Tissot`s book served as a model for many others. Many quacks warned for the dangers of onanism, but simultaneously offered a remedy, a potion which could be bought from them only and for a staggering sum. Each of us has at one time or another seen a picture of mechanical means to prevent self-gratification. Some masochists keep such apparatuses in their home since these not only prevent lust, but also stimulate it. Pedagogues fulminated against self-abuse and designed their schools in such ways that this evil could be nipped in the bud. One educator devoted an entire book to the theme of trousers and skirts. According to him boys should change their tight pants, with dangerous pockets!, for skirts like the Scots. Their genitals would hang freely and cool and excitement wouldn`t be roused. When making water they didn`t wouldn`t have to touch their privy parts. A boy`s skirt was the best remedy against the voluntary pouring-out of seed. The pope seems to know of this piece of writing since he regularly warns against tight pants and their inherent danger for procreation.
Though Tissot`s theory is sheer nonsense, in pedagogy and medical science his views were common property till the Sixties. Many generations have been brought up on baloney. Luckily most boys haven`t given these matters much thought. But unfortunately many of them did sense some guilt, like a boy in the previous century, who tried to get medical advise for his excessive jerking-off. He wanted to get rid of his balls, but his doctor told him that onanism wsan`t that harmful and that he`d better keep his privy parts which in fact were the actual man", obviously with an eye on marriage and procreation. The boy was in for worse than the doctor suspected and tried to cut off his balls himself with a knife. With one he succeeded, but he had to seek medical assistance before getting to the other one. Novelist Lodewijk van Deyssel had a handy-man who designed an apparatus for him which made self-gratification impossible. Like many others he was a victim to the hysteria surrounding onanism.
During the last two centuries some raised their voice against the demoniac stigma of onanism. Freud also condemned the practice, but A.Morvincit ( love conquers", the alias of P.J. Smink) in Holland and Max Hodann in Germany wrote that masturbation wasn`t the drama doctors made of it. With his Harmful or not? New insights in an old erotic problem" (1920) Smink stood up for the pleasures of palm-driving. But outside the circle of medical men and pedagogues onanism remained a silent sin which could not be mentioned.
Nowadays doctors only warn against excessive masturbation. Yet many people do not feel comfortable pleasuring themselves. Socially it`s still more acceptable to pleasure someone else or to pleasure each other. Which doesn`t alter the fact that no sexual act is of such frequent occurrence as masturbation. Coition is regarded with more respect but probably doesn`t score higher than a meagre second place. So many prejudices have disappeared, that in 1992 Making love with yourself" by Jos Lammers could come out, a book for children who want to know more about masturbation". Doctors objected a long time against the ease of onanism.
Other forms of sex demand a partner, not always as near by as your own source of pleasure. An other objection from their heterosexual standpoint was the resemblance of the deed with the homosexual act. A man familiar with his own body and dick will object less to other men`s physiques. The relationship of his hand with his genitals can be called mono- as well as homo-sexual. A homosexual goes for his alikeness" and what is more alike himself than his own body? Maybe the auto-sexual act is pre-eminently the homosexual act.