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The Importance Of Virility

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

No one can estimate the value of strong manhood. It is a physical asset that is beyond valuation, and beyond price. Vigorous manhood may come to one naturally through inheritance, and in the first flush of youth one may enjoy the turbulent exaltation that comes with the supreme force of superb virility without giving any special thought to the matter; but you can rest assured that if this splendid possession is retained even to middle age, you must have adhered, at least to a reasonable degree, to the laws that govern the retention of manly powers.

The advantage of being a perfect man—vigorous, resourceful, fearless! Who can describe it? Can we attempt to define this glorious possession in mere words? No! Manhood is the crowning glory of a masculine career. Some reach the zenith of its splendid heights through good birth. Others,less fortunate, are compelled, to a certain extent, to develop these valuable powers. But whether you have cultivated and developed them, or have come by them through the blessing of vigorous inheritance, the importance of the knowledge associated with the development and maintenance of virile manhood cannot be too strongly emphasized. Every man should desire to know the rules of health which favor the building of a high degree of virility. He should know those laws which must be observed in order to retain his manhood. There is no phase of life in which knowledge is more sadly needed.

In taking up a subject of this character it is necessary, in the first place, that we should approach it from the proper point of view. It is absolutely essential that we should regard it with pure minds rather than from the militant morality and foul-minded viewpoint of the prude. The impure mental attitude toward sex and sex problems, with the prudery and ignorance that have grown out of it, has been responsible for more human suffering, weakness and tragedy than all the wars of the world.

"To the pure in heart, all things are pure." But to the prude the most sacred facts of life are vulgar and impure. Prudery is simply the _expression of an unclean_ state of mind suppressed artificially and in its very nature depends upon pruriency and a perverted mental attitude toward the most holy of all functions. The more conspicuous the pose of prudery, as a rule, the greater is the impurity of mind thereby indicated.

Remember that there is nothing and can be nothing inherently unclean in sex. The sexual life is simply one of the great forces of -nature. It represents merely the divine plan by which life is perpetuated upon the earth. If there is anything sacred in this world, it is surely the function of reproduction. It is the highest of all functions. It is the most important of all functions. These facts are beyond the possibility of contradiction. And for this reason there can be nothing inherently evil in sex passion. Let us have a clear and definite under-standing upon this point. The sex instinct is simply the race instinct, the instinct of racial self-preservation.

There is nothing impure in sex, but there is in the abuse of it. Indecency is simply a question of behavior, and cannot possibly be an attribute of any part of the body. The body has been rightly termed the "Temple of God." Impurity, if present, lies in the contemplating mind, and not in the body, or in any part of it. Sex passion has often been referred to as our animal nature or lower nature. This conception is the natural result of the perverted point of view that has been fostered through prudery. The minds of civilized men and women have been saturated with this form of mental poison, but it requires only a little common sense to see not only the absurd but even the blasphemous character of such a view. The sex instinct is the source of all that is sweet, beautiful and ennobling in the love of man and woman. It is the divine force that brings them together, and that holds them together. It is only the abuse of the function that one needs to be ashamed of—a question of misbehavior. And it is only when the mental attitude is wrong, and sexuality is without restraint, that it becomes sensuality.

With this fundamental understanding as to the proper attitude of mind toward the whole subject, we may consider the various problems associated with it seriously, earnestly and honestly.

To be strongly sexed means to be thoroughly alive, to be vital, to be vigorous in every other respect as well. To be strongly sexed does not mean the possession of mere localized strength in the reproductive system, for sex is related to the entire organism, the mind as much as the body. Remember that sexuality is not merely a physical quality. It is a quality expressed as much in the mind and spirit as in the emotional body. It pervades one's entire being. And it is partly for this reason that the subject is of such all-embracing importance.

The importance of the sexual glands as a factor in the all-round strength of the body and mind is not generally understood. For in addition to their special function of reproduction they supply what is often called an "internal secretion," the importance of which in the general bodily economy cannot be overestimated. In this respect they are like the so-called ductless glands, which have an importance in the bodily processes out of all proportion to their size. The thyroid gland, for instance, has a function in the regulation of various processes so important that when it is lacking in childhood, or its function seriously impaired, the result is a lack of physical and mental growth, lack of resistance, and a form of idiocy known as cretinism. Another tiny ductless gland, the pituitary body, has a similarly mysterious but profound influence on growth, strength and health. In the same way the sexual glands in both sexes are vitally related to the strength and growth of the body as a whole.

How important these sexual glands are, and just what virility means in relation to strength of mind and body,is made clear by the condition of those deprived of them in childhood. The operation of removing the testicles is known as castration, and a person so emasculated is known as a eunuch. Castration is a practice not uncommon in parts of the Orient. It is usually performed upon the persons of slaves. The lesson taught by the eunuch is found in his lack of all manly qualities, both physical and mental. His high-pitched, childish voice, undeveloped body; physical weakness, lack of vital resistance and short life all indicate clearly the importance of the glands of which he has been deprived. The beard does not grow, as in the case of the virile man, the voice does not change, the muscles lack density and firmness and the nerves are weak—all of these conditions indicating a lack of general constitutional vigor due to the loss of the "internal secretion," the substances normally supplied to the living fabric by the testicles.

And what is, perhaps, of even greater importance, the effect upon the mind is just as serious as upon the body. The eunuch is never more than the merest child mentally. He lacks courage. He lacks ambition. He lacks the power of mental concentration. He lacks every mental quality that distinguishes men of great virility.

The same lesson is to be gained from a study of castrated animals. Compare the meekness and weakness of the ox with the spirit and power of the fiery bull. Compare the spirit and physical energy of the stallion with the mild qualities and lesser strength of the gelding. It is well known that horses are castrated simply to make them tame and safe for driving. Emasculated pigs produce fat in larger quantities than normally, which means that they are less firm and vigorous than in their natural state, and constitutionally inferior. When fawns are castrated before the appearance of their horns the latter do not grow at all. The mere question of horns may not seem important, but such conditions indicate deep-seated constitutional deficiencies, and they accompany similar deficiencies of mind and spirit. Certainly you, reader, would not wish to undergo such an operation in order to make you "tame" and capable of "easy and safe driving."

These facts are all important as showing the value of virility. Any weakening of this power means a weakening of mental capacity, a diminution of courage and of all other qualities that go with superior manhood. Weakened sexuality means a lack of ambition, a lack of enthusiasm, a lack of energy—in fact, a lack of everything that makes life worth living.

Now, castration is not practiced in civilized communities. But there are abuses and vices which accomplish gradually the same result, that is to say, as is attained suddenly by this operation. It is partly the purpose of this book to make clear the influence of these abuses. Those who might shrink with horror at the suggestion of such unsexing by operation, do, nevertheless, proceed at times to gradually bring about a similar result. The fact is that any abuse of the organs of sex will tend to impair their power. This lesson cannot be too strongly emphasized and these abuses will be, considered in detail in later chapters.

It is absolutely necessary to live a clean life and a normal life in order to maintain the health of the sexual glands and the superb mental and physical powers that go with them. This is more important in youth than at any other period, though the rule applies throughout one's entire adult life. One cannot violate the laws of life in this respect and escape the punishment. It is necessary to reach maturity with these powers unimpaired, and thereafter to continue to avoid abuses in order to attain and retain the mental alertness and energy, the courage, the self-confidence, the ambition, and also the physical stamina that characterize true manhood.

If you are not a man, what are you? To be a male and not a man, to wear the clothes indicative of the male sex and realize that you are masquerading—a hypocrite, a pretender—is indeed a torturous experience. But remember that if you really are a man in every sense of the word, then you are in possession of all the forces that go with superior virility—for virility is nothing more than the physical _expression of manly qualities. You cannot possibly possess these superior qualities without being virile. It may be definitely and positively stated that every superior quality of mind and body is to a large extent dependent upon the characteristics and emotions associated with strongly sexed manhood.

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