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In which Lindsey lets you know about Havelock Ellis and his strange journey to becoming one of the great Sexologists. And a special guest star to boot!

e-version of "Studies in the Psychology of Sex"

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Host: Dr. Lindsey Doe

Directing/Filming/Editing: Nicholas Jenkins

Titles: Michael Aranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green
Dr. Lindsey Doe: I wanna introduce you to somebody: Havelock Ellis. This man is very important in my life.

[title card]

Let's start with 1866. Havelock is about 7, and he's sailing around the world with his father on a ship called the Empress. They stop at a port in South Africa, he meets a little boy similar in age, and this boy teaches him how to masturbate, suggesting that this action is good for his body. Havelock is not so interested. He's also grateful because Havelock was doing childhood during the Victorian era, which is referring to Queen Victoria's reign from 1837 to 1902, and at this time, masturbation bad. Doctors believed it would cause acne, insanity, impotence, blindness, and eventually death.

Medical journal illustration FAIL. [image of the supposed consequences of masturbation]

So now we're at 13. Havelock's experiencing crushes but repressing them, right, because masturbation bad, and then BAM, semen! 13 is a typical age at which biosex males start producing semen. They'll either masturbate it out or find it during wet dreams. Sleep, sleep, sleeping, and then all of a sudden a jellylike substance comes out of the hole in their penis and French the Llama somebody's gotta do laundry.

In Havelock's case, he's avoiding masturbation because masturbation bad and sex bad, but his body wants to get the semen out, so he's having lots of nocturnal emissions, and thus we've got a medical crisis.

Physicians of this less knowledgeable time thought that nocturnal emissions were a symptom of spermatorrhea (not a thing), or that it was related to gonorrhea, or that they were experiencing a detrimental loss of precious body fluids, all of which were thought to lead to blindness, insanity, and death. Havelock, it seems that you are drowning in the waters between the six-headed monster of wet dreams and the whirlpool of masturbation. [on-screen text: Odyssey reference, y'all]

Hank as Havelock: All the obscure mysteries of sex stirred dimly and massively within me. I felt myself groping helplessly among all of the difficulties of life.

He is freaked out. He wants to commit suicide, but he's afraid, so he decides that instead he is going to document his entire demise, which is genius.

But there was no deterioration of his health for the next few months or the twelve years he continued to keep records.

Hank Green in a beard, playing Havelock: That's it, I'm dedicating my life to sparing others the trauma of medical misconceptions. I resolve to penetrate those mysteries and enlighten these difficulties.

Lindsey: Havelock becomes a medical doctor to study sexuality respectfully,

Hank: Medical school! [on-screen text: St. Thomas' Hospital Medical School]

Lindsey: and he becomes a lead researcher in the field, including on masturbation. His findings are accessible to you in a constantly-updated seven volume e-version you can find in my skirt. Studies in the Psychology of Sex in my skirt!

Why else do I admire Havelock Ellis? Because he's established himself as an authority on treating sexually related problems, and he determined that masturbation and homosexuality are normal human sexual behaviors in a spectrum among all the human diversity out there.

Hank as Havelock: You're normal, and you are normal, and you also are normal, and you are normal!

Lindsey: I know Havelock as a sexologist -- a meticulous, safe, objective, thoughtful, altruistic sexologist -- but I'm not the only opinion out there, so here's a medical journal point of view.

The Lancet, 1901: [Studies in the Psychology of Sex] must not be sold to the public, for the reading and discussion of such topics are dangerous. The young and the weak would not be fortified in their purity by the knowledge that they would gain from these studies, while they certainly might be more open to temptation after the perusal of more than one of the chapters.

But we're not gonna let stuff like that stop us, are we?

Hank as Havelock: Nah.

Lindsey: Woo!

[Hank and Lindsey ride off on a motor scooter]