Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes;
it provokes the desire, but it takes
away the performance: therefore, much drink
may be said to be an equivocator with lechery:
it makes him, and it mars him; it sets
him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him,
and disheartens him; makes him stand to, and
not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him
in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him.
In the porter's view, drink is an equivocator because it both causes one to desire a situation and at the same time it hinders one's ability to function in that same situation. The porter uses lechery (sexual function) as a classic example.