A school of physicians has arisen which claims the orgasm as a most important function, beneficial, and justifiably attained by artificial means if natural ones are not available, including with apparent approval, masturbation and the use of mechanical and chemical contraceptives.
The chief evil of this teaching appears to be that it is calculated to leave the reader of little experience with the idea that orgasms are practically harmless, that excess is unlikely, and that if no immediate bad results are noticed the practice may be indulged in to about the limit of desire.
To understand this problem we must consider the endocrine system.
In the organism there are ductless glands whose function is to deliver energy. These glands and the varying power of their function, I conceive to have a most intimate relation to the orgasm, its need and nature. Where these glands work excessively we may have a condition of almost or quite maniacal energy, quite upsetting the usual inhibitions; or, at the other extreme, where their action is deficient, we may have depressions, weakness, melancholy, cowardice, neurasthenia. Sexual love inspires the ductless glands to action, which is one reason why it is so healthful and joy-inspiring. To those who have deficient action of the ductless glands, sexual love becomes most beneficial, giving strength, courage, optimism, because it brings their action up to normal, or nearer to normal. But to a man who has excessive action of the ductless glands, sexual love, or sex-relations, may so increase this that a painful tension is created even a state of emotional intoxication or madness that may be insane.
All sexual crimes, rape, jealous murder, outrages of "Jack-the-Ripper" type, originate in this sexual insanity caused by excessive action of the energy glands - or that is my theory. On the other hand bashfulness, impotence, occur where the endocrine glands do not work strongly, or work fitfully, and give rise to melancholy and an "inferiority complex" before the adored one.
The relation to the orgasm is this: In the normal man, under usual conditions, it may be conceived that the semen secreted is all absorbed as fast as secreted, no surplus accumulates, no pressure is felt. There is a steady, normal output of energy from the ductless glands, neither excessive nor deficient. That the semen can be and is absorbed I think is satisfactorily proven by the numerous instances where men have been sterilized by accident, disease, or intentional operation in such a way that the testicles are left unharmed, but the semen is cut-off from its natural outlet. After being once secreted only two things are possible - either it must be absorbed or it will form a swelling. It does NOT form a swelling, therefore it certainly is absorbed.
And the orgasm is not essentially a discharge of semen, for it is possible for a man to have an orgasm with no discharge of semen, and women, who have no semen, can have orgasms as violently as any man. An orgasm is essentially a violent emotional discharge of energy or nervous force. Fits of rage, weeping, etc. are often truly orgasmal, and in many cases serve as substitutes for sexual orgasms, as in hysterics. Where the ductless glands are excited to more than usual activity, energy accumulates in the nerves and a demand is felt for its discharge. If the thoughts are then sexually excited there will be a demand for a sexual discharge, especially if the excitation has been of a sort to cause the energy to accumulate in the sexual centers, causing congestion. For wherever the nervous energy flows the blood flows also and remains congested unless the energy is discharged or withdrawn.
Now observers report very differently as to after effects of orgasms. Some "feel like a sick dog," or report dizziness, lassitude, weakness, dimness of vision, perhaps vomiting or fainting, while others only feel relaxed and soothed or declare energy and buoyancy increased. Some can endure only one orgasm at long intervals of perhaps a month or more; others glory in daily orgasms or even a number at one interview. Even the same individual often experiences a wide range in power or in good or bad effects. How explain these differences in the testimony of good witnesses? I think an understanding of the ductless glands explains all.
There are those in whom these glands work with more than usual power and if the energy thus received takes the direction of the genitals for an outlet, such a one feels a tremendous need of an orgasm, and, if he has it, he feels it relieves and benefits him, and if his glands are excited by the sexual embrace they may rush more energy into the vacuum, even an increased amount, making repetitions possible until the pressure is lowered. During this the contagion of his emotions may excite the glands of the woman and she also may have multiple orgasms, or may have them anyhow because of her own endocrine flow.
On the other hand a man in whom the flow of endocrines, or hormones, is only normal may feel quite spent after an orgasm, demagnetized, and must rest before a repetition. If his glandular flow is weak and a surplus only slowly accumulates, then, if he repeats too soon, he may spend not only his too scanty surplus, but may draw on his reserves to a degree that may cause uncomfortable or even alarming symptoms.
But must the nervous sexual surplus find an outlet through the orgasm? Yes, say the doctors of the orgasmal school, or health suffers. Here is where I differ. They recognize a coitus completus, a coitus interruptus, a coitus reservatus, and I would add a coitus sublimatus, which may also be a coitus completus in another way. I teach an embrace in which, in its perfect realization, there is a complete dissipation of congestion, complete discharge of nervous surplus, complete relief from tension and a complete satisfaction. An embrace peculiarly suited to the weak, because its action is to increase the function of their ductless glands and to make strongly sexed individuals out of those previously afraid of sex or feeling themselves sexual failures; and which can also completely satisfy the normally strong.
But where the technique of the orgasmal school is followed this embrace can hardly be realized, especially by those of powerful surplus. For everything in their technique tends to create a local congestion which must find relief in orgasm or distress follows. A "mutual, reciprocal, simultaneous friction" must certainly produce this result. I teach an alternation of friction, one positive while the other is passive, or else mutual quiet, magnetation and sublimation being the object. With them the whole matter is sexual and tends downwards to a sexual conclusion. With me the sexual magnetism is generated simply as a current on which to carry the love message, or by which to create the love light, all to be sublimated upwards to a romantic, poetic, spiritual conclusion, satisfying sex incidentally. They would concentrate the energy on the genitals and I would diffuse it from the genitals throughout the system, from the sexual to the affectional, from sex-desire to romance, tenderness, spiritual exaltation and love, affording, I contend, more complete satisfaction than an orgasm, especially to the refined.
And their method requires always the use of contraceptives, or else observance of times and seasons (all such safeguards being conceded by the best authorities unsafe and unreliable), while my method may be used at any time, with "nothing between," and all of Nature's romance of touch unrestrained, with the certainty that where no semen discharges no conception occurs.
One believes he has discovered what becomes of the semen in Karezza - that it leaks backward and comes out in the urine. But better authorities claim that leakage of semen only occurs in diseased conditions, and not at all from continence. I think where the sublimation and absorption are carried to the right degree there is no leakage, but I think it possible that it occurs where the excitement exceeds the sublimation.
I am willing to concede that where the intercourse is of such a nature as to cause a congestion that is not sublimated, or where sexual congestion occurs and sublimation and magnetation are not available, the orgasm may have a necessary place. Perhaps it must be admitted that everything has somewhere its use.
The idea that when once the usual amount of semen has been secreted, secretion largely or completely ceases, only enough being secreted usually to replace what is absorbed, and this even under frequent or habitual sexual excitement, is, I believe, probably correct, and agrees with my own understanding of the matter. But ever and anon, with the usual man, a surplus does accumulate, is not sublimated, and an orgasm occurs.
The question of whether the woman's orgasm is essential to the best conception seems to have a new sidelight thrown upon it by the discussion concerning birthmarks and prenatal influence.
If, as most modern physicians seem to agree, there is no truth in the old theory of prenatal influence; if the germplasm is something separate, of which the individual sex-partner is only a carrier, as a postman carries a letter, but with the message within which he has nothing to do, then it would appear that the woman's orgasm or nonorgasm has as little influence as any other prenatal factor. Just as it would not really matter, so far as the message in the letter was concerned, provided it was delivered, whether the postman was quiet and normal, or had an epileptic fit at the moment of delivery, so it would not matter what the woman, or the man either, did or did not do, provided the ovum and sperm-cell were safely gotten together. Their motives and emotional states, according to this theory, do not count. Which would explain how a woman could be impregnated by the semen from a syringe; or bear a normal child even if raped; or if in a drug-sleep.
Again it must not be forgotten that conception, scientifically speaking, is the penetration of the ovum by the sperm cell and their coalescing. This rarely, if ever, occurs at the moment when the carriers are having their orgasm, but sometime after, often hours or even days after, at the moment when the sperm cell reaches the waiting egg. How can the previous orgasm have any effect then to devitalize him?
The idea that a child begotten where the mother has an orgasm would be more passionate or robust than where the mother has none may have a core of truth. A robust woman would, all other things being equal, be more likely to have an orgasm than a more mental type. This robustness, or lack of it, would likely be an inheritable character transmittable to the child as a trait of the strain. In other words, the orgasm would be a symptom of the mother's robustness, which the child would be likely to inherit, but would be in no sense a cause of that robustness or its inheritance. If the sperm-cell could get to the ovum of that woman, no matter how quiet she might be, the result would be just the same as if she had the most intense orgasm - unless indeed the magnetic state of the parents could have an effect to vitalize or demagnetize the germs, which is also something the sceptical modem physician rejects. Also her orgasm, in many cases, would be a symptom of her being in "heat," ripe for impregnation, but no matter how ripe she might be, if she were slow, the man fast, she could easily be impregnated without her own orgasm, with exactly the same results to her child. Which accounts for the well-attested fact that many women have been impregnated by the mere spattering of semen within the lips of the vulva. Finally, as to whether she did or did not get the orgasm would depend upon how much she was excited, not upon her procreative power at the time - as it is certain that a sterile woman may have intense orgasms.
To get the sperm-cell of a healthy male to the ovum of a healthy female is the one important matter in conception, and how it is done, provided it is effectually done, seems of minor importance, perhaps of no importance at all.
To sum up: The orgasmal school is honest but mistaken. Its fault is that it is a doctrine of the strong, only for the strong. Just as a wealthy man may spend money recklessly for a while and still not be poor, so a man rich in thyroxin and adrenalin may spend recklessly in orgasms for a while and not seem any the worse. And the method, taught by the orgasmal school is such that it creates a demand, by congestion, for the orgasm, which must then occur or bad results follow. But for a weak man to follow their advice is very dangerous and courts a nervous breakdown, while my method builds him up. That orgasms are weakening is easily proven. Just as the way to get real facts about alcohol is to consult life-insurance companies, so to get facts about the orgasm go to the stockbreeder. Business has no sentiment or prejudice. Every stockbreeder will tell you that to permit a bull or stallion to serve too many or too often is to devitalize him.