Searchlights on Health/The Prostitution of Men
THE PROSTITUTION OF MEN.
CAUSE AND REMEDY.
1. EXPOSED YOUTH.—Generally even in the beginning of the period when sexual uneasiness begins to show itself in the boy, he is exposed in schools, institutes, and elsewhere to the temptations of secret vice, which is transmitted from youth to youth, like a contagious corruption, and which in thousands destroys the first germs of virility. Countless numbers of boys are addicted to these vices for years. That they do not in the beginning of nascent puberty proceed to sexual intercourse with women, is generally due to youthful timidity, which dares not reveal its desire, or from want of experience for finding opportunities. The desire is there, for the heart is already corrupted.
2. BOYHOOD TIMIDITY OVERCOME.—Too often a common boy's timidity is overcome by chance or by seduction, which is rarely lacking in great cities where prostitution is flourishing, and thus numbers of boys immediately after the transition period of youth, in accordance with the previous secret practice, accustom themselves to the association with prostitute women, and there young manhood and morals are soon lost forever.
3. MARRIAGE-BED RESOLUTIONS.—Most men of the educated classes enter the marriage-bed with the consciousness of leaving behind them a whole army of prostitutes or seduced women, in whose arms they cooled their passions and spent the vigor of their youth. But with such a past the married man does not at the same time leave behind him its influence on his inclinations. The habit of having a feminine being at his disposal for every rising appetite, and the desire for change inordinately indulged for years, generally make themselves felt again as soon as the honeymoon is over. Marriage will not make a morally corrupt man all at once a good man and a model husband.
4. THE INJUSTICE OF MAN.—Now, although many men are in a certain sense "not worthy to unloose the latchet of the shoes" of the commonest woman, much less to "unfasten her girdle," yet they make the most extravagant demands on the feminine sex. Even the greatest debauchee, who has spent his vigor in the arms of a hundred courtesans, will cry out fraud and treachery if he does not receive his newly married bride as an untouched virgin. Even the most dissolute husband will look on his wife as deserving of death if his daily infidelity is only once reciprocated.
5. UNJUST DEMANDS.—The greater the injustice a husband does to his wife, the less he is willing to submit to from her; the oftener he becomes unfaithful to her, the stricter he is in demanding faithfulness from her. We see that despotism nowhere denies its own nature: the more a despot deceives and abuses his people, the more submissiveness and faithfulness he demands of them.
6. SUFFERING WOMEN.—Who can be astonished at the many unhappy marriages, if he knows how unworthy most men are of their wives? Their virtues they rarely can appreciate, and their vices they generally call out by their own. Thousands of women suffer from the results of a mode of life of which they, having remained pure in their thought, have no conception whatever; and many an unsuspecting wife nurses her husband with tenderest care in sicknesses which are nothing more than the consequences of his amours with other women.
7. AN INHUMAN CRIMINAL.—When at last, after long years of delusion and endurance, the scales drop from the eyes of the wife, and revenge or despair drives her into a hostile position towards her lord and master, she is an inhuman criminal, and the hue and cry against the fickleness of women and the falsity of their nature is endless. Oh, the injustice of society and the injustice of cruel man. Is there no relief for helpless women that are bound by the ties of marriage to men who are nothing but rotten corruption?
8. VULGAR DESIRE.—The habit of regarding the end and aim of woman only from the most vulgar side—not to respect in her the noble human being, but to see in her only the instrument of sensual desire—is carried so far among men that they will allow it to force into the background considerations among themselves, which they otherwise pretend to rank very high.
9. THE ONLY REMEDY.—But when the feeling of women has once been driven to indignation with respect to the position which they occupy, it is to be hoped that they will compel men to be pure before marriage, and they will remain loyal after marriage.
10. WORSE THAN SAVAGES.—With all our civilization we are put to shame even by the savages. The savages know of no fastidiousness of the sexual instinct and of no brothels. We are, indeed, likewise savages, but in quite a different sense. Proof of this is especially furnished by our youth. But that our students, and young men in general, usually pass through the school of corruption and drag the filth of the road which they have traversed before marriage along with them throughout life, is not their fault so much as the fault of prejudices and of our political and social conditions that prohibits a proper education, and the placing of the right kind of literature on these subjects into the hands of young people.
11. REASON AND REMEDY.—Keep the youth pure by a thorough system of plain unrestricted training. The seeds of immorality are sown in youth, and the secret vice eats out their young manhood often before the age of puberty. They develop a bad character as they grow older. Young girls are ruined, and licentiousness and prostitution flourish. Keep the boys pure and the harlot would soon lose her vocation. Elevate the morals of the boys, and you will have pure men and moral husbands.