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A Solemn Appeal

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    PRIVATE SENSUALITY

    “But we have not reached all the evils, if the worst form, of ‘excessive and perverted Amativeness.’ However prevalent both licentiousness proper and legalized licentiousness, private fornication I regard as at least equal to either, and much more prevalent than the first named. Our youth by wretched thousands,aye millions, too conscientious to violate the literal law of chastity, seek in solitude that same gratification which constitutes sensuality itself. The two differ in nothing except in the substitution of an imaginary partner for a real one - in the complete absence of that love which alone can sanctify this indulgence, and in its being all sensuality, as well as, if possible, a still more unnatural and effectual violation of nature’s laws. Do not both consist equally, in warp and woof, of sensuality? Is not the same propensity indulged in both? Are not the same feelings exercised, and in the same way, saving that its partner, so indispensable to both, is imaginary here, but real there? Is not the kind of gratification sought and afforded alike in both? Are not both precisely alike in debasing the character? The same feelings, the same organs, the same action in these organs, the same evacuations, except that private prostitution is necessarily more completely gross and lustful, as well as more injurious to the organs exercised; besides the far greater number of its subjects, and the far greater frequency of its indulgence. Is licentiousness debasing and polluting to the soul, and is not self-pollution even more so? Does it not create even a greater degree of shame, and self-abhorrence, and vulgarity? Does the former disease the sexual apparatus, and does not the latter equally, probably more? Does the former often produce impotency, and does not the latter much more frequently? Does the former derange the nervous system, and does not the latter equally, and fill the entire system full to bursting with a wild, hurried, fevered excitement, which rouses every animal passion, unstrings every nerve, and produces complete frustration and confusion? Does the former drain the system of animal energy, and waste the very essence of its vitality, and does not the latter equally rob every organ of the body, every faculty of the mind, of that vital energy by which alone it lives and acts?SOAP 240.2

    “In short, it is hardly possible to name an evil which appertains to the former, which does not also characterize the latter; whilst the latter by being so much more accessible, subjecting its possessor to no expense (but that of life), and no shame, because perpetrated in secret, is therefore the more widespread, frequent, and ruinous. Nor is it considered a sin (shame on those pretended moral watchmen who do not denounce it), and therefore not opposed by the terrors of conscience. Nor does that almost insuperable barrier of native modesty created in the soul of every well-constituted youth against licentiousness, avail much here,because its natural stimulant, the presence of the other sex, is not present to bring it into action. It is also practiced at a much earlier age, and while the system is yet immature, and all the strength required for growth, thus sapping the constitution in its infancy, and hence the more completely irreparable and fatal.SOAP 242.1

    “If asked my serious opinion as to the comparative evils of these two forms of ‘excessive or perverted Amativeness,’ considered collectively, as working the greatest ruin in our age and nation, and causing the greatest amount of suffering and wo, I should answer unhesitatingly, as the result of my extensive observation and mature conviction, PRIVATE FORNICATION- TEN TO ONE! And this is substantially the opinion of all who have examined this subject. If asked which I should prefer a child of mine to practice (O merciful God! deliver me from so dreadful a dilemma), my unequivocal answer would be, ‘Rather let my dear child DIE, be it even by revolting suicide. Any other cup of bitterness sooner!’ Nothing, O fond parent, can render your beloved offspring more completely wretched!SOAP 243.1

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