Given the lack of previous exploratory literature about masturbation, it becomes the seminal text on the subject almost by default - but it deserves to hold that baton firmly on its own strengths.Keep yourself occupied with many other activities like studying, reading, playing video games, and many other things. It's tempting to point to religious institutions for inspiring Tissot’s treatise and the ensuing madness, but Van Driel suggests otherwise.Counterintuitively, he concludes that it was the scholars of the Enlightenment - the first "men of science" - who pushed the concept of masturbation as self-abuse and self-pollution, rather than clerics.Tissot assumed that sperm was a form of concentrated blood, so release without the prospect of impregnation was not just wasteful but dangerous.His list of ailments afflicting those who masturbate - including, as you may expect, eye disease and blindness - fills pages.Unsurprisingly, the history of our medical understanding of masturbation makes for amusing - though at times disturbing - reading.Van Driel traces much misunderstanding back to the 18th-century physician Samuel-Auguste Tissot.
These people believe that if they do not even know the real name of their cybermate—and never actually see them—their affair cannot be regarded as from a moral point of view; it's no different from reading a novel or other form of entertainment. There are plenty of words to describe the age-old practice of solo sexual gratification, yet it remains perhaps one of the most taboo physical acts of all.With a distinct lack of similar historical texts available, Van Driel attempts to cover all the bases, guiding the reader through a swift - if sometimes superficial - tour of the scientific, medical and religious aspects of the practice, along with a more cultural take through the study of art, literature and philosophy. As such, Mels van Driel’s With the Hand: A history of masturbation is a rare and welcome exploration of the topic. Despite presumably being undertaken by most people at some stage in their life, society still turns away from masturbation; it declines to comment on the topic and, when it does, chooses to do so pejoratively.
In his stimulating paper, "Chatting Is Not Cheating," John Portmann defends online lust and characterizes about sex; he maintains that such talking is more similar to flirting than to having a sexual affair.