This section is from the book "Handbook Of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science", by Henry S. Munro. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science.
Religious excitement encourages masturbation in both boys and girls. To excite the nervous system in one way encourages abnormal excitability in another. A young woman whose parents were religious enthusiasts confessed that she had frequently been stirred by a religious service, and as a result masturbated and felt that she had done nothing wrong. The temporary relaxation following orgasm relieved the nervous tension induced by the emotional religious service, and she felt decidedly more comfortable.
The sexual instinct frequently manifests itself in emotional religious meetings by a nervous young woman becoming ardently interested in the religious welfare of some particular young man.
A bride of two months became very much aroused by religious emotion, and, as she went forward to shake hands with the minister, her young husband rushed to her and before the entire assembly kissed her passionately for a half dozen or more times. The sexual instinct here manifested seemed to get beyond his control, but the unthinking audience considered this manifestation a beautiful exhibition of his Christian spirit. In many instances a young woman has mistaken the religious exaltation for what in fact was nothing less than ungratified sexual desire. To what extent religious feelings depend upon physiological conditions has not yet been definitely ascertained.
A physician on one occasion asked me in confidence why his wife had grown so indifferent to his approaches in the sexual relation. Upon questioning him, I found that she was an ardent supporter of a worn-out religious creed, around which her entire psychic life centered, and one which his scientific training had caused him to repudiate. The psychic inharmony existing in his marital relation had robbed him of all happiness to be obtained from this source, and he, still endeavoring to be loyal to her, was despondent, unhappy, and miserable.
Upon the discovery of a clandestine relation existing between a married man and a woman who was not his wife, I questioned him: "How can a man of your esthetic development live that way?" His response was: "This woman loves me, but my wife don't, and I'd sooner be dead than live a loveless life." He had a beautiful home, surrounded by shade trees and flowers, and three children were the result of his unwise marriage, but, rather than humiliate them by divorce proceedings, he had found a solution of the situation in a manner which met the requirements of his sexual instincts, contrary to the laws of morality and civilization.
To a highly educated girl, showing evidence of having had the home influences and social standing unexcelled by those to be found anywhere, who was living in a house of prostitution, I put the question, "Why are you here?" The story of her life showed that she was seduced by a man to whom she was engaged, having yielded to him out of the purest love, and after a most bitter disappointment had sought to drown her sorrow by plunging deeper into it, and finally had landed in the lowest depths. Many such examples don't mean to do wrong in the beginning. They are those who were not properly educated in self-preservation, and, without the necessary training in the guidance of the sexual instinct, had committed serious blunders in the pursuit of happiness as best they knew. There are thousands of such cases that are martyrs to the ignorance that is prevalent on account of the false modesty exhibited by educators in regard to the laws of natural morality.
Healthy physiological functions and demands make the foundations for sexual feelings. They belong to all healthful, normal human beings as a part of human nature, and are not sinful, nor do they exist in opposition to all that is noble in man or woman. They are not indications of a low order of personality, but are of the greatest importance for the welfare and happiness of the human race, designed by nature for the preservation of the species. Man or woman could not exist without them, but, if they are to be a source of happiness, beauty, pleasure, and joy, as they should, they should be held within proper limits by intelligent guidance.
A young merchant sought to know why his wife did not enjoy the sexual relation. Upon further inquiry it was found that orgasm with him was premature, the act not consuming more than a half minute for its completion. Though married four years, and the mother of one child, she had never experienced pleasurable sexual intercourse. She had, as the result of this abnormal relation, suffered from various functional disturbances, for which she had been treated by various methods to no avail, and finally became morose and unhappy, and dissatisfied with everything in life. Her husband submitted to treatment for a condition which was the result of masturbation, and life to both himself and his wife was afterward fraught with a happiness, zest, and buoyancy of spirits which they had never known before.
A further enumeration of types of cases illustrative of the human misery resulting as a consequence of the prevalent ignorance in regard to the sexual instinct is unnecessary to give emphasis to the necessity for the more universal dissemination of ideas concerning its proper guidance. It is necessary for health, as well as morals, that the sexual function be intelligently guided. It is equally, if not more, essential to the welfare of the human race that the individual submit to a rational mental and sexual hygiene, as that he should be taught sound rules concerning dietetics, exercise, and other methods of cultivating the moral and intellectual qualifications which contribute to the betterment of the entire human organization.
It is immoral for moralists to attempt to suppress the normal activity of the functions of the human organization, even though it is done with the best intentions and with the belief that it qualifies the individual for the attainment of happiness in another life.