The Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution

An anti-masturbation pamphlet became an international bestseller — maybe for unintended reasons

Dale M. Brumfield
Dec 29, 2020 · 8 min read
1756 edition.

NTIL THE EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, self-pleasuring was generally considered throughout Europe as a relatively inconsequential habit. Other than a wagging finger from the Catholic Church, doctors at the time saw nothing wrong with the vice and even…