In further confirmation of this theory, history informs us that some of the greatest men the world ever saw were bastards—children begotten with vigor, and when the minds of the parents are supposed to have been absorbed in the one idea of a loving sexual embrace.
And this:
Amorous females generally breed female children, while those of a colder temperament breed boys. When both are moderate in their desires, children of both sexes are produced. When the female is unnaturally amorous, (and such cases frequently occur,) she seldom becomes impregnated at all. The following mode of influencing the sex of the child, some physiologists assert, is really effective, and it looks reasonable.
 Plus the usual warning about the evils of masturbation:

It was not our intention in this work to speak of Onanism and Masturbation. These unnatural practices are so generally known to be destructive to the sexual powers, and of health, that young people scarcely need advice on the subject. But it may be interesting to know the results of such practices, and of the abuse of the sexual organs by over indulgence. Some constitutions experience a sort of consumption which arises from the dorsal portion of the spinal marrow. No fever accompanies it, the appetite continues good, but the patient gradually wastes away. Women thus affected describe a crawling sensation down the spine. Men lose their seminal fluid in their urine, having a ringing in the ears, a weakness of vision, near- sightedness, and their intellectual capacities are weakened and confused. In short, the whole nervous system is generally prostrated. Excess of venery is likewise the first exciting cause of many painful diseases, such as rheumatism, neuralgia, epilepsy, convulsions, &c.
A link to the book is here, and this page has links to the full text in various formats. Via Paris Review.

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