In 1716, Dr. Balthazar Bekker published a pamphlet in London on the “heinous sin” of “self-pollution” entitled Onania, which warned that “self-abuse” would lead to: Disturbances of the stomach and digestion, loss of appetite or ravenous hunger, vomiting, nausea, weakening of the organs of breathing, coughing, hoarseness, paralysis, weakening of the organ of generation to the point of impotence, lack of libido, back pain, disorders of the eye and ear, total diminution of bodily powers, paleness, thinness, pimples on the face, decline of intellectual powers, loss of memory, attacks of rage, madness, idiocy, epilepsy, fever and finally suicide. Included in the pamphlet were letters and testimonials supposedly from young men ill and dying from the effects of compulsive masturbation. The pamphlet then goes on to recommend as an effective remedy a “Strengthening Tincture” at 10 shillings a bottle and a “Prolific Powder” at 12 shillings a bag, available from a local shop. Onania was a huge success with over 60 editions published and being translated into several languages.’

Dr. Balthazar Bekker

1 thought on “The Sin of Self-pollution

  1. Danger: Something everyone does.
    Symptom: “Spermatorrhoea” (wet dreams)
    Late stage: Every horrible ailment you can imagine (some of which are 100% imaginary)

    Seems legit.

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