This section is from the book "The Transmission Of Life. Counsels On The Nature And Hygiene Of The Masculine Function", by George H. Napheys. Also available from Amazon: The Transmission of Life.
As a matter of figures it is difficult to answer, but there is no difficulty whatever in stating explicitly the laws of hygiene in the case.
The power of the masculine function in different men varies greatly. Extraordinary accounts are given by some writers, and individuals arc very apt to exaggerate their capacities.
It is well known that Augustus, surnamed the Strong, last King of Poland, had three hundred and fifty-four children, on which Carlyle justly remarks, in his History of Frederick the Great, that Augustus certainly attained the maximum in bastardy of any mortal on authentic record.
One of the Latin historians records of the Emperor Proclus, that in the war with the Sarmates he violated one hundred virgins in fifteen days. Such exhibitions of brutal lust are discreditable to the race, and nearly always disastrous to the individual.
In point of fact it is impossible for even the most vigorous man to repeat the sexual act more than five or six times within twelve hours. Should it be attempted more frequently no spermatic fluid passes, but merely a glairy mucus, often tinged with blood, or even pure blood. Pleasure there is none, and danger there is much.
Attempts have been made by legislators and divines to fix definitely a limit to the conjugal approaches which should be binding on all. The physician knows the impossibility of such a regulation. What one man can support with impunity will ruin the health of another. Each one must be a law to himself.
We have known men who for years hardly omitted a single night to approach their wives, and yet seemed none the worse. These are exceptions. If we are asked to give some general average which may serve as a guide, we should say that for a man past the first flush of youth, whose mind or body is engaged in regular labor as severe as that of ordinary business, once a week is as often as he can prudently expend his force in sensual pleasure; and often he will find it of advantage even to restrict himself more than this, as we have previously stated.
Generally speaking, the hygienic rule is, that after the act the body should feel well and strong, the sleep should be sound, and the mind clear. Whenever this is not the case, when the limbs feel languid, the appetite feeble or capricious, the intellect dull, and the faculties sluggish, then there is excess, and the act should be indulged in more rarely.
Those who observe strictly this rule will need no other, and will incur no danger from immoderate indulgence.
(Authors and Works Referred to. - Becquerel, Traite d' Hy - giene; Acton, On Prostitution; Dr. Storer, Is it. 1? p. 117; Jeremy Taylor, Rules of Holy Living, p. 50; Dr. Stein, New York Medical Journal, June, 1870: Dr. Napheys, Physical Life of Woman, p. 78: Dr. Laycock, Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science (May, 1869), on the Dangers of Libidinous Ex-ntei Acton, On the Reproductive Organs (p. 212), on Clergyman's Sore Throat; Thomas Carlyle, History of Frederick the Great, vol fi. p. 95; Muller, Ueber Unwillkurliche Samensverluste (pp. 50-62), on Venereal Excess.]