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‘The Greatest Luxury of Life’
The Torch of Life by Dr. F. M. Rossiter, 1932

Reading from the 1939 edition by Eugenics Publishing Group, Inc., 188 pages

The Torch of Life is a deeply Christian effort to distill medical knowledge, folk wisdom, scriptures and life lessons into a book which might promote a healthy sex life for the newly married virgin couple. Throughout, Rossiter makes the case—with case studies from his private practice as a London physician—that God blessed man with the sexual experience for more than procreation, that men and women live longer and more meaningfully when they steer a middle course between prudery and abstinence and crudity and perversion, to discover one another one “love drama” at a time, in the privacy of a balanced home.

The text is prefaced by The Song of Solomon, an endearing processional song between a woman, her maiden chorus, and the man she is wedding.

Chapter One: The Need of Definite Sex Knowledge, makes the case that, with sluts and womanizers bringing too much dysfunction to a marriage with a virgin partner, that some better way of providing information on the sex act is needed. He touches on the antiquity of mud sharks, the fact that English and American women were so desperate in middle age for companionable sex that they were engaging in sex tourism in Egypt and that the overworked Drago-men, indigenous hotel guides, were “spent” to the point of exhaustion.

Chapter Two: The Mystical Fluids of Personality, lays out the science of chemistry and glands for the layman, proclaiming that, “if God was not ashamed to make sex we should not be ashamed to study it.”

Chapter Three: The Sex Organs, describes the function of the body in the context of sex and decries the habit of men of the age ignoring their wife’s breasts. Written for the middle and upper class, one has the impression that the working class was doing just fine with breast foreplay and endplay while the rich were living in horror of swollen breasts and hiring wet nurses.

Chapter Four: The Love Drama has little to do with the drama of our day, which is really melodrama and focuses on such pragmatics as position, with only four recommended: missionary, side-by-side “lateral,” woman on top, and the saddle with the man sitting on a stool and the woman on him. One suspects Rossiter would be scandalized to discuss more cynical positioning. Onanism or “pulling out,” we are reminded, was the cause for God slaying Onan, son of Judah.

Chapter 5: The First Night, is where the author rightly shines, in style and depth, reminding us comically in a very English way, illustrated by three case studies of newlyweds, that, “the honeymoon trip is an invention of the Devil,” and that it is true that on a wedding night a virgin woman usually “loses her first lover,” as most women reported to doctors that their first experience with men, whether they were treated like a street-walking whore or subjected to the bumbling of a crudely informed novice, left them dreading future sex with their husband.

Chapter 6: The Time—the Place—The Esthetics, catches the author flexing his literary muscles in fine style, using humor and beauty in an odd mixture of encouraging caution and engaged exhortation. Practical, atmospheric considerations, such as not pouting in the same places as one loves and letting the lady decide on the lighting, along with a suggestion about Hawaii for a sexcation are discussed in a light humor. The doctor’s notes on hygiene, especially bad oral hygiene, are hilarious as he states on page 158, “…bad breath may be due to coated tongue, neglected or decayed teeth, infected tonsils with crypts full of decaying, cheesy substance…” and with equal verve states that, “a few days on any beach,” are sufficient to suggest body draping for people over 30!

Chapter 7: Courting, Marriage, and More Courting, brings the author’s threads of faith, science and civility together as he suggests frequency of ejaculation, which depends on your virility, and if you are overly virile, try hitting the push cushion 2-3 times a day rather than every day of the week. If you are still oversexed, he suggest seeing an X-ray “expert” and getting your genitals nuked bimonthly—just not enough to cause sterility! This is such an example of how sissy the world was in the 1920s, that no suggestion of boxing to deplete masculine energy is suggested, but rather a new and passively debilitating device. Rossiter finishes strong though, with a declaration that since, “Virtue [is] a quality of the soul it should not vanish with sex experience.”

I would like to thank my Uncle Fred Kern for the loan of this book, which belonged to his grandfather and my great grandfather, Henry James Kern, during his second marriage. The old guy buried four wives.

Masculine Axis: A Meditation on Manhood and Heroism

Add Comment
Sam J.March 3, 2018 10:10 PM UTC

You know I bitch about one thing and then immediately after read some of the most definitive summations of all of history ever written. p.87

"‘I Feel Like A Second Class Citizen’

A Man Question from Alex on the Paradigm

Shift in American Culture "

You should be famous. You really need to flesh this out. A good format would be the book "48 laws of power". Maybe read the "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers" also as a sort of outline. I would lay off his heavy use of statistics which entirely appropriate for his book but would just clog up yours.

You state the case in general then flesh it out where various "episodes" show how this is true. Little vignettes of history that illustrate. I also like little quotes at the beginnings of chapters. Look at "48 laws of power" or Frank Herbert's(Dune) sci-fi books for an example. You actually know all this stuff already. It would take going over your notes and rereading the sources you have already read to provide foot notes but I bet you could easily put this together. It's a really novel look at history compared to most and I believe could be demonstrated to be true without jumping through too many hoops.With the right title and maybe a picture of burning Rome on the front,

, you could have a best seller and become some kind of demented guru, (well you already are but of the hermit no one knows about variety). Throwing out some titles, "Elites, Slaves and Destruction", "The Middle Class is Doomed", "Elite Hegemony and the Destruction of the State", "How the Poor are Used by the Elites to Crush the People", "How to Rule like the Elites", "Be the Elite and Rule", etc., etc. Now a little trick. Since books are digital now you could change a few paragraphs at the beginning and the end and target whole new groups. You can see how some of my titles are geared towards the middle class, some the Liberals and some the managerial(wanna be elite). Just put out several titles with mostly the same info. I would be up front about this so people don't feel cheated by stating that each book was tailored to different audiences, which it would be. I learned this trick from the Jews who do it all the time. Choice, with no choice.

I hope you'll think about this. It would be a history book that people really need and I sense that a lot of your life is tied up in this sort of struggle against these forces that try to smash us down. Explaining what they do and how they do it might be the best kind of revenge.
responds:March 4, 2018 12:05 PM UTC

This is flattering, Sam J.

For this year I have 27 books to finish.

Have to set it aside until then.

Sam J.March 3, 2018 9:03 PM UTC

I've been reading your "40,000 Years from Home" and enjoy it very much. Unfortunately I must interject some criticism of one point that I feel it too egregious to pass.(Don't take this the wrong way I really like all I've read so far but dishing the stirrup! I'll not have it.)

"...what you

would mark as the landmark stages in Man’s

capacity to wage war on the environment and

other humans. .."

page 85 conclusion

"...I don’t rank the stirrup as important to

conflict evolution on this scale.."

Holy Jesus whack yourself with a stick at this. Genghis Khan's whole stick, his whole advantage was all about the stirrup and rapid mobilization with horses that entailed. You can't really stay on a rapidly moving horse and fire weapons without the stirrup or at least not rapidly and surely. Look at the territory this guy took. It all because he could make super fast progress with spies and then back up any weak points with a hoard of horsemen firing arrows continuously from the front and also as they were retreating. In reality most of military genius is getting there the first with the most and hitting your enemy with a mass of force at a confined point to overrun them. The stirrup made this practical. Not that you couldn't do this at all before but propping yourself on the back of a horse with nothing to hold you meant using your arms to hold onto the horse during violent maneuvers. If you fall off you're likely to break your neck so fear while dashing around on your horse would lower effectiveness. With the stirrup you can go whole hog motorcycle gang maniac firing arrows with the hands while your feet hold you securely in the stirrups and onto the horse.
responds:March 4, 2018 12:03 PM UTC

The stirrup alone deserves an article—Sacae, Scythians, Amazons, Parthains, Huns, Comanches all did it without stirrups. There is still a case for the Mongol success weighing on stirrups, as they used shock cavalry, but never were able to expand beyond grazing lands. The technology of the stirrup supplied heavy cavalry, not horse archers, whose antiquity predated the stirrup 1,000 years.