Once a Week Is Ample

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I’ve just picked up a copy of a great little book entitled “Once a Week is Ample or, the moderately sensual Victorian’s guide to restraint of the passions.” by Gerard MacDonald. The cost, believe it or not, was 1p, yes 1p, from Amazon – though I reckon they made about a £1 profit on the postage and packing. Still quite a bargain for a hardback.

It consists of genuine “agony-aunt” type questions and answers taken from a large number of late-nineteenth century publications and its simply side-splittingly funny.

Three examples:

When I reach Fifty Years of Age should I, then, renounce the pleasures of Love?

Assuming that you want to stay alive, you should. According to Dr Gardner., ‘after fifty years of age a man of sense ought to renounce the pleasures of love. Each time he allows himself this gratification is a pellet of earth thrown upon his coffin’.

I assume that the Divine Purpose was justified in creating the Woman less Intelligent than Man?

How can you doubt it, sir? Mr Mantegazza writes that ‘man was made by nature more intelligent than woman. Perfect harmony is only to be found with a man who thinks vigorously, does what he wishes with energy, who rules and guides the woman in the paths of life and the glories of conquest. The inversion of these relations . . . Is an humiliation on the part of the man and (let us admit it) on the part of the woman also, who in ninety-nine cases out of the hundred wishes to he loved. caressed and also adored, but who likes to feel ruled.’

I am aware that Syphilis brings Madness in its Train. Is the same True of the Solitary Vice?

Medical opinion holds this to be the case. Dr Guernsey writes, that ‘a search is any insane asylum will show that a very large proportion of patients are made up from those who masturbate or who have syphilis. Stamp out these two evils, or rather curses. of the human race, and the supply that feeds our insane asylums, aye, and our penitentiaries, too, will be vastly lessened.`

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