What comes to mind when you think of graham crackers?
What about corn flakes? What do you picture?
Eating breakfast before school?
Whether you answered yes (???) or no to that last question, prepare to never look at a graham cracker or corn flake the same way again.
Flash black to the 1800s, when sex was basically viewed as the root of all evil. Back then, giving in to your sexual desires — especially masturbation — was believed to cause everything from headaches to epilepsy to actual insanity.
Who helped propel this belief to widespread acceptance? None other than Reverend Sylvester Graham of Connecticut, who invented the graham cracker 🚨 as a way to prevent sexual urges 🚨.
Beginning in the 1830s, Graham launched a seemingly unstoppable movement against masturbation, preaching that a bland diet could curb sexual appetite (you know, like Atkins, but anti-wanking), which is why he made a snack as boring as never jerking off.
The graham cracker was the reverend's alternative to the "miserable trash" that was mass-produced bread, a food he believed should not only be baked at home by your mother (not at a filthy-ass bakery!!) but that was also ruining diets and, therefore, inciting inappropriate sexual urges.
But! Graham was actually mobbed in 1834 for attempting to lecture women on chastity, and later by angry bakers and butchers who felt he was hurting their businesses.
Graham's anti-masturbation protégé? Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, y'all — the inventor of corn flakes.
In the late 1800s, Kellogg also argued that a bland diet could prevent the abominable urge to "self-abuse," suggesting that one primarily eat grains, nuts, and cereal, including his very own concoction: corn flakes.
Kellogg recommended in Plain Facts for Old and Young that, in addition to eating corn flakes, boys thread a silver wire through their foreskin to prevent erections and cause irritation, and that girls apply carbolic acid to the clitoris to burn it and discourage touching.
Moral of the story: The next time you make s'mores or pour yourself a wholesome bowl of corn flakes (if you can even do that after reading this), take a hot sec to appreciate how far we've actually come.
Now, go indulge in your ~secret habit~ as a big "fuck you" to Graham and Kellogg.