‘The Fatal Consequences of Masturbation’ Explained in a Book From 1830


‘The Fatal Consequences of Masturbation’ Explained in a Book From 1830

'The Fatal Consequences of Masturbation' Explained in a Book From 1830
‘The Fatal Consequences of Masturbation’ Explained in a Book From 1830

Dying at 17 is just one of the fatal consequences of masturbation explained in a book from 1830. The book starts with a warning to all young French men who couldn’t abstain from touching themselves: “He was young and handsome, his mother’s pride and joy…”

The name of this incredibly surprising anti-masturbation guide from 1830 is ‘Le livre sans titre’ (‘The book with no title’). You can imagine that back in the 1800’s, masturbation was not a topic people would discuss regularly. This subject was considered taboo and people considered it a malady which lead to early death, according to most moralists and physicians.

Dr. Balthazar Bekker called it out as BS and in 1716 he published one of the most thought provocative pamphlets ever written until then, discussing the ‘heinous sin’ of ‘self-pollution’ called ‘Onania’. Readers learned that self-touching would almost definitely 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.

‘He was young and handsome…his mother’s hope.’
‘He became corrupted! Soon his crime makes him old before his time. His back becomes hunched.’
‘A devouring fire burns up his entrails; he suffers from horrible stomach pains.’
‘See his eyes once so pure, so brilliant: their gleam is gone! A band of fire surrounds them.’
‘He can no longer walk; his legs give way.’
‘Dreadful dreams disturb his rest; he cannot sleep.’
‘His teeth become rotten and fell out.’
‘His chest is burning up. He coughs up blood…’
‘His hair once so beautiful is falling out like an old man’s; early in life he is becoming bald.’
‘He is hungry and wants to eat; no food will stay in his stomach.’
‘His chest is buckling. He vomits blood.’
‘His entire body is covered with pustules, he is a horrible sight!’
‘A slow fever consumes him. He languishes; his entire body is burning up.’
‘His body is becoming completely stiff! His limbs stop moving.’
‘He raves; he stiffens in anticipation of coming death.’
‘At the age of 17, he expires in horrible torments.’

However, this ingenious pamphlet still wasn’t enough to change the elevated minds of the period into realizing that masturbation is a normal and natural thing. After almost 30 years, in ‘A Medicinal Dictionary’, in 1745, Dr. Robert James clearly stated that onanism was one of “the most deplorable and generally incurable disorders.”

Physician Samuel-Auguste Tissot wrote in ‘L’Onanisme’ that semen was an essential body oil that should not be wasted on masturbation because it could lead to:

…a perceptible reduction of strength, of memory and even of reason; blurred vision, all the nervous disorders, all types of gout and rheumatism, weakening of the organs of generation, blood in the urine, disturbance of the appetite, headaches and a great number of other disorders.

Still, even today, we have people preaching about the harmful physical effects of masturbation. Luckily, we live in a time where modern science completely outcasts these pseudo-scientists.

‘The book with no title’ aka ‘Le livre sans titre’ was found by Jim Edmondson who scanned these incredibly unique pages and posted them on his blog. Be sure to check it out!