Life Before Viagra
Restoring Sexual Vigour
Every generation believes that they invented sex and while it may have been impolite to discuss the subject in mixed company, it was definely on the mind of Victoria's Canadians.  Everything from tonics to electric belts were available to keep men charged up and ready to go.

Though not all ads came right out and said that their products were designed to improve your sex life, they guaranteed resotoration of "manliness" and told consumers that they no longer had to "
suffer in silence".
The virile young man on the right is sporting the Power Heidelberg Electric Belt guaranteed to cure "all the chronic and nervous diseases, all diseases, disorders and weaknesses peculiar to men, NO MATTER WHAT CAUSE OR HOW LONG STANDING. 
Just listen to what this amazing contraption had to offer.  Remember that the $ 18.00 Giant Power Belt was the result of years of scientific study.  I hate to think what happened to the men who tried out the earlier prototypes. 

But this marvel of science was
"Positively wonderful in it's quick cure of all nervous and organic disorders arising from any cause, whether natural weakness, excess, indiscretions, etc.  The nerve building, health giving, vigor restoring, penetrates and permeats the affected parts; every nerve, tissue and fibre responds at once to it's healing, vitalizing power; health, strength, superb manliness, youthful vigor is the result.
Male Body Image Victorian Style
But if a high powered electrical current coursing through your groin, was not your thing, you could try Vin Vitae, the Wine of Life, to get you strong and fresh. For just 69 cents it made the claim that "you will feel bright, fresh and active; you will feel new, with rich blood coursing through your velns. 

Your nerves, will act steadlly, you wlll feel health and strength and energy at once comIng back to you. If you are easily tuckered out, if some especially hard task has exhausted your vitality, or if you have undergone any kind of a straIn, mental or bodily, Vin Vitae will act like magic, puts new life Into you, brings you right up to the freshness of a bright morning, banishes fatigue and diziness, Immediately.

But if, despite the fact that the products would arrive in a plain brown wrapper, you still felt uncomfortable purchasing the above items, Light on Dark Corners had a few suggestions.
If the lion thought he was in trouble, your poor wife; but not to worry...she could take it too. 
Impotence and Sterility
1.  Actual inpotence during the period of manhood is a very rare complaint, and nature very unwillingly, and only after the absolute neglect of sanitary laws, gives up the power of reproduction.

2.  Not only
sensual women, but all without exception, feel deeply hurt, and are repelled by the husband whom they may previously have loved dearly, when after entering the married state, they find that he is impotent.  The more inexperienced and innocent they were at the time of marriage, the longer it often is when they find that something is lacking in the husband; but, once knowing this, the wife infallibly has a feeling of contempt and aversion for him; though there are many happy families where this defect exists.  It is often very uncertian who is the weak one, and no cause for separation should by sought.

3.  Unhappy marriages, barrenness, divorces, and perchance an occasional suicide, may be prevented by the experienced physician, who can generally give correct information, comfort and consolation, when consulted on these delicate matters.

4.  When a single man fears that he is unable to fulfill the duties of marriage, he should not marry until his fear is dispelled.  The suspicion of such a fear strongly tends to bring about the very weakness which he dreads.  Go to a good physician (not to one of those quacks whose advertisements you see in the papers; they are invariably unreliable), and state the case fully and freely.

5.  Diseases, malformation, etc., may cause impotence.  In case of malformation there is usually no remedy, but in case of disease it is usually within the reach of a skillful physician.

6.  Self-abuse and spermatorrhoae produce usually only temporary impotence and can generally be relieved.

7.  Excessive indulgences often enfeeble the powers and often result in impotence.  Dissipated single men, professional libertines, and married men who are immoderate, often pay the penalty of the violations of the laws of nature, by losing their vital power.

8.  The condition of sterility in man may arise either from a condition of the secretion which deprives it of its' fecundating powers, or it may spring from a malformation which prevents it reaching the point where fecundation takes place.  The former condition is most common in old age, and is a sequence of
venereal disease, or in the change or the structure of the glands.  The latter has its' origin in the structure, or in an injury, or in that condition technically known as hypospadias, or in debility.

9.  It can be safely said that neither self-indulgence or spermatorrhoea often lead to permanent sterility.

10. It is sometimes, however, possible, even where there is sterility in the male, providing the secretion is not entirely devoid of life properties, on the part of the husband, to have children, but these are exceptions.

11. No man need hesitate about matrimony on account of sterility, unless that condition arises from a permanent and absolute degeneration of his function.

12. Impotence from mental and moral causes often takes place.  Persons of highly
nervous organization may suffer incapacity in their sexual organs.  The remedy for these difficulties is rest and change of occupation.

13. REMEDIES IN CASE OF IMPOTENCE ON ACCOUNT OF FORMER PRIVATE DISEASES, OR MASTURBATION, OR OTHER CAUSES - First build up your body by taking some good stimulating tonics.  The general health is the mose essential feature to be considered in order to secure restoration of the sexual powers.  Constipation must be carefully avoided.  If the kidneys do not work in good order, some remedy for their restoration must be taken.  Take plenty of outdoor exercise, avoid horseback riding or heavy exhaustive work.

14. FOOD AND DRINKS WHICH WEAKEN DESIRE - All kinds of food why cause dyspepsia or bring on constipation, diarrhoea, or irritate the bowels,
alcoholic beverages or any indigestible compound, has the tendency to weaken the sexual power.  Drunkards and tipplers suffer early loss of vitality.  Beer drinking has a tendency to irritate the stomach and to that extent affects the private organs.

15. COFFEE - Coffee drank excessively causes a debilitating effect on the sexual organs.  The moderate use of coffee can be recommended, yet an excessive habit of drinking very strong coffee will sometimes destroy virility.

16. TOBACCO - It is a hygenic and phsiological fact that
tobacco produces sexual debility and those who suffer any weakness from that source should carefully avoid the weed in all it's forms.

17. DRUGS WHICH STIMULATE DESIRE - There are certain medicines which act locally on the membranes and organs of the male and the papers are full of advertisements of "Lost Manhood Restored", etc. but in every case they are worthless or dangerous drugs, and certain to lead to some painful malady and death.

18. DRUGS WHICH MODERATE DESIRE - Among one of the most common domestic remedies is camphor.  This has stood the test for ages.  Small doses of half a grain in most instances diminishes the sensibility of the organs of sex.  In some cases it produces irritation of the bladder.  In that case it should at once be discontinued.  On the whole a physician had better be consulted.  The safest drug among domestic remedies is a strong tea made out of hops.  Saltpeter, or nitrate of potash, taken in moderate quantities, are very good remedies.

19. STRICTLY SPEAKING -  There is a distinction made between
impotence and sterility. Impotence is a loss of power to engage in the sexual act and is common to men.  Sterility is a total lack of capacity in the reproduction of the species, and is common to women.

"in intercourse", says Dr. Hoff, "is sometimes the cause of barrenness; this is usually puzzling to the interested parties, inasmuch as the practices which, in their opinion, should be the source of numerous progeny, have the very opposite effect.  By greatly moderating their ardor, this defect may be remedied." 

21. A certain adaptation between the male and female has been regarded as necessary to conception, consisting of some mysterious influence which one sex exerts over the other, neither one, however, being essentially impotent or sterile.  The man may impregnate one woman and not another, and a woman will conceive by one man and not another.
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