Celibacy and psychic energy

Mike Salovesh (t20mxs1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Fri, 15 Dec 1995 12:41:56 -0600

Ruby asks:

"Is psychic energy a pie, so that if you use part of it for "sexuality,"
you've got less for "friendship," society-relatedness, or whatever. Is
psychic energy like "limited goods," to be carefully apportioned?"

I haven't a clue what the factual answer might be, but this sure was a
wide-spread belief in the 19th Century. "Precious bodily fluids" were
the visible symbol of even more precious psychic energy. Mssrs.
Kellogg, of corn flake fame, and Graham, of the crackers, both claimed to
have invented their "new" foods as anti-aphrodisiacs. They said that if
you fed these foods to boys, in particular, they would not fritter away
either precious bodily fluids or psychic energy, and hence would be able
to make better contributions to the general welfare . . .

Personally, I tend to favor the myth that boys who masturbate will grow
hair on their palms. It is equally ineffective in preventing the
activity, but it has the advantage of generating endless jokes. God
knows what you can generate with cornflakes and graham crackers.

Mike Salovesh <salovesh@niu.edu> PEACE!
Anthropology Department, Northern Illinois University
De Kalb, IL 60115 U.S.A.