Fifth Estate # 41, November 1-15, 1967

photo, Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969
Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969 at a benefit for Open City. Photo: Alan Gotkin.

QUESTION: A surgeon has recently informed me that he has been able to cure his sexual impotency through kite-flying. This idea came to him after reading a brief article by Sandor Ferenczi entitled THE KITE AS SYMBOL OF ERECTION (found in the SELECTED PAPERS of S. Ferenczi Vol. 2).

What comment have you to make about this?

ANSWER: I recently gave a talk to a discussion group of the East Bay Sexual Freedom League. When I read this letter to illustrate a common problem of males, SFL Director, Tom Palmer, asked where the kite had been attached. Strangely enough there was a Sandor Ferenczi who did write such a paper.

Impotency is the inability to have an erection or the inability to have an orgasm. Though impotency tends to increase after the age of 40 it is not a normal part of the aging process. As a medical student I treated an 83 year old man who had suffered a heart attack shortly after masturbating. He had recently been discharged from another hospital after prostate surgery and was just making sure all was intact.

Usually no physical cause can be found for impotency though occasionally a surgically correctable circulatory defect may be the cause. Males of any age concerned with an impotency problem should consult their physicians. Often, a course of psychiatric treatments is beneficial.

QUESTION: We have been moistening our grass and then putting it away in a warm place until a white and eventually blue-green mold appears. This seems to alter the effect considerably (for the better). What kind of mold is it and can it do any harm?

ANSWER: It is probably a happy mold. Positive identification of molds is usually possible only by direct examination. A mycologist in the Botany Department of a college could make such an identification. Perhaps you’ve made an important discovery—after all penicillin was originally made from molds. More likely the change you note is due to aging of the marijuana. Some molds are very harmful, especially when inhaled.

QUESTION: I know what a vasectomy is but am curious to know the results aside from sterility. Does it interfere with ejaculation? What are the pros and cons of the whole thing?

ANSWER: Vasectomies are simple surgical operations (often done in the doctor’s office) which cause sterility in males. The procedure consists of anesthetizing 2 small areas of the scrotum, making small incisions and severing both vas deferens, two spaghetti-like structures which transport sperm.

Ejaculation and orgasm normally continue as before since sperm constitute only a small part of the total seminal fluid volume.

The chief objection raised against vasectomies is that the resulting sterility is usually permanent. Too many cases arise in which a man later changes his mind and wishes to have children. Attempts to reunite the severed ends of the vas deferens are most often successful.