My dear son,
I am sending you two books I think appropriate for a young man spending five-sevenths of his time in the precincts of John Jay Hall. The first is Education of a Poker Player
by Herbert O. Yardley. Read it in secret, hide it whenever you leave quarters and you’ll be rewarded by many unfair but legal advantages over friend and enemy alike.
The second book I think you should share with your young companions. It is Sex Without Guilt
by a man who will take his place in history as the greatest humanitarian since Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Ellis, Ph.D. This good man has written what might be called “a manual for masturbators.” The result, mailed in plain wrapper under separate cover, is one of those fortuitous events in which the right man collides with the right idea at precisely the right time. This whole new approach, this fresh wind blowing under the sheets, so to speak, this large-hearted appeal for cheerful self-pollution invokes perhaps a deeper response in my heart than in most, for I – sneaky, timorous, incontinent little beast with my Paphian obsessions – was never wholesomely at home with my penile problem, all because of that maggoty, mountainous pustule of needless guilt that throbbed like an abscess in my young boy’s heart.
On warm summer nights, while exuberant, girl-hunting contemporaries scampered in and out of the brush beneath high Western stars, I, dedicated fool, lay swooning in my bed with no companion save the lewd and smirking demons of my bottomless guilt. Cowering there in seminal darkness, liquescent with self-loathing, attentive only to the stealthy rise and crafty ebbing of my dark scrotumnal blood, fearful as a lechway yet firmer of purpose than any rotting buffalo, I celebrated the rites of Chuarson with sullen resignation. Poor little chap on a summer’s night! Morosely masturbating, tisk tisk tisk. Even now, more than three decades later, even now when I forget a friend’s name, or mislay my spectacles, or pause … in midsentence idiocy, even now such lapses set a clammy chill upon my heart; it’s then, while panic tightens my sagging throat that I whisper to myself, “It’s true after all, it does make you crazy… It does cause the brain to soften. Why, oh why, did I like it so much? Why didn’t I stop when I was ahead of the game? Ah, well. Little good to know it now. The harm’s done; the jig’s up; you’re thoroughly rattled; better to have been born with handless stubs.”
I recall a certain chill winter night on which my father took me to one of those Calvinist fertility rites disguised as a father-son banquet. Master of the revels was an acrid old goat named Horace T. McGinnis. He opened his discourse with a series of blasphemous demands that the Almighty agree with his ghastly notions, and then got down to the meat of the program, which, to no one’s surprise, was girls. “When you go out with a young lady,” he slavered, “You go out with your own sister!” It seemed plain to me that if one day I did burst upon the world as the hymeneal Genghis Khan of my dreams I would be in for an extremely incestuous time of it. I can still hear that demented old reprobate howling his bill of particulars against poor Onan, the Bible’s first recorded masturbator, shaking his fist at us and sweating like a diseased stoat. “He wast-ed his seeed, O monstrous shameful nameless act, he spilled it! right out onto the grounnnnd, all of it, and this displeaaased the Lorddd, and the Lord slew him!”
Yet, the more I think on it, the more positive I become that you will never truly be able to comprehend in all its horror that interminably sustained convulsion which was your father’s youth. It’s only reasonable that this should be so, since you had so many advantages that were denied to me. To name but three of them: a private room; a masturbating father; and Albert Ellis, Ph.D. I carry the ball for all of us, and carried it farther any anyone had a right to expect. I was the Prometheus of my secret tribe, a penile virtuoso, a gonadic prodigy, a spermatiferous thunderbolt, in fine: a masturbator’s masturbator!