This may shock you but did you know that electricity was once used to treat impotence? Absurd as that sounds today, “electrotherapeutics” was in vogue in between the 18th and 19th centuries and its uses were limited only by the imagination.

Early doctors thought wrongly that impotence and sexual inadequacy were caused in part by masturbation. Their shocking prescription: electrical devices that jolted the user and supposedly caused erections! These devices were heavily advertised in newspapers and medical journals and promised to restore masculine powers. One famous promoter was Dr. James Graham who recommended cold bathing, moderation, and his electrical bed.

“It is especially in the genital organs that electricity is truly marvelous. Impotence disappears, strength and desire of youth return, and the man, old before his time, whether by excesses or privations, with the aid of electrical fustigation, can become 15 years younger,” wrote medical historian David Reynolds.

In 1891, Dr. Edward B. Foote published a book that praised electrical therapy. While he cautioned against its use at the hands of inexperienced operators, Foote said that for the device to work properly it was equally important for the doctor to have a “magnetic” personality.

For those who couldn’t make it to his clinic either because they lived too far away or were ashamed to do so, the good doctor had another alternative: mail-order “electrical” medications that supposedly worked as good as the device itself. However, how he transferred electricity into his pills was not covered in his book. I sincerely doubt if he could offer a good explanation!

“I do not mean to shock the good sense of my readers by saying that an electrical property can be imparted to medicines, but I do affirm, that I can prepare medicines in such a way that they will possess latent electrical properties which are at once rendered active by coming in contact with the gastric fluids of the stomach. In many cases, electrical medication is far more beneficial than applications of electricity, and in all cases it is more efficacious than the manipulations of ordinary operators,” wrote Foote.

In the early 20th century, it was fashionable for impotent men to wear electric belts that used low-level electric current to massage the penis and improve sexual vigor. The belts were advertised as a modern solution to an age-old problem. They supposedly created a new man by electrically powering his genitals.

To avoid the stigma of being branded as a person who masturbated frequently, impotent men used the belts and other mail-order electrical remedies secretly. Manufacturers exploited that fear and managed to sell hundreds of thousands of electrical products.

“Electricity’s perceived ability to transfer energetic power into the body solved three crises in contemporary male sexual performance: masturbatory depletion, perceived sexual inadequacy, and glandular limits. In an age that demanded increased virility in the boardroom and bedroom, many men found themselves physically unfit for the task. By infusing their bodies with electric technology, men could redefine normal sexual performance,” said Carolyn Thomas de la Pena in her book “The Body Electric: How Strange Machines Built the Modern American.”

Luckily, today’s modern impotence cures won’t put you at risk of electrocution. Still, one has to be selective in choosing the right treatment. Your doctor can provide helpful suggestions regarding this matter. One of them is Erectasil, a male enhancement cream that works in just 60 seconds. Erectasil’s potent formula treats impotence without side effects. For details, visit

Author's Bio: 

Jill Stewart is a health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online health news magazine