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Title: Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 - Analysis of the Sexual Impulse; Love and Pain; The Sexual Impulse in Women
Author: Ellis, Havelock, 1859-1939
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 - Analysis of the Sexual Impulse; Love and Pain; The Sexual Impulse in Women" ***

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VOLUME 3 (OF 6)***


   Analysis of the Sexual Impulse
   Love and Pain
   The Sexual Impulse in Women





This volume has been thoroughly revised for the present edition and
considerably enlarged throughout, in order to render it more accurate and
more illustrative, while bringing it fairly up to date with reference to
scientific investigation. Numerous histories have also been added to the

It has not been found necessary to modify the main doctrines set forth ten
years ago. At the same time, however, it may be mentioned, as regards the
first study in the volume, that our knowledge of the physiological
mechanism of the sexual instinct has been revolutionized during recent
years. This is due to the investigations that have been made, and the
deductions that have been built up, concerning the part played by
hormones, or internal secretions of the ductless glands, in the physical
production of the sexual instinct and the secondary sexual characters. The
conception of the psychology of the sexual impulse here set forth, while
correlated to terms of a physical process of tumescence and detumescence,
may be said to be independent of the ultimate physiological origins of
that process. But we cannot fail to realize the bearing of physiological
chemistry in this field; and the doctrine of internal secretions, since it
may throw light on many complex problems presented by the sexual instinct,
is full of interest for us.


June, 1913.


The present volume of _Studies_ deals with some of the most essential
problems of sexual psychology. The _Analysis of the Sexual Impulse_ is
fundamental. Unless we comprehend the exact process which is being worked
out beneath the shifting and multifold phenomena presented to us we can
never hope to grasp in their true relations any of the normal or abnormal
manifestations of this instinct. I do not claim that the conception of the
process here stated is novel or original. Indeed, even since I began to
work it out some years ago, various investigators in these fields,
especially in Germany, have deprived it of any novelty it might otherwise
have possessed, while at the same time aiding me in reaching a more
precise statement. This is to me a cause of satisfaction. On so
fundamental a matter I should have been sorry to find myself tending to a
peculiar and individual standpoint. It is a source of gratification to me
that the positions I have reached are those toward which current
intelligent and scientific opinions are tending. Any originality in my
study of this problem can only lie in the bringing together of elements
from somewhat diverse fields. I shall be content if it is found that I
have attained a fairly balanced, general, and judicial statement of these
main factors in the sexual instinct.

In the study of _Love and Pain_ I have discussed the sources of those
aberrations which are commonly called, not altogether happily, "sadism"
and "masochism." Here we are brought before the most extreme and perhaps
the most widely known group of sexual perversions. I have considered them
from the medico-legal standpoint, because that has already been done by
other writers whose works are accessible. I have preferred to show how
these aberrations may be explained; how they may be linked on to normal
and fundamental aspects of the sexual impulse; and, indeed, in their
elementary forms, may themselves be regarded as normal. In some degree
they are present, in every case, at some point of sexual development;
their threads are subtly woven in and out of the whole psychological
process of sex. I have made no attempt to reduce their complexity to a
simplicity that would be fallacious. I hope that my attempt to unravel
these long and tangled threads will be found to make them fairly clear.

In the third study, on _The Sexual Impulse in Women_, we approach a
practical question of applied sexual psychology, and a question of the
first importance. No doubt the sex impulse in men is of great moment from
the social point of view. It is, however, fairly obvious and well
understood. The impulse in women is not only of at least equal moment, but
it is far more obscure. The natural difficulties of the subject have been
increased by the assumption of most writers who have touched it--casually
and hurriedly, for the most part--that the only differences to be sought
in the sexual impulse in man and in woman are quantitative differences. I
have pointed out that we may more profitably seek for qualitative
differences, and have endeavored to indicate such of these differences as
seem to be of significance.

In an Appendix will be found a selection of histories of more or less
normal sexual development. Histories of gross sexual perversion have often
been presented in books devoted to the sexual instinct; it has not
hitherto been usual to inquire into the facts of normal sexual
development. Yet it is concerning normal sexual development that our
ignorance is greatest, and the innovation can scarcely need justification.
I have inserted these histories not only because many of them are highly
instructive in themselves, but also because they exhibit the nature of the
material on which my work is mainly founded.

I am indebted to many correspondents, medical and other, in various parts
of the world, for much valuable assistance. When they have permitted me
to do so I have usually mentioned their names in the text. This has not
been possible in the case of many women friends and correspondents, to
whom, however, my debt is very great. Nature has put upon women the
greater part of the burden of sexual reproduction; they have consequently
become the supreme authorities on all matters in which the sexual emotions
come into question. Many circumstances, however, that are fairly obvious,
conspire to make it difficult for women to assert publicly the wisdom and
knowledge which, in matters of love, the experiences of life have brought
to them. The ladies who, in all earnestness and sincerity, write books on
these questions are often the last people to whom we should go as the
representatives of their sex; those who know most have written least. I
can therefore but express again, as in previous volumes I have expressed
before, my deep gratitude to these anonymous collaborators who have aided
me in throwing light on a field of human life which is of such primary
social importance and is yet so dimly visible.


Carbis Water,

Lelant, Cornwall, England.



Definition of Instinct--The Sexual Impulse a Factor of the Sexual
Instinct--Theory of the Sexual Impulse as an Impulse of Evacuation--The
Evidence in Support of this Theory Inadequate--The Sexual Impulse to Some
Extent Independent of the Sexual Glands--The Sexual Impulse in Castrated
Animals and Men--The Sexual Impulse in Castrated Women, After the
Menopause, and in the Congenital Absence of the Sexual Glands--The
Internal Secretions--Analogy between the Sexual Relationship and that of
the Suckling Mother and her Child--The Theory of the Sexual Impulse as a
Reproductive Impulse--This Theory Untenable--Moll's Definition--The
Impulse of Detumescence--The Impulse of Contrectation--Modification of
this Theory Proposed--Its Relation to Darwin's Sexual Selection--The
Essential Element in Darwin's Conception--Summary of the History of the
Doctrine of Sexual Selection. Its Psychological Aspect--Sexual Selection a
Part of Natural Selection--The Fundamental Importance of
Tumescence--Illustrated by the Phenomena of Courtship in Animals and in
Man--The Object of Courtship is to Produce Sexual Tumescence--The
Primitive Significance of Dancing in Animals and Man--Dancing is a Potent
Agent for Producing Tumescence--The Element of Truth in the Comparison of
the Sexual Impulse with an Evacuation, Especially of the Bladder--Both
Essentially Involve Nervous Explosions--Their Intimate and Sometimes
Vicarious Relationships--Analogy between Coitus and Epilepsy--Analogy of
the Sexual Impulse to Hunger--Final Object of the Impulses of Tumescence
and Detumescence.



The Chief Key to the Relationship between Love and Pain to be Found in
Animal Courtship--Courtship a Source of Combativity and of Cruelty--Human
Play in the Light of Animal Courtship--The Frequency of Crimes Against the
Person in Adolescence--Marriage by Capture and its Psychological
Basis--Man's Pleasure in Exerting Force and Woman's Pleasure in
Experiencing it--Resemblance of Love to Pain even in Outward
Expression--The Love-bite--In What Sense Pain May be Pleasurable--The
Natural Contradiction in the Emotional Attitude of Women Toward
Men--Relative Insensibility to Pain of the Organic Sexual Sphere in
Women--The Significance of the Use of the Ampallang and Similar Appliances
in Coitus--The Sexual Subjection of Women to Men in Part Explainable as
the Necessary Condition for Sexual Pleasure.


The Definition of Sadism--De Sade--Masochism to some Extent
Normal--Sacher-Masoch--No Real Line of Demarcation between Sadism and
Masochism--Algolagnia Includes Both Groups of Manifestations--The
Love-bite as a Bridge from Normal Phenomena to Algolagnia--The Fascination
of Blood--The Most Extreme Perversions are Linked on to Normal Phenomena.


Flagellation as a Typical Illustration of Algolagnia--Causes of Connection
between Sexual Emotion and Whipping--Physical Causes--Psychic Causes
Probably More Important--The Varied Emotional Associations of
Whipping--Its Wide Prevalence.


The Impulse to Strangle the Object of Sexual Desire--The Wish to be
Strangled. Respiratory Disturbance the Essential Element in this Group of
Phenomena--The Part Played by Respiratory Excitement in the Process of
Courtship--Swinging and Suspension--The Attraction Exerted by the Idea of
being Chained and Fettered.


Pain, and not Cruelty, the Essential Element in Sadism and Masochism--Pain
Felt as Pleasure--Does the Sadist Identify Himself with the Feelings of
his Victim?--The Sadist Often a Masochist in Disguise--The Spectacle of
Pain or Struggle as a Sexual Stimulant.


Why is Pain a Sexual Stimulant?--It is the Most Effective Method of
Arousing Emotion--Anger and Fear the Most Powerful Emotions--Their
Biological Significance in Courtship--Their General and Special Effects in
Stimulating the Organism--Grief as a Sexual Stimulant--The Physiological
Mechanism of Fatigue Renders Pain Pleasurable.


Summary of Results Reached--The Joy of Emotional Expansion--The
Satisfaction of the Craving for Power--The Influence of Neurasthenic and
Neuropathic Conditions--The Problem of Pain in Love Largely Constitutes a
Special Case of Erotic Symbolism.




The Primitive View of Women--As a Supernatural Element in Life--As
Peculiarly Embodying the Sexual Instinct--The Modern Tendency to
Underestimate the Sexual Impulse in Women--This Tendency Confined to
Recent Times--Sexual Anæsthesia--Its Prevalence--Difficulties in
Investigating the Subject--Some Attempts to Investigate it--Sexual
Anæsthesia Must be Regarded as Abnormal--The Tendency to Spontaneous
Manifestations of the Sexual Impulse in Young Girls at Puberty.


Special Characters of the Sexual Impulse in Women--The More Passive Part
Played by Women in Courtship--This Passivity Only Apparent--The Physical
Mechanism of the Sexual Process in Women More Complex--The Slower
Development of Orgasm in Women--The Sexual Impulse in Women More
Frequently Needs to be Actively Aroused--The Climax of Sexual Energy Falls
Later in Women's Lives than in Men's--Sexual Ardor in Women increased
After the Establishment of Sexual Relationships--Women Bear Sexual
Excesses Better than Men--The Sexual Sphere Larger and More Diffused in
Women--The Sexual Impulse in Women Shows a Greater Tendency to Periodicity
and a Wider Range of Variation.


Summary of Conclusions.


The Sexual Instinct in Savages.


The Development of the Sexual Instinct.




Definition of Instinct--The Sexual Impulse a Factor of the Sexual
Instinct--Theory of the Sexual Impulse as an Impulse of Evacuation--The
Evidence in Support of this Theory Inadequate--The Sexual Impulse to Some
Extent Independent of the Sexual Glands--The Sexual Impulse in Castrated
Animals and Men--The Sexual Impulse in Castrated Women, after the
Menopause, and in the Congenital Absence of the Sexual Glands--The
Internal Secretions--Analogy between the Sexual Relationship and that of
the Suckling Mother and her Child--The Theory of the Sexual Impulse as a
Reproductive Impulse--This Theory Untenable--Moll's Definition--The
Impulse of Detumescence--The Impulse of Contrectation--Modification of
this Theory Proposed--Its Relation to Darwin's Sexual Selection--The
Essential Element in Darwin's Conception--Summary of the History of the
Doctrine of Sexual Selection--Its Psychological Aspect--Sexual Selection a
Part of Natural Selection--The Fundamental Importance of
Tumescence--Illustrated by the Phenomena of Courtship in Animals and in
Man--The Object of Courtship is to Produce Sexual Tumescence--The
Primitive Significance of Dancing in Animals and Man--Dancing is a Potent
Agent for Producing Tumescence--The Element of Truth in the Comparison of
the Sexual Impulse with an Evacuation, Especially of the Bladder--Both
Essentially Involve Nervous Explosions--Their Intimate and Sometimes
Vicarious Relationships--Analogy between Coitus and Epilepsy--Analogy of
the Sexual Impulse to Hunger--Final Object of the Impulses of Tumescence
and Detumescence.

The term "sexual instinct" may be said to cover the whole of the
neuropsychic phenomena of reproduction which man shares with the lower
animals. It is true that much discussion has taken place concerning the
proper use of the term "instinct," and some definitions of instinctive
action would appear to exclude the essential mechanism of the process
whereby sexual reproduction is assured. Such definitions scarcely seem
legitimate, and are certainly unfortunate. Herbert Spencer's definition of
instinct as "compound reflex action" is sufficiently clear and definite
for ordinary use.

    A fairly satisfactory definition of instinct is that supplied by
    Dr. and Mrs. Peckham in the course of their study _On the
    Instincts and Habits of Solitary Wasps_. "Under the term
    'instinct,'" they say, "we place all complex acts which are
    performed previous to experience and in a similar manner by all
    members of the same sex and race, leaving out as non-essential,
    at this time, the question of whether they are or are not
    accompanied by consciousness." This definition is quoted with
    approval by Lloyd Morgan, who modifies and further elaborates it
    (_Animal Behavior_, 1900, p. 21). "The distinction between
    instinctive and reflex behavior," he remarks, "turns in large
    degree on their relative complexity," and instinctive behavior,
    he concludes, may be said to comprise "those complex groups of
    co-ordinated acts which are, on their first occurrence,
    independent of experience; which tend to the well-being of the
    individual and the preservation of the race; which are due to the
    co-operation of external and internal stimuli; which are
    similarly performed by all the members of the same more or less
    restricted group of animals; but which are subject to variation,
    and to subsequent modification under the guidance of experience."
    Such a definition clearly justifies us in speaking of a "sexual
    instinct." It may be added that the various questions involved in
    the definition of the sexual instinct have been fully discussed
    by Moll in the early sections of his _Untersuchungen über die
    Libido Sexualis_.

    Of recent years there has been a tendency to avoid the use of the
    term "instinct," or, at all events, to refrain from attaching any
    serious scientific sense to it. Loeb's influence has especially
    given force to this tendency. Thus, while Piéron, in an
    interesting discussion of the question ("Les Problèmes Actuels de
    l'Instinct," _Revue Philosophique_, Oct., 1908), thinks it would
    still be convenient to retain the term, giving it a philosophical
    meaning, Georges Bohn, who devotes a chapter to the notion of
    instinct (_La Naissance de l'Intelligence_, 1909), is strongly in
    favor of eliminating the word, as being merely a legacy of
    medieval theologians and metaphysicians, serving to conceal our
    ignorance or our lack of exact analysis.

It may be said that the whole of the task undertaken in these _Studies_ is
really an attempt to analyze what is commonly called the sexual instinct.
In order to grasp it we have to break it up into its component parts.
Lloyd Morgan has pointed out that the components of an instinct may be
regarded as four: first, the internal messages giving rise to the impulse;
secondly, the external stimuli which co-operate with the impulse to affect
the nervous centers; thirdly, the active response due to the co-ordinate
outgoing discharges; and, fourthly, the message from the organs concerned
in the behavior by which the central nervous system is further

In dealing with the sexual instinct the first two factors are those which
we have most fully to discuss. With the external stimuli we shall be
concerned in a future volume (IV). We may here confine ourselves mainly to
the first factor: the nature of the internal messages which prompt the
sexual act. We may, in other words, attempt to analyze the _sexual

The first definition of the sexual impulse we meet with is that which
regards it as an impulse of evacuation. The psychological element is thus
reduced to a minimum. It is true that, especially in early life, the
emotions caused by forced repression of the excretions are frequently
massive or acute in the highest degree, and the joy of relief
correspondingly great. But in adult life, on most occasions, these desires
can be largely pushed into the background of consciousness, partly by
training, partly by the fact that involuntary muscular activity is less
imperative in adult life; so that the ideal element in connection with the
ordinary excretions is almost a negligible quantity. The evacuation theory
of the sexual instinct is, however, that which has most popular vogue, and
the cynic delights to express it in crude language. It is the view that
appeals to the criminal mind, and in the slang of French criminals the
brothel is _le cloaque_. It was also the view implicitly accepted by
medieval ascetic writers, who regarded woman as "a temple built over a
sewer," and from a very different standpoint it was concisely set forth by
Montaigne, who has doubtless contributed greatly to support this view of
the matter: "I find," he said, "that Venus, after all, is nothing more
than the pleasure of discharging our vessels, just as nature renders
pleasurable the discharges from other parts."[2] Luther, again, always
compared the sexual to the excretory impulse, and said that marriage was
just as necessary as the emission of urine. Sir Thomas More, also, in the
second book of _Utopia_, referring to the pleasure of evacuation, speaks
of that felt "when we do our natural easement, or when we be doing the act
of generation." This view would, however, scarcely deserve serious
consideration if various distinguished investigators, among whom Féré may
be specially mentioned, had not accepted it as the best and most accurate
definition of the sexual impulse. "The genesic need may be considered,"
writes Féré, "as a need of evacuation; the choice is determined by the
excitations which render the evacuation more agreeable."[3] Certain facts
observed in the lower animals tend to support this view; it is, therefore,
necessary, in the first place, to set forth the main results of
observation on this matter. Spallanzani had shown how the male frog during
coitus will undergo the most horrible mutilations, even decapitation, and
yet resolutely continue the act of intercourse, which lasts from four to
ten days, sitting on the back of the female and firmly clasping her with
his forelegs. Goltz confirmed Spallanzani's observations and threw new
light on the mechanism of the sexual instinct and the sexual act in the
frog. By removing various parts of the female frog Goltz found that every
part of the female was attractive to the male at pairing time, and that he
was not imposed on when parts of a male were substituted. By removing
various of the sense-organs of the male Goltz[4] further found that it was
not by any special organ, but by the whole of his sensitive system, that
this activity was set in action. If, however, the skin of the arms and of
the breast between was removed, no embrace took place; so that the sexual
sensations seemed to be exerted through this apparatus. When the
testicles were removed the embrace still took place. It could scarcely be
said that these observations demonstrated, or in any way indicated, that
the sexual impulse is dependent on the need of evacuation. Professor
Tarchanoff, of St. Petersburg, however, made an experiment which seemed to
be crucial. He took several hundred frogs (_Rana temporaria_), nearly all
in the act of coitus, and in the first place repeated Goltz's experiments.
He removed the heart; but this led to no direct or indirect stoppage of
coitus, nor did removal of the lungs, parts of the liver, the spleen, the
intestines, the stomach, or the kidneys. In the same way even careful
removal of both testicles had no result. But on removing the seminal
receptacles coitus was immediately or very shortly stopped, and not
renewed. Thus, Tarchanoff concluded that in frogs, and possibly therefore
in mammals, the seminal receptacles are the starting-point of the
centripetal impulse which by reflex action sets in motion the complicated
apparatus of sexual activity.[5] A few years later the question was again
taken up by Steinach, of Prague. Granting that Tarchanoff's experiments
are reliable as regards the frog, Steinach points out that we may still
ask whether in mammals the integrity of the seminal receptacles is bound
up with the preservation of sexual excitability. This cannot be taken for
granted, nor can we assume that the seminal receptacles of the frog are
homologous with the seminal vesicles of mammals. In order to test the
question, Steinach chose the white rat, as possessing large seminal
vesicles and a very developed sexual impulse. He found that removal of the
seminal sacs led to no decrease in the intensity of the sexual impulse;
the sexual act was still repeated with the same frequency and the same
vigor. But these receptacles, Steinach proceeded to argue, do not really
contain semen, but a special secretion of their own; they are anatomically
quite unlike the seminal receptacles of the frog; so that no doubt is thus
thrown on Tarchanoff's observations. Steinach remarked, however, that
one's faith is rather shaken by the fact that in the _Esculenta_, which
in sexual life closely resembles _Rana temporaria_, there are no seminal
receptacles. He therefore repeated Tarchanoff's experiments, and found
that the seminal receptacles were empty before coitus, only becoming
gradually filled during coitus; it could not, therefore, be argued that
the sexual impulse started from the receptacles. He then extirpated the
seminal receptacles, avoiding hemorrhage as far as possible, and found
that, in the majority of cases so operated on, coitus still continued for
from five to seven days, and in the minority for a longer time. He
therefore concluded, with Goltz, that it is from the swollen testicles,
not from the seminal receptacles, that the impulse first starts. Goltz
himself pointed out that the fact that the removal of the testicles did
not stop coitus by no means proves that it did not begin it, for, when the
central nervous mechanism is once set in action, it can continue even when
the exciting stimulus is removed. By extirpating the testicles some months
before the sexual season he found that no coitus occurred. At the same
time, even in these frogs, a certain degree of sexual inclination and a
certain excitability of the embracing center still persisted, disappearing
when the sexual epoch was over.

According to most recent writers, the seminal vesicles of mammals are
receptacles for their own albuminous secretion, the function of which is
unknown. Steinach could find no spermatozoa in these "seminal" sacs, and
therefore he proposed to use Owen's name of _glandulæ vesiculares_. After
extirpation of these vesicular glands in the white rat typical coitus
occurred. But the capacity for _procreation_ was diminished, and
extirpation of both _glandulæ vesiculares_ and _glandulæ prostaticæ_ led
to disappearance of the capacity for procreation. Steinach came to the
conclusion that this is because the secretions of these glands impart
increased vitality to the spermatozoa, and he points out that great
fertility and high development of the accessory sexual glands go together.

Steinach found that, when sexually mature white rats were castrated,
though at first they remained as potent as ever, their potency gradually
declined; sexual excitement, however, and sexual inclination always
persisted. He then proceeded to castrate rats before puberty and
discovered the highly significant fact that in these also a quite
considerable degree of sexual inclination appeared. They followed,
sniffed, and licked the females like ordinary males; and that this was not
a mere indication of curiosity was shown by the fact that they made
attempts at coitus which only differed from those of normal males by the
failure of erection and ejaculation, though, occasionally, there was
imperfect erection. This lasted for a year, and then their sexual
inclinations began to decline, and they showed signs of premature age.
These manifestations of sexual sense Steinach compares to those noted in
the human species during childhood.[6]

The genesic tendencies are thus, to a certain degree, independent of the
generative glands, although the development of these glands serves to
increase the genesic ability and to furnish the impulsion necessary to
assure procreation, as well as to insure the development of the secondary
sexual characters, probably by the influence of secretions elaborated and
thrown into the system from the primary sexual glands.[7]

    Halban ("Die Entstehung der Geschlechtscharaktere," _Archiv für
    Gynäkologie_, 1903, pp. 205-308) argues that the primary sex
    glands do not necessarily produce the secondary sex characters,
    nor inhibit the development of those characteristic of the
    opposite sex. It is indeed the rule, but it is not the inevitable
    result. Sexual differences exist from the first. Nussbaum made
    experiments on frogs (_Rana fusca_), which go through a yearly
    cycle of secondary sexual changes at the period of heat. These
    changes cease on castration, but, if the testes of other frogs
    are introduced beneath the skin of the castrated frogs, Nussbaum
    found that they acted as if the frog had not been castrated. It
    is the secretion of the testes which produces the secondary
    sexual changes. But Nussbaum found that the testicular secretion
    does not work if the nerves of the secondary sexual region are
    cut, and that the secretion has no direct action on the organism.
    Pflüger, discussing these experiments (_Archiv für die Gesammte
    Physiologie_, 1907, vol. cxvi, parts 5 and 6), disputes this
    conclusion, and argues that the secretion is not dependent on the
    action of the nervous system, and that therefore the secondary
    sexual characters are independent of the nervous system.

    Steinach has also in later experiments ("Geschlechtstrieb und
    echt Sekundäre Geschlechtsmerkmale als Folge der
    innerskretorischen Funktion der Keimdrusen," _Zentralblatt für
    Physiologie_, Bd. xxiv, Nu. 13, 1910) argued against any local
    nervous influence. He found in _Rana fusca_ and _esculenta_ that
    after castration in autumn the impulse to grasp the female
    persisted in some degrees and then disappeared, reappearing in a
    slight degree, however, every winter at the normal period of
    sexual activity. But when the testicular substance of actively
    sexual frogs was injected into the castrated frogs it exerted an
    elective action on the sexual reflex, sometimes in a few hours,
    but the action is, Steinach concludes, first central. The
    testicular secretion of frogs that were not sexually active had
    no stimulating action, but if the frogs were sexually active the
    injection of their central nervous substance was as effective as
    their testicular substance. In either case, Steinach concludes,
    there is the removal of an inhibition which is in operation at
    sexually quiescent periods.

    Speaking generally, Steinach considers that there is a process of
    "erotisation" (Erotisieurung) of the nervous center under the
    influence of the internal testicular secretions, and that this
    persists even when the primary physical stimulus has been

The experience of veterinary surgeons also shows that the sexual impulse
tends to persist in animals after castration. Thus the ox and the gelding
make frequent efforts to copulate with females in heat. In some cases, at
all events in the case of the horse, castrated animals remain potent, and
are even abnormally ardent, although impregnation cannot, of course,

The results obtained by scientific experiment and veterinary experience on
the lower animals are confirmed by observation of various groups of
phenomena in the human species. There can be no doubt that castrated men
may still possess sexual impulses. This has been noted by observers in
various countries in which eunuchs are made and employed.[9]

    It is important to remember that there are different degrees of
    castration, for in current language these are seldom
    distinguished. The Romans recognized four different degrees: 1.
    True _castrati_, from whom both the testicles and the penis had
    been removed. 2. _Spadones_, from whom the testicles only had
    been removed; this was the most common practice. 3. _Thlibiæ_, in
    whom the testicles had not been removed, but destroyed by
    crushing; this practice is referred to by Hippocrates. 4.
    _Thlasiæ_, in whom the spermatic cord had simply been cut.
    Millant, from whose Paris thesis (_Castration Criminelle et
    Maniaque_, 1902) I take these definitions, points out that it was
    recognized that _spadones_ remained apt for coitus if the
    operation was performed after puberty, a fact appreciated by many
    Roman ladies, _ad seouras libidinationes_, as St. Jerome
    remarked, while Martial (lib. iv) said of a Roman lady who sought
    eunuchs: "Vult futui Gallia, non parere." (See also Millant, _Les
    Eunuques à Travers les Ages_, 1909, and articles by Lipa Bey and
    Zambaco, _Sexual-Probleme_, Oct. and Dec., 1911.)

In China, Matignon, formerly physician to the French legation in Pekin,
tells us that eunuchs are by no means without sexual feeling, that they
seek the company of women and, he believes, gratify their sexual desires
by such methods as are left open to them, for the sexual organs are
entirely removed. It would seem probable that, the earlier the age at
which the operation is performed, the less marked are the sexual desires,
for Matignon mentions that boys castrated before the age of 10 are
regarded by the Chinese as peculiarly virginal and pure.[10] At
Constantinople, where the eunuchs are of negro race, castration is usually
complete and performed before puberty, in order to abolish sexual potency
and desire as far as possible. Even when castration is effected in
infancy, sexual desire is not necessarily rendered impossible. Thus Marie
has recorded the case of an insane Egyptian eunuch whose penis and scrotum
were removed in infancy; yet, he had frequent and intense sexual desire
with ejaculation of mucus and believed that an invisible princess touched
him and aroused voluptuous sensations. Although the body had a feminine
appearance, the prostate was normal and the vesiculæ seminales not
atrophied.[11] It may be added that Lancaster[12] quotes the following
remark, made by a resident for many years in the land, concerning Nubian
eunuchs: "As far as I can judge, sex feeling exists unmodified by absence
of the sexual organs. The eunuch differs from the man not in the absence
of sexual passion, but only in the fact that he cannot fully gratify it.
As far as he can approach a gratification of it he does so." In this
connection it may be noted that (as quoted by Moll) Jäger attributes the
preference of some women--noted in ancient Rome and in the East--for
castrated men as due not only to the freedom from risk of impregnation in
such intercourse, but also to the longer duration of erection in the

When castration is performed without removal of the penis it is said that
potency remains for at least ten years afterward, and Disselhorst, who in
his _Die accessorischen Geschlechtsdrüsen der Wirbelthiere_ takes the same
view as has been here adopted, mentions that, according to Pelikan (_Das
Skopzentum in Rüssland_), those castrated at puberty are fit for coitus
long afterward. When castration is performed for surgical reasons at a
later age it is still less likely to affect potency or to change the
sexual feelings.[13] Guinard concludes that the sexual impulse after
castration is relatively more persistent in man than in the lower animals,
and is sometimes even heightened, being probably more dependent on
external stimuli.[14]

Except in the East, castration is more often performed on women than on
men, and then the evidence as to the influence of the removal of the
ovaries on the sexual emotions shows varying results. It has been found
that after castration sexual desire and sexual pleasure in coitus may
either remain the same, be diminished or extinguished, or be increased. By
some the diminution has been attributed to autosuggestion, the woman being
convinced that she can no longer be like other women; the augmentation of
desire and pleasure has been supposed to be due to the removal of the
dread of impregnation. We have, of course, to take into account individual
peculiarities, method of life, and the state of the health.

    In France Jayle ("Effets physiologiques de la Castration chez la
    Femme," _Revue de Gynécologie_, 1897, pp. 403-57) found that,
    among 33 patients in whom ovariotomy had been performed, in 18
    sexual desire remained the same, in 3 it was diminished, in 8
    abolished, in 3 increased; while pleasure in coitus remained the
    same in 17, was diminished in 1, abolished in 4, and increased in
    5, in 6 cases sexual intercourse was very painful. In two other
    groups of cases--one in which both ovaries and uterus were
    removed and another in which the uterus alone was removed--the
    results were not notably different.

    In Germany Gläveke (_Archiv für Gynäkologie_, Bd. xxxv, 1889)
    found that desire remained in 6 cases, was diminished in 10, and
    disappeared in 11, while pleasure in intercourse remained in 8,
    was diminished in 10, and was lost in 8. Pfister, again (_Archiv
    für Gynäkologie_, Bd. lvi, 1898), examined this point in 99
    castrated women; he remarks that sexual desire and sexual
    pleasure in intercourse were usually associated, and found the
    former unchanged in 19 cases, decreased in 24, lost in 35, never
    present in 21, while the latter was unchanged in 18 cases and
    diminished or lost in 60. Keppler (International Medical
    Congress, Berlin, 1890) found that among 46 castrated women
    sexual feeling was in no case abolished. Adler also, who
    discusses this question (_Die Mangelhafte Geschlechtsempfindung
    des Weibes_, 1904, p. 75 et seq.), criticises Gläveke's
    statements and concludes that there is no strict relation between
    the sexual organs and the sexual feelings. Kisch, who has known
    several cases in which the feelings remained the same as before
    the operation, brings together (_The Sexual Life of Women_)
    varying opinions of numerous authors regarding the effects of
    removal of the ovaries on the sexual appetite.

    In America Bloom (as quoted in _Medical Standard_, 1896, p. 121)
    found that in none of the cases of women investigated, in which
    oöphorectomy had been performed before the age of 33, was the
    sexual appetite entirely lost; in most of them it had not
    materially diminished and in a few it was intensified. There
    was, however, a general consensus of opinion that the normal
    vaginal secretion during coitus was greatly lessened. In the
    cases of women over 33, including also hysterectomies, a gradual
    lessening of sexual feeling and desire was found to occur most
    generally. Dr. Isabel Davenport records 2 cases (reported in
    _Medical Standard_, 1895, p. 346) of women between 30 and 35
    years of age whose erotic tendencies were extreme; the ovaries
    and tubes were removed, in one case for disease, in the other
    with a view of removing the sexual tendencies; in neither case
    was there any change. Lapthorn Smith (_Medical Record_, vol.
    xlviii) has reported the case of an unmarried woman of 24 whose
    ovaries and tubes had been removed seven years previously for
    pain and enlargement, and the periods had disappeared for six
    years; she had had experience of sexual intercourse, and declared
    that she had never felt such extreme sexual excitement and
    pleasure as during coitus at the end of this time.

    In England Lawson Tait and Bantock (_British Medical Journal_,
    October 14, 1899, p. 975) have noted that sexual passion seems
    sometimes to be increased even after the removal of ovaries,
    tubes, and uterus. Lawson Tait also stated (_British
    Gynæcological Journal_, Feb., 1887, p. 534) that after systematic
    and extensive inquiry he had not found a single instance in
    which, provided that sexual appetite existed before the removal
    of the appendages, it was abolished by that operation. A Medical
    Inquiry Committee appointed by the Liverpool Medical Institute
    (ibid., p. 617) had previously reported that a considerable
    number of patients stated that they had suffered a distinct loss
    of sexual feeling. Lawson Tait, however, throws doubts on the
    reliability of the Committee's results, which were based on the
    statements of unintelligent hospital patients.

    I may quote the following remarks from a communication sent to me
    by an experienced physician in Australia: "No rule can be laid
    down in cases in which both ovaries have been extirpated. Some
    women say that, though formerly passionate, they have since
    become quite indifferent, but I am of opinion that the majority
    of women who have had prior sexual experience retain desire and
    gratification in an equal degree to that they had before
    operation. I know one case in which a young girl hardly 19 years
    old, who had been accustomed to congress for some twelve months,
    had trouble which necessitated the removal of the ovaries and
    tubes on both sides. Far from losing all her desire or
    gratification, both were very materially increased in intensity.
    Menstruation has entirely ceased, without loss of femininity in
    either disposition or appearance. During intercourse, I am told,
    there is continuous spasmodic contraction of various parts of the
    vagina and vulva."

The independence of the sexual impulse from the distention of the sexual
glands is further indicated by the great frequency with which sexual
sensations, in a faint or even strong degree, are experienced in childhood
and sometimes in infancy, and by the fact that they often persist in women
long after the sexual glands have ceased their functions.

    In the study of auto-erotism in another volume of these _Studies_
    I have brought together some of the evidence showing that even in
    very young children spontaneous self-induced sexual excitement,
    with orgasm, may occur. Indeed, from an early age sexual
    differences pervade the whole nervous tissue. I may here quote
    the remarks of an experienced gynecologist: "I venture to think,"
    Braxton Hicks said many years ago, "that those who have much
    attended to children will agree with me in saying that, almost
    from the cradle, a difference can be seen in manner, habits of
    mind, and in illness, requiring variations in their treatment.
    The change is certainly hastened and intensified at the time of
    puberty; but there is, even to an average observer, a clear
    difference between the sexes from early infancy, gradually
    becoming more marked up to puberty. That sexual feelings exist
    [it would be better to say 'may exist'] from earliest infancy is
    well known, and therefore this function does not depend upon
    puberty, though intensified by it. Hence, may we not conclude
    that the progress toward development is not so abrupt as has been
    generally supposed?... The changes of puberty are all of them
    dependent on the primordial force which, gradually gathering in
    power, culminates in the perfection both of form and of the
    sexual system, primary and secondary."

    There appear to have been but few systematic observations on the
    persistence of the sexual impulse in women after the menopause.
    It is regarded as a fairly frequent phenomenon by Kisch, and also
    by Löwenfeld (_Sexualleben und Nervenleiden_, p. 29). In America,
    Bloom (as quoted in _Medical Standard_, 1896), from an
    investigation of four hundred cases, found that in some cases the
    sexual impulse persisted to a very advanced age, and mentions a
    case of a woman of 70, twenty years past the menopause, who had
    been long a widow, but had recently married, and who declared
    that both desire and gratification were as great, if not greater,
    than before the menopause.

Reference may finally be made to those cases in which the sexual impulse
has developed notwithstanding the absence, verified or probable, of any
sexual glands at all. In such cases sexual desire and sexual gratification
are sometimes even stronger than normal. Colman has reported a case in
which neither ovaries nor uterus could be detected, and the vagina was too
small for coitus, but pleasurable intercourse took place by the rectum and
sexual desire was at times so strong as to amount almost to nymphomania.
Clara Barrus has reported the case of a woman in whom there was congenital
absence of uterus and ovaries, as proved subsequently by autopsy, but the
sexual impulse was very strong and she had had illicit intercourse with a
lover. She suffered from recurrent mania, and then masturbated
shamelessly; when sane she was attractively feminine. Macnaughton-Jones
describes the case of a woman of 32 with normal sexual feelings and fully
developed breasts, clitoris, and labia, but no vagina or internal
genitalia could be detected even under the most thorough examination. In a
case of Bridgman's, again, the womb and ovaries were absent, and the
vagina small, but coitus was not painful, and the voluptuous sensations
were complete and sexual passion was strong. In a case of Cotterill's, the
ovaries and uterus were of minute size and functionless, and the vagina
was absent, but the sexual feelings were normal, and the clitoris
preserved its usual sensibility. Mundé had recorded two similar cases, of
which he presents photographs. In all these cases not only was the sexual
impulse present in full degree, but the subjects were feminine in
disposition and of normal womanly conformation; in most cases the external
sexual organs were properly developed.[15]

    Féré (_L'Instinct sexuel_, p. 241) has sought to explain away
    some of these phenomena, in so far as they may be brought against
    the theory that the secretions and excretions of the sexual
    glands are the sole source of the sexual impulse. The persistence
    of sexual feelings after castration may be due, he argues, to the
    presence of the nerves in the cicatrices, just as the amputated
    have the illusion that the missing limb is still there. Exactly
    the same explanation has since been put forward by Moll,
    _Medizinische Klinik_, 1905, Nrs. 12 and 13. In the same way the
    presence of sexual feelings after the menopause may be due to
    similar irritation determined by degeneration during involution
    of the glands. The precocious appearance of the sexual impulse in
    childhood he would explain as due to an anomaly of development in
    the sexual organs. Féré makes no attempt to explain the presence
    of the sexual impulse in the congenital absence of the sexual
    glands; here, however, Mundé intervenes with the suggestion that
    it is possible that in most cases "an infinitesimal trace of
    ovary" may exist, and preserve femininity, though insufficient to
    produce ovulation or menstruation.

    It is proper to mention these ingenious arguments. They are,
    however, purely hypothetical, obviously invented to support a
    theory. It can scarcely be said that they carry conviction. We
    may rather agree with Guinard that so great is the importance of
    reproduction that nature has multiplied the means by which
    preparation is made for the conjunction of the sexes and the
    roads by which sexual excitation may arrive. As Hirschfeld puts
    it, in a discussion of this subject (_Sexual-Probleme_, Feb.,
    1912), "Nature has several irons in the fire."

    It will be seen that the conclusions we have reached indirectly
    involve the assumption that the spinal nervous centers, through
    which the sexual mechanism operates, are not sufficient to
    account for the whole of the phenomena of the sexual impulse. The
    nervous circuit tends to involve a cerebral element, which may
    sometimes be of dominant importance. Various investigators, from
    the time of Gall onward, have attempted to localize the sexual
    instinct centrally. Such attempts, however, cannot be said to
    have succeeded, although they tend to show that there is a real
    connection between the brain and the generative organs. Thus
    Ceni, of Modena, by experiments on chickens, claims to have
    proved the influence of the cortical centers of procreation on
    the faculty of generation, for he found that lesions of the
    cortex led to sterility corresponding in degree to the lesion;
    but as these results followed even independently of any
    disturbance of the sexual instinct, their significance is not
    altogether clear (Carlo Ceni, "L'Influenza dei Centri Corticali
    sui Fenomeni della Generazione," _Revista Sperimentale di
    Freniatria_, 1907, fasc. 2-3). At present, as Obici and
    Marchesini have well remarked, all that we can do is to assume
    the existence of cerebral as well as spinal sexual centers; a
    cerebral sexual center, in the strictest sense, remains purely

    Although Gall's attempt to locate the sexual instinct in the
    cerebellum--well supported as it was by observations--is no
    longer considered to be tenable, his discussion of the sexual
    instinct was of great value, far in advance of his time, and
    accompanied by a mass of facts gathered from many fields. He
    maintained that the sexual instinct is a function of the brain,
    not of the sexual organs. He combated the view ruling in his day
    that the seat of erotic mania must be sought in the sexual
    organs. He fully dealt with the development of the sexual
    instinct in many children before maturity of the sexual glands,
    the prolongation of the instinct into old age, its existence in
    the castrated and in the congenital absence of the sexual glands;
    he pointed out that even with an apparently sound and normal
    sexual apparatus all sorts of psychic pathological deviations may
    yet occur. In fact, all the lines of argument I have briefly
    indicated in the foregoing pages--although when they were first
    written this fact was unknown to me--had been fully discussed by
    this remarkable man nearly a century ago. (The greater part of
    the third volume of Gall's _Sur les Fonctions du Cerveau_, in the
    edition of 1825, is devoted to this subject. For a good summary,
    sympathetic, though critical, of Gall's views on this matter, see
    Möbius, "Ueber Gall's Specielle Organologie," _Schmidt's
    Jahrbücher der Medicin_, 1900, vol. cclxvii; also _Ausgewahlte
    Werke_, vol. vii.)

It will be seen that the question of the nature of the sexual impulse has
been slowly transformed. It is no longer a question of the formation of
semen in the male, of the function of menstruation in the female. It has
become largely a question of physiological chemistry. The chief parts in
the drama of sex, alike on its psychic as on its physical sides, are thus
supposed to be played by two mysterious protagonists, the hormones, or
internal secretions, of the testes and of the ovary. Even the part played
by the brain is now often regarded as chemical, the brain being considered
to be a great chemical laboratory. There is a tendency, moreover, to
extend the sexual sphere so as to admit the influence of internal
secretions from other glands. The thymus, the adrenals, the thyroid, the
pituitary, even the kidneys: it is possible that internal secretions from
all these glands may combine to fill in the complete picture of sexuality
as we know it in men and women.[16] The subject is, however, so complex
and at present so little known that it would be hazardous, and for the
present purpose it is needless, to attempt to set forth any conclusions.

It is sufficiently clear that there is on the surface a striking analogy
between sexual desire and the impulse to evacuate an excretion, and that
this analogy is not only seen in the frog, but extends also to the highest
vertebrates. It is quite another matter, however, to assert that the
sexual impulse can be adequately defined as an impulse to evacuate. To
show fully the inadequate nature of this conception would require a
detailed consideration of the facts of sexual life. That is, however,
unnecessary. It is enough to point out certain considerations which alone
suffice to invalidate this view. In the first place, it must be remarked
that the trifling amount of fluid emitted in sexual intercourse is
altogether out of proportion to the emotions aroused by the act and to its
after-effect on the organism; the ancient dictum _omne animal post coitum
triste_ may not be exact, but it is certain that the effect of coitus on
the organism is far more profound than that produced by the far more
extensive evacuation of the bladder or bowels. Again, this definition
leaves unexplained all those elaborate preliminaries which, both in man
and the lower animals, precede the sexual act, preliminaries which in
civilized human beings sometimes themselves constitute a partial
satisfaction to the sexual impulse. It must also be observed that, unlike
the ordinary excretions, this discharge of the sexual glands is not
always, or in every person, necessary at all. Moreover, the theory of
evacuation at once becomes hopelessly inadequate when we apply it to
women; no one will venture to claim that an adequate psychological
explanation of the sexual impulse in a woman is to be found in the desire
to expel a little bland mucus from the minute glands of the genital tract.
We must undoubtedly reject this view of the sexual impulse. It has a
certain element of truth and it permits an instructive and helpful
analogy; but that is all. The sexual act presents many characters which
are absent in an ordinary act of evacuation, and, on the other hand, it
lacks the special characteristic of the evacuation proper, the
elimination of waste material; the seminal fluid is not a waste material,
and its retention is, to some extent perhaps, rather an advantage than a
disadvantage to the organism.

Eduard von Hartmann long since remarked that the satisfaction of what we
call the sexual instinct through an act carried out with a person of the
opposite sex is a very wonderful phenomenon. It cannot be said, however,
that the conception of the sexual act as a simple process of evacuation
does anything to explain the wonder. We are, at most, in the same position
as regards the stilling of normal sexual desire as we should be as regards
the emptying of the bladder, supposing it were very difficult for either
sex to effect this satisfactorily without the aid of a portion of the body
of a person of the other sex acting as a catheter. In such a case our
thoughts and ideals would center around persons of opposite sex, and we
should court their attention and help precisely as we do now in the case
of our sexual needs. Some such relationship does actually exist in the
case of the suckling mother and her infant. The mother is indebted to the
child for the pleasurable relief of her distended breasts; and, while in
civilization more subtle pleasures and intelligent reflection render this
massive physical satisfaction comparatively unessential to the act of
suckling, in more primitive conditions and among animals the need of this
pleasurable physical satisfaction is a real bond between the mother and
her offspring. The analogy is indeed very close: the erectile nipple
corresponds to the erectile penis, the eager watery mouth of the infant to
the moist and throbbing vagina, the vitally albuminous milk to the vitally
albuminous semen.[17] The complete mutual satisfaction, physical and
psychic, of mother and child, in the transfer from one to the other of a
precious organized fluid, is the one true physiological analogy to the
relationship of a man and a woman at the climax of the sexual act. Even
this close analogy, however, fails to cover all the facts of the sexual

A very different view is presented to us in the definition of the sexual
instinct as a reproductive impulse, a desire for offspring. Hegar,
Eulenburg, Näcke, and Löwenfeld have accepted this as, at all events, a
partial definition.[18] No one, indeed, would argue that it is a complete
definition, although a few writers appear to have asserted that it is so
sometimes as regards the sexual impulse in women. There is, however,
considerable mental confusion in the attempt to set up such a definition.
If we define an instinct as an action adapted to an end which is not
present to consciousness, then it is quite true that the sexual instinct
is an instinct of reproduction. But we do not adequately define the sexual
instinct by merely stating its ultimate object. We might as well say that
the impulse by which young animals seize food is "an instinct of
nutrition." The object of reproduction certainly constitutes no part of
the sexual impulse whatever in any animal apart from man, and it reveals a
lack of the most elementary sense of biological continuity to assert that
in man so fundamental and involuntary a process can suddenly be
revolutionized. That the sexual impulse is very often associated with a
strong desire for offspring there can be no doubt, and in women the
longing for a child--that is to say, the longing to fulfill those
functions for which their bodies are constituted--may become so urgent and
imperative that we may regard it as scarcely less imperative than the
sexual impulse. But it is not the sexual impulse, though intimately
associated with it, and though it explains it. A reproductive instinct
might be found in parthenogenetic animals, but would be meaningless,
because useless, in organisms propagating by sexual union. A woman may not
want a lover, but may yet want a child. This merely means that her
maternal instincts have been aroused, while her sexual instincts are still
latent. A desire for reproduction, as soon as that desire becomes
instinctive, necessarily takes on the form of the sexual impulse, for
there is no other instinctive mechanism by which it can possibly express
itself. A "reproductive instinct," apart from the sexual instinct and
apart from the maternal instinct, cannot be admitted; it would be an
absurdity. Even in women in whom the maternal instincts are strong, it may
generally be observed that, although before a woman is in love, and also
during the later stages of her love, the conscious desire for a child may
be strong, during the time when sexual passion is at its highest the
thought of offspring, under normally happy conditions, tends to recede
into the background. Reproduction is the natural end and object of the
sexual instinct, but the statement that it is part of the contents of the
sexual impulse, or can in any way be used to define that impulse, must be
dismissed as altogether inacceptable. Indeed, although the term
"reproductive instinct" is frequently used, it is seldom used in a sense
that we need take seriously; it is vaguely employed as a euphemism by
those who wish to veil the facts of the sexual life; it is more precisely
employed mainly by those who are unconsciously dominated by a
superstitious repugnance to sex.

I now turn to a very much more serious and elaborate attempt to define the
constitution of the sexual impulse, that of Moll. He finds that it is made
up of two separate components, each of which may be looked upon as an
uncontrollable impulse.[19] One of these is that by which the tension of
the sexual organs is spasmodically relieved; this he calls the _impulse of
detumescence_,[20] and he regards it as primary, resembling the impulse to
empty a full bladder. The other impulse is the "instinct to approach,
touch, and kiss another person, usually of the opposite sex"; this he
terms the _impulse of contrectation_, and he includes under this head not
only the tendency to general physical contact, but also the psychic
inclination to become generally interested in a person of the opposite
sex. Each of these primary impulses Moll regards as forming a constituent
of the sexual instinct in both men and women. It seems to me undoubtedly
true that these two impulses do correspond to the essential phenomena. The
awkward and unsatisfactory part of Moll's analysis is the relation of the
one to the other. It is true that he traces both impulses back to the
sexual glands, that of detumescence directly, that of contrectation
indirectly; but evidently he does not regard them as intimately related to
each other; he insists on the fact that they may exist apart from each
other, that they do not appear synchronously in youth: the contrectation
impulse he regards as secondary; it is, he states, an indirect result of
the sexual glands, "only to be understood by the developmental history of
these glands and the object which they subserve"; that is to say, that it
is connected with the rise of the sexual method of reproduction and the
desirability of the mingling of the two sexes in procreation, while the
impulse of detumescence arose before the sexual method of reproduction had
appeared; thus the contrectation impulse was propagated by natural
selection together with the sexual method of reproduction. The impulse of
contrectation is secondary, and Moll even regards it as a secondary sexual

While, therefore, this analysis seems to include all the phenomena and to
be worthy of very careful study as a serious and elaborate attempt to
present an adequate psychological definition of the sexual impulse, it
scarcely seems to me that we can accept it in precisely the form in which
Moll presents it. I believe, however, that by analyzing the process a
little more minutely we shall find that these two constituents of the
sexual impulse are really much more intimately associated than at the
first glance appears, and that we need by no means go back to the time
when the sexual method of reproduction arose to explain the significance
of the phenomena which Moll includes under the term contrectation.

To discover the true significance of the phenomena in men it is necessary
to observe carefully the phenomena of love-making not only among men, but
among animals, in which the impulse of contrectation plays a very large
part, and involves an enormous expenditure of energy. Darwin was the first
to present a comprehensive view of, at all events a certain group of, the
phenomena of contrectation in animals; on his interpretation of those
phenomena he founded his famous theory of sexual selection. We are not
primarily concerned with that theory; but the facts on which Darwin based
his theory lie at the very roots of our subject, and we are bound to
consider their psychological significance. In the first place, since these
phenomena are specially associated with Darwin's name, it may not be out
of place to ask what Darwin himself considered to be their psychological
significance. It is a somewhat important question, even for those who are
mainly concerned with the validity of the theory which Darwin established
on those facts, but so far as I know it has not hitherto been asked. I
find that a careful perusal of the _Descent of Man_ reveals the presence
in Darwin's mind of two quite distinct theories, neither of them fully
developed, as to the psychological meaning of the facts he was collecting.
The two following groups of extracts will serve to show this very
conclusively: "The lower animals have a sense of beauty," he declares,
"powers of discrimination and taste on the part of the female" (p.
211[21]); "the females habitually or occasionally prefer the more
beautiful males," "there is little improbability in the females of insects
appreciating beauty in form or color" (p. 329); he speaks of birds as the
most "esthetic" of all animals excepting man, and adds that they have
"nearly the same taste for the beautiful as we have" (p. 359); he remarks
that a change of any kind in the structure or color of the male bird
"appears to have been admired by the female" (p. 385). He speaks of the
female Argus pheasant as possessing "this almost human degree of taste."
Birds, again, "seem to have some taste for the beautiful both in color and
sound," and "we ought not to feel too sure that the female does not attend
to each detail of beauty" (p. 421). Novelty, he says, is "admired by birds
for its own sake" (p. 495). "Birds have fine powers of discrimination and
in some few instances it can be shown that they have a taste for the
beautiful" (p. 496). The "esthetic capacity" of female animals has been
advanced by exercise just as our own taste has improved (p. 616). On the
other hand, we find running throughout the book quite another idea. Of
cicadas he tells us that it is probable that, "like female birds, they are
excited or allured by the male with the most attractive voice" (p. 282);
and, coming to _Locustidæ_, he states that "all observers agree that the
sounds serve either to call or excite the mute females" (p. 283). Of birds
he says, "I am led to believe that the females prefer or are most excited
by the more brilliant males" (p. 316). Among birds also the males
"endeavor to charm or excite their mates by love-notes," etc., and "the
females are excited by certain males, and thus unconsciously prefer them"
(p. 367), while ornaments of all kinds "apparently serve to excite,
attract, or fascinate the female" (p. 394). In a supplemental note, also,
written in 1876, five years after the first publication of the _Descent of
Man_, and therefore a late statement of his views, Darwin remarks that "no
supporter of the principle of sexual selection believes that the females
select particular points of beauty in the males; they are merely excited
or attracted in a greater degree by one male than by another, and this
seems often to depend, especially with birds, on brilliant coloring" (p.
623). Thus, on the one hand, Darwin interprets the phenomena as involving
a real esthetic element, a taste for the beautiful; on the other hand, he
states, without apparently any clear perception that the two views are
quite distinct, that the colors and sounds and other characteristics of
the male are not an appeal to any esthetic sense of the female, but an
appeal to her sexual emotions, a stimulus to sexual excitement, an
allurement to sexual contact. According to the first theory, the female
admires beauty, consciously or unconsciously, and selects the most
beautiful partner[22]; according to the second theory, there is no
esthetic question involved, but the female is unconsciously influenced by
the most powerful or complex organic stimulus to which she is subjected.
There can be no question that it is the second, and not the first, of
these two views which we are justified in accepting. Darwin, it must be
remembered, was not a psychologist, and he lived before the methods of
comparative psychology had begun to be developed; had he written twenty
years later we may be sure he would never have used so incautiously some
of the vague and hazardous expressions I have quoted. He certainly injured
his theory of sexual selection by stating it in too anthropomorphic
language, by insisting on "choice," "preference," "esthetic sense," etc.
There is no need whatever to burden any statement of the actual facts by
such terms borrowed from human psychology. The female responds to the
stimulation of the male at the right moment just as the tree responds to
the stimulation of the warmest days in spring. We should but obscure this
fact by stating that the tree "chooses" the most beautiful days on which
to put forth its young sprouts. In explaining the correlation between
responsive females and accomplished males the supposition of esthetic
choice is equally unnecessary. It is, however, interesting to observe
that, though Darwin failed to see that the love-combats, pursuits, dances,
and parades of the males served as a method of stimulating the impulse of
contrectation--or, as it would be better to term it, tumescence--in the
male himself,[23] he to some extent realized the part thus played in
exciting the equally necessary activity of tumescence in the female.

    The justification for using the term "tumescence," which I here
    propose, is to be found in the fact that vascular congestion,
    more especially of the parts related to generation, is an
    essential preliminary to acute sexual desire. This is clearly
    brought out in Heape's careful study of the "sexual season" in
    mammals. Heape distinguishes between the "pro-estrum," or
    preliminary period of congestion, in female animals and the
    immediately following "estrus," or period of desire. The latter
    period is the result of the former, and, among the lower animals
    at all events, intercourse only takes place during the estrus,
    not during the pro-estrum. Tumescence must thus be obtained
    before desire can become acute, and courtship runs _pari passu_
    with physiological processes. "Normal estrus," Heape states,
    "occurs in conjunction with certain changes in the uterine
    tissue, and this is accompanied by congestion and stimulation or
    irritation of the copulatory organs.... Congestion is invariably
    present and is an essential condition.... The first sign of
    pro-estrum noticed in the lower mammals is a swollen and
    congested vulva and a general restlessness, excitement, or
    uneasiness. There are other signs familiar to breeders of various
    mammals, such as the congested conjunctiva of the rabbit's eye
    and the drooping ears of the pig. Many monkeys exhibit congestion
    of the face and nipples, as well as of the buttocks, thighs, and
    neighboring parts; sometimes they are congested to a very marked
    extent, and in some species a swelling, occasionally prodigious,
    of the soft tissues round the anal and generative openings, which
    is also at the time brilliantly congested, indicates the progress
    of the pro-estrum.... The growth of the stroma-tissue [in the
    uterus of monkeys during the pro-estrum] is rapidly followed by
    an increase in the number and size of the vessels of the stroma;
    the whole becomes richly supplied with blood, and the surface is
    flushed and highly vascular. This process goes on until the whole
    of the internal stroma becomes tense and brilliantly injected
    with blood.... In all essential points the menstruation or
    pro-estrum of the human female is identical with that of
    monkeys.... Estrus is possible only after the changes due to
    pro-estrum have taken place in the uterus. A wave of disturbance,
    at first evident in the external generative organs, extends to
    the uterus, and after the various phases of pro-estrum have been
    gone through in that organ, and the excitement there is
    subsiding, it would seem as if the external organs gain renewed
    stimulus, and it is then that estrus takes place.... In all
    animals which have been investigated coition is not allowed by
    the female until some time after the swelling and congestion of
    the vulva and surrounding tissue are first demonstrated, and in
    those animals which suffer from a considerable discharge of blood
    the main portion of that discharge, if not the whole of it, will
    be evacuated before sexual intercourse is allowed." (W. Heape,
    "The 'Sexual Season' of Mammals," _Quarterly Journal of
    Microscopical Science_, vol. xliv, Part I, 1900. Estrus has since
    been fully discussed in Marshall's _Physiology of Reproduction_.)
    This description clearly brings out the fundamentally vascular
    character of the process I have termed "tumescence"; it must be
    added, however, that in man the nervous elements in the process
    tend to become more conspicuous, and more or less obliterate
    these primitive limitations of sexual desire. (See "Sexual
    Periodicity" in the first volume of these _Studies_.)

    Moll subsequently restated his position with reference to my
    somewhat different analysis of the sexual impulse, still
    maintaining his original view ("Analyse des Geschlechtstriebes,"
    _Medizinische Klinik_, Nos. 12 and 13, 1905; also _Geschlecht und
    Gesellschaft_, vol. ii, Nos. 9 and 10). Numa Praetorius
    (_Jahrbuch für Sexeuelle Zwischenstufen_, 1904, p. 592) accepts
    contrectation, tumescence, and detumescence as all being stages
    in the same process, contrectation, which he defines as the
    sexual craving for a definite individual, coming first. Robert
    Müller (_Sexualbiologie_, 1907, p. 37) criticises Moll much in
    the same sense as I have done and considers that contrectation
    and detumescence cannot be separated, but are two expressions of
    the same impulse; so also Max Katte, "Die Präliminarien des
    Geschlechtsaktes," _Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft_, Oct.,
    1908, and G. Saint-Paul, _L'Homosexualité et les Types
    Homosexuels_, 1910, p. 390.

    While I regard Moll's analysis as a valuable contribution to the
    elucidation of the sexual impulse, I must repeat that I cannot
    regard it as final or completely adequate. As I understand the
    process, contrectation is an incident in the development of
    tumescence, an extremely important incident indeed, but not an
    absolutely fundamental and primitive part of it. It is equally an
    incident, highly important though not primitive and fundamental,
    of detumescence. Contrectation, from first to last; furnishes
    the best conditions for the exercise of the sexual process, but
    it is not an absolutely essential part of the process and in the
    early stages of zoölogical development it had no existence at
    all. Tumescence and detumescence are alike fundamental,
    primitive, and essential; in resting the sexual impulse on these
    necessarily connected processes we are basing ourselves on the
    solid bedrock of nature.

    Moreover, of the two processes, tumescence, which in time comes
    first, is by far the most important, and nearly the whole of
    sexual psychology is rooted in it. To assert, with Moll, that the
    sexual process may be analyzed into contrectation and
    detumescence alone is to omit the most essential part of the
    process. It is much the same as to analyze the mechanism of a gun
    into probable contact with the hand, and a more or less
    independent discharge, omitting all reference to the loading of
    the gun. The essential elements are the loading and the
    discharging. Contrectation is a part of loading, though not a
    necessary part, since the loading may be effected mechanically.
    But to understand the process of firing a gun and to comprehend
    the mechanism of the discharge, we must insist on the act of
    loading and not merely on the contact of the hand. So it is in
    analyzing the sexual impulse. Contrectation is indeed highly
    important, but it is important only in so far as it aids
    tumescence, and so may be subordinated to tumescence, exactly as
    it may also be subordinated to detumescence. It is tumescence
    which is the really essential part of the process, and we cannot
    afford, with Moll, to ignore it altogether.

Wallace opposed Darwin's theory of sexual selection, but it can scarcely
be said that his attitude toward it bears critical examination. On the one
hand, as has already been noted, he saw but one side of that theory and
that the unessential side, and, on the other hand, his own view really
coincided with the more essential elements in Darwin's theory. In his
_Tropical Nature_ he admitted that the male's "persistency and energy win
the day," and also that this "vigor and liveliness" of the male are
usually associated with intense coloration, while twenty years later (in
his _Darwinism_) he admitted also that it is highly probable that the
female is pleased or excited by the male's display. But all that is really
essential in Darwin's theory is involved, directly or indirectly, in these

Espinas, in 1878, in his suggestive book, _Des Sociétés Animales_,
described the odors, colors and forms, sounds, games, parades, and mock
battles of animals, approaching the subject in a somewhat more
psychological spirit than either Darwin or Wallace, and he somewhat more
clearly apprehended the object of these phenomena in producing mutual
excitement and stimulating tumescence. He noted the significance of the
action of the hermaphroditic snails in inserting their darts into each
other's flesh near the vulva in order to cause preliminary excitation. He
remarks of this whole group of phenomena: "It is the preliminary of sexual
union, it constitutes the first act of it. By it the image of the male is
graven on the consciousness of the female, and in a manner impregnates it,
so as to determine there, as the effects of this representation descend to
the depths of the organism, the physiological modifications necessary to
fecundation." Beaunis, again, in an analysis of the sexual sensations, was
inclined to think that the dances and parades of the male are solely
intended to excite the female, not perceiving, however, that they at the
same time serve to further excite the male also.[24]

A better and more comprehensive statement was reached by Tillier, who, to
some extent, may be said to have anticipated Groos. Darwin, Tillier
pointed out, had not sufficiently taken into account the coexistence of
combat and courtship, nor the order of the phenomena. Courtship without
combat, Tillier argued, is rare; "there is a normal coexistence of combat
and courtship."[25] Moreover, he proceeded, force is the chief factor in
determining the possession of the female by the male, who in some species
is even prepared to exert force on her; so that the female has little
opportunity of sexual selection, though she is always present at these
combats. He then emphasized the significant fact that courtship takes
place long after pairing has ceased, and the question of selection thus
been eliminated. The object of courtship, he concluded, is not sexual
selection by the female, but the sexual excitement of both male and
female, such excitement, he asserted, not only rendering coupling easier,
but favoring fecundation. Modesty, also, Tillier further argued, again
anticipating Groos, works toward the same end; it renders the male more
ardent, and by retarding coupling may also increase the secretions of the
sexual glands and favor the chances of reproduction.[26]

    In a charming volume entitled _The Naturalist in La Plata_ (1892)
    Mr. W.H. Hudson included a remarkable chapter on "Music and
    Dancing in Nature." In this chapter he described many of the
    dances, songs, and love-antics of birds, but regarded all such
    phenomena as merely "periodical fits of gladness." While,
    however, we may quite well agree with Mr. Hudson that conscious
    sexual gratification on the part of the female is not the cause
    of music and dancing performances in birds, nor of the brighter
    colors and ornaments that distinguish the male, such an opinion
    by no means excludes the conclusion that these phenomena are
    primarily sexual and intimately connected with the process of
    tumescence in both sexes. It is noteworthy that, according to
    H.E. Howard ("On Sexual Selection in Birds," _Zoölogist_, Nov.,
    1903), color is most developed just before pairing, rapidly
    becoming less beautiful--even within a few hours--after this, and
    the most beautiful male is most successful in getting paired. The
    fact that, as Mr. Hudson himself points out, it is at the season
    of love that these manifestations mainly, if not exclusively,
    appear, and that it is the more brilliant and highly endowed
    males which play the chief part in them, only serves to confirm
    such a conclusion. To argue, with Mr. Hudson, that they cannot be
    sexual because they sometimes occur before the arrival of the
    females, is much the same as to argue that the antics of a
    kitten with a feather or a reel have no relationship whatever to
    mice. The birds that began earliest to practise their
    accomplishments would probably have most chance of success when
    the females arrived. Darwin himself said that nothing is commoner
    than for animals to take pleasure in practising whatever instinct
    they follow at other times for some real good. These
    manifestations are primarily for the sake of producing sexual
    tumescence, and could not well have been developed to the height
    they have reached unless they were connected closely with
    propagation. That they may incidentally serve to express
    "gladness" one need not feel called upon to question.

    Another observer of birds, Mr. E. Selous, has made observations
    which are of interest in this connection. He finds that all
    bird-dances are not nuptial, but that some birds--the
    stone-curlew (or great plover), for example--have different kinds
    of dances. Among these birds he has made the observation, very
    significant from our present point of view, that the nuptial
    dances, taken part in by both of the pair, are immediately
    followed by intercourse. In spring "all such runnings and
    chasings are, at this time, but a part of the business of
    pairing, and one divines at once that such attitudes are of a
    sexual character.... Here we have a bird with distinct nuptial
    (sexual) and social (non-sexual) forms of display or antics, and
    the former as well as the latter are equally indulged in by both
    sexes." (E. Selous, _Bird Watching_, pp. 15-20.)

    The same author (ibid., pp. 79, 94) argues that in the fights of
    two males for one female--with violent emotion on one side and
    interested curiosity on the other--the attitude of the former
    "might gradually come to be a display made entirely for the
    female, and of the latter a greater or less degree of pleasurable
    excitement raised by it, with a choice in accordance." On this
    view the interest of the female would first have been directed,
    not to the plumage, but to the frenzied actions and antics of the
    male. From these antics in undecorated birds would gradually
    develop the interest in waving plumes and fluttering wings. Such
    a dance might come to be of a quite formal and non-courting

    Last, we owe to Professor Häcker what may fairly be regarded, in
    all main outlines, as an almost final statement of the matter. In
    his _Gesang der Vögel_ (1900) he gives a very clear account of
    the evolution of bird-song, which he regards as the most
    essential element in all this group of manifestations, furnishing
    the key also to the dancing and other antics. Originally the song
    consists only of call-cries and recognition-notes. Under the
    parallel influence of natural selection and sexual selection they
    become at the pairing season reflexes of excitement and thus
    develop into methods of producing excitement, in the male by the
    muscular energy required, and in the female through the ear;
    finally they become play, though here also it is probable that
    use is not excluded. Thus, so far as the male bird is concerned,
    bird-song possesses a primary prenuptial significance in
    attracting the female, a secondary nuptial significance in
    producing excitement (p. 48). He holds also that the
    less-developed voices of the females aid in attaining the same
    end (p. 51). Finally, bird-song possesses a tertiary extranuptial
    significance (including exercise play, expression of gladness).
    Häcker points out, at the same time, that the maintenance of some
    degree of sexual excitement beyond pairing time may be of value
    for the preservation of the species, in case of disturbance
    during breeding and consequent necessity for commencing breeding
    over again.

    Such a theory as this fairly coincides with the views brought
    forward in the preceding pages,--views which are believed to be
    in harmony with the general trend of thought today,--since it
    emphasizes the importance of tumescence and all that favors
    tumescence in the sexual process. The so-called esthetic element
    in sexual selection is only indirectly of importance. The male's
    beauty is really a symbol of his force.

    It will be seen that this attitude toward the facts of tumescence
    among birds and other animals includes the recognition of dances,
    songs, etc., as expressions of "gladness." As such they are
    closely comparable to the art manifestations among human races.
    Here, as Weismann in his _Gedanken über Musik_ has remarked, we
    may regard the artistic faculty as a by-product: "This [musical]
    faculty is, as it were, the mental hand with which we play on our
    own emotional nature, a hand not shaped for this purpose, not due
    to the necessity for the enjoyment of music, but owing its origin
    to entirely different requirements."

The psychological significance of these facts has been carefully studied
and admirably developed by Groos in his classic works on the play instinct
in animals and in men.[27] Going beyond Wallace, Groos denies _conscious_
sexual selection, but, as he points out, this by no means involves the
denial of unconscious selection in the sense that "the female is most
easily won by the male who most strongly excites her sexual instincts."
Groos further quotes a pregnant generalization of Ziegler: "In all animals
a high degree of excitement of the nervous system is _necessary to
procreation_, and thus we find an excited prelude to procreation widely
spread."[28] Such a stage, indeed, as Groos points out, is usually
necessary before any markedly passionate discharge of motor energy, as may
be observed in angry dogs and the Homeric heroes. While, however, in other
motor explosions the prelude may be reduced to a minimum, in courtship it
is found in a highly marked degree. The primary object of courtship, Groos
insists, is to produce sexual excitement.

It is true that Groos's main propositions were by no means novel. Thus, as
I have pointed out, he was at most points anticipated by Tillier. But
Groos developed the argument in so masterly a manner, and with so many
wide-ranging illustrations, that he has carried conviction where the mere
insight of others had passed unperceived. Since Darwin wrote the _Descent
of Man_ the chief step in the development of the theory of sexual
selection has been taken by Groos, who has at the same time made it clear
that sexual selection is largely a special case of natural selection.[29]
The conjunction of the sexes is seen to be an end only to be obtained with
much struggle; the difficulty of achieving sexual erethism in both sexes,
the difficulty of so stimulating such erethism in the female that her
instinctive coyness is overcome, these difficulties the best and most
vigorous males,[30] those most adapted in other respects to carry on the
race, may most easily overcome. In this connection we may note what Marro
has said in another connection, when attempting to answer the question why
it is that among savages courtship becomes so often a matter in which
persuasion takes the form of force. The explanation, he remarks, is yet
very simple. Force is the foundation of virility, and its psychic
manifestation is courage. In the struggle for life violence is the first
virtue. The modesty of women--in its primordial form consisting in
physical resistance, active or passive, to the assaults of the male--aided
selection by putting to the test man's most important quality, force. Thus
it is that when choosing among rivals for her favors a woman attributes
value to violence.[31] Marro thus independently confirms the result
reached by Groos.

The debate which has for so many years been proceeding concerning the
validity of the theory of sexual selection may now be said to be brought
to an end. Those who supported Darwin and those who opposed him were, both
alike, in part right and in part wrong, and it is now possible to combine
the elements of truth on either side into a coherent whole. This is now
beginning to be widely recognized; Lloyd Morgan,[32] for instance, has
readjusted his position as regards the "pairing instinct" in the light of
Groos's contribution to the subject. "The hypothesis of sexual selection,"
he concludes, "suggests that the accepted male is the one which adequately
evokes the pairing impulse.... Courtship may thus be regarded from the
physiological point of view as a means of producing the requisite amount
of pairing hunger; of stimulating the whole system and facilitating
general and special vascular changes; of creating that state of profound
and explosive irritability which has for its psychological concomitant or
antecedent an imperious and irresistible craving.... Courtship is thus
the strong and steady bending of the bow that the arrow may find its mark
in a biological end of the highest importance in the survival of a healthy
and vigorous race."

    Having thus viewed the matter broadly, we may consider in detail
    a few examples of the process of tumescence among the lower
    animals and man, for, as will be seen, the process in both is
    identical. As regards animal courtship, the best treasury of
    facts is Brehm's _Thierleben_, while Büchner's _Liebe und
    Liebes-Leben in der Thierwelt_ is a useful summary; the admirable
    discussion of bird-dancing and other forms of courtship in
    Häcker's _Gesang der Vögel_, chapter iv, may also be consulted.
    As regards man, Wallaschek's _Primitive Music_, chapter vii,
    brings together much scattered material, and is all the more
    valuable since the author rejects any form of sexual selection;
    Hirn's _Origins of Art_, chapter xvii, is well worth reading, and
    Finck's _Primitive Love and Love-stories_ contains a large amount
    of miscellaneous information. I have preferred not to draw on any
    of these easily accessible sources (except that in one or two
    cases I have utilized references they supplied), but here simply
    furnish illustrations met with in the course of my own reading.

    Even in the hermaphroditic slugs (_Limax maximus_) the process of
    courtship is slow and elaborate. It has been described by James
    Bladon ("The Loves of the Slug [_Limax cinereus_]," _Zoölogist_,
    vol. xv, 1857, p. 6272). It begins toward midnight on sultry
    summer nights, one slug slowly following another, resting its
    mouth on what may be called the tail of the first, and following
    its every movement. Finally they stop and begin crawling around
    each other, emitting large quantities of mucus. When this has
    constituted a mass of sufficient size and consistence they
    suspend themselves from it by a cord of mucus from nine to
    fifteen inches in length, continuing to turn round each other
    till their bodies form a cone. Then the organs of generation are
    protruded from their orifice near the mouth and, hanging down a
    short distance, touch each other. They also then begin again the
    same spiral motion, twisting around each other, like a two-strand
    cord, assuming various and beautiful forms, sometimes like an
    inverted agaric, or a foliated murex, or a leaf of curled
    parsley, the light falling on the ever-varying surface of the
    generative organs sometimes producing iridescence. It is not
    until after a considerable time that the organs untwist and are
    withdrawn and the bodies separate, to crawl up the suspending
    cord and depart.

    Some snails have a special organ for creating sexual excitement.
    A remarkable part of the reproductive system in many of the true
    Helicidæ is the so-called _dart, Liebespfeil_, or _telum
    Veneris_. It consists of a straight or curved, sometimes
    slightly twisted, tubular shaft of carbonate of lime, tapering to
    a fine point above, and enlarging gradually, more often somewhat
    abruptly, to the base. The sides of the shaft are sometimes
    furnished with two or more blades; these are apparently not for
    cutting purposes, but simply to brace the stem. The dart is
    contained in a dart-sac, which is attached as a sort of pocket to
    the vagina, at no great distance from its orifice. In _Helix
    aspersa_ the dart is about five-sixteenths of an inch in length,
    and one-eighth of an inch in breadth at its base. It appears most
    probable that the dart is employed as an adjunct for the sexual
    act. Besides the fact of the position of the dart-sac
    anatomically, we find that the darts are extended and become
    imbedded in the flesh, just before or during the act of
    copulation. It may be regarded, then, as an organ whose functions
    induce excitement preparatory to sexual union. It only occurs in
    well-grown specimens. (Rev. L.H. Cooke, "Molluscs," _Cambridge
    Natural History_, vol. iii, p. 143.)

    Racovitza has shown that in the octopus (_Octopus vulgaris_)
    courtship is carried on with considerable delicacy, and not
    brutally, as had previously been supposed. The male gently
    stretches out his third arm on the right and caresses the female
    with its extremity, eventually passing it into the chamber formed
    by the mantle. The female contracts spasmodically, but does not
    attempt to move. They remain thus about an hour or more, and
    during this time the male shifts the arm from one oviduct to the
    other. Finally he withdraws his arm, caresses her with it for a
    few moments, and then replaces it with his other arm. (E.G.
    Racovitza, in _Archives de Zoölogie Expérimentale_, quoted in
    _Natural Science_, November, 1894.)

    The phenomena of courtship are very well illustrated by spiders.
    Peckham, who has carefully studied them, tells us of _Saitis
    pulex_: "On May 24th we found a mature female, and placed her in
    one of the larger boxes, and the next day we put a male in with
    her. He saw her as she stood perfectly still, twelve inches away;
    the glance seemed to excite him, and he at once moved toward her;
    when some four inches from her he stood still, and then began the
    most remarkable performances that an amorous male could offer to
    an admiring female. She eyed him eagerly, changing her position
    from time to time so that he might be always in view. He, raising
    his whole body on one side by straightening out the legs, and
    lowering it on the other by folding the first two pairs of legs
    up and under, leaned so far over as to be in danger of losing his
    balance, which he only maintained by sliding rapidly toward the
    lowered side. The palpus, too, on this side was turned back to
    correspond to the direction of the legs nearest it. He moved in a
    semicircle for about two inches, and then instantly reversed the
    position of the legs and circled in the opposite direction,
    gradually approaching nearer and nearer to the female. Now she
    dashes toward him, while he, raising his first pair of legs,
    extends them upward and forward as if to hold her off, but withal
    slowly retreats. Again and again he circles from side to side,
    she gazing toward him in a softer mood, evidently admiring the
    grace of his antics. This is repeated until we have counted one
    hundred and eleven circles made by the ardent little male. Now he
    approaches nearer and nearer, and when almost within reach whirls
    madly around and around her, she joining and whirling with him in
    a giddy maze. Again he falls back and resumes his semicircular
    motions, with his body tilted over; she, all excitement, lowers
    her head and raises her body so that it is almost vertical; both
    draw nearer; she moves slowly under him, he crawling over her
    head, and the mating is accomplished."

    The same author thus describes the courtship of _Dendryphantes
    elegans_: "While from three to five inches distant from her, he
    begins to wave his plumy first legs in a way that reminds one of
    a windmill. She eyes him fiercely, and he keeps at a proper
    distance for a long time. If he comes close she dashes at him,
    and he quickly retreats. Sometimes he becomes bolder, and when
    within an inch, pauses, with the first legs outstretched before
    him, not raised as is common in other species; the palpi also are
    held stiffly out in front with the points together. Again she
    drives him off, and so the play continues. Now the male grows
    excited as he approaches her, and while still several inches
    away, whirls completely around and around; pausing, he runs
    closer and begins to make his abdomen quiver as he stands on
    tiptoe in front of her. Prancing from side to side, he grows
    bolder and bolder, while she seems less fierce, and yielding to
    the excitement, lifts up her magnificently iridescent abdomen,
    holding it at one time vertical, and at another sideways to him.
    She no longer rushes at him, but retreats a little as he
    approaches. At last he comes close to her, lying flat, with his
    first legs stretched out and quivering. With the tips of his
    front legs he gently pats her; this seems to arouse the old demon
    of resistance, and she drives him back. Again and again he pats
    her with a caressing movement, gradually creeping nearer and
    nearer, which she now permits without resistance, until he crawls
    over her head to her abdomen, far enough to reach the epigynum
    with his palpus." (G.W. Peckham, "Sexual Selection of Spiders,"
    _Occasional Papers of the Natural History Society of Wisconsin_,
    1889, quoted in _Nature_, August 21, 1890.)

    The courtship of another spider, the _Agelena labyrinthica_, has
    been studied by Lécaillon ("Les Instincts et les Psychismes des
    Araignées," _Revue Scientifique_, Sept. 15, 1906.) The male
    enters the female's web and may be found there about the middle
    of July. When courtship has begun it is not interrupted by the
    closest observation, even under the magnifying glass. At first it
    is the male which seeks to couple and he pursues the female over
    her web till she consents. The pursuit may last some hours, the
    male agitating his abdomen in a peculiar way, while the female
    simply retreats a short distance without allowing herself to be
    approached. At last the female holds herself completely
    motionless, and then the male approaches, seizes her, places her
    on her side, sometimes carrying her to a more suitable part of
    the web. Then one of his copulative apparatus is applied to the
    female genital opening, and copulation begins. When completed (on
    an average in about two hours) the male withdraws his copulatory
    palpus and turns over the female, who is still inert, on to her
    other side, then brings his second copulatory apparatus to the
    female opening and starts afresh. When the process is definitely
    completed the male leaves the female, suddenly retiring to a
    little distance. The female, who had remained completely
    motionless for four hours, suddenly runs after the male. But she
    only pursues him for a short distance, and the two spiders remain
    together without any danger to either. Lécaillon disbelieves the
    statement of Romanes (in his _Animal Intelligence_) that the
    female eats the male after copulation. But this certainly seems
    to occur sometimes among insects, as illustrated by the following
    instance described by so careful an observer of insects as Fabre.

    The _Mantis religiosa_ is described by Fabre as contemplating the
    female for a long time in an attitude of ecstasy. She remains
    still and seems indifferent. He is small and she is large. At
    last he approaches; spreads his wings, which tremble
    convulsively; leaps on her back, and fixes himself there. The
    preludes are long and the coupling itself sometimes occupies five
    or six hours. Then they separate. But the same day or the
    following day she seizes him and eats him up in small mouthfuls.
    She will permit a whole series of males to have intercourse with
    her, always eating them up directly afterward. Fabre has even
    seen her eating the male while still on her back, his head and
    neck gone, but his body still firmly attached. (J.H. Fabre,
    _Souvenirs Entomologiques_, fifth series, p. 307.) Fabre also
    describes in great detail (ibid., ninth series, chs. xxi-xxii)
    the sexual parades of the Languedoc scorpion (_Scorpio
    occitanus_), an arachnid. These parades are in public; for their
    subsequent intercourse the couple seek complete seclusion, and
    the female finally eats the male.

    An insect (a species of _Empis_) has been described which excites
    the female by manipulating a large balloon. "This is of
    elliptical shape, about seven millimeters long (nearly twice as
    long as the fly), hollow, and composed entirely of a single layer
    of minute bubbles, nearly uniform in size, arranged in regular
    circles concentric with the axis of the structure. The
    beautiful, glistening whiteness of the object when the sun shines
    upon it makes it very conspicuous. The bubbles were slightly
    viscid, and in nearly every case there was a small fly pressed
    into the front end of the balloon, apparently as food for the
    _Empis_. In all cases they were dead. The balloon appears to be
    made while the insect is flying in the air. Those flying highest
    had the smallest balloons. The bubbles are probably produced by
    some modification of the anal organs. It is possible that the
    captured fly serves as a nucleus to begin the balloon on. One
    case of a captured fly but no balloon was observed. After
    commencing, it is probable that the rest of the structure is made
    by revolving the completed part between the hind legs and adding
    more bubbles somewhat spirally. The posterior end of the balloon
    is left more or less open. The purpose of this structure is to
    attract the female. When numerous males were flying up and down
    the road, it happened several times that a female was seen to
    approach them from some choke-cherry blossoms near by. The males
    immediately gathered in her path, and she with little hesitation
    selected for a mate the one with the largest balloon, taking a
    position _upon his back_. After copulation had begun, the pair
    would settle down toward the ground, select a quiet spot, and the
    female would alight by placing her front legs across a horizontal
    grass blade, her head resting against the blade so as to brace
    the body in position. Here she would continue to hold the male
    beneath her for a little time, until the process was finished.
    The male, meanwhile, would be rolling the balloon about in a
    variety of positions, juggling with it, one might almost say.
    After the male and female parted company, the male immediately
    dropped the balloon upon the ground, and it was greedily seized
    by ants. No illustration could properly show the beauty of the
    balloon." (Aldrich and Turley, "A Balloon-making Fly," _American
    Naturalist_, October, 1899.)

    "In many species of moths the males 'assemble' around the freshly
    emerged female, but no special advantage appears to attend on
    early arrival. The female sits apparently motionless, while the
    little crowd of suitors buzz around her for several minutes.
    Suddenly, and, as far as one can see, without any sign from the
    female, one of the males pairs with her and all the others
    immediately disappear. In these cases the males do not fight or
    struggle in any way, and as one watches the ceremony the wonder
    arises as to how the moment is determined, and why the pairing
    did not take place before. Proximity does not decide the point,
    for long beforehand the males often alight close to the female
    and brush against her with fluttering wings. I have watched the
    process exactly as I have described it in a common Northern
    _Noctua_, the antler moth (_Charæax graminis_), and I have seen
    the same thing among beetles." (E.B. Poulton, _The Colors of
    Animals_, 1890, p. 391.) This author mentions that among some
    butterflies the females take the active part. The example here
    quoted of courtship among moths illustrates how phenomena which
    are with difficulty explicable by the theory of sexual selection
    in its original form become at once intelligible when we realize
    the importance of tumescence in courtship.

    Of the Argentine cow-bird (_Molothrus bonariensis_) Hudson says
    (_Argentine Ornithology_, vol. i, p. 73): "The song of the male,
    particularly when making love, is accompanied with gestures and
    actions somewhat like those of the domestic pigeon. He swells
    himself out, beating the ground with his wings, and uttering a
    series of deep internal notes, followed by others loud and clear;
    and occasionally, when uttering them, he suddenly takes wing and
    flies directly away from the female to a distance of fifty yards,
    and performs a wide circuit about her in the air, singing all the
    time. The homely object of his passion always appears utterly
    indifferent to this curious and pretty performance; yet she must
    be even more impressionable than most female birds, since she
    continues scattering about her parasitical and often wasted eggs
    during four months in every year."

    Of a tyrant-bird (_Pitangus Bolivianus_) Hudson writes
    (_Argentine Ornithology_, vol. i, p. 148): "Though the male and
    female are greatly attached, they do not go afield to hunt in
    company, but separate to meet again at intervals during the day.
    One of a couple (say, the female) returns to the trees where they
    are accustomed to meet, and after a time, becoming impatient or
    anxious at the delay of her consort, utters a very long, clear
    call-note. He is perhaps a quarter of a mile away, watching for a
    frog beside a pool, or beating over a thistle-bed, but he hears
    the note and presently responds with one of equal power. Then,
    perhaps, for half an hour, at intervals of half a minute, the
    birds answer each other, though the powerful call of the one must
    interfere with his hunting. At length he returns; then the two
    birds, perched close together, with their yellow bosoms almost
    touching, crests elevated, and beating the branch with their
    wings, scream their loudest notes in concert--a confused jubilant
    noise that rings through the whole plantation. Their joy at
    meeting is patent, and their action corresponds to the warm
    embrace of a loving human couple."

    Of the red-breasted marsh-bird (_Leistes superciliaris_) Hudson
    (_Argentine Ornithology_, vol. i, p. 100) writes: "These birds
    are migratory, and appear everywhere in the eastern part of the
    Argentine country early in October, arriving singly, after which
    each male takes up a position in a field or open space abounding
    with coarse grass and herbage, where he spends most of his time
    perched on the summit of a tall stalk or weed, his glowing
    crimson bosom showing at a distance like some splendid flower
    above the herbage. At intervals of two or three minutes he soars
    vertically up to a height of twenty or twenty-five yards to utter
    his song, composed of a single long, powerful and rather musical
    note, ending with an attempt at a flourish, during which the bird
    flutters and turns about in the air; then, as if discouraged at
    his failure, he drops down, emitting harsh, guttural chirps, to
    resume his stand. Meanwhile the female is invisible, keeping
    closely concealed under the long grass. But at length, attracted
    perhaps by the bright bosom and aërial music of the male, she
    occasionally exhibits herself for a few moments, starting up with
    a wild zigzag flight, and, darting this way and that, presently
    drops into the grass once more. The moment she appears above the
    grass the male gives chase, and they vanish from sight together."

    "Courtship with the mallard," says J.G. Millais (_Natural History
    of British Ducks_, p. 6), "appears to be carried on by both
    sexes, though generally three or four drakes are seen showing
    themselves off to attract the attention of a single duck.
    Swimming round her, in a coy and semi-self-conscious manner, they
    now and again all stop quite still, nod, bow, and throw their
    necks out in token of their admiration and their desire of a
    favorable response. But the most interesting display is when all
    the drakes simultaneously stand up in the water and rapidly pass
    their bills down their breasts, uttering at the same time a low
    single note somewhat like the first half of the call that teal
    and pintail make when 'showing off.' At other times the
    love-making of the drake seems to be rather passive than active.
    While graciously allowing himself to be courted, he holds his
    head high with conscious pride, and accepts as a matter of course
    any attention that may be paid to him. A proud bird is he when
    three or four ducks come swimming along beside and around him,
    uttering a curious guttural note, and at the same time dipping
    their bills in quick succession to right and left. He knows what
    that means, and carries himself with even greater dignity than
    before. In the end, however, he must give in. As a last appeal,
    one of his lady lovers may coyly lower herself in the water till
    only the top of her back, head, and neck is seen, and so
    fascinating an advance as this no drake of any sensibility can

    The courting of the Argus pheasant, noted for the extreme beauty
    of the male's plumage, was observed by H.O. Forbes in Sumatra. It
    is the habit of this bird to make "a large circus, some ten or
    twelve feet in diameter, in the forest, which it clears of every
    leaf and twig and branch, till the ground is perfectly swept and
    garnished. On the margin of this circus there is invariably a
    projecting branch or high-arched root, at a few feet elevation
    above the ground, on which the female bird takes its place, while
    in the ring the male--the male birds alone possess great
    decoration--shows off all its magnificence for the gratification
    and pleasure of his consort and to exalt himself in her eyes."
    (H.O. Forbes, _A. Naturalist's Wanderings_, 1885, p. 131.)

    "All ostriches, adults as well as chicks, have a strange habit
    known as 'waltzing.' After running for a few hundred yards they
    will also stop, and, with raised wings, spin around rapidly for
    some time after until quite giddy, when a broken leg occasionally
    occurs.... Vicious cocks 'roll' when challenging to fight or when
    wooing the hen. The cock will suddenly bump down on to his knees
    (the ankle-joint), open his wings, and then swing them
    alternately backward and forward, as if on a pivot.... While
    rolling, every feather over the whole body is on end, and the
    plumes are open, like a large white fan. At such a time the bird
    sees very imperfectly, if at all; in fact, he seems so
    preoccupied that, if pursued, one may often approach unnoticed.
    Just before rolling, a cock, especially if courting the hen, will
    often run slowly and daintily on the points of his toes, with
    neck slightly inflated, upright, and rigid, the tail
    half-drooped, and all his body-feathers fluffed up; the wings
    raised and expanded, the inside edges touching the sides of the
    neck for nearly the whole of its length, and the plumes showing
    separately, like an open fan. In no other attitude is the
    splendid beauty of his plumage displayed to such advantage."
    (S.C. Cronwright Schreiner, "The Ostrich," _Zoölogist_, March,

    As may be seen from the foregoing fairly typical examples, the
    phenomena of courtship are highly developed, and have been most
    carefully studied, in animals outside the mammal series. It may
    seem a long leap from birds to man; yet, as will be seen, the
    phenomena among primitive human peoples, if not, indeed, among
    many civilized peoples also, closely resemble those found among
    birds, though, unfortunately, they have not usually been so
    carefully studied.

    In Australia, where dancing is carried to a high pitch of
    elaboration, its association with the sexual impulse is close and
    unmistakable. Thus, Mr. Samuel Gason (of whom it has been said
    that "no man living has been more among blacks or knows more of
    their ways") remarks concerning a dance of the Dieyerie tribe:
    "This dance men and women only take part in, in regular form and
    position, keeping splendid time to the rattle of the beat of two
    boomerangs; some of the women keep time by clapping their hands
    between their thighs; promiscuous sexual intercourse follows
    after the dance; jealousy is forbidden." Again, at the Mobierrie,
    or rat-harvest, "many weeks' preparation before the dance comes
    off; no quarreling is allowed; promiscuous sexual intercourse
    during the ceremony." The fact that jealousy is forbidden at
    these festivals clearly indicates that sexual intercourse is a
    recognized and probably essential element in the ceremonies. This
    is further emphasized by the fact that at other festivals open
    sexual intercourse is not allowed. Thus, at the Mindarie, or
    dance at a peace festival (when a number of tribes comes
    together), "there is great rejoicing at the coming festival,
    which is generally held at the full of the moon, and kept up all
    night. The men are artistically decorated with down and feathers,
    with all kinds of designs. The down and feathers are stuck on
    their bodies with blood freshly taken from their penis; they are
    also nicely painted with various colors; tufts of boughs are tied
    on their ankles to make a noise while dancing. Promiscuous sexual
    intercourse is carried on _secretly_; many quarrels occur at this
    time." (_Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, vol. xxiv,
    November, 1894, p. 174.)

    In Australian dances, sometimes men and women dance together,
    sometimes the men dance alone, sometimes the women. In one dance
    described by Eyre: "Women are the chief performers; their bodies
    are painted with white streaks, and their hair adorned with
    cockatoo feathers. They carry large sticks in their hands, and
    place themselves in a row in front, while the men with their
    spears stand in a row behind them. They then all commence their
    movements, but without intermingling, the males and females
    dancing by themselves. The women have occasionally another mode
    of dancing, by joining the hands together over the head, closing
    the feet, and bringing the knees into contact. The legs are then
    thrown outward from the knee, while the feet and hands are kept
    in their original position, and, being drawn quickly in again, a
    sharp sound is produced by the collision. This is also practised
    alone by young girls or by several together for their own
    amusement. It is adopted also when a single woman is placed in
    front of a row of male dancers to excite their passions." (E.J.
    Eyre, _Journals of Expeditions into Central Australia_, vol. ii,
    p. 235.)

    A charming Australian folk-tale concerning two sisters with
    wings, who disliked men, and their wooing by a man, clearly
    indicates, even among the Australians (whose love-making is
    commonly supposed to be somewhat brutal in character), the
    consciousness that it is by his beauty, charm, and skill in
    courtship that a man wins a woman. Unahanach, the lover, stole
    unperceived to the river where the girls were bathing and at last
    showed himself carelessly sitting on a high tree. The girls were
    startled, but thought it would be safe to amuse themselves by
    looking at the intruder. "Young and with the most active figure,
    yet of a strength that defied the strongest emu, and even enabled
    him to resist an 'old man' kangaroo, he had no equal in the
    chase, and conscious power gave a dignity to his expression that
    at one glance calmed the fears of the two girls. His large
    brilliant eyes, shaded by a deep fringe of soft black eyelashes,
    gazed down upon them admiringly, and his rich black hair hung
    around his well-formed face, smooth and shining from the emu-oil
    with which it was abundantly covered." At last he persuaded them
    to talk and by and by induced them to call him husband. Then they
    went off with him, with no thought of flight in their hearts.
    ("Australian Folklore Stories," collected by W. Dunlop, _Journal
    of the Anthropological Institute_, new series, vol. i, 1898, p.

    Of the people of Torres Straits Haddon states (_Reports
    Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits_, vol. v, p. 222):
    "It was during the secular dance, or _Kap_, that the girls
    usually lost their hearts to the young men. A young man who was a
    good dancer would find favor in the sight of the girls. This can
    be readily understood by anyone who has seen the active, skilful,
    and fatiguing dances of these people. A young man who could
    acquit himself well in these dances must be possessed of no mean
    strength and agility, qualities which everywhere appeal to the
    opposite sex. Further, he was decorated, according to local
    custom, with all that would render him more imposing in the eyes
    of the spectators. As the former chief of Mabuiag put it, 'In
    England if a man has plenty of money, women want to marry him; so
    here, if a man dances well they too want him.' In olden days the
    war-dance, which was performed after a successful foray, would be
    the most powerful excitement to a marriageable girl, especially
    if a young man had distinguished himself sufficiently to bring
    home the head of someone he had killed."

    Among the tribes inhabiting the mouth of the Wanigela River, New
    Guinea, "when a boy admires a girl, he will not look at her,
    speak to her, or go near her. He, however, shows his love by
    athletic bounds, posing, and pursuit, and by the spearing of
    imaginary enemies, etc., before her, to attract her attention. If
    the girl reciprocates his love she will employ a small girl to
    give to him an _ugauga gauna_, or love invitation, consisting of
    an areca-nut whose skin has been marked with different designs,
    significant of her wish to _ugauga_. After dark he is apprised of
    the place where the girl awaits him; repairing thither, he seats
    himself beside her as close as possible, and they mutually share
    in the consumption of the betel-nut." This constitutes betrothal;
    henceforth he is free to visit the girl's house and sleep there.
    Marriages usually take place at the most important festival of
    the year, the _kapa_, preparations for which are made during the
    three previous months, so that there may be a bountiful and
    unfailing supply of bananas. Much dancing takes place among the
    unmarried girls, who, also, are tattooed at this time over the
    whole of the front of the body, special attention being paid to
    the lower parts, as a girl who is not properly tattooed there
    possesses no attraction in the eyes of young men. Married women
    and widows and divorced women are not forbidden to take part in
    these dances, but it would be considered ridiculous for them to
    do so. (R.E. Guise, "On the Tribes of the Wanigela River,"
    _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, new series, vol. i,
    1899, pp. 209, 214 et seq.)

    In the island of Nias in the Malay Archipelago, Modigliani
    (mainly on the excellent authority of Sundermann, the missionary)
    states, at a wedding "dancing and singing go on throughout the
    day. The women, two or three at a time, a little apart from the
    men, take part in the dancing, which is very well adapted to
    emphasize the curves of the flanks and the breasts, though at the
    same time the defects of their legs are exhibited in this series
    of rhythmic contortions which constitute a Nias dance. The most
    graceful movement they execute is a lascivious undulation of the
    flanks while the face and breast are slowly wound round by the
    _sarong_ [a sort of skirt] held in the hands, and then again
    revealed. These movements are executed with jerks of the wrist
    and contortions of the flanks, not always graceful, but which
    excite the admiration of the spectators, even of the women, who
    form in groups to sing in chorus a compliment, more or less
    sincere, in which they say: 'They dance with the grace of birds
    when they fly. They dance as the hawk flies; it is lovely to
    see.' They sing and dance both at weddings and at other
    festivals." (Elio Modigliani, _Un Viaggio a Nias_, 1890, p. 549.)

    In Sumatra Marsden states that chastity prevails more, perhaps,
    than among any other people: "But little apparent courtship
    precedes their marriages. Their manners do not admit of it, the
    _boojong_ and _geddas_ (youths of each sex) being carefully kept
    asunder and the latter seldom trusted from under the wings of
    their mothers.... The opportunities which the young people have
    of seeing and conversing with each other are at the _birnbangs_,
    or public festivals. On these occasions the young people meet
    together and dance and sing in company. The men, when determined
    in their regard, generally employ an old woman as their agent, by
    whom they make known their sentiments, and send presents to the
    female of their choice. The parents then interfere, and the
    preliminaries being settled, a _birnbang_ takes place. The young
    women proceed in a body to the upper end of the _balli_ (hall),
    where there is a part divided off for them by a curtain. They do
    not always make their appearance before dinner, that time,
    previous to a second or third meal, being appropriated to
    cock-fighting or other diversions peculiar to men. In the evening
    their other amusements take place, of which the dances are the
    principal. These are performed either singly or by two women, two
    men, or with both mixed. Their motions and attitudes are usually
    slow, approaching often to the lascivious. They bend forward as
    they dance, and usually carry a fan, which they close and strike
    smartly against their elbows at particular cadences.... The
    assembly seldom breaks up before daylight and these _birnbangs_
    are often continued for several days together. The young men
    frequent them in order to look out for wives, and the lasses of
    course set themselves off to the best advantage. They wear their
    best silken dresses, of their own weaving, as many ornaments of
    filigree as they possess, silver rings upon their arms and legs,
    and ear-rings of a particular construction. Their hair is
    variously adorned with flowers, and perfumed with oil of
    benjamin. Civet is also in repute, but more used by the men. To
    render their skin fine, smooth, and soft they make use of a white
    cosmetic called _poopoor_ [a mixture of ginger, patch-leaf,
    maize, sandal-wood, fairy-cotton, and mush-seed with a basis of
    fine rice]." (W. Marsden, _History of Sumatra_, 1783, p. 230.)

    The Alfurus of Seram in the Moluccas, who have not yet been
    spoilt by foreign influences, are very fond of music and dancing.
    Their _maku_ dances, which take place at night, have been
    described by Joest: "Great torches of dry bamboos and piles of
    burning resinous leaves light up the giant trees to their very
    summits and reveal in the distance the little huts which the
    Alfuras have built in the virgin forests, as well as the skulls
    of the slain. The women squat together by the fire, making a
    deafening noise with the gongs and the drums, while the young
    girls, richly adorned with pearls and fragrant flowers, await the
    beginning of the dance. Then appear the men and youths without
    weapons, but in full war-costume, the girdle freshly marked with
    the number of slain enemies. [Among the Alfuras it is the man who
    has the largest number of heads to show who has most chance of
    winning the object of his love.] They hold each other's arms and
    form a circle, which is not, however, completely closed. A song
    is started, and with small, slow steps this ring of bodies, like
    a winding snake, moves sideways, backward, closes, opens again,
    the steps become heavier, the songs and drums louder, the girls
    enter the circle and with closed eyes grasp the girdle of their
    chosen youths, who clasp them by the hips and necks, the chain
    becomes longer and longer, the dance and song more ardent, until
    the dancers grow tired and disappear in the gloom of the forest."
    (W. Joest, _Welt-Fahrten_, 1895, Bd. ii, p. 159.)

    The women of the New Hebrides dance, or rather sway, to and fro
    in the midst of a circle formed by the men, with whom they do not
    directly mingle. They leap, show their genital parts to the men,
    and imitate the movements of coitus. Meanwhile the men unfasten
    the _manou_ (penis-wrap) from their girdles with one hand, with
    the other imitating the action of seizing a woman, and, excited
    by the women, also go through a mock copulation. Sometimes, it is
    said, the dancers masturbate. This takes place amid plaintive
    songs, interrupted from time to time by loud cries and howls.
    (_Untrodden Fields of Anthropology_, by a French army-surgeon,
    1898, vol. ii, p. 341.)

    Among the hill tribes of the Central Indian Hills may be traced a
    desire to secure communion with the spirit of fertility embodied
    in vegetation. This appears, for instance, in a tree-dance, which
    is carried out on a date associated not only with the growths of
    the crops or with harvest, but also with the seasonal period for
    marriage and the annual Saturnalia. (W. Crooke, "The Hill
    Tribes," _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, new series,
    vol. i, 1899, p. 243.) The association of dancing with seasonal
    ritual festivals of a generative character--of which the above is
    a fairly typical instance--leads us to another aspect of these
    phenomena on which I have elsewhere touched in these _Studies_
    (vol. i) when discussing the "Phenomena of Periodicity."

    The Tahitians, when first discovered by Europeans, appear to have
    been highly civilized on the sexual side and very licentious. Yet
    even at Tahiti, when visited by Cook, the strict primitive
    relationship between dancing and courtship still remained
    traceable. Cook found "a dance called Timorodee, which is
    performed by young girls, whenever eight or ten of them can be
    collected together, consisting of motions and gestures beyond
    imagination wanton, in the practice of which they are brought up
    from their earliest childhood, accompanied by words which, if it
    were possible, would more explicitly convey the same ideas. But
    the practice which is allowed to the virgin is prohibited to the
    woman from the moment that she has put these hopeful lessons in
    practice and realized the symbols of the dance." He added,
    however, that among the specially privileged class of the Areoi
    these limitations were not observed, for he had heard that this
    dance was sometimes performed by them as a preliminary to sexual
    intercourse. (Hawkesworth, _An Account of the Voyages_, etc.,
    1775, vol. ii, p. 54.)

    Among the Marquesans at the marriage of a woman, even of high
    rank, she lies with her head at the bridegroom's knees and all
    the male guests come in single file, singing and dancing--those
    of lower class first and the great chiefs last--and have
    connection with the woman. There are often a very large number of
    guests and the bride is sometimes so exhausted at the end that
    she has to spend several days in bed. (Tautain, "Etude sur le
    Mariage chez les Polynésiens," _L'Anthropologie_,
    November-December, 1895, p. 642.) The interesting point for us
    here is that singing and dancing are still regarded as a
    preliminary to a sexual act. It has been noted that in sexual
    matters the Polynesians, when first discovered by Europeans, had
    largely gone beyond the primitive stage, and that this applies
    also to some of their dances. Thus the _hula-hula_ dance, while
    primitive in origin, may probably be compared more to a civilized
    than to a primitive dance, since it has become divorced from real
    life. In the same way, while the sexual pantomime dance of the
    Azimba girls of central Africa has a direct and recognized
    relationship to the demands of real life, the somewhat allied
    _danses du ventre_ of the Hamitic peoples of northern Africa are
    merely an amusement, a play more or less based on the sexual
    instinct. At the same time it is important to bear in mind that
    there is no rigid distinction between dances that are, and those
    that are not, primitive. As Haddon truly points out in a book
    containing valuable detailed descriptions of dances, even among
    savages dances are so developed that it is difficult to trace
    their origin, and at Torres Straits, he remarks, "there are
    certainly play or secular dances, dances for pure amusement
    without any ulterior design." (A.C. Haddon, _Head Hunters_, p.
    233.) When we remember that dancing had probably become highly
    developed long before man appeared on the earth, this difficulty
    in determining the precise origin of human dancing cannot cause

    Spix and Martius described how the Muras of Brazil by moonlight
    would engage all night in a Bacchantic dance in a great circle,
    hand in hand, the men on one side, the women on the other,
    shouting out all the time, the men "Who will marry me?" the
    women, "You are a beautiful devil; all women will marry you,"
    (Spix and Martius, _Reise in Brasilien_, 1831, vol. iii, p.
    1117.) They also described in detail the dance of the Brazilian
    Puris, performed in a state of complete nakedness, the men in a
    row, the women in another row behind them. They danced backward
    and forward, stamping and singing, at first in a slow and
    melancholy style, but gradually with increasing vigor and
    excitement. Then the women began to rotate the pelvis backward
    and forward, and the men to thrust their bodies forward, the
    dance becoming a pantomimic representation of sexual intercourse
    (ibid., vol. i, 1823, pp. 373-5).

    Among the Apinages of Brazil, also, the women stand in a row,
    almost motionless, while the men dance and leap in front of them,
    both men and women at the same time singing. (Buscalioni, "Reise
    zu den Apinages," _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1899, ht. 6, p.

    Among the Gilas of New Mexico, "when a young man sees a girl whom
    he desires for a wife, he first endeavors to gain the good-will
    of the parents; this accomplished, he proceeds to serenade his
    lady-love, and will often sit for hours, day after day, near her
    home, playing on his flute. Should the girl not appear, it is a
    sign she rejects him; but if, on the other hand, she comes out to
    meet him, he knows that his suit is accepted, and he takes her to
    his home. No marriage ceremony is performed."[33] (H.H. Bancroft,
    _Native Races of the Pacific_, vol. i, p. 549.)

    "Among the Minnetarees a singular night-dance is, it is said,
    sometimes held. During this amusement an opportunity is given to
    the squaws to select their favorites. A squaw, as she dances,
    will advance to a person with whom she is captivated, either for
    his personal attractions or for his renown in arms; she taps him
    on the shoulder and immediately runs out of the lodge and betakes
    herself to the bushes, followed by the favorite. But if it should
    happen that he has a particular preference for another from whom
    he expects the same favor, or if he is restrained by a vow, or is
    already satiated with indulgence, he politely declines her offer
    by placing his hand in her bosom, on which they return to the
    assembly and rejoin the dance." It is worthy of remark that in
    the language of the Omahas the word _watche_ applies equally to
    the amusement of dancing and to sexual intercourse. (S.H. Long,
    _Expedition to the Rocky Mountains_, 1823, vol. i, p. 337.)

    At a Kaffir marriage "singing and dancing last until midnight.
    Each party [the bride's and the bridegroom's] dances in front of
    the other, but they do not mingle together. As the evening
    advances, the spirits and passions of all become greatly excited;
    and the power of song, the display of muscular action, and the
    gesticulations of the dancers and leapers are something
    extraordinary. The manner in which, at certain times, one man or
    woman, more excited than the rest, bounds from the ranks, leaps
    into the air, bounces forward, and darts backward beggars all
    description. These violent exercises usually close about
    midnight, when each party retires; generally, each man selects a
    paramour, and, indulging in sexual gratification, spends the
    remainder of the night." (W.C. Holden, _The Kaffir Race_, 1866,
    p. 192.)

    At the initiation of Kaffir boys into manhood, as described by
    Holden, they were circumcised. "Cattle are then slaughtered by
    the parents, and the boys are plentifully supplied with flesh
    meat; a good deal of dancing also ensues at this stage of the
    proceedings. The _ukut-shila_ consists in attiring themselves
    with the leaves of the wild date in the most fantastic manner;
    thus attired they visit each of the kraals to which they belong
    in rotation, for the purpose of dancing. These dances are the
    most licentious which can be imagined. The women act a prominent
    part in them, and endeavor to excite the passions of the novices
    by performing all sorts of obscene gesticulations. As soon as the
    soreness occasioned by the act of circumcision is healed the boys
    are, as it were, let loose upon society, and exempted from nearly
    all the restraints of law; so that should they even steal and
    slaughter their neighbor's cattle they would not be punished; and
    they have the special privilege of seizing by force, if force be
    necessary, every unmarried woman they choose, for the purpose of
    gratifying their passions." Similar festivals take place at the
    initiation of girls. (W.C. Holden, _The Kaffir Race_, 1866, p.

    The Rev. J. Macdonald has described the ceremonies and customs
    attending and following the initiation-rites of a young girl on
    her first menstruation among the Zulus between the Tugela and
    Delagoa Bay. At this time the girl is called an _intonjane_. A
    beast is killed as a thank-offering to the ancestral spirits,
    high revel is held for several days, and dancing and music take
    place every night till those engaged in it are all exhausted or
    daylight arrives. "After a few days and when dancing has been
    discontinued, young men and girls congregate in the outer
    apartment of the hut, and begin singing, clapping their hands,
    and making a grunting noise to show their joy. At nightfall most
    of the young girls who were the intonjane's attendants, leave for
    their own homes for the night, to return the following morning.
    Thereafter the young men and girls who gathered into the hut in
    the afternoon separate into pairs and sleep together _in puris
    naturalibus_, for that is strictly ordained by custom. Sexual
    intercourse is not allowed, but what is known as _metsha_ or
    _ukumetsha_ is the sole purpose of the novel arrangement.
    _Ukumetsha_ may be defined as partial intercourse. Every man who
    sleeps thus with a girl has to send to the father of the
    intonjane an assegai; should he have formed an attachment for his
    partner of the night and wish to pay her his addresses, he sends
    two assegais." (Rev. J. Macdonald, "Manners, etc., of South
    African Tribes," _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, vol.
    xx, November, 1890, p. 117.)

    Goncourt reports the account given him by a French officer from
    Senegal of the dances of the women, "a dance which is a gentle
    oscillation of the body, with gradually increasing excitement,
    from time to time a woman darting forward from the group to stand
    in front of her lover, contorting herself as though in a
    passionate embrace, and, on passing her hand between her thighs,
    showing it covered with the moisture of amorous enjoyment."
    (_Journal_, vol. ix, p. 79.) The dance here referred to is
    probably the Bamboula dance of the Wolofs, a spring festival
    which has been described by Pierre Loti in his _Roman d'un
    Spahi_, and concerning which various details are furnished by a
    French army-surgeon, acquainted with Senegal, in his _Untrodden
    Fields of Anthropology_. The dance, as described by the latter,
    takes place at night during full moon, the dancers, male and
    female, beginning timidly, but, as the beat of the tam-tams and
    the encouraging cries of the spectators become louder, the dance
    becomes more furious. The native name of the dance is _anamalis
    fobil_, "the dance of the treading drake." "The dancer in his
    movements imitates the copulation of the great Indian duck. This
    drake has a member of a corkscrew shape, and a peculiar movement
    is required to introduce it into the duck. The woman tucks up her
    clothes and convulsively agitates the lower part of her body; she
    alternately shows her partner her vulva and hides it from him by
    a regular movement, backward and forward, of the body."
    (_Untrodden Fields of Anthropology_, Paris, 1898, vol. ii, p.

    Among the Gurus of the Ivory Coast (Gulf of Guinea), Eysséric
    observes, dancing is usually carried on at night and more
    especially by the men, and on certain occasions women must not
    appear, for if they assisted at fetichistic dances "they would
    die." Under other circumstances men and women dance together with
    ardor, not forming couples but often _vis-à-vis_: their movements
    are lascivious. Even the dances following a funeral tend to
    become sexual in character. At the end of the rites attending the
    funeral of a chief's son the entire population began to dance
    with ever-growing ardor; there was nothing ritualistic or sad in
    these contortions, which took on the character of a lascivious
    dance. Men and women, boys and girls, young and old, sought to
    rival each other in suppleness, and the festival became joyous
    and general, as if in celebration of a marriage or a victory.
    (Eysséric, "La Côte d'Ivoire," _Nouvelles Archives des Missions
    Scientifiques_, tome ix, 1890, pp. 241-49.)

    Mrs. French-Sheldon has described the marriage-rites she observed
    at Taveta in East Africa. "During this time the young people
    dance and carouse and make themselves generally merry and
    promiscuously drunk, carrying the excess of their dissipation to
    such an extent that they dance until they fall down in a species
    of epileptic fit." It is the privilege of the bridegroom's four
    groomsmen to enjoy the bride first, and she is then handed over
    to her legitimate husband. This people, both men and women, are
    "great dancers and merry-makers; the young fellows will collect
    in groups and dance as though in competition one with the other;
    one lad will dash out from the circle of his companions, rush
    into the middle of a circumscribed space, and scream out 'Wow,
    wow!' Another follows him and screams; then a third does the
    same. These men will dance with their knees almost rigid, jumping
    into the air until their excitement becomes very great and their
    energy almost spasmodic, leaving the ground frequently three feet
    as they spring into the air. At some of their festivals their
    dancing is carried to such an extent that I have seen a young
    fellow's muscles quiver from head to foot and his jaws tremble
    without any apparent ability on his part to control them, until,
    foaming at the mouth and with his eyes rolling, he falls in a
    paroxysm upon the ground, to be carried off by his companions."
    The writer adds significantly that this dancing "would seem to
    emanate from a species of voluptuousness." (Mrs. French-Sheldon,
    "Customs among the Natives of East Africa," _Journal of the
    Anthropological Institute_, vol. xxi, May, 1892, pp. 366-67.) It
    may be added that among the Suaheli dances are intimately
    associated with weddings; the Suaheli dances have been minutely
    described by Velten (_Sitten und Gebraüche der Suaheli_, pp.
    144-175). Among the Akamba of British East Africa, also,
    according to H.R. Tate (_Journal of the Anthropological
    Institute_, Jan.-June, 1904, p. 137), the dances are followed by
    connection between the young men and girls, approved of by the

    The dances of the Faroe Islanders have been described by Raymond
    Pilet ("Rapport sur une Mission en Islande et aux lies Féroë,"
    _Nouvelles Archives des Missions Scientifiques_, tome vii, 1897,
    p. 285). These dances, which are entirely decorous, include
    poetry, music, and much mimicry, especially of battle. They
    sometimes last for two consecutive days and nights. "The dance is
    simply a permitted and discreet method by which the young men may
    court the young girls. The islander enters the circle and places
    himself beside the girl to whom he desires to show his affection;
    if he meets with her approval she stays and continues to dance at
    his side; if not, she leaves the circle and appears later at
    another spot."

    Pitre (_Usi, etc., del Popolo Siciliano_, vol. ii, p. 24, as
    quoted in Marro's _Pubertà_) states that in Sicily the youth who
    wishes to marry seeks to give some public proof of his valor and
    to show himself off. In Chiaramonte, in evidence of his virile
    force, he bears in procession the standard of some confraternity,
    a high and richly adorned standard which makes its staff bend to
    a semicircle, of such enormous weight that the bearer must walk
    in a painfully bent position, his head thrown back and his feet
    forward. On reaching the house of his betrothed he makes proof of
    his boldness and skill in wielding this extremely heavy standard
    which at this moment seems a plaything in his hands, but may yet
    prove fatal to him through injury to the loins or other parts.

    This same tendency, which we find in so highly developed a degree
    among animals and primitive human peoples, is also universal
    among the children of even the most civilized human races,
    although in a less organized and more confused way. It manifests
    itself as "showing-off." Sanford Bell, in his study of the
    emotion of love in children, finds that "showing-off" is an
    essential element in the love of children in what he terms the
    second stage (from the eighth to the twelfth year in girls and
    the fourteenth in boys). "It constitutes one of the chief numbers
    in the boy's repertory of love charms, and is not totally absent
    from the girl's. It is a most common sight to see the boys taxing
    their resources in devising means of exposing their own
    excellencies, and often doing the most ridiculous and extravagant
    things. Running, jumping, dancing, prancing, sparring, wrestling,
    turning handsprings, somersaults, climbing, walking fences,
    swinging, giving yodels and yells, whistling, imitating the
    movements of animals, 'taking people off,' courting danger,
    affecting courage are some of its common forms.... This
    'showing-off' in the boy lover is the forerunner of the skilful,
    purposive, and elaborate means of self-exhibition in the adult
    male and the charming coquetry in the adult female, in their
    love-relations." (Sanford Bell, "The Emotion of Love Between the
    Sexes," _American Journal Psychology_, July, 1902; cf.
    "Showing-off and Bashfulness," _Pedagogical Seminary_, June,

If, in the light of the previous discussion, we examine such facts as
those here collected, we may easily trace throughout the perpetual
operations of the same instinct. It is everywhere the instinctive object
of the male, who is very rarely passive in the process of courtship, to
assure by his activity in display, his energy or skill or beauty, both his
own passion and the passion of the female. Throughout nature sexual
conjugation only takes place after much expenditure of energy.[34] We are
deceived by what we see among highly fed domesticated animals, and among
the lazy classes of human society, whose sexual instincts are at once both
unnaturally stimulated and unnaturally repressed, when we imagine that the
instinct of detumescence is normally ever craving to be satisfied, and
that throughout nature it can always be set off at a touch whenever the
stimulus is applied. So far from the instinct of tumescence naturally
needing to be crushed, it needs, on the contrary, in either sex to be
submitted to the most elaborate and prolonged processes in order to bring
about those conditions which detumescence relieves. A state of tumescence
is not normally constant, and tumescence must be obtained before
detumescence is possible.[35] The whole object of courtship, of the mutual
approximation and caresses of two persons of the opposite sex, is to
create the state of sexual tumescence.

It will be seen that the most usual method of attaining tumescence--a
method found among the most various kinds of animals, from insects and
birds to man--is some form of the dance. Among the Negritos of the
Philippines dancing is described by A.B. Meyer as "jumping in a circle
around a girl and stamping with the feet"; as we have seen, such a dance
is, essentially, a form of courtship that is widespread among animals.
"The true cake-walk," again, Stanley Hall remarks, "as seen in the South
is perhaps the purest expression of this impulse to courtship antics seen
in man."[36] Muscular movement of which the dance is the highest and most
complex expression, is undoubtedly a method of auto-intoxication of the
very greatest potency. All energetic movement, indeed, tends to produce
active congestion. In its influence on the brain violent exercise may thus
result in a state of intoxication even resembling insanity. As Lagrange
remarks, the visible effects of exercise--heightened color, bright eyes,
resolute air and walk--are those of slight intoxication, and a girl who
has waltzed for a quarter of an hour is in the same condition as if she
had drunk champagne.[37] Groos regards the dance as, above all, an
intoxicating play of movement, possessing, like other methods of
intoxication,--and even apart from its relationship to combat and
love,--the charm of being able to draw us out of our everyday life and
lead us into a self-created dream-world.[38] That the dance is not only a
narcotic, but also a powerful stimulant, we may clearly realize from the
experiments which show that this effect is produced even by much less
complex kinds of muscular movement. This has been clearly determined, for
instance, by Féré, in the course of a long and elaborate series of
experiments dealing with the various influences that modify work as
measured by Mosso's ergograph. This investigator found that muscular
movement is the most efficacious of all stimulants in increasing muscular
power.[39] It is easy to trace these pleasurable effects of combined
narcotic and stimulant motion in everyday life and it is unnecessary to
enumerate its manifestations.[40]

    Dancing is so powerful an agent on the organism, as Sergi truly
    remarks (_Les Emotions_, p. 288), because its excitation is
    general, because it touches every vital organ, the higher centers
    no longer dominating. Primitive dancing differs very widely from
    that civilized kind of dancing--finding its extreme type in the
    ballet--in which energy is concentrated into the muscles below
    the knee. In the finest kinds of primitive dancing all the limbs,
    the whole body, take part. For instance, "the Marquisan girls,"
    Herman Melville remarked in _Typee_, "dance all over, as it were;
    not only do their feet dance, but their arms, hands,
    fingers,--ay, their very eyes seem to dance in their heads. In
    good sooth, they so sway their floating forms, arch their necks,
    toss aloft their naked arms, and glide, and swim, and whirl,"

    If we turn to a very different people, we find this
    characteristic of primitive dancing admirably illustrated by the
    missionary, Holden, in the case of Kaffir dances. "So far as I
    have observed," he states, "the perfection of the art or science
    consists in their _being able to put every part of the body into
    motion at the same time_. And as they are naked, the bystander
    has a good opportunity of observing the whole process, which
    presents a remarkably odd and grotesque appearance,--the head,
    the trunk, the arms, the legs, the hands, the feet, bones,
    muscles, sinews, skin, scalp, and hair, each and all in motion at
    the same time, with feathers waving, tails of monkeys and wild
    beasts dangling, and shields beating, accompanied with whistling,
    shouting, and leaping. It would appear as though the whole frame
    was hung on springing wires or cords. Dances are held in high
    repute, being the natural expression of joyous emotion, or
    creating it when absent. There is, perhaps, no exercise in
    greater accordance with the sentiments or feelings of a barbarous
    people, or more fully calculated to gratify their wild and
    ungoverned passions." (W.C. Holden, _The Kaffir Race_, 1866, p.

Dancing, as the highest and most complex form of muscular movement, is the
most potent method of obtaining the organic excitement muscular movement
yields, and thus we understand how from the earliest zoölogical ages it
has been brought to the service of the sexual instinct as a mode of
attaining tumescence. Among savages this use of dancing works harmoniously
with the various other uses which dancing possesses in primitive times
and which cause it to occupy so large and vital a part in savage life that
it may possibly even affect the organism to such an extent as to mold the
bones; so that some authorities have associated platycnemia with dancing.
As civilization advances, the other uses of dancing fall away, but it
still remains a sexual stimulant. Burton, in his _Anatomy of Melancholy_,
brings forward a number of quotations from old authors showing that
dancing is an incitement to love.[41]

    The Catholic theologians (Debreyne, _Moechialogie_, pp. 190-199)
    for the most part condemn dancing with much severity. In
    Protestant Germany, also, it is held that dance meetings and
    musical gatherings are frequent occasions of unchastity. Thus in
    the Leipzig district when a girl is asked "How did you fall?" she
    nearly always replies "At the dance." (_Die
    Geschlechtlich-Sittliche Verhältnisse im Deutschen Reiche_, vol.
    i, p. 196.) It leads quite as often, and no doubt oftener, to
    marriage. Rousseau defended it on this account (_Nouvelle
    Heloïse_, bk. iv, letter x); dancing is, he held, an admirable
    preliminary to courtship, and the best way for young people to
    reveal themselves to each other, in their grace and decorum,
    their qualities and defects, while its publicity is its
    safeguard. An International Congress of Dancing Masters was held
    at Barcelona in 1907. In connection with this Congress, Giraudet,
    president of the International Academy of Dancing Masters, issued
    an inquiry to over 3000 teachers of dancing throughout the world
    in order to ascertain the frequency with which dancing led to
    marriage. Of over one million pupils of dancing, either married
    or engaged to be married, it was found that in most countries
    more than 50 per cent. met their conjugal partners at dances. The
    smallest proportion was in Norway, with only 39 per cent., and
    the highest, Germany, with 97 per cent. Intermediate are France,
    83 per cent.; America, 80 per cent.; Italy, 70 per cent.; Spain,
    68 per cent.; Holland, Bulgaria, and England, 65 per cent.;
    Australia and Roumania, 60 per cent., etc. Of the teachers
    themselves 92 per cent. met their partners at dances. (Quoted
    from the _Figaro_ in Beiblatt "Sexualreform" to _Geschlecht und
    Gesellschaft_, 1907, p. 175.)

In civilization, however, dancing is not only an incitement to love and a
preliminary to courtship, but it is often a substitute for the normal
gratification of the sexual instinct, procuring something of the pleasure
and relief of gratified love. In occasional abnormal cases this may be
consciously realized. Thus Sadger, who regards the joy of dancing as a
manifestation of "muscular eroticism," gives the case of a married
hysterical woman of 21, with genital anesthesia, but otherwise strongly
developed skin eroticism, who was a passionate dancer: "I often felt as
though I was giving myself to my partner in dancing," she said, "and was
actually having coitus with him. I have the feeling that in me dancing
takes the place of coitus."[42] Normally something of the same feeling is
experienced by many young women, who will expend a prodigious amount of
energy in dancing, thus procuring, not fatigue, but happiness and
relief.[43] It is significant that, after sexual relations have begun,
girls generally lose much of their ardor in dancing. Even our modern
dances, it is worthy of note, are often of sexual origin; thus, the most
typical of all, the waltz, was originally (as Schaller, quoted by Groos,
states) the close of a complicated dance which "represented the romance of
love, the seeking and the fleeing, the playful sulking and shunning, and
finally the jubilation of the wedding."[44]

Not only is movement itself a source of tumescence, but even the spectacle
of movement tends to produce the same effect. The pleasure of witnessing
movement, as represented by its stimulating effect on the muscular
system,--for states of well-being are accompanied by an increase of
power,--has been found susceptible of exact measurement by Féré. He has
shown that to watch a colored disk when in motion produced stronger
muscular contractions, as measured by the dynamometer, than to watch the
same disk when motionless. Even in the absence of color a similar
influence of movement was noted, and watching a modified metronome
produced a greater increase of work with the ergograph than when working
to the rhythm of the metronome without watching it.[45] This psychological
fact has been independently discovered by advertisers, who seek to impress
the value of their wares on the public by the device of announcing them by
moving colored lights. The pleasure given by the ballet largely depends on
the same fact. Not only is dancing an excitation, but the spectacle of
dancing is itself exciting, and even among savages dances have a public
which becomes almost as passionately excited as the dancers
themselves.[46] It is in virtue of this effect of dancing and similar
movements that we so frequently find, both among the lower animals and
savage man, that to obtain tumescence in both sexes, it is sufficient for
one sex alone, usually the male, to take the active part. This point
attracted the attention of Kulischer many years ago, and he showed how the
dances of the men, among savages, excite the women, who watch them
intently though unobtrusively, and are thus influenced in choosing their
lovers. He was probably the first to insist that in man sexual selection
has taken place mainly through the agency of dances, games, and

It is now clear, therefore, why the evacuation theory of the sexual
impulse must necessarily be partial and inadequate. It leaves out of
account the whole of the phenomena connected with tumescence, and those
phenomena constitute the most prolonged, the most important, the most
significant stage of the sexual process. It is during tumescence that the
whole psychology of the sexual impulse is built up; it is as an incident
arising during tumescence and influencing its course that we must probably
regard nearly every sexual aberration. It is with the second stage of the
sexual process, when the instinct of detumescence arises, that the analogy
of evacuation can alone be called in. Even here, that analogy, though
real, is not complete, the nervous element involved in detumescence being
out of all proportion to the extent of the evacuation. The typical act of
evacuation, however, is a nervous process, and when we bear this in mind
we may see whatever truth the evacuation theory possesses. Beaunis classes
the sexual impulse with the "needs of activity," but under this head he
coordinates it with the "need of urination." That is to say, that both
alike are nervous explosions. Micturition, like detumescence, is a
convulsive act, and, like detumescence also, it is certainly connected
with cerebral processes; thus in epilepsy the passage of urine which may
occur (as in a girl described by Gowers with minor attacks during which it
was emitted consciously, but involuntarily) is really a part of the

There appears, indeed, to be a special and intimate connection between the
explosion of sexual detumescence and the explosive energy of the bladder;
so that they may reinforce each other and to a limited extent act
vicariously in relieving each other's tension. It is noteworthy that
nocturnal and diurnal incontinence of urine, as well as "stammering" of
the bladder, are all specially liable to begin or to cease at puberty. In
men and even infants, distention of the bladder favors tumescence by
producing venous congestion, though at the same time it acts as a physical
hindrance to sexual detumescence[49]; in women--probably not from pressure
alone, but from reflex nervous action--a full bladder increases both
sexual excitement and pleasure, and I have been informed by several women
that they have independently discovered this fact for themselves and
acted in accordance with it. Conversely, sexual excitement increases the
explosive force of the bladder, the desire to urinate is aroused, and in
women the sexual orgasm, when very acute and occurring with a full
bladder, is occasionally accompanied, alike in savage and civilized life,
by an involuntary and sometimes full and forcible expulsion of urine.[50]
The desire to urinate may possibly be, as has been said, the normal
accompaniment of sexual excitement in women (just as it is said to be in
mares; so that the Arabs judge that the mare is ready for the stallion
when she urinates immediately on hearing him neigh). The association may
even form the basis of sexual obsessions.[51] I have elsewhere shown that,
of all the influences which increase the expulsive force of the bladder,
sexual excitement is the most powerful.[52] It may also have a reverse
influence and inhibit contraction of the bladder, sometimes in association
with shyness, but also independently of shyness. There is also reason to
suppose that the nervous energy expended in an explosion of the tension
of the sexual organs may sometimes relieve the bladder; it is well
recognized that a full bladder is a factor in producing sexual emissions
during sleep, the explosive energy of the bladder being inhibited and
passing over into the sexual sphere. Conversely, it appears that explosion
of the bladder relieves sexual tension. An explosion of the nervous
centers connected with the contraction of the bladder will relieve nervous
tension generally; there are forms of epilepsy in which the act of
urination constitutes the climax, and Gowers, in dealing with minor
epilepsy, emphasizes the frequency of micturition, which "may occur with
spasmodic energy when there is only the slightest general stiffness,"
especially in women. He adds the significant remark that it "sometimes
seems to relieve the cerebral tension,"[53] and gives the case of a girl
in whom the aura consisted mainly of a desire to urinate; if she could
satisfy this the fit was arrested; if not she lost consciousness and a
severe fit followed.

If micturition may thus relieve nervous tension generally, it is not
surprising that it should relieve the tension of the centers with which it
is most intimately connected. Sérieux records the case of a girl of 12,
possessed by an impulse to masturbation which she was unable to control,
although anxious to conquer it, who only found relief in the act of
urination; this soothed her and to some extent satisfied the sexual
excitement; when the impulse to masturbate was restrained the impulse to
urinate became imperative; she would rise four or five times in the night
for this purpose, and even urinate in bed or in her clothes to obtain the
desired sexual relief.[54] I am acquainted with a lady who had a similar,
but less intense, experience during childhood. Sometimes, especially in
children, the act of urination becomes an act of gratification at the
climax of sexual pleasure, the imitative symbol of detumescence. Thus
Schultze-Malkowsky describes a little girl of 7 who would bribe her girl
companions with little presents to play the part of horses on all fours
while she would ride on their necks with naked thighs in order to obtain
the pleasurable sensation of close contact. With one special friend she
would ride facing backward, and leaning forward to embrace her body
impulsively, and at the same time pressing the neck closely between her
thighs, would urinate.[55] Féré has recorded the interesting case of a man
who, having all his life after puberty been subject to monthly attacks of
sexual excitement, after the age of 45 completely lost the liability to
these manifestations, but found himself subject, in place of them, to
monthly attacks of frequent and copious urination, accompanied by sexual
day-dreams, but by no genital excitement.[56] Such a case admirably
illustrates the compensatory relation of sexual and vesical excitation.
This mutual interaction is easily comprehensible when we recall the very
close nervous connection which exists between the mechanisms of the sexual
organs and the bladder.

Nor are such relationships found to be confined to these two centers; in a
lesser degree the more remote explosive centers are also affected; all
motor influences may spread to related muscles; the convulsion of
laughter, for instance, seems to be often in relation with the sexual
center, and Groos has suggested that the laughter which, especially in the
sexually minded, often follows allusions to the genital sphere is merely
an effort to dispel nascent sexual excitement by liberating an explosion
of nervous energy in another direction.[57] Nervous discharges tend to
spread, or to act vicariously, because the motor centers are more or less
connected.[58] Of all the physiological motor explosions, the sexual
orgasm, or detumescence, is the most massive, powerful, and overwhelming.
So volcanic is it that to the ancient Greek philosophers it seemed to be a
minor kind of epilepsy. The relief of detumescence is not merely the
relief of an evacuation; it is the discharge, by the most powerful
apparatus for nervous explosion in the body, of the energy accumulated and
stored up in the slow process of tumescence, and that discharge
reverberates through all the nervous centers in the organism.

    "The sophist of Abdera said that coitus is a slight fit of
    epilepsy, judging it to be an incurable disease." (Clement of
    Alexandria, _Pædagogus_, bk. ii, chapter x.) And Coelius
    Aurelianus, one of the chief physicians of antiquity, said that
    "coitus is a brief epilepsy." Féré has pointed out that both
    these forms of nervous storm are sometimes accompanied by similar
    phenomena, by subjective sensations of sight or smell, for
    example; and that the two kinds of discharge may even be
    combined. (Féré, _Les Epileptiques_, pp. 283-84; also "Exces
    Vénériens et Epilepsie," _Comptes-rendus de la Société de
    Biologie_, April 3, 1897, and the same author's _Instinct
    Sexuel_, pp. 209, 221, and his "Priapisme Epileptique," _La
    Médecine Moderne_, February 4, 1899.) The epileptic convulsion in
    some cases involves the sexual mechanism, and it is noteworthy
    that epilepsy tends to appear at puberty. In modern times even so
    great a physician as Boerhaave said that coitus is a "true
    epilepsy," and more recently Roubaud, Hammond, and Kowalevsky
    have emphasized the resemblance between coitus and epilepsy,
    though without identifying the two states. Some authorities have
    considered that coitus is a cause of epilepsy, but this is denied
    by Christian, Strümpell, and Löwenfeld. (Löwenfeld, _Sexualleben
    und Nervenleiden_, 1899, p. 68.) Féré has recorded the case of a
    youth in whom the adoption of the practice of masturbation,
    several times a day, was followed by epileptic attacks which
    ceased when masturbation was abandoned. (Féré, _Comptes-rendus de
    la Socitété de Biologie_, April 3, 1897.)

It seems unprofitable at present to attempt any more fundamental analysis
of the sexual impulse. Beaunis, in the work already quoted, vaguely
suggests that we ought possibly to connect the sexual excitation which
leads the male to seek the female with chemical action, either exercised
directly on the protoplasm of the organism or indirectly by the
intermediary of the nervous system, and especially by smell in the higher
animals. Clevenger, Spitzka, Kiernan, and others have also regarded the
sexual impulse as protoplasmic hunger, tracing it back to the presexual
times when one protozoal form absorbed another. In the same way Joanny
Roux, insisting that the sexual need is a need of the whole organism, and
that "we love with the whole of our body," compares the sexual instinct to
hunger, and distinguishes between "sexual hunger" affecting the whole
system and "sexual appetite" as a more localized desire; he concludes that
the sexual need is an aspect of the nutritive need.[59] Useful as these
views are as a protest against too crude and narrow a conception of the
part played by the sexual impulse, they carry us into a speculative region
where proof is difficult.

We are now, however, at all events, in a better position to define the
contents of the sexual impulse. We see that there are certainly, as Moll
has indicated, two constituents in that impulse; but, instead of being
unrelated, or only distantly related, we see that they are really so
intimately connected as to form two distinct stages in the same process: a
first stage, in which--usually under the parallel influence of internal
and external stimuli--images, desires, and ideals grow up within the mind,
while the organism generally is charged with energy and the sexual
apparatus congested with blood; and a second stage, in which the sexual
apparatus is discharged amid profound sexual excitement, followed by deep
organic relief. By the first process is constituted the tension which the
second process relieves. It seems best to call the first impulse the
_process of tumescence_; the second the _process of detumescence_.[60] The
first, taking on usually a more active form in the male, has the double
object of bringing the male himself into the condition in which discharge
becomes imperative, and at the same time arousing in the female a similar
ardent state of emotional excitement and sexual turgescence. The second
process has the object, directly, of discharging the tension thus produced
and, indirectly, of effecting the act by which the race is propagated.

It seems to me that this is at present the most satisfactory way in which
we can attempt to define the sexual impulse.


[1] C. Lloyd Morgan, "Instinct and Intelligence in Animals," _Nature_,
February 3, 1898.

[2] _Essais_, livre iii, ch. v.

[3] Féré, "La Prédisposition dans l'étiologie des perversions sexuelles,"
_Revue de médecine_, 1898. In his more recent work on the evolution and
dissolution of the sexual instinct Féré perhaps slightly modified his
position by stating that "the sexual appetite is, above all, a general
need of the organism based on a sensation of fullness, a sort of need of
evacuation," _L'Instinct sexuel_, 1899, p. 6. Löwenfeld (_Ueber die
Sexuelle Konstitution_, p. 30) gives a qualified acceptance to the
excretory theory, as also Rohleder (_Die Zeugung beim Menschen_, p. 25).

[4] Goltz, _Centralblatt für die med. Wissenschaften_, 1865, No. 19, and
1866, No. 18; also _Beiträge zur Lehre von den Funktionen des Frosches_,
Berlin, 1869, p. 20.

[5] J. Tarchanoff, "Zur Physiologie des Geschlechtsapparatus des
Frosches," _Archiv für die Gesammte Physiologie_, 1887, vol. xl, p. 330.

[6] E. Steinach, "Untersuchungen zur vergleichenden Physiologie der
männlicher Geschlechtsorgane insbesondere der accessorischen
Geschlechtsdrüsen," _Archiv für die Gesammte Physiologie_, vol. lvi, 1894,
pp. 304-338.

[7] See, e.g., Shattock and Seligmann, "The Acquirement of Secondary
Sexual Characters," _Proceedings of the Royal Society_, vol. lxxiii, 1904,
p. 49.

[8] For facts bearing on this point, see Guinard, art. "Castration,"
Richet's _Dictionnaire de Physiologie_. The general results of castration
are summarized by Robert Müller in ch. vii of his _Sexualbiologie_; also
by F.H.A. Marshall, _The Physiology of Reproduction_, ch, ix; see also E.
Pittard, "Les Skoptzy," _L'Anthropologie_, 1903, p. 463.

[9] For an ancient discussion of this point, see Schurig, _Spermatologia_,
1720, cap. ix.

[10] J.J. Matignon, _Superstition, Crime, et Misère en Chine_, "Les
Eunuques du Palais Impérial de Pékin," 1901.

[11] P. Marie, "Eunuchisme et Erotisme," _Nouvelle Iconographie de la
Salpêtrière_, 1906, No. 5, and _Progrès médical_, Jan. 26, 1907.

[12] _Pedagogical Seminary_, July, 1897, p. 121.

[13] See, for instance, the case reported in another volume of these
_Studies_ ("Sexual Inversion"), in which castration was performed on a
sexual invert without effecting any change.

[14] Guinard, art. "Castration," _Dictionnaire de Physiologie_.

[15] M.A. Colman, _Medical Standard_, August, 1895; Clara Barrus,
_American Journal of Insanity_, April, 1895; Macnaughton-Jones, _British
Gynæcological Journal_, August, 1902; W.G. Bridgman, _Medical Standard_,
1896; J.M. Cotterill, _British Medical Journal_, April 7, 1900 (also
private communication); Paul F. Mundé, _American Journal of Obstetrics_,
March, 1899.

[16] See Swale Vincent, _Internal Secretion and the Ductless Glands_,
1912; F.H.A. Marshall, _The Physiology of Reproduction_, 1910, ch. ix;
Munzer, _Berliner klinische Wochenschrift_, Nov., 1910; C. Sajous, _The
Internal Secretions_, vol. i, 1911. The adrenal glands have been fully and
interestingly studied by Glynn, _Quarterly Journal of Medicine_, Jan.,
1912; the thyroid, by Ewan Waller, _Practitioner_, Aug., 1912; the
internal secretion of the ovary, by A. Louise McIlroy, _Proceedings Royal
Society Medicine_, July, 1912. For a discussion at the Neurology Section
of the British Medical Association Meeting, 1912, see _British Medical
Journal_, Nov. 16, 1912.

[17] Since this was written I have come across a passage in _Hampa_ (p.
228), by Rafael Salillas, the Spanish sociologist, which shows that the
analogy has been detected by the popular mind and been embodied in popular
language: "A significant anatomico-physiological concordance supposes a
resemblance between the mouth and the sexual organs of a woman, between
coitus and the ingestion of food, and between foods which do not require
mastication and the spermatic ejaculation; these representations find
expression in the popular name _papo_ given to women's genital organs.
'Papo' is the crop of birds, and is derived from 'papar' (Latin,
_papare_), to eat soft food such as we call pap. With this representation
of infantile food is connected the term _leche_ [milk] as applied to the
ejaculated genital fluid." Cleland, it may be added, in the most
remarkable of English erotic novels, _The Memoirs of Fanny Hill_, refers
to "the compressive exsuction with which the sensitive mechanism of that
part [the vagina] thirstily draws and drains the nipple of Love," and
proceeds to compare it to the action of the child at the breast. It
appears that, in some parts of the animal world at least, there is a real
analogy of formation between the oral and vaginal ends of the trunk. This
is notably the case in some insects, and the point has been elaborately
discussed by Walter Wesché, "The Genitalia of Both the Sexes in Diptera,
and their Relation to the Armature of the Mouth," _Transactions of the
Linnean Society_, second series, vol. ix, Zoölogy, 1906.

[18] Näcke now expresses himself very dubiously on the point; see, e.g.,
_Archiv für Kriminal-Anthropologie_, 1905, p. 186.

[19] _Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, Berlin, 1897-98.

[20] Moll adopts the term "impulse of detumescence" (_Detumescenztrieb_)
instead of "impulse of ejaculation," because in women there is either no
ejaculation or it cannot be regarded as essential.

[21] I quote from the second edition, as issued in 1881.

[22] This is the theory which by many has alone been seen in Darwin's
_Descent of Man_. Thus even his friend Wallace states unconditionally
(_Tropical Nature_, p. 193) that Darwin accepted a "voluntary or conscious
sexual selection," and seems to repeat the same statement in _Darwinism_
(1889), p. 283. Lloyd Morgan, in his discussion of the pairing instinct in
_Habit and Instinct_ (1896), seems also only to see this side of Darwin's

[23] In his _Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication_, Darwin
was puzzled by the fact that, in captivity, animals often copulate without
conceiving and failed to connect that fact with the processes behind his
own theory of sexual selection.

[24] Beaunis, _Sensations Internes_, ch. v, "Besoins Sexuels," 1889. It
may be noted that many years earlier Burdach (in his _Physiologie als
Erfahrungswissenschaft_, 1826) had recognized that the activity of the
male favored procreation, and that mental and physical excitement seemed
to have the same effect in the female also.

[25] It is scarcely necessary to point out that this is too extreme a
position. As J.G. Millais remarks of ducks (_Natural History of British
Ducks_, p. 45), in courtship "success in winning the admiration of the
female is rather a matter of persistent and active attention than physical
force," though the males occasionally fight over the female. The ruff
(_Machetes pugnax_) is a pugnacious bird, as his name indicates. Yet, the
reeve, the female of this species, is, as E. Selous shows ("Sexual
Selection in Birds," _Zoölogist_, Feb. and May, 1907), completely mistress
of the situation. "She seems the plain and unconcerned little mistress of
a numerous and handsome seraglio, each member of which, however he flounce
and bounce, can only wait to be chosen." Any fighting among the males is
only incidental and is not a factor in selection. Moreover, as R. Müller
points out (loc. cit., p. 290), fighting would not usually attain the end
desired, for if the males expend their time and strength in a serious
combat they merely afford a third less pugnacious male a better
opportunity of running off with the prize.

[26] L. Tillier, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, 1889, pp. 74, 118, 119, 124 et seq.,

[27] K. Groos, _Die Spiele der Thiere_, 1896; _Die Spiele der Menschen_,
1899; both are translated into English.

[28] Prof. H.E. Ziegler, in a private letter to Professor Groos, _Spiele
der Thiere_, p. 202.

[29] _Die Spiele der Thiere_, p. 244. This had been briefly pointed out by
earlier writers. Thus, Haeckel (_Gen. Morph._, ii, p. 244) remarked that
fighting for females is a special or modified kind of struggle for
existence, and that it acts on both sexes.

[30] It may be added that in the human species, as Bray remarks ("Le Beau
dans la Nature," _Revue Philosophique_, October, 1901, p. 403), "the hymen
would seem to tend to the same end, as if nature had wished to reinforce
by a natural obstacle the moral restraint of modesty, so that only the
vigorous male could insure his reproduction." There can be no doubt that
among many animals pairing is delayed so far as possible until maturity is
reached. "It is a strict rule amongst birds," remarks J.G. Millais (op.
cit., p. 46), "that they do not breed until both sexes have attained the
perfect adult plumage." Until that happens, it seems probable, the
conditions for sexual excitation are not fully established. We know
little, says Howard (_Zoölogist_, 1903, p. 407), of the age at which birds
begin to breed, but it is known that "there are yearly great numbers of
individuals who do not breed, and the evidence seems to show that such
individuals are immature."

[31] A. Marro, _La Puberté_, 1901, p. 464.

[32] Lloyd Morgan, _Animal Behavior_, 1900, pp. 264-5. It may be added
that, on the esthetic side, Hirn, in his study (_The Origins of Art_,
1900), reaches conclusions which likewise, in the main, concord with those
of Groos.

[33] It may be noted that the marriage ceremony itself is often of the
nature of a courtship, a symbolic courtship, embodying a method of
attaining tumescence. As Crawley, who has brought out this point, puts it,
"Marriage-rites of union are essentially identical with love charms," and
he refers in illustration to the custom of the Australian Arunta, among
whom the man or woman by making music on the bull-roarer compels a person
of the opposite sex to court him or her, the marriage being thus
completed. (E. Crawley, _The Mystic Rose_, p. 318.)

[34] The more carefully animals are observed, the more often this is found
to be the case, even with respect to species which possess no obvious and
elaborate process for obtaining tumescence. See, for instance, the
detailed and very instructive account--too long to quote here--given by E.
Selous of the preliminaries to intercourse practised by a pair of great
crested grebes, while nest-building. Intercourse only took place with much
difficulty, after many fruitless invitations, more usually given by the
female. ("Observational Diary of the Habits of the Great Crested Grebe,"
_Zöologist_, September, 1901.) It is exactly the same with savages. The
observation of Foley (_Bulletin de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris_,
November 6, 1879) that in savages "sexual erethism is very difficult" is
of great significance and certainly in accordance with the facts. This
difficulty of erethism is the real cause of many savage practices which to
the civilized person often seem perverse; the women of the Caroline
Islands, for instance, as described by Finsch, require the tongue or even
the teeth to be applied to the clitoris, or a great ant to be applied to
bite the parts, in order to stimulate orgasm. Westermarck, after quoting a
remark of Mariner's concerning the women of Tonga,--"it must not be
supposed that these women are always easily won; the greatest attentions
and the most fervent solicitations are sometimes requisite, even though
there be no other lover in the way,"--adds that these words "hold true for
a great many, not to say all, savage and barbarous races now existing."
(_Human Marriage_, p. 163.) The old notions, however, as to the sexual
licentiousness of peoples living in natural conditions have scarcely yet
disappeared. See Appendix A; "The Sexual Instinct in Savages."

[35] In men a certain degree of tumescence is essential before coitus can
be effected at all; in women, though tumescence is not essential to
coitus, it is essential to orgasm and the accompanying physical and
psychic relief. The preference which women often experience for prolonged
coitus is not, as might possibly be imagined, due to sensuality, but has a
profound physiological basis.

[36] Stanley Hall, _Adolescence_, vol. i, p. 223.

[37] See Lagrange's _Physiology of Bodily Exercise_, especially chapter
ii. It is a significant fact that, as Sergi remarks (_Les Emotions_, p.
330), the physiological results of dancing are identical with the
physiological results of pleasure.

[38] Groos, _Spiele der Menschen_, p. 112. Zmigrodzki (_Die Mutter bei den
Volkern des Arischen Stammes_, p. 414 et seq.) has an interesting passage
describing the dance--especially the Russian dance--in its orgiastic

[39] Féré, "L'Influence sur le Travail Volontaire d'un muscle de
l'activité d'autres muscles," _Nouvelles Iconographie de la Salpêtrière_,

[40] "The sensation of motion," Kline remarks ("The Migratory Impulse,"
_American Journal of Psychology_, October, 1898, p. 62), "as yet but
little studied from a pleasure-pain standpoint, is undoubtedly a
pleasure-giving sensation. For Aristippus the end of life is pleasure,
which he defines as gentle motion. Motherhood long ago discovered its
virtue as furnished by the cradle. Galloping to town on the parental knee
is a pleasing pastime in every nursery. The several varieties of swings,
the hammock, see-saw, flying-jenny, merry-go-round, shooting the chutes,
sailing, coasting, rowing, and skating, together with the fondness of
children for rotating rapidly in one spot until dizzy and for jumping from
high places, are all devices and sports for stimulating the sense of
motion. In most of these modes of motion the body is passive or
semipassive, save in such motions as skating and rotating on the feet. The
passiveness of the body precludes any important contribution of stimuli
from kinesthetic sources. The stimuli are probably furnished, as Dr. Hall
and others have suggested, by a redistribution of fluid pressure (due to
the unusual motions and positions of the body) to the inner walls of the
several vascular systems of the body."

[41] _Anatomy of Melancholy_, part iii., sect. ii, mem. ii, subs. iv.

[42] Sadger, "Haut-, Schleimhaut-, und Muskel-erotik," _Jahrbuch für
psychoanalytische Forschungen_, Bd. iii, 1912, p. 556.

[43] Marro (_Pubertà_, p. 367 et seq.) has some observations on this
point. It was an insight into this action of dancing which led the Spanish
clergy of the eighteenth century to encourage the national enthusiasm for
dancing (as Baretti informs us) in the interests of morality.

[44] It is scarcely necessary to remark that a primitive dance, even when
associated with courtship, is not necessarily a sexual pantomime; as
Wallaschek, in his comprehensive survey of primitive dances, observes, it
is more usually an animal pantomime, but nonetheless connected with the
sexual instinct, separation of the sexes, also, being no proof to the
contrary. (Wallaschek, _Primitive Music_, pp. 211-13.) Grosse (_Anfänge
der Kunst_, English translation, p. 228) has pointed out that the best
dancer would be the best fighter and hunter, and that sexual selection and
natural selection would thus work in harmony.

[45] Féré, "Le plaisir de la vue du Mouvement," _Comptes-rendus de la
Société de Biologie_, November 2, 1901; also _Travail et Plaisir_, ch.

[46] Groos repeatedly emphasizes the significance of this fact (_Spiele
der Menschen_, pp. 81-9, 460 et seq.); Grosse (_Anfänge der Kunst_, p.
215) had previously made some remarks on this point.

[47] M. Kulischer, "Die Geschlechtliche Zuchtwahl bei den Menschen in der
Urzeit," _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1876, p. 140 _et seq._

[48] Sir W.R. Gowers, _Epilepsy_, 2d ed., 1901, pp. 61, 138.

[49] Guyon, _Leçons Cliniques sur les Maladies des Voies Urinaires_, 3d
ed., 1896, vol. ii, p. 397.

[50] See, e.g., Féré, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, pp. 222-23: Brantôme was
probably the first writer in modern times who referred to this phenomenon.
MacGillicuddy (_Functional Disorders of the Nervous System in Women_, p.
110) refers to the case of a lady who always had sudden and uncontrollable
expulsion of urine whenever her husband even began to perform the marital
act, on which account he finally ceased intercourse with her. Kubary
states that in Ponape (Western Carolines) the men are accustomed to
titillate the vulva of their women with the tongue until the excitement is
so intense that involuntary emission of urine takes place; this is
regarded as the proper moment for intercourse.

[51] Thus Pitres and Régis (_Transactions of the International Medical
Congress, Moscow_, vol. iv, p. 19) record the case of a young girl whose
life was for some years tormented by a groundless fear of experiencing an
irresistible desire to urinate. This obsession arose from once seeing at a
theater a man whom she liked, and being overcome by sexual feeling
accompanied by so strong a desire to urinate that she had to leave the
theater. An exactly similar case in a young woman of erotic temperament,
but prudish, has been recorded by Freud (_Zur Neurosenlehre_, Bd. i, p.
54). Morbid obsessions of modesty involving the urinary sphere and
appearing at puberty are evidently based on transformed sexual emotion.
Such a case has been recorded by Marandon de Montyel (_Archives de
Neurologie_, vol. xii, 1901, p. 36); this lady, who was of somewhat
neuropathic temperament, from puberty onward, in order to be able to
urinate found it necessary not only to be absolutely alone, but to feel
assured that no one even knew what was taking place.

[52] H. Ellis, "The Bladder as a Dynamometer," _American Journal of
Dermatology_, May, 1902.

[53] Sir W. Gowers, "Minor Epilepsy," _British Medical Journal_, January
6, 1900; ib., _Epilepsy_, 2d ed., 1901, p. 106; see also H. Ellis, art.
"Urinary Bladder, Influence of the Mind on the," in Tuke's _Dictionary of
Psychological Medicine_.

[54] Sérieux, _Recherches Cliniques sur les Anomalies de l'Instinct
Sexuel_, p. 22.

[55] Emil Schultze-Malkowsky, "Der Sexuelle Trieb in Kindesalter,"
_Geschlecht und Gesellschaft_, vol. ii, part 8, p. 372.

[56] Féré, "Note sur un Cas de Periodicité Sexuelle chez l'Homme,"
_Comptes-rendus Société de Biologie_, July 23, 1904.

[57] It is a familiar fact that, in women, occasionally, a violent
explosion of laughter may be propagated to the bladder-center and produce
urination. "She laughed till she nearly wetted the floor," I have heard a
young woman in the country say, evidently using without thought a familiar
locution. Professor Bechterew has recorded the case of a young married
lady who, from childhood, wherever she might be--in friends' houses, in
the street, in her own drawing-room--had always experienced an involuntary
and forcible emission of urine, which could not be stopped or controlled,
whenever she laughed; the bladder was quite sound and no muscular effort
produced the same result. (W. Bechterew, _Neurologisches Centralblatt_,
1899.) In women these relationships are most easily observed, partly
because in them the explosive centers are more easily discharged, and
partly, it is probable, so far as the bladder is concerned, because,
although after death the resistance to the emission of urine is notably
less in women, during life about the same amount of force is necessary in
both sexes; so that a greater amount of energy flows to the bladder in
women, and any nervous storm or disturbance is thus specially apt to
affect the bladder.

[58] "Every pain," remarks Marie de Manacéine, "produces a number of
movements which are apparently useless: we cry out, we groan, we move our
limbs, we throw ourselves from one side to the other, and at bottom all
these movements are logical because by interrupting and breaking our
attention they render us less sensitive to the pain. In the days before
chloroform, skillful surgeons requested their patients to cry out during
the operation, as we are told by Gratiolet, who could not explain so
strange a fact, for in his time the antagonism of movements and attention
was not recognized." (Marie de Manacéine, _Archives Italiennes de
Biologie_, 1894, p. 250.) This antagonism of attention by movement is but
another way of expressing the vicarious relationship of motor discharges.

[59] Joanny Roux, _Psychologie de l'Instinct Sexuel_, 1899, pp. 22-23. It
is disputed whether hunger is located in the whole organism, and powerful
arguments have been brought against the view. (W. Cannon, "The Nature of
Hunger," _Popular Science Monthly_, Sept., 1912.) Thirst is usually
regarded as organic (A. Mayer, _La Soif_, 1901).

[60] If there is any objection to these terms it is chiefly because they
have reference to vascular congestion rather than to the underlying
nervous charging and discharging, which is equally fundamental, and in man
more prominent than the vascular phenomena.



The Chief Key to the Relationship between Love and Pain to be Found in
Animal Courtship--Courtship a Source of Combativity and of Cruelty--Human
Play in the Light of Animal Courtship--The Frequency of Crimes Against the
Person in Adolescence--Marriage by Capture and its Psychological
Basis--Man's Pleasure in Exerting Force and Woman's Pleasure in
Experiencing it--Resemblance of Love to Pain even in Outward
Expression--The Love-bite--In what Sense Pain may be Pleasurable--The
Natural Contradiction in the Emotional Attitude of Women Toward
Men--Relative Insensibility to Pain of the Organic Sexual Sphere in
Women--The Significance of the Use of the Ampallang and Similar Appliances
in Coitus--The Sexual Subjection of Women to Men in Part Explainable as
the Necessary Condition for Sexual Pleasure.

The relation of love to pain is one of the most difficult problems, and
yet one of the most fundamental, in the whole range of sexual psychology.
Why is it that love inflicts, and even seeks to inflict, pain? Why is it
that love suffers pain, and even seeks to suffer it? In answering that
question, it seems to me, we have to take an apparently circuitous route,
sometimes going beyond the ostensible limits of sex altogether; but if we
can succeed in answering it we shall have come very near one of the great
mysteries of love. At the same time we shall have made clear the normal
basis on which rest the extreme aberrations of love.

The chief key to the relationship of love to pain is to be found by
returning to the consideration of the essential phenomena of courtship in
the animal world generally. Courtship is a play, a game; even its combats
are often, to a large extent, mock-combats; but the process behind it is
one of terrible earnestness, and the play may at any moment become deadly.
Courtship tends to involve a mock-combat between males for the possession
of the female which may at any time become a real combat; it is a pursuit
of the female by the male which may at any time become a kind of
persecution; so that, as Colin Scott remarks, "Courting may be looked upon
as a refined and delicate form of combat." The note of courtship, more
especially among mammals, is very easily forced, and as soon as we force
it we reach pain.[61] The intimate and inevitable association in the
animal world of combat--of the fighting and hunting impulses--with the
process of courtship alone suffices to bring love into close connection
with pain.

Among mammals the male wins the female very largely by the display of
force. The infliction of pain must inevitably be a frequent indirect
result of the exertion of power. It is even more than this; the infliction
of pain by the male on the female may itself be a gratification of the
impulse to exert force. This tendency has always to be held in check, for
it is of the essence of courtship that the male should win the female, and
she can only be won by the promise of pleasure. The tendency of the male
to inflict pain must be restrained, so far as the female is concerned, by
the consideration of what is pleasing to her. Yet, the more carefully we
study the essential elements of courtship, the clearer it becomes that,
playful as these manifestations may seem on the surface, in every
direction they are verging on pain. It is so among animals generally; it
is so in man among savages. "It is precisely the alliance of pleasure and
pain," wrote the physiologist Burdach, "which constitutes the voluptuous

Nor is this emotional attitude entirely confined to the male. The female
also in courtship delights to arouse to the highest degree in the male the
desire for her favors and to withhold those favors from him, thus finding
on her part also the enjoyment of power in cruelty. "One's cruelty is
one's power," Millament says in Congreve's _Way of the World_, "and when
one parts with one's cruelty one parts with one's power."

At the outset, then, the impulse to inflict pain is brought into
courtship, and at the same time rendered a pleasurable idea to the female,
because with primitive man, as well as among his immediate ancestors, the
victor in love has been the bravest and strongest rather than the most
beautiful or the most skilful. Until he can fight he is not reckoned a man
and he cannot hope to win a woman. Among the African Masai a man is not
supposed to marry until he has blooded his spear, and in a very different
part of the world, among the Dyaks of Borneo, there can be little doubt
that the chief incentive to head-hunting is the desire to please the
women, the possession of a head decapitated by himself being an excellent
way of winning a maiden's favor.[62] Such instances are too well known to
need multiplication here, and they survive in civilization, for, even
among ourselves, although courtship is now chiefly ruled by quite other
considerations, most women are in some degree emotionally affected by
strength and courage. But the direct result of this is that a group of
phenomena with which cruelty and the infliction of pain must inevitably be
more or less allied is brought within the sphere of courtship and rendered
agreeable to women. Here, indeed, we have the source of that love of
cruelty which some have found so marked in women. This is a phase of
courtship which helps us to understand how it is that, as we shall see,
the idea of pain, having become associated with sexual emotion, may be
pleasurable to women.

Thus, in order to understand the connection between love and pain, we have
once more to return to the consideration, under a somewhat new aspect, of
the fundamental elements in the sexual impulse. In discussing the
"Evolution of Modesty" we found that the primary part of the female in
courtship is the playful, yet serious, assumption of the rôle of a hunted
animal who lures on the pursuer, not with the object of escaping, but with
the object of being finally caught. In considering the "Analysis of the
Sexual Impulse" we found that the primary part of the male in courtship is
by the display of his energy and skill to capture the female or to arouse
in her an emotional condition which leads her to surrender herself to him,
this process itself at the same time heightening his own excitement. In
the playing of these two different parts is attained in both male and
female that charging of nervous energy, that degree of vascular
tumescence, necessary for adequate discharge and detumescence in an
explosion by which sperm-cells and germ-cells are brought together for the
propagation of the race. We are now concerned with the necessary interplay
of the differing male and female rôles in courtship, and with their
accidental emotional by-products. Both male and female are instinctively
seeking the same end of sexual union at the moment of highest excitement.
There cannot, therefore, be real conflict.[63] But there is the semblance
of a conflict, an apparent clash of aim, an appearance of cruelty.
Moreover,--and this is a significant moment in the process from our
present point of view,--when there are rivals for the possession of one
female there is always a possibility of actual combat, so tending to
introduce an element of real violence, of undisguised cruelty, which the
male inflicts on his rival and which the female views with satisfaction
and delight in the prowess of the successful claimant. Here we are brought
close to the zoölogical root of the connection between love and pain.[64]

In his admirable work on play in man Groos has fully discussed the plays
of combat (_Kampfspiele_), which begin to develop even in childhood and
assume full activity during adolescence; and he points out that, while the
impulse to such play certainly has a wider biological significance, it
still possesses a relationship to the sexual life and to the rivalries of
animals in courtship which must not be forgotten.[65]

Nor is it only in play that the connection between love and combativity
may still be traced. With the epoch of the first sexual relationship,
Marro points out, awakes the instinct of cruelty, which prompts the youth
to acts which are sometimes in absolute contrast to his previous conduct,
and leads him to be careless of the lives of others as well as of his own
life.[66] Marro presents a diagram showing how crimes against the person
in Italy rise rapidly from the age of 16 to 20 and reach a climax between
21 and 25. In Paris, Gamier states, crimes of blood are six times more
frequent in adolescents (aged 16 to 20) than in adults. It is the same
elsewhere.[67] This tendency to criminal violence during the age-period of
courtship is a by-product of the sexual impulse, a kind of tertiary sexual

In the process of what is commonly termed "marriage by capture" we have a
method of courtship which closely resembles the most typical form of
animal courtship, and is yet found in all but the highest and most
artificial stages of human society. It may not be true that, as MacLennan
and others have argued, almost every race of man has passed through an
actual stage of marriage by capture, but the phenomena in question have
certainly been extremely widespread and exist in popular custom even among
the highest races today. George Sand has presented a charming picture of
such a custom, existing in France, in her _Mare au Diable_. Farther away,
among the Kirghiz, the young woman is pursued by all her lovers, but she
is armed with a formidable whip, which she does not hesitate to use if
overtaken by a lover to whom she is not favorable. Among the Malays,
according to early travelers, courtship is carried on in the water in
canoes with double-bladed paddles; or, if no water is near, the damsel,
stripped naked of all but a waistband, is given a certain start and runs
off on foot followed by her lover. Vaughan Stevens in 1896 reported that
this performance is merely a sport; but Skeat and Blagden, in their more
recent and very elaborate investigations in the Malay States, find that it
is a rite.

Even if we regard "marriage by capture" as simply a primitive human
institution stimulated by tribal exigencies and early social conditions,
yet, when we recall its widespread and persistent character, its close
resemblance to the most general method of courtship among animals, and the
emotional tendencies which still persist even in the most civilized men
and women, we have to recognize that we are in presence of a real
psychological impulse which cannot fail in its exercise to introduce some
element of pain into love.

There are, however, two fundamentally different theories concerning
"marriage by capture." According to the first, that of MacLennan, which,
until recently, has been very widely accepted, and to which Professor
Tylor has given the weight of his authority, there has really been in
primitive society a recognized stage in which marriages were effected by
the capture of the wife. Such a state of things MacLennan regarded as once
world-wide. There can be no doubt that women very frequently have been
captured in this way among primitive peoples. Nor, indeed, has the custom
been confined to savages. In Europe we find that even up to comparatively
recent times the abduction of women was not only very common, but was
often more or less recognized. In England it was not until Henry VII's
time that the violent seizure of a woman was made a criminal offense, and
even then the statute was limited to women possessed of lands and goods. A
man might still carry off a girl provided she was not an heiress; but even
the abduction of heiresses continued to be common, and in Ireland remained
so until the end of the eighteenth century. But it is not so clear that
such raids and abductions, even when not of a genuinely hostile character,
have ever been a recognized and constant method of marriage.

According to the second set of theories, the capture is not real, but
simulated, and may be accounted for by psychological reasons. Fustel de
Coulanges, in _La Cité Antique_,[68] discussing simulated marriage by
capture among the Romans, mentioned the view that it was "a symbol of the
young girl's modesty," but himself regarded it as an act of force to
symbolize the husband's power. He was possibly alluding to Herbert
Spencer, who suggested a psychological explanation of the apparent
prevalence of marriage by capture based on the supposition that, capturing
a wife being a proof of bravery, such a method of obtaining a wife would
be practised by the strongest men and be admired, while, on the other
hand, he considered that "female coyness" was "an important factor" in
constituting the more formal kinds of marriage by capture ceremonial.[69]
Westermarck, while accepting true marriage by capture, considers that
Spencer's statement "can scarcely be disproved."[70] In his valuable study
of certain aspects of primitive marriage Crawley, developing the
explanation rejected by Fustel de Coulanges, regards the fundamental fact
to be the modesty of women, which has to be neutralized, and this is done
by "a ceremonial use of force, which is half real and half make-believe."
Thus the manifestations are not survivals, but "arising in a natural way
from normal human feelings. It is not the tribe from which the bride is
abducted, nor, primarily, her family and kindred, but her _sex_"; and her
"sexual characters of timidity, bashfulness, and passivity are
sympathetically overcome by make-believe representations of male
characteristic actions."[71]

It is not necessary for the present purpose that either of these two
opposing theories concerning the origin of the customs and feelings we are
here concerned with should be definitely rejected. Whichever theory is
adopted, the fundamental psychic element which here alone concerns us
still exists intact.[72] It may be pointed out, however, that we probably
have to accept two groups of such phenomena: one, seldom or never existing
as the sole form of marriage, in which the capture is real; and another in
which the "capture" is more or less ceremonial or playful. The two groups
coexist among the Turcomans, as described by Vambery, who are constantly
capturing and enslaving the Persians of both sexes, and, side by side with
this, have a marriage ceremonial of mock-capture of entirely playful
character. At the same time the two groups sometimes overlap, as is
indicated by cases in which, while the "capture" appears to be ceremonial,
the girl is still allowed to escape altogether if she wishes. The
difficulty of disentangling the two groups is shown by the fact that so
careful an investigator as Westermarck cites cases of real capture and
mock-capture together without attempting to distinguish between them. From
our present point of view it is quite unnecessary to attempt such a
distinction. Whether the capture is simulated or real, the man is still
playing the masculine and aggressive part proper to the male; the woman is
still playing the feminine and defensive part proper to the female. The
universal prevalence of these phenomena is due to the fact that
manifestations of this kind, real or pretended, afford each sex the very
best opportunity for playing its proper part in courtship, and so, even
when the force is real, must always gratify a profound instinct.

    It is not necessary to quote examples of marriage by capture from
    the numerous and easily accessible books on the evolution of
    marriage. (Sir A.B. Ellis, adopting MacLennan's standpoint,
    presented a concise statement of the facts in an article on
    "Survivals from Marriage by Capture," _Popular Science Monthly_,
    1891, p. 207.) It may, however, be worth while to bring together
    from scattered sources a few of the facts concerning the
    phenomena in this group and their accompanying emotional state,
    more especially as they bear on the association of love with
    force, inflicted or suffered.

    In New Caledonia, Foley remarks, the successful coquette goes off
    with her lover into the bush. "It usually happens that, when she
    is successful, she returns from her expedition, tumbled, beaten,
    scratched, even bitten on the nape and shoulders, her wounds thus
    bearing witness to the quadrupedal attitude she has assumed amid
    the foliage." (Foley, _Bulletin de la Société d'Anthropologie_,
    Paris, November 6, 1879.)

    Of the natives of New South Wales, Turnbull remarked at the
    beginning of the nineteenth century that "their mode of courtship
    is not without its singularity. When a young man sees a female to
    his fancy he informs her she must accompany him home; the lady
    refuses; he not only enforces compliance with threats but blows;
    thus the gallant, according to the custom, never fails to gain
    the victory, and bears off the willing, though struggling
    pugilist. The colonists for some time entertained the idea that
    the women were compelled and forced away against their
    inclinations; but the young ladies informed them that this mode
    of gallantry was the custom, and perfectly to their taste," (J.
    Turnbull, _A Voyage Round the World_, 1813, p. 98; cf. Brough
    Smyth, _Aborigines of Victoria_, 1878, vol. i, p. 81.)

    As regards capture of women among Central Australian tribes,
    Spencer and Gillen remark: "We have never in any of these central
    tribes met with any such thing, and the clubbing part of the
    story may be dismissed, so far as the central area of the
    continent is concerned. To the casual observer what looks like a
    capture (we are, of course, only speaking of these tribes) is in
    reality an elopement, in which the woman is an aiding and
    abetting party." (_Northern Tribes of Central Australia_. p. 32.)

    "The New Zealand method of courtship and matrimony is a most
    extraordinary one. A man sees a woman whom he fancies he should
    like for a wife; he asks the consent of her father, or, if an
    orphan, of her nearest relative, which, if he obtain, he carries
    his intended off by force, she resisting with all her strength,
    and, as the New Zealand girls are generally fairly robust,
    sometimes a dreadful struggle takes place; both are soon stripped
    to the skin and it is sometimes the work of hours to remove the
    fair prize a hundred yards. It sometimes happens that she secures
    her retreat into her father's house, and the lover loses all
    chance of ever obtaining her." (A. Earle, _Narratives of
    Residence in New Zealand_, 1832, p. 244.)

    Among the Eskimos (probably near Smith Sound) "there is no
    marriage ceremony further than that the boy is required to carry
    off his bride by main force, for even among these blubber-eating
    people the woman only saves her modesty by a show of resistance,
    although she knows years beforehand that her destiny is sealed
    and that she is to become the wife of the man from whose
    embraces, when the nuptial day comes, she is obliged by the
    inexorable law of public opinion to free herself, if possible, by
    kicking and screaming with might and main until she is safely
    landed in the hut of her future lord, when she gives up the
    combat very cheerfully and takes possession of her new abode. The
    betrothal often takes place at a very early period of life and at
    very dissimilar ages." Marriage only takes place when the lover
    has killed his first seal; this is the test of manhood and
    maturity. (J.J. Hayes, _Open Polar Sea_, 1867, p. 432.)

    Marriage by "capture" is common in war and raiding in central
    Africa. "The women, as a rule," Johnston says, "make no very
    great resistance on these occasions. It is almost like playing a
    game. A woman is surprised as she goes to get water at the
    stream, or when she is on the way to or from the plantation. The
    man has only got to show her she is cornered and that escape is
    not easy or pleasant and she submits to be carried off. As a
    general rule, they seem to accept very cheerfully these abrupt
    changes in their matrimonial existence." (Sir H.H. Johnston,
    _British Central Africa_, p. 412.)

    Among the wild tribes of the Malay Peninsula in one form of
    wedding rite the bridegroom is required to run seven times around
    an artificial mound decorated with flowers and the emblem of the
    people's religion. In the event of the bridegroom failing to
    catch the bride the marriage has to be postponed. Among the Orang
    Laut, or sea-gipsies, the pursuit sometimes takes the form of a
    canoe-race; the woman is given a good start and must be overtaken
    before she has gone a certain distance. (W.W. Skeat, _Journal
    Anthropological Institute_, Jan.-June, 1902, p. 134; Skeat and
    Blagden, _Pagan Races of the Malay_, vol. ii, p. 69 et seq.,
    fully discuss the ceremony around the mound.)

    "Calmuck women ride better than the men. A male Calmuck on
    horseback looks as if he was intoxicated, and likely to fall off
    every instant, though he never loses his seat; but the women sit
    with more ease, and ride with extraordinary skill. The ceremony
    of marriage among the Calmucks is performed on horseback. A girl
    is first mounted, who rides off at full speed. Her lover pursues,
    and if he overtakes her she becomes his wife and the marriage is
    consummated upon the spot, after which she returns with him to
    his tent. But it sometimes happens that the woman does not wish
    to marry the person by whom she is pursued, in which case she
    will not suffer him to overtake her; and we were assured that no
    instance occurs of a Calmuck girl being thus caught, unless she
    has a partiality for her pursuer. If she dislikes him, she rides,
    to use the language of English sportsmen, 'neck or nothing,'
    until she has completely escaped or until the pursuer's horse is
    tired out, leaving her at liberty to return, to be afterward
    chased by some more favored admirer." (E.D. Clarke, _Travels_,
    1810, vol. i, p. 333.)

    Among the Bedouins marriage is arranged between the lover and the
    girl's father, often without consulting the girl herself. "Among
    the Arabs of Sinai the young maid comes home in the evening with
    the cattle. At a short distance from the camp she is met by the
    future spouse and a couple of his young friends and carried off
    by force to her father's tent. If she entertains any suspicion of
    their designs she defends herself with stones, and often inflicts
    wounds on the young men, even though she does not dislike the
    lover, for, according to custom, the more she struggles, bites,
    kicks, cries, and strikes, the more she is applauded ever after
    by her own companions." After being taken to her father's tent,
    where a man's cloak is thrown over her by one of the bridegroom's
    relations, she is dressed in garments provided by her future
    husband, and placed on a camel, "still continuing to struggle in
    a most unruly manner, and held by the bridegroom's friends on
    both sides." She is then placed in a recess of the husband's
    tent. Here the marriage is finally consummated, "the bride still
    continuing to cry very loudly. It sometimes happens that the
    husband is obliged to tie his bride, and even to beat her, before
    she can be induced to comply with his desires." If, however, she
    really does not like her husband, she is perfectly free to leave
    him next morning, and her father is obliged to receive her back
    whether he wishes to or not. It is not considered proper for a
    widow or divorced woman to make any resistance on being married.
    (J.L. Burckhardt, _Notes on the Bedouins and Wahábys_, 1830, p.
    149 et seq.)

    Among the Turcomans forays for capturing and enslaving their
    Persian neighbors were once habitual. Vambery describes their
    "marriage ceremonial when the young maiden, attired in bridal
    costume, mounts a high-bred courser, taking on her lap the
    carcass of a lamb or goat, and setting off at full gallop,
    followed by the bridegroom and other young men of the party, also
    on horseback; she is always to strive, by adroit turns, etc., to
    avoid her pursuers, that no one approach near enough to snatch
    from her the burden on her lap. This game, called _kökbüri_
    (green wolf), is in use among all the nomads of central Asia."
    (A. Vambery, _Travels in Central Asia_, 1864, p. 323.)

    In China, a missionary describes how, when he was called upon to
    marry the daughter of a Chinese Christian brought up in native
    customs, he was compelled to wait several hours, as the bride
    refused to get up and dress until long after the time appointed
    for the wedding ceremony, and then only by force. "Extreme
    reluctance and dislike and fear are the true marks of a happy and
    lively wedding." (A.E. Moule, _New China and Old_, p. 128.)

    It is interesting to find that in the Indian art of love a kind
    of mock-combat, accompanied by striking, is a recognized and
    normal method of heightening tumescence. Vatsyayana has a
    chapter "On Various Manners of Striking," and he approves of the
    man striking the woman on the back, belly, flanks, and buttocks,
    before and during coitus, as a kind of play, increasing as sexual
    excitement increases, which the woman, with cries and groans,
    pretends to bid the man to stop. It is mentioned that, especially
    in southern India, various instruments (scissors, needles, etc.)
    are used in striking, but this practice is condemned as barbarous
    and dangerous. (_Kama Sutra_, French translation, iii, chapter

    In the story of Aladdin, in the _Arabian Nights_, the bride is
    undressed by the mother and the other women, who place her in the
    bridegroom's bed "as if by force, and, according to the custom of
    the newly married, she pretends to resist, twisting herself in
    every direction, and seeking to escape from their hands." (_Les
    Mille Nuits_, tr. Mardrus, vol. xi, p. 253.)

    It is said that in those parts of Germany where preliminary
    _Probenächte_ before formal marriage are the rule it is not
    uncommon for a young woman before finally giving herself to a man
    to provoke him to a physical struggle. If she proves stronger she
    dismisses him; if he is stronger she yields herself willingly.
    (W. Henz, "Probenächte," _Sexual-Probleme_, Oct., 1910, p. 743.)

    Among the South Slavs of Servia and Bulgaria, according to
    Krauss, it is the custom to win a woman by seizing her by the
    ankle and bringing her to the ground by force. This method of
    wooing is to the taste of the woman, and they are refractory to
    any other method. The custom of beating or being beaten before
    coitus is also found among the South Slavs. (Kryptadia, vol. vi,
    p. 209.)

    In earlier days violent courtship was viewed with approval in the
    European world, even among aristocratic circles. Thus in the
    medieval _Lai de Graélent_ of Marie de France this Breton knight
    is represented as very chaste, possessing a high ideal of love
    and able to withstand the wiles of women. One day when he is
    hunting in a forest he comes upon a naked damsel bathing,
    together with her handmaidens. Overcome by her beauty, he seizes
    her clothes in case she should be alarmed, but is persuaded to
    hand them to her; then he proceeds to make love to her. She
    replies that his love is an insult to a woman of her high
    lineage. Finding her so proud, Graélent sees that his prayers are
    in vain. He drags her by force into the depth of the forest, has
    his will of her, and begs her very gently not to be angry,
    promising to love her loyally and never to leave her. The damsel
    saw that he was a good knight, courteous, and wise. She thought
    within herself that if she were to leave him she would never find
    a better friend.

    Brantôme mentions a lady who confessed that she liked to be
    "half-forced" by her husband, and he remarks that a woman who is
    "a little difficult and resists" gives more pleasure also to her
    lover than one who yields at once, just as a hard-fought battle
    is a more notable triumph than an easily won victory. (Brantôme,
    _Vie des Dames Galantes_, discours i.) Restif de la Bretonne,
    again, whose experience was extensive, wrote in his
    _Anti-Justine_ that "all women of strong temperament like a sort
    of brutality in sexual intercourse and its accessories."

    Ovid had said that a little force is pleasing to a woman, and
    that she is grateful to the ravisher against whom she struggles
    (_Ars Amatoria_, lib. i). One of Janet's patients (Raymond and
    Janet, _Les Obsessions et la Psychasthénie_, vol. ii, p. 406)
    complained that her husband was too good, too devoted. "He does
    not know how to make me suffer a little. One cannot love anyone
    who does not make one suffer a little." Another hysterical woman
    (a silk fetichist, frigid with men) had dreams of men and animals
    abusing her: "I cried with pain and was happy at the same time."
    (Clérambault, _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, June, 1908,
    p. 442.)

    It has been said that among Slavs of the lower class the wives
    feel hurt if they are not beaten by their husbands. Paullinus, in
    the seventeenth century, remarked that Russian women are never
    more pleased and happy than when beaten by their husbands, and
    regard such treatment as proof of love. (See, e.g., C.F. von
    Schlichtegroll, _Sacher-Masoch und der Masochismus_, p. 69.)
    Krafft-Ebing believes that this is true at the present day, and
    adds that it is the same in Hungary, a Hungarian official having
    informed him that the peasant women of the Somogyer Comitate do
    not think they are loved by their husbands until they have
    received the first box on the ear. (Krafft-Ebing, _Psychopathia
    Sexualis_, English translation of the tenth edition, p. 188.) I
    may add that a Russian proverb says "Love your wife like your
    soul and beat her like your _shuba_" (overcoat); and, according
    to another Russian proverb, "a dear one's blows hurt not long."
    At the same time it has been remarked that the domination of men
    by women is peculiarly frequent among the Slav peoples. (V.
    Schlichtegroll, op. cit., p. 23.) Cellini, in an interesting
    passage in his _Life_ (book ii, chapters xxxiv-xxxv), describes
    his own brutal treatment of his model Caterina, who was also his
    mistress, and the pleasure which, to his surprise, she took in
    it. Dr. Simon Forman, also, the astrologist, tells in his
    _Autobiography_ (p. 7) how, as a young and puny apprentice to a
    hosier, he was beaten, scolded, and badly treated by the servant
    girl, but after some years of this treatment he turned on her,
    beat her black and blue, and ever after "Mary would do for him
    all that she could."

    That it is a sign of love for a man to beat his sweetheart, and a
    sign much appreciated by women, is illustrated by the episode of
    Cariharta and Repolido, in "Rinconete and Cortadillo," one of
    Cervantes's _Exemplary Novels_. The Indian women of South
    America feel in the same way, and Mantegazza when traveling in
    Bolivia found that they complained when they were not beaten by
    their husbands, and that a girl was proud when she could say "He
    loves me greatly, for he often beats me." (_Fisiologia della
    Donna_, chapter xiii.) The same feeling evidently existed in
    classic antiquity, for we find Lucian, in his "Dialogues of
    Courtesans," makes a woman say: "He who has not rained blows on
    his mistress and torn her hair and her garments is not yet in
    love," while Ovid advises lovers sometimes to be angry with their
    sweethearts and to tear their dresses.

    Among the Italian Camorrista, according to Russo, wives are very
    badly treated. Expression is given to this fact in the popular
    songs. But the women only feel themselves tenderly loved when
    they are badly treated by their husbands; the man who does not
    beat them they look upon as a fool. It is the same in the east
    end of London. "If anyone has doubts as to the brutalities
    practised on women by men," writes a London magistrate, "let him
    visit the London Hospital on a Saturday night. Very terrible
    sights will meet his eye. Sometimes as many as twelve or fourteen
    women may be seen seated in the receiving room, waiting for their
    bruised and bleeding faces and bodies to be attended to. In nine
    cases out of ten the injuries have been inflicted by brutal and
    perhaps drunken husbands. The nurses tell me, however, that any
    remarks they may make reflecting on the aggressors are received
    with great indignation by the wretched sufferers. They positively
    will not hear a single word against the cowardly ruffians.
    'Sometimes,' said a nurse to me, 'when I have told a woman that
    her husband is a brute, she has drawn herself up and replied:
    "You mind your own business, miss. We find the rates and taxes,
    and the likes of you are paid out of 'em to wait on us."'"
    (Montagu Williams, _Round London_, p. 79.)

    "The prostitute really loves her _souteneur_, notwithstanding all
    the persecutions he inflicts on her. Their torments only increase
    the devotion of the poor slaves to their 'Alphonses.'
    Parent-Duchâtelet wrote that he had seen them come to the
    hospital with their eyes out of their heads, faces bleeding, and
    bodies torn by the blows of their drunken lovers, but as soon as
    they were healed they went back to them. Police-officers tell us
    that it is very difficult to make a prostitute confess anything
    concerning her _souteneur_. Thus, Rosa L., whom her 'Alphonse'
    had often threatened to kill, even putting the knife to her
    throat, would say nothing, and denied everything when the
    magistrate questioned her. Maria R., with her face marked by a
    terrible scar produced by her _souteneur_, still carefully
    preserved many years afterward the portrait of the aggressor, and
    when we asked her to explain her affection she replied: 'But he
    wounded me because he loved me.' The _souteneur's_ brutality only
    increases the ill-treated woman's love; the humiliation and
    slavery in which the woman's soul is drowned feed her love."
    (Niceforo, _Il Gergo_, etc., 1897, p. 128.)

    In a modern novel written in autobiographic form by a young
    Australian lady the heroine is represented as striking her
    betrothed with a whip when he merely attempts to kiss her. Later
    on her behavior so stings him that his self-control breaks down
    and he seizes her fiercely by the arms. For the first time she
    realizes that he loves her. "I laughed a joyous little laugh,
    saying 'Hal, we are quits'; when on disrobing for the night I
    discovered on my soft white shoulders and arms--so susceptible to
    bruises--many marks, and black. It had been a very happy day for
    me." (Miles Franklin, _My Brilliant Career_.)

    It is in large measure the existence of this feeling of
    attraction for violence which accounts for the love-letters
    received by men who are accused of crimes of violence. Thus in
    one instance, in Chicago (as Dr. Kiernan writes to me), "a man
    arrested for conspiracy to commit abortion, and also suspected of
    being a sadist, received many proposals of marriage and other
    less modest expressions of affection from unknown women. To judge
    by the signatures, these women belonged to the Germans and Slavs
    rather than to the Anglo-Celts."

    Neuropathic or degenerative conditions sometimes serve to
    accentuate or reveal ancestral traits that are very ancient in
    the race. Under such conditions the tendency to find pleasure in
    subjection and pain, which is often faintly traceable even in
    normal civilized women, may become more pronounced. This may be
    seen in a case described in some detail in the _Archivio di
    Psichiatria_. The subject was a young lady of 19, of noble
    Italian birth, but born in Tunis. On the maternal side there is a
    somewhat neurotic heredity, and she is herself subject to attacks
    of hystero-epileptoid character. She was very carefully, but
    strictly, educated; she knows several languages, possesses marked
    intellectual aptitudes, and is greatly interested in social and
    political questions, in which she takes the socialistic and
    revolutionary side. She has an attractive and sympathetic
    personality; in complexion she is dark, with dark eyes and very
    dark and abundant hair; the fine down on the upper lip and lower
    parts of the cheeks is also much developed; the jaw is large, the
    head acrocephalic, and the external genital organs of normal
    size, but rather asymmetric. Ever since she was a child she has
    loved to work and dream in solitude. Her dreams have always been
    of love, since menstruation began as early as the age of 10, and
    accompanied by strong sexual feelings, though at that age these
    feelings remained vague and indefinite; but in them the desire
    for pleasure was always accompanied by the desire for pain, the
    desire to bite and destroy something, and, as it were, to
    annihilate herself. She experienced great relief after periods of
    "erotic rumination," and if this rumination took place at night
    she would sometimes masturbate, the contact of the bedclothes,
    she said, giving her the illusion of a man. In time this vague
    longing for the male gave place to more definite desires for a
    man who would love her, and, as she imagined, strike her.
    Eventually she formed secret relationships with two or three
    lovers in succession, each of these relationships being, however,
    discovered by her family and leading to ineffectual attempts at
    suicide. But the association of pain with love, which had
    developed spontaneously in her solitary dreams, continued in her
    actual relations with her lovers. During coitus she would bite
    and squeeze her arms until the nails penetrated the flesh. When
    her lover asked her why at the moment of coitus she would
    vigorously repel him, she replied: "Because I want to be
    possessed by force, to be hurt, suffocated, to be thrown down in
    a struggle." At another time she said: "I want a man with all his
    vitality, so that he can torture and kill my body." We seem to
    see here clearly the ancient biological character of animal
    courtship, the desire of the female to be violently subjugated by
    the male. In this case it was united to sensitiveness to the
    sexual domination of an intellectual man, and the subject also
    sought to stimulate her lovers' intellectual tastes. (_Archivio
    di Psichiatria_, vol. xx, fasc. 5-6, p. 528.)

This association between love and pain still persists even among the most
normal civilized men and women possessing well-developed sexual impulses.
The masculine tendency to delight in domination, the feminine tendency to
delight in submission, still maintain the ancient traditions when the male
animal pursued the female. The phenomena of "marriage by capture," in its
real and its simulated forms, have been traced to various causes. But it
has to be remembered that these causes could only have been operative in
the presence of a favorable emotional aptitude, constituted by the
zoölogical history of our race and still traceable even today. To exert
power, as psychologists well recognize, is one of our most primary
impulses, and it always tends to be manifested in the attitude of a man
toward the woman he loves.[73]

It might be possible to maintain that the primitive element of more or
less latent cruelty in courtship tends to be more rather than less marked
in civilized man. In civilization the opportunity of dissipating the
surplus energy of the courtship process by inflicting pain on rivals
usually has to be inhibited; thus the woman to be wooed tends to become
the recipient of the whole of this energy, both in its pleasure-giving and
its pain-giving aspects. Moreover, the natural process of courtship, as it
exists among animals and usually among the lower human races, tends to
become disguised and distorted in civilization, as well by economic
conditions as by conventional social conditions and even ethical
prescription. It becomes forgotten that the woman's pleasure is an
essential element in the process of courtship. A woman is often reduced to
seek a man for the sake of maintenance; she is taught that pleasure is
sinful or shameful, that sex-matters are disgusting, and that it is a
woman's duty, and also her best policy, to be in subjection to her
husband. Thus, various external checks which normally inhibit any passing
over of masculine sexual energy into cruelty are liable to be removed.

We have to admit that a certain pleasure in manifesting his power over a
woman by inflicting pain upon her is an outcome and survival of the
primitive process of courtship, and an almost or quite normal constituent
of the sexual impulse in man. But it must be at once added that in the
normal well-balanced and well-conditioned man this constituent of the
sexual impulse, when present, is always held in check. When the normal man
inflicts, or feels the impulse to inflict, some degree of physical pain on
the woman he loves he can scarcely be said to be moved by cruelty. He
feels, more or less obscurely, that the pain he inflicts, or desires to
inflict, is really a part of his love, and that, moreover, it is not
really resented by the woman on whom it is exercised. His feeling is by
no means always according to knowledge, but it has to be taken into
account as an essential part of his emotional state. The physical force,
the teasing and bullying, which he may be moved to exert under the stress
of sexual excitement, are, he usually more or less unconsciously persuades
himself, not really unwelcome to the object of his love.[74] Moreover, we
have to bear in mind the fact--a very significant fact from more than one
point of view--that the normal manifestations of a woman's sexual pleasure
are exceedingly like those of pain. "The outward expressions of pain," as
a lady very truly writes,--"tears, cries, etc.,--which are laid stress on
to prove the cruelty of the person who inflicts it, are not so different
from those of a woman in the ecstasy of passion, when she implores the man
to desist, though that is really the last thing she desires."[75] If a man
is convinced that he is causing real and unmitigated pain, he becomes
repentant at once. If this is not the case he must either be regarded as a
radically abnormal person or as carried away by passion to a point of
temporary insanity.

The intimate connection of love with pain, its tendency to approach
cruelty, is seen in one of the most widespread of the occasional and
non-essential manifestations of strong sexual emotion, especially in
women, the tendency to bite. We may find references to love-bites in the
literature of ancient as well as of modern times, in the East as well as
in the West. Plautus, Catullus, Propertius, Horace, Ovid, Petronius, and
other Latin writers refer to bites as associated with kisses and usually
on the lips. Plutarch says that Flora, the mistress of Cnæus Pompey, in
commending her lover remarked that he was so lovable that she could never
leave him without giving him a bite. In the Arabic _Perfumed Garden_ there
are many references to love-bites, while in the Indian _Kama Sutra_ of
Vatsyayana a chapter is devoted to this subject. Biting in love is also
common among the South Slavs.[76] The phenomenon is indeed sufficiently
familiar to enable Heine, in one of his _Romancero_, to describe those
marks by which the ancient chronicler states that Edith Swanneck
recognized Harold, after the Battle of Hastings, as the scars of the bites
she had once given him.

It would be fanciful to trace this tendency back to that process of
devouring to which sexual congress has, in the primitive stages of its
evolution, been reduced. But we may probably find one of the germs of the
love-bite in the attitude of many mammals during or before coitus; in
attaining a firm grip of the female it is not uncommon (as may be observed
in the donkey) for the male to seize the female's neck between his teeth.
The horse sometimes bites the mare before coitus and it is said that among
the Arabs when a mare is not apt for coitus she is sent to pasture with a
small ardent horse, who excites her by playing with her and biting
her.[77] It may be noted, also, that dogs often show their affection for
their masters by gentle bites. Children also, as Stanley Hall has pointed
out, are similarly fond of biting.

Perhaps a still more important factor is the element of combat in
tumescence, since the primitive conditions associated with tumescence
provide a reservoir of emotions which are constantly drawn on even in the
sexual excitement of individuals belonging to civilization. The tendency
to show affection by biting is, indeed, commoner among women than among
men and not only in civilization. It has been noted among idiot girls as
well as among the women of various savage races. It may thus be that the
conservative instincts of women have preserved a primitive tendency that
at its origin marked the male more than the female. But in any case the
tendency to bite at the climax of sexual excitement is so common and
widespread that it must be regarded, when occurring in women, as coming
within the normal range of variation in such manifestations. The
gradations are of wide extent; while in its slight forms it is more or
less normal and is one of the origins of the kiss,[78] in its extreme
forms it tends to become one of the most violent and antisocial of sexual

    A correspondent writes regarding his experience of biting and
    being bitten: "I have often felt inclination to bite a woman I
    love, even when not in coitus or even excited. (I like doing so
    also with my little boy, playfully, as a cat and kittens.) There
    seem to be several reasons for this: (1) the muscular effect
    relieves me; (2) I imagine I am giving the woman pleasure; (3) I
    seem to attain to a more intimate possession of the loved one. I
    cannot remember when I first felt desire to be bitten in coitus,
    or whether the idea was first suggested to me. I was initiated
    into pinching by a French prostitute who once pinched my nates in
    coitus, no doubt as a matter of business; it heightened my
    pleasure, perhaps by stimulating muscular movement. It does not
    occur to me to ask to be pinched when I am very much excited
    already, but only at an earlier stage, no doubt with the object
    of promoting excitement. Apart altogether from sexual excitement,
    being pinched is unpleasant to me. It has not seemed to me that
    women usually like to be bitten. One or two women have bitten and
    sucked my flesh. (The latter does not affect me.) I like being
    bitten, partly for the same reason as I like being pinched,
    because if spontaneous it is a sign of my partner's amorousness
    and the biting never seems too hard. Women do not usually seem to
    like being bitten, though there are exceptions; 'I should like to
    bite you and I should like you to bite me,' said one woman; I did
    so hard, in coitus, and she did not flinch." "She is particularly
    anxious to eat me alive," another correspondent writes, "and
    nothing gives her greater satisfaction than to tear open my
    clothes and fasten her teeth into my flesh until I yell for
    mercy. My experience has generally been, however," the same
    correspondent continues, "that the cruelty is _unconscious_. A
    woman just grows mad with the desire to squeeze or bite
    something, with a complete unconsciousness of what result it will
    produce in the victim. She is astonished when she sees the result
    and will hardly believe she has done it." It is unnecessary to
    accumulate evidence of a tendency which is sufficiently common to
    be fairly well known, but one or two quotations may be presented
    to show its wide distribution. In the _Kama Sutra_ we read: "If
    she is very exalted, and if in the exaltation of her passionate
    transports she begins a sort of combat, then she takes her lover
    by the hair, draws his head to hers, kisses his lower lip, and
    then in her delirium bites him all over his body, shutting her
    eyes"; it is added that with the marks of such bites lovers can
    remind each other of their affections, and that such love will
    last for ages. In Japan the maiden of Ainu race feels the same
    impulse. A.H. Savage Landor (_Alone with the Hairy Ainu_, 1893,
    p. 140) says of an Ainu girl: "Loving and biting went together
    with her. She could not do the one without the other. As we sat
    on a stone in the twilight she began by gently biting my fingers
    without hurting me, as affectionate dogs do to their masters. She
    then bit my arm, then my shoulder, and when she had worked
    herself up into a passion she put her arms around my neck and bit
    my cheeks. It was undoubtedly a curious way of making love, and,
    when I had been bitten all over, and was pretty tired of the new
    sensation, we retired to our respective homes. Kissing,
    apparently, was an unknown art to her."

    The significance of biting, and the close relationship which, as
    will have to be pointed out later, it reveals to other phenomena,
    may be illustrated by some observations which have been made by
    Alonzi on the peasant women of Sicily. "The women of the people,"
    he remarks, "especially in the districts where crimes of blood
    are prevalent, give vent to their affection for their little ones
    by kissing and sucking them on the neck and arms till they make
    them cry convulsively; all the while they say: 'How sweet you
    are! I will bite you, I will gnaw you all over,' exhibiting every
    appearance of great pleasure. If a child commits some slight
    fault they do not resort to simple blows, but pursue it through
    the street and bite it on the face, ears, and arms until the
    blood flows. At such moments the face of even a beautiful woman
    is transformed, with injected eyes, gnashing teeth, and
    convulsive tremors. Among both men and women a very common threat
    is 'I will drink your blood.' It is told on ocular evidence that
    a man who had murdered another in a quarrel licked the hot blood
    from the victim's hand." (G. Alonzi, _Archivio di Psichiatria_,
    vol. vi, fasc. 4.) A few years ago a nurse girl in New York was
    sentenced to prison for cruelty to the baby in her charge. The
    mother had frequently noticed that the child was in pain and at
    last discovered the marks of teeth on its legs. The girl admitted
    that she had bitten the child because that action gave her
    intense pleasure. (_Alienist and Neurologist_, August, 1901, p.
    558.) In the light of such observations as these we may
    understand a morbid perversion of affection such as was recorded
    in the London police news some years ago (1894). A man of 30 was
    charged with ill-treating his wife's illegitimate daughter, aged
    3, during a period of many months; her lips, eyes, and hands were
    bitten and bruised from sucking, and sometimes her pinafore was
    covered with blood. "Defendant admitted he had bitten the child
    because he loved it."

    It is not surprising that such phenomena as these should
    sometimes be the stimulant and accompaniment to the sexual act.
    Ferriani thus reports such a case in the words of the young man's
    mistress: "Certainly he is a strange, maddish youth, though he is
    fond of me and spends money on me when he has any. He likes much
    sexual intercourse, but, to tell the truth, he has worn out my
    patience, for before our embraces there are always struggles
    which become assaults. He tells me he has no pleasure except when
    he sees me crying on account of his bites and vigorous pinching.
    Lately, just before going with me, when I was groaning with
    pleasure, he threw himself on me and at the moment of emission
    furiously bit my right cheek till the blood came. Then he kissed
    me and begged my pardon, but would do it again if the wish took
    him." (L. Ferriani, _Archivio di Psicopatie Sessuale_, vol. i,
    fasc. 7 and 8, 1896, p. 107.)

    In morbid cases biting may even become a substitute for coitus.
    Thus, Moll (_Die Konträre Sexualempfindung_, second edition, p.
    323) records the case of a hysterical woman who was sexually
    anesthetic, though she greatly loved her husband. It was her
    chief delight to bite him till the blood flowed, and she was
    content if, instead of coitus, he bit her and she him, though she
    was grieved if she inflicted much pain. In other still more
    morbid cases the fear of inflicting pain is more or less

    An idealized view of the impulse of love to bite and devour is
    presented in the following passage from a letter by a lady who
    associates this impulse with the idea of the Last Supper: "Your
    remarks about the Lord's Supper in 'Whitman' make it natural to
    me to tell you my thoughts about that 'central sacrament of
    Christianity.' I cannot tell many people because they
    misunderstand, and a clergyman, a very great friend of mine, when
    I once told what I thought and felt, said I was carnal. He did
    not understand the divinity and intensity of human love as I
    understand it. Well, when one loves anyone very much,--a child, a
    woman, or a man,--one loves everything belonging to him: the
    things he wears, still more his hands, and his face, every bit of
    his body. We always want to have all, or part, of him as part of
    ourselves. Hence the expression: I could _devour_ you, I love you
    so. In some such warm, devouring way Jesus Christ, I have always
    felt, loved each and every human creature. So it was that he took
    this mystery of food, which by eating became part of ourselves,
    as the symbol of the most intense human love, the most intense
    Divine love. Some day, perhaps, love will be so understood by all
    that this sacrament will cease to be a superstition, a bone of
    contention, an 'article' of the church, and become, in all
    simplicity, a symbol of pure love."

While in men it is possible to trace a tendency to inflict pain, or the
simulacrum of pain, on the women they love, it is still easier to trace in
women a delight in experiencing physical pain when inflicted by a lover,
and an eagerness to accept subjection to his will. Such a tendency is
certainly normal. To abandon herself to her lover, to be able to rely on
his physical strength and mental resourcefulness, to be swept out of
herself and beyond the control of her own will, to drift idly in delicious
submission to another and stronger will--this is one of the commonest
aspirations in a young woman's intimate love-dreams. In our own age these
aspirations most often only find their expression in such dreams. In ages
when life was more nakedly lived, and emotion more openly expressed, it
was easier to trace this impulse. In the thirteenth century we have found
Marie de France--a French poetess living in England who has been credited
with "an exquisite sense of the generosities and delicacy of the heart,"
and whose work was certainly highly appreciated in the best circles and
among the most cultivated class of her day--describing as a perfect, wise,
and courteous knight a man who practically commits a rape on a woman who
has refused to have anything to do with him, and, in so acting, he wins
her entire love. The savage beauty of New Caledonia furnishes no better
illustration of the fascination of force, for she, at all events, has done
her best to court the violence she undergoes. In Middleton's _Spanish
Gypsy_ we find exactly the same episode, and the unhappy Portuguese nun
wrote: "Love me for ever and make me suffer still more." To find in
literature more attenuated examples of the same tendency is easy.
Shakespeare, whose observation so little escaped, has seldom depicted the
adult passion of a grown woman, but in the play which he has mainly
devoted to this subject he makes Cleopatra refer to "amorous pinches," and
she says in the end: "The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch, which
hurts and is desired." "I think the Sabine woman enjoyed being carried off
like that," a woman remarked in front of Rubens's "Rape of the Sabines,"
confessing that such a method of love-making appealed strongly to
herself, and it is probable that the majority of women would be prepared
to echo that remark.

    It may be argued that pain cannot give pleasure, and that when
    what would usually be pain is felt as pleasure it cannot be
    regarded as pain at all. It must be admitted that the emotional
    state is often somewhat complex. Moreover, women by no means
    always agree in the statement of their experience. It is
    noteworthy, however, that even when the pleasurableness of pain
    in love is denied it is still admitted that, under some
    circumstances, pain, or the idea of pain, is felt as pleasurable.
    I am indebted to a lady for a somewhat elaborate discussion of
    this subject, which I may here quote at length: "As regards
    physical pain, though the idea of it is sometimes exciting, I
    think the reality is the reverse. A very slight amount of pain
    destroys my pleasure completely. This was the case with me for
    fully a month after marriage, and since. When pain has
    occasionally been associated with passion, pleasure has been
    sensibly diminished. I can imagine that, when there is a want of
    sensitiveness so that the tender kiss or caress might fail to
    give pleasure, more forcible methods are desired; but in that
    case what would be pain to a sensitive person would be only a
    pleasant excitement, and it could not be truly said that such
    obtuse persons liked pain, though they might appear to do so. I
    cannot think that anyone enjoys what is pain _to them_, if only
    from the fact that it detracts and divides the attention. This,
    however, is only my own idea drawn from my own negative
    experience. No woman has ever told me that she would like to have
    pain inflicted on her. On the other hand, the desire to inflict
    pain seems almost universal among men. I have only met one man in
    whom I have never at any time been able to detect it. At the same
    time most men shrink from putting their ideas into practice. A
    friend of my husband finds his chief pleasure in imagining women
    hurt and ill-treated, but is too tender-hearted ever to inflict
    pain on them in reality, even when they are willing to submit to
    it. Perhaps a woman's readiness to submit to pain to please a man
    may sometimes be taken for pleasure in it. Even when women like
    the idea of pain, I fancy it is only because it implies
    subjection to the man, from association with the fact that
    physical pleasure must necessarily be preceded by submission to
    his will."

    In a subsequent communication this lady enlarged and perhaps
    somewhat modified her statements on this point:--

    "I don't think that what I said to you was quite correct.
    _Actual_ pain gives me no pleasure, yet the _idea_ of pain does,
    _if inflicted by way of discipline and for the ultimate good of
    the person suffering it_. This is essential. For instance, I once
    read a poem in which the devil and the lost souls in hell were
    represented as recognizing that they could not be good except
    under torture, but that while suffering the purifying actions of
    the flames of hell they so realized the beauty of holiness that
    they submitted willingly to their agony and praised God for the
    sternness of his judgment. This poem gave me decided physical
    pleasure, yet I know that if my hand were held in a fire for five
    minutes I should feel nothing but the pain of the burning. To get
    the feeling of pleasure, too, I must, for the moment, revert to
    my old religious beliefs and my old notion that mere suffering
    has an elevating influence; one's emotions are greatly modified
    by one's beliefs. When I was about fifteen I invented a game
    which I played with a younger sister, in which we were supposed
    to be going through a process of discipline and preparation for
    heaven after death. Each person was supposed to enter this state
    on dying and to pass successively into the charge of different
    angels named after the special virtues it was their function to
    instill. The last angel was that of Love, who governed solely by
    the quality whose name he bore. In the lower stages, we were
    under an angel called Severity who prepared us by extreme
    harshness and by exacting implicit obedience to arbitrary orders
    for the acquirement of later virtues. Our duties were to
    superintend the weather, paint the sunrise and sunset, etc., the
    constant work involved exercising us in patience and submission.
    The physical pleasure came in in inventing and recounting to each
    other our day's work and the penalties and hardships we had been
    subjected to. We never told each other that we got any physical
    pleasure out of this, and I cannot therefore be sure that my
    sister did so; I only imagine she did because she entered so
    heartily into the spirit of the game. I could get as much
    pleasure by imagining myself the angel and inflicting the pain,
    under the conditions mentioned; but my sister did not like this
    so much, as she then had no companion in subjection. I could not,
    however, thus reverse my feelings in regard to a man, as it would
    appear to me unnatural, and, besides, the greater physical
    strength is essential in the superior position. I can, however,
    by imagining myself a man, sometimes get pleasure in conceiving
    myself as educating and disciplining a woman by severe measures.
    There is, however, no real cruelty in this idea, as I always
    imagine her liking it.

    "I only get pleasure in the idea of a woman submitting herself to
    pain and harshness from the man she loves when the following
    conditions are fulfilled: 1. She must be absolutely sure of the
    man's love. 2. She must have perfect confidence in his judgment.
    3. The pain must be deliberately inflicted, not accidental. 4. It
    must be inflicted in kindness and for her own improvement, not in
    anger or with any revengeful feelings, as that would spoil one's
    ideal of the man. 5. The pain must not be excessive and must be
    what when we were children we used to call a 'tidy' pain; i.e.,
    there must be no mutilation, cutting, etc. 6. Last, one would
    have to feel very sure of one's own influence over the man. So
    much for the idea. As I have never suffered pain under a
    combination of all these conditions, I have no right to say that
    I should or should not experience pleasure from its infliction in

    Another lady writes: "I quite agree that the idea of pain may be
    pleasurable, but must be associated with something to be gained
    by it. My experience is that it [coitus] does often hurt for a
    few moments, but that passes and the rest is easy; so that the
    little hurt is nothing terrible, but all the same annoying if
    only for the sake of a few minutes' pleasure, which is not long
    enough. I do not know how my experience compares with other
    women's, but I feel sure that in my case the time needed is
    longer than usual, and the longer the better, always, with me. As
    to liking pain--no, I do not really like it, although I can
    tolerate pain very well, of any kind; but I like to feel force
    and strength; this is usual, I think, women being--or supposed to
    be--passive in love. I have not found that 'pain at once kills

    Again, another lady briefly states that, for her, pain has a
    mental fascination, and that such pain as she has had she has
    liked, but that, if it had been any stronger, pleasure would have
    been destroyed.

    The evidence thus seems to point, with various shades of
    gradation, to the conclusion that the idea or even the reality of
    pain in sexual emotion is welcomed by women, provided that this
    element of pain is of small amount and subordinate to the
    pleasure which is to follow it. Unless coitus is fundamentally
    pleasure the element of pain must necessarily be unmitigated
    pain, and a craving for pain unassociated with a greater
    satisfaction to follow it cannot be regarded as normal.

    In this connection I may refer to a suggestive chapter on "The
    Enjoyment of Pain" in Hirn's _Origins of Art_. "If we take into
    account," says Hirn, "the powerful stimulating effect which is
    produced by acute pain, we may easily understand why people
    submit to momentary unpleasantness for the sake of enjoying the
    subsequent excitement. This motive leads to the deliberate
    creation, not only of pain-sensations, but also of emotions in
    which pain enters as an element. The violent activity which is
    involved in the reaction against fear, and still more in that
    against anger, affords us a sensation of pleasurable excitement
    which is well worth the cost of the passing unpleasantness. It
    is, moreover, notorious that some persons have developed a
    peculiar art of making the initial pain of anger so transient
    that they can enjoy the active elements in it with almost
    undivided delight. Such an accomplishment is far more difficult
    in the case of sorrow.... The creation of pain-sensations may be
    explained as a desperate device for enhancing the intensity of
    the emotional state."

    The relation of pain and pleasure to emotion has been thoroughly
    discussed, I may add, by H.R. Marshall in his _Pain, Pleasure,
    and Æsthetics_. He contends that pleasure and pain are "general
    qualities, one of which must, and either of which may, belong to
    any fixed element of consciousness." "Pleasure," he considers,
    "is experienced whenever the physical activity coincident with
    the psychic state to which the pleasure is attached involves the
    use of surplus stored force." We can see, therefore, how, if pain
    acts as a stimulant to emotion, it becomes the servant of
    pleasure by supplying it with surplus stored force.

    This problem of pain is thus one of psychic dynamics. If we
    realize this we shall begin to understand the place of cruelty in
    life. "One ought to learn anew about cruelty," said Nietzsche
    (_Beyond Good and Evil_, 229), "and open one's eyes. Almost
    everything that we call 'higher culture' is based upon the
    spiritualizing and intensifying of _cruelty_.... Then, to be
    sure, we must put aside teaching the blundering psychology of
    former times, which could only teach with regard to cruelty that
    it originated at the sight of the suffering of _others_; there is
    an abundant, superabundant enjoyment even in one's own suffering,
    in causing one's own suffering." The element of paradox
    disappears from this statement if we realize that it is not a
    question of "cruelty," but of the dynamics of pain.

    Camille Bos in a suggestive essay ("Du Plaisir de la Douleur,"
    _Revue Philosophique_, July, 1902) finds the explanation of the
    mystery in that complexity of the phenomena to which I have
    already referred. Both pain and pleasure are complex feelings,
    the resultant of various components, and we name that resultant
    in accordance with the nature of the strongest component. "Thus
    we give to a complexus a name which strictly belongs only to one
    of its factors, _and in pain all is not painful_." When pain
    becomes a desired end Camille Bos regards the desire as due to
    three causes: (1) the pain contrasts with and revives a pleasure
    which custom threatens to dull; (2) the pain by preceding the
    pleasure accentuates the positive character of the latter; (3)
    pain momentarily raises the lowered level of sensibility and
    restores to the organism for a brief period the faculty of
    enjoyment it had lost.

    It must therefore be said that, in so far as pain is pleasurable,
    it is so only in so far as it is recognized as a prelude to
    pleasure, or else when it is an actual stimulus to the nerves
    conveying the sensation of pleasure. The nymphomaniac who
    experienced an orgasm at the moment when the knife passed through
    her clitoris (as recorded by Mantegazza) and the prostitute who
    experienced keen pleasure when the surgeon removed vegetations
    from her vulva (as recorded by Féré) took no pleasure in pain,
    but in one case the intense craving for strong sexual emotion,
    and in the other the long-blunted nerves of pleasure, welcomed
    the abnormally strong impulse; and the pain of the incision, if
    felt at all, was immediately swallowed up in the sensation of
    pleasure. Moll remarks (_Konträre Sexualempfindung_, third
    edition, p. 278) that even in man a trace of physical pain may be
    normally combined with sexual pleasure, when the vagina
    contracts on the penis at the moment of ejaculation, the pain,
    when not too severe, being almost immediately felt as pleasure.
    That there is no pleasure in the actual pain, even in masochism,
    is indicated by the following statement which Krafft-Ebing gives
    as representing the experiences of a masochist (_Psychopathia
    Sexualis_ English translation, p. 201): "The relation is not of
    such a nature that what causes physical pain is simply perceived
    as physical pleasure, for the person in a state of masochistic
    ecstasy feels no pain, either because by reason of his emotional
    state (like that of the soldier in battle) the physical effect on
    his cutaneous nerves is not apperceived, or because (as with
    religious martyrs and enthusiasts) in the preoccupation of
    consciousness with sexual emotion the idea of maltreatment
    remains merely a symbol, without its quality of pain. To a
    certain extent there is overcompensation of physical pain in
    psychic pleasure, and only the excess remains in consciousness as
    psychic lust. This also undergoes an increase, since, either
    through reflex spinal influence or through a peculiar coloring in
    the sensorium of sensory impressions, a kind of hallucination of
    bodily pleasure takes place, with a vague localization of the
    objectively projected sensation. In the self-torture of religious
    enthusiasts (fakirs, howling dervishes, religious flagellants)
    there is an analogous state, only with a difference in the
    quality of pleasurable feeling. Here the conception of martyrdom
    is also apperceived without its pain, for consciousness is filled
    with the pleasurably colored idea of serving God, atoning for
    sins, deserving Heaven, etc., through martyrdom." This statement
    cannot be said to clear up the matter entirely; but it is fairly
    evident that, when a woman says that she finds pleasure in the
    pain inflicted by a lover, she means that under the special
    circumstances she finds pleasure in treatment which would at
    other times be felt as pain, or else that the slight real pain
    experienced is so quickly followed by overwhelming pleasure that
    in memory the pain itself seems to have been pleasure and may
    even be regarded as the symbol of pleasure.

    There is a special peculiarity of physical pain, which may be
    well borne in mind in considering the phenomena now before us,
    for it helps to account for the tolerance with which the idea of
    pain is regarded. I refer to the great ease with which physical
    pain is forgotten, a fact well known to all mothers, or to all
    who have been present at the birth of a child. As Professor von
    Tschisch points out ("Der Schmerz," _Zeitschrift für Psychologie
    und Physiologie der Sinnesorgane_, Bd. xxvi, ht. 1 and 2, 1901),
    memory can only preserve impressions as a whole; physical pain
    consists of a sensation and of a feeling. But memory cannot
    easily reproduce the definite sensation of the pain, and thus the
    whole memory is disintegrated and speedily forgotten. It is quite
    otherwise with moral suffering, which persists in memory and has
    far more influence on conduct. No one wishes to suffer moral pain
    or has any pleasure even in the idea of suffering it.

It is the presence of this essential tendency which leads to a certain
apparent contradiction in a woman's emotions. On the one hand, rooted in
the maternal instinct, we find pity, tenderness, and compassion; on the
other hand, rooted in the sexual instinct, we find a delight in roughness,
violence, pain, and danger, sometimes in herself, sometimes also in
others. The one impulse craves something innocent and helpless, to cherish
and protect; the other delights in the spectacle of recklessness,
audacity, sometimes even effrontery.[79] A woman is not perfectly happy in
her lover unless he can give at least some satisfaction to each of these
two opposite longings.

The psychological satisfaction which women tend to feel in a certain
degree of pain in love is strictly co-ordinated with a physical fact.
Women possess a minor degree of sensibility in the sexual region. This
fact must not be misunderstood. On the one hand, it by no means begs the
question as to whether women's sensibility generally is greater or less
than that of men; this is a disputed question and the evidence is still
somewhat conflicting.[80] On the other hand, it also by no means involves
a less degree of specific sexual pleasure in women, for the tactile
sensibility of the sexual organs is no index to the specific sexual
sensibility of those organs when in a state of tumescence. The real
significance of the less tactile sensibility of the genital region in
women is to be found in parturition and the special liability of the
sexual region in women to injury.[81] The women who are less sensitive in
this respect would be better able and more willing to endure the risks of
childbirth, and would therefore tend to supplant those who were more
sensitive. But, as a by-product of this less degree of sensibility, we
have a condition in which physical irritation amounting even to pain may
become to normal women in the state of extreme tumescence a source of
pleasurable excitement, such as it would rarely be to normal men.

    To Calmann appear to be due the first carefully made observations
    showing the minor sensibility of the genital tract in women.
    (Adolf Calmann, "Sensibilitütsprufungen am weiblicken Genitale
    nach forensichen Gesichtspunkten," _Archiv für Gynäkologie_,
    1898, p. 454.) He investigated the vagina, urethra, and anus in
    eighteen women and found a great lack of sensibility, least
    marked in anus, and most marked in vagina. [This distribution of
    the insensitiveness alone indicates that it is due, as I have
    suggested, to natural selection.] Sometimes a finger in the
    vagina could not be felt at all. One woman, when a catheter was
    introduced into the anus, said it might be the vagina or urethra,
    but was certainly not the anus. (Calmann remarks that he was
    careful to put his questions in an intelligible form.) The women
    were only conscious of the urine being drawn off when they heard
    the familiar sound of the stream or when the bladder was very
    full; if the sound of the stream was deadened by a towel they
    were quite unconscious that the bladder had been emptied. [In
    confirmation of this statement I have noticed that in a lady
    whose distended bladder it was necessary to empty by the catheter
    shortly before the birth of her first child--but who had, indeed,
    been partly under the influence of chloroform--there was no
    consciousness of the artificial relief; she merely remarked that
    she thought she could now relieve herself.] There was some sense
    of temperature, but sense of locality, tactile sense, and
    judgment of size were often widely erroneous. It is significant
    that virgins were just as insensitive as married women or those
    who had had children. Calmann's experiments appear to be
    confirmed by the experiments of Marco Treves, of Turin, on the
    thermoesthesiometry of mucous membranes, as reported to the Turin
    International Congress of Physiology (and briefly noted in
    _Nature_, November 21, 1901). Treves found that the sensitivity
    of mucous membranes is always less than that of the skin. The
    mucosa of the urethra and of the cervix uteri was quite incapable
    of heat and cold sensations, and even the cautery excited only
    slight, and that painful, sensation.

    In further illustration of this point reference may be made to
    the not infrequent cases in which the whole process of
    parturition and the enormous distention of tissues which it
    involves proceed throughout in an almost or quite painless
    manner. It is sufficient to refer to two cases reported in Paris
    by Macé and briefly summarized in the _British Medical Journal_,
    May 25, 1901. In the first the patient was a primipara 20 years
    of age, and, until the dilatation of the cervix was complete and
    efforts at expulsion had commenced, the uterine contractions were
    quite painless. In the second case, the mother, aged 25, a
    tripara, had previously had very rapid labors; she awoke in the
    middle of the night without pains, but during micturition the
    fetal head appeared at the vulva, and was soon born.

    Further illustration may be found in those cases in which severe
    inflammatory processes may take place in the genital canal
    without being noticed. Thus, Maxwell reports the case of a young
    Chinese woman, certainly quite normal, in whom after the birth of
    her first child the vagina became almost obliterated, yet beyond
    slight occasional pain she noticed nothing wrong until the
    husband found that penetration was impossible (_British Medical
    Journal_, January 11, 1902, p. 78). The insensitiveness of the
    vagina and its contrast, in this respect, with the penis--though
    we are justified in regarding the penis as being, like organs of
    special sense, relatively deficient in general sensibility--are
    vividly presented in such an incident as the following, reported
    a few years ago in America by Dr. G.W. Allen in the _Boston
    Medical and Surgical Journal_: A man came under observation with
    an edematous, inflamed penis. The wife, the night previous, on
    advice of friends, had injected pure carbolic acid into the
    vagina just previous to coitus. The husband, ignorant of the
    fact, experienced untoward burning and smarting during and after
    coitus, but thought little of it, and soon fell asleep. The next
    morning there were large blisters on the penis, but it was no
    longer painful. When seen by Dr. Allen the prepuce was retracted
    and edematous, the whole penis was much swollen, and there were
    large, perfectly raw surfaces on either side of the glans.

In this connection we may well bring into line a remarkable group of
phenomena concerning which much evidence has now accumulated. I refer to
the use of various appliances, fixed in or around the penis, whether
permanently or temporarily during coitus, such appliance being employed at
the woman's instigation and solely in order to heighten her excitement in
congress. These appliances have their great center among the Indonesian
peoples (in Borneo, Java, Sumatra, the Malay peninsula, the Philippines,
etc.), thence extending in a modified form through China, to become, it
appears, considerably prevalent in Russia; I have also a note of their
appearance in India. They have another widely diffused center, through
which, however, they are more sparsely scattered, among the American
Indians of the northern and more especially of the southern continents.
Amerigo Vespucci and other early travelers noted the existence of some of
these appliances, and since Miklucho-Macleay carefully described them as
used in Borneo[82] their existence has been generally recognized. They are
usually regarded merely as ethnological curiosities. As such they would
not concern us here. Their real significance for us is that they
illustrate the comparative insensitiveness of the genital canal in women,
while at the same time they show that a certain amount of what we cannot
but regard as painful stimulation is craved by women, in order to heighten
tumescence and increase sexual pleasure, even though it can only by
procured by artificial methods. It is, of course, possible to argue that
in these cases we are not concerned with pain at all, but with a strong
stimulation that is felt as purely pleasurable. There can be no doubt,
however, that in the absence of sexual excitement this stimulation would
be felt as purely painful, and--in the light of our previous
discussion--we may, perhaps, fairly regard it as a painful stimulation
which is craved, not because it is itself pleasurable, but because it
heightens the highly pleasurable state of tumescence.

    Borneo, the geographical center of the Indonesian world, appears
    also to be the district in which these instruments are most
    popular. The _ampallang, palang, kambion_, or _sprit-sail yard_,
    as it is variously termed, is a little rod of bone or metal
    nearly two inches in length, rounded at the ends, and used by the
    Kyans and Dyaks of Borneo. Before coitus it is inserted into a
    transverse orifice in the penis, made by a painful and somewhat
    dangerous operation and kept open by a quill. Two or more of
    these instruments are occasionally worn. Sometimes little brushes
    are attached to each end of the instrument. Another instrument,
    used by the Dyaks, but said to have been borrowed from the
    Malays, is the _palang anus_, which is a ring or collar of
    plaited palm-fiber, furnished with a pair of stiffish horns of
    the same wiry material; it is worn on the neck of the glans and
    fits tight to the skin so as not to slip off. (Brooke Low, "The
    Natives of Borneo," _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_,
    August and November, 1892, p. 45; the _ampallang_ and similar
    instruments are described by Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, Bd.
    i, chapter xvii; also in _Untrodden Fields of Anthropology_, by a
    French army surgeon, 1898, vol. ii, pp. 135-141; also Mantegazza,
    _Gli Amori degli Uomini_, French translation, p. 83 et seq.)
    Riedel informed Miklucho-Macleay that in the Celebes the Alfurus
    fasten the eyelids of goats with the eyelashes round the corona
    of the glans penis, and in Java a piece of goatskin is used in a
    similar way, so as to form a hairy sheath (_Zeitschrift für
    Ethnologie_, 1876, pp. 22-25), while among the Batta, of Sumatra,
    Hagen found that small stones are inserted by an incision under
    the skin of the penis (_Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1891, ht. 3,
    p. 351).

    In the Malay peninsula Stevens found instruments somewhat similar
    to the _ampallang_ still in use among some tribes, and among
    others formerly in use. He thinks they were brought from Borneo.
    (H.V. Stevens, _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1896, ht. 4, p.
    181.) Bloch, who brings forward other examples of similar devices
    (_Beiträge zur Ætiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, pp. 56-58),
    considers that the Australian mica operation may thus in part be

    Such instruments are not, however, entirely unknown in Europe. In
    France, in the eighteenth century, it appears that rings,
    sometimes set with hard knobs, and called "aides," were
    occasionally used by men to heighten the pleasure of women in
    intercourse. (Dühren, _Marquis de Sade_, 1901, p. 130.) In
    Russia, according to Weissenberg, of Elizabethsgrad, it is not
    uncommon to use elastic rings set with little teeth; these rings
    are fastened around the base of the glans. (Weissenberg,
    _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1893, ht. 2, p. 135.) This
    instrument must have been brought to Russia from the East, for
    Burton (in the notes to his _Arabian Nights_) mentions a
    precisely similar instrument as in use in China. Somewhat similar
    is the "Chinese hedgehog," a wreath of fine, soft feathers with
    the quills solidly fastened by silver wire to a ring of the same
    metal, which is slipped over the glans. In South America the
    Araucanians of Argentina use a little horsehair brush fastened
    around the penis; one of these is in the museum at La Plata; it
    is said the custom may have been borrowed from the Patagonians;
    these instruments, called _geskels_, are made by the women and
    the workmanship is very delicate. (Lehmann-Nitsche, _Zeitschrift
    für Ethnologie_, 1900, ht. 6, p. 491.) It is noteworthy that a
    somewhat similar tuft of horsehair is also worn in Borneo.
    (Breitenstein, _21 Jahre in India_, 1899, pt. i, p. 227.) Most of
    the accounts state that the women attach great importance to the
    gratification afforded by such instruments. In Borneo a modest
    woman symbolically indicates to her lover the exact length of the
    ampallang she would prefer by leaving at a particular spot a
    cigarette of that length. Miklucho-Macleay considers that these
    instruments were invented by women. Brooke Low remarks that "no
    woman once habituated to its use will ever dream of permitting
    her bedfellow to discontinue the practice of wearing it," and
    Stevens states that at one time no woman would marry a man who
    was not furnished with such an apparatus. It may be added that a
    very similar appliance may be found in European countries
    (especially Germany) in the use of a condom furnished with
    irregularities, or a frill, in order to increase the woman's
    excitement. It is not impossible to find evidence that, in
    European countries, even in the absence of such instruments, the
    craving which they gratify still exists in women. Thus, Mauriac
    tells of a patient with vegetations on the glans who delayed
    treatment because his mistress liked him so best (art.
    "Végétations," _Dictionnaire de Médecine et Chirurgie pratique_).

    It may seem that such impulses and such devices to gratify them
    are altogether unnatural. This is not so. They have a zoölogical
    basis and in many animals are embodied in the anatomical
    structure. Many rodents, ruminants, and some of the carnivora
    show natural developments of the penis closely resembling some of
    those artificially adopted by man. Thus the guinea-pigs possess
    two horny styles attached to the penis, while the glans of the
    penis is covered with sharp spines. Some of the Caviidæ also have
    two sharp, horny saws at the side of the penis. The cat, the
    rhinoceros, the tapir, and other animals possess projecting
    structures on the penis, and some species of ruminants, such as
    the sheep, the giraffe, and many antelopes, have, attached to the
    penis, long filiform processes through which the urethra passes.
    (F.H.A. Marshall, _The Physiology of Reproduction_, pp. 246-248.)

    We find, even in creatures so delicate and ethereal as the
    butterflies, a whole armory of keen weapons for use in coitus.
    These were described in detail in an elaborate and fully
    illustrated memoir by P.H. Gosse ("On the Clasping Organs
    Ancillary to Generation in Certain Groups of the Lepidoptera,"
    _Transactions of the Linnæan Society_, second series, vol. ii,
    Zoölogy, 1882). These organs, which Gosse terms _harpes_ (or
    grappling irons), are found in the Papilionidæ and are very
    beautiful and varied, taking the forms of projecting claws,
    hooks, pikes, swords, knobs, and strange combinations of these,
    commonly brought to a keen edge and then cut into sharp teeth.

    It is probable that all these structures serve to excite the
    sexual apparatus of the female and to promote tumescence.

    To the careless observer there may seem to be something vicious
    or perverted in such manifestations in man. That opinion becomes
    very doubtful when we consider how these tendencies occur in
    people living under natural conditions in widely separated parts
    of the world. It becomes still further untenable if we are
    justified in believing that the ancestors of men possessed
    projecting epithelial appendages attached to the penis, and if we
    accept the discovery by Friedenthal of the rudiment of these
    appendages on the penis of the human fetus at an early stage
    (Friedenthal, "Sonderformen der menschlichen Leibesbildung,"
    _Sexual-Probleme_, Feb., 1912, p. 129). In this case human
    ingenuity would merely be seeking to supply an organ which nature
    has ceased to furnish, although it is still in some cases needed,
    especially among peoples whose aptitude for erethism has remained
    at, or fallen to, a subhuman level.

At first sight the connection between love and pain--the tendency of men
to delight in inflicting it and women in suffering it--seems strange and
inexplicable. It seems amazing that a tender and even independent woman
should maintain a passionate attachment to a man who subjects her to
physical and moral insults, and that a strong man, often intelligent,
reasonable, and even kind-hearted, should desire to subject to such
insults a woman whom he loves passionately and who has given him every
final proof of her own passion. In understanding such cases we have to
remember that it is only within limits that a woman really enjoys the
pain, discomfort, or subjection to which she submits. A little pain which
the man knows he can himself soothe, a little pain which the woman gladly
accepts as the sign and forerunner of pleasure--this degree of pain comes
within the normal limits of love and is rooted, as we have seen, in the
experience of the race. But when it is carried beyond these limits, though
it may still be tolerated because of the support it receives from its
biological basis, it is no longer enjoyed. The natural note has been too
violently struck, and the rhythm of love has ceased to be perfect. A woman
may desire to be forced, to be roughly forced, to be ravished away beyond
her own will. But all the time she only desires to be forced toward those
things which are essentially and profoundly agreeable to her. A man who
fails to realize this has made little progress in the art of love. "I like
being knocked about and made to do things I don't want to do," a woman
said, but she admitted, on being questioned, that she would not like to
have _much_ pain inflicted, and that she might not care to be made to do
important things she did not want to do. The story of Griselda's unbounded
submissiveness can scarcely be said to be psychologically right, though it
has its artistic rightness as an elaborate fantasia on this theme
justified by its conclusion.

    This point is further illustrated by the following passage from a
    letter written by a lady: "Submission to the man's will is still,
    and always must be, the prelude to pleasure, and the association
    of ideas will probably always produce this much misunderstood
    instinct. Now, I find, indirectly from other women and directly
    from my own experience, that, when the point in dispute is very
    important and the man exerts his authority, the desire to get
    one's own way completely obliterates the sexual feeling, while,
    conversely, in small things the sexual feeling obliterates the
    desire to have one's own way. Where the two are nearly equal a
    conflict between them ensues, and I can stand aside and wonder
    which will get the best of it, though I encourage the sexual
    feeling when possible, as, if the other conquers, it leaves a
    sense of great mental irritation and physical discomfort. A man
    should command in small things, as in nine cases out of ten this
    will produce excitement. He should _advise_ in large matters, or
    he may find either that he is unable to enforce his orders or
    that he produces a feeling of dislike and annoyance he was far
    from intending. Women imagine men must be stronger than
    themselves to excite their passion. I disagree. A passionate man
    has the best chance, for in him the primitive instincts are
    strong. The wish to subdue the female is one of them, and in
    small things he will exert his authority to make her feel his
    power, while she knows that on a question of real importance she
    has a good chance of getting her own way by working on his
    greater susceptibility. Perhaps an illustration will show what I
    mean. I was listening to the band and a girl and her _fiancé_
    came up to occupy two seats near me. The girl sank into one seat,
    but for some reason the man wished her to take the other. She
    refused. He repeated his order twice, the second time so
    peremptorily that she changed places, and I heard him say: 'I
    don't think you heard what I said. I don't expect to give an
    order three times.'

    "This little scene interested me, and I afterward asked the girl
    the following questions:--

    "'Had you any reason for taking one chair more than the other?'


    "'Did Mr. ----'s insistence on your changing give you any

    "'Yes' (after a little hesitation).


    "'I don't know.'

    "'Would it have done so if you had particularly wished to sit in
    that chair; if, for instance, you had had a boil on your cheek
    and wished to turn that side away from him?'

    "'No; certainly not. The worry of thinking he was looking at it
    would have made me too cross to feel pleased.'

    "Does this explain what I mean? The occasion, by the way, need
    not be really important, but, as in this imaginary case of the
    boil, if it _seems important_ to the woman, irritation will
    outweigh the physical sensation."

I am well aware that in thus asserting a certain tendency in women to
delight in suffering pain--however careful and qualified the position I
have taken--many estimable people will cry out that I am degrading a whole
sex and generally supporting the "subjection of women." But the day for
academic discussion concerning the "subjection of women" has gone by. The
tendency I have sought to make clear is too well established by the
experience of normal and typical women--however numerous the exceptions
may be--to be called in question. I would point out to those who would
deprecate the influence of such facts in relation to social progress that
nothing is gained by regarding women as simply men of smaller growth. They
are not so; they have the laws of their own nature; their development must
be along their own lines, and not along masculine lines. It is as true now
as in Bacon's day that we only learn to command nature by obeying her. To
ignore facts is to court disappointment in our measure of progress. The
particular fact with which we have here come in contact is very vital and
radical, and most subtle in its influence. It is foolish to ignore it; we
must allow for its existence. We can neither attain a sane view of life
nor a sane social legislation of life unless we possess a just and
accurate knowledge of the fundamental instincts upon which life is built.


[61] Various mammals, carried away by the reckless fury of the sexual
impulse, are apt to ill-treat their females (R. Müller, _Sexualbiologie_,
p. 123). This treatment is, however, usually only an incident of
courtship, the result of excess of ardor. "The chaffinches and
saffron-finches (_Fringella_ and _Sycalis_) are very rough wooers," says
A.G. Butler (_Zoölogist_, 1902, p. 241); "they sing vociferously, and
chase their hens violently, knocking them over in their flight, pursuing
and savagely pecking them even on the ground; but when once the hens
become submissive, the males change their tactics, and become for the time
model husbands, feeding their wives from their crop, and assisting in
rearing the young."

[62] Cf. A.C. Haddon, _Head Hunters_, p. 107.

[63] Marro considers that there may be transference of emotion,--the
impulse of violence generated in the male by his rivals being turned
against his partner,--according to a tendency noted by Sully and
illustrated by Ribot in his _Psychology of the Emotions_, part i, chapter

[64] Several writers have found in the facts of primitive animal courtship
the explanation of the connection between love and pain. Thus,
Krafft-Ebing (_Psychopathia Sexualis_, English translation of tenth German
edition, p. 80) briefly notes that outbreaks of sadism are possibly
atavistic. Marro (_La Pubertà_, 1898, p. 219 et seq.) has some suggestive
pages on this subject. It would appear that this explanation was vaguely
outlined by Jäger. Laserre, in a Bordeaux thesis mentioned by Féré, has
argued in the same sense. Féré (_L'Instinct Sexuel_, p. 134), on grounds
that are scarcely sufficient, regards this explanation as merely a
superficial analogy. But it is certainly not a complete explanation.

[65] Schäfer (_Jahrbücher für Psychologie_, Bd. ii, p. 128, and quoted by
Krafft-Ebing in _Psychopathia Sexualis_), in connection with a case in
which sexual excitement was produced by the sight of battles or of
paintings of them, remarks: "The pleasure of battle and murder is so
predominantly an attribute of the male sex throughout the animal kingdom
that there can be no question about the close connection between this side
of the masculine character and male sexuality. I believe that I can show
by observation that in men who are absolutely normal, mentally and
physically, the first indefinite and incomprehensible precursors of sexual
excitement may be induced by reading exciting scenes of chase and war.
These give rise to unconscious longings for a kind of satisfaction in
warlike games (wrestling, etc.) which express the fundamental sexual
impulse to close and complete contact with a companion, with a secondary
more or less clearly defined thought of conquest." Groos (_Spiele der
Menschen_, 1899, p. 232) also thinks there is more or less truth in this
suggestion of a subconscious sexual element in the playful wrestling
combats of boys. Freud considers (_Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie_,
p. 49) that the tendency to sexual excitement through muscular activity in
wrestling, etc., is one of the roots of sadism. I have been told of normal
men who feel a conscious pleasure of this kind when lifted in games, as
may happen, for instance, in football. It may be added that in some parts
of the world the suitor has to throw the girl in a wrestling-bout in order
to secure her hand.

[66] A minor manifestation of this tendency, appearing even in quite
normal and well-conditioned individuals, is the impulse among boys at and
after puberty to take pleasure in persecuting and hurting lower animals or
their own young companions. Some youths display a diabolical enjoyment and
ingenuity in torturing sensitive juniors, and even a boy who is otherwise
kindly and considerate may find enjoyment in deliberately mutilating a
frog. In some cases, in boys and youths who have no true sadistic impulse
and are not usually cruel, this infliction of torture on a lower animal
produces an erection, though not necessarily any pleasant sexual

[67] Marro, _La Pubertà_, 1898, p. 223; Garnier, "La Criminalité
Juvenile," _Comptes-rendus Congrès Internationale d'Anthropologie
Criminelle_, Amsterdam, 1901, p. 296; _Archivio di Psichiatria_, 1899,
fasc. v-vi, p. 572.

[68] Bk. ii, ch. ii.

[69] Herbert Spencer, _Principles of Sociology_, 1876, vol. i, p. 651.

[70] Westermarck, _Human Marriage_, p. 388. Grosse is of the same opinion;
he considers also that the mock-capture is often an imitation, due to
admiration, of real capture; he does not believe that the latter has ever
been a form of marriage recognized by custom and law, but only "an
occasional and punishable act of violence." (_Die Formen der Familie_, pp.
105-7.) This position is too extreme.

[71] Ernest Crawley, _The Mystic Rose_, 1902, p. 350 et seq. Van Gennep
rightly remarks that we cannot correctly say that the woman is abducted
from "her sex," but only from her "sexual society."

[72] A. Van Gennep (_Rites de Passage_, 1909, pp. 175-186) has put forward
a third theory, though also of a psychological character, according to
which the "capture" is a rite indicating the separation of the young girl
from the special societies of her childhood. Gennep regards this rite as
one of a vast group of "rites of passage," which come into action whenever
a person changes his social or natural environment.

[73] Féré (_L'Instinct Sexuel_, p. 133) appears to regard the
satisfaction, based on the sentiment of personal power, which may be
experienced in the suffering and subjection of a victim as an adequate
explanation of the association of pain with love. This I can scarcely
admit. It is a factor in the emotional attitude, but when it only exists
in the sexual sphere it is reasonable to base this attitude largely on the
still more fundamental biological attitude of the male toward the female
in the process of courtship. Féré regards this biological element as
merely a superficial analogy, on the ground that an act of cruelty may
become an equivalent of coitus. But a sexual perversion is quite commonly
constituted by the selection and magnification of a single moment in the
normal sexual process.

[74] The process may, however, be quite conscious. Thus, a correspondent
tells me that he not only finds sexual pleasure in cruelty toward the
woman he loves, but that he regards this as an essential element. He is
convinced that it gives the woman pleasure, and that it is possible to
distinguish by gesture, inflection of voice, etc., an hysterical, assumed,
or imagined feeling of pain from real pain. He would not wish to give real
pain, and would regard that as sadism.

[75] De Sade had already made the same remark, while Duchenne, of
Boulogne, pointed out that the facial expressions of sexual passion and of
cruelty are similar.

[76] Kryptadia, vol. vi, p. 208.

[77] Daumas, _Chevaux de Sahara_, p. 49.

[78] See in vol. iv of these _Studies_ ("Sexual Selection in Man"),
Appendix A, on "The Origins of the Kiss."

[79] De Stendhal (_De l'Amour_) mentions that when in London he was on
terms of friendship with an English actress who was the mistress of a
wealthy colonel, but privately had another lover. One day the colonel
arrived when the other man was present. "This gentleman has called about
the pony I want to sell," said the actress. "I have come for a very
different purpose," said the little man, and thus aroused a love which was
beginning to languish.

[80] See Havelock Ellis, _Man and Woman_, chapter vi, "The Senses."

[81] This liability is emphasized by Adler, _Die Mangelhafte
Geschlechtsempfindung des Weibes_, p. 125.

[82] _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, Bd. viii, 1876, pp. 22-28.


The Definition of Sadism--De Sade--Masochism to some Extent
Normal--Sacher-Masoch--No Real Line of Demarcation between Sadism and
Masochism--Algolagnia includes both Groups of Manifestations--The
Love-bite as a Bridge from Normal Phenomena to Algolagnia--The Fascination
of Blood--The Most Extreme Perversions are Linked on to Normal Phenomena.

We thus see that there are here two separate groups of feelings: one, in
the masculine line, which delights in displaying force and often inflicts
pain or the simulacrum of pain; the other, in the feminine line, which
delights in submitting to that force, and even finds pleasure in a slight
amount of pain, or the idea of pain, when associated with the experiences
of love. We see, also, that these two groups of feelings are
complementary. Within the limits consistent with normal and healthy life,
what men are impelled to give women love to receive. So that we need not
unduly deprecate the "cruelty" of men within these limits, nor unduly
commiserate the women who are subjected to it.

Such a conclusion, however, as we have also seen, only holds good within
those normal limits which an attempt has here been made to determine. The
phenomena we have been considering are strictly normal phenomena, having
their basis in the conditions of tumescence and detumescence in animal and
primitive human courtship. At one point, however, when discussing the
phenomena of the love-bite, I referred to the facts which indicate how
this purely normal manifestation yet insensibly passes over into the
region of the morbid. It is an instance that enables us to realize how
even the most terrible and repugnant sexual perversions are still
demonstrably linked on to phenomena that are fundamentally normal. The
love-bite may be said to give us the key to that perverse impulse which
has been commonly called sadism.

There is some difference of opinion as to how "sadism" may be best
defined. Perhaps the simplest and most usual definition is that of
Krafft-Ebing, as sexual emotion associated with the wish to inflict pain
and use violence, or, as he elsewhere expresses it, "the impulse to cruel
and violent treatment of the opposite sex, and the coloring of the idea of
such acts with lustful feeling."[83] A more complete definition is that of
Moll, who describes sadism as a condition in which "the sexual impulse
consists in the tendency to strike, ill-use, and humiliate the beloved
person."[84] This definition has the advantage of bringing in the element
of moral pain. A further extension is made in Féré's definition as "the
need of association of violence and cruelty with sexual enjoyment, such
violence or cruelty not being necessarily exerted by the person himself
who seeks sexual pleasure in this association."[85] Garnier's definition,
while comprising all these points, further allows for the fact that a
certain degree of sadism may be regarded as normal. "Pathological sadism,"
he states, "is an impulsive and obsessing sexual perversion characterized
by a close connection between suffering inflicted or mentally represented
and the sexual orgasm, without this necessary and sufficing condition
frigidity usually remaining absolute."[86] It must be added that these
definitions are very incomplete if by "sadism" we are to understand the
special sexual perversions which are displayed in De Sade's novels. Iwan
Bloch ("Eugen Dühren"), in the course of his book on De Sade, has
attempted a definition strictly on this basis, and, as will be seen, it is
necessary to make it very elaborate: "A connection, whether intentionally
sought or offered by chance, of sexual excitement and sexual enjoyment
with the real or only symbolic (ideal, illusionary) appearance of
frightful and shocking events, destructive occurrences and practices,
which threaten or destroy the life, health, and property of man and other
living creatures, and threaten and interrupt the continuity of inanimate
objects, whereby the person who from such occurrences obtains sexual
enjoyment may either himself be the direct cause, or cause them to take
place by means of other persons, or merely be the spectator, or, finally,
be, voluntarily or involuntarily, the object against which these processes
are directed."[87] This definition of sadism as found in De Sade's works
is thus, more especially by its final clause, a very much wider conception
than the usual definition.

    Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis De Sade, was born in 1740 at
    Paris in the house of the great Condé. He belonged to a very
    noble, ancient, and distinguished Provençal family; Petrarch's
    Laura, who married a De Sade, was one of his ancestors, and the
    family had cultivated both arms and letters with success. He was,
    according to Lacroix, "an adorable youth whose delicately pale
    and dusky face, lighted up by two large black [according to
    another account blue] eyes, already bore the languorous imprint
    of the vice which was to corrupt his whole being"; his voice was
    "drawling and caressing"; his gait had "a softly feminine grace."
    Unfortunately there is no authentic portrait of him. His early
    life is sketched in letter iv of his _Aline et Valcourt_. On
    leaving the Collège-Louis-le-Grand he became a cavalry officer
    and went through the Seven Years' War in Germany. There can be
    little doubt that the experiences of his military life, working
    on a femininely vicious temperament, had much to do with the
    development of his perversion. He appears to have got into
    numerous scrapes, of which the details are unknown, and his
    father sought to marry him to the daughter of an aristocratic
    friend of his own, a noble and amiable girl of 20. It so chanced
    that when young De Sade first went to the house of his future
    wife only her younger sister, a girl of 13, was at home; with her
    he at once fell in love and his love was reciprocated; they were
    both musical enthusiasts, and she had a beautiful voice. The
    parents insisted on carrying out the original scheme of marriage.
    De Sade's wife loved him, and, in spite of everything, served his
    interests with Griselda-like devotion; she was, Ginisty remarks,
    a saint, a saint of conjugal life; but her love was from the
    first only requited with repulsion, contempt, and suspicion.
    There were, however, children of the marriage; the career of the
    eldest--an estimable young man who went into the army and also
    had artistic ability, but otherwise had no community of tastes
    with his father--has been sketched by Paul Ginisty, who has also
    edited the letters of the Marquise. De Sade's passion for the
    younger sister continued (he idealized her as Juliette), though
    she was placed in a convent beyond his reach, and at a much later
    period he eloped with her and spent perhaps the happiest period
    of his life, soon terminated by her death. It is evident that
    this unhappy marriage was decisive in determining De Sade's
    career; he at once threw himself recklessly into every form of
    dissipation, spending his health and his substance sometimes
    among refinedly debauched nobles and sometimes among coarsely
    debauched lackeys. He was, however, always something of an
    artist, something of a student, something of a philosopher, and
    at an early period he began to write, apparently at the age of
    23. It was at this age, and only a few months after his marriage,
    that on account of some excess he was for a time confined in
    Vincennes. He was destined to spend 27 years of his life in
    prisons, if we include the 13 years which in old age he passed in
    the asylum at Charenton. His actual offenses were by no means so
    terrible as those he loved to dwell on in imagination, and for
    the most part they have been greatly exaggerated. His most
    extreme offenses were the indecent and forcible flagellation in
    1768 of a young woman, Rosa Keller, who had accosted him in the
    street for alms, and whom he induced by false pretenses to come
    to his house, and the administration of aphrodisiacal bonbons to
    some prostitutes at Marseilles. It is owing to the fact that the
    prime of his manhood was spent in prisons that De Sade fell back
    on dreaming, study, and novel-writing. Shut out from real life,
    he solaced his imagination with the perverted visions--to a very
    large extent, however, founded on knowledge of the real facts of
    perverted life in his time--which he has recorded in _Justine_
    (1781); _Les 120 Journées de Sodome ou l'Ecole du Libertinage_
    (1785); _Aline et Valcour ou le Roman Philosophique_ (1788);
    _Juliette_ (1796); _La Philosophie dans le Boudoir_ (1795). These
    books constitute a sort of encyclopedia of sexual perversions, an
    eighteenth century _Psychopathia Sexualis_, and embody, at the
    same time, a philosophy. He was the first, Bloch remarks, who
    realized the immense importance of the sexual question. His
    general attitude may be illustrated by the following passage (as
    quoted by Lacassagne): "If there are beings in the world whose
    acts shock all accepted prejudices, we must not preach at them or
    punish them ... because their bizarre tastes no more depend upon
    themselves than it depends on you whether you are witty or
    stupid, well made or hump-backed.... What would become of your
    laws, your morality, your religion, your gallows, your Paradise,
    your gods, your hell, if it were shown that such and such
    fluids, such fibers, or a certain acridity in the blood, or in
    the animal spirits, alone suffice to make a man the object of
    your punishments or your rewards?" He was enormously well read,
    Bloch points out, and his interest extended to every field of
    literature: _belles lettres_, philosophy, theology, politics,
    sociology, ethnology, mythology, and history. Perhaps his
    favorite reading was travels. He was minutely familiar with the
    bible, though his attitude was extremely critical. His favorite
    philosopher was Lamettrie, whom he very frequently quotes, and he
    had carefully studied Machiavelli.

    De Sade had foreseen the Revolution; he was an ardent admirer of
    Marat, and at this period he entered into public life as a mild,
    gentle, rather bald and gray-haired person. Many scenes of the
    Revolution were the embodiment in real life of De Sade's
    imagination; such, for instance, were the barbaric tortures
    inflicted, at the instigation of Théroigne de Méricourt, on La
    Belle Bouquetière. Yet De Sade played a very peaceful part in the
    events of that time, chiefly as a philanthropist, spending much
    of his time in the hospitals. He saved his parents-in-law from
    the scaffold, although they had always been hostile to him, and
    by his moderation aroused the suspicions of the revolutionary
    party, and was again imprisoned. Later he wrote a pamphlet
    against Napoleon, who never forgave him and had him shut up in
    Charenton as a lunatic; it was a not unusual method at that time
    of disposing of persons whom it was wished to put out of the way,
    and, notwithstanding De Sade's organically abnormal temperament,
    there is no reason to regard him as actually insane.
    Royer-Collard, an eminent alienist of that period, then at the
    head of Charenton, declared De Sade to be sane, and his detailed
    report is still extant. Other specialists were of the same
    opinion. Bloch, who quotes these opinions (_Neue Forschungen_,
    etc., p. 370), says that the only possible conclusion is that De
    Sade was sane, but neurasthenic, and Eulenburg also concludes
    that he cannot be regarded as insane, although he was highly
    degenerate. In the asylum he amused himself by organizing a
    theater. Lacroix, many years later, questioning old people who
    had known him, was surprised to find that even in the memory of
    most virtuous and respectable persons he lived merely as an
    "_aimable mauvais sujet_." It is noteworthy that De Sade aroused,
    in a singular degree, the love and devotion of women,--whether or
    not we may regard this as evidence of the fascination exerted on
    women by cruelty. Janin remarks that he had seen many pretty
    little letters written by young and charming women of the great
    world, begging for the release of the "_pauvre marquis_."

    Sardou, the dramatist, has stated that in 1855 he visited the
    Bicêtre and met an old gardener who had known De Sade during his
    reclusion there. He told that one of the marquis's amusements
    was to procure baskets of the most beautiful and expensive roses;
    he would then sit on a footstool by a dirty streamlet which ran
    through the courtyard, and would take the roses, one by one, gaze
    at them, smell them with a voluptuous expression, soak them in
    the muddy water, and fling them away, laughing as he did so. He
    died on the 2d of December, 1814, at the age of 74. He was almost
    blind, and had long been a martyr to gout, asthma, and an
    affection of the stomach. It was his wish that acorns should be
    planted over his grave and his memory effaced. At a later period
    his skull was examined by a phrenologist, who found it small and
    well formed; "one would take it at first for a woman's head." The
    skull belonged to Dr. Londe, but about the middle of the century
    it was stolen by a doctor who conveyed it to England, where it
    may possibly yet be found. [The foregoing account is mainly
    founded on Paul Lacroix, _Revue de Paris_, 1837, and _Curiosités
    de l'Histoire de France_, second series, _Procès Célèbres_, p.
    225; Janin, _Revue de Paris_, 1834; Eugen Dühren (Iwan Bloch),
    _Der Marquis de Sade und Seine Zeit_, third edition, 1901; id.,
    _Neue Forschungen über den Marquis de Sade und Seine Zeit_, 1904;
    Lacassagne, _Vacher l'Eventreur et les Crimes Sadiques_, 1899;
    Paul Ginisty, _La Marquise de Sade_, 1901.]

The attempt to define sadism strictly and penetrate to its roots in De
Sade's personal temperament reveals a certain weakness in the current
conception of this sexual perversion. It is not, as we might infer, both
from the definition usually given and from its probable biological
heredity from primitive times, a perversion due to excessive masculinity.
The strong man is more apt to be tender than cruel, or at all events knows
how to restrain within bounds any impulse to cruelty; the most extreme and
elaborate forms of sadism (putting aside such as are associated with a
considerable degree of imbecility) are more apt to be allied with a
somewhat feminine organization. Montaigne, indeed, observed long ago that
cruelty is usually accompanied by feminine softness.

    In the same way it is a mistake to suppose that the very feminine
    woman is not capable of sadistic tendencies. Even if we take into
    account the primitive animal conditions of combat, the male must
    suffer as well as inflict pain, and the female must not only
    experience subjection to the male, but also share in the emotions
    of her partner's victory over his rivals. As bearing on these
    points, I may quote the following remarks written by a lady: "It
    is said that, the weaker and more feminine a woman is, the
    greater the subjection she likes. I don't think it has anything
    at all to do with the general character, but depends entirely on
    whether the feeling of constraint and helplessness affects her
    sexually. In men I have several times noticed that those who were
    most desirous of subjection to the women they loved had, in
    ordinary life, very strong and determined characters. I know of
    others, too, who with very weak characters are very imperious
    toward the women they care for. Among women I have often been
    surprised to see how a strong, determined woman will give way to
    a man she loves, and how tenacious of her own will may be some
    fragile, clinging creature who in daily life seems quite unable
    to act on her own responsibility. A certain amount of passivity,
    a desire to have their emotions worked on, seems to me, so far as
    my small experience goes, very common among ordinary, presumably
    normal men. A good deal of stress is laid on femininity as an
    attraction in a woman, and this may be so to very strong natures,
    but, so far as I have seen, the women who obtain extraordinary
    empire over men are those with a certain _virility_ in their
    character and passions. If with this virility they combine a
    fragility or childishness of appearance which appeals to a man in
    another way at the same time, they appear to be irresistible."

    I have noted some of the feminine traits in De Sade's temperament
    and appearance. The same may often be noted in sadists whose
    crimes were very much more serious and brutal than those of De
    Sade. A man who stabbed women in the streets at St. Louis was a
    waiter with a high-pitched, effeminate voice and boyish
    appearance. Reidel, the sadistic murderer, was timid, modest, and
    delicate; he was too shy to urinate in the presence of other
    people. A sadistic zoöphilist, described by A. Marie, who
    attempted to strangle a woman fellow-worker, had always been very
    timid, blushed with much facility, could not look even children
    in the eyes, or urinate in the presence of another person, or
    make sexual advances to women.

    Kiernan and Moyer are inclined to connect the modesty and
    timidity of sadists with a disgust for normal coitus. They were
    called upon to examine an inverted married woman who had
    inflicted several hundred wounds, mostly superficial, with forks,
    scissors, etc., on the genital organs and other parts of a girl
    whom she had adopted from a "Home." This woman was very prominent
    in church and social matters in the city in which she lived, so
    that many clergymen and local persons of importance testified to
    her chaste, modest, and even prudish character; she was found to
    be sane at the time of the acts. (Moyer, _Alienist and
    Neurologist_, May, 1907, and private letter from Dr. Kiernan.)

We are thus led to another sexual perversion, which is usually considered
the opposite of sadism. Masochism is commonly regarded as a peculiarly
feminine sexual perversion, in women, indeed, as normal in some degree,
and in man as a sort of inversion of the normal masculine emotional
attitude, but this view of the matter is not altogether justified, for
definite and pronounced masochism seems to be much rarer in women than
sadism.[88] Krafft-Ebing, whose treatment of this phenomenon is, perhaps,
his most valuable and original contribution to sexual psychology, has
dealt very fully with the matter and brought forward many cases. He thus
defines this perversion: "By masochism I understand a peculiar perversion
of the psychical _vita sexualis_ in which the individual affected, in
sexual feeling and thought, is controlled by the idea of being completely
and unconditionally subject to the will of a person of the opposite sex,
of being treated by this person as by a master, humiliated and abused.
This idea is colored by sexual feeling; the masochist lives in fancies in
which he creates situations of this kind, and he often attempts to realize

In a minor degree, not amounting to a complete perversion of the sexual
instinct, this sentiment of abnegation, the desire to be even physically
subjected to the adored woman, cannot be regarded as abnormal. More than
two centuries before Krafft-Ebing appeared, Robert Burton, who was no mean
psychologist, dilated on the fact that love is a kind of slavery. "They
are commonly slaves," he wrote of lovers, "captives, voluntary servants;
_amator amicæ mancipium_, as Castilio terms him; his mistress's servant,
her drudge, prisoner, bondman, what not?"[90] Before Burton's time the
legend of the erotic servitude of Aristotle was widely spread in Europe,
and pictures exist of the venerable philosopher on all fours ridden by a
woman with a whip.[91] In classic times various masochistic phenomena are
noted with approval by Ovid. It has been pointed out by Moll[92] that
there are traces of masochistic feeling in some of Goethe's poems,
especially "Lilis Park" and "Erwin und Elmire." Similar traces have been
found in the poems of Heine, Platen, Hamerling, and many other poets.[93]
The poetry of the people is also said to contain many such traces. It may,
indeed, be said that passion in its more lyric exaltations almost
necessarily involves some resort to masochistic expression. A popular lady
novelist in a novel written many years ago represents her hero, a robust
soldier, imploring the lady of his love, in a moment of passionate
exaltation, to trample on him, certainly without any wish to suggest
sexual perversion. If it is true that the Antonio of Otway's _Venice
Preserved_ is a caricature of Shaftesbury, then it would appear that one
of the greatest of English statesmen was supposed to exhibit very
pronounced and characteristic masochistic tendencies; and in more recent
days masochistic expressions have been noted as occurring in the
love-letters of so emphatically virile a statesman as Bismarck.

Thus a minor degree of the masochistic tendency may be said to be fairly
common, while its more pronounced manifestations are more common than
pronounced sadism.[94] It very frequently affects persons of a sensitive,
refined, and artistic temperament. It may even be said that this tendency
is in the line of civilization. Krafft-Ebing points out that some of the
most delicate and romantic love-episodes of the Middle Ages are distinctly
colored by masochistic emotion.[95] The increasing tendency to masochism
with increasing civilization becomes explicable if we accept Colin Scott's
"secondary law of courting" as accessory to the primary law that the male
is active, and the female passive and imaginatively attentive to the
states of the excited male. According to the secondary law, "the female
develops a superadded activity, the male becoming relatively passive and
imaginatively attentive to the psychical and bodily states of the
female."[96] We may probably agree that this "secondary law of courting"
does really represent a tendency of love in individuals of complex and
sensitive nature, and the outcome of such a receptive attitude on the part
of the male is undoubtedly in well-marked cases a desire of submission to
the female's will, and a craving to experience in some physical or psychic
form, not necessarily painful, the manifestations of her activity.

When we turn from vague and unpronounced forms of the masochistic tendency
to the more definite forms in which it becomes an unquestionable sexual
perversion, we find a very eminent and fairly typical example in Rousseau,
an example all the more interesting because here the subject has himself
portrayed his perversion in his famous _Confessions_. It is, however, the
name of a less eminent author, the Austrian novelist, Sacher-Masoch, which
has become identified with the perversion through the fact that
Krafft-Ebing fixed upon it as furnishing a convenient counterpart to the
term "sadism." It is on the strength of a considerable number of his
novels and stories, more especially of _Die Venus im Pelz_, that
Krafft-Ebing took the scarcely warrantable liberty of identifying his
name, while yet living, with a sexual perversion.

    Sacher-Masoch's biography has been written with intimate
    knowledge and much candor by C.F. von Schlichtegroll
    (_Sacher-Masoch und der Masochismus_, 1901) and, more indirectly,
    by his first wife Wanda von Sacher-Masoch in her autobiography
    (_Meine Lebensbeichte_, 1906; French translation, _Confession de
    ma Vie_, 1907). Schlichtegroll's book is written with a somewhat
    undue attempt to exalt his hero and to attribute his misfortunes
    to his first wife. The autobiography of the latter, however,
    enables us to form a more complete picture of Sacher-Masoch's
    life, for, while his wife by no means spares herself, she clearly
    shows that Sacher-Masoch was the victim of his own abnormal
    temperament, and she presents both the sensitive, refined,
    exalted, and generous aspects of his nature, and his morbid,
    imaginative, vain aspects.

    Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was born in 1836 at Lemberg in Galicia.
    He was of Spanish, German, and more especially Slavonic race. The
    founder of the family may be said to be a certain Don Matthias
    Sacher, a young Spanish nobleman, in the sixteenth century, who
    settled in Prague. The novelist's father was director of police
    in Lemberg and married Charlotte von Masoch, a Little Russian
    lady of noble birth. The novelist, the eldest child of this
    union, was not born until after nine years of marriage, and in
    infancy was so delicate that he was not expected to survive. He
    began to improve, however, when his mother gave him to be suckled
    to a robust Russian peasant woman, from whom, as he said later,
    he gained not only health, but "his soul"; from her he learned
    all the strange and melancholy legends of her people and a love
    of the Little Russians which never left him. While still a child
    young Sacher-Masoch was in the midst of the bloody scenes of the
    revolution which culminated in 1848. When he was 12 the family
    migrated to Prague, and the boy, though precocious in his
    development, then first learned the German language, of which he
    attained so fine a mastery. At a very early age he had found the
    atmosphere, and even some of the most characteristic elements, of
    the peculiar types which mark his work as a novelist.

    It is interesting to trace the germinal elements of those
    peculiarities which so strongly affected his imagination on the
    sexual side. As a child, he was greatly attracted by
    representations of cruelty; he loved to gaze at pictures of
    executions, the legends of martyrs were his favorite reading, and
    with the onset of puberty he regularly dreamed that he was
    fettered and in the power of a cruel woman who tortured him. It
    has been said by an anonymous author that the women of Galicia
    either rule their husbands entirely and make them their slaves or
    themselves sink to be the wretchedest of slaves. At the age of
    10, according to Schlichtegroll's narrative, the child Leopold
    witnessed a scene in which a woman of the former kind, a certain
    Countess Xenobia X., a relative of his own on the paternal side,
    played the chief part, and this scene left an undying impress on
    his imagination. The Countess was a beautiful but wanton
    creature, and the child adored her, impressed alike by her beauty
    and the costly furs she wore. She accepted his devotion and
    little services and would sometimes allow him to assist her in
    dressing; on one occasion, as he was kneeling before her to put
    on her ermine slippers, he kissed her feet; she smiled and gave
    him a kick which filled him with pleasure. Not long afterward
    occurred the episode which so profoundly affected his
    imagination. He was playing with his sisters at hide-and-seek and
    had carefully hidden himself behind the dresses on a clothes-rail
    in the Countess's bedroom. At this moment the Countess suddenly
    entered the house and ascended the stairs, followed by a lover,
    and the child, who dared not betray his presence, saw the
    countess sink down on a sofa and begin to caress her lover. But a
    few moments later the husband, accompanied by two friends, dashed
    into the room. Before, however, he could decide which of the
    lovers to turn against the Countess had risen and struck him so
    powerful a blow in the face with her fist that he fell back
    streaming with blood. She then seized a whip, drove all three men
    out of the room, and in the confusion the lover slipped away. At
    this moment the clothes-rail fell and the child, the involuntary
    witness of the scene, was revealed to the Countess, who now fell
    on him in anger, threw him to the ground, pressed her knee on his
    shoulder, and struck him unmercifully. The pain was great, and
    yet he was conscious of a strange pleasure. While this
    castigation was proceeding the Count returned, no longer in a
    rage, but meek and humble as a slave, and kneeled down before her
    to beg forgiveness. As the boy escaped he saw her kick her
    husband. The child could not resist the temptation to return to
    the spot; the door was closed and he could see nothing, but he
    heard the sound of the whip and the groans of the Count beneath
    his wife's blows.

    It is unnecessary to insist that in this scene, acting on a
    highly sensitive and somewhat peculiar child, we have the key to
    the emotional attitude which affected so much of Sacher-Masoch's
    work. As his biographer remarks, woman became to him, during a
    considerable part of his life, a creature at once to be loved and
    hated, a being whose beauty and brutality enabled her to set her
    foot at will on the necks of men, and in the heroine of his first
    important novel, the _Emissär_, dealing with the Polish
    Revolution, he embodied the contradictory personality of Countess
    Xenobia. Even the whip and the fur garments, Sacher-Masoch's
    favorite emotional symbols, find their explanation in this early
    episode. He was accustomed to say of an attractive woman: "I
    should like to see her in furs," and, of an unattractive woman:
    "I could not imagine her in furs." His writing-paper at one time
    was adorned with the figure of a woman in Russian Boyar costume,
    her cloak lined with ermine, and brandishing a scourge. On his
    walls he liked to have pictures of women in furs, of the kind of
    which there is so magnificent an example by Rubens in the gallery
    at Munich. He would even keep a woman's fur cloak on an ottoman
    in his study and stroke it from time to time, finding that his
    brain thus received the same kind of stimulation as Schiller
    found in the odor of rotten apples.[97]

    At the age of 13, in the revolution of 1848, young Sacher-Masoch
    received his baptism of fire; carried away in the popular
    movement, he helped to defend the barricades together with a
    young lady, a relative of his family, an amazon with a pistol in
    her girdle, such as later he loved to depict. This episode was,
    however, but a brief interruption of his education; he pursued
    his studies with brilliance, and on the higher side his education
    was aided by his father's esthetic tastes. Amateur theatricals
    were in special favor at his home, and here even the serious
    plays of Goethe and Gogol were performed, thus helping to train
    and direct the boy's taste. It is, perhaps, however, significant
    that it was a tragic event which, at the age of 16, first brought
    to him the full realization of life and the consciousness of his
    own power. This was the sudden death of his favorite sister. He
    became serious and quiet, and always regarded this grief as a
    turning-point in his life.

    At the Universities of Prague and Graz he studied with such zeal
    that when only 19 he took his doctor's degree in law and shortly
    afterward became a _privatdocent_ for German history at Graz.
    Gradually, however, the charms of literature asserted themselves
    definitely, and he soon abandoned teaching. He took part,
    however, in the war of 1866 in Italy, and at the battle of
    Solferino he was decorated on the field for bravery in action by
    the Austrian field-marshal. These incidents, however, had little
    disturbing influence on Sacher-Masoch's literary career, and he
    was gradually acquiring a European reputation by his novels and

    A far more seriously disturbing influence had already begun to be
    exerted on his life by a series of love-episodes. Some of these
    were of slight and ephemeral character; some were a source of
    unalloyed happiness, all the more so if there was an element of
    extravagance to appeal to his Quixotic nature. He always longed
    to give a dramatic and romantic character to his life, his wife
    says, and he spent some blissful days on an occasion when he ran
    away to Florence with a Russian princess as her private
    secretary. Most often these episodes culminated in deception and
    misery. It was after a relationship of this kind from which he
    could not free himself for four years that he wrote _Die
    Geschiedene Frau, Passionsgeschichte eines Idealisten_, putting
    into it much of his own personal history. At one time he was
    engaged to a sweet and charming young girl. Then it was that he
    met a young woman at Graz, Laura Rümelin, 27 years of age,
    engaged as a glove-maker, and living with her mother. Though of
    poor parentage, with little or no knowledge of the world, she had
    great natural ability and intelligence. Schlichtegroll represents
    her as spontaneously engaging in a mysterious intrigue with the
    novelist. Her own detailed narrative renders the circumstances
    more intelligible. She approached Sacher-Masoch by letter,
    adopting for disguise the name of his heroine Wanda von Dunajev,
    in order to recover possession of some compromising letters which
    had been written to him, as a joke, by a friend of hers.
    Sacher-Masoch insisted on seeing his correspondent before
    returning the letters, and with his eager thirst for romantic
    adventure he imagined that she was a married woman of the
    aristocratic world, probably a Russian countess, whose simple
    costume was a disguise. Not anxious to reveal the prosaic facts,
    she humored him in his imaginations and a web of mystification
    was thus formed. A strong attraction grew up on both sides and,
    though for some time Laura Rümelin maintained the mystery and
    held herself aloof from him, a relationship was formed and a
    child born. Thereupon, in 1893, they married. Before long,
    however, there was disillusion on both sides. She began to detect
    the morbid, chimerical, and unpractical aspects of his character,
    and he realized that not only was his wife not an aristocrat,
    but, what was of more importance to him, she was by no means the
    domineering heroine of his dreams. Soon after marriage, in the
    course of an innocent romp in which the whole of the small
    household took part, he asked his wife to inflict a whipping on
    him. She refused, and he thereupon suggested that the servant
    should do it; the wife failed to take this idea seriously; but he
    had it carried out, with great satisfaction at the severity of
    the castigation he received. When, however, his wife explained to
    him that, after this incident, it was impossible for the servant
    to stay, Sacher-Masoch quite agreed and she was at once
    discharged. But he constantly found pleasure in placing his wife
    in awkward or compromising circumstances, a pleasure she was too
    normal to share. This necessarily led to much domestic
    wretchedness. He had persuaded her, against her wish, to whip him
    nearly every day, with whips which he devised, having nails
    attached to them. He found this a stimulant to his literary work,
    and it enabled him to dispense in his novels with his stereotyped
    heroine who is always engaged in subjugating men, for, as he
    explained to his wife, when he had the reality in his life he was
    no longer obsessed by it in his imaginative dreams. Not content
    with this, however, he was constantly desirous for his wife to be
    unfaithful. He even put an advertisement in a newspaper to the
    effect that a young and beautiful woman desired to make the
    acquaintance of an energetic man. The wife, however, though she
    wished to please her husband, was not anxious to do so to this
    extent. She went to an hotel by appointment to meet a stranger
    who had answered this advertisement, but when she had explained
    to him the state of affairs he chivalrously conducted her home.
    It was some time before Sacher-Masoch eventually succeeded in
    rendering his wife unfaithful. He attended to the minutest
    details of her toilette on this occasion, and as he bade her
    farewell at the door he exclaimed: "How I envy him!" This episode
    thoroughly humiliated the wife, and from that moment her love for
    her husband turned to hate. A final separation was only a
    question of time. Sacher-Masoch formed a relationship with Hulda
    Meister, who had come to act as secretary and translator to him,
    while his wife became attached to Rosenthal, a clever journalist
    later known to readers of the _Figaro_ as "Jacques St.-Cère," who
    realized her painful position and felt sympathy and affection for
    her. She went to live with him in Paris and, having refused to
    divorce her husband, he eventually obtained a divorce from her;
    she states, however, that she never at any time had physical
    relationships with Rosenthal, who was a man of fragile
    organization and health. Sacher-Masoch united himself to Hulda
    Meister, who is described by the first wife as a prim and faded
    but coquettish old maid, and by the biographer as a highly
    accomplished and gentle woman, who cared for him with almost
    maternal devotion. No doubt there is truth in both descriptions.
    It must be noted that, as Wanda clearly shows, apart from his
    abnormal sexual temperament, Sacher-Masoch was kind and
    sympathetic, and he was strongly attached to his eldest child.
    Eulenburg also quotes the statement of a distinguished Austrian
    woman writer acquainted with him that, "apart from his sexual
    eccentricities, he was an amiable, simple, and sympathetic man
    with a touchingly tender love for his children." He had very few
    needs, did not drink or smoke, and though he liked to put the
    woman he was attached to in rich furs and fantastically gorgeous
    raiment he dressed himself with extreme simplicity. His wife
    quotes the saying of another woman that he was as simple as a
    child and as naughty as a monkey.

    In 1883 Sacher-Masoch and Hulda Meister settled in Lindheim, a
    village in Germany near the Taunus, a spot to which the novelist
    seems to have been attached because in the grounds of his little
    estate was a haunted and ruined tower associated with a tragic
    medieval episode. Here, after many legal delays, Sacher-Masoch
    was able to render his union with Hulda Meister legitimate; here
    two children were in due course born, and here the novelist spent
    the remaining years of his life in comparative peace. At first,
    as is usual, treated with suspicion by the peasants,
    Sacher-Masoch gradually acquired great influence over them; he
    became a kind of Tolstoy in the rural life around him, the friend
    and confidant of all the villagers (something of Tolstoy's
    communism is also, it appears, to be seen in the books he wrote
    at this time), while the theatrical performances which he
    inaugurated, and in which his wife took an active part, spread
    the fame of the household in many neighboring villages. Meanwhile
    his health began to break up; a visit to Nauheim in 1894 was of
    no benefit, and he died March 9, 1895.

A careful consideration of the phenomena of sadism and masochism may be
said to lead us to the conclusion that there is no real line of
demarcation. Even De Sade himself was not a pure sadist, as Bloch's
careful definition is alone sufficient to indicate; it might even be
argued that De Sade was really a masochist; the investigation of histories
of sadism and masochism, even those given by Krafft-Ebing (as, indeed,
Colin Scott and Féré have already pointed out), constantly reveals traces
of both groups of phenomena in the same individual. They cannot,
therefore, be regarded as opposed manifestations. This has been felt by
some writers, who have, in consequence, proposed other names more clearly
indicating the relationship of the phenomena. Féré speaks of sexual
algophily[98]; he only applies the term to masochism; it might equally
well be applied to sadism. Schrenck-Notzing, to cover both sadism and
masochism, has invented the term algolagnia (algos, pain, and lagnos
sexually excited), and calls the former active, the latter passive,
algolagnia.[99] Eulenburg has also emphasized the close connection between
these groups of perverted sexual manifestations, and has adopted the same
terms, adding the further group of ideal (illusionary) algolagnia, to
cover the cases in which the mere autosuggestive representation of pain,
inflicted or suffered, suffices to give sexual gratification.[100]

A brief discussion of the terms "sadism" and "masochism" has imposed
itself upon us at this point because as soon as, in any study of the
relationship between love and pain, we pass over the limits of normal
manifestations into a region which is more or less abnormal, these two
conceptions are always brought before us, and it was necessary to show on
what grounds they are here rejected as the pivots on which the discussion
ought to turn. We may accept them as useful terms to indicate two groups
of clinical phenomena; but we cannot regard them as of any real scientific
value. Having reached this result, we may continue our consideration of
the love-bite, as the normal manifestation of the connection between love
and pain which most naturally leads us across the frontier of the

The result of the love-bite in its extreme degree is to shed blood. This
cannot be regarded as the direct aim of the bite in its normal
manifestations, for the mingled feelings of close contact, of passionate
gripping, of symbolic devouring, which constitute the emotional
accompaniments of the bite would be too violently discomposed by actual
wounding and real shedding of blood. With some persons, however, perhaps
more especially women, the love-bite is really associated with a conscious
desire, even if more or less restrained, to draw blood, a real delight in
this process, a love of blood. Probably this only occurs in persons who
are not absolutely normal, but on the borderland of the abnormal. We have
to admit that this craving has, however, a perfectly normal basis. There
is scarcely any natural object with so profoundly emotional an effect as
blood, and it is very easy to understand why this should be so.[101]
Moreover, blood enters into the sphere of courtship by virtue of the same
conditions by which cruelty enters into it; they are both accidents of
combat, and combat is of the very essence of animal and primitive human
courtship, certainly its most frequent accompaniment. So that the
repelling or attracting fascination of blood may be regarded as a
by-product of normal courtship, which, like other such by-products, may
become an essential element of abnormal courtship.[102]

Normally the fascination of blood, if present at all during sexual
excitement, remains more or less latent, either because it is weak or
because the checks that inhibit it are inevitably very powerful.
Occasionally it becomes more clearly manifest, and this may happen early
in life. Féré records the case of a man of Anglo-Saxon origin, of sound
heredity so far as could be ascertained and presenting no obvious stigmata
of degeneration, who first experienced sexual manifestations at the age of
5 when a boy cousin was attacked by bleeding at the nose. It was the first
time he had seen such a thing and he experienced erection and much
pleasure at the sight. This was repeated the next time the cousin's nose
bled and also whenever he witnessed any injuries or wounds, especially
when occurring in males. A few years later he began to find pleasure in
pinching and otherwise inflicting slight suffering. This sadism was not,
however, further developed, although a tendency to inversion

    Somewhat similar may have been the origin of the attraction of
    blood in a case which has been reported to me of a youth of 17,
    the youngest of a large family who are all very strong and
    entirely normal. He is himself, however, delicate, overgrown,
    with a narrow chest, a small head, and babyish features, while
    mentally he is backward, with very defective memory and scant
    powers of assimilation. He is intensely nervous, peevish, and
    subject to fits of childish rage. He takes violent fancies to
    persons of his own sex. But he appears to have only one way of
    obtaining sexual excitement and gratification. It is his custom
    to get into a hot bath and there to produce erection and
    emission, not by masturbation, but by thinking of flowing blood.
    He does not associate himself with the causation of this
    imaginary flow of blood; he is merely the passive but pleased
    spectator. He is aware of his peculiarity and endeavors to shake
    it off, but his efforts to obtain normal pleasure by thinking of
    a girl are vain.

    I may here narrate a case which has been communicated to me of
    algolagnia in a woman, combined with sexual hyperesthesia.

    R.D., aged 25, married, and of good social position; she is a
    small and dark woman, restless and alert in manner. She has one

    She has practised masturbation from an early age--ever since she
    can remember--by the method of external friction and pressure.
    From the age of 17 she was able (and is still) to produce the
    orgasm almost without effort, by calling up the image of any man
    who had struck her fancy. She has often done so while seated
    talking to such a man, even when he is almost a stranger; in
    doing it, she says, a tightening of the muscles of the thighs and
    the slightest movement are sufficient. Ugly men (if not
    deformed), as well as men with the reputation of being _roués_,
    greatly excite her sexually, more especially if of good social
    position, though this is not essential.

    At the age of 18 she became hysterical, probably, she herself
    believes, in consequence of a great increase at that time of
    indulgence in masturbation. The doctors, apparently suspecting
    her habits, urged her parents to get her married early. She
    married, at the age of 20, a man about twice her own age.

    As a child (and in a less degree still) she was very fond of
    watching dog-fights. This spectacle produced strong sexual
    feelings and usually orgasm, especially if much blood was shed
    during the fight. Clean cuts and wounds greatly attract her,
    whether on herself or a man. She has frequently slightly cut or
    scratched herself "to see the blood," and likes to suck the
    wound, thinking the taste "delicious." This produces strong
    sexual feelings and often orgasm, especially if at the time she
    thinks of some attractive man and imagines that she is sucking
    his blood. The sight of injury to a woman only very slightly
    affects her, and that, she thinks, only because of an involuntary
    association of ideas. Nor has the sight of suffering in illness
    any exciting effects, only that which is due to violence, and
    when there is a visible cause for the suffering, such as cuts and
    wounds. (Bruises, from the absence of blood, have only a slight
    effect.) The excitement is intensified if she imagines that she
    has herself inflicted the injury. She likes to imagine that the
    man wished to rape her, and that she fought him in order to make
    him more greatly value her favor, so wounding him.

    Impersonal ideas of torture also excite her. She thinks Fox's
    _Book of Martyrs_ "lovely," and the more horrible and bloody the
    tortures described the greater is the sexual excitement produced.
    The book excites her from the point of view of the torturer, not
    that of the victim. She has frequently masturbated while reading

    So far as practicable she has sought to carry out these ideas in
    her relations with her husband. She has several times bitten him
    till the blood came and sucked the bite during coitus. She likes
    to bite him enough to make him wince. The pleasure is greatly
    heightened by thinking of various tortures, chiefly by cutting.
    She likes to have her husband talk to her, and she to him, of all
    the tortures they could inflict on each other. She has, however,
    never actually tried to carry out these tortures. She would like
    to, but dares not, as she is sure he could not endure them. She
    has no desire for her husband to try them on her, although she
    likes to hear him talk about it.

    She is at the same time fond of normal coitus, even to excess.
    She likes her husband to remain entirely passive during
    connection, so that he can continue in a state of strong erection
    for a long time. She can thus, she says, procure for herself the
    orgasm a number of times in succession, even nine or ten, quite
    easily. On one occasion she even had the orgasm twenty-six times
    within about one and a quarter hours, her husband during this
    time having two orgasms. (She is quite certain about the accuracy
    of this statement.) During this feat much talk about torture was
    indulged in, and it took place after a month's separation from
    her husband, during which she was careful not to masturbate, so
    that she might have "a real good time" when he came back. She
    acknowledges that on this occasion she was a "complete wreck" for
    a couple of days afterward, but states that usually ten or a
    dozen orgasms (or spasms, as she terms them) only make her "feel
    lively." She becomes frenzied with excitement during intercourse
    and insensible to everything but the pleasure of it.

    She has never hitherto allowed anyone (except her husband after
    marriage) to know of her sadistic impulses, nor has she carried
    them out with anyone, though she would like to, if she dared. Nor
    has she allowed any man but her husband to have connection with
    her or to take any liberties.

Outbursts of sadism may occur episodically in fairly normal persons. Thus,
Coutagne describes the case of a lad of 17--always regarded as quite
normal, and without any signs of degeneracy, even on careful examination,
or any traces of hysteria or alcoholism, though there was insanity among
his cousins--who had had occasional sexual relations for a year or two,
and on one occasion, being in a state of erection, struck the girl three
times on the breast and abdomen with a kitchen knife bought for the
purpose. He was much ashamed of his act immediately afterward, and, all
the circumstances being taken into consideration, he was acquitted by the
court.[104] Here we seem to have the obscure and latent fascination of
blood, which is almost normal, germinating momentarily into an active
impulse which is distinctly abnormal, though it produced little beyond
those incisions which Vatsyayana disapproved of, but still regarded as a
part of courtship. One step more and we are amid the most outrageous and
extreme of all forms of sexual perversion: with the heroes of De Sade's
novels, who, in exemplification of their author's most cherished ideals,
plan scenes of debauchery in which the flowing of blood is an essential
element of coitus; with the Marshall Gilles de Rais and the Hungarian
Countess Bathory, whose lust could only be satiated by the death of
innumerable victims.

    This impulse to stab--with no desire to kill, or even in most
    cases to give pain, but only to draw blood and so either
    stimulate or altogether gratify the sexual impulse--is no doubt
    the commonest form of sanguinary sadism. These women-stabbers
    have been known in France as _piqueurs_ for nearly a century, and
    in Germany are termed _Stecher_ or _Messerstecher_ (they have
    been studied by Näcke, "Zur Psychologie der sadistischen
    Messerstecher," _Archiv für Kriminal-Anthropologie_, Bd. 35,
    1909). A case of this kind where a man stabbed girls in the
    abdomen occurred in Paris in the middle of the eighteenth
    century, and in 1819 or 1820 there seems to have been an epidemic
    of _piqueurs_ in Paris; as we learn from a letter of Charlotte
    von Schiller's to Knebel; the offenders (though perhaps there was
    only one) frequented the Boulevards and the Palais Royal and
    stabbed women in the buttocks or thighs; they were never caught.
    About the same time similar cases of a slighter kind occurred in
    London, Brussels, Hamburg, and Munich.

    Stabbers are nearly always men, but cases of the same perversion
    in women are not unknown. Thus Dr. Kiernan informs me of an Irish
    woman, aged 40, and at the beginning of the menopause, who, in
    New York in 1909, stabbed five men with a hatpin. The motive was
    sexual and she told one of the men that she stabbed him because
    she "loved" him.

    Gilles de Rais, who had fought beside Joan of Arc, is the classic
    example of sadism in its extreme form, involving the murder of
    youths and maidens. Bernelle considers that there is some truth
    in the contention of Huysmans that the association with Joan of
    Arc was a predisposing cause in unbalancing Gilles de Rais.
    Another cause was his luxurious habit of life. He himself, no
    doubt rightly, attached importance to the suggestions received in
    reading Suetonius. He appears to have been a sexually precocious
    child, judging from an obscure passage in his confessions. He was
    artistic and scholarly, fond of books, of the society of learned
    men, and of music. Bernelle sums him up as "a pious warrior, a
    cruel and keen artist, a voluptuous assassin, an exalted mystic,"
    who was at the same time unbalanced, a superior degenerate, and
    morbidly impulsive. (The best books on Gilles de Rais are the
    Abbé Bossard's _Gilles de Rais_, in which, however, the author,
    being a priest, treats his subject as quite sane and abnormally
    wicked; Huysmans's novel, _La-Bas_, which embodies a detailed
    study of Gilles de Rais, and F.H. Bernelle's Thèse de Paris, _La
    Psychose de Gilles de Rais_, 1910.)

    The opinion has been hazarded that the history of Gilles de Rais
    is merely a legend. This view is not accepted, but there can be
    no doubt that the sadistic manifestations which occurred in the
    Middle Ages were mixed up with legendary and folk-lore elements.
    These elements centered on the conception of the _werwolf_,
    supposed to be a man temporarily transformed into a wolf with
    blood-thirsty impulses. (See, e.g., articles "Werwolf" and
    "Lycanthropy" in _Encyclopædia Britannica_.) France, especially,
    was infested with werwolves in the sixteenth century. In 1603,
    however, it was decided at Bordeaux, in a trial involving a
    werwolf, that lycanthropy was only an insane delusion. Dumas
    ("Les Loup-Garous," _Journal de Psychologie Normale et
    Pathologique_, May-June, 1907) argues that the medieval werwolves
    were sadists whose crimes were largely imaginative, though
    sometimes real, the predecessor of the modern Jack the Ripper.
    The complex nature of the elements making up the belief in the
    werwolf is emphasized by Ernest Jones, _Der Alptraum_, 1912.

    Related to the werwolf, but distinct, was the _vampire_, supposed
    to be a dead person who rose from the dead to suck the blood of
    the living during sleep. By way of reprisal the living dug up,
    exorcised, and mutilated the supposed vampires. This was called
    vampirism. The name vampire was then transferred to the living
    person who had so treated a corpse. All profanation of the
    corpse, whatever its origin, is now frequently called vampirism
    (Epaulow, _Vampirisme_, Thèse de Lyon, 1901; id., "Le Vampire du
    Muy," _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, Sept., 1903). The
    earliest definite reference to necrophily is in Herodotus, who
    tells (bk. ii, ch. lxxxix) of an Egyptian who had connection with
    the corpse of a woman recently dead. Epaulow gives various old
    cases and, at full length, the case which he himself
    investigated, of Ardisson, the "Vampire du Muy." W.A.F. Browne
    also has an interesting article on "Necrophilism" (_Journal of
    Mental Science_, Jan., 1875) which he regards as atavistic. When
    there is, in addition, mutilation of the corpse, the condition is
    termed necrosadism. There seems usually to be no true sadism in
    either necrosadism or necrophilism. (See, however, Bloch,
    _Beiträge_, vol. ii, p. 284 et seq.)

    It must be said also that cases of rape followed by murder are
    quite commonly not sadistic. The type of such cases is
    represented by Soleilland, who raped and then murdered children.
    He showed no sadistic perversion. He merely killed to prevent
    discovery, as a burglar who is interrupted may commit murder in
    order to escape. (E. Dupré, "L'Affaire Soleilland," _Archives
    d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, Jan.-Feb., 1910.)

    A careful and elaborate study of a completely developed sadist
    has been furnished by Lacassagne, Rousset, and Papillon
    ("L'Affaire Reidal," _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_,
    Oct.-Nov., 1907). Reidal, a youth of 18, a seminarist, was a
    congenital sanguinary sadist who killed another youth and was
    finally sent to an asylum. From the age of 4 he had voluptuous
    ideas connected with blood and killing, and liked to play at
    killing with other children. He was of infantile physical
    development, with a pleasant, childish expression of face, very
    religious, and hated obscenity and immorality. But the love of
    blood and murder was an irresistible obsession and its
    gratification produced immense emotional relief.

    Sadism generally has been especially studied by Lacassagne,
    _Vacher l'Eventreur et les Crimes Sadiques_, 1899. Zoösadism, or
    sadism toward animals, has been dealt with by P. Thomas, "Le
    Sadisme sur les Animaux," _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_,
    Sept., 1903. Auto-sadism, or "auto-erotic cruelty," that is to
    say, injuries inflicted on a person by himself with a sexual
    motive, has been investigated by G. Bach (_Sexuelle Verrirungen
    des Menschen und der Nature_, p. 427); this condition seems,
    however, a form of algolagnia more masochistic than sadistic in

    With regard to the medico-legal aspects, Kiernan ("Responsibility
    in Active Algophily," _Medicine_, April, 1903) sets forth the
    reasons in favor of the full and complete responsibility of
    sadists, and Harold Moyer comes to the same conclusion ("Is
    Sexual Perversion Insanity?" _Alienist and Neurologist_, May,
    1907). See also Thoinot's _Medico-legal Aspects of Moral
    Offenses_ (edited by Weysse, 1911), ch. xviii. While we are
    probably justified in considering the sadist as morally not
    insane in the technical sense, we must remember that he is, for
    the most part, highly abnormal from the outset. As Gaupp points
    out (_Sexual-Probleme_, Oct., 1909, p. 797), we cannot measure
    the influences which create the sadist and we must not therefore
    attempt to "punish" him, but we are bound to place him in a
    position where he will not injure society.

It is enough here to emphasize the fact that there is no solution of
continuity in the links that bind the absolutely normal manifestations of
sex with the most extreme violations of all human law. This is so true
that in saying that these manifestations are violations of all human law
we cannot go on to add, what would seem fairly obvious, that they are
violations also of all natural law. We have but to go sufficiently far
back, or sufficiently far afield, in the various zoölogical series to find
that manifestations which, from the human point of view, are in the
extreme degree abnormally sadistic here become actually normal. Among very
various species wounding and rending normally take place at or immediately
after coitus; if we go back to the beginning of animal life in the
protozoa sexual conjugation itself is sometimes found to present the
similitude, if not the actuality, of the complete devouring of one
organism by another. Over a very large part of nature, as it has been
truly said, "but a thin veil divides love from death."[105]

There is, indeed, on the whole, a point of difference. In that abnormal
sadism which appears from time to time among civilized human beings it is
nearly always the female who becomes the victim of the male. But in the
normal sadism which occurs throughout a large part of nature it is nearly
always the male who is the victim of the female. It is the male spider who
impregnates the female at the risk of his life and sometimes perishes in
the attempt; it is the male bee who, after intercourse with the queen,
falls dead from that fatal embrace, leaving her to fling aside his
entrails and calmly pursue her course.[106] If it may seem to some that
the course of our inquiry leads us to contemplate with equanimity, as a
natural phenomenon, a certain semblance of cruelty in man in his relations
with woman, they may, if they will, reflect that this phenomenon is but a
very slight counterpoise to that cruelty which has been naturally exerted
by the female on the male long even before man began to be.


[83] Krafft-Ebing, _Psychopathia Sexualis_, English translation of tenth
German edition, pp. 80, 209. It should be added that the object of the
sadistic impulse is not necessarily a person of the opposite sex.

[84] A. Moll, _Die Konträre Sexualempfindung_, third edition, 1899, p.

[85] Féré, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, p. 133.

[86] P. Garnier, "Des Perversions Sexuelles," Thirteenth International
Congress of Medicine, Section of Psychiatry, Paris, 1900.

[87] E. Dühren, _Der Marquis de Sade und Seine Zeit_, third edition, 1901,
p. 449.

[88] See, for instance, Bloch's _Beiträge zur Ætiologie der Psychopathia
Sexualis_, part ii, p. 178.

[89] Krafft-Ebing, _Psychopathia Sexualis_, English translation of tenth
German edition, p. 115. Stefanowsky, who also discussed this condition
(_Archives de l'Anthropologie Criminelle_, May, 1892, and translation,
with notes by Kiernan, _Alienist and Neurologist_, Oct., 1892), termed it

[90] _Anatomy of Melancholy_, part iii, section 2, mem. iii, subs, 1.

[91] "Aristoteles als Masochist," _Geschlecht und Gesellschaft_, Bd. ii,
ht. 2.

[92] _Die Konträre Sexualempfindung_, third edition, p. 277. Cf. C.F. von
Schlichtegroll, _Sacher-Masoch und der Masochismus_, p. 120.

[93] See C.F. von Schlichtegroll, loc. cit., p. 124 et seq.

[94] Iwan Bloch considers that it is the commonest of all sexual
perversions, more prevalent even than homosexuality.

[95] It has no doubt been prominent in earlier civilization. A very
pronounced masochist utterance may be found in an ancient Egyptian
love-song written about 1200 B.C.: "Oh! were I made her porter, I should
cause her to be wrathful with me. Then when I did but hear her voice, the
voice of her anger, a child shall I be for fear." (Wiedemann, _Popular
Literature in Ancient Egypt_, p. 9.) The activity and independence of the
Egyptian women at the time may well have offered many opportunities to the
ancient Egyptian masochist.

[96] Colin Scott, "Sex and Art," _American Journal of Psychology_, vol.
vii, No. 2, p. 208.

[97] It must not be supposed that the attraction of fur or of the whip is
altogether accounted for by such a casual early experience as in
Sacher-Masoch's case served to evoke it. The whip we shall have to
consider briefly later on. The fascination exerted by fur, whether
manifesting itself as love or fear, would appear to be very common in many
children, and almost instinctive. Stanley Hall, in his "Study of Fears"
(_American Journal of Psychology_, vol. viii, p. 213) has obtained as many
as 111 well-developed cases of fear of fur, or, as he terms it,
doraphobia, in some cases appearing as early as the age of 6 months, and
he gives many examples. He remarks that the love of fur is still more
common, and concludes that "both this love and fear are so strong and
instinctive that they can hardly be fully accounted for without recourse
to a time when association with animals was far closer than now, or
perhaps when our remote ancestors were hairy." (Cf. "Erotic Symbolism,"
iv, in the fifth volume of these _Studies_.)

[98] Féré, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, p. 138.

[99] Schrenck-Notzing, _Zeitschrift für Hypnotismus_, Bd. ix, ht. 2, 1899.

[100] Eulenburg, _Sadismus und Masochismus_, second edition, 1911, p. 5.

[101] I have elsewhere dealt with this point in discussing the special
emotional tone of red (Havelock Ellis, "The Psychology of Red," _Popular
Science Monthly_, August and September, 1900).

[102] It is probable that the motive of sexual murders is nearly always to
shed blood, and not to cause death. Leppmann (_Bulletin Internationale de
Droit Pénal_, vol. vi, 1896, p. 115) points out that such murders are
generally produced by wounds in the neck or mutilation of the abdomen,
never by wounds of the head. T. Claye Shaw, who terms the lust for blood
hemothymia, has written an interesting and suggestive paper ("A Prominent
Motive in Murder," _Lancet_, June 19, 1909) on the natural fascination of
blood. Blumröder, in 1830, seems to have been the first who definitely
called attention to the connection between lust and blood.

[103] Féré, _Revue de Chirurgie_, March 10, 1905.

[104] H. Coutagne, "Cas de Perversion Sanguinaire de l'Instinct Sexuel,"
_Annales Médico-Psychologiques_, July and August, 1893. D.S. Booth
(_Alienist and Neurologist_, Aug., 1906) describes the case of a man of
neurotic heredity who slightly stabbed a woman with a penknife when on his
way to a prostitute.

[105] Kiernan appears to have been the first to suggest the bearing of
these facts on sadism, which he would regard as the abnormal human form of
phenomena which may be found at the very beginning of animal life, as,
indeed, the survival or atavistic reappearance of a primitive sexual
cannibalism. See his "Psychological Aspects of the Sexual Appetite,"
_Alienist and Neurologist_, April, 1891, and "Responsibility in Sexual
Perversion," _Chicago Medical Recorder_, March, 1892. Penta has also
independently developed the conception of the biological basis of sadism
and other sexual perversions (_I Pervertimenti Sessuali_, 1893). It must
be added that, as Remy de Gourmont points out (_Promenades
Philosophiques_, 2d series, p. 273), this sexual cannibalism exerted by
the female may have, primarily, no erotic significance: "She eats him
because she is hungry and because when exhausted he is an easy prey."

[106] In the chapter entitled "Le Vol Nuptial" of his charming book on the
life of bees Maeterlinck has given an incomparable picture of the tragic
courtship of these insects.


Flagellation as a Typical Illustration of Algolagnia--Causes of Connection
between Sexual Emotion and Whipping--Physical Causes--Psychic Causes
probably more Important--The Varied Emotional Associations of
Whipping--Its Wide Prevalence.

The whole problem of love and pain, in its complementary sadistic and
masochistic aspects, is presented to us in connection with the pleasure
sometimes experienced in whipping, or in being whipped, or in witnessing
or thinking about scenes of whipping. The association of sexual emotion
with bloodshed is so extreme a perversion, it so swiftly sinks to phases
that are obviously cruel, repulsive, and monstrous in an extreme degree,
that it is necessarily rare, and those who are afflicted by it are often
more or less imbecile. With whipping it is otherwise. Whipping has always
been a recognized religious penance; it is still regarded as a beneficial
and harmless method of chastisement; there is nothing necessarily cruel,
repulsive, or monstrous in the idea or the reality of whipping, and it is
perfectly easy and natural for an interest in the subject to arise in an
innocent and even normal child, and thus to furnish a germ around which,
temporarily at all events, sexual ideas may crystallize. For these reasons
the connection between love and pain may be more clearly brought out in
connection with whipping than with blood.

There is, by no means, any necessary connection between flagellation and
the sexual emotions. If there were, this form of penance would not have
been so long approved or at all events tolerated by the Church.[107]

As a matter of fact, indeed, it was not always approved or even tolerated.
Pope Adrian IV in the eighth century forbade priests to beat their
penitents, and at the time of the epidemic of flagellation in the
thirteenth century, which was highly approved by many holy men, the abuses
were yet so frequent that Clement VI issued a bull against these
processions. All such papal prohibitions remained without effect. The
association of religious flagellation with perverted sexual motives is
shown by its condemnation in later ages by the Inquisition, which was
accustomed to prosecute the priests who, in prescribing flagellation as a
penance, exerted it personally, or caused it to be inflicted on the
stripped penitent in his presence, or made a woman penitent discipline
him, such offences being regarded as forms of "solicitation."[108] There
seems even to be some reason to suppose that the religious flagellation
mania which was so prevalent in the later Middle Ages, when processions of
penitents, male and female, eagerly flogged themselves and each other, may
have had something to do with the discovery of erotic flagellation,[109]
which, at all events in Europe, seems scarcely to have been known before
the sixteenth century. It must, in any case, have assisted to create a
predisposition. The introduction of flagellation as a definitely
recognized sexual stimulant is by Eulenburg, in his interesting book,
_Sadismus und Masochismus_, attributed to the Arabian physicians. It would
appear to have been by the advice of an Arabian physician that the Duchess
Leonora Gonzaga, of Mantua, was whipped by her mother to aid her in
responding more warmly to her husband's embraces and to conceive.

Whatever the precise origin of sexual flagellation in Europe, there can be
no doubt that it soon became extremely common, and so it remains at the
present day. Those who possess a special knowledge of such matters declare
that sexual flagellation is the most frequent of all sexual perversions
in England.[110] This belief is, I know, shared by many people both inside
and outside England. However this may be, the tendency is certainly
common. I doubt if it is any or at all less common in Germany, judging by
the large number of books on the subject of flagellation which have been
published in German. In a catalogue of "interesting books" on this and
allied subjects issued by a German publisher and bookseller, I find that,
of fifty-five volumes, as many as seventeen or eighteen, all in German,
deal solely with the question of flagellation, while many of the other
books appear to deal in part with the same subject.[111] It is, no doubt,
true that the large part which the rod has played in the past history of
our civilization justifies a considerable amount of scientific interest in
the subject of flagellation, but it is clear that the interest in these
books is by no means always scientific, but very frequently sexual.

    It is remarkable that, while the sexual associations of whipping,
    whether in slight or in marked degrees, are so frequent in modern
    times, they appear to be by no means easy to trace in ancient
    times. "Flagellation," I find it stated by a modern editor of the
    _Priapeia_, "so extensively practised in England as a provocation
    to venery, is almost entirely unnoticed by the Latin erotic
    writers, although, in the _Satyricon_ of Petronius (ch.
    cxxxviii), Encolpius, in describing the steps taken by OEnothea
    to undo the temporary impotence to which he was subjected, says:
    'Next she mixed nasturtium-juice with southern wood, and, having
    bathed my foreparts, she took a bunch of green nettles, and
    gently whipped my belly all over below the navel.'" It appears
    also that many ancient courtesans dedicated to Venus as ex-votos
    a whip, a bridle, or a spur as tokens of their skill in riding
    their lovers. The whip was sometimes used in antiquity, but if it
    aroused sexual emotions they seem to have passed unregarded. "We
    naturally know nothing," Eulenburg remarks (_Sadismus und
    Masochismus_, p. 72), "of the feelings of the priestess of
    Artemis at the flagellation of Spartan youths; or what emotions
    inspired the priestess of the Syrian goddess under similar
    circumstances; or what the Roman Pontifex Maximus felt when he
    castigated the exposed body of a negligent vestal (as described
    by Plutarch) behind a curtain, and the 'plagosus Orbilius' only
    practised on children."

    It was at the Renaissance that cases of abnormal sexual pleasure
    in flagellation began to be recorded. The earliest distinct
    reference to a masochistic flagellant seems to have been made by
    Pico della Mirandola, toward the end of the fifteenth century, in
    his _Disputationes Adversus Astrologiam Divinatricem_, bk. iii,
    ch. xxvii. Coelius Rhodiginus in 1516, again, narrated the case
    of a man he knew who liked to be severely whipped, and found this
    a stimulant to coitus. Otto Brunfels, in his _Onomasticon_
    (1534), art. "Coitus," refers to another case of a man who could
    not have intercourse with his wife until he had been whipped.
    Then, a century later, in 1643, Meibomius wrote _De Usu Flagrorum
    in re Venerea_, the earliest treatise on this subject, narrating
    various cases. Numerous old cases of pleasure in flagellation and
    urtication were brought together by Schurig in 1720 in his
    _Spermatologia_, pp. 253-258.

    The earliest definitely described medical case of sadistic
    pleasure in the sight of active whipping which I have myself come
    across belongs to the year 1672, and occurs in a letter in which
    Nesterus seeks the opinion of Garmann. He knows intimately, he
    states, a very learned man--whose name, for the honor he bears
    him, he refrains from mentioning--who, whenever in a school or
    elsewhere he sees a boy unbreeched and birched, and hears him
    crying out, at once emits semen copiously without any erection,
    but with great mental commotion. The same accident frequently
    happens to him during sleep, accompanied by dreams of whipping.
    Nesterus proceeds to mention that this "_laudatus vir_" was also
    extremely sensitive to the odor of strawberries and other fruits,
    which produced nausea. He was evidently a neurotic subject.
    (L.C.F. Garmanni et Aliorum Virorum Clarissimorum, _Epistolarum
    Centuria_, Rostochi et Lipsiæ, 1714.)

    In England we find that toward the end of the sixteenth century
    one of Marlowe's epigrams deals with a certain Francus who before
    intercourse with his mistress "sends for rods and strips himself
    stark naked," and by the middle of the seventeenth century the
    existence of an association between flagellation and sexual
    pleasure seems to have been popularly recognized. In 1661, in a
    vulgar "tragicomedy" entitled _The Presbyterian Lash_, we find:
    "I warrant he thought that the tickling of the wench's buttocks
    with the rod would provoke her to lechery." That whipping was
    well known as a sexual stimulant in England in the eighteenth
    century is sufficiently indicated by the fact that in one of
    Hogarth's series representing the "Harlot's Progress" a birch rod
    hangs over the bed. The prevalence of sexual flagellation in
    England at the end of that century and the beginning of the
    nineteenth is discussed by Dühren (Iwan Bloch) in his
    _Geschlechtsleben in England_ (1901-3), especially vol. ii, ch.

    While, however, the evidence regarding sexual flagellation is
    rare, until recent times whipping as a punishment was extremely
    common. It is even possible that its very prevalence, and the
    consequent familiarity with which it was regarded, were
    unfavorable to the development of any mysterious emotional state
    likely to act on the sexual sphere, except in markedly neurotic
    subjects. Thus, the corporal chastisement of wives by husbands
    was common and permitted. Not only was this so to a proverbial
    extent in eastern Europe, but also in the extreme west and among
    a people whose women enjoyed much freedom and honor. Cymric law
    allowed a husband to chastise his wife for angry speaking, such
    as calling him a cur; for giving away property she was not
    entitled to give away; or for being found in hiding with another
    man. For the first two offenses she had the option of paying him
    three kine. When she accepted the chastisement she was to receive
    "three strokes with a rod of the length of her husband's forearm
    and the thickness of his long finger, and that wheresoever he
    might will, excepting on the head"; so that she was to suffer
    pain only, and not injury. (R.B. Holt, "Marriage Laws and Customs
    of the Cymri," _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_,
    August-November, 1898, p. 162.)

    "The Cymric law," writes a correspondent, "seems to have survived
    in popular belief in the Eastern and Middle States of the United
    States. In police-courts in New York, for example, it has been
    unsuccessfully pleaded that a man is entitled to beat his wife
    with a stick no thicker than his thumb. In Pennsylvania actual
    acquittals have been rendered."

    Among all classes children were severely whipped by their parents
    and others in authority over them. It may be recalled that in the
    twelfth century when Abelard became tutor to Heloise, then about
    18 years of age, her uncle authorized him to beat her, if
    negligent in her studies. Even in the sixteenth century Jeanne
    d'Albert, who became the mother of Henry IV of France, at the
    age of 13½ was married to the Duke of Cleves, and to overcome her
    resistance to this union the Queen, her mother, had her whipped
    to such an extent that she thought she would die of it. The whip
    on this occasion was, however, only partially successful, for the
    Duke never succeeded in consummating the marriage, which was, in
    consequence, annulled. (Cabanès brings together numerous facts
    regarding the prevalence of flagellation as a chastisement in
    ancient France in the interesting chapter on "La Flagellation a
    la Cour et à la Ville" in his _Indiscretions de l'Histoire_,

    As to the prevalence of whipping in England evidence is furnished
    by Andrews, in the chapter on "Whipping and Whipping Posts," in
    his book on ancient punishments. It existed from the earliest
    times and was administered for a great variety of offenses, to
    men and women alike, for vagrancy, for theft, to the fathers and
    mothers of illegitimate children, for drunkenness, for insanity,
    even sometimes for small-pox. At one time both sexes were whipped
    naked, but from Queen Elizabeth's time only from the waist
    upward. In 1791 the whipping of female vagrants ceased by law.
    (W. Andrews, _Bygone Punishments_, 1899.)

    It must, however, be remarked that law always lags far behind
    social feeling and custom, and flagellation as a common
    punishment had fallen into disuse or become very perfunctory long
    before any change was made in the law, though it is not
    absolutely extinct, even by law, today. There is even an ignorant
    and retrograde tendency to revive it. Thus, even in severe
    Commonwealth days, the alleged whipping with rods of a
    servant-girl by her master, though with no serious physical
    injury, produced a great public outcry, as we see by the case of
    the Rev. Zachary Crofton, a distinguished London clergyman, who
    was prosecuted in 1657 on the charge of whipping his
    servant-girl, Mary Cadman, because she lay in bed late in the
    morning and stole sugar. This incident led to several pamphlets.
    In _The Presbyterian, Lash or Noctroff's Maid Whipt_ (1661), a
    satire on Crofton, we read: "It is not only contrary to Gospel
    but good manners to take up a wench's petticoats, smock and all";
    and in the doggerel ballad of "Bo-Peep," which was also written
    on the same subject, it is said that Crofton should have left his
    wife to chastise the maid. Crofton published two pamphlets, one
    under his own name and one under that of Alethes Noctroff (1657),
    in which he elaborately dealt with the charge as both false and
    frivolous. In one passage he offers a qualified defense of such
    an act: "I cannot but bewail the exceeding rudeness of our times
    to suffer such foolery to be prosecuted as of some high and
    notorious crime. Suppose it were (as it is not) true, may not
    some eminent congregational brother be found guilty of the same
    act? Is it not much short of drinking an health naked on a
    signpost? May it not be as theologically defended as the
    husband's correction of his wife?" This passage, and the whole
    episode, show that feeling in regard to this matter was at that
    time in a state of transition.

    Flagellation as a penance, whether inflicted by the penitent
    himself or by another person, was also extremely common in
    medieval and later days. According to Walsingham ("Master of the
    Rolls' Collection," vol. i, p. 275), in England, in the middle of
    the fourteenth century, penitents, sometimes men of noble birth,
    would severely flagellate themselves, even to the shedding of
    blood, weeping or singing as they did so; they used cords with
    knots containing nails.

    At a later time the custom of religious flagellation was more
    especially preserved in Spain. The Countess d'Aulnoy, who visited
    Spain in 1685, has described the flagellations practised in
    public at Madrid. After giving an account of the dress worn by
    these flagellants, which corresponds to that worn in Spain in
    Holy Week at the present time by the members of the _Cofradias_,
    the face concealed by the high sugar-loaf head-covering, she
    continues: "They attach ribbons to their scourges, and usually
    their mistresses honor them with their favors. In gaining public
    admiration they must not gesticulate with the arm, but only move
    the wrist and hand; the blows must be given without haste, and
    the blood must not spoil the costume. They make terrible wounds
    on their shoulders, from which the blood flows in streams; they
    march through the streets with measured steps; they pass before
    the windows of their mistresses, where they flagellate themselves
    with marvelous patience. The lady gazes at this fine sight
    through the blinds of her room, and by a sign she encourages him
    to flog himself, and lets him understand how much she likes this
    sort of gallantry. When they meet a good-looking woman they
    strike themselves in such a way that the blood goes on to her;
    this is a great honor, and the grateful lady thanks them.... All
    this is true to the letter."

    The Countess proceeds to describe other and more genuine
    penitents, often of high birth, who may be seen in the street
    naked above the waist, and with naked feet on the rough and sharp
    pavement; some had swords passed through the skin of their body
    and arms, others heavy crosses that weighed them down. She
    remarks that she was told by the Papal Nuncio that he had
    forbidden confessors to impose such penances, and that they were
    due to the devotion of the penitents themselves. (_Relation du
    Voyage d'Espagne_, 1692, vol. ii, pp. 158-164.)

    The practice of public self-flagellation in church during Lent
    existed in Spain and Portugal up to the early years of the
    nineteenth century. Descriptions of it will often be met with in
    old volumes of travel. Thus, I find a traveler through Spain in
    1786 describing how, at Barcelona, he was present when, in Lent,
    at a Miserere in the Convent Church of San Felipe Neri on Friday
    evening the doors were shut, the lights put out, and in perfect
    darkness all bared their backs and applied the discipline,
    singing while they scourged themselves, ever louder and harsher
    and with ever greater vehemence until in twenty minutes' time the
    whole ended in a deep groan. It is mentioned that at Malaga,
    after such a scene, the whole church was in the morning sprinkled
    with blood. (Joseph Townsend, _A Journey through Spain in 1786_,
    vol. i, p. 122; vol. iii, p. 15.)

    Even to our own day religious self-flagellation is practised by
    Spaniards in the Azores, in the darkened churches during Lent,
    and the walls are often spotted and smeared with blood at this
    time. (O.H. Howarth, "The Survival of Corporal Punishment,"
    _Journal Anthropological Institute_, Feb., 1889.) In remote
    districts of Spain (as near Haro in Rioja) there are also
    brotherhoods who will flagellate themselves on Good Friday, but
    not within the church. (Dario de Regoyos, _España Negra_, 1899,
    p. 72.)

When we glance over the history of flagellation and realize that, though
whipping as a punishment has been very widespread and common, there have
been periods and lands showing no clear knowledge of any sexual
association of whipping, it becomes clear that whipping is not necessarily
an algolagnic manifestation. It seems evident that there must be special
circumstances, and perhaps a congenital predisposition, to bring out
definitely the relationship of flagellation to the sexual impulse. Thus,
Löwenfeld considers that only about 1 per cent, of people can be sexually
excited by flagellation of the buttocks,[112] and Näcke also is decidedly
of opinion that there can be no sexual pleasure in flagellation without
predisposition, which is rare.[113] On these grounds many are of opinion
that physical chastisement, provided it is moderate, seldom applied, and
only to children who are quite healthy and vigorous, need not be
absolutely prohibited.[114] But, however rare and abnormal a sexual
response to actual flagellation may be in adults, we shall see that the
general sexual association of whipping in the minds of children, and
frequently of their elders, is by; no means rare and scarcely abnormal.

What is the cause of the connection between sexual emotion and whipping? A
very simple physical cause has been believed by some to account fully for
the phenomena. It is known that strong stimulation of the gluteal region
may, especially under predisposing conditions, produce or heighten sexual
excitement, by virtue of the fact that both regions are supplied by
branches of the same nerve.

There is another reason why whipping should exert a sexual influence. As
Féré especially has pointed out, in moderate amount it has a tonic effect,
and as such has a general beneficial result in stimulating the whole body.
This fact was, indeed, recognized by the classic physicians, and Galen
regarded flagellation as a tonic.[115] Thus, not only must it be said that
whipping, when applied to the gluteal region, has a direct influence in
stimulating the sexual organs, but its general tonic influence must
naturally extend to the sexual system.

    It is possible that we must take into account here a biological
    factor, such as we have found involved in other forms of sadism
    and masochism. In this connection a lady writes to me: "With
    regard to the theory which connects the desire for whipping with
    the way in which animals make love, where blows or pressure on
    the hindquarters are almost a necessary preliminary to pleasure,
    have you ever noticed the way in which stags behave? Their does
    seem as timid as the males are excitable, and the blows inflicted
    on them by the horns of their mates to reduce them to submission
    must be, I should think, an exact equivalent to being beaten with
    a stick."

    It is remarkable that in some cases the whip would even appear to
    have a psychic influence in producing sexual excitement in
    animals accustomed to its application as a stimulant to action.
    Thus, Professor Cornevin, of Lyons, describes the case of a
    Hungarian stallion, otherwise quite potent, in whom erection
    could only be produced in the presence of a mare in heat when a
    whip was cracked near him, and occasionally applied gently to his
    legs. (Cornevin, _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, January,

Here, undoubtedly, we have a definite anatomical and physiological
relationship which often serves as a starting-point for the turning of the
sexual feelings in this direction, and will sometimes support the
perversion when it has otherwise arisen. But this relationship, even if we
regard it as a fairly frequent channel by which sexual emotion is aroused,
will not suffice to account for most, or even many, of the cases in which
whipping exerts a sexual fascination. In many, if not most, cases it is
found that the idea of whipping asserts its sexual significance quite
apart from any personal experience, even in persons who have never been
whipped;[116] not seldom also in persons who have been whipped and who
feel nothing but repugnance for the actual performance, attractive as it
may be in imagination.

It is evident that we have to seek the explanation of this phenomenon
largely in psychic causes. Whipping, whether inflicted or suffered, tends
to arouse, vaguely but massively, the very fundamental and primitive
emotions of anger and fear, which, as we have seen, have always been
associated with courtship, and it tends to arouse them at an age when the
sexual emotions have not become clearly defined, and under circumstances
which are likely to introduce sexual associations. From their earliest
years children have been trained to fear whipping, even when not actually
submitted to it, and an unjust punishment of this kind, whether inflicted
on themselves or others, frequently arouses intense anger, nervous
excitement, or terror in the sensitive minds of children.[117] Moreover,
as has been pointed out to me by a lady who herself in early life was
affected by the sexual associations of whipping, a child only sees the
naked body of elder children when uncovered for whipping, and its sexual
charm may in part be due to this cause. We further have to remark that the
spectacle of suffering itself is, to some extent and under some
circumstances, a stimulant of sexual emotion. It is evident that a number
of factors contribute to surround whipping at a very early age with
powerful emotional associations, and that these associations are of such a
character that in predisposed subjects they are very easily led into a
sexual channel.[118] Various lines of evidence support this conclusion.
Thus, from several reliable quarters I learn that the sight of a boy being
caned at school may produce sexual excitement in the boys who look on. The
association of sexual emotion with whipping is, again, very liable to show
itself in schoolmasters, and many cases have been recorded in which the
flogging of boys, under the stress of this impulse, has been carried to
extreme lengths. An early and eminent example is furnished by Udall, the
humanist, at one time headmaster of Eton, who was noted for his habit of
inflicting frequent corporal punishment for little or no cause, and who
confessed to sexual practices with the boys under his care.[119]

Sanitchenko has called attention to the case of a Russian functionary, a
school inspector, who every day had some fifty pupils flogged in his
presence, as evidence of a morbid pleasure in such scenes. Even when no
sexual element can be distinctly traced, scenes of whipping sometimes
exert a singular fascination on some persons of sensitive emotional
temperament. A friend, a clergyman, who has read many novels tells me that
he has been struck by the frequency with which novelists describe such
scenes with much luxury of detail; his list includes novels by well-known
religious writers of both sexes. In some of these cases there is reason to
believe that the writers felt this sexual association of whipping.

It is natural that an interest in whipping should be developed very early
in childhood, and, indeed, it enters very frequently into the games of
young children, and constitutes a much relished element of such games,
more especially among girls. I know of many cases in which young girls
between 6 and 12 years of age took great pleasure in games in which the
chief point consisted in unfastening each other's drawers and smacking
each other, and some of these girls, when they grew older, realized that
there was an element of sexual enjoyment in their games. It has indeed, it
seems, always been a child's game, and even an amusement of older persons,
to play at smacking each other's nates. In _The Presbyter's Lash_ in 1661
a young woman is represented as stating that she had done this as a child,
and in ancient France it was a privileged custom on Innocents' Day
(December 28th) to smack all the young people found lying late in bed; it
was a custom which, as Clement Marot bears witness, was attractive to

    If we turn to the histories I have brought together in Appendix B
    we find various references to whipping more or less clearly
    connected with the rudimentary sexual feelings of childhood.

    I am acquainted with numerous cases in which the idea of
    whipping, or the impulse to whip or be whipped, distinctly
    exists, though usually, when persisting to adult life, only in a
    rudimentary form. History I in the Appendix B presents a
    well-marked instance. I may quote the remarks in another case of
    a lady regarding her early feelings: "As a child the idea of
    being whipped excited me, but only in connection with a person I
    loved, and, moreover, one who had the right to correct me. On one
    occasion I was beaten with the back of a brush, and the pain was
    sufficient to overcome any excitement; so that, ever after, this
    particular form of whipping left me unaffected, though the
    excitement still remained connected with forms of which I had no

    Another lady states that when a little girl of 4 or 5 the
    servants used to smack her nates with a soft brush to amuse
    themselves (undoubtedly, as she now believes, this gave them a
    kind of sexual pleasure); it did not hurt her, but she disliked
    it. Her father used to whip her severely on the nates at this age
    and onward to the age of 13, but this never gave her any
    pleasure. When, however, she was about 9 she began in waking
    dreams to imagine that she was whipping somebody, and would
    finish by imagining that she was herself being whipped. She would
    make up stories of which the climax was a whipping, and felt at
    the same time a pleasurable burning sensation in her sexual
    parts; she used to prolong the preliminaries of the story to
    heighten the climax; she felt more pleasure in the idea of being
    whipped than of whipping, although she never experienced any
    pleasure from an actual whipping. These day-dreams were most
    vivid when she was at school, between the ages of 11 and 14. They
    began to fade with the growth of affection for real persons. But
    in dreams, even in adult life, she occasionally experienced
    sexual excitement accompanied by images of smacking.

    Another correspondent, this time a man, writes: "I experienced
    the connection between sexual excitement and whipping long before
    I knew what sexuality meant or had any notion regarding the
    functions of the sexual organs. What I now know to be distinct
    sexual feeling used to occur whenever the idea of whipping arose
    or the mention of whipping was made in a way to arrest my
    attention. I well remember the strange, mysterious fascination it
    had, even apart from any actual physical excitement. I have been
    told by many men and a few women that it was the same with them.
    Even now the feeling exists sometimes, especially when reading
    about whipping."

    The following confession, which I find recorded by a German
    manufacturer's wife, corresponds with those I have obtained in
    England: "When about 5 years old I was playing with a little girl
    friend in the park. Our governesses sat on a bench talking. For
    some reason--perhaps because we had wandered away too far and
    failed to hear a call to return--my friend aroused the anger of
    the governess in charge of her. That young lady, therefore, took
    her aside, raised her dress, and vigorously smacked her with the
    flat hand. I looked on fascinated, and possessed by an
    inexplicable feeling to which I naïvely gave myself up. The
    impression was so deep that the scene and the persons concerned
    are still clearly present to my mind, and I can even recall the
    little details of my companion's underclothing." When sexual
    associations are permanently brought into play through such an
    early incident it is possible that a special predisposition
    exists. (_Gesellschaft und Geschlecht_, Bd. ii, ht. 4, p. 120.)

It would certainly seem that we must look upon this association as coming
well within the normal range of emotional life in childhood, although
after puberty, when the sexual feelings become clearly defined, the
attraction of whipping normally tends to be left behind as a piece of
childishness, only surviving in the background of consciousness, if at
all, to furnish a vaguely sexual emotional tone to the subject of
whipping, but not affecting conduct, sometimes only emerging in erotic

This, however, is not invariably the case in persons who are organically
abnormal. In such cases, and especially, it would seem, in highly
sensitive and emotional children, the impress left by the fact or the
image of whipping may be so strong that it affects not only definitely,
but permanently, the whole subsequent course of development of the sexual
impulse. Régis has recorded a case which well illustrates the
circumstances and hereditary conditions under which the idea of whipping
may take such firm root in the sexual emotional nature of a child as to
persist into adult life; at the same time the case shows how a sexual
perversion may, in an intelligent person, take on an intellectual
character, and it also indicates a rational method of treatment.

    Jules P., aged 22, of good heredity on father's side, but bad on
    that of mother, who is highly hysterical, while his grandmother
    was very impulsive and sometimes pursued other women with a
    knife. He has one brother and one sister, who are somewhat morbid
    and original. He is himself healthy, intelligent, good looking,
    and agreeable, though with slightly morbid peculiarities. At the
    age of 4 or 5 he suddenly opened a door and saw his sister, then
    a girl of 14 or 15, kneeling, with her clothes raised and her
    head on her governess's lap, at the moment of being whipped for
    some offense. This trivial incident left a profound impression on
    his mind, and he recalls every detail of it, especially the sight
    of his sister's buttocks,--round, white, and enormous as they
    seemed to his childish eyes,--and that momentary vision gave a
    permanent direction to the whole of his sexual life. Always after
    that he desired to touch and pat his sister's gluteal regions. He
    shared her bed, and, though only a child, acquired great skill in
    attaining his ends without attracting her attention, lifting her
    night-gown when she slept and gently caressing the buttocks, also
    contriving to turn her over on to her stomach and then make a
    pillow of her hips. This went on until the age of 7, when he
    began to play with two little girls of the neighborhood, the
    eldest of whom was 10; he liked to take the part of the father
    and whip them. The older girl was big for her age, and he would
    separate her drawers and smack her with much voluptuous emotion;
    so that he frequently sought opportunities to repeat the
    experience, to which the girl willingly lent herself, and they
    were constantly together in dark corners, the girl herself
    opening her drawers to enable him to caress her thighs and
    buttocks with his hand until he became conscious of an erection.
    Sometimes he would gently use a whip. On one occasion she asked
    him if he would not now like to see her in front, but he

    One day, when 8 or 9 years old, being with a boy companion, he
    came upon a picture of a monk being flagellated, and thereupon
    persuaded his companion to let himself be whipped; the boy
    enjoyed the experience, which was therefore often repeated. Jules
    P. himself, however, never took the slightest pleasure in playing
    the passive part. These practices were continued even after the
    friend became a conscript, when, however, they became very rare.
    Only once or twice has he ever done anything of this kind to
    girls who were strangers to him. Nor has he ever masturbated or
    had any desire for sexual intercourse. He contents himself with
    the pleasure of being occasionally able to witness scenes of
    whipping in public places--parks and gardens--or of catching
    glimpses of the thighs and buttocks of young girls or, if
    possible, women.

    His principal enjoyment is in imagination. From the first he has
    loved to invent stories in which whippings were the climax, and
    at 13 such stories produced the first spontaneous emission. Thus,
    he imagines, for instance, a young girl from the country who
    comes up to Paris by train; on the way a lady is attracted by
    her, takes an interest in her, brings her home to dinner, and at
    last can no longer resist the temptation to take the girl in her
    arms and whip her amorously. He writes out these scenes and
    illustrates them with drawings, many of which Régis reproduces.
    He has even written comedies in which whipping plays a prominent
    part. He has, moreover, searched public libraries for references
    to flagellation, inserted queries in the _Intermédiare des
    Chercheurs et des Curieux_, and thus obtained a complete
    bibliography of flagellation which is of considerable value.
    Régis is acquainted with these _Archives de la Fessée_, and
    states that they are carried on with great method and care. He is
    especially interested in the whipping of women by women. He
    considers that the pleasure of whippings should always be shared
    by the person whipped, and he is somewhat concerned to find that
    he has an increasing inclination to imagine an element of cruelty
    in the whipping. Emissions are somewhat frequent. According to
    the latest information, he is much better; he has entered into
    sexual relationship with a woman who is much in love with him,
    and to whom he has confided his peculiarities. With her aid and
    suggestions he has been able to have intercourse with her, at the
    moment of coitus whipping her with a harmless India-rubber tube.
    (E. Régis, "Un Cas de Perversion Sexuelle, a forme Sadique,"
    _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelles_, July, 1899.)

    In a case also occurring in a highly educated man (narrated by
    Marandon de Montyel) a doctor of laws, brilliantly intellectual
    and belonging to a family in which there had been some insanity,
    when at school at the age of 11, saw for the first time a
    schoolfellow whipped on the nates, and experienced a new pleasure
    and emotion. He was never himself whipped at school, but would
    invent games with his sisters and playfellows in which whipping
    formed an essential part. At the age of 13 he teased a young
    woman, a cook, until she seized him and whipped him. He put his
    arms around her and experienced his first voluptuous spasm of
    sex. The love of flagellation temporarily died out, however, and
    gave place to masturbation and later to a normal attraction to
    women. But at the age of 32 the old ideas were aroused anew by a
    story his mistress told him. He suffered from various obsessions
    and finally committed suicide. (Marandon de Montyel, "Obsessions
    et Vie Sexuelle," _Archives de Neurologie_, Oct., 1904.)

    In a case that has been reported to me, somewhat similar ideas
    played a part. The subject is a tall, well-developed man, aged
    28, delicate in childhood, but now normal in health and physical
    condition, though not fond of athletics. His mental ability is
    much above the average, especially in scientific directions; he
    was brought up in narrow and strict religious views, but at an
    early age developed agnostic views of his own.

    From the age of 6, and perhaps earlier, he practised masturbation
    almost every night. This was a habit which he carried on in all
    innocence. It was as invariable a preliminary, he states, to
    going to sleep as was lying down, and at this period he would
    have felt no hesitation in telling all about it had the question
    been asked. At the age of 12 or 13 he recognized the habit as
    abnormal, and fear of ridicule then caused him to keep silence
    and to avoid observation. In carrying it out he would lie on his
    stomach with the penis directed downward, and not up, and the
    thumb resting on the region above the root of the penis. There
    was desire for micturition after the act, and when that was
    satisfied sound sleep followed. When he realized that the habit
    was abnormal he began to make efforts to discontinue it, and
    these efforts have been continued up to the present. The chief
    obstacle has been the difficulty of sleep without carrying out
    the practice. Emissions first began to occur at the age of 13 and
    at first caused some alarm. During the six following years
    indulgence was irregular, sometimes occurring every other night
    and sometimes with a week's intermission. Then at the age of 19
    the habit was broken for a year, during which nocturnal emissions
    took place during sleep about every three weeks. Since this,
    shorter periods of non-indulgence have occurred, these periods
    always coinciding with unusual mental or physical strain, as of
    examinations. He has some degree of attraction for women; this is
    strongest during cessation from masturbation and tends to
    disappear when the habit is resumed. He has never had sexual
    intercourse because he prefers his own method of gratification
    and feels great abhorrence for professional prostitutes; he could
    not afford to marry. Any indecency or immorality, except (he
    observes) his own variety, disgusts him.

    At the earliest period no mental images accompanied the act of
    masturbation. At about the age of 8, however, sexual excitement
    began to be constantly associated with ideas of being whipped. At
    or soon after this age only the fear of disgrace prevented him
    from committing serious childish offenses likely to be punished
    by a good whipping. Parents and masters, however, seem to have
    used corporal punishment very sparingly.

    At first this desire was for whipping in general, without
    reference to the operator. Soon after the age of 10, however, he
    began to wish that certain boy friends should be the operators.
    At about the same time definite desire arose for closer contact
    with these friends and later for definite indecent acts which,
    however, the subject failed to specify; he probably meant mutual
    masturbation. These desires were under control, and the fear of
    ridicule seems to have been the chief restraining cause. At about
    the age of 15 he began to realize that such acts might be
    considered morally bad and wrong, and this led to reticence and
    careful concealment. Up to the age of 20 there were four definite
    attachments to persons of his own sex. There was a tendency,
    sometimes, to regard women as possible whippers, and this became
    stronger at 22, the images of the two sexes then mingling in his
    thoughts of flagellation. Latterly the mental accompaniments of
    masturbation have been less personal, lapsing into the mental
    picture of being whipped by an unknown and vague somebody. When
    definite it has always been a man, and preferably of the type of
    a schoolmaster. His desire has been for punishment by whips,
    canes, or birches, especially upon the buttocks. He has always
    shrunk from the thought of the production of blood or bruises. He
    wishes, in mental contemplation, for a punishment sufficiently
    severe to make him anxious to stop it, and yet not able to stop
    it. He also takes pleasure in the idea of being tied up so as to
    be unable to move.

    He has at times indulged in self-whipping, of no great severity.

    In the preceding case we see a tendency to erotic
    self-flagellation which in a minor degree is not uncommon.
    Occasionally it becomes highly developed. Max Marcuse has
    presented such a case in elaborate detail (_Zeitschrift für die
    Gesamte Neurologie_, 1912, ht. 3, fully summarized in
    _Sexual-Probleme_, Nov., 1912, pp. 815-820). This is the case of
    a Catholic priest of highly neurotic heredity, who spontaneously
    began to whip himself at the age of 12, this self-flagellation
    being continued and accompanied by masturbation after the age of
    15. Other associated perversions were Narcissism and nates
    fetichism, as well as homosexual phantasies. He experienced a
    certain pleasure (with erection, not ejaculation) in punishing
    his boy pupils. It is not uncommon for all forms of erotic
    flagellation to be associated with a homosexual element. I have
    elsewhere brought forward a case of this kind (the case of A.F.,
    vol. ii of these _Studies_).

    Significant is Rousseau's account of the origin of his own
    masochistic pleasure in whipping at the age of 8: "Mademoiselle
    Lambercier showed toward me a mother's affection and also a
    mother's authority, which she sometimes carried so far as to
    inflict on us the usual punishment of children when we had
    deserved it. For a long time she was content with the threat, and
    that threat of a chastisement which for me was quite new seemed
    very terrible; but after it had been executed I found the
    experience less terrible than the expectation had been; and,
    strangely enough, this punishment increased my affection for her
    who had inflicted it. It needed all my affection and all my
    natural gentleness to prevent me from seeking a renewal of the
    same treatment by deserving it, for I had found in the pain and
    even in the shame of it an element of sensuality which left more
    desire than fear of receiving the experience again from the same
    hand. It is true that, as in all this a precocious sexual element
    was doubtless mixed, the same chastisement if inflicted by her
    brother would not have seemed so pleasant." He goes on to say
    that the punishment was inflicted a second time, but that that
    time was the last, Mademoiselle Lambercier having apparently
    noted the effects it produced, and, henceforth, instead of
    sleeping in her room, he was placed in another room and treated
    by her as a big boy. "Who would have believed," he adds, "that
    this childish punishment, received at the age of 8 from the hand
    of a young woman of 30, would have determined my tastes, my
    desires, my passions, for the rest of my life?" He remarks that
    this strange taste drove him almost to madness, but maintained
    the purity of his morals, and the joys of love existed for him
    chiefly in imagination. (J.J. Rousseau, _Les Confessions_, partie
    i, livre i.) It will be seen how all the favoring conditions of
    fear, shame, and precocious sexuality were here present in an
    extremely sensitive child destined to become the greatest
    emotional force of his century, and receptive to influences which
    would have had no permanent effect on any ordinary child. (When,
    as occasionally happens, the first sexual feelings are
    experienced under the stimulation of whipping in normal children,
    no permanent perversion necessarily follows; Moll mentions that
    he knows such cases, _Zeitschrift für Pädagogie, Psychiatrie, und
    Pathologie_, 1901.) It may be added that it is, perhaps, not
    fanciful to see a certain inevitableness in the fact that on
    Rousseau's highly sensitive and receptive temperament it was a
    masochistic germ that fell and fructified, while on Régis's
    subject, with his more impulsive ancestral antecedents, a
    sadistic germ found favorable soil.

    It may be noted that in Régis's sadistic case the little girl who
    was the boy's playmate found scarcely less pleasure in the
    passive part of whipping than he found in the active. There is
    ample evidence to show that this is very often the case, and that
    the attractiveness of the idea of being whipped often even arises
    spontaneously in children. Lombroso (_La Donna Delinquente_, p.
    404) refers to a girl of 7 who had voluptuous pleasure in being
    whipped, and Hammer (_Monatschrift für Harnkrankheiten_, 1906, p.
    398) speaks of a young girl who similarly experienced pleasure in
    punishment by whipping. Krafft-Ebing records the case of a girl
    of between 6 and 8 years of age, never at that time having been
    whipped or seen anyone else whipped, who spontaneously
    acquired--how she did not know--the desire to be castigated in
    this manner. It gave her very great pleasure to imagine a woman
    friend doing this to her. She never desired to be whipped by a
    man, though there was no trace of inversion, and she never
    masturbated until the age of 24, when a marriage engagement was
    broken off. At the age of 10 this longing passed away before it
    was ever actually realized. (Krafft-Ebing, _Psychopathia
    Sexualis_, eighth edition, p. 136.)

    In the case of another young woman described by
    Krafft-Ebing--where there was neurasthenia with other minor
    morbid conditions in the family, but the girl herself appears to
    have been sound--the desire to be whipped existed from a very
    early age. She traced it to the fact that when she was 5 years
    old a friend of her father's playfully placed her across his
    knees and pretended to whip her. Since then she has always longed
    to be caned, but to her great regret the wish has never been
    realized. She longs to be the slave of a man whom she loves:
    "Lying in fancy before him, he puts one foot on my neck while I
    kiss the other. I revel in the idea of being whipped by him and
    imagine different scenes in which he beats me. I take the blows
    as so many tokens of love; he is at first extremely kind and
    tender, but then in the excess of his love he beats me. I fancy
    that to beat me for love's sake gives him the highest pleasure."
    Sometimes she imagines that she is his slave, but not his female
    slave, for every woman may be her husband's slave. She is of
    proud and independent nature in all other matters, and to imagine
    herself a man who consents to be a slave gives her a more
    satisfying sense of humiliation. She does not understand that
    these manifestations are of a sexual nature. (Krafft-Ebing,
    _Psychopathia Sexualis_, English translation of tenth edition, p.

    Sometimes a woman desires to take the active part in whipping.
    Thus Marandon de Montyel records the case of a girl of 19,
    hereditarily neuropathic (her father was alcoholic), but very
    intelligent and good-hearted, who had never been whipped or seen
    anyone whipped. At this age, however, she happened to visit a
    married friend who was just about to punish her boy of 9 by
    whipping him with a wet towel. The girl spectator was much
    interested, and though the boy screamed and struggled she
    experienced a new sensation she could not define. "At every
    stroke," she said, "a strange shiver went through all my body
    from my brain to my heels." She would like to have whipped him
    herself and felt sorry when it was over. She could not forget the
    scene and would dream of herself whipping a boy. At last the
    desire became irresistible and she persuaded a boy of 12, whom
    she was very fond of, and who was much attached to her, to let
    her whip him on the naked nates. She did this so ferociously that
    he at last fainted. She was overcome by grief and remorse.
    (Marandon de Montyel, _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_,
    Jan., 1906, p. 30.)

    Although masochism in a pronounced degree may be said to be rare
    in women, the love of active flagellation, and sadistic impulses
    generally are not uncommon among them. Bloch believes they are
    especially common among English women. Cases occur from time to
    time of extreme harshness, cruelty, degrading punishment, and
    semi-starvation inflicted upon children. The accused are most
    usually women, and when a man and woman in conjunction are
    accused it appears generally to have been the woman who played
    the more active part. But it is rarely demonstrated in these
    cases that the cruelty exercised had a definite sexual origin.
    There is nothing, for instance, to indicate true sadism in the
    famous English case in the eighteenth century of Mrs. Brownrigg
    (Bloch, _Geschlechtsleben in England_, vol. ii, p. 425). It may
    well be, however, in many of these cases that the real motive is
    sexual, although latent and unconscious. The normal sexual
    impulse in women is often obscured and disguised, and it would
    not be surprising if the perverse instinct is so likewise.

    It is noteworthy that a passion for whipping may be aroused by
    contact with a person who desires to be whipped. This is
    illustrated by the following case which has been communicated to
    me: "K. is a Jew, about 40 years of age, apparently normal.
    Nothing is known of his antecedents. He is a manufacturer with
    several shops. S., an Englishwoman, aged 25, entered his service;
    she is illegitimate, believed to have been reared in a brothel
    kept by her mother, is prepossessing in appearance. On entering
    K.'s service S. was continually negligent and careless. This so
    provoked K. that on one occasion he struck her. She showed great
    pleasure and confessed that her blunder had been deliberately
    intended to arouse him to physical violence. At her suggestion K.
    ultimately consented to thrash her. This operation took place in
    K.'s office, S. stripping for the purpose, and the leather
    driving band from a sewing-machine was used. S. manifested
    unmistakable pleasure during the flagellation, and connection
    occurred after it. These thrashings were repeated at frequent
    intervals, and K. found a growing liking for the operation on his
    own part. Once, at the suggestion of S., a girl of 13 employed by
    K. was thrashed by both K. and S. alternately. The child
    complained to her parents and K. made a money payment to them to
    avoid scandal, the parents agreeing to keep silence. Other women
    (Jewish tailoresses) employed by K. were subsequently thrashed by
    him. He asserts that they enjoyed the experience. Mrs. K.,
    discovering her husband's infatuation for S., commenced divorce
    proceedings. S. consented to leave the country at K.'s request,
    but returned almost immediately and was kept in hiding until the
    decree was granted. The mutual infatuation of K. and S.
    continues, though K. asserts that he cares less for her than
    formerly. Flagellation has, however, now become a passion with
    him, though he declares that the practice was unknown to him
    before he met S. His great fear is that he will kill S. during
    one of these operations. He is convinced that S. is not an
    isolated case, and that all women enjoy flagellation. He claims
    that the experiences of the numerous women whom he has now
    thrashed bear out this opinion; one of them is a wealthy woman
    separated from her husband, and is now infatuated with K."

    Flagellation, more especially in its masochistic form, is
    sometimes associated with true inversion. Moll presents the case
    of a young inverted woman of 26, showing, indeed, many other
    minor sexual anomalies, who is sexually excited when beaten with
    a switch. A whip would not do, and the blows must only be on the
    nates; she cannot imagine being beaten by a small woman. She has
    often in this way been beaten by a friend, who should be naked at
    the time, and must submit afterward to cunnilinctus. (Moll,
    _Konträre Sexualempfindung_ third edition, p. 568.)

    In the preceding case there were no masochistic ideas; it is
    likely that in such a case beating is desired largely on account
    of that purely physical effect to which attention has already
    been called. In the same way self-beating with a switch or whip
    has sometimes been spontaneously discovered as a method of
    self-excitement preliminary to masturbation. I am acquainted with
    a lady of much intellectual ability, sexually normal, who made
    this discovery at the age of 18, and practised it for a time.
    Professor Reverdin, also, speaks of the case of a young girl
    under his care who, after having exhausted all the resources of
    her intelligence, finally discovered that the climax of enjoyment
    was best reached by violently whipping her own buttocks and
    thighs. She had invented for this purpose a whip composed of
    twelve cords each of which terminated in a large chestnut-burr
    provided with its spines. (A. Reverdin, _Revue Médicale de la
    Suisse Romande_, January 20, 1888, p. 17.)


[107] The discipline or scourge was classed with fasting as a method of
mastering the flesh and of penance. See, e.g., Lea, _History of Auricular
Confession_, vol. ii, p. 122. For many centuries bishops and priests used
themselves to apply the discipline to their penitents. At first it was
applied to the back; later, especially in the case of female penitents, it
was frequently applied to the nates. Moreover, partial or complete nudity
came to be frequently demanded, the humiliation thereby caused being
pleasant in the sight of God.

[108] Dulaure, _Des Divinités Génératrices_, ch. xv; Lea, _History of
Sacerdotal Celibacy_, 3d ed., vol. ii, p. 278; Kiernan, "Asceticism as an
Auto-erotism," _Alienist and Neurologist_, Aug., 1911.

[109] This is the opinion of Löwenfeld, _Ueber die Sexuelle Konstitution_,
p. 43.

[110] Thus, Dühren (Iwan Bloch) remarks (_Der Marquis de Sade und Seine
Zeit_, 1901, p. 211): "It is well known that England is today the classic
land of sexual flagellation." See the same author's _Geschlechtsleben in
England_, vol. ii, ch. vi. In America it appears also to be common, and
Kiernan mentions that in advertisements of Chicago "massage shops" there
often appears the announcement: "Flagellation a Specialty." The reports of
police inspectors in eighteenth century France show how common
flagellation then was in Paris. It may be added that various men of
distinguished intellectual ability of recent times and earlier are
reported as addicted to passive flagellation; this was the case with

[111] A full bibliography of flagellation would include many hundred
items. The more important works on this subject, in connection with the
sexual impulse, are enumerated by Eulenburg, in his _Sadismus und
Masochismus_. An elaborate history of flagellation generally is now being
written by Georg Collas, _Geschichte des Flagellantismus_, vol. i, 1912.

[112] Löwenfeld, _Ueber die Sexuelle Konstitution_, p. 43.

[113] _Archiv für Kriminal-Anthropologie_, 1909, p. 361. He brings forward
the evidence of a reliable and cultured man who at one time sought to
obtain the pleasures of passive sexual flagellation. But in spite of his
expectation and good will the only result was to disperse every trace of
sexual desire.

[114] E.g., Kiefer, _Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft_, Aug., 1908.

[115] Féré, _Revue de Médecine_, August, 1900. In this paper Féré brings
together many interesting facts concerning flagellation in ancient times.

[116] Schmidt-Heuert (_Monatschrift für Harnkrankheiten_, 1906, ht. 7)
argues that it is not so much the actual use of the rod as playful,
threatening and mysterious suggestions playing around it which nowadays
gives it sexual fascination.

[117] Moll (_Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, Bd. 1, p. 18)
points out that these emotions frequently suffice to cause sexual
emissions in schoolboys.

[118] As Eulenburg truly points out, the circumstances attending the
whipping of a woman may be sexually attractive, even in the absence of any
morbid impulse. Such circumstances are "the sight of naked feminine charms
and especially--in the usual mode of flagellation--of those parts which
possess for the sexual epicure a peculiar esthetic attraction; the idea of
treating a loved, or at all events desired, person as a child, of having
her in complete subjection and being able to dispose of her despotically;
and finally the immediate results of whipping: the changes in skin-color,
the to and fro movements which simulate or anticipate the initial
phenomena of coitus." (Eulenburg, _Sexuale Neuropathie_, p. 121.)

[119] See the article on Udall in the _Dictionary of National Biography_.


The Impulse to Strangle the Object of Sexual Desire--The Wish to be
Strangled--Respiratory Disturbance the Essential Element in this Group of
Phenomena--The Part Played by Respiratory Excitement in the Process of
Courtship--Swinging and Suspension--The Attraction Exerted by the Idea of
being Chained and Fettered.

There is another impulse which it may be worth while to consider briefly
here, for the sake of the light it throws on the relationship between love
and pain. I allude to the impulse to strangle the object of sexual desire,
and to the corresponding craving to be strangled. Cases have been recorded
in which this impulse was so powerful that men have actually strangled
women at the moment of coitus.[120] Such cases are rare; but, as a mere
idea, the thought of strangling a woman appears to be not infrequently
associated with sexual emotion. We must probably regard it as, in the
main,--with whatever subsidiary elements,--an aspect of that physical
seizure, domination, and forcible embrace of the female which is one of
the primitive elements of courtship.[121]

The corresponding idea--the pleasurable connection of the thought of being
strangled with sexual emotion--appears to occur still more frequently,
perhaps especially in women. Here we seem to have, as in the case of
whipping, a combination of a physical with a psychic element. Not only is
the idea attractive, but, as a matter of fact, strangulation, suffocation,
or any arrest of respiration, even when carried to the extent of producing
death, may actually provoke emission, as is observed after death by
hanging.[122] It is noteworthy that, as Eulenburg remarks, the method of
treating diseases of the spinal cord by suspension--a method much in vogue
a few years ago--often produced sexual excitement.[123] In brothels, it is
said, some of the clients desire to be suspended vertically by a cord
furnished with pads.[124] A playful attempt to throttle her on the part of
her lover is often felt by a woman as pleasurable, though it may not
necessarily produce definite sexual excitement. Sometimes, however, this
feeling becomes so strong that it must be regarded as an actual
perversion, and I have been told of a woman who is indifferent to the
ordinary sexual embrace; her chief longing is to be throttled, and she
will do anything to have her neck squeezed by her lover till her eyeballs

    "I think if I could be left my present feelings," a lady writes,
    "and be changed into a male imbecile,--that is, given a man's
    strength, but deprived, to a large extent, of reasoning power,--I
    might very likely act in the apparently cruel way they do. And
    this partly because many of their actions appeal to me on the
    passive side. The idea of being _strangled_ by a person I love
    does. The great sensitiveness of one's throat and neck come in
    here as well as the loss of breath. Once when I was about to be
    separated from a man I cared for I put his hands on my throat and
    implored him to kill me. It was a moment of madness, which helps
    me to understand the feelings of a person always insane. Even now
    that I am cool and collected I know that if I were deeply in love
    with a man who I thought was going to kill me, especially in that
    way, I would make no effort to save myself beforehand, though, of
    course, in the final moments nature would assert herself without
    my volition. What makes the horror of such cases in insanity is
    the fact of the love being left out. But I think I find no
    greater difficulty in picturing the mental attitude of a sadistic
    lunatic than that of a normal man who gets pleasure out of women
    for whom he has no love."

The imagined pleasure of being strangled by a lover brings us to a group
of feelings which would seem to be not unconnected with respiratory
elements. I refer to the pleasurable excitement experienced by some in
suspension, swinging, restraint, and fetters. Strangulation is the extreme
and most decided type of this group of imagined or real situations, in all
of which a respiratory disturbance seems to be an essential element.[126]

In explaining these phenomena we have to remark that respiratory
excitement has always been a conspicuous part of the whole process of
tumescence and detumescence, of the struggles of courtship and of its
climax, and that any restraint upon respiration, or, indeed, any restraint
upon muscular and emotional activity generally, tends to heighten the
state of sexual excitement associated with such activity.

    I have elsewhere, when studying the spontaneous solitary
    manifestation of the sexual instinct (_Auto-erotism_, in vol. i
    of these _Studies_), referred to the pleasurably emotional, and
    sometimes sexual, effects of swinging and similar kinds of
    movement. It is possible that there is a certain significance in
    the frequency with which the eighteenth-century French painters,
    who lived at a time when the refinements of sexual emotion were
    carefully sought out, have painted women in the act of swinging.
    Fragonard mentions that in 1763 a gentleman invited him into the
    country, with the request to paint his mistress, especially
    stipulating that she should be depicted in a swing. The same
    motive was common among the leading artists of that time. It may
    be said that this attitude was merely a pretext to secure a
    vision of ankles, but that result could easily have been attained
    without the aid of the swing.

    I may here quote, as bearing on this and allied questions, a
    somewhat lengthy communication from a lady to whom I am indebted
    for many subtle and suggestive remarks on the whole of this group
    of manifestations:--

    "With regard to the connection between swinging and suspension,
    perhaps the physical basis of it is the loss of breath. Temporary
    loss of breath with me produces excitement. Swinging at a height
    or a fall from a height would cause loss of breath; in a state of
    suspension the imagination would suggest the idea of falling and
    the attendant loss of breath. People suffering from lung disease
    are often erotically inclined, and anesthetics affect the
    breathing. Men also seem to like the idea of suspension, but from
    the active side. One man used to put his wife on a high swinging
    shelf when she displeased him, and my husband told me once he
    would like to suspend me to a crane we were watching at work,
    though I have never mentioned my own feeling on this point to
    him. Suspension is often mentioned in descriptions of torture.
    Beatrice Cenci was hung up by her hair and the recently murdered
    Queen of Korea was similarly treated. In Tolstoi's _My Husband
    and I_ the girl says she would like her husband to hold her over
    a precipice. That passage gave me great pleasure.[127]

    "The idea of slipping off an inclined plane gives me the same
    sensation. I always feel it on seeing Michael Angelo's 'Night,'
    though the slipping look displeases me artistically. I remember
    that when I saw the 'Night' first I did feel excited and was
    annoyed, and it seemed to me it was the slipping-off look that
    gave it; but I think I am now less affected by that idea. Certain
    general ideas seem to excite one, but the particular forms under
    which they are presented lose their effect and have to be varied.
    The sentence mentioned in Tolstoi leaves me now quite cold, but
    if I came across the same idea elsewhere, expressed differently,
    then it would excite me. I am very capricious in the small
    things, and I think women are so more than men. The idea of
    slipping down a plank formerly produced excitement with me; now
    it has a less vivid effect, though the idea of loss of breath
    still produces excitement. The idea of the plank does not now
    affect me unless there is a certain amount of drapery. I think,
    therefore, that the feeling must come in part from the
    possibility of the drapery catching on some roughness of the
    surface of the slope, and so producing pressure on the sexual
    organs. The effect is still produced, however, even without any
    clothing, if the slope is supposed to end in a deep drop, so that
    the idea of falling is strongly presented. I cannot recollect any
    early associations that would tend to explain these feelings,
    except that jumping from a height, which I used frequently to do
    as a child, has a tendency to create excitement.

    "With me, I may add, it is when I cannot express myself, or am
    trying to understand what I feel is beyond my grasp, that the
    first stage of sexual excitement results. For instance, I never
    get excited in thinking over sexual questions, because my ideas,
    correct or incorrect, are fairly clear and definite. But I often
    feel sexually excited over that question of the inheritance of
    acquired characteristics, not because I can't decide between the
    two sets of evidence, but because I don't feel confident of
    having fully grasped the true significance of either. This
    feeling of want of power, mental or physical, always has the same
    effect. I feel it if my eyes are blindfolded or my hands tied. I
    don't like to see the Washington Post dance, in which the man
    stands behind the woman and holds her hands, on that account. If
    he held her wrists the feeling would be stronger, as her apparent
    helplessness would be increased. The nervous irritability that is
    caused by being under restraint seems to manifest itself in that
    way, while in the case of mental disability the excitement, which
    should flow down a mental channel, being checked, seems to take a
    physical course instead.

    "Possibly this would help to explain masochistic sexual feelings.
    A physical cause working in the present would be preferable as an
    explanation to a psychological cause to be traced back through
    heredity to primitive conditions. I believe such feelings are
    very common in men as well as in women, only people do not care
    to admit them, as a rule."

The idea of being chained and fettered appears to be not uncommonly
associated with pleasurable sexual feelings, for I have met with numerous
cases in both men and women, and it not infrequently coexists with a
tendency to inversion. It often arises at a very early age, and it is of
considerable interest because we cannot account for its frequency by any
chance association nor by any actual experiences. It would appear to be a
purely psychic fantasia founded on the elementary physical fact that
restraint of emotion, like suspension, produces a heightening of emotion.
In any case the spontaneous character of such ideas and emotions in
children of both sexes suffices to show that they must possess a very
definite organic basis.

    In one of the histories (X) contained in Appendix B at the end of
    the present volume a lady describes how, as a child, she reveled
    in the idea of being chained and tortured, these ideas appearing
    to rise spontaneously. In another case, that of A.N. (for the
    most part reproduced in "Erotic Symbolism," in vol. v of these
    _Studies_), whose ideals are inverted and who is also affected by
    boot-fetichism, the idea of fetters is very attractive. In this
    case self-excitement was produced at a very early age, without
    the use of the hands, by strapping the legs together. We can,
    however, scarcely explain away the idea of fetters in this case
    as merely the result of an early association, for it may well be
    argued that the idea led to this method of self-excitement. "The
    mere idea of fetters," this subject writes, "produces the
    greatest excitement, and the sight of pictures representing such
    things is a temptation. The reading of books dealing with prison
    life, etc., anywhere where physical restraint is treated of, is a
    temptation. The temptation is aggravated when the picture
    represents the person booted. I suppose all this will have been
    intensified in my case by my practices as a child. But why should
    a child of 6 do such things unless it were a natural instinct in
    him? Nobody showed me; I have never mentioned such things to
    anyone. I used to read historical romances for the pleasure of
    reading of people being put in prison, in fetters, and tortured,
    and always envied them. I feel now that I should like to undergo
    the sensation. If I could get anyone to humor me without losing
    their self-respect, I should jump at the opportunity. I have been
    most powerfully excited by visiting an old Australian
    convict-ship, where all the means of restraint are shown; I have
    been attracted to it night after night, wanting, but not daring
    to ask, to be allowed to have a practical experience."

    Stcherbak, of Warsaw, has recorded a case which resembles that of
    A.N., but there was no inversion and the attraction of fetters
    was active rather than passive; the subject desired to fetter and
    not to be fettered. It is possible that this difference is not
    fundamental, though Stcherbak regards the case as one of
    fetichism of sadistic origin ("Contribution à l'Etude des
    Perversions Sexuelles," _Archives de Neurologie_, Oct., 1907).
    The subject was a highly intelligent though neurasthenic youth,
    who from the age of 5 had been deeply interested in criminals who
    were fettered and sent to prison. The fate of Siberian prisoners
    was a frequent source of prolonged meditations. It was the
    fettering which alone interested him, and he spent much time in
    trying to imagine the feelings of the fettered prisoners, and he
    often imagined that he was himself a prisoner in fetters. (This
    seems to indicate that the impulse was in its origin masochistic
    as much as sadistic, and better described as algolagnia than as
    sadism.) He delighted in stories and pictures of fettered
    persons. At the age of 15 the sex of the fettered person became
    important and he was interested chiefly in fettered women. A new
    element also appeared; he was attracted to well-dressed women and
    especially to those wearing elegant shoes, delighting to imagine
    them fettered. He fastened his own feet together with chains,
    attempting to walk about his room in this condition, but
    experienced comparatively little pleasure in this way. At the age
    of 15 he met a lady 10 years older than himself and of great
    intelligence. As he began to know her more intimately she allowed
    him to take liberties with her; he fastened her hands behind her
    back, and this caused him a violent but delicious emotion which
    he had never experienced before. Next time he fastened her feet
    together as well as her hands; as he did so her shoes slightly
    touched his sexual organs; this caused erection and ejaculation,
    accompanied by the most acute sexual pleasure he had ever felt.
    He had no wish to see her naked or to uncover himself, and as
    long as this relationship lasted he had no abnormal thoughts at
    other times, or in connection with other people. He never
    masturbated, and his sexual dreams were of fettered men or women.
    Stcherbak discusses the case at length and considers that it is
    essentially an example of sadism, on the ground that the impulse
    of fettering was prompted by the desire to humiliate. There is,
    however, no evidence of any such desire, and, as a matter of
    fact, no humiliation was effected. The primary and fundamental
    element in this and similar cases is an almost abstract sexual
    fascination in the idea of restraint, whether endured, inflicted,
    or merely witnessed or imagined; the feet become the chief focus
    of this fascination, and the basis on which a foot-fetichism or
    shoe-fetichism tends to arise, because restraint of the feet
    produces a more marked effect than restraint of the hands.


[120] An attenuated and symbolic form of this impulse is seen in the
desire to strangle birds with the object of stimulating or even satisfying
sexual desire. Prostitutes are sometimes acquainted with men who bring a
live pigeon with them to be strangled just before intercourse. Lanphear,
of St. Louis (_Alienist and Neurologist_, May, 1907, p. 204) knew a woman,
having learned masturbation in a convent school, who was only excited and
not satisfied by coitus with her husband, and had to rise from bed, catch
and caress a chicken, and finally wring its neck, whereupon orgasm

[121] Even young girls, however, may experience pleasure in the playful
attempt to strangle. Thus a lady speaking of herself at the time of
puberty, when she was in the habit of masturbating, writes
(_Sexual-Probleme_, Aug., 1909, p. 636): "I acquired a desire to seize
people, especially girls, by the throat, and I enjoyed their way of
screaming out."

[122] Godard observed that when animals are bled, or felled, as well as
strangled, there is often abundant emission, rich in spermatozoa, but
without erection, though accompanied by the same movements of the tail as
during copulation. Robin (art. "Fécondation," _Dictionnaire Encyclopédique
des Sciences Médicales_), who quotes this observation, has the following
remarks on this subject: "Ejaculation occurring at the moment when the
circulation, maintained artificially, stops is a fact of significance.
It shows how congestive conditions--or inversely anemic
conditions--constitute organic states sufficient to set in movement the
activity of the nerve-centers, as is the case for muscular
contractility.... Everything leads us to believe that at the moment when
the motor nervous action takes place the corresponding sensitive centers
also come into play." It must be added that Minovici, in his elaborate
study of death by hanging ("Etude sur la Pendaison," _Archives
d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, 1905, especially p. 791 et seq.), concludes
that the turgescence of penis and flow of spermatic fluid (sometimes only
prostatic secretion) usually observed in these cases is purely passive and
generally, though not always, of post-mortem occurrence. There is,
therefore, no sexual pleasure in death by hanging, and persons who have
been rescued at the last moment have experienced no voluptuous sensations.
This was so even in the case, referred to by Minovici, of a man who hanged
himself solely with the object of producing sexual pleasure.

[123] Eulenburg, _Sexuale Neuropathie_, p. 114.

[124] Bernaldo de Quirós and Llanos Aguilaniedo (_La Mala Vida en Madrid_,
p. 294) knew the case of a man who found pleasure in lying back on an
inclined couch while a prostitute behind him pulled at a slipknot until he
was nearly suffocated; it was the only way in which he could attain sexual

[125] Arrest of respiration, it may be noted, may accompany strong sexual
excitement, as it may some other emotional states; one recalls passages in
the _Arabian Nights_ in which we are told of ladies who at the sight of a
very beautiful youth "felt their reason leave them, yearned to embrace the
marvelous youth, and _ceased breathing_." Inhibited respiration is indeed,
as Stevens shows ("Study of Attention," _American Journal of Psychology_,
Oct., 1905), a characteristic of all active attention.

[126] The exact part played by the respiration and even the circulation in
constituting emotional states is still not clear, although various
experiments have been made; see, e.g., Angell and Thompson, "A Study of
the Relations between Certain Organic Processes and Consciousness,"
_Psychological Review_, January, 1899. A summary statement of the
relations of the respiration and circulation to emotional states will be
found in Külpe's _Outlines of Psychology_, part i, section 2, § 37.

[127] The words alluded to by my correspondent are as follows: "I needed a
struggle; what I needed was that feeling should guide life, and not that
life should guide feeling. I wanted to go with him to the edge of an abyss
and say: 'Here a step and I will throw myself over; and here a motion and
I have gone to destruction'; and for him, turning pale, to seize me in his
strong arms, hold me back over it till my heart grew cold within me, and
then carry me away wherever he pleased." The whole of the passage in which
these lines occur is of considerable psychological interest. In one
English translation the story is entitled _Family Happiness_.


Pain, and Not Cruelty, the Essential Element in Sadism and Masochism--Pain
Felt as Pleasure--Does the Sadist Identify Himself with the Feelings of
his Victim?--The Sadist often a Masochist in Disguise--The Spectacle of
Pain or Struggle as a Sexual Stimulant.

In the foregoing rapid survey of the great group of manifestations in
which the sexual emotions come into intimate relationship with pain, it
has become fairly clear that the ordinary division between "sadism" and
"masochism," convenient as these terms may be, has a very slight
correspondence with facts. Sadism and masochism may be regarded as
complementary emotional states; they cannot be regarded as opposed
states.[128] Even De Sade himself, we have seen, can scarcely be regarded
as a pure sadist. A passage in one of his works expressing regret that
sadistic feeling is rare among women, as well as his definite recognition
of the fact that the suffering of pain may call forth voluptuous emotions,
shows that he was not insensitive to the charm of masochistic experience,
and it is evident that a merely blood-thirsty vampire, sane or insane,
could never have retained, as De Sade retained, the undying devotion of
two women so superior in heart and intelligence as his wife and
sister-in-law. Had De Sade possessed any wanton love of cruelty, it would
have appeared during the days of the Revolution, when it was safer for a
man to simulate blood-thirstiness, even if he did not feel it, than to
show humanity. But De Sade distinguished himself at that time not merely
by his general philanthropic activities, but by saving from the scaffold,
at great risk to himself, those who had injured him. It is clear that,
apart from the organically morbid twist by which he obtained sexual
satisfaction in his partner's pain,--a craving which was, for the most
part, only gratified in imaginary visions developed to an inhuman extent
under the influence of solitude,--De Sade was simply, to those who knew
him, "_un aimable mauvais sujet_" gifted with exceptional intellectual
powers. Unless we realize this we run the risk of confounding De Sade and
his like with men of whom Judge Jeffreys was the sinister type.

It is necessary to emphasize this point because there can be no doubt that
De Sade is really a typical instance of the group of perversions he
represents, and when we understand that it is pain only, and not cruelty,
that is the essential in this group of manifestations we begin to come
nearer to their explanation. The masochist desires to experience pain, but
he generally desires that it should be inflicted in love; the sadist
desires to inflict pain, but in some cases, if not in most, he desires
that it should be felt as love. How far De Sade consciously desired that
the pain he sought to inflict should be felt as pleasure it may not now be
possible to discover, except by indirect inference, but the confessions of
sadists show that such a desire is quite commonly essential.

    I am indebted to a lady for the following communication on the
    foregoing aspect of this question: "I believe that, when a person
    takes pleasure in inflicting pain, he or she imagines himself or
    herself in the victim's place. This would account for the
    transmutability of the two sets of feelings. This might be
    particularly so in the case of men. A man may not care to lower
    his dignity and vanity by putting himself in subjection to a
    woman, and he might fear she would feel contempt for him. By
    subduing her and subjecting her to passive restraint he would
    preserve, even enhance, his own power and dignity, while at the
    same time obtaining a reflected pleasure from what he imagined
    she was feeling.

    "I think that when I get pleasure out of the idea of subduing
    another it is this reflected pleasure I get. And if this is so
    one could thus feel more kindly to persons guilty of cruelty,
    which has hitherto always seemed the one unpardonable sin. Even
    criminals, if it is true that they are themselves often very
    insensitive, may, in the excitement of the moment, imagine that
    they are only inflicting trifling pain, as it would be to them,
    and that their victim's feelings are really pleasurable. The men
    I have known most given to inflicting pain are all particularly
    tender-hearted when their passions are not in question. I cannot
    understand how (as in a case mentioned by Krafft-Ebing) a man
    could find any pleasure in binding a girl's hands except by
    imagining what he supposed were her feelings, though he would
    probably be unconscious that he put himself in her place.

    "As a child I exercised a good deal of authority and influence
    over my youngest sister. It used to give me considerable pleasure
    to be somewhat arbitrary and severe with her, but, though I never
    admitted it to myself or to her, I knew instinctively that she
    took pleasure in my treatment. I used to give her childish
    lessons, over which I was very strict. I invented catechisms and
    chapters of the Bible in which elder sisters were exhorted to
    keep their juniors under discipline, and younger sisters were
    commanded to give implicit submission and obedience. Some parts
    of the _Imitation_ lent themselves to this sort of parody, which
    never struck me as in any way irreverent. I used to give her
    arbitrary orders to 'exercise her in obedience,' as I told her,
    and I used to punish her if she disobeyed me. In all this I was,
    _though only half consciously_, guided through my own feelings as
    to what I should have liked in her place. For instance, I would
    make her put down her playthings and come and repeat a lesson;
    but, though she was in appearance having her will subdued to
    mine, I always chose a moment when I foresaw she would soon be
    tired of play. There was sufficient resistance to make restraint
    pleasurable, not enough to render it irksome. In my punishments I
    acted on a similar principle. I used to tie her hands behind her
    (like the man in Krafft-Ebing's case), but only for a few
    moments; I once shut her in a sort of cupboard-room, also for a
    very short time. On two or three occasions I completely undressed
    her, made her lie down on the bed, tied her hands and feet to the
    bedstead, and gave her a slight whipping. I did not wish to hurt
    her, only to inflict just enough pain to produce the desire to
    move or resist. _My pleasure, a very keen one, came from the
    imagined excitement produced by the thwarting of this desire_.
    (Are not your own words--that 'emotion' is 'motion in a more or
    less arrested form'--an epigrammatic summary of all this, though
    in a somewhat different connection?) I did not undress her from
    any connection of nakedness with sexual feeling, but simply to
    enhance her feeling of helplessness and defenselessness under my
    hands. If I were a man and the woman I loved were refractory I
    should undress her before finding fault with her. A woman's dress
    symbolizes to her the protection civilization affords to the weak
    and gives her a fictitious strength. Naked, she is face to face
    with primitive conditions, her weakness opposed to the man's
    power. Besides, the sense of shame at being naked under the eyes
    of a man who regarded her with displeasure would extend itself to
    her offense and give him a distinct, though perhaps unfair,
    advantage. I used the bristle side of a brush to chastise her
    with, as suggesting the greatest amount of severity with the
    least possible pain. In fact, my idea was to produce the maximum
    of emotion with the minimum of actual discomfort.

    "You must not, however, suppose that at the time I reasoned about
    it at all in this way. I was very fond of her, and honestly
    believed I was doing it for her good. Had I realized then, as I
    do now, that my sole aim and object was physical pleasure, I
    believe my pleasure would have ceased; in any case I should not
    have felt justified in so treating her. Do I at all persuade you
    that my pleasure was a reflection of hers? That it was, I think,
    is clear from the fact that I only obtained it when she was
    willing to submit. Any _real_ resistance or signs that I was
    overpassing the boundary of pleasure in her and urging on pain
    without excitement caused me to desist and my own pleasure to

    "I disclaim all altruism in my dealings with my sister. What
    occurs appears to me to be this: A situation appeals to one in
    imagination and one at once desires to transfer it to the realms
    of fact, being one's self one of the principal actors. If it is
    the passive side which appeals to one, one would prefer to be
    passive; but if that is not obtainable then one takes the active
    part as next best. In either case, however, it is _the
    realization of the imagined situation_ that gives the pleasure,
    not the other person's pleasure as such, although his or her
    supposed pleasure creates the situation. If I were a man it would
    afford me great delight to hold a woman over a precipice, even if
    she disliked it. The idea appeals to me so strongly that I could
    not help _imagining_ her pleasure, though I might _know_ she got
    none, and even though she made every demonstration of fear and
    dislike of it. The situation so often imagined would have become
    a fact. It seems to me I have to say a thing is and is not in the
    same breath, but the confusion is only in the words.

    "Let me give you another example: I have a tame pigeon which has
    a great affection for me. It sits on my shoulder and squats down
    with its wings out as birds do when courting, pecking me to make
    me take notice of it, and flickering its wings. I like to hold it
    so that it can't move its wings, because I imagine this increases
    its excitement. If it struggles, or seems to dislike my holding
    it, I let it go.

    "In an early engagement (afterward broken off) my _fiancé_ used
    to take an evident pleasure in telling me how he would punish me
    if I disobeyed him when we were married. Though we had but little
    in common mentally, I was frequently struck with the similarity
    between his ideas and what my own had been in regard to my
    sister. He used his authority over me most capriciously. On one
    occasion he would not let me have any supper at a dance. On
    another he objected to my drinking black coffee. No day passed
    without a command or prohibition on some trifling point. Whenever
    he saw, though, that I really disliked the interference or made
    any decided resistance, which happened very seldom, he let me
    have my own way at once. I cannot but think, when I recall the
    various circumstances, that he got a certain pleasure, as I had
    done with my sister, by an almost unconscious transference of my
    feelings to himself.

    "I find, too, that, when I want a man to say or do to me what
    would cause me pleasure and he does not gratify me, I feel an
    intense longing to change places, to be the man and make him, as
    the woman, feel what I want to feel. Combined with this is a
    sense of irritation at not being gratified and a desire to punish
    him for my deprivation, for his stupidity in not saying or doing
    the right thing. I don't feel any anger at a man not caring for
    me, but only for not divining my feelings when he does care.

    "Now let me take another case: that of the man who used to
    experience pleasure when surprising a woman making water. (Cf.
    _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, Nov. 15, 1900.) Here the
    woman's embarrassment appears to be a factor; but it seems to me
    there must be more than this, as confusion might be produced in
    so many other ways, as if she were found bathing, or undressed,
    though it might not be so acute. In reality, I fancy she would be
    checked in what she was doing, and that the man, perhaps
    unconsciously, imagined this check and a resulting excitement.
    That such a check does sometimes produce excitement I know from
    experience in traveling. If the bladder is not emptied before
    connection the pleasure is often more intense. Long before I
    understood these things at all I was struck by this quotation:
    'Cette volupté que ressentent les bords de la mer, d'être
    toujours pleins sans jamais déborder?' What would be the effect
    on a man of a sudden check at the supreme moment of sexual
    pleasure? In reality, I suppose, pain, as the nerves would be at
    their full tension and unable to respond to any further stimulus;
    but, in imagination, one's nerves are _not_ at their highest
    tension, and one imagines an increase or, at any rate, a
    prolongation of the pleasurable sensations. Something of all
    this, some vague _reflection_ of the woman's possible sensations,
    seems to enter in the man's feelings in surprising the woman. In
    any case his pleasure in her confusion seems to me a reflection
    of her feelings, for the sense of shame and embarrassment before
    a man is very exciting, and doubly so if one realizes that the
    man enjoys it. Ouida speaks of the 'delicious shame' experienced
    by 'Folle Farine.'

    "It seems to me that whenever we are affected by another's
    emotion we do practically, though unconsciously, put ourselves in
    his place; but we are not always able to gauge accurately its
    intensity or to allow for differences between ourselves and
    another, and, in the case of pain, it is doubly difficult, as we
    can never recall the pain itself, but only the mental effects
    upon us of the pain. We cannot even recall the feeling of heat
    when we are cold, or _vice versâ_, with any degree of vividness.

    "A woman tells me of a man who frequently asks her if she would
    not like him to whip her. He is greatly disappointed when she
    says she gets no pleasure from it, as it would give him so much
    to do it. He cannot believe she experiences none, because he
    would enjoy being whipped so keenly if he were a girl. In another
    case the man thinks the woman _must_ enjoy suffering, _because_
    he would get intense pleasure from inflicting it! Why is this,
    unless he would like it if a woman, and confuses in his mind the
    two personalities? All the men I know who are sadistically
    inclined admit that if they were women they would like to be
    harshly treated.

    "Of course, I quite see there may be many complications; a man's
    natural anger at resistance may come in, and also simple, not
    sexual, pleasure in acts of crushing, etc. I always feel inclined
    to crush anything very soft or a person with very pretty thick
    hair, to rub together two shining surfaces, two bits of satin,
    etc., apart from any feelings of excitement. My explanation only
    refers to that part of sadism which is sexual enjoyment of
    another's pain."

    That the foregoing view holds good as regards the traces of
    sadism found within the normal limits of sexual emotion has
    already been stated. We may also believe that it is true in many
    genuinely perverse cases. In this connection reference may be
    made to an interesting case, reported by Moll, of a married lady
    23 years of age, with pronounced sadistic feelings. She belongs
    to a normal family and is herself apparently quite healthy, a
    tall and strongly built person, of feminine aspect, fond of music
    and dancing, of more than average intelligence. Her perverse
    inclinations commenced obscurely about the age of 14, when she
    began to be dominated by the thought of the pleasure it would be
    to strike and torture a man, but were not clearly defined until
    the age of 18, while at an early age she was fond of teasing and
    contradicting men, though she never experienced the same impulse
    toward women. She has never, except in a very slight degree,
    actually carried her ideas into practice, either with her husband
    or anyone else, being restrained, she says, by a feeling of
    shame. Coitus, though frequently practised, gives her no
    pleasure, seems, indeed, somewhat disgusting to her, and has
    never produced orgasm. Her own ideas, also, though very
    pleasurable to her, have not produced definite sexual excitement,
    except on two or three occasions, when they had been combined
    with the influence of alcohol. She frankly regrets that modern
    social relationship makes it impossible for her to find sexual
    satisfaction in the only way in which such satisfaction would be
    possible to her.

    Her chief delight would be to torture the man she was attached to
    in every possible way; to inflict physical pain and mental pain
    would give her equal pleasure. "I would bite him till the blood
    came, as I have often done to my husband. At that moment all
    sympathy for him would disappear." She frequently identifies her
    imaginary lover with a real man to whom she feels that she could
    be much more attracted than she is to her husband. She imagines
    to herself that she makes appointments with this lover, and that
    she reaches the rendezvous in her carriage, but only after her
    lover has been waiting for her a very long time in the cold. Then
    he must feel all her power, he must be her slave with no will of
    his own, and she would torture him with various implements as
    seemed good to her. She would use a rod, a riding-whip, bind him
    and chain him, and so on. But it is to be noted that she declares
    "_this could, in general, only give me enjoyment if the man
    concerned endured such torture with a certain pleasure_. He must,
    indeed, writhe with pain, but at the same time be in a state of
    sexual ecstasy, followed by satisfaction." His pleasure must not,
    however, be so great that it overwhelms his pain; if it did, her
    own pleasure would vanish, and she has found witty her husband
    that when in kissing him her bites have given him much pleasure
    she has at once refrained.

    It is further noteworthy that only the pain she herself had
    inflicted would give her pleasure. If the lover suffered pain
    from an accident or a wound she is convinced that she would be
    full of sympathy for him. Outside her special sexual perversion
    she is sympathetic and very generous. (Moll, _Konträre
    Sexualempfindung_, 1899, pp. 507-510.)

    This case is interesting as an uncomplicated example of almost
    purely ideal sadism. It is interesting to note the feelings of
    the sadist subject toward her imaginary lover's feelings. It is
    probably significant that, while his pleasure is regarded as
    essential, his pain is regarded as even more essential, and the
    resulting apparent confusion may well be of the very essence of
    the whole phenomenon. The pleasure of the imaginary lover must be
    secured or the manifestation passes out of the sexual sphere; but
    his pleasure must, at all costs, be conciliated with his pain,
    for in the sadist's eyes the victim's pain has become a vicarious
    form of sexual emotion. That, at the same time, the sadist
    desires to give pleasure rather than pain finds confirmation in
    the fact that he often insists on pleasure being feigned even
    though it is not felt. Some years ago a rich Jewish merchant
    became notorious for torturing girls with whom he had
    intercourse; his performances acquired for him the title of
    "_l'homme qui pique_," and led to his prosecution. It was his
    custom to spend some hours in sticking pins into various parts of
    the girl's body, but it was essential that she should wear a
    smiling face throughout the proceedings. (Hamon, _La France
    Sociale et Politique_, 1891, p. 445 et seq.)

We have thus to recognize that sadism by no means involves any love of
inflicting pain outside the sphere of sexual emotion, and is even
compatible with a high degree of general tender-heartedness. We have also
to recognize that even within the sexual sphere the sadist by no means
wishes to exclude the victim's pleasure, and may even regard that pleasure
as essential to his own satisfaction. We have, further, to recognize that,
in view of the close connection between sadism and masochism, it is highly
probable that in some cases the sadist is really a disguised masochist and
enjoys his victim's pain because he identifies himself with that pain.

But there is a further group of cases, and a very important group, on
account of the light it throws on the essential nature of these phenomena,
and that is the group in which the thought or the spectacle of pain acts
as a sexual stimulant, without the subject identifying himself clearly
either with the inflicter or the sufferer of the pain. Such cases are
sometimes classed as sadistic; but this is incorrect, for they might just
as truly be called masochistic. The term algolagnia might properly be
applied to them (and Eulenburg now classes them as "ideal algolagnia"),
for they reveal an undifferentiated connection between sexual excitement
and pain not developed into either active or passive participation. Such
feelings may arise sporadically in persons in whom no sadistic or
masochistic perversion can be said to exist, though they usually appear in
individuals of neurotic temperament. Casanova describes an instance of
this association which came immediately under his own eyes at the torture
and execution of Damiens in 1757.[129] W.G. Stearns knew a man (having
masturbated and had intercourse to excess) who desired to see his wife
delivered of a child, and finally became impotent without this idea. He
witnessed many deliveries and especially obtained voluptuous gratification
at the delivery of a primipara when the suffering was greatest.[130] A
very trifling episode may, however, suffice. In one case known to me a
man, neither sadistic nor masochistic in his tendencies, when sitting
looking out of his window saw a spider come out of its hole to capture and
infold a fly which had just been caught in its web; as he watched the
process he became conscious of a powerful erection, an occurrence which
had never taken place under such circumstances before.[131] Under favoring
conditions some incident of this kind at an early age may exert a decisive
influence on the sexual life. Tambroni, of Ferrara, records the case of a
boy of 11 who first felt voluptuous emotions on seeing in an illustrated
journal the picture of a man trampling on his daughter; ever afterward he
was obliged to evoke this image in masturbation or coitus.[132] An
instructive case has been recorded by Féré. In this case a lady of
neurotic heredity on one side, and herself liable to hysteria, experienced
her first sexual crisis at the age of 13, not long after menstruation had
become established, and when she had just recovered from an attack of
chorea. Her old nurse, who had remained in the service of the family, had
a ne'er-do-well son who had disappeared for some years and had just now
suddenly returned and thrown himself, crying and sobbing, at the knees of
his mother, who thrust him away. The young girl accidentally witnessed
this scene. The cries and the sobs provoked in her a sexual excitement she
had never experienced before. She rushed away in surprise to the next
room, where, however, she could still hear the sobs, and soon she was
overcome by a sexual orgasm. She was much troubled at this occurrence, and
at the attraction which she now experienced for a man she had never seen
before and whom she had always looked upon as a worthless vagabond.
Shortly afterward she had an erotic dream concerning a man who sobbed at
her knees. Later she again saw the nurse's son, but was agreeably
surprised to find that, though a good-looking youth, he no longer caused
her any emotion, and he disappeared from her mind, though the erotic
dreams concerning an unknown sobbing man still occurred rather frequently.
During the next ten years she suffered from various disorders of more or
less hysterical character, and, although not disinclined to the idea of
marriage, she refused all offers, for no man attracted her. At the age of
23, when staying in the Pyrenees, she made an excursion into Spain, and
was present at a bull-fight. She was greatly excited by the charges of the
bull, especially when the charge was suddenly arrested.[133] She felt no
interest in any of the men who took part in the performance or were
present; no man was occupying her imagination. But she experienced sexual
sensations and accompanying general exhilaration, which were highly
agreeable. After one bull had charged successively several times the
orgasm took place. She considered the whole performance barbarous, but
could not resist the desire to be present at subsequent bull-fights, a
desire several times gratified, always with the same results, which were
often afterward repeated in dreams. From that time she began to take an
interest in horse-races, which she now found produced the same effect,
though not to the same degree, especially when there was a fall. She
subsequently married, but never experienced sexual satisfaction except
under these abnormal circumstances or in dreams.[134]

As the foregoing case indicates, horses, and especially running or
struggling horses, sometimes have the same effect in stimulating the
sexual emotions, especially on persons predisposed by neurotic heredity,
as we have found that the spectacle of pain possesses. A medical
correspondent in New Zealand tells me of a patient of his own, a young
carpenter of 26, not in good health, who had never masturbated or had
connection with a woman. He lived in a room overlooking a livery-stable
yard where was kept, among other animals, a large black horse. Nearly
every night he had a dream in which he seemed to be pursuing this large
black horse, and when he caught it, which he invariably did, there was a
copious emission. A holiday in the country and tonic treatment dispelled
the dreams and reduced the nocturnal emissions to normal frequency. Féré
has recorded a case of a boy, of neuropathic heredity, who, when 14 years
of age, was one day about to practise mutual masturbation with another boy
of his own age. They were seated on a hillside overlooking a steep road,
and at this moment a heavy wagon came up the road drawn by four horses,
which struggled painfully up, encouraged by the cries and the whip of the
driver. This sight increased the boy's sexual excitement, which reached
its climax when one of the horses suddenly fell. He had never before
experienced such intense excitement, and always afterward a similar
spectacle of struggling horses produced a similar effect.[135]

In this connection reference may be made to the frequency with which
dreams of struggling horses occur in connection with disturbance or
disease of the heart. In such cases it is clear that the struggling horses
seem to dream-consciousness to embody and explain the panting struggles to
which the heart is subjected. They become, as it were, a visual symbol of
the cardiac oppression. In much the same way, it would appear, under the
influence of sexual excitement, in which cardiac disturbance is one of the
chief constituent elements, the struggling horses became a sexual symbol,
and, having attained that position, they are henceforth alone adequate to
produce sexual excitement.


[128] This opinion appears to be in harmony with the conclusions of
Eulenburg, who has devoted special study to De Sade, and points out that
the ordinary conception of "sadism" is much too narrow. (Eulenburg,
_Sexuale Neuropathie_, 1895, p. 110 et seq.)

[129] Casanova, _Mémoires_, vol. viii, pp. 74-76. Goncourt in his
_Journal_, under date of April, 1862 (vol. ii, p. 27), tells a story of an
Englishman who engaged a room overlooking a scaffold where a murderer was
to be hanged, proposing to take a woman with him and to avail himself of
the excitement aroused by the scene. This scheme was frustrated by the
remission of the death penalty.

[130] _Alienist and Neurologist_, May, 1907, p. 204.

[131] This spectacle of the spider and the fly seems indeed to be
specially apt to exert a sexual influence. I have heard of a precisely
similar case in a man of intellectual distinction, and another in a lady
who acknowledged to a feeling of "exquisite pleasure," on one occasion, at
the mere sound of the death agony of a fly in a spider's web.

[132] Quoted by Obici and Marchesini, _Le Amicizie di Collegio_, p. 245.

[133] It may be noted that we have already several times encountered this
increase of excitement produced by arrest of movement. The effect is
produced whether the arrest is witnessed or is actually experienced. "A
man can increase a woman's excitement," a lady writes, "by forbidding her
to respond in any way to his caresses. It is impossible to remain quite
passive for more than a few seconds, but, during these few, excitement is
considerably augmented." In a similar way I have been told of a man of
brilliant intellectual ability who very seldom has connection with a woman
without getting her to compress with her hand the base of the urethral
canal to such an extent as to impede the passage of the semen. On
withdrawal of the hand copious emission occurs, but it is the shock of the
arrest caused by the constriction which gives him supreme pleasure. He has
practised this method for years without evil results.

[134] Féré, "Le Sadisme aux Courses de Taureaux," _Revue de médecine_,
August, 1900.

[135] Féré, _L'Instinct sexuel_, p. 255.


Why is Pain a Sexual Stimulant?--It is the Most Effective Method of
Arousing Emotion--Anger and Fear the Most Powerful Emotions--Their
Biological Significance in Courtship--Their General and Special Effects in
Stimulating the Organism--Grief as a Sexual Stimulant--The Physiological
Mechanism of Fatigue Renders Pain Pleasurable.

We have seen that the distinction between "sadism" and "masochism" cannot
be maintained; not only was even De Sade himself something of a masochist
and Sacher-Masoch something of a sadist, but between these two extreme
groups of phenomena there is a central group in which the algolagnia is
neither active nor passive. "Sadism" and "masochism" are simply convenient
clinical terms for classes of manifestations which quite commonly occur in
the same person. We have further found that--as might have been
anticipated in view of the foregoing result--it is scarcely correct to use
the word "cruelty" in connection with the phenomena we have been
considering. The persons who experience these impulses usually show no
love of cruelty outside the sphere of sexual emotion; they may even be
very intolerant of cruelty. Even when their sexual impulses come into play
they may still desire to secure the pleasure of the persons who arouse
their sexual emotions, even though it may not be often true that those who
desire to inflict pain at these moments identify themselves with the
feelings of those on whom they inflict it. We have thus seen that when we
take a comprehensive survey of all these phenomena a somewhat general
formula will alone cover them. Our conclusion so far must be that under
certain abnormal circumstances pain, more especially the mental
representation of pain, acts as a powerful sexual stimulant.

The reader, however, who has followed the discussion to this point will be
prepared to take the next and final step in our discussion and to reach a
more definite conclusion. The question naturally arises: By what process
does pain or its mental representation thus act as a sexual stimulant? The
answer has over and over again been suggested by the facts brought forward
in this study. Pain acts as a sexual stimulant because it is the most
powerful of all methods for arousing emotion.

The two emotions most intimately associated with pain are anger and fear.
The more masculine and sthenic emotion of anger, the more passive and
asthenic emotion of fear, are the fundamental animal emotions through
which, on the psychic side, the process of natural selection largely
works. Every animal in some degree owes its survival to the emotional
reaction of anger against weaker rivals, to the emotional reaction of fear
against stronger rivals. To this cause we owe it that these two emotions
are so powerfully and deeply rooted in the whole zoölogical series to
which we belong. But anger and fear are not less fundamental in the sexual
life. Courtship on the male's part is largely a display of combativity,
and even the very gestures by which the male seeks to appeal to the female
are often those gestures of angry hostility by which he seeks to
intimidate enemies. On the female's part courtship is a skillful
manipulation of her own fears, and, as we have seen elsewhere, when
studying the phenomena of modesty, that fundamental attitude of the female
in courtship is nothing but an agglomeration of fears.

    The biological significance of the emotions is now well
    recognized. "In general," remarks one of the shrewdest writers on
    animal psychology, "we may say that emotional states are, under
    natural conditions, closely associated with behavior of
    biological value--with tendencies that are beneficial in
    self-preservation and race preservation--with actions that
    promote survival, and especially with the behavior which clusters
    round the pairing and parental instincts. The value of the
    emotions in animals is that they are an indirect means of
    furthering survival." (Lloyd Morgan, _Animal Behavior_, p. 293.)
    Emotional aptitudes persist not only by virtue of the fact that
    they are still beneficial, but because they once were; that is to
    say, they may exist as survivals. In this connection I may quote
    from a suggestive paper on "Teasing and Bullying," by F.L. Burk;
    at the conclusion of this study, which is founded on a large
    body of data concerning American children, the author asks:
    "Accepting for the moment the theories of Spencer and Ribot upon
    the transmission of rudimentary instincts, is it possible that
    the movements which comprise the chief elements of bullying,
    teasing, and the egotistic impulses in general of the classes
    cited--pursuing, throwing down, punching, striking, throwing
    missiles, etc.--are, from the standpoint of consciousness, broken
    neurological fragments, which are parts of old chains of activity
    involved in the pursuit, combat, capture, torture, and killing of
    men and enemies?... Is not this hypothesis of transmitted
    fragments of instincts in accord with the strangely anomalous
    fact that children are at one moment seemingly cruel and at the
    next affectionate and kind, vibrating, as it were, between two
    worlds, egotistic and altruistic, without conscious sense of
    incongruity?" (F.L. Burk, "Teasing and Bullying," _Pedagogical
    Seminary_, April, 1897.)

    The primitive connection of the special emotions of anger and
    fear with the sexual impulse has been well expressed by Colin
    Scott in his remarkable study of "Sex and Art": "If the higher
    forms of courting are based on combat, among the males at least
    anger must be intimately associated with love. And below both of
    these lies the possibility of fear. In combat the animal is
    defeated who is first afraid. Competitive exhibition of prowess
    will inspire the less able birds with a deterring fear. Young
    grouse and woodcock do not enter the lists with the older birds,
    and sing very quietly. It is the same with the very oldest birds.
    Audubon says that the old maids and bachelors of the Canada goose
    move off by themselves during the courting of the younger birds.
    In order to succeed in love, fear must be overcome in the male as
    well as in the female. Courage is the essential male virtue, love
    is its outcome and reward. The strutting, crowing, dancing, and
    singing of male birds and the preliminary movements generally of
    animals must gorge the neuromotor and muscular systems with blood
    and put them in better fighting trim. The effects of this upon
    the feelings of the animal himself must be very great. Hereditary
    tendencies swell his heart. He has 'the joy that warriors feel.'
    He becomes regardless of danger, and sometimes almost oblivious
    of his surroundings. This intense passionateness must react
    powerfully on the whole system, and more particularly on those
    parts which are capable, such as the brain, of using up a great
    surplus of blood, and on the naturally erethic functions of sex.
    The flood of anger or fighting instinct is drained off by the
    sexual desires, the antipathy of the female is overcome, and
    sexual union successfully ensues.... Courting and combat shade
    into one another, courting tending to take the place of the more
    basal form of combat. The passions which thus come to be
    associated with love are those of fear and anger, both of which,
    by arousing the whole nature and stimulating the nutritive
    sources from which they flow, come to increase the force of the
    sexual passion to which they lead up and in which they culminate
    and are absorbed," (Colin Scott, "Sex and Art," _American Journal
    of Psychology_, vol. vii, No. 2, pp. 170 and 215.)

    It must be remembered that fear is an element liable to arise in
    all courtship on one side or the other. It is usually on the side
    of the female, but not invariably. Among spiders, for instance,
    it is usually the male who feels fear, and very reasonably, for
    he is much weaker than the female. "Courtship by the male spider"
    says T.H. Montgomery ("The Courtship of Araneads," _American
    Naturalist_, March, 1910, p. 166), "results from a combination of
    the state of desire for and fear of the female." It is by his
    movements of fear that he advertises himself to the female as a
    male, and it is by the same movements that he is unconsciously
    impelled to display prominently his own ornamentation.

We are thus brought to those essential facts of primitive courtship with
which we started. But we are now able to understand more clearly how it is
that alien emotional states became abnormally associated with the sexual
life. Normally the sexual impulse is sufficiently reinforced by the
ordinary active energies of the organism which courtship itself arouses,
energies which, while they may be ultimately in part founded on anger and
fear, rarely allow these emotions to be otherwise than latent. Motion, it
may be said, is more prominent than emotion.

Even normally a stimulant to emotional activities is pleasurable, just as
motion itself is pleasurable. It may even be useful, as was noted long ago
by Erasmus Darwin; he tells of a friend of his who, when painfully
fatigued by riding, would call up ideas arousing indignation, and thus
relieve the fatigue, the indignation, as Darwin pointed out, increasing
muscular activity.[136]

It is owing to this stimulating action that discomfort, even pain, may be
welcomed on account of the emotional waves they call up, because they
"lash into movement the dreary calm of the sea's soul," and produce that
alternation of pain and enjoyment for which Faust longed. Groos, who
recalls this passage in his very thorough and profound discussion of the
region wherein tragedy has its psychological roots, points out that it is
the overwhelming might of the storm itself, and not the peace of calm
after the storm, which appeals to us. In the same way, he observes, even
surprise and shock may also be pleasurable, and fear, though the most
depressing of emotional states, by virtue of the joy produced by strong
stimuli is felt as attractive; we not only experience an impulse of
pleasure in dominating our environment, but also have pleasure in being
dominated and rendered helpless by a higher power.[137] Hirn, again, in
his work on the origins of art, has an interesting chapter on "The
Enjoyment of Pain," a phenomenon which he explains by its resultant
reactions in increase of outward activity, of motor excitement. Anger, he
observes elsewhere, is "in its active stage a decidedly pleasurable
emotion. Fear, which in its initial stage is paralyzing and depressing,
often changes in time when the first shock has been relieved by motor
reaction.... Anger, fear, sorrow, notwithstanding their distinctly painful
initial stage, are often not only not avoided, but even deliberately

In the ordinary healthy organism, however, although the stimulants of
strong emotion may be vaguely pleasurable, they do not have more than a
general action on the sexual sphere, nor are they required for the due
action of the sexual mechanism. But in a slightly abnormal
organism--whether the anomaly is due to a congenital neuropathic
condition, or to a possibly acquired neurasthenic condition, or merely to
the physiological inadequacy of childhood or old age--the balance of
nervous energy is less favorable for the adequate play of the ordinary
energies in courtship. The sexual impulse is itself usually weaker, even
when, as often happens, its irritability assumes the fallacious appearance
of strength. It has become unusually sensitive to unusual stimuli and
also, it is possible,--perhaps as a result of those conditions,--more
liable to atavistic manifestations. An organism in this state becomes
peculiarly apt to seize on the automatic sources of energy generated by
emotion. The parched sexual instinct greedily drinks up and absorbs the
force it obtains by applying abnormal stimuli to its emotional apparatus.
It becomes largely, if not solely, dependent on the energy thus secured.
The abnormal organism in this respect may become as dependent on anger or
fear, and for the same reason, as in other respects it may become
dependent on alcohol.

We see the process very well illustrated by the occasional action of the
emotion of anger. In animals the connection between love and anger is so
close that even normally, as Groos points out, in some birds the sight of
an enemy may call out the gestures of courtship.[139] As Krafft-Ebing
remarks, both love and anger "seek their object, try to possess themselves
of it, and naturally exhaust themselves in a physical effect on it; both
throw the psychomotor sphere into the most intense excitement, and by
means of this excitement reach their normal expression."[140] Féré has
well remarked that the impatience of desire may itself be regarded as a
true state of anger, and Stanley Hall, in his admirable study of anger,
notes that "erethism of the breasts or sexual parts" was among the
physical manifestations of anger occurring in some of his cases, and in
one case a seminal emission accompanied every violent outburst.[141] Thus
it is that anger may be used to reinforce a weak sexual impulse, and
cases have been recorded in which coitus could only be performed when the
man had succeeded in working himself up into an artificial state of
anger.[142] On the other hand, Féré has recorded a case in which the
sexual excitement accompanying delayed orgasm was always transformed into
anger, though without any true sadistic manifestations.[143]

As a not unexpected complementary phenomenon to this connection of anger
and sexual emotion in the male, it is sometimes found that the spectacle
of masculine anger excites pleasurable emotion in women. The case has been
recorded of a woman who delighted in arousing anger for the pleasure it
gave her, and who advised another woman to follow her example and excite
her husband's anger, as nothing was so enjoyable as to see a man in a fury
of rage[144]; Lombroso mentions a woman who was mostly frigid, but
experienced sexual feelings when she heard anyone swearing; and a medical
friend tells me of a lady considerably past middle age who experienced
sexual erethism after listening to a heated argument between her husband
and a friend on religious topics. The case has also been recorded of a
masochistic man who found sexual satisfaction in masturbating while a
woman, by his instructions, addressed him in the lowest possible terms of
abuse.[145] Such a feeling doubtless underlies that delight in teasing men
which is so common among young women. Stanley Hall, referring to the
almost morbid dread of witnessing manifestations of anger felt by many
women, remarks: "In animals, females are often described as watching with
complacency the conflict of rival males for their possession, and it seems
probable that the intense horror of this state, which many females
report, is associated more or less unconsciously with the sexual rage
which has followed it."[146] The dread may well be felt at least as much
as regards the emotional state in themselves as in the males.

Even when the emotion aroused is disgust it may still act as a sexual
stimulant. Stcherbak has narrated the instructive case of a very
intelligent and elegant married lady of rather delicate constitution, an
artist of some talent, who never experienced any pleasure in sexual
intercourse, but ever since sexual feelings first began to be manifested
at all (at the age of 18) has only experienced them in relation to
disgusting things. Anything that is repulsive, like vomit, etc., causes
vague but pleasurable feelings which she gradually came to recognize as
sexual. The sight of a crushed frog will cause very definite sexual
sensations. She has had many admirers and she has observed that a
declaration of love by a disagreeable or even repulsive man sexually
excites her, though she has no desire for sexual intercourse with

After all that has gone before it is easy to see how the emotion of fear
may act in an analogous manner to anger. Just as anger may reinforce the
active forms of the sexual impulse to which it is allied, so fear may
reinforce the passive forms of that impulse. The following observations,
written by a lady, very well show how we may thus explain the sexual
attractiveness of whipping: "The fascination of whipping, which has always
greatly puzzled me, seems to be a sort of hankering after the stimulus of
fear. In a wild state animals live in constant fear. In civilized life one
but rarely feels it. A woman's pleasure in being afraid of a husband or
lover may be an equivalent of a man's love of adventure; and the fear of
children for their parents may be the dawning of the love of adventure. In
a woman this desire of adventure receives a serious check when she begins
to realize what she might be subjected to by a man if she gratified it.
Excessive fear is demoralizing, but it seems to me that the idea of being
whipped gives a sense of fear which is not excessive. It is almost the
only kind of pain (physical) which is inflicted on children or women by
persons whom they can love and trust, and with a moral object. Any other
kind of bodily ill treatment suggests malignity and may rouse resentment,
and, in extreme cases, an excess of fear which goes beyond the limits of
pleasurable excitement. Given a hereditary feeling of this sort, I think
it is helped by the want of actual experience, as the association with
excitement is freed from the idea of pain as such." In his very valuable
and suggestive study of fears, Stanley Hall, while recognizing the evil of
excessive fear, has emphasized the emotional and even the intellectual
benefits of fear, and the great part played by fear in the evolution of
the race as "the rudimentary organ on the full development and subsequent
reduction of which many of the best things in the soul are dependent."
"Fears that paralyze some brains," he remarks, "are a good tonic for
others. In some form and degree all need it always. Without the fear
apparatus in us, what a wealth of motive would be lost!"[148]

It is on the basis of this tonic influence of fear that in some morbidly
sensitive natures fear acts as a sexual stimulant. Cullerre has brought
together a number of cases in both men and women, mostly neurasthenic, in
which fits of extreme anxiety and dread, sometimes of a religious
character and often in highly moral people, terminate in spontaneous
orgasm or in masturbation.[149]

Professor Gurlitt mentions that his first full sexual emission took place
in class at school, when he was absorbed in writing out the life of
Aristides and very anxious lest he should not be able to complete it
within the set time.[150]

Dread and anxiety not only excite sexual emotion, but in the more extreme
morbid cases they may suppress and replace it. Terror, say Fliess, is
transmuted coitus, and Freud believes that the neurosis of anxiety always
has a sexual cause, while Ballet, Capgras, Löwenfeld, and others, though
not regarding a sexual traumatism as the only cause, still regard it as

It is worthy of note that not only fear, but even so depressing an emotion
as grief, may act as a sexual stimulant, more especially in women. This
fact is not sufficiently recognized, though probably everyone can recall
instances from his personal knowledge, such cases being generally regarded
as inexplicable. It is, however, not more surprising that grief should be
transformed into sexual emotion than that (as in a case recorded by
Stanley Hall) it should manifest itself as anger. In any case we have to
bear in mind the frequency of this psychological transformation in the
presence of cases which might otherwise seem to call for a cynical

    The case has been recorded of an English lady of good social
    position who fell in love with an undertaker at her father's
    funeral and insisted on marrying him. It is known that some men
    have been so abnormally excited by the funeral trappings of death
    that only in such surroundings have they been able to effect
    coitus. A case has been recorded of a physician of unimpeachable
    morality who was unable to attend funerals, even of his own
    relatives, on account of the sexual excitement thus aroused.
    Funerals, tragedies at the theater, pictures of martyrdom, scenes
    of execution, and trials at the law-courts have been grouped
    together as arousing pleasure in many people, especially women.
    (C.F. von Schlichtegroll, _Sacher-Masoch und der Masochismus_,
    pp. 30-31.) Wakes and similar festivals may here find their
    psychological basis, and funerals are an unquestionable source of
    enjoyment among some people, especially of so-called "Celtic"
    race. The stimulating reaction after funerals is well known to
    many, and Leigh Hunt refers to this (in his _Autobiography_) as
    affecting the sincerely devoted friends who had just cremated

    It may well be, as Kiernan has argued (_Alienist and
    Neurologist_, 1891; ibid., 1902, p. 263), that in the disturbance
    of emotional balance caused by grief the primitive instincts
    become peculiarly apt to respond to stimulus, and that in the
    aboulia of grief the mind is specially liable to become the prey
    to obsessions.

    "When my child died at the age of 6 months," a correspondent
    writes, "I had a violent paroxysm of weeping and for some days I
    could not eat. When I kissed the dead boy for the last time (I
    had never seen a corpse before) I felt I had reached the depths
    of misery and could never smile or have any deep emotions again.
    Yet that night, though my thoughts had not strayed to sexual
    subjects since the child's death, I had a violent erection. I
    felt ashamed to desire carnal things when my dead child was still
    in the house, and explained to my wife. She was sympathetic, for
    her idea was that our common grief had intensified my love for
    her. I feel convinced, however, that my desire was the result of
    a stimulus propagated to the sexual centers from the centers
    affected by my grief, the transference of my emotion from one set
    of nerves to another. I do not perhaps express my meaning

    How far the emotional influence of grief entered into the
    following episode it is impossible to say, for here it is
    probable that we are mainly concerned with one of those almost
    irresistible impulses by which adolescent girls are sometimes
    overcome. The narrative is from the lips of a reliable witness, a
    railway guard, who, some thirty years ago, when a youth of 18, in
    Cornwall, lodged with a man and woman who had a daughter of his
    own age. Some months later, when requiring a night's lodging, he
    called at the house, and was greeted warmly by the woman, who
    told him her husband had just died and that she and her daughter
    were very nervous and would be glad if he would stay the night,
    but that as the corpse occupied the other bedroom he would have
    to share their bed ("We don't think very much of that among us,"
    my informant added). He agreed, and went to bed, and when, a
    little later, the two women also came to bed, the girl, at her
    own suggestion, lay next to the youth. Nothing happened during
    the night, but in the morning, when the mother went down to light
    the fire, the daughter immediately threw off the bedclothes,
    exposing her naked person, and before the youth had realized what
    was happening she had drawn him over on to her. He was so utterly
    surprised that nothing whatever happened, but the incident made a
    life-long impression on him.

    In this connection reference may be made to the story of the
    Ephesian matron in Petronius; the story of the widow, overcome by
    grief, who watches by her husband's tomb, and very speedily falls
    into the arms of the soldier who is on guard. This story, in very
    various forms, is found in China and India, and has occurred
    repeatedly in European literature during the last two thousand
    years. The history of the wanderings of this story has been told
    by Grisebach (Eduard Grisebach, _Die Treulose Witwe_, third
    edition, 1877). It is not probable, however, that all the stories
    of this type are actually related; in any case it would seem that
    their vitality is due to the fact that they have been found to
    show a real correspondence to life; one may note, for instance,
    the curious tone of personal emotion with which George Chapman
    treated this theme in his play, _Widow's Tears_.

It may be added that, in explaining the resort to pain as an emotional
stimulus, we have to take into account not only the biological and
psychological considerations here brought forward, but also the abnormal
physiological conditions under which stimuli usually felt as painful come
specially to possess a sexually exciting influence. The neurasthenic and
neuropathic states may be regarded as conditions of more or less permanent
fatigue. It is true that under the conditions we are considering there may
be an extreme sensitiveness to stimuli not usually felt as of sexual
character, a kind of hyperesthesia; but hyperesthesia, it has well been
said, is nothing but the beginning of anesthesia.[151] Sergeant Bertrand,
the classical example of necrophily,[152] began to masturbate at the age
of 9, stimulating a sexual impulse which may have been congenitally feeble
by accompanying thoughts of ill-treating women. It was not till
subsequently that he began to imagine that the women were corpses. The
sadistic thoughts were only incidents in the emotional evolution, and the
real object throughout was to procure strong emotion and not to inflict
cruelty. Some observations of Féré's as to the conditions which influence
the amount of muscular work accomplished with the ergograph are
instructive from the present point of view: "Although sensibility
diminishes in the course of fatigue," Féré found that "there are periods
during which the excitability increases before it disappears. As fatigue
increases, the perception of the intercurrent excitation is retarded; an
odor is perceived as exciting before it is perceived as a differentiated
sensation; the most fetid odors arouse feelings of well-being before being
perceived as odors, and their painful quality only appears afterward, or
is not noticed at all." And after recording a series of results with the
ergograph obtained under the stimulus of unpleasant odors he remarks: "We
are thus struck by two facts: the diminution of work during painful
excitation, and its increase when the excitation has ceased. When the
effects following the excitation have disappeared the diminution is more
rapid than in the ordinary state. When the fatigue is manifested by a
notable diminution, if the same excitation is brought into action again,
no diminution is produced, but a more or less durable increase, exactly as
though there had been an agreeable excitation. Moreover, the stimulus
which appears painful in a state of repose loses that painful character
either partially or completely when acting on the same subject in a more
and more fatigued state." Féré defines a painful stimulus as a strong
excitation which causes displays of energy which the will cannot utilize;
when, as a result of diminished sensibility, the excitants are attenuated,
the will can utilize them, and so there is no pain.[153] These experiments
had no reference to the sexual instinct, but it will be seen at once that
they have an extremely significant bearing on the subject before us, for
they show us the mechanism of the process by which in an abnormal organism
pain becomes a sexual stimulant.


[136] Erasmus Darwin, _Zoönomia_, vol. i, p. 496.

[137] K. Groos, _Spiele der Menschen_, pp. 200-210.

[138] Hirn, _Origins of Art_, p. 54. Reference may here perhaps be made to
the fact that unpleasant memories persist in women more than in men
(_American Journal of Psychology_, 1899, p. 244). This had already been
pointed out by Coleridge. "It is a remark that I have made many times," we
find it said in one of his fragments (_Anima Poetæ_, p. 89), "and many
times, I guess, shall repeat, that women are infinitely fonder of clinging
to and beating about, hanging upon and keeping up, and reluctantly letting
fall any doleful or painful or unpleasant subject, than men of the same
class and rank."

[139] Groos, _Spiele der Thiere_, p. 251. Maeder (_Jahrbuch für
Psychoanalytische Forschungen_, 1909, vol. i, p. 149) mentions an
epileptic girl of 22 who masturbates when she is in a rage with anyone.

[140] Krafft-Ebing, _Psychopathia Sexualis_, English translation of tenth
edition, p. 78.

[141] Stanley Hall, "A Study of Anger," _American Journal of Psychology_,
July, 1899, p. 549.

[142] Krafft-Ebing refers to such a case as recorded by Schulz,
_Psychopathia Sexualis_, p. 78.

[143] Féré, _L'Instinct sexuel_, p. 213.

[144] C.F. von Schlichtegroll, _Sacher-Masoch und der Masochismus_, p. 31.

[145] _Archivio di Psichiatria_, vol. xv, p. 120. Mention may also be made
of the cases (described as hysterical mixoscopia by Kiernan, _Alienist and
Neurologist_, May, 1903) in which young women address to themselves
anonymous letters of an abusive and disgusting character, and show them to

[146] Stanley Hall, loc. cit., p. 587.

[147] _Archives de Neurologie_, Oct., 1907.

[148] G. Stanley Hall, "A Study of Fears," _American Journal of
Psychology_, vol. viii, No. 2.

[149] A. Cullerre, "De l'Excitation Sexuelle dans les Psychopathies
Anxieuses," _Archives de Neurologie_, Feb., 1905.

[150] L. Gurlitt (_Die Neue Generation_, July, 1909). Moll (_Sexualleben
des Kindes_, p. 84) also give examples of the connection between anxiety
and sexual excitement. Freud (_Der Wahn und die Traüme in Jensen's
Gradiva_, p. 52) considers that in dream-interpretation we may replace
"terror" by "sexual excitement." In noting the general sexual effects of
fear, we need not strictly separate the group of cases in which the sexual
effects are physical only, and fail to be circuited through the brain.

[151] See the article on "Neurasthenia" by Rudolf Arndt in Tuke's
_Dictionary of Psychological Medicine_.

[152] Lunier, _Annales Médico-psychologiques_, 1849, p. 153.

[153] Féré, _Comptes-rendus de la Société de Biologie_, December 15 and
22, 1900; id., _Année Psychologique_, seventh year, 1901, pp. 82-129; more
especially the same author's _Travail et Plaisir_, 1904.


Summary of Results Reached--The Joy of Emotional Expansion--The
Satisfaction of the Craving for Power--The Influence of Neurasthenic and
Neuropathic Conditions--The Problem of Pain in Love Largely Constitutes a
Special Case of Erotic Symbolism.

It may seem to some that in our discussion of the relationships of love
and pain we have covered a very wide field. This was inevitable. The
subject is peculiarly difficult and complex, and if we are to gain a real
insight into its nature we must not attempt to force the facts to fit into
any narrow and artificial formulas of our own construction. Yet, as we
have unraveled this seemingly confused mass of phenomena it will not have
escaped the careful reader that the apparently diverse threads we have
disentangled run in a parallel and uniform manner; they all have a like
source and they all converge to a like result. We have seen that the
starting-point of the whole group of manifestations must be found in the
essential facts of courtship among animal and primitive human societies.
Pain is seldom very far from some of the phases of primitive courtship;
but it is not the pain which is the essential element in courtship, it is
the state of intense emotion, of tumescence, with which at any moment, in
some shape or another, pain may, in some way or another, be brought into
connection. So that we have come to see that in the phrase "love and pain"
we have to understand by "pain" a state of intense emotional excitement
with which pain in the stricter sense may be associated, but is by no
means necessarily associated. It is the strong emotion which exerts the
irresistible fascination in the lover, in his partner, or in both. The
pain is merely the means to that end. It is the lever which is employed to
bring the emotional force to bear on the sexual impulse. The question of
love and pain is mainly a question of emotional dynamics.

In attaining this view of our subject we have learned that any impulse of
true cruelty is almost outside the field altogether. The mistake was
indeed obvious and inevitable. Let us suppose that every musical
instrument is sensitive and that every musical performance involves the
infliction of pain on the instrument. It would then be very difficult
indeed to realize that the pleasure of music lies by no means in the
infliction of pain. We should certainly find would-be scientific and
analytical people ready to declare that the pleasure of music is the
pleasure of giving pain, and that the emotional effects of music are due
to the pain thus inflicted. In algolagnia, as in music, it is not cruelty
that is sought; it is the joy of being plunged among the waves of that
great primitive ocean of emotions which underlies the variegated world of
our everyday lives, and pain--a pain which, as we have seen, is often
deprived so far as possible of cruelty, though sometimes by very thin and
feeble devices--is merely the channel by which that ocean is reached.

If we try to carry our inquiry beyond the point we have been content to
reach, and ask ourselves why this emotional intoxication exerts so
irresistible a fascination, we might find a final reply in the explanation
of Nietzsche--who regarded this kind of intoxication as of great
significance both in life and in art--that it gives us the consciousness
of energy and the satisfaction of our craving for power.[154] To carry the
inquiry to this point would be, however, to take it into a somewhat
speculative and metaphysical region, and we have perhaps done well not to
attempt to analyze further the joy of emotional expansion. We must be
content to regard the profound satisfaction of emotion as due to a
widespread motor excitement, the elements of which we cannot yet
completely analyze.[155]

It is because the joy of emotional intoxication is the end really sought
that we have to regard the supposed opposition between "sadism" and
"masochism" as unimportant and indeed misleading. The emotional value of
pain is equally great whether the pain is inflicted, suffered, witnessed,
or merely exists as a mental imagination, and there is no reason why it
should not coexist in all these forms in the same person, as, in fact, we
frequently find it.

The particular emotions which are invoked by pain to reinforce the sexual
impulse are more especially anger and fear, and, as we have seen, these
two very powerful and primitive emotions are--on the active and passive
sides, respectively--the emotions most constantly brought into play in
animal and early human courtship; so that they naturally constitute the
emotional reservoirs from which the sexual impulse may still most easily
draw. It is not difficult to show that the various forms in which
"pain"--as we must here understand pain--is employed in the service of the
sexual impulse are mainly manifestations or transformations of anger or
fear, either in their simple or usually more complex forms, in some of
which anger and fear may be mingled.

We thus accept the biological origin of the psychological association
between love and pain; it is traceable to the phenomena of animal
courtship. We do not on this account exclude the more direct physiological
factor. It may seem surprising that manifestations that have their origin
in primeval forms of courtship should in many cases coincide with actual
sensations of definite anatomical base today, and still more surprising
that these traditional manifestations and actual sensations should so
often be complementary to each other in their active and passive aspects:
that is to say, that the pleasure of whipping should be matched by the
pleasure of being whipped, the pleasure of mock strangling by the pleasure
of being so strangled, that pain inflicted is not more desirable than pain
suffered. But such coincidence is of the very essence of the whole group
of phenomena. The manifestations of courtship were from the first
conditioned by physiological facts; it is not strange that they should
always tend to run _pari passu_ with physiological facts. The
manifestations which failed to find anchorage in physiological
relationships might well tend to die out. Even under the most normal
circumstances, in healthy persons of healthy heredity, the manifestations
we have been considering are liable to make themselves felt. Under such
circumstances, however, they never become of the first importance in the
sexual process; they are often little more than play. It is only under
neurasthenic or neuropathic conditions--that is to say, in an organism
which from acquired or congenital causes, and usually perhaps both, has
become enfeebled, irritable, "fatigued"--that these manifestations are
liable to flourish vigorously, to come to the forefront of sexual
consciousness, and even to attain such seriously urgent importance that
they may in themselves constitute the entire end and aim of sexual desire.
Under these pathological conditions, pain, in the broad and special sense
in which we have been obliged to define it, becomes a welcome tonic and a
more or less indispensable stimulant to the sexual system.

It will not have escaped the careful reader that in following out our
subject we have sometimes been brought into contact with manifestations
which scarcely seem to come within any definition of pain. This is
undoubtedly so, and the references to these manifestations were not
accidental, for they serve to indicate the real bearings of our subject.
The relationships of love and pain constitute a subject at once of so
much gravity and so much psychological significance that it was well to
devote to them a special study. But pain, as we have here to understand
it, largely constitutes a special case of what we shall later learn to
know as erotic symbolism: that is to say, the psychic condition in which a
part of the sexual process, a single idea or group of ideas, tends to
assume unusual importance, or even to occupy the whole field of sexual
consciousness, the part becoming a symbol that stands for the whole. When
we come to the discussion of this great group of abnormal sexual
manifestations it will frequently be necessary to refer to the results we
have reached in studying the sexual significance of pain.


[154] See, for instance, the section "Zur Physiologie der Kunst" in
Nietzsche's fragmentary work, _Der Wille zur Macht_, Werke, Bd. xv. Groos
(_Spiele der Menschen_, p. 89) refers to the significance of the fact that
nearly all races have special methods of procuring intoxication. Cf.
Partridge's study of the psychology of alcohol (_American Journal of
Psychology_, April, 1900). "It is hard to imagine," this writer remarks of
intoxicants, "what the religious or social consciousness of primitive man
would have been without them."

[155] The muscular element is the most conspicuous in emotion, though it
is not possible, as a careful student of the emotions (H.R. Marshall,
_Pain, Pleasure, and Æsthetics_, p. 84) well points out, "to limit the
physical activities involved with the emotions to such effects of
voluntary innervation or alteration of size of blood-vessels or spasm of
organic muscle, as Lange seems to think determines them; nor to increase
or decrease of muscle-power, as Féré's results might suggest; nor to such
changes, in relation of size of capillaries, in voluntary innervation, in
respiratory and heart functioning, as Lehmann has observed. Emotions seem
to me to be coincidents of reactions of the whole organism tending to
certain results."


A special and detailed study of the normal characters of the sexual
impulse in men seems unnecessary. I have elsewhere discussed various
aspects of the male sexual impulse, and others remain for later
discussion. But to deal with it broadly as a whole seems unnecessary, if
only because it is predominantly open and aggressive. Moreover, since the
constitution of society has largely been in the hands of men, the nature
of the sexual impulse in men has largely been expressed in the written and
unwritten codes of social law. The sexual instinct in women is much more
elusive. This, indeed, is involved at the outset in the organic
psychological play of male and female, manifesting itself in the phenomena
of modesty and courting. The same elusiveness, the same mocking mystery,
meet us throughout when we seek to investigate the manifestations of the
sexual impulse in women. Nor is it easy to find any full and authentic
record of a social state clearly founded in sexual matters on the demands
of woman's nature.

    An illustration of our ignorance and bias in these matters is
    furnished by the relationship of marriage, celibacy, and divorce
    to suicide in the two sexes. There can be no doubt that the
    sexual emotions of women have a profound influence in determining
    suicide. This is indicated, among other facts, by a comparison of
    the suicide-rate in the sexes according to age; while in men the
    frequency of suicide increases progressively throughout life, in
    women there is an arrest after the age of 30; that is to say,
    when the period of most intense sexual emotion has been passed.
    This phenomenon is witnessed among peoples so unlike as the
    French, the Prussians, and the Italians. Now, how do marriage and
    divorce affect the sexual liability to suicide? We are always
    accustomed to say that marriage protects women, and it is even
    asserted that men have self-sacrificingly maintained the
    institution of marriage mainly for the benefit of women.
    Professor Durkheim, however, who has studied suicide elaborately
    from the sociological standpoint, so far as possible eliminating
    fallacies, has in recent years thrown considerable doubt on the
    current assumption. He shows that if we take the tendency to
    suicide as a test, and eliminate the influence of children, who
    are an undoubted protection to women, it is not women, but men,
    who are protected by marriage, and that the protection of women
    from suicide increases regularly as divorces increase. After
    discussing these points exhaustively, "we reach a conclusion," he
    states, "considerably removed from the current view of marriage
    and the part it plays. It is regarded as having been instituted
    for the sake of the wife and to protect her weakness against
    masculine caprices. Monogamy, especially, is very often presented
    as a sacrifice of man's polygamous instincts, made in order to
    ameliorate the condition of woman in marriage. In reality,
    whatever may have been the historical causes which determined
    this restriction, it is man who has profited most. The liberty
    which he has thus renounced could only have been a source of
    torment to him. Woman had not the same reasons for abandoning
    freedom, and from this point of view we may say that in
    submitting to the same rule it is she who has made the
    sacrifice." (E. Durkheim, _Le Suicide_, 1897, pp. 186-214,

    There is possibly some significance in the varying incidence of
    insanity in unmarried men and unmarried women as compared with
    the married. At Erlangen, for example, Hagen found that among
    insane women the preponderance of the single over the married is
    not nearly so great as among insane men, marriage appearing to
    exert a much more marked prophylactic influence in the case of
    men than of women. (F.W. Hagen, _Statistische Untersuchungen über
    Geisteskrankheiten_, 1876, p. 153.) The phenomena are here,
    however, highly complex, and, as Hagen himself points out, the
    prophylactic influence of marriage, while very probable, is not
    the only or even the chief factor at work.

    It is worth noting that exactly the same sexual difference may be
    traced in England. It appears that, in ratio to similar groups in
    the general population (taking the years 1876-1900, inclusive),
    the number of admissions to asylums is the same for both sexes
    among married people (i.e., 8.5), but for the single it is larger
    among the men (4.8 to 4.5), as also it is among the widowed (17.9
    to 13.9) (_Fifty-sixth Annual Report of the Commissioners in
    Lunacy, England and Wales_, 1902, p. 141). This would seem to
    indicate that when living apart from men the tendency to insanity
    is less in women, but is raised to the male level when the sexes
    live together in marriage.

    Much the same seems to hold true of criminality. It was long
    since noted by Horsley that in England marriage decidedly
    increases the tendency to crime in women, though it decidedly
    decreases it in men. Prinzing has shown (_Zeitschrift für
    Sozialwissenschaft_, Bd. ii, 1899) that this is also the case in

    Similarly marriage decreases the tendency of men to become
    habitual drunkards and increases that of women. Notwithstanding
    the fact that the average age of the men is greater than that of
    the women, the majority of the men admitted to the inebriate
    reformatories under the English Inebriates Acts are single; the
    majority of the women are married; of 865 women so admitted 32
    per cent, were single, 50 per cent, married, and 18 per cent,
    widows. (_British Medical Journal_, Sept. 2, 1911, p. 518.)

It thus happens that even the elementary characters of the sexual impulse
in women still arouse, even among the most competent physiological and
medical authorities,--not least so when they are themselves women,--the
most divergent opinions. Its very existence even may be said to be
questioned. It would generally be agreed that among men the strength of
the sexual impulse varies within a considerable range, but that it is very
rarely altogether absent, such total absence being abnormal and probably
more or less pathological. But if applied to women, this statement is by
no means always accepted. By many, sexual anesthesia is considered natural
in women, some even declaring that any other opinion would be degrading to
women; even by those who do not hold this opinion it is believed that
there is an unnatural prevalence of sexual frigidity among civilized
women. On these grounds it is desirable to deal generally with this and
other elementary questions of allied character.


The Primitive View of Women--As a Supernatural Element in Life--As
Peculiarly Embodying the Sexual Instinct--The Modern Tendency to
Underestimate the Sexual Impulse in Women--This Tendency Confined to
Recent Times--Sexual Anæsthesia--Its Prevalence--Difficulties in
Investigating the Subject--Some Attempts to Investigate it--Sexual
Anesthesia must be Regarded as Abnormal--The Tendency to Spontaneous
Manifestations of the Sexual Impulse in Young Girls at Puberty.

From very early times it seems possible to trace two streams of opinion
regarding women: on the one hand, a tendency to regard women as a
supernatural element in life, more or less superior to men, and, on the
other hand, a tendency to regard women as especially embodying the sexual
instinct and as peculiarly prone to exhibit its manifestations.

In the most primitive societies, indeed, the two views seem to be to some
extent amalgamated; or, it should rather be said, they have not yet been
differentiated; and, as in such societies it is usual to venerate the
generative principle of nature and its embodiments in the human body and
in human functions, such a co-ordination of ideas is entirely rational.
But with the development of culture the tendency is for this homogeneous
conception to be split up into two inharmonious tendencies. Even apart
from Christianity and before its advent this may be noted. It was,
however, to Christianity and the Christian ascetic spirit that we owe the
complete differentiation and extreme development which these opposing
views have reached. The condemnation of sexuality involved the
glorification of the virgin; and indifference, even contempt, was felt for
the woman who exercised sexual functions. It remained open to anyone,
according to his own temperament, to identify the typical average woman
with the one or with the other type; all the fund of latent sexual emotion
which no ascetic rule can crush out of the human heart assured the
picturesque idealization alike of the angelic and the diabolic types of
woman. We may trace the same influence subtly lurking even in the most
would-be scientific statements of anthropologists and physicians

    It may not be out of place to recall at this point, once more,
    the fact, fairly obvious indeed, that the judgments of men
    concerning women are very rarely matters of cold scientific
    observation, but are colored both by their own sexual emotions
    and by their own moral attitude toward the sexual impulse. The
    ascetic who is unsuccessfully warring with his own carnal
    impulses may (like the voluptuary) see nothing in women but
    incarnations of sexual impulse; the ascetic who has subdued his
    own carnal impulses may see no elements of sex in women at all.
    Thus the opinions regarding this matter are not only tinged by
    elements of primitive culture, but by elements of individual
    disposition. Statements about the sexual impulses of women often
    tell us less about women than about the persons who make them.

    The curious manner in which for men women become incarnations of
    the sexual impulse is shown by the tendency of both general and
    personal names for women to become applicable to prostitutes
    only. This is the case with the words "garce" and "fille" in
    French, "Mädchen" and "Dirne" in German, as well as with the
    French "catin" (Catherine) and the German "Metze" (Mathilde).
    (See, e.g., R. Kleinpaul, _Die Räthsel der Sprache_, 1890, pp.

    At the same time, though we have to recognize the presence of
    elements which color and distort in various ways the judgments of
    men regarding women, it must not be hastily assumed that these
    elements render discussion of the question altogether
    unprofitable. In most cases such prejudices lead chiefly to a
    one-sided solution of facts, against which we can guard.

While, however, these two opposing currents of opinion are of very ancient
origin, it is only within quite recent times, and only in two or three
countries, that they have led to any marked difference of opinion
regarding the sexual aptitude of women. In ancient times men blamed women
for concupiscence or praised them for chastity, but it seems to have been
reserved for the nineteenth century to state that women are apt to be
congenitally incapable of experiencing complete sexual satisfaction, and
peculiarly liable to sexual anesthesia. This idea appears to have been
almost unknown to the eighteenth century. During the last century,
however, and more especially in England, Germany, and Italy, this opinion
has been frequently set down, sometimes even as a matter of course, with a
tincture of contempt or pity for any woman afflicted with sexual emotions.

    In the treatise _On Generation_ (chapter v), which until recent
    times was commonly ascribed to Hippocrates, it is stated that men
    have greater pleasure in coitus than women, though the pleasure
    of women lasts longer, and this opinion, though not usually
    accepted, was treated with great respect by medical authors down
    to the end of the seventeenth century. Thus A. Laurentius (Du
    Laurens), after a long discussion, decides that men have stronger
    sexual desire and greater pleasure in coitus than women.
    (_Historia Anatomica Humani Corporis_, 1599, lib. viii, quest, ii
    and vii.)

    About half a century ago a book entitled _Functions and Disorders
    of the Reproductive Organs_, by W. Acton, a surgeon, passed
    through many editions and was popularly regarded as a standard
    authority on the subjects with which it deals. This extraordinary
    book is almost solely concerned with men; the author evidently
    regards the function of reproduction as almost exclusively
    appertaining to men. Women, if "well brought up," are, and should
    be, he states, in England, absolutely ignorant of all matters
    concerning it. "I should say," this author again remarks, "that
    the majority of women (happily for society) are not very much
    troubled with sexual feeling of any kind." The supposition that
    women do possess sexual feelings he considers "a vile aspersion."

    In the article "Generation," contained in another medical work
    belonging to the middle of the nineteenth century,--Rees's
    _Cyclopedia_,--we find the following statement: "That a mucous
    fluid is sometimes found in coition from the internal organs and
    vagina is undoubted; but this only happens in lascivious women,
    or such as live luxuriously."

    Gall had stated decisively that the sexual desires of men are
    stronger and more imperious than those of women. (_Fonctions du
    Cerveau_, 1825, vol. iii, pp. 241-271.)

    Raciborski declared that three-fourths of women merely endure the
    approaches of men. (_De la Puberté chez la Femme_, 1844, p. 486.)

    "When the question is carefully inquired into and without
    prejudice," said Lawson Tait, "it is found that women have their
    sexual appetites far less developed than men." (Lawson Tait,
    "Remote Effects of Removal of the Uterine Appendages,"
    _Provincial Medical Journal_, May, 1891.) "The sexual instinct is
    very powerful in man and comparatively weak in women," he stated
    elsewhere (_Diseases of Women_, 1889, p. 60).

    Hammond stated that, leaving prostitutes out of consideration, it
    is doubtful if in one-tenth of the instances of intercourse they
    [women] experience the slightest pleasurable sensation from first
    to last (Hammond, _Sexual Impotence_, p. 300), and he considered
    (p. 281) that this condition was sometimes congenital.

    Lombroso and Ferrero consider that sexual sensibility, as well as
    all other forms of sensibility, is less pronounced in women, and
    they bring forward various facts and opinions which seem to them
    to point in the same direction. "Woman is naturally and
    organically frigid." At the same time they consider that, while
    erethism is less, sexuality is greater than in men. (Lombroso and
    Ferrero, _La Donna Delinquente, la Prostituta, e la Donna
    Normale_, 1893, pp. 54-58.)

    "It is an altogether false idea," Fehling declared, in his
    rectorial address at the University of Basel in 1891, "that a
    young woman has just as strong an impulse to the opposite sex as
    a young man.... The appearance of the sexual side in the love of
    a young girl is pathological." (H. Fehling, _Die Bestimmung der
    Frau_, 1892, p. 18.) In his _Lehrbuch der Frauenkrankheiten_ the
    same gynecological authority states his belief that half of all
    women are not sexually excitable.

    Krafft-Ebing was of opinion that women require less sexual
    satisfaction than men, being less sensual. (Krafft-Ebing, "Ueber
    Neurosen und Psychosen durch sexuelle Abstinenz," _Jahrbücher für
    Psychiatrie_, 1888, Bd. viii, ht. I and 2.)

    "In the normal woman, especially of the higher social classes,"
    states Windscheid, "the sexual instinct is acquired, not inborn;
    when it is inborn, or awakes by itself, there is abnormality.
    Since women do not know this instinct before marriage, they do
    not miss it when they have no occasion in life to learn it." (F.
    Windscheid, "Die Beziehungen zwischen Gynäkologie und
    Neurologie," _Zentralblatt für Gynäkologie_, 1896, No. 22; quoted
    by. Moll, _Libido Sexualis_, Bd. i, p. 271.)

    "The sensuality of men," Moll states, "is in my opinion very much
    greater than that of women." (A. Moll, _Die Konträre
    Sexualempfindung_, third edition, 1899, p. 592.)

    "Women are, in general, less sensual than men," remarks Näcke,
    "notwithstanding the alleged greater nervous supply of their
    sexual organs." (P. Näcke, "Kritisches zum Kapitel der
    Sexualität," _Archiv für Psychiatrie_, 1899, p. 341.)

    Löwenfeld states that in normal young girls the specifically
    sexual feelings are absolutely unknown; so that desire cannot
    exist in them. Putting aside the not inconsiderable proportion of
    women in whom this absence of desire may persist and be
    permanent, even after sexual relationships have begun, thus
    constituting absolute frigidity, in a still larger number desire
    remains extremely moderate, constituting a state of relative
    frigidity. He adds that he cannot unconditionally support the
    view of Fürbringer, who is inclined to ascribe sexual coldness to
    the majority of German married women. (L. Löwenfeld, _Sexualleben
    und Nervenleiden_, 1899, second edition, p. 11.)

    Adler, who discusses the question at some length, decides that
    the sexual needs of women are less than those of men, though in
    some cases the orgasm in quantity and quality greatly exceeds
    that of men. He believes, not only that the sexual impulse in
    women is absolutely less than in men, and requires stronger
    stimulation to arouse it, but that also it suffers from a latency
    due to inhibition, which acts like a foreign body in the brain
    (analogous to the psychic trauma of Breuer and Freud in
    hysteria), and demands great skill in the man who is to awaken
    the woman to love. (O. Adler, _Die Mangelhafte
    Geschlechtsempfindung des Weibes_, 1904, pp. 47, 126 et seq.;
    also enlarged second edition, 1911; id., "Die Frigide Frau,"
    _Sexual-Probleme_, Jan., 1912.)

It must not, however, be supposed that this view of the natural tendency
of women to frigidity has everywhere found acceptance. It is not only an
opinion of very recent growth, but is confined, on the whole, to a few

    "Turn to history," wrote Brierre de Boismont, "and on every page
    you will be able to recognize the predominance of erotic ideas in
    women." It is the same today, he adds, and he attributes it to
    the fact that men are more easily able to gratify their sexual
    impulses. (_Des Hallucinations_, 1862, p. 431.)

    The laws of Manu attribute to women concupiscence and anger, the
    love of bed and of adornment.

    The Jews attributed to women greater sexual desire than to men.
    This is illustrated, according to Knobel (as quoted by Dillmann),
    by _Genesis_, chapter iii, v. 16.

    In Greek antiquity the romance and sentiment of love were mainly
    felt toward persons of the same sex, and were divorced from the
    more purely sexual feelings felt for persons of opposite sex.
    Theognis compared marriage to cattle-breeding. In love between
    men and women the latter were nearly always regarded as taking
    the more active part. In all Greek love-stories of early date the
    woman falls in love with the man, and never the reverse. Æschylus
    makes even a father assume that his daughters will misbehave if
    left to themselves. Euripides emphasized the importance of women;
    "The Euripidean woman who 'falls in love' thinks first of all:
    'How can I seduce the man I love?"' (E.F.M. Benecke, _Antimachus
    of Colophon and the Position of Women in Greek Poetry_, 1896, pp.
    34, 54.)

    The most famous passage in Latin literature as to the question of
    whether men or women obtain greater pleasure from sexual
    intercourse is that in which Ovid narrates the legend of Tiresias
    (_Metamorphoses_, iii, 317-333). Tiresias, having been both a man
    and a woman, decided in favor of women. This passage was
    frequently quoted down to the eighteenth century.

    In a passage quoted from a lost work of Galen by the Arabian
    biographer, Abu-l-Faraj, that great physician says of the
    Christians "that they practice celibacy, that even many of their
    women do so." So that in Galen's opinion it was more difficult
    for a woman than for a man to be continent.

    The same view is widely prevalent among Arabic authors, and there
    is an Arabic saying that "The longing of the woman for the penis
    is greater than that of the man for the vulva."

    In China, remarks Dr. Coltman, "when an old gentleman of my
    acquaintance was visiting me my little daughter, 5 years old, ran
    into the room, and, climbing upon my knee, kissed me. My visitor
    expressed his surprise, and remarked: 'We never kiss our
    daughters when they are so large; we may when they are very
    small, but not after they are 3 years old,' said he, 'because it
    is apt to excite in them bad emotions.'" (Coltman, _The Chinese_,
    1900, p. 99.)

    The early Christian Fathers clearly show that they regard women
    as more inclined to sexual enjoyment than men. That was, for
    instance, the opinion of Tertullian (_De Virginibus Velandis_,
    chapter x), and it is clearly implied in some of St. Jerome's

    Notwithstanding the influence of Christianity, among the vigorous
    barbarian races of medieval Europe, the existence of sexual
    appetite in women was not considered to be, as it later became, a
    matter to be concealed or denied. Thus in 1068 the ecclesiastical
    historian, Ordericus Vitalis (himself half Norman and half
    English), narrates that the wives of the Norman knights who had
    accompanied William the Conqueror to England two years earlier
    sent over to their husbands to say that they were consumed by the
    fierce names of desire ("sæva libidinis face urebantur"), and
    that if their husbands failed to return very shortly they
    proposed to take other husbands. It is added that this threat
    brought a few husbands back to their wanton ladies ("lascivis
    dominabus suis").

    During the medieval period in Europe, largely in consequence, no
    doubt, of the predominance of ascetic ideals set up by men who
    naturally regarded woman as the symbol of sex, the doctrine of
    the incontinence of woman became firmly fixed, and it is
    unnecessary and unprofitable to quote examples. It is sufficient
    to mention the very comprehensive statement of Jean de Meung (in
    the _Roman de la Rose_, 9903):--

        "Toutes estes, serés, ou fûtes
        De fait ou de volunté putes."

    The satirical Jean de Meung was, however, a somewhat extreme and
    untypical representative of his age, and the fourteenth century
    Johannes de Sancto Amando (Jean de St. Amand) gives a somewhat
    more scientifically based opinion (quoted by Pagel, _Neue
    litterarische Beiträge zur Mittelalterlichen Medicin_, 1896, p.
    30) that sexual desire is stronger in women than in men.

    Humanism and the spread of the Renaissance movement brought in a
    spirit more sympathetic to women. Soon after, especially in Italy
    and France, we begin to find attempts at analyzing the sexual
    emotions, which are not always without a certain subtlety. In the
    seventeenth century a book of this kind was written by Venette.
    In matters of love, Venette declared, "men are but children
    compared to women. In these matters women have a more lively
    imagination, and they usually have more leisure to think of love.
    Women are much more lascivious and amorous than men." This is the
    conclusion reached in a chapter devoted to the question whether
    men or women are the more amorous. In a subsequent chapter,
    dealing with the question whether men or women receive more
    pleasure from the sexual embrace, Venette concludes, after
    admitting the great difficulty of the question, that man's
    pleasure is greater, but woman's lasts longer. (N. Venette, _De
    la Génération de l'Homme ou Tableau de l'Amour Conjugal_,
    Amsterdam, 1688.)

    At a much earlier date, however, Montaigne had discussed this
    matter with his usual wisdom, and, while pointing out that men
    have imposed their own rule of life on women and their own
    ideals, and have demanded from them opposite and contradictory
    virtues,--a statement not yet antiquated,--he argues that women
    are incomparably more apt and more ardent in love than men are,
    and that in this matter they always know far more than men can
    teach them, for "it is a discipline that is born in their veins."
    (Montaigne, _Essais_, book iii, chapter v.)

    The old physiologists generally mentioned the appearance of
    sexual desire in girls as one of the normal signs of puberty.
    This may be seen in the numerous quotations brought together by
    Schurig, in his _Parthenologia_, cap. ii.

    A long succession of distinguished physicians throughout the
    seventeenth century discussed at more or less length the relative
    amount of sexual desire in men and women, and the relative degree
    of their pleasure in coitus. It is remarkable that, although they
    usually attach great weight to the supposed opinion of
    Hippocrates in the opposite sense, most of them decide that both
    desire and pleasure are greater in women.

    Plazzonus decides that women have more sources of pleasure in
    coitus than men because of the larger extent of surface excited;
    and if it were not so, he adds, women would not be induced to
    incur the pains and risks of pregnancy and childbirth.
    (Plazzonus, _De Partibus Generationi Inservientibus_, 1621, lib.
    ii, cap. xiii.)

    "Without doubt," says Ferrand, "woman is more passionate than
    man, and more often torn by the evils of love." (Ferrand, _De la
    Maladie d'Amour_, 1623, chapter ii.)

    Zacchia, mainly on _a priori_ grounds, concludes that women have
    more pleasure in coitus than men. (Zacchia, _Quæstiones
    Medico-legales_, 1630, lib. iii, quest, vii.)

    Sinibaldus, discussing whether men or women have more salacity,
    decides in favor of women. (J.B. Sinibaldus, _Geneanthropeia_,
    1642, lib. ii, tract. ii, cap. v.)

    Hornius believed that women have greater sexual pleasure than
    men, though he mainly supported his opinion by the authority of
    classical poets. (Hornius, _Historic Naturalis_, 1670, lib. iii,
    cap. i.)

    Nenter describes what we may now call women's affectability, and
    considers that it makes them more prone than men to the sexual
    emotions, as is shown by the fact that, notwithstanding their
    modesty, they sometimes make sexual advances. This greater
    proneness of women to the sexual impulse is, he remarks, entirely
    natural and right, for the work of generation is mainly carried
    on by women, and love is its basis: "generationis fundamentum est
    amor." (G.P. Nenter, _Theoria Hominis Sani_, 1714, cap. v, memb.

    The above opinions of seventeenth-century physicians are quoted
    from the original sources. Schurig, in his _Gynæcologia_, (pp.
    46-50 and 71-81), quotes a number of passages on this subject
    from medical authorities of the same period, on which I have not

    Sénancour, in his fine and suggestive book on love, first
    published in 1806, asks: "Has sexual pleasure the same power on
    the sex which less loudly demands it? It has more, at all events
    in some respects. The very vigor and laboriousness of men may
    lead them to neglect love, but the constant cares of maternity
    make women feel how important it must ever be to them. We must
    remember also that in men the special emotions of love only have
    a single focus, while in women the organs of lactation are united
    to those of conception. Our feelings are all determined by these
    material causes." (Sénancour, _De l'Amour_, fourth edition, 1834,
    vol. i, p. 68.) A later psychologist of love, this time a woman,
    Ellen Key, states that woman's erotic demands, though more
    silent than man's, are stronger. (Ellen Key, _Ueber Liebe und
    Ehe_, p. 138.)

    Michael Ryan considered that sexual enjoyment "is more delicious
    and protracted" in women, and ascribed this to a more sensitive
    nervous system, a finer and more delicate skin, more acute
    feelings, and the fact that in women the mammæ are the seat of a
    vivid sensibility in sympathy with the uterus. (M. Ryan,
    _Philosophy of Marriage_, 1837, p. 153.)

    Busch was inclined to think women have greater sexual pleasure
    than men. (D.W.H. Busch, _Das Geschlechtsleben des Weibes_, 1839,
    vol. i, p. 69.) Kobelt held that the anatomical conformation of
    the sexual organs in women led to the conclusion that this must
    be the case.

    Guttceit, speaking of his thirty years' medical experience in
    Russia, says: "In Russia at all events, a girl, as very many have
    acknowledged to me, cannot resist the ever stronger impulses of
    sex beyond the twenty-second or twenty-third year. And if she
    cannot do so in natural ways she adopts artificial ways. The
    belief that the feminine sex feels the stimulus of sex less than
    the male is quite false." (Guttceit, _Dreissig Jahre Praxis_,
    1873, theil i, p. 313.)

    In Scandinavia, according to Vedeler, the sexual emotions are at
    least as strong in women as in men (Vedeler, "De Impotentia
    Feminarum," _Norsk Magazin for Laegevidenskaben_, March, 1894).
    In Sweden, Dr. Eklund, of Stockholm, remarking that from 25 to 33
    per cent. of the births are illegitimate, adds: "We hardly ever
    hear anyone talk of a woman having been seduced, simply because
    the lust is at the worst in the woman, who, as a rule, is the
    seducing party." (Eklund, _Transactions of the American
    Association of Obstetricians_, Philadelphia, 1892, p. 307.)

    On the opposite side of the Baltic, in the Königsberg district,
    the same observation has been made. Intercourse before marriage
    is the rule in most villages of this agricultural district, among
    the working classes, with or without intention of subsequent
    marriage; "the girls are often the seducing parties, or at least
    very willing; they seek to bind their lovers to them and compel
    them to marriage." In the Köslin district of Pomerania, where
    intercourse between the girls and youths is common, the girls
    come to the youths' rooms even more frequently than the youths to
    the girls'. In some of the Dantzig districts the girls give
    themselves to the youths, and even seduce them, sometimes, but
    not always, with a view of marriage. (Wittenberg, _Die
    geschlechtsittlichen Verhalten der Landbewohner im Deutschen
    Reiche_, 1895, Bd. i, pp. 47, 61, 83.)

    Mantegazza devoted great attention to this point in several of
    the works he published during fifty years, and was decidedly of
    the opinion that the sexual emotions are much stronger in women
    than in men, and that women have much more enjoyment in sexual
    intercourse. In his _Fisiologia del Piacere_ he supports this
    view, and refers to the greater complexity of the genital
    apparatus in women (as well as its larger surface and more
    protected position), to what he considers to be the keener
    sensibility of women generally, to the passivity of women, etc.;
    and he considers that sexual pleasure is rendered more seductive
    to women by the mystery in which it is veiled for them by modesty
    and our social habits. In a more recent work (_Fisiologia della
    Donna_, cap. viii) Mantegazza returns to this subject, and
    remarks that long experience, while confirming his early opinion,
    has modified it to the extent that he now believes that, as
    compared with men, the sexual emotions of women vary within far
    wider limits. Among men few are quite insensitive to the physical
    pleasures of love, while, on the other hand, few are thrown by
    the violence of its emotional manifestations into a state of
    syncope or convulsions. Among women, while some are absolutely
    insensitive, others (as in cases with which he was acquainted)
    are so violently excited by the paradise of physical love that,
    after the sexual embrace, they faint or fall into a cataleptic
    condition for several hours.

    "Physical sex is a larger factor in the life of the woman.... If
    this be true of the physical element, it is equally true of the
    mental element." (Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, _The Human Element in
    Sex_, fifth edition, 1894, p. 47.)

    "In the female sex," remarks Clouston, "reproduction is a more
    dominant function of the organism than in the male, and has far
    larger, if not more intense, relationships to feeling, judgment,
    and volition." (Clouston, _Neuroses of Development_, 1891.)

    "It may be said," Marro states, "that in woman the visceral
    system reacts, if not with greater intensity, certainly in a more
    general manner, to all the impressions, having a sexual basis,
    which dominate the life of woman, if not as sexual emotions
    properly so called, as related emotions closely dependent on the
    reproductive instinct." (A. Marro, _La Pubertà_, 1898, p. 233.)

    Forel also believed (_Die Sexuelle Frage_, p. 274) that women are
    more erotic than men.

    The gynecologist Kisch states his belief that "The sexual impulse
    is so powerful in women that at certain periods of life its
    primitive force dominates her whole nature, and there can be no
    room left for reason to argue concerning reproduction; on the
    contrary, union is desired even in the presence of the fear of
    reproduction or when there can be no question of it." He regards
    absence of sexual feeling in women as pathological. (Kisch,
    _Sterilität des Weibes_, second edition, pp. 205-206.) In his
    later work (_The Sexual Life of Woman_) Kisch again asserts that
    sexual impulse always exists in mature women (in the absence of
    organic sexual defect and cerebral disease), though it varies in
    strength and may be repressed. In adolescent girls, however, it
    is weaker than in youths of the same age. After she has had
    sexual experiences, Kisch maintains, a woman's sexual emotions
    are just as powerful as a man's, though she has more motives than
    a man for controlling them.

    Eulenburg is of the same opinion as Kisch, and sharply criticises
    the loose assertion of some authorities who have expressed
    themselves in an opposite sense. (A. Eulenburg, _Sexuale
    Neuropathie_, pp. 88-90; the same author has dealt with the point
    in the _Zukunft_, December 2, 1893.)

    Kossmann states that the opinion as to the widespread existence
    of frigidity among women is a fable. (Kossmann, _Allgemeine
    Gynæcologie_, 1903, p. 362.)

    Bloch concludes that "in most cases the sexual coldness of women
    is in fact only apparent, either due to the concealment of
    glowing sexuality beneath the veil of outward reticence
    prescribed by conventional morality, or else to the husband who
    has not succeeded in arousing erotic sensations which are
    complicated and with difficulty awakened.... The sexual
    sensibility of women is certainly different from that of men, but
    in strength it is at least as great." (Iwan Bloch, _Das
    Sexualleben unserer Zeit_ 1907, ch. v.)

    Nyström, also, after devoting a chapter to the discussion of the
    causes of sexual coldness in women, concludes: "My conviction,
    founded on experience, is, that only a small number of women
    would be without sexual feeling if sound views and teaching
    prevailed in respect to the sexual life, if due weight were given
    to inner devotion and tender caresses as the preliminaries of
    love in marriage, and if couples who wish to avoid pregnancy
    would adopt sensible preventive methods instead of _coitus
    interruptus_." (A. Nyström, _Das Geschlichtsleben und seine
    Gesetze_, eighth edition, 1907, p. 177.)

We thus find two opinions widely current: one, of world-wide existence and
almost universally accepted in those ages and centers in which life is
lived most nakedly, according to which the sexual impulse is stronger in
women than in men; another, now widely prevalent in many countries,
according to which the sexual instinct is distinctly weaker in women, if,
indeed, it may not be regarded as normally absent altogether. A third view
is possible: it may be held that there is no difference at all. This
view, formerly not very widely held, is that of the French physiologist,
Beaunis, as it is of Winckel; while Rohleder, who formerly held that
sexual feeling tends to be defective in women, now believes that men and
women are equal in sexual impulse.

    At an earlier period, however, Donatus (_De Medica Historia
    Mirabili_, 1613, lib. iv, cap. xvii) held the same view, and
    remarked that sometimes men and sometimes women are the more
    salacious, varying with the individual. Roubaud (_De
    l'Impuissance_, 1855, p. 38) stated that the question is so
    difficult as to be insoluble.

In dealing with the characteristics of the sexual impulse in women, it
will be seen, we have to consider the prevalence in them of what is
commonly termed (in its slightest forms) frigidity or hyphedonia, and (in
more complete form) sexual anesthesia or anaphrodism, or erotic blindness,
or anhedonia.[157]

    Many modern writers have referred to the prevalence of frigidity
    among women. Shufeldt believes (_Pacific Medical Journal_, Nov.,
    1907) that 75 per cent, of married women in New York are
    afflicted with sexual frigidity, and that it is on the increase;
    it is rare, however, he adds, among Jewish women. Hegar gives 50
    per cent, as the proportion of sexually anesthetic women;
    Fürbringer says the majority of women are so. Effertz (quoted by
    Löwenfeld, _Sexualleben und Nervenleiden_, p. 11, apparently with
    approval) regards 10 per cent, among women generally as sexually
    anesthetic, but only 1 per cent, men. Moll states (Eulenburg's
    _Encyclopädie_, fourth edition, art. "Geschlechtstrieb") that the
    prevalence of sexual anesthesia among German women varies,
    according to different authorities, from 10 to 66 per cent.
    Elsewhere Moll (_Konträre Sexualempfindung_, third edition, 1890,
    p. 510) emphasizes the statement that "sexual anesthesia in women
    is much more frequent than is generally supposed." He explains
    that he is referring to the physical element of pleasure and
    satisfaction in intercourse, and of desire for intercourse. He
    adds that the psychic side of love is often more conspicuous in
    women than in men. He cannot agree with Sollier that this kind of
    sexual frigidity is a symptom of hysteria. Féré (_L'Instinct
    Sexuel_, second edition, p. 112), in referring to the greater
    frequency of sexual anesthesia in women, remarks that it is often
    associated with neuropathic states, as well as with anomalies of
    the genital organs, or general troubles of nutrition, and is
    usually acquired. Some authors attribute great importance to
    amenorrhea in this connection; one investigator has found that in
    4 out of 14 cases of absolute amenorrhea sexual feeling was
    absent. Löwenfeld, again (_Sexualleben und Nervenleiden_),
    referring to the common misconception that nervous disorder is
    associated with increased sexual desire, points out that
    nervously degenerate women far more often display frigidity than
    increased sexual desire. Elsewhere (_Ueber die Sexuelle
    Konstitution_) Löwenfeld says it is only among the upper classes
    that sexual anesthesia is common. Campbell Clark, also, showed
    some years ago that, in young women with a tendency to chlorosis
    and a predisposition to insanity, defects of pelvic and mammary
    development are very prevalent. (_Journal of Mental Science_,
    October, 1888.)

    As regards the older medical authors, Schurig (_Spermatologia_,
    1720, p. 243, and _Gynæcologia_, 1730, p. 81) brought together
    from the literature and from his own knowledge cases of women who
    felt no pleasure in coitus, as well as of some men who had
    erections without pleasure.

There is, however, much uncertainty as to what precisely is meant by
sexual frigidity or anesthesia. All the old medical authors carefully
distinguish between the heat of sexual desire and the actual presence of
pleasure in coitus; many modern writers also properly separate _libido_
from _voluptas_, since it is quite possible to experience sexual desires
and not to be able to obtain their gratification during sexual
intercourse, and it is possible to hold, with Mantegazza, that women
naturally have stronger sexual impulses than men, but are more liable than
men to experience sexual anesthesia. But it is very much more difficult
than most people seem to suppose, to obtain quite precise and definite
data concerning the absence of either _voluptas_ or _libido_ in a woman.
Even if we accept the statement of the woman who asserts that she has
either or both, the statement of their absence is by no means equally
conclusive and final. As even Adler--who discusses this question fully and
has very pronounced opinions about it--admits, there are women who stoutly
deny the existence of any sexual feelings until such feelings are
actually discovered.[158] Some of the most marked characteristics of the
sexual impulse in women, moreover,--its association with modesty, its
comparatively late development, its seeming passivity, its need of
stimulation,--all combine to render difficult the final pronouncement that
a woman is sexually frigid. Most significant of all in this connection is
the complexity of the sexual apparatus in women and the corresponding
psychic difficulty--based on the fundamental principle of sexual
selection--of finding a fitting mate. The fact that a woman is cold with
one man or even with a succession of men by no means shows that she is not
apt to experience sexual emotions; it merely shows that these men have not
been able to arouse them. "I recall two very striking cases," a
distinguished gynecologist, the late Dr. Engelmann, of Boston, wrote to
me, "of very attractive young married women--one having had a child, the
other a miscarriage--who were both absolutely cold to their husbands, as
told me by both husband and wife. They could not understand desire or
passion, and would not even believe that it existed. Yet, both these women
with other men developed ardent passion, all the stronger perhaps because
it had been so long latent." In such cases it is scarcely necessary to
invoke Adler's theory of a morbid inhibition, or "foreign body in
consciousness," which has to be overcome. We are simply in the presence of
the natural fact that the female throughout nature not only requires much
loving, but is usually fastidious in the choice of a lover. In the human
species this natural fact is often disguised and perverted. Women are not
always free to choose the man whom they would prefer as a lover, nor even
free to find out whether the man they prefer sexually fits them; they are,
moreover, very often extremely ignorant of the whole question of sex, and
the victims of the prejudice and false conventions they have been taught.
On the one hand, they are driven into an unnatural primness and austerity;
on the other hand, they rebound to an equally unnatural facility or even
promiscuity. Thus it happens that the men who find that a large number of
women are not so facile as they themselves are, and as they have found a
large number of women to be, rush to the conclusion that women tend to be
"sexually anesthetic." If we wish to be accurate, it is very doubtful
whether we can assert that a woman is ever absolutely without the aptitude
for sexual satisfaction.[159] She may unquestionably be without any
conscious desire for actual coitus. But if we realize to how large an
extent woman is a sexual organism, and how diffused and even unconscious
the sexual impulses may be, it becomes very difficult to assert that she
has never shown any manifestation of the sexual impulse. All we can assert
with some degree of positiveness in some cases is that she has not
manifested sexual gratification, more particularly as shown by the
occurrence of the orgasm, but that is very far indeed from warranting us
to assert that she never will experience such gratification or still less
that she is organically incapable of experiencing it.[160] It is therefore
quite impossible to follow Adler when he asks us to accept the existence
of a condition which he solemnly terms _anæsthesia sexualis completa
idiopathica_, in which there is no mechanical difficulty in the way or
psychic inhibition, but an "absolute" lack of sexual sensibility and a
complete absence of sexual inclination.[161]

It is instructive to observe that Adler himself knows no "pure" case of
this condition. To find such a case he has to go back nearly two centuries
to Madame de Warens, to whom he devotes a whole chapter. He has,
moreover, had the courage in writing this chapter to rely entirely on
Rousseau's _Confessions_, which were written nearly half a century later
than the episodes they narrated, and are therefore full of inaccuracies,
besides being founded on an imperfect and false knowledge of Madame de
Warens's earlier life, and written by a man who was, there can be no
doubt, not able to arouse women's passions. Adler shows himself completely
ignorant of the historical investigations of De Montet, Mugnier, Ritter,
and others which, during recent years, have thrown a flood of light on the
life and character of Madame de Warens, and not even acquainted with the
highly significant fact that she was hysterical.[162] This is the basis of
"fact" on which we are asked to accept _anæsthesia sexualis completa

    "In dealing with the alleged absence of the sexual impulse," a
    well-informed medical correspondent writes from America, "much
    caution has to be used in accepting statements as to its absence,
    from the fact that most women fear by the admission to place
    themselves in an impure category. I am also satisfied that influx
    of women into universities, etc., is often due to the sexual
    impulse causing restlessness, and that this factor finds
    expression in the prurient prudishness so often presenting itself
    in such women, which interferes with coeducation. This is
    becoming especially noticeable at the University of Chicago,
    where prudishness interferes with classical, biological,
    sociological, and physiological discussion in the classroom.
    There have been complaints by such women that a given professor
    has not left out embryological facts not in themselves in any way
    implying indelicacy. I have even been informed that the opinion
    is often expressed in college dormitories that embryological
    facts and discussions should be left out of a course intended for
    both sexes." Such prudishness, it is scarcely necessary to
    remark, whether found in women or men, indicates a mind that has
    become morbidly sensitive to sexual impressions. For the healthy
    mind embryological and allied facts have no emotionally sexual
    significance, and there is, therefore, no need to shun them.

    Kolischer, of Chicago ("Sexual Frigidity in Women," _American
    Journal of Obstetrics_, Sept., 1905), points out that it is often
    the failure of the husband to produce sexual excitement in the
    wife which leads to voluntary repression of sexual sensation on
    her part, or an acquired sexual anesthesia. "Sexual excitement,"
    he remarks, "not brought to its natural climax, the reaction
    leaves the woman in a very disagreeable condition, and repeated
    occurrences of this kind may even lead to general nervous
    disturbances. Some of these unfortunate women learn to suppress
    their sexual sensation so as to avoid all these disagreeable
    sequelæ. Such a state of affairs is not only unfortunate, because
    it deprives the female partner of her natural rights, but it is
    also to be deplored because it practically brings down such a
    married woman to the level of the prostitute."

    In illustration of the prevalence of inhibitions of various
    kinds, from without and from within, in suppressing or disguising
    sexual feeling in women, I may quote the following observations
    by an American lady concerning a series of women of her

    "Mrs. A. This woman is handsome and healthy. She has never had
    children, much to the grief of herself and her husband. The man
    is also handsome and attractive. Mrs. A. once asked me if
    love-making between me and my husband ever originated with me. I
    replied it was as often so as not, and she said that in that
    event she could not see how passion between husband and wife
    could be regulated. When I seemed not to be ashamed of the
    matter, but rather to be positive in my views that it should be
    so, she at once tried to impress me with the fact that she did
    not wish me to think she 'could not be aroused.' This woman
    several times hinted that she had learned a great amount that was
    not edifying at boarding school, and I always felt that, with
    proper encouragement, she would have retailed suggestive stories.

    "Mrs. B. This woman lives to please her husband, who is a spoiled
    man. She gave birth to a child soon after marriage, but was left
    an invalid for some years. She told me coition always hurt her,
    and she said it made her sick to see her husband nude. I was
    therefore surprised, years afterward, to hear her say, in reply
    to a remark of another person, 'Yes; women are not only as
    passionate as men, I am sure they are more so.' I therefore
    questioned the lack of passion she had on former occasions
    avowed, or else felt convinced her improvement in health had made
    intercourse pleasant.

    "Miss C. A teacher. She is emotional and easily becomes
    hysterical. Her life has been one of self-sacrifice and her
    rearing most Puritanical. She told me she thought women did not
    crave sexual satisfaction unless it had been aroused in them. I
    consider her one who physically is injured by not having it.

    "Mrs. D. After being married a few years this person told me she
    thought intercourse 'horrid.' Some years after this, however, she
    fell in love with a man not her husband, which caused their
    separation. She always fancied men in love with her, and she told
    me that she and her husband tried to live without intercourse,
    fearing more children, but they could not do it; she also told of
    trying to refrain, for the same purpose, until safe parts of the
    menstrual month, but that 'was just the time she cared least for
    it.' These remarks made me doubt the sincerity of the first.

    "Mrs. E. said she enjoyed intercourse as well as her husband, and
    she 'didn't see why she should not say so.' This same woman,
    whether using a current phrase or not, afterward said her husband
    'did not bother her very often.'

    "Mrs. F., the mother of several children, was married to a man
    she neither loved nor respected, but she said that when a strange
    man touched her it made her tremble all over.

    "Mrs. G., the mother of many children, divorced on account of the
    dissipation, drinking and otherwise, of her husband. She is of
    the creole type, but large and almost repulsive. She is a
    brilliant talker and she supports herself by writing. She has
    fallen in love with a number of young men, 'wildly, madly,
    passionately,' as one of them told me, and I am sure she suffers
    greatly from the lack of satisfaction. She would no doubt procure
    it if it were possible.

    "I believe," the writer concludes, "women are as passionate as
    men, but the enforced restraint of years possibly smothers it.
    The fear of having children and the methods to prevent conception
    are, I am sure, potent factors in the injury to the emotions of
    married women. Perhaps the lack of intercourse acts less
    disastrously upon a woman because of the renewed feeling which
    comes after each menstrual period."

    As bearing on the causes which have led to the disguise and
    misinterpretation of the sexual impulse in women I may quote the
    following communication from another lady:--

    "I do think the coldness of women has been greatly exaggerated.
    Men's theoretically ideal woman (though they don't care so much
    about it in practice) is passionless, and women are afraid to
    admit that they have any desire for sexual pleasure. Rousseau,
    who was not very straight-laced, excuses the conduct of Madame de
    Warens on the ground that it was not the result of passion: an
    aggravation rather than a palliation of the offense, if society
    viewed it from the point of view of any other fault. Even in the
    modern novels written by the 'new woman' the longing for
    maternity, always an honorable sentiment, is dragged in to veil
    the so-called 'lower' desire. That some women, at any rate, have
    very strong passions and that great suffering is entailed by
    their repression is not, I am sure, sufficiently recognized, even
    by women themselves.

    "Besides the 'passionless ideal' which checks their sincerity,
    there are many causes which serve to disguise a woman's feelings
    to herself and make her seem to herself colder than she really
    is. Briefly these are:--

    "1. Unrecognized disease of the reproductive organs, especially
    after the birth of children. A friend of mine lamented to me her
    inability to feel pleasure, though she had done so before the
    birth of her child, then 3 years old. With considerable
    difficulty I persuaded her to see a doctor, who told her all the
    reproductive organs were seriously congested; so that for three
    years she had lived in ignorance and regret for her husband's
    sake and her own.

    "2. The dread of recommencing, once having suffered them, all the
    pains and discomforts of child-bearing.

    "3. Even when precautions are taken, much bother and anxiety is
    involved, which has a very dampening effect on excitement.

    "4. The fact that men will never take any trouble to find out
    what specially excites a woman. A woman, as a rule, is at some
    pains to find out the little things which particularly affect the
    man she loves,--it may be a trick of speech, a rose in her hair,
    or what not,--and she makes use of her knowledge. But do you know
    one man who will take the same trouble? (It is difficult to
    specify, as what pleases one person may not another. I find that
    the things that affect me personally are the following: [_a_]
    Admiration for a man's mental capacity will translate itself
    sometimes into direct physical excitement. [_b_] Scents of white
    flowers, like tuberose or syringa. [_c_] The sight of fireflies.
    [_d_] The idea or the reality of suspension. [_e_] Occasionally
    absolute passivity.)

    "5. The fact that many women satisfy their husbands when
    themselves disinclined. This is like eating jam when one does not
    fancy it, and has a similar effect. It is a great mistake, in my
    opinion, to do so, except very rarely. A man, though perhaps
    cross at the time, prefers, I believe, to gratify himself a few
    times, when the woman also enjoys it, to many times when she does

    "6. The masochistic tendency of women, or their desire for
    subjection to the man they love. I believe no point in the whole
    question is more misunderstood than this. Nearly every man
    imagines that to secure a woman's love and respect he must give
    her her own way in small things, and compel her obedience in
    great ones. Every man who desires success with a woman should
    exactly reverse that theory."

When we are faced by these various and often conflicting statements of
opinion it seems necessary to obtain, if possible, a definite basis of
objective fact. It would be fairly obvious in any case, and it becomes
unquestionable in view of the statements I have brought together, that the
best-informed and most sagacious clinical observers, when giving an
opinion on a very difficult and elusive subject which they have not
studied with any attention and method, are liable to make unguarded
assertions; sometimes, also, they become the victims of ethical or
pseudoethical prejudices, so as to be most easily influenced by that class
of cases which happens to fit in best with their prepossessions.[164] In
order to reach any conclusions on a reasonable basis it is necessary to
take a series of unselected individuals and to ascertain carefully the
condition of the sexual impulse in each.

At present, however, this is extremely difficult to do at all
satisfactorily, and quite impossible, indeed, to do in a manner likely to
yield absolutely unimpeachable results. Nevertheless, a few series of
observations have been made. Thus, Dr. Harry Campbell[165] records the
result of an investigation, carried on in his hospital practice, of 52
married women of the poorer class; they were not patients, but ordinary,
healthy working-class women, and the inquiry was not made directly, but of
the husbands, who were patients. Sexual instinct was said to be present in
12 cases before marriage, and absent in 40; in 13 of the 40 it never
appeared at all; so that it altogether appeared in 39, or in the ratio of
something over 75 per cent. Among the 12 in whom it existed before
marriage it was said to have appeared in most with puberty; in 3, however,
a few years before puberty, and in 2 a few years later. In 2 of those in
whom it appeared before puberty, menstruation began late; in the third it
rose almost to nymphomania on the day preceding the first menstruation.
In nearly all the cases desire was said to be stronger in the husband than
in the wife; when it was stronger in the wife, the husband was
exceptionally indifferent. Of the 13 in whom desire was absent after
marriage, 5 had been married for a period under two years, and Campbell
remarks that it would be wrong to conclude that it would never develop in
these cases, for in this group of cases the appearance of sexual instinct
was sometimes a matter of days, sometimes of years, after the date of
marriage. In two-thirds of the cases there was a diminution of desire,
usually gradual, at the climacteric; in the remaining third there was
either no change or exaltation of desire. The most important general
result, Campbell concludes, is that "the sexual instinct is very much less
intense in woman than in man," and to this he elsewhere adds a corollary
that "the sexual instinct in the civilized woman is, I believe, tending to

An eminent gynecologist, the late Dr. Matthews Duncan, has (in his work on
_Sterility in Women_) presented a table which, although foreign to this
subject, has a certain bearing on the matter. Matthews Duncan, believing
that the absence of sexual desire and of sexual pleasure in coitus are
powerful influences working for sterility, noted their presence or absence
in a number of cases, and found that, among 191 sterile women between the
ages of 15 and 45, 152, or 79 per cent., acknowledged the presence of
sexual desire; and among 196 sterile women (mostly the same cases), 134,
or 68 per cent., acknowledged the presence of sexual pleasure in coitus.
Omitting the cases over 35 years of age, which were comparatively few, the
largest proportion of affirmative answers, both as regards sexual pleasure
and sexual desire, was from between 30 and 34 years of age. Matthews
Duncan assumes that the absence of sexual desire and sexual pleasure in
women is thoroughly abnormal.[166]

An English non-medical author, in the course of a thoughtful discussion of
sexual phenomena, revealing considerable knowledge and observation,[167]
has devoted a chapter to this subject in another of its aspects. Without
attempting to ascertain the normal strength of the sexual instinct in
women, he briefly describes 11 cases of "sexual anesthesia" in Women (in 2
or 3 of which there appears, however, to be an element of latent
homosexuality) from among the circle of his own friends. This author
concludes that sexual coldness is very common among English women, and
that it involves questions of great social and ethical importance.

    I have not met with any series of observations made among
    seemingly healthy and normal women in other countries; there are,
    however, various series of somewhat abnormal cases in which the
    point was noted, and the results are not uninstructive. Thus, in
    Vienna at Krafft-Ebing's psychiatric clinic, Gattel (_Ueber die
    sexuellen Ursachen der Neurasthenie und Angstneurose_, 1898)
    carefully investigated the cases of 42 women, mostly at the
    height of sexual life,--i.e., between 20 and 35,--who were
    suffering from slight nervous disorders, especially neurasthenia
    and mild hysteria, but none of them from grave nervous or other
    disease. Of these 42, at least 17 had masturbated, at one time or
    another, either before or after marriage, in order to obtain
    relief of sexual feelings. In the case of 4 it is stated that
    they do not obtain sexual satisfaction in marriage, but in these
    cases only _coitus interruptus_ is practised, and the fact that
    the absence of sexual satisfaction was complained of seems to
    indicate an aptitude for experiencing it. These 4 cases can
    therefore scarcely be regarded as exceptions. In all the other
    cases sexual desire, sexual excitement, or sexual satisfaction is
    always clearly indicated, and in a considerable proportion of
    cases it is noted that the sexual impulse is very strongly
    developed. This series is valuable, since the facts of the sexual
    life are, as far as possible, recorded with much precision. The
    significance of the facts varies, however, according to the view
    taken as to the causation of neurasthenia and allied conditions
    of slight nervous disorder. Gattel argues that sexual
    irregularities are a peculiarly fruitful, if not invariable,
    source of such disorders; according to the more commonly accepted
    view this is not so. If we accept the more usual view, these
    women fairly correspond to average women of lower class; if,
    however, we accept Gattel's view, they may possess the sexual
    instinct in a more marked degree than average women.

    In a series of 116 German women in whom the operation of removing
    the ovaries was performed, Pfister usually noted briefly in what
    way the sexual impulse was affected by the operation ("Die
    Wirkung der Castration auf den Weiblichen Organismus," _Archiv
    für Gynäkologie_, 1898, p. 583). In 13 cases (all but 3
    unmarried) the presence of sexual desire at any time was denied,
    and 2 of these expressed disgust of sexual matters. In 12 cases
    the point is left doubtful. In all the other cases sexual desire
    had once been present, and in 2 or 3 cases it was acknowledged to
    be so strong as to approach nymphomania. In about 30 of these
    (not including any in which it was previously very strong) it was
    extinguished by castration, in a few others it was diminished,
    and in the rest unaffected. Thus, when we exclude the 12 cases in
    which the point was not apparently investigated, and the 10
    unmarried women, in whom it may have been latent or unavowed, we
    find that, of 94 married women, 91 women acknowledged the
    existence of sexual desire and only 3 denied it.

    Schröter, again in Germany, has investigated the manifestations
    of the sexual impulse among 402 insane women in the asylum at
    Eichberg in Rheingau. ("Wird bei jungen Unverheiratheten zur Zeit
    der Menstruation stärkere sexuelle Erregheit beobaehtet?"
    _Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie_, vol. lvi, 1899, pp.
    321-333.) There is no reason to suppose that the insane represent
    a class of the community specially liable to sexual emotion,
    although its manifestations may become unrestrained and
    conspicuous under the influence of insanity; and at the same
    time, while the appearance of such manifestations is evidence of
    the aptitude for sexual emotions, their absence may be only due
    to disease, seclusion, or to an intact power of self-control.

    Of the 402 women, 166 were married and 236 unmarried. Schröter
    divided them into four groups: (1) those below 20; (2) those
    between 20 and 30; (3) those between 30 and 40; (4) those from 40
    to the menopause. The patients included persons from the lowest
    class of the population, and only about a quarter of them could
    fairly be regarded as curable. Thus the manifestations of
    sexuality were diminished, for with advance of mental disease
    sexual manifestations cease to appear. Schröter only counted
    those cases in which the sexual manifestations were decided and
    fairly constant at the menstrual epoch; if not visibly
    manifested, sexual feeling was not taken into account. Sexual
    phenomena accompanied the entry of the menstrual epoch in 141
    cases: i.e., in 20 (or in the proportion of 72 per cent.) of the
    first group, consisting entirely of unmarried women; in 33 (or 28
    per cent.) of the second group; in 55 (or 35 per cent.) of the
    third group; and in 33 (or 33 per cent.) of the fourth group. It
    was found that 181 patients showed no sexual phenomena at any
    time, while 80 showed sexual phenomena frequently between the
    menstrual epochs, but only in a slight degree, and not at all
    during the period. At all ages sexual manifestations were more
    prevalent among the unmarried than among the married, though this
    difference became regularly and progressively less with increase
    in age.

    Schröter inclines to think that sexual excitement is commoner
    among insane women belonging to the lower social classes than in
    those belonging to the better classes. Among 184 women in a
    private asylum, only 13 (6.13 per cent.) showed very marked and
    constant excitement at menstrual periods. He points out, however,
    that this may be due to a greater ability to restrain the
    manifestations of feeling.

    There is some interest in Schröter's results, though they cannot
    be put on a line with inquiries made among the sane; they only
    represent the prevalence of the grossest and strongest sexual
    manifestations when freed from the restraints of sanity.

As a slight contribution toward the question, I have selected a series of
12 cases of women of whose sexual development I possess precise
information, with the following results: In 2 cases distinct sexual
feeling was experienced spontaneously at the age of 7 and 8, but the
complete orgasm only occurred some years after puberty; in 5 cases sexual
feeling appeared spontaneously for a few months to a year after the
appearance of menstruation, which began between 12 and 14 years of age,
usually at 13; in another case sexual feeling first appeared shortly after
menstruation began, but not spontaneously, being called out by a lover's
advances; in the remaining 4 cases sexual emotion never became definite
and conscious until adult life (the ages being 26, 27, 34, 35), in 2 cases
through being made love to, and in 2 cases through self-manipulation out
of accident or curiosity. It is noteworthy that the sexual feelings first
developed in adult life were usually as strong as those arising at
puberty. It may be added that, of these 12 women, 9 had at some time or
another masturbated (4 shortly after puberty, 5 in adult life), but,
except in 1 case, rarely and at intervals. All belong to the middle class,
2 or 3 leading easy, though not idle, lives, while all the others are
engaged in professional or other avocations often involving severe labor.
They differ widely in character and mental ability; but, while 2 or 3
might be regarded as slightly abnormal, they are all fairly healthy.

I am inclined to believe that the experiences of the foregoing group are
fairly typical of the social class to which they belong. I may, however,
bring forward another series of 35 women, varying in age from 18 to 40
(with 2 exceptions all over 25), and in every respect comparable with the
smaller group, but concerning whom my knowledge, though reliable, is
usually less precise and detailed. In this group 5 state that they have
never experienced sexual emotion, these being all unmarried and leading
strictly chaste lives; in 18 cases the sexual impulse may be described as
strong, or is so considered by the subject herself; in 9 cases it is only
moderate; in 3 it is very slight when evoked, and with difficulty evoked,
in 1 of these only appearing two years after marriage, in another the
exhaustion and worry of household cares being assigned for its comparative
absence. It is noteworthy that all the more highly intelligent, energetic
women in the series appear in the group of those with strong sexual
emotions, and also that severe mental and physical labor, even when
cultivated for this purpose, has usually had little or no influence in
relieving sexual emotion.

    An American physician in the State of Connecticut sends me the
    following notes concerning a series of 13 married women, taken,
    as they occurred, in obstetric practice. They are in every way
    respectable and moral women:--

    "Mrs. A. says that her husband does not give her sufficient
    sexual attention, as he fears they will have more children than
    he can properly care for. Mrs. B. always enjoys intercourse; so
    does Mrs. C. Mrs. D. is easily excited and very fond of sexual
    attention. Mrs. E. likes intercourse if her husband is careful
    not to hurt her. Mrs. F. never had any sexual desire until after
    second marriage, but it is now very urgent at times. Mrs. G. is
    not easily excited, but has never objected to her husband's
    attention. Mrs. H. would prefer to have her husband exhibit more
    attention. Mrs. I. never refused her husband, but he does not
    trouble her much. Mrs. J. thinks that three or four times a week
    is satisfactory, but would not object to nightly intercourse.
    Mrs. K. does not think that her husband could give her more than
    she would like. Mrs. L. would prefer to live with a woman if it
    were not for sexual intercourse. Mrs. M., aged 40, says that her
    husband, aged 65, insists upon intercourse three times every
    night, and that he keeps her tired and disgusted. She each time
    has at least one orgasm, and would not object to reasonable

It may be remarked that, while these results in English women of the
middle class are in fair agreement with the German and Austrian
observations I have quoted, they differ from Campbell's results among
women of the working class in London. This discrepancy is, perhaps, not
difficult to explain. While the conditions of upper-class life may
possibly be peculiarly favorable to the development of the sexual
emotions, among the working classes in London, where the stress of the
struggle for existence under bad hygienic conditions is so severe, they
may be peculiarly unfavorable. It is thus possible that there really are a
smaller number of women experiencing sexual emotion among the class dealt
with by Campbell than among the class to which my series belong.[168]

A more serious consideration is the method of investigation. A working
man, who is perhaps unintelligent outside his own work, and in many cases
married to a woman who is superior in refinement, may possibly be able to
arouse his wife's sexual emotions, and also able to ascertain what those
emotions are, and be willing to answer questions truthfully on this point,
to the best of his ability, but he is by no means a witness whose evidence
is final. While, however, Campbell's facts may not be quite
unquestionable, I am inclined to agree with his conclusion, and
Mantegazza's, that there is a very great range of variation in this
matter, and that there is no age at which the sexual impulse in women may
not appear. A lady who has received the confidence of very many women
tells me that she has never found a woman who was without sexual feeling.
I should myself be inclined to say that it is extremely difficult to find
a woman who is without the aptitude for sexual emotion, although a great
variety of circumstances may hinder, temporarily or permanently, the
development of this latent aptitude. In other words, while the latent
sexual aptitude may always be present, the sexual impulse is liable to be
defective and the aptitude to remain latent, with consequent deficiency of
sexual emotion, and absence of sexual satisfaction.

    This is not only indicated by the considerable proportion of my
    cases in which there is only moderate or slight sexual feeling. I
    have ample evidence that in many cases the element of pain, which
    may almost be said to be normal in the establishment of the
    sexual function, is never merged, as it normally is, in
    pleasurable sensations on the full establishment of sexual
    relationships. Sometimes, no doubt, this may be due to
    dyspareunia. Sometimes there may be an absolute sexual
    anesthesia, whether of congenital or hysterical origin. I have
    been told of the case of a married lady who has never been able
    to obtain sexual pleasure, although she has had relations with
    several men, partly to try if she could obtain the experience,
    and partly to please them; the very fact that the motives for
    sexual relationships arose from no stronger impulse itself
    indicates a congenital defect on the psychic as well as on the
    physical side. But, as a rule, the sexual anesthesia involved is
    not absolute, but lies in a disinclination to the sexual act due
    to various causes, in a defect of strong sexual impulse, and an
    inaptitude for the sexual orgasm.

    I am indebted to a lady who has written largely on the woman
    question, and is herself the mother of a numerous family, for
    several letters in regard to the prevalence among women of sexual
    coldness, a condition which she regards as by no means to be
    regretted. She considers that in all her own children the sexual
    impulse is very slightly developed, the boys being indifferent to
    women, the girls cold toward men and with no desire to marry,
    though all are intelligent and affectionate, the girls showing a
    very delicate and refined kind of beauty. (A large selection of
    photographs accompanied this communication.) Something of the
    same tendency is said to mark the stocks from which this family
    springs, and they are said to be notable for their longevity,
    healthiness, and disinclination for excesses of all kinds. It is
    scarcely necessary to remark that a mother, however highly
    intelligent, is by no means an infallible judge as to the
    presence or absence in her children of so shy, subtle, and
    elusive an impulse as that of sex. At the same time I am by no
    means disposed to question the existence in individuals, and even
    in families or stocks, of a relatively weak sexual impulse,
    which, while still enabling procreation to take place, is
    accompanied by no strong attraction to the opposite sex and no
    marked inclination for marriage. (Adler, op. cit., p. 168, found
    such a condition transmitted from mother to daughter.) Such
    persons often possess a delicate type of beauty. Even, however,
    when the health is good there seems usually to be a certain lack
    of vitality.

It seems to me that a state of sexual anesthesia, relative or absolute,
cannot be considered as anything but abnormal. To take even the lowest
ground, the satisfaction of the reproductive function ought to be at least
as gratifying as the evacuation of the bowels or bladder; while, if we
take, as we certainly must, higher ground than this, an act which is at
once the supreme fact and symbol of love and the supreme creative act
cannot under normal conditions be other than the most pleasurable of all
acts, or it would stand in violent opposition to all that we find in

How natural the sexual impulse is in women, whatever difficulties may
arise in regard to its complete gratification, is clearly seen when we
come to consider the frequency with which in young women we witness its
more or less instinctive manifestations. Such manifestations are liable to
occur in a specially marked manner in the years immediately following the
establishment of puberty, and are the more impressive when we remember the
comparatively passive part played by the female generally in the game of
courtship, and the immense social force working on women to compel them to
even an unnatural extension of that passive part. The manifestations to
which I allude not only occur with most frequency in young girls, but,
contrary to the common belief, they seem to occur chiefly in innocent and
unperverted girls. The more vicious are skillful enough to avoid the
necessity for any such open manifestations. We have to bear this in mind
when confronted by flagrant sexual phenomena in young girls.

    "A young girl," says Hammer ("Ueber die Sinnlichkeit gesunder
    Jungfrauen," _Die Neue Generation_, Aug., 1911), "who has not
    previously adopted any method of self-gratification experiences
    at the beginning of puberty, about the time of the first
    menstruation and the sprouting of the pubic hair, in the absence
    of all stimulation by a man, spontaneous sexual tendencies of
    both local and psychic nature. On the psychic side there is a
    feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction, a need of subjection
    and of serving, and, if the opportunity has so far been absent,
    the craving to see masculine nudity and to learn the facts of
    procreation. Side by side with these wishes, there are at the
    same time inhibitory desires, such as the wish to keep herself
    pure, either for a man whom she represents to herself as the
    'ideal,' or for her parents, who must not be worried, or as a
    member of a chosen people in whose spirit she must live and die,
    or out of love to Jesus or to some saint. On the physical side,
    there is the feeling of fresh power and energy, of enterprise;
    the agreeable tension of the genital regions, which easily become
    moist. Then there is the feeling of overirritability and excess
    of tension, and the need of relieving the tension through
    pinches, blows, tight lacing, and so forth. If the girl remains
    innocent of sex satisfaction, there takes place during sleep, at
    regular intervals of about three days, more or less the relief
    and emission of the tense glands, not corresponding to the
    menstrual period, but to intercourse, and serving better than
    sexual instruction to represent to her the phenomena of
    intercourse. If at this period actual intercourse takes place, it
    is, as a rule, free from pain, as also is the introduction of the
    speculum. Without any seduction from without, the chaste girl now
    frequently finds a way to relieve the excessive tension without
    the aid of a man. It is self-abuse that leads gradually to the
    production of pain in defloration. The menstrual phenomena
    correspond to birth; self-gratification or relief during sleep to
    intercourse." This statement of the matter is somewhat too
    absolute and unqualified. Under the artificial conditions of
    civilization the inhibitory influences of training speedily work
    powerfully, and more or less successfully, in banishing sexual
    phenomena into the subconscious, sometimes to work all the
    mischief there which Freud attributes to them. It must also be
    said (as I have pointed out in the discussion of Auto-erotism in
    another volume) that sexual dreams seem to be the exception
    rather than the rule in innocent girls. It remains true that
    sexual phenomena in girls at puberty must not be regarded as
    morbid or unnatural. There is also very good reason for believing
    (even apart from the testimony of so experienced a gynecologist
    as Hammer) that on the physical side sexual processes tend to be
    accomplished with a facility that is often lost in later years
    with prolonged chastity. This is true alike of intercourse and of
    childbirth. (See vol. vi of these _Studies_, ch. xii.)

Even, however, in the case of adults the active part played by women in
real life in matters of love by no means corresponds to the conventional
ideas on these subjects. No doubt nearly every woman receives her sexual
initiation from an older and more experienced man. But, on the other hand,
nearly every man receives his first initiation through the active and
designed steps taken by an older and more experienced woman. It is too
often forgotten by those who write on these subjects that the man who
seduces a woman has usually himself in the first place been "seduced" by a

    A well-known physician in Chicago tells me that on making inquiry
    of 25 middle-class married men in succession be found that 16 had
    been first seduced by a woman. An officer in the Indian Medical
    Service writes to me as follows: "Once at a club in Burma we were
    some 25 at table and the subject of first intercourse came up.
    All had been led astray by servants save 2, whom their sisters'
    governesses had initiated. We were all men in the 'service,' so
    the facts may be taken to be typical of what occurs in our
    stratum of society. All had had sexual relations with respectable
    unmarried girls, and most with the wives of men known to their
    fathers, in some instances these being old enough to be their
    lovers' mothers. Apparently up to the age of 17 none had dared to
    make the first advances, yet from the age of 13 onward all had
    had ample opportunity for gratifying their sexual instincts with
    women. Though all had been to public schools where homosexuality
    was known to occur, yet (as I can assert from intimate knowledge)
    none had given signs of inversion or perversion in Burma."

    In Russia, Tchlenoff, investigating the sexual life of over 2000
    Moscow students of upper and middle class (_Archives
    d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, Oct.-Nov., 1908), found that in half
    of them the first coitus took place between 14 and 17 years of
    age; in 41 per cent, with prostitutes, in 39 per cent, with
    servants, and in 10 per cent, with married women. In 41 per cent,
    the young man declared that he had taken the initiative, in 25
    per cent, the women took it, and in 23 per cent, the incitement
    came from a comrade.

    The histories I have recorded in Appendix B (as well as in the
    two following volumes of these _Studies_) very well illustrate
    the tendency of young girls to manifest sexual impulses when
    freed from the constraint which they feel in the presence of
    adult men and from the fear of consequences. These histories show
    especially how very frequently nurse-maids and servant-girls
    effect the sexual initiation of the young boys intrusted to them.
    How common this impulse is among adolescent girls of low social
    class is indicated by the fact that certainly the majority of
    middle-class men can recall instances from their own childhood.
    (I here leave out of account the widespread practice among nurses
    of soothing very young children in their charge by manipulating
    the sexual organs.)

    A medical correspondent, in emphasizing this point, writes that
    "many boys will tell you that, if a nurse-girl is allowed to
    sleep in the same room with them, she will attempt sexual
    manipulations. Either the girl gets into bed with the boy and
    pulling him on to her tickles the penis and inserts it into the
    vulva, making the boy imitate sexual movements, or she simply
    masturbates the child, to get him excited and interested, often
    showing him the female sexual opening in herself or in his
    sisters, teaching him to finger it. In fact, a nurse-girl may
    ruin a boy, chiefly, I think, because she has been brought up to
    regard the sexual organs as a mystery, and is in utter ignorance
    about them. She thus takes the opportunity of investigating the
    boy's penis to find out how it works, etc., in order to satisfy
    her curiosity. I know of a case in which a nurse in a fashionable
    London Square garden used to collect all the boys and girls
    (gentlemen's children) in a summer-house when it grew dark, and,
    turning up her petticoats, invite all the boys to look at and
    feel her vulva, and also incite the older boys of 12 or 14 to
    have coitus with her. Girls are afraid of pregnancy, so do not
    allow an adult penis to operate. I think people should take on a
    far higher class of nurses, than they do."

    "Children ought never to be allowed, under any circumstances
    whatever," wrote Lawson Tait (_Diseases of Women_, 1889, p. 62),
    "to sleep with servants. In every instance where I have found a
    number of children affected [by masturbation] the contagion has
    been traced to a servant." Freud has found (_Neurologisches
    Centralblatt_, No. 10, 1896) that in cases of severe youthful
    hysteria the starting point may frequently be traced to sexual
    manipulations by servants, nurse-girls, and governesses.

    "When I was about 8 or 9," a friend writes, "a servant-maid of
    our family, who used to carry the candle out of my bedroom, often
    drew down the bedclothes and inspected my organs. One night she
    put the penis in her mouth. When I asked her why she did it her
    answer was that 'sucking a boy's little dangle' cured her of
    pains in her stomach. She said that she had done it to other
    little boys, and declared that she liked doing it. This girl was
    about 16; she had lately been 'converted.' Another maid in our
    family used to kiss me warmly on the naked abdomen when I was a
    small boy. But she never did more than that. I have heard of
    various instances of servant-girls tampering with boys before
    puberty, exciting the penis to premature erection by
    manipulation, suction, and contact with their own parts." Such
    overstimulation must necessarily in some cases have an injurious
    influence on the boy's immature nervous system. Thus, Hutchinson
    (_Archives of Surgery_, vol. iv, p. 200) describes a case of
    amblyopia in a boy, developing after he had been placed to sleep
    in a servant-girl's room.

    Moll (_Konträre Sexualempfindung_, third edition, 1899, p. 325)
    refers to the frequency with which servant-girls (between the
    ages of 18 and 30) carry on sexual practices with young boys
    (between 5 and 13) committed to their care. More than a century
    earlier Tissot, in his famous work on onanism, referred to the
    frequency with which servant-girls corrupt boys by teaching them
    to masturbate; and still earlier, in England, the author of
    _Onania_ gave many such cases. We may, indeed, go back to the
    time of Rabelais, who (as Dr. Kiernan reminds me) represents the
    governesses of Gargantua, when he was a child, as taking pleasure
    in playing with his penis till it became wet, and joking with
    each other about it. (_Gargantua_, book i, chapter ix.)

    The prevalence of such manifestations among servant-girls
    witnesses to their prevalence among lower-class girls generally.
    In judging such acts, even when they seem to be very deliberate,
    it is important to remember that at this age unreasoning instinct
    plays a very large part in the manifestations of the sexual
    impulse. This is clearly indicated by the phenomena observed in
    the insane. Thus, as we have seen (page 214), Schröter has found
    that, among girls of low social class under 20 years of age,
    spontaneous periodical sexual manifestations at menstrual epochs
    occurred in as large a proportion as 72 per cent. Among girls of
    better social position these impulses are inhibited, or at all
    events modified, by good taste or good feeling, the influences of
    tradition or education; it is only to the latter that children
    should be intrusted.

    Hoche mentions a case in which a man was accused of repeatedly
    exhibiting his sexual organs to the servant-girl at a house; she
    enjoyed the spectacle (_Neurologisches Centralblatt_, 1896, No.
    2). It may well be that in some cases of self-exhibition the
    offender has good reason, on the ground of previous experience,
    for thinking that he is giving pleasure. "When we used to go to
    bathe while I was at school," writes a correspondent, "girls from
    a poor quarter of the lower town (some quite 16) often followed
    us and stood to watch about a hundred yards from the river. They
    used to 'giggle' and 'pass remarks.' I have seen girls of this
    class peeping through chinks of a palisade around a bathing-place
    on the Thames." A correspondent who has given special attention
    to the point tells me of the great interest displayed by young
    girls of the people in Italy in the sexual organs of men.

    Curiosity--whether in the form of the desire for knowledge or the
    desire for sensation--is, of course, not confined to young girls
    and women of lower social strata, though in them it is less often
    restrained by motives of self-respect and good feeling. "At the
    age of 8," writes a correspondent, "I was one day playing in a
    spare room with a girl of about 12 or 13. She gave me a
    penholder, and, crouching upon her hands and knees, with her
    posterior toward me, invited me to introduce the instrument into
    the vulva. This was the first time I had seen the female parts,
    and, as I appeared to be somewhat repelled, she coaxed me to
    comply with her desire. I did as she directed, and she said that
    it gave her pleasure. Several times after I repeated the same act
    at her request. A friend tells me that when he was 10 a girl of
    16 asked him to lace up her boots. While he was kneeling at her
    feet his hand touched her ankle. She asked him to put his hand
    higher, and repeated 'Higher, higher,' till he touched the
    pudenda, and finally, at her request, put his finger into the
    vestibule. This girl was very handsome and amiable, and a
    favorite of the boy's mother. No one suspected this propensity."
    Again, a correspondent (a man of science) tells me of a friend
    who lately, when dining out, met a girl, the daughter of a
    country vicar; he was not specially attracted to her and paid her
    no special attention. "A few days afterward he was astonished to
    receive a call from her one afternoon (though his address is not
    discoverable from any recognized source). She sat down as near to
    him as she could, and rested her hand on his thigh, etc., while
    talking on different subjects and drinking tea. Then without any
    verbal prelude she asked him to have connection with her. Though
    not exactly a Puritan, he is not the man to jump at such an offer
    from a woman he is not in love with, so, after ascertaining that
    the girl was _virgo intacta_, he declined and she went away. A
    fortnight or so later he received a letter from her in the
    country, making no reference to what had passed, but giving an
    account of her work with her Sunday-school class. He did not
    reply, and then came a curt note asking him to return her letter.
    My friend feels sure she was devoted to auto-erotic performances,
    but, having become attracted to him, came to the conclusion she
    would like to try normal intercourse."

    Wolbarst, studying the prevalence of gonorrhea among boys in New
    York (especially, it would appear, in quarters where the
    foreign-born elements--mainly Russian Jew and south Italian--are
    large), states: "In my study of this subject there have been
    observed 3 cases of gonorrheal urethritis, in boys aged,
    respectively, 4, 10, and 12 years, which were acquired in the
    usual manner, from girls ranging between 10 and 12 years of age.
    In each case, according to the story told by the victim, the girl
    made the first advances, and in I case, that of the 4-year-old
    boy, the act was consummated in the form of an assault, by a
    girl 12 years old, in which the child was threatened with injury
    unless he performed his part." (A.L. Wolbarst, _Journal of the
    American Medical Association_, Sept. 28, 1901.) In a further
    series of cases (_Medical Record_, Oct. 29, 1910) Wolbarst
    obtained similar results, though he recognizes also the frequency
    of precocious sexuality in the young boys themselves.

    Gibb states, concerning assaults on children by women: "It is
    undeniably true that they occur much more frequently than is
    generally supposed, although but few of the cases are brought to
    public notice, owing to the difficulty of proving the charge."
    (W.T. Gibb, article "Indecent Assaults upon Children," in A.
    McLane Hamilton's _System of Legal Medicine_, vol. i, p. 651.)
    Gibb's opinion carries weight, since he is medical adviser for
    the New York Society for the Protection of Children, and
    compelled to sift the evidence carefully in such cases.

    It should be mentioned that, while a sexual curiosity exercised
    on younger children is, in girls about the age of puberty, an
    ill-regulated, but scarcely morbid, manifestation, in older women
    it may be of pathological origin. Thus, Kisch records the case of
    a refined and educated lady of 30 who had been married for nine
    years, but had never experienced sexual pleasure in coitus. For a
    long time past, however, she had felt a strong desire to play
    with the genital organs of children of either sex, a proceeding
    which gave her sexual pleasure. She sought to resist this impulse
    as much as possible, but during menstruation it was often
    irresistible. Examination showed an enlarged and retroflexed
    uterus and anesthesia of vagina. (Kisch, _Die Sterilität des
    Weibes_, 1886, p. 103.) The psychological mechanism by which an
    anesthetic vagina leads to a feeling of repulsion for normal
    coitus and normal sexual organs, and directs the sexual feelings
    toward more infantile forms of sexuality, is here not difficult
    to trace.

    It is not often that the sexual attempts of girls and young women
    on boys--notwithstanding their undoubted frequency--become of
    medico-legal interest. In France in the course of ten years (1874
    to 1884) only 181 women, who were mostly between 20 and 30 years
    of age, were actually convicted of sexual attempts on children
    below 15. (Paul Bernard, "Viols et attentats a la Pudeur,"
    _Archives de l'Anthropologie Criminelle_, 1887.) Lop ("Attentats
    à la Pudeur commis par des Femmes sur des Petits Enfants," id.,
    Aug., 1896) brings together a number of cases chiefly committed
    by girls between the ages of 18 and 20. In England such
    accusations against a young woman or girl may easily be
    circumvented. If she is under 16 she is protected by the Criminal
    Law Amendment Act and cannot be punished. In any case, when found
    out, she can always easily bring the sympathy to her side by
    declaring that she is not the aggressor, but the victim. Cases of
    violent sexual assault upon girls, Lawson Tait remarks, while
    they undoubtedly do occur, are very much rarer than the frequency
    with which the charge is made would lead us to suspect. At one
    time, by arrangement with the authority, 70 such charges at
    Birmingham were consecutively brought before Lawson Tait. These
    charges were all made under the Criminal Law Amendment Act. In
    only 6 of these cases was he able to advise prosecution, in all
    of which cases conviction was obtained. In 7 other cases in which
    the police decided to prosecute there was either no conviction or
    a very light sentence. In at least 26 cases the charge was
    clearly trumped up. The average age of these girls was 12. "There
    is not a piece of sexual argot that ever had before reached my
    ears," remarks Mr. Tait, "but was used by these children in the
    descriptions given by them of what had been done to them; and
    they introduced, in addition, quite a new vocabulary on the
    subject. The minute and detailed descriptions of the sexual act
    given by chits of 10 and 11 would do credit to the pages of
    Mirabeau. At first sight it is a puzzle to see how children so
    young obtained their information." "About the use of the word
    'seduced,'" the same writer remarks, "I wish to say that the
    class of women from amongst whom the great bulk of these cases
    are drawn seem to use it in a sense altogether different from
    that generally employed. It is not with them a process in which
    male villainy succeeds by various arts in overcoming female
    virtue and reluctance, but simply a date at which an incident in
    their lives occurs for the first time; and, according to their
    use of the phrase, the ancient legend of the Sacred Scriptures,
    had it ended in the more ordinary and usual way by the virtue of
    Joseph yielding to the temptation offered, would have to read as
    a record of the seduction of Mrs. Potiphar."

    With reference to Lawson Tait's observation that violent assaults
    on women, while they do occur, are very much rarer than the
    frequency with which such charges are made would lead us to
    believe, it may be remarked that many medico-legal authorities
    are of the same opinion. (See, e.g., G. Vivian Poore's _Treatise
    on Medical Jurisprudence_, 1901, p. 325. This writer also
    remarks: "I hold very strongly that a woman may rape a man as
    much as a man may rape a woman.") There can be little doubt that
    the plea of force is very frequently seized on by women as the
    easiest available weapon of defense when her connection with a
    man has been revealed. She has been so permeated by the current
    notion that no "respectable" woman can possibly have any sexual
    impulses of her own to gratify that, in order to screen what she
    feels to be regarded as an utterly shameful and wicked, as well
    as foolish, act, she declares it never took place by her own will
    at all. "Now, I ask you, gentlemen," I once heard an experienced
    counsel address the jury in a criminal case, "as men of the
    world, have you ever known or heard of a woman, a single woman,
    confess that she had had sexual connection and not declare that
    force had been used to compel her to such connection?" The
    statement is a little sweeping, but in this matter there is some
    element of truth in the "man of the world's" opinion. One may
    refer to the story (told by Etienne de Bourbon, by Francisco de
    Osuna in a religious work, and by Cervantes in _Don Quixote_,
    part ii, ch. xlv) concerning a magistrate who, when a girl came
    before him to complain of rape, ordered the accused young man
    either to marry her or pay her a sum of money. The fine was paid,
    and the magistrate then told the man to follow the girl and take
    the money from her by force; the man obeyed, but the girl
    defended herself so energetically that he could not secure the
    money. Then the judge, calling the parties before him again,
    ordered the fine to be returned: "Had you defended your chastity
    as well as you have defended your money it could not have been
    taken away from you." In most cases of "rape," in the case of
    adults, there has probably been some degree of consent, though
    that partial assent may have been basely secured by an appeal to
    the lower nervous centers alone, with no participation of the
    intelligence and will. Freud (_Zur Psychopathologie des
    Alltagslebens_, p. 87) considers that on this ground the judge's
    decision in _Don Quixote_ is "psychologically unjust," because in
    such a case the woman's strength is paralyzed by the fact that an
    unconscious instinct in herself takes her assailant's part
    against her own conscious resistance. But it must be remembered
    that the factor of instinct plays a large part even when no
    violence is attempted.

Such facts and considerations as these tend to show that the sexual
impulse is by no means so weak in women as many would lead us to think. It
would appear that, whereas in earlier ages there was generally a tendency
to credit women with an unduly large share of the sexual impulse, there is
now a tendency to unduly minimize the sexual impulse in women.


[156] I have had occasion to refer to the historic evolution of male
opinion regarding women in previous volumes, as, e.g., _Man and Woman_,
chapter i, and the appendix on "The Influence of Menstruation on the
Position of Women" in the first volume of these _Studies_.

[157] The terminology proposed by Ziehen ("Zur Lehre von den
psychopathischen Konstitutionen," _Charité Annalen_, vol. xxxxiii, 1909)
is as follows: For absence of sexual feeling, _anhedonia_; for diminution
of the same, _hyphedonia_; for excess of sexual feeling, _hyperhedonia_;
for qualitative sexual perversions, _parhedonia_. "Erotic blindness" was
suggested by Nardelli.

[158] O. Adler, _Die Mangelhafte Geschlechtsempfindung des Weibes_, 1904,
p. 146.

[159] A correspondent tells me that he knows a woman who has been a
prostitute since the age of 15, but never experienced sexual pleasure and
a real, non-simulated orgasm till she was 23; since then she has become
very sensual. In other similar cases the hitherto indifferent prostitute,
having found the man who suits her, abandons her profession, even though
she is thereby compelled to live in extreme poverty. "An insensible
woman," as La Bruyère long ago remarked in his chapter "Des Femmes," "is
merely one who has not yet seen the man she must love."

[160] Guttceit (_Dreissig Jahre Praxis_, vol. i, p. 416) pointed out that
the presence or absence of the orgasm is the only factor in "sexual
anesthesia" of which we can speak at all definitely; and he believed that
anaphrodism, in the sense of absence of the sexual impulse, never occurs
at all, many women having confided to him that they had sexual desires,
although those desires were not gratified by coitus.

[161] _Op. cit._, p. 164.

[162] Havelock Ellis, "Madame de Warens," _The Venture_, 1903.

[163] It is interesting to observe that finally even Adler admits (op.
cit., p. 155) that there is no such thing as _congenital_ lack of aptitude
for sexual sensibility.

[164] "I am not entirely satisfied with the testimony as to the alleged
sexual anesthesia," a medical correspondent writes. "The same principle
which makes the young harlot an old saint makes the repentant rake a
believer in sexual anesthesia. Most of the medical men who believe, or
claim to believe, that sexual anesthesia is so prevalent do so either to
flatter their hysterical patients or because they have the mentality of
the Hyacinthe of Zola's _Paris_."

[165] _Differences in the Nervous Organization of Man and Woman_, 1891;
chapter xiii, "Sexual Instinct in Men and Women Compared."

[166] Matthews Duncan considered that "the healthy performance of the
functions of child-bearing is surely connected with a well-regulated
condition of desire and pleasure." "Desire and pleasure," he adds, "may be
excessive, furious, overpowering, without bringing the female into the
class of maniacs; they may be temporary, healthy, and moderate; they may
be absent or dull." (Matthews Duncan, _Goulstonian Lectures on Sterility
in Woman_, pp. 91, 121.)

[167] Geoffrey Mortimer, _Chapters on Human Love_, 1898, ch. xvi.

[168] I do not, however, attach much weight to this possibility. The
sexual instinct among the lower social classes everywhere is subject to
comparatively weak inhibition, and Löwenfeld is probably right in
believing the women of the lower class do not suffer from sexual
anesthesia to anything like the same extent as upper-class women. In
England most women of the working class appear to have had sexual
intercourse at some time in their lives, notwithstanding the risks of
pregnancy, and if pregnancy occurs they refer to it calmly as an
"accident," for which they cannot be held responsible; "Well, I couldn't
help that," I have heard a young widow remark when mildly reproached for
the existence of her illegitimate child. Again, among American negresses
there seems to be no defect of sexual passion, and it is said that the
majority of negresses in the Southern States support not only their
children, but their lovers and husbands.


Special Characters of the Sexual Impulse in Women--The More Passive Part
Played by Women in Courtship--This Passivity only Apparent--The Physical
Mechanism of the Sexual Process in Women More Complex--The Slower
Development of Orgasm in Women--The Sexual Impulse in Women More
Frequently Needs to be Actively Aroused--The Climax of Sexual Energy Falls
Later in Women's Lives than in Men's--Sexual Ardor in Women Increased
After the Establishment of Sexual Relationships--Women bear Sexual
Excesses better than Men--The Sexual Sphere Larger and More Diffused in
Women--The Sexual Impulse in Women Shows a Greater Tendency to Periodicity
and a Wider Range of Variation.

So far I have been discussing the question of the sexual impulse in women
on the ground upon which previous writers have usually placed it. The
question, that is, has usually presented itself to them as one concerning
the relative strength of the impulse in men and women. When so considered,
not hastily and with prepossession, as is too often the case, but with a
genuine desire to get at the real facts in all their aspects, there is no
reason, as we have seen, to conclude that, on the whole, the sexual
impulse in women is lacking in strength.

But we have to push our investigation of the matter further. In reality,
the question as to whether the sexual impulse is or is not stronger in one
sex than in the other is a somewhat crude one. To put the question in that
form is to reveal ignorance of the real facts of the matter. And in that
form, moreover, no really definite and satisfactory answer can be given.

It is necessary to put the matter on different ground. Instead of taking
more or less insolvable questions as to the strength of the sexual impulse
in the two sexes, it is more profitable to consider its differences. What
are the special characters of the sexual impulse in women?

There is certainly one purely natural sexual difference of a fundamental
character, which lies at the basis of whatever truth may be in the
assertion that women are not susceptible of sexual emotion. As may he
seen when considering the phenomena of modesty, the part played by the
female in courtship throughout nature is usually different from that
played by the male, and is, in some respects, a more difficult and complex
part. Except when the male fails to play his part properly, she is usually
comparatively passive; in the proper playing of her part she has to appear
to shun the male, to flee from his approaches--even actually to repel

Courtship resembles very closely, indeed, a drama or game; and the
aggressiveness of the male, the coyness of the female, are alike
unconsciously assumed in order to bring about in the most effectual manner
the ultimate union of the sexes. The seeming reluctance of the female is
not intended to inhibit sexual activity either in the male or in herself,
but to increase it in both. The passivity of the female, therefore, is not
a real, but only an apparent, passivity, and this holds true of our own
species as much as of the lower animals. "Women are like delicately
adjusted alembics," said a seventeenth-century author. "No fire can be
seen outside, but if you look underneath the alembic, if you place your
hand on the hearts of women, in both places you will find a great
furnace."[170] Or, as Marro has finely put it, the passivity of women in
love is the passivity of the magnet, which in its apparent immobility is
drawing the iron toward it. An intense energy lies behind such passivity,
an absorbed preoccupation in the end to be attained.

Tarde, when exercising magistrate's functions, once had to inquire into a
case in which a young man was accused of murder. In questioning a girl of
18, a shepherdess, who appeared before him as a witness, she told him that
on the morning following the crime she had seen the footmarks of the
accused up to a certain point. He asked how she recognized them, and she
replied, ingenuously but with assurance, that she could recognize the
footprints of every young man in the neighborhood, even in a plowed
field.[171] No better illustration could be given of the real significance
of the sexual passivity of women, even at its most negative point.

    "The women I have known," a correspondent writes, "do not express
    their sensations and feelings as much as I do. Nor have I found
    women usually anxious to practise 'luxuries.' They seldom care to
    practice _fellatio_; I have only known one woman who offered to
    do _fellatio_ because she liked it. Nor do they generally care to
    masturbate a man; that is, they do not care greatly to enjoy the
    contemplation of the other person's excitement. (To me, to see
    the woman excited means almost more than my own pleasure.) They
    usually resist _cunnilinctus_, although they enjoy it. They do
    not seem to care to touch or look at a man's parts so much as he
    does at theirs. And they seem to dislike the tongue-kiss unless
    they feel very sexual or really love a man." My correspondent
    admits that his relationships have been numerous and facile,
    while his erotic demands tend also to deviate from the normal
    path. Under such circumstances, which not uncommonly occur, the
    woman's passions fail to be deeply stirred, and she retains her
    normal attitude of relative passivity.

    It is owing to the fact that the sexual passivity of women is
    only an apparent, and not a real, passivity that women are apt to
    suffer, as men are, from prolonged sexual abstinence. This,
    indeed, has been denied, but can scarcely be said to admit of
    doubt. The only question is as to the relative amount of such
    suffering, necessarily a very difficult question. As far back as
    the fourteenth century Johannes de Sancto Amando stated that
    women are more injured than men by sexual abstinence. In modern
    times Maudsley considers that women "suffer more than men do from
    the entire deprivation of sexual intercourse" ("Relations between
    Body and Mind," _Lancet_, May 28, 1870). By some it has been held
    that this cause may produce actual disease. Thus, Tilt, an
    eminent gynecologist of the middle of the nineteenth century, in
    discussing this question, wrote: "When we consider how much of
    the lifetime of woman is occupied by the various phases of the
    generative process, and how terrible is often the conflict within
    her between the impulse of passion and the dictates of duty, it
    may be well understood how such a conflict reacts on the organs
    of the sexual economy in the unimpregnated female, and
    principally on the ovaria, causing an orgasm, which, if often
    repeated, may _possibly_ be productive of subacute ovaritis."
    (Tilt, _On Uterine and Ovarian Inflammation_, 1862, pp. 309-310.)
    Long before Tilt, Haller, it seems, had said that women are
    especially liable to suffer from privation of sexual intercourse
    to which they have been accustomed, and referred to chlorosis,
    hysteria, nymphomania, and simple mania curable by intercourse.
    Hegar considers that in women an injurious result follows the
    nonsatisfaction of the sexual impulse and of the "ideal
    feelings," and that symptoms thus arise (pallor, loss of flesh,
    cardialgia, malaise, sleeplessness, disturbances of menstruation)
    which are diagnosed as "chlorosis." (Hegar, _Zusammenhang der
    Geschlechtskrankheiten mit nervösen Leiden_, 1885, p. 45.) Freud,
    as well as Gattel, has found that states of anxiety
    (_Angstzustände_) are caused by sexual abstinence. Löwenfeld, on
    careful examination of his own cases, is able to confirm this
    connection in both sexes. He has specially noticed it in young
    women who marry elderly husbands. Löwenfeld believes, however,
    that, on the whole, healthy unmarried women bear sexual
    abstinence better than men. If, however, they are of at all
    neuropathic disposition, ungratified sexual emotions may easily
    lead to various morbid conditions, especially of a
    hysteroneurasthenic character. (Löwenfeld, _Sexualleben und
    Nervenleiden_, second edition, 1899, pp. 44, 47, 54-60.)
    Balls-Headley considers that unsatisfied sexual desires in women
    may lead to the following conditions: general atrophy, anemia,
    neuralgia and hysteria, irregular menstruation, leucorrhea,
    atrophy of sexual organs. He also refers to the frequency of
    myoma of the uterus among those who have not become pregnant or
    who have long ceased to bear children. (Balls-Headley, art.
    "Etiology of Diseases of Female Genital Organs," Allbutt and
    Playfair, _System of Gynæcology_, 1896, p. 141.) It cannot,
    however, be said that he brings forward substantial evidence in
    favor of these beliefs. It may be added that in America, during
    recent years, leading gynecologists have recorded a number of
    cases in which widows on remarriage have shown marked improvement
    in uterine and pelvic conditions.

    The question as to whether men or women suffer most from sexual
    abstinence, as well as the question whether definite morbid
    conditions are produced by such abstinence, remains, however, an
    obscure and debated problem. The available data do not enable us
    to answer it decisively. It is one of those subtle and complex
    questions which can only be investigated properly by a
    gynecologist who is also a psychologist. Incidentally, however,
    we have met and shall have occasion to meet with evidence bearing
    on this question. It is sufficient to say here, briefly, that it
    is impossible to believe, even if no evidence were forthcoming,
    that the exercise or non-exercise of so vastly important a
    function can make no difference to the organism generally. So
    far as the evidence goes, it may be said to indicate that the
    results of the abeyance of the sexual functions in healthy women
    in whom the sexual emotions have never been definitely aroused
    tend to be diffused and unconscious, as the sexual impulse itself
    often is, but that, in women in whom the sexual emotions have
    been definitely aroused and gratified, the results of sexual
    abstinence tend to be acute and conscious.

    These acute results are at the present day very often due to
    premature ejaculation by nervous or neurasthenic husbands, the
    rapidity with which detumescence is reached in the husband
    allowing insufficient time for tumescence in the wife, who
    consequently fails to reach the orgasm. This has of late been
    frequently pointed out. Thus Kafemann (_Sexual-Probleme_, March,
    1910, p. 194 et seq.) emphasizes the prevalence of sexual
    incompetence in men. Ferenczi, of Budapest (_Zentralblatt für
    Psychoanalyse_, 1910, ht. 1 and 2, p. 75), believes that the
    combination of neurasthenic husbands with resultantly nervous
    wives is extraordinarily common; even putting aside the
    neurasthenic, he considers it may be said that the whole male sex
    in relation to women suffer from precocious ejaculation. He adds
    that it is often difficult to say whether the lack of harmony may
    not be due to retarded orgasm in the woman. He regards the
    influence of masturbation in early life as tending to quicken
    orgasm in man, while when practised by the other sex it tends to
    slow orgasm, and thus increases the disharmony. He holds,
    however, that the chief cause lies in the education of women with
    its emphasis on sexual repression; this works too well and the
    result is that when the external impediments to the sexual
    impulse are removed the impulse has become incapable of normal
    action. Porosz (_British Medical Journal_, April 1, 1911) has
    brought forward cases of serious nervous trouble in women which
    have been dispersed when the sexual weakness and premature
    ejaculation of the husband have been cured.

The true nature of the passivity of the female is revealed by the ease
with which it is thrown off, more especially when the male refuses to
accept his cue. Or, if we prefer to accept the analogy of a game, we may
say that in the play of courtship the first move belongs to the male, but
that, if he fails to play, it is then the female's turn to play.

    Among many birds the males at mating time fall into a state of
    sexual frenzy, but not the females. "I cannot call to mind a
    single case," states an authority on birds (H.E. Howard,
    _Zoölogist_, 1902, p. 146), "where I have seen anything
    approaching frenzy in the female of any species while mating."

    Another great authority on birds, a very patient and skillful
    observer, Mr. Edmund Selous, remarks, however, in describing the
    courting habits of the ruffs and reeves (_Machetes pugnax_) that,
    notwithstanding the passivity of the females beforehand, their
    movements during and after coitus show that they derive at least
    as much pleasure as the males. (E. Selous, "Selection in Birds,"
    _Zoölogist_, Feb. and May, 1907.)

    The same observer, after speaking of the great beauty of the male
    eider duck, continues: "These glorified males--there were a dozen
    of these, perhaps, to some six or seven females--swam closely
    about the latter, but more in attendance upon them than as
    actively pursuing them, for the females seemed themselves almost
    as active agents in the sport of being wooed as were their lovers
    in wooing them. The male bird first dipped down his head till his
    beak just touched the water, then raised it again in a
    constrained and tense manner,--the curious rigid action so
    frequent in the nuptial antics of birds,--at the same time
    uttering his strange haunting note. The air became filled with
    it; every moment one or other of the birds--sometimes several
    together--with upturned bill would softly laugh or exclaim, and
    while the males did this, the females, turning excitedly, and
    with little eager demonstrations from one to another of them,
    kept lowering and extending forward the head and neck in the
    direction of each in turn.... I noticed that a female would often
    approach a male bird with her head and neck laid flat along the
    water as though in a very 'coming on' disposition, and that the
    male bird declined her advances. This, taken in conjunction with
    the actions of the female when courted by the male, appears to me
    to raise a doubt as to the universal application of the law that
    throughout nature the male, in courtship, is eager, and the
    female coy. Here, to all appearances, courtship was proceeding,
    and the birds had not yet mated. The female eider ducks,
    however,--at any rate, some of them,--appeared to be anything but
    coy." (_Bird Watching_, pp. 144-146.)

    Among moor-hens and great-crested grebes sometimes what Selous
    terms "functional hermaphroditism" occurs and the females play
    the part of the male toward their male companions, and then
    repeat the sexual act with a reversion to the normal order, the
    whole to the satisfaction of both parties. (E. Selous,
    _Zoölogist_, 1902, p. 196.)

    It is not only among birds that the female sometimes takes the
    active part, but also among mammals. Among white rats, for
    instance, the males are exceptionally eager. Steinach, who has
    made many valuable experiments on these animals (_Archiv für die
    Gesammte Physiologie_, Bd. lvi, 1894, p. 319), tells us that,
    when a female white rat is introduced into the cage of a male, he
    at once leaves off eating, or whatever else he may be doing,
    becomes indifferent to noises or any other source of
    distraction, and devotes himself entirely to her. If, however, he
    is introduced into her cage the new environment renders him
    nervous and suspicious, and then it is she who takes the active
    part, trying to attract him in every way. The impetuosity during
    heat of female animals of various species, when at length
    admitted to the male, is indeed well known to all who are
    familiar with animals.

    I have referred to the frequency with which, in the human
    species,--and very markedly in early adolescence, when the sexual
    impulse is in a high degree unconscious and unrestrainedly
    instinctive,--similar manifestations may often be noted. We have
    to recognize that they are not necessarily abnormal and still
    less pathological. They merely represent the unseasonable
    apparition of a tendency which in due subordination is implied in
    the phases of courtship throughout the animal world. Among some
    peoples and in some stages of culture, tending to withdraw the
    men from women and the thought of women, this phase of courtship
    and this attitude assume a prominence which is absolutely normal.
    The literature of the Middle Ages presents a state of society in
    which men were devoted to war and to warlike sports, while the
    women took the more active part in love-making. The medieval
    poets represent women as actively encouraging backward lovers,
    and as delighting to offer to great heroes the chastity they had
    preserved, sometimes entering their bed-chambers at night.
    Schultz (_Das Höfische Leben_, Bd. i, pp. 594-598) considers that
    these representations are not exaggerated. Cf. Krabbes, _Die Frau
    im Altfranzösischen Karls-Epos_, 1884, p. 20 et seq.; and M.A.
    Potter, _Sohrab and Rustem_, 1902, pp. 152-163.

    Among savages and barbarous races in various parts of the world
    it is the recognized custom, reversing the more usual method, for
    the girl to take the initiative in courtship. This is especially
    so in New Guinea. Here the girls almost invariably take the
    initiative, and in consequence hold a very independent position.
    Women are always regarded as the seducers: "Women steal men." A
    youth who proposed to a girl would be making himself ridiculous,
    would be called a woman, and be laughed at by the girls. The
    usual method by which a girl proposes is to send a present to the
    youth by a third party, following this up by repeated gifts of
    food; the young man sometimes waits a month or two, receiving
    presents all the time, in order to assure himself of the girl's
    constancy before decisively accepting her advances. (A.C. Haddon,
    _Cambridge Expedition to Torres Straits_, vol. v, ch. viii; id.,
    "Western Tribes of Torres Straits," _Journal of the
    Anthropological Institute_, vol. xix, February, 1890, pp. 314,
    356, 394, 395, 411, 413; id., _Head Hunters_, pp. 158-164; R.E.
    Guise, "Tribes of the Wanigela River," _Journal of the
    Anthropological Institute_, new series, vol. i, February-May,
    1899, p. 209.) Westermarck gives instances of races among whom
    the women take the initiative in courtship. (_History of
    Marriage_, p. 158; so also Finck, _Primitive Love and
    Love-stories_, 1899, p. 109 et seq.; and as regards Celtic women,
    see Rhys and Brynmor Jones, _The Welsh People_.)

There is another characteristic of great significance by which the sexual
impulse in women differs from that in men: the widely unlike character of
the physical mechanism involved in the process of coitus. Considering how
obvious this difference is, it is strange that its fundamental importance
should so often be underrated. In man the process of tumescence and
detumescence is simple. In women it is complex. In man we have the more or
less spontaneously erectile penis, which needs but very simple conditions
to secure the ejaculation which brings relief. In women we have in the
clitoris a corresponding apparatus on a small scale, but behind this has
developed a much more extensive mechanism, which also demands
satisfaction, and requires for that satisfaction the presence of various
conditions that are almost antagonistic. Naturally the more complex
mechanism is the more easily disturbed. It is the difference, roughly
speaking, between a lock and a key. This analogy is far from indicating
all the difficulties involved. We have to imagine a lock that not only
requires a key to fit it, but should only be entered at the right moment,
and, under the best conditions, may only become adjusted to the key by
considerable use. The fact that the man takes the more active part in
coitus has increased these difficulties; the woman is too often taught to
believe that the whole function is low and impure, only to be submitted to
at her husband's will and for his sake, and the man has no proper
knowledge of the mechanism involved and the best way of dealing with it.
The grossest brutality thus may be, and not infrequently is, exercised in
all innocence by an ignorant husband who simply believes that he is
performing his "marital duties." For a woman to exercise this physical
brutality on a man is with difficulty possible; a man's pleasurable
excitement is usually the necessary condition of the woman's sexual
gratification. But the reverse is not the case, and, if the man is
sufficiently ignorant or sufficiently coarse-grained to be satisfied with
the woman's submission, he may easily become to her, in all innocence, a
cause of torture.

To the man coitus must be in some slight degree pleasurable or it cannot
take place at all. To the woman the same act which, under some
circumstances, in the desire it arouses and the satisfaction it imparts,
will cause the whole universe to shrivel into nothingness, under other
circumstances will be a source of anguish, physical and mental. This is so
to some extent even in the presence of the right and fit man. There can be
no doubt whatever that the mucus which is so profusely poured out over the
external sexual organs in woman during the excitement of sexual desire has
for its end the lubrication of the parts and the facilitation of the
passage of the intromittent organ. The most casual inspection of the cold,
contracted, dry vulva in its usual aspect and the same when distended,
hot, and moist suffices to show which condition is and which is not that
ready for intercourse, and until the proper condition is reached it is
certain that coitus should not be attempted.

The varying sensitiveness of the female parts again offers difficulties.
Sexual relations in women are, at the onset, almost inevitably painful;
and to some extent the same experience may be repeated at every act of
coitus. Ordinary tactile sensibility in the female genitourinary region is
notably obtuse, but at the beginning of the sexual act there is normally a
hyperesthesia which may be painful or pleasurable as excitement
culminates, passing into a seeming anesthesia, which even craves for rough
contact; so that in sexual excitement a woman normally displays in quick
succession that same quality of sensibility to superficial pressure and
insensibility to deep pressure which the hysterical woman exhibits

Thus we see that a highly important practical result follows from the
greater complexity of the sexual apparatus in women and the greater
difficulty with which it is aroused. In coitus the orgasm tends to occur
more slowly in women than in men. It may easily happen that the whole
process of detumescence is completed in the man before it has begun in
his partner, who is left either cold or unsatisfied. This is one of the
respects in which women remain nearer than men to the primitive stage of

    In the Hippocratic treatise, _Of Generation_, it is stated that,
    while woman has less pleasure in coitus than man, her pleasure
    lasts longer. (_Oeuvres d'Hippocrate_, edition Littré, vol. vii,
    p. 477.)

    Beaunis considers that the slower development of the orgasm in
    women is the only essential difference in the sexual process in
    men and women. (Beaunis, _Les Sensations Internes_, 1889, p.
    151.) This characteristic of the sexual impulse in women, though
    recognized for so long a period, is still far too often ignored
    or unknown. There is even a superstition that injurious results
    may follow if the male orgasm is not effected as rapidly as
    possible. That this is not so is shown by the experiences of the
    Oneida community in America, who in their system of sexual
    relationship carried prolonged intercourse without ejaculation to
    an extreme degree. There can be no doubt whatever that very
    prolonged intercourse gives the maximum amount of pleasure and
    relief to the woman. Not only is this the very decided opinion of
    women who have experienced it, but it is also indicated by the
    well-recognized fact that a woman who repeats the sexual act
    several times in succession often experiences more intense orgasm
    and pleasure with each repetition.

    This point is much better understood in the East than in the
    West. The prolongation of the man's excitement, in order to give
    the woman time for orgasm, is, remarks Sir Richard Burton
    (_Arabian Nights_, vol. v, p. 76), much studied by Moslems, as
    also by Hindoos, who, on this account, during the orgasm seek to
    avoid overtension of muscles and to preoccupy the brain. During
    coitus they will drink sherbet, chew betel-nut, and even smoke.
    Europeans devote no care to this matter, and Hindoo women, who
    require about twenty minutes to complete the act, contemptuously
    call them "village cocks." I have received confirmation of
    Burton's statements on this point from medical correspondents in

    While the European desires to perform as many acts of coitus in
    one night as possible, Breitenstein remarks, the Malay, as still
    more the Javanese, wishes, not to repeat the act many times, but
    to prolong it. His aim is to remain in the vagina for about a
    quarter of an hour. Unlike the European, also, he boasts of the
    pleasure he has given his partner far more than of his own
    pleasure. (Breitenstein, _21 Jahre in India_, theil i, "Borneo,"
    p. 228.)

    Jäger (_Entdeckung der Seele_, second edition, vol. i, 1884, p.
    203), as quoted by Moll, explains the preference of some women
    for castrated men as due, not merely to the absence of risk of
    impregnation, but to the prolonged erections that take place in
    the castrated. Aly-Belfàdel remarks (_Archivio di Psichiatria_,
    1903, p. 117) that he knows women who prefer old men in coitus
    simply because of their delay in ejaculation which allows more
    time to the women to become excited.

    A Russian correspondent living in Italy informs me that a
    Neapolitan girl of 17, who had only recently ceased to be a
    virgin, explained to him that she preferred _coitus in ore vulvæ_
    to real intercourse because the latter was over before she had
    time to obtain the orgasm (or, as she put it, "the big bird has
    fled from the cage and I am left in the lurch"), while in the
    other way she was able to experience the orgasm twice before her
    partner reached the climax. "This reminds me," my correspondent
    continues, "that a Milanese cocotte once told me that she much
    liked intercourse with Jews because, on account of the
    circumcised penis being less sensitive to contact, they ejaculate
    more slowly then Christians. 'With Christians,' she said, 'it
    constantly happens that I am left unsatisfied because they
    ejaculate before me, while in coitus with Jews I sometimes
    ejaculate twice before the orgasm occurs in my partner, or,
    rather, I hold back the second orgasm until he is ready.' This is
    confirmed," my correspondent continues, "by what I was told by a
    Russian Jew, a student at the Zürich Polytechnic, who had a
    Russian comrade living with a mistress, also a Russian student,
    or pseudostudent. One day the Jew, going early to see his friend,
    was told to enter by a woman's voice and found his friend's
    mistress alone and in her chemise beside the bed. He was about to
    retire, but the young woman bade him stay and in a few minutes he
    was in bed with her. She told him that her lover had just gone
    away and that she never had sexual relief with him because he
    always ejaculated too soon. That morning he had left her so
    excited and so unrelieved that she was just about to
    masturbate--which she rarely did because it gave her
    headache--when she heard the Jew's voice, and, knowing that Jews
    are slower in coitus than Christians, she had suddenly resolved
    to give herself to him."

    I am informed that the sexual power of negroes and slower
    ejaculation (see Appendix A) are the cause of the favor with
    which they are viewed by some white women of strong sexual
    passions in America, and by many prostitutes. At one time there
    was a special house in New York City to which white women
    resorted for these "buck lovers"; the women came heavily veiled
    and would inspect the penises of the men before making their

It is thus a result of the complexity of the sexual mechanism in women
that the whole attitude of a woman toward the sexual relationship is
liable to be affected disastrously by the husband's lack of skill or
consideration in initiating her into this intimate mystery. Normally the
stage of apparent repulsion and passivity, often associated with great
sensitiveness, physical and moral, passes into one of active participation
and aid in the consummation of the sexual act. But if, from whatever
cause, there is partial arrest on the woman's side of this evolution in
the process of courtship, if her submission is merely a mental and
deliberate act of will, and not an instinctive and impulsive
participation, there is a necessary failure of sexual relief and
gratification. When we find that a woman displays a certain degree of
indifference in sexual relationships, and a failure of complete
gratification, we have to recognize that the fault may possibly lie, not
in her, but in the defective skill of a lover who has not known how to
play successfully the complex and subtle game of courtship. Sexual
coldness due to the shock and suffering of the wedding-night is a
phenomenon that is far too frequent.[172] Hence it is that many women may
never experience sexual gratification and relief, through no defect on
their part, but through the failure of the husband to understand the
lover's part. We make a false analogy when we compare the courtship of
animals exclusively with our own courtships before marriage. Courtship,
properly understood, is the process whereby both the male and the female
are brought into that state of sexual tumescence which is a more or less
necessary condition for sexual intercourse. The play of courtship cannot,
therefore, be considered to be definitely brought to an end by the
ceremony of marriage; it may more properly be regarded as the natural
preliminary to every act of coitus.

    Tumescence is not merely a more or less essential condition for
    proper sexual intercourse. It is probably of more fundamental
    significance as one of the favoring conditions of impregnation.
    This has, indeed, been long recognized. Van Swieten, when
    consulted by the childless Maria Theresa, gave the opinion "Ego
    vero censeo, vulvam Sacratissimæ Majestatis ante coitum diutius
    esse titillandam," and thereafter she had many children. "I think
    it very nearly certain," Matthews Duncan wrote (_Goulstonian
    Lectures on Sterility in Woman_, 1884, p. 96), "that desire and
    pleasure in due or moderate degree are very important aids to, or
    predisposing causes of, fecundity," as bringing into action the
    complicated processes of fecundation. Hirst (_Text-book of
    Obstetrics_, 1899, p. 67) mentions the case of a childless
    married woman who for six years had had no orgasm during
    intercourse; then it occurred at the same time as coitus, and
    pregnancy resulted.

    Kisch is very decidedly of the same opinion, and considers that
    the popular belief on this point is fully justified. It is a
    fact, he states, that an unfaithful wife is more likely to
    conceive with her lover than with her husband, and he concludes
    that, whatever the precise mechanism may be, "sexual excitement
    on the woman's part is a necessary link in the chain of
    conditions producing impregnation." (E.H. Kisch, _Die Sterilität
    des Weibes_, 1886, p. 99.) Kisch believes (p. 103) that in the
    majority of women sexual pleasure only appears gradually, after
    the first cohabitation, and then develops progressively, and that
    the first conception usually coincides with its complete
    awakening. In 556 cases of his own the most frequent epoch of
    first impregnation was found to be between ten and fifteen months
    after marriage.

    The removal of sexual frigidity thus becomes a matter of some
    importance. This removal may in some cases be effected by
    treatment through the husband, but that course is not always
    practicable. Dr. Douglas Bryan, of Leicester, informs me that in
    several cases he has succeeded in removing sexual coldness and
    physical aversion in the wife by hypnotic suggestion. The
    suggestions given to the patient are "that all her womanly
    natural feelings would be quickly and satisfactorily developed
    during coitus; that she would experience no feeling of disgust
    and nausea, would have no fear of the orgasm not developing; that
    there would be no involuntary resistance on her part." The fact
    that such suggestions can be permanently effective tends to show
    how superficial the sexual "anesthesia" of women usually is.

Not only, therefore, is the apparatus of sexual excitement in women more
complex than in men, but--in part, possibly as a result of this greater
complexity--it much more frequently requires to be actively aroused. In
men tumescence tends to occur almost spontaneously, or under the simple
influence of accumulated semen. In women, also, especially in those who
live a natural and healthy life, sexual excitement also tends to occur
spontaneously, but by no means so frequently as in men. The comparative
rarity of sexual dreams in women who have not had sexual relationships
alone serves to indicate this sexual difference. In a very large number of
women the sexual impulse remains latent until aroused by a lover's
caresses. The youth spontaneously becomes a man; but the maiden--as it has
been said--"must be kissed into a woman."

One result of this characteristic is that, more especially when love is
unduly delayed beyond the first youth, this complex apparatus has
difficulty in responding to the unfamiliar demands of sexual excitement.
Moreover, delayed normal sexual relations, when the sexual impulse is not
absolutely latent, tend to induce all degrees of perverted or abnormal
sexual gratification, and the physical mechanism when trained to respond
in other ways often fails to respond normally when, at last, the normal
conditions of response are presented. In all these ways passivity and even
aversion may be produced in the conjugal relationship. The fact that it is
almost normally the function of the male to arouse the female, and that
the greater complexity of the sexual mechanism in women leads to more
frequent disturbance of that mechanism, produces a simulation of organic
sexual coldness which has deceived many.

    An instructive study of cases in which the sexual impulse has
    been thus perverted has been presented by Smith Baker ("The
    Neuropsychical Element in Conjugal Aversion," _Journal of Nervous
    and Mental Disease_, vol. xvii, September, 1892). Raymond and
    Janet, who believes that sexual coldness is extremely frequent in
    marriage, and that it plays an important part in the causation of
    physical and moral troubles, find that it is most often due to
    masturbation. (_Les Obsessions_, vol. ii, p. 307.) Adler, after
    discussing the complexity of the feminine sexual mechanism, and
    the difficulty which women find in obtaining sexual gratification
    in normal coitus, concludes that "masturbation is a frequent,
    perhaps the most frequent, cause of defective sexual sensibility
    in women." (_Op. cit._, p. 119.) He remarks that in women
    masturbation usually has less resemblance to normal coitus than
    in men and involves very frequently the special excitation of
    parts which are not the chief focus of excitement in coitus, so
    that coitus fails to supply the excitation which has become
    habitual (pp. 113-116). In the discussion of "Auto-erotism" in
    the first volume of these _Studies_, I had already referred to
    the divorce between the physical and the ideal sides of love
    which may, especially in women, be induced by masturbation.

    Another cause of inhibited sexual feeling has been brought
    forward. A married lady with normal sexual impulse states
    (_Sexual-Probleme_, April, 1912, p. 290) that she cannot
    experience orgasm and sexual satisfaction when the intercourse is
    not for conception. This is a psychic inhibition independent of
    any disturbance due to the process of prevention. She knows other
    women who are similarly affected. Such an inhibition must be
    regarded as artificial and abnormal, since the final result of
    sexual intercourse, under natural and normal conditions, forms no
    essential constituent of the psychic process of intercourse.

As a result of the fact that in women the sexual emotions tend not to
develop great intensity until submitted to powerful stimulation, we find
that the maximum climax of sexual emotion tends to fall somewhat later in
a woman's life than in a man's. Among animals generally there appears to
be frequently traceable a tendency for the sexual activities of the male
to develop at a somewhat earlier age than those of the female. In the
human, species we may certainly trace the same tendency. As the great
physiologist, Burdach, pointed out, throughout nature, with the
accomplishment of the sexual act the part of the male in the work of
generation comes to an end; but that act represents only the beginning of
a woman's generative activity.

A youth of 20 may often display a passionate ardor in love which is very
seldom indeed found in women who are under 25. It is rare for a woman,
even though her sexual emotions may awaken at puberty or earlier, to
experience the great passion of her life until after the age of 25 has
been passed. In confirmation of this statement, which is supported by
daily observation, it may be pointed out that nearly all the most
passionate love-letters of women, as well as their most passionate
devotions, have come from women who had passed, sometimes long passed,
their first youth. When Heloise wrote to Abelard the first of the letters
which have come down to us she was at least 32. Mademoiselle Aissé's
relation with the Chevalier began when she was 32, and when she died, six
years later, the passion of each was at its height. Mary Wollstonecraft
was 34 when her love-letters to Imlay began, and her child was born in the
following year. Mademoiselle de Lespinasse was 43 when she began to write
her letters to M. de Guibert. In some cases the sexual impulse may not
even appear until after the period of the menopause has been passed.[173]

    In Roman times Ovid remarked (_Ars Amatoria_, lib. ii) that a
    woman fails to understand the art of love until she has reached
    the age of 35. "A girl of 18," said Stendhal (_De l'Amour_, ch.
    viii), "has not the power to crystallize her emotions; she forms
    desires that are too limited by her lack of experience in the
    things of life, to be able to love with such passion as a woman
    of 28." "Sexual needs," said Restif de la Bretonne (_Monsieur
    Nicolas_, vol. xi, p. 221), "often only appears in young women
    when they are between 26 and 27 years of age; at least, that is
    what I have observed."

    Erb states that it is about the middle of the twenties that women
    begin to suffer physically, morally, and intellectually from
    their sexual needs. Nyström (_Das Geschlechtsleben_, p. 163)
    considers that it is about the age of 30 that a woman first
    begins to feel conscious of sex needs. In a case of Adler's (_op.
    cit._, p. 141), sexual feelings first appeared after the birth of
    the third child, at the age of 30. Forel (_Die Sexuelle Frage_,
    1906, p. 219) considers that sexual desire in woman is often
    strongest between the ages of 30 and 40. Leith Napier
    (_Menopause_, p. 94) remarks that from 28 to 30 is often an
    important age in woman who have retained their virginity, erotism
    then appearing with the full maturity of the nervous system.
    Yellowlees (art. "Masturbation," _Dictionary of Psychological
    Medicine_), again, states that at about the age of 33 some women
    experience great sexual irritability, often resulting in
    masturbation. Audiffrent (_Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_,
    Jan. 15, 1902, p. 3) considers that it is toward the age of 30
    that a woman reaches her full moral and physical development, and
    that at this period her emotional and idealizing impulses reach a
    degree of intensity which is sometimes irresistible. It has
    already been mentioned that Matthews Duncan's careful inquiries
    showed that it is between the ages of 30 and 34 that the largest
    proportion of women experience sexual desire and sexual pleasure.
    It may be remarked, also, that while the typical English
    novelists, who have generally sought to avoid touching the deeper
    and more complex aspects of passion, often choose very youthful
    heroines, French novelists, who have frequently had a
    predilection for the problems of passion, often choose heroines
    who are approaching the age of 30.

    Hirschfeld (_Von Wesen der Liebe_, p. 26) was consulted by a lady
    who, being without any sexual desires or feelings, married an
    inverted man in order to live with him a life of simple
    comradeship. Within six months, however, she fell violently in
    love with her husband, with the full manifestation of sexual
    feelings and accompanying emotions of jealousy. Under all the
    circumstances, however, she would not enter into sexual
    relationship with her husband, and the torture she endured became
    so acute that she desired to be castrated. In this connection,
    also, I may mention a case, which has been communicated to me
    from Glasgow, of a girl--strong and healthy and menstruating
    regularly since the age of 17--who was seduced at the age of 20
    without any sexual desire on her part, giving birth to a child
    nine months later. Subsequently she became a prostitute for three
    years, and during this period had not the slightest sexual desire
    or any pleasure in sexual connection. Thereafter she met a poor
    lad with whom she has full sexual desire and sexual pleasure, the
    result being that she refuses to go with any other man, and
    consequently is almost without food for several days every week.

    The late appearance of the great climax of sexual emotion in
    women is indicated by a tendency to nervous and psychic
    disturbances between the ages of 25 and about 33, which has been
    independently noted by various alienists (though it may be noted
    that 25 to 30 is not an unusual age for first attacks of insanity
    in men also). Thus, Krafft-Ebing states that adult unmarried
    women between the ages of 25 and 30 often show nervous symptoms
    and peculiarities. (Krafft-Ebing, "Ueber Neurosen und Psychosen
    durch Sexuelle Abstinenz," _Jahrbücher für Psychiatrie_, Bd.
    viii, ht. 1-4, 1888.) Pitres and Régis find also (_Comptes-rendus
    XIIe Congrès International de Médecine_, Moscow, 1897, vol. iv,
    p. 45) that obsessions, which are commoner in women than in men
    and are commonly connected in their causation with strong moral
    emotion, occur in women chiefly between the ages of 26 and 30,
    though in men much earlier. The average age at which in England
    women inebriates begin drinking in excess is 26. (_British
    Medical Journal_, Sept. 2, 1911, p. 518.)

    A case recorded by Sérieux is instructive as regards the
    development of the sexual impulse, although it comes within the
    sphere of mental disorder. A woman of 32 with bad heredity had in
    childhood had weak health and become shy, silent, and fond of
    solitude, teased by her companions and finding consolation in
    hard work. Though very emotional, she never, even in the vaguest
    form, experienced any of those feelings and aspirations which
    reveal the presence of the sexual impulse. She had no love of
    dancing and was indifferent to any embraces she might chance to
    receive from young men. She never masturbated or showed inverted
    feelings. At the age of 23 she married. She still, however,
    experienced no sexual feelings; twice only she felt a faint
    sensation of pleasure. A child was born, but her home was unhappy
    on account of her husband's drunken habits. He died and she
    worked hard for her own living and the support of her mother.
    Then at the age of 31 a new phase occurs in her life: she falls
    in love with the master of her workshop. It was at first a purely
    psychic affection, without any mixture of physical elements; it
    was enough to see him, and she trembled when she touched anything
    that belonged to him. She was constantly thinking about him; she
    loved him for his eyes, which seemed to her those of her own
    child, and especially for his intelligence. Gradually, however,
    the lower nervous centers began to take part in these emotions;
    one day in passing her the master chanced to touch her shoulder;
    this contact was sufficient to produce sexual turgescence. She
    began to masturbate daily, thinking of her master, and for the
    first time in her life she desired coitus. She evoked the image
    of her master so constantly and vividly that at last
    hallucinations of sight, touch, and hearing appeared, and it
    seemed to her that he was present. These hallucinations were only
    with difficulty dissipated. (P. Sérieux, _Les Anomalies de
    L'Instinct Sexuel_, 1888, p. 50.) This case presents in an insane
    form a phenomenon which is certainly by no means uncommon and is
    very significant. Up to the age of 31 we should certainly have
    been forced to conclude that this woman was sexually anesthetic
    to an almost absolute degree. In reality, we see this was by no
    means the case. Weak health, hard work, and a brutal husband had
    prolonged the latency of the sexual emotions; but they were
    there, ready to explode with even insane intensity (this being
    due to the unsound heredity) in the presence of a man who
    appealed to these emotions.

    In connection with the late evolution of the sexual emotions in
    women reference may be made to what is usually termed "old maid's
    insanity," a condition not met with in men. In these cases, which
    are not, indeed, common, single women who have led severely
    strict and virtuous lives, devoting themselves to religious or
    intellectual work, and carefully repressing the animal side of
    their natures, at last, just before the climacteric, experience
    an awakening of the erotic impulse; they fall in love with some
    unfortunate man, often a clergyman, persecute him with their
    attentions, and frequently suffer from the delusion that he
    reciprocates their affections.

When once duly aroused, there cannot usually be any doubt concerning the
strength of the sexual impulse in normal and healthy women. There would,
however, appear to be a distinct difference between the sexes at this
point also. Before sexual union the male tends to be more ardent; after
sexual union it is the female who tends to be more ardent. The sexual
energy of women, under these circumstances, would seem to be the greater
on account of the long period during which it has been dormant.

    Sinibaldus in the seventeenth century, in his _Geneanthropeia_,
    argued that, though women are cold at first, and aroused with
    more difficulty and greater slowness than men, the flame of
    passion spreads in them the more afterward, just as iron is by
    nature cold, but when heated gives a great degree of heat.
    Similarly Mandeville said of women that "their passions are not
    so easily raised nor so suddenly fixed upon any particular
    object; but when this passion is once rooted in women it is much
    stronger and more durable than in men, and rather increases than
    diminishes by enjoying the person of the beloved." (_A Modest
    Defence of Public Stews_, 1724, p. 34.) Burdach considered that
    women only acquire the full enjoyment of their general strength
    after marriage and pregnancy, while it is before marriage that
    men have most vigor. Schopenhauer also said that a man's love
    decreases with enjoyment, and a woman's increases. And Ellen Key
    has remarked (_Love and Marriage_) that "where there is no
    mixture of Southern blood it is a long time, sometimes indeed not
    till years after marriage, that the senses of the Northern women
    awake to consciousness."

    Even among animals this tendency seems to be manifested. Edmund
    Selous (_Bird Watching_, p. 112) remarks, concerning sea-gulls:
    "Always, or almost always, one of the birds--and this I take to
    be the female--is more eager, has a more soliciting manner and
    tender begging look than the other. It is she who, as a rule,
    draws the male bird on. She looks fondly up at him, and, raising
    her bill to his, as though beseeching a kiss, just touches with
    it, in raising, the feathers of the throat--an action light, but
    full of endearment. And in every way she shows herself the most
    desirous, and, in fact, so worries and pesters the poor male gull
    that often, to avoid her importunities, he flies away. This may
    seem odd, but I have seen other instances of it. No doubt, in
    actual courting, before the sexes are paired, the male bird is
    usually the most eager, but after marriage the female often
    becomes the wooer. Of this I have seen some marked instances."
    Selous mentions especially the plover, kestrel hawk, and rook.

In association with the fact that women tend to show an increase of sexual
ardor after sexual relationships have been set up may be noted the
probably related fact that sexual intercourse is undoubtedly less
injurious to women than to men. Other things being equal, that is to say,
the threshold of excess is passed very much sooner by the man than by the
woman. This was long ago pointed out by Montaigne. The ancient saying,
"_Omne animal post coitum triste_," is of limited application at the best,
but certainly has little reference to women.[174] Alacrity, rather than
languor, as Robin has truly observed,[175] marks a woman after coitus, or,
as a medical friend of my own has said, a woman then goes about the house
singing.[176] It is, indeed, only after intercourse with a woman for whom,
in reality, he feels contempt that a man experiences that revulsion of
feeling described by Shakespeare (sonnet cxxix). Such a passage should not
be quoted, as it sometimes has been quoted, as the representation of a
normal phenomenon. But, with equal gratification on both sides, it remains
true that, while after a single coitus the man may experience a not
unpleasant lassitude and readiness for sleep, this is rarely the case with
his partner, for whom a single coitus is often but a pleasant stimulus,
the climax of satisfaction not being reached until a second or subsequent
act of intercourse. "Excess in venery," which, rightly or wrongly, is set
down as the cause of so many evils in men, seldom, indeed, appears in
connection with women, although in every act of venery the woman has taken

    That women bear sexual excesses better than men was noted by
    Cabanis and other early writers. Alienists frequently refer to
    the fact that women are less liable to be affected by insanity
    following such excesses. (See, e.g., Maudsley, "Relations between
    Body and Mind," _Lancet_, May 28, 1870; and G. Savage, art.
    "Marriage and Insanity" in _Dictionary of Psychological
    Medicine_.) Trousseau remarked on the fact that women are not
    exhausted by repeated acts of coitus within a short period,
    notwithstanding that the nervous excitement in their case is as
    great, if not greater, and he considered that this showed that
    the loss of semen is a cause of exhaustion in men. Löwenfeld
    (_Sexualleben und Nervenleiden_, pp. 74, 153) states that there
    cannot be question that the nervous system in women is less
    influenced by the after-effects of coitus than in men. Not only,
    he remarks, are prostitutes very little liable to suffer from
    nervous overstimulation, and neurasthenia and hysteria when
    occurring in them be easily traceable to other causes, but
    "healthy women who are not given to prostitution, when they
    indulge in very frequent sexual intercourse, provided it is
    practised normally, do not experience the slightest injurious
    effect. I have seen many young married couples where the husband
    had been reduced to a pitiable condition of nervous prostration
    and general discomfort by the zeal with which he had exercised
    his marital duties, while the wife had been benefited and was in
    the uninterrupted enjoyment of the best health." This experience
    is by no means uncommon.

    A correspondent writes: "It is quite true that the threshold of
    excess is less easily reached by women than by men. I have found
    that women can reach the orgasm much more frequently than men.
    Take an ordinary case. I spend two hours with ----. I have the
    orgasm 3 times, with difficulty; she has it 6 or 8, or even 10 or
    12, times. Women can also experience it a second or third time in
    succession, with no interval between. Sometimes the mere fact of
    realizing that the man is having the orgasm causes the woman to
    have it also, though it is true that a woman usually requires as
    many minutes to develop the orgasm as a man does seconds." I may
    also refer to the case recorded in another part of this volume in
    which a wife had the orgasm 26 times to her husband's twice.

    Hutchinson, under the name of post-marital amblyopia (_Archives
    of Surgery_, vol. iv, p. 200), has described a condition
    occurring in men in good health who soon after marriage become
    nearly blind, but recover as soon as the cause is removed. He
    mentions no cases in women due to coitus, but finds that in
    women some failure of sight may occur after parturition.

    Näcke states that, in his experience, while masturbation is,
    apparently, commoner in insane men than in insane women,
    masturbation repeated several times a day is much commoner in the
    women. (P. Näcke, "Die Sexuellen Perversitäten in der
    Irrenanstalt," _Psychiatrische Bladen_, 1899, No. 2.)

    Great excesses in masturbation seem also to be commoner among
    women who may be said to be sane than among men. Thus, Bloch
    (_New Orleans Medical Journal_, 1896) records the case of a young
    married woman of 25, of bad heredity, who had suffered from
    almost life-long sexual hyperesthesia, and would masturbate
    fourteen times daily during the menstrual periods.

    With regard to excesses in coitus the case may be mentioned of a
    country girl of 17, living in a rural district in North Carolina
    where prostitution was unknown, who would cohabit with men almost
    openly. On one Sunday she went to a secluded school-house and let
    three or four men wear themselves out cohabiting with her. On
    another occasion, at night, in a field, she allowed anyone who
    would to perform the sexual act, and 25 men and boys then had
    intercourse with her. When seen she was much prostrated and with
    a tendency to spasm, but quite rational. Subsequently she married
    and attacks of this nature became rare.

    Mr. Lawson made an "attested statement" of what he had observed
    among the Marquesan women. "He mentions one case in which he
    heard a parcel of boys next morning count over and _name_ 103 men
    who during the night had intercourse with _one_ woman."
    (_Medico-Chirurgical Review_, 1871, vol. ii, p. 360, apparently
    quoting Chevers.) This statement seems open to question, but, if
    reliable, would furnish a case which must be unique.

There is a further important difference, though intimately related to some
of the differences already mentioned, between the sexual impulse in women
and in men. In women it is at once larger and more diffused. As Sinibaldus
long ago said, the sexual pleasure of men is intensive, of women
extensive. In men the sexual impulse is, as it were, focused to a single
point. This is necessarily so, for the whole of the essentially necessary
part of the male in the process of human procreation is confined to the
ejaculation of semen into the vagina. But in women, mainly owing to the
fact that women are the child-bearers, in place of one primary sexual
center and one primary erogenous region, there are at least three such
sexual centers and erogenous regions: the clitoris (corresponding to the
penis), the vaginal passage up to the womb, and the nipple. In both sexes
there are other secondary and reflex centers, but there is good reason for
believing that these are more numerous and more widespread in women than
in men.[178] How numerous the secondary sexual centers in women may be is
indicated by the case of a woman mentioned by Moraglia, who boasted that
she knew fourteen different ways of masturbating herself.

This great diffusion of the sexual impulse and emotions in women is as
visible on the psychic as on the physical side. A woman can find sexual
satisfaction in a great number of ways that do not include the sexual act
proper, and in a great number of ways that apparently are not physical at
all, simply because their physical basis is diffused or is to be found in
one of the outlying sexual zones.

It is, moreover, owing to the diffused character of the sexual emotions in
women that it so often happens that emotion really having a sexual origin
is not recognized as such even by the woman herself. It is possible that
the great prevalence in women of the religious emotional state of "storm
and stress," noted by Professor Starbuck,[179] is largely due to
unemployed sexual impulse. In this and similar ways it happens that the
magnitude of the sexual sphere in woman is unrealized by the careless

    A number of converging facts tend to indicate that the sexual
    sphere is larger, and more potent in its influence on the
    organism, in women than in men. It would appear that among the
    males and females of lower animals the same difference may be
    found. It is stated that in birds there is a greater flow of
    blood to the ovaries than to the testes.

    In women the system generally is more affected by disturbances in
    the sexual sphere than in men. This appears to be the case as
    regards the eye. "The influence of the sexual system upon the eye
    in man," Power states, "is far less potent, and the connection,
    in consequence, far less easy to trace than in woman." (H. Power,
    "Relation of Ophthalmic Disease to the Sexual Organs," _Lancet_,
    November 26, 1887.)

    The greater predominance of the sexual system in women on the
    psychic side is clearly brought out in insane conditions. It is
    well known that, while satyriasis is rare, nymphomania is
    comparatively common. These conditions are probably often forms
    of mania, and in mania, while sexual symptoms are common in men,
    they are often stated to be the rule in women (see, e.g.,
    Krafft-Ebing, _Psychopathia Sexualis_, tenth edition, English
    translation, p. 465). Bouchereau, in noting this difference in
    the prevalence of sexual manifestations during insanity, remarks
    that it is partly due to the naturally greater dependence of
    women on the organs of generation, and partly to the more active,
    independent, and laborious lives of men; in his opinion,
    satyriasis is specially apt to develop in men who lead lives
    resembling those of women. (Bouchereau, art. "Satyriasis,"
    _Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des Sciences Médicales_.) Again,
    postconnubial insanity is very much commoner in women than in
    men, a fact which may indicate the more predominant part played
    by the sexual sphere in women. (Savage, art. "Marriage and
    Insanity," _Dictionary of Psychological Medicine_.)

    Insanity tends to remove the artificial inhibitory influences
    that rule in ordinary life, and there is therefore significance
    in such a fact as that the sexual appetite is often increased in
    general paralysis and to a notable extent in women. (Pactet and
    Colin, _Les Aliénés devant la Justice_, 1902, p. 122.)

    Näcke, from his experiences among the insane, makes an
    interesting and possibly sound distinction regarding the
    character of the sexual manifestations in the two sexes. Among
    men he finds these manifestations to be more of a reflex and
    purely spinal nature and chiefly manifested in masturbation; in
    women he finds them to be of a more cerebral character, and
    chiefly manifested in erotic gestures, lascivious conversation,
    etc. The sexual impulse would thus tend to involve to a greater
    extent the higher psychic region in women than in men.

    Forel likewise (_Die Sexuelle Frage_, 1906, p. 276), remarking on
    the much greater prevalence of erotic manifestations among insane
    women than insane men (and pointing out that it is by no means
    due merely to the presence of a male doctor, for it remains the
    same when the doctor is a woman), considers that it proves that
    in women the sexual impulse resides more prominently in the
    higher nervous centers and in men in the lower centers. (As
    regards the great prevalence of erotic manifestations among the
    female insane, I may also refer to Claye Shaw's interesting
    observations, "The Sexes in Lunacy," _St. Bartholomew's Hospital
    Reports_, vol. xxiv, 1888; also quoted in Havelock Ellis, _Man
    and Woman_, p. 370 et seq.) Whether or not we may accept Näcke's
    and Forel's interpretation of the facts, which is at least
    doubtful, there can be little doubt that the sexual impulse is
    more fundamental in women. This is indicated by Näcke's
    observation that among idiots sexual manifestations are commoner
    in females than in males. Of 16 idiot girls, of the age of 16 and
    under, 15 certainly masturbated, sometimes as often as fourteen
    times a day, while the remaining girl probably masturbated; but
    of 25 youthful male idiots only 1 played with his penis. (P.
    Näcke, "Die Sexuellen Perversitäten in der Irrenanstalt,"
    _Psychiatrische Bladen_, 1899, No. 2, pp. 9, 12.) On the physical
    side Bourneville and Sollier found (_Progrès médical_, 1888) that
    puberty is much retarded in idiot and imbecile boys, while J.
    Voisin (_Annales d'Hygiène Publique_, June, 1894) found that in
    idiot and imbecile girls, on the contrary, there is no lack of
    full sexual development or retardation of puberty, while
    masturbation is common. In women, it may be added, as Ball
    pointed out (_Folie érotique_, p. 40), sexual hallucinations are
    especially common, while under the influence of anesthetics
    erotic manifestations and feelings are frequent in women, but
    rare in men. (Havelock Ellis, _Man and Woman_, p. 256.)

    The fact that the first coitus has a much more profound moral and
    psychic influence on a woman than on a man would also seem to
    indicate how much more fundamental the sexual region is in women.
    The fact may be considered as undoubted. (It is referred to by
    Marro, _La Pubertà_, p. 460.) The mere physical fact that, while
    in men coitus remains a merely exterior contact, in women it
    involves penetration into the sensitive and virginal interior of
    the body would alone indicate this difference.

We are told that in the East there was once a woman named Moârbeda who was
a philosopher and considered to be the wisest woman of her time. When
Moârbeda was once asked: "In what part of a woman's body does her mind
reside?" she replied: "Between her thighs." To many women,--perhaps,
indeed, we might even say to most women,--to a certain extent may be
applied--and in no offensive sense--the dictum of the wise woman of the
East; in a certain sense their brains are in their wombs. Their mental
activity may sometimes seem to be limited; they may appear to be passing
through life always in a rather inert or dreamy state; but, when their
sexual emotions are touched, then at once they spring into life; they
become alert, resourceful, courageous, indefatigable. "But when I am not
in love I am nothing!" exclaimed a woman when reproached by a French
magistrate for living with a thief. There are many women who could truly
make the same statement, not many men. That emotion, which, one is tempted
to say, often unmans the man, makes the woman for the first time truly

    "Women are more occupied with love than men," wrote De Sénancour
    (_De l'Amour_, vol. ii, p. 59); "it shows itself in all their
    movements, animates their looks, gives to their gestures a grace
    that is always new, to their smiles and voices an inexpressible
    charm; they live for love, while many men in obeying love feel
    that they are forgetting themselves."

    Restif de la Bretonne (_Monsieur Nicolas_, vol. vi, p. 223)
    quotes a young girl who well describes the difference which love
    makes to a woman: "Before I vegetated; now all my actions have a
    motive, an end; they have become important. When I wake my first
    thought is 'Someone is occupied with me and desires me.' I am no
    longer alone, as I was before; another feels my existence and
    cherishes it," etc.

    "One is surprised to see in the south," remarks Bonstetten, in
    his suggestive book, _L'Homme du Midi et l'Homme du Nord_
    (1824),--and the remark by no means applies only to the
    south,--"how love imparts intelligence even to those who are most
    deficient in ideas. An Italian woman in love is inexhaustible in
    the variety of her feelings, all subordinated to the supreme
    emotion which dominates her. Her ideas follow one another with
    prodigious rapidity, and produce a lambent play which is fed by
    her heart alone. If she ceases to love, her mind becomes merely
    the scoria of the lava which yesterday had been so bright."

    Cabanis had already made some observations to much the same
    effect. Referring to the years of nubility following puberty, he
    remarks: "I have very often seen the greatest fecundity of ideas,
    the most brilliant imagination, a singular aptitude for the arts,
    suddenly develop in girls of this age, only to give place soon
    afterward to the most absolute mental mediocrity." (Cabanis, "De
    l'Influence des Sexes," etc., _Rapports du Physique et du Morale
    de l'Homme_.)

This phenomenon seems to be one of the indications of the immense organic
significance of the sexual relations. Woman's part in the world is less
obtrusively active than man's, but there is a moment when nature cannot
dispense with energy and mental vigor in women, and that is during the
reproductive period. The languidest woman must needs be alive when her
sexual emotions are profoundly stirred. People often marvel at the
infatuation which men display for women who, in the eyes of all the world,
seem commonplace and dull. This is not, as we usually suppose, always
entirely due to the proverbial blindness of love. For the man whom she
loves, such a woman is often alive and transformed. He sees a woman who is
hidden from all the world. He experiences something of that surprise and
awe which Dostoieffsky felt when the seemingly dull and brutish criminals
of Siberia suddenly exhibited gleams of exquisite sensibility.

In women, it must further be said, the sexual impulse shows a much more
marked tendency to periodicity than in men; not only is it less apt to
appear spontaneously, but its spontaneous manifestations are in a very
pronounced manner correlated with menstruation. A woman who may experience
almost overmastering sexual desire just before, during, or after the
monthly period may remain perfectly calm and self-possessed during the
rest of the month. In men such irregularities of the sexual impulse are
far less marked. Thus it is that a woman may often appear capricious,
unaccountable, or cold, merely because her moments of strong emotion have
been physiologically confined within a limited period. She may be one day
capable of audacities of which on another the very memory might seem to
have left her.

Not only is the intensity of the sexual impulse in women, as compared to
men, more liable to vary from day to day, or from week to week, but the
same greater variability is marked when we compare the whole cycle of life
in women to that of men. The stress of early womanhood, when the
reproductive functions are in fullest activity, and of late womanhood,
when they are ceasing, produces a profound organic fermentation, psychic
as much as physical, which is not paralleled in the lives of men. This
greater variability in the cycle of a woman's life as compared with a
man's is indicated very delicately and precisely by the varying incidence
of insanity, and is made clearly visible in a diagram prepared by Marro
showing the relative liability to mental diseases in the two sexes
according to age.[180] At the age of 20 the incidence of insanity in both
sexes is equal; from that age onward the curve in men proceeds in a
gradual and equable manner, with only the slightest oscillation, on to old
age. But in women the curve is extremely irregular; it remains high during
all the years from 20 to 30, instead of falling like the masculine curve;
then it falls rapidly to considerably below the masculine curve, rising
again considerably above the masculine level during the climacteric years
from 40 to 50, after which age the two sexes remain fairly close together
to the end of life. Thus, as measured by the test of insanity, the curve
of woman's life, in the sudden rise and sudden fall of its sexual crisis,
differs from the curve of man's life and closely resembles the minor curve
of her menstrual cycle.

The general tendency of this difference in sexual life and impulse is to
show a greater range of variation in women than in men. Fairly uniform, on
the whole, in men generally and in the same man throughout mature life,
sexual impulse varies widely between woman and woman, and even in the same
woman at different periods.


[169] Ovid remarks (_Ars Amatoria_, bk. i) that, if men were silent, women
would take the active and suppliant part.

[170] Ferrand, _De la Maladie d'Amour_, 1623, ch. ii.

[171] Tarde, _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, May 15, 1897. Marro,
who quotes this observation (_Pubertà_, p. 467; in French edition, p. 61),
remarks that his own evidence lends some support to Lombroso's conclusion
that under ordinary circumstances woman's sensory acuteness is less than
that of man. He is, however, inclined to impute this to defective
attention; within the sexual sphere women's attention becomes
concentrated, and their sensory perceptions then go far beyond those of
men. There is probably considerable truth in this subtle observation.

[172] A well-known gynecologist writes from America: "Abhorrence due to
suffering on first nights I have repeatedly seen. One very marked case is
that of a fine womanly young woman with splendid figure; she is a very
good woman, and admires her husband, but, though she tries to develop
desire and passion, she cannot succeed. I fear the man will some day
appear who will be able to develop the latent feelings."

[173] It is curious that, while the sexual impulse in women tends to
develop at a late age more frequently than in men, it would also appear to
develop more frequently at a very early age than in the other sex. The
majority of cases of precocious sexual development seems to be in female
children. W. Roger Williams ("Precocious Sexual Development," _British
Gynæcological Journal_, May, 1902) finds that 80 such cases have been
recorded in females and only 20 in males, and, while 13 is the earliest
age at which boys have proved virile, girls have been known to conceive at

[174] I find the same remark made by Plazzonus in the seventeenth century.

[175] Art. "Fécondation," _Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des Sciences

[176] This also is an ancient remark, for in the early treatise _De
Secretis Mulierum_, once attributed to Michael Scot, it is stated,
concerning the woman who finds pleasure in coitus, "cantat libenter."

[177] It is scarcely necessary to add that prostitutes can furnish little
evidence one way or the other. Not only may prostitutes refuse to
participate in the sexual orgasm, but the evils of a prostitute's life are
obviously connected with causes quite other than mere excess of sexual

[178] This is, for instance, indicated by the experiments of Gualino
concerning the sexual sensitiveness of the lips (_Archivio di
Psichiatria_, 1904, fasc. 3). He found that mechanical irritation applied
to the lips produced more or less sexual feeling in 12 out of 20 women,
but in only 10 out of 25 men, i.e., in three-fifths of the women and
two-fifths of the men.

[179] "Adolescence is for women primarily a period of storm and stress,
while for men it is in the highest sense a period of doubt," (Starbuck,
_Psychology of Religion_, p. 241.) It is interesting to note that in the
religious sphere, also, the emotions of women are more diffused than those
of men; Starbuck confirms the conclusion of Professor Coe that, while
women have at least as much religious emotion as men, in them it is more
all pervasive, and they experience fewer struggles and acute crises.
(Ibid., p. 80.)

[180] Marro, _La Pubertà_, p. 233. This table covers all those cases,
nearly 3000, of patients entering the Turin asylum, from 1886 to 1895, in
which the age of the first appearance of insanity was known.


Summary of Conclusions.

In conclusion it may be worth while to sum up the main points brought out
in this brief discussion of a very large question. We have seen that there
are two streams of opinion regarding the relative strength of the sexual
impulse in men and women: one tending to regard it as greater in men, the
other as greater in women. We have concluded that, since a large body of
facts may be brought forward to support either view, we may fairly hold
that, roughly speaking, the distribution of the sexual impulse between the
two sexes is fairly balanced.

We have, however, further seen that the phenomena are in reality too
complex to be settled by the usual crude method of attempting to discover
quantitative differences in the sexual impulse. We more nearly get to the
bottom of the question by a more analytic method, breaking up our mass of
facts into groups. In this way we find that there are certain well-marked
characteristics by which the sexual impulse in women differs from the same
impulse in men: 1. It shows greater apparent passivity. 2. It is more
complex, less apt to appear spontaneously, and more often needing to be
aroused, while the sexual orgasm develops more slowly than in men. 3. It
tends to become stronger after sexual relationships are established. 4.
The threshold of excess is less easily reached than in men. 5. The sexual
sphere is larger and more diffused. 6. There is a more marked tendency to
periodicity in the spontaneous manifestations of sexual desire. 7. Largely
as a result of these characteristics, the sexual impulse shows a greater
range of variation in women than in men, both as between woman and woman
and in the same woman at different periods.

It may be added that a proper understanding of these sexual differences in
men and women is of great importance, both in the practical management of
sexual hygiene and in the comprehension of those wider psychological
characteristics by which women differ from men.





In the eighteenth century, when savage tribes in various parts of the
world first began to be visited, extravagantly romantic views widely
prevailed as to the simple and idyllic lives led by primitive peoples.
During the greater part of the nineteenth century the tendency of opinion
was to the opposite extreme, and it became usual to insist on the degraded
and licentious morals of savages.[181]

In reality, however, savage life is just as little a prolonged debauch as
a prolonged idyll. The inquiries of such writers as Westermarck, Frazer,
and Crawley are tending to introduce a sounder conception of the actual,
often highly complex, conditions of primitive life in its relations to the
sexual instinct.

At the same time it is not difficult to account for the belief, widely
spread during the nineteenth century, in the unbridled licentiousness of
savages. In the first place, the doctrine of evolution inevitably created
a prejudice in favor of such a view. It was assumed that modesty,
chastity, and restraint were the finest and ultimate flowers of moral
development; therefore at the beginnings of civilization we must needs
expect to find the opposite of these things. Apart, however, from any mere
prejudice of this kind, a superficial observation of the actual facts
necessarily led to much misunderstanding. Just as the nakedness of many
savage peoples led to the belief that they were lacking in modesty,
although, as a matter of fact, modesty is more highly developed in savage
life than in civilization,[182] so the absence of our European rules of
sexual behavior among savages led to the conclusion that they were
abandoned to debauchery. The widespread custom of lending the wife under
certain circumstances was especially regarded as indicating gross
licentiousness. Moreover, even when intercourse was found to be free
before marriage, scarcely any investigator sought to ascertain what amount
of sexual intercourse this freedom involved. It was not clearly understood
that such freedom must by no means be necessarily assumed to involve very
frequent intercourse. Again, it often happened that no clear distinction
was made between peoples contaminated by association with civilization,
and peoples not so contaminated. For instance, when prostitution is
attributed to a savage people we must usually suppose either that a
mistake has been made or that the people in question have been degraded by
intercourse with white peoples, for among unspoilt savages customs that
can properly be called prostitution rarely prevail. Nor, indeed, would
they be in harmony with the conditions of primitive life.

It has been seriously maintained that the chastity of savages, so far as
it exists at all, is due to European civilization. It is doubtless true
that this is the case with individual persons and tribes, but there is
ample evidence from various parts of the world to show that this is by no
means the rule. And, indeed, it may be said--with no disregard of the
energy and sincerity of missionary efforts--that it could not be so. A new
system of beliefs and practices, however excellent it may be in itself,
can never possess the same stringent and unquestionable force as the
system in which an individual and his ancestors have always lived, and
which they have never doubted the validity of. That this is so we may have
occasion to observe among ourselves. Christian teachers question the
wisdom of bringing young people under free-thinking influence, because,
although they do not deny the morals of free-thinkers, they believe that
to unsettle the young may have a disastrous effect, not only on belief,
but also on conduct. Yet this dangerously unsettling process has been
applied by missionaries on a wholesale scale to races which in some
respect are often little more than children. When, therefore, we are
considering the chastity of savages we must not take into account those
peoples which have been brought into close contact with Europeans.

In order to understand the sexual habits of savages generally there are
two points which always have to be borne in mind as of the first
importance: (1) the checks restraining sexual intercourse among savages,
especially as regards time and season, are so numerous, and the sanctions
upholding those checks so stringent, that sexual excess cannot prevail to
the same extent as in civilization; (2) even in the absence of such
checks, that difficulty of obtaining sexual erethism which has been noted
as so common among savages, when not overcome by the stimulating
influences prevailing at special times and seasons, and which is probably
in large measure dependent on hard condition of life as well as an
insensitive quality of nervous texture, still remains an important factor,
tending to produce a natural chastity. There is a third consideration
which, though from the present point of view subsidiary, is not without
bearing on our conception of chastity among savages: the importance, even
sacredness, of procreation is much more generally recognized by savage
than by civilized peoples, and also a certain symbolic significance is
frequently attached to human procreation as related to natural
fruitfulness generally; so that a primitive sexual orgy, instead of being
a mere manifestation of licentiousness, may have a ritual significance, as
a magical means of evoking the fruitfulness of fields and herds.[183]

When a savage practises extraconjugal sexual intercourse, the act is
frequently not, as it has come to be conventionally regarded in
civilization, an immorality or at least an illegitimate indulgence; it is
a useful and entirely justifiable act, producing definite benefits,
conducing alike to cosmic order and social order, although these benefits
are not always such as we in civilization believe to be caused by the act.
Thus, speaking of the northern tribes of central Australia, Spencer and
Gillen remark: "It is very usual amongst all of the tribes to allow
considerable license during the performance of certain of their ceremonies
when a large number of natives, some of them coming often from distant
parts, are gathered together--in fact, on such occasions all of the
ordinary marital rules seem to be more or less set aside for the time
being. Each day, in some tribes, one or more women are told off whose duty
it is to attend at the corrobboree grounds,--sometimes only during the
day, sometimes at night,--and all of the men, except those who are
fathers, elder and younger brothers, and sons, have access to them.... The
idea is that the sexual intercourse assists in some way in the proper
performance of the ceremony, causing everything to work smoothly and
preventing the decorations from falling off."[184]

It is largely this sacred character of sexual intercourse--the fact that
it is among the things that are at once "divine" and "impure," these two
conceptions not being differentiated in primitive thought--which leads to
the frequency with which in savage life a taboo is put upon its exercise.
Robertson Smith added an appendix to his _Religion of the Semites_ on
"Taboo on the Intercourse of the Sexes."[185] Westermarck brought together
evidence showing the frequency with which this and allied causes tended to
the chastity of savages.[186] Frazer has very luminously expounded the
whole primitive conception of sexual intercourse, and showed how it
affected chastity.[187] Warriors must often be chaste; the men who go on
any hunting or other expedition require to be chaste to be successful; the
women left behind must be strictly chaste; sometimes even the whole of the
people left behind, and for long periods, must be chaste in order to
insure the success of the expedition. Hubert and Maus touched on the same
point in their elaborate essay on sacrifice, pointing out how frequently
sexual relationships are prohibited on the occasion of any ceremony
whatever.[188] Crawley, in elaborating the primitive conception of taboo,
has dealt fully with ritual and traditional influences making for chastity
among savages. He brings forward, for instance, a number of cases, from
various parts of the world, in which intercourse has to be delayed for
days, weeks, even months, after marriage. He considers that the sexual
continence prevalent among savages is largely due to a belief in the
enervating effects of coitus; so dangerous are the sexes to each other
that, as he points out, even now sexual separation of the sexes commonly

There are thus a great number of constantly recurring occasions in savage
life when continence must be preserved, and when, it is firmly believed,
terrible risks would be incurred by its violation--during war, after
victory, after festivals, during mourning, on journeys, in hunting and
fishing, in a vast number of agricultural and industrial occupations.

It might fairly be argued that the facility with which the savage places
these checks on sexual intercourse itself bears witness to the weakness of
the sexual impulse. Evidence of another order which seems to point to the
undeveloped state of the sexual impulse among savages may be found in the
comparatively undeveloped condition of their sexual organs, a condition
not, indeed, by any means constant, but very frequently noted. As regards
women, it has in many parts of the world been observed to be the rule, and
the data which Ploss and Bartels have accumulated seem to me, on the
whole, to point clearly in this direction.[190]

At another point, also, it may be remarked, the repulsion between the
sexes and the restraints on intercourse may be associated with weak sexual
impulse. It is not improbable that a certain horror of the sexual organs
may be a natural feeling which is extinguished in the intoxication of
desire, yet still has a physiological basis which renders the sexual
organs--disguised and minimized by convention and by artistic
representation--more or less disgusting in the absence of erotic
emotion.[191] And this is probably more marked in cases in which the
sexual instinct is constitutionally feeble. A lady who had no marked
sexual desires, and who considered it well bred to be indifferent to such
matters, on inspecting her sexual parts in a mirror for the first time in
her life was shocked and disgusted at the sight. Certainly many women
could record a similar experience on being first approached by a man,
although artistic conventions present the male form with greater truth
than the female. Moreover,--and here is the significant point,--this
feeling is by no means restricted to the refined and cultured. "When
working at Michelangelo," wrote a correspondent from Italy, "my upper
gondolier used to see photographs and statuettes of all that man's works.
Stopping one day before the Night and Dawn of S. Lorenzo, sprawling naked
women, he exclaimed: 'How hideous they are!' I pressed him to explain
himself. He went on: 'The ugliest man naked is handsomer than the finest
woman naked. Women have crooked legs, and their sexual organs stink. I
only once saw a naked woman. It was in a brothel, when I was 18. The sight
of her "natura" made me go out and vomit into the canal. You know I have
been twice married, but I never saw either of my wives without clothing.'
Of very rank cheese he said one day: 'Puzza come la natura d'una donna.'"
This man, my correspondent added, was entirely normal and robust, but
seemed to regard sexual congress as a mere evacuation, the sexual instinct
apparently not being strong.

It seems possible that, if the sexual impulse had no existence, all men
would regard women with this _horror feminæ_. As things are, however, at
all events in civilization, sexual emotions begin to develop even earlier,
usually, than acquaintance with the organs of the other sex begins; so
that this disgust is inhibited. If, however, among savages the sexual
impulse is habitually weak, and only aroused to strength under the impetus
of powerful stimuli, often acting periodically, then we should expect the
_horror_ to be a factor of considerable importance.

The weakness of the physical sexual impulse among savages is reflected in
the psychic sphere. Many writers have pointed out that love plays but a
small part in their lives. They practise few endearments; they often only
kiss children (Westermarck notes that sexual love is far less strong than
parental love); love-poems are among some primitive peoples few (mostly
originating with the women), and their literature often gives little or no
attention to passion.[192] Affection and devotion are, however, often
strong, especially in savage women.

It is not surprising that jealousy should often, though not by any means
invariably, be absent, both among men and among women. Among savages this
is doubtless a proof of the weakness of the sexual impulse. Spencer and
Gillen note the comparative absence of jealousy in men among the Central
Australian tribes they studied.[193] Negresses, it is said by a French
army surgeon in his _Untrodden Fields of Anthropology_, do not know what
jealousy is, and the first wife will even borrow money to buy the second
wife. Among a much higher race, the women in a Korean household, it is
said, live together happily, as an almost invariable rule, though it
appears that this was not always the case among a polygamous people of
European race, the Mormons.

The tendency of the sexual instinct in savages to periodicity, to seasonal
manifestations, I do not discuss here, as I have dealt with it in the
first volume of these _Studies_.[194] It has, however, a very important
bearing on this subject. Periodicity of sexual manifestations is, indeed,
less absolute in primitive man than in most animals, but it is still very
often quite clearly marked. It is largely the occurrence of these violent
occasional outbursts of the sexual instinct--during which the organic
impulse to tumescence becomes so powerful that external stimuli are no
longer necessary--that has led to the belief in the peculiar strength of
the impulse in savages.[195]


[181] Thus, Lubbock (Lord Avebury), in the _Origin of Civilization_, fifth
edition, 1889, brings forward a number of references in evidence of this
belief. More recently Finck, in his _Primitive Love and Love-stories_,
1899, seeks to accumulate data in favor of the unbounded licentiousness of
savages. He admits, however, that a view of the matter opposed to his own
is now tending to prevail.

[182] See "The Evolution of Modesty" in the first volume of these

[183] The sacredness of sexual relations often applies also to individual
marriage. Thus, Skeat, in his _Malay Magic_, shows that the bride and
bridegroom are definitely recognized as sacred, in the same sense that the
king is, and in Malay States the king is a very sacred person. See also,
concerning the sacred character of coitus, whether individual or
collective, A. Van Gennep, _Rites de Passage, passim_.

[184] Spencer and Gillen, _Northern Tribes of Central Australia_, p. 136.

[185] _Religion of the Semites_, second edition, 1894, p. 454 _et seq._

[186] _History of Marriage_, pp. 66-70, 150-156, etc.

[187] _Golden Bough_, third edition, part ii, _Taboo and the Perils of the
Soul_. Frazer has discussed taboo generally. For a shorter account of
taboo, see art. "Taboo" by Northcote Thomas in _Encyclopædia Britannica_,
eleventh edition, 1911. Freud has lately (_Imago_, 1912) made an attempt
to explain the origin of taboo psychologically by comparing it to neurotic
obsessions. Taboo, Freud believes, has its origin in a forbidden act to
perform which there is a strong unconscious tendency; an ambivalent
attitude, that is, combining the opposite tendencies, is thus established.
In this way Freud would account for the fact that tabooed persons and
things are both sacred and unclean.

[188] "Essai sur le Sacrifice," _L'Année Sociologique_, 1899, pp. 50-51.

[189] _The Mystic Rose_, 1902, p. 187 et seq., 215 et seq., 342 et seq.

[190] _Das Weib_, vol. i, section 6.

[191] This statement has been questioned. It should, however, be fairly
evident that the sexual organs in either sex, when closely examined, can
scarcely be regarded as beautiful except in the eyes of a person of the
opposite sex who is in a condition of sexual excitement, and they are not
always attractive even then. Moreover, it must be remembered that the
snake-like aptitude of the penis to enter into a state of erection apart
from the control of the will puts it in a different category from any
other organ of the body, and could not fail to attract the attention of
primitive peoples so easily alarmed by unusual manifestations. We find
even in the early ages of Christianity that St. Augustine attached immense
importance to this alarming aptitude of the penis as a sign of man's
sinful and degenerate state.

[192] Lubbock, _Origin of Civilization_, fifth edition, pp. 69, 73;
Westermarck, _History of Marriage_, p. 357; Grosse, _Anfänge der Kunst_,
p. 236; Herbert Spencer, "Origin of Music," _Mind_, Oct., 1890.

[193] Spencer and Gillen, _Native Tribes of Central Australia_, p. 99; cf.
Finck, _Primitive Love and Love-stories_, p. 89 et seq.

[194] "The Phenomena of Sexual Periodicity." The subject has also been
more recently discussed by Walter Heape, "The 'Sexual Season' of Mammals,"
_Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science_, vol. xliv, 1900. See also
F.H.A. Marshall, _The Physiology of Reproduction_, 1910.

[195] This view finds a belated supporter in Max Marcuse
("Geschlechtstrieb des Urmenschens," _Sexual-Probleme_, Oct., 1909), who,
on grounds which I cannot regard as sound, seeks to maintain the belief
that the sexual instinct is more highly developed among savage than among
civilized peoples.


The facts thus seem to indicate that among primitive peoples, while the
magical, ceremonial, and traditional restraints on sexual intercourse are
very numerous, very widespread, and nearly always very stringent, there
is, underlying this prevalence of restraints on intercourse, a fundamental
weakness of the sexual instinct, which craves less, and craves less
frequently, than is the case among civilized peoples, but is liable to be
powerfully manifested at special seasons. It is perfectly true that among
savages, as Sutherland states, "there is no ideal which makes chastity a
thing beautiful in itself"; but when the same writer goes on to state that
"it is untrue that in sexual license the savage has everything to learn,"
we must demand greater precision of statement.[196] Travelers, and too
often would-be scientific writers, have been so much impressed by the
absence among savages of the civilized ideal of chastity, and by the
frequent freedom of sexual intercourse, that they have not paused to
inquire more carefully into the phenomena, or to put themselves at the
primitive point of view, but have assumed that freedom here means all that
it would mean in a European population.

In order to illustrate the actual circumstances of savage life in this
respect from the scanty evidence furnished by the most careful observers,
I have brought together from scattered sources a few statements concerning
primitive peoples in very various parts of the world.[197]

Among the Andamanese, Portman, who knows them well, says that sexual
desire is very moderate; in males it appears at the age of 18, but, as
"their love for sport is greater than their passions, these are not
gratified to any great extent till after marriage, which rarely takes
place till a man is about 26."[198]

Although chastity is not esteemed by the Fuegians, and virginity is lost
at a very early age, yet both men and women are extremely moderate in
sexual indulgence.[199]

Among the Eskimo at the other end of the American continent, according to
Dr. F. Cook, the sexual passions are suppressed during the long darkness
of winter, as also is the menstrual function usually, and the majority of
the children are born nine months after the appearance of the sun.[200]

Among the Indians of North America it is the custom of many tribes to
refrain from sexual intercourse during the whole period of lactation, as
also D'Orbigny found to be the case among South American Indians, although
suckling went on for over three years.[201] Many of the Indian tribes have
now been rendered licentious by contact with civilization. In the
primitive condition their customs were entirely different. Dr. Holder, who
knows many tribes of North American Indians well, has dealt in some detail
with this point. "Several of the virtues," he states, "and among them
chastity, were more faithfully practised by the Indian race before the
invasion from the East than these same virtues are practised by the white
race of the present day.... The race is less salacious than either the
negro or white race.... That the women of some tribes are now more careful
of their virtue than the women of any other community whose history I
know, I am fully convinced."[202] It is not only on the women that sexual
abstinence is imposed. Among some branches of the Salish Indians of
British Columbia a young widower must refrain from sexual intercourse for
a year, and sometimes lives entirely apart during that period.[203]

In many parts of Polynesia, although the sexual impulse seems often to
have been highly developed before the arrival of Europeans, it is very
doubtful whether license, in the European sense, at all generally
prevailed. The Marquesans, who have sometimes been regarded as peculiarly
licentious, are especially mentioned by Foley as illustrating his
statement that sexual erethism is with difficulty attained by primitive
peoples except during sexual seasons.[204] Herman Melville's detailed
account in _Typee_ of the Marquesans (somewhat idealized, no doubt)
reveals nothing that can fairly be called licentiousness. At Rotuma, J.
Stanley Gardiner remarks, before the missionaries came sexual intercourse
before marriage was free, but gross immorality and prostitution and
adultery were unknown. Matters are much worse now.[205] The Maoris of New
Zealand, in the old days, according to one who had lived among them, were
more chaste than the English, and, though a chief might lend his wife to a
friend as an honor, it would be very difficult to take her (_private
communication_).[206] Captain Cook also represented these people as modest
and virtuous.

Among the Papuans of New Guinea and Torres Straits, although intercourse
before marriage is free, it is by no means unbridled, nor is it carried to
excess. There are many circumstances restraining intercourse. Thus,
unmarried men must not indulge in it during October and November at Torres
Straits. It is the general rule also that there should be no sexual
intercourse during pregnancy, while a child is being suckled (which goes
on for three or four years), or even until it can speak or walk.[207] In
Astrolabe Bay, New Guinea, according to Vahness, a young couple must
abstain from intercourse for several weeks after marriage, and to break
this rule would be disgraceful.[208]

As regards Australia, Brough Smyth wrote: "Promiscuous intercourse between
the sexes is not practised by the aborigines, and their laws on the
subject, particularly those of New South Wales, are very strict. When at
camp all the young unmarried men are stationed by themselves at the
extreme end, while the married men, each with his family, occupy the
center. No conversation is allowed between the single men and the girls or
the married women. Infractions of these laws were visited by punishment;
... five or six warriors threw from a comparatively short distance several
spears at him [the offender]. The man was often severely wounded and
sometimes killed."[209] This author mentions that a black woman has been
known to kill a white man who attempted to have intercourse with her by
force. Yet both sexes have occasional sexual intercourse from an early
age. After marriage, in various parts of Australia, there are numerous
restraints on intercourse, which is forbidden not merely during
menstruation, but during the latter part of pregnancy and for one moon
after childbirth.[210]

Concerning the people of the Malay Peninsula, Hrolf Vaughan Stevens
states: "The sexual impulse among the Belendas is only developed to a
slight extent; they are not sensual, and the husband has intercourse with
his wife not oftener than three times a month. The women also are not
ardent.... The Orang Lâut are more sensual than the Dyaks, who are,
however, more given to obscene jokes than their neighbors.... With the
Belendas there is little or no love-play in sexual relations".[211] Skeat
tells us also that among Malays in war-time strict chastity must be
observed in a stockade, or the bullets of the garrison will lose their

It is a common notion that the negro and negroid races of Africa are
peculiarly prone to sexual indulgence. This notion is not supported by
those who have had the most intimate knowledge of these peoples. It
probably gained currency in part owing to the open and expansive
temperament of the negro, and in part owing to the extremely sexual
character of many African orgies and festivals, though those might quite
as legitimately be taken as evidence of difficulty in attaining sexual

A French army surgeon, speaking from knowledge of the black races in
various French colonies, states in his _Untrodden Fields of Anthropology_
that it is a mistake to imagine that the negress is very amorous. She is
rather cold, and indifferent to the refinements of love, in which respects
she is very unlike the mulatto. The white man is usually powerless to
excite her, partly from his small penis, partly from his rapidity of
emission; the black man, on account of his blunter nervous system, takes
three times as long to reach emission as the white man. Among the
Mohammedan peoples of West Africa, Daniell remarks, as well as in central
and northern Africa, it is usual to suckle a child for two or more years.
From the time when pregnancy becomes apparent to the end of weaning no
intercourse takes place. It is believed that this would greatly endanger
the infant, if not destroy it. This means that for every child the woman,
at all events, must remain continent for about three years.[213] Sir H.H.
Johnston, writing concerning the peoples of central Africa, remarks that
the man also must remain chaste during these periods. Thus, among the
Atonga the wife leaves her husband at the sixth month of pregnancy, and
does not resume relations with him until five or six months after the
birth of the child. If, in the interval, he has relations with any other
woman, it is believed his wife will certainly die. "The negro is very
rarely vicious," Johnston says, "after he has attained to the age of
puberty. He is only more or less uxorious. The children are vicious, as
they are among most races of mankind, the boys outrageously so. As regards
the little girls over nearly the whole of British Central Africa, chastity
before puberty is an unknown condition, except perhaps among the A-nyanja.
Before a girl is become a woman it is a matter of absolute indifference
what she does, and scarcely any girl remains a virgin after about 5 years
of age."[214] Among the Bangala of the upper Congo a woman suckles her
child for six to eighteen months and during all this period the husband
has no intercourse with his wife, for that, it is believed, would kill the

Among the Yoruba-speaking people of West Africa A.B. Ellis mentions that
suckling lasts for three years, during the whole of which period the wife
must not cohabit with her husband.[216]

Although chastity before marriage appears to be, as a rule, little
regarded in Africa, this is not always so. In some parts of West Africa, a
girl, at all events if of high birth, when found guilty of unchastity may
be punished by the insertion into her vagina of bird pepper, a kind of
capsicum, beaten into a mass; this produces intense pain and such acute
inflammation that the canal may even be obliterated.[217]

Among the Dahomey women there is no coitus during pregnancy nor during
suckling, which lasts for nearly three years. The same is true among the
Jekris and other tribes on the Niger, where it is believed that the milk
would suffer if intercourse took place during lactation.[218]

In another part of Africa, among the Suaheli, even after marriage only
incomplete coitus is at first allowed and there is no intercourse for a
year after the child's birth.[219]

Farther south, among the Ba Wenda of north Transvaal, says the Rev. R.
Wessmann, although the young men are permitted to "play" with the young
girls before marriage, no sexual intercourse is allowed. If it is seen
that a girl's labia are apart when she sits down on a stone, she is
scolded, or even punished, as guilty of having had intercourse.[220]

Among the higher races in India the sexual instinct is very developed, and
sexual intercourse has been cultivated as an art, perhaps more elaborately
than anywhere else. Here, however, we are far removed from primitive
conditions and among a people closely allied to the Europeans. Farther to
the east, as among the Cambodians, strict chastity seems to prevail, and
if we cross the Himalayas to the north we find ourselves among wild people
to whom sexual license is unknown. Thus, among the Turcomans, even a few
days after the marriage has been celebrated, the young couple are
separated for an entire year.[221]

All the great organized religions have seized on this value of sexual
abstinence, already consecrated by primitive magic and religion, and
embodied it in their system. It was so in ancient Egypt. Thus, according
to Diodorus, on the death of a king, the entire population of Egypt
abstained from sexual intercourse for seventy-two days. The Persians,
again, attached great value to sexual as to all other kinds of purity.
Even involuntary seminal emissions were severely punishable. To lie with a
menstruating woman, according to the _Vendidad_, was as serious a matter
as to pollute holy fire, and to lie with a pregnant woman was to incur a
penalty of 2000 strokes. Among the modern Parsees a man must not lie with
his wife after she is four months and ten days pregnant. Mohammedanism
cannot be described as an ascetic religion, yet long and frequent periods
of sexual abstinence are enjoined. There must be no sexual intercourse
during the whole of pregnancy, during suckling, during menstruation (and
for eight days before and after), nor during the thirty days of the
Ramedan fast. Other times of sexual abstinence are also prescribed; thus
among the Mohammedan Yezidis of Mardin in northern Mesopotamia there must
be no sexual intercourse on Wednesdays or Fridays.[222]

In the early Christian Church many rules of sexual abstinence still
prevailed, similar to those usual among savages, though not for such
prolonged periods. In Egbert's Penitential, belonging to the ninth
century, it is stated that a woman must abstain from intercourse with her
husband three months after conception and for forty days after birth.
There were a number of other occasions, including Lent, when a husband
must not know his wife.[223] "Some canonists say," remarks Jeremy Taylor,
"that the Church forbids a mutual congression of married pairs upon
festival days.... The Council of Eliberis commanded abstinence from
conjugal rights for three or four or seven days before the communion. Pope
Liberius commanded the same during the whole time of Lent, supposing the
fast is polluted by such congressions."[224]


[196] A. Sutherland, _Origin and Growth of the Moral Instinct_, vol. i,
pp. 8, 187. As has been shown by, for instance, Dr. Iwan Bloch (_Beiträge
zur Ætiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Erster Theil, 1902), every
perverse sexual practice may be found, somewhere or other, among savages
or barbarians; but, as the same writer acutely points out (p. 58), these
devices bear witness to the need of overcoming frigidity rather than to
the strength of the sexual impulse.

[197] Ploss and Bartels have brought together in _Das Weib_ a large number
of facts in the same sense, more especially under the headings of
_Abstinenz-Vorschriften_ and _Die Fernhaltung der Schwangeren_. I have not
drawn upon their collection.

[198] _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, May, 1896, p. 369.

[199] Hyades and Deniker, _Mission Scientifique du Cap Horn_, vol. vii, p.

[200] F. Cook, _New York Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics_, 1894.

[201] A. d'Orbigny, _L'Homme Américain_, 1839, vol. i, p. 47.

[202] A.B. Holder, "Gynecic Notes Among the American Indians," _American
Journal of Obstetrics_, 1892, vol. xxvi, No. 1.

[203] _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, 1905, p. 139.

[204] Foley, _Bulletin de la Société d' Anthropologie_, Paris, November 6,

[205] J.S. Gardiner, _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, February,
1898, p. 409.

[206] As regards the modern Maoris, a medical correspondent in New Zealand
writes: "It is nothing for members of both sexes to live in the same room,
and for promiscuous intercourse to take place between father and daughter
or brother and sister. Maori women, who will display a great deal of
modesty when in the presence of male Maoris, will openly ask strange
Europeans to have sexual intercourse with them, and without any desire for
reward. The men, however, seem to prefer their own women, and even when
staying in towns, where they can obtain prostitutes, they will remain
continent until they return home again, a period of perhaps a month."

[207] Schellong, _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1889, i, pp. 17, 19;
Haddon, _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, February, 1890, pp.
316, 397; Guise, ib., February and May, 1899, p. 207; Seligmann, ib.,
1902, pp. 298, 301-302; _Reports Cambridge Expedition_, vol. v, pp.
199-200, 275.

[208] _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1900, ht. v, p. 414.

[209] R. Brough Smyth, _The Aborigines of Victoria_, vol. ii, p. 318.

[210] _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, 1894, pp. 170, 177, 187.

[211] _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1896, iv, pp. 180-181.

[212] W.W. Skeat, _Malay Magic_, p. 524.

[213] W.F. Daniell, _Medical Topography of Gulf of Guinea_, 1849, p. 55.

[214] Sir H.H. Johnston, _British Central Africa_, 1899, pp. 409, 414.

[215] Rev. J.H. Weeks, _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, 1910,
p. 418.

[216] Sir A.B. Ellis, _Yoruba-Speaking Peoples_, p. 185.

[217] W.F. Daniell, op. cit., p. 36.

[218] _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, August and November,
1898, p. 106.

[219] _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1899, ii and iii, p. 84; Velten,
_Sitten und Gebraüche der Suaheli_, p. 12.

[220] _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1896, p. 364.

[221] Vambery, _Travels in Central Asia_, 1864, p. 323.

[222] Heard, _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, Jan.-June, 1911,
p. 210. The same rule is also observed by the Christians of this district.

[223] Haddon and Stubbs, _Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents_, vol.
iii, p. 423.

[224] Jeremy Taylor, _The Rule of Conscience_, bk. iii, ch. iv, rule xx.


Thus it would seem probable that, contrary to a belief once widely
prevalent, the sexual instinct has increased rather than diminished with
the growth of civilization. This fact was clear to the insight of
Lucretius, though it has often been lost sight of since.[225] Yet even
observation of animals might have suggested the real bearing of the facts.
The higher breeds of cattle, it is said, require the male more often than
the inferior breeds.[226] Thorough-bred horses soon reach sexual maturity,
and I understand that since pains have been taken to improve cart-horses
the sexual instincts of the mares have become less trustworthy. There is
certainly no doubt that in our domestic animals generally, which live
under what may be called civilized conditions, the sexual system and the
sexual needs are more developed than in the wild species most closely
related to them.[227] All observers seem to agree on this point, and it is
sufficient to refer to the excellent summary of the question furnished by
Heape in the study of "The 'Sexual Season' of Mammals," to which reference
has already been made. He remarks, moreover, that, "while the sexual
activity of domestic animals and of wild animals in captivity may be more
frequently exhibited, it is not so violent as is shown by animals in the
wild state."[228] So that, it would seem, the greater periodicity of the
instinct in the wild state, alike in animals and in man, is associated
with greater violence of the manifestations when they do appear. Certain
rodents, such as the rat and the mouse, are well known to possess both
great reproductive power and marked sexual proclivities. Heape suggests
that this also is "due to the advantages derived from their intimate
relations with the luxuries of civilization." Heape recognizes that, as
regards reproductive power, the same development may be traced in man: "It
would seem highly probable that the reproductive power of man has
increased with civilization, precisely as it may be increased in the lower
animals by domestication; that the effect of a regular supply of good
food, together with all the other stimulating factors available and
exercised in modern civilized communities, has resulted in such great
activity of the generative organs, and so great an increase in the supply
of the reproductive elements, that conception in the healthy human female
may be said to be possible almost at any time during the reproductive

"People of sense and reflection are most apt to have violent and constant
passions," wrote Mary Wollstonecraft, "and to be preyed on by them."[229]
It is that fact which leads to the greater importance of sexual phenomena
among the civilized as compared to savages. The conditions of civilization
increase the sexual instinct, which consequently tends to be more
intimately connected with moral feelings. Morality is bound up with the
development of the sexual instinct. The more casual and periodic character
of the impulse in animals, since it involves greater sexual indifference,
tends to favor a loose tie between the sexes, and hence is not favorable
to the development of morals as we understand morals. In man the
ever-present impulse of sex, idealizing each sex to the other sex, draws
men and women together and holds them together. Foolish and ignorant
persons may deplore the full development which the sexual instinct has
reached in civilized man; to a finer insight that development is seen to
be indissolubly linked with all that is most poignant and most difficult,
indeed, but also all that is best, in human life as we know it.


[225] _De Rerum Naturâ_, v, 1016.

[226] Raciborski (_Traité de la Menstruation_, p. 43) quotes the
observation of an experienced breeder of choice cattle to this effect.

[227] "The organs which in the feral state," as Adlerz remarks
(_Biologisches Centralblatt_, No. 4, 1902; quoted in _Science_, May 16,
1902), "are continually exercised in a severe struggle for existence, do
not under domestication compete so closely with one another for the less
needed nutriment. Hence, organs like the reproductive glands, which are
not so directly implicated in self-preservation, are able to avail
themselves of more food."

[228] _Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science_, vol. xliv, 1900, p.
12, 31, 39.

[229] "Love," in _Thoughts on the Education of Daughters_.



It is a very remarkable fact that, although for many years past serious
attempts have been made to elucidate the psychology of sexual perversions,
little or no endeavor has been made to study the development of the normal
sexual emotions. Nearly every writer seems either to take for granted that
he and his readers are so familiar with all the facts of normal sex
psychology that any detailed statement is altogether uncalled for, or else
he is content to write a few fragmentary remarks, mostly made up of
miscellaneous extracts from anatomical, philosophical, and historical

Yet it is as unreasonable to take normal phenomena for granted here as in
any other region of science. A knowledge of such phenomena is as necessary
here as physiology is to pathology or anatomy to surgery. So far from the
facts of normal sex development, sex emotions, and sex needs being uniform
and constant, as is assumed by those who consider their discussion
unnecessary, the range of variation within fairly normal limits is
immense, and it is impossible to meet with two individuals whose records
are nearly identical.

There are two fundamental reasons why the endeavor should be made to
obtain a broad basis of clear information on the subject. In the first
place, the normal phenomena give the key to the abnormal phenomena, and
the majority of sexual perversions, including even those that are most
repulsive, are but exaggerations of instincts and emotions that are
germinal in normal human beings. In the second place, we cannot even know
what is normal until we are acquainted with the sexual life of a large
number of healthy individuals. And until we know the limits of normal
sexuality we are not in position to lay down any reasonable rules of
sexual hygiene.

On these grounds I have for some time sought to obtain the sexual
histories, and more especially the early histories, of men and women who,
on _prima facie_ grounds, may fairly be considered, or are at all events
by themselves and others considered, ordinarily healthy and normal.

There are many difficulties about such a task, difficulties which are
sufficiently obvious. There is, first of all, the natural reticence to
reveal facts of so intimately personal a character. There is the
prevailing ignorance and unintelligence which leads to the phenomena being
obscure to the subject himself. When the first difficulty has been
overcome, and the second is non-existent, there is still a lack of
sufficiently strong motive to undertake the record, as well as a failure
to realize the value of such records. I have, however, received a large
number of such histories, for the most part offered spontaneously with
permission to make such further inquiries as I thought desirable. Some of
these histories are extremely interesting and instructive. In the present
Appendix, and in a corresponding Appendix to the two following volumes of
these _Studies_, I bring forward a varied selection of these narratives.
In a few cases, it will be seen, the subjects are, to say the least, on
the borderland of the abnormal, but they do not come before us as patients
desiring treatment. They are playing their, usually active, sometimes even
distinguished, part in the world, which knows nothing of their intimate

    HISTORY I.--E.T. (I reproduce this history, written in the third
    person, as it reached my hands.) T.'s earliest recollections of
    ideas of a sexual character are vaguely associated with thoughts
    upon whipping inflicted on companions by their parents, and
    sometimes upon his own person. About the age of 7 T. occasionally
    depicted to himself the appearance of the bare nates and
    genitalia of boys during flagellation. Reflection upon whipping
    gave rise to slight curious sensations at the base of the abdomen
    and in the nerves of the sexual system. The sight of a boy being
    whipped upon the bare nates caused erection before the age of 9.
    He cannot account for these excitations, as at the time he had
    not learned the most rudimentary facts of sex. The spectacle of
    the boy's nudity had no attraction for him, while the beating
    aroused his indignation against the person who administered it.
    T. knew a boy and girl of about his own age whose imaginations
    dwelt somewhat morbidly upon whipping. The three used to talk
    together about such chastisement, and the little girl liked to
    read "stories that had whippings in them." None of these children
    delighted in cruelty; the fascination in the theme of castigation
    seemed to be in imagining the spectacle of the exposed nates,
    though actual witnessing of the whipping made them angry at the

    Accustomed to watch a young sister being bathed, T. had no
    distinct curiosity concerning the differences in sex until the
    age of 9. About this time he asked his father where babies came
    from, and was told to be quiet. When he persisted in the inquiry
    his father threatened to box his ears. His mother told him
    subsequently that doctors brought babies to mothers. He credited
    the story so far as to carefully watch the doctor who came when
    his mother "was going to have a new baby," in the hope of seeing
    a bundle in his arm. T. was 9 when he interrogated a servant-girl
    of 16 about babies and their origin. She laughed and said that
    one day she would tell him how children came. One Sunday this
    servant took T. for a country walk and initiated him in sexual
    intercourse, telling him he was too young to be a father, but
    that was the way babies were made. The girl took him into a
    field, saying she would show him how to do something which would
    make him "feel as though he was in heaven," informing him that
    she had often done this with young men. She then succeeded in
    causing erection and instructed him how to act. His feeling at
    the time was one of disgust; the appearance and odor of the
    female genitalia repelled him. Afterward, however, he wished to
    repeat the experience with girls of his own age. Finding the boy
    unresponsive, the girl took the masculine position and embraced
    him with great passion. T. can recall the expression of the
    girl's face, the perspiration on her forehead, and the whispered
    query whether it pleased him. The embrace lasted for about ten
    minutes, when the girl said it had "done her good." Later the
    same day they met a girl cousin of this servant about 10 or 12
    years old. The three went to a lonely part of the seashore. The
    servant there suggested that T. should repeat the act with the
    little girl. T. was too shy, though the girl seemed quite willing
    and experienced. The older girl told the younger to keep watch a
    few yards away, while she again brought about intercourse in the
    same way. The servant told T. not to tell anyone. Intercourse
    with the servant was never repeated after that day; from shame he
    kept the promise for many years.

    After this episode T. began to speculate about sexual matters and
    to observe the coupling of dogs with newly acquired interest. At
    10 years he often lay awake, listening to a woman of 25 singing
    to a piano accompaniment. The woman's voice seemed very
    beautiful, and so strongly impressed him that he fell in love
    with her and longed to embrace her sexually. This secret
    attachment was much more romantic than sensual, though the idea
    of embracing the woman seemed to T. a natural part of the
    romance. He was beginning to invest the sex with angelic
    qualities. The thought of his adventure with the servant no
    longer caused repulsion, but rather pleasure. He reflected that
    if he could meet the girl now he could be very fond of her and
    understand things better. At this time he had not masturbated,
    nor even heard of the practice. One day, while playing with a
    girl of his own age, he succeeded in overcoming her shyness and
    induced her to expose herself, at the same time uncovering his
    own sexual parts. On this occasion and once afterward he
    succeeded in penetrating the vulva. Both he and the girl
    experienced imperfect enjoyment.

    At boarding-school, where he was sent at 10, T. learned the
    vulgar phrases for sexual organs and sexual acts, and acquired
    the habit of moderate masturbation. Coarse talk and indecent
    jests about the opposite sex were common amusements of the
    playroom and dormitories. At first the obscene conversation was
    very distasteful; later he became more used to it, but thought it
    strange that sex intimacy should be a subject for ridicule and

    He began to read love-stories and think much about girls. At the
    same time he learned the nature of "the sin of fornication," and
    wondered why it should be considered so heinous. Parts of the
    Bible condemning intercourse between the unmarried alarmed him.
    Being of a serious as well as emotional and amorous nature, he
    became converted to evangelic belief. His mother warned him to
    beware of unclean companions at school. He tried to act as a
    Christian and think only pure thoughts about women. The talk,
    however, was always of girls and of being in love. His mind was
    often engrossed with amatory ideas of a poetic, sensuous nature,
    his sexual experiences having a firm hold on his imagination,
    while they gave him gratifying assurance of actual knowledge
    concerning things merely imagined by most of his companions.

    His health was vigorous and he keenly enjoyed all outdoor games
    and excelled in daring and schoolboy mischief.

    At 12 he fell deeply in love with a girl of corresponding age. He
    never felt any powerful sexual desire for his sweetheart, and
    never attempted anything but kissing and decorous caresses. He
    liked to walk and sit with the girl, to hold her hand, and stroke
    her soft hair. He felt real grief when separated from her. His
    thoughts of her were seldom sensual. A year or so afterward he
    had a temporary passion for a woman of 30, who used to flirt with
    him and allow kissing. T. thought her queen-like and very lovely,
    and wished to be her knight.

    One day he saw, for a moment, in a friend's house, a dark,
    earnest-looking girl of 13, who made a very deep impression upon
    him, and, though he did not exchange a word with her, he often
    thought about her afterward. Five years later he met the dark
    girl again, and the pair were mutually drawn to one another. He
    proposed marriage and avowed a most desperate passion. A refusal
    on the plea of youth caused him the deepest misery. About eight
    years thereafter T. married the girl, and the marriage proved a
    very happy one for both.

    When he was 15 T. made the acquaintance of a pretty blonde of the
    same age. She was a high-spirited hoiden. They were soon close
    friends and later lovers. They wrote a number of letters to each
    other and exchanged locks of hair and presents. Their talk about
    love was unreserved. One day she told T. that she had been
    sexually embraced by a former lover, a boy of 16, hinting very
    plainly that she would like T. to embrace her. This amour lasted
    for about six months. The lovers had many opportunities for
    clandestine intercourse. They used to consummate their passion in
    a part of a wood they called "the bower." Now and then one or the
    other would experience a pricking of conscience, but they were
    too passionately attached to each other to sever the intimacy. At
    length the girl began to dread the risk of conception and the
    intercourse ceased. Looking back upon this episode T. avers that
    the attachment and its physical expression seemed quite natural,
    poetic, and beautiful, though at times his religious principles
    condemned his conduct. He now thinks that the experience is by no
    means to be regretted either by the girl or himself. It was a
    wholesome youthful passion, as innocent as the mating of birds,
    and the insight which it gave to both of the hidden emotions of
    human nature was morally advantageous in after-life.

    T. believes that his amative precocity was due to the early
    awakening of sex feeling by the servant-girl. But he also
    believes that the love passion would have asserted itself early
    in any case, since he inherits a warm temperament, had erectile
    power long before puberty, and has considerable seminal capacity.
    Having closely watched the effects of suppressed normal emotions
    and desires in youth at the time of pubescence, he maintains that
    such suppression is disastrous, causing unhealthy thoughts and
    leading to the formation of a habit of masturbation which may
    persist throughout life. He believes that temporary sexual
    intimacies between boys and girls under 20 from the period of
    puberty would be far less harmful than separation of the sexes
    until marriage, with its resultants: masturbation, hysteria,
    repressed and disordered functions in young women, seduction,
    prostitution, venereal affections, and many other evils.

    HISTORY II.--The following narrative was written by a married
    lady: "My mother (herself a very passionate and attractive woman)
    recognized the difficulty for English girls of getting
    satisfactorily married, and determined, if possible, to shield us
    from disappointment by turning our thoughts in a different
    direction. Theoretically the idea was perhaps good, but in
    practice it proved useless. The natural desires were there.
    Disappointment and disillusion followed their repression none the
    less surely for having altered their natural shape. I think the
    love I had for my mother was almost sexual, as to be with her was
    a keen pleasure, and to be long away from her an almost
    unendurable pain. She used to talk to us a good deal on all sorts
    of subjects, but she never troubled about education in the
    ordinary sense. When 9 years old I had been taught nothing except
    to read and write. She never forbade us to read anything, but if
    by accident we got hold of a book of which she did not approve
    she used to say: 'I think that is rather a silly story, don't
    you?' We were so eager to come up to her standard of taste that
    we at once imagined we thought it silly, too. In the same way she
    discouraged ideas about love or marriage, not by suggesting there
    was anything wrong or improper about them, but by implying great
    contempt for girls who thought about lovers, etc. Up to the age
    of about 20 I had a vague general impression that love was very
    well for ordinary women, but far beneath the dignity of a
    somewhat superior person like myself. To show how little it
    entered my thoughts I may add that, up to 17, I fancied a woman
    got a child by being kissed on the lips by a man. Hence all the
    fuss in novels about the kiss on the mouth.

    "When I was 9 years old I began to feel a great craving for
    scientific knowledge. _A Child's Guide to Science_, which I
    discovered at a second-hand book-stall (and which, by the way,
    informed me that heat is due to a substance called caloric),
    became a constant companion. In order to learn about light and
    gravitation, I saved up my money and ordered (of all books)
    Newton's _Principia_, shedding bitter tears when I found I could
    not understand a word of it. At the same time I was horribly
    ashamed of this desire for knowledge. I got such books as I could
    surreptitiously and hid them in odd corners. Why, I cannot
    imagine, as no one would have objected, but, on the contrary, I
    should have been helped to suitable books.

    "My sisters and I were all violently argumentative, but our
    quarrels were all on abstract subjects. We saw little of other
    children and made no friendships, preferring each other's society
    to that of outsiders. When I was about 10 a girl of the same age
    came to stay with us for a few days. When we went to bed the
    first night she asked me if I ever played with myself, whereupon
    I took a great dislike to her. No sexual ideas or feelings were
    excited. When still quite a child, however, I had feelings of
    excitement which I now recognize as sexual. Such feelings always
    came to me in bed (at least I cannot remember them at any other
    time) and were generally accompanied by a gradually increasing
    desire to make water. For a long time I would not dare to get out
    of bed for fear of being scolded for staying awake, and only did
    so at last when actually compelled. In the mean time the sexual
    excitement increased also, and I believe I thought the latter was
    the result of the former, or, perhaps, rather, that both were the
    same thing. (This was when I was about 7 or 8 years old.) So far
    as I can recollect, the excitement did not recur when the desire
    to make water had been gratified. I seemed to remember wondering
    why thinking of certain things (I can't remember what these were)
    should make one want to urinate. (In later life I have found
    that, if the bladder is not emptied before coitus, pleasure is
    often more intense.) There were also feelings, which I now
    recognize as sexual, in connection with ideas of whipping.

    "As a child and girl I had very strong religious feelings (I
    should have now if I could believe in the reality of religion),
    which were absent in my sisters. These feelings were much the
    same as I experienced later sexually; I felt toward God what I
    imagined I should like to feel to my husband if I married. This,
    I fancy, is what usually occurs. At 14 I went to a
    boarding-school where there were seventy girls between 7 and 19.
    I think it goes to show that there is but very little sexual
    precocity among English girls that during the three years I
    stayed there I never heard a word the strictest mother would have
    objected to. One or two of the older girls were occasionally a
    little sentimental, but on no occasion did I hear the physical
    side of things touched upon. I think this is partly due to the
    amount of exercise we took. When picturing my childhood I always
    see myself racing about, jumping walls, climbing trees. In France
    and Italy I have been struck by the greater sedateness of
    Continental children. Our idea of naughtiness consisted chiefly
    in having suppers in our bedrooms and sliding down the banisters
    after being sent to bed. The first gratified our natural
    appetite, while the second supplied the necessary thrill in the
    fear of being caught.

    "I made no violent friendships with the other girls, but I became
    much attached to the French governess. She was 30, and a born
    teacher, very strict with all of us, and doubly so with me for
    fear of showing favoritism. But she was never unjust, and I was
    rather proud of her severity and took a certain pleasure in being
    punished by her, the punishment always taking the form of
    learning by heart, which I rather liked doing. So I had my
    thrill, excitement, I don't quite know what to call it, without
    any very great inconvenience to myself. Just before we left
    school the sexual instinct began to show itself in enthusiasm for
    art with a capital A, Ouida's novels being mainly responsible. My
    sister and I agreed that we would spend our lives traveling about
    France, Italy, and the Continent, generally _à la Tricotrin_,
    with a violin in one pocket and an Atravante Dante in the other.
    To do this satisfactorily to ourselves we must be artists, and I
    resolved to go in for music and become a second Liszt. When my
    father offered to take us to Italy, the artist's Mecca, for a
    couple of years, we were wild with delight. We went, and
    disillusionment began. It may perhaps seem absurd, but we
    suffered acutely that first summer. Our villa was quite on the
    beach, the lowest of its flight of steps being washed by the
    Mediterranean. At the back were grounds which seemed a paradise.
    Long alleys covered over with vines and carpeted with long grass
    and poppies, grassy slopes dotted with olives and ilex, roses
    everywhere, and almost every flower in profusion, with, at night,
    the fireflies and the heavy scents of syringa and orange
    blossoms. In the midst of every possible excitement to the senses
    there was one thing wanting, and we did not know what that was.

    "We attributed our restlessness and dissatisfaction to the slow
    progress in our artistic education, and consoled ourselves by
    thinking when once we had mastered the technical difficulties we
    should feel all right. And of course we did derive a very real
    pleasure from all the beauties of art and nature with which Italy

    "It seems to me, however, that the art craze is one of the modern
    phases of woman's sexual life. When we were in Italy the great
    centers of the country were simply overrun with girls studying
    art, most of whom had very little talent, but who had mistaken
    the restlessness due to the first awakening of the sexual
    instinct for the divine flame of genius. In our case it did not
    matter, as we were not dependent upon our own exertions. But it
    must have been terribly hard for girls who had burned their boats
    and chosen art as a career, to have added to the repression of
    their natural desires the bitterness of knowing that in their
    chosen walk of life they were failures. The results as far as
    work goes might not be so bad if the passions, as in men, were
    occasionally gratified. It is the constant drudgery combined with
    the disappointment and finding that art alone does not satisfy
    which is so paralyzing. Besides, sexual gratification is always
    followed by exaltation of the mental faculties, with, in my
    experience, no depressing reaction such as follows pleasure
    excited by mental causes alone.

    "At one time when living at the villa I met a man about 45, who
    took rather a fancy to me. I mention this because it woke me up;
    no emotion was excited, but I realized for the first time (I must
    have been nearly 20) that I was no longer a child, and that a
    man could think of me in connection with love. It was only after
    this, and not immediately after, either, that men's society began
    to have an interest for me, and that I began to think a man's
    love would be a pleasant thing to possess, after all.

    "The sexual instinct, at any rate as regards consciousness, thus
    developed slowly and in what I believe to be a very usual
    sequence: religion, admiration for an older woman, and art. I am
    not sure that I have made quite enough of the first, yet I do not
    know that there is any more to say. There were very strong
    physical feelings connected with all these which were identical
    with those now connected with passion, but they were completely
    satisfied by the mental idea which excited them.

    "The first time I can remember feeling keen physical pleasure was
    when I was between 7 and 8 years old. I can't recollect the
    cause, but I remember lying quite still in my little cot clasping
    the iron rails at the top. It may be said that this is hardly
    slow development, but I mean slow as regards (1) any connection
    of the idea with a man or (2) any physical means of excitation.

    "I have laid stress on my desire for knowledge, as I think my
    sexual feelings were affected by it. A great part of my feeling
    for my mother was due to the stores of information she appeared
    to possess. The omniscience of God was to me his most striking
    attribute. My French teacher's capacity was her chief attraction.
    When, as a girl, I thought of marriage, I desired a man who
    'could explain things to me.' One learns later to live one's
    mental and sexual life separately to a great extent. But at 20 I
    could not have done so; given the opportunity, I should have made
    the mistake of Dorothea in _Middlemarch_.

    "I have spoken of the depressing after-effects of pleasure
    brought about by a purely mental cause, but I do not think this
    is the case in childhood and early youth. (Perhaps some women
    feel no such depression afterward, and this may account for their
    coldness in regard to men.) This may perhaps be accounted for by
    the fact that it occurs much more rarely, and also it is perhaps
    a natural process before the sexual organs fully develop, and so
    not harmful.

    "I always find it difficult in expressing the different degrees
    of physical excitement even to myself, though I know exactly what
    I felt. As a child, from the time of the early experience already
    mentioned (about the age of 7 or 8), and as a young girl, the
    second stage (secretion of mucus) was always reached. The amount
    of secretion has always been excessive, but at first secretion
    only lasted a short time; later it began to last for several
    hours, or even sometimes the whole night, if the natural
    gratification has been withheld for a long time (say, three
    months). I do not remember ever feeling the third stage (complete
    orgasm) until I saw the first man I fancied I cared for. I do not
    think that mental causes alone have ever produced more than the
    first two stages (general diffuse excitement and secretion). I
    have sometimes wondered whether I could produce the third
    mechanically, but I have a curious unreasonable repugnance to
    trying the experiment; it would seem to materialize it too much.
    As a child and a girl I was contented to arrive at the second
    stage, possibly because I did not realize that there was any
    other, and perhaps this is why I have experienced no evil

    "In dreams the third stage seems to come suddenly without any
    leading up to it, either mental or physical, of which I am
    conscious. I do not, however, remember having any such dreams
    before I was engaged. They came at a later period; even then,
    when great pleasure was experienced, it came, as a rule, suddenly
    and sharply, with no dreams leading up to it. The dreams
    generally take a sad form (an Evangeline and Gabriel business),
    where one vainly seeks the person who eludes one. I have,
    however, sometimes had pleasurable dreams of men who were quite
    indifferent to me and of whom I never thought when awake. The
    impression on waking is so strong one could almost fancy one's
    self really in love with them. I can quite understand falling in
    love with a person by dreaming of him in this way.

    "The first time I remember experiencing the third stage in waking
    moments was at a picnic, when the man, to whom I have before
    referred as the first that I fancied I cared for, leaned against
    me accidentally in passing a plate or dish; but I was already in
    a violent state of excitement at being with him. There was no
    possibility of anything between us, as he was married. If he
    guessed my feelings, they were never admitted, as I did my best
    to hide them. I never experienced this, except at the touch of
    some one I loved. (I think the saying about the woman 'desiring
    the desire of the man' is just about as true as most epigrams. It
    is the man's personality alone which affects me. His feelings
    toward me are of--I was going to say--indifference, but at any
    rate quite secondary importance, and the gratification of my own
    vanity counts as nothing in such relations.)

    "As a rule, to reach even the second stage the exciting ideas
    must be associated with some particular person, except in the
    case of a story, where one identifies one's self with one of the
    characters. In childhood and early youth it was, in the case of
    religion, the idea of God and the presence and the personality of
    God which aroused my feelings and always seemed very vivid to me.
    In the case of my governess, my feelings were aroused in exactly
    the same way as later they would be by one's lover. In the art
    craze I am rather vague as to how it came about, but I think, as
    a rule, there was rather a craving for pleasure than pleasure
    itself. I do not remember ever thinking much about the physical
    feeling. It seemed as natural that a pleasant emotion should
    produce pleasant physical effects as that a painful one should
    cause tears. As a child, one takes so much for granted, and later
    on my mind was so much occupied with worrying about the truth of
    religion that I hardly thought enough about anything else to
    analyze it carefully.

    "I may summarize my own feelings thus: First, exciting ideas
    alone produce, as a rule, merely the first stage of sexual
    excitement. Second, the same ideas connected with a particular
    person will produce the second stage. Third, the same may be said
    of the presence of the beloved person. Fourth, actual contact
    appears necessary for the third stage. If the first stage only be
    reached, the sensation is not pleasurable in reality, or would
    not be but for its association. If produced, as I have sometimes
    found it to be, by a sense of mental incapacity, it is distinctly
    disagreeable, especially if one feels that the energy which might
    have been used in coping with the difficulty is being thus
    dissipated. If it be produced, as it may be, as the result of
    physical or mental restraint, it is also unpleasant unless the
    restraint were put upon one by a person one loves. Then, however,
    the second stage would probably be reached, but this would depend
    a good deal on one's mood. If the first stage only were reached,
    I think it would be disagreeable; it would mean a conflict
    between one's will and sexual feeling. Perhaps women who feel
    actual repugnance to the sexual act with a man they love have
    never gone beyond the first stage, when their dislike to it would
    be quite intelligible to me.

    "Some time after the life in Italy had come to an end I became
    engaged. There was considerable difficulty in the way of
    marriage, but we saw a good deal of each other. My _fiancé_ often
    dined with us, and we met every day. The result of seeing him so
    frequently was that I was kept in a constant state of strong, but
    suppressed, sexual excitement. This was particularly the case
    when we met in the evening and wandered about the moonlit garden
    together. When this had gone on about three months I began to
    experience a sense of discomfort after each of his visits. The
    abdomen seemed to swell with a feeling of fullness and
    congestion; but, though these sensations were closely connected
    with the physical excitement, they were not sufficiently painful
    to cause me any alarm or make me endeavor to avoid their
    pleasurable cause. The symptoms got worse, however, and no longer
    passed off quickly as at first. The swelling increased;
    considerable pain and a dragged-down sensation resulted the
    moment I tried to walk even a short distance. I was troubled
    with constant indigestion, weight in the chest, pain in the head
    and eyes, and continual slight diarrhea. This went on for about
    nine months, and then my _fiancé_ was called away from the
    neighborhood. After his departure I got a trifle better, but the
    symptoms remained, though in less acute form. A few months later
    the engagement was broken off, and for some weeks I was severely
    ill with influenza and was on my back for several weeks. When I
    could get about a little, though very weak, all the swelling was
    gone, but pain returned whenever I tried to walk or stand for
    long. The indigestion and diarrhea were also very troublesome. I
    was treated for both by a physician, but without success. Next
    year I became engaged to my husband and was shortly after
    married. The indigestion and diarrhea disappeared soon after. The
    pain and dragging feeling in the abdomen bothered me much in
    walking or any kind of exercise. One day I came across a medical
    work, _The Elements of Social Science_, in which I found
    descriptions of symptoms like those I suffered from ascribed to
    uterine disease. I again applied to a doctor, telling him I
    thought there was displacement and possibly congestion. He
    confirmed my opinion and told me to wear a pessary. He ascribed
    the displacement to the relaxing climate, and said he did not
    think I should ever get quite right again. After the pessary had
    been placed in position every trace of pain, etc., left me. A
    year later I thought I would try and do without the pessary, and
    to my great satisfaction none of the old trials came back after
    its removal, in spite of much trouble, anxiety, sick nursing, and
    fatigue. I attribute the disorder entirely to violent sexual
    excitement which was not permitted its natural gratification and

    "I have reason to believe that suppression acts very injuriously
    on a woman's mental capacity. When excitement is naturally
    relieved the mind turns of its own accord to another subject, but
    when suppressed it is unable to do this. Personally, in the
    latter event, I find the greatest difficulty in concentrating my
    thoughts, and mental effort becomes painful. Other women have
    complained to me of the same difficulty. I have tried mechanical
    mental work, such as solving arithmetical or algebraic problems,
    but it does no good; in fact, it seems only to increase the
    excitement. (I may remark here that my feelings are always very
    strong not only before and after the monthly period, but also
    during the time itself; very unfortunately, as, of course, they
    cannot then be gratified. This only applies to desire from
    within, as I am strongly susceptible to influences from without
    at any time.) There seems nothing to be done but to bow to the
    storm till it passes over. Anything I do during the time it
    lasts, even household work, is badly done. The brain seems to
    become addled for the time being, while after gratification of
    desire it seems to attain an additional quickness and cleverness.
    Perhaps this cause contributes to the small amount of
    intellectual and artistic work done by women, admitting their
    natural inferiority to men in artistic impulse. A woman whose
    passions are satisfied generally has her strength sapped by
    maternity, while her attention is drawn from abstract ideas to
    her children."

    HISTORY III.--B. states that his first sexual thoughts and acts
    were curiously connected with whipping. At 12 he and another boy
    used to beat each other with a cricket bat upon the bare nates,
    and afterward indulge in mutual masturbation. He cannot remember
    the beginning of his sexual speculation as a child, nor how he
    learned masturbation. When he was 13 he used to discuss erotic
    matters with a schoolfellow who was in the habit of engaging in
    vulvar intercourse with a girl of his own age. The intercourse
    was practised on the way home from school, and in a standing
    posture. B. embraced the girl in the same way. He is not
    interested in the psychological aspects of the sexual emotion.
    Although his sex passion was early kindled, he never had commerce
    with prostitutes. He thinks that his youthful experiences had no
    ill effect upon him morally, mentally, or physically. He
    practised masturbation in moderation till he married, at the age
    of 31.

    HISTORY IV.--"I can remember" (writes the subject) "trotting away
    as a youngster about 5 with another boy to 'see a girl's legs';
    the idea emanated from the other boy, but I was vaguely
    interested. How or where we were going to see the object in
    question I do not remember nor anything further than the
    intention. When 6 or 7 I remember being put to bed with the nurse
    girl and feeling her bare arm with undoubted sexual excitement; I
    remember, too, gradually feeling along the arm very cautiously,
    fearing the girl would wake and being bitterly disappointed to
    find it was merely the arm. I am almost certain I had then no
    idea of sex, but the disappointment was actual.

    "These are the only early experiences of the sort I can remember.
    When about 9 I had others. On the coast of the north of England,
    which had then very few visitors and seemed to me very remote, I
    lived in a farm-house and used to assist the girls of the farm in
    looking after young cattle. These girls certainly instilled
    sexual ideas, though I did not realize them with precision. They
    used to talk about things a good many of which, I can now see, I
    did not then understand as they did. I liked to see these girls
    wading with their dresses tucked up. About this time I fell
    passionately in love with a girl cousin, but do not remember
    having any sensual ideas in regard to her. I cannot say that
    these early experiences had any influence on my later sexual
    development so far as I am consciously aware. I have always
    remembered them vaguely, never with sexual excitement.

    "Sexual dreams took place first at about the age of 13; there was
    then emission and sensation in sleep. These were, however, not
    much associated with distinctly sexual dreams. All that I recall
    after them was the sensation, which, however, I did not even then
    absolutely localize. Masturbation was undoubtedly the direct
    result of these dreams. It was tried at first tentatively, out of
    curiosity to determine if the sensation of the dream could be so
    reproduced. Sexual dreams, such as I have described, occurred
    frequently, although I cannot say at what interval. I have never
    experienced the slightest attraction for the same sex."

    HISTORY V.--"My maternal grandfather" (writes the subject of this
    history) "was a small farmer who kept a few beagles and
    greyhounds for hare-hunting. He had three daughters, one of whom
    became my mother. One of his sporting companions, a doctor of
    profligate habits and a drunkard, seduced my mother at the age of
    20. When her condition was discovered she had to flee from the
    violence of her father, and I was born some distance from her
    home. After my grandfather's death I was reared by my
    grandmother, and saw nothing of my mother until I was nearly 16;
    she had left the country in shame and disgrace.

    "I believe that in my heredity the transmission comes chiefly
    from my mother, who is now 58 years old. Although her life has
    been blameless in every particular since her youthful
    indiscretion, she has never got over it. I feel in my character a
    reflection of her overstrung condition during pregnancy.

    "I can distinctly remember from the age of 9 years, and am sure
    that I had no sexual feelings before the age of 13, though always
    in the company of girls. I had many boyish passions for girls,
    always older than myself, but these were never accompanied by
    sexual desires. I deified all my sweethearts, and was satisfied
    if I got a flower, a handkerchief, or even a shred of clothing of
    my inamorata for the time being. These things gave me a strange
    idealistic emotion, but caused no sexual desire or erection.

    "At 13 a 26-year-old sister of a boy companion once sat down on a
    sheaf of corn so as to expose the mons veneris and enticed me to
    copulate. There was slight erection, and after the act had been
    continued some time a pleasurable sensation of ejaculation, but
    without true emission. I had frequent relations with this woman
    after that.

    "About this time the farm servant of a neighbor taught me
    masturbation. The mistress of the farm, a thin, willowy, dark
    woman, the mother of several children, treated me with such
    familiarity as once to urinate in my presence, so that I saw her
    very hirsute mons veneris. From that moment I conceived a great
    passion for her, and used to tremble as soon as I saw her. I had
    become well developed and virile, but, though I think she was a
    lustful woman, I never ventured to touch her. I found an extreme
    ecstasy in masturbating while gazing upon some article of her
    clothing. This gave me much greater sexual pleasure than actual
    connection with the ever-willing sister of my schoolfellow. I
    think I loved the married woman best because the mons veneris was
    more covered with hair.

    "This has always had a peculiar attraction for me. Later, when
    accosted by prostitutes, I never would go with them unless I was
    assured the mons veneris was very hirsute. Never much addicted to
    masturbation, I derived no great enjoyment therefrom unless I had
    hair or part of the clothing of the woman with whom I was
    indulging in psychic coitus.

    "At 16 I left school and went to a large city to learn a
    business. At this time the sexual appetite was very strong. I
    frequently had intercourse with three women in one evening.

    "I have had but few lascivious dreams. In these the phantom
    partner was almost invariably a dead woman. (When about 8 I had
    seen the dead body of an aunt who died at 24.)

    "When 20 I went to London and took all the pleasure which came my
    way. I cared only for normal coitus. Offers of another type
    created disgust. I once allowed a woman to exhaust me sexually
    orally, but felt degraded thereby. Women with whom I had become
    very intimate often urged me to _cunnilingus_, but I could not do
    it. I have practised intermammary coitus a very few times.

    "At 26 I married a pure, gentle woman, after having for ten
    months before marriage led a life of celibacy. My wife died when
    I was 30, and for about eight months I lived a celibate life.
    Lascivious dreams sometimes occurred, but I invariably awoke
    before ejaculation. Eventually I gave way to the cravings of my
    strong sexual nature, but never wished for anything out of the
    usual except intercourse from behind. A woman with marked
    development of the nates has great attraction for me. Solitary
    masturbation has for some time ceased, but a nude woman in the
    act of masturbation with her back to me gives me great pleasure.
    I am as strong sexually at 38 as I was at 20, only I never want
    women unless I am brought into actual contact with them and they
    are hairy and have large pelvic development. I am in excellent
    health. Genitals are well developed, and I am clothed with hair
    from the chin to the genitals. My skull is dolichocephalic. I am
    violent and tenacious in temper, high-strung, and rapid in
    thought and action. My digestion is good, but I have a tendency
    to constipation. Occasionally I have a twinge of pain below the
    occipital region.

    "My early views of women have changed; I no longer deify them,
    though I study them. I have known very sensual women living at
    home in respectable middle-class society. One, in particular, a
    girl of 18, after coitus used to excite me lingually. I have had
    a sweetheart who remained _virgo intacta_. Had I seduced her, as
    I could have done, I should have lost all interest in her. I
    could never bear the presence of naked men, and would never go to
    a public swimming bath for that reason. I regard myself as a man
    of abnormally strong, but, on the whole, healthy and wholesome,
    sexual feelings. As a rule, I have coitus twice or oftener in one
    week and I practise withdrawal. I am a total abstainer, and never
    could embrace a woman who smelled of drink."

    HISTORY VI.--The writer of the following is a man of letters,
    married. "Quite early I remember a strange and romantic interest
    in the feminine. Certainly before I was 9 I had a strong
    affection for a little girl playmate; our family lost sight of
    hers, and I saw and heard nothing of her for sixteen years; then,
    hearing she was coming to town, I experienced quite a flutter of
    heart, so strong had been the impression caused at even the early
    age of our acquaintance. Not that I mean to say I never wavered
    in between! Through the whole of my boyhood I remember persistent
    romantic interests in girls and women, whose smooth, fair faces
    and sweet voices exercised ever a subtle attraction over me.
    Before I was 12 I had picked out my 'future wife' a dozen times
    at least! (A different one each time of course!) Curiosity as to
    the physical detail of sex and birth was singularly absent.
    Possibly this was partly due to the fact that the only younger
    member of our family was born when I was but 4 years old. Grave,
    shy, and reserved, I was never taken into the counsels of
    prurient schoolmates. I was unaware that there was such
    discussion between them--though it is, I suppose, not probable
    that our school was exempt. I was a great reader, and when about
    12 or 13 I came across a reference to an illegitimate child which
    puzzled me. Ere long, however, in my random and extensive reading
    I hit on a book that touched on phallicism, and I learned that
    there were male and female organs of generation. I had neither
    shame nor curiosity; I jumped to the conclusion that during close
    caresses somehow a subtle aroma arose from the man to fertilize
    the woman; I left the subject at this, satisfied, and had no
    inkling of the real intimacy of the embrace.

    "About 14, much interested in Bradlaugh, I bought both the
    Knowlton pamphlet and Mrs. Besant's population book. I found the
    physical details in scientific language so dull that I could not
    peruse them. By reading the argumentative passages I learned that
    _somehow_ (I knew not how) children could be produced or not
    produced as desired; and in this stage of the matter it seemed
    to me so admirable that it should be so that I wondered why there
    should be cavil.

    "About this age my elder brother believed it to be his duty to
    tell me the secrets of sex; I remember his talking to me, while
    I, bored and uninterested, thought of something else. When he
    finished I had heard nothing. Remember, I felt no shame on the
    matter--none at all. I was simply bored. This I attribute to two
    things: first, my preponderating interest in the romantic side of
    things; secondly (and this bears with it a strong moral), _the
    feeling that the knowledge lay always within my grasp kept me
    from that curiosity which so oft consumes those who think it is
    hidden away from them_.

    "The changes of puberty came naturally and without startling me.
    Even the fact of emissions--which took place during sleep at
    intervals, unaccompanied by dreams or by any physical prostration
    afterward--has left on my memory no recollection of surprise; I
    knew it to be somehow connected with generation, but I had no
    physical trouble, and I am quite sure I did not bother further
    about it. The best possible proof of this lies in the fact that
    my memory is a blank on the matter. At the age of 21 (I take this
    from a diary, so I know it is correct) I was still ignorant as to
    intrinsic fact. Then I pulled myself together and felt it was
    really time I learned the actual details of the matter. I went to
    a clever friend of mine and asked him to tell me all about it. He
    expressed himself astounded at my not knowing; and he had very
    great shyness about telling me. In fact, I had to drag facts out
    of him by a real cross-examination, during which he persistently
    marveled at my ignorance. Though he had a great deal of false
    shame about the matter, I had none at all. His revelations
    considerably surprised me, because I had no idea that there was
    actual intromission. When I came to reflect on what I had learned
    the fact of this close physical intimacy appealed to me as being
    quite poetic and beautiful between two lovers; and I have had no
    reason since to change my opinion.

    "_Summary._--1. Romantic interest in girls and women commencing
    early and remaining persistently.

    "2. Knowledge before puberty of the fact that this interest was
    based on the all-important process of reproduction.

    "3. Absence of further physical curiosity even at puberty itself.

    "4. Knowledge ultimately acquired without shock.

    "The physical in sex has never been any bother to me, neither
    have I bothered about it. I have recognized it, frankly, and
    don't see why I shouldn't, but my unashamed recognition has
    probably been because the merely physical is less absorbing to me
    than to most. Mental and emotional interest in passion has
    absorbed me greatly, but the merely physical has sunk into what
    I call its natural place of subordination. Nature is kind. It is
    our 'conspiracy of silence' which tends to emphasize physical

    HISTORY VII.--G.D., who is a doctor and a man of science, writes:
    "There is a strong history of gout on the paternal side. No
    history of alcohol, tubercle, brain trouble, or of the
    arthropathies. There is some reason to believe that two of my
    maternal aunts were sexually frigid, and perhaps this was true to
    a less extent of my mother, who had a contracted pelvis,
    necessitating the induction of labor at the eighth month of

    "About the age of 7 a German nursery governess, B., took charge
    of me, and I soon became devoted to her. I was then a delicate
    child, and used to suffer frequently from nightmare, waking up
    screaming and covered with sweat. When this happened, B. would
    sometimes take me into her bed and soothe me with kisses, etc.
    These I returned, and can remember that I was particularly fond
    of kissing her breasts.

    "About this time a girl cousin, A., about a year older than
    myself, was one of my most frequent playmates. I endeavored to
    monopolize her company and attention, and on this account often
    came to blows with C., a cousin rather younger than myself, who
    has since told me that he was then 'in love' with A. and
    'jealous' of me. I believe I was really jealous and in love at
    the time, but cannot remember that anything in the nature of
    caresses took place between A. and myself.

    "Some time later, probably when I was about 9, something led up
    to B. saying that she was not built like I was, that she had no
    penis, etc. (I cannot remember my nursery term for penis.) I was
    incredulous, and demanded to be allowed to see if it was true;
    this was refused, and I made many plans to gratify my curiosity,
    such as slipping into her room when she was dressing, tipping up
    the chair she was sitting in, and trying to suddenly thrust my
    hand up under her skirts. I did not succeed in finding out, but
    have since thought that, although she did not allow me to attain
    the object of my efforts, the later game caused her pleasurable
    sensations. I regard these efforts as being prompted purely by
    curiosity; I had no feelings of warmth or irritations of the
    genitals, and I certainly never manipulated them, nor was I, as
    far as I can judge, an unusually prurient small boy. B. left when
    I was about 10, when I went to a preparatory school.

    "At 12½ I was sent to a public school, and was then told by my
    father the chief facts of sex and warned to avoid masturbation.
    My first wet dream took place when I was 14. Rather before this I
    had begun to suffer with severe intermittent testicular neuralgia
    which practically defied all treatment and continued on and off
    for four or five years, the attacks gradually becoming fewer and
    less severe.

    "When 15, circumstances compelled me to leave school and to live
    for two years at the seaside with no companions of my own age. I
    had, however, the run of a well-stocked library, and fished and
    collected insects energetically.

    "At 16 I made love to the trained nurse attending my mother, but,
    owing more, I think, to my timidity than to the austerity of her
    virtue, got no further than kissing. About this time wet dreams
    became inconveniently frequent; they would occur three or four
    times weekly, and resisted the stock remedies. At 17 I was
    advised to try connection. This I did, and found but little
    pleasure in the act, there being a strong esthetic objection to
    the 'love that keeps awake for lure.'

    "About this time I found in the United States Pharmacopoeia a
    remedy for my emissions, which have, however, always remained
    rather more frequent than those of the average individual,
    judging from the experience of my friends. Emissions are
    generally accompanied by lascivious dreams, but at times take
    place when I dream that I am hurrying to catch a train, or to
    micturate against time.

    "I have of late years (not noticed till after 20) observed that
    the dream accompanying emission is shorter; so that, whereas up
    to, say, 21 I generally performed the whole physiological act
    with my dream-charmer, I now almost invariably emit and awake
    before intromission has taken place. There has been no
    alternation comparable to this in the performance of the act
    while I am awake.

    "As regards my physique I should mention that all my reflexes are
    very brisk, though I am only slightly ticklish in the ordinary
    sense of the term. I sweat easily and am very shy, not only with
    women, but with any strangers. I have, however, trained myself
    not to show this. About averagely passionate, I should say, and
    extremely critical where women are concerned, the latter quality
    often keeping me chaste for months at a time."

    HISTORY VIII.--"When I was about 8 years old" (states the lady
    who is the subject of the present observation) "I remember that,
    with several other children, we used to play in an old garden at
    being father and mother, unfastening our drawers and bringing the
    sexual parts together, as we imagined married people to do, but
    no sexual feelings were aroused, nor did the boys have
    erections." When about 10 years old she became conscious of a
    pleasurable sensation associated with the smell of leather, which
    has ever since persisted. At that age she was sometimes left to
    wait in the office of a wholesale business house full of
    leather-bound ledgers. She did not then notice the sensation
    particularly, and was certainly not conscious of any connection
    with sexual emotion. Menstruation was established at 13½ years.
    Distinct sexual feelings were first observed a few months later.
    "The first feelings of love which I ever felt were at the age of
    14 for a nice, manly boy of my own age, who often came to our
    house. He liked me, but was not in love with me. It was very
    seldom that he would sit by me and hold my hand, as I wished him.
    This went on till I was about 17, when he went to the university.
    After his first term he came back and was then attracted to me;
    but, though I loved him very much, I was too proud to show it.
    When he tried to kiss me, I resisted, though I longed for it.
    Thinking I was greatly offended, he apologized, which only made
    me angry. All these years I was worshiping at his shrine and
    mixed him up with all my ideas of life." Whenever she was near
    him she experienced physical sensations, with moistening of the
    vulva. This continued till she was about 20, but the object of
    these emotions never again attempted any advances.

    At 19 she became engaged to someone else. At the beginning she
    was physically indifferent to her lover, but when he first kissed
    her she became greatly excited. The engagement, however, was soon
    broken off from absence of strong affection on either side and
    chiefly, it would seem, from the cooling of the lover's ardor.
    She thinks he would have been more strongly attached to her if
    she had been colder to him, or pretended to be, instead of
    responding with simplicity and frankness.

    During the next few years little occurred. She was working hard,
    and her amusements would mostly, she says, be regarded as rather
    childish. She was extremely fond of dancing, and she was always
    pleased when anyone paid her attention. She was frequently
    conscious of sexual feelings, sometimes tormented by them, and
    she regarded this as something to be ashamed of. The constant
    longing for love was affected little or not at all by hard work.
    "At about this time I was very fond of abandoning myself to
    day-dreams. I was very glad if I could get everyone out of the
    house and lie on an easy chair or the bed. I liked especially to
    read poetry, all the more if I did not quite understand it. This
    would lead me on to all sorts of dreams of love, which, however,
    never went beyond the preliminaries of actual love--as that was
    all I then knew of love." The only climax to her dream of love
    was founded on a piece of information volunteered by a married
    woman many years earlier, when she was about 12. This
    lady--evidently agreeing with Rousseau (who in _Emile_ commended
    the mother's reply to the child's query whence babies come, "Les
    femmes les pissent, mon enfant, avec des grands douleurs") that
    the unknown should first be explained to the young in terms of
    the known--told her that the husband micturated into the wife.
    She therefore used to imagine a lover who would bear her away
    into a forest and do this on her as she lay at the foot of a
    tree. (At a later date she accidentally discovered that a full
    bladder tended to enhance sexual feelings, and occasionally
    resorted to this physical measure of heightening excitement.) All
    the physical sensations of sexual desire were called out by these
    day-dreams, with abundant secretion, but never the orgasm. Her
    reveries never led to masturbation or to allied manifestations,
    which have never taken place. Such a method of relief has,
    indeed, never offered any temptation to her and she doubts even
    its possibility in her case. (At a later period of life, however,
    at the age of 31, masturbation began and was practised at
    intervals.) At the same time she remarks that, while no orgasm
    (of which, indeed, she was then ignorant) ever occurred, the
    sexual excitement produced by the day-dreams was sufficiently
    great to cause a feeling of relief afterward. These day-dreams
    were the only way in which the sexual erethism was discharged.
    She cannot recall having erotic dreams or any sexual
    manifestations during sleep.

    Spontaneous sexual excitement was present a few days before
    menstruation, and fairly marked during and immediately after the
    period. It also tended to recur in the middle of the
    intermenstrual period.

    The pleasurable sensation connected with the smell of leather
    became more marked as she approached adult age. It was especially
    pronounced about the age of 24, and the sexual emotion it
    produced (with moisture of the vulva) was then clearly conscious.
    No other odor produced this effect in such a marked degree. It
    was often associated with leather bags, but not with boots,
    though on rubbing the leather of shoes she found that this odor
    was given out. She cannot account for its origin, and does not
    connect any association with it. It never affected her conduct or
    led to fetichistic habits.

    Some other odors affect her in the same way, though not to the
    same degree as leather. This is more especially the case with
    some flowers, especially white flowers with heavy odors, like
    gardenias. Many flowers, on the other hand, like primroses, seem
    rather opposed to sex effect, too fresh, though stimulating to
    the mind. Some artificial scents tend to produce sexual effects
    also. Personal odors have no influence of this kind. (At a later
    period the sexual influence of personal odors was occasionally
    experienced, but the present history deals only with the period
    before marriage.)

    She believes that most beautiful things, however unconnected with
    sex, have a tendency to produce distinctively sexual feelings in
    a faint degree, although sometimes more marked, with secretion.
    She has, however, never experienced homosexual feeling, and, on
    first consideration, was inclined to believe that the sight of a
    beautiful woman had no sexual effect on her, though she could
    quite understand such an effect. Subsequently, on recalling as
    well as observing her experiences more carefully, she found that
    a lovely woman's face and figure (especially on one occasion the
    very graceful figure of a beautiful fairy in a ballet) produced
    distinct sexual sensations (with mucous emission). Music,
    however, has strongly emotional effects upon her, and she cannot
    recall that she ever felt any equally powerful influence of this
    kind in the absence of music.

    Looking back on the development of her feelings she finds that,
    though in some respects they may have been slow, they were
    simple, natural, spontaneous, and correspond to "the dawning and
    progress which go on in the development of every girl. While it
    is going on in actual fact, the girl does not know or bother
    herself about trying to understand it. Afterward it seems quite
    clear and simple. Full occupation of the brain, and hands too,
    while it does not do away with desire, is a great help and
    safeguard to a growing girl, when combined with proper
    information about herself and her relation to man the animal, so
    that she may realize where she is and how to choose the right
    man--though under the best conditions failure may occur."

    HISTORY IX.--The subject belongs to a large family having some
    neurotic members; she spent her early life on a large farm. She
    is vigorous and energetic, has intellectual tastes, and is
    accustomed to think for herself, from unconventional standpoints,
    on many subjects. Her parents were very religious, and not, she
    thinks, of sensual temperament. Her own early life was free from
    associations of a sexual character, and she can recall little
    that now seems to be significant in this respect. She remembers
    that in childhood and for some time later she believed that
    children were born through the navel. Her activities went chiefly
    into humanitarian and utopian directions, and she cherished ideas
    of a large, healthy, free life, untrammeled by civilization. She
    regards herself as very passionate, but her sexual emotions
    appear to have developed very slowly and have been somewhat
    intellectualized. After reaching adult life she has formed
    several successive relationships with men to whom she has been
    attracted by affinity in temperament, in intellectual views, and
    in tastes. These relationships have usually been followed by some
    degree of disillusion, and so have been dissolved. She does not
    believe in legal marriage, though under fitting circumstances she
    would much like to have a child.

    She never masturbated until the age of 27. At that time a married
    friend told her that such a thing could be done. She found it
    gave her decided pleasure, indeed, more than coitus had ever
    given her except with one man. She has never practised it to
    excess, only at rare intervals, and is of the opinion that it is
    decidedly beneficial when thus moderately indulged in. She has
    sometimes found, for instance, that, after the mental excitement
    produced by delivering a lecture, sleep would be impossible if
    masturbation were not resorted to as a sedative to relieve the

    Spontaneous sexual excitement is strongest just before the
    monthly period.

    Definite sexual dreams and sexual excitement during sleep have
    not occurred except possibly on one or two occasions.

    She has from girlhood experienced erotic day-dreams, imagining
    love-stories of which she herself was the heroine; the climax of
    these stories has developed with her own developing knowledge of
    sexual matters.

    She is not inverted, and has never been in love with a woman. She
    finds, however, that a beautiful woman is distinctly a sexual
    excitation, calling out definite physical manifestations of
    sexual emotion. She explains this by saying that she thinks she
    instinctively puts herself in the place of a man and feels as it
    seems to her a man would feel.

    She finds that music excites the sexual emotions, as well as many
    scents, whether of flowers, the personal odor of the beloved
    person, or artificial perfumes.

    HISTORY X.--The subject is of German extraction on both sides.
    The father is of marked intellectual tastes, as also is she
    herself. There is no unhealthy strain in the family so far as she
    is aware, though they all have very strong passions. She is well
    developed, healthy, vigorous, and athletic, any trouble to which
    she is subject being mainly due to overwork.

    Looking back on her childhood, she can now see various sexual
    manifestations occurring at a period when she was quite ignorant
    of sex matters. "The very first," she writes, "was at the age of
    6. I remember once sitting astride a banister while my parents
    were waiting for me outside. I distinctly remember a pleasurable
    sensation--probably in part due to a physical feeling--in the
    thought of staying there when I knew I ought to have run out to
    them. From that year till the age of 10 I simply reveled in the
    idea of being tortured. I went gladly to bed every night to
    imagine myself a slave, chained, beaten, made to carry loads and
    do ignominious work. One of my imaginings, I remember, was that I
    was chained to a moldering skeleton." As she grew older these
    fancies were discontinued. At the same time there was a trace of
    sadistic tendency: "I used to frighten and tease a young child,
    driven to it by an irresistible impulse, and experiencing a
    certain pleasurable feeling in so doing. But this, I am glad to
    say, was rare, as I hate all cruelty."

    One of her favorite imaginings as a child was that she was a boy,
    and especially that she was a knight rescuing damsels in
    distress. She was not fond of girls' occupations, and has always
    had a sort of chivalrous feeling toward women.

    "When I first heard of the sexual act," she writes, "it appeared
    to me so absurd that I took little notice. About the age of 10 I
    discussed it a good deal with other girls, and we used to play
    childishly indecent games--out of pure mischief and not from any
    definite physical feeling."

    About a year after menstruation was established she accidentally
    discovered the act of masturbation by leaning over a table. "I
    discovered it naturally; no one taught me; and the very
    naturalness of the impulse that led me to it often made me in
    later years question the harmfulness." Both her sisters
    masturbated from a very early age, but not, to her knowledge, her
    brother. The practice of masturbation was continued. "For many
    years, imbued with the old ideas of morality, I struggled against
    it in vain. The sight of animals copulating, the perusal of
    various books (Shakespeare, Rabelais, Gautier's _Mademoiselle de
    Maupin_, etc.), the sight of the nude in some Bacchanalian
    pictures (such as Rubens's), all aroused passion. Coexistent with
    this--perhaps (though I doubt it) due to it--arose a disgust for
    normal intercourse. I fell in love and enjoyed kisses, etc., but
    the mere thought of anything beyond disgusted me. Had my lover
    suggested such a thing I would have lost all love for him. But
    all this time I went on masturbating, though as seldom as
    possible and without thought of my lover. Love was to me a thing
    ideal and quite apart from lust, and I still think that it is
    false to try to connect the two. I fear that even now, if I fell
    in love, sexual intercourse would break the charm. At the age of
    18 I came across Tolstoy's _Kreutzer Sonata_ and was overjoyed to
    find all I had thought written down there. Gradually, through
    seeing a friend happily married, I have grown to a more normal
    view of things. I am very critical of men and have never met one
    liberal-minded and just enough to please me. Perhaps if I did I
    might take a perfectly healthy view of things."

    In course of time various devices had been adopted to heighten
    sexual excitement when indulging in masturbation. Thus, for
    instance, she found that the effects of sexual excitement are
    increased by keeping the bladder full. But the chief method which
    she had devised for heightening and prolonging the preliminary
    excitement consisted in wearing tight stays (as a rule, she wears
    loose stays) and in painting her face. She cannot herself explain
    this. Self-excitement is completed by friction, or sometimes by
    the introduction of a piece of wood into the vagina. She finds
    that, the more frequently she masturbates, the more easily she is
    excited. Spontaneous sexual feeling is strongest before and after
    the menstrual period; not so much so during the periods.

    There are various faint traces of homosexuality, it may be
    gathered, in the history of this subject's sexual development.
    Recently these have come to a climax in the formation of a
    homosexual relationship with a girl friend. This relationship has
    given her great pleasure and satisfaction. She does not, however,
    regard herself as being a really inverted person.

    There have been vivid sexual dreams from about 17 (apparently
    about the period of the relationship with the lover). These
    dreams have not, however, had special reference to persons of
    either sex.

    Apart from the influence of books and pictures already mentioned,
    she remarks that she is sexually affected by the personal odor of
    a beloved person, but is not consciously affected by any other

    HISTORY XI.--Widower, aged 40 years. Surgeon. "My experience of
    sexual matters began early. When I was about 10 years of age a
    boy friend who was staying with us told me that his sister made
    him uncover his person, with which she played and encouraged him
    to do the same for her. He said it was great fun, and suggested
    that we should take two of my sisters into an old barn and repeat
    his experience on them. This we did, and tried all we could to
    have connection with them; they were nothing loath and did all
    they could to help us, but nothing was effected and I experienced
    no pleasure in it.

    "When I went back to school I attracted the attention of one of
    the big boys who slept in the same room with me; he came into my
    bed and began to play with my member, saying that it was the
    usual thing to do and would give me pleasure. I did not feel any
    pleasure, but I liked the attention, and rather enjoyed playing
    with his member, which was of large size, and surrounded by thick
    pubic hair. After I had played with him for some time I was
    surprised at his having an emission of sticky matter. Afterward
    he rubbed me again, saying that if I let him do it long enough he
    would produce the same substance from me. This he failed to do,
    however, though he rubbed me long and frequently, on that and
    many other occasions. I was very disappointed at not being able
    to have an emission, and on every occasion that offered I
    endeavored to excite myself to the extent of compassing this. I
    used to ask to go out of school two or three times a day, and
    retired to the closet, where I practised on myself most
    diligently, but to no purpose, at that time, though I began to
    have pleasurable emotions in the act.

    "When I went home for the holidays I took a great interest in one
    of my father's maids, whose legs I felt as she ran upstairs one
    day. I was in great fear that she would complain of what I had
    done, but I was delighted to find that she did nothing of the
    sort; on the contrary, she took to kissing and fondling me,
    calling me her sweetheart and saying that I was a forward boy.
    This encouraged me greatly, and I was not long in getting to
    more intimate relations with her. She called me into her room one
    day when we were alone in the house, she being in a half-dressed
    condition, and put me on the bed and laid herself on me, kissing
    me passionately on the mouth. She next unbuttoned my trousers and
    fondled and kissed my member, and directed my hand to her
    privates. I became very much excited and trembled violently, but
    was able to do for her what she wanted in the way of masturbation
    until she became wet. After this we had many meetings in which we
    embraced and she let me introduce my member until she had
    satisfied herself, though I was too young to have an emission.

    "On return to school I practised mutual masturbation with several
    of my schoolfellows, and finally, at the age of 14 years, had my
    first real emission. I was greatly pleased thereat, and, with
    this and the growth of hair which began to show on my pubis,
    began to feel myself quite a man. I loved lying in the arms of
    another boy, pressing against his body, and fondling his person
    and being fondled by him in return. We always finished up with
    mutual masturbation. We never indulged in any unnatural

    "After leaving school I had no opportunity of indulging in
    relations with my own sex, and, indeed, did not wish for such, as
    I became a slave to the charms of the other sex, and passed most
    of my time in either enjoying, or planning to enjoy, love
    passages with them.

    "The sight of a woman's limbs or bust, especially if partly
    hidden by pretty underclothing, and the more so if seen by
    stealth, was sufficient to give a lustful feeling and a violent
    erection, accompanied by palpitation of the heart and throbbing
    in the head.

    "I had frequent coitus at the age of 17, as well as masturbating
    regularly. I liked to perform masturbation on a girl, even more
    than I liked having connection with her; and this was especially
    so in the case of girls who had never had masturbation practised
    on them before; I loved to see the look of surprised pleasure
    appear on their faces as they felt the delightful and novel

    "To gratify this desire I persuaded dozens of girls to allow me
    to take liberties with them, and it would surprise you to learn
    what a number of girls, many of them in good social position,
    permitted me the liberty I desired, though the supply was never
    equal to my demand.

    "With a view to enlarging my opportunities I took up the study of
    medicine as a profession, and reveled in the chances it gave of
    being on intimate sexual terms with many who would have been,
    otherwise, out of my reach.

    "At the age of 25 I married the daughter of an officer, a
    beautiful girl with a fully developed figure and an amorous
    disposition. While engaged, we used to pass hours wrapped in each
    other's arms, practising mutual masturbation, or I would kiss
    her passionately on the mouth, introducing my tongue into her
    mouth at intervals, with the invariable result that I had an
    emission and she went off into sighs and shivers. After marriage
    we practised all sorts of fancy coitus, _coitus reservatus_,
    etc., and rarely passed twenty-four hours without two
    conjunctions, until she got far on in the family way, and our
    play had to cease for a while.

    "During this interval I went to stay at the house of an old
    schoolfellow, who had been one of my lovers of days gone by. It
    happened that on account of the number of guests staying in the
    house the bed accommodation was somewhat scanty, and I agreed to
    share my friend's bedroom. The sight of his naked body as he
    undressed gave rise to lustful feelings in me; and when he had
    turned out the light I stole across to his bed and got in beside
    him. He made no objection, and we passed the night in mutual
    masturbation and embraces, _coitus inter femora_, etc. I was
    surprised to find how much I preferred this state of affairs to
    coitus with my wife, and determined to enjoy the occasion to the
    full. We passed a fortnight together in the above fashion, and,
    though I afterward went back and did my duty by my wife, I never
    took the same pleasure in her again, and when she died, five
    years later, I felt no inclination to contract another marriage,
    but devoted myself heart and soul to my old school-friend, with
    whom I continued tender relations until his death by accident
    last year. Since then I have lost all interest in life."

    "The patient," writes the well-known alienist to whom I am
    indebted for the above history, "consulted me lately. I found him
    a fairly healthy man to look at, suffering from some neurasthenia
    and a tendency to melancholia. Generative organs large, one
    testicle shows some wasting, pubic hair abundant, form of body
    distinctly masculine; temperament neurotic. He improved under
    treatment, and, after seeing me three times and writing out the
    above history, came no more."

    HISTORY XII.--Mrs. B., aged 32. Father's family normal; mother's
    family clever, eccentric, somewhat neuropathic. She is herself
    normal, good-looking, usually healthy, highly intelligent, and
    with much practical ability, though at some periods of life, and
    especially in childhood, she has shared to some extent in the
    high-strung and supersensitive temperament of her mother's
    family. As a child she was sometimes spoiled and sometimes
    cuffed, and suffered tortures from nervousness. She has, however,
    acquired a large measure of self-control.

    The first sensations which she now recognizes as sexual were
    experienced at the age of 3, when her mother gave her an
    injection; afterward she declared herself unable to relieve her
    bowels naturally in order to obtain a repetition of this
    experience, which was several times repeated. At the age of 7 a
    man pursued her with attentions and attempted to take liberties,
    but she rejected his advances in terror; four years later another
    man attempted to assault her, but she resisted vigorously, struck
    him, and escaped by running. Neither of these sexual attempts
    appears to have left any serious permanent impression on the
    child's mind.

    At the age of 11, when her mother was giving her a bath, the
    sensation of her mother's fingers touching her private parts gave
    her what she now knows to be sexual feelings, and a year later
    when taking her bath she would pour hot water on to the sexual
    region in order to cause these sensations; this did not lead to
    masturbation, but she had a vague idea that it was "wrong."

    At the age of 12 menstruation began; she suffered very severely
    from dysmenorrhea, the period sometimes lasting for ten days, and
    the pain being often extreme. She was not treated for this
    condition, her mother being of opinion that she would outgrow it.
    From the age of 14 or 15 until 23, or about the period of her
    marriage, she suffered from anemia.

    She had little curiosity about sexual matters; her mother wished
    that she should always come to her for information about things
    she became acquainted with as to the general facts of sex; she
    did not, however, know definitely the facts of copulation until
    her marriage. She knew nothing of erection or semen, and thought
    that when a man and woman placed their organs together a child
    resulted. She hated talking about these subjects indecently, and
    would not listen to the sexual conversation of her schoolfellows.
    She never felt any homosexual attraction. Once another girl was
    much in love with her, but she despised and disliked her
    attentions; again, when a girl much older than herself, a friend
    of her mother's, slept with her and made advances, she repelled
    her and refused to sleep with her again.

    She always got on well with men, and men were attracted to her.
    She was direct and sincere, without undue modesty. But she never
    allowed men to touch her or kiss her. She was a good dancer, and
    fond of dancing, but denies that it ever led to sexual feelings.
    She never felt any sexual attraction for a man until, at the age
    of 20, she fell in love with her future husband five years or
    more before marriage.

    At this period she began to feel vague discomfort, which she knew
    to be localized near her sexual organs. She was aware, in a dim
    way, that it was connected with her love, and was of a sexual
    nature. But there was no definite idea of sexual intercourse. She
    felt nervous and depressed. If she had been asked to state what
    would relieve her, she could only have said B.'s presence and
    tenderness. A few days before he declared his love she
    experienced the nearest approach to sexual feeling she had ever
    had. It was summer and, with B. and some of her family, she had
    gone on a little expedition. One evening, in the train after a
    day's excursion, B. took her hand (unperceived by the others) and
    held it for some time. This aroused the strongest emotions in
    her; she closed her eyes, and, though she was not at the time
    aware that her sensations were localized in her sexual organs,
    she thinks, in the light of subsequent knowledge, that she then
    experienced the orgasm.

    During the engagement, which lasted between two and three years,
    circumstances prevented frequent meetings. B. would kiss her,
    suck her nipples, which became erect, and lie on her. She allowed
    him to take these liberties, feeling that if she refused him all
    satisfaction he might have relations with other women. She still
    felt no definite desire for contact of the sexual organs. She
    longed rather to be embraced and kissed, and to lie in her
    lover's arms all night. A few months before marriage, however,
    she masturbated occasionally, just before or just after
    menstruation, imagining, while doing it, that she was in her
    lover's arms. The act was usually followed by a sick feeling.
    Just before marriage she underwent an operation for the relief of
    the dysmenorrhea. She was somewhat shocked and sickened by the
    experiences of the wedding night. It seemed to her that her
    husband approached her with the violence of an animal, and there
    was some difficulty in effecting entrance. Coitus, though
    incomplete, took place some seven times on this first night. The
    bleeding from rupture of the hymen continued, so that for two
    days she had to wear a towel. For two months subsequently there
    was great pain during intercourse, although she suppressed the
    indications of this.

    There were several children born of the marriage and for some
    years she lived happily, on the whole, with her husband,
    notwithstanding various hardships and difficulties and some
    incompatibility of temper.

    As regards her sexual feelings she considers, from what other
    women have told her, that her feelings are, if anything, stronger
    than the average. The orgasm, however, was not fully developed
    until about five years after marriage. Sexual feeling is most
    pronounced before, during, and after the menstrual period, more
    especially before and about the third day (the period usually
    lasts from five to seven days). There is more sexual desire
    during pregnancy, especially toward the end, than at any other
    time. She never refused normal intercourse to her husband, but
    any abnormal or perverted method of sexual gratification is
    repellent. She was awakened one night about the third month of
    pregnancy by her husband inserting his penis _in ore_; the child
    was born with palate defect and she is herself inclined to
    believe that this incident was the cause of the defect. Though
    she desires normal intercourse, she has seldom obtained complete
    gratification. For a long time she disliked seeing or touching
    the penis, and the feel, and especially the smell, of the semen
    produced nausea and even vomiting. (She has a very delicate sense
    of smell as well as of taste; though fond of the scent of
    flowers, no sexual feelings are thus aroused.) Withdrawal and the
    use of condoms are unsatisfactory to her, and mutual masturbation
    gives no relief and produces headache. Feelings of friendship for
    her husband have been most potent in arousing the sexual
    emotions, and she has had most pleasure in intercourse after a
    day spent in bicycling together. She has been for many months at
    a time without sexual intercourse, and during such periods has
    suffered much from pain in the head; this, however, she has now
    completely surmounted. She eventually discovered that her
    husband's abstinence from marital intercourse was due to
    infidelity. This led to a definite separation. She still
    occasionally experiences sexual desire, but has no inclination to
    masturbate. Her life is full and busy, affording ample scope for
    her energies and intelligence; moreover, she has her children to
    train and educate. She herself believes that her sexual life is
    at an end.

    HISTORY XIII.--G.R., army officer. "I am 35 years of age. My
    parents married at the ages of 38 and 25, and my father is now 84
    and my mother 71; both are particularly strong and healthy in
    body and mind. I am of old lineage on both sides, and know of no
    disease, defect, or abnormality among any of my ancestors or
    relations, except that my mother's family has a slight tendency
    to drink and excess, the present members of it all being
    considered eccentric. I have one brother and one sister living
    (brother unmarried, sister with several children) and am the
    youngest of a family of five. My brother is abnormal, but I don't
    know exactly in what way or from what cause. I have a strong
    suspicion that he masturbates to excess. My father is artistic
    and my mother musical. I have no aptitude for either, but
    appreciate both enormously, though not until about ten years ago.
    My principal reading is religion, science, and philosophy, with
    an occasional standard novel, or a modern novel of the 'improper'
    type by way of relaxation. I became a convinced and militant
    rationalist about five years ago, but have been an unbeliever
    since I left school. I was anemic and threatened with bowel
    complaint at the age of 7, and was in consequence taken abroad
    for my health. I am now strong and vigorous, with great powers of
    endurance, and enjoy all forms of sport and exercise,
    particularly hunting, pig-sticking, and polo. I drink a lot, and
    am never fitter than when eating, drinking, and taking exercise
    in what most people would call excess. It takes more alcohol than
    I can hold to make me drunk when in England; but not so in the
    East. I have been told that I am very good-looking.

    "When I was about 4 or 5 I was constantly chaffed by my older
    companions about putting my hand down my trousers and playing
    with my privates. I don't remember getting an erection, nor at
    what age this first occurred with me. At one time my brother and
    I used to play about with my sister's underclothing, and took
    great pleasure in it, but we never saw her genitals. She told us
    that on carefully examining herself one day she was glad to find
    that she had a small penis like boys had--doubtless the clitoris.
    When in France, at the age of 8 to 10, I began to notice the
    sexual parts of animals, and was very keen to know what mares
    kept between their hind legs. Later on I took great pleasure with
    another boy in feeling the teats of a she-ass, and, by myself,
    the penis of a donkey, as I had seen the French grooms do; but I
    took no interest in my own penis. I used to put my finger as far
    up the anus as it would go, and got a vague satisfaction from it.
    I went to a small private school at the age of 11, having been
    previously told by my mother of the manner of birth of men and
    animals, of which I was quite ignorant till then. She made no
    mention of the part taken by the father, and I never thought
    about it. Even then I was left with the impression that one was
    born through the navel. I was initiated at school, and used to
    handle the penis of the boy who told me. On several occasions I
    did _fellatio_ for him, and liked it, but he never offered to do
    the same for me, and I don't think he got much satisfaction out
    of it. Soon after this I became conscious of pleasurable
    sensations when lying on my stomach with an erection, and used
    occasionally to gratify myself that way, caring little for the
    school tradition that it was 'wicked' and bad for one. On one
    occasion, when talking at night with another boy, we compared our
    organs, both in erection, and I then for the first time thought
    of trying what I had heard vaguely mentioned, viz., two boys
    playing at man and woman. I lay on him with my penis on his
    stomach and almost at once had an orgasm with emission, and
    experienced acute pleasure, though both he and I supposed that I
    had involuntarily micturated. I was 13 when this happened. I did
    it once more with him before I left, this time the other way up,
    so as to spare him the unpleasantness. I used to like kissing and
    hugging the smaller boys, and had a great eye for good looks. On
    going home for the holidays I masturbated with my hand out of
    curiosity to see what happened when the orgasm occurred, and then
    only did I fully understand the nature of the act. After this the
    rush and strangeness of a large public school distracted my
    attention, but I heard about wet dreams, masturbation, and
    homosexuality from the other boys, and soon became thoroughly
    initiated. I believe the tone of my house, if not of the whole
    school, was exceptionally bad; though it may only be that I saw
    more of it because I was attracted by it, and that other schools
    are the same really. Things involving certain expulsion if found
    out were done more or less in public, and I have myself openly
    got into bed with or masturbated other boys, and on more than one
    occasion have helped forcibly to masturbate small boys or to hold
    them while others had connection with them, the idea of the last
    two acts being that the boy would thereby be seduced and become
    available for, and willing to perform, homosexuality. Before I
    became big enough to have boys myself I masturbated frequently
    (on one occasion three times in the day), and invariably by lying
    on my stomach without the use of the hands. In having connection
    with other boys I used to do it between the thighs or on the
    stomach, and I never heard of any other way at that school.
    _Pædicatio_ would disgust me, and, moreover, would deprive me of
    the principal pleasure of intercourse, viz., the feeling of lying
    face to face and stomach to stomach. Of course, the satisfaction
    used to be mutual, but, though good-looking, I was never the
    passive party only, like some small boys who might be called
    professionals and whom I used to pay for their services. I went
    back after I had left and had a boy in the dark whom I had never
    seen before, having been told that he was all right. I used to
    have a very genuine affection for any party to my pleasure,
    though I took delight in torturing one in particular, but for
    what reason I cannot say. For one boy I developed a deep love,
    which lasted long after we had left school and had ceased all
    sexual connection. This love was as strong as anything I have
    ever felt since.

    "I don't remember whether it was while I was at school or later
    that I first began again to take a sexual interest in animals. I
    used to masturbate a good deal and was always trying to find new
    ways of doing it and new substances to lie on. It was while
    feeling the vulva of a young mare that the brilliant thought
    struck me of trying to copulate with her, and thus getting the
    advantage of the soft vagina. It afforded me great satisfaction
    and I had an emission, though I did not then, nor at any other
    time with any other animal, succeed in penetrating properly. I
    afterward did the same with other mares and with a certain cow
    whenever I got a safe opportunity, which was not as often as I
    could have wished. I have not had connection with an animal for
    about ten years, but would have no objection to doing so, and
    feel sure I could perform the act properly now. After I left
    school at 17, I occasionally had longings for boys, but it was
    the exception and not the rule. I continued to masturbate, but
    not to excess, and used to make ineffectual efforts to stop it,
    but never succeeded for very long. When I was confirmed, at the
    age of 15, I became intensely religious, and was so remorseful at
    my first lapse from virtue that I burnt my leg with a red-hot
    poker, and I bear the scar still. On leaving school I went to
    Germany and there had my first coitus with a woman, a fat old
    German who gave me very little satisfaction. My next, a Jewess,
    gave me more than I asked for, in the shape of a soft chancre. In
    my ignorance I never had it treated, but it must have been very
    mild, for it disappeared of its own accord. When cramming in
    England I occasionally went home with a prostitute, but did not
    care much about them and could not afford good ones. On one
    occasion I was impotent. It may have been through drink, but it
    disgusted me with myself. I liked seeing the women naked, and
    always insisted that they should strip, especially the breasts,
    which I liked large and full. I had not learned to kiss on the
    lips, and had no desire to kiss the body, except the breasts,
    which I was generally too shy to do. But as I nearly always wore
    a condom and found penetration difficult I did not much enjoy the
    actual coitus. I am fully convinced that if women had been more
    accessible, if I had not thought myself bound to use preventives
    in self-defense, and if the act had not been looked upon with
    such disfavor by those in authority over me, I should have
    masturbated less or not at all, and would not have been tempted
    to bestiality. When I was 22 I had coitus with a girl who was not
    a prostitute for the first time. I was violently excited and
    enjoyed it more than anything I had yet experienced, in spite of
    the facts that she would not undress and insisted on withdrawal
    before emission. On one other occasion only have I had coitus
    with a non-professional unmarried woman. Shortly after this I
    caught syphilis from a girl of the streets. I was circumcised and
    stayed in a private hospital for six weeks. It never went beyond
    the primary stage, and I have felt no ill effects from it, except
    that I have got a hydrocele in the right testicle. Of course,
    this incident necessitated the use of a condom on every occasion,
    and it greatly spoiled my pleasure. About this time a
    brother-officer older than myself made advances to me. He
    compared me to a Greek statue, and wanted to kiss me. I would
    have nothing to do with him, but was glad to have his confessions
    of homosexuality and somewhat surprised to learn that he was not
    alone in the regiment. I afterward fell in love with his sister,
    and he married and had children. He was bisexual in his
    inclinations, but was really in love with me for a short time.

    "I had little to do with professionals until I went to South
    Africa, and though I was fond of ladies' society, and liked by
    ladies, I looked upon them as something apart, especially married
    women, and never attempted to take liberties with them; though I
    used to with shopgirls, etc., in my cramming days, and had often
    been in love. In South Africa I first began really to enjoy
    coitus, and on going to India continued to do so; in fact, I
    thought sexually of nothing else and rarely masturbated,--perhaps
    once in three weeks. I would go to brothels wherever they were
    available, Durban, Cape Town, Colombo, Calcutta, Bombay, and at
    one time preferred black women to white. I used to have horrible
    orgies with my brother-officers, and on one occasion I ordered
    six women to my bungalow in order to celebrate my birthday, and
    made a present of them to five of my friends after dinner. During
    this period, and until I went home, I rarely spoke to a lady, the
    chief exception being No. 1, a brother-officer's wife, with whom
    I began to be in love.

    "Shortly after the South African War I fell violently in love
    with a young brother-officer, 'Z.' It amounted to a passion and I
    was forced to make overtures to him. He did not understand, being
    ignorant of homosexuality and quite virile, and would have
    nothing to do with me, though he was very nice about it. This
    lasted for about a year, and then, thinking no doubt that he had
    better stop it, as I was really making myself very ridiculous and
    was mad with love, he threw me up altogether. I was intensely
    miserable for some time, and then I recovered and we made it up,
    and are now firm friends. I still want to kiss and stroke him
    when I see him naked, but would do nothing more. I went home by
    way of Japan after several years' absence from home, taking the
    women of the Eastern ports as I went, until I contracted
    gonorrhea in the Tokio Yoshiwara. I could not get rid of it, and
    arrived home in that state, having been deprived of the pleasure
    of trying several new races on the way in consequence. In England
    I rushed into a society which I had quit on such different terms,
    and it received me with open arms. I very soon began a flirtation
    with a married woman, and she completed my education in kissing
    which had been begun by the Japanese harlots. I was just coming
    to the point with this woman when I met No. 1 again, and my love
    for her was at once renewed. I told her so, but I knew that she
    did not return it. I then became attracted to No. 2, a girl older
    than myself, whom I had known all my life. I kissed her and
    fondled her breasts; but she would not allow anything else, until
    one night, when in the train with her, I got my hand down farther
    than she intended. It ended in my performing _cunnilingus_ on her
    first, and then obtaining satisfaction between her thighs--a
    large step to take after the former limitations. Previous to this
    I had on several occasions obtained an emission, without meaning
    to, by lying on her fully dressed. She was aware of my disease,
    which by that time had become a gleet and did not inconvenience
    me in any way. From that time until I went back to India we went
    through the same performance whenever possible, I masturbating
    her sometimes with the finger, sometimes with the tongue, and
    having connection with various parts of her body, including the
    breasts, but always with a condom on account of my disease. She
    used to strip for my edification, and we frequently spent the
    night in the same bed. I was attracted to her mentally, but not
    very much physically; that is to say, that if circumstances had
    not thrown us together I should never have picked her out from
    other girls as being sexually attractive to me. I returned to
    India, and to No. 1, though I kept faithful to No. 2 in word and
    deed for five months, but gradually the overmastering influence
    of No. 1 reasserted itself over me. And then I met No. 3. We were
    attracted to each other at first acquaintance, and the attraction
    was mental and sexual. She was married and in love with another
    man, but that did not prevent her from kissing me. I felt her
    breasts, masturbated her, and had emissions by lying on her, but
    she drew the line at one thing, viz., kissing on the lips; and I
    drew it at coitus. We arranged a trip together during which I
    went to bed with her, but never had coitus, though we both had
    frequent orgasms in other ways. Before starting on this trip I
    had thought that I should not see No. 1 again, and she let me
    kiss her, to my unspeakable joy. Circumstances, however,
    intervened, and I went straight to No. 1 after parting with No.
    3, told her all I had done, and then kissed her again, leaving
    her just before her real lover, with whom she was then living,
    arrived. Later I returned again to No. 1, now in child to her
    lover. We lived together for three nights in spite of this. She
    then went home, and I had no connection with any woman for two
    years, except one black woman, being consumed with love and
    worship for No. 1. I was much in society, but never had any luck.
    At the end of this time I was traveling one night with a young
    officer ('X'), slight and effeminate and preferring men to women,
    with whom I had been until then on friendly but not intimate
    terms. I watched him undress and go to bed, and then, having
    myself undressed, went over to his bunk and put my hand under his
    clothes. He at once responded, and I got into his bed, both of us
    being in a frenzy of passion and surprise. But I was fairly sure
    of my ground or I would not have dared to take the risk. I used
    often to go to his bed after this, and on one occasion had coitus
    with a girl on a chair at a ball and the next night with my young
    officer. I scarcely knew the girl, and don't know her name now,
    but I took her measure, made her excited by manipulation and
    kissing, and then got her consent. I did not harm her, even if I
    had been the first, for orgasm occurred before I had penetrated
    beyond the lips. X surprised me by telling me that he had had
    connection with three other officers in my regiment, as well as
    with several others in the same station. He would not tell me
    their names, but I guessed easily enough. He used to drink
    heavily, and once I got into his bed when he was in a drunken
    stupor and he was quite unaware that I was there for some time. I
    myself was drinking too much at this time, and was frequently
    drunk before dinner. In the hot weather that followed I had one
    orgy in Bombay which lasted three nights. I started on a Greek
    and a Pole and finished up with a Japanese, two brother-officers
    accompanying me. Afterward I was much alone during the day in my
    bungalow, and used to become possessed by intense desire. I
    masturbated occasionally, but by this time took but little
    pleasure in it, always craving for the moist human vagina. I had
    often heard, and myself quoted, the Pathan proverb 'Women for
    breeding; boys for pleasure; melons for delight,' and one day
    when seeking for some novelty with which to masturbate, and my
    eye being caught by a melon put ready for me to eat, it flashed
    across me to try whether the proverb was in any way true. I found
    it most satisfactory, and practised it several times after that,
    the pepita (papaye or pawpaw) being the nearest approach to the
    human vagina. The opportune arrival of a fairly good-looking
    punkah woman, however, put an end to this form of enjoyment by
    providing me with what I wanted. Soon afterward I went home
    again, taking the Japanese at Bombay on my way.

    "I had kept up a correspondence with No. 1 all this time, but we
    had made a compact that whatever each did until we met again was
    not to count, and I knew that she had had at least one liaison
    since our parting, and was in entire ignorance of the state of
    her feelings toward me. Therefore, while trying to arrange a
    meeting with her, I took the first thing that chance threw in my
    way, thinking a bird in the hand better than the off chance of a
    better one in the bush. This was No. 4, with whom I spent three
    days at the seaside after having first had coitus with her in my
    own home while she was in the monthly state. Immediately on
    parting from her I came home to receive No. 1. The first time we
    were alone she kissed me, and this was followed by mutual
    confessions and coitus, though at first she said my affair was
    too recent. I agreed not to have connection again with No. 4, and
    kept to this until when staying in the same house again with her
    I was tempted beyond my powers; and I may add that she gave me no
    assistance in keeping this promise, of which she was fully
    cognizant. I at once wrote and confessed to No. 1, and she very
    naturally would have nothing more to do with me. But I managed to
    reconcile her, and we afterward lived together for three days in
    the country, as well as in London and in her own house. Meanwhile
    No. 5 had been making advances to me which I could not well
    refuse, being a very old friend. Nos. 4 and 5 were on one
    occasion staying together at my house, just after I had been
    faithless to No. 1 with No. 4. I could not very well sleep with
    them both, so at the earnest entreaty of No. 4 I went to her room
    first, told her my reasons for not having connection with her,
    left her in tears, and then went and slept with No. 5. This is
    the only transaction I have ever concealed from No. 1; but No. 5
    knows my whole story and accepts the situation of being only
    second so long as I give her satisfaction whenever possible.
    About this time I again met No. 3 and kissed and masturbated her
    in a cab, but she would not allow me to go home with her. At the
    bidding of No. 1 I now broke entirely with No. 4, to the great
    grief and astonishment of my sister, whose friend she was.
    Shortly after this I again returned to India, where I quarreled
    hopelessly with No. 1, and I don't know to this day what my fault
    was, except that she had got tired of me. Her influence over me
    is, however, too great to be so easily broken, and I would return
    to her tomorrow if she moved a finger in reconciliation. During
    the following hot weather I slowly but surely, albeit quite
    unconsciously, obtained an influence over No. 6, and it ended by
    her falling desperately in love with me and allowing me to do
    what I liked. I did not love her, and told her about No. 1, whose
    image always remained in the back of my vision, whatever I was
    doing. She also accepted the situation, and I don't think has any
    grievance against me. For my part I have nothing but thanks and
    gratitude and as much love as I am capable of to give her, and
    all the other women with whom I have had any sexual relations.
    The following is a short account of the above women:--

    "No. 1. Had coitus before marriage, for love and with full
    knowledge of the nature of the act. Agreement with her husband
    not to have coitus rigidly adhered to by both. Has had connection
    with five other men since marriage. Very passionate, but faddy
    and particular. Slow at producing orgasm. Likes being in bed
    naked, and liked me once for having kissed her mons veneris.
    Thin, with undeveloped breasts. Brilliant, good-looking. Artistic
    and highly intellectual. Never masturbated, and did not know of
    homosexuality among women; very sensitive to touch on the

    "No. 2. Has had sexual relations, but never coitus, with many
    men. Mutually masturbated with one man. Masturbated herself
    frequently, and took a long time to produce orgasm, even with
    _cunnilingus_, which delighted her immensely. After having it
    performed, she would stoop down and passionately kiss my lips.
    Fond of prolonged kisses, during which the tongue played a
    prominent part. Tall and fully developed, but no looks. Clever,
    masculine brain, and strong physically. Skillfully concealed her
    passionate nature, which, however, was long in developing and was
    long kept in check by maidenly modesty.

    "No. 3. Innocent before marriage, and hated her _fiancé_ even to
    touch her, which feeling still persists. Has had liaisons with
    many men, and several miscarriages, one legitimate, others
    illegitimate, and one illegitimate child. Does not masturbate
    herself, but readily yields to its seduction when performed by
    others. The most passionate woman I have ever met. Good, typical,
    womanly figure, but thin and weak. Not much looks, but very
    fascinating to men. Clever and intellectual.

    "No. 4. Coitus only with her husband before myself. Not very
    passionate. I know nothing about masturbation or homosexuality in
    her case. Very broad hips, large breasts, and well-developed
    nates. Deserted by her husband. No children. Rather foolish and
    weak-minded. Penetration difficult owing to long labia majora.

    "No. 5. Knows all about homosexuality of both sexes and wants to
    know more about everything. Probably masturbates. Several
    children. In love with her husband at first, but now tired of him
    and took to other men for variety and because her husband had
    ceased to give her sexual pleasure. Very passionate; has slow
    orgasm; likes nakedness and contact of body. Very large vagina.
    Broad hips and full breasts. Intellectual, but not so by nature.
    Artistic and very musical.

    "No. 6. Absolutely innocent before marriage. Was practically
    raped by her husband on her marriage night. This disgusted her
    with the whole performance, and she could not bear her husband's
    caresses. During pregnancy she was frightened because she did not
    know what was going to happen, i.e., how the child was going to
    be born; and no one enlightened her,--doctor, nurse, or mother.
    Did not know the meaning of the words sexual feeling, and never
    thought about sexual matters at all until marriage. I roused her
    passion, put things in their true light, made her have an orgasm,
    and told her what it meant. The orgasms at first made her cry and
    nearly faint, and she thereafter became intensely passionate.
    Very excited at cunnilingus, which I practised on her more than
    once. She confessed that the orgasm was stronger and more
    complete during coitus than during masturbation, which relieved
    my mind. She volunteered to strip naked and has but little
    shyness with me. Cannot bear her husband yet. She admits that she
    was only half a woman before she knew me, but now regrets her
    marriage. Short, thin, and slight, with narrow hips and no
    breasts. Quick woman's wit, but not intellectual.

    "Of the prostitutes I have known, perhaps 60 in number, the
    Japanese easily take the palm. They are scrupulously clean, have
    charming manners and beautiful bodies, and take an intelligent
    interest in the proceedings. Also they are not always thinking
    about the money. Perhaps the Kashmiris come next, though the
    Chinese run them very close. Some of the more expensive London
    women are bearable, but they are such harlots! The white women in
    the East are insupportable, and small wonder, for they consist of
    the dregs of the European and American markets. My list comprises
    English, French, German, Italian, Spanish-American, American,
    Bengali, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Kaffir, Singhalese, Tamil, Burmese,
    Malay, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, and Pole.

    "I naturally prefer to satisfy myself with a woman, a friend and
    a lady of my own class; but in the absence of the best I gladly
    take the next best available, down the scale from a lady for
    whom I do not care to prostitutes of all classes and colors, men,
    boys, animals, melons, and masturbation. I would as cheerfully
    have connection with my sister, or any other female relative. I
    have frequent erotic dreams about the most extraordinary
    subjects--male and female relations, casual acquaintances of both
    sexes, and animals. When I have got an intrigue in hand with a
    woman, I have no wish to masturbate, and often restrain myself
    when I know that I am going to have access before long to
    prostitutes. After coitus it takes a long time before I am ready
    for the next, sometimes two hours; and the first is always very
    quick, nearly always too quick for the woman. With a strange
    woman I have difficulty in maintaining erection at the instant of
    penetration, and this has often given me trouble.

    "I know that most women like, and few dislike, being touched by
    me. My favorite colors are green and red, and I can whistle quite

    "I would be very glad to know whether I may be considered
    sexually normal or not, but I do not desire any opinion on the
    morality of my acts, for the simple reason that without knowing
    all the circumstances it would be impossible to judge. But I
    cannot help saying that I do not consider anything I have done is
    wrong in itself, and I am quite certain that I have never harmed
    in any way any of the ladies with whom I have had relations. I am
    certain, if I had made promises which I knew I could not keep, I
    might have married one of them. But the result would have been
    great unhappiness to both, quarrels, and ultimate separation or
    divorce--and she realized that as well as I did. I may seem
    egotistical in my attitude and assurance toward ladies, but I
    only speak the honest truth; and I know that No. 6, for instance,
    has only gratitude and worship to give me for having opened her
    eyes. I have made her promise to have intercourse with her
    husband as soon as she can bear it, and I have satisfied myself
    that I have not started her on the road to sexual perversion. So
    much in self-explanation. I may add that I do not deliberately
    seek 'affaires de coeur,' and that, when they come my way, I do
    my utmost to use all consideration for the lady, thinking, as I
    do, that I owe them a far bigger debt than I shall ever be able
    to pay."

    HISTORY XIV.--J.E., professional man, aged 32. Public school and
    university education, in which he did well. From age of 6 or 7
    had strong sexual emotions, and from 9 sexually pleasurable
    dreams, though no emission till 12 or 13. He remembers the
    association of sexual excitement with whipping, either at sight
    or imagination of it, and this feeling was certainly shared by
    boys aged 9 to 12 at his private boarding-school and others at
    the public school later on. His nurse-maid used to invent excuses
    for beating his nates with a long lead-pencil when he was aged
    about 7, and he saw occasional whippings with clothes removed in
    the family nursery.

    When nearly 16 he was initiated into masturbation, which at once
    coincided with rapid mental development and success at school. He
    has practised it ever since under same conditions and
    restrictions as marital intercourse. Religion has never acted as
    any restraint, and the best restraint to all young people, in his
    opinion, is to warn them on hygienic grounds. (He became a
    freethinker at 17, partly on observing the inconsistency of
    religious persons in this connection. He was twice set upon by
    Catholics when 16, who attempted mutual masturbation.) He can
    vaguely remember some such warning when very young from his

    No intercourse with women till age of 19, though strong
    homosexual feelings from 10 upward, associated with feminine
    youths. These feelings were quite distinct from feelings of
    affection and friendship for more virile youths. An attack of
    gonorrhea at 21 was followed by an operation for circumcision,
    which had beneficial effects, but did not prevent an attack of
    syphilis at age of 23, caught at a guaranteed state establishment
    in France. Intercourse almost always with prostitutes, on
    prudential and worldly grounds, though what he approves would be
    greater laxity between boys and girls, with proper safeguards
    against undesired offspring. He is now happily married. He only
    indulges in masturbation at times when intercourse is impossible
    (e.g., childbirth). It is then practised once or twice a week in
    the early morning; overnight it causes troubled sleep, brain
    activity, and constipation. This seems ethically more desirable
    unless the wife were to condone physical infidelity, which she
    would not, and even then there might be risks of venereal
    disease. His general health and working power are in all respects
    excellent, as the venereal diseases were speedily and thoroughly
    cured. Homosexual feeling has entirely disappeared since

    HISTORY XV.--G.D., English; aged 60. "My earliest essays in
    juvenile vice were due not so much to unguarded as to unguided
    ignorance. I slipped where my natural protectors suspected no
    danger, and I fell because I had never been warned of the
    treacherous nature of the ground. Before or soon after I was 7
    years old, the example of an elder brother, who had lately begun
    to go to school as a day-boy, initiated me into the mysteries of
    masturbation, which seemed to me then as harmless as it was
    fascinating; and the novel pleasure was almost daily indulged in,
    after I had acquired sufficient dexterity to accomplish the act
    within a reasonable time, without a twinge of conscience, either
    in that brother's company or when alone. Decency demanded secrecy
    in the gratification of what soon became an imperious desire,
    and the preliminary operations included, almost from the first,
    mutual _fellatio_ and approximation of the excited organs; but
    similar privacy was very properly sought during the performance
    of other bodily acts associated with those 'less honorable
    members,' and it appeared to me quite as natural and right for us
    to amuse ourselves together in that way as for a married couple
    to hide their most intimate embraces from the observation of
    others. Indeed, I went farther than that, and even came to regard
    the absence of all shame between us as akin to the primeval
    innocence which Adam and Eve exhibited before the Fall. I
    believed for long that we two were specially privileged and
    possessed a peculiar sense denied to other boys, for I had never
    heard of masturbation till I learnt, not the word indeed, but the
    thing itself.

    "My curiosity about the real nature of sexual union in the case
    of human beings set my intelligence to work at the interesting
    problem, and by carefully studying certain parts of the Bible,
    Lemprière's classical and other dictionaries, as well as by
    persistently watching when I could the amorous proceedings of
    domestic animals, I learnt enough to make its most prominent
    features pretty clear before I was 11 years of age. I was then
    all eagerness to have the opportunity of inspecting at close
    quarters the genitals of women or young girls, and a stay at the
    seaside when I was 12 made the latter at least feasible. When the
    shore was nearly deserted, between 1 and 2 P.M., the daughters of
    the fisherfolk used to besiege the bathing machines and disport
    themselves in the water, bathing and paddling in various stages
    of nudity. I would pretend that my whole attention was being
    given to the making of miniature tunnels in the sand, while all
    the time I slyly peeped at what I most desired to see, whether in
    front or from behind, as the dancing damsels stood upright or
    stooped till their haunches were higher than their heads. I had
    already read something somewhere about the _clitoris_, and wanted
    especially to see it, but indistinct glimpses were all that I
    could obtain; nor was it until I visited an anatomical museum,
    which then existed at the top of the Haymarket in London, that I
    learned, a good many years later, from several life-sized models
    there displayed, the characteristic features of that part, as
    well as the abnormal modifications to which it is subject, either
    congenitally or in consequence of profligate habits. I was 15, I
    think, when I first came to know that girls can masturbate as
    well as boys.

    "Long after I had realized why the terms male and female are so
    distinguished, my imagination was occupied with the possible
    postures in which the act of copulation may be accomplished by a
    man and woman; from Horace, Lucretius, Martial, Aristophanes,
    and, above all, from Ovid's _Ars Amatoria_ I obtained much, but
    not always very clear, information while still a schoolboy. This
    was supplemented later by photographic pictures from Pompeiian
    brothels and photographs from life, purchased at Florence and
    gloated over one night, with twice-repeated masturbation, and
    afterward destroyed in a revulsion of shame.

    "But while continuing to practise self-abuse (with a certain
    degree of restraint indeed, but seldom less often than once or
    even twice a week), after I had been made fully aware of its
    perils by Dr. Adam Clarke's alarming comments on Genesis xxxviii,
    9, when I was about 12 or 13, I never had connection with a woman
    until I married somewhat late in life. This abstinence was not
    due to any frigidity of disposition, but from prudential and
    religious motives, and, to some extent perhaps, from the
    imperfect but genuine satisfaction afforded by solitary
    indulgence. My imagination, like that of young J.J. Rousseau, as
    set forth in his _Confessions_, was allowed free scope for its
    exercise, but in practice I confined myself to what seemed to me
    comparatively innocent as compared with fornication. I was never
    an unreserved 'exhibitionist' like Rousseau, but I have on more
    than one occasion turned toward a hedge and pretended to make
    water, when a girl had just passed me on the road, showing a
    _turgens cauda_ if she should chance out of curiosity to look
    back, as once, at any rate, happened.

    "I watched with interest the first indications of puberty in my
    own person. I had, of course, seen the pubic hair on many of my
    own sex, but I was 17 when I first saw a naked woman. She was
    standing at the door of her machine, wringing out her
    bathing-dress, as I swam past, and her face was hidden by the
    awning then used, so that she could not see me. A slight effusion
    of limpid mucus began to characterize the orgasm, at the age of
    12 or 13 (before any ejaculation of semen was experienced), such
    as exuded later from the _urethra_ when salacious excitement
    reached a certain pitch, even though the final climax might be
    postponed or prevented altogether. I found it a refinement of
    luxury to prolong the period of tumescence as far as possible, by
    frequently checking a too rapid progress toward the goal. By this
    practice of repeated arrest when the orgasm was imminent, and the
    mental debauchery which was its habitual accompaniment, I believe
    I did my nervous system more damage than by anything else--even
    the early age at which the dangerous indulgence became
    established. Nocturnal emissions (the sequel of lascivious
    dreams) commenced when I was about 15, at which age I had my
    first experience of an involuntary discharge when awake, under
    the influence of purely mental emotion; but this latter mode of
    escape did not often happen, and later on ceased altogether. My
    muscular strength was not impaired by too frequent indulgence,
    and I acquired some athletic prowess on the football field and on
    the running path, both as a boy and as a young man. Walking tours
    were for long my favorite recreation, even after the bicycle
    became an increasing attraction. My health, however, suffered in
    other ways from too constant absorption in lustful thoughts,
    which found vent in erotic verses and tales, generally destroyed
    soon after they were written. I have been subject since I was a
    boy to more or less prolonged fits of mental depression. How far
    I have inherited this tendency (my father and his father both
    married first cousins, and a neurotic diathesis has been
    characteristic of our family), or how far it has been aggravated
    by pernicious habits, I cannot say; cause and effect have no
    doubt acted and reacted on each other.

    "As I grew toward adolescence I endeavored to make self-abuse as
    close an imitation as possible of sexual intercourse by such
    methods as may be easily imagined. My biological studies (I won a
    scholarship and took honors at my university) were directed with
    most intent predilection toward the reproductive system,
    particularly the modifications of the copulatory organs in
    different animals and the diverse manner of their employment. The
    sexual instinct, whether in its normal or abnormal
    manifestations, is a subject which has always had a strong
    attraction for me, nor has it lost its fascination with the
    growth of years (I am now 60) nor the competition of other

    "My very limited experience of the sexual system in women would
    lead me to believe that the _clitoris_ is the only peculiarly
    sensitive part of the female _genitalia_, coition giving no
    pleasure unless 'the trigger of love' is simultaneously
    manipulated, as can be done when intromission is effected _a
    tergo_; that the mind of a normally healthy maiden is altogether
    free from sexual excitement of a physical kind, and that little
    curiosity is felt about the precise _modus operandi_ of conjugal
    intercourse; but, nevertheless, I have good reason to believe
    that this, if not an unusual type, is by no means the only one
    that exists.

    "As to sexual inversion my personal experience has been confined
    to two or three _grandes passions_ for boys, the first of which
    possessed me when between the ages of 16 and 18, and involved,
    when I was 17, the most intense mental emotion, of a romantic
    kind, tinged with poignant jealousy and vexation at comparative
    coldness toward myself. These love passages never led me into
    indelicate behavior (I was once threatened with such treatment
    myself by a stranger whose acquaintance I made one day at the
    British Museum, when a lad of 15. He took me to his bedroom at an
    inn, locked the door, and showed me a collection of coins, giving
    me some, and, while doing so, attempted to take indecent
    liberties; but I pretended that I must catch a certain train,
    unlocked the door, and made a hasty escape), nor was any
    gratification sought beyond occasional kisses and other innocent
    endearments, though such caresses would sometimes excite an
    erection, which I carefully concealed. These amours were,
    however, no outcome of perverted instinct, nor were they any bar
    to fancies for the opposite sex which affected my imagination
    rather than my heart."

    HISTORY XVI.--This history is given in the subject's own words:
    A.N., 34 years of age, a university graduate, devoted to learning
    and interested in philosophy and theology. He is happily married
    and the father of an only daughter. Since puberty he has enjoyed
    excellent health.

    "Looking back he finds the beginnings of sexual feeling obscure.
    This feeling is by no means identical in its progress with the
    knowledge of the phenomena of sex generally. The latter he
    acquired thus: His mother told him at a very early age the
    outlines of the phenomena of birth and explained to him (perhaps
    at that time unnecessarily) that the genital organs of little
    girls were different from his own. This piece of knowledge led to
    his asking, when 9 years old, a little girl cousin who came to
    live with the family (he was an only child) and who shared his
    bed to let him see her genitalia. This she readily did and also
    invited him to coitus, which she described as a 'nice game.' He
    complied, but without, of course, any feeling of pleasure or any
    understanding of the nature of what he was doing. Shortly after
    this he went to a day school, where, amid the extraordinarily
    coarse conversation of the boys, he was initiated into all the
    more obvious phenomena of sex. But still it was only a matter of
    intellectual curiosity. As such it had a strange fascination for
    him, and to this day he remembers many of the obscene words and
    phrases, as, for example, a set of indecent verses beginning
    'William, the milkman, sat under a tree,' describing coitus,
    though some of the details were yet misunderstood by him. That up
    to his tenth or eleventh year no real sexual desire was awakened
    is plain from the fact that there was no desire for any
    repetition of attempts at coitus with his cousin, though he did
    indeed, again out of curiosity, finger her genitals sometimes, a
    thing which she, grown evidently more fastidious, reported to his
    mother, who gravely reprimanded him, telling him that it was the
    'beginning of all evil.'

    "Desire was awakened gradually and, as I have said, obscurely.
    Not only at school, but among his own cousins, especially two
    girls (other than the one above mentioned) and a boy, the
    conversation was lascivious in the extreme, though words never
    proceeded to deeds as between the boys and the girls. He was
    soon, however, about his fifteenth year, so far as he can
    remember, initiated into the practice of masturbation, first,
    sleeping with his boy cousin, the two used to play at 'husband
    and wife,' and then, more directly, a neighbor, a heavy, sensual
    type of boy, took him aside one day and drawing out his own penis
    asked him 'if he knew how to make some buttermilk.' Out of
    curiosity at first, and to obtain the new and voluptuous
    sensation afterward, he began assiduously to practise this vice,
    which, as he afterward found out, was very common, if not
    universal about him. That it was morally reprehensible he had not
    at that time the ghost of a notion; he considered that it
    belonged to the category of the 'dirty' only. His father quite
    neglected this development, believing, I suppose, in the
    superstition of the 'innocence of childhood.'

    "This practice of masturbation went on assiduously to his
    sixteenth year, when its true nature and danger were revealed to
    him by a good clergyman who prepared him for confirmation. He had
    at this time gone far, in both solitary vice and vice 'à deux,'
    with his male cousin, with whom he practised even 'fellatio' and
    'intromissio in anum.' But now he began to struggle against it
    and made some headway, but never entirely shook it off before his
    marriage at 26, so deeply rooted was the hold it had on him.
    Especially at the time between sleeping and waking, or while
    lying sleepless at night--when the monks prayed 'ne polluantur
    corpora'--did its attacks come insidiously upon him. He would
    struggle for weeks and then would come a relapse. On one occasion
    he slept with a young uncle who amused himself, thinking he was
    asleep, by playing with his penis until he had an emission. A.N.
    hailed the occasion with keen joy--he caustically argued that he
    experienced the pleasure without being culpable in its
    production! Then on 'coming to himself' he would agonize over his
    vice, remembering, for example, that, while _he_ had rejoiced in
    what had been done, the very cousin who some time before used to
    share his sin was genuinely annoyed at the same uncle's
    attentions when it was he who suffered them.

    "Looking back over the whole period of his youth and adolescence,
    he can trace the psychological effect of what was going on
    secretly, in his relations to girls and women. In a word, these
    relations were sentimental only. He often imagined himself in
    love; but it was imagination only. He was in love with a wraith,
    not a girl of flesh and blood. He hesitated to regard in any
    sexual way any girl of whom he had a high opinion; sexual desire
    and 'love' seemed for him to inhabit different worlds and that it
    would be a pollution to bring them together. In hours of
    relaxation from the very hard intellectual work which he was at
    this time engaged on at school and at the university, he was
    quite content with the society of quite young girls or even
    children when most of his friends would have sought out females
    of their own age. Nothing could have been farther from his
    desires or intention than any lascivious or, indeed, unseemly act
    toward any female in whose company he might be: no mother need
    have hesitated to trust her daughter in his company. I firmly
    believe that the discipline of the same bed which Gibbon
    (_Decline and Fall_, ed. Bury, vol. ii, p. 37) makes so merry
    over could have been endured by him without difficulty. His
    outward conduct was in all these respects most seemly and
    decorous, yet night after night he could masturbate, his
    imagination glowing with visions of female nakedness.

    "Curiously the one and only actual female for whom he felt any
    desire at the earlier period (aged 14 to 16) began to be the
    cousin who lived in the house. On one occasion he touched her
    breasts, on another her naked thighs--and that was all! As she
    grew to puberty, she would have allowed far more liberties, but
    he contented himself with a sly glance now and again, when he
    could procure it, at her swelling bosom. The fear of putting her
    with child was ample to keep him away from her bed. Later on even
    so much as the foregoing occurred no more, and, as I have said,
    his outward life became absolutely decorous.

    "Consequently he was in no danger of having dealings with
    prostitutes. The preliminaries, the conversation of such women,
    especially their drinking habits, would have been disgusting and
    repugnant to him in the extreme. He would have shunned the
    possibility of acquiring venereal disease like the plague. But he
    was never free from solitary vice; he secretly envied those who
    had occasions for coitus in what I may call a seemly and cleanly
    manner, friends in the country with farm girls, etc., of whom he
    had heard. He indulged also in lascivious reading, the obscene
    when he could procure it, rather than the merely suggestive,
    which has never been to his taste. He was familiar with quite a
    large number of Latin and Greek indecent passages, knew the
    broader farces of the _Canterbury Tales_ and of the _Decameron_,
    and, later, the 'contes' of La Fontaine and the _Facetiæ_ of
    Poggio. As Ste.-Beuve says of Gibbon, I think, he acquired an
    'erudite and cold' sort of obscenity in this way.

    "All this, of course, is only one half, and by no means always
    the dominant half, of his nature. He was often repentant for
    these delinquencies, and he was sincerely religious. He was also
    fond of serious learning and contrived to take a first-class
    university degree. Yet, ever and anon, the deeply sensual side of
    his nature made itself felt. Scotched for a time it could be, but
    killed never.

    "Yet, I do not think it could be said that he had the sexual
    instinct in any really high degree. It was more like a small fly
    that makes a large buzz than any considerable factor in his
    constitution. He had a companion about this time of whom such a
    remark is even more true. This man's mind was replete with all
    manner of risky stories, all sorts of sexual details. He would
    take long walks with girls of loose character, talk with
    prostitutes at home and abroad, and yet, I believe, he never
    proceeded to coitus.

    "Such then, was the subject of this notice up to the time of his
    marriage. Two men, one might say, in one skin. One learned, one
    merely obscene; one a pattern of decorousness, the other a

    "On the sexual side he was as one knowing everything there is to
    know--yet knowing nothing. Like the boy-hero in Wedekind's
    _Frühling's Erwachen_, he had been long in Egypt, yet he had
    never seen the pyramids. He began to distress himself with
    questions as to whether he was yet capable; whether his recurring
    vice had not permanently injured him; whether he had made himself
    unfit for marriage. So shy and reserved was he about his secret
    that he could never have brought himself to mention it to a
    medical man. 'What! he! the good, the religious! the wholly moral
    and decorous!' (such was, indeed, the reputation he had among his
    friends); 'he, the victim of a vice so black!' No, no! '_Secretum
    meum mihi_,' he cried.

    "Fortune, however, was kind to him. He was at an early age free
    from financial worries, which had almost crushed him earlier in
    his career, and he met in course of time the family from which he
    selected his excellent wife.

    "The society in which he lived was of all English classes, I
    should suppose, the most reticent in matters of sex--the
    respectable, lower middle class; shopkeepers and the like, with a
    tradition of homely religion and virtue. The classes a little
    higher in the scale (to which, by the way, his mother had
    belonged) could far better sympathize with one in his position.
    Well, the family of his future wife was of a higher class and,
    what is far more, of foreign origin, for whom a large number of
    our English 'convenances' do not exist. To them sex was frankly
    recognized as a factor in life, and the mother of this household,
    as he grew more intimate, broached subjects which he had never,
    in such a manner, discussed before. It is unnecessary to give
    here any general history of his relationships with this
    household, as they have nothing to do with the matter in hand.
    After some time he became engaged to the youngest daughter, two
    years his senior, a woman of remarkable beauty and splendid
    development, one who attracted him as none other had done, both
    on account of her intellectual and social qualities and her
    physical beauty (he had hitherto despaired of finding the two
    combined in one person), for she is certainly the most beautiful
    woman with whom he has ever been acquainted.

    "He now began to make the practical acquaintance of a woman--and
    one who, in impulses, temper, manner, and habit of thought,
    differed _toto cælo_ from the girls he had known in his old home.
    Her sexual nature was ripe and developed, and it is lucky that
    the engagement was of short duration, or the strain and
    anticipation of that time might have been injurious to the health
    of both. As usual, in his outward relations toward women, so
    toward his _fiancée_, he was prepared for chaste caresses only.
    This, however, did not suffice for her hot and passionate nature.
    They went as far as possible short of actual coitus.

    "After a few months, however, the marriage took place, and, at
    first, this brought him bitter disappointment and seemed to
    confirm his worst fears. He found himself quite unable to have
    pleasure or satisfactory coitus; quite incapable, with any
    erection that he could command, of introducing his well-developed
    penis into his wife's extremely narrow and contracted vagina.
    About a fortnight after the marriage, however, on his return from
    their short wedding tour, he felt much stronger and copulated
    with her, especially in the early mornings, so satisfactorily
    that she soon found herself with child. Coitus now began to be
    much more pleasurable for him, but to his wife still attended
    with pain.

    "After nine months of married life, the child, the only offspring
    of the marriage, a healthy girl, was born. The stress of this
    time, the upsetting of his wife's health, her nervous breakdown
    and consequently uncertain temper, seemed for a period of nearly
    two years effectually to repress any sexual desire in the
    husband, and this period is perhaps the chastest of his life.
    Desire seemed to be the one thing absent. The revulsion of
    feeling in his wife was remarkable. The erstwhile amorous
    _fiancée_, who could hardly wait until marriage to test her
    lover, became now the wife and mother who hardly wished to be
    touched by her husband.

    "Her health, however, gradually improved and a more normal state
    of affairs was brought about, which has continued to the present
    day, broken only by periods of abstention, chiefly caused by the
    attacks of anemia and menstrual irregularities from which his
    wife suffers from time to time. Ordinarily, he enjoys coitus once
    or twice in the month, hardly oftener, taking one month with
    another. At one time he exemplified in his own person the saying
    _omne animal post coitum triste_, but now happily this depression
    of spirits is rarely felt. Sometimes he has felt a depression of
    spirits, a general discontentedness, before experiencing a strong
    erection; in these cases coitus has cleared his spirits. He would
    naturally look upon coitus as an evacuation, although he
    recognizes the imperfectness of that view. For one thing he is
    constantly sorry, viz., that the act gives no pleasure to his
    wife, and that he has never been able to induce a crisis with her
    by normal means. In this state of affairs, knowing that 'après
    coup' she was still unsatisfied, he slipped into the practice of
    rubbing the clitoris with his fingers until the emission takes
    place. To do this, they assume the position 'ille sub, illa
    super.' From his own limited marital experience, he has never
    been able to understand the stories of women who masturbate
    several times a day, as his wife would be physically incapable
    (so he believes) of anything of the kind, and only easily reaches
    the crisis in any circumstances during the first few days after
    the menstrual flow has ceased. In fine, while agreeing
    theoretically with Sir Richard Burton and others that the eastern
    style of coitus (directed with a view to the pleasure of your
    partner) is the right one, it is one of his standing regrets that
    he is unable to practise it. In the place of the twenty minutes
    required by the women of India (according to Burton) he is happy
    if he can give two or three at the most, much as he would wish to
    prolong a pleasure as keen to himself as he could desire it to be
    to his dear and excellent spouse."

    HISTORY XVII.--R.L., American; aged 43; height, 5 ft. 7 in.;
    weight, about 145 lbs.; occupation, teacher; somewhat neurotic; a
    slight myopia associated with acute astigmatism and muscular
    weakness of the eyes, producing a tendency to migraine. Uric acid
    diathesis, producing occasionally severe neuralgia, particularly
    in the intestines. These symptoms have been more or less constant
    since very early childhood. General health very good. Not
    inclined to indulge in athletic sports, but prefers sedentary
    occupations and recreations.

    "My early ideas of sexual things are not very clear in
    recollection. I think that when 7 or 8 years of age I had a
    knowledge of the common or vulgar terms for intercourse and for
    the genital organs. Boys of my own age and slightly older would
    discuss sex relations, and I had a general knowledge that, in
    some way connected with the sexual act, 'babies were made.' We
    would tell, occasionally, lewd stories, and a few times attempted
    sexual practices with one another. Not till after puberty did I
    ever attempt masturbation. I must have been 9 or 10 years old
    before I learned that there was a difference in the sex organs of
    boys and girls. Up to this time I had supposed that intercourse
    was _per anum._ I attended a public school with both sexes. Talk
    among my boy associates was often nasty and concerned the sexual
    act with girls. At about 12 years I began to have erotic day
    dreams. I always had a sentimental attachment for some girl
    acquaintance whom I would idealize and with whom I would imagine
    myself having sex relations. As a matter of fact, there was no
    real sexual feeling about this. As I was very shy and timid
    naturally, I never made any kind of advances toward any of them,
    and they were entirely ignorant of any sentiments of affection in

    "Pubertal changes commenced, I presume, about the age of 13½
    years. I place it at this period from the following
    circumstances, which are fixed very strongly in my memory: I had,
    as a child, a soprano voice that was praised considerably by
    older friends, and about which I was inordinately conceited, I
    enjoyed greatly taking part in operettas, cantatas, etc. The
    dramatic instinct, if so it may be called, has always been marked
    with me, and amateur dramatics are still my chief diversion. When
    I was about the age mentioned above my voice changed quite
    rapidly, greatly to my distress of mind, as I was obliged to give
    up taking a part for which I had been cast in a school
    entertainment. The memory of that disappointment is still
    poignant. Other changes, such as the appearance of the pubertal
    hair, must have made no impression on my mind, as I cannot
    recollect anything in connection therewith. No involuntary
    emissions occurred. Indeed, during periods of continence in later
    life, when the sexual tension has been very strong, I have had
    very few such emissions.

    "As a lad of 11 or 12, I had heard frequent allusions to
    masturbation by other boys who were older, but always in a way
    that indicated contempt. Yet there is no doubt now in my mind
    that the practice was very general. I think that I was probably
    about 15 when I decided to try the act. I think that there was
    little sex impulse in this decision. The animating purpose was
    rather curiosity. I succeeded in producing the complete orgasm
    and found it pleasurable, though there was a considerable shock
    of surprise at the ejaculation of semen. As nearly as I can
    estimate in my memory of an event as far back as this was, this
    was the beginning of definite sexual sensibility in me. I cannot
    but believe, however, that it would have been aroused sooner or
    later in some other way. Thereafter I would imagine myself
    embracing some of the girl friends to whom I have referred above,
    and, when excited, would masturbate. The act was in every
    instance a psychic intercourse. For some time I did not know that
    the practice was considered harmful. I indulged whenever I felt
    the inclination. This at times was rather frequent; again only at
    considerable intervals. I did know that it was looked upon as
    being unmanly, and never admitted, except to perhaps two or three
    boy friends, that I ever indulged. With these boys I practised
    mutual masturbation a few times. There was no homosexual feeling
    connected with these acts in any of us. It was only that the
    normal method of gratifying our desires was not available. I know
    the subsequent history of each of these boys, and there has been
    nothing to indicate any perverted instinct in any of them. About
    the age of 16 I heard a talk on sexual matters by a traveling
    evangelist, who portrayed the effects of masturbation in fearful
    colors. I now realize that he was an ignorant though
    well-intentioned man; but the general effect of his talk upon me
    was a bad one. One of the results of the habit, according to his
    statements, was insanity. Therefore I expected at any moment to
    lose my mind. I felt that I must stop the practice at once, but
    the matter became so great an obsession that again and again I
    broke my resolutions for reform. I undertook exercise, dieting,
    the reading of serious literature: all of which I had seen
    referred to in books as methods of lessening sexual desire. The
    object of these disciplinary practices was always the thing most
    prominently in mind, and so they were of no avail. Fortunately I
    entered college a little later, and the affairs of school life
    gradually took a commanding place in my thoughts, and the
    practice was not so much in mind. I did not, however, completely
    break away from it until almost the time of my marriage. If the
    present attitude of the scientific medical world toward the
    subject had been known to me, I do not believe that any evil
    would have come to me from the practice. At a later period of my
    life, say between 21 and 24, I would not indulge the habit for a
    considerable interval. At times I did not notice the presence or
    lack of desire. But then there would come periods when I would be
    under a severe sexual tension. This would be marked by intense
    nervousness, an inability to fix my attention upon any one thing,
    and a great desire to have intercourse. An act of masturbation at
    such a time would generally give relief. However, when I yielded
    to this form of relief, there would always follow feelings of
    profound self-reproach and of self-repugnance. Had I had
    nocturnal emissions they might have relieved me; but, as I have
    said before, they very rarely occurred. When, rarely, one did
    occur I would be greatly frightened, for I had the old, erroneous
    idea that they meant serious weakness and always ascribed them to
    my bad habit. That my habit of masturbation had any relation to
    the rarity of the involuntary emissions would, of course, be a
    matter of pure conjecture. In passing from the discussion of
    personal masturbation, I wish to say that my associations with
    boys as a pupil and as a teacher lead me to believe that the
    practice is practically universal. When discussing the hygienic
    evils of prostitution with boy pupils I have noted that, whereas
    not infrequently a boy will voluntarily protest that he has never
    had intercourse, there has always been a significant silence when
    masturbation is mentioned. I have never heard a boy make a
    denial, direct or indirect, that he had indulged in the practice.
    But it has seldom been a perversion. It has rather been, as in my
    own case, an available means of relieving a sexual impulse.

    "During my college life I associated with many boys who had more
    or less regular sexual relations with prostitutes or with girls
    who were not virtuous. Their attitude toward the practice was an
    immoral one. The ethical aspect of irregular sexual relations
    never concerned them. It certainly did not concern me. What I
    have learned through my conversations on the subject with my
    pupils makes it evident to me that this is the common feeling of
    most boys of the adolescent period. I think of two things which
    operated strongly to prevent my entering into sexual relations
    with girls during this period of my life. One was an esthetic
    repugnance to the average prostitute. These are the women most
    easily available to the youth whose sexual desires are developed.
    I do not remember ever having seen an avowed prostitute who did
    not seem repulsive to me. I confess to an inclination to
    priggishness. I preferred to associate with people whom I called
    'nice people.' It was fortunate for me that I was thrown into the
    society of a rather rough crowd of youths, who knocked a great
    deal of this snobbishness out of me. But it did act to prevent my
    having recourse to prostitution. A second preventive was my
    natural timidity in making advances to people. This has been a
    trait that I have never completely overcome. In my professional
    life this has been some detriment to my advancement. In the
    matter of sex relationship it tended to prevent my taking
    advantage of association with and even of advances from girls
    who, not prostitutes, were nevertheless not virtuous. There were
    a number of such in the town and neighborhood in which I lived,
    and I undoubtedly could have had sexual relations with them if I
    had only been able to overcome my shyness. The desire was not
    wanting. I really craved intercourse with them. It was simply a
    matter of cowardice. There was one girl whom I knew very well,
    with whom I was on friendly terms, who I knew had had sexual
    relations with other boys. She showed, at times, a marked
    preference for me, and I am sure would have welcomed any advances
    that I should have made. A number of times I sought her company
    with the intention of suggesting intercourse, but my resolution
    always failed.

    "All through my college course I was much in the society of
    girls. We were in class together, associated very freely in
    society, frequently studied together. This is the most usual
    state of things in the western part of our country. But they were
    simply comrades: sex thoughts never arose in connection with such
    association. And I am quite certain that this was the general
    attitude of the other boys. Although the talk among the boy
    students was at times, very frankly and crudely, about sexual
    relations, no breath of scandal ever touched one of the college
    girls. Again my experience as teacher and student brings a
    conclusion that coeducation of the sexes does not affect, in one
    way or the other, the strictly sexual life of the male student. A
    very intimate friend who has had a varied experience in school
    work has told me recently that his conclusions are the same.

    "When I was about 20 years old I became acquainted with a very
    beautiful girl, four years my junior. Our acquaintance very
    rapidly developed into deeper affection, and about five years
    later we were married. During all this time very little of the
    physical aspects of love entered into our attachment. My
    sweetheart had much of the same shyness as was so pronounced in
    my own character. For several years I think that the thought of
    marriage was never distinctly present in our minds. A formal
    betrothal between us did not take place until within a year and a
    half of our marriage. Yet each of us had a very distinct
    understanding of the feelings of the other. But until our
    betrothal there were none of even those very innocent expressions
    of endearment common, I imagine, to all lovers. I am sure that
    during this period of our attachment no thought of any physical
    relations between us was ever in my mind; or, at any rate, was
    promptly banished if it occurred. Yet all this time my sex
    desires were very strong and at times became an obsession. Never,
    though, were they directed toward my sweetheart. The first time
    that we engaged in the endearments and caresses allowed to lovers
    I became conscious, after a time, of a state of sexual
    excitement. I experienced an erection. It was absolutely reflex;
    no thought had entered into it. I was at once overwhelmed with a
    feeling of shame. I felt that I had been guilty of unthinkable
    indecency toward my betrothed. Then there arose a fear that it
    might be noticed. (Men at that time wore abominably tight
    clothing.) As a matter of fact, I now know that there was no real
    danger of this, for she was absolutely ignorant of the nature of
    the male sexual organs. But I made a pretext for withdrawing from
    the room and tried to adjust my clothing so that no exposure
    could occur. I was fearful of coming into close proximity to her
    again, lest there should be a recurrence of the feeling. As a
    matter of fact it did occur a number of times, but my good sense
    finally suggested the explanation and after a time it ceased to
    trouble me. The thought was latent in my mind that sexual
    excitement was necessarily more or less indecent at all times,
    and I could not reconcile its manifestation with a pure love.

    "I have said that my sexual desire was strong. Up to the time of
    marriage it was never gratified in the normal manner. My esthetic
    abhorrence of prostitutes continued to prevent its gratification
    in that manner. No other opportunity offered. I am positive that
    moral considerations did not enter into the matter at all. I
    think now that it was strange that the thought that it would be
    disloyal to my promised wife to have connection with other women
    did not affect me. But I am sure that it did not. I am inclined
    to think that conscientious scruples very rarely enter into the
    average young man's considerations of contemplated sexual

    "As the time of my marriage drew near, thoughts of the physical
    relationship of husband and wife became, of course, more
    insistent. The idea of establishing sexual relations was not at
    all a pleasant one. I dreaded it as an ordeal. I wondered if it
    would be possible for us to retain the same love and affection
    for one another after such intimate relations were established.
    This was a recurrence of the fallacious notion that there was
    something inherently indecent in sexual things. I am in hopes
    that other ideas are replacing this wrong one, in the minds of
    the younger generation, as the result of the saner and franker
    discussion of sex. By a great effort, I had practically stopped
    masturbating. At times I felt almost maddened by desire. But
    never did the prospect of marriage seem desirable from this point
    of view. Up to the very day of our wedding my affection for my
    betrothed seemed free from sexual desire. But my physical being
    was craving sexual companionship.

    "Theoretically I knew a great deal of the nature of intercourse.
    Practically I was absolutely ignorant. In some ways I was better
    informed, on matters that a new husband should know, than the
    average man entering the married life. A physician's library had
    been at my disposal, and I had read somewhat extensively on
    physiology and hygiene. My chosen lines of study had given me a
    theoretical knowledge of the anatomy of the female genital organs
    that was fairly thorough. I knew a little about the physiology of
    reproduction and rather less of intercourse. Fortunately, I
    learned in the course of my reading that the first sexual
    approaches were likely to be quite painful to a woman, and that
    great care should be exercised at this time. I tried to put into
    practice what little I had learned in theory and I imagine that
    we got through the introductory attempts with less than the
    average difficulties. Our first efforts were not satisfactory to
    either of us. My wife was absolutely unprepared so far as any
    definite knowledge of the act was concerned. I sincerely hope
    that the prudish notions of the past generations will give way to
    more sensible views in the future, and that the girl becoming a
    wife will be just as chaste, but wiser in matters of such
    importance to her happiness. I presume that my timidity was a
    valuable asset at this time; for I was afraid to force matters in
    any way, and time and repeated attempts finally overcame our
    difficulties. And when our sexual relations were once
    established, the whole tenor of my life was changed. All the
    former sexual unrest disappeared. My former feeling toward sexual
    relations was altered. They no longer seemed that which, though
    very desirable, was yet necessarily indecent. Fortunately, after
    the first few weeks, they have been quite pleasurable to my wife.
    I am sure that our sexual life since marriage has been a large
    factor in deepening the love that has made our married life an
    ideal one. As I look back at the first year of marriage, I wonder
    that we got through it so well. My knowledge of sexual hygiene
    was a strange mixture of fact and nonsense. If the frequency of
    acts of intercourse advocated by some of the authorities I have
    lately read is correct, then we must have passed the bounds of
    moderation. But it is certain that our general health has been
    very good: better in both cases than before marriage.

    "In reviewing these phases of the development of my sexual life,
    one or two conclusions seem to me to be strongly emphasized. It
    was unfortunate that the real sexual desire was aroused as early
    and in the manner that it was. Whether this would have been
    prevented by more definite education in the hygiene and the
    purpose of the function, I can only conjecture. I believe that
    mine was and is the common experience of boys. I am decidedly of
    the opinion that there should be instruction given of the anatomy
    of the genital organs and of the hygiene of intercourse, and this
    shortly after the youth has reached puberty. How this is to be
    done is a grave question. It will require tact and knowledge not
    possessed by the average teacher and parent. However it is done,
    it should be honest, frank, and free from piosity.

    "I am certain that, in my own case, rather frequent intercourse
    is decidedly beneficial. Any prolonged abstinence always brings
    about the same nervous disturbances that I have referred to
    above. It is fortunate for me that this repetition of the act is
    satisfactory to both concerned."

    HISTORY XVIII.--E.W., dentist, aged 32, of New England Puritan
    stock. Height, 5 ft. 10½ in.; weight, 144 lbs. Spare and active,
    of nervobilious temperament.

    "My earliest recollection is being punished for 'playing with
    myself' when I could not have been more than 3 or 4 years of age.
    I distinctly remember my exultation on discovering that I could
    excite myself (while my hands were tied behind my back for
    punishment) by rubbing my small but erect penis against the
    carpet while lying on my stomach. At this time, of course, I knew
    nothing of sex or of what I was doing. I did what my desires and
    instincts at that time prompted me to do. However, punishments
    and lectures failed utterly to break up this habit, and, though I
    always wished and tried faithfully to obey my parents, I soon
    grew to indulge quietly in bed when I was thought to be asleep.
    The matter apparently passed out of the minds of my parents as
    soon as they ceased to detect me further in the act, and they
    regarded it as abandoned. I now feel reasonably certain that this
    precocity was due to an adherent foreskin which covered the glans
    tightly almost to the meatus, and so kept up a continual

    "I have no recollection that anyone ever taught me the habit, and
    I know beyond a doubt that no one ever learned of the habit or
    even a word as to the possibility of autoexcitement through word
    or deed of mine. My recollection of the sensations is that there
    was a short period of excitation, usually by rubbing, which was
    not particularly, often not at all, pleasurable, and this was
    followed by a single thrill of pleasure that extended all over
    my little body. The curious thing was, however, that there seemed
    to be no limit to the number of times I could consecutively
    produce this sensation. My recollection is perfectly clear of how
    I would lie in bed of a morning and thus excite myself time after
    time. As I grew older this condition, of course, changed.
    Masturbation was not a consuming passion with me at this or any
    other time. I enjoyed it and felt that in it I had a means of
    entertainment when other sources of enjoyment were not at hand.

    "By the time I was 6 or 7 I had figured out the difference in sex
    in animals and suspected that 'all was not as it should be' in
    some portions of a girl's anatomy. This suspicion was suddenly
    confirmed one never-to-be-forgotten morning, when I induced my
    dearest playmate, a little girl, to urinate in my presence. I was
    more thunderstruck than excited over this discovery, and it led
    to no results in any other way, nor did we ever again unveil
    ourselves to each other. At this time I began to learn from the
    older boys the pitiful, childish vulgarities and common terms of
    sex, and to invent and exchange rhymes and stories that were
    pathetic in their attempts at vulgarity.

    "At the age of 11 a buxom servant-girl threw out some vague hints
    to me,--I was very tall for my age,--and tried to induce me to
    take liberties with her, at least to the extent of telling her
    vulgar stories, but I would not rise to the lure. I believe that
    the thing which held me in check was fear of discovery by my
    parents and the consequent humiliation. A short time previous to
    this my father had enlightened me as to the means and manner of
    reproduction and had encouraged me to talk to him and to my
    mother on such subjects rather than with anyone else. I think
    this had a great influence for good, as it made me feel that I
    had some authoritative knowledge and that I was trusted by my
    parents. My determination not to prove entirely unworthy of their
    trust has been the anchor that has held through all the storms
    and temptations of youth and young manhood.

    "About the age of puberty I began to long for more realistic
    experiences and tried through a period of a year or so the
    disgusting experiments of intercourse with animals, using hens
    and a cow for this purpose. Details are of no importance, and I
    spare myself their repetition. My better nature or general mental
    development soon overcame my desires in this direction, and the
    practice was abandoned.

    "With the dawning of the power of emission I noticed that the
    adherent foreskin before alluded to, which had never been
    examined during all these years (as I had discovered that I was
    different from other boys and so was shy about exposing myself),
    began to trouble me by being painful during erections.
    Accordingly I took a buttonhook and tore all the adhesions loose.
    A very painful though ultimately entirely satisfactory

    "(I may mention in this connection that my two sons were
    afflicted with adherent foreskins to such an extent as to render
    circumcision necessary a few days after birth, in order that the
    function of urination might become fully established.)

    "As my powers developed I had my first wet dream at about the age
    of 15, and was much surprised thereat. My father, however, told
    me not to be alarmed and soothed my anxious fears, which were
    easily aroused by my guilty feelings on account of my habit of
    masturbation, in which I still indulged from one to three times a

    "Between the ages of 12 and 17 my father had the good judgment to
    require a large amount of active outdoor labor from me, as well
    as sending me to excellent schools. Certain kinds of study had a
    distinct effect upon the sexual organs, namely, difficult Latin
    and German translations and problems in fractions. I considered
    at the time that it was because my mind wandered from the subject
    I was studying. Now I am perfectly sure it was because my mind
    focused on the subject I was studying. At any rate the fact
    existed, and when alone in my room, wrestling with a knotty
    problem, I used almost as a rule to keep myself in the most
    violent state of erection for long periods--an hour or
    so--sometimes ending with an emission, but more often I forced
    myself to forego this climax through fear of overindulgence.
    During these years my curiosity as to the exact nature of the
    female organs was something terrible, and I wasted many hours and
    much ingenuity in the attempt to surreptitiously gratify it. My
    perseverance in the face of failure along this line was surely
    worthy of a nobler cause.

    "I was much in the society of girls of my own age or older during
    these years and until I was 19. I found with them a keen and
    entirely pure and wholesome enjoyment utterly separate and apart
    from the desires and indulgences which I have been describing. I
    never cared for any girl who was 'forward' or in any way
    unladylike, and the idea of taking any undue liberties with any
    of my youthful sweethearts was as remote from my thoughts as a
    trip to the moon. Perhaps I can say this better and more
    distinctly by stating that I would be perfectly willing to have
    my wife know of, or my boys repeat, any action that I ever took
    with any woman.

    "I spent my spare time in their society and lavished upon my girl
    companions every cent I could spare, but had no thought of
    immediate sex desire or gratification. At the age of 17 I went as
    an apprentice in my present profession of dentistry. Whenever it
    became necessary for me, in assisting at the operating chair, to
    touch a lady's hair or face, I would be seized with the utmost
    confusion and could with difficulty control my hands so that they
    did not tremble. This soon wore off as I came to a realization of
    the true professional spirit and attitude toward all patients,
    and, needless to say, has now become a matter of the utmost
    indifference to me.

    "From 19 to 22 I attended a professional school in a large city,
    remote from my home, where I was an utter stranger. During these
    years I devoted myself to my professional studies and to music
    with much diligence. I took an active part in all student life
    and problems save only that of the 'eternal feminine.'

    "Frequently I have been out with a crowd of 'the boys' when they
    headed for a brothel, and have been the only one to turn back or
    to remain on the sidewalk as the door closed behind my last
    companion. I say this not in self-praise, but in the same spirit
    of accuracy which has prompted me to put down everything
    concerning this greatest mystery of our natures as I have
    experienced it and worked it out.

    "It was during these three years at school that I placed upon
    myself the most stringent and effective curbs to my sex nature. I
    somehow never could 'get my own consent' to go to a brothel or
    stay with a 'soiled dove,' for I had by this time firmly resolved
    that I would bring to my wife, whoever she might turn out to be,
    a clean body at least. I limited myself in my autoexcitement to
    one emission a week and on one or two occasions went two weeks
    without inducing an emission. Spontaneous nocturnal emissions
    were quite common during these years. I cannot state just how
    frequent they were, but perhaps one a week would be a fair

    "Shortly after graduation at the age of 22 I became engaged to
    the woman who is now my wife. (She was 17 at the time of our
    engagement, brunette, well developed, and with a wisdom and charm
    that have held me a willing captive for ten years and no prospect
    of escape!)

    "With our engagement began for each of us that divine and
    mysterious unfolding of the nature of one to the nature of the
    other. Our engagement lasted two years and a half and, ignorant
    as we both were, I am sure that it was none too long. Never shall
    I forget the surprise I felt--to say nothing of the delight--when
    I discovered that my sweetheart was as anxious to find out the
    uttermost facts about me as I was to explore the divine mystery
    of her sweet body.

    "We lived in different towns and I used to spend Sundays at her
    home. I slept in a room adjoining that occupied by my betrothed
    and a friend. There was a transom with clear glass over the door
    which connected these two rooms, and to have stood upon the foot
    of the bed and looked through this transom would have been the
    easiest thing in the world, and was such an opportunity as I
    would have given years of my life to have obtained in my
    adolescence; but now that the chance was afforded me to freely
    spy upon the chamber of my future bride my soul revolted, for the
    feeling was upon me that not until it was revealed to me because
    she could no longer bear to keep it concealed from me would I
    look upon the blessed vision of her maiden loveliness. Nor was I
    disappointed, for gradually we became acquainted with each
    other's bodies, and this gradual unveiling of each to the other
    led, during the last months of our engagement, to mutual manual
    manipulations, excitement and gratification. Intercourse did not
    take place until the second night after our marriage, and our
    first baby was born nine months and three days after our
    marriage, though my wife was ten days past the cessation of her
    period at the time of my first entering.

    "Since marriage I have made it my first duty to study my wife's
    inclinations and desires with regard to our sexual relations, and
    can say that now, after seven years of married life, and after
    she has borne me two sons, we are enjoying a fullness of
    happiness that neither of us would have believed possible during
    the first year of our married life.

    "I have found that the woman must have the entire charge of the
    time and number of approaches in a week or month, and that when
    she is for any reason disinclined to the sexual act the husband
    must keep away, no matter how he feels about the matter. Also the
    man must be sure that his wife reaches the orgasm or is at the
    point of it before he allows himself to 'let go.'

    "Our meetings have averaged eight or nine a month. During the
    latter months of pregnancy they were _nil_, and in the month
    following an enforced separation of several weeks they were
    fourteen. We have never tried nor had the slightest curiosity to
    know how far we could indulge ourselves.

    "For myself I seem to demand a gratification of the sexual desire
    rather oftener than my wife, and when I feel I cannot get a good
    night's rest without first being relieved of my seminal burden,
    while at the same time my wife is disinclined to the sexual act,
    I have her perform manual manipulation until relief is effected.
    Mind, I say _relief_, for the emission gives me very little
    pleasure under these circumstances, but it does give _relief_. In
    my present health I find I cannot sleep well if I go over more
    than two nights without an emission. My wife understands my
    condition, and is entirely willing to assist me in this way when
    she feels she cannot give me the gratification which I crave. We
    have come to see sex matters as they are, and respect and
    reverence have taken the place of ignorance and fear.

    "To sum up, owing to lack of circumcision the sex instinct
    developed too soon and out of all proportion during my early
    youth. I cannot see that masturbation has ever had the slightest
    bad effect upon my health or mental state (except as I was
    constantly loathing myself more or less for being unable to stop

    "The husband must subordinate himself to the wife in order to
    obtain the highest good and pleasure of both.

    "I have always been successful in my undertakings. Stood at the
    head of my class at school, and in my professional work graduated
    with highest honors. I have a memory for prose or verse that is
    the cause of envy to many of my friends. The facts here set down
    are recorded in the interest of advancing study along this most
    important but neglected and ignored line. That they have been
    truthfully recorded without favor to the black or light on the
    white is my sincere belief."

    HISTORY XIX.--E.B. Parents sound; strong constitution in mother,
    moderately so in father; vigorous and healthy, but of refined
    nature. Breast-milk for six months.

    "_Age 4-5_. Took great delight in the little waterworks. Severely
    punished for this. Interest in the parts morbidly increased

    "_Age 5_. Earliest recollection of 'counter-erection'--the penis
    shrinking tensely into itself, producing local and general
    discomfort. This resulted from certain kinds of
    _mauvaise-honte_,--having to kiss aged persons, having officious
    help at micturition, bathing, dressing, etc., which caused a sort
    of physical disgust. Toward puberty the experience grew rare. One
    such occasion was at about eighteen, when solicited on the street
    by a prostitute. The very _idea_ of homosexual relations produces
    it. It would appear to be a powerful safeguard against
    promiscuous sex relations. I have met two men subject to the same
    thing, and have heard of one woman subject to something
    analogous. It might be called a nausea of the 'nether heart' in
    Georg Hirth's phrase.

    "_Age 6-7_. Earliest recollection of erection. Unprovoked at
    first. A disposition to _punish_ the organ and satisfaction in
    doing so. From this time erection took place whenever it was
    thought about.

    "_Age 10_. Present at a discussion in the playground about the
    best way of intercourse, which I heard of for the first time.
    This was followed by enlightenment on the source of children.
    Concluded it must be very painful to both parties. 'Just the
    other way,' I was told. But the idea of pain to the genitals was
    'interesting' to me. Pain felt by the other sex was
    'interesting.' Pained looks captivated me--I liked to imagine
    some mysterious trouble; and, as I learned more, 'female
    complaints' interested me greatly in their subjects. I got a
    'grateful pang' at the pit of the stomach at the thought, but
    neither erection nor the opposite. This hypogastric feeling has
    continued to associate itself with certain sexual impressions.
    The thought of a _woman mortifying herself_ later on excited me
    sexually. Once, pulling a stay-string for fun (my wife never
    laced) gave me a powerful and quite unexpected erection.

    "_Age 12_. A girl visitor of the same age got me talking about
    the genitals, and at bedtime came and proposed coitus. We failed
    to manage it. The vulva stripped back the foreskin, which was a
    voluptuous feeling; then we were alarmed by something and
    separated. I never saw her again. She too liked to 'punish' her
    vulva. She put whole pepper in it, and advised me to use the
    same. I continued greatly excited when she had gone; the hand
    flew to the phallus and worried it, and orgasm came on at
    once--the childish orgasm consisting of well-spaced spasms of the
    ejaculators, without the poignant preliminary nisus of the adult
    orgasm. There was no reaction or depression, except that the
    phallus--which did not subside at once--was painful to touch. A
    week or so later I tried again, but failed. A month later, being
    more excited, I succeeded. I found that I could only compass it
    about once in three weeks. There were no emissions. I used to
    have a spontaneous mental image of a small Grecian temple in a
    sunny park, which charmed me, and I had no scruples.

    "_Age 12-13_. Masturbated once or twice a month.

    "_Age 13-14_. Was sent to a small public school, where it
    happened that a very good tone prevailed. I learned that
    masturbation was bad form and unmanly. The proper thing was to
    save one's self up for women--at about 18. I dropped the practice
    easily, in spite of indulging my imagination about coitus. I
    thought of the initiation with prostitutes at 18, with the mixed
    feelings that even the most combative soldier must regard the
    fray. The hypogastric feeling above referred to would come
    on--which I liked and disliked at the same time. The first
    occasion on which I remember this feeling was when I got my first
    braces. Anything that harped on my sex produced it. Every time I
    received the sacrament, which I was forced to do very young, I
    repented of my intention of whoring at 18--as a man 'must'
    do--and afterward I relapsed to the expectation. Religion was a
    great reality to me, but it did not produce the radical effect
    that the development of the romantic sentiment did later on.
    (Both my wife and I became free-thinkers at about 30.)

    "_Age 15-17_. Read poetry and romance. Conceived a high ideal of
    faithfulness and constancy. What a mockery all this loyalty is, I
    said to myself, if a man has stultified it beforehand. That was
    no mere castle-building. I had not understood what I was about in
    expecting to whore. The critical feelings were now awakening, and
    what they produced was revulsion against the abuse of sex, which
    got stronger every year. It became plain that there would be no
    whoring or the like for me; I was far too proud and fastidious. I
    neglected my tasks, which were uncongenial, and read a great deal
    of anatomy and physiology, which stood me in good stead later. As
    I rose in the school I was surprised to find the tone worse, but
    quite at the top it was better again, and with my latest
    companions sex was never even mentioned. At 14 I had a friend who
    importuned me to come into his bed, but I never would get under
    his bedclothes, for the male sex repels me powerfully in personal
    contact; he began to talk of masturbation, and now I can
    understand what he was aiming at. But my day-dreams of nymphs and
    dryads kept me in a state of perpetual tension, and erection was
    very frequent. The early morbid admiration of delicate women
    became replaced by admiration of health and strength combined
    with grace.

    "_Age 17-18_. I was given a cubicle in which my neighbor on the
    right masturbated noisily two or three times a week, and the one
    on the left every night, using intermittent friction to drag it
    out longer. One night, kneeling at my bedside, saying prayers, my
    attention was divided between these and the occupation of my
    neighbor, when, after not having masturbated for four years,--the
    critical years of development,--the hand flew to the phallus and

        "'pulses pounding through palms and trembling
         encircling fingers'

    "procured, in Walt Whitman's language,

        "'the wholesome relief,--repose, content.'

    "I slept well and had a sense of elation at the proof of manhood,
    for we boys were anxious about whether we secreted semen or not.
    The sexual obsession was tempered, and about three weeks later I
    had my first 'pollution'--the 'angel of the night,' as Mantegazza
    with better sense calls it. From that time on I had pollutions
    every two or three weeks, with dreams sometimes of masturbation
    or of nymphs, or quite irrelevant matters. For a time these gave
    me perfect relief; then my 'dilectatio morosa' began to grow
    again, and the phallus would become so sensitive that working
    about on the belly would liberate the orgasm.

    "_Age 18-19_. I had kept on persuading myself I was not
    masturbating--avoiding the use of the hand--but now I dropped
    this pretense, and frankly conceded the need to myself. I got
    done with it in a peremptory way and thought no more of it. I had
    no evil effects, moral or physical, and my mother would often
    compliment me on my bright appearance the morning after. At that
    time the appetite matured every seven to ten days, and, though I
    dreaded the idea of slavery to it, it would have been very hard
    to forego it. Headaches, which had begun to plague me from
    puberty on, grew rarer. Pollutions occurred in between, but were
    less effectual. I had up to this point accepted the incidental
    pleasure under a sort of protest; but now I got over that too and
    I allowed what I would prefer to call an idio-erotism (rather
    than an auto-erotism) its way, always picturing beautiful nymphs
    to myself. Surroundings of natural beauty moved me to this kind
    of reverie, partly perhaps because I had once secretly observed a
    lad basking naked on the sandy beach and toying with himself.
    The recollection is wholly unsullied to me. Happening on one
    occasion to check the stimulation about two-thirds way to orgasm,
    I experienced a miniature orgasm like the childish one, but with
    no declension of the tumescence, and I was able to repeat this
    maneuver several times before the full orgasm. This I later
    practised in _Coitus prolongatus_--giving the partner time to
    come up. I had already got into the way of poising the feeling on
    its climax. The ejaculator reflex, being habituated to this,
    seems to set in with its throbs when the maneuver is simulated,
    though no semen has yet been poured into the bulbous portion for
    the ejaculators to act upon. If this play be broken off before
    the critical spasm--as in the American 'Karezza,' etc.--there is
    no perceptible reaction, though an unsatisfied feeling remains.
    But when the act proceeds to emission and the poignant
    _undercurrent_ of feeling sets in that ushers the ejaculation and
    may only last two to five seconds, it makes all the difference,
    and constitutional signs appear--perspiration, etc. This leads to
    the question whether the critical sensation specially involves
    the sympathetic nervous system? Up to that point the process is
    under control, but then automatic.

    "An observation of practical importance to me at that time was
    this: I awoke in the morning after a pollution at night, with an
    acute headache of a specific kind, and erection. This had
    happened before, after pollution, and the erection suggested to
    me whether 'a hair of the dog that bit me' might not prove
    beneficial. As the excitation proceeded, the pain in the head was
    directly drained away, as if I were drawing it out. Other pain is
    also relieved for the moment, such as neuralgia, but to return
    soon with interest. This, however, was specific and pure benefit.
    The next time I got a bad headache of this character, without
    preceding pollution, I tried the remedy, at about 10 A.M. The
    semen was copious and watery, and the relief was marked, but in
    an hour's time the headache returned. I had never repeated the
    act at short interval, i.e., while the organs were under the
    influence of a previous act, and now I tried the effect of that.
    The second emission was also profuse, but much thicker, and the
    relief much greater. In about three hours the headache was,
    however, again intolerable, and, the connection being now clear,
    I ventured on a third act, which proved to be the most voluptuous
    I had so far experienced, the nisus being far more intense. The
    semen was copious, but thick and ropy, with lumps as large as
    small peas that could scarcely be crushed with the finger, and
    yellow in color and rank in odor. After that I was perfectly well
    and kept so. (The urethra was blocked so that I could with
    difficulty stroke the masses out.) Later I have examined such
    semen microscopically and found the spermatozoa dead and
    disintegrating. My period in my best years--21 to 48--was twice
    a week, the odd number being an inconvenience, and I have since
    endeavored to avoid accumulations, emptying the receptacles on
    the fourth day, when I remembered the interval, even if the
    organs did not remind me. On the fifth day headache would
    otherwise appear and perhaps two acts be needful, or, if I forgot
    about it for a week, three acts running. That I did not abuse the
    function the fact proves that every year I would forget about it
    two to three times and have to resort to this drastic mode.[230]
    But there is quite a different headache that follows on
    indulgence during convalescence or when the system is otherwise
    much lowered. Railway traveling greatly accentuates the need with
    me; also riding. Girls aroused no physical desire, though I
    chiefly sought their society, and even after the genital tension
    was so pronounced, up to 20, I was troubled by the fact that
    women did not affect me sexually. About this time a buxom girl I
    liked and who liked me vehemently laid her hand on my arm, in
    trying to persuade me to give up shooting. The phallus leaped
    simultaneously. That was my first _sexual_ experience--the proof
    that the _nexus_ was established between the genital mechanism
    and the complex of feeling we call sexual.

    "_Age 24_. At this age I went to stay at a house where there were
    two very pretty girls. I at once lost my heart to the elder,
    L.B., as she did to me (strong constitution, but refined nature;
    parents sound; brought up in the country; eleven months'
    breast-milk). 'What a mother she will make,' I said to myself.
    Now began a time of the spiritual and physical communion that I
    had pictured to myself....

    "I am 60 now; she is 57. We are still like lovers. No; not _like_
    lovers; we _are_ lovers. Of course, I do not mean to imply that
    sexual impressions have preponderated in our life, as they do in
    this account. Quite the contrary. We are both strong and,
    according to all accounts, unusually well preserved. We are very
    temperate. Since 48 I notice a gradual decline of the erotic
    propensity. It is now once in five or seven days. Since the
    menopause her propensity has declined markedly, but it is not
    extinct, and she delights as much as ever in my delight. She
    began to menstruate at 12, was regular till 17; then got
    chlorotic for a few months, soon recovered, though menstruation
    was often irregular, but never painful. Sexual experience began
    at 25. I have often wondered if a moderate self-gymnastic of the
    faculty, in Venturi's sense, would not have educated her genital
    sphere, and made her a still better comrade--excluded the periods
    of irregularity and frigidity. The stage of latency was too
    protracted. We often noticed that, when menstruation was due or
    nearly so, prolonged love-sports at bedtime would be followed by
    menstruation in the morning. We never were separated for longer
    than three months, and on that occasion, menstruation being
    delayed, she tried what masturbation would do to determine it,
    and with a positive result. My need, though less, is as
    imperative as ever. Seminal headaches--as I would call them--have
    ceased since 50; the accumulation only produces muddleheadedness.
    But I have not suffered accumulation over ten to at most twelve
    days. The quantity of semen is also less. The sensibility of the
    corpora has declined much; that of the glans is unimpaired.
    Erection is good. Orgasm takes two to four minutes to provoke,
    against forty to fifty seconds when young; it is in some respects
    even more enjoyable--perhaps less intense, but much more
    prolonged. I have no reaction from indulgence. But I never press
    it; it always presses me. For overaccumulation, with headache or
    muddleheadedness, the wifely hand is more efficacious than the
    vulva. Even the most vivid dream of coitus fails to compass the
    orgasm now. The peripheral stimulus is essential.

    "In our case physical and psychical intensity of emotion have
    gone hand in hand. I have become specialized to one woman,
    despite an erotic endowment certainly not meager. The pervasive
    fragrance makes one adore the whole sex, but my wife does not
    interpret this homage in a sexually promiscuous sense. We both
    agree in the principle that if one cannot hold the affection of
    the other there is no title to it. Tarde says that constancy in
    love is rarely anything but a voyage of discovery round the
    beloved object. I am perpetually making fresh discoveries. But
    her constancy, I mean the high level of her passion, is
    independent of discoveries."


[230] "A practical question arising out of the foregoing is whether such
semen should be committed to the vagina? Its presence is known to me by
constitutional symptoms (toxic). It is the last to be expelled, and its
degenerate germ-cells have no chance against those of the normal fluid
deposited in preceding acts, supposing that to be retained. But it may
well happen that the prior emissions only reach the pouch, whereas the
last is injected into the womb itself. I have frequently had the sense of
the orifices of meatus and cervix matching directly, especially when she
had powerful orgasm (including two conceptions), and of the semen being
sucked from me rather than occluded in its exit, as also happens,
requiring me to relax the urge a little. At 18 to 19 the semen of a
'pollution' has left tender red patches where it dried on the neighboring
skin, and deep straw-colored stains in the linen."


Acton, W.
Adler, O.
Allen, G.W.
Amand, St.
Andrews, W.
Arndt, R.
Avebury, Lord

Bach, G.
Baker, Smith
Bancroft, H.H.
Barrus, Clara
Bartels, Max
Bell, Sanford
Benecke, E.F.M.
Bernard, P.
Blackwell, E.
Bladon, J.
Bloch, Iwan
Bohn, G.
Booth, D.S.
Bos, C.
Bridgman, W.G.
Brierre de Boismont
Browne, W.A.F.
Bryan, D.
Burckhardt, J.L.
Burk, F.L.
Burton, Robert
Burton, Si: R.
Busch, D.W.H.
Butler, A.G.

Campbell, Harry
Cannon, W.
Chapman, G.
Clark, Campbell
Clarke, E.D.
Clement of Alexandria
Coelius Aurelianus
Colman, W.A.
Cook, F.
Cook, J.
Cooke, Kev. L.H.
Cotterill, J.M.
Crawley, E.
Crooke, W.

Daniell, W.F.
Darwin, C.
Darwin, E.
D'Aulnoy, Countess
Davenport, Isabel
Dühren, E. _See_ Bloch, Iwan.
Dumas, G.
Duncan, Matthews
Dunlop, W.

Earle, A.
Ellis, Havelock
Ellis, Sir A.B.
Eyre, E.J.

Fabre, J.H.
Forbes, H.O.
Forman, S.
Franklin, Miles
Frazer, J.G.
French-Sheldon, Mrs.
Fustel de Coulanges

Gardiner, J.S.
Garnier, P.
Gason, S.
Gennep, A. Van
Goncourt, J. de
Gosse, P.H.
Gourmont, Remy de
Gowers, Sir W.
Grisebach, E.
Groos, K.
Grosse, E.

Haddon, A.C.
Hall, G. Stanley
Hartmann, E. von
Hayes, J.J.
Heape, W.
Hicks, Braxton
Holden, W.C.
Holder, A.B.
Holt, R.B.
Howard, H.E.
Howarth, O.H.
Hudson, W.H.
Hutchinson, Sir J.

Jerome, St.
Joest, W.
Johnston, Sir H.
Jones, Brynmor
Jones, Ernest

Key, Ellen
Kiernan, J.G.
Kisch, E.H.

Lacroix, P.
Landor, A.H., Savage
Lipa Bey
Long, S.H.
Low, Brooke
Loti, P.
Lubbock (Lord Avebury)

Macdonald, Rev. J.
Manacéine, Marie de
Marandon de Montyel
Marcuse, Max
Marie, A.
Marie, P.
Marie de France
Marot, Clement
Marsden, W.
Marshall, F.H.A.
Marshall, H.R.
Mayer, A.
McIlroy, A.L.
Melville, Herman
Meung, Jean de
Meyer, A.B.
Middleton, T.
Millais, J.G.
Mirandola, Pico della
Modigliani, E.
Montgomery, T.H.
More, Sir Thomas
Morgan, C. Lloyd
Mortimer, G.
Müller, R.
Mundé, P.

Napier, Leith

Ordericus, Vitalis
Owen, Sir R.

Peckham, G.W.
Pilet, R.
Poore, G.V.
Potter, M.A.
Poulton, E.B.
Power, H.
Purnell, C.W.

Quirós, B. de

Racovitza, E.G.
Restif de la Bretonne
Rousseau, J.J.
Roux, J.
Ryan, M.

Sacher-Masoch, Wanda von
Sade, De
Sand, George
Savage, Sir G.
Schlichtegroll, C.F. von
Schreiner, S.C. Cronwright
Scott, Colin
Selous, Edmund
Shaw, Claye
Smith, Lapthorn
Smith, W. Robertson
Smyth, Brough
Spencer, Baldwin
Spencer, Herbert
Steinach, E.
Stendhal, De
Stevens, H.V.
Sutherland, A.
Swieten, Van

Tait, Lawson
Tate, H.R.
Taylor, Jeremy
Thomas, N.
Thomas, P.
Townsend, J.
Treves, Marco
Turnbull, J.

Vespucci, Amerigo
Vincent, Swale

Wallace, A.R.
Waller, E.
Wesché, W.
Wessmann, Rev. R.
Williams, Montagu
Williams, W. Roger
Wollstonecraft, Mary


Ziegler, H.E.


Abduction of women in Great Britain
Abstinence in women,
  effects of sexual
  criminality and
Adolescent girls,
  sexual manifestations in
Adrenal glands
  marriage by capture in
  sexual instinct in
_Agelena labyrinthica_
  love-bite among
American Indians,
  courtship among
  sexual instinct in
Anæsthesia in women,
  a cause of sterility
  causes of
Anger and sexual emotion
Anxiety as a sexual stimulant
Argus pheasant, courtship of
Aristotle as a masochist
Arrest of movement producing sexual excitement
Ascetic attitude toward women, the
Assaults on children by women,
  courtship among
  sexual instinct in
Auto-intoxication by muscular movement

Bambula dance
Bathory, Countess
  marriage by capture among
Bertrand, Sergeant
  sexual impulse in
  traces of masochism in
Biting in relationship to sexual instinct
Bladder and sexual organs,
  relationship between
  the fascination of
  use of ampallang in
  courtship in

  marriage by
Cerebellum as a sexual center
Cerebral sexual centers,
  the idea of being
Chastity among savages
  marriage ceremony in
Chinese eunuchs
Chinese hedgehog
Christianity and women
Church and flagellation, the
  mechanism of
  compared to epilepsy
  often sacred among savages
Combat and courtship
  courtship of
Crime as a manifestation of adolescence
Criminality in relation to marriage
Cruelty among animals
  in human beings
  marriage customs of

Dancing in relation to sexual impulse
Dancing among Australians
  the most usual method of attaining tumescence
  why it acts so powerfully on the organism
Day-dreams, erotic
Degenerative conditions on sexual desire,
  influence of
_Dendryphantes elegans_
  impulse of
Diffusion of sexual impulse in women
Discipline, the
Disgust as a sexual stimulant
Divorce in relation to sexual difference in the suicide-rate
Dreams of struggling horses
Drunkenness in relation to marriage
  courtship among
Ductless glands

  courtship of
Emotion aroused by pain
Ephesian matron, the
Epilepsy and micturition
  analogy between coitus
Erotic symbolism
  marriage by capture among
  sexual instinct in
Esthetic sense of animals,
  sexual impulse in
Evacuation theory of sexual impulse
Excess in intercourse not injurious to women
Exercise, the intoxication of muscular
Exhibitionism, a cause of

Faroe Islanders,
  courtship among.
Fear as a sexual stimulant
  the fascination of
  in women, sexual
  a cause of sterility
  sexual instinct of
  sexual instinct in
Funerals as a sexual stimulant
  fascination of

  sexual impulse in
Genital sphere larger in women
_Glandulæ vesiculares_
Goethe's masochism
Gonorrhoea in young boys
Greek antiquity, love in
Grief as a sexual stimulant
  courtship among

Hanging and sexual excitement
Head hunting
_Helix aspersa_
_Horror feminæ_ normal in absence of sexual impulse
  sexual perversion in
  sexual excitement produced by spectacle of
  masochism in
  analogy between sexual impulse and
Hypnotic suggestions and frigidity

Impregnation in relation to tumescence
  definition of sexual
  courtship in
  sexual instinct in
  courtship among American
  sexual instinct among American
Indonesian peoples,
  use of ampallang, etc., among
  in relation to marriage
  in relation to sexual instinct
  definition of
Internal secretions
  the fascination of
  of muscular movement
  associated with masochism

Jealousy among savages
  sexual impulse in

  courtship among
  marriage by capture among
  origin of

  no intercourse among some savages during
Laughter and the sexual sphere
_Leistes superciliaris_
Love-bite, the
Love-songs rare among savages

  coitus among
  courtship among
  sexual instinct in
_Mantis religiosa_
  marriage by capture among
  sexual instinct in
  courtship among
  sexual instinct in
Marriage by capture
  in relation to suicide
  in relation to insanity and criminality
  courtship of
Masochism among Slav women
  definition of
  its psychological mechanism
Masturbation in women
Menopause, sexual impulse after
Menstruation and sexual impulse
Micturition and sexual impulse
Modesty among savages
  object of
  obsessions of
_Molothrus bonariensis_
  courtship in
  its advantages for men
Mortality connected with the development of the sexual instinct
  coitus among
  courtship of
  the pleasure of
  arrest of
Muscular movement,
  auto-intoxication by
  sexual influence of

Negresses not jealous
Negro eunuchs
  sexual instinct in
Neurasthenia, sexual
New Caledonia,
  courtship in
New Guinea,
  courtship in
New Hebrides,
  courtship in
New Mexico,
  courtship in
New Zealand,
  marriage by capture in
  eunuchs in

  courtship of
  excitation by
Oneida community
Oöphorectomy and sexual impulse
Orgasm lasts longer in women
  courtship of
Ovariotomy and sexual impulse
  secretions of
  sexual impulse in

Pain the essential element in algolagnia
  courtship among
  sexual instinct in
Parturition sometimes painless
Passivity of women only apparent
Penis in lower animals,
  peculiarities of
Periodicity of sexual impulse among savages
  greater in women
_Pitangus Bolivianus_
  in what sense pain may be felt as
  its manifestations resemble those of pain
  dances of great
Power in sexual sphere,
  love of
Precocity of women,
  savages often avoid intercourse during
Procreation among savages,
  sacredness of
Prostitutes' love of _souteneur_
Prostitution not found under primitive conditions
Puberty in girls,
  sexual manifestations at

Rais, Gilles de
_Rana temporaria_
Rape and sadism
  sexual instinct of white
Reeves and ruffs
Reflex action,
  instinct and
Religious flagellation
Religious storm and stress in women
Reproductive impulse,
Respiration in connection with sexual emotion
Responsibility of Sadists
  eunuchs in ancient
Rosseau's masochism
  masochism in

Sacredness of procreation among savages
Sade, De
  definition of
  its psychological mechanism
  responsibility in
  often combined with masochism
_Saitis pulex_
  sexual erethism in
  dancing among
  sexual impulse weak in
  courtship among
Secondary sexual characters
Seminal receptacles of frogs
Seminal vesicles
  functions of
  courtship in
Sensibility of genital sphere in women
Sensory acuteness in women
Sexual cerebral centers,
Sexual impulse,
  definition of
Sexual incompetence,
  prevalence of
Sexual selection,
  psychological aspects of
Sexual season
Shaftesbury's supposed masochism
Sicily, courtship in
  love-bite in
Slavery, erotic
  courtship customs of
  masochism among
  courtship of
  stimulation of
  sexual process in
Social class and sexual feeling
Song of birds,
  sexual significance of
  flagellation in
  courtship of
Sprit-sail yard
  absence of sexual desire in women as a cause of
  dances of
Storm and stress in women,
  the impulse to
Subjection in women,
  compared to sexual act
  no intercourse among some savages during
  divorce and
  courtship in
Suspension and sexual excitement
Swinging and sexual excitement

  courtship among
_Telum veneris_
  the attraction of
  marriage by capture among
  courtship of

Urination in relation to sexual excitement

Variation in sexual impulse greater in women
Venereal disease in the young
  function of seminal

  origin of the
Warens, Mme. de
Whipping in relation to the sexual emotions
Wrestling combats

  courtship among

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