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Ten sex talks to girls (14 years and older) online

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that every organ or part of the entire body is vul-
nerable to, and often is attacked by, this vile poison
with serious results. Even the blood-vessels them-
selves are not exempt, but from merely being the
carriers by which the poison travels through the
body in the blood stream, the walls of the vessels
become much weakened by the disease and break



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94 SEX TALKS TO GIBLS

down, causing hemorrhage, following which may
come severe headaches, delirium, convulsions, loss
of memory as regards everybody and everything,
epilepsy, paralysis, and muscular spasms. Syphilis
is one of the most frequent causes of apoplexy.

When this disease attacks the spine and brain
the result may be insanity, in many cases preceded
by abscesses, locomotor ataxia, paralysis with its
utter helplessness, epilepsy, etc., or any or all of the
foregoing, with death mercifully intervening before
the stage of insanity is reached.

Syphilis is a strong argument for social purity
in both sexes, and positively no one who has ever
had it should dream of getting married until he has
had from two to two and a half years of the most
thorough treatment, and has been declared free from
it by our present system or mode of testing the blood.
This is not an infallible test because of the human
element in it, but it is far better than guessing. No
physician can, however, guarantee a complete cure
with no possibility of recurrence. Oftentimes years
pass, and the patient rejoices that everything has
gone so well; when, in the midst of the rejoicing,
the " black plague *' comes to life again, and makes
the victim miserable. Nature does punish, and se-
verely, offenders against her rules of health.

Personally, I don't believe that I would ever
marry any one who had ever had syphilis ; but, then.



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 95

some of us are braver than others. If I were not
afraid of infection for myself, I should be for the
fruit of the union, and the thought that I was in
part responsible for bringing a baby into the world
to a life of misery would be a life-time reproach to
me — a reproach that would always be present with
me, no matter where I was or what I was doing.

If you have ever seen a little sufferer from this
disease, you will realize more clearly the absolute
truth of my statement. They suffer much pain from
the disease itself, and from complications and se-
quelae induced by the presence of the disease in the
system. If they survive, one is really never sure
whether the disease has been thoroughly eradicated
or is going to return at a later date. Sometimes the
disease does not appear in infancy, but this does not
mean that the guilty parent may feel certain it has
not been transmitted, for this feeling of security
would not be justified.

The child, one or both of whose parents are syph-
ilitic, may show its first symptoms in later childhood
or at the age of puberty. This, as you can imag-
ine, is pleasant neither for the parents nor the child,
and the older the child the greater the shame felt at
being a sufferer from this disease of immorality.

I asked you before if any of you had ever seen
a child stricken with this disease. It is about all that
a normal baby should not be. Your ideal and mind-



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96 SEX TALKS TO GIBLS

picture of a baby is of a healthy, bright, rosy-
cheeked, laughing little tot whose every movement
and gesture are a pleasure and joy to its parents.
When you see a baby of this kind you can hardly
resist the temptation to take it into your arms and
caress it. You feel as if you must hug and kiss it,
and you really envy the parents their possession of
it. Even when it cries for some reason or other, the
cry is a good, vigorous one with life in it, and while
perhaps annoying to some, it is still bearable to
listen to.

Poor little syphilitic baby! No one loves you
nor wants to hug and kisS you except, perhaps, the
poor mother who had the misfortune to bring you
into the world. To her you are dear and precious,
although I sometimes wonder if, when she sees
your terrible sufferings she does not sometimes pray
that death may relieve them. It is because she loves
you that she cannot bear to see you suffer. You
are no one's ideal and mind-picture of a baby. You
are just the opposite of what everybody thinks a
baby ought to be. You are repulsive to them, and
when they know the reason for your suffering and
appearance, they cannot be blamed if they shun you
and consider you a menace to others, a pest to be
avoided, even though their actions bring hours of
tears and desolation to your poor unhappy mother.

Of course it is unfair to you because you were



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 99

marriage that might sully your good name, and will
also see that your future husband, if not a total ab-
stainer from sexual relations before he became ac-
quainted with you, will at once become such, and
will submit to a proper physical examination as to
sexual health and get an affirmative certificate before
you marry him ?

Don't let these talks make merely a temporary
impression upon you, but think carefully of every-
thing I have said to you to date, as I shall also ask
you to think carefully of everything I am going to
tell you as we travel along in our sex talks. I have
your interests at heart, and want " my girls " to
profit now, and in the future, by what I am telling
them. Many will tell you, for reasons of their own,
things different from what I say ; they will have *' an
axe to grind," whereas I have not. Oh, yes ! I for-
got ; I have an axe to grind ! I intend that you and
the children you will be mothers of in the future
shall be happy and healthy, so far as it lies in my
power to control these things.

Don't sacrifice your own health and that of your
future little ones to the selfishness of any man. In-
sist on total abstinence in those whom you know,
just as soon as you become acquainted. Let your-
selves be known as girls whose morals are above re-
proach, and who desire only the company of those
whose standards are the same. Don't lower your



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100 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

standards which you know to be proper for the sake
of having about you a number of the opposite sex or
of being the recipients of attentions from them. The
real man will always recognize and appreciate the
right sort of girl, and the other kinds of men are not
worth your time. Don't sell your birthright for " a
mess of pottage " which can bring only shame, suf-
fering, and disgrace to you and yours in the end.

You have a right to healthy, happy, and honor-
able wifehood and motherhood, and do not be con-
tent with anything else. It is the highest goal that
a woman can reach. If she is a success in these
capacities, she is, indeed, a success in life.

This is all that I am going to say to you regard-
ing the venereal diseases and their effects upon you
and your offspring. I think I have said enough to
show you how undesirable they are, and how dan-
gerous to all concerned ; more would, therefore, be
superfluous. But this will give you plenty of food
for deep, earnest thought if you are inclined that
way. Even the most frivolous among you must be
impressed with the fact that, if for no other reason
than the freedom from such wretched ill-health as
impurity brings in its train, morality pays.

REVIEW

I. How does gonorrhoea affect the joints, and state the re-
sults of such infection.
11. Mention some of the effects of the poison of syphilis.



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 101

III. What would entirely stamp out this disease?

IV. What is syphilis, and how is it most frequently trans-

mitted?
V. Give other means of transmission.
VI. How does the disease first manifest itself and how may

it be even unintentionally spread?
VII. Describe progress of the disease and some of its effects.
VIII. Explain in detail its significance' as regards marriage.
IX. How may you protect yourselves and babies?
X. How can you influence the morality of men?



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VI

In this talk we shall discuss various things
which, if corrected, would I believe lead to fewer
girls going astray in an immoral way, and to less
immorality. Some of these things might be put
mider the head of modesty, or shall I say the lack
of modesty? Others might be classified under good
breeding, or, perhaps, the lack of it.

First, I want to emphasize that I am a firm be-
liever in the mingling of both sexes from infancy
to old age. I believe that a boy who is constantly
in the company of nice, refined girls of his
own age is better off in many ways for this
association. Having some favorite of the op-
posite sex whose good opinion he values very much
prevents him from acquiring agreat many habits
he is better off without. \The influence of
"his girl*' makes itself felt, and, being a well-
brought-up little maiden, she will not accept the
boyish affection of a lad who uses bad language, be
the bad language either profanity or obscene words.
She also objects to the smoking of cigarettes, the
drinking of liquor, and to other bad conduct in
general. Even should his inclinations nm in these
directions, to please her our little lad eschews all
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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS lOS

these things and endeavors to conduct himself, in
her presence, at least, like a little gentlema^

From behaving in this way in " her " presence,
he is likely to contract the habit of conducting him-
self so at all times. Likewise, since he is in good
company, sexual desire is not aroused in a harmful
way by hearing lewd stories, so-called jokes in re-
gard to the sexual act, nor from learning the ex-
periences of other, and, probably older boys who
have indulged in illegal sexual relations and who
would, perhaps, like to persuade another to sin in
this way.

To sum up, he becomes a moral, manly boy, in-
stead of more or less of a rough, eager and anxious
to be different in every way from the crowd. If he
continues under such good influences, he emerges
from youth a real young man, not a despoiler of
the virtue of a pure girl, nor does he take any part
in the further degradation of an already unfortunate
woman. In other words, he abstains from sexual
relations. At manhood he is a man of moral force
and character, and a citizen of whom his community
is proud. He is the sort of man whom a girl can
safely love and marry. He is of the kind to make a
good husband and father, because he has no venereal
taint in him with which to poison his wife and chil-
dren or his own good nature, and most likely he
will be f omid to be a real man in all other respects.



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104 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

Now what does the girl gain by being brought up,
as it were, in the company of the opposite sex ? She,
also, like the boy, most likely knows one of the
opposite sex who appeals to her just a little bit more,
at least, than the other boys she knows, and her
desire to win his approval stirs her to greater efforts
to improve herself, and to be a nice, refined, lady-
like little girl. The average boy is a very plain-
spoken and harsh critic, and when that little girl
sets out to please him she undertakes a hard task.
His thoughts are usually clean and pure, and any-
thing that she does which is not right, according to
his boyish ideas of what is right and wrong, meets
his outspoken disapproval in emphatic form. He
wants " his girl " to be an example to all the others
in neatness, cleanliness of tongue and action, and
good breeding. No matter what he may be, he wants
her to be beyond reproach in every way. Praise of
her, sung by others to him or in his hearing, is the
sweetest music in the world to his ears, whereas the
reverse is liable to lessen his own opinion of his
" lady-love/'

The girl naturally endeavors to live up to
this good opinion, at least in "his" presence,
and, as in the case of the boy we spoke of,
"practice makes perfect." Again, this same girl
becomes aware of her influence over this particular
boy, and this awakens in the heart of the right sort



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SEX TALBB TO GIRLS 105

of girl a desire to wield only an influence which will
be for his betterment. It develops in her the normal
instinct to be a comrade to the male, watching over
him and guiding his footsteps toward the goal of
highest achievement.

If she grows up in such an atmosphere of thought
and desire, she is going to be a real woman, standing
for everything that is good and worth while.

Her influence, of course, will be on the side of
good morals, and at least one boy will be kept in the
path of rectitude through her efforts; probably more
than one, for he also will become a force in the work
of changing our present vicious double standard of
morals into a single standard for both sexes — ^that
of social purity.

You can all be such women if you will. The
question is, do you want to be, and, wanting to be,
are you willing to work to gain such an enviable
position? Is it worth while? It most certainly is.
You will be promoting your own health and happi-
ness, the health and happiness of the man whom
you have led to see the great wrong in the present
contemptible double standard of morals, and the
health and happiness of your sex in general. Some
of these you will, no doubt, have saved from the
lowest stages of degradation. So, if again you are
even tempted to doubt whether it is worth while, just
recall very carefully what I have said.



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106 SEX TALKS TO GIBLS

In what other ways can you assist a young man
to live a good life? In what other ways can you
exemplify piu-ity in your actions? The answer to
these questions is a simple one. Be modest. Many
of you will immediately say, " Siu-ely I do not need
such advice. I am modest." Well, perhaps you are,
and perhaps you are not. Let me tell you of some
things which I call immodest, and see if you are
guilty of any of them.

Indiscriminate kissing is certainly immodest.
For a girl to allow herself to be kissed by any one
and every one is not a good thing. " Familiarity
breeds contempt " is an old saying, and a true one.
Don't cheapen yourselves, and make your caresses
worthless. If a young man finds you not averse to
kissing, he may get the idea that your morals are
loose or can be easily corrupted, and he may deter-
mine to ascertain whether he is right or wrong.
Kissing, particularly when of a violent, passionate
type, usually arouses sexual desire, and if you lead
a young man on by such actions he is liable to forget
himself, perhaps even to the point of using force.
Moreover, this kind of kissing is liable also to arouse
yoiu- sexual passions and to put you in a state of
mind wherein your usual clear judgment and sense
of right and wrong are blunted, and you may be
deeply sorry afterwards for what you have been a
party to. You may never sin again in this way, after



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SEX TALKS TO GIBLS 107

a first experience of the cost, but the blot is there,
and the repentance is a long and a dreary one.

Such a state as I have just described has cost
many a girl her womanly honor, and has placed her
in the ranks of those who earn their living by barter
of their sexual organs. These, of coiu"se, are the
girls who, having made the first misstep, lacked the
strength of mind to face the world and show that
they were but foolish, not bad, and had trusted a
man too much — it is so easy to drop down into the
slime, rather than to climb up against the sneers of
those who are mean and narrow-minded.

The danger of kissing and its bad consequences
are distinctly increased by being " in a couple in-
stead of in a crowd." I could say much about this
subject alone, but I think that just these few words
will convey to your minds exactly what I mean. I
take occasion to say right here that even engaged
couples should avoid too much kissing, because even
for them it is fraught with danger. They have their
thoughts of future happiness to make them still more
reckless under aroused sexual desire, and even in
engaged couples immorality can be called by no other
name, and is just as inexcusable or maybe more so
than in others.

Aside from their relatives, I think g^rls are best
off unkissed, so far as the opposite sex goes, and un-
kissed on the mouth, so far as their own sex is con-



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108 SEX TALKS TO GIELS

cerned. Kissing is a first-rate way of spreading
other diseases beside those we have discussed in a
previous talk.

After what I have already said about permitting
familiarities upon yoiu* person by the opposite sex,
or your own either, other than kissing, it seems
almost superfluous to speak of such things again.
Still, I will say a few words to remind you of the
dangers. Embraces are suggestive of bodily con-
tact, and suggestions of bodily contact produce
thoughts of sexual contact, therefore avoid them.
Yes, I know that in giving you this advice;
I am telling you to refrain from participating
in some of the newer dances that have lately
been introduced into our midst from the lower
grade dance halls of the immoral districts of various
cities. You see at times our so-called society leaders,
instead of trying to improve and reform those who
have " fallen," give them an undeserved importance
by aping the performances which these imfortimates
use in catering to the animal passions, by which,
when aroused, they hope to profit

Do not permit any handling of yoiu" person im-
necessarily, no matter where. If you stop uncon-
scious familiarity in the beginning, you will not have
intentional familiarity to stop later on. A girl must
always be on her guard to see that, in no way, is she
responsible personally for arousing the sexual desire



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 109

in the opposite sex. In this respect, she is the better
balanced of the two sexes, and the one to suffer most
when the moral law is broken. I know some girls
seem to take a peculiar pleasure in seeing how far
they can go in arousing sexual desire in a man, with-
out any idea on their part of satisfying it. In fact,
they consider themselves too decent to let such a
thought enter into their scheme of action. They
merely want to amuse themselves at the expense of
the man who is being made to feel uncomfortable
by their words and suggestive actions. When the
man suggests anything improper to them, they nat-
urally feel highly insulted, and accuse the one they
have tormented of being anything but a gentleman ;
whereas, as a matter of fact, the fault is theirs, and
the lack of modesty and good breeding is chiefly
theirs also.

Do not tread on dangerous ground, and then be
surprised if something unpleasant happens to you.
Let your actions be always those of a lady, and you
probably will find that no insults will be your portion.

The question of how a girl dresses is also an
important one. The male sex has always been
trained to regard the female form as something
sacred to be concealed from public view, and several
years ago none but an immoral woman would wear
anything that would, in any way, display her
womanly charms, or make her figure conspicuous.



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110 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

Such things formed part of her stock in trade to
attract the attention of men and to arouse in them
animal desire, to be satisfied by sexual relations
with the temptress, who of course collected money
for gratifying the passion she had aroused.

Formerly, we had no difficulty in recognizing
fallen women on the street or elsewhere — ^they
dressed in a way so totally different from that of the
respectable women that we might almost have spoken
truthfully of them as wearing a tmiform which
advertised their despicable calling.

To-day it is quite different Once more have
some of oiu- women and girls lowered themselves in
an effort to copy from the underworld of immoral-
ity certain articles of dress. The result is, I regret
to say, that if we were to judge the morals of every
woman by the flashiness or the immodesty of her
dress, many would be misjudged.

I shall not argue with you whether it is right or
wrong for the female form to be properly draped —
by which I mean that the figure should not be miduly
conspicuous. Our present code of modesty says it
should, and this has been so for centuries and cen-
tiu'ies — in fact one might say from prehistoric
times; and if we are to change it now the change
must be a gradual one, going through several easy
stages, so that the male sex have a chance to readjust



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 111

themselves to this backward movement on the part of
womankind. Let us go a little more into detail.

Low-necked dresses which are cut so low in the
front that they reveal to the public gaze the breasts,
in whole or in part, depending upon whether the
woman be standing, sitting, or bending forward, can
hardly meet with the approval of a person modestly
inclined. Add to this the fact that many of these
dresses have a V-shaped slit down the back, and
one wonders why the wearer bothered about a waist
at all, and whether modesty no longer exists in
women.

You answer me that it does ; and yet such dresses
as these are only too common at many dances, par-
ties, and evening affairs. Why any such gatherings
should confer a special license on a woman to go
around partially undressed is a mystery to other
men besides myself, and, furthermore, where the
beauty of it comes in men likewise fail to under-
stand. These dresses are calculated to drive the
thoughts of the men present into one of two grooves
— disgust at the lack of decency, or that of sexual
desire. Those guilty of this immodesty are not only
yoimg girls, but many of them women old enough
to know better, and who should be setting a better
example to the growing girl.

None of you, dressed only in an underskirt and
a corset cover, would receive a man. The mere



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IW SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

thought of doing such a thing sounds foolish to you.
Yoiu- modesty would prevent you from even men-
tioning petticoats and corset covers to men. You
would not like them even to imagine you in such a
costume, and yet that is virtually how you often
receive them, or a little bit less scantily attired. You
wear a waist of the thinnest possible material that
you can find so that it may easily be seen through,
and in it you have insertions of lace or other material.
And then, for fear the attention of the observers is
not sufficiently called to the corset cover and the
breasts back of it, you put colored ribbons in the
corset covers, still further to call attention in this
direction. You buy very handsome corset covers if
your means allow it, not for your own gratification
and delight, but because, in the style of your dressing,
they are going to be seen by others.

Many of you have thought little about whether
your dress was modest or not, the question of style
taking precedence of all other considerations. Now
that it has been brought to your notice, think it over,
and do not let the matter of style make you forget
the more important dictates of maidenly modesty.

By this time many of you are thinking how old-
fashioned I am — ^and you are right. I am still old-
fashioned enough to admire a modest, lady-like girl,
and I am happy to say that there are still many more
men and women like myself.



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 113

But let us travel on with our talks.

Formerly a woman who, for any reason, was
compelled to raise her skirts, carefully lifted them
just to the smallest possible extent necessary; but
now, with her transparent stockings of lisle thread
or silk, such modesty has seemingly taken wings
and flown. She must show off her finery, and with it
her lower limbs. For fear occasion for raising the
skirts will not be offered sufficiently often, the skirts
are left open on the sides, front or back, for varying
distances from the bottom upwards, so that the fine
hosiery and the limbs they more or less cover (the
emphasis belongs on the " less ") will always be on
view to whomsoever wishes to see.

Do you know that a certain class of men look for
just such exhibitions of immodesty? Prove it for
yourselves by observing a crowd of them standing
at some exposed place on a windy day. They are
liable to misjudge you also, and to address you in
very plain, unmistakable language, and to make to


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Online LibraryIrving David SteinhardtTen sex talks to girls (14 years and older) → online text (page 6 of 11)