Elixirs of Vigour

  • Jacinthe FloreEmail author


This chapter traces the circulation of products in the governance of sexual appetite in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. It examines the commodification of sexual appetite through the advertisements of aphrodisiacs, elixirs and mechanical devices in manuals, pamphlets, tracts and newspapers. The subject who emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century was not simply a patient, but a customer who needed both a product and knowledge to manage and control their sexuality. The chapter considers how the marketing of aphrodisiacs, elixirs and mechanical devices for sexual imbalances was used for managing sexual appetite. The different products promoted in this era functioned as techniques for actively encouraging individuals to autonomously and independently manage their sexual lives.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal Melbourne Institute of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

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