Introduction to “M” History

Vitruvian Man, 1492, Leonardo DaVinci’s sketch of a naked man.In my humble opinion there is nothing quite so strange, and amazing, as the history of masturbation, especially that of those who have opposed the practice. Preachers and theologians have thundered away about the need to “eliminate this great vice.” Doctors have described the most outlandish medical consequences of a self-induced orgasm, and prescribed the most bizarre cures. Natural health advocates have called for the elimination of the shameful sin, giving some of the strangest bits of advice.

This is a story of fear and loathing, of fantastical notions of right and wrong, and even the invention of frightful apparatus to prevent young men from doing one of the most natural things on God’s green earth. It is also the story of how the simple, wonderful act of self-stimulation became regarded with shame, and repented of with sorrow.

As we look back and see where some of our current attitudes have come from, it just may help us move forward to a more compassionate future.


 

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