“AM I a man?” When this query cannot be answered satisfactorily, when you feel that there is a doubt as to the possession of the qualities essential to true manhood, then indeed is your position difficult. You will at least realize the necessity for facing, squarely and honestly, a problem that is momentous.
Are you a complete man? If the answer is “No,” then the duties and responsibilities associated with the development of the manhood which you do not possess should be immediately assumed. The question may not be easily settled in all cases. In fact, some men who are virile in every way may be in doubt as to what should be the answer to this plain question. To a large extent the pitiful prudery of the present day is responsible for this difficulty.
As a rule, however, if you possess ordinary physical vigor, if your organs are healthy in every way so far as you know, if the functions of digestion and assimilation are apparently carried on satisfactorily, you can practically depend upon the possession of manly powers. It is well to remember, however, that when the answer is doubtful there is, in practically every instance, no physical evidence of the possession of superior vitality. When you possess the pulsating, vibrating forces of life and health in all their splendid perfection, there is always plain evidence of virility. There is then no question about a man’s being a man. He feels it and knows it every day of his life.
It is certainly a good plan for a young man, when he is doubtful upon such an important mat-ter, to ask himself some very plain questions. He should have a good, plain talk with himself. And let him first of all be strictly honest with himself. “Do I possess all the strength, health and manhood that I can attain? Have I wasted my vitality and vigor? Has my heredity been a handicap, or have my forefathers invested me with a reasonable amount of physical capital? In what way am I wanting? In what way am I defective? Am I doing all I can to build superior virility? Am I as good a man as I can be?”
These questions should be asked in all sincerity, and the answers that will come thereto will, to a certain extent, give one an idea of the course of action necessary under the circumstances. If a careful examination of the inner recesses of your own soul indicates to you the need for more manhood, and the need for certain efforts upon your part with a view to cultivating your physical forces, then your pathway is plain. Make a careful study of this, and other books, and lay out a plan of action. Begin a campaign that has for its purpose the development of superior vitality and the splendid manhood associated therewith. In succeeding chapters of this book detailed instructions will be given you for this purpose.
Naturally, along with the various questions associated with the ascertaining of your physical condition, will come the query, “Am I fit to marry?”
The answer to this question will assume supreme importance at some time in your life. There may be periods when the replies thereto will torture your soul almost beyond endurance. For there comes a time in the life of every man when he wants to marry, that is, provided he is a real, well-sexed man. And when that time comes, when the right girl has been found, if a man feels that he is defective, or that there is some taint within his organism that will mar the sanctity of the marital tie, then indeed does he face difficulties that assume tragic importance.
In determining whether or not one is fit to marry, the first query will of course be concerned with one’s physical condition. Are you a healthy, well-developed man? Are there any serious vital defects? Even after these questions have been favorably answered, there are still others. Is it possible that there is any venereal infection lingering within your organism? Does alcohol taint and devitalize your blood? If you have been tainted with any venereal disease, at least be absolutely sure that all traces of the complaint have disappeared, by means of blood tests. If your blood is poisoned with alcohol, turn over a new leaf. Eliminate the drink habit from your life (and do not marry until every trace of its evil effects has disappeared) .
If you are weak sexually, then the problem be-fore you pertains to the development of the vigor and vitality which will overcome a condition of this sort. It is true that in some cases one is advised to marry with a view to remedying weaknesses of this sort. In many instances the remedy is worse than the disease. This is especially true when the ordinary excesses associated with marriage are permitted and practiced. If the marital relationship were assumed with a woman thoroughly informed as to the conditions, then possibly a man’s sexual strength might increase as a result of marriage. This would be practically impossible, however, if the woman should happen to be of a passionate sort. ‘Where she is entirely normal, or but little influenced by sexual emotions, a man might, in some instances, safely hope for a gradual improvement (though in all cases there is a considerable risk in contracting marriage under such circumstances).