Today we're going to continue talking about Naughty Victorians - but
this time we're going to concentrate on those who tried to curb the naughtiness. Like last week all information has been found in the wonderful research book, SEX IN THE CIVIL WAR: THE STORY THE SOLDIERS WOULDN'T TELL, by Thomas P. Lowry, Stackpole Books, 1994 (A must have in my opinion)
From the mid-1800s women (and men) faced a flood of mis-information about sex. Masturbation was considered a disease so vile,that Sylvester Graham (of the Graham Cracker) warned of the horrid results of self-stimulating: debasement of the mind, destruction of the moral faculties, self-loathing, physical decay, insanity, and finally, suicide. Graham's beliefs were "confirmed" by leading psychiatrists of the day.
In 1861, James C. Jackson, in his his book, THE SEXUAL ORGANISM, identified female masturbators by a peculiar wiggle of the hips as they walked! In 1858, William Alcott warned that masturbation was more dangerous than childbirth and that sex at night was harmful.
THE LOVER'S MARRIAGE LIGHTHOUSE, Harmon Root's 1858 guide, included the usual cautions against "oneness" (like it caused more sickness than all other causes combined) but also cautioned against the use of d**dos.
The NEW ORLEANS MEDICAL AND SURGICAL JOURNAL, 1867, stated that if a sewing maching operator pressed her thighs together and pedaled rapidly the friction could produce an orgasm. The author warned shop(factory) foremen to listen for "runaway sewing machines". . .
So what have we learned from this?
In the 18800s you'd better keep both hands where people could see them;)
All info: SEX IN THE CIVIL WAR: THE STORY THE SOLDIERS WOULDN'T TELL, Thomas P. Lowry, M.D.