The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival




The reader may ask what physiologists and physicians have to say about continence and the married relation with regard to the health of the body.

This very vital subject has been sadly neglected in medical literature by writers on genito-urinary and neurological subjects. An outstanding authority on diseases of men and women, Max Huhner, states in his “Disorders of the Sexual Function in the Male and Female,” that he went to the trouble some years ago to consult a great many textbooks on physiology, but found “that not one of them had anything to say on the question. Other authorities, not physiologists, however, have expressed opinions on the subject, among them no less an authority than Prof. Bryant, the great English surgeon, who states that the function of the sexual glands may be suspended for a long time, possibly for life, and yet their structure may be sound and capable of being roused into activity on any healthy stimulation. Unlike other glands or tissues in general, they do not waste or atrophy prematurely for want of use. And it is pointed out that the sexual glands are constructed on entirely different principles from most of the other organs of the body. They are constructed for intermittent action and their function may be suspended indefinitely without harm to either their anatomy or physiology. Witness the mammary gland. A woman becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child, and immediately the gland, which had remained dormant for years, swells up and secretes milk. After lactation is finished the gland becomes smaller and inactive. She may not become pregnant again for another ten or more years, and during all this time the gland is not in use, but even after this long period, should she again become pregnant, it will again swell up and be absolutely useful in spite of the long period of disuse. The author says that he has gone somewhat into detail into this question, because it is very important and is constantly being brought up by the opponents of the subject of continence and is very apt to impress the laity.”

Other authorities say: “. . . there is yet comfort for the unmarried man in those pages which show that perfect continence is quite compatible with perfect health, and thus a great load is at once lifted from the mind of him who wishes to be conscientious as well as virile and in health with all the organs of the body performing their proper functions.” And again: “It is pernicious pseudo-physiology which teaches that the exercise of the generative function is necessary in order to maintain one’s physical and mental vigor of manhood.” “. . . I may state that I have, after many years experience, never seen a single instant of atrophy of the generative organs from this cause. . . . No continent man need be deterred by this apocryphal fear of atrophy of the testes from living a chaste life.”

Professor Gowers says: “With all the force that any knowledge can give, and with any authority I may have, I assert, as the result of long observation and consideration of facts of every kind, that no man ever yet was in the slightest degree or way the better for incontinence; and I am sure, further, that no man was yet anything but better for perfect continence. My warning is: Let us beware lest we give even a silent sanction to that against which I am sure we should resolutely set our face and raise our voice.”

This testimony should be sufficient to satisfy anyone who has been in doubt on the subject. What is said of the man may conversely be said about the woman.

How to Banish Thoughts of Sex

When thoughts of sex enter one’s atmosphere it is useless to try to drive them away, because the thinking that is done holds them. If they do come one should disregard them by at once thinking of one’s own Thinker and Knower, and of The Realm of Permanence. Sex thoughts cannot remain in the atmosphere of such thinking.