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Title: Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 - Erotic Symbolism; The Mechanism of Detumescence; The Psychic State in Pregnancy
Author: Ellis, Havelock, 1859-1939
Language: English
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VOLUME 5 (OF 6)***


   Erotic Symbolism
   The Mechanism of Detumescence
   The Psychic State in Pregnancy





In this volume the terminal phenomena of the sexual process are discussed,
before an attempt is finally made, in the concluding volume, to consider
the bearings of the psychology of sex on that part of morals which may be
called "social hygiene."

Under "Erotic Symbolism" I include practically all the aberrations of the
sexual instinct, although some of these have seemed of sufficient
importance for separate discussion in previous volumes. It is highly
probable that many readers will consider that the name scarcely suffices
to cover manifestations so numerous and so varied. The term "sexual
equivalents" will seem preferable to some. While, however, it may be fully
admitted that these perversions are "sexual equivalents"--or at all events
equivalents of the normal sexual impulse--that term is merely a
descriptive label which tells us nothing of the phenomena. "Sexual
Symbolism" gives us the key to the process, the key that makes all these
perversions intelligible. In all of them--very clearly in some, as in
shoe-fetichism; more obscurely in others, as in exhibitionism--it has come
about by causes congenital, acquired, or both, that some object or class
of objects, some act or group of acts, has acquired a dynamic power over
the psycho-physical mechanism of the sexual process, deflecting it from
its normal adjustment to the whole of a beloved person of the opposite
sex. There has been a transmutation of values, and certain objects,
certain acts, have acquired an emotional value which for the normal person
they do not possess. Such objects and acts are properly, it seems to me,
termed symbols, and that term embodies the only justification that in most
cases these manifestations can legitimately claim.

"The Mechanism of Detumescence" brings us at last to the final climax for
which the earlier and more prolonged stage of tumescence, which has
occupied us so often in these _Studies_, is the elaborate preliminary.
"The art of love," a clever woman novelist has written, "is the art of
preparation." That "preparation" is, on the physiological side, the
production of tumescence, and all courtship is concerned in building up
tumescence. But the final conjugation of two individuals in an explosion
of detumescence, thus slowly brought about, though it is largely an
involuntary act, is still not without its psychological implications and
consequences; and it is therefore a matter for regret that so little is
yet known about it. The one physiological act in which two individuals are
lifted out of all ends that center in self and become the instrument of
those higher forces which fashion the species, can never be an act to be
slurred over as trivial or unworthy of study.

In the brief study of "The Psychic State in Pregnancy" we at last touch
the point at which the whole complex process of sex reaches its goal. A
woman with a child in her womb is the everlasting miracle which all the
romance of love, all the cunning devices of tumescence and detumescence,
have been invented to make manifest. The psychic state of the woman who
thus occupies the supreme position which life has to offer cannot fail to
be of exceeding interest from many points of view, and not least because
the maternal instinct is one of the elements even of love between the
sexes. But the psychology of pregnancy is full of involved problems, and
here again, as so often in the wide field we have traversed, we stand at
the threshold of a door it is not yet given us to pass.


Carbis Water, Lelant, Cornwall.




The Definition of Erotic Symbolism. Symbolism of Act and Symbolism of
Object. Erotic Fetichism. Wide Extension of the Symbols of Sex. The
Immense Variety of Possible Erotic Fetiches. The Normal Foundations of
Erotic Symbolism. Classification of the Phenomena. The Tendency to
Idealize the Defects of a Beloved Person. Stendhal's "Crystallization".


Foot-fetichism and Shoe-fetichism. Wide Prevalence and Normal Basis.
Restif de la Bretonne. The Foot a Normal Focus of Sexual Attraction Among
Some Peoples. The Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Spaniards, etc. The Congenital
Predisposition in Erotic Symbolism. The Influence of Early Association and
Emotional Shock. Shoe-fetichism in Relation to Masochism. The Two
Phenomena Independent Though Allied. The Desire to be Trodden On. The
Fascination of Physical Constraint. The Symbolism of Self-inflicted Pain.
The Dynamic Element in Erotic Symbolism. The Symbolism of Garments.


Scatalogic Symbolism. Urolagnia. Coprolagnia. The Ascetic Attitude Towards
the Flesh. Normal Basis of Scatalogic Symbolism. Scatalogic Conceptions
Among Primitive Peoples. Urine as a Primitive Holy Water. Sacredness of
Animal Excreta. Scatalogy in Folk-lore. The Obscene as Derived from the
Mythological. The Immature Sexual Impulse Tends to Manifest Itself in
Scatalogic Forms. The Basis of Physiological Connection Between the
Urinary and Genital Spheres. Urinary Fetichism Sometimes Normal in
Animals. The Urolagnia of Masochists. The Scatalogy of Saints. Urolagnia
More Often a Symbolism of Act Than a Symbolism of Object. Only
Occasionally an Olfactory Fetichism. Comparative Rarity of Coprolagnia.
Influence of Nates Fetichism as a Transition to Coprolagnia, Ideal
Coprolagnia. Olfactory Coprolagnia. Urolagnia and Coprolagnia as Symbols
of Coitus.


Animals as Sources of Erotic Symbolism. Mixoscopic Zoophilia. The
Stuff-fetichisms. Hair-fetichism. The Stuff-fetichisms Mainly on a Tactile
Base. Erotic Zoophilia. Zooerastia. Bestiality. The Conditions that Favor
Bestiality. Its Wide Prevalence Among Primitive Peoples and Among
Peasants. The Primitive Conception of Animals. The Goat. The Influence of
Familiarity With Animals. Congress Between Women and Animals. The Social
Reaction Against Bestiality.


Exhibitionism. Illustrative Cases. A Symbolic Perversion of Courtship. The
Impulse to Defile. The Exhibitionist's Psychic Attitude. The Sexual Organs
as Fetiches. Phallus Worship. Adolescent Pride in Sexual Development.
Exhibitionism of the Nates. The Classification of the Forms of
Exhibitionism. Nature of the Relationship of Exhibitionism to Epilepsy.


The Forms of Erotic Symbolism are Simulacra of Coitus. Wide Extension of
Erotic Symbolism. Fetichism Not Covering the Whole Ground of Sexual
Selection. It is Based on the Individual Factor in Selection.
Crystallization. The Lover and the Artist. The Key to Erotic Symbolism is
to be Found in the Emotional Sphere. The Passage to Pathological Extremes.



The Psychological Significance of Detumescence. The Testis and the Ovary.
Sperm Cell and Germ Cell. Development of the Embryo. The External Sexual
Organs. Their Wide Range of Variation. Their Nervous Supply. The Penis.
Its Racial Variations. The Influence of Exercise. The Scrotum and
Testicles. The Mons Veneris. The Vulva. The Labia Majora and their
Varieties. The Public Hair and Its Characters. The Clitoris and Its
Functions. The Anus as an Erogenous Zone. The Nymphæ and their Function.
The Vagina. The Hymen. Virginity. The Biological Significance of the


The Object of Detumescence. Erogenous Zones. The Lips. The Vascular
Characters of Detumescence. Erectile Tissue. Erection in Woman. Mucous
Emission in Women. Sexual Connection. The Human Mode of Intercourse.
Normal Variations. The Motor Characters of Detumescence. Ejaculation. The
Virile Reflex. The General Phenomena of Detumescence. The Circulatory and
Respiratory Phenomena. Blood Pressure. Cardiac Disturbance. Glandular
Activity. Distillatio. The Essentially Motor Character of Detumescence.
Involuntary Muscular Irradiation to Bladder, etc. Erotic Intoxication.
Analogy of Sexual Detumescence and Vesical Tension. The Specifically
Sexual Movements of Detumescence in Man. In Woman. The Spontaneous
Movements of the Genital Canal in Woman. Their Function in Conception.
Part Played by Active Movement of the Spermatozoa. The Artificial
Injection of Semen. The Facial Expression During Detumescence. The
Expression of Joy. The Occasional Serious Effects of Coitus.


The Constituents of Semen. Function of the Prostate. The Properties of
Semen. Aphrodisiacs. Alcohol, Opium, etc. Anaphrodisiacs. The Stimulant
Influence of Semen in Coitus. The Internal Effects of Testicular
Secretions. The Influence of Ovarian Secretion.


The Aptitude for Detumescence. Is There an Erotic Temperament? The
Available Standards of Comparison. Characteristics of the Castrated.
Characteristics of Puberty. Characteristics of the State of Detumescence.
Shortness of Stature. Development of the Secondary Sexual Characters. Deep
Voice. Bright Eyes. Glandular Activity. Everted Lips. Pigmentation.
Profuse Hair. Dubious Significance of Many of These Characters.


The Relationship of Maternal and Sexual Emotion. Conception and Loss of
Virginity. The Anciently Accepted Signs of This Condition. The Pervading
Effects of Pregnancy on the Organism. Pigmentation. The Blood and
Circulation. The Thyroid. Changes in the Nervous System. The Vomiting of
Pregnancy. The Longings of Pregnant Women. Mental Impressions. Evidence
for and Against Their Validity. The Question Still Open. Imperfection of
Our Knowledge. The Significance of Pregnancy.


Histories of Sexual Development.





The Definition of Erotic Symbolism--Symbolism of Act and Symbolism of
Object--Erotic Fetichism--Wide extension of the symbols of Sex--The
Immense Variety of Possible Erotic Fetiches--The Normal Foundations of
Erotic Symbolism--Classification of the Phenomena--The Tendency to
Idealize the Defects of a Beloved Person--Stendhal's "Crystallization."

By "erotic symbolism" I mean that tendency whereby the lover's attention
is diverted from the central focus of sexual attraction to some object or
process which is on the periphery of that focus, or is even outside of it
altogether, though recalling it by association of contiguity or of
similarity. It thus happens that tumescence, or even in extreme cases
detumescence, may be provoked by the contemplation of acts or objects
which are away from the end of sexual conjugation.[1]

In considering the phenomena of sexual selection in a previous volume,[2]
it was found that there are four or five main factors in the constitution
of beauty in so far as beauty determines sexual selection. Erotic
symbolism is founded on the factor of individual taste in beauty; it
arises as a specialized development of that factor, but it is,
nevertheless, incorrect to merge it in sexual selection. The attractive
characteristics of a beloved woman or man, from the point of view of
sexual selection, are a complex but harmonious whole leading up to a
desire for the complete possession of the person who displays them. There
is no tendency to isolate and dissociate any single character from the
individual and to concentrate attention upon that character at the expense
of the attention bestowed upon the individual generally. As soon as such a
tendency begins to show itself, even though only in a slight or temporary
form, we may say that there is erotic symbolism.

Erotic symbolism is, however, by no means confined to the individualizing
tendency to concentrate amorous attention upon some single characteristic
of the adult woman or man who is normally the object of sexual love. The
adult human being may not be concerned at all, the attractive object or
act may not even be human, not even animal, and we may still be concerned
with a symbol which has parasitically rooted itself on the fruitful site
of sexual emotion and absorbed to itself the energy which normally goes
into the channels of healthy human love having for its final end the
procreation of the species. Thus understood in its widest sense, it may be
said that every sexual perversion, even homosexuality, is a form of erotic
symbolism, for we shall find that in every case some object or act that
for the normal human being has little or no erotic value, has assumed such
value in a supreme degree; that is to say, it has become a symbol of the
normal object of love. Certain perversions are, however, of such great
importance on account of their wide relationships, that they cannot be
adequately discussed merely as forms of erotic symbolism. This is notably
the case as regards homosexuality, auto-erotism, and algolagnia, all of
which phenomena have therefore been separately discussed in previous
studies. We are now mainly concerned with manifestations which are more
narrowly and exclusively symbolical.

A portion of the field of erotic symbolism is covered by what Binet
(followed by Lombroso, Krafft-Ebing, and others) has termed "erotic
fetichism," or the tendency whereby sexual attraction is unduly exerted by
some special part or peculiarity of the body, or by some inanimate object
which has become associated with it. Such erotic symbolism of object
cannot, however, be dissociated from the even more important erotic
symbolism of process, and the two are so closely bound together that we
cannot attain a truly scientific view of them until we regard them broadly
as related parts of a common psychic tendency. If, as Groos asserts,[3] a
symbol has two chief meanings, one in which it indicates a physical
process which stands for a psychic process, and another in which it
indicates a part which represents the whole, erotic symbolism of act
corresponds to the first of these chief meanings, and erotic symbolism of
object to the other.

Although it is not impossible to find some germs of erotic symbolism in
animals, in its more pronounced manifestations it is only found in the
human species. It could not be otherwise, for such symbolism involves not
only the play of fancy and imagination, the idealizing aptitude, but also
a certain amount of power of concentrating the attention on a point
outside the natural path of instinct and the ability to form new mental
constructions around that point. There are, indeed, as we shall see,
elementary forms of erotic symbolism which are not uncommonly associated
with feeble-mindedness, but even these are still peculiarly human, and in
its less crude manifestations erotic symbolism easily lends itself to
every degree of human refinement and intelligence.

    "It depends primarily upon an increase of the psychological
    process of representation," Colin Scott remarks of sexual
    symbolism generally, "involving greater powers of comparison and
    analysis as compared with the lower animals. The outer
    impressions come to be clearly distinguished as such, but at the
    same time are often treated as symbols of inner experiences, and
    a meaning read into them which they would not otherwise possess.
    Symbolism or fetichism is, indeed, just the capacity to see
    meaning, to emphasize something for the sake of other things
    which do not appear. In brain terms it indicates an activity of
    the higher centers, a sort of side-tracking or long-circuiting of
    the primitive energy; ... Rosetti's poem, 'The Woodspurge,'
    gives a concrete example of the formation of such a symbol. Here
    the otherwise insignificant presentation of the three-cupped
    woodspurge, representing originally a mere side-current of the
    stream of consciousness, becomes the intellectual symbol or
    fetich of the whole psychosis forever after. It seems, indeed, as
    if the stronger the emotion the more likely will become the
    formation of an overlying symbolism, which serves to focus and
    stand in the place of something greater than itself; nowhere at
    least is symbolism a more characteristic feature than as an
    expression of the sexual instinct. The passion of sex, with its
    immense hereditary background, in early man became centered often
    upon the most trivial and unimportant features.... This
    symbolism, now become fetichistic, or symbolic in a bad sense, is
    at least an exercise of the increasing representative power of
    man, upon which so much of his advancement has depended, while it
    also served to express and help to purify his most perennial
    emotion." (Colin Scott, "Sex and Art," _American Journal of
    Psychology_, vol. vii, No. 2, p. 189.)

In the study of "Love and Pain" in a previous volume, the analysis of the
large and complex mass of sexual phenomena which are associated with pain,
gradually resolved them to a considerable extent into a special case of
erotic symbolism; pain or restraint, whether inflicted on or by the loved
person, becomes, by a psychic process that is usually unconscious, the
symbol of the sexual mechanism, and hence arouses the same emotions as
that mechanism normally arouses. We may now attempt to deal more broadly
and comprehensively with the normal and abnormal aspects of erotic
symbolism in some of their most typical and least mixed forms.

"When our human imagination seeks to animate artificial things," Huysmans
writes in _Là-bas_, "it is compelled to reproduce the movements of animals
in the act of propagation. Look at machines, at the play of pistons in the
cylinders; they are Romeos of steel in Juliets of cast-iron." And not only
in the work of man's hands but throughout Nature we find sexual symbols
which are the less deniable since, for the most part, they make not the
slightest appeal to even the most morbid human imagination. Language is
full of metaphorical symbols of sex which constantly tend to lose their
poetic symbolism and to become commonplace. Semen is but seed, and for the
Latins especially the whole process of human sex, as well as the male and
female organs, constantly presented itself in symbols derived from
agricultural and horticultural life. The testicles were beans (_fabæ_) and
fruit or apples (_poma_ and _mala_); the penis was a tree (_arbor_), or a
stalk (_thyrsus_), or a root (_radix_), or a sickle (_falx_), or a
ploughshare (_vomer_). The semen, again, was dew (_ros_). The labia majora
or minora were wings (_alæ_); the vulva and vagina were a field (_ager_
and _campus_), or a ploughed furrow (_sulcus_), or a vineyard (_vinea_),
or a fountain (_fons_), while the pudendal hair was herbage
(_plantaria_).[4] In other languages it is not difficult to trace similar
and even identical imagery applied to sexual organs and sexual acts. Thus
it is noteworthy that Shakespeare more than once applies the term
"ploughed" to a woman who has had sexual intercourse. The Talmud calls the
labia minora the doors, the labia majora hinges, and the clitoris the key.
The Greeks appear not only to have found in the myrtle-berry, the fruit of
a plant sacred to Venus, the image of the clitoris, but also in the rose
an image of the feminine labia; in the poetic literature of many
countries, indeed, this imagery of the rose may be traced in a more or
less veiled manner.[5]

The widespread symbolism of sex arose in the theories and conceptions of
primitive peoples concerning the function of generation and its nearest
analogies in Nature; it was continued for the sake of the vigorous and
expressive terminology which it furnished both for daily life and for
literature; its final survivals were cultivated because they furnished a
delicately æsthetic method of approaching matters which a growing
refinement of sentiment made it difficult for lovers and poets to approach
in a more crude and direct manner. Its existence is of interest to us now
because it shows the objective validity of the basis on which erotic
symbolism, as we have here to understand it, develops. But from first to
last it is a distinct phenomenon, having a more or less reasoned and
intellectual basis, and it scarcely serves in any degree to feed the
sexual impulse. Erotic symbolism is not intellectual but emotional in its
origin; it starts into being, obscurely, with but a dim consciousness or
for the most part none at all, either suddenly from the shock of some
usually youthful experience, or more gradually through an instinctive
brooding on those things which are most intimately associated with a
sexually desirable person.

    The kind of soil on which the germs of erotic symbolism may
    develop is well seen in cases of sexual hyperæsthesia. In such
    cases all the emotionally sexual analogies and resemblances,
    which in erotic symbolism are fixed and organized, may be traced
    in vague and passing forms, a single hyperæsthetic individual
    perhaps presenting a great variety of germinal symbolisms.

    Thus it has been recorded of an Italian nun (whose sister became
    a prostitute) that from the age of 8 she had desire for coitus,
    from the age of 10 masturbated, and later had homosexual
    feelings, that the same feelings and practices continued after
    she had taken the veil, though from time to time they assumed
    religious equivalents. The mere contact, indeed, of a priest's
    hand, the news of the presentation of an ecclesiastic she had
    known to a bishopric, the sight of an ape, the contemplation of
    the crucified Christ, the figure of a toy, the picture of a
    demon, the act of defecation in the children entrusted to her
    care (whom, on this account, and against the regulations, she
    would accompany to the closets), especially the sight and the
    mere recollection of flies in sexual connection--all these things
    sufficed to produce in her a powerful orgasm. (_Archivio di
    Psichiatria_, 1902, fasc. II-III, p. 338.)

    A boy of 15 (given to masturbation), studied by Macdonald in
    America, was similarly hyperæsthetic to the symbols of sexual
    emotion. "I like amusing myself with my comrades," he told
    Macdonald, "rolling ourselves into a ball, which gives one a
    funny kind of warmth. I have a special pleasure in talking about
    some things. It is the same when the governess kisses me on
    saying good night or when I lean against her breast. I have that
    sensation, too, when I see some of the pictures in the comic
    papers, but only in those representing a woman, as when a young
    man skating trips up a girl so that her clothes are raised a
    little. When I read how a man saved a young girl from drowning,
    so that they swam together, I had the same sensation. Looking at
    the statues of women in the museum produces the same effect, or
    when I see naked babies, or when a mother suckles a child. I
    have often had that sensation when reading novels I ought not to
    read, or when looking at a new-born calf, or seeing dogs and cows
    and horses mounting on each other. When I see a girl flirting
    with a boy, or leaning on his shoulder or with his arm round her
    waist, I have an erection. It is the same when I see women and
    little girls in bathing costume, or when boys talk of what their
    fathers and mothers do together. In the Natural History Museum I
    often see things which give me that sensation. One day when I
    read how a man killed a young girl and carried her into a wood
    and undressed her I had a feeling of enjoyment. When I read of
    men who were bastards the idea of a woman having a child in that
    way gives me this sensation. Some dances, and seeing young girls
    astride a horse, excited me, too, and so in a circus when a woman
    was shot out of a cannon and her skirts flew in the air. It has
    no effect on me when I see men naked. Sometimes I enjoy seeing
    women's underclothes in a shop, or when I see a lady or a girl
    buying them, especially if they are drawers. When I saw a lady in
    a dress which buttoned from top to bottom it had more effect on
    me than seeing underclothes. Seeing dogs coupling gives me more
    pleasure than looking at pretty women, but less than looking at
    pretty little girls." In order of increasing intensity he placed
    the phenomena that affected him thus: The coupling of flies, then
    of horses, then the sight of women's undergarments, then a boy
    and a girl flirting, then cows mounting on each other, the
    statues of women with naked breasts, then contact with the
    governess's body and breasts, finally coitus. (Arthur Macdonald,
    _Le Criminel-Type_, pp. 126 et seq.)

    It is worthy of remark that the instinct of nutrition, when
    restrained, may exhibit something of an analogous symbolism,
    though in a minor degree, to that of sex. The ways in which a
    hyperæsthetic hunger may seek its symbols are illustrated in the
    case of a young woman called Nadia, who during several years was
    carefully studied by Janet. It is a case of obsession ("maladie
    du scrupule"), simulating hysterical anorexia, in which the
    patient, for fear of getting fat, reduced her nourishment to the
    smallest possible amount. "Nadia is generally hungry, even very
    hungry. One can tell this by her actions; from time to time she
    forgets herself to such an extent as to devour greedily anything
    she can put her hands on. At other times, when she cannot resist
    the desire to eat, she secretly takes a biscuit. She feels
    horrible remorse for the action, but, all the same, she does it
    again. Her confidences are very curious. She recognizes that a
    great effort is needed to avoid eating, and considers she is a
    heroine to resist so long. 'Sometimes I spent whole hours in
    thinking about food, I was so hungry; I swallowed my saliva, I
    bit my handkerchief, I rolled on the floor, I wanted to eat so
    badly. I would look in books for descriptions of meals and
    feasts, and tried to deceive my hunger by imagining that I was
    sharing all these good things,'" (P. Janet, "La Maladie du
    Scrupule," _Revue Philosophique_, May, 1901, p. 502.) The
    deviations of the instinct of nutrition are, however, confined
    within narrow limits, and, in the nature of things, hunger,
    unlike sexual desire, cannot easily accept a fetich.

"There is almost no feature, article of dress, attitude, act," Stanley
Hall declares, "or even animal or perhaps object in nature, that may not
have to some morbid soul specialized erogenic and erethic power."[6] Even
a mere shadow may become a fetich. Goron tells of a merchant in Paris--a
man with a reputation for ability, happily married and the father of a
family, altogether irreproachable in his private life--who was returning
home one evening after a game of billiards with a friend, when, on
chancing to raise his eyes, he saw against a lighted window the shadow of
a woman changing her chemise. He fell in love with that shadow and
returned to the spot every evening for many months to gaze at the window.
Yet--and herein lies the fetichism--he made no attempt to see the woman or
to find out who she was; the shadow sufficed; he had no need of the
realty.[7] It is even possible to have a negative fetich, the absence of
some character being alone demanded, and the case has been recorded in
Chicago of an American gentleman of average intelligence, education, and
good habits who, having as a boy cherished a pure affection for a girl
whose leg had been amputated, throughout life was relatively impotent with
normal women, but experienced passion and affection for women who had lost
a leg; he was found by his wife to be in extensive correspondence with
one-legged women all over the country, expending no little money on the
purchase of artificial legs for his various protegées.[8]

It is important to remember, however, that while erotic symbolism becomes
fantastic and abnormal in its extreme manifestations, it is in its
essence absolutely normal. It is only in the very grossest forms of sexual
desire that it is altogether absent. Stendhal described the mental side of
the process of tumescence as a crystallization, a process whereby certain
features of the beloved person present points around which the emotions
held in solution in the lover's mind may concentrate and deposit
themselves in dazzling brilliance. This process inevitably tends to take
place around all those features and objects associated with the beloved
person which have most deeply impressed the lover's mind, and the more
sensitive and imaginative and emotional he is the more certainly will such
features and objects crystallize into erotic symbols. "Devotion and love,"
wrote Mary Wollstonecraft, "may be allowed to hallow the garments as well
as the person, for the lover must want fancy who has not a sort of sacred
respect for the glove or slipper of his mistress. He would not confound
them with vulgar things of the same kind." And nearly two centuries
earlier Burton, who had gathered together so much of the ancient lore of
love, clearly asserted the entirely normal character of erotic symbolism.
"Not one of a thousand falls in love," he declares, "but there is some
peculiar part or other which pleaseth most, and inflames him above the
rest.... If he gets any remnant of hers, a busk-point, a feather of her
fan, a shoe-tie, a lace, a ring, a bracelet of hair, he wears it for a
favor on his arm, in his hat, finger, or next his heart; as Laodamia did
by Protesilaus, when he went to war, sit at home with his picture before
her: a garter or a bracelet of hers is more precious than any Saint's
Relique, he lays it up in his casket (O blessed Relique) and every day
will kiss it: if in her presence his eye is never off her, and drink he
will where she drank, if it be possible, in that very place," etc.[9]

    Burton's accuracy in describing the ways of lovers in his century
    is shown by a passage in Hamilton's _Mémoires de Gramont_. Miss
    Price, one of the beauties of Charles II's court, and Dongan were
    tenderly attached to each other; when the latter died he left
    behind a casket full of all possible sorts of love-tokens
    pertaining to his mistress, including, among other things, "all
    kinds of hair." And as regards France, Burton's contemporary,
    Howell, wrote in 1627 in his _Familiar Letters_ concerning the
    repulse of the English at Rhé: "A captain told me that when they
    were rifling the dead bodies of the French gentlemen after the
    first invasion they found that many of them had their mistresses'
    favors tied about their genitories."

    Schurig (_Spermatologia_, p. 357) at the beginning of the
    eighteenth century knew a Belgian lady who, when her dearly loved
    husband died, secretly cut off his penis and treasured it as a
    sacred relic in a silver casket. She eventually powdered it, he
    adds, and found it an efficacious medicine for herself and
    others. An earlier example, of a lady at the French court who
    embalmed and perfumed the genital organs of her dead husband,
    always preserving them in a gold casket, is mentioned by
    Brantôme. Mantegazza knew a man who kept for many years on his
    desk the skull of his dead mistress, making it his dearest
    companion. "Some," he remarks, "have slept for months and years
    with a book, a garment, a trifle. I once had a friend who would
    spend long hours of joy and emotion kissing a thread of silk
    which _she_ had held between her fingers, now the only relic of
    love." (Mantegazza, _Fisiologia dell' Amore_, cap. X.) In the
    same way I knew a lady who in old age still treasured in her
    desk, as the one relic of the only man she had ever been
    attracted to, a fragment of paper he had casually twisted up in a
    conversation with her half a century before.

The tendency to treasure the relics of a beloved person, more especially
the garments, is the simplest and commonest foundation of erotic
symbolism. It is without doubt absolutely normal. It is inevitable that
those objects which have been in close contact with the beloved person's
body, and are intimately associated with that person in the lover's mind,
should possess a little of the same virtue, the same emotional potency. It
is a phenomenon closely analogous to that by which the relics of saints
are held to possess a singular virtue. But it becomes somewhat less normal
when the garment is regarded as essential even in the presence of the
beloved person.[10]

While an extremely large number of objects and acts may be found to
possess occasionally the value of erotic symbols, such symbols most
frequently fall into certain well-defined groups. A vast number of
isolated objects or acts may be exceptionally the focus of erotic
contemplation, but the objects and acts which frequently become thus
symbolic are comparatively few.

It seems to me that the phenomena of erotic symbolism may be most
conveniently grouped in three great classes, on the basis of the objects
or acts which arouse them.

I. PARTS OF THE BODY.--_A. Normal:_ Hand, foot, breasts, nates, hair,
secretions and excretions, etc.

_B. Abnormal:_ Lameness, squinting, pitting of smallpox, etc. Paidophilia
or the love of children, presbyophilia or the love of the aged, and
necrophilia or the attraction for corpses, may be included under this
head, as well as the excitement caused by various animals.

II. INANIMATE OBJECTS.[11]--_A. Garments:_ Gloves, shoes and stockings and
garters, caps, aprons, handkerchiefs, underlinen.

_B. Impersonal Objects:_ Here may be included all the various objects that
may accidentally acquire the power of exciting sexual feeling in
auto-erotism. Pygmalionism may also be included.

III. ACTS AND ATTITUDES.--_A. Active:_ Whipping, cruelty, exhibitionism.
_B. Passive:_ Being whipped, experiencing cruelty. Personal odors and the
sound of the voice may be included under this head. _C. Mixoscopic:_ The
vision of climbing, swinging, etc. The acts of urination and defecation.
The coitus of animals.

Although the three main groups into which the phenomena of erotic
symbolism are here divided may seem fairly distinct, they are yet very
closely allied, and indeed overlap, so that it is possible, as we shall
see, for a single complex symbol to fall into all three groups.

A very complete kind of erotic symbolism is furnished by Pygmalionism or
the love of statues.[12] It is exactly analogous to the child's love of a
doll, which is also a form of sexual (though not erotic) symbolism. In a
somewhat less abnormal form, erotic symbolism probably shows itself in its
simplest shape in the tendency to idealize unbeautiful peculiarities in a
beloved person, so that such peculiarities are ever afterward almost or
quite essential in order to arouse sexual attraction. In this way men have
become attracted to limping women. Even the most normal man may idealize a
trifling defect in a beloved woman. The attention is inevitably
concentrated on any such slight deviation from regular beauty, and the
natural result of such concentration is that a complexus of associated
thoughts and emotions becomes attached to something that in itself is
unbeautiful. A defect becomes an admired focus of attention, the embodied
symbol of the lover's emotion.

    Thus a mole is not in itself beautiful, but by the tendency to
    erotic symbolism it becomes so. Persian poets especially have
    lavished the richest imagery on moles (_Anis El-Ochchâq_ in
    _Bibliothèque des Hautes Etudes_, fasc, 25, 1875); the Arabs, as
    Lane remarks (_Arabian Society in the Middle Ages_, p. 214), are
    equally extravagant in their admiration of a mole.

    Stendhal long since well described the process by which a defect
    becomes a sexual symbol. "Even little defects in a woman's face,"
    he remarked, "such as a smallpox pit, may arouse the tenderness
    of a man who loves her, and throw him into deep reverie when he
    sees them in another woman. It is because he has experienced a
    thousand feelings in the presence of that smallpox mark, that
    these feelings have been for the most part delicious, all of the
    highest interest, and that, whatever they may have been, they are
    renewed with incredible vivacity on the sight of this sign, even
    when perceived on the face of another woman. If in such a case we
    come to prefer and love _ugliness_, it is only because in such a
    case ugliness is beauty. A man loved a woman who was very thin
    and marked by smallpox; he lost her by death. Three years later,
    in Rome, he became acquainted with two women, one very beautiful,
    the other thin and marked by smallpox, on that account, if you
    will, rather ugly. I saw him in love with this plain one at the
    end of a week, which he had employed in effacing her plainness by
    his memories." (_De l'Amour_, Chapter XVII.)

In the tendency to idealize the unbeautiful features of a beloved person
erotic symbolism shows itself in a simple and normal form. In a less
simple and more morbid form it appears in persons in whom the normal paths
of sexual gratification are for some reasons inhibited, and who are thus
led to find the symbols of natural love in unnatural perversions. It is
for this reason that so many erotic symbolisms take root in childhood and
puberty, before the sexual instincts have reached full development. It is
for the same reason also, that, at the other end of life, when the sexual
energies are failing, erotic symbols sometimes tend to be substituted for
the normal pleasures of sex. It is for this reason, again, that both men
and women whose normal energies are inhibited sometimes find the symbols
of sexual gratification in the caresses of children.

    The case of a schoolmistress recorded by Penta instructively
    shows how an erotic symbolism of this last kind may develop by no
    means as a refinement of vice, but as the one form in which
    sexual gratification becomes possible when normal gratification
    has been pathologically inhibited. F.R., aged 48, schoolmistress;
    she was some years ago in an asylum with religious mania, but
    came out well in a few months. At the age of 12 she had first
    experienced sexual excitement in a railway train from the jolting
    of the carriage. Soon after she fell in love with a youth who
    represented her ideal and who returned her affection. When,
    however, she gave herself to him, great was her disillusion and
    surprise to find that the sexual act which she had looked forward
    to could not be accomplished, for at the first contact there was
    great pain and spasmodic resistance of the vagina. There was a
    condition of vaginismus. After repeated attempts on subsequent
    occasions her lover desisted. Her desire for intercourse
    increased, however, rather than diminished, and at last she was
    able to tolerate coitus, but the pain was so great that she
    acquired a horror of the sexual embrace and no longer sought it.
    Having much will power, she restrained all erotic impulses during
    many years. It was not until the period of the menopause that the
    long repressed desires broke out, and at last found a symbolical
    outlet that was no longer normal, but was felt to supply a
    complete gratification. She sought the close physical contact of
    the young children in her care. She would lie on her bed naked,
    with two or three naked children, make them suck her breasts and
    press them to every part of her body. Her conduct was discovered
    by means of other children who peeped through the keyhole, and
    she was placed under Penta for treatment. In this case the loss
    of moral and mental inhibition, due probably to troubles of the
    climacteric, led to indulgence, under abnormal conditions, in
    those primitive contacts which are normally the beginning of
    love, and these, supported by the ideal image of the early lover,
    constituted a complete and adequate symbol of natural love in a
    morbidly perverted individual. (P. Penta, _Archivio delle
    Psicopatie Sessuali_, January, 1896.)


[1] The term "erotic symbolism" has already been employed by Eulenburg
(_Sexuale Neuropathie_, 1895, p. 101). It must be borne in mind that this
term, implying the specific emotion, is much narrower than the term
"sexual symbolism," which may be used to designate a great variety of
ritual and social practices which have played a part in the evolution of

[2] _Sexual Selection in Man_, iv, "Vision."

[3] K. Groos, _Der Æsthetische Genuss_, p. 122. The psychology of the
associations of contiguity and resemblance through which erotic symbolism
operates its transference is briefly discussed by Ribot in the _Psychology
of the Emotions_, Part 1, Chapter XII; the early chapters of the same
author's _Logique des Sentiments_ may also be said to deal with the
emotional basis on which erotic symbolism arises.

[4] A number of synonyms for the female pudenda are brought together by
Schurig--cunnus, hortus, concha, navis, fovea, larva, canis, annulus,
focus, cymba, antrum, delta, myrtus, etc.--and he discusses many of them.
(_Muliebria_, Section I, cap. I.)

[5] Kleinpaul, _Sprache Ohne Worte_, pp. 24-29; cf. K. Pearson, on the
general and special words for sex, _Chances of Death_, vol. ii, pp.
112-245; a selection of the literature of the rose will be found in a
volume of translations entitled _Ros Rosarum_.

[6] G.S. Hall, _Adolescence_, vol. i, p. 470.

[7] Goron, _Les Parias de l'Amour_, p. 45.

[8] A.R. Reynolds, _Medical Standard_, vol. x, cited by Kiernan,
"Responsibility in Sexual Perversion," _American Journal of Neurology and
Psychiatry_, 1882.

[9] R. Burton, _Anatomy of Melancholy_, Part III, Section II, Mem. II,
Subs. II, and Mem. III, Subs. I.

[10] Numerous examples are given by Moll, _Konträre Sexualempfindung_,
third edition, pp. 265-268.

[11] Chevalier (_De l'Inversion_, 1885; id., _L'Inversion Sexuelle_, 1892,
p. 52), followed by E. Laurent (_L'Amour Morbide_, 1891, Chapter X),
separates this group from other fetichistic perversions, under the head of
"azoöphilie." I see no adequate ground for this step. The various forms of
fetichism are too intimately associated to permit of any group of them
being violently separated from the others.

[12] This has already been considered as a perversion founded on vision,
in discussing _Sexual Selection in Man_. IV.


Foot-fetichism and Shoe-fetichism--Wide Prevalence and Normal
Basis--Restif de la Bretonne--The Foot a Normal Focus of Sexual Attraction
Among Some Peoples--The Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Spaniards, etc.--The
Congenital Predisposition in Erotic Symbolism--The Influence of Early
Association and Emotional Shock--Shoe-fetichism in Relation to
Masochism--The Two Phenomena Independent Though Allied--The Desire to be
Trodden On--The Fascination of Physical Constraint--The Symbolism of
Self-inflicted Pain--The Dynamic Element in Erotic Symbolism--The
Symbolism of Garments.

Of all forms of erotic symbolism the most frequent is that which idealizes
the foot and the shoe. The phenomena we here encounter are sometimes so
complex and raise so many interesting questions that it is necessary to
discuss them somewhat fully.

It would seem that even for the normal lover the foot is one of the most
attractive parts of the body. Stanley Hall found that among the parts
specified as most admired in the other sex by young men and women who
answered a _questionnaire_ the feet came fourth (after the eyes, hair,
stature and size).[13] Casanova, an acute student and lover of women who
was in no degree a foot fetichist, remarks that all men who share his
interest in women are attracted by their feet; they offer the same
interest, he considers, as the question of the particular edition offers
to the book-lover.[14]

    In a report of the results of a _questionnaire_ concerning
    children's sense of self, to which over 500 replies were
    received, Stanley Hall thus summarizes the main facts ascertained
    with reference to the feet: "A special period of noticing the
    feet comes somewhat later than that in which the hands are
    discovered to consciousness. Our records afford nearly twice as
    many cases for feet as for hands. The former are more remote from
    the primary psychic focus or position, and are also more often
    covered, so that the sight of them is a more marked and
    exceptional event. Some children become greatly excited whenever
    their feet are exposed. Some infants show signs of fear at the
    movement of their own knees and feet covered, and still more
    often fright is the first sensation which signalizes the child's
    discovery of its feet.... Many are described as playing with them
    as if fascinated by strange, newly-discovered toys. They pick
    them up and try to throw them away, or out of the cradle, or
    bring them to the mouth, where all things tend to go.... Children
    often handle their feet, pat and stroke them, offer them toys and
    the bottle, as if they, too, had an independent hunger to
    gratify, an _ego_ of their own.... Children often develop [later]
    a special interest in the feet of others, and examine, feel them,
    etc., sometimes expressing surprise that the pinch of the
    mother's toe hurts her and not the child, or comparing their own
    and the feet of others point by point. Curious, too, are the
    intensifications of foot-consciousness throughout the early years
    of childhood, whenever children have the exceptional privilege of
    going barefoot, or have new shoes. The feet are often
    apostrophized, punished, beaten sometimes to the point of pain
    for breaking things, throwing the child down, etc. Several
    children have habits, which reach great intensity, and then
    vanish, of touching or tickling the feet, with gales of laughter,
    and a few are described as showing an almost morbid reluctance to
    wear anything upon the feet, or even to having them touched by
    others.... Several almost fall in love with the great toe or the
    little one, especially admiring some crease or dimple in it,
    dressing it in some rag of silk or bit of ribbon, or cut-off
    glove fingers, winding it with string, prolonging it by tying on
    bits of wood. Stroking the feet of others, especially if they are
    shapely, often becomes almost a passion with young children, and
    several adults confess a survival of the same impulse which it is
    an exquisite pleasure to gratify. The interest of some mothers in
    babies' toes, the expressions of which are ecstatic and almost
    incredible, is a factor of great importance." (G. Stanley Hall,
    "Some Aspects of the Early Sense of Self," _American Journal of
    Psychology_, April, 1898.) In childhood, Stanley Hall remarks
    elsewhere (_Adolescence_, vol. ii, p. 104), "a form of courtship
    may consist solely in touching feet under the desk." It would
    seem that even animals have a certain amount of sexual
    consciousness in the feet; I have noticed a male donkey, just
    before coitus, bite the feet of his partner.

At the same time it is scarcely usual for the normal lover, in most
civilized countries to-day, to attach primary importance to the foot, such
as he very frequently attaches to the eyes, though the feet play a very
conspicuous part in the work of certain novelists.[15]

In a small but not inconsiderable minority of persons, however, the foot
or the boot becomes the most attractive part of a woman, and in some
morbid cases the woman herself is regarded as a comparatively unimportant
appendage to her feet or her boots. The boots under civilized conditions
much more frequently constitute the sexual symbol than do the feet
themselves; this is not surprising since in ordinary life the feet are not
often seen.

    It is usually only under exceptionally favoring conditions that
    foot-fetichism occurs, as in the case recorded by Marandon de
    Montyel of a doctor who had been brought up in the West Indies.
    His mother had been insane and he himself was subject to
    obsessions, especially of being incapable of urinating; he had
    had nocturnal incontinence of urine in childhood. All the women
    of the people in the West Indies go about with naked feet, which
    are often beautiful. His puberty evolved under this influence,
    and foot-fetichism developed. He especially admired large, fat,
    arched feet, with delicate skin and large, regular toes. He
    masturbated with images of feet. At 15 he had relations with a
    colored chambermaid, but feared to mention his fetichism, though
    it was the touch of her feet that chiefly excited him. He now
    gave up masturbation, and had a succession of mistresses, but was
    always ashamed to confess his fancies until, at the age of 33, in
    Paris, a very intelligent woman who had become his mistress
    discovered his mania and skillfully enabled him to yield to it
    without shock to his modesty. He was devoted to this mistress,
    who had very beautiful feet (he had been horrified by the feet of
    Europeans generally), until she finally left him. (_Archives de
    Neurologie_, October, 1904.)

    Probably the first case of shoe-fetichism ever recorded in any
    detail is that of Restif de la Bretonne (1734-1806), publicist
    and novelist, one of the most remarkable literary figures of the
    later eighteenth century in France. Restif was a neurotic
    subject, though not to an extreme degree, and his shoe-fetichism,
    though distinctly pronounced, was not pathological; that is to
    say, that the shoe was not itself an adequate gratification of
    the sexual impulse, but simply a highly important aid to
    tumescence, a prelude to the natural climax of detumescence; only
    occasionally, and _faute de mieux_, in the absence of the beloved
    person, was the shoe used as an adjunct to masturbation. In
    Restif's stories and elsewhere the attraction of the shoe is
    frequently discussed or used as a motive. His first decided
    literary success, _Le Pied de Fanchette_, was suggested by a
    vision of a girl with a charming foot, casually seen in the
    street. While all such passages in his books are really founded
    on his own personal feelings and experiences, in his elaborate
    autobiography, _Monsieur Nicolas_, he has frankly set forth the
    gradual evolution and cause of his idiosyncrasy. The first
    remembered trace dated from the age of 4, when he was able to
    recall having remarked the feet of a young girl in his native
    place. Restif was a sexually precocious youth, and at the age of
    9, though both delicate in health and shy in manners, his
    thoughts were already absorbed in the girls around him. "While
    little Monsieur Nicolas," he tells us, "passed for a Narcissus,
    his thoughts, as soon as he was alone, by night or by day, had no
    other object than that sex he seemed to flee from. The girls most
    careful of their persons were naturally those who pleased him
    most, and as the part least easy to keep clean is that which
    touches the earth it was to the foot-gear that he mechanically
    gave his chief attention. Agathe, Reine, and especially
    Madeleine, were the most elegant of the girls at that time; their
    carefully selected and kept shoes, instead of laces or buckles,
    which were not yet worn at Sacy, had blue or rose ribbon,
    according to the color of the skirt. I thought of these girls
    with emotion; I desired--I knew not what; but I desired
    something, if it were only to subdue them." The origin Restif
    here assigns to his shoe-fetichism may seem paradoxical; he
    admired the girls who were most clean and neat in their dress, he
    tells us, and, therefore, paid most attention to that part of
    their clothing which was least clean and neat. But, however
    paradoxical the remark may seem, it is psychologically sound. All
    fetichism is a kind of not necessarily morbid obsession, and as
    the careful work of Janet and others in that field has shown, an
    obsession is a fascinated attraction to some object or idea
    which gives the subject a kind of emotional shock by its
    contrast to his habitual moods or ideas. The ordinary morbid
    obsession cannot usually be harmoniously co-ordinated with the
    other experiences of the subject's daily life, and shows,
    therefore, no tendency to become pleasurable. Sexual fetichisms,
    on the other hand, have a reservoir of agreeable emotion to draw
    on, and are thus able to acquire both stability and harmony. It
    will also be seen that no element of masochism is involved in
    Restif's fetichism, though the mistake has been frequently made
    of supposing that these two manifestations are usually or even
    necessarily allied. Restif wishes to subject the girl who
    attracts him, he has no wish to be subjected by her. He was
    especially dazzled by a young girl from another town, whose shoes
    were of a fashionable cut, with buckles, "and who was a charming
    person besides." She was delicate as a fairy, and rendered his
    thoughts unfaithful to the robust beauties of his native Sacy.
    "No doubt," he remarks, "because, being frail and weak myself, it
    seemed to me that it would be easier to subdue her." "This taste
    for the beauty of the feet," he continues, "was so powerful in me
    that it unfailingly aroused desire and would have made me
    overlook ugliness. It is excessive in all those who have it." He
    admired the foot as well as the shoe: "The factitious taste for
    the shoe is only a reflection of that for pretty feet. When I
    entered a house and saw the boots arranged in a row, as is the
    custom, I would tremble with pleasure; I blushed and lowered my
    eyes as if in the presence of the girls themselves. With this
    vivacity of feeling and a voluptuousness of ideas inconceivable
    at the age of 10 I still fled, with an involuntary impulse of
    modesty, from the girls I adored."

    We may clearly see how this combination of sensitive and
    precocious sexual ardor with extreme shyness, furnished the soil
    on which the germ of shoe-fetichism was able to gain a firm root
    and persist in some degree throughout a long life very largely
    given up to a pursuit of women, abnormal rather by its
    excessiveness than its perversity. A few years later, he tells
    us, he happened to see a pretty pair of shoes in a bootmaker's
    shop, and on hearing that they belonged to a girl whom at that
    time he reverently adored at a distance he blushed and nearly

    In 1749 he was for a time attracted to a young woman very much
    older than himself; he secretly carried away one of her slippers
    and kept it for a day; a little later he again took away a shoe
    of the same woman which had fascinated him when on her foot, and,
    he seems to imply, he used it to masturbate with.

    Perhaps the chief passion of Restif's life was his love for
    Colette Parangon. He was still a boy (1752), she was the young
    and virtuous wife of the printer whose apprentice Restif was and
    in whose house he lived. Madame Parangon, a charming woman, as
    she is described, was not happily married, and she evidently
    felt a tender affection for the boy whose excessive love and
    reverence for her were not always successfully concealed.
    "Madonna Parangon," he tells us, "possessed a charm which I could
    never resist, a pretty little foot; it is a charm which arouses
    more than tenderness. Her shoes, made in Paris, had that
    voluptuous elegance which seems to communicate soul and life.
    Sometimes Colette wore shoes of simple white drugget or with
    silver flowers; sometimes rose-colored slippers with green heels,
    or green with rose heels; her supple feet, far from deforming her
    shoes, increased their grace and rendered the form more
    exciting." One day, on entering the house, he saw Madame Parangon
    elegantly dressed and wearing rose-colored shoes with tongues,
    and with green heels and a pretty rosette. They were new and she
    took them off to put on green slippers with rose heels and
    borders which he thought equally exciting. As soon as she had
    left the room, he continues, "carried away by the most impetuous
    passion and idolizing Colette, I seemed to see her and touch her
    in handling what she had just worn; my lips pressed one of these
    jewels, while the other, deceiving the sacred end of nature, from
    excess of exaltation replaced the object of sex (I cannot express
    myself more clearly). The warmth which she had communicated to
    the insensible object which had touched her still remained and
    gave a soul to it; a voluptuous cloud covered my eyes." He adds
    that he would kiss with rage and transport whatever had come in
    close contact with the woman he adored, and on one occasion
    eagerly pressed his lips to her cast-off underlinen, _vela
    secretiora penetralium_.

    At this period Restif's foot-fetichism reached its highest point
    of development. It was the aberration of a highly sensitive and
    very precocious boy. While the preoccupation with feet and shoes
    persisted throughout life, it never became a complete perversion
    and never replaced the normal end of sexual desire. His love for
    Madam Parangon, one of the deepest emotions in his whole life,
    was also the climax of his shoe-fetichism. She represented his
    ideal woman, an ethereal sylph with wasp-waist and a child's
    feet; it was always his highest praise for a woman that she
    resembled Madame Parangon, and he desired that her slipper should
    be buried with him. (Restif de la Bretonne, _Monsieur Nicolas_,
    vols. i-iv, vol. xiii, p. 5; id., _Mes Inscriptions_, pp. ci-cv.)

    Shoe-fetichism, more especially if we include under this term all
    the cases of real or pseudo-masochism in which an attraction to
    the boots or slippers is the chief feature, is a not infrequent
    phenomenon, and is certainly the most frequently occurring form
    of fetichism. Many cases are brought together by Krafft-Ebing in
    his _Psychopathia Sexualis_. Every prostitute of any experience
    has known men who merely desire to gaze at her shoes, or possibly
    to lick them, and who are quite willing to pay for this
    privilege. In London such a person is known as a "bootman," in
    Germany as a "Stiefelfrier."

The predominance of the foot as a focus of sexual attraction, while among
us to-day it is a not uncommon phenomenon, is still not sufficiently
common to be called normal; the majority of even ardent lovers do not
experience this attraction in any marked degree. But these manifestations
of foot-fetichism which with us to-day are abnormal, even when they are
not so extreme as to be morbid, may perhaps become more intelligible to us
when we realize that in earlier periods of civilization, and even to-day
in some parts of the world, the foot is generally recognized as a focus of
sexual attraction, so that some degree of foot-fetichism becomes a normal

The most pronounced and the best known example of such normal
foot-fetichism at the present day is certainly to be found among the
Southern Chinese. For a Chinese husband his wife's foot is more
interesting than her face. A Chinese woman is as shy of showing her feet
to a man as a European woman her breasts; they are reserved for her
husband's eyes alone, and to look at a woman's feet in the street is
highly improper and indelicate. Chinese foot-fetichism is connected with
the custom of compressing the feet. This custom appears to rest on the
fact that Chinese women naturally possess a very small foot and is thus an
example of the universal tendency in the search for beauty to accentuate,
even by deformation, the racial characteristics. But there is more than
this. Beauty is largely a name for sexual attractiveness, and the energy
expended in the effort to make the Chinese woman's small foot still
smaller is a measure of the sexual fascination which it exerts. The
practice arose on the basis of the sexual attractiveness of the foot,
though it has doubtless served to heighten that attractiveness, just as
the small waist, which (if we may follow Stratz) is a characteristic
beauty of the European woman, becomes to the average European man still
more attractive when accentuated, even to the extent of deformity, by the
compression of the corset.

    Referring to the sexual fascination exerted by the foot in China,
    Matignon writes: "My attention has been drawn to this point by a
    large number of pornographic engravings, of which the Chinese are
    very fond. In all these lascivious scenes we see the male
    voluptuously fondling the woman's foot. When a Celestial takes
    into his hand a woman's foot, especially if it is very small, the
    effect upon him is precisely the same as is provoked in a
    European by the palpation of a young and firm bosom. All the
    Celestials whom I have interrogated on this point have replied
    unanimously: 'Oh, a little foot! You Europeans cannot understand
    how exquisite, how sweet, how exciting it is!' The contact of the
    genital organ with the little foot produces in the male an
    indescribable degree of voluptuous feeling, and women skilled in
    love know that to arouse the ardor of their lovers a better
    method than all Chinese aphrodisiacs--including 'giusen' and
    swallows' nests--is to take the penis between their feet. It is
    not rare to find Chinese Christians accusing themselves at
    confession of having had 'evil thoughts on looking at a woman's
    foot.'" (Dr. J. Matignon, "A propos d'un Pied de Chinoise,"
    _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, 1898.)

    It is said that a Chinese Empress, noted for her vice and having
    a congenital club foot, about the year 1100 B.C., desired all
    women to resemble her, and that the practice of compressing the
    foot thus arose. But this is only tradition, since, in 300 B.C.,
    Chinese books were destroyed (Morache, Art. "Chine,"
    _Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des Sciences Médicales_, p. 191). It
    is also said that the practice owes its origin to the wish to
    keep women indoors. But women are not secluded in China, nor does
    foot compression usually render a woman unable to walk. Many
    intelligent Chinese are of opinion that its object is to promote
    the development of the sexual parts and of the thighs, and so to
    aid both intercourse and parturition. There is no ground for
    believing that it has any such influence, though Morache found
    that the mons veneris and labia are largely developed in Chinese
    women, and not in Tartar women living in Pekin (who do not
    compress the foot). If there is any correlation between the feet
    and the pelvic regions, it is more probably congenital than due
    to the artificial compression of the feet. The ancients seem to
    have believed that a small foot indicated a small vagina. Restif
    de la Bretonne, who had ample opportunities for forming an
    opinion on a matter in which he took so great an interest,
    believed that a small foot, round and short, indicated a large
    vagina (_Monsieur Nicolas_, vol. i, reprint of 1883, p. 92).
    Even, however, if we admit that there is a real correlation
    between the foot and the vagina, that would by no means suffice
    to render the foot a focus of sexual attraction.

    It remains the most reasonable view that the foot bandage must be
    regarded as strictly analogous to the waist bandage or corset
    which also tends to produce deformity of the constricted region.
    Stratz has ingeniously remarked (_Frauenkleidung_, third edition,
    p. 101) that the success of the Chinese in dwarfing trees may
    have suggested a similar attempt in regard to women's feet, and
    adds that in any case both dwarfed trees and bound feet bear
    witness in the Mongolian to the same love for small and elegant,
    not to say deformed, things. For a Chinaman the deformed foot is
    a "golden water-lily."

    Many facts (together with illustrations) bearing on Chinese
    deformation of the foot will be found in Ploss, _Das Weib_, vol.
    i, Section IV.

The significance of the sexual emotion aroused by the female foot in China
and the origin of its compression begin to become clear when we realize
that this foot-fetichism is merely an extreme development of a tendency
which is fairly well marked among nearly all the peoples of yellow race.
Jacoby, who has brought together a number of interesting facts bearing on
the sexual significance of the foot, states that a similar tendency is to
be found among the Mongol and Turk peoples of Siberia, and in the east and
central parts of European Russia, among the Permiaks, the Wotiaks, etc.
Here the woman, at all events when young, has always her feet, as well as
head, covered, however little clothing she may otherwise wear.

    "On hot nights or on baking days," Jacoby states, "you may see
    these women with uncovered breasts, or even entirely naked
    without embarrassment, but you will never see them with bare
    feet, and no male relations, except the husband, will ever see
    the feet and lower part of the legs of the women in the house.
    These women have their modesty in their feet, and also their
    coquetry; to unbind the feet of a woman is for a man a voluptuous
    act, and the touch of the bands produces the same effect as a
    corset still warm from a woman's body on a European man. A
    woman's beauty, that which attracts and excites a man, lies in
    her foot; in Mordvin love poems celebrating the beauty of women
    there is much about her attire, especially her embroidered
    chemise, but as regards the charms of her person the poet is
    content to state that 'her feet are beautiful;' with that
    everything is said. The young peasant woman of the central
    provinces as part of her holiday raiment puts on great woolen
    stockings which come up to the groin and are then folded over to
    below the knee. To uncover the feet of a person of the opposite
    sex is a sexual act, and has thus become the symbol of sexual
    possession, so that the stocking or foot-gear became the emblem
    of marriage, as later the ring. (It was so among the Jews, as we
    see in the book of _Ruth_, Chapter III, v. 4, and Chapter IV, vv.
    7 and 8). St. Vladimir the Great asked in marriage the daughter
    of Prince Rogvold; as Vladimir's mother had been a serf, the
    princess proudly replied that she 'would not uncover the feet of
    a slave.' At the present time in the east of Russia when a young
    girl tries to find out by divination whom she will have as a
    husband the traditional formula is 'Come and take my stockings
    off.' Among the populations of the north and east, it is
    sometimes the bride who must do this for her husband on the
    wedding night, and sometimes the bridegroom for his wife, not as
    a token of love, but as a nuptial ceremony. Among the
    professional classes and small nobility in Russia parents place
    money in the stocking of their child at marriage as a present for
    the other partner, it being supposed that the couple mutually
    remove each other's foot raiment, as an act of sexual possession,
    the emblem of coitus." (Paul Jacoby, _Archives d'Anthropologie
    Criminelle_, December, 1903, p. 793.) The practice among
    ourselves of children hanging up their stockings at night for
    presents would seem to be a relic of the last-mentioned custom.

While we may witness the sexual symbolism of the foot, with or without an
associated foot-fetichism, most highly developed in Asia and Eastern
Europe, it has by no means been altogether unknown in some stages of
western civilization, and traces of it may be found here and there even
yet. Schinz refers to the connection between the feet and sexual pleasure
as existing not only among the Egyptians and the Arabs, but among the
ancient Germans and the modern Spaniards,[16] while Jacoby points out that
among the Greeks, the Romans, and especially the Etruscans, it was usual
to represent chaste and virgin goddesses with their feet covered, even
though they might be otherwise nude. Ovid, again, is never weary of
dwelling on the sexual charm of the feminine foot. He represents the
chaste matron as wearing a weighted _stola_ which always fell so as to
cover her feet; it was only the courtesan, or the nymph who is taking part
in an erotic festival, who appears with raised robes, revealing her
feet.[17] So grave a historian as Strabo, as well as Ælian, refers to the
story of the courtesan Rhodope whose sandal was carried off by an eagle
and dropped in the King of Egypt's lap as he was administering justice, so
that he could not rest until he had discovered to whom this delicately
small sandal belonged, and finally made her his queen. Kleinpaul, who
repeats this story, has collected many European sayings and customs
(including Turkish), indicating that the slipper is a very ancient symbol
of a woman's sexual parts.[18]

    In Rome, Dufour remarks, "Matrons having appropriated the use of
    the shoe (_soccus_) prostitutes were not allowed to use it, and
    were obliged to have their feet always naked in sandals or
    slippers (_crepida_ and _solea_), which they fastened over the
    instep with gilt bands. Tibullus delights to describe his
    mistress's little foot, compressed by the band that imprisoned
    it: _Ansaque compressos colligat arcta pedes_. Nudity of the foot
    in woman was a sign of prostitution, and their brilliant
    whiteness acted afar as a pimp to attract looks and desires."
    (Dufour, _Histoire de la Prostitution_, vol. II., ch. xviii.)

    This feeling seems to have survived in a more or less vague and
    unconscious form in mediæval Europe. "In the tenth century,"
    according to Dufour (_Histoire de la Prostitution_, vol. VI., p.
    11), "shoes _a la poulaine_, with a claw or beak, pursued for
    more than four centuries by the anathemas of popes and the
    invectives of preachers, were always regarded by mediæval
    casuists as the most abominable emblems of immodesty. At a first
    glance it is not easy to see why these shoes--terminating in a
    lion's claw, an eagle's beak, the prow of a ship, or other metal
    appendage--should be so scandalous. The excommunication inflicted
    on this kind of foot-gear preceded the impudent invention of some
    libertine, who wore _poulaines_ in the shape of the phallus, a
    custom adopted also by women. This kind of _poulaine_ was
    denounced as _mandite de Dicu_ (Ducange's Glossary, at the word
    Poulainia) and prohibited by royal ordinances (see letter of
    Charles V., 17 October, 1367, regarding the garments of the women
    of Montpellier). Great lords and ladies continued, however, to
    wear _poulaines_." In Louis XL's court they were still worn of a
    quarter of an ell in length.

    Spain, ever tenacious of ancient ideas, appears to have preserved
    longer than other countries the ancient classic traditions in
    regard to the foot as a focus of modesty and an object of sexual
    attraction. In Spanish religious pictures it was always necessary
    that the Virgin's feet should be concealed, the clergy ordaining
    that her robe should be long and flowing, so that the feet might
    be covered with decent folds. Pacheco, the master and
    father-in-law of Velasquez, writes in 1649 in his _Arte de la
    Pintura_: "What can be more foreign from the respect which we owe
    to the purity of Our Lady the Virgin than to paint her sitting
    down with one of her knees placed over the other, and often with
    her sacred feet uncovered and naked. Let thanks be given to the
    Holy Inquisition which commands that this liberty should be
    corrected!" It was Pacheco's duty in Seville to see that these
    commands were obeyed. At the court of Philip IV. at this time the
    princesses never showed their feet, as we may see in the pictures
    of Velasquez. When a local manufacturer desired to present that
    monarch's second bride, Mariana of Austria, with some silk
    stockings the offer was indignantly rejected by the Court
    Chamberlain: "The Queen of Spain has no legs!" Philip V.'s, queen
    was thrown from her horse and dragged by the feet; no one
    ventured to interfere until two gentlemen bravely rescued her and
    then fled, dreading punishment by the king: they were, however,
    graciously pardoned. Reinach ("Pieds Pudiques," _Cultes, Mythes
    et Religions_, pp. 105-110) brings together several passages from
    the Countess D'Aulnoy's account of the Madrid Court in the
    seventeenth century and from other sources, showing how careful
    Spanish ladies were as regards their feet, and how jealous
    Spanish husbands were in this matter. At this time, when Spanish
    influence was considerable, the fashion of Spain seems to have
    spread to other countries. One may note that in Vandyck's
    pictures of English beauties the feet are not visible, though in
    the more characteristically English painters of a somewhat later
    age it became usual to display them conspicuously, while the
    French custom in this matter is the farthest removed from the
    Spanish. At the present day a well-bred Spanish woman shows as
    little as possible of her feet in walking, and even in some of
    the most characteristic Spanish dances there is little or no
    kicking, and the feet may even be invisible throughout. It is
    noteworthy that in numerous figures of Spanish women (probably
    artists' models) reproduced in Ploss's _Das Weib_ the stockings
    are worn, although the women are otherwise, in most cases, quite
    naked. Max Dessoir mentions ("Psychologie der Vita Sexualis,"
    _Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie_, 1894, p. 954) that in Spanish
    pornographic photographs women always have their shoes on, and he
    considers this an indication of perversity. I have seen the
    statement (attributed to Gautier's _Voyage en Espagne_, where,
    however, it does not occur) that Spanish prostitutes uncover
    their feet in sign of assent, and Madame d'Aulnoy stated that in
    her time to show her lover her feet was a Spanish woman's final

The tendency, which we thus find to be normal at some earlier periods of
civilization, to insist on the sexual symbolism of the feminine foot or
its coverings, and to regard them as a special sexual fascination, is not
without significance for the interpretation of the sporadic manifestations
of foot-fetichism among ourselves. Eccentric as foot-fetichism may appear
to us, it is simply the re-emergence, by a pseudo-atavism or arrest of
development, of a mental or emotional impulse which was probably
experienced by our forefathers, and is often traceable among young
children to-day.[19] The occasional reappearance of this bygone impulse
and the stability which it may acquire are thus conditioned by the
sensitive reaction of an abnormally nervous and usually precocious
organism to influences which, among the average and ordinary population of
Europe to-day, are either never felt, or quickly outgrown, or very
strictly subordinated in the highly complex crystallizations which the
course of love and the process of tumescence create within us.

    It may be added that this is by no means true of foot-fetichism
    only. In some other fetichisms a seemingly congenital
    predisposition is even more marked. This is not only the case as
    regards hair-fetichism and fur-fetichism (see, e.g.,
    Krafft-Ebing, _Psychopathia Sexualis_, English translation of
    tenth edition, pp. 233, 255, 262). In many cases of fetichisms of
    all kinds not only is there no record of any commencement in a
    definite episode (an absence which may be accounted for by the
    supposition that the original incident has been forgotten), but
    it would seem in some cases that the fetichism developed very

In this sense, it will be seen, although it is hazardous to speak of
foot-fetichism as strictly an atavism, it may certainly be said to arise
on a congenital basis. It represents the rare development of an inborn
germ, usually latent among ourselves, which in earlier stages of
civilization frequently reached a normal and general fruition.

It is of interest to emphasize this congenital element of foot symbolism,
because more than any other forms of sexual perversion the fetichisms are
those which are most vaguely conditioned by inborn states of the organism
and most definitely aroused by seemingly accidental associations or shocks
in early life. Inversion is sometimes so fundamentally ingrained in the
individual's constitution that it arises and develops in spite of the very
strongest influence in a contrary direction. But a fetichism, while it
tends to occur in sensitive, nervous, timid, precocious individuals--that
is to say, individuals of more or less neuropathic heredity--can usually,
though not always, be traced to a definite starting point in the shock of
some sexually emotional episode in early life.

    A few examples of the influences of such association may here be
    given, referring miscellaneously to various forms of erotic
    symbolism. Magnan has recorded the case of a hair-fetichist,
    living in a district where the women wore their hair done up, who
    at the age of 15 experienced pleasurable feelings with erection
    at the sight of a village beauty combing her hair; from that time
    flowing hair became his fetich, and he could not resist the
    temptation to touch it and if possible sever it, thus becoming a
    hair-despoiler, for which he was arrested but not sentenced.
    (_Archives de l'Anthropologie Criminelle_, vol. v, No. 28.)

    I have elsewhere recorded the history of a boy of 14, having
    already had imperfect connection with a grown-up woman, who
    associated much with a young married lady; he had no sexual
    relations with her, but one day she urinated in his presence, and
    he saw that her mons veneris was covered by very thick hair; from
    that time he worshiped this woman in secret and acquired a
    life-long fetichistic attraction to women whose pubic hair was
    similarly abundant (_Studies in the Psychology of Sex_, vol. iii,
    Appendix B, History V).

    Roubaud reported the case of a general's son, sexually initiated
    at the age of 14 by a blonde young lady of 21 who, in order to
    avoid detection, always retained her clothing: gaiters, a corset
    and a silk dress; when the boy's studies were completed and he
    was sent to a garrison where he could enjoy freedom he found that
    his sexual desires could only be aroused by blonde women dressed
    like the lady who had first aroused his sexual desires;
    consequently he gave up all thoughts of matrimony, as a woman in
    nightclothes produced impotence (_Traité de l'Impuissance_, p.
    439). Krafft-Ebing records the somewhat similar case of a nervous
    Polish boy of old family seduced at the age of 17 by a French
    governess, who during several months practiced mutual
    masturbation with him; in this way his attention became
    attracted by her very elegant boots, and in the end he became a
    confirmed boot-fetichist (_Psychopathia Sexualis_, English
    translation, p. 249).

    A boy of 7, of bad heredity, was taught to masturbate by a
    servant girl; on one occasion she practiced this on him with her
    foot without taking off her shoe; it was the first time the
    manoeuvre gave him any pleasure, and an association was thus
    established which led to shoe-fetichism (Hammond, _Sexual
    Impotence_, p. 44). A government official whose first coitus in
    youth took place on a staircase; the sound of his partner's
    creaking shoes against the stairs, produced by her efforts to
    accelerate orgasm, formed an association which developed into an
    auditory shoe-fetichism; in the streets he was compelled to
    follow ladies whose shoes creaked, ejaculation being thus
    produced, while to obtain complete satisfaction he would make a
    prostitute, otherwise naked, sit in front of him in her shoes,
    moving her feet so that the shoes creaked. (Moraglia, _Archivio
    di Psichiatria_, vol. xiii, p. 568.)

    Bechterew, in St. Petersburg, has recorded the case of a man who
    when a child used to fall asleep at the knees of his nurse with
    his head buried in the folds of her apron; in this position he
    first experienced erection and voluptuous sensations; when a
    youth he had no attraction to naked women, and in real life and
    in dreams was only excited sexually under conditions recalling
    his early experience; in his relations with women he preferred
    them dressed, and was excited by the rustling sound of their
    skirts; in this case there was no traceable neuropathic taint nor
    any other personal peculiarity. (Summarized in _Journal de
    Psychologie Normale et Pathologique_, January-February, 1904, p.

    In a curious case recorded in detail by Moll, a philologist of
    sensitive temperament but sound heredity, who had always been
    fond of flowers, at the age of 21 became engaged to a young lady
    who wore large roses fastened in her jacket; from this time roses
    became to him a sexual fetich, to kiss them caused erection, and
    his erotic dreams were accompanied by visions of roses and the
    hallucination of their odor; the engagement was finally broken
    off and the rose-fetichism disappeared (_Untersuchungen über
    Libido Sexualis_, bd. i, p. 540).

Such associations may naturally occur in the early experiences of even the
most normal persons. The degree to which they will influence the
subsequent life and thought and feeling depends on the degree of the
individual's morbid emotional receptivity, on the extent to which he is
hereditarily susceptible of abnormal deviation. Precocity is undoubtedly a
condition which favors such deviation; a child who is precociously and
abnormally sensitive to persons of the opposite sex before puberty has
established the normal channels of sexual desire, is peculiarly liable to
become the prey of a chance symbolism. All degrees of such symbolism are
possible. While the average insensitive person may fail to perceive them
at all, for the more alert and imaginative lover they are a fascinating
part of the highly charged crystallization of passion. A more nervously
exceptional person, when once such a symbolism has become firmly
implanted, may find it an absolutely essential element in the charm of a
beloved and charming person. Finally, for the individual who is thoroughly
unsound the symbol becomes generalized; a person is no longer desired at
all, being merely regarded as an appendage of the symbol, or being
dispensed with altogether; the symbol is alone desired, and is fully
adequate to impart by itself complete sexual gratification. While it must
be considered a morbid state to demand a symbol as an almost essential
part of the charm of a desired person, it is only in the final condition,
in which the symbol becomes all-sufficing, that we have a true and
complete perversion. In the less complete forms of symbolism it is still
the woman who is desired, and the ends of procreation may be served; when
the woman is ignored and the mere symbol is an adequate and even preferred
stimulus to detumescence the pathological condition becomes complete.

Krafft-Ebing regarded shoe-fetichism as, in large measure, a more or less
latent form of masochism, the foot or the shoe being the symbol of the
subjection and humiliation which the masochist feels in the presence of
the beloved object. Moll is also inclined to accept such a connection.

    "The very numerous class of boot-and-shoe-fetichists,"
    Krafft-Ebing wrote, "forms the transition to the manifestations
    of another independent perversion, i.e., fetichism itself; but it
    stands in closer relationship to the former.... It is highly
    probable, and shown by a correct classification of the observed
    cases, that the majority, and perhaps all of the cases of
    shoe-fetichism, rest upon a basis of more or less conscious
    masochistic desire for self-humiliation.... The majority or all
    may be looked upon as instances of latent masochism (the motive
    remaining unconscious) in which the _female foot or shoe, as the
    masochist's fetich_, has acquired an independent significance."
    (_Psychopathia Sexualis_, English translation of tenth edition,
    pp. 159, et seq.) "Though Krafft-Ebing may not have cleared up
    the whole matter," Moll remarks, "I regard his deductions
    concerning the connection of foot-and-shoe fetichism to masochism
    as the most important progress that has been made in the
    theoretic study of sexual perversions.... In any case, the
    connection is very frequent." (_Konträre Sexualempfindung_, third
    edition, p. 306.)

It is quite easy to see that this supposed identity of masochism and
foot-fetichism forms a seductive theory. It is also undoubtedly true that
a masochist may very easily be inclined to find in his mistress's foot an
aid to the ecstatic self-abnegation which he desires to attain.[20] But
only confusion is attained by any general attempt to amalgamate masochism
and foot-fetichism. In the broad sense in which erotic symbolism is here
understood, both masochism and foot-fetichism may be coördinated as
symbolisms; for the masochist his self-humiliating impulses are the symbol
of ecstatic adoration; for the foot-fetichist his mistress's foot or shoe
is the concentrated symbol of all that is most beautiful and elegant and
feminine in her personality. But if in this sense they are coördinated,
they remain entirely distinct and have not even any necessary tendency to
become merged. Masochism merely simulates foot-fetichism; for the
masochist the boot is not strictly a symbol, it is only an instrument
which enables him to carry out his impulse; the true sexual symbol for him
is not the boot, but the emotion of self-subjection. For the
foot-fetichist, on the other hand, the foot or the shoe is not a mere
instrument, but a true symbol; the focus of his worship, an idealized
object which he is content to contemplate or reverently touch. He has no
necessary impulse to any self-degrading action, nor any constant emotion
of subjection. It may be noted that in the very typical case of
foot-fetichism which is presented to us in the person of Restif de la
Bretonne (_ante_, p. 18), he repeatedly speaks of "subjecting" the woman
for whom he feels this fetichistic adoration, and mentions that even when
still a child he especially admired a delicate and fairy-like girl in this
respect because she seemed to him easier to subjugate. Throughout life
Restif's attitude toward women was active and masculine, without the
slightest trace of masochism.[21]

To suppose that a fetichistic admiration of his mistress's foot is due to
a lover's latent desire to be kicked, is as unreasonable as it would be to
suppose that a fetichistic admiration for her hand indicated a latent
desire to have his ears boxed. In determining whether we are concerned
with a case of foot-fetichism or of masochism we must take into
consideration the whole of the subject's mental and emotional attitude. An
act, however definite, will not suffice as a criterion, for the same act
in different persons may have altogether different implications. To
amalgamate the two is the result of inadequate psychological analysis and
only leads to confusion.

It is, however, often very difficult to decide whether we are dealing with
a case which is predominantly one of masochism or of foot-fetichism. The
nature of the action desired, as we have seen, will not suffice to
determine the psychological character of the perversion. Krafft-Ebing
believed that the desire to be trodden on, very frequently experienced by
masochists, is absolutely symptomatic of masochism.[22] This is scarcely
the case. The desire to be trodden on may be fundamentally an erotic
symbolism, closely approaching foot-fetichism, and such slight indications
of masochism as appear may be merely a parasitic growth on the symbolism,
a growth perhaps more suggested by the circumstances involved in the
gratification of the abnormal desire than inherent in the innate impulse
of the subject. This may be illustrated by the interesting case of a very
intelligent man with whom I am well acquainted.

    C.P., aged 38. Heredity good. Parents both healthy and normal.
    Several children of the marriage, all sexually normal so far as
    is known. C.P. is the youngest of the family and separated from
    the others by an interval of many years. He was a seven-months'
    child. He has always enjoyed good health and is active and
    vigorous, both mentally and physically.

    From the age of 9 or 10 to 14 he masturbated occasionally for the
    sake of physical relief, having discovered the act for himself.
    He was, however, quite innocent and knew nothing of sexual
    matters, never having been initiated either by servants or by
    other boys.

    "When I encounter a woman who very strongly attracts me and whom
    I very greatly admire," he writes, "my desire is never that I may
    have sexual connection with her in the ordinary sense, but that I
    may lie down upon the floor on my back and be trampled upon by
    her. This curious desire is seldom present unless the object of
    my admiration is really a lady, and of fine proportions. She must
    be richly dressed--preferably in an evening gown, and wear dainty
    high-heeled slippers, either quite open so as to show the curve
    of the instep, or with only one strap or 'bar' across. The skirts
    should be raised sufficiently to afford me the pleasure of seeing
    her feet and a liberal amount of ankle, but in no case above the
    knee, or the effect is greatly reduced. Although I often greatly
    admire a woman's intellect and even person, sexually no other
    part of her has any serious attraction for me except the leg,
    from the knee downwards, and the foot, and these must be
    exquisitely clothed. Given this condition, my desire amounts to a
    wish to gratify my sexual sense by contact with the (to me)
    attractive part of the woman. Comparatively few women have a leg
    or foot sufficiently beautiful to my mind to excite any serious
    or compelling desire, but when this is so, or I suspect it, I am
    willing to spend any time or trouble to get her to tread upon me
    and am anxious to be trampled on with the greatest severity.

    "The treading should be inflicted for a few minutes all over the
    chest, abdomen and groin, and lastly on the penis, which is, of
    course, lying along the belly in a violent state of erection, and
    consequently too hard for the treading to damage it. I also enjoy
    being nearly strangled by a woman's foot.

    "If the lady finally stands facing my head and places her slipper
    upon my penis so that the high heel falls about where the penis
    leaves the scrotum, the sole covering most of the rest of it and
    with the other foot upon the abdomen, into which I can _see_ as
    well as feel it sink as she shifts her weight from one foot to
    the other, orgasm takes place almost at once. Emission under
    these conditions is to me an agony of delight, during which
    practically the lady's whole weight should rest upon the penis.

    "One reason for my special pleasure in this method seems to be
    that first the heel and afterwards the sole of the slipper as it
    treads upon the penis greatly check the passage of the semen and
    consequently the pleasure is considerably prolonged. There is
    also a curious mental side to the affair. I love to imagine that
    the lady who is treading upon me is my mistress and I her slave,
    and that she is doing it to punish me for some fault, or to give
    _herself_ (not me) pleasure.

    "It follows that the greater the contempt and severity with which
    I am 'punished,' the greater becomes my pleasure. The idea of
    'punishment' or 'slavery' is seldom aroused except when I have
    great difficulty in accomplishing my desire and the treader is
    more than usually handsome and heavy and the trampling
    mercilessly inflicted. I have been trampled so long and so
    mercilessly several times, that I have flinched each time the
    slipper pressed its way into my aching body and have been black
    and blue for days afterwards. I take the greatest interest in
    leading ladies on to do this for me where I think I will not
    offend, and have been surprisingly successful. I must have lain
    beneath the feet of quite a hundred women, many of them of good
    social position, who would never dream of permitting any ordinary
    sexual intercourse, but who have been so interested or amused by
    the idea as to do it for me--many of them over and over again. It
    is perhaps needless to say that none of my own or the ladies'
    clothing is ever removed, or disarranged, for the accomplishment
    of orgasm in this manner. After a long and varied experience, I
    may say that my favorite weight is 10 to 11 stone, and that
    black, very high-heeled slippers, in combination with tan silk
    stockings, seem to give me the greatest pleasure and create in me
    the strongest desires.

    "Boots, or outdoor shoes, do not attract me to anything like the
    same degree, although I have, upon several occasions, enjoyed
    myself fairly well by their use. Nude women repel me, and I find
    no pleasure in seeing a woman in tights. I am not averse to
    normal sexual connection and occasionally employ it. To me,
    however, the pleasure is far inferior to that of being trampled
    upon. I also derive keen pleasure--and usually have a strong
    erection--from seeing a woman, dressed as I have described, tread
    upon anything which yields under her foot--such as the seat of a
    carriage, the cushions of a punt, a footstool, etc., and I enjoy
    seeing her crush flowers by treading upon them. I have often
    strolled along in the wake of some handsome lady at a picnic or
    garden party, for the pleasure of seeing the grass upon which she
    has trodden rise slowly again after her foot has pressed it. I
    delight also to see a carriage sway as a woman leaves or enters
    it--anything which needs the pressure of the foot.

    "To pass now to the origin of this direction of my feelings.

    "Even in early childhood I admired pretty feminine foot-gear, and
    in the contemplation of it experienced vague sensations which I
    now recognize as sexual. When a lad of 14 or so, I stayed a good
    deal at the house of some intimate friends of my parents, the
    daughter of the house--an only child--a beautiful and powerful
    girl, about six years my senior, being my special chum. This girl
    was always daintily dressed, and having most lovely feet and
    ankles not unnaturally knew it. Whenever possible she dressed so
    as to show off their beauty to the best advantage--rather short
    skirts and usually little high-heeled slippers--and was not
    averse to showing them in a most distractingly coquettish manner.
    She seemed to have a passion for treading upon things which would
    scrunch or yield under her foot, such as flowers, little
    windfallen apples and pears, acorns, etc., or heaps of hay, straw
    or cut grass. As we wandered about the gardens--for we were left
    to do exactly as we liked--I got quite accustomed to seeing her
    hunt out and tread upon such things, and used to chaff her about
    it. At that time I was--as I am still--fond of lying at full
    length on a thick hearthrug before a good fire. One evening as I
    was lying in this way and we were alone, A. crossed the room to
    reach a bangle from the mantelpiece. Instead of reaching over me,
    she playfully stepped upon my body, saying that she would show me
    how the hay and straw felt. Naturally I fell in with the joke and
    laughed. After standing upon me a few moments she raised her
    skirt slightly and, holding on to the mantelpiece for support,
    stretched out one dainty foot in its brown silk stocking and
    high-heeled slipper to the blaze to warm, while looking down and
    laughing at my scarlet, excited face. She was a perfectly frank
    and charming girl, and I feel pretty certain that, although she
    evidently enjoyed my excitement and the feeling of my body
    yielding under her feet, she did not on this first occasion
    clearly understand my condition; nor can I remember that, though
    the desire for sexual gratification drove me nearly mad, it
    appeared to awaken in her any reciprocal feeling. I took hold of
    her raised foot and, after kissing it, guided it by an absolutely
    irresistible impulse on to my penis, which was as hard as wood
    and seemed almost bursting. Almost at the moment that her weight
    was thrown upon it, orgasm took place for the first time in my
    life thoroughly and effectively. No description can give any idea
    of what I felt--I only know that from that moment my distorted
    sexual focus was fixed forever. Numberless times, after that
    evening, I felt the weight of her dainty slippers, and nothing
    will ever cause the memory of the pleasure she thus gave me to
    fade. I know that A. came to enjoy treading upon me, as much as I
    enjoyed having her do it. She had a liberal dress allowance and,
    seeing the pleasure they gave me, she was always buying pretty
    stockings and ravishing slippers with the highest and most
    slender Louis heels she could find and would show them to me with
    the greatest glee, urging me to lie down that she might try them
    on me. She confessed that she loved to see and feel them sink
    into my body as she trod upon me and enjoyed the crunch of the
    muscles under her heel as she moved about. After some minutes of
    this, I always guided her slipper on to my penis, and she would
    tread carefully, but with her whole weight--probably about 9
    stone--and watch me with flashing eyes, flushed cheeks, and
    quivering lips, as she felt--as she must have done plainly--the
    throbbing and swelling of my penis under her foot as emission
    took place. I have not the smallest doubt that orgasm took place
    simultaneously with her, though we never at any time spoke openly
    of it. This went on for several years on almost every favorable
    opportunity we had, and after a month or two of separation
    sometimes four or five times during a single day. Several times
    during A.'s absence I masturbated by getting her slipper and
    pressing it with all my strength against the penis while
    imagining that she was treading upon me. The pleasure was, of
    course, very inferior to her attentions. There was never at any
    time between us any question of normal sexual intercourse, and we
    were both well content to let things drift as they were.

    "A little after 20 I went abroad, and on my return about three
    years later I found her married. Although we met often, the
    subject was never alluded to, though we remained firm friends. I
    confess I often, when I could do so without being seen, looked
    longingly at her feet and would have gladly accepted the pleasure
    she could have given me by an occasional resumption of our
    strange practice--but it never came.

    "I went abroad again, and now neither she nor her husband are
    alive and leave no issue. From time to time I have had occasional
    relations with prostitutes, but always in this manner, though I
    much prefer to find some lady of or above my own social position
    who will do the treading for me. This is, however, interestingly

    "Out of say a hundred women (which at home and abroad is what I
    should estimate must have stood upon my body) I should say quite
    80 or 85 were _not_ prostitutes. Certainly not more than 10 to 12
    shared any _sexual_ excitement, but while they were evidently
    excited they were not gratified. A. alone, so far as I know, had
    complete sexual satisfaction of it. I have never asked a woman in
    so many words to tread upon me for the purpose of gratifying my
    sexual desires (prostitutes excepted), but have always tempted
    them to do it in a jocular or teasing manner, and it is very
    doubtful if more than a few (married) women really understood,
    even after they had given me the extreme pleasure, that they had
    done so, because any flushing and movement on my part under their
    feet was not unnaturally put down to the trampling to which they
    were subjecting me, and it was easy for me to guide the foot as
    often as was necessary on to the penis till orgasm took place,
    and even to keep it there by laying hold of the other one to kiss
    it or on some other pretext during emission. Of course many
    understood after once doing it (most have done it only once) what
    I was at, and, although they did not ever discuss it nor did I,
    they were not unwilling to give me as many treadings as I cared
    to playfully suggest. I don't think they got any pleasure
    sexually out of it themselves, though they could see plainly that
    I did, and they did not object to give it me. I have spent as
    long as twelve months with some women working gradually nearer
    and nearer to my desire--often getting what I want in the end,
    but more often failing. I _never_ risk it till I am certain it
    would be safe to ask it, and have never had a serious rebuff. In
    very many cases I should say the doing of what I want has simply
    been regarded by the woman as gratifying a silly and perhaps
    amusing whim, in which, beyond the novelty of treading on a man's
    body, she has taken but little interest.

    "As in normal seduction, the endeavor to win the woman over to do
    what I want without arousing her antagonism is a great part of
    the charm to me, and naturally the better her social position the
    more difficult this becomes--and the more attractive. I have
    found that in three instances prostitutes have performed the same
    office for other men and knew all about it. It is not
    uninteresting to note that these three women were all of fine,
    massive build--one standing about 5 feet 10 inches and weighing
    nearly 14 stone--but with comparatively uninteresting faces. The
    weight, build and clothing count for a good deal in exciting me.
    I find that a sudden check to a man at the supreme moment of
    sexual pleasure tends to heighten and prolong the pleasure. My
    physical satisfaction is due to the fact that by getting the lady
    to stand with all her weight upon my penis (as it lies between
    her foot and the soft bed of my own body into which it is deeply
    pressed) the act of emission is enormously prolonged, with
    corresponding enjoyment. For this reason also I prefer a very
    high-heeled slipper. The seminal fluid has to be forced past two
    separate obstacles--the pressure of the heel close at the root of
    the penis and afterwards the ball of the foot which compresses
    the outer half, leaving a free portion between them under the
    arched sole of the slipper. I may add that the pleasure is
    greatly increased by the retention of the urine, and I always try
    to retain as much water as I dare. I have an unconquerable
    aversion to red in slippers or stockings; it will even cause
    impotence. Why, I know not. Strange as it may seem, although pain
    and bruising are often inflicted by a severe treading, I have
    never been in any way injured by the practice, and my pleasure in
    it seems not to diminish by constant repetition. The comparative
    difficulty of obtaining the pleasure from just the woman I want
    has a never-ending, if inexplicable, charm for me."

    It will be observed that in this case special importance is
    attached to shoes with high heels, and the subject considers that
    the pressure of such shoes is for mechanical reasons most
    favorable for procuring ejaculation. Nearly all heterosexual
    shoe-fetichists seem, however, to be equally attracted by high
    heels. Restif de la Bretonne frequently referred to this point,
    and he gave a number of reasons for the attractiveness of high
    heels: (1) They are unlike men's boots and, therefore, have a
    sexual fascination; (2) they make the leg and foot look more
    charming; (3) they give a less bold and more sylph-like character
    to the walk; (4) they keep the feet clean. (Restif de la
    Bretonne, _Nuits de Paris_, vol. v, quoted in Preface to his _Mes
    Inscriptions_, p. ciii.) It is doubtless the first reason--the
    fact that high heels are a kind of secondary sexual
    character--which is most generally potent in this attraction.

The foregoing history, while it very distinctly brings before us a case of
erotic symbolism, is not strictly an example of shoe-fetichism. The
symbolism is more complex. The focus of beauty in a desirable woman is
transferred and concentrated in the region below the knee; in that sense
we have foot-fetichism. But the act of coitus itself is also symbolically
transferred. Not only has the foot become the symbol of the vulva, but
trampling has become the symbol of coitus; intercourse takes place
symbolically _per pedem_. It is a result of this symbolization of the foot
and of trampling that all acts of treading take on a new and symbolical
sexual charm. The element of masochism--of pleasure in being a woman's
slave--is a parasitic growth; that is to say, it is not founded in the
subject's constitution, but chances to have found a favorable soil in the
special circumstances under which his sexual life developed. It is not
primary, but secondary, and remains an unimportant and merely occasional

It may be instructive to bring forward for comparison a case in which also
we have a symbolism involving boot-fetichism, but extending beyond it. In
this case there is a basis of inversion (as is not infrequent in erotic
symbolisms), but from the present point of view the psychological
significance of the case remains the same.

    A.N., aged 29, unmarried, healthy, though not robust, and without
    any known hereditary taint. Has followed various avocations
    without taking great interest in them, but has shown some
    literary ability.

    "I am an Englishman," his own narrative runs, "the third of three
    children. At my birth my father was 41 and my mother 34. My
    mother died of cancer when I was 15. My father is still alive, a
    reserved man, who still nurses his sorrow for his wife's death. I
    have no reason to believe my parents anything but normal and
    useful members of society. My sister is normal and happily
    married. My brother I have reason to believe to be an invert.

    "A horoscope cast for me describes me in a way I think correct,
    and so do my friends: 'A mild, obliging, gentle, amiable person,
    with many fine traits of character; timid in nature, fond of
    society, loving peace and quietude, delighting in warm and close
    friendships. There is much that is firm, steadfast and
    industrious, some self-love, a good deal of diplomacy, a little
    that is subtle, or what is called finesse. You are reserved with
    those you dislike. There is a serious and sad side to your
    character; you are very thoughtful and contemplative when in
    these moods. But you are not pessimistic. You have superior
    abilities, for they are intuitively intellectual. There is a cold
    reticence which restrains generous impulses and which inclines to
    acquisitiveness; it will make you deliberate, inventive, adding
    self-esteem, some vanity.'

    "At an early age I was left much alone in the nursery and there
    contracted the habit of masturbation long before the age of
    puberty. I use the word 'masturbation' for want of a better,
    though it may not quite describe my case. I have never used my
    hand to the penis. As far back as I can remember I have had what
    a Frenchman has described as 'le fetichisme de la chaussure,' and
    in those early days, before I was 6 years old, I would put on my
    father's boots, taken from a cupboard at hand, and then tying or
    strapping my legs together would produce an erection, and all the
    pleasurable feelings experienced, I suppose, by means of
    masturbation. I always did this secretly, but couldn't tell why.
    I continued this practice on and off all my boyhood and youth.
    When I discovered the first emission I was much surprised. I
    always did this thing without loosening my trousers. As to how
    these feelings arose I am totally unable to say. I can't remember
    being without such feelings, and they seem to me perfectly
    normal. The sight, or even thought, of high boots, or leggings,
    especially if well polished or in patent leather, would set all
    my sexual passions aflame, and does yet. As a boy my great desire
    was to wear these things. A soldier in boots and spurs, a groom
    in tops, or even an errand-boy in patent leather leggings,
    fascinated me, and to this day, despite reason and everything
    else. The sight of such things produced an erection. An emission
    I could always produce by tightly tying my legs together, but
    only when wearing boots, and preferably leggings, which when I
    had pocket money I bought for this purpose. (At the present
    moment I have five pairs in the house and two pairs of high
    boots, quite unjustified by ordinary use.) This habit I lapse
    into yet at times. The smell of leather affects me, but I never
    know how far this may be due to association with boots; the smell
    suggests the image. Restraint by a leather strap is more exciting
    than by cords. Erotic dreams always take the form of restraint on
    the limbs when booted.

    "Uniforms and liveries have a great temptation for me, but only
    when of a tight-fitting nature and smart, as soldiers', grooms',
    etc., but not sailors'; most powerfully when the person is in
    boots or leggings and breeches.

    "I was a quiet, sensitive boy, taking no part in games or sports.
    Have always been indifferent to them. I made few friends, but
    didn't want them. The craving for friendship came much later,
    after I was 21. I was a day boy at a private school, and never
    had any conversation with any boy on sexual matters, though I was
    dimly aware of much 'nastiness' about the school. I knew nothing
    of sodomy. But all these things were repulsive to me,
    notwithstanding my secret practices. I was a 'good boy.'

    "Up to the age of 21 I was perfectly satisfied with my own
    society, something of a prig, fond of books and reading, etc. I
    was and ever have been absolutely insensible to the influence of
    the other sex. I am not a woman hater, and take intellectual
    pleasure in the society of certain ladies, but they are nearly
    all much older than myself. I have a strong repulsion from sexual
    relations with women. I should not mind being married for the
    sake of companionship and for the sake of having boys of my own.
    But the sexual act would frighten me. I could not in my present
    frame of mind go to bed with a woman. Yet I feel an immense envy
    of my married friends in that they are able to give out, and find
    satisfaction for, their affection in a way that is quite
    impossible for me. I picture certain boys in the place of the

    "I am now only happy in the society of men younger than myself,
    age 17 to (say) 23 or 24, youths with smooth faces, or first sign
    of hair on lip, well groomed, slightly effeminate in feature, of
    sympathetic, perhaps weak nature. I feel I want to help them, do
    something for them, devote myself entirely to their welfare.

    "With such there is no fixed line between friendship and love. I
    yearn for intimacy with particular friends, but never dare
    express it. I find so many people object to any strong expression
    of feeling that I dare not run the risk of appearing ridiculous
    in the eyes of these desired intimates.

    "I have no desire for _pædicatio_, but the idea itself does not
    repulse me or seem unnatural, though personally it repels me a
    little. But I think this to be mere prejudice on my part, which
    might be broken down if the loved person showed a willingness to
    act a passive part. I should never dare to make an advance,

    "I am restrained by moral and religious considerations from
    making my real feelings known, and I feel I should sink in my own
    estimation if I gave way, though my natural desire is to do so.
    In the face of opportunities (not I mean of _pædicatio_, but of
    expression of excessive affection, etc.), or what might be such,
    I always fail to speak lest I should forfeit the esteem of the
    other person. I have a feeling of surprise when any one I like
    evinces a liking for me. I feel that those I love are
    immeasurably my superiors, though my reason may tell me it is not
    so. I would grovel at their feet, do anything to win a smile from
    them, or to make them give me their company.

    "Ordinary bodily contact with the boy I love gives me most
    exquisite pleasure, and I never lose an opportunity of bringing
    such contact about when it can be done naturally. I feel an
    immense desire to embrace, kiss, squeeze, etc., the person, to
    generally maul him, and say nice things--the kind of things a man
    usually says to a woman. A handshake, the mere presence of the
    person, makes me happy and content.

    "I can say with the Albanian: 'If I find myself in the presence
    of the beloved, I rest absorbed in gazing on him. Absent, I think
    of nought but him. If the beloved unexpectedly appears I fall
    into confusion. My heart beats faster. I have eyes and ears only
    for the beloved.'

    "I feel that my capacity of affection is finer and more spiritual
    than that which commonly subsists between persons of different
    sexes. And so, while trying to fight my instincts by religion, I
    find my natural feeling to be part of my religion, and its
    highest expression. In this sense I can speak from experience in
    my own case, and more especially in that of my brother, that what
    you have said about philanthropic activity resulting from
    repressed homosexuality is very true indeed. I can say with one
    of your female cases: 'Love is to me a religion. The very nature
    of my affection for my friends precludes the possibility of any
    element entering into it which is not absolutely pure and
    sacred.' I am, however, madly jealous. I want entire possession,
    and I can't bear for a moment that any one I do not care for
    should know the person I love.

    "I am never attracted by men older than myself. The youths who
    attract me may be of any class, though preferably, I think, of a
    class a little lower than myself. I am not quite sure of this,
    however, as circumstances may have contributed more than
    deliberate choice to bring certain youths under my notice. Those
    who have exercised the most powerful influence on me have been an
    Oxford undergraduate, a barber's assistant, and a plumber's
    apprentice. Though naturally fond of intellectual society, I do
    not ask for intellect in those I love. It goes for nothing. I
    always prefer their company to that of the most educated persons.
    This preference has alienated me to some extent from more refined
    and educated circles that formerly I was intimate with.

    "I have been led entirely out of my old habits by association
    with younger friends, and now do things which before I should
    never have dreamed of doing. My thoughts now are always with
    certain youths, and if they speak of leaving the town, or in any
    way talk of a future that I cannot share, I suffer horrid
    sinkings of the heart and depression of spirits."

This case, while it concerns a person of quite different temperament, with
a more innate predisposition to specific perversions, is yet in many
respects analogous to the previous case. There is boot-fetichism; nothing
is felt to be so attractive as the foot-gear, and there is also at the
same time more than this; there is the attraction of repression and
constraint developed into a sexual symbol. In C.P.'s case that symbolism
arises from the experience of an abnormal heterosexual relationship; in
A.N.'s case it is founded on auto-erotic experiences associated with
inversion; in both alike the entire symbolism has become diffused and

In the two cases just brought forward we have an erotic symbolism of act
founded on, and closely associated with, an erotic symbolism of object. It
may be instructive to bring forward another case in which no fetichistic
feeling toward an object can be traced, but an erotic symbolism still
clearly exists. In this case pain, even when self-inflicted, has acquired
a symbolic value as a stimulus to tumescence, without any element of
masochism. Such a case serves to indicate how the sexual attraction of
pain is really a special case of the erotic symbolism with which we are
here concerned.

    A.W., aged 50, a writer and lecturer, physically and mentally
    energetic and enjoying good health. He is, however, very
    emotional and of nervous temperament, but self-controlled. Though
    physically well developed, the sexual organs are small. He is
    married to an attractive woman, to whom he is much attached, and
    has two healthy children.

    At 10 or 12 years of age he had a frequent desire to be whipped,
    his parents never having struck him, and on one occasion he asked
    a brother to go with him to the closet to get him to whip him on
    the posterior; but on arrival he was too shy to make the request.
    He did not recognize the cause of these desires, knowing nothing
    of such things except from the misinformation of his
    school-fellows' talk. As far as he can remember, he was an
    entirely normal, healthy boy up to the age of about 15, when his
    attention was arrested by an advertisement of a quack medicine
    for the results of "youthful excesses."

    Being a city boy, he was unfamiliar with the coupling even of
    animals, had never had a conscious erection and did not know of
    frictional excitement. Experiment, however, resulted in an
    orgasm, and, though believing that it was wicked or at least weak
    and degrading, he indulged in masturbation at intervals, usually
    about six times a month, and has continued even up to the

    He had an abnormally small opening in the prepuce, making the
    uncovering of the glans almost impossible. (At the age of about
    37, he himself slit the prepuce by three or four cuts of a
    scissors at intervals of about ten days. This was followed by a
    marked decrease in desire, especially as he shortly afterwards
    learned the importance of local cleanliness.) While in college at
    about the age of 19 he began to have nocturnal emissions
    occasionally and once or twice a week when at stool. Alarmed by
    these, he consulted a physician, who warned him of the danger,
    gave him bromide and prescribed cold bathing of the parts, with a
    hard, cool bed. These stopped the emissions.

    He never had connection with women until the age of about 25, and
    then only three times until his marriage at 30 years of age,
    being deterred partly by conscientious scruples, but more by
    shyness and convention, and deriving very little pleasure from
    these instances. Even since marriage he has derived more pleasure
    from sexual excitement than from coitus, and can maintain
    erection for as long as two hours.

    He has always been accustomed to torture himself in various
    ingenious ways, nearly always connected with sex. He would burn
    his skin deeply with red hot wire in inconspicuous places. These
    and similar acts were generally followed by manual excitation
    nearly always brought to a climax.

    He considers that he is attracted to refined and intellectual
    women. But he is without very ardent desires, having several
    times gone to bed with attractive women who stripped themselves
    naked, but without attempting any sexual intercourse with them.
    He became interested in the "Karezza" theory and has tried to
    practice it with his wife, but could never entirely control the

    He has hired a masseur to whip him, as children are whipped, with
    a heavy dog whip, which caused pleasurable excitement. During
    this time he had relations with his wife generally about once a
    week without any great ecstasy. She was cold and sexually slow,
    owing to conventional sex repression and to an idea that the
    whole thing was "like animals" and to fear of child-bearing,
    usually necessitating the use of a cover or withdrawal. It was
    only eight years after their marriage that she desired and
    obtained a child. During these years he would often stick pins
    through his mammæ and tie them together by a string round the
    pins drawn so short as to cause great pain and then indulge
    himself in the sexual act. He used strong wooden clips with a
    tack fixed in them, so as to pierce and pinch the mammæ, and once
    he drove a pin entirely through the penis itself, then obtaining
    orgasm by friction. He was never able to get an automatic
    emission in this way, though he often tried, not even by walking
    briskly during an erection.

In another class of cases a purely ideal symbolism may be present by means
of a fetich which acts as a powerful stimulus without itself being felt to
possess any attraction. A good illustration of this condition is furnished
by a case which has been communicated to me by a medical correspondent in
New Zealand.

    "The patient went out to South Africa as a trooper with the
    contingent from New Zealand, throwing up a good position in an
    office to do so. He had never had any trouble as regards
    connection with women before going out to South Africa. While in
    active service at the front he sustained a nasty fall from his
    horse, breaking his leg. He was unconscious for four days, and
    was then invalided down to Cape Town. Here he rapidly got well,
    and his accustomed health returning to him he started having what
    he terms 'a good time.' He repeatedly went to brothels, but was
    unable to have more than a temporary erection, and no ejaculation
    would take place. In one of these places he was in company with a
    drunken trooper, who suggested that they should perform the
    sexual act with their boots and spurs (only) on. My patient, who
    was also drunk, readily assented, and to his surprise was enabled
    to perform the act of copulation without any difficulty at all.
    He has repeatedly tried since to perform the act without any
    spurs, but is quite unable to do so; with the spurs he has no
    difficulty at all in obtaining all the gratification he desires.
    His general health is good. His mother was an extremely nervous
    woman, and so is his sister. His father died when he was quite
    young. His only other relation in the colony is a married sister,
    who seems to enjoy vigorous health."

The consideration of the cases here brought forward may suffice to show
that beyond those fetichisms which find their satisfaction in the
contemplation of a part of the body or a garment, there is a more subtle
symbolism. The foot is a center of force, an agent for exerting pressure,
and thus it furnishes a point of departure not alone for the merely static
sexual fetich, but for a dynamic erotic symbolization. The energy of its
movements becomes a substitute for the energy of the sexual organs
themselves in coitus, and exerts the same kind of fascination. The young
girl (page 35) "who seemed to have a passion for treading upon things
which would scrunch or yield under her foot," already possessed the germs
of an erotic symbolism which, under the influence of circumstances in
which she herself took an active part, developed into an adequate method
of sexual gratification.[23] The youth who was her partner learned, in the
same way, to find an erotic symbolism in all the pressure reactions of
attractive feminine feet, the swaying of a carriage beneath their weight,
the crushing of the flowers on which they tread, the slow rising of the
grass which they have pressed. Here we have a symbolism which is
altogether different from that fetichism which adores a definite object;
it is a dynamic symbolism finding its gratification in the spectacle of
movements which ideally recall the fundamental rhythm and pressure
reactions of the sexual process.

We may trace a very similar erotic symbolism in an absolutely normal form.
The fascination of clothes in the lover's eyes is no doubt a complex
phenomenon, but in part it rests on the aptitudes of a woman's garments to
express vaguely a dynamic symbolism which must always remain indefinite
and elusive, and on that account always possess fascination. No one has so
acutely described this symbolism as Herrick, often an admirable
psychologist in matters of sexual attractiveness. Especially instructive
in this respect are his poems, "Delight in Disorder," "Upon Julia's
Clothes," and notably "Julia's Petticoat." "A sweet disorder in the
dress," he tells us, "kindles in clothes a wantonness;" it is not on the
garment itself, but on the character of its movement that he insists; on
the "erring lace," the "winning wave" of the "tempestuous petticoat;" he
speaks of the "liquefaction" of clothes, their "brave vibration each way
free," and of Julia's petticoat he remarks with a more specific symbolism

    "Sometimes 'twould pant and sigh and heave,
     As if to stir it scarce had leave;
     But having got it, thereupon,
     'Twould make a brave expansion."

In the play of the beloved woman's garment, he sees the whole process of
the central act of sex, with its repressions and expansions, and at the
sight is himself ready to "fall into a swoon."


[13] G. Stanley Hall, _Adolescence_, vol. ii, p. 113. It will be noted
that the hand does not appear among the parts of the body which are
normally of supreme interest. An interest in the hand is by no means
uncommon (it may be noted, for instance, in the course of History XII in
Appendix B to vol. iii of these _Studies_), but the hand does not possess
the mystery which envelops the foot, and hand-fetichism is very much less
frequent than foot-fetichism, while glove-fetichism is remarkably rare. An
interesting case of hand-fetichism, scarcely reaching morbid intensity, is
recorded by Binet, _Etudes de Psychologie Expérimentale_, pp. 13-19; and
see Krafft-Ebing, _Op. cit._, pp. 214 et seq.

[14] _Mémoires_, vol. i, Chapter VII.

[15] Among leading English novelists Hardy shows an unusual but by no
means predominant interest in the feet and shoes of his heroines; see,
e.g., the observations of the cobbler in _Under the Greenwood Tree_,
Chapter III. A chapter in Goethe's _Wahlverwandtschaften_ (Part I, Chapter
II) contains an episode involving the charm of the foot and the kissing of
the beloved's shoe.

[16] Schinz, "Philosophie des Conventions Sociales," _Revue
Philosophique_, June, 1903, p. 626. Mirabeau mentions in his _Erotika
Biblion_ that modern Greek women sometimes use their feet to provoke
orgasm in their lovers. I may add that simultaneous mutual masturbation by
means of the feet is not unknown to-day, and I have been told by an
English shoe-fetichist that he at one time was accustomed to practice this
with a married lady (Brazilian)--she with slippers on and he without--who
derived gratification equal to his own.

[17] Jacoby (loc. cit. pp. 796-7) gives a large number of references to
Ovid's works bearing on this point. "In reading him," he remarks, "one is
inclined to say that the psychology of the Romans was closely allied to
that of the Chinese."

[18] R. Kleinpaul, _Sprache ohne Worte_, p. 308. See also Moll, _Konträre
Sexualempfindung_, third edition, pp. 306-308. Bloch brings together many
interesting references bearing on the ancient sexual and religious
symbolism of the shoe, _Beiträge zur Ætiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_,
Teil II, p. 324.

[19] Jacoby (loc. cit. p. 797) appears to regard shoe-fetichism as a true
atavism: "The sexual adoration of feminine foot-gear," he concludes,
"perhaps the most enigmatic and certainly the most singular of
degenerative insanities, is thus merely a form of atavism, the return of
the degenerate to the very ancient and primitive psychology which we no
longer understand and are no longer capable of feeling."

[20] Moll has reported in detail (_Untersuchungen über die Libido
Sexualis_, bd. i, Teil II, pp. 320-324) a case which both he and
Krafft-Ebing regard as illustrative of the connection between
boot-fetichism and masochism. It is essentially a case of masochism,
though manifesting itself almost exclusively in the desire to perform
humiliating acts in connection with the attractive person's boots.

[21] Krafft-Ebing goes so far as to assert (_Psychopathia Sexualis_,
English translation of tenth edition, p. 174) that "when in cases of
shoe-fetichism the female shoe appears alone as the excitant of sexual
desire one is justified in presuming that masochistic motives have
remained latent.... Latent masochism may always be assumed as the
unconscious motive." In this way he hopelessly misinterprets some of his
own cases.

[22] Krafft-Ebing goes so far as to assert (_Psychopathia Sexualis_,
English translation, pp. 159 and 174). Yet some of the cases he brings
forward (e.g., Coxe's as quoted by Hammond) show no sign of masochism,
since, according to Krafft-Ebing's own definition (p. 116), the idea of
subjugation by the opposite sex is of the essence of masochism.

[23] Her actions suggest that there is often a latent sexual consciousness
in regard to the feet in women, atavistic or pseudo-atavistic, and
corresponding to the sexual attraction which the feet formerly aroused,
almost normally, in men. This is also suggested by the case, referred to
by Shufeldt, of an unmarried woman, belonging to a family exhibiting in a
high degree both erotic and neurotic traits, who had "a certain
uncontrollable fascination for shoes. She delights in new shoes, and
changes her shoes all day long at regular intervals of three hours each.
She keeps this row of shoes out in plain sight in her apartment." (R.W.
Shufeldt, "On a Case of Female Impotency," 1896, p. 10.)


Scatalogic Symbolism--Urolagnia--Coprolagnia--The Ascetic Attitude Towards
the Flesh--Normal basis of Scatalogic Symbolism--Scatalogic Conceptions
Among Primitive Peoples--Urine as a Primitive Holy Water--Sacredness of
Animal Excreta--Scatalogy in Folk-lore--The Obscene as Derived from the
Mythological--The Immature Sexual Impulse Tends to Manifest Itself in
Scatalogic Forms--The basis of Physiological Connection Between the
Urinary and Genital Spheres--Urinary Fetichism Sometimes Normal in
Animals--The Urolagnia of Masochists--The Scatalogy of Saints--Urolagnia
More Often a Symbolism of Act Than a Symbolism of Object--Only
Occasionally an Olfactory Fetichism--Comparative Rarity of
Coprolagnia--Influence of Nates Fetichism as a Transition to
Coprolagnia--Ideal Coprolagnia--Olfactory Coprolagnia--Urolagnia and
Coprolagnia as Symbols of Coitus.

We meet with another group of erotic symbolisms--alike symbolisms of
object and of act--in connection with the two functions adjoining the
anatomical sexual focus: the urinary and alvine excretory functions. These
are sometimes termed the scatalogical group, with the two subdivisions of
urolagnia and Coprolagnia.[24] _Inter fæces et urinam nascimur_ is an
ancient text which has served the ascetic preachers of old for many
discourses on the littleness of man and the meanness of that reproductive
power which plays so large a part in man's life. "The stupid bungle of
Nature," a correspondent writes, "whereby the generative organs serve as a
means of relieving the bladder, is doubtless responsible for much of the
disgust which those organs excite in some minds."

At the same time, it is necessary to point out, such reflex influence may
act not in one direction only, but also in the reverse direction. From
the standpoint of ascetic contemplation eager to belittle humanity, the
excretory centers may cast dishonor upon the genital center which they
adjoin. From the more ecstatic standpoint of the impassioned lover, eager
to magnify the charm of the woman he worships, it is not impossible for
the excretory centers to take on some charm from the irradiating center of
sex which they enclose.

Even normally such a process is traceable. The normal lover may not
idealize the excretory functions of his mistress, but the fact that he
finds no repulsion in the most intimate contacts and feels no disgust at
the proximity of the excretory orifices or the existence of their
functions, indicates that the idealization of love has exerted at all
events a neutralizing influence; indeed, the presence of an acute
sensibility to the disturbing influence of this proximity of the excretory
orifices and their functions must be considered abnormal; Swift's
"Strephon and Chloe"--with the conviction underlying it that it is an easy
matter for the excretory functions to drown the possibilities of
love--could only have proceeded from a morbidly sensitive brain.[25]

A more than mere neutralizing influence, a positively idealizing influence
of the sexual focus on the excretory processes adjoining it, may take
place in the lover's mind without the normal variations of sexual
attraction being over-passed, and even without the creation of an
excretory fetichism.

    Reflections of this attitude may be found in the poets. In the
    _Song of Songs_ the lover says of his mistress, "Thy navel is
    like a round goblet, wherein no mingled wine is wanting;" in his
    lyric "To Dianeme," Herrick says with clear reference to the
    mons veneris:--

        "Show me that hill where smiling love doth sit,
        Having a living fountain under it;"

    and in the very numerous poems in various languages which have
    more or less obscurely dealt with the rose as the emblem of the
    feminine pudenda there are occasional references to the stream
    which guards or presides over the rose. It may, indeed, be
    recalled that even in the name _nymphæ_ anatomists commonly apply
    to the _labia minora_ there is generally believed to be a poetic
    allusion to the Nymphs who presided over streams, since the
    _labia minora_ exert an influence on the direction of the urinary

    In _Wilhelm Meister_ (Part I, Chapter XV), Goethe, on the basis
    of his own personal experiences, describes his hero's emotions in
    the humble surroundings of Marianne's little room as compared
    with the stateliness and order of his own home. "It seemed to him
    when he had here to remove her stays in order to reach the
    harpsichord, there to lay her skirt on the bed before he could
    seat himself, when she herself with unembarrassed frankness would
    make no attempt to conceal from him many natural acts which
    people are accustomed to hide from others out of decency--it
    seemed to him, I say, that he became bound to her by invisible
    bands." We are told of Wordsworth (Findlay's _Recollections of De
    Quincey_, p. 36) that he read _Wilhelm Meister_ till "he came to
    the scene where the hero, in his mistress's bedroom, becomes
    sentimental over her dirty towels, etc., which struck him with
    such disgust that he flung the book out of his hand, would never
    look at it again, and declared that surely no English lady would
    ever read such a work." I have, however, heard a woman of high
    intellectual distinction refer to the peculiar truth and beauty
    of this very passage.

    In one of his latest novels, _Les Rencontres de M. de Bréot_,
    Henri de Régnier, one of the most notable of recent French
    novelists, narrates an episode bearing on the matter before us. A
    personage of the story is sitting for a moment in a dark grotto
    during a night fête in a nobleman's park, when two ladies enter
    and laughingly proceed to raise their garments and accomplish a
    natural necessity. The man in the background, suddenly overcome
    by a sexual impulse, starts forward; one lady runs away, the
    other, whom he detains, offers little resistance to his advances.
    To M. de Bréot, whom he shortly after encounters, he exclaims,
    abashed at his own actions: "Why did I not flee? But could I
    imagine that the spectacle of so disgusting a function would have
    any other effect than to give me a humble opinion of human
    nature?" M. de Bréot, however, in proceeding to reproach his
    interlocutor for his inconsiderate temerity, observes: "What you
    tell me, sir, does not entirely surprise me. Nature has placed
    very various instincts within us, and the impulse that led you to
    what you have just now done is not so peculiar as you think. One
    may be a very estimable man and yet love women even in what is
    lowliest in their bodies." In harmony with this passage from
    Régnier's novel are the remarks of a correspondent who writes to
    me of the function of urination that it "appeals sexually to most
    normal individuals. My own observations and inquiries prove this.
    Women themselves instinctively feel it. The secrecy surrounding
    the matter lends, too, I think, a sexual interest."

    The fact that scatalogic processes may in some degree exert an
    attraction even in normal love has been especially emphasized by
    Bloch (_Beiträge zur Ætiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil
    II, pp. 222, et seq.): "The man whose intellect and æsthetic
    sense has been 'clouded by the sexual impulse' sees these things
    in an entirely different light from him who has not been overcome
    by the intoxication of love. For him they are idealized (sit
    venia verbo) since they are a part of the beloved person, and in
    consequence associated with love." Bloch quotes the _Memoiren
    einer Sängerin_ (a book which is said to be, though this seems
    doubtful, genuinely autobiographical) in the same sense: "A man
    who falls in love with a girl is not dragged out of his poetic
    sphere by the thought that his beloved must relieve certain
    natural necessities every day. It seems, indeed, to him to be
    just the opposite. If one loves a person one finds nothing
    obscene or disgusting in the object that pleases me." The
    opposite attitude is probably in extreme cases due to the
    influence of a neurotic or morbidly sensitive temperament. Swift
    possessed such a temperament. The possession of a similar
    temperament is doubtless responsible for the little prose poem,
    "L'Extase," in which Huysmans in his first book, _Le Drageloir á
    Epices_, has written an attenuated version of "Strephon and
    Chloe" to express the disillusionment of love; the lover lies in
    a wood clasping the hand of the beloved with rapturous emotion;
    "suddenly she rose, disengaged her hand, disappeared in the
    bushes, and I heard as it were the rustling of rain on the
    leaves." His dream has fled.

In estimating the significance of the lover's attitude in this matter, it
is important to realize the position which scatologic conceptions took in
primitive belief. At certain stages of early culture, when all the
emanations of the body are liable to possess mysterious magic properties
and become apt for sacred uses, the excretions, and especially the urine,
are found to form part of religious ritual and ceremonial function. Even
among savages the excreta are frequently regarded as disgusting, but under
the influence of these conceptions such disgust is inhibited, and those
emanations of the body which are usually least honored become religious

    Urine has been regarded as the original holy water, and many
    customs which still survive in Italy and various parts of Europe,
    involving the use of a fluid which must often be yellow and
    sometimes salt, possibly indicate the earlier use of urine. (The
    Greek water of aspersion, according to Theocritus, was mixed
    with salt, as is sometimes the modern Italian holy water. J.J.
    Blunt, _Vestiges of Ancient Manners and Customs_, p. 173.) Among
    the Hottentots, as Kolbein and others have recorded, the medicine
    man urinated alternately on bride and bridegroom, and a
    successful young warrior was sprinkled in the same way. Mungo
    Park mentions that in Africa on one occasion a bride sent a bowl
    of her urine which was thrown over him as a special mark of honor
    to a distinguished guest. Pennant remarked that the Highlanders
    sprinkled their cattle with urine, as a kind of holy water, on
    the first Monday in every quarter. (Bourke, _Scatalogic Rites_,
    pp. 228, 239; Brand, _Popular Antiquities_, "Bride-Ales.")

    Even the excreta of animals have sometimes been counted sacred.
    This is notably so in the case of the cow, of all animals the
    most venerated by primitive peoples, and especially in India.
    Jules Bois (_Visions de l'Inde_, p. 86) describes the spectacle
    presented in the temple of the cows at Benares: "I put my head
    into the opening of the holy stables. It was the largest of
    temples, a splendor of precious stones and marble, where the
    venerated heifers passed backwards and forwards. A whole people
    adored them. They take no notice, plunged in their divine and
    obscure unconsciousness. And they fulfil with serenity their
    animal functions; they chew the offerings, drink water from
    copper vessels, and when they are filled they relieve themselves.
    Then a stercoraceous and religious insanity overcomes these
    starry-faced women and venerable men; they fall on their knees,
    prostrate themselves, eat the droppings, greedily drink the
    liquid, which for them is miraculous and sacred." (Cf. Bourke,
    _Scatalogic Rites_, Chapter XVII.)

    Among the Chevsurs of the Caucasus, perhaps an Iranian people, a
    woman after her confinement, for which she lives apart, purifies
    herself by washing in the urine of a cow and then returns home.
    This mode of purification is recommended in the Avesta, and is
    said to be used by the few remaining followers of this creed.

We have not only to take into account the frequency with which among
primitive peoples the excretions possess a religious significance. It is
further to be noted that in the folk-lore of modern Europe we everywhere
find plentiful evidence of the earlier prevalence of legends and practices
of a scatalogical character. It is significant that in the majority of
cases it is easy to see a sexual reference in these stories and customs.
The legends have lost their earlier and often mythical significance, and
frequently take on a suggestion of obscenity, while the scatalogical
practices have become the magical devices of lovelorn maidens or forsaken
wives practiced in secrecy. It has happened to scatalogical rites to be
regarded as we may gather from the _Clouds_ of Aristophanes, that the
sacred leathern phallus borne by the women in the Bacchanalia was becoming
in his time, an object to arouse the amusement of little boys.

    Among many primitive peoples throughout the world, and among the
    lower social classes of civilized peoples, urine possesses magic
    properties, more especially, it would seem, the urine of women
    and that of people who stand, or wish to stand, in sexual
    relationship to each other. In a legend of the Indians of the
    northwest coast of America, recorded by Boas, a woman gives her
    lover some of her urine and says: "You can wake the dead if you
    drop some of my urine in their ears and nose." (_Zeitschrift für
    Ethnologie_, 1894, Heft IV, p. 293.) Among the same Indians there
    is a legend of a woman with a beautiful white skin who found on
    bathing every morning in the river that the fish were attracted
    to her skin and could not be driven off even by magical
    solutions. At last she said to herself: "I will make water on
    them and then they will leave me alone." She did so, and
    henceforth the fish left her. But shortly after fire came from
    Heaven and killed her. (Ib., 1891, Heft V, p. 640.) Among both
    Christians and Mohammedans a wife can attach an unfaithful
    husband by privately putting some of her urine in his drink. (B.
    Stern, _Medizin in der Türkei_, vol. ii, p. 11.) This practice is
    world-wide; thus among the aborigines of Brazil, according to
    Martius, the urine and other excretions and secretions are potent
    for aphrodisiacal objects. (Bourke's _Scatalogic Rites of All
    Nations_ contains many references to the folk-lore practices in
    this matter; a study of popular beliefs in the magic power of
    urine, published in Bombay by Professor Eugen Wilhelm in 1889, I
    have not seen.)

    The legends which narrate scatalogic exploits are numerous in the
    literature of all countries. Among primitive peoples they often
    have a purely theological character, for in the popular
    mythologies of all countries (even, as we learn from
    Aristophanes, among the Greeks) natural phenomena such as the
    rain, are apt to be regarded as divine excretions, but in course
    of time the legends take on a more erotic or a more obscene
    character. In the Irish _Book of Leinster_ (written down
    somewhere about the twelfth century, but containing material of
    very much older date) we are told how a number of princesses in
    Emain Macha, the seat of the Ulster Kings, resolved to find out
    which of them could by urinating on it melt a snow pillar which
    the men had made, the woman who succeeded to be regarded as the
    best among them. None of them succeeded, and they sent for
    Derbforgaill, who was in love with Cuchullain, and she was able
    to melt the pillar; whereupon the other women, jealous of the
    superiority she had thus shown, tore out her eyes. (Zimmer,
    "Keltische Beiträge," _Zeitschrift für Deutsche Alterthum_, vol.
    xxxii, Heft II, pp. 216-219.) Rhys considers that Derbforgaill
    was really a goddess of dawn and dusk, "the drop glistening in
    the sun's rays," as indicated by her name, which means a drop or
    tear. (J. Rhys, _Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as
    Illustrated by Celtic Heathendom_, p. 466.) It is interesting to
    compare the legend of Derbforgaill with a somewhat more modern
    Picardy folk-lore _conte_ which is clearly analogous but no
    longer seems to show any mythologic element, "La Princesse qui
    pisse par dessus les Meules." This princess had a habit of
    urinating over hay-cocks; the king, her father, in order to break
    her of the habit, offered her in marriage to anyone who could
    make a hay-cock so high that she could not urinate over it. The
    young men came, but the princess would merely laugh and at once
    achieve the task. At last there came a young man who argued with
    himself that she would not be able to perform this feat after she
    had lost her virginity. He therefore seduced her first and she
    then failed ignobly, merely wetting her stockings. Accordingly,
    she became his bride. (Kryptadia, vol. i. p. 333.) Such legends,
    which have lost any mythologic elements they may originally have
    possessed and have become merely _contes_, are not uncommon in
    the folk-lore of many countries. But in their earlier more
    religious forms and in their later more obscene forms, they alike
    bear witness to the large place which scatalogic conceptions play
    in the primitive mind.

It is a notable fact in evidence of the close and seemingly normal
association with the sexual impulse of the scatalogic processes, that an
interest in them, arising naturally and spontaneously, is one of the most
frequent channels by which the sexual impulse first manifests itself in
young boys and girls.

    Stanley Hall, who has made special inquiries into the matter,
    remarks that in childhood the products of excretion by bladder
    and bowels are often objects of interest hardly less intense for
    a time than eating and drinking. ("Early Sense of Self,"
    _American Journal of Psychology_, April, 1898, p. 361.)
    "Micturitional obscenities," the same writer observes again,
    "which our returns show to be so common before adolescence,
    culminate at 10 or 12, and seem to retreat into the background as
    sex phenomena appear." They are, he remarks, of two classes:
    "Fouling persons or things, secretly from adults, but openly with
    each other," and less often "ceremonial acts connected with the
    act or the product that almost suggest the scatalogical rites of
    savages, unfit for description here, but of great interest and
    importance." (G. Stanley Hall, _Adolescence_, vol. i, p. 116.)
    The nature of such scatalogical phenomena in childhood--which are
    often clearly the instinctive manifestations of an erotic
    symbolism--and their wide prevalence among both boys and girls,
    are very well illustrated in a narrative which I include in
    Appendix B, History II.

In boys as they approach the age of puberty, this attraction to the
scatalogic, when it exists, tends to die out, giving place to more normal
sexual conceptions, or at all events it takes a subordinate and less
serious place in the mind. In girls, on the other hand, it often tends to
persist. Edmond de Goncourt, a minute observer of the feminine mind,
refers in _Chérie_ to "those innocent and triumphant gaieties which
scatalogic stories have the privilege of arousing in women who have
remained still children, even the most distinguished women." The extent to
which innocent young women, who would frequently be uninterested or
repelled in presence of the sexually obscene are sometimes attracted by
the scatalogically obscene, becomes intelligible, however, if we realize
that a symbolism comes here into play. In women the more specifically
sexual knowledge and experience of life frequently develop much later than
in men or even remains in abeyance, and the specifically sexual phenomena
cannot therefore easily lend themselves to wit, or humor, or imagination.
But the scatalogic sphere, by the very fact that in women it is a
specially intimate and secret region which is yet always liable to be
unexpectedly protruded into consciousness, furnishes an inexhaustible
field for situations which have the same character as those furnished by
the sexually obscene. It thus happens that the sexually obscene which in
men tends to overshadow the scatalogically obscene, in women--partly from
inexperience and partly, it is probable, from their almost physiological
modesty--plays a part subordinate to the scatalogical. In a somewhat
analogous way scatalogical wit and humor play a considerable part in the
work of various eminent authors who were clergymen or priests.

In addition to the anatomical and psychological associations which
contribute to furnish a basis on which erotic symbolisms may spring up,
there are also physiological connections between the genital and urinary
spheres which directly favor such symbolisms. In discussing the analysis
of the sexual impulse in a previous volume of these _Studies_, I have
pointed out the remarkable relationship--sometimes of transference,
sometimes of compensation--which exists between genital tension and
vesical tension, both in men and women. In the histories of normal sexual
development brought together at the end of that and subsequent volumes the
relationship may frequently be traced, as also in the case of C.P. in the
present study (p. 37). Vesical power is also commonly believed to be in
relation with sexual potency, and the inability to project the urinary
stream in a normal manner is one of the accepted signs of sexual
impotency.[26] Féré, again, has recorded the history of a man with
periodic crises of sexual desire, and subsequently sexual obsession
without desire, which were always accompanied by the impulse to urinate
and by increased urination.[27] In the case, recorded by Pitres and Régis,
of a young girl who, having once at the sight of a young man she liked in
a theater been overcome by sexual feeling accompanied by a strong desire
to urinate, was afterward tormented by a groundless fear of experiencing
an irresistible desire to urinate at inconvenient times,[28] we have an
example of what may be called a physiological scatalogic symbolism of sex,
an emotion which was primarily erotic becoming transferred to the bladder
and then remaining persistent. From such a physiological symbolism it is
but a step to the psychological symbolisms of scatalogic fetichism.

    It is worthy of note, as an indication that such phenomena are
    scarcely abnormal, that a urinary symbolism, and even a strictly
    sexual fetichism, are normal among many animals.

    The most familiar example of this kind is furnished by the dog,
    who is sexually excited in this manner by traces of the bitch and
    himself takes every opportunity of making his own path
    recognizable. "This custom," Espinas remarks (_Des Sociétés
    Animales_, p. 228), "has no other aim than to spread along the
    road recognizable traces of their presence for the benefit of
    individuals of the other sex, the odor of these traces doubtless
    causing excitement."

    It is noteworthy, also, that in animals as well as in man, sexual
    excitement may manifest itself in the bladder. Thus Daumas states
    (_Chevaux de Sahara_, p. 49) that if the mare urinates when she
    hears the stallion neigh it is a sign that she is ready for

It is in masochism, or passive algolagnia, that we may most frequently
find scatalogic symbolism in its fully developed form. The man whose
predominant impulse is to subjugate himself to his mistress and to receive
at her hands the utmost humiliation, frequently finds the climax of his
gratification in being urinated on by her, whether in actual fact or only
in imagination.

In many such cases, however, it is evident that we have a mixed
phenomenon; the symbolism is double. The act becomes desirable because it
is the outward and visible sign of an inwardly experienced abject slavery
to an adored person. But it is also desirable because of intimately sexual
associations in the act itself, as a symbolical detumescence, a simulacrum
of the sexual act, and one which proceeds from the sexual focus itself.

    Krafft-Ebing records various cases of masochism in which the
    emission of urine on to the body or into the mouth formed the
    climax of sexual gratification, as, for instance (_Psychopathia
    Sexualis_, English translation, p. 183) in the case of a Russian
    official who as a boy had fancies of being bound between the
    thighs of a woman, compelled to sleep beneath her nates and to
    drink her urine, and in later life experienced the greatest
    excitement when practicing the last part of this early

    In another case, recorded by Krafft-Ebing and by him termed
    "ideal masochism" (_Op. cit._, pp. 127-130), the subject from
    childhood indulged in voluptuous day-dreams in which he was the
    slave of a beautiful mistress who would compel him to obey all
    her caprices, stand over him with one foot on his breast, sit on
    his face and body, make him wait on her in her bath, or when she
    urinated, and sometimes insist on doing this on his face; though
    a highly intellectual man, he was always too timid to attempt to
    carry any of his ideas into execution; he had been troubled by
    nocturnal enuresis up to the age of 20.

    Neri, again (_Archivio delle Psicopatie Sessuali_, vol. i, fasc.
    7 and 8, 1896), records the case of an Italian masochist who
    experienced the greatest pleasure when both urination and
    defecation were practiced in this manner by the woman he was
    attached to.

    In a previous volume of these _Studies_ ("Sexual Inversion,"
    History XXVI) I have recorded the masochistic day-dreams of a boy
    whose impulses were at the same time inverted; in his reveries
    "the central fact," he states, "became the discharge of urine
    from my lover over my body and limbs, or, if I were very fond of
    him, I let it be in my face." In actual life the act of urination
    casually witnessed in childhood became the symbol, even the
    reality, of the central secret of sex: "I stood rooted and
    flushing with downcast eyes till the act was over, and was
    conscious for a considerable time of stammering speech and
    bewildered faculties.... I was overwhelmed with emotion and could
    barely drag my feet from the spot or my eyes from the damp
    herbage where he had deposited the waters of secrecy. Even to-day
    I cannot dissociate myself from the shuddering charm that moment
    had for me."

It is not only the urine and the fæces which may thus acquire a symbolic
fascination and attractiveness under the influence of masochistic
deviations of sexual idealization. In some cases extreme rapture has been
experienced in licking sweating feet. There is, indeed, no excretion or
product of the body which has not been a source of ecstasy: the sweat from
every part of the body, the saliva and menstrual fluid, even the wax from
the ears.

    Krafft-Ebing very truly points out (_Psychopathia Sexualis_,
    English translation, p. 178) that this sexual scatalogic
    symbolism is precisely paralleled by a religious scatalogic
    symbolism. In the excesses of devout enthusiasm the ascetic
    performs exactly the same acts as are performed in these excesses
    of erotic enthusiasm. To mix excreta with the food, to lick up
    excrement, to suck festering sores--all these and the like are
    acts which holy and venerated women have performed.

    Not only the saint, but also the prophet and medicine-man have
    been frequently eaters of human excrement; it is only necessary
    to refer to the instance of the prophet Ezekiel, who declared
    that he was commanded to bake his bread with human dung, and to
    the practices of medicine-men at Torres Straits, in whose
    training the eating of human excrement takes a recognized part.
    (Deities, notably Baal-Phegor, were sometimes supposed to eat
    excrement, so that it was natural that their messengers and
    representatives among men should do so. As regards Baal-Phegor,
    see Dulaure, _Des Divinités Génératrices_, Chapter IV, and J.G.
    Bourke, _Scatalogic Rites of All Nations_, p. 241. See also
    Ezekiel, Chapter IV, v. 12, and _Reports Anthropological
    Expedition to Torres Straits_, vol. v, p. 321.)

    It must be added, however, that while the masochist is overcome
    by sexual rapture, so that he sees nothing disgusting in his act,
    the medicine-man and the ascetic are not so invariably overcome
    by religious rapture, and several ascetic writers have referred
    to the horror and disgust they experienced, at all events at
    first, in accomplishing such acts, while the medicine-men when
    novices sometimes find the ordeal too severe and have to abandon
    their career. Brénier de Montmorand, while remarking, not without
    some exaggeration, that "the Christian ascetics are almost all
    eaters of excrement" ("Ascétisme et Mysticisme," _Revue
    Philosophique_, March, 1904, p. 245), quotes the testimonies of
    Marguerite-Marie and Madame Guyon as to the extreme repugnance
    which they had to overcome. They were impelled by a merely
    intellectual symbolism of self-mortification rather than by the
    profoundly felt emotional symbolism which moves the masochist.

    Coprophagic acts, whether under the influences of religious
    exaltation or of sexual rapture, inevitably excite our disgust.
    We regard them as almost insane, fortified in that belief by the
    undoubted fact that coprophagia is not uncommon among the insane.
    It may, therefore, be proper to point out that it is not so very
    long since the ingestion of human excrement was carried out by
    our own forefathers in the most sane and deliberate manner. It
    was administered by medical practitioners for a great number of
    ailments, apparently with entirely satisfactory results. Less
    than two centuries ago, Schurig, who so admirably gathered
    together and arranged the medical lore of his own and the
    immediately preceding ages, wrote a very long and detailed
    chapter, "De Stercoris Humani Usu Medico" (_Chylologia_, 1725,
    cap. XIII; in the Paris _Journal de Médecine_ for February 19,
    1905, there appeared an article, which I have not seen, entitled
    "Médicaments oubliées: l'urine et la fiente humaine.") The
    classes of cases in which the drug was found beneficial would
    seem to have been extremely various. It must not be supposed that
    it was usually ingested in the crude form. A common method was to
    take the fæces of boys, dry them, mix them with the best honey,
    and administer an electuary. (At an earlier period such drugs
    appear to have met with some opposition from the Church, which
    seems to have seen in them only an application of magic; thus I
    note that in Burchard's remarkable Penitential of the fourteenth
    century, as reproduced by Wasserschleben, 40 days' penance is
    prescribed for the use of human urine or excrement as a medicine.
    Wasserschleben _Die Bussordnungen der Abendländlichen Kirche_, p.

The urolagnia of masochism is not a simple phenomenon; it embodies a
double symbolism: on the one hand a symbolism of self-abnegation, such as
the ascetic feels, on the other hand a symbolism of transferred sexual
emotion. Krafft-Ebing was disposed to regard all cases in which a
scatalogical sexual attraction existed as due to "latent masochism." Such
a point of view is quite untenable. Certainly the connection is common,
but in the majority of cases of slightly marked scatalogical fetichism no
masochism is evident. And when we bear in mind the various considerations,
already brought forward, which show how widespread and clearly realized is
the natural and normal basis furnished for such symbolism, it becomes
quite unnecessary to invoke any aid from masochism. There is ample
evidence to show that, either as a habitual or more usually an occasional
act, the impulse to bestow a symbolic value on the act of urination in a
beloved person, is not extremely uncommon; it has been noted of men of
high intellectual distinction; it occurs in women as well as men; when
existing in only a slight degree, it must be regarded as within the normal
limits of variation of sexual emotion.

    The occasional cases in which the urine is drunk may possibly
    suggest that the motive lies in the properties of the fluid
    acting on the system. Support for this supposition might be found
    in the fact that urine actually does possess, apart altogether
    from its magic virtues embodied in folk-lore, the properties of a
    general stimulant. In composition (as Masterman first pointed
    out) "beef-tea differs little from healthy urine," containing
    exactly the same constituents, except that in beef-tea there is
    less urea and uric acid. Fresh urine--more especially that of
    children and young women--is taken as a medicine in nearly all
    parts of the world for various disorders, such as epistaxis,
    malaria and hysteria, with benefit, this benefit being almost
    certainly due to its qualities as a general stimulant and
    restorative. William Salmon's _Dispensatory_, 1678 (quoted in
    _British Medical Journal_, April 21, 1900, p. 974), shows that in
    the seventeenth century urine still occupied an important place
    as a medicine, and it frequently entered largely into the
    composition of Aqua Divina.

    Its use has been known even in England in the nineteenth century.
    (Masterman, _Lancet_, October 2, 1880; R. Neale, "Urine as a
    Medicine," _Practitioner_, November, 1881; Bourke brings together
    a great deal of evidence as to the therapeutic uses of urine in
    his _Scatalogic Rites_, especially pp. 331-335; Lusini has shown
    that normal urine invariably increases the frequency of the heart
    beats, _Archivio di Farmacologia_, fascs. 19-21, 1893.)

    But it is an error to suppose that these facts account for the
    urolagnic drinking of urine. As in the gratification of a normal
    sexual impulse, the intense excitement of gratifying a scatalogic
    sexual impulse itself produces a degree of emotional stimulation
    far greater than the ingestion of a small amount of animal
    extractives would be adequate to effect. In such cases, as much
    as in normal sexuality, the stimulation is clearly psychic.

When, as is most commonly the case, it is the process of urination and not
the urine itself which is attractive, we are clearly concerned with a
symbolism of act and not with the fetichistic attraction of an excretion.
When the excretion, apart from the act, provides the attraction, we seem
usually to be in the presence of an olfactory fetichism. These fetichisms
connected with the excreta appear to be experienced chiefly by individuals
who are somewhat weak-minded, which is not necessarily the case in regard
to those persons for whom the act, rather than its product apart from the
beloved person, is the attractive symbol.

    The sexually symbolic nature of the act of urination for many
    people is indicated by the existence, according to Bloch, who
    enumerates various kinds of indecent photographs, of a group
    which he terms "the notorious _pisseuses_." It is further
    indicated by several of the reproductions in Fuch's _Erotsiche
    Element in der Karikatur_, such as Delorme's "La Necessitê n'a
    point de Loi." (It should be added that such a scene by no means
    necessarily possesses any erotic symbolism, as we may see in
    Rembrandt's etching commonly called "Le Femme qui Pisse," in
    which the reflected lights on the partly shadowed stream furnish
    an artistic motive which is obviously free from any trace of
    obscenity.) In the case which Krafft-Ebing quotes from Maschka of
    a young man who would induce young girls to dance naked in his
    room, to leap, and to urinate in his presence, whereupon seminal
    ejaculation would take place, we have a typical example of
    urolagnic symbolism in a form adequate to produce complete
    gratification. A case in which the urolagnic form of scatalogic
    symbolism reached its fullest development as a sexual perversion
    has been described in Russia by Sukhanoff (summarized in
    _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, November, 1900, and
    _Annales Medico-psychologiques_, February, 1901), that of a young
    man of 27, of neuropathic temperament, who when he once chanced
    to witness a woman urinating experienced voluptuous sensations.
    From that moment he sought close contact with women urinating,
    the maximum of gratification being reached when he could place
    himself in such a position that a woman, in all innocence, would
    urinate into his mouth. All his amorous adventures were concerned
    with the search for opportunities for procuring this difficult
    gratification. Closets in which he was able to hide, winter
    weather and dull days he found most favorable to success. (A
    somewhat similar case is recorded in the _Archives de
    Neurologie_, 1902, p. 462.)

    In the case of a robust man of neuropathic heredity recorded by
    Pelanda some light is shed on the psychic attitude in these
    manifestations; there was masturbation up to the age of 16, when
    he abandoned the practice, and up to the age of 30 found complete
    satisfaction in drinking the still hot urine of women. When a
    lady or girl in the house went to her room to satisfy a need of
    this kind, she had hardly left it but he hastened in, overcome by
    extreme excitement, culminating in spontaneous ejaculation. The
    younger the woman the greater the transport he experienced. It is
    noteworthy that in this, as possibly in all similar cases, there
    was no sensory perversion and no morbid attraction of taste or
    smell; he stated that the action of his senses was suspended by
    his excitement, and that he was quite unable to perceive the odor
    or taste of the fluid. (Pelanda, "Pornopatice," _Archivio di
    Psichiatria_, facs. iii-iv, 1889, p. 356.) It is in the emotional
    symbolism that the fascination lies and not in any sensory

    Magnan records the spontaneous development of this sexual
    symbolism in a girl of 11, of good intellectual development but
    alcoholic heredity, who seduced a boy younger than herself to
    mutual masturbation, and on one occasion, lying on the ground and
    raising her clothes, asked him to urinate on her. (_International
    Congress of Criminal Anthropology_, 1889.) This case (except for
    the early age of the subject) illustrates sporadically occurring
    urolagnic symbolism in a woman, to whom such symbolism is fairly
    obvious on account of the close resemblance between the emission
    of urine and the ejaculation of semen in the man, and the fact
    that the same conduit serves for both fluids. (A urolagnic
    day-dream of this kind is recorded in the history of a lady
    contained in the third volume of these _Studies_, Appendix B,
    History VIII.) The natural and inevitable character of this
    symbolism is shown by the fact that among primitive peoples urine
    is sometimes supposed to possess the fertilizing virtues of
    semen. J.G. Frazer in his edition of Pausanias (vol. iv, p. 139)
    brings together various stories of women impregnated by urine.
    Hartland also (_Legend of Perseus_, vol. i, pp. 76, 92) records
    legends of women who were impregnated by accidentally or
    intentionally drinking urine.

    The symbolic sexual significance of urolagnia has hitherto
    usually been confused with the fetichistic and mainly olfactory
    perversion by which the excretion itself becomes a source of
    sexual excitement. Long since Tardieu referred, under the name of
    "renifleurs," to persons who were said to haunt the neighborhood
    of quiet passages, more especially in the neighborhood of
    theatres, and who when they perceived a woman emerge after
    urination, would hasten to excite themselves by the odor of the
    excretion. Possibly a fetichism of this kind existed in a case
    recorded by Belletrud and Mercier (_Annales d'Hygiène Publique_,
    June, 1904, p. 48). A weak-minded, timid youth, who was very
    sexual but not attractive to women, would watch for women who
    were about to urinate and immediately they had passed on would go
    and lick the spot they had moistened, at the same time
    masturbating. Such a fetichistic perversion is strictly analogous
    to the fetichism by which women's handkerchiefs, aprons or
    underlinen become capable of affording sexual gratification. A
    very complete case of such urolagnic fetichism--complete because
    separated from association with the person accomplishing the act
    of urination--has been recorded by Moraglia in a woman. It is the
    case of a beautiful and attractive young woman of 18, with thick
    black hair, and expressive vivacious eyes, but sallow complexion.
    Married a year previously, but childless, she experienced a
    certain amount of pleasure in coitus, but she preferred
    masturbation, and frankly acknowledged that she was highly
    excited by the odor of fermented urine. So strong was this
    fetichism that when, for instance, she passed a street urinal she
    was often obliged to go aside and masturbate; once she went for
    this purpose into the urinal itself and was almost discovered in
    the act, and on another occasion into a church. Her perversion
    caused her much worry because of the fear of detection. She
    preferred, when she could, to obtain a bottle of urine--which
    must be stale and a man's (this, she said, she could detect by
    the smell)--and to shut herself up in her own room, holding the
    bottle in one hand and repeatedly masturbating with the other.
    (Moraglia, "Psicopatie Sessuali," _Archivio di Psichiatria_, vol.
    xiii, fasc. 6, p. 267, 1892.) This case is of especial interest
    because of the great rarity of fully developed fetichism in
    women. In a slight and germinal degree I believe that cases of
    fetichism are not uncommon in women, but they are certainly rare
    in a well-marked form, and Krafft-Ebing declared, even in the
    late editions of his _Psychopathia Sexualis_, that he knew of no
    cases in women.

So far we have been concerned with the urolagnic rather than the
coprolagnic variety of scatalogical symbolism. Although the two are
sometimes associated there is no necessary connection, and most usually
there is no tendency for the one to involve the other. Urolagnia is
certainly much the more frequently found; the act of urination is far more
apt to suggest erotically symbolical ideas than the idea of defecation.
It is not difficult to understand why this should be so. The act of
urination lends itself more easily to sexual symbolism; it is more
intimately associated with the genital function; its repetition is
necessary at more frequent intervals so that it is more in evidence;
moreover, its product, unlike that of the act of defecation, is not
offensive to the senses. Still coprolagnia occurs and not so very
infrequently. Burton remarked that even the normal lover is affected by
this feeling: "immo nec ipsum amicæ stercus foctet."[29]

Of Caligula who, however, was scarcely sane, it was said "et quidem
stercus uxoris degustavit."[30] In Parisian brothels (according to Taxil
and others) provision is made for those who are sexually excited by the
spectacle of the act of defecation (without reference to contact or odor)
by means of a "tabouret de verre," from under the glass floor of which the
spectacle of the defecating women may be closely observed. It may be added
that the erotic nature of such a spectacle is referred to in the Marquis
de Sade's novels.

There is one motive for the existence of coprolagnia which must not be
passed over, because it has doubtless frequently served as a mode of
transition to what, taken by itself, may well seem the least æsthetically
attractive of erotic symbols. I refer to the tendency of the nates to
become a sexual fetich. The nates have in all ages and in all parts of the
world been frequently regarded as one of the most æsthetically beautiful
parts of the feminine body.[31] It is probable that on the basis of this
entirely normal attraction more than one form of erotic symbolism is at
all events in part supported. Dühren and others have considered that the
æsthetic charm of the nates is one of the motives which prompt the desire
to inflict flagellation on women. In the same way--certainly in some and
probably in many cases--the sexual charm of the nates progressively
extends to the anal region, to the act of defecation, and finally to the

    In a case of Krafft-Ebing's (_Op. cit._, p. 183) the subject,
    when a child of 6, accidentally placed his hand in contact with
    the nates of the little girl who sat next to him in school, and
    experienced so great a pleasure in this contact that he
    frequently repeated it; when he was 10 a nursery governess, to
    gratify her own desires, placed his finger in her vagina; in
    adult life he developed urolagnic tendencies.

    In a case of Moll's the development of a youthful admiration for
    the nates in a coprolagnic direction may be clearly traced. In
    this case a young man, a merchant, in a good position, sought to
    come in contact with women defecating; and with this object would
    seek to conceal himself in closets; the excretal odor was
    pleasurable to him, but was not essential to gratification, and
    the sight of the nates was also exciting and at the same time not
    essential to gratification; the act of defecation appears,
    however, to have been regarded as essential. He never sought to
    witness prostitutes in this situation; he was only attracted to
    young, pretty and innocent women. The coprolagnia here, however,
    had its source in a childish impression of admiration for the
    nates. When 5 or 6 years old he crawled under the clothes of a
    servant girl, his face coming in contact with her nates, an
    impression that remained associated in his mind with pleasure.
    Three or four years later he used to experience much pleasure
    when a young girl cousin sat on his face; thus was strengthened
    an association which developed naturally into coprolagnia. (Moll,
    _Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, bd. i, p. 837.)

    It is scarcely necessary to remark that an admiration for the
    nates, even when reaching a fetichistic degree, by no means
    necessarily involves, even after many years, any attraction to
    the excreta. A correspondent for whom the nates have constituted
    a fetich for many years writes: "I find my craving for women with
    profuse pelvic or posterior development is growing and I wish to
    copulate from behind; but I would feel a sickening feeling if any
    part of my person came in contact with the female anus. It is
    more pleasing to me to see the nates than the mons, yet I loathe
    everything associated with the anal region."

Moll has recorded in detail a case of what may be described as "ideal
coprolagnia"--that is to say, where the symbolism, though fully developed
in imagination, was not carried into real life--which is of great interest
because it shows how, in a very intelligent subject, the deviated
symbolism may become highly developed and irradiate all the views of life
in the same way as the normal impulse. (The subject's desires were also
inverted, but from the present point of view the psychological interest of
the case is not thereby impaired.) Moll's case was one of symbolism of
act, the excreta offering no attraction apart from the process of
defecation. In a case which has been communicated to me there was, on the
other hand, an olfactory fetichistic attraction to the excreta even in the
absence of the person.

    In Moll's case, the patient, X., 23 years of age, belongs to a
    family which he himself describes as nervous. His mother, who is
    anæmic, has long suffered from almost periodical attacks of
    excitement, weakness, syncope and palpitation. A brother of the
    mother died in a lunatic asylum, and several other brothers
    complain much of their nerves. The mother's sisters are very
    good-natured, but liable to break out in furious passions; this
    they inherit from their father. There appears to be no nervous
    disease on the patient's father's side. X.'s sisters are also

    X. himself is of powerful undersized build and enjoys good
    health, injured by no excesses. He considers himself nervous. He
    worked hard at school and was always the first in his class; he
    adds, however, that this is due less to his own abilities than
    the laziness of his school-fellows. He is, as he remarks, very
    religious and prays frequently, but seldom goes to church.

    In regard to his psychic characters he says that he has no
    specially prominent talent, but is much interested in languages,
    mathematics, physics and philosophy, in fact, in abstract
    subjects generally. "While I take a lively interest in every kind
    of intellectual work," he says, "it is only recently that I have
    been attracted to real life and its requirements. I have never
    had much skill in physical exercises. For external things until
    recently I have only had contempt. I have a delicately
    constituted nature, loving solitude, and only associating with a
    few select persons. I have a decided taste for fiction, poetry
    and music; my temperament is idealistic and religious, with
    strict conceptions of duty and morality, and aspirations towards
    the good and beautiful. I detest all that is common and coarse,
    and yet I can think and act in the way you will learn from the
    following pages."

    Regarding his sexual life, X. made the following communication:
    "During the last two years I have become convinced of the
    perversion of my sexual instinct. I had often previously thought
    that in me the impulse was not quite normal, but it is only
    lately that I have become convinced of my complete perversion. I
    have never read or heard of any case in which the sexual feelings
    were of the same kind. Although I can feel a lively inclination
    towards superior representatives of the female sex, and have
    twice felt something like love, the sight or the recollection
    even of a beautiful woman have never caused sexual excitement."
    In the two exceptional instances mentioned it appears that X. had
    an inclination to kiss the women in question, but that the
    thought of coitus had no attraction. "In my voluptuous dreams,
    connected with the emission of semen, women in seductive
    situations have never appeared. I have never had any desire to
    visit a _puella publica_. The love-stories of my fellow-students
    seemed very silly, dances and balls were a horror to me, and only
    on very rare occasions could I be persuaded to go into society.
    It will be easy to guess the diagnosis in my case: I suffer from
    the sexual attraction of my own sex, I am a lover of boys.

    "You cannot imagine what a world of thoughts, wishes, feelings
    and impulses the words 'knabe,' 'pais,' 'garcon,' 'boy,'
    'ragazzo' have for me; one of these words, even in an unmeaning
    clause of a translation-book, calls before me the whole sum of
    associations which in course of time have become bound up with
    this idea, and it is only with an effort that I can scare away
    the wild band. This group of thoughts shows a wonderful mixture
    of warm sensuality and ideal love, it unites my lowest and
    highest impulses, the strength and the weakness of my nature, my
    curse and my blessing. My inclination is especially towards boys
    of the age of 12 to 15; though they may be rather younger or
    older. That I should prefer beautiful and intelligent boys is
    comprehensible. I do not want a prostitute, but a friend or a
    son, whose soul I love, whom I can help to become a more perfect
    man, such as I myself would willingly be.

    "When I myself belonged to that happy age (i.e., below 15) I had
    no dearer wish than to possess a friend of similar tastes. I have
    sought, hoped, waited, grieved, and been at last disillusioned,
    overcome by desire and despair, and have not found that friend.
    Even later the hope often reappeared, but always in vain, and I
    cannot boast of that sure recognition which one reads of in the
    autobiographies of Urnings. I do not know personally a single
    fellow-sufferer. It is also doubtful whether such an
    acquaintanceship would greatly help me, for I have a very
    peculiar conception of homosexuality. As you will see, I have
    little more in common with what are called pæderasts than sexual
    indifference to the female sex, and I often ask myself: 'Does any
    other man in the whole world feel like you? Are you alone in the
    earth with your morbid desires? Are you a pariah of pariahs, or
    is there, perhaps, another soul with similar longings living near
    you? How often in summer have I gone to the lakes and streams
    outside cities to seek boys bathing; but I always came back
    unsatisfied, whether I found any or not. And in winter I have
    been irresistibly impelled to return to the same spots, as if it
    were sanctified by the boys, but my darlings had vanished and
    cold winds blew over the icy floods, so that I would return
    feeling as though I had buried all my happiness.

    "It must be borne in mind, therefore, that what I have to say
    regarding my sexual impulses only refers to fancies and never to
    their practical realization. My sensual impulses are not
    connected with the sexual organs; all my voluptuous ideas are not
    in the least connected with these parts. For this reason I have
    never practiced onanism and _immissio membri in anum_ is as
    repulsive to me as to a normal man. Even every imitation of
    coitus is, for me, without attraction. In a boy's body two things
    specially excite me: _his belly and his nates_, the first as
    containing the digestive tract, the second as holding the opening
    of the bowels. Of the vegetable processes of life in the boy none
    interest me nearly so much as the progress of his digestion and
    the process of defecation. It is incredible to what an extent
    this part of physiology has occupied me from youth. If as a boy I
    wanted to read something of a piquantly exciting character I
    sought in my father's encyclopædia for articles like:
    Obstruction, Constipation, Hæmorrhoids, Fæces, etc. No function
    of the body seemed to be so significant as this, and I regarded
    its disturbances as the most important in the whole mechanism of
    life. The description of other disorders I could read in cold
    blood, but intussusception of the bowels makes me ill even
    to-day. I am always extremely pleased to hear that the digestion
    of the people around me is in good condition. A man who did not
    sufficiently watch over his digestion aroused distrust in me, and
    I imagined that wicked men must be horribly indifferent regarding
    this weighty matter. Even more than in ordinary persons was I
    interested in the digestion of more mysterious beings, like
    magicians in legends, or men of other nations. I would willingly
    have made an anthropological study of my favorite subject, only
    to my annoyance books nearly always pass over the matter in
    silence. In history and fiction I regretted the absence of
    information concerning the state of my heroes' digestion when
    they languished in prison or in some unaccustomed or unhealthy
    spot. For this reason I held no book more precious than one which
    describes how a young man after being shipwrecked lived for a
    long time in a narrow snow-hut, and it was conscientiously stated
    that he became aware of digestive disturbances. No immorality
    angers me more than the foolish practice of ladies who in society
    neglect the satisfaction of their natural needs from misplaced
    motives of modesty. On a railway journey I suffer horribly from
    the thought that one of my fellow-travelers may be prevented from
    fulfilling some imperative natural necessity.

    "I naturally devote the greatest attention to my own digestion.
    With painful conscientiousness I go to stool every day at the
    same hour; if the operation does not come off to my satisfaction
    I feel not so much physical as mental discomfort. To this quite
    useful hygienic interest became associated at puberty a sensual
    interest. Since my fourteenth year I have had no greater
    enjoyment than to defecate undressed (I do not do so now) after
    having first carefully examined the distension of my abdomen. In
    summer I would go into the woods, undress myself in a secluded
    spot and indulge in the voluptuous pleasures of defecation. I
    would sometimes combine with this a bath in a stream. I would
    exhaust my imagination in the effort to invent specially
    enjoyable variations, longed for a desert island where I could go
    about naked, fill my body with much nourishing food, hold in the
    excrement as long as possible and then discharge it in some
    subtly-thought-out spot. These practices and ideas often caused
    erections and later on emissions, but the genitals played no part
    in my conceptions; their movements were uncomfortable and gave no

    "I soon longed to be associated in these orgies with some boy of
    the same age, but I wanted not only a companion in my passion,
    but also a real friend. Since there could be no question of
    masturbation or pæderasty, our love would have been limited to
    kisses, embraces, and--as a compensation for coitus--defecation
    together. That would have been perfect bliss to me. I will spare
    you the unæsthetic contents of my voluptuous dreams. But I
    remained without a companion, and, therefore, without real
    enjoyment. [He has, however, on various occasions experienced
    erections, and even emissions, on seeing, by chance, men or boys
    defecate.] Hinc illæ lacrimæ; the excitement over my own
    defecation only took place _faute de mieux_.

    "I knew very well that my thoughts and practices were impure and
    contemptible. Ah! how often, when the intoxication was over, have
    I thrown myself remorsefully on my knees, praying to God for
    pardon! For some weeks I repressed my longing; but at last it was
    too strong for me, I tried to justify myself and fell into my
    vice anew. That I was guilty of licentiousness and loved boys
    sexually first became clear to me later on, when I knew the
    significance of erection as a sign of sexual excitement.

    "No one can imagine with what demoniacal joy I am possessed at
    the thought of a beautiful naked boy whose abdomen is filled as
    the result of long abstinence from stool. The thought powerfully
    excites me, a flood of passion goes through my blood and my limbs
    tremble. I would never grow tired of feeling that belly and
    looking at it. My passion would express itself in tempestuous
    caresses, and the boy would have to assume various positions in
    order to show off the beauty of his form, i.e., to bring the
    parts in question into better view. To observe defecation would
    still further increase this peculiar enjoyment. If the boy's
    bowels were not sufficiently filled I would feed him with all
    sorts of food which produces much excrement, such as potatoes,
    coarse bread, etc. If possible I would seek to delay defecation
    for two or three days, so that it might be as copious as
    possible. When at last it occurred it would be an unspeakable joy
    for me to watch the fæces--which would have to be fairly
    firm--emerging from the anus."

    X. would like to be a teacher and thinks he could exert a
    beneficial influence on boys. In spite of the pain he has
    suffered he does not think he would like to be cured of his
    perverse inclinations, for they have given him joy as well as
    pain, and the pain has chiefly been owing to the fact that he
    could not gratify his inclinations. X. smokes and drinks in
    moderation, and has no feminine habits. (The foregoing is a
    condensed summary of the case which is fully reported by Moll,
    _Konträre Sexualempfindung_, third edition, pp. 295-305.)

    The case of coprolagnia communicated to me is that of a married
    man, normal in all other respects, intellectually brilliant and
    filling successfully a very responsible position. When a child
    the women of his household were always indifferent as to his
    presence in their bedrooms, and would satisfy all natural calls
    without reserve before him. He would dream of this with
    erections. His sexual interests became slowly centered in the act
    of defecation, and this fetich throughout life never appealed to
    him so powerfully as when associated with the particular type of
    household furniture which was used for this purpose in his own
    house. The act of defecation in the opposite sex or anything
    pertaining to or suggesting the same caused uncontrollable sexual
    excitement; the nates also exerted a great attraction. The alvine
    excreta exerted this influence even in the absence of the woman;
    it was, however, necessary that she should be a sexually
    desirable person. The perversion in this case was not complete;
    that is to say, that the excitement produced by the act of
    defecation or the excretion itself was not actually preferred to
    coitus; the sexual idea was normal coitus in the normal manner,
    but preceded by the visual and olfactory enjoyment of the
    exciting fetich. When coitus was not possible the enjoyment of
    the fetich was accompanied by masturbation (as in the analogous
    case of urolagnia in a woman summarized on p. 62.) On one
    occasion he was discovered by a friend in a bedroom belonging to
    a woman, engaged in the act of masturbation over a vessel
    containing the desired fetich. In an agony of shame he begged the
    mercy of silence concerning this episode, at the same time
    revealing his life-history. He has constantly been haunted by the
    dread of detection, as well as by remorse and the consciousness
    of degradation, also by the fear that his unconquerable obsession
    may lead him to the asylum.

The scatalogic groups of sexual perversions, urolagnia and coprolagnia, as
may be sufficiently seen in this brief summary, are not merely olfactory
fetiches. They are, in a larger proportion of cases, dynamic symbols, a
preoccupation with physiological acts which, by associations of contiguity
and still more of resemblance, have gained the virtue of stimulating in
slight cases, and replacing in more extreme cases, the normal
preoccupation with the central physiological act itself. We have seen that
there are various considerations which amply suffice to furnish a basis
for such associations. And when we reflect that in the popular mind, and
to some extent in actual fact, the sexual act itself is, like urination
and defecation, an excretory act, we can understand that the true
excretory acts may easily become symbols of the pseudo-excretory act. It
is, indeed, in the muscular release of accumulated pressures and tensions,
involved by the act of liberating the stored-up excretion, that we have
the closest simulacrum of the tumescence and detumescence of the sexual

In this way the erotic symbolism of urolagnia and coprolagnia is
completely analogous with that dynamic symbolism of the clinging and
swinging garments which Herrick has so accurately described, with the
complex symbolism of flagellation and its play of the rod against the
blushing and trembling nates, with the symbols of sexual strain and stress
which are embodied in the foot and the act of treading.


[24] Fuchs (_Das Erotische Element In der Karikatur_, p. 26),
distinguishing sharply between the "erotic" and the "obscene," reserves
the latter term exclusively for the representation of excretory organs and
acts. He considers that this is etymologically the most exact usage.
However that may be, it seems to me that, in any case, "obscene" has
become so vague a term that it is now impracticable to give it a
restricted and precise sense.

[25] In this connection we may profitably contemplate the hand and recall
the vast gamut of functions, sacred and profane, which that organ
exercises. Many savages strictly reserve the left hand to the lowlier
purposes of life; but in civilization that is not considered necessary,
and it may be wholesome for some of us to meditate on the more humble uses
of the same hand which is raised in the supreme gesture of benediction and
which men have often counted it a privilege to kiss.

[26] See, e.g., Morselli, _Una Causa di Nullità del Matrimonio_, 1902, p.

[27] Féré, _Comptes-Rendus Société de Biologie_, July 23, 1904.

[28] Transactions of the International Medical Congress, Moscow, vol. iv,
p. 19. A similar symbolism may be traced in many of the cases in which the
focus of modesty becomes in modest women centered in the excretory sphere
and sometimes exaggerated to the extent of obsession. It must not be
supposed, however, that every obsession in this sphere has a symbolical
value of an erotic kind. In the case, for instance, which has been
recorded by Raymond and Janet (_Les Obsessions_, vol. ii, p. 306) of a
woman who spent much of her time in the endeavor to urinate perfectly,
always feeling that she failed in some respect, the obsession seems to
have risen fortuitously on a somewhat neurotic basis without reference to
the sexual life.

[29] _Anatomy of Melancholy_, Part III, Section II, Mem. III, Subs. I.

[30] It may be remarked here that while the eating of excrement (apart
from its former use as a magic charm and as a therapeutic agent) is in
civilization now confined to sexual perverts and the insane, among some
animals it is normal as a measure of hygiene in relation to their young.
Thus, as, e.g., the Rev. Arthur East writes, the mistle thrush swallows
the droppings of its young. (_Knowledge_, June 1, 1899, p. 133.) In the
dog I have observed that the bitch licks her puppies shortly after birth
as they urinate, absorbing the fluid.

[31] See, e.g., the previous volume of these _Studies_, "Sexual Selection
in Man," pp. 165 et seq., and Dühren, _Geschlechtsleben in England_, bd.
ii, pp. 258, et seq.

[32] In the study of _Love and Pain_ in a previous volume (p. 130) I have
quoted the remarks of a lady who refers to the analogy between sexual
tension and vesical tension--"Cette volupté que ressentent les bords de la
mer, d'être toujours pleins sans jamais déborder"--and its erotic


Animals as Sources of Erotic Symbolism--Mixoscopic Zoophilia--The
Stuff-fetichisms--Hair-fetichism--The Stuff-fetichisms Mainly on a Tactile
Base--Erotic Zoophilia--Zooerastia--Bestiality--The Conditions that Favor
Bestiality--Its Wide Prevalence Among Primitive Peoples and Among
Peasants--The Primitive Conception of Animals--The Goat--The Influence of
Familiarity with Animals--Congress Between Women and Animals--The Social
Reaction Against Bestiality.

The erotic symbols with which we have so far been concerned have in every
case been portions of the body, or its physiological processes, or at
least the garments which it has endowed with life. The association on
which the symbol has arisen has in every case been in large measure,
although not entirely, an association of contiguity. It is now necessary
to touch on a group of sexual symbols in which the association of
contiguity with the human body is absent: the various methods by which
animals or animal products or the sight of animal copulation may arouse
sexual desire in human persons. Here we encounter a symbolism mainly
founded on association by resemblance; the animal sexual act recalls the
human sexual act; the animal becomes the symbol of the human being.

The group of phenomena we are here concerned with includes several
subdivisions. There is first the more or less sexual pleasure sometimes
experienced, especially by young persons, in the sight of copulating
animals. This I would propose to call Mixoscopic Zoophilia; it falls
within the range of normal variation. Then we have the cases in which the
contact of animals, stroking, etc., produces sexual excitement or
gratification; this is a sexual fetichism in the narrow sense, and is by
Krafft-Ebing termed _Zoophilia Erotica_. We have, further, the class of
cases in which a real or simulated sexual intercourse with animals is
desired. Such cases are not regarded as fetichism by Krafft-Ebing,[33]
but they come within the phenomena of erotic symbolism as here understood.
This class falls into two divisions: one in which the individual is fairly
normal, but belongs to a low grade of culture; the other in which he may
belong to a more refined social class, but is affected by a deep degree of
degeneration. In the first case we may properly apply the term bestiality;
in the second case it may perhaps be better to use the term _zooerastia_,
proposed by Krafft-Ebing.[34]

Among children, both boys and girls, it is common to find that the
copulation of animals is a mysteriously fascinating spectacle. It is
inevitable that this should be so, for the spectacle is more or less
clearly felt to be the revelation of a secret which has been concealed
from them. It is, moreover, a secret of which they feel intimate
reverberations within themselves, and even in perfectly innocent and
ignorant children the sight may produce an obscure sexual excitement.[35]
It would seem that this occurs more frequently in girls than in boys. Even
in adult age, it may be added, women are liable to experience the same
kind of emotion in the presence of such spectacles. One lady recalls, as a
girl, that on several occasions an element of physical excitement entered
into the feelings with which she watched the coquetry of cats. Another
lady mentions that at the age of about 25, and when still quite ignorant
of sexual matters, she saw from a window some boys tickling a dog and
inducing sexual excitement in the animal; she vaguely divined what they
were doing, and though feeling disgust at their conduct she at the same
time experienced in a strong degree what she now knows was sexual
excitement. The coupling of the larger animals is often an impressive and
splendid spectacle which is far, indeed, from being obscene, and has
commended itself to persons of intellectual distinction;[36] but in young
or ill-balanced minds such sights tend to become both prurient and morbid.
I have already referred to the curious case of a sexually hyperæsthetic
nun who was always powerfully excited by the sight or even the
recollection of flies in sexual connection, so that she was compelled to
masturbate; this dated from childhood. After becoming a nun she recorded
having had this experience, followed by masturbation, more than four
hundred times.[37] Animal spectacles sometimes produce a sexual effect on
children even when not specifically sexual; thus a correspondent, a
clergyman, informs me that when a young and impressionable boy, he was
much affected by seeing a veterinary surgeon insert his hand and arm into
a horse's rectum, and dreamed of this several times afterward with

While the contemplation of animal coitus is an easily intelligible and in
early life, perhaps, an almost normal symbol of sexual emotion, there is
another subdivision of this group of animal fetichisms which forms a more
natural transition from the fetichisms which have their center in the
human body: the stuff-fetichisms, or the sexual attraction exerted by
various tissues, perhaps always of animal origin. Here we are in the
presence of a somewhat complicated phenomenon. In part we have, in a
considerable number of such cases, the sexual attraction of feminine
garments, for all such tissues are liable to enter into the dress. In
part, also, we have a sexual perversion of tactile sensibility, for in a
considerable proportion of these cases it is the touch sensations which
are potent in arousing the erotic sensations. But in part, also, it would
seem, we have here the conscious or subconscious presence of an animal
fetich, and it is notable that perhaps all these stuffs, and especially
fur, which is by far the commonest of the groups, are distinctively animal
products. We may perhaps regard the fetich of feminine hair--a much more
important and common fetich, indeed, than any of the stuff fetichisms--as
a link of transition. Hair is at once an animal and a human product, while
it may be separated from the body and possesses the qualities of a stuff.
Krafft-Ebing remarks that the senses of touch, smell, and hearing, as well
as sight, seem to enter into the attraction exerted by hair.

    The natural fascination of hair, on which hair-fetichism is
    founded, begins at a very early age. "The hair is a special
    object of interest with infants," Stanley Hall concludes, "which
    begins often in the latter part of the first year.... The hair,
    no doubt, gives quite unique tactile sensations, both in its own
    roots and to hands, and is plastic and yielding to the motor
    sense, so that the earliest interest may be akin to that in fur,
    which is a marked object in infant experience. Some children
    develop an almost fetichistic propensity to pull or later to
    stroke the hair or beard of every one with whom they come in
    contact." (G. Stanley Hall, "The Early Sense of Self," _American
    Journal of Psychology_, April, 1898, p. 359.)

    It should be added that the fascination of hair for the infantile
    and childish mind is not necessarily one of attraction, but may
    be of repulsion. It happens here, as in the case of so many
    characteristics which are of sexual significance, that we are in
    the presence of an object which may exert a dynamic emotional
    force, a force which is capable of repelling with the same energy
    that it attracts. Féré records the instructive case of a child of
    3, of psychopathic heredity, who when he could not sleep was
    sometimes taken by his mother into her bed. One night his hand
    came in contact with a hairy portion of his mother's body, and
    this, arousing the idea of an animal, caused him to leap out of
    the bed in terror. He became curious as to the cause of his
    terror and in time was able to observe "the animal," but the
    train of feelings which had been set up led to a life-long
    indifference to women and a tendency to homosexuality. It is
    noteworthy that he was attracted to men in whom the hair and
    other secondary sexual characters were well developed. (Féré,
    _L'Instinct Sexuel_, second edition, pp. 262-267.)

    As a sexual fetich hair strictly belongs to the group of parts of
    the body; but since it can be removed from the body and is
    sexually effective as a fetich in the absence of the person to
    whom it belongs, it is on a level with the garments which may
    serve in a similar way, with shoes or handkerchiefs or gloves.
    Psychologically, hair-fetichism presents no special problem, but
    the wide attraction of hair--it is sexually the most generally
    noted part of the feminine body after the eyes--and the peculiar
    facility with which when plaited it may be removed, render
    hair-fetichism a sexual perversion of specially great
    medico-legal interest.

    The frequency of hair-fetichism, as well as of the natural
    admiration on which it rests, is indicated by a case recorded by
    Laurent. "A few years ago," he states, "one constantly saw at the
    Bal Bullier, in Paris, a tall girl whose face was lean and bony,
    but whose black hair was of truly remarkable length. She wore it
    flowing down her shoulders and loins. Men often followed her in
    the street to touch or kiss the hair. Others would accompany her
    home and pay her for the mere pleasure of touching and kissing
    the long black tresses. One, in consideration of a relatively
    considerable sum, desired to pollute the silky hair. She was
    obliged to be always on her guard, and to take all sorts of
    precautions to prevent any one cutting off this ornament, which
    constituted her only beauty as well as her livelihood." (E.
    Laurent, _L'Amour Morbide_, 1891, p. 164; also the same author's
    _Fétichistes et Erotomanes_, p. 23.)

    The hair despoiler (_Coupeur des Nattes_ or _Zopfabschneider_)
    may be found in any civilized country, though the most carefully
    studied cases have occurred in Paris. (Several medico-legal
    histories of hair-despoilers are summarized by Krafft-Ebing, _Op.
    cit._, pp. 329-334). Such persons are usually of nervous
    temperament and bad heredity; the attraction to hair occasionally
    develops in early life; sometimes the morbid impulse only appears
    in later life after fever. The fetich may be either flowing hair
    or braided hair, but is usually one or the other, and not both.
    Sexual excitement and ejaculation may be produced in the act of
    touching or cutting off the hair, which is subsequently, in many
    cases, used for masturbation. As a rule the hair-despoiler is a
    pure fetichist, no element of sadistic pleasure entering into his
    feelings. In the case of a "capillary kleptomaniac" in Chicago--a
    highly intelligent and athletic married young man of good
    family--the impulse to cut off girls' braids appeared after
    recovery from a severe fever. He would gaze admiringly at the
    long tresses and then clip them off with great rapidity; he did
    this in some fifty cases before he was caught and imprisoned. He
    usually threw the braids away before he reached home. (_Alienist
    and Neurologist_, April, 1889, p. 325.) In this case there is no
    history of sexual excitement, probably because no proper
    medico-legal examination was made. (It may be added that
    hair-despoilers have been specially studied by Motet, "Les
    Coupeurs de Nattes," _Annales d'Hygiène_, 1890.)

The stuff-fetiches are most usually fur and velvet; feathers, silk, and
leathers also sometimes exert this influence; they are all, it will be
noted, animal substances.[38] The most interesting is probably fur, the
attraction of which is not uncommon in association with passive
algolagnia. As Stanley Hall has shown, the fear of fur, as well as the
love of it, is by no means uncommon in childhood; it may appear even in
infancy and in children who have never come in contact with animals.[39]
It is noteworthy that in most cases of uncomplicated stuff-fetichism the
attraction apparently arises on a congenital basis, as it appears in
persons of nervous or sensitive temperament at an early age and without
being attached to any definite causative incident. The sexual excitation
is nearly always produced by the touch rather than by the sight. As we
found, when dealing with the sense of touch in the previous volume, the
specific sexual sensations may be regarded as a special modification of
ticklishness. The erotic symbolism in the case of these stuff-fetichisms
would seem to be a more or less congenital perversion of ticklishness in
relation to specific animal contacts.

A further degree of perversion in this direction is reached in a case of
erotic _zoophilia_, recorded by Krafft-Ebing.[40] In this case a
congenital neuropath, of good intelligence but delicate and anæmic, with
feeble sexual powers, had a great love of domestic animals, especially
dogs and cats, from an early age; when petting them he experienced sexual
emotions, although he was innocent in sexual matters. At puberty he
realized the nature of his feelings and tried to break himself of his
habits. He succeeded, but then began erotic dreams accompanied by images
of animals, and these led to masturbation associated with ideas of a
similar kind. At the same time he had no wish for any sort of sexual
intercourse with animals, and was indifferent as to the sex of the animals
which attracted him; his sexual ideals were normal. Such a case seems to
be fundamentally one of fetichism on a tactile basis, and thus forms a
transition between the stuff-fetichisms and the complete perversions of
sexual attraction toward animals.

    In some cases sexually hyperæsthetic women have informed me that
    sexual feeling has been produced by casual contact with pet dogs
    and cats. In such cases there is usually no real perversion, but
    it seems probable that we may here have an occasional foundation
    for the somewhat morbid but scarcely vicious excesses of
    affection which women are apt to display towards their pet dogs
    or cats. In most cases of this affection there is certainly no
    sexual element; in the case of childless women, it may rather be
    regarded as a maternal than as an erotic symbolism. (The excesses
    of this non-erotic zoophilia have been discussed by Féré,
    _L'Instinct Sexuel_, second edition, pp. 166-171.)

Krafft-Ebing considers that complete perversion of sexual attraction
toward animals is radically distinct from erotic _zoophilia_. This view
cannot be accepted. Bestiality and _zooerastia_ merely present in a more
marked and profoundly perverted form a further degree of the same
phenomenon which we meet with in erotic _zoophilia_; the difference is
that they occur either in more insensitive or in more markedly degenerate

A fairly typical case of _zooerastia_ has been recorded in America by
Howard, of Baltimore. This was the case of a boy of 16, precociously
mature and fairly bright. He was, however, indifferent to the opposite
sex, though he had ample opportunity for gratifying normal passions. His
parents lived in the city, but the youth had an inordinate desire for the
country and was therefore sent to school in a village. On the second day
after his arrival at school a farmer missed a sow which was found secreted
in an outhouse on the school grounds. This was the first of many similar
incidents in which a sow always took part. So strong was his passion that
on one occasion force had to be used to take him away from the sow he was
caressing. He did not masturbate, and even when restrained from
approaching sows he had no sexual inclination for other animals. His
nocturnal pollutions, which were frequent, were always accompanied by
images of wallowing swine. Notwithstanding careful treatment no cure was
effected; mental and physical vigor failed, and he died at the age of

It is, however, somewhat doubtful whether we can always or even usually
distinguish between zooerastia and bestiality. Dr. G.F. Lydston, of
Chicago, has communicated to me a case (in which he was consulted) which
seems fairly typical and is instructive in this respect. The subject was a
young man of 21, a farmer's son, not very bright intellectually, but very
healthy and strong, of great assistance on the farm, very capable and
industrious, such a good farm hand that his father was unwilling to send
him away and to lose his services. There was no history of insanity or
neurosis in the family, and no injury or illness in his own history. He
had spells of moroseness and irritability, however, and had also been a
masturbator. Women had no attraction for him, but he would copulate with
the mares upon his father's farm, and this without regard to time, place,
or spectators. Such a case would seem to stand midway between ordinary
bestiality and pathological zooerastia as defined by Krafft-Ebing, yet it
seems probable that in most cases of ordinary bestiality some slight
traces of mental anomaly might be found, if such cases always were, as
they should be, properly investigated.[42]

We have here reached the grossest and most frequent perversion in this
group; bestiality, or the impulse to attain sexual gratification by
intercourse, or other close contact, with animals. In seeking to
comprehend this perversion it is necessary to divest ourselves of the
attitude toward animals which is the inevitable outcome of refined
civilization and urban life. Most sexual perversions, if not in large
measure the actual outcome of civilized life, easily adjust themselves to
it. Bestiality (except in one form to be noted later) is, on the other
hand, the sexual perversion of dull, insensitive and unfastidious persons.
It flourishes among primitive peoples and among peasants. It is the vice
of the clodhopper, unattractive to women or inapt to court them.

Three conditions have favored the extreme prevalence of bestiality: (1)
primitive conceptions of life which built up no great barrier between man
and the other animals; (2) the extreme familiarity which necessarily
exists between the peasant and his beasts, often combined with separation
from women; (3) various folk-lore beliefs such as the efficacy of
intercourse with animals as a cure for venereal disease, etc.[43]

The beliefs and customs of primitive peoples, as well as their mythology
and legends, bring before us a community of man and animals altogether
unlike anything we know in civilization. Men may become animals and
animals may become men; animals and men may communicate with each other
and live on terms of equality; animals may be the ancestors of human
tribes; the sacred totems of savages are most usually animals. There is no
shame or degradation in the notion of a sexual relationship between men
and animals, because in primitive conceptions animals are not inferior
beings separated from man by a great gulf. They are much more like men in
disguise, and in some respects possess powers which make them superior to
men. This is recognized in those plays, festivals, and religious dances,
so common among primitive peoples, in which animal disguises are worn.[44]
When men admire and emulate the qualities of animals and are proud to
believe that they descend from them, it is not surprising that they should
sometimes see nothing derogatory in sexual intercourse with them.[45]

A significant relic of primitive conceptions in this matter may perhaps be
found in the religious rites connected with the sacred goat of Mendes
described by Herodotus. After telling how the Mendesians reverence the
goat, especially the he-goat, out of their veneration for Pan, whom they
represent as a goat ("the real motive which they assign for this custom I
do not choose to relate"), he adds: "It happened in this country, and
within my remembrance, and was indeed universally notorious, that a goat
had indecent and public communication with a woman."[46] The meaning of
the passage evidently is that in the ordinary intercourse of women with
the sacred goat, connection was only simulated or incomplete on account of
the natural indifference of the goat to the human female, but that in rare
cases the goat proved sexually excitable with the woman and capable of
connection.[47] The goat has always been a kind of sacred emblem of lust.
In the middle ages it became associated with the Devil as one of the
favorite forms he assumed. It is significant of a primitively religious
sexual association between men and animals, that witches constantly
confessed, or were made to confess, that they had had intercourse with the
Devil in the shape of an animal, very frequently a dog. The figures of
human beings and animals in conjunction carved on temples in India, also
seem to indicate the religious significance which this phenomenon
sometimes presents. There is, indeed, no need to go beyond Europe even in
her moments of highest culture to find a religious sanction for sexual
union between human beings, or gods in human shape, and animals. The
legends of Io and the bull, of Leda and the swan, are among the most
familiar in Greek mythology, and in a later pictorial form they constitute
some of the most cherished works of the painters of the Renaissance.

As regards the prevalence of occasional sexual intercourse between men or
women and animals among primitive peoples at the present time, it is
possible to find many scattered references by travelers in all parts of
the world. Such references by no means indicate that such practices are,
as a rule, common, but they usually show that they are accepted with a
good-humored indifference.[48]

Bestiality is very rarely found in towns. In the country this vice of the
clodhopper is far from infrequent. For the peasant, whose sensibilities
are uncultivated and who makes but the most elementary demands from a
woman, the difference between an animal and a human being in this respect
scarcely seems to be very great. "My wife was away too long," a German
peasant explained to the magistrate, "and so I went with my sow." It is
certainly an explanation that to the uncultivated peasant, ignorant of
theological and juridical conceptions, must often seem natural and

    Bestiality thus resembles masturbation and other abnormal
    manifestations of the sexual impulse which may be practiced
    merely _faute de mieux_ and not as, in the strict sense,
    perversions of the impulse. Even necrophily may be thus
    practiced. A young man who when assisting the grave-digger
    conceived and carried out the idea of digging up the bodies of
    young girls to satisfy his passions with, and whose case has
    been recorded by Belletrud and Mercier, said: "I could find no
    young girl who would agree to yield to my desires; that is why I
    have done this. I should have preferred to have relations with
    living persons. I found it quite natural to do what I did: I saw
    no harm in it, and I did not think that any one else could. As
    living women felt nothing but repulsion for me, it was quite
    natural I should turn to the dead, who have never repulsed me. I
    used to say tender things to them like 'my beautiful, my love, I
    love you.'" (Belletrud and Mercier "Perversion de l'Instinct
    Genésique," _Annales d'Hygiène Publique_, June, 1903.) But when
    so highly abnormal an act is felt as natural we are dealing with
    a person who is congenitally defective so far as the finer
    developments of intelligence are concerned. It was so in this
    case of necrophily; he was the son of a weak-minded woman of
    unrestrainable sexual inclinations, and was himself somewhat
    feeble-minded; he was also, it is instructive to observe,

But it is by no means only their dulled sensibility or the absence of
women, which accounts for the frequency of bestiality among peasants. A
highly important factor is their constant familiarity with animals. The
peasant lives with animals, tends them, learns to know all their
individual characters; he understands them far better than he understands
men and women; they are his constant companions, his friends. He knows,
moreover, the details of their sexual lives, he witnesses the often highly
impressive spectacle of their coupling. It is scarcely surprising that
peasants should sometimes regard animals as being not only as near to them
as their fellow human beings, but even nearer.

The significance of the factor of familiarity is indicated by the great
frequency of bestiality among shepherds, goatherds, and others whose
occupation is exclusively the care of animals. Mirabeau, in the eighteenth
century, stated, on the evidence of Basque priests, that all the shepherds
in the Pyrenees practice bestiality. It is apparently much the same in
Italy.[49] In South Italy and Sicily, especially, bestiality among
goatherds and peasants is said to be almost a national custom.[50] In the
extreme north of Europe, it is reported, the reindeer, in this respect,
takes the place of the goat.

The importance of the same factor is also shown by the fact that when
among women in civilization animal perversions appear, the animal is
nearly always a pet dog. Usually in these cases the animal is taught to
give gratification by _cunnilinctus_. In some cases, however, there is
really sexual intercourse between the animal and the woman.

    Moll mentions that in a case of _cunnilinctus_ by a dog in
    Germany there was a difficulty as to whether the matter should be
    considered an unnatural offence or simply an offence against
    decency; the lower court considered it in the former light, while
    the higher court took the more merciful view. (Moll,
    _Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, bd. i, p. 697.) In a
    case reported by Pfaff and mentioned by Moll, a country girl was
    accused of having sexual intercourse with a large dog. On
    examination Pfaff found in the girl's thick pubic hair a loose
    hair which under the microscope proved to belong to the dog.
    (_Loc. cit._, p. 698.) In such a case it must be noted that while
    this evidence may be held to show sexual contact with the dog, it
    scarcely suffices to show sexual intercourse. This has, however,
    undoubtedly occurred from time to time, even more or less openly.
    Bloch (_Op. cit._, pp. 277 and 282) remarks that this is not an
    infrequent exhibition given by prostitutes in certain brothels.
    Maschka has referred to such an exhibition between a woman and a
    bull-dog, which was given to select circles in Paris. Rosse
    refers to a case in which a young unmarried woman in Washington
    was surprised during intercourse with a large English mastiff,
    who in his efforts to get loose caused such severe injuries that
    the woman died from hæmorrhage in about an hour. Rosse also
    mentions that some years ago a performance of this kind between a
    prostitute and a Newfoundland dog could be witnessed in San
    Francisco by paying a small sum; the woman declared that a woman
    who had once copulated with a dog would ever afterwards prefer
    this animal to a man. Rosse adds that he was acquainted with a
    similar performance between a woman and a donkey, which used to
    take place in Europe (Irving Rosse, "Sexual Hypochondriasis and
    Perversion of the Genesic Instinct," _Virginia Medical Monthly_,
    October, 1892, p. 379). Juvenal mentions such relations between
    the donkey and woman (vi, 332). Krauss (quoted by Bloch,
    _Beiträge zur Ætiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil II, p.
    276) states that in Bosnia women sometimes carry on these
    practices with dogs and also--as he would not have believed had
    he not on one occasion observed it--with cats. "It seems to me,"
    writes Dr. Kiernan, of Chicago, (private letter) "that what Rosse
    says of the animal exhibitions in San Francisco is true of all
    great cities. The animal employed in such exhibitions here has
    usually been a donkey, and in one instance death occurred from
    the animal trampling the girl partner. The practice described
    occurs in country regions quite frequently. Thus in a case
    reported in the suburbs of Omaha, Nebraska, a sixteen-year-old
    boy engaged in rectal coitus with a large dog. In attempting to
    extricate his swollen penis from the boy's rectum the dog tore
    through the _sphincter ani_ an inch into the gluteus muscles.
    (_Omaha Clinic_, March, 1893.) In a Missouri case, which I
    verified, a smart, pretty, well-educated country girl was found
    with a profuse offensive vaginal discharge which had been present
    for about a week, coming on suddenly. After washing the external
    genitals and opening the labia three rents were discovered, one
    through the fourchette and two through the left nymphæ. The
    vagina was excessively congested and covered with points bleeding
    on the slightest irritation. The patient confessed that one day
    while playing with the genitals of a large dog she became excited
    and thought she would have slight coitus. After the dog had made
    an entrance she was unable to free herself from him, as he
    clasped her so firmly with his fore legs. The penis became so
    swollen that the dog could not free himself, although for more
    than an hour she made persistent efforts to do so. (_Medical
    Standard_, June, 1903, p. 184). In an Indiana case, concerning
    which I was consulted, the girl was a hebephreniac who had
    resorted to this procedure with a Newfoundland dog at the
    instance of another girl, seemingly normal as regards mentality,
    and had been badly injured; a discharge resulted which resembled
    gonorrhoea, but contained no gonococci. These cases are probably
    more frequent than is usually assumed."

    Women are known to have had intercourse with various other
    animals, occasionally or habitually, in various parts of the
    world. Monkeys have been mentioned in this connection. Moll
    remarks that it seems to be an indication of an abnormal interest
    in monkeys that some women are observed by the attendants in the
    monkey-house of zoölogical gardens to be very frequent visitors.
    Near the Amazon the traveler Castelnau saw an enormous Coati
    monkey belonging to an Indian woman and tried to purchase it;
    though he offered a large sum, the woman only laughed. "Your
    efforts are useless," remarked an Indian in the same cabin, "he
    is her husband." (So far as the early literature of this subject
    is concerned, a number of facts and fables regarding the congress
    of women with dogs, goats and other animals was brought together
    at the beginning of the eighteenth century by Schurig in his
    _Gynæcologia_, Section II, cap. VII; I have not drawn on this

    In some cases women, and also men, find gratification in the
    sexual manipulation of animals without any kind of congress. This
    may be illustrated by an observation communicated to me by a
    correspondent, a clergyman. "In Ireland, my father's house
    adjoined the residence of an archdeacon of the established
    church. I was then about 20 and was still kept in religious awe
    of evil ways. The archdeacon had two daughters, both of whom he
    brought up in great strictness, resolved that they should grow up
    examples of virtue and piety. Our stables adjoined, and were
    separated only by a thin wall in which was a doorway closed up by
    some boards, as the two stables had formerly been one. One night
    I had occasion to go to our stable to search for a garden tool I
    had missed, and I heard a door open on the other side, and saw a
    light glimmer through the cracks of the boards. I looked through
    to ascertain who could be there at that late hour, and soon
    recognized the stately figure of one of the daughters, F.F. was
    tall, dark and handsome, but had never made any advances to me,
    nor had I to her. She was making love to her father's mare after
    a singular fashion. Stripping her right arm, she formed her
    fingers into a cone, and pressed on the mare's vulva. I was
    astonished to see the beast stretching her hind legs as if to
    accommodate the hand of her mistress, which she pushed in
    gradually and with seeming ease to the elbow. At the same time
    she seemed to experience the most voluptuous sensation, crisis
    after crisis arriving." My correspondent adds that, being
    exceedingly curious in the matter, he tried a somewhat similar
    experiment himself with one of his father's mares and experienced
    what he describes as "a most powerful sexual battery" which
    produced very exciting and exhausting effects. Näcke
    (_Psychiatrische en Neurologische Bladen_, 1899, No. 2) refers to
    an idiot who thus manipulated the vulva of mares in his charge.
    The case has been recorded by Guillereau (_Journal de Médicine
    Véterinaire et de Zootechnie_, January, 1899) of a youth who was
    accustomed to introduce his hand into the vulva of cows in order
    to obtain sexual excitement.

    The possibility of sexual excitement between women and animals
    involves a certain degree of sexual excitability in animals from
    contact with women. Darwin stated that there could be no doubt
    that various quadrumanous animals could distinguish women from
    men--in the first place probably by smell and secondarily by
    sight--and be thus liable to sexual excitement. He quotes the
    opinions on this point of Youatt, Brehm, Sir Andrew Smith and
    Cuvier (_Descent of Man_, second edition, p. 8). Moll quotes the
    opinion of an experienced observer to the same effect
    (_Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, Bd. i, p. 429).
    Hufeland reported the case of a little girl of three who was
    playing, seated on a stool, with a dog placed between her thighs
    and locked against her. Seemingly excited by this contact the
    animal attempted a sort of copulation, causing the genital parts
    of the child to become inflamed. Bloch (_Op. cit._, p. 280, _et
    seq._) discusses the same point; he does not consider that
    animals will of their own motion sexually cohabit with women, but
    that they may be easily trained to it. There can be no doubt that
    dogs at all events are sometimes sexually excited by the presence
    of women, perhaps especially during menstruation, and many women
    are able to bear testimony to the embarrassing attentions they
    have sometimes received from strange dogs. There can be no
    difficulty in believing that, so far as _cunnilinctus_ is
    concerned dogs would require no training. In a case recorded by
    Moll (_Konträre Sexualempfindung_, third edition, p. 560) a lady
    states that this was done to her when a child, as also to other
    children, by dogs who, she said, showed signs of sexual
    excitement. In this case there was also sexual excitement thus
    produced in the child, and after puberty mutual _cunnilinctus_
    was practiced with girl friends. Guttceit (_Dreissig Jahre
    Praxis_, Theil I, p. 310) remarks that some Russian officers who
    were in the Turkish campaign of 1828 told him that from fear of
    veneral infection in Wallachia they refrained from women and
    often used female asses which appeared to show signs of sexual

A very large number of animals have been recorded as having been employed
in the gratification of sexual desire at some period or in some country,
by men and sometimes by women. Domestic animals are naturally those which
most frequently come into question, and there are few if any of these
which can altogether be excepted. The sow is one of the animals most
frequently abused in this manner.[51] Cases in which mares, cows, and
donkeys figure constantly occur, as well as goats and sheep. Dogs, cats,
and rabbits are heard of from time to time. Hens, ducks, and, especially
in China, geese, are not uncommonly employed. The Roman ladies were said
to have had an abnormal affection for snakes. The bear and even the
crocodile are also mentioned.[52]

The social and legal attitude toward bestiality has reflected in part the
frequency with which it has been practiced, and in part the disgust mixed
with mystical and sacrilegious horror which it has aroused. It has
sometimes been met merely by a fine, and sometimes the offender and his
innocent partner have been burnt together. In the middle ages and later
its frequency is attested by the fact that it formed a favorite topic with
preachers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It is significant that
in the Penitentials,--which were criminal codes, half secular and half
spiritual, in use before the thirteenth century, when penance was
relegated to the judgment of the confessor,--it was thought necessary to
fix the periods of penance which should be undergone respectively by
bishops, priests and deacons who should be guilty of bestiality.

    In Egbert's Penitential, a document of the ninth and tenth
    centuries, we read (V. 22): "Item Episcopus cum quadrupede
    fornicans VII annos, consuetudinem X, presbyter V, diaconus III,
    clerus II." There was a great range in the penances for
    bestiality, from ten years to (in the case of boys) one hundred
    days. The mare is specially mentioned (Haddon and Stubbs,
    _Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents_, vol. iii, p. 422). In
    Theodore's Penitential, another Anglo-Saxon document of about the
    same age, those who habitually fornicate with animals are
    adjudged ten years of penance. It would appear from the
    _Penitentiale Pseudo-Romanum_ (which is earlier than the eleventh
    century) that one year's penance was adequate for fornication
    with a mare when committed by a layman (exactly the same as for
    simple fornication with a widow or virgin), and this was
    mercifully reduced to half a year if he had no wife.
    (Wasserschleben, _Die Bussordnungen der Abendländlichen Kirche_,
    p. 366). The _Penitentiale Hubertense_ (emanating from the
    monastery of St. Hubert in the Ardennes) fixes ten years' penance
    for sodomy, while Fulbert's Penitential (about the eleventh
    century) fixes seven years for either sodomy or bestiality.
    Burchard's Penitential, which is always detailed and precise,
    specially mentions the mare, the cow and the ass, and assigns
    forty days bread and water and seven years penance, raised to ten
    years in the case of married men. A woman having intercourse with
    a horse is assigned seven years penance in Burchard's
    Penitential. (Wasserschleben, ib. pp. 651, 659.)

The extreme severity which was frequently exercised toward those guilty of
this offense, was doubtless in large measure due to the fact that
bestiality was regarded as a kind of sodomy, an offense which was
frequently viewed with a mystical horror apart altogether from any actual
social or personal injury it caused. The Jews seem to have felt this
horror; it was ordered that the sinner and his victim should both be put
to death (Exodus, Ch. 22, v. 19; Leviticus, Ch. 20, v. 15). In the middle
ages, especially in France, the same rule often prevailed. Men and sows,
men and cows, men and donkeys were burnt together. At Toulouse a woman was
burnt for having intercourse with a dog. Even in the seventeenth century a
learned French lawyer, Claude Lebrun de la Rochette, justified such
sentences.[53] It seems probable that even to-day, in the social and legal
attitude toward bestiality, sufficient regard is not paid to the fact that
this offense is usually committed either by persons who are morbidly
abnormal or who are of so low a degree of intelligence that they border on
feeble-mindedness. To what extent, and on what grounds, it ought to be
punished is a question calling for serious reconsideration.


[33] For Krafft-Ebing's discussion of the subject see _Op. cit._, pp.

[34] In England it is not uncommon to use the term "unnatural offence;"
this is an awkward and possibly misleading practice which should not be
followed. In Germany a similar confusion is caused by applying the term
"sodomy" to these cases as well as to pederasty. Krafft-Ebing considers
that this error is due to the jurists, while the theologians have always
distinguished correctly. In this matter, he adds, science must be _ancilla
theologiæ_ and return to the correct usage of words.

[35] This childish interest, with later abnormal developments, may be seen
in History I of the Appendix to this volume.

[36] The Countess of Pembroke, Sir Philip Sidney's sister, appears to have
found sexual enjoyment in the contemplation of the sexual prowess of
stallions. Aubrey writes that she "was very salacious and she had a
contrivance that in the spring of the year ... the stallions ... were to
be brought before such a part of the house where she had a vidette to look
on them." (_Short Lives_, 1898, vol. i, p. 311.) Although the modern
editor's modesty has caused the disappearance of several lines from this
passage, the general sense is clear. In the same century Burchard, the
faithful secretary of Pope Alexander VI, describes in his invaluable diary
how four race horses were brought to two mares in a court of the Vatican,
the horses clamorously fighting for the possession of the mares and
eventually mounting them, while the Pope and his daughter Lucrezia looked
on from a window "cum magno risu et delectatione." (_Diarium_, ed Thuasne,
vol. III, p. 169.)

[37] _Archivio di Psichiatria_, 1902, fasc. ii-iii, p. 338. In the case of
pathological sexuality in a boy of 15, reported by A. MacDonald, and
already summarized, the sight of copulating flies is also mentioned among
many other causes of sexual excitation.

[38] Krafft-Ebing presents or quotes typical cases of all these fetiches,
_Op. cit._, pp. 255-266.

[39] G. Stanley Hall, "A study of Fears," _American Journal of
Psychology_, 1897, pp. 213-215.

[40] _Op. cit._, p. 268.

[41] W. Howard, "Sexual Perversion," _Alienist and Neurologist_, January,
1896. Krafft-Ebing (op. cit., p. 532) quotes from Boeteau the somewhat
similar case of a gardener's boy of 16--an illegitimate child of
neuropathic heredity and markedly degenerate--who had a passion, of
irresistible and impulsive character, for rabbits. He was declared
irresponsible. Moll (_Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, bd. i, pp.
431-433) presents the case of a neurotic man who from the age of 15 had
been sexually excited by the sight of animals or by contact with them. He
had repeatedly had connection with cows and mares; he was also sexually
excited by sheep, donkeys, and dogs, whether female or male; the normal
sexual instinct was weak and he experienced very slight attraction to

[42] Moll also remarks ("Perverse Sexualempfindung," in Senator's and
Kaminer's _Krankheiten und Ehe_) that in this matter it is often hardly
possible to draw a sharp line between vice and disease.

[43] Instances of this widespread belief--found among the Tamils of Ceylon
as well as in Europe--are quoted from various authors by Bloch, _Beiträge
zur Ætiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil II, p. 278, and Moll,
_Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, bd. i, p. 700. On the frequency
of bestiality, from one cause or another, in the East, see, e.g., Stern,
_Medizin und Geschlechtsleben in der Türkei_, bd. ii, p. 219.

[44] Sometimes (as among the Aleuts) the animal pantomime dances of
savages may represent the transformation of a captive bird into a lovely
woman who falls exhausted into the arms of the hunter. (H.H. Bancroft,
_Native Races of the Pacific_, vol. i, p. 93.) A system of beliefs which
accepts the possibility that a human being may be latent in an animal
obviously favors the practice of bestiality.

[45] For an example of the primitive confusion between the intercourse of
women with animals and with men see, e.g., Boas, "Sagen aus
British-Columbia," _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, heft V, p. 558.

[46] Herodotus, Book II, Chapter 46.

[47] Dulare (_Des Divinités Génératrices_, Chapter II) brings together the
evidence showing that in Egypt women had connection with the sacred goat,
apparently in order to secure fertility.

[48] Various facts and references bearing on this subject are brought
together by Blumenbach, _Anthropological Memoirs_, translated by Bendyshe,
p. 80; Block, _Beiträge zur Ætiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil II,
pp. 276-283; also Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, seventh edition, p. 520.

[49] Mantegazza mentions (_Gli Amori degli Uomini_, cap V) that at Rimini
a young goatherd of the Apennines, troubled with dyspepsia and nervous
symptoms, told him this was due to excesses with the goats in his care. A
finely executed marble group of a satyr having connection with a goat,
found at Herculaneum and now in the Naples Museum (reproduced in Fuchs's
_Erotische Element in der Karikatur_), perhaps symbolizes a traditional
and primitive practice of the goatherd.

[50] Bayle (_Dictionary_, Art, Bathyllus) quotes various authorities
concerning the Italian auxiliaries in the south of France in the sixteenth
century and their custom of bringing and using goats for this purpose.
Warton in the eighteenth century was informed that in Sicily priests in
confession habitually inquired of herdsmen if they had anything to do with
their sows. In Normandy priests are advised to ask similar questions.

[51] It is worth noting that in Greek the work choiros means both a sow
and a woman's pudenda; in the _Acharnians_ Aristophanes plays on this
association at some length. The Romans also (as may be gathered from
Varro's _De Re Rustica_) called the feminine pudenda _porcus_.

[52] Schurig, _Gynæcologia_, pp. 280-387; Bloch, op. cit., 270-277. The
Arabs, according to Kocher, chiefly practice bestiality with goats, sheep
and mares. The Annamites, according to Mondière, commonly employ sows and
(more especially the young women) dogs. Among the Tamils of Ceylon
bestiality with goats and cows is said to be very prevalent.

[53] Mantegazza (_Gli Amori degli Uomini_, cap. V) brings together some
facts bearing on this matter.


Exhibitionism--Illustrative Cases--A Symbolic Perversion of Courtship--The
Impulse to Defile--The Exhibitionist's Psychic Attitude--The Sexual Organs
as Fetichs--Phallus Worship--Adolescent Pride in Sexual
Development--Exhibitionism of the Nates--The Classification of the Forms
of Exhibitionism--Nature of the Relationship of Exhibitionism to Epilepsy.

There is a remarkable form of erotic symbolism--very definite and standing
clearly apart from all other forms--in which sexual gratification is
experienced in the simple act of exhibiting the sexual organ to persons of
the opposite sex, usually by preference to young and presumably innocent
persons, very often children. This is termed exhibitionism.[54] It would
appear to be a not very infrequent phenomenon, and most women, once or
more in their lives, especially when young, have encountered a man who has
thus deliberately exposed himself before them.

The exhibitionist, though often a young and apparently vigorous man, is
always satisfied with the mere act of self-exhibition and the emotional
reaction which that act produces; he makes no demands on the woman to whom
he exposes himself; he seldom speaks, he makes no effort to approach her;
as a rule, he fails even to display the signs of sexual excitation. His
desires are completely gratified by the act of exhibition and by the
emotional reaction it arouses in the woman. He departs satisfied and

    A case recorded by Schrenck-Notzing very well represents both the
    nature of the impulse felt by the exhibitionist and the way in
    which it may originate. It is the case of a business man of 49,
    of neurotic heredity, an affectionate husband and father of a
    family, who, to his own grief and shame, is compelled from time
    to time to exhibit his sexual organs to women in the street. As a
    boy of 10 a girl of 12 tried to induce him to coitus; both had
    their sexual parts exposed. From that time sexual contacts, as of
    his own naked nates against those of a girl, became attractive,
    as well as games in which the boys and girls in turn marched
    before each other with their sexual parts exposed, and also
    imitation of the copulation of animals. Coitus was first
    practiced about the age of 20, but sight and touch of the woman's
    sexual parts were always necessary to produce sexual excitement.
    It was also necessary--and this consideration is highly important
    as regards the development of the tendency to exhibition--that
    the woman should be excited by the sight of his organs. Even when
    he saw or touched a woman's parts orgasm often occurred. It was
    the naked sexual organs in an otherwise clothed body which
    chiefly excited him. He was not possessed of a high degree of
    potency. Girls between the ages of 10 and 17 chiefly excited him,
    and especially if he felt that they were quite ignorant of sexual
    matters. His self-exhibition was a sort of psychic defloration,
    and it was accompanied by the idea that other people felt as he
    did about the sexual effects of the naked organs, that he was
    shocking but at the same time sexually exciting a young girl. He
    was thus gratifying himself through the belief that he was
    causing sexual gratification to an innocent girl. This man was
    convicted several times, and was finally declared to be suffering
    from impulsive insanity. (Schrenck-Notzing,
    _Kriminal-psychologische und Psycho-pathologische Studien_, 1902,
    pp. 50-57.) In another case of Schrenck-Notzing's, an actor and
    portrait painter, aged 31, in youth masturbated and was fond of
    contemplating the images of the sexual organs of both sexes,
    finding little pleasure in coitus. At the age of 24, at a bathing
    establishment, he happened to occupy a compartment next to that
    occupied by a lady, and when naked he became aware that his
    neighbor was watching him through a chink in the partition. This
    caused him powerful excitement and he was obliged to masturbate.
    Ever since he has had an impulse to exhibit his organs and to
    masturbate in the presence of women. He believes that the sight
    of his organs excites the woman (Ib., pp. 57-68). The presence of
    masturbation in this case renders it untypical as a case of
    exhibitionism. Moll at one time went so far as to assert that
    when masturbation takes place we are not entitled to admit
    exhibitionism, (_Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, bd. i,
    p. 661), but now accepts exhibitionism with masturbation
    ("Perverse Sexualempfindung," _Krankheiten und Ehe_). The act of
    exhibition itself gratifies the sexual impulse, and usually it
    suffices to replace both tumescence and detumescence.

    A fairly typical case, recorded by Krafft-Ebing, is that of a
    German factory worker of 37, a good, sober and intelligent
    workman. His parents were healthy, but one of his mother's and
    also one of his father's sisters were insane; some of his
    relatives are eccentric in religion. He has a languishing
    expression and a smile of self-complacency. He never had any
    severe illness, but has always been eccentric and imaginative,
    much absorbed in romances (such as Dumas's novels) and fond of
    identifying himself with their heroes. No signs of epilepsy. In
    youth moderate masturbation, later moderate coitus. He lives a
    retired life, but is fond of elegant dress and of ornament.
    Though not a drinker, he sometimes makes himself a kind of punch
    which has a sexually exciting effect on him. The impulse to
    exhibitionism has only developed in recent years. When the
    impulse is upon him he becomes hot, his heart beats violently,
    the blood rushes to his head, and he is oblivious of everything
    around him that is not connected with his own act. Afterwards he
    regards himself as a fool and makes vain resolutions never to
    repeat the act. In exhibition the penis is only half erect and
    ejaculation never occurs. (He is only capable of coitus with a
    woman who shows great attraction to him.) He is satisfied with
    self-exhibition, and believes that he thus gives pleasure to the
    woman, since he himself receives pleasure in contemplating a
    woman's sexual parts. His erotic dreams are of self-exhibition to
    young and voluptuous women. He had been previously punished for
    an offense of this kind; medico-legal opinion now recognized the
    incriminated man's psychopathic condition. (Krafft-Ebing, _Op.
    cit._, pp. 492-494.)

    Trochon has reported the case of a married man of 33, a worker in
    a factory, who for several years had exhibited himself at
    intervals to shop-girls, etc., in a state of erection, but
    without speaking or making other advances. He was a hard-working,
    honest, sober man of quiet habits, a good father to his family
    and happy at home. He showed not the slightest sign of insanity.
    But he was taciturn, melancholic and nervous; a sister was an
    idiot. He was arrested, but on the report of the experts that he
    committed these acts from a morbid impulse he could not control
    he was released. (Trochon, _Archives de l'Anthropologie
    Criminelle_, 1888, p. 256.)

    In a case of Freyer's (_Zeitschrift für Medizinalbeamte_, third
    year, No. 8) the occasional connection of exhibitionism with
    epilepsy is well illustrated by a barber's assistant, aged 35,
    whose father suffered from chronic alcoholism and was also said
    to have committed the same kind of offense as his son. The mother
    and a sister suffered nervously. From ages of 7 to 18 the subject
    had epileptic convulsions. From 16 to 21 he indulged in normal
    sexual intercourse. At about that time he had often to pass a
    playground and at times would urinate there; it happened that the
    children watched him with curiosity. He noticed that when thus
    watched sexual excitement was caused, inducing erection and even
    ejaculation. He gradually found pleasure in this kind of sexual
    gratification; finally he became indifferent to coitus. His
    erotic dreams, though still usually about normal coitus, were now
    sometimes concerned with exhibition before little girls. When
    overcome by the impulse he could see and hear nothing around him,
    though he did not lose consciousness. After the act was over he
    was troubled by his deed. In all other respects he was entirely
    reasonable. He was imprisoned many times for exhibiting himself
    to young schoolgirls, sometimes vaunting the beauty of his organs
    and inviting inspection. On one occasion he underwent mental
    examination, but was considered to be mentally sound. He was
    finally held to be a hereditarily tainted individual with
    neuropathic constitution. The head was abnormally broad, penis
    small, patellar reflex absent, and there were many signs of
    neurasthenia. (Krafft-Ebing, _Op. cit._, pp. 490-492.)

    The prevalence of epilepsy among exhibitionists is shown by the
    observations of Pelanda in Verona. He has recorded six cases of
    this perversion, all of which eventually reached the asylum and
    were either epileptics or with epileptic relations. One had a
    brother who was also an exhibitionist. In some cases the penis
    was abnormally large, in others abnormally small. Several had
    very weak sexual impulse; one, at the age of 62, had never
    effected coitus, and was proud of the fact that he was still a
    virgin, considering, he would say, the epoch of demoralization in
    which we live. (Pelanda, "Pornopatici," _Archivio di
    Psichiatria_, fasc. ii-iv, 1889.)

    In a very typical case of exhibitionism which Garnier has
    recorded, a certain X., a gentleman engaged in business in Paris,
    had a predilection for exhibiting himself in churches, more
    especially in Saint-Roch. He was arrested several times for
    exposing his sexual organs here before ladies in prayer. In this
    way he finally ruined his commercial position in Paris and was
    obliged to establish himself in a small provincial town. Here
    again he soon exposed himself in a church and was again sent to
    prison, but on his liberation immediately performed the same act
    in the same church in what was described as a most imperturbable
    manner. Compelled to leave the town, he returned to Paris, and in
    a few weeks' time was again arrested for repeating his old
    offense in Saint Roch. When examined by Garnier, the information
    he supplied was vague and incomplete, and he was very embarrassed
    in the attempt to explain himself. He was unable to say why he
    chose a church, but he felt that it was to a church that he must
    go. He had, however, no thought of profanation and no wish to
    give offense. "Quite the contrary!" he declared. He had the sad
    and tired air of a man who is dominated by a force stronger than
    his will. "I know," he added, "what repulsion my conduct must
    inspire. Why am I made thus? Who will cure me?" (P. Garnier,
    "Perversions Sexuelles," _Comptes Rendus_, International Congress
    of Medicine at Paris in 1900, _Section de Psychiatrie_, pp.

    In some cases, it would appear, the impulse to exhibitionism may
    be overcome or may pass away. This result is the more likely to
    come about in those cases in which exhibitionism has been largely
    conditioned by chronic alcoholism or other influences tending to
    destroy the inhibiting and restraining action of the higher
    centers, which may be overcome by hygiene and treatment. In this
    connection I may bring forward a case which has been communicated
    to me by a medical correspondent in London. It is that of an
    actor, of high standing in his profession and extremely
    intelligent, 49 years of age, married and father of a large
    family. He is sexually vigorous and of erotic temperament. His
    general health has always been good, but he is a high-strung,
    neurotic man, with quick mental reactions. His habits had for a
    long time been decidedly alcoholic, but two years ago, a small
    quantity of albumen being found in the urine, he was persuaded to
    leave off alcohol, and has since been a teetotaller. Though
    ordinarily very reticent about sexual matters, he began four or
    five years ago to commit acts of exhibitionism, exposing himself
    to servants in the house and occasionally to women in the
    country. This continued after the alcohol had been abandoned and
    lasted for several years, though the attention of the police was
    never attracted to the matter, and so far as possible he was
    quietly supervised by his friends. Nine months after, the acts of
    exhibitionism ceased, apparently in a spontaneous manner, and
    there has so far been no relapse.

Exhibitionism is an act which, on the face of it, seems nonsensical and
meaningless, and as such, as an inexplicable act of madness, it has
frequently been treated both by writers on insanity and on sexual
perversion. "These acts are so lacking in common sense and intelligent
reflection that no other reason than insanity can be offered for the
patient," Ball concluded.[55] Moll, also, who defines exhibitionism
somewhat too narrowly as a condition in which "the charm of the exhibition
lies for the subject in the display itself," not sufficiently taking into
consideration the imagined effect on the spectator, concludes that "the
psychological basis of exhibitionism is at present by no means cleared

We may probably best approach exhibitionism by regarding it as
fundamentally a symbolic act based on a perversion of courtship. The
exhibitionist displays the organ of sex to a feminine witness, and in the
shock of modest sexual shame by which she reacts to that spectacle, he
finds a gratifying similitude of the normal emotions of coitus.[57] He
feels that he has effected a psychic defloration.

    Exhibitionism is thus analogous, and, indeed, related, to the
    impulse felt by many persons to perform indecorous acts or tell
    indecent stories before young and innocent persons of the
    opposite sex. This is a kind of psychic exhibitionism, the
    gratification it causes lying exactly, as in physical
    exhibitionism, in the emotional confusion which it is felt to
    arouse. The two kinds of exhibitionism may be combined in the
    same person: Thus, in a case reported by Hoche (p. 97), the
    exhibitionist an intellectual and highly educated man, with a
    doctor's degree, also found pleasure in sending indecent poems
    and pictures to women, whom, however, he made no attempt to
    seduce; he was content with the thought of the emotions he
    aroused or believed that he aroused.

    It is possible that within this group should come the agent in
    the following incident which was lately observed by a lady, a
    friend of my own. An elderly man in an overcoat was seen standing
    outside a large and well-known draper's shop in the outskirts of
    London; when able to attract the attention of any of the
    shop-girls or of any girl in the street he would fling back his
    coat and reveal that he was wearing over his own clothes a
    woman's chemise (or possibly bodice) and a woman's drawers; there
    was no exposure. The only intelligible explanation of this action
    would seem to be that pleasure was experienced in the mild shock
    of interested surprise and injured modesty which this vision was
    imagined to cause to a young girl. It would thus be a
    comparatively innocent form of psychic defloration.

It is of interest to point out that the sexual symbolism of active
flagellation is very closely analogous to this symbolism of exhibitionism.
The flagellant approaches a woman with the rod (itself a symbol of the
penis and in some countries bearing names which are also applied to that
organ) and inflicts on an intimate part of her body the signs of blushing
and the spasmodic movements which are associated with sexual excitement,
while at the same time she feels, or the flagellant imagines that she
feels, the corresponding emotions of delicious shame.[58] This is an even
closer mimicry of the sexual act than the exhibitionist attains, for the
latter fails to secure the consent of the woman nor does he enjoy any
intimate contact with her naked body. The difference is connected with the
fact that the active flagellant is usually a more virile and normal person
than the exhibitionist. In the majority of cases the exhibitionist's
sexual impulse is very feeble, and as a rule he is either to some degree a
degenerate, or else a person who is suffering from an early stage of
general paralysis, dementia, or some other highly enfeebling cause of
mental disorganization, such as chronic alcoholism. Sexual feebleness is
further indicated by the fact that the individuals selected as witnesses
are frequently mere children.

    It seems probable that a form of erotic symbolism somewhat
    similar to exhibitionism is to be found in the rare cases in
    which sexual gratification is derived from throwing ink, acid or
    other defiling liquids on women's dresses. Thoinot has recorded a
    case of this kind (_Attentats aux Moeurs_, 1898, pp. 484, _et
    seq._). An instructive case has been presented by Moll. In this
    case a young man of somewhat neuropathic heredity had as a youth
    of 16 or 17, when romping with his young sister's playfellows,
    experienced sexual sensations on chancing to see their white
    underlinen. From that time white underlinen and white dresses
    became to him a fetich and he was only attracted to women so
    attired. One day, at the age of 25, when crossing the street in
    wet weather with a young lady in a white dress, a passing vehicle
    splashed the dress with mud. This incident caused him strong
    sexual excitement, and from that time he had the impulse to throw
    ink, perchloride of iron, etc., on to ladies' white dresses, and
    sometimes to cut and tear them, sexual excitement and ejaculation
    taking place every time he effected this. (Moll, "Gutachten über
    einem Sexual Perversen [Besudelungstrieb]," _Zeitschrift für
    Medizinalbeamte_, Heft XIII, 1900). Such a case is of
    considerable psychological interest. Thoinot considers that in
    these cases the fleck is a fetich. That is an incorrect account
    of the matter. In this case the white garments constituted the
    primary fetich, but that fetich becomes more acutely realized,
    and at the same time both parties are thrown into an emotional
    state which to the fetichist becomes a mimicry of coitus, by the
    act of defilement. We may perhaps connect with this phenomenon
    the attraction which muddy shoes often exert over the
    shoe-fetichist, and the curious way in which, as we have seen (p.
    18), Restif de la Bretonne associates his love of neatness in
    women with his attraction to the feet, the part, he remarks,
    least easy to keep clean.

    Garnier applied the term _sadi-fetichism_ to active flagellation
    and many similar manifestations such as we are here concerned
    with, on the grounds that they are hybrids which combine the
    morbid adoration for a definite object with the impulse to
    exercise a more or less degree of violence. From the standpoint
    of the conception of erotic symbolism I have adopted there is no
    need for this term. There is here no hybrid combination of two
    unlike mental states. We are simply concerned with states of
    erotic symbolism, more or less complete, more or less complex.

The conception of exhibitionism as a process of erotic symbolism, involves
a conscious or unconscious attitude of attention in the exhibitionist's
mind to the psychic reaction of the woman toward whom his display is
directed. He seeks to cause an emotion which, probably in most cases, he
desires should be pleasurable. But from one cause or another his finer
sensibilities are always inhibited or in abeyance, and he is unable to
estimate accurately either the impression he is likely to produce or the
general results of his action, or else he is moved by a strong impulsive
obsession which overpowers his judgment. In many cases he has good reason
for believing that his act will be pleasurable, and frequently he finds
complacent witnesses among the low-class servant girls, etc.

    It may be pointed out here that we are quite justified in
    speaking of a penis-fetichism and also of a vulva-fetichism. This
    might be questioned. We are obviously justified in recognizing a
    fetichism which attaches itself to the pubic hair, or, as in a
    case with which I am acquainted, to the clitoris, but it may seem
    that we cannot regard the central sexual organs as symbols of
    sex, symbols, as it were, of themselves. Properly regarded,
    however, it is the sexual act rather than the sexual organ which
    is craved in normal sexual desire; the organ is regarded merely
    as the means and not as the end. Regarded as a means the organ is
    indeed an object of desire, but it only becomes a fetich when it
    arrests and fixes the attention. An attention thus pleasurably
    fixed, a vulva-fetichism or a penis-fetichism, is within the
    normal range of sexual emotion (this point has been mentioned in
    the previous volume when discussing the part played by the
    primary sexual organs in sexual selection), and in coarse-grained
    natures of either sex it is a normal allurement in its
    generalized shape, apart from any attraction to the person to
    whom the organs belong. In some morbid cases, however, this
    penis-fetichism may become a fully developed sexual perversion. A
    typical case of this kind has been recorded by Howard in the
    United States. Mrs. W., aged 39, was married at 20 to a strong,
    healthy man, but derived no pleasure from coitus, though she
    received great pleasure from masturbation practiced immediately
    after coitus, and nine years after marriage she ceased actual
    coitus, compelling her husband to adopt mutual masturbation. She
    would introduce men into the house at all times of the day or
    night, and after persuading them to expose their persons would
    retire to her room to masturbate. The same man never aroused
    desire more than once. This desire became so violent and
    persistent that she would seek out men in all sorts of public
    places and, having induced them to expose themselves, rapidly
    retreat to the nearest convenient spot for self-gratification.
    She once abstracted a pair of trousers she had seen a man wear
    and after fondling them experienced the orgasm. Her husband
    finally left her, after vainly attempting to have her confined in
    an asylum. She was often arrested for her actions, but through
    the intervention of friends set free again. She was a highly
    intelligent woman, and apart from this perversion entirely
    normal. (W.L. Howard, "Sexual Perversion," _Alienist and
    Neurologist_, January, 1896.) It is on the existence of a more or
    less developed penis-fetichism of this kind that the
    exhibitionist, mostly by an ignorant instinct, relies for the
    effects he desires to produce.

The exhibitionist is not usually content to produce a mere titillated
amusement; he seeks to produce a more powerful effect which must be
emotional whether or not it is pleasurable. A professional man in
Strassburg (in a case reported by Hoche[59]) would walk about in the
evening in a long cloak, and when he met ladies would suddenly throw his
cloak back under a street lamp, or igniting a red-fire match, and thus
exhibit his organs. There was an evident effort--on the part of a weak,
vain, and effeminate man--to produce a maximum of emotional effect. The
attempt to heighten the emotional shock is also seen in the fact that the
exhibitionist frequently chooses a church as the scene of his exploits,
not during service, for he always avoids a concourse of people, but
perhaps toward evening when there are only a few kneeling women scattered
through the edifice. The church is chosen, often instinctively rather than
deliberately, from no impulse to commit a sacrilegious outrage--which, as
a rule, the exhibitionist does not feel his act to be--but because it
really presents the conditions most favorable to the act and the effects
desired. The exhibitionist's attitude of mind is well illustrated by one
of Garnier's patients who declared that he never wished to be seen by more
than two women at once, "just what is necessary," he added, "for an
exchange of impressions." After each exhibition he would ask himself
anxiously: "Did they see me? What are they thinking? What do they say to
each other about me? Oh! how I should like to know!" Another patient of
Garnier's, who haunted churches for this purpose, made this very
significant statement: "Why do I like going to churches? I can scarcely
say. _But I know that it is only there that my act has its full
importance_. The woman is in a devout frame of mind, and she must see that
such an act in such a place is not a joke in bad taste or a disgusting
obscenity; _that if I go there it is not to amuse myself; it is more
serious than that!_ I watch the effect produced on the faces of the ladies
to whom I show my organs. I wish to see them express a profound joy. I
wish, in fact, that they may be forced to say to themselves: _How
impressive Nature is when thus seen!_"

    Here we trace the presence of a feeling which recalls the
    phenomena of the ancient and world-wide phallic worship, still
    liable to reappear sporadically. Women sometimes took part in
    these rites, and the osculation of the male sexual organ or its
    emblematic representation by women is easily traceable in the
    phallic rites of India and many other lands, not excluding Europe
    even in comparatively recent times. (Dulaure in his _Divinités
    Génératices_ brings together much bearing on these points; cf.:
    Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, vol. i, Chapter XVII, and Bloch,
    _Beiträge zur Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil I, pp. 115-117. Colin
    Scott has some interesting remarks on phallic worship and the
    part it has played in aiding human evolution, "Sex and Art,"
    _American Journal of Psychology_, vol. vii, No. 2, pp. 191-197.
    Irving Rosse describes some modern phallic rites in which both
    men and women took part, similar to those practiced in vaudouism,
    "Sexual Hypochondriasis," _Virginia Medical Monthly_, October,

    Putting aside any question of phallic worship, a certain pride
    and more or less private feeling of ostentation in the new
    expansion and development of the organs of virility seems to be
    almost normal at adolescence. "We have much reason to assume,"
    Stanley Hall remarks, "that in a state of nature there is a
    certain instinctive pride and ostentation that accompanies the
    new local development. I think it will be found that
    exhibitionists are usually those who have excessive growth here,
    and that much that modern society stigmatizes as obscene is at
    bottom more or less spontaneous and perhaps in some cases not
    abnormal. Dr. Seerley tells me he has never examined a young man
    largely developed who had the usual strong instinctive tendency
    of modesty to cover himself with his hands, but he finds this
    instinct general with those whose development is less than the
    average." (G. Stanley Hall, _Adolescence_, vol. ii, p. 97.) This
    instinct of ostentation, however, so far as it is normal, is held
    in check by other considerations, and is not, in the strict
    sense, exhibitionism. I have observed a full-grown telegraph boy
    walking across Hampstead Heath with his sexual organs exposed,
    but immediately he realized that he was seen he concealed them.
    The solemnity of exhibitionism at this age finds expression in
    the climax of the sonnet, "Oraison du Soir," written at 16 by
    Rimbaud, whose verse generally is a splendid and insolent
    manifestation of rank  adolescence:--

        "Doux comme le Seigneur du cèdre et des hysopes,
        Je pisse vers les cieux bruns très haut et très loin,
        Avec l'assentiment des grands héliotropes."

        (J.A. Rimbaud, _Oeuvres_, p. 68.)

    In women, also, there would appear to be traceable a somewhat
    similar ostentation, though in them it is complicated and largely
    inhibited by modesty, and at the same time diffused over the body
    owing to the absence of external sexual organs. "Primitive
    woman," remarks Madame Renooz, "proud of her womanhood, for a
    long time defended her nakedness which ancient art has always
    represented. And in the actual life of the young girl to-day
    there is a moment when by a secret atavism she feels the pride of
    her sex, the intuition of her moral superiority, and cannot
    understand why she must hide its cause. At this moment, wavering
    between the laws of Nature and social conventions, she scarcely
    knows if nakedness should or should not affright her. A sort of
    confused atavistic memory recalls to her a period before clothing
    was known, and reveals to her as a paradisaical ideal the customs
    of that human epoch." (Céline Renooz, _Psychologie Comparée de
    l'Homme et de la Femme_, p. 85.) It may be added that among
    primitive peoples, and even among some remote European
    populations to-day, the exhibition of feminine nudity has
    sometimes been regarded as a spectacle with religious or magic
    operation. (Ploss, _Das Weib_, seventh edition, vol. ii, pp.
    663-680; Havelock Ellis, _Man and Woman_, fourth edition, p.
    304.) It is stated by Gopcevic that in the long struggle between
    the Albanians and the Montenegrians the women of the former
    people would stand in the front rank and expose themselves by
    raising their skirts, believing that they would thus insure
    victory. As, however, they were shot down, and as, moreover,
    victory usually fell to the Montenegrians, this custom became
    discredited. (Quoted by Bloch, _Op. cit._, Teil II, p. 307.)

    With regard to the association, suggested by Stanley Hall,
    between exhibitionism and an unusual degree of development of the
    sexual organs, it must be remarked that both extremes--a very
    large and a very small penis--are specially common in
    exhibitionists. The prevalence of the small organ is due to an
    association of exhibitionism with sexual feebleness. The
    prevalence of the large organ may be due to the cause suggested
    by Hall. Among Mahommedans the sexual organs are sometimes
    habitually exposed by religious penitents, and I note that
    Bernhard Stern, in his book on the medical and sexual aspects of
    life in Turkey, referring to a penitent of this sort whom he saw
    on the Stamboul bridge at Constantinople, remarks that the organ
    was very largely developed. It may well be in such a case that
    the penitent's religious attitude is reinforced by some lingering
    relic of a more fleshly ostentation.

It is by a pseudo-atavism that this phallicism is evoked in the
exhibitionist. There is no true emergence of an ancestrally inherited
instinct, but by the paralysis or inhibition of the finer and higher
feelings current in civilization, the exhibitionist is placed on the same
mental level as the man of a more primitive age, and he thus presents the
basis on which the impulses belonging to a higher culture may naturally
take root and develop.

    Reference may here be made to a form of primitive exhibitionism,
    almost confined to women, which, although certainly symbolic, is
    absolutely non-sexual, and must not, therefore, be confused with
    the phenomena we are here occupied with. I refer to the
    exhibition of the buttocks as a mark of contempt. In its most
    primitive form, no doubt, this exhibitionism is a kind of
    exorcism, a method of putting evil spirits, primarily, and
    secondarily evil-disposed persons, to flight. It is the most
    effective way for a woman to display sexual centers, and it
    shares in the magical virtues which all unveiling of the sexual
    centers is believed by primitive peoples to possess. It is
    recorded that the women of some peoples in the Balkan peninsula
    formerly used this gesture against enemies in battle. In the
    sixteenth century so distinguished a theologian as Luther when
    assailed by the Evil One at night was able to put the adversary
    to flight by protruding his uncovered buttocks from the bed. But
    the spiritual significance of this attitude is lost with the
    decay of primitive beliefs. It survives, but merely as a gesture
    of insult. The symbolism comes to have reference to the nates as
    the excretory focus, the seat of the anus. In any case it ignores
    any sexual attractiveness in this part of the body. Exhibitionism
    of this kind, therefore, can scarcely arise in persons of any
    sensitiveness or æsthetic perception, even putting aside the
    question of modesty, and there seems to be little trace of it in
    classic antiquity when the nates were regarded as objects of
    beauty. Among the Egyptians, however, we gather from Herodotus
    (Bk. II, Chapter LX) that at a certain popular religious festival
    men and women would go in boats on the Nile, singing and playing,
    and when they approached a town the women on the boats would
    insult the women of the town by injurious language and by
    exposing themselves. Among the Arabs, however, the specific
    gesture we are concerned with is noted, and a man to whom
    vengeance is forbidden would express his feelings by exposing his
    posterior and strewing earth on his head (Wellhausen, _Rests
    Arabischen Heidentums_, 1897, p. 195). It is in Europe and in
    mediæval and later times that this emphatic gesture seems to have
    flourished as a violent method of expressing contempt. It was by
    no means confined to the lower classes, and Kleinpaul, in
    discussing this form of "speech without words," quotes examples
    of various noble persons, even princesses, who are recorded thus
    to have expressed their feelings. (Kleinpaul, _Sprache ohne
    Worte_, pp. 271-273.) In more recent times the gesture has become
    merely a rare and extreme expression of unrestrained feeling in
    coarse-grained peasants. Zola, in the figure of Mouquette in
    _Germinal_, may be said to have given a kind of classic
    expression to the gesture. In the more remote parts of Europe it
    appears to be still not altogether uncommon. This seems to be
    notably the case among the South Slavs, and Krauss states that
    "when a South Slav woman wishes to express her deepest contempt
    for anyone she bends forward, with left hand raising her skirts,
    and with the right slapping her posterior, at the same time
    exclaiming: 'This for you!'" (Kryptadia, vol. vi, p. 200.)

    A verbal survival of this gesture, consisting in the contemptuous
    invitation to kiss this region, still exists among us in remote
    parts of the country, especially as an insult offered by an angry
    woman who forgets herself. It is said to be commonly used in
    Wales. ("Welsh Ædoelogy," Kryptadia, vol. ii, pp. 358, et seq.)
    In Cornwall, when addressed by a woman to a man it is sometimes
    regarded as a deadly insult, even if the woman is young and
    attractive, and may cause a life-long enmity between related
    families. From this point of view the nates are a symbol of
    contempt, and any sexual significance is excluded. (The
    distinction is brought out by Diderot in _Le Neveu de Rameau:_
    "_Lui:_--Il y a d'autres jours ou il ne m'en coûterait rien pour
    être vil tant qu'on voudrait; ces jours-là, pour un liard, je
    baiserais le cul à la petite Hus. _Moi:_--Eh! mais, l'ami, elle
    est blanche, jolie, douce, potelée, et c'est un acte d'humilité
    auquel un plus delicat que vous pourrait quelquefois s'abaisser.
    _Lui:_--Entendons-nous; c'est qu'il y a baiser le cul au simple,
    et baiser le cul au figuré.")

    It must be added that a sexual form of exhibitionism of the nates
    must still be recognized. It occurs in masochism and expresses
    the desire for passive flagellation. Rousseau, whose emotional
    life was profoundly affected by the castigations which as a child
    he received from Mlle Lambercier, has in his _Confessions_ told
    us how, when a youth, he would sometimes expose himself in this
    way in the presence of young women. Such masochistic
    exhibitionism seems, however, to be rare.

While the manifestations of exhibitionism are substantially the same in
all cases, there are many degrees and varieties of the condition. We may
find among exhibitionists, as Garnier remarks, dementia, states of
unconsciousness, epilepsy, general paralysis, alcoholism, but the most
typical cases, he adds, if not indeed the cases to which the term properly
belongs, are those in which it is an impulsive obsession. Krafft-Ebing[60]
divides exhibitionists into four clinical groups: (1) acquired states of
mental weakness, with cerebral or spinal disease clouding consciousness
and at the same time causing impotence; (2) epileptics, in whom the act is
an abnormal organic impulse performed in a state of imperfect
consciousness; (3) a somewhat allied group of neurasthenic cases; (4)
periodical impulsive cases with deep hereditary taint. This classification
is not altogether satisfactory. Garnier's classification, placing the
group of obsessional cases in the foreground and leaving the other more
vaguely defined groups in the background, is probably better. I am
inclined to consider that most of the cases fall into one or other of two
mixed groups. The first class includes cases in which there is more or
less congenital abnormality, but otherwise a fair or even complete degree
of mental integrity; they are usually young adults, they are more or less
precisely conscious of the end they wish to attain, and it is often only
with a severe struggle that they yield to their impulses. In the second
class the beginnings of mental or nervous disease have diminished the
sensibility of the higher centers; the subjects are usually old men whose
lives have been absolutely correct; they are often only vaguely aware of
the nature of the satisfaction they are seeking, and frequently no
struggle precedes the manifestation; such was the case of the overworked
clergyman described by Hughes,[61] who, after much study, became morose
and absent-minded, and committed acts of exhibitionism which he could not
explain but made no attempt to deny; with rest and restorative treatment
his health improved and the acts ceased. It is in the first class of cases
alone that there is a developed sexual perversion. In the cases of the
second class there is a more or less definite sexual intention, but it is
only just conscious, and the emergence of the impulse is due not to its
strength but to the weakness, temporary or permanent, of the higher
inhibiting centers.

Epileptic cases, with loss of consciousness during the act, can only be
regarded as presenting a pseudo-exhibitionism. They should be excluded
altogether. It is undoubtedly true that many cases of real or apparent
exhibitionism occur in epileptics.[62] We must not, however, too hastily
conclude that because these acts occur in epileptics they are necessarily
unconscious acts. Epilepsy frequently occurs on a basis of hereditary
degeneration, and the exhibitionism may be, and not infrequently is, a
stigma of the degeneracy and not an indication of the occurrence of a
minor epileptic fit. When the act of pseudo-exhibitionism is truly
epileptic, it will usually have no psychic sexual content, and it will
certainly be liable to occur under all sorts of circumstances, when the
patient is alone or in a miscellaneous concourse of people. It will be on
a level with the acts of the highly respectable young woman who, at the
conclusion of an attack of _petit mal_, consisting chiefly of a sudden
desire to pass urine, on one occasion lifted up her clothes and urinated
at a public entertainment, so that it was with difficulty her friends
prevented her from being handed over to the police.[63] Such an act is
automatic, unconscious, and involuntary; the spectators are not even
perceived; it cannot be an act of exhibitionism. Whenever, on the other
hand, the place and the time are evidently chosen deliberately,--a quiet
spot, the presence of only one or two young women or children,--it is
difficult to admit that we are in the presence of a fit of epileptic
unconsciousness, even when the subject is known to be epileptic.

Even, however, when we exclude those epileptic pseudo-exhibitionists who,
from the legal point of view, are clearly irresponsible, it must still be
remembered that in every case of exhibitionism there is a high degree of
either mental abnormality on a neuropathic basis, or else of actual
disease. This is true to a greater extent in exhibitionism than in almost
any other form of sexual perversion. No subject of exhibitionism should be
sent to prison without expert medical examination.


[54] Lasège first drew attention to this sexual perversion and gave it its
generally accepted name, "Les Exhibitionistes," _L'Union Médicale_, May,
1877. Magnan, on various occasions (for example, "Les Exhibitionistes,"
_Archives de l'Anthropologie Criminelle_, vol. v, 1890, p. 456), has given
further development and precision to the clinical picture of the

[55] B. Ball. _La Folie Erotique_, p. 86.

[56] Moll, _Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, bd. i, p. 661.

[57] "Exhibitionism in its most typical form is," Garnier truly says, "a
_systematic act_, manifesting itself as the _strange equivalent of a
sexual connection_, or its _substitution_." The brief account of
exhibitionism (pp. 433-437) in Garnier's discussion of "Perversions
Sexuelles" at the International Medical Congress at Paris in 1900
(_Section de Psychiatrie: Comptes-Rendus_) is the most satisfactory
statement of the psychological aspects of this perversion with which I am
acquainted. Garnier's unrivalled clinical knowledge of these
manifestations, due to his position during many years as physician at the
Depôt of the Prefecture of Police in Paris, adds great weight to his

[58] The symbolism of coitus involved in flagellation has been touched on
by Eulenburg (_Sexuale Neuropathie_, p. 121), and is more fully developed
by Dühren (_Geschlechtsleben in England_, bd. ii, pp. 366, _et seq._).

[59] A. Hoche, _Neurologische Centralblatt_, 1896, No. 2.

[60] _Op. cit._, pp. 478, et seq.

[61] C.H. Hughes, "Morbid Exhibitionism," _Alienist and Neurologist_,
August, 1904. Another somewhat similar American case, also preceded by
overwork, and eventually adjudged insane by the courts, is recorded by
D.S. Booth, _Alienist and Neurologist_, February, 1905.

[62] Exhibitionism in epilepsy is briefly discussed by Féré, _L'Instinct
Sexuel_, second edition, pp. 194-195.

[63] W.S. Colman, "Post-Epileptic Unconscious Automatic Actions,"
_Lancet_, July 5, 1890.


The Forms of Erotic Symbolism are Simulacra of Coitus--Wide
Extension of Erotic Symbolism--Fetichism Not Covering the Whole
Ground of Sexual Selection--It is Based on the Individual Factor in
Selection--Crystallization--The Lover and the Artist--The Key to Erotic
Symbolism to be Found in the Emotional Sphere--The Passage to Pathological

We have now examined several very various and yet very typical
manifestations in all of which it is not difficult to see how, in some
strange and eccentric form--on a basis of association through resemblance
or contiguity or both combined--there arises a definite mimicry of the
normal sexual act together with the normal emotions which accompany that
act. It has become clear in what sense we are justified in recognizing
erotic symbolism.

    The symbolic and, as it were, abstracted nature of these
    manifestations is shown by the remarkable way in which they are
    sometimes capable of transference from the object to the subject.
    That is to say that the fetichist may show a tendency to
    cultivate his fetich in his own person. A foot-fetichist may like
    to go barefoot himself; a man who admired lame women liked to
    halt himself; a man who was attracted by small waists in women
    found sexual gratification in tight-lacing himself; a man who was
    fascinated by fine white skin and wished to cut it found
    satisfaction in cutting his own skin; Moll's coprolagnic
    fetichist found a voluptuous pleasure in his own acts of
    defecation. (See, e.g., Krafft-Ebing, _Op. cit._, p. 221, 224,
    226; Hammond, _Sexual Impotence_, p. 74; cf. _ante_, p. 68.) Such
    symbolic transference seems to have a profoundly natural basis,
    for we may see a somewhat similar phenomenon in the well-known
    tendency of cows to mount a cow in heat. This would appear to be,
    not so much a homosexual impulse, as the dynamic psychic action
    of an olfactory sexual symbol in a transformed form.

    We seem to have here a psychic process which is a curious
    reversal of that process of _Einfühlung_--the projection of one's
    own activities into the object contemplated--which Lipps has so
    fruitfully developed as the essence of every æsthetic condition.
    (T. Lipps, _Æsthetik_, Teil I, 1903.) By _Einfühlung_ our own
    interior activity becomes the activity of the object perceived,
    a thing being beautiful in proportion as it lends itself to our
    _Einfühlung_. But by this action of erotic symbolism, on the
    other hand, we transfer the activity of the object into

When the idea of erotic symbolism as manifested in such definite and
typical forms becomes realized, it further becomes clear that the vaguer
manifestations of such symbolism are exceedingly widespread. When in a
previous volume we were discussing and drawing together the various
threads which unite "Love and Pain," it will now be understood that we
were standing throughout on the threshold of erotic symbolism. Pain
itself, in the sense in which we slowly learned to define it in this
relationship--as a state of intense emotional excitement--may, under a
great variety of special circumstances, become an erotic symbol and afford
the same relief as the emotions normally accompanying the sexual act.
Active algolagnia or sadism is thus a form of erotic symbolism; passive
algolagnia or masochism is (in a man) an inverted form of erotic
symbolism. Active flagellation or passive flagellation are, in exactly the
same way, manifestations of erotic symbolism, the imaginative mimicry of

Binet and also Krafft-Ebing[64] have argued in effect that the whole of
sexual selection is a matter of fetichism, that is to say, of erotic
symbolism of object. "Normal love," Binet states, "appears as the result
of a complicated fetichism." Tarde also seems to have regarded love as
normally a kind of fetichism. "We are a long time before we fall in love
with a woman," he remarks; "we must wait to see the detail which strikes
and delights us, and causes us to overlook what displeases us. Only in
normal love the details are many and always changing. Constancy in love is
rarely anything else but a voyage around the beloved person, a voyage of
exploration and ever new discoveries. The most faithful lover does not
love the same woman in the same way for two days in succession."[65]

From that point of view normal sexual love is the sway of a fetich--more
or less arbitrary, more or less (as Binet terms it) polytheistic--and it
can have little objective basis. But, as we saw when considering "Sexual
Selection in Man" in the previous volume, more especially when analyzing
the notion of beauty, we are justified in believing that beauty has to a
large extent an objective basis, and that love by no means depends simply
on the capricious selection of some individual fetich. The individual
factor, as we saw, is but one of many factors which constitute beauty. In
the study of sexual selection that individual factor was passed over very
lightly. We now see that it is often a factor of great importance, for in
it are rooted all these outgrowths--normal in their germs, highly abnormal
in their more extreme developments--which make up erotic symbolism.

Erotic symbolism is therefore concerned with all that is least generic,
least specific, all that is most intimately personal and individual, in
sexual selection. It is the final point in which the decreasing circle of
sexual attractiveness is fixed. In the widest and most abstract form
sexual selection in man is merely human, and we are attracted to that
which bears most fully the marks of humanity; in a less abstract form it
is sexual, and we are attracted to that which most vigorously presents the
secondary sexual characteristics; still narrowing, it is the type of our
own nation and people that appeals most strongly to us in matters of love;
and still further concentrating we are affected by the ideal--in
civilization most often the somewhat exotic ideal--of our own day, the
fashion of our own city. But the individual factor still remains, and amid
the infinite possibilities of erotic symbolism the individual may evolve
an ideal which is often, as far as he knows and perhaps in actuality, an
absolutely unique event in the history of the human soul.

Erotic symbolism works in its finer manifestations by means of the
idealizing aptitudes; it is the field of sexual psychology in which that
faculty of crystallization, on which Stendhal loved to dwell, achieves its
most brilliant results. In the solitary passage in which we seem to see a
smile on the face of the austere poet of the _De Rerum Naturâ_, Lucretius
tells us how every lover, however he may be amused by the amorous
extravagances of other men, is himself blinded by passion: if his mistress
is black she is a fascinating brunette, if she squints she is the rival of
Pallas, if too tall she is majestic, if too short she is one of the
Graces, _tota merum sal_; if too lean it is her delicate refinement, if
too fat then a Ceres, dirty and she disdains adornment, a chatterer and
brilliantly vivacious, silent and it is her exquisite modesty.[66] Sixteen
hundred years later Robert Burton, when describing the symptoms of love,
made out a long and appalling list of the physical defects which the lover
is prepared to admire.[67]

Yet we must not be too certain that the lover is wrong in this matter. We
too hastily assume that the casual and hasty judgment of the world is
necessarily more reliable, more conformed to what we call "truth," than
the judgment of the lover which is founded on absorbed and patient study.
In some cases where there is lack of intelligence in the lover and
dissimulation in the object of his love, it may be so. But even a poem or
a picture will often not reveal its beauty except by the expenditure of
time and study. It is foolish to expect that the secret beauty of a human
person will reveal itself more easily. The lover is an artist, an artist
who constructs an image, it is true, but only by patient and concentrated
attention to nature; he knows the defects of his image, probably better
than anyone, but he knows also that art lies, not in the avoidance of
defects, but in the realization of those traits which swallow up defects
and so render them non-existent. A great artist, Rodin, after a life spent
in the study of Nature, has declared that for art there is no ugliness in
Nature. "I have arrived at this belief by the study of Nature," he said;
"I can only grasp the beauty of the soul by the beauty of the body, but
some day one will come who will explain what I only catch a glimpse of and
will declare how the whole earth is beautiful, and all human beings
beautiful. I have never been able to say this in sculpture so well as I
wish and as I feel it affirmed within me. For poets Beauty has always
been some particular landscape, some particular woman; but it should be
all women, all landscapes. A negro or a Mongol has his beauty, however
remote from ours, and it must be the same with their characters. There is
no ugliness. When I was young I made that mistake, as others do; I could
not undertake a woman's bust unless I thought her pretty, according to my
particular idea of beauty; to-day I should do the bust of any woman, and
it would be just as beautiful. And however ugly a woman may look, when she
is with her lover she becomes beautiful; there is beauty in her character,
in her passions, and beauty exists as soon as character or passion becomes
visible, for the body is a casting on which passions are imprinted. And
even without that, there is always the blood that flows in the veins and
the air that fills the lungs."[68]

The saint, also, is here at one with the lover and the artist. The man who
has so profoundly realized the worth of his fellow men that he is ready
even to die in order to save them, feels that he has discovered a great
secret. Cyples traces the "secret delights" that have thus risen in the
hearts of holy men to the same source as the feelings generated between
lovers, friends, parents, and children. "A few have at intervals walked in
the world," he remarks, "who have, each in his own original way, found out
this marvel.... Straightway man in general has become to them so sweet a
thing that the infatuation has seemed to the rest of their fellows to be a
celestial madness. Beggars' rags to their unhesitating lips grew fit for
kissing, because humanity had touched the garb; there were no longer any
menial acts, but only welcome services.... Remember by how much man is the
subtlest circumstance in the world; at how many points he can attach
relationships; how manifold and perennial he is in his results. All other
things are dull, meager, tame beside him."[69]

It may be added that even if we still believe that lover and artist and
saint are drawing the main elements of their conceptions from the depths
of their own consciousness, there is a sense in which they are coming
nearer to the truth of things than those for whom their conceptions are
mere illusions. The aptitude for realizing beauty has involved an
adjustment of the nerves and the associated brain centers through
countless ages that began before man was. When the vision of supreme
beauty is slowly or suddenly realized by anyone, with a reverberation that
extends throughout his organism, he has attained to something which for
his species, and for far more than his species, is truth, and can only be
illusion to one who has artificially placed himself outside the stream of

    In an essay on "The Gods as Apparitions of the Race-Life," Edward
    Carpenter, though in somewhat Platonic phraseology, thus well
    states the matter: "The youth sees the girl; it may be a chance
    face, a chance outline, amid the most banal surroundings. But it
    gives the cue. There is a memory, a confused reminiscence. The
    mortal figure without penetrates to the immortal figure within,
    and there rises into consciousness a shining form, glorious, not
    belonging to this world, but vibrating with the agelong life of
    humanity, and the memory of a thousand love-dreams. The waking of
    this vision intoxicates the man; it glows and burns within him; a
    goddess (it may be Venus herself) stands in the sacred place of
    his temple; a sense of awe-struck splendor fills him, and the
    world is changed." "He sees something" (the same writer continues
    in a subsequent essay, "Beauty and Duty") "which, in a sense, is
    more real than the figures in the street, for he sees something
    that has lived and moved for hundreds of years in the heart of
    the race; something which has been one of the great formative
    influences of his own life, and which has done as much to create
    those very figures in the street as qualities in the circulation
    of the blood may do to form a finger or other limb. He comes into
    touch with a very real Presence or Power--one of those organic
    centers of growth in the life of humanity--and feels this larger
    life within himself, subjective, if you like, and yet intensely
    objective. And more. For is it not also evident that the woman,
    the mortal woman who excites his Vision, _has_ some closest
    relation to it, and is, indeed, far more than a mere mask or
    empty formula which reminds him of it? For she indeed has within
    her, just as much as the man has, deep subconscious Powers
    working; and the ideal which has dawned so entrancingly on the
    man is in all probability closely related to that which has been
    working most powerfully in the heredity of the woman, and which
    has most contributed to mold _her_ form and outline. No wonder,
    then, that her form should remind him of it. Indeed, when he
    looks into her eyes he sees _through_ to a far deeper life even
    than she herself may be aware of, and yet which is truly hers--a
    life perennial and wonderful. The more than mortal in him beholds
    the more than mortal in her; and the gods descend to meet."
    (Edward Carpenter, _The Art of Creation_, pp. 137, 186.)

It is this mighty force which lies behind and beneath the aberrations we
have been concerned with, a great reservoir from which they draw the
life-blood that vivifies even their most fantastic shapes. Fetichism and
the other forms of erotic symbolism are but the development and the
isolation of the crystallizations which normally arise on the basis of
sexual selection. Normal in their basis, in their extreme forms they
present the utmost pathological aberrations of the sexual instinct which
can be attained or conceived. In the intermediate space all degrees are
possible. In the slightest degree the symbol is merely a specially
fascinating and beloved feature in a person who is, in all other respects,
felt to be lovable; as such its recognition is a legitimate part of
courtship, an effective aid to tumescence. In a further degree the symbol
is the one arresting and attracting character of a person who must,
however, still be felt as a sexually attractive individual. In a still
further degree of perversion the symbol is effective, even though the
person with whom it is associated is altogether unattractive. In the final
stage the person and even all association with a person disappear
altogether from the field of sexual consciousness; the abstract symbol
rules supreme.

Long, however, before the symbol has reached that final climax of morbid
intensity we may be said to have passed beyond the sphere of sexual love.
A person, not an abstracted quality, must be the goal of love. So long as
the fetich is subordinated to the person it serves to heighten love. But
love must be based on a complexus of attractive qualities, or it has no
stability.[70] As soon as the fetich becomes isolated and omnipotent, so
that the person sinks into the background as an unimportant appendage of
the fetich, all stability is lost. The fetichist now follows an impersonal
and abstract symbol withersoever it may lead him.

It has been seen that there are an extraordinary number of forms in which
erotic symbolism may be felt. It must be remembered, and it cannot be too
distinctly emphasized, that the links that bind together the forms of
erotic symbolism are not to be found in objects or even in acts, but in
the underlying emotion. A feeling is the first condition of the symbol, a
feeling which recalls, by a subtle and unconscious automatic association
of resemblance or of contiguity, some former feeling. It is the similarity
of emotion, instinctively apprehended, which links on a symbol only
partially sexual, or even apparently not sexual at all, to the great
central focus of sexual emotion, the great dominating force which brings
the symbol its life-blood.[71]

The cases of sexual hyperæsthesia, quoted at the beginning of this study,
do but present in a morbidly comprehensive and sensitive form those
possibilities of erotic symbolism which, in some degree, or at some
period, are latent in most persons. They are genuinely instinctive and
automatic, and have nothing in common with that fanciful and deliberate
play of the intelligence around sexual imagery--not infrequently seen in
abnormal and insane persons--which has no significance for sexual

It is to the extreme individualization involved by the developments of
erotic symbolism that the fetichist owes his morbid and perilous
isolation. The lover who is influenced by all the elements of sexual
selection is always supported by the fellow-feeling of a larger body of
other human beings; he has behind him his species, his sex, his nation, or
at the very least a fashion. Even the inverted lover in most cases is soon
able to create around him an atmosphere constituted by persons whose
ideals resemble his own. But it is not so with the erotic symbolist. He is
nearly always alone. He is predisposed to isolation from the outset, for
it would seem to be on a basis of excessive shyness and timidity that the
manifestations of erotic symbolism are most likely to develop. When at
length the symbolist realizes his own aspirations--which seem to him for
the most part an altogether new phenomenon in the world--and at the same
time realizes the wide degree in which they deviate from those of the rest
of mankind, his natural secretiveness is still further reinforced. He
stands alone. His most sacred ideals are for all those around him a
childish absurdity, or a disgusting obscenity, possibly a matter calling
for the intervention of the policeman. We have forgotten that all these
impulses which to us seem so unnatural--this adoration of the foot and
other despised parts of the body, this reverence for the excretory acts
and products, the acceptance of congress with animals, the solemnity of
self-exhibition--were all beliefs and practices which, to our remote
forefathers, were bound up with the highest conceptions of life and the
deepest ardors of religion.

A man cannot, however, deviate at once so widely and so spontaneously in
his impulses from the rest of the world in which he himself lives without
possessing an aboriginally abnormal temperament. At the very least he
exhibits a neuropathic sensitiveness to abnormal impressions. Not
infrequently there is more than this, the distinct stigmata of
degeneration, sometimes a certain degree of congenital feeble-mindedness
or a tendency to insanity.

Yet, regarded as a whole, and notwithstanding the frequency with which
they witness to congenital morbidity, the phenomena of erotic symbolism
can scarcely fail to be profoundly impressive to the patient and impartial
student of the human soul. They often seem absurd, sometimes disgusting,
occasionally criminal; they are always, when carried to an extreme degree,
abnormal. But of all the manifestations of sexual psychology, normal and
abnormal, they are the most specifically human. More than any others they
involve the potently plastic force of the imagination. They bring before
us the individual man, not only apart from his fellows, but in opposition,
himself creating his own paradise. They constitute the supreme triumph of
human idealism.


[64] Binet, _Etudes de Psychologie Expérimentale_, esp., p. 84;
Krafft-Ebing, _Op. cit._, p. 18.

[65] G. Tarde, "L'Amour Morbide," _Archives de l'Anthropologie
Criminelle_, 1890, p. 585.

[66] Lucretius, Lib. IV, vv. 1150-1163.

[67] Burton, _Anatomy of Melancholy_, Part III, Section II, Mem. III,
Subs. I.

[68] Judith Cladel, _Auguste Rodin Pris sur la Vie_, 1903, pp. 103-104.
Some slight modifications have been made in the translation of this
passage on account of the conversational form of the original.

[69] W. Cyples, _The Process of Human Experience_, p. 462. Even if (as we
have already seen, _ante_, p. 58) the saint cannot always feel actual
physical pleasure in the intimate contact of humanity, the ardor of
devoted service which his vision of humanity arouses remains unaffected.

[70] "To love," as Stendhal defined it (_De l'Amour_, Chapter II), "is to
have pleasure in seeing, touching, and feeling by all the senses, and as
near as possible, a beloved object by whom one is oneself loved."

[71] Pillon's study of "La Mémoire Affective" (_Revue Philosophique_,
February, 1901) helps to explain the psychic mechanism of the process.



The Psychological Significance of Detumescence--The Testis and the
Ovary--Sperm Cell and Germ Cell--Development of the Embryo--The External
Sexual Organs--Their Wide Range of Variation--Their Nervous Supply--The
Penis--Its Racial Variations--The Influence of Exercise--The Scrotum and
Testicles--The Mons Veneris--The Vulva--The Labia Majora and their
Varieties--The Pubic Hair and Its Characters--The Clitoris and Its
Functions--The Anus as an Erogenous Zone--The Nymphæ and their
Function--The Vagina--The Hymen--Virginity--The Biological Significance of
the Hymen.

In analyzing the sexual impulse we have seen that the process whereby the
conjunction of the sexes is achieved falls naturally into two phases: the
first phase, of tumescence, during which force is generated in the
organism, and the second phase, of detumescence, in which that force is
discharged during conjugation.[72] Hitherto we have been occupied mainly
with the first phase, that of tumescence, and with its associated psychic
phenomena. It was inevitable that this should be so, for it is during the
slow process of tumescence that sexual selection is decided, the
crystallizations of love elaborated, and, to a large extent, the
individual erotic symbols determined. But we can by no means altogether
pass over the final phase of detumescence. Its consideration, it is true,
brings us directly into the field of anatomy and physiology; while
tumescence is largely under control of the will, when the moment of
detumescence arrives the reins slip from the control of the will; the more
fundamental and uncontrollable impulses of the organism gallop on
unchecked; the chariot of Phaëthon dashes blindly down into a sea of

Yet detumescence is the end and climax of the whole drama; it is an
anatomico-physiological process, certainly, but one that inevitably
touches psychology at every point.[73] It is, indeed, the very key to the
process of tumescence, and unless we understand and realize very precisely
what it is that happens during detumescence, our psychological analysis of
the sexual impulse must remain vague and inadequate.

From the point of view we now occupy, a man and a woman are no longer two
highly sensitive organisms vibrating, voluptuously it may indeed be, but
vaguely and indefinitely, to all kinds of influences and with fluctuating
impulses capable of being directed into any channel, even in the highest
degree divergent from the proper ends of procreation. They are now two
genital organisms who exist to propagate the race, and whatever else they
may be, they must be adequately constituted to effect the act by which the
future of the race is ensured. We have to consider what are the material
conditions which ensure the most satisfactory and complete fulfillment of
this act, and how those conditions may be correlated with other
circumstances in the organism. In thus approaching the subject we shall
find that we have not really abandoned the study of the psychic aspects of

The two most primary sexual organs are the testis and the ovary; it is the
object of conjugation to bring into contact the sperm from the testis with
the germ from the ovary. There is no reason to suppose that the germ-cell
and the sperm-cell are essentially different from each other. Sexual
conjugation thus remains a process which is radically the same as the
non-sexual mode of propagation which preceded it. The fusion of the nuclei
of the two cells was regarded by Van Beneden, who in 1875 first accurately
described it, as a process of conjugation comparable to that of the
protozoa and the protophyta. Boveri, who has further extended our
knowledge of the process, considers that the spermatozoon removes an
inhibitory influence preventing the commencement of development in the
ovum; the spermatozoon replaces a portion of the ovum which has already
undergone degeneration, so that the object of conjugation is chiefly to
effect the union of the properties of two cells in one, sexual
fertilization achieving a division of labor with reciprocal inhibition;
the two cells have renounced their original faculty of separate
development in order to attain a fusion of qualities and thus render
possible that production of new forms and qualities which has involved the
progress of the organized world.[74]

While in fishes this conjugation of the male and female elements is
usually ensured by the female casting her spawn into an artificial nest
outside the body, on to which the male sheds his milt, in all animals
(and, to some extent, birds, who occupy an intermediate position) there is
an organic nest, or incubation chamber as Bland Sutton terms it, the womb,
in the female body, wherein the fertilized egg may develop to a high
degree of maturity sheltered from those manifold risks of the external
world which make it necessary for the spawn of fishes to be so enormous in
amount. Since, however, men and women have descended from remote ancestors
who, in the manner of aquatic creatures, exercised functions of
sperm-extrusion and germ-extrusion that were exactly analogous in the two
sexes, without any specialized female uterine organization, the early
stages of human male and female foetal development still display the
comparatively undifferentiated sexual organization of those remote
ancestors, and during the first months of foetal life it is practically
impossible to tell by the inspection of the genital regions whether the
embryo would have developed into a man or into a woman. If we examine the
embryo at an early stage of development we see that the hind end is the
body stalk, this stalk in later stages becoming part of the umbilical
cord. The urogenital region, formed by the rapid extension of the hind
end beyond its original limit, which corresponds to what is later the
umbilicus, develops mainly by the gradual differentiation of structures
(the Wolffian and Müllerian bodies) which originally exist identically in
both sexes. This process of sexual differentiation is highly complex, so
that it cannot yet be said that there is complete agreement among
investigators as to its details. When some irregularity or arrest of
development occurs in the process we have one or other of the numerous
malformations which may affect this region. If the arrest occurs at a very
early stage we may even find a condition of things which seems to
approximate to that which normally exists in the adult reptilia.[75] Owing
to the fact that both male and female organs develop from more primitive
structures which were sexually undifferentiated, a fundamental analogy in
the sexual organs of the sexes always remains; the developed organs of one
sex exist as rudiments in the other sex; the testicles correspond to the
ovaries; the female clitoris is the homologue of the male penis; the
scrotum of one sex is the labia majora in the other sex, and so
throughout, although it is not always possible at present to be quite
certain in regard to these homologics.

Since the object to be attained by the sexual organs in the human species
is identical with that which they subserve in their pre-human ancestors,
it is not surprising to find that these structures have a clear
resemblance to the corresponding structures in the apes, although on the
whole there would appear to be in man a higher degree of sexual
differentiation. Thus the uterus of various species of _semnopithecus_
seems to show a noteworthy correspondence with the same organ in
woman.[76] The somewhat less degree of sexual differentiation is well
shown in the gorilla; in the male the external organs are in the passive
state covered by the wrinkled skin of the abdomen, while in the female,
on the contrary, they are very apparent, and in sexual excitement the
large clitoris and nymphæ become markedly prominent. The penis of the
gorilla, however, more nearly resembles that of man, according to
Hartmann, than does that of the other anthropoid apes, which diverge from
the human type in this respect more than do the cynocephalic apes and some
species of baboon.

From the psychological point of view we are less interested in the
internal sexual organs, which are most fundamentally concerned with the
production and reception of the sexual elements, than with the more
external parts of the genital apparatus which serve as the instruments of
sexual excitation, and the channels for the intromission and passage of
the seminal fluid. It is these only which can play any part at all in
sexual selection; they are the only part of the sexual apparatus which can
enter into the formation of either normal or abnormal erotic conceptions;
they are the organs most prominently concerned with detumescence; they
alone enter normally into the conscious process of sex at any time. It
seems desirable, therefore, to discuss them briefly at this point.

    Our knowledge of the individual and racial variations of the
    external sexual organs is still extremely imperfect. A few
    monographs and collections of data on isolated points may be
    found in more or less inaccessible publications. As regards
    women, Ploss and Bartels have devoted a chapter to the sexual
    organs of women which extends to a hundred pages, but remains
    scanty and fragmentary. (_Das Weib_, vol. i, Chapter VI.) The
    most systematic series of observations have been made in the case
    of the various kinds of degenerates--idiots, the insane,
    criminals, etc.--but it would be obviously unsafe to rely too
    absolutely on such investigations for our knowledge of the sexual
    organs of the ordinary population.

    There can be no doubt, however, that the external sexual organs
    in normal men and women exhibit a peculiarly wide range of
    variation. This is indicated not only by the unsystematic results
    attained by experienced observers, but also by more systematic
    studies. Thus Herman has shown by detailed measurements that
    there are great normal variations in the conformation of the
    parts that form the floor of the female pelvis. He found that the
    projection of the pelvic floor varied from nothing to as much as
    two inches, and that in healthy women who had borne no children
    the distance between the coccyx and anus, the length of the
    perineum, the distance between the fourchette and the symphysis
    pubis, and the length of the vagina are subject to wide
    variations. (_Lancet_, October 12, 1889.) Even the female
    urethral opening varies very greatly, as has been shown by Bergh,
    who investigated it in nearly 700 women and reproduces the
    various shapes found; while most usually (in about a third of the
    cases observed), a longitudinal slit, it may be cross-shaped,
    star-shaped, crescentic, etc.; and while sometimes very small, in
    about 6 per cent. of the cases it admitted the tip of the little
    finger. (Bergh, _Monatsheft für Praktische Dermatologie_, 15
    Sept., 1897.)

    As regards both sexes, Stanley Hall states that "Dr. F.N.
    Seerley, who has examined over 2000 normal young men as well as
    many young women, tells me that in his opinion individual
    variations in these parts are much greater even than those of
    face and form, and that the range of adult and apparently normal
    size and proportion, as well as function, and of both the age and
    order of development, not only of each of the several parts
    themselves, but of all their immediate annexes, and in females as
    well as males, is far greater than has been recognized by any
    writer. This fact is the basis of the anxieties and fears of
    morphological abnormality so frequent during adolescence." (G.S.
    Hall, _Adolescence_, vol. i, p. 414).

In accordance with the supreme importance of the part they play, and the
intimately psychic nature of that part, the sexual organs, both internal
and external, are very richly supplied with nerves. While the internal
organs are very abundantly furnished with sympathetic nerves and ganglia,
the external organs show the highest possible degree of specialization of
the various peripheral nervous devices which the organism has developed
for receiving, accumulating, and transmitting stimuli to the brain.[77]

    "The number of conducting cords which attach the genitals to the
    nervous centers is simply enormous," writes Bryan Robinson; "the
    pudic nerve is composed of nearly all the third sacral and
    branches from the second and fourth sacral. As one examines this
    nerve he is forced to the conclusion that it is an enormous
    supply for a small organ. The periphery of the pudic nerve
    spreads itself like a fan over the genitals." The lesser sciatic
    nerve supplies only one muscle--the gluteus maximus--and then
    sends the large pudendal branch to the side of the penis, and
    hence the friction of coitus induces active contraction of the
    gluteus maximus, "the main muscle of coition." The large pudic
    and the pudendal constitute the main supply of the external
    genitals. In women the pudic nerve is equally large, but the
    pudendal much smaller, possibly, Bryan Robinson suggests, because
    women take a less active part in coitus. The nerve supply of the
    clitoris, however, is three or four times as large as that of the
    penis in proportion to size. (F.B. Robinson, "The Intimate
    Nervous Connection of the Genito-Urinary Organs With the
    Cerebro-Spinal and Sympathetic Systems," _New York Medical
    Journal_, March 11, 1893; id., _The Abdominal Brain_, 1899.)

Of all the sexual organs the penis is without doubt that which has most
powerfully impressed the human imagination. It is the very emblem of
generation, and everywhere men have contemplated it with a mixture of
reverence and shuddering awe that has sometimes, even among civilized
peoples, amounted to horror and disgust. Its image is worn as an amulet to
ward off evil and invoked as a charm to call forth blessing. The sexual
organs were once the most sacred object on which a man could place his
hands to swear an inviolate oath, just as now he takes up the Testament.
Even in the traditions of the great classic civilization which we inherit
the penis is _fascinus_, the symbol of all fascination. In the history of
human culture it has had far more than a merely human significance; it has
been the symbol of all the generative force of Nature, the embodiment of
creative energy in the animal and vegetable worlds alike, an image to be
held aloft for worship, the sign of all unconscious ecstasy. As a symbol,
the sacred phallus, it has been woven in and out of all the highest and
deepest human conceptions, so intimately that it is possible to see it
everywhere, that it is possible to fail to see it anywhere.

In correspondence with the importance of the penis is the large number of
names which men have everywhere bestowed upon it. In French literature
many hundred synonyms may be found. They were also numerous in Latin. In
English the literary terms for the penis seem to be comparatively few, but
a large number of non-literary synonyms exist in colloquial and perhaps
merely local usage. The Latin term penis, which has established itself
among us as the most correct designation, is generally considered to be
associated with _pendere_ and to be connected therefore with the usually
pendent position of the organ. In the middle ages the general literary
term throughout Europe was _coles_ (or _colis_) from _caulis_, a stalk,
and _virga_, a rod. The only serious English literary term, yard (exactly
equivalent to _virga_), as used by Chaucer--almost the last great English
writer whose vocabulary was adequate to the central facts of life--has now
fallen out of literary and even colloquial usage.

    Pierer and Chaulant, in their anatomical and physiological
    _Real-Lexicon_ (vol. vi, p. 134), give nearly a hundred synonyms
    for the penis. Hyrtl (_Topographisches Anatomie_, seventh
    edition, vol. ii, pp. 67-69), adds others. Schurig, in his
    _Spermatologia_ (1720, pp. 89-91), also presents a number of
    names for the penis; in Chapter III (pp. 189-192) of the same
    book he discusses the penis generally with more fullness than
    most authors. Louis de Landes, in his _Glossaire Erotique_ of the
    French language (pp. 239-242), enumerates several hundred
    literary synonyms for the penis, though many of them probably
    only occur once.

    There is no thorough and comprehensive modern study of the penis
    on an anthropological basis (though I should mention a valuable
    and fully illustrated study of anthropological and pathological
    variations of the penis in a series of articles by Marandon de
    Montyel, "Des Anomalies des Organs Génitaux Externes Chez les
    Aliénées," etc., _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, 1895),
    and it would be out of place here to attempt to collect the
    scattered notices regarding racial and other variations. It may
    suffice to note some of the evidence showing that such variations
    seem to be numerous and important. The Arab penis (according to
    Kocher) is slender and long (a third longer than the average
    European penis) and with a club-shaped glans. It undergoes little
    change when it enters the erect state. The clothes leaves it
    quite free, and the Arab practices manual excitement at an early
    age to favor its development.

    Among the Fuegians, also, according to Hyades and Deniker (_Cap
    Horn_, vol. vii, p. 153), the average length of the penis is 77
    millimeters, which is longer than in Europeans.

    In men of black race, also, the penis is decidedly large. Thus
    Sir H.H. Johnston (_British Central Africa_, p. 399) states this
    to be a universal rule. Among the Wankenda of Northern Nyassa,
    for instance, he remarks that, while the body is of medium size,
    the penis is generally large. He gives the usual length as about
    six inches, reaching nine or ten in erection. The prepuce, it is
    added, is often very long, and circumcision is practiced by many

    Among the American negroes Hrdlicka has found, also (_Proceedings
    American Association for the Advancement of Science_, vol. xlvii,
    p. 475), that the penis in black boys is larger than in white

    The passages cited above suggest the question whether the penis
    becomes larger by exercise of its generative functions. Most old
    authors assert that frequent erection makes the penis large and
    long (Schurig, _Spermatologia_, p. 107). Galen noted that in
    singers and athletes, who were chaste in order to preserve their
    strength, the sexual parts were small and rugrose, like those of
    old men, and that exercise of the organs from youth develops
    them; Roubaud, quoting this observation (_Traité de
    l'Impuissance_, p. 373), agrees with the statement. It seems
    probable that there is an element of truth in this ancient
    belief. At the same time it must be remembered that the penis is
    only to small extent a muscular organ, and that the increase of
    size produced by frequent congestion of erectile tissues cannot
    be either rapid or pronounced. Variations in the size of the
    sexual organs are probably on the whole mainly inherited, though
    it is impossible to speak decisively on this point until more
    systematic observations become customary.

The scrotum has usually, in the human imagination, been regarded merely as
an appendage of the penis, of secondary importance, although it is the
garment of the primary and essential organs of sex, and the fact that it
is not the seat of any voluptuous sensation has doubtless helped to
confirm this position. Even the name is merely a mediæval perversion of
_scortum_, skin or hide. In classic times it was usually called the pouch
or purse. The importance of the testicles has not, however, been
altogether ignored, as the very word _testis_ itself shows, for the
_testis_ is simply the _witness_ of virility.[78]

It is easy to understand why the penis should occupy this special place in
man's thoughts as the supreme sexual organ. It is the one conspicuous and
prominent portion of the sexual apparatus, while its aptitude for swelling
and erecting itself involuntarily, under the influence of sexual emotion,
gives it a peculiar and almost unique position in the body. At the same
time it is the point at which, in the male body, all voluptuous sensation
is concentrated, the only normal masculine center of sex.[79]

It is not easy to find any correspondingly conspicuous symbol of sex in
the sexual region of women. In the normal position nothing is visible but
the peculiarly human cushion of fat picturesquely termed the Mons Veneris
(because, as Palfyn said, all those who enroll themselves under the banner
of Venus must necessarily scale it), and even that is veiled from view in
the adult by the more or less bushy plantation of hair which grows upon
it. A triangle of varyingly precise definition is thus formed at the lower
apex of the trunk, and this would sometimes appear to have been regarded
as a feminine symbol.[80] But the more usual and typical symbol of
femininity is the idealized ring (by some savages drawn as a lozenge) of
the vulvar opening--the _yoni_ corresponding to the masculine
_lingam_--which is normally closed from view by the larger lips arising
from beneath the shadow of the _mons_. It is a symbol that, like the
masculine phallus, has a double meaning among primitive peoples and is
sometimes used to call down a blessing and sometimes to invoke a

This external opening of the feminine genital passage with its two
enclosing lips is now generally called the vulva. It would appear that
originally (as by Celsus and Pliny) this term included the womb, also, but
when the term "uterus" came into use "vulva" was confined (as its sense of
folding doors suggests that it should be) to the external entrance. The
classic term _cunnus_ for the external genitals was chiefly used by the
poets; it has been the etymological source of various European names for
this region, such as the old French _con_, which has now, however,
disappeared from literature while even in popular usage it has given place
to _lapin_ and similar terms. But there is always a tendency, marked in
most parts of the world, for the names of the external female parts to
become indecorous. Even in classic antiquity this part was the _pudendum_,
the part to be ashamed of, and among ourselves the mass of the
population, still preserving the traditions of primitive times, continue
to cherish the same notion.

    The anatomy, anthropology, folk-lore, and terminology of the
    external and to some extent the internal feminine sexual region
    may be studied in the following publications, among others:
    Ploss, _Das Weib_, vol. i, Chapter VI; Hyrtl, _Topographisches
    Anatomie_, vol. ii, and other publications by the same scholarly
    anatomist; W.J. Stewart Mackay, _History of Ancient Gynæcology_,
    especially pp. 244-250; R. Bergh, "Symbolæ ad Cognitionem
    Genitalium Externorum Foeminearum" (in Danish),
    _Hospitalstidende_, August, 1894; and also in _Monatshefte für
    Praktische Dermatologie_, 1897. D.S. Lamb, "The Female External
    Genital Organs," _New York Journal of Gynæcology_, August, 1894;
    R.L. Dickinson, "Hypertrophies of the Labia Minora and Their
    Significance," _American Gynecology_, September, 1902; Kryptadia
    (in various languages), vol. viii, pp. 3-11, 11-13, and many
    other passages. Several of Schurig's works (especially
    _Gynæcologia_, _Muliebria_, and _Parthenologia_) contain full
    summaries of the statements of the early writers.

The external or larger lips, like the mons veneris, are specifically human
in their full development, for in the anthropoid apes they are small as is
the mons, and in the lower apes absent altogether; they are, moreover,
larger in the white than in the other human races. Thus in the negro, and
to a less degree in the Japanese (Wernich) and the Javanese (Scherzer)
they are less developed than in women of white race. The greater lips
develop in the foetus later than the lesser lips, which are thus at first
uncovered; this condition thus constitutes an infantile state which
occasionally (in less than 2 per cent. of cases, according to Bergh)
persists in the adult. Their generally accepted name, labia majora, is
comparatively modern.[82]

    The outer sides of the labia majora are covered with hair, and on
    the inner sides, which are smooth and moist, but are not true
    mucous membrane, there are a few sweat glands and numerous large
    sebaceous glands. Bergh considers that there is little or no hair
    on the inner sides of the labia majora, but Lamb states that
    careful examination shows that from one- to two-thirds of the
    inner surface in adult women show hairs like those of the
    external surface. In brunettes and women of dark races this
    surface is pigmented; in dark races it is usually a slate gray.
    From an examination of 2200 young Danish prostitutes Bergh has
    found that there are two main varieties in the shape of the labia
    majora, with transitional forms. In the first and most frequent
    form the labia tend to be less marked and more effaced and
    separated at the upper and anterior part, often being lost in the
    sides of the mons and presenting a fissure which is broader in
    its upper part and showing the inner lips more or less bare. In
    the second form the labia are thicker and more outstanding and
    the inner edges lie in contact throughout their whole length,
    showing the _rima pudendi_ as a long narrow fissure. Whatever the
    form, the labia close more tightly together in virgins and in
    young individuals generally than in the deflowered and the
    elderly. In children, as Martineau pointed out, the vulva appears
    to look directly forward and the clitoris and urinary meatus
    easily appear, while in adult women, and especially after
    attempts at coitus have been made, the vulva appears directed
    more below and behind, and the clitoris and meatus more covered
    by the labia majora; so that the child urinates forward, while
    the adult woman is usually able to urinate almost directly
    downwards in the erect position, though in some cases (as may
    occasionally be observed in the street) she can only do so when
    bending slightly forwards. This difference in the direction of
    the stream formerly furnished one of the methods of diagnosing
    virginity, an uncertain one, since the difference is largely due
    to age and individual variation. The main factor in the position
    and aspect of the vulva is pelvic inclination. (See Havelock
    Ellis, _Man and Woman_, fourth edition, p. 64; Stratz, _Die
    Schönheit des Weiblichen Körpers_, Chapter XII.) In the European
    woman, according to Stratz, a considerable degree of pelvic
    inclination is essential to beauty, concealing all but the
    anterior third of the vulva. In negresses and other women of
    lower race the vulva, however, usually lies further back, being
    more conspicuous from behind than in European women; in this
    respect lower races resemble the apes. Those women of dark race,
    therefore, whose modesty is focused behind rather than in front
    thus have sound anatomical considerations on their side.

    As Ploss and Bartels remark, a very common variation among
    European women consists in an unusually posterior position of the
    vulva and vaginal entrance, so that unless a cushion is placed
    under the buttocks it is difficult for the man to effect coitus
    in the usual position without giving much pain to the woman. They
    add that another anomaly, less easy to remedy, consists in an
    abnormally anterior position of the vaginal entrance close
    beneath the pelvic bone, so that, although intromission is easy,
    the spasmodic contraction of the vagina at the culmination of
    orgasm presses the penis against the bone and causes intolerable
    pain to the man.

The mons veneris and the labia majora are, after the age of puberty,
always normally covered by a more or less profuse growth of hair. It is
notable that the apes, notwithstanding their general tendency to
hairiness, show no such special development of hair in this region. We
thus see that all the external and more conspicuous portions of the sexual
sphere in woman--the mons veneris, the labia majora, and the
hair--represent not so much an animal inheritance, such as we commonly
misrepresent them to be, but a higher and genuinely human development. As
none of these structures subserve any clear practical use, it would appear
that they must have developed by sexual selection to satisfy the æsthetic
demands of the eye.[83]

    The character and arrangement of the pubic hair, investigated by
    Eschricht and Voigt more than half a century ago, have been more
    recently studied by Bergh. As these observers have pointed out,
    there are various converging hair streams from above and below,
    the clitoris seeming to be the center towards which they are
    directed. The hair-covering thus formed is usually ample and, as
    a rule, is more so in brunettes than in blondes. It is nearly
    always bent, curly and more or less spirally twisted.[84] There
    are frequently one or two curls at the commencement of the
    fissure, rolled outwards, and occasionally a well marked tuft in
    the middle line. In abundance the pubic hair corresponds with the
    axillary hair; when one region is defective in hair the other is
    usually so also. Strong eyebrows also usually indicate a strong
    development of pubic hair. But the hair of the head usually
    varies independently, and Bergh found that of 154 women with
    spare pubic hair 72 had good and often profuse hair on the head.
    Complete or almost complete absence of pubic hair is in Bergh's
    experience only found in about 3 per cent. of women; these were
    all young and blonde.

Rothe, in his investigation of the pubic hair of 1000 Berlin women, found
that no two women were really alike in this respect, but there was a
tendency to two main types of arrangement, with minor subdivisions,
according as the hair tended to grow chiefly in the middle line extending
laterally from that line, or to grow equally over the whole extent of the
pubic region; these two groups included half the cases investigated.

    In men the pubic hair normally ascends anteriorly in a faint line
    up to the navel, with tendency to form a triangle with the apex
    above, and posteriorly extends backwards to the anus. In women
    these anterior and posterior extensions are comparatively rare,
    or at all events are only represented by a few stray hairs. Rothe
    found this variation in 4 per cent. of North German women, though
    a triangle of hair was only found in 2 per cent.; Lombroso found
    it in 5 per cent, of Italian women; Bergh found it in only 1.6
    per cent. among 1000 Danish prostitutes, all sixteen of whom with
    three exceptions were brunettes. In Vienna, among 600 women, Coe
    found only 1 per cent, with this distribution of hair, and states
    that they were women of decidedly masculine type, though Ploss
    and Bartels, as well as Rothe, find, however, that heterogeny, as
    they term the masculine distribution, is more common in blondes.
    The anterior extension of hair is usually accompanied by the
    posterior extension around the anus, usually very slight, but
    occasionally as pronounce as in men. (According to Rothe,
    however, anterior heterogeny comparatively rare.) These masculine
    variations in the extension of the pubic hair appear to be not
    uncommonly associated with other physical and psychic anomalies;
    it is on this account that they have sometimes been regarded as
    indications of a vicious or a criminal temperament; they are,
    however, found in quite normal women.

    The pubic hair of women is usually shorter than that of men, but
    thick, and the individual hairs stronger and larger in diameter
    than those of men, as Pfaff first showed; dark hair is usually
    stronger than light. In both length and size the individual
    variations are considerable. The usual length is about 2 inches,
    or 3-5 centimeters, occasionally reaching about 4 inches, or 9-10
    centimeters, in the larger curls. In a series of 100 women
    attended during confinement in London and the north of England I
    have only once (in a rather blonde Lancashire woman) found the
    hair on labia reaching a conspicuous length of several inches and
    forming an obstruction to the manipulations involved in delivery.
    But Jahn delivered a woman whose pubic hair was longer than that
    of her head, reaching below her knee; Paulini also knew a woman
    whose pubic hair nearly reached her knees and was sold to make
    wigs; Bartholin mentions a soldier's wife who plaited her pubic
    hair behind her back; while Brantôme has several references to
    abnormally long hair in ladies of the French court during the
    sixteenth century. In 8 cases out of 2200 Bergh found the pubic
    hair forming a large curly wig extending to the iliac spines. The
    individual hairs have occasionally been found so stiff and
    brush-like as to render coitus difficult.

    In color the pubic hair, while generally approximating to that of
    the head, is sometimes (according to Rothe, in Germany, in
    one-third cases) lighter, and sometimes somewhat darker, as is
    found to be the case by Coe, especially in brunettes, and also by
    Bergh, in Denmark. Bergh remarks that it is generally
    intermediate in color between the eyebrows and the axillary hair,
    the latter being more or less decolorized by sweat, and that,
    owing to the influence of the urine and vaginal discharges, the
    labial hair is paler than that on the mons; blondes with dark
    eyebrows usually have dark hair on the mons. The hair on this
    spot, as Aristotle observed, is usually the last to turn gray.

The key to the genital apparatus in women from the psychic point of view,
and, indeed, to some extent, its anatomical center, is to be found in the
clitoris. Anatomically and developmentally the clitoris is the rudimentary
analogue of the masculine penis. Functionally, however, its scope is very
much smaller. While the penis both receives and imparts specific
voluptuous sensations, and is at the same time both the intromittent organ
for the semen and the conduit for the urine, the sole function of the
clitoris is to enter into erection under the stress of sexual emotion and
receive and transmit the stimulatory voluptuous sensations imparted to it
by friction with the masculine genital apparatus. It is so insignificant
an organ that it is only within recent times that its homology with the
penis has been realized. In 1844 Kobelt wrote in his important book, _Die
Mannlichen und Weiblichen Wollust-Organe_, that in his attempt to show
that the female organs are exactly analogous to the male the reader will
probably be unable to follow him, while even Johannes Müller, the father
of scientific physiology, declared at about the same period that the
clitoris is essentially different from the penis. It is indeed but three
centuries since the clitoris was so little known that (in 1593) Realdus
Columbus actually claimed the honor of discovering it. Columbus was not
its discoverer, for Fallopius speedily showed that Avicenna and Albucasis
had referred to it.[85] The Arabs appear to have been very familiar with
it, and, from the various names they gave it, clearly understood the
important part it plays in generating voluptuous emotion.[86] But it was
known in classic antiquity; the Greeks called it myrton, the myrtle-berry;
Galen and Soranus called it nymphê because it is covered as a bride is
veiled, while the old Latin name was _tentigo_, from its power of entering
into erection, and _columella_, the little pillar, from its shape. The
modern term, which is Greek and refers to the sensitiveness of the part to
voluptuous titillation, is said to have originated with Suidas and
Pollux.[87] It was mentioned, though not adopted, by Rufus.

"The clitoris," declared Haller, "is a part extremely sensible and
wonderfully prurient." It is certainly the chief though by no means the
only point through which the immediate call to detumescence is conveyed to
the female organism. It is, indeed, as Bryan Robinson remarks, "a
veritable electrical bell button which, being pressed or irritated, rings
up the whole nervous system."

    The nervous supply of this little organ is very large, and the
    dorsal nerve of the clitoris is relatively three or four times
    larger than that of the penis. Yet the sensitive point of this
    organ is only 5 to 7 millimeters in extent. The length of the
    clitoris is usually rather over 2 centimeters (or about an inch)
    and 3 centimeters when erect; a length of 4 centimeters or more
    was regarded by Martineau as within the normal range of
    variation. It is not usual to find the clitoris longer than this
    in Europe (for among some races like the negro the clitoris is
    generally large), but all degrees of magnitude may be found as
    rare exceptions. (See, e.g., Sir J.Y. Simpson, "Hermaphrodites,"
    _Obstetric Memoirs and Contributions_, vol. ii, pp. 217-226; also
    Dickinson, loc. cit.) It was formerly thought that the clitoris
    is easily enlarged by masturbation, and Martineau believed that
    in this way it might be doubled in length. It is probable that
    slight enlargement of the clitoris may be caused by very
    frequent masturbation, but only to an insignificant extent, and
    it is impossible to diagnose masturbation from the size of the
    clitoris. Among the women of Lake Nyassa, as well as in the
    Caroline Islands, special methods are practiced for elongating
    the clitoris, but in Europe, at all events, it is probable that
    the variations in the size of the organ are mainly congenital. It
    may well be that a congenitally large clitoris is associated with
    an abnormally developed excitability of the sexual apparatus.
    Tilt stated (_On Uterine and Ovarian Inflammation_, p. 37) that
    in his experience there was a frequent though not invariable
    connection between a large clitoris and sexual proclivity.
    (Schurig referred to a case of intense and life-long sexual
    obsession associated with an extremely large clitoris,
    _Gynæcologia_, pp. 16-17.) Of recent years considerable
    importance has been attached by some gynecologists (e.g., R.T.
    Morris, "Is Evolution Trying to Do Away With the Clitoris?"
    _Transactions American Association of Obstetricians and
    Gynecologists_, vol. v, 1893) to preputial adhesions around the
    clitoris as a source of nervous disturbance and invalidism in
    young women.

While the clitoris is anatomically analogous to the penis, its actual
mechanism under the stress of sexual excitement is somewhat different. As
Liétaud long since pointed out, it cannot rise freely in erection as the
penis can; it is apparently bound down by its prepuce and its frenulum.
Waldeyer, in his book on the pelvis, states more precisely that, unlike
the penis, when erect it retains its angle, only this becomes somewhat
rounded so that the organ is to some slight extent lifted and protruded.
Waldeyer considered that the clitoris was thus perfectly fitted to fulfill
its part as the recipient of erotic stimulation from friction by the
penis. Adler, however, has pointed out with considerable justice, that
this is not altogether the case. The clitoris was developed in mammals who
practiced the posterior mode of coitus; in this position the clitoris was
beneath the penis, which was thus easily able in coitus to press it
against the pubic bone close beneath which it is situated, and thus impart
the compression and friction which the feminine organ craves. But in the
human anterior mode of coitus it is not necessarily brought into close
contact with the penis during the act of coitus, and thus fails to receive
powerful stimulation. Its restricted position, which is an advantage in
posterior coitus, is a disadvantage in anterior coitus. Adler observes
that it thus comes about that the human method of coitus, while by
bringing breast to breast and face to face it has added a new dignity and
refinement, a fresh source of enjoyment, to the embrace of the sexes, has
not been an unmixed advantage to woman, for while man has lost nothing by
the change, woman has now to contend with an increased difficulty in
attaining an adequate amount of pressure on that "electric button" which
normally sets the whole mechanism in operation.[88]

We may well bring into connection with the changed conditions brought
about by anterior coitus the interesting fact that while the clitoris
remains the most exquisitely sensitive of the sexual centers in woman,
voluptuous sensitivity is much more widely diffused in woman than in man.
Over the whole body, indeed, it is apt to be more distinctly marked than
is usually the case in man. But even if we confine ourselves to the
genital region, while in man that portion of the penis which enters the
vagina, and especially the glans, is normally the only portion which, even
during turgescence, is sensitive to voluptuous contacts, in woman the
whole of the region comprised within the larger lips, including even the
anus and internally the vagina and the vaginal portion of the womb,[89]
become sensitive to voluptuous contacts. Deprived of the penis the ability
of a man to experience specifically sexual sensations becomes very limited
indeed. But the loss of the clitoris or of any other structure involves no
correspondingly serious disability on women. Ablation of the clitoris for
sexual hyperæsthesia has for this reason been abandoned, except under
special circumstances. The members of the Russian Skoptzy sect habitually
amputate the clitoris, nymphæ, and breasts, yet many young Skoptzy women
told the Russian physician, Guttceit, that they were perfectly well able
to enjoy coitus.

    Freud believes that in very young girls the clitoris is the
    exclusive seat of sexual sensation, masturbation at this age
    being directed to the clitoris alone, and spontaneous sexual
    excitement being confined to twitchings and erection of this
    organ, so that young girls are able, from their own experience,
    to recognize without instruction the signs of sexual excitement
    in boys. At a later age sexual excitability spreads from the
    clitoris to other regions--just as the easy inflammability of
    wood sets light to coal--though in the male the penis remains
    from first to last normally the almost exclusive seat of specific
    excitability. (S. Freud, _Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie_,
    p. 62.)

    The anus would, however, seem to be sometimes an erogenous zone
    even at an early age. Titillation of the anus appears to be
    frequently pleasurable in women; and this is not surprising
    considering the high degree of erotic sensitivity which is easily
    developed at the body orifices where skin meets mucous membrane.
    (Thus the meatus of the urethra is a highly erogenous zone, as is
    sufficiently shown by the frequency with which hair-pins and
    other articles used in masturbation find their way into the
    bladder.) It is in this germinal sensitivity, undoubtedly, that
    we find a chief key to the practice of _pedicatio_. Freud
    attaches great importance to the anus as a sexually erogenous
    zone at a very early age, and considers that it very frequently
    makes its influence felt in this respect. He believes that
    intestinal catarrhs in very early life and hæmorrhoids later tend
    to develop sensibility in the anus. He finds an indication that
    the anus has become a sexually erogenous zone when children wish
    to allow the contents of the rectum to accumulate so that
    defecation may by its increased difficulty involve voluptuous
    sensations, and adds that masturbatory excitation of the anus
    with the fingers is by no means rare in older children. (S.
    Freud, _Op. cit._, pp. 40-42.) A medical correspondent in India
    tells me of a European lady who derived, she said, "quite as
    much, indeed more," pleasure from digitally titillating her
    rectum as from vulvo-vaginal titillation; she had several times
    submitted to _pedicatio_ and enjoyed it, though it was painful
    during penetration. The anus may retain this erogenous
    irritability even in old age, and Routh mentions the case of a
    lady of over 70, the reverse of lustful, who was so excited by
    the act of defecation that she was invariably compelled to
    masturbate, although this state of things was a source of great
    mental misery to her. (C.H.F. Routh, _British Gynæcological
    Journal_, February, 1887, p. 48.)

    Bölsche has sought the explanation of the erogenous nature of the
    anus, and the key to _pedicatio_, in an atavistic return to the
    very remote amphibian days when the anus was combined with the
    sexual parts in a common cloaca. But it is unnecessary to invoke
    any vestigial inheritance from a vastly remote past when we bear
    in mind that the innervation of these two adjoining regions is
    inevitably very closely related. The presence of a body exit with
    its marked and special sensitivity at a point where it can
    scarcely fail to receive the nervous overflow from an immensely
    active center of nervous energy quite adequately accounts for the
    phenomenon in question.

The inner lips, the nymphæ or labia minora, running parallel with the
greater lips which enclose them, embrace the clitoris anteriorly and
extend backward, enclosing the urethral exit between them as well as the
vaginal entrance. They form little wings whence their old Latin name,
_alæ_, and from their resemblance to the cock's comb were by Spigelius
termed crista galli. The red and (especially in brunettes) dark appearance
of the nymphæ suggests that they are mucous membrane and not
integumentary; it is, however, now considered that even on the inner
surface they are covered by skin and separated from the mucous membrane by
a line.[90] In structure, as described by Waldeyer, they consist of fine
connective tissue rich in elastic fibers as well as some muscular tissue,
and full of large veins, so that they are capable of a considerable degree
of turgescence resembling erection during sexual excitement, while
Ballantyne finds that the nymphæ are supplied to a notable extent with
nervous end-organs.

More than any other part of the sexual apparatus in either sex, the lesser
lips, on account of their shape, their position, and their structure, are
capable of acquired modifications, more especially hypertrophy and
elongation. By stretching, it is stated, a labium can be doubled in its
dimensions. The "Hottentot apron," or elongated nymphæ, commonly found
among some peoples in South Africa, has long been a familiar phenomenon.
In such cases a length or transverse diameter of 3 to 5 centimeters is
commonly found. But such elongated nymphæ are by no means confined to one
part of the world or to one race; they are quite common among women of
European race, and reach a size equal to most of the more reliably
recorded Hottentot cases. Dickinson, who has very carefully studied this
question in New York, finds that in 1000 consecutive gynæcological cases
the labia showed some form of hypertrophy in 36 per cent., or more than 1
in 3; while among 150 of these cases who were neurasthenic, the proportion
reached 56 per cent., even when minor or doubtful enlargements were
disregarded. Bergh, in about 16 per cent. cases, found very enlarged
nymphæ, the height reached in about 5 per cent. of the cases of
enlargement being nearly six centimeters. Ploss and Bartels, in a full
discussion: of the "Hottentot apron," come to the conclusion that this
condition is perhaps in most cases artificially produced. It is known that
among the Basutos it is the custom for the elder girls to manipulate the
nymphæ of younger children, when alone with them, almost from birth, and
on account of the elastic nature of these structures such manipulation
quite adequately accounts for the elongation. It is not necessary to
suppose that the custom is practiced for the sake of producing sexual
stimulation--though this may frequently occur--since there are numerous
similar primitive customs involving deformation of the sexual organs
without the production of sexual excitement. Dickinson has come to a
similar conclusion as regards the corresponding elongation of the nymphæ
in civilized European women. In 361 out of 1000 women of good social class
he found elongation or thickening, often with a notable degree of
wrinkling and pigmentation, and believes that this is always the result of
frequently repeated masturbation practiced with the separation of the
nymphæ; in 30 per cent. of the cases admission of masturbation was
made.[91] While this conclusion is probably correct in the main, it
requires some qualification. To assert that whenever in women who have
not been pregnant the marked protrusion of the inner lips beyond the outer
lips means that at some period manipulation has been practiced with or
without the production of sexual excitement is to make too absolute a
statement. It is highly probable that the nymphæ, like the clitoris, are
congenitally more prominent in some of the lower human races, as they are
also in the apes; among the Fuegians, for instance, according to Hyades
and Deniker, the labia minora descend lower than in Europeans, although
there is not the slightest reason to suppose that these women practice any
manipulations. Among European women, again, the nymphæ sometimes protrude
very prominently beyond the labia majora in women who are organically of
somewhat infantile type; this occurs in cases in which we may be convinced
that no manipulations have ever been practiced.[92]

It is difficult to speak very decisively as to the function of the labia
minora. They doubtless exert some amount of protective influence over the
entrance to the vagina, and in this way correspond to the lips of the
mouth after which they are called. They fulfill, however, one very
definite though not obviously important function which is indicated by the
mythologic name they have received. There is, indeed, some obscurity in
the origin of this term, nymphæ, which has not, I believe, been
satisfactorily cleared up. It has been stated that the Greek name nymphê
has been transferred from the clitoris to the labia minora. Any such
transfer could only have taken place when the meaning of the word had been
forgotten, and nymphê had become the totally different word _nymphæ_, the
goddesses who presided over streams. The old anatomists were much
exercised in their minds as to the meaning of the name, but on the whole
were inclined to believe that it referred to the action of the labia
minora in directing the urinary stream. The term nymphæ was first applied
in the modern sense, according to Bergh, in 1599, by Pinæus, mainly from
the influence of these structures on the urinary stream, and he dilated in
his _De Virginitate_ on the suitability of the term to designate so poetic
a spot.[93] In more modern times Luschka and Sir Charles Bell considered
that it is one of the uses of the nymphæ to direct the stream of urine,
and Lamb from his own observation thinks the same conclusion probable. In
reality there cannot be the slightest doubt about the function of the
nymphæ, as, in Hyrtl's phrase, "the naiads of the urinary source," and it
can be demonstrated by the simplest experiment.[94]

The nymphæ form the intermediate portal of the vagina, as the canal which
conducts to the womb was in anatomy first termed (according to Hyrtl) by
De Graaf.[95] It is a secreting, erectile, more or less sensitive canal
lined by what is usually considered mucous membrane, though some have
regarded it as integument of the same character as that of the external
genitals; it certainly resembles such integument more than, for instance,
the mucous membrane of the rectum. In the woman who has never had sexual
intercourse and has been subjected to no manipulations or accidents
affecting this region, the vagina is closed by a last and final gate of
delicate membrane--scarcely admitting more than a slender finger--called
the hymen.

    The poets called the hymen "fios virginitatis," the flower of
    virginity, whence the medico-legal term _defloratio_.
    Notwithstanding the great significance which has long been
    attached to the phenomena connected with it, the hymen was not
    accurately known until Vesalius, Fallopius, and Spigelius
    described and named it. It was, however, recognized by the Arab
    authors, Avicenna and Averroes. The early literature concerning
    it is summarized by Schurig, _Muliebria_, 1729, Section II, cap.
    V. The same author's _Parthenologia_ is devoted to the various
    ancient problems connected with the question of virginity.

To say that this delicate piece of membrane is from the non-physical point
of view a more important structure than any other part of the body is to
convey but a feeble idea of the immense importance of the hymen in the
eyes of the men of many past ages and even of our own times and among our
own people.[96] For the uses of the feminine body, or for its beauty,
there is no part which is more absolutely insignificant. But in human
estimation it has acquired a spiritual value which has made it far more
than a part of the body. It has taken the place of the soul, that whose
presence gives all her worth and dignity, even her name, to the unmarried
woman, her purity, her sexual desirability, her market value. Without
it--though in all physical and mental respects she might remain the same
person--she has sometimes been a mark for contempt, a worthless

    So fragile a membrane scarcely possesses the reliability which
    should be possessed by a structure whose presence or absence has
    often meant so much. Its absence by no means necessarily
    signifies that a woman has had intercourse with a man. Its
    presence by no means signifies that she has never had such

    There are many ways in which the hymen may be destroyed apart
    from coitus. Among the Chinese (and also, it would appear, in
    India and some other parts of the East) the female parts are from
    infancy kept so scrupulously clean by daily washing, the finger
    being introduced into the vagina, that the hymen rapidly
    disappears, and its existence is unknown even to Chinese doctors.
    Among some Brazilian Indians a similar practice exists among
    mothers as regards their young children, less, however, for the
    sake of cleanliness than in order to facilitate sexual
    intercourse in future years. (Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, vol.
    i, Chapter VI.) The manipulations of vaginal masturbation will,
    of course, similarly destroy the hymen. It is also quite possible
    for the hymen to be ruptured by falls and other accidents. (See,
    e.g., a lengthy study by Nina-Rodrigues, "Des Ruptures de l'Hymen
    dans les Chutes," _Annales d'Hygiène Publique_, September, 1903.)

    On the other hand, integrity of the hymen is no proof of
    virginity, apart from the obvious fact that there may be
    intercourse without penetration. (The case has even been recorded
    of a prostitute with syphilitic condylomata, a somewhat masculine
    type of pubic arch, and vulva rather posteriorly placed, whose
    hymen had never been penetrated.) The hymen may be of a yielding
    or folding type, so that complete penetration may take place and
    yet the hymen be afterwards found unruptured. It occasionally
    happens that the hymen is found intact at the end of pregnancy.
    In some, though not all, of these cases there has been conception
    without intromission of the penis. This has occurred even when
    the entrance was very minute. The possibility of such conception
    has long been recognized, and Schurig (_Syllepsilogia_, 1731,
    Section I, cap. VIII, p. 2) quotes ancient authors who have
    recorded cases. For some typical modern cases see Guérard
    (_Centralblatt für Gynäkologie_, No. 15, 1895), in one of whose
    cases the hymen of the pregnant woman scarcely admitted a hair;
    also Braun (ib., No. 23, 1895).

The hymen has played a very definite and pronounced part in the social and
moral life of humanity. Until recently it has been more difficult to
decide what precise biological function it has exercised to ensure its
development and preservation. Sexual selection, no doubt, has worked in
its favor, but that influence has been very limited and comparatively very
recent. Virginity is not usually of any value among peoples who are
entirely primitive. Indeed, even in the classic civilization which we
inherit, it is easy to show that the virgin and the admiration for
virginity are of late growth; the virgin goddesses were not originally
virgins in our modern sense. Diana was the many-breasted patroness of
childbirth before she became the chaste and solitary huntress, for the
earliest distinction would appear to have been simply between the woman
who was attached to a man and the woman who followed an earlier rule of
freedom and independence; it was a later notion to suppose that the latter
woman was debarred from sexual intercourse. We certainly must not seek the
origin of the hymen in sexual selection; we must find it in natural
selection. And here it might seem at first sight that we come upon a
contradiction in Nature, for Nature is always devising contrivances to
secure the maximum amount of fertilization. "Increase and multiply" is so
obviously the command of Nature that the Hebrews, with their usual
insight, unhesitatingly dared to place it in the mouth of Jehovah. But the
hymen is a barrier to fertilization. It has, however, always to be
remembered that as we rise in the zoölogical scale, and as the period of
gestation lengthens and the possible number of offspring is fewer, it
becomes constantly more essential that fertilization shall be effective
rather than easy; the fewer the progeny the more necessary it is that they
shall be vigorous enough to survive. There can be little doubt that, as
one or two writers have already suggested, the hymen owes its development
to the fact that its influence is on the side of effective fertilization.
It is an obstacle to the impregnation of the young female by immature,
aged, or feeble males. The hymen is thus an anatomical expression of that
admiration of force which marks the female in her choice of a mate. So
regarded, it is an interesting example of the intimate manner in which
sexual selection is really based on natural selection. Sexual selection is
but the translation into psychic terms of a process which has already
found expression in the physical texture of the body.

    It may be added that this interpretation of the biological
    function of the hymen is supported by the facts of its evolution.
    It is unknown among the lower mammals, with whom fertilization is
    easy, gestation short and offspring numerous. It only begins to
    appear among the higher mammals in whom reproduction is already
    beginning to take on the characters which become fully developed
    in man. Various authors have found traces of a rudimentary hymen,
    not only in apes, but in elephants, horses, donkeys, bitches,
    bears, pigs, hyenas, and giraffes. (Hyrtl, _Op. cit._, vol. ii,
    p. 189; G. Gellhoen, "Anatomy and Development of the Hymen,"
    _American Journal Obstetrics_, August, 1904.) It is in the human
    species that the tendency to limitation of offspring is most
    marked, combined at the same time with a greater aptitude for
    impregnation than exists among any lower mammals. It is here,
    therefore, that a physical check is of most value, and
    accordingly we find that in woman alone, of all animals, is the
    hymen fully developed.


[72] "Analysis of the Sexual Impulse," in vol. iii of these _Studies_.

[73] "The accomplishment of no other function," Hyrtl remarks, "is so
intimately connected with the mind and yet so independent of it."

[74] The process is still, however, but imperfectly understood; see Art.
"Fécondation," by Ed. Retterer, in Richet's _Dictionnaire de Physiologie_,
vol. vi, 1905.

[75] Thus a male foetus showing reptilian characters in sexual ducts was
exhibited by Shattock at the Pathological Society of London, February 19,

[76] J. Kohlbrugge, "Die Umgestaltung des Uterus der Affen nach den
Geburt," _Zeitschrift für Morphologie_, bd. iv, p. 1, 1901.

[77] There are, however, no special nerve endings (Krause corpuscles), as
was formerly supposed. The nerve endings in the genital region are the
same as elsewhere. The difference lies in the abundance of superposed
arboreal ramifications. See, e.g., Ed. Retterer, Art. "Ejaculation,"
Richet's _Dictionnaire de Physiologie_, vol. v.

[78] Hyrtl, _Op. cit._, vol. ii, p. 39.

[79] Sensations of pleasure without those of touch appear to be normal at
the tip of the penis, as pointed out by Scripture, quoted in _Alienist and
Neurologist_, January, 1898.

[80] See the previous volume of these _Studies_, "Sexual Selection in
Man," p. 161.

[81] See, e.g., Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, vol. i, beginning of
chapter VI.

[82] Hyrtl states that the name _labia_ was first used by Haller in the
middle of the eighteenth century in his _Elements of Physiology_, being
adopted by him from the Greek poet Erotion, who gave these structures the
very obvious name cheilea, lips. But this seems to be a mistake, for the
seventeenth century anatomists certainly used the name "labia" for these

[83] Bergh tentatively suggests, as regards the pubic hair, that its
appearance may be due to the upright walk in man and the human position
during coitus, the hair preventing irritation of the genitals from the
sweat pouring down from the body and protecting the skin from direct
friction in coitus. (In both these suggestions he was, however, long
previously anticipated by Fabricius ab Aquapendente.) The fanciful
suggestion of Louis Robinson that the pubic hair has developed in order to
enable the human infant to cling securely to his mother is very poorly
supported by facts, and has not met with acceptance. It may be mentioned
that (as stated by Ploss and Bartels) the women of the Bismarck
Archipelago, whose pubic hair is very abundant, use it as a kind of
handkerchief on which to clean their hands.

[84] Routh and Heywood Smith have noted that the pubic hair tends to lose
its curliness and become straight in women who masturbate. (_British
Gynæcological Journal_, February, 1887, p. 505.)

[85] Schurig, _Muliebria_, p. 75. Plazzon in 1621 said that in Italian it
had a popular name, _il besneegio_.

[86] Schurig brought together in his _Gynæcologia_ (pp. 2-4) various early
opinions concerning the clitoris as the seat of voluptuous feeling.

[87] Hyrtl, _Op. cit._, vol. ii, p. 193.

[88] Adler, _Die Mangelhafte Geschlechtsempfindung des Weibes_, 1904, pp.

[89] The voluptuous sensations caused by sexual contacts producing
movements of the womb are probably normal and usual. They may even occur
under circumstances unconnected with sexual emotion, and Mundé
(_International Journal of Surgery_, March, 1893) mentions incidentally
that in one case while titillating the cervix with a sound the woman very
plainly showed voluptuous manifestations.

[90] Henle stated that fine hairs are frequently visible on the nymphæ;
Stieda (_Zeitschrift für Morphologie_, 1902, p. 458) remarks that he has
never been able to see them with the naked eye.

[91] R.L. Dickinson, "Hypertrophies of the Labia Minora and Their
Significance," _American Gynæcologist_, September, 1902. It is perhaps
noteworthy that Bergh found that in 302 cases in which the nymphæ were of
unequal length, in all but 24 the left was longer.

[92] It may be remarked that Bergh believes that the nymphæ, and indeed
the external genitals generally, are congenitally more strongly developed
in libidinous persons, and at the same time in brunettes, while in public
prostitutes this is not usually the case, which confirms the belief that
exalted sexual sensibility does not usually lead to prostitution. He adds
that prostitution, unless carried on for many years, has little effect on
the shape of the external genitals.

[93] Schurig (_Muliebria_, 1729, Section II, cap. II) gives numerous
quotations on this point; thus De Graaf wrote in his book on the sexual
organs of women: "Tales protuberantiæ nymphæ appellantur ea propter quod
aquis e vesica prosilientibus proxime adstare reperiantur, quandoquidem
inter illas, tanquam duos parietes, urina magno impetu cum sibilo sæpe et
absque labiorum irrigatione erumpit, vel quod sint castitatis præsides,
aut sponsam primo intromittant."

[94] Havelock Ellis, "The Bladder as a Dynamometer," _American Journal of
Dermatology_, May, 1902. If a woman who has never been pregnant, standing
in the erect position before commencing the act of urination presses apart
the labia minora with index and middle fingers the stream will be
projected forward so as to fall usually at a considerable distance in
front of a vertical line from the meatus; if when the act is half
completed the fingers are removed, the labia close together and the
stream, though maintained at a constant pressure, at once changes its
character and direction.

[95] In poetry this term was employed by Plautus, _Pseudolus_, Act IV, Sc.
7. The Greek aidoion sometimes meant vagina and sometimes the external
sexual parts; kolpos was used for the vagina alone.

[96] It is curious, however, that the European physicians of the
seventeenth and even eighteenth centuries were doubtful of its value as a
sign of virginity and considered it often absent.

[97] For a summary of the beliefs and practices of various peoples with
regard to the hymen and virginity see Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, vol.
i, Chapter XVI.


The Object of Detumescence--Erogenous Zones--The Lips--The Vascular
Characters of Detumescence--Erectile Tissue--Erection in Woman--Mucous
Emission in Women--Sexual Connection--The Human Mode of
Intercourse--Normal Variations--The Motor Characters of
Detumescence--Ejaculation--The Virile Reflex--The General Phenomena of
Detumescence--The Circulatory and Respiratory Phenomena--Blood
Pressure--Cardiac Disturbance--Glandular Activity--Distillatio--The
Essentially Motor Character of Detumescence--Involuntary Muscular
Irradiation to Bladder, etc.--Erotic Intoxication--Analogy of Sexual
Detumescence and Vesical Tension--The Specifically Sexual Movements of
Detumescence in Man--In Woman--The Spontaneous Movements of the Genital
Canal in Woman--Their Function in Conception--Part Played by Active
Movement of the Spermatozoa--The Artificial Injection of Semen--The Facial
Expression During Detumescence--The Expression of Joy--The Occasional
Serious Effects of Coitus.

We have seen what the object of detumescence is, and we have briefly
considered the organs and structures which are chiefly concerned in the
process. We have now to inquire what are the actual phenomena which take
place during the act of detumescence.

Detumescence is normally linked closely to tumescence. Tumescence is the
piling on of the fuel; detumescence is the leaping out of the devouring
flame whence is lighted the torch of life to be handed on from generation
to generation. The whole process is double and yet single; it is exactly
analogous to that by which a pile is driven into the earth by the raising
and then the letting go of a heavy weight which falls on to the head of
the pile. In tumescence the organism is slowly wound up and force
accumulated; in the act of detumescence the accumulated force is let go
and by its liberation the sperm-bearing instrument is driven home.
Courtship, as we commonly term the process of tumescence which takes place
when a woman is first sexually approached by a man, is usually a highly
prolonged process. But it is always necessary to remember that every
repetition of the act of coitus, to be normally and effectively carried
out on both sides, demands a similar double process; detumescence must be
preceded by an abbreviated courtship.

This abbreviated courtship by which tumescence is secured or heightened in
the repetition of acts of coitus which have become familiar, is mainly
tactile.[98] Since the part of the man in coitus is more active and that
of the woman more passive, the sexual sensitivity of the skin seems to be
more pronounced in women. There are, moreover, regions of the surface of a
woman's body where contact, when sympathetic, seems specially liable to
arouse erotic excitement. Such erogenous zones are often specially marked
in the breasts, occasionally in the palm of the hand, the nape of the
neck, the lobule of the ear, the little finger; there is, indeed, perhaps
no part of the surface of the body which may not, in some individuals at
some time, become normally an erogenous zone. In hysteria the erotic
excitability of these zones is sometimes very intense. The lips are,
however, without doubt, the most persistently and poignantly sensitive
region of the whole body outside the sphere of the sexual organs
themselves. Hence the significance of the kiss as a preliminary of

    The importance of the lips as a normal erogenous zone is shown by
    the experiments of Gualino. He applied a thread, folded on itself
    several times, to the lips, thus stimulating them in a simple
    mechanical manner. Of 20 women, between the ages of 18 and 35,
    only 8 felt this as a merely mechanical operation, 4 felt a
    vaguely erotic element in the proceeding, 3 experienced a desire
    for coitus and in 5 there was actual sexual excitement with
    emission of mucus. Of 25 men, between the ages of 20 and 30, in
    15 all sexual feeling was absent, in 7 erotic ideas were
    suggested with congestion of the sexual organs without erection,
    and in 3 there was the beginning of erection. It should be added
    that both the women and the men in whom this sexual reflex was
    more especially marked were of somewhat nervous temperament; in
    such persons erotic reactions of all kinds generally occur most
    easily. (Gualino, "Il Rifflesso Sessuale nell' eccitamento alle
    labbre," _Archivio di Psichiatria_, 1904, p. 341.)

As tumescence, under the influence of sensory stimulation, proceeds toward
the climax when it gives place to detumescence, the physical phenomena
become more and more acutely localized in the sexual organs. The process
which was at first predominantly nervous and psychic now becomes more
prominently vascular. The ancient sexual relationship of the skin asserts
itself; there is marked surface congestion showing itself in various ways.
The face tends to become red, and exactly the same phenomenon is taking
place in the genital organs; "an erection," it has been said, "is a
blushing of the penis." The difference is that in the genital organs this
heightened vascularity has a definite and specific function to
accomplish--the erection of the male organ which fits it to enter the
female parts--and that consequently there has been developed in the penis
that special kind of vascular mechanism, consisting of veins in connective
tissue with unstriped muscular fibers, termed erectile tissue.[100]

It is not only the man who is supplied with erectile tissue which in the
process of tumescence becomes congested and swollen. The woman also, in
the corresponding external genital region, is likewise supplied with
erectile tissue now also charged with blood, and exhibits the same changes
as have taken place in her partner, though less conspicuously visible. In
the anthropoid apes, as the gorilla, the large clitoris and the nymphæ
become prominent in sexual excitement, but the less development of the
clitoris in women, together with the specifically human evolution of the
mons veneris and larger lips, renders this sexual turgescence practically
invisible, though it is perceptible to touch in an increased degree of
spongy and elastic tension. The whole feminine genital canal, including
the uterus, indeed, is richly supplied with blood-vessels, and is capable
during sexual excitement of a very high degree of turgescence, a kind of

The process of erection in woman is accompanied by the pouring out of
fluid which copiously bathes all parts of the vulva around the entrance to
the vagina. This is a bland, more or less odorless mucus which, under
ordinary circumstances, slowly and imperceptibly suffuses the parts. When,
however, the entrance to the vagina is exposed and extended, as during a
gynæcological examination which occasionally produces sexual excitement,
there may be seen a real ejaculation of the fluid which, as usually
described, comes largely from the glands of Bartholin, situated at the
mouth of the vagina. Under these circumstances it is sometimes described
as being emitted in a jet which is thrown to a distance.[101] This mucous
ejaculation was in former days regarded as analogous to the seminal
ejaculation in man, and hence essential to conception. Although this
belief was erroneous the fluid poured out in this manner whenever a high
degree of tumescence is attained, and before the onset of detumescence,
certainly performs an important function in lubricating the entrance to
the genital canal and so facilitating the intromission of the male
organ.[102] Menstruation has a similar influence in facilitating coitus,
as Schurig long since pointed out.[103] A like process takes place during
parturition when the same parts are being lubricated and stretched in
preparation for the protrusion of the foetal head. The occurrence of the
mucous flow in tumescence always indicates that that process is actively
affecting the central sexual organs, and that voluptuous emotions are

    The secretions of the genital canal and outlet in women are
    somewhat numerous. We have the odoriferous glands of sebaceous
    origin, and with them the prepuce of the clitoris which has been
    described as a kind of gigantic sebaceous follicle with the
    clitoris occupying its interior. (Hyrtl.) There is the secretion
    from the glands of Bartholin. There is again the vaginal
    secretion, opaque and albuminous, which appears to be alkaline
    when secreted, but becomes acid under the decomposing influence
    of bacteria, which are, however, harmless and not pathogenic.
    (Gow, _Obstetrical Society of London_, January 3, 1894.) There
    is, finally, the mucous uterine secretion, which is alkaline,
    and, being poured out during orgasm, is believed to protect the
    spermatozoa from destruction by the acid vaginal secretion.

    The belief that the mucus poured out in women during sexual
    excitement is feminine semen and therefore essential to
    conception had many remarkable consequences and was widespread
    until the seventeenth century. Thus, in the chapter "De Modo
    coeundi et de regimine eorum qui coeunt" of _De Secretis
    Mulierum_, there is insistence on the importance of the proper
    mixture of the male semen with the female semen and of arranging
    that it shall not escape from the vagina. The woman must lie
    quiet for several hours at least, not rising even to urinate, and
    when she gets up, be very temperate in eating and drinking, and
    not run or jump, pretending that she has a headache. It was the
    belief in feminine semen which led some theologians to lay down
    that a woman might masturbate if she had not experienced orgasm
    in coitus. Schurig in his _Muliebria_ (1729, pp. 159, et seq.)
    discusses the opinions of old authors regarding the nature,
    source, and uses of the female genital secretions, and quotes
    authorities against the old view that it was female semen. In a
    subsequent work (_Syllepsilogia_, 1731, pp. 3, et seq.) he
    returns to the same question, quotes authors who accept a
    feminine semen, shows that Harvey denied it any significance, and
    himself decides against it. It has not seriously been brought
    forward since.

When erection is completed in both the man and the woman the conditions
necessary for conjugation have at last been fulfilled. In all animals,
even those most nearly allied to man, coitus is effected by the male
approaching the female posteriorly. In man the normal method of male
approach is anteriorly, face to face. Leonardo da Vinci, in a well-known
drawing representing a sagittal section of a man and a woman connected in
this position of so-called Venus obversa; has shown how well adapted the
position is to the normal position of the organs in the human

    Among monkeys, it is stated, congress is sometimes performed when
    the female is on all fours; at other times the male brings the
    female between his thighs when he is sitting, holding her with
    his forepaws. Froriep informed Lawrence that the male sometimes
    supported his feet on the female's calves. (Sir W. Lawrence,
    _Lectures on Physiology_, 1823, p. 186.) A summary of the methods
    of congress practiced by the various animals below mammals will
    be found in the article "Copulation" by H. de Varigny in Richet's
    _Dictionnaire de Physiologie_, vol. iv.

    The anterior position in coitus, with the female partner lying
    supine, is so widespread throughout the world that it may fairly
    be termed the most typically human attitude in sexual congress.
    It is found represented in Egyptian graves at Benihassan,
    belonging to the Twelfth Dynasty; it is regarded by Mohammedans
    as the normal position, although other positions are permitted by
    the Prophet: "Your wives are your tillage: go in unto your
    tillage in what manner soever you will;" it is that adopted in
    Malacca; it appears, from Peruvian antiquities, to have been the
    position generally, though not exclusively, adopted in ancient
    Peru; it is found in many parts of Africa, and seems also to have
    been the most usual position among the American aborigines.

    Various modifications of this position are, however, found. Thus,
    in some parts of the world, as among the Suahelis in Zanzibar,
    the male partner adopts the supine position. In Loango, according
    to Pechuel-Loesche, coitus is performed lying on the side.
    Sometimes, as on the west coast of Africa, the woman is supine
    and the man more or less erect; or, as among the Queenslanders
    (as described by Roth) the woman is supine and the man squats on
    his heels with her thighs clasping his flanks, while he raises
    her buttocks with his hands.

    The position of coitus in which the man is supine is without
    doubt a natural and frequent variation of the specifically human
    obverse method of coitus. It was evidently familiar to the
    Romans. Ovid mentions it (_Ars Amatoria_, III, 777-8),
    recommending it to little women, and saying that Andromache was
    too tall to practice it with Hector. Aristophanes refers to it,
    and there are Greek epigrams in which women boast of their skill
    in riding their lovers. It has sometimes been viewed with a
    certain disfavor because it seems to confer a superiority on the
    woman. "Cursed be he," according to a Mohammedan saying, "who
    maketh woman heaven and man earth."

    Of special interest is the wide prevalence of an attitude in
    coitus recalling that which prevails among quadrupeds. The
    frequency with which on the walls of Pompeii coitus is
    represented with the woman bending forward and her partner
    approaching her posteriorly has led to the belief that this
    attitude was formerly very common in Southern Italy. However that
    may be, it is certainly normal at the present day among various
    more or less primitive peoples in whom the vulva is often placed
    somewhat posteriorly. It is thus among the Soudanese, as also, in
    an altogether different part of the world, among the Eskimo
    Innuit and Koniags. The New Caledonians, according to Foley,
    cohabit in the quadrupedal manner, and so also the Papuans of New
    Guinea (Bongu), according to Vahness. The same custom is also
    found in Australia, where, however other postures are also
    adopted. In Europe the quadrupedal posture would seem to prevail
    among some of the South Slavs, notably the Dalmatians. (The
    different methods of coitus practiced by the South Slavs are
    described in Kryptadia vol. vi, pp. 220, et seq.)

    This method of coitus was recommended by Lucretius (lib. iv) and
    also advised by Paulus Æginetus as favorable to conception. (The
    opinions of various early physicians are quoted by Schurig,
    _Spermatologia_, 1720, pp. 232, et seq.). It seems to be a
    position that is not infrequently agreeable to women, a fact
    which may be brought into connection with the remarks of Adler
    already quoted (p. 131) concerning the comparative lack of
    adjustment of the feminine organs to the obverse position. It is
    noteworthy that in the days of witchcraft hysterical women
    constantly believed that they had had intercourse with the Devil
    in this manner. This circumstance, indeed, probably aided in the
    very marked disfavor in which coitus _a posteriori_ fell after
    the decay of classic influences. The mediæval physicians
    described it as _mos diabolicus_ and mistakenly supposed that it
    produced abortion (Hyrtl, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 87). The
    theologians, needless to say, were opposed to the _mos
    diabolicus_, and already in the Anglo-Saxon Penitential of
    Theodore, at the end of the seventh century, 40 days' penance is
    prescribed for this method of coitus.

    From the frequency with which they have been adopted by various
    peoples as national customs, most of the postures in coitus here
    referred to must be said to come within the normal range of
    variation. It is a mistake to regard them as vicious perversions.

Up to the point to which we have so far considered it, the process of
detumescence has been mainly nervous and vascular in character; it has, in
fact, been but the more acute stage of a process which has been going on
throughout tumescence. But now we reach the point at which a new element
comes in: muscular action. With the onset of muscular action, which is
mainly involuntary, even when it affects the voluntary muscles,
detumescence proper begins to take place. Henceforward purposeful psychic
action, except by an effort, is virtually abolished. The individual, as a
separate person, tends to disappear. He has become one with another
person, as nearly one as the conditions of existence ever permit; he and
she are now merely an instrument in the hands of a higher power--by
whatever name we may choose to call that Power--which is using them for an
end not themselves.

The decisive moment in the production of the instinctive and involuntary
orgasm occurs when, under the influence of the stimulus applied to the
penis by friction with the vagina, the tension of the seminal fluid poured
into the urethra arouses the ejaculatory center in the spinal cord and the
bulbo-cavernosus muscle surrounding the urethra responsively contracts in
rhythmic spasms. Then it is that ejaculation occurs.[106]

"The circulation quickens, the arteries beat strongly," wrote Roubaud in a
description of the physical state during coitus which may almost be termed
classic; "the venous blood, arrested by muscular contraction, increases
the general heat, and this stagnation, more pronounced in the brain by the
contraction of the muscles of the neck and the throwing of the head
backward, causes a momentary cerebral congestion, during which
intelligence is lost and the faculties abolished. The eyes, violently
injected, become haggard, and the look uncertain, or, in the majority of
cases, the eyes are closed spasmodically to avoid the contact of the
light. The respiration is hurried, sometimes interrupted, and may be
suspended by the spasmodic contraction of the larynx, and the air, for a
time compressed, is at last emitted in broken and meaningless words. The
congested nervous centers only communicate confused sensations and
volitions; mobility and sensation show extreme disorder; the limbs are
seized by convulsions and sometimes by cramps, or are thrown wildly about
or become stiff like iron bars. The jaws, tightly pressed, grind the
teeth, and in some persons the delirium is carried so far that they bite
to bleeding the shoulders their companions have imprudently abandoned to
them. This frantic state of epilepsy lasts but a short time, but it
suffices to exhaust the forces of the organism, especially in man. It is,
I believe, Galen, who said: 'Omne animal post coitum triste præter
mulierem gallumque.'"[107] Most of the elements that make up this typical
picture of the state of coitus are not absolutely essential to that state,
but they all come within the normal range of variation. There can be no
doubt that this range is considerable. There would appear to be not only
individual, but also racial, differences; there is a remarkable passage in
Vatsyayana's _Kama Sutra_ describing the varying behavior of the women of
different races in India under the stress of sexual excitement--Dravidian
women with difficulty attaining erethism, women of the Punjaub fond of
being caressed with the tongue, women of Oude with impetuous desire and
profuse flow of mucus, etc.--and it is highly probable, Ploss and Bartels
remark, that these characterizations are founded on exact

The various phenomena included in Roubaud's description of the condition
during coitus may all be directly or indirectly reduced to two groups: the
first circulatory and respiratory, the second motor. It is necessary to
consider both these aspects of the process of detumescence in somewhat
greater detail, although while it is most convenient to discuss them
separately, it must be borne in mind that they are not really separable;
the circulatory phenomena are in large measure a by-product of the
involuntary motor process.

With the approach of detumescence the respiration becomes shallow, rapid,
and to some extent arrested. This characteristic of the breathing during
sexual excitement is well recognized; so that in, for instance, the
_Arabian Nights_, it is commonly noted of women when gazing at beautiful
youths whose love they desired, that they ceased breathing.[109] It may be
added that exactly the same tendency to superficial and arrested
respiration takes place whenever there is any intense mental
concentration, as in severe intellectual work.[110]

The arrest of respiration tends to render the blood venous, and thus aids
in stimulating the vasomotor centers, raising the blood-pressure in the
body generally, and especially in the erectile tissues. High
blood-pressure is one of the most marked features of the state of
detumescence. The heart beats are stronger and quicker, the surface
arteries are more visible, the conjunctivæ become red. The precise degree
of blood-pressure attained during coitus has been most accurately
ascertained in the dog. In Bechterew's laboratory in St. Petersburg a
manometer was introduced into the central end of the carotid artery of a
bitch; a male dog was then introduced, and during coitus observations were
made on the blood-pressure at the peripheral and central ends of the
artery. It was found that there was a great general elevation of
blood-pressure, intense hyperæmia of the brain, rapid alternations, during
the act, of vasoconstriction and vasodilatation of the brain, with
increase and diminution of the general arterial tension in relation with
the various phases of the act, the greatest cerebral vasodilatation and
hyperæmia coinciding with the moment following the intromission of the
penis; the end of the act is followed by a considerable fall in the
blood-pressure.[111] I am not acquainted with any precise observations on
the blood-pressure in human subjects during detumescence, and there are
obvious difficulties in the way of such observations. It is probable,
however, that the conditions found would be substantially the same. This
is indicated, so far as the very marked increase of blood-pressure is
concerned, by some observations made by Vaschide and Vurpas with the
sphygmanometer on a lady under the influence of sexual excitement. In this
case there was a relationship of sympathy and friendly tenderness between
the experimenter and the subject, Madame X, aged 25. Experimenter and
subject talked sympathetically, and finally, we are told, while the latter
still had her hands in the sphygmanometer, the former almost made a
declaration of love. Madame X was greatly impressed, and afterward
admitted that her emotions had been genuine and strong. The
blood-pressure, which was in this subject habitually 65 millimeters, rose
to 150 and even 160, indicating a very high pressure, which rarely occurs;
at the same time Madame X looked very emotional and troubled.[112]

    Some authorities are of opinion that irregularities in the
    accomplishment of the sexual act are specially liable to cause
    disturbances in the circulation. Thus Kisch, of Prague, refers to
    the case of a couple practising coitus interruptus--the husband
    withdrawing before ejaculation--in which the wife, a vigorous
    woman, became liable after some years to attacks termed by Kisch
    _neurasthenia cordis vasomotoria_, in which there was at daily or
    longer intervals palpitation, with feelings of anxiety, headache,
    dizziness, muscular weakness and tendency to faint. He regards
    coitus as a cause of various heart troubles in women: (1) Attacks
    of tachycardia in very excitable and sexually inclined women; (2)
    attacks of tachycardia with dyspnoea in young women, with
    vaginismus; (3) cardiac symptoms with lowered vascular tone in
    women who for a long time have practised coitus interruptus
    without complete sexual gratification (Kisch, "Herzbeschwerden
    der Frauen verursacht durch den Cohabitationsact," _Münchener
    Medizinisches Wochenschrift_, 1897, p. 617). In this connection,
    also, reference may probably be made to those attacks of anxiety
    which Freud associates with psychic sexual lesions of an
    emotional character.

Associated with this vascular activity in detumescence we find a general
tendency to glandular activity. Various secretions are formed abundantly.
Perspiration is copious, and the ancient relationship between the
cutaneous and sexual systems seems to evoke a general activity of the skin
and its odoriferous secretions. Salivation, which also occurs, is very
conspicuous in many lower animals, as for instance in the donkey, notably
the female, who just before coitus stands with mouth open, jaws moving,
and saliva dribbling. In men, corresponding to the more copious secretion
in women, there is, during the latter stages of tumescence, a slight
secretion of mucus--Fürbringer's _urethrorrhoea ex libidine_--which
appears in drops at the urethral orifice. It comes from the small glands
of Littré and Cowper which open into the urethra. This phenomenon was well
known to the old theologians, who called it _distillatio_, and realized
its significance as at once distinct from semen and an indication that the
mind was dwelling on voluptuous images; it was also known in classic
times[113]; more recently it has often been confused with semen and has
thus sometimes caused needless anxiety to nervous persons. There is also
an increased secretion of urine, and it is probable that if the viscera
were more accessible to observation we might be able to demonstrate that
the glands throughout the body share in this increased activity.

The phenomena of detumescence culminate, however, and have their most
obvious manifestation in motor activity. The genital act, as Vaschide and
Vurpas remark, consists essentially in "a more and more marked tension of
the motor state which, reaching its maximum, presents a short tonic phase,
followed by a clonic phase, and terminates in a period of adynamia and
repose." This motor activity is of the essence of the impulse of
detumescence, because without it the sperm cells could not be brought into
the neighborhood of the germ cell and be propelled into the organic nest
which is assigned for their conjunction and incubation.

The motor activity is general as well as specifically sexual. There is a
general tendency to more or less involuntary movement, without any
increase of voluntary muscular power, which is, indeed, decreased, and
Vaschide and Vurpas state that dynamometric results are somewhat lower
than normal during sexual excitement, and the variations greater.[114] The
tendency to diffused activity of involuntary muscle is well illustrated by
the contraction of the bladder associated with detumescence. While this
occurs in both sexes, in men erection produces a mechanical impediment to
any evacuation of the bladder. In women there is not only a desire to
urinate but, occasionally, actual urination. Many quite healthy and normal
women have, as a rare accident supervening on the coincidence of an
unusually full bladder with an unusual degree of sexual excitement,
experienced a powerful and quite involuntary evacuation of the bladder at
the moment of orgasm. In women with less normal nervous systems this has,
more rarely, been almost habitual. Brantôme has perhaps recorded the
earliest case of this kind in referring to a lady he knew who "quand on
lui faisait cela elle se compissait à bon escient."[115] The tendency to
trembling, constriction of throat, sneezing, emission of internal gas, and
the other similar phenomena occasionally associated with detumescence, are
likewise due to diffusion of the motor disturbance. Even in infancy the
motor signs of sexual excitement are the most obvious indications of
orgasm; thus West, describing masturbation in a child of six or nine
months who practiced thigh-rubbing, states that when sitting in her high
chair she would grasp the handles, stiffen herself, and stare, rubbing her
thighs quickly together several times, and then come to herself with a
sigh, tired, relaxed, and sweating, these seizures, which lasted one or
two minutes, being mistaken by the relations for epileptic fits.[116]

    The essentially motor character of detumescence is well shown by
    the extreme forms of erotic intoxication which sometimes appear
    as the result of sexual excitement. Féré, who has especially
    called attention to the various manifestations of this condition,
    presents an instructive case of a man of neurotic heredity and
    antecedents, in whom it occasionally happened that sexual
    excitement, instead of culminating in the normal orgasm, attained
    its climax in a fit of uncontrollable muscular excitement. He
    would then sing, dance, gesticulate, roughly treat his partner,
    break the objects around him, and finally sink down exhausted and
    stupefied. (Féré, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, Chapter X.) In such a case
    a diffused and general detumescence has taken the place of the
    normal detumescence which has its main focus in the sexual

    The same relationship is shown in a case of impotence accompanied
    by cramps in the calves and elsewhere, which has been recorded by
    Brügelmann ("Zur Lehre vom Perversen Sexualismus," _Zeitschrift
    für Hypnotismus_, 1900, Heft I). These muscular conditions ceased
    for several days whenever coitus was effected.

    An instructive analogy to the motor irradiations preceding the
    moment of sexual detumescence may be found in the somewhat
    similar motor irradiations which follow the delayed expulsion of
    a highly distended bladder. These sometimes become very marked in
    a child or young woman unable to control the motor system
    absolutely. The legs are crossed, the foot swung, the thighs
    tightly pressed together, the toes curled. The fingers are flexed
    in rhythmic succession. The whole body slowly twists as though
    the seat had become uncomfortable. It is difficult to concentrate
    the mind; the same remark may be automatically repeated; the eyes
    search restlessly, and there is a tendency to count surrounding
    objects or patterns. When the extreme degree of tension is
    reached it is only by executing a kind of dance that the
    explosive contraction of the bladder is restrained.

    The picture of muscular irradiation presented under these
    circumstances differs but slightly from that of the onset of
    detumescence. In one case the explosion is sought, in the other
    case it is dreaded; but in both cases there is a retarded
    muscular tension,--in the one case involuntary, in the other case
    voluntary--maintained at a point of acute intensity, and in both
    cases the muscular irradiations of this tension spread over the
    whole body.

    The increased motor irritability of the state of detumescence
    somewhat resembles the conditions produced by a weak anæsthetic
    and there is some interest in noting the sexual excitement liable
    to occur in anæsthesia. I am indebted to Dr. J.F.W. Silk for some
    remarks on this point:--

    "I. Sexual emotions may apparently be aroused during the stage of
    excitement preceding or following the administration of any
    anæsthetic; these emotions may take the form of mere delirious
    utterances, or may be associated with what is apparently a sexual
    orgasm. Or reflex phenomena connected with the sexual organs may
    occasionally be observed under special circumstances; or, to put
    it in another way, such reflex possibilities are not always
    abolished by the condition of narcosis or anæsthesia.

    "II. Of the particular anæsthetics employed I am inclined to
    think that the possibility of such conditions arising is
    inversely proportionate to their strength, e.g., they are more
    frequently observed with a weak anæsthetic like nitrous oxide
    than with chloroform.

    "III. Sexual emotions I believe to be rarely observable in men,
    and this is remarkable, or, I should say, particularly
    noticeable, for the presence of nurses, female students, etc.,
    might almost have led one to expect that the contrary would have
    been the case. On the other hand, it is among men that I have
    frequently observed a reflex phenomenon which has usually taken
    the shape of an erection of the penis when the structures in the
    neighborhood of the spermatic cord have been handled.

    "IV. Among females the emotional sexual phenomena most frequently
    obtrude themselves, and I believe that if it were possible to
    induce people to relate their dreams they would very often be
    found to be of a sexual character."

Much more important than the general motor phenomena, more purposive
though involuntary, are the specifically sexual muscular movements. From
the very beginning of detumescence, indeed, muscular activity makes itself
felt, and the peripheral muscles of sex act, according to Kobelt's
expression, as a peripheral sexual heart. In the male these movements are
fairly obvious and fairly simple. It is required that the semen should be
expressed from the vesiculæ seminales, propelled along the urethra, in
combination with the prostatic fluid which is equally essential, and
finally ejected with a certain amount of force from the urethral orifice.
Under the influence of the stimulation furnished by the contact and
friction of the vagina, this process is effectively carried out, mainly by
the rhythmic contractions of the bulbo-cavernosus muscle, and the semen is
emitted in a jet which may be ejaculated to a distance varying from a few
centimeters to a meter or more.

    With regard to the details of the psychic sides of this process a
    correspondent, a psychologist, writes as follows:--

    "I have never noticed in my reading any attempt to analyze the
    sensations which accompany the orgasm, and, as I have made a good
    many attempts to make such an analysis myself, I will append the
    results on the chance that they may be of some value. I have
    checked my results so far as possible by comparing them with the
    experience of such of my friends as had coitus frequently and
    were willing to tell me as much as they could of the psychology
    of the process.

    "The first fact that I hit upon was the importance of pressure.
    As one of my informants picturesquely phrases it--'the tighter
    the fit the greater the pleasure.' This agrees, too, with their
    unanimous testimony that the pleasurable sensations were much
    greater when the orgasm occurred simultaneously in the man and
    woman. Their analysis seldom went further than this, but a few
    remarked that the distinctive sensations accompanying the orgasm
    seem to begin near the root of the penis or in the testes, and
    that they are qualitatively different from the tickling
    sensations which precede them.

    "These tickling sensations are caused, I think, by the friction
    of the glands against the vaginal walls, and are supplemented by
    other sensations from the urethra, whose nerves are stimulated by
    pressure of the vaginal walls and sphincter. The specific
    sensation of the orgasm begins, I believe, with a strong
    contraction of the muscles of the urethral walls along the entire
    length of the canal, and is felt as a peculiar ache starting
    from the base of the penis and quickly becoming diffused through
    the whole organ. This sensation reaches its climax with the
    expulsion of the semen into the urethra and the consequent
    feeling of distention, which is instantly followed by the
    rhythmic peristaltic contractions of the urethral muscles which
    mark the climax of the orgasm.

    "The most careful introspection possible under the circumstances
    seems to show that these sensations arise almost wholly from the
    urethra and in a far less degree from the corona. During periods
    of great sexual excitement the nerves of the urethra and corona
    seem to possess a peculiar sensitivity and are powerfully
    stimulated by the violent peristaltic contractions of the muscles
    in the urethral walls during ejaculation. It seems possible that
    the intensity and volume of sensation felt at the glans may be
    due in part to the greater area of sensitive surface presented in
    the fossa as well as to the sensitivity of the corona, and in
    part to the fact that during the orgasm the glans is more highly
    congested than at any other time, and the nerve endings thus
    subjected to additional pressure.

    "If the foregoing statements are true, it is easy to see why the
    pleasure of the man is much increased when the orgasm occurs at
    the same time in his partner and himself, for the contractions of
    the vagina upon the penis would increase the stimulation of all
    the nerve endings in that organ for which a mechanical stimulus
    is adequate, and the prominence of the corpus spongiosum and
    corona would ensure them the greatest stimulation. It seems not
    improbable that the specific sensation of orgasm rises from the
    stimulation of the peculiar form of nerve end-bulbs which Krause
    found in the corpus spongiosum and in the glans.

    "The characteristic massiveness of the experience is probably due
    largely to the great number of sensations of strain and pressure
    caused by the powerful reflex contraction of so many of the
    voluntary muscles.

    "Of course, the foregoing analysis is purely tentative, and I
    offer it only on the chance that it may suggest some line of
    inquiry which may lead to results of value to the student of
    sexual psychology."

    In man the whole process of detumescence, when it has once really
    begun, only occupies a few moments. It is so likewise in many
    animals; in the genera Bos, Ovis, etc., it is very short, almost
    instantaneous, and rather short also in the Equidæ (in a vigorous
    stallion, according to Colin, ten to twelve seconds). As
    Disselhorst has pointed out, this is dependent on the fact that
    these animals, like man, possess a vas deferens which broadens
    into an ampulla serving as a receptacle which holds the semen
    ready for instant emission when required. On the other hand, in
    the dog, cat, boar, and the Canidæ, Felidæ, and Suidæ generally,
    there is no receptacle of this kind, and coitus is slow, since a
    longer time is required for the peristaltic action of the vas to
    bring the semen to the urogenital sinus. (R. Disselhorst, _Die
    Accessorischen Geschlechtsdrusen der Wirbelthiere_, 1897, p.

    In man there can be little doubt that detumescence is more
    rapidly accomplished in the European than in the East, in India,
    among the yellow races, or in Polynesia. This is probably in part
    due to a deliberate attempt to prolong the act in the East, and
    in part to a greater nervous erethism among Westerns.

In the woman the specifically sexual muscular process is less visible,
more obscure, more complex, and uncertain. Before detumescence actually
begins there are at intervals involuntary rhythmic contractions of the
walls of the vagina, seeming to have the object of at once stimulating and
harmonizing with those that are about to begin in the male organ. It would
appear that these rhythmic contractions are the exaggeration of a
phenomenon which is normal, just as slight contraction is normal and
constant in the bladder. Jastreboff has shown, in the rabbit, that the
vagina is in constant spontaneous rhythmic contraction from above
downward, not peristaltic, but in segments, the intensity of the
contractions increasing with age and especially with sexual development.
This vaginal contraction which in women only becomes well marked just
before detumescence, and is due mainly to the action of the sphincter
cunni (analogous to the bulbo-cavernosus in the male), is only a part of
the localized muscular process. At first there would appear to be a reflex
peristaltic movement of the Fallopian tubes and uterus. Dembo observed
that in animals stimulation of the upper anterior wall of the vagina
caused gradual contraction of the uterus, which is erected by powerful
contraction of its muscular fiber and round ligaments while at the same
time it descends toward the vagina, its cavity becoming more and more
diminished and mucus being forced out. In relaxing, Aristotle long ago
remarked, it aspirates the seminal fluid.

Although the active participation of the sexual organs in woman, to the
end of directing the semen into the womb at the moment of detumescence, is
thus a very ancient belief, and harmonizes with the Greek view of the womb
as an animal in the body endowed with a considerable amount of
activity,[117] precise observation in modern times has offered but little
confirmation of the reality of this participation. Such observations as
have been made have usually been the accidental result of sexual
excitement and orgasm occurring during a gynæcological examination. As,
however, such a result is liable to occur in erotic subjects, a certain
number of precise observations have accumulated during the past century.
So far as the evidence goes, it would seem that in women, as in mares,
bitches, and other animals, the uterus becomes shorter, broader, and
softer during the orgasm, at the same time descending lower into the
pelvis, with its mouth open intermittently, so that, as one writer
remarks, spontaneously recurring to the simile which commended itself to
the Greeks, "the uterus might be likened to an animal gasping for
breath."[118] This sensitive, responsive mobility of the uterus is,
indeed, not confined to the moment of detumescence, but may occur at other
times under the influence of sexual emotion.

It would seem probable that in this erection, contraction, and descent of
the uterus, and its simultaneous expulsion of mucus, we have the decisive
moment in the completion of detumescence in woman, and it is probable that
the thick mucus, unlike the earlier more limpid secretion, which women are
sometimes aware of after orgasm, is emitted from the womb at this time.
This is, however, not absolutely certain. Some authorities regard
detumescence in women as accomplished in the pouring out of secretions,
others in the rhythmic genital contractions; the sexual parts may,
however, be copiously bathed in mucus for an indefinitely long period
before the final stage of detumescence is achieved, and the rhythmic
contractions are also taking place at a somewhat early period; in neither
respect is there any obvious increase at the final moment of orgasm. In
women this would seem to be more conspicuously a nervous manifestation
than in men. On the subjective side it is very pronounced, with its
feeling of relieved tension and agreeable repose--a moment when, as one
woman expresses it, together with intense pleasure, there is, as it were,
a floating up into a higher sphere, like the beginning of chloroform
narcosis--but on the objective side this culminating moment is less easy
to define.

    Various observations and remarks made during the past two or
    three centuries by Bond, Valisneri, Dionis, Haller, Günther, and
    Bischoff, tending to show a sucking action of the uterus in both
    women and other female animals, have been brought together by
    Litzmann in R. Wagner's _Handwörterbuch der Physiologie_ (1846,
    vol. iii, p. 53). Litzmann added an experience of his own: "I had
    an opportunity lately, while examining a young and very erethic
    woman, to observe how suddenly the uterus assumed a more erect
    position, and descended deeper in the pelvis; the lips of the
    womb became equal in length, the cervix rounded, softer, and more
    easily reached by the finger, and at the same time a high state
    of sexual excitement was revealed by the respiration and voice."

    The general belief still remained, however, that the woman's part
    in conjugation is passive, and that it is entirely by the energy
    of the male organ and of the male sexual elements, the
    spermatozoa, that conjunction with the germ cell is attained.
    According to this theory, it was believed that the spermatozoa
    were, as Wilkinson expresses it, in a history of opinion on this
    question, "endowed with some sort of intuition or instinct; that
    they would turn in the direction of the os uteri, wading through
    the acid mucus of the vagina; travel patiently upward and around
    the vaginal portion of the uterus; enter the uterus and proceed
    onward in search of the waiting ovum." (A.D. Wilkinson,
    "Sterility in the Female," _Transactions of the Lincoln Medical
    Society_, Nebraska, 1896.)

    About the year 1859 Fichstedt seems to have done something to
    overthrow this theory by declaring his belief that the uterus was
    not, as commonly supposed, a passive organ in coitus, but was
    capable of sucking in the semen during the brief period of
    detumescence. Various authorities then began to bring forward
    arguments and observations in the same sense. Wernich,
    especially, directed attention to this point in 1872 in a paper
    on the erectile properties of the lower segment of the uterus
    ("Die Erectionsfahigkeit des untern Uterus-Abschnitts," _Beiträge
    zur Geburtshülfe und Gynäkologie_, vol. i, p. 296). He made
    precise observations and came to the conclusion that owing to
    erectile properties in the neck of the uterus, this part of the
    womb elongates during congress and reaches down into the pelvis
    with an aspiratory movement, as if to meet the glans of the male.
    A little later, in a case of partial prolapse, Beck, in ignorance
    of Wernich's theory, was enabled to make a very precise
    observation of the action of the uterus during excitement. In
    this case the woman was sexually very excitable even under
    ordinary examination, and Beck carefully noted the phenomena that
    took place during the orgasm. "The os and cervix uteri," he
    states, "had been about as firm as usual, moderately hard and,
    generally speaking, in a natural and normal condition, with the
    external os closed to such an extent as to admit of the uterine
    probe with difficulty; but the instant that the height of
    excitement was at hand, the os opened itself to the extent of
    fully an inch, as nearly as my eye can judge, made five or six
    successive gasps as if it were drawing the external os into the
    cervix, each time powerfully, and, it seemed to me, with a
    regular rhythmical action, at the same time losing its former
    density and hardness and becoming quite soft to the touch. Upon
    the cessation of the action, as related, the os suddenly closed,
    the cervix again hardened itself, and the intense congestion was
    dissipated." (J.R. Beck, "How do the Spermatozoa Enter the
    Uterus?" _American Journal of Obstetrics_, 1874.) It would appear
    that in the early part of this final process of detumescence the
    action of the uterus is mainly one of contraction and ejaculation
    of any mucus that may be contained; Dr. Paul Mundé has described
    "the gushing, almost in jets," of this mucus which he has
    observed in an erotic woman under a rather long digital and
    specular examination. (_American Journal of Obstetrics_, 1893.)
    It is during the latter part of detumescence, it would seem, and
    perhaps for a short time after the orgasm is over, that the
    action of the uterus is mainly aspiratory.

While the active part played by the womb in detumescence can no longer be
questioned, it need not too hastily be assumed that the belief in the
active movements of the spermatozoa must therefore be denied. The vigorous
motility of the tadpole-like organisms is obvious to anyone who has ever
seen fresh semen under the microscope; and if it is correct, as Clifton
Edgar states, that the spermatozoa may retain their full activity in the
female organs for at least seventeen days, they have ample time to exert
their energies. The fact that impregnation sometimes occurs without
rupture of the hymen is not decisive evidence that there has been no
penetration, as the hymen may dilate without rupturing; but there seems no
reason to doubt that conception has sometimes taken place when ejaculation
has occurred without penetration; this is indicated in a fairly objective
manner when, as has been occasionally observed, conception has occurred in
women whose vaginas were so narrow as scarcely to admit the entrance of a
goose-quill; such was the condition in the case of a pregnant woman
brought forward by Roubaud. The stories, repeated in various books, of
women who have conceived after homosexual relations with partners who had
just left their husbands' beds are not therefore inherently
impossible.[119] Janke quotes numerous cases in which there has been
impregnation in virgins who have merely allowed the penis to be placed in
contact with the vulva, the hymen remaining unruptured until

It must be added, however, that even if the semen is effused merely at the
mouth of the vagina, without actual penetration, the spermatozoa are still
not entirely without any resource save their own motility in the task of
reaching the ovum. As we have seen, it is not only the uterus which takes
an active part in detumescence; the vagina also is in active movement, and
it seems highly probable that, at all events in some women and under some
circumstances, such movement favoring aspiration toward the womb may be
communicated to the external mouth of the vagina.

    Riolan (_Anthropographia_, 1626, p. 294) referred to the
    constriction and dilation of the vulva under the influence of
    sexual excitement. It is said that in Abyssinia women can, when
    adopting the straddling posture of coitus, by the movements of
    their own vaginal muscles alone, grasp the male organ and cause
    ejaculation, although the man remains passive. According to
    Lorion the Annamites, adopting the normal posture of coitus,
    introduce the penis when flaccid or only half erect, the
    contraction of the vaginal walls completing the process; the
    penis is very small in this people. It is recognized by
    gynæcologists that the condition of vaginismus, in which there is
    spasmodic contraction of the vagina, making intercourse painful
    or impossible, is but a morbid exaggeration of the normal
    contraction which occurs in sexual excitement. Even in the
    absence of sexual excitement there is a vague affection,
    occurring in both married and unmarried women, and not, it would
    seem, necessarily hysterical, characterized by quivering or
    twitching of the vulva; I am told that this is popularly termed
    "flackering of the shape" in Yorkshire and "taittering of the
    lips" in Ireland. It may be added that quivering of the gluteal
    muscles also takes place during detumescence, and that in Indian
    medicine this is likewise regarded as a sign of sexual desire in
    women, apart from coitus.

    A non-medical correspondent in Australia, W.J. Chidley, from whom
    I have received many communications on this subject, is strongly
    of opinion from his own observations that not only does the
    uterus take an active part in coitus, but that under natural
    conditions the vagina also plays an active part in the process.
    He was led to suspect such an action many years ago, as well by
    an experience of his own, as also by hearing from a young woman
    who met her lover after a long absence that by the excitement
    thus aroused a tape attached to the underclothes had been drawn
    into the vagina. Since then the confidences of various friends,
    together with observations of animals, have confirmed him in the
    view that the general belief that coitus must be effected by
    forcible entry of the male organ into a passive vagina is
    incorrect. He considers that under normal circumstances coitus
    should take place but rarely, and then only under the most
    favorable circumstances, perhaps exclusively in spring, and, most
    especially, only when the woman is ready for it. Then, when in
    the arms of the man she loves, the vagina, in sympathy with the
    active movements of the womb, becomes distended at the touch of
    the turgescent, but not fully erect, penis, "flashes open and
    draws in the male organ." "All animals," he adds, "have sexual
    intercourse by the male organ being _drawn_, not forced, into the
    female. I have been borne out in this by friends who have seen
    horses, camels, mules and other large animals in the coupling
    season. What is more absurd, for instance, than to say that an
    entire _penetrates_ the mare? His penis is a sensitive, beautiful
    piece of mechanism, which brings its light head here and there
    till it touches the right spot, when the mare, _if ready_, takes
    it in. An entire's penis could not penetrate anything; it is a
    curve, a beautiful curve which would easily bend. A bull's,
    again, is turned down at the end and, more palpably still, would
    fold on itself if pressed with force. The womb and vagina of a
    beautiful and healthy woman constitute a living, vital, moving
    organ, sensitive to a look, a word, a thought, a hand on the

    A well-known American author thus writes in confirmation of the
    foregoing view: "In nature the woman wooes. When impassioned her
    vagina becomes erect and dilated, and so lubricated with abundant
    mucus to the lips that entrance is easy. This dilatation and
    erectile expansion of vagina withdraws the hymen so close to the
    walls that penetration need not tear it or cause pain. The more
    muscular, primitive and healthy the woman the tougher and less
    sensitive the hymen, and the less likely to break or bleed. I
    think one great function of the foreskin also is to moisten the
    glans, so that it can be lubricated for entrance, and then to
    retract, moist side out, to make entrance still easier. I think
    that in nature the glans penetrates within the labia, is
    withstood a moment, vibrating, and then all resistance is
    withdrawn by a sudden 'flashing open' of the gates, permitting
    easy entrance, and that the sudden giving up of resistance, and
    substitution of welcome, with its instantaneous deep entrance,
    causes an almost immediate male orgasm (the thrill being
    irresistibly exciting). Certainly this is the process as observed
    in horses, cattle, goats, etc., and it seems likely something
    analogous is natural in man."

    While it is easily possible to carry to excess a view which would
    make the woman rather than the man the active agent in coitus
    (and it may be recalled that in the Cebidæ the penis, as also the
    clitoris, is furnished with a bone), there is probably an element
    of truth in the belief that the vagina shares in the active part
    which, there can now be little doubt, is played by the uterus in
    detumescence. Such a view certainly enables us to understand how
    it is that semen effused on the exterior sexual organs can be
    conveyed to the uterus.

    It was indeed the failure to understand the vital activity of the
    semen and the feminine genital canal, co-operating together
    towards the junction of sperm cell and germ cell, which for so
    long stood in the way of the proper understanding of conception.
    Even the genius of Harvey, which had grappled successfully with
    the problem of the circulation, failed in the attempt to
    comprehend the problem of generation. Mainly on account of this
    difficulty, he was unable to see how the male element could
    possibly enter the uterus, although he devoted much observation
    and study to the question. Writing of the uterus of the doe after
    copulation, he says: "I began to doubt, to ask myself whether the
    semen of the male could by any possibility make its way by
    attraction or injection to the seat of conception, and repeated
    examination led me to the conclusion that none of the semen
    reached this seat." (_De-Generatione Animalium_, Exercise lxvii.)
    "The woman," he finally concluded, "after contact with the
    spermatic fluid _in coitu_, seems to receive an influence and
    become fecundated without the co-operation of any sensible
    corporeal agent, in the same way as iron touched by the magnet is
    endowed with its powers."

Although the specifically sexual muscular process of detumescence in
women--as distinguished from the general muscular phenomena of sexual
excitement which may be fairly obvious--is thus seen to be somewhat
complex and obscure, in women as well as in men detumescence is a
convulsion which discharges a slowly accumulated store of nervous force.
In women also, as in men, the motor discharge is directed to a specific
end--the intromission of the semen in the one sex, its reception in the
other. In both sexes the sexual orgasm and the pleasure and satisfaction
associated with it, involve, as their most essential element, the motor
activity of the sexual sphere.[121]

    The active co-operation of the female organs in detumescence is
    probably indicated by the difficulty which is experienced in
    achieving conception by the artificial injection of semen. Marion
    Sims stated in 1866, in _Clinical Notes on Uterine Surgery_, that
    in 55 injections in six women he had only once been successful;
    he believed that that was the only case at that time on record.
    Jacobi had, however, practiced artificial fecundation in animals
    (in 1700) and John Hunter in man. See Gould and Pyle, _Anomalies
    and Curiosities of Medicine_, p. 43; also Janke (_Die
    Willkürliche Hervorbringen des Geschlechts_, pp. 230 et seq.) who
    discusses the question of artificial fecundation and brings
    together a mass of data.

The facial expression when tumescence is completed is marked by a high
degree of energy in men and of loveliness in women. At this moment, when
the culminating act of life is about to be accomplished, the individual
thus reaches his supreme state of radiant beauty. The color is heightened,
the eyes are larger and brighter, the facial muscles are more tense, so
that in mature individuals any wrinkles disappear and youthfulness

At the beginning of detumescence the features are frequently more
discomposed. There is a general expression of eager receptivity to sensory
impressions. The dilatation of the pupils, the expansion of the nostrils,
the tendency to salivation and to movements of the tongue, all go to make
up a picture which indicates an approaching gratification of sensory
desires; it is significant that in some animals there is at this moment
erection of the ears.[122] There is sometimes a tendency to utter broken
and meaningless words, and it is noted that sometimes women have called
out on their mothers.[123] The dilatation of the pupils produces
photophobia, and in the course of detumescence the eyes are frequently
closed from this cause. At the beginning of sexual excitement, Vaschide
and Vurpas have observed, tonicity of the eye-muscles seems to increase;
the elevators of the upper lids contract, so that the eyes look larger and
their mobility and brightness are heightened; with the increase of
muscular tonicity strabismus occurs, owing to the greater strength of the
muscles that carry the eyes inward.[124]

    The facial expression which marks the culmination of tumescence,
    and the approach of detumescence is that which is generally
    expressive of joy. In an interesting psycho-physical study of the
    emotion of joy, Dearborn thus summarizes its characteristics:
    "The eyes are brighter and the upper eyelid elevated, as also are
    the brows, the skin over the glabella, the upper lip and the
    corners of the mouth, while the skin at the outer canthi of the
    eye is puckered. The nostrils are moderately dilated, the tongue
    slightly extended and the cheeks somewhat expanded, while in
    persons with largely developed pinnal muscles the ears tend
    somewhat to incline forwards. The whole arterial system is
    dilated, with consequent blushing from this effect on the dermal
    capillaries of the face, neck, scalp and hands, and sometimes
    more extensively even; from the same cause the eyes slightly
    bulge. The whole glandular system likewise is stimulated, causing
    the secretions,--gastric, salivary, lachrymal, sudoral, mammary,
    genital, etc.--to be increased, with the resulting rise of
    temperature and increase in the katobolism generally. Volubility
    is almost regularly increased, and is, indeed, one of the most
    sensitive and constant of the correlations in emotional
    delight.... Pleasantness is correlated in living organisms by
    vascular, muscular and glandular extension or expansion, both
    literal and figurative." (G. Dearborn, "The Emotion of Joy,"
    _Psychological Review Monograph Supplements_, vol. ii, No. 5, p.
    62.) All these signs of joy appear to occur at some stage of the
    process of sexual excitement.

    In some monkeys it would seem that the muscular movement which in
    man has become the smile is the characteristic facial expression
    of sexual tumescence or courtship. Discussing the facial
    expression of pleasure in children, S.S. Buckman has the
    following remarks: "There is one point in such expression which
    has not received due consideration, namely, the raising of lumps
    of flesh each side of the nose as an indication of pleasure.
    Accompanying this may be seen small furrows, both in children and
    adults, running from the eyes somewhat obliquely towards the
    nose. What these characters indicate may be learned from the male
    mandril, whose face, particularly in the breeding season, shows
    colored fleshy prominences each side of the nose, with
    conspicuous furrows and ridges. In the male mandril these
    characters have been developed because, being an unmistakable
    sign of sexual ardor, they gave the female particular evidence of
    sexual feelings. Thus such characters would come to be recognized
    as habitually symptomatic of pleasurable feelings. Finding
    similar features in human beings, and particularly in children,
    though not developed in the same degree, we may assume that in
    our monkey-like ancestors facial characters similar to those of
    the mandril were developed, though to a less extent, and that
    they were symptomatic of pleasure, because connected with the
    period of courtship. Then they became conventionalized as
    pleasurable symptoms." (S.S. Buckmann, "Human Babies: What They
    Teach," _Nature_, July 5, 1900.) If this view is accepted, it may
    be said that the smile, having in man become a generalized sign
    of amiability, has no longer any special sexual significance. It
    is true that a faint and involuntary smile is often associated
    with the later stages of tumescence, but this is usually lost
    during detumescence, and may even give place to an expression of

When we have realized how profound is the organic convulsion involved by
the process of detumescence, and how great the general motor excitement
involved, we can understand how it is that very serious effects may follow
coitus. Even in animals this is sometimes the case. Young bulls and
stallions have fallen in a faint after the first congress; boars may be
seriously affected in a similar way; mares have been known even to fall
dead.[125] In the human species, and especially in men--probably, as Bryan
Robinson remarks, because women are protected by the greater slowness with
which detumescence occurs in them--not only death itself, but innumerable
disorders and accidents have been known to follow immediately after
coitus, these results being mainly due to the vascular and muscular
excitement involved by the processes of detumescence. Fainting, vomiting,
urination, defæcation have been noted as occurring in young men after a
first coitus. Epilepsy has been not infrequently recorded. Lesions of
various organs, even rupture of the spleen, have sometimes taken place. In
men of mature age the arteries have at times been unable to resist the
high blood-pressure, and cerebral hæmorrhage with paralysis has occurred.
In elderly men the excitement of intercourse with strange women has
sometimes caused death, and various cases are known of eminent persons who
have thus died in the arms of young wives or of prostitutes.[126]

These morbid results, are, however, very exceptional. They usually occur
in persons who are abnormally sensitive, or who have imprudently
transgressed the obvious rules of sexual hygiene. Detumescence is so
profoundly natural a process; it is so deeply and intimately a function of
the organism, that it is frequently harmless even when the bodily
condition is far from absolutely sound. Its usual results, under favorable
circumstances, are entirely beneficial. In men there normally supervenes,
together with the relief from the prolonged tension of tumescence, with
the muscular repose and falling blood-pressure,[127] a sense of profound
satisfaction, a glow of diffused well-being,[128] perhaps an agreeable
lassitude, occasionally also a sense of mental liberation from an
overmastering obsession. Under reasonably happy circumstances there is no
pain, or exhaustion, or sadness, or emotional revulsion. The happy lover's
attitude toward his partner is not expressed by the well-known Sonnet
(CXXIX) of Shakespeare:--

    "Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
    Past reason hated."

He feels rather with Boccaccio that the kissed mouth loses not its charm,

    "Bocca baciata non perde ventura."

In women the results of detumescence are the same, except that the
tendency to lassitude is not marked unless the act has been several times
repeated; there is a sensation of repose and self-assurance, and often an
accession of free and joyous energy. After completely satisfactory
detumescence she may experience a feeling as of intoxication, lasting for
several hours, an intoxication that is followed by no evil reaction.

Such, so far as our present vague and imperfect knowledge extends, are the
main features in the process of detumescence. In the future, without
doubt, we shall learn to know more precisely a process which has been so
supremely important in the life of man and of his ancestors.


[98] The elements furnished by the sense of touch in sexual selection have
been discussed in the first section of the previous volume of these

[99] See Appendix A. "The Origins of the Kiss," in the previous volume.

[100] See, e.g., Art. "Erection," by Retterer, in Richet's _Dictionnaire
de Physiologie_, vol. v.

[101] Guibaut, _Traité Clinique des Maladies des Femmes_, p. 242. Adler
discusses the sexual secretions in women and their significance, _Die
Mangelhafte Geschlechtsempfindung des Weibes_, pp. 19-26.

[102] In some parts of the world this is further aided by artificial
means. Thus it is stated by Riedel (as quoted by Ploss and Bartels) that
in the Gorong Archipelago the bridegroom, before the first coitus, anoints
the bride's pudenda with an ointment containing opium, musk, etc. I have
been told of an English bride who was instructed by her mother to use a
candle for the same purpose.

[103] _Parthenologia_, pp. 302, et seq.

[104] The connection of this mucous flow with sexual emotion was discussed
early in the eighteenth century by Schurig in his _Gynæcologia_, pp. 8-11;
it is frequently passed over by more modern writers.

[105] The drawing is reproduced by Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, vol. i,
Chapter XVII; many facts bearing on the ethnography of coitus are brought
together in this chapter.

[106] Onanoff (Paris Société de Biologie, May 3, 1890) proposed the name
of bulbo-cavernous reflex for the smart contraction of the ischio-and
bulbo-cavernosus muscles (erector penis and accelerator urinæ) produced by
mechanical excitation of the glans. This reflex is clinically elicited by
placing the index-finger of the left hand on the region of the bulb while
the right hand rapidly rubs the dorsal surface of the glands with the edge
of a piece of paper or lightly pinches the mucous membrane; a twitching of
the region of the bulb is then perceived. This reflex is always present in
healthy adult subjects and indicates the integrity of the physical
mechanism of detumescence. It has been described by Hughes. (C.H. Hughes,
"The Virile or Bulbo-cavernous Reflex," _Alienist and Neurologist_,
January, 1898.)

[107] Roubaud, _Traité de l'Impuissance_, 1855, p. 39.

[108] _Das Weib_, seventh edition, vol. i, p. 510.

[109] The influence of impeded respiration in exciting more or less
perverted forms of sexual gratification has been discussed in a section of
"Love and Pain" in the third volume of these _Studies_.

[110] See, e.g., the experiments of Obici on this point, _Revista
Sperimentale di Freniatria_, 1903, pp. 689, et seq.

[111] Summarized in _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, March, 1903, p.
188. The tendency to closure of the eyes noted by Roubaud, to avoid
contact of the light, indicates dilatation of the pupils, for which we
need not seek other explanation than the general tendency of all
peripheral stimulation, according to Schiff's law, to produce such

[112] Vaschide and Vurpas, "Du Coefficient Sexuel de l'Impulsion
Musicale," _Archives de Neurologie_, May, 1904.

[113] In the _Priapeia_ is an inscription which has thus been

    "You see this organ, after which I'm called
    And which is my certificate, is humid;
    This moisture is not dew nor drops of rain,
    It is the outcome of sweet memory,
    Recalling thoughts of a complacent maid."

The translator supposes that semen is referred to, but without doubt the
allusion is to the theologians' _distillatio_.

[114] A woman of 30, normal and intelligent, after conversing on love and
passion, and then listening to the music of Grieg and Schumann, felt real
and strong sexual excitement, increased by memories recalled by the
presence of a sympathetic person. When then tested by the dynamometer the
average of ten efforts with the right hand was found to be 28.2 (her
normal average being 31.1) and with the left hand 28.0 (the normal being
30.0). There was, however, great variability in the individual pressures
which sometimes equaled and even exceeded the subject's normal efforts.
The voluntary muscles are thus in harmony with the approaching general
sexual avalanche. (Vaschide and Vurpas, "Quelques Données Expérimentales
sur l'Influence de l'Excitation Sexuelle," _Archivio di Psichiatria_,
1903, fasc. v-vi.)

[115] Cf. MacGillicuddy, _Functional Disorders of the Nervous System in
Women_, p. 110; Féré, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, second edition, p. 238; id.,
"Note sur une Anomalie de l'instinct Sexuel," _Belgique Médicale_, 1905;
also "Analysis of the Sexual Impulse," in an earlier volume of these

[116] J.P. West, "Masturbation in Early Childhood," _Medical Standard_,
November, 1895.

[117] Cf. the discussion of hysteria in "Auto-Erotism," vol. i of these

[118] Hirst, _Text-Book of Obstetrics_, 1899, p. 67.

[119] The earliest story of the kind with which I am acquainted, that of a
widow who was thus impregnated by a married friend, is quoted in Schurig's
_Spermatologia_ (p. 224) from Amatus Lusitanus, _Curationum Centuriæ
Septum_, 1629.

[120] Janke, _Die Willkürliche Hervorbringen des Geschlechts_, p. 238.

[121] Cf. Adler, _Die Mangelhafte Geschlechtsempfindung des Weibes_, pp.

[122] Féré, _Pathologie des Emotions_, p. 51.

[123] This is an instinctive impulse under all strong emotion in primitive
persons. "The Australian Dieri," says A.W. Howitt (_Journal
Anthropological Institute_, August, 1890), "when in pain or grief cry out
for their father or mother."

[124] Vaschide and Vurpas, _Archives de Neurologie_, May, 1904.

[125] F.B. Robinson, _New York Medical Journal_, March 11, 1893.

[126] Féré deals fully with the various morbid results which may follow
coitus, _L' Instinct Sexuel_, Chapter X; id., _Pathologie des Emotions_,
p. 99.

[127] With regard to the relationship of detumescence to the
blood-pressure Haig remarks: "I think that as the sexual act produces low
and falling blood-pressure, it will of necessity relieve conditions which
are due to high and rising blood-pressure, such, for instance, as mental
depression and bad temper; and, unless my observation deceives me, we have
here a connection between conditions of high blood-pressure, with mental
and bodily depression, and the act of masturbation, for this act will
relieve those conditions, and will tend to be practiced for this purpose."
(A. Haig, _Uric Acid_, sixth edition, p. 154.)

[128] A medical correspondent speaks of subjective feelings of temperature
coming over the body from 20 to 24 hours after congress, and marked by
sensations of cooling of body and glow of cheeks. In another case, though
lassitude appears on the second day after congress, the first day after is
marked by a notable increase in mental and physical activity.


The Constituents of Semen--Function of the Prostate--The Properties of
Semen--Aphrodisiacs--Alcohol, Opium, etc.--Anaphrodisiacs--The Stimulant
Influence of Semen in Coitus--The Internal Effects of Testicular
Secretions--The Influence of Ovarian Secretion.

The germ cell never comes into the sphere of consciousness and cannot
therefore concern us in the psychological study of the phenomena of the
sexual instinct. But it is otherwise with the sperm cell, and the seminal
fluid has a relationship, both direct and indirect, to psychic phenomena
which it is now necessary to discuss.

While the spermatozoa are formed in the glandular tissue of the testes,
the seminal fluid as finally emitted in detumescence is not a purely
testicular product, but is formed by mixture with the fluids poured out at
or before detumescence by various glands which open into the urethra, and
notably the prostate.[129] This is a purely sexual gland, which in animals
only becomes large and active during the breeding season, and may even be
hardly distinguishable at other times; moreover, if the testes are removed
in infancy, the prostate remains rudimentary, so that during recent years
removal of the testes has been widely advocated and practiced for that
hypertrophy of the prostate which is sometimes a distressing ailment of
old age. It is the prostatic fluid, according to Fürbringer, which imparts
its characteristic odor to semen. It appears, however, to be the main
function of the prostatic fluid to arouse and maintain the motility of the
spermatozoa; before meeting the prostatic fluid the spermatozoa are
motionless; that fluid seems to furnish a thinner medium in which they
for the first time gain their full vitality.[130]

When at length the semen is ejaculated, it contains various substances
which may be separated from it,[131] and possesses various qualities, some
of which have only lately been investigated, while others have evidently
been known to mankind from a very early period. "When held for some time
in the mouth," remarked John Hunter, "it produces a warmth similar to
spices, which lasts some time."[132] Possibly this fact first suggested
that semen might, when ingested, possess valuable stimulant qualities, a
discovery which has been made by various savages, notably by the
Australian aborigines, who, in many parts of Australia, administer a
potion of semen to dying or feeble members of the tribe.[133] It is
perhaps noteworthy that in Central Africa the testes of the goat are
consumed as an aphrodisiac.[134] In eighteenth century Europe, Schurig, in
his _Spermatologia_, still found it necessary to discuss at considerable
length the possible medical properties of human semen, giving many
prescriptions which contained it.[135] The stimulation produced by the
ingestion of semen would appear to form in some cases a part of the
attraction exerted by _fellatio_; De Sade emphasized this point; and in a
case recorded by Howard semen appears to have acted as a stimulant for
which the craving was as irresistible as is that for alcohol in

    It must be remembered that the early history of this subject is
    more or less inextricably commingled with folk-lore practices of
    magical origin, not necessarily founded on actual observation of
    the physiological effects of consuming the semen or testes. Thus,
    according to W.H. Pearse (_Scalpel_, December, 1897), it is the
    custom in Cornwall for country maids to eat the testicles of the
    young male lambs when they are castrated in the spring, the
    survival, probably, of a very ancient religious cult. (I have not
    myself been able to hear of this custom in Cornwall.) In
    Burchard's Penitential (Cap. CLIV, Wasserschleben, op. cit., p.
    660) seven years' penance is assigned to the woman who swallows
    her husband's semen to make him love her more. In the seventeenth
    century (as shown in William Salmon's _London Dispensatory_,
    1678) semen was still considered to be good against witchcraft
    and also valuable as a love-philter, in which latter capacity its
    use still survives. (Bourke, _Scatalogic Rites_, pp. 343, 355.)
    In an earlier age (Picart, quoted by Crawley, _The Mystic Rose_,
    p. 109) the Manichæans, it is said, sprinkled their eucharistic
    bread with human semen, a custom followed by the Albigenses.

    The belief, perhaps founded in experience, that semen possesses
    medical and stimulant virtues was doubtless fortified by the
    ancient opinion that the spinal cord is the source of this fluid.
    This was not only held by the highest medical authorities in
    Greece, but also in India and Persia.

    The semen is thus a natural stimulant, a physiological
    aphrodisiac, the type of a class of drugs which have been known
    and cultivated in all parts of the world from time immemorial.
    (Dufour has discussed the aphrodisiacs used in ancient Rome,
    _Histoire de la Prostitution_, vol. II, ch. 21.) It would be vain
    to attempt to enumerate all the foods and medicaments to which
    has been ascribed an influence in heightening the sexual impulse.
    (Thus, in the sixteenth century, aphrodisiacal virtues were
    attributed to an immense variety of foods by Liébault in his
    _Thresor des Remèdes Secrets pour les Maladies des Femmes_, 1585,
    pp. 104, et seq.) A large number of them certainly have no such
    effect at all, but have obtained this credit either on some
    magical ground or from a mistaken association. Thus the potato,
    when first introduced from America, had the reputation of being a
    powerful aphrodisiac, and the Elizabethan dramatists contain many
    references to this supposed virtue. As we know, potatoes, even
    when taken in the largest doses, have not the slightest
    aphrodisiac effect, and the Irish peasantry, whose diet consists
    very largely of potatoes, are even regarded as possessing an
    unusually small measure of sexual feeling. It is probable that
    the mistake arose from the fact that potatoes were originally a
    luxury, and luxuries frequently tend to be regarded as
    aphrodisiacs, since they are consumed under circumstances which
    tend to arouse the sexual desires. It is possible also that, as
    has been plausibly suggested, the misunderstanding may have been
    due to sailors--the first to be familiar with the potato--who
    attributed to this particular element of their diet ashore the
    generally stimulating qualities of their life in port. The eryngo
    (_Eryngium maritimum_), or sea holly, which also had an erotic
    reputation in Elizabethan times, may well have acquired it in the
    same way. Many other vegetables have a similar reputation, which
    they still retain. Thus onions are regarded as aphrodisiacal, and
    were so regarded by the Greeks, as we learn from Aristophanes. It
    is noteworthy that Marro, a reliable observer, has found that in
    Italy, both in prisons and asylums, lascivious people are fond of
    onions (_La Pubertà_, p. 297), and it may perhaps be worth while
    to recall the observation of Sérieux that in a woman in whom the
    sexual instinct only awoke in middle age there was a horror of
    leeks. In some countries, and especially in Belgium, celery is
    popularly looked upon as a sexual stimulant. Various condiments,
    again, have the same reputation, perhaps because they are hot and
    because sexual desire is regarded, rightly enough, as a kind of
    heat. Fish--skate, for instance, and notably oysters and other
    shellfish--are very widely regarded as aphrodisiacs, and Kisch
    attributes this property to caviar. It is probable that all these
    and other foods which have obtained this reputation, in so far as
    they have any action whatever on the sexual appetite, only
    possess it by virtue of their generally nutritious and
    stimulating qualities, and not by the presence of any special
    principle having a selective action on the sexual sphere. A
    beefsteak is probably as powerful a sexual stimulant as any food;
    a nutritious food, however, which is at the same time easily
    digestible, and thus requiring less expenditure of energy for its
    absorption, may well exert a specially rapid and conspicuous
    stimulant effect. But it is not possible to draw a line, and, as
    Aquinas long since said, if we wish to maintain ourselves in a
    state of purity we shall fear even an immoderate use of bread and

    More definitely aphrodisiacal effects are produced by drugs, and
    especially by drugs which in large doses are poisons. The
    aphrodisiac with the widest popular reputation is cantharides,
    but its sexually exciting effects are merely an accidental result
    of its action in causing inflammation of the genito-urinary
    passage, and it is both an uncertain and a dangerous result,
    except in skillful hands and when administered in small doses.
    Nux vomica (with its alkaloid strychnia), by virtue of its
    special action on the spinal cord, has a notably pronounced
    effect in heightening the irritability of the spinal ejaculatory
    center, though it by no means necessarily exerts any
    strengthening influence. Alcohol exerts a sexually exciting
    effect, but in a different manner; it produces little stimulation
    of the cord and, indeed, even paralyzes the lumbar sexual center
    in large doses, but it has an influence on the peripheral
    nerve-endings and on the skin, and also on the cerebral centers,
    tending to arouse desire and to diminish inhibition. In this
    latter way, as Adler remarks, it may, in small doses, under some
    circumstances, be beneficial in men with an excessive
    nervousness or dread of coitus, and women, in whom orgasm has
    been difficult to reach, have frequently found this facilitated
    by some previous indulgence in alcohol. The aphrodisiac effect of
    alcohol seems specially marked on women. But against the use of
    alcohol as an aphrodisiac it must be remembered that it is far
    from being a tonic to detumescence, at all events in men, and
    that there is much evidence tending to show that not only chronic
    alcoholism, but even procreation during intoxication is perilous
    to the offspring (see, e.g., Andriezen, _Journal of Mental
    Science_, January, 1905, and cf. W.C. Sullivan, "Alcoholism and
    Suicidal Impulses," ib., April, 1898, p. 268); it may be added
    that Bunge has found a very high proportion of cases of
    immoderate use of alcohol in the fathers of women unable to
    suckle their infants (G. von Bunge, _Die Zunehmende Unfähigkeit
    der Frauen ihre Kinder zu Stillen_, 1903) while even an
    approximation to the drunken state is far from being a desirable
    prelude to the creation of a new human being. It is obvious that
    those who wish, for any reason, to cultivate a strict chastity of
    thought and feeling would do well to avoid alcohol altogether, or
    only in its lightest forms and in moderation. The aphrodisiacal
    effects of wine have long been known; Ovid refers to them (e.g.,
    _Ars Am._, Bk. III, 765). Clement of Alexandria, who was
    something of a man of science as well as a Christian moralist,
    points out the influence of wine in producing lasciviousness and
    sexual precocity. (_Pædagogus_, Bk. II, Chapter II). Chaucer
    makes the Wife of Bath say in the Wife of Bath's  Prologue:--

        "And, after wyn, on Venus moste [needs] I thinke:
        For al so siken as cold engendreth hayl,
        A likerous mouth moste have a likerous tayl,
        In womman vinolent is no defense,
        This knowen lechours by experience."

    Alcohol, as Chaucer pointed out, comes to the aid of the man, who
    is unscrupulous in his efforts to overcome a woman, and this not
    merely by virtue of its aphrodisiacal effects, and the apparently
    special influence which it seems to exert on women, but also
    because it lulls the mental and emotional characteristics which
    are the guardians of personality. A correspondent who has
    questioned on this point a number of prostitutes he has known,
    writes: "Their accounts of the first fall were nearly always the
    same. They got to know a 'gentleman,' and on one occasion they
    drank too much; before they quite realized what was happening
    they were no longer virgins." "In the mental areas, under the
    influence of alcohol," Schmiedeberg remarks (in his _Elements of
    Pharmacology_), "the finer degrees of observation, judgment, and
    reflection are the first to disappear, while the remaining mental
    functions remain in a normal condition. The soldier acts more
    boldly because he notices dangers less and reflects over them
    less; the orator does not allow himself to be influenced by any
    disturbing side-considerations as to his audience, hence he
    speaks more freely and spiritedly; self-consciousness is lost to
    a very great extent, and many are astounded at the ease with
    which they can express their thoughts, and at the acuteness of
    their judgment in matters which, when they are perfectly sober,
    with difficulty reach their minds; and then afterwards they are
    ashamed at their mistakes."

    The action of opium in small doses is also to some extent
    aphrodisiacal; it slightly stimulates both the brain and the
    spinal cord, and has sensory effects on the skin like alcohol;
    these effects are favored by the state of agreeable dreaminess it
    produces. In the seventeenth century Venette (_La Génération de
    l'Homme_, Part II, Chapter V) strongly recommended small doses of
    opium, then little known, for this purpose; he had himself, he
    says, in illness experienced its joys, "a shadow of those of
    heaven." In India opium (as well as cannabis indica) has long
    been a not uncommon aphrodisiac; it is specially used to diminish
    local sensibility, delaying the orgasm and thus prolonging the
    sexual act. (W.D. Sutherland, "De Impotentia," _Indian Medical
    Gazette_, January, 1900). Its more direct and stimulating
    influence on the sexual emotions seems indicated by the statement
    that prostitutes are found standing outside the opium-smoking
    dens of Bombay, but not outside the neighboring liquor shops.
    (G.C. Lucas, _Lancet_, February 2, 1884.) Like alcohol, opium
    seems to have a marked aphrodisiacal effect on women. The case is
    recorded of a mentally deranged girl, with no nymphomania though
    she masturbated, who on taking small doses of opium at once
    showed signs of nymphomania, following men about, etc. (_American
    Journal Obstetrics_, May, 1901, p. 74.) It may well be believed
    that opium acts beneficially in men when the ejaculatory centers
    are weak but irritable; but its actions are too widespread over
    the organism to make it in any degree a valuable aphrodisiac.
    Various other drugs have more or less reputation as aphrodisiacs;
    thus bromide of gold, a nervous and glandular stimulant, is said
    to have as one of its effects a heightening of sexual feeling.
    Yohimbin, an alkaloid derived from the West African Yohimbehe
    tree, has obtained considerable repute during recent years in the
    treatment of impotence; in some cases (see, e.g., Toff's results,
    summarized in _British Medical Journal_, February 18, 1905) it
    has produced good results, apparently by increasing the blood
    supply to the sexual organs, but has not been successful in all
    cases or in all hands. It must always be remembered that in cases
    of psychical impotence suggestion necessarily exerts a beneficial
    influence, and this may work through any drug or merely with the
    aid of bread pills. All exercise, often even walking, may be a
    sexual stimulant, and it is scarcely necessary to add that
    powerful stimulation of the skin in the sexual sphere, and more
    especially of the nates, is often a more effective aphrodisiac
    than any drug, whether the irritation is purely mechanical, as by
    flogging, or mechanico-chemical, as by urtication or the
    application of nettles. Among the Malays (with whom both men and
    women often use a variety of plants as aphrodisiacs, according to
    Vaughan Stevens) Breitenstein states (_21 Jahre in India_, Theil
    I, p. 228) that both massage and gymnastics are used to increase
    sexual powers. The local application of electricity is one of the
    most powerful of aphrodisiacs, and McMordie found on applying one
    pole to a uterine sound in the uterus and the other to the
    abdominal wall that in the majority of healthy women the orgasm

    Among anaphrodisiacs, or sexual sedatives, bromide of potassium,
    by virtue of its antidotal relationship to strychnia, is one of
    the drugs whose action is most definite, though, while it dulls
    sexual desire, it also dulls all the nervous and cerebral
    activities. Camphor has an ancient reputation as an
    anaphrodisiac, and its use in this respect was known to the Arabs
    (as may be seen by a reference to it in the _Perfumed Garden_),
    while, as Hyrtl mentions (loc. cit. ii, p. 94), rue (_Ruta
    graveolens_) was considered a sexual sedative by the monks of
    old, who on this account assiduously cultivated it in their
    cloister gardens to make _vinum rutæ_. Recently heroin in large
    doses (see, e.g., Becker, _Berliner Klinische Wochenschrift_,
    November 23, 1903) has been found to have a useful effect in this
    direction. It may be doubted, however, whether there is any
    satisfactory and reliable anaphrodisiac. Charcot, indeed, it is
    said, used to declare that the only anaphrodisiac in which he had
    any confidence was that used by the uncle of Heloïse in the case
    of Abelard. "_Cela_ (he would add with a grim smile) _tranche la

If semen is a stimulant when ingested, it is easy to suppose that it may
exert a similar action on the woman who receives it into the vagina in
normal sexual congress. It is by no means improbable that, as Mattei
argued in 1878, this is actually the case. It is known that the vagina
possesses considerable absorptive power. Thus Coen and Levi, among others,
have shown that if a tampon soaked in a solution of iodine is introduced
into the vagina, iodine will be found in the urine within an hour. And the
same is true of various other substances.[137] If the vagina absorbs drugs
it probably absorbs semen. Toff, of Braila (Roumania), who attaches much
importance to such absorption, considers that it must be analogous to the
ingestion of organic extractives. It is due to this influence, he
believes, that weak and anæmic girls so often become full-blooded and
robust after marriage, and lose their nervous tendencies and shyness.[138]

It is, however, most certainly a mistake to suppose that the beneficial
influence of coitus on women is exclusively, or even mainly, dependent
upon the absorption of semen. This is conclusively demonstrated by the
fact that such beneficial influence is exerted, and in full measure, even
when all precautions have been taken to avoid any contact with the semen.
In so far as _coitus reservatus_ or _interruptus_ may lead to haste or
discomfort which prevents satisfactory orgasm on the part of the woman, it
is without doubt a cause of defective detumescence and incomplete
satisfaction. But if orgasm is complete the beneficial effects of coitus
follow even if there has been no possibility of the absorption of semen.
Even after _coitus interruptus_, if it can be prolonged for a period long
enough for the woman to attain full and complete satisfaction, she is
enabled to experience what she may describe as a feeling of intoxication,
lasting for several hours. It is in the action of the orgasm itself, and
the vascular, secretory, and metabolic activities set up by the psychic
and nervous influence of coitus with a beloved person, that we must seek
the chief key to the effects produced by coitus on women, however these
effects may possibly be still further heightened by the actual absorption
of semen.[139]

The positive action of semen, or rather of the testicular products, has
been much investigated during recent years, and appears on the whole to be
demonstrated. The notable discovery by Brown-Séquard, a quarter of a
century ago, that the ingestion of the testicular juices in states of
debility and senility acted as a beneficial stimulant and tonic, opened
the way to a new field of therapeutics. Many investigators in various
countries have found that testicular extracts, and more especially the
spermin as studied by Poehl,[140] and by him regarded as a positive
katalysator or accelerator of metabolic processes, exert a real influence
in giving tone to the heart and other muscles, and in improving the
metabolism of the tissues even when all influences of mental suggestion
have been excluded.[141]

    As the ovaries are strictly analogous to the testes, it was
    surmised that ovarian extract might prove a drug equally valuable
    with testicular products. As a matter of fact, ovarian extract,
    in the form of ovarin, etc., would seem to have proved beneficial
    in various disorders, more especially in anæmia and in troubles
    due to the artificial menopause. In most conditions, however, in
    which it has been employed the results are doubtful or uncertain,
    and some authorities believe that the influence of suggestion
    plays a considerable part here.

There is, however, another use which is subserved by the testicular
products, a use which may indeed be said to be implied in those uses to
which reference has already been made, but is yet historically the latest
to be realized and studied. It was not until 1869 that Brown-Séquard first
suggested that an important secretion was elaborated by the ductless
glands and received into the circulation, but that suggestion proved to be
epoch-making. If these glandular secretions are so valuable when
administered as drugs to other persons, must they not be of far greater
value when naturally secreted and poured out into the circulation in the
living body? It is now generally believed, on the basis of a large and
various body of evidence, that this is undoubtedly so. In a very crude
form, indeed, this belief is by no means modern. In opposition to the old
writers who were inclined to regard the semen as an excretion which it was
beneficial to expel, there were other ancient authorities who argued that
it was beneficial to retain it as being a vital fluid which, if
reabsorbed, served to invigorate the body. The great physiologist, Haller,
in the middle of the eighteenth century, came very near to the modern
doctrine when he stated in his _Elements of Physiology_ that the sperm
accumulated in the seminical vesicles is pumped back into the blood, and
thus produces the beard and the hair together with the other surprising
changes of puberty which are absent in the eunuch. The reabsorption of
semen can scarcely be said to be a part of the modern physiological
doctrine, but it is at least now generally held that the testes secrete
substances which pass into the circulation and are of immense importance
in the development of the organism.

The experiments of Shattock and Seligmann indicate that the semen and its
reabsorption in the seminal vesicles, or the nervous reactions produced by
its presence, can have no part in the formation of secondary sexual
characters. These investigators occluded the vas deferens in sheep by
ligature, at an early age, rendering them later sterile though not
impotent. The secondary sexual characters appeared as in ordinary sheep.
Spermatogenesis, these inquirers conclude, may be the initial factor, but
the results must be attributed to the elaboration by the testicles of an
internal secretion and its absorption into the general circulation.[142]

When animals are castrated there is enlargement of the ductless glands in
the body, notably the thyroid and the suprarenal capsules.[143] It is
evident, therefore, that the secretions of these ductless glands are in
some degree compensatory to those of the testes. But this compensatory
action is inadequate to produce any sexual development in the absence of
the testes.

We see, therefore, how extremely important is the function of the testis.
Its significance is not alone for the race, it is not simply concerned
with the formation of the spermatozoa which share equally with the ova the
honor of making the mankind of the future. It also has a separate and
distinct function which has reference to the individual. It elaborates
those internal secretions which stimulate and maintain the physical and
mental characters, constituting all that is most masculine in the male
animal, all that makes the man in distinction from the eunuch. Among
various primitive peoples, including those of the European race whence we
ourselves spring, the most solemn form of oath was sworn by placing the
hand on the testes, dimly recognized as the most sacred part of the body.
A crude and passing phase of civilization has ignorantly cast ignominy
upon the sexual organs; the more primitive belief is now justified by our
advancing knowledge.

    In these as in other respects the ovaries are precisely analogous
    to the testes. They not only form the ova, but they elaborate for
    internal use a secretion which develops and maintains the special
    physical and mental qualities of womanhood, as the testicular
    secretion those of manhood. Moreover, as Cecca and Zappi found,
    removal of the ovaries has exactly the same effect on the
    abnormal development of the other ductless glands as has removal
    of the testes. It is of interest to point out that the internal
    secretion of the ovaries and its important functions seem to have
    been suggested before any other secretion than the sperm was
    attributed to the testes. Early in the nineteenth century Cabanis
    argued ("De l'Influence des Sexes sur le Caractère des Idées et
    des Affections Morales," _Rapport du Physique et du Moral de
    l'Homme_, 1824, vol. ii, p. 18) that the ovaries are secreting
    glands, forming a "particular humor" which is reabsorbed into the
    blood and imparts excitations which are felt by the whole system
    and all its organs.


[129] The composite character of the semen was recognized by various old
authors, some of whom said, (e.g., Wharton) that it had three
constituents, which they usually considered to be: (1) The noblest and
most essential part, from the testicles; (2) a watery element from the
vesiculæ; (3) an oily element from the prostate. Schurig, _Spermatologia_,
1720, p. 17.

[130] See, e.g., C. Mansell Moulin, "A Contribution to the Morphology of
the Prostate," _Journal of Anatomy and Physiology_, January, 1895; G.
Walker, "A Contribution to the Anatomy and Physiology of the Prostate
Gland, and a Few Observations on Ejaculation," _Johns Hopkins Hospital
Bulletin_, October, 1900.

[131] For a study of the semen and its constituents, see Florence, "Du
Sperme," _Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, 1895.

[132] J. Hunter, _Essays and Observations_, vol. i, p. 189.

[133] As regards one part of Australia, Walter Roth, _Ethnological Studies
Among the Queensland Aborigines_, p. 174.

[134] Sir H.H. Johnston, _British Central Africa_, p. 438.

[135] Cap. VII, pp. 327-357, "De Spermaticis virilis usu Medico,"

[136] W.L. Howard, "Sexual Perversion," _Alienist and Neurologist_,
January, 1896.

[137] _Zentralblatt für Gynäkologie_, 1894, No. 49.

[138] E. Toff, "Uber Imprägnierung," _Zentralblatt für Gynäkologie_,
April, 1903. In a similar but somewhat more precise manner Dufougère has
argued ("La Chlorose, ses rapports avec le marriage, son traitement par le
liquide orchitique," Thèse de Bordeaux, 1902) that semen when absorbed by
the vagina stimulates the secretion of the ovaries and thus exerts an
influence over the blood in anæmia; in this way he seeks to explain why it
is that coitus is the best treatment for chlorosis.

[139] In this connection I may refer to an interesting and suggestive
paper by Harry Campbell on "The Craving for Stimulants" (_Lancet_, October
21, 1899). No reference is made to coitus, but the author discusses
stimulants as normal and beneficial products of the organism, and deals
with the nature of the "physiological intoxication" they produce.

[140] Spermin was first discovered in the sperm by Schreiner in 1878; it
has also been found in the thyroid, ovaries and various other glands. "The
spermin secreting and elaborating organs," Howard Kelly remarks (_British
Medical Journal_, January 29, 1898), "may be called the apothecaries' of
the body, secreting many important medicaments, much more active and more
accurately representing its true wants than artificially administered

[141] See, e.g., a summary of Buschan's comprehensive discussion of the
subject of organotherapy (Eulenburg's _Real-Encyclopædie der Gesammten
Heilkunde_) in _Journal of Mental Science_, April, 1899, p. 355.

[142] "Observations Upon the Acquirement of Secondary Sexual Characters,
Indicating the Formation of an Internal Secretion by the Testicles,"
_Proceedings Royal Society_, vol. lxxiii, p. 49.

[143] See, e.g., the experiments of Cecca and Zappi, summarized in
_British Medical Journal_, July 2, 1904.


The Aptitude for Detumescence--Is There an Erotic Temperament?--The
Available Standards of Comparison--Characteristics of the
Castrated--Characteristics of Puberty--Characteristics of the State of
Detumescence--Shortness of Stature--Development of the Secondary Sexual
Characters--Deep Voice--Bright Eyes--Glandular Activity--Everted
Lips--Pigmentation--Profuse Hair--Dubious Significance of Many of These

What, if any, are the indications which the body generally may furnish as
to the individual's aptitude and vigor for the orgasm of detumescence? Is
there an erotic temperament outwardly and visibly displayed? That is a
question which has often occupied those who have sought to penetrate the
more intimate mysteries of human nature, and since we are here concerned
with human beings in their relationship to the process of detumescence, we
cannot altogether pass over this question, difficult as it is to discuss
it with precision.

    The old physiognomists showed much confidence in dealing with the
    matter. Possibly they had more opportunities for observation than
    we have, since they often wrote in days when life was lived more
    nakedly than among ourselves, but their descriptions, while
    sometimes showing much insight, are inextricably mixed up with
    false science and superstition.

    In the _De Secretis Mulierum_, wrongly attributed to Albertus
    Magnus, we find a chapter entitled "Signa mulieris calidæ naturæ
    et quæ coit libenter," which may be summarized here. "The signs,"
    we are told, "of a woman of warm temperament, and one who
    willingly cohabits are these: youth, an age of over 12, or
    younger, if she has been seduced, small, high breasts, full and
    hard, hair in the usual positions; she is bold of speech, with a
    delicate and high voice, haughty and even cruel of disposition,
    of good complexion, lean rather than stout, inclined to like
    drinking. Such a woman always desires coitus, and receives
    satisfaction in the act. The menstrual flow is not abundant nor
    always regular. If she becomes pregnant the milk is not abundant.
    Her perspiration is less odorous than that of the woman of
    opposite temperament; she is fond of singing, and of moving
    about, and delights in adornments if she has any."

    Polemon, in his _Sulla Physionomia_, has given among the signs of
    libidinous impulse: knees turned inwards, abundance of hairs on
    the legs, squint, bright eyes, a high and strident voice, and in
    women length of leg below the knee. Aristotle had mentioned among
    the signs of wantonness: paleness, abundance of hair on the body,
    thick and black hair, hairs covering the temples, and thick

    In the seventeenth century Bouchet, in his _Serées_ (Troisième
    Serée), gave as the signs of virility which indicated that a man
    could have children: a great voice, a thick rough black beard, a
    large thick nose.

    G. Tourdes (Art. "Aphrodisie," _Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des
    Sciences Médicales_) thus summarized the ancient beliefs on this
    subject: "The erotic temperament has been described as marked by
    a lean figure, white and well-ranged teeth, a developed hairy
    system, a characteristic voice, air, and expression, and even a
    special odor."

In approaching the question of the general physical indications of a
special aptitude to the manifestation of vigorous detumescence, the most
obvious preliminary would seem to be a study of the castrated. If we know
the special peculiarities of those who by removal of the sexual glands at
a very early age have been deprived of all ability to present the
manifestations of detumescence, we shall probably be in possession of a
type which is the reverse of that which we may expect in persons of a
vigorously erotic temperament.

The most general characteristics of eunuchs would appear to be an unusual
tendency to put on fat, a notably greater length of the legs, absence of
hair in the sexual and secondary sexual regions, a less degree of
pigmentation, as noted both in the castrated negro and the white man, a
puerile larynx and puerile voice. In character they are usually described
as gentle, conciliatory, and charitable.

    There can be little doubt that castration in man tends to lead to
    lengthening of the legs (tibia and fibula) at puberty, from
    delayed ossification of the epiphyses. The hands and feet are
    also frequently longer and sometimes the forearms. At the same
    time the bones are more slender. The pelvis also is narrower. The
    eunuchs of Cairo are said to be easily seen in a crowd from their
    tall stature. (Collineau, quoting Lortet, _Revue Mensuelle de
    l'Ecole d'Anthropologie_, May, 1896.) The castrated Skoptzy show
    increased stature, and, it seems, large ears, with decreased
    chest and head (L. Pittard, _Revue Scientifique_, June 20, 1903.)
    Féré shows that in most of these respects the eunuch resembles
    beardless and infantile subjects. ("Les Proportions des Membres
    et les Caractères Sexuels," _Journal de l'Anatomie et de la
    Physiologie_, November-December, 1897.) Similar phenomena are
    found in animals generally. Sellheim, carefully investigating
    castrated horses, swine, oxen and fowls, found retardation of
    ossification, long and slender extremities, long, broad, but low
    skull, relatively smaller pelvis and small thorax. ("Zur Lehre
    von den Sekundären Geschlechtscharakteren," _Beiträge zur
    Geburtshülfe und Gynäkologie_, 1898, summarized in _Centralblatt
    für Anthropologie_, 1900, Heft IV.)

    As regards the mental qualities and moral character of the
    castrated, Griffiths considers that there is an undue prejudice
    against eunuchs, and refers to Narses, who was not only one of
    the first generals of the Roman Empire, but a man of highly
    estimable character. (_Lancet_, March 30, 1895.) Matignon, who
    has carefully studied Chinese eunuchs, points out that they
    occupy positions of much responsibility, and, though regarded in
    many respects as social outcasts, possess very excellent and
    amiable moral qualities (_Archives Cliniques de Bordeaux_, May,
    1896.) In America Everett Flood finds that epileptics and
    feeble-minded boys are mentally and morally benefited by
    castration. ("Notes on the Castration of Idiot Children,"
    _American Journal of Psychology_, January, 1899.) It is often
    forgotten that the physical and psychic qualities associated with
    and largely dependent on the ability to experience the impulse of
    detumescence, while essential to the perfect man, involve many
    egoistic, aggressive and acquisitive characteristics which are of
    little intellectual value, and at the same time inimical to many
    moral virtues.

We have a further standard--positive this time rather than negative--to
aid us in determining the erotic temperament: the phenomena of puberty.
The efflorescence of puberty is essentially the manifestation of the
ability to experience detumescence. It is therefore reasonable to suppose
that the individuals in whom the special phenomena of puberty develop most
markedly are those in whom detumescence is likely to be most vigorous. If
such is the case we should expect to find the erotic temperament marked by
developed larynx and deep voice, a considerable degree of pigmentary
development in hair and skin, and a marked tendency to hairiness; while
in women there should be a pronounced growth of the breasts and

There is yet another standard by which we may measure the individual's
aptitude for detumescence: the presence of those activities which are most
prominently brought into play during the process of detumescence. The
individual, that is to say, who is organically most apt to manifest the
physiological activities which mainly make up the process of detumescence,
is most likely to be of pronounced erotic temperament.

"Erotic persons are of motor type," remark Vaschide and Vurpas, "and we
may say generally that nearly all persons of motor type are erotic." The
state of detumescence is one of motor and muscular energy and of great
vascular activity, so that habitual energy of motor response and an active
circulation may reasonably be taken to indicate an aptitude for the
manifestation of detumescence.

These three types may be said, therefore, to furnish us valuable though
somewhat general indications. The individual who is farthest removed from
the castrated type, who presents in fullest degree the characters which
begin to emerge at the period of puberty, and who reveals a physiological
aptitude for the vigorous manifestation of those activities which are
called into action during detumescence, is most likely to be of erotic
temperament. The most cautious description of the characteristics of this
temperament given by modern scientific writers, unlike the more detailed
and hazardous descriptions of the early physiognomists, will be found to
be fairly true to the standards thus presented to us.

    The man of sexual type, according to Biérent (_La Puberté_, p.
    148), is hairy, dark and deep-voiced.

    "The men most liable to satyriasis," Bouchereau states (art.
    "Satyriasis," _Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des Sciences
    Médicales_), "are those with vigorous nervous system, developed
    muscles, abundant hair on body, dark complexion, and white

    Mantegazza, in his _Fisiologia del Piacere_, thus describes the
    sexual temperament: "Individuals of nervous temperament, those
    with fine and brown skins, rounded forms, large lips and very
    prominent larynx enjoy in general much more than those with
    opposite characteristics. A universal tradition," he adds,
    "describes as lascivious humpbacks, dwarfs, and in general
    persons of short stature and with long noses."

    In a case of nymphomania in a young woman, described by Alibert
    (and quoted by Laycock, _Nervous Diseases of Women_, p. 28) the
    hips, thighs and legs were remarkably plump, while the chest and
    arms were completely emaciated. In a somewhat similar case
    described by Marc in his _De la Folie_ a peasant woman, who from
    an early age had experienced sexual hyperæsthesia, so that she
    felt spasmodic voluptuous feelings at the sight of a man, and was
    thus the victim of solitary excesses and of spasmodic movements
    which she could not repress, the upper part of the body was very
    thin, the hips, legs and thighs highly developed.

    In his work on _Uterine and Ovarian Inflammation_ (1862, p. 37)
    Tilt observes: "The restless, bashful eye, and changing
    complexion, in presence of a person of the opposite sex, and a
    nervous restlessness of body, ever on the move, turning and
    twisting on sofa or chair, are the best indications of sexual

    An extremely sensual little girl of 8, who was constantly
    masturbating when not watched, although brought up by nuns, was
    described by Busdraghi (_Archivio di Psichiatria_, fas. i, 1888,
    p. 53) as having chestnut hair, bright black eyes, an elevated
    nose, small mouth, pleasant round face, full colored cheeks, and
    plump and healthy aspect.

    A highly intelligent young Italian woman with strong and somewhat
    perverted sexual impulses is described as of attractive
    appearance, with olive complexion, small black almond-shaped
    eyes, dilated pupils, oblique thin eyebrows, very thick black
    hair, rather prominent cheek-bones, largely developed jaw, and
    with abundant down on lower part of cheeks and on upper lip.
    (_Archivio di Psichiatria_, 1899, fasc. v-vi.)

    As the type of the sensual woman in word and act, led by her
    passions to commit various sexual offenses, Ottolenghi describes
    (_Archivio di Psichiatria_, vol. xii, fasc. v-vi, p. 496) a woman
    of 32 who attempted to kill her lover. The daughter of parents
    who were neurotic and themselves very erotic, she was a highly
    intelligent and vivacious woman, with a pleasing and open face,
    very thick dark chestnut hair, large cheek-bones, adipose
    buttocks almost resembling those of a Hottentot, and very thick
    pubic hair. She was very fond of salt things. Sexual inclination
    began at the age of 7.

Adler and Moll remark, very truly, that, so far at least as women are
concerned, sexual anæsthesia or sexual proclivity cannot be unfailingly
read on the features. Every woman desires to please, and coquetry is the
sign of a cold, rather than of an erotic temperament.[145] It may be added
that a considerable degree of congenital sexual anæsthesia by no means
prevents a woman from being beautiful and attractive, though it must
probably still always be said that, as Roubaud points out,[146] the woman
of cold and intellectual temperament, the "femme de tête," however
beautiful and skillful she may be, cannot compete in the struggle for love
with the woman whose qualities are of the heart and of the emotions. But
it seems sufficiently clear that the practical observations of skilled and
experienced observers agree in attributing to persons of erotic type
certain general characteristics which accord with those negative and
positive standards we may frame on the basis of castration, of puberty,
and of detumescence. It may be worth while to note a few of these
characteristics briefly.

The abnormal lengthening of the long bones at the age of puberty in the
castrated is, as we have seen, very pronounced. There is little tendency
to associate length of limb with an erotic temperament, and a certain
amount of data as well as of more vague opinion points in the opposite
direction. The Arabs would appear to believe that it is short rather than
tall people in whom the sexual instinct is strongly developed, and we read
in the _Perfumed Garden_: "Under all circumstances little women love
coitus more and evince a stronger affection for the virile member than
women of a large size." In his elaborate investigation of criminals Marro
found that prostitutes and women guilty of sexual offenses, as also male
sexual offenders, tend to be short and thick set.[147] In European
folk-lore the thick, bull neck is regarded as a sign of strong
sexuality.[148] Mantegazza refers to a strong sexual temperament as being
associated with arrest or disorder of bony development, and Marro suggests
that the proverbial salacity of rachitic individuals may be due to an
increased activity of the sexual organs.[149] It may be added that
acromegaly, with its excessive bony growths, tends to be associated with
premature sexual involution.

A further point which is frequently mentioned in the case of women is the
development of the chief secondary sexual regions: the pelvis and the
breasts. It is, indeed, almost inevitable that there should be some degree
of correlation between the aptitude for bearing children and the aptitude
for experiencing detumescence. The reality of such a connection is not
only evidenced by medical observations, but receives further testimony in
popular beliefs. In Italy women with large buttocks are considered wanton,
and among the South Slavs they are regarded as especially fruitful.[150]
Blumenbach asserted that precocious venery will enlarge the breasts, and
believed that he had found evidence of this among young London

The association of the aptitude for detumescence with a tendency to a deep
rather than to a high voice, both in men and women, has frequently been
noted and has seldom been denied. The onset of puberty always affects the
voice; in general, Biérent states, the more bass the voice is the more
marked is the development of the sexual apparatus; "a very robust man,
with very developed sexual organs, and very dark and abundant hairy
system, a man of strong puberty in a word, is nearly always a bass."[152]
The influence of sexual excitement in deepening the voice is shown by the
rules of sexual hygiene prescribed to tenors, while a bass has less need
to observe similar precautions. In women every phase of sexual
life--puberty, menstruation, coitus, pregnancy--tends to affect the voice
and always by giving it a deeper character. The deepening of the voice by
sexual intercourse was an ancient Greek observation, and Martial refers to
a woman's good or bad singing as an index to her recent sexual habits.
Prostitutes tend to have a deep voice. Venturi points out that married
women preserve a fresh voice to a more advanced age than spinsters, this
being due to the precocious senility in the latter of an unused function.
Such a phenomenon indicates that the relationship of detumescence to the
deepening of the voice is not quite simple. This is further indicated by
the fact that in robust men abstinence still further deepens the voice
(the monk of melodrama always has a bass voice), while excessive or
precocious sexual indulgence tends to be associated with the same kind of
puerile voice as is found in those persons in whom pubertal development
has not been carried very far, or who are of what Griffiths terms
eunuchoid type. Idiot boys, who are often sexually undeveloped, tend to
have a high voice, while idiot girls (who often manifest marked sexual
proclivities) not infrequently have a deep voice.[153]

Bright dilated eyes are among the phenomena of detumescence, and are very
frequently noted in persons of a pronounced erotic temperament. This is,
indeed, an ancient observation, and Burton says of people with a black,
lively, and sparkling eye, "without question they are most amorous,"
drawing his illustrations mostly from classic literature.[154] Tardieu
described the erotic woman as having bright eyes, and Heywood Smith states
that the eyes of lascivious women resemble, though in a less degree, those
of the insane.[155] Sexual excitement is one among many
causes--intellectual excitement, pain, a loud noise, even any sensory
irritation--which produce dilatation of the pupils and enlargement of the
palpebral fissure, with some protrusion of the eyeball. The influence of
the sexual system upon the eye appears to be far less potent in men than
in women.[156] Sexual desire is, however, by no means the only irritant
within the sexual sphere which may thus influence the eye; morbid
irritations may produce the same effect. Milner Fothergill, in his book on
_Indigestion_, vividly describes the appearance of the eyes sometimes
seen in ovarian disorder: "The glittering flash which glances out from
some female irides is the external indication of ovarian irritation, and
'the ovarian gleam' has features quite its own. The most marked instance
which ever came under my notice was due to irritation in the ovaries,
which had been forced down in front of the uterus and been fixed there by
adhesions. Here there was little sexual proclivity, but the eyes were very
remarkable. They flashed and glittered unceasingly, and at times perfect
lightning bolts shot from them. Usually there is a bright glittering sheen
in them which contrasts with the dead look in the irides of sexual excess
or profuse uterine discharges."

The activity of the glandular secretions, and especially those of the
skin, during detumescence, would lead us to expect that such secretory
activity is an index to an aptitude for detumescence. As a matter of fact
it is occasionally, though not frequently, noted by medical observers. It
is stated that the erotic temperament is characterized by a special
odor.[157] The activity of the sweat-glands is seldom referred to by
medical observers in describing persons of erotic temperament, although
the descriptions of novelists not infrequently contain allusions to this
point, and the literature of an earlier age shows that the tendency to
perspiration, especially the moist hand, was regarded as a sure sign of a
sensual temperament. "The moist-handed Madonna Imperia, a most rare and
divine creature," remarks Lazarillo in Middleton's comedy _Blurt,
Master-Constable_, to quote one of many allusions to this point in the
Elizabethan drama.

The lips are sometimes noted as red and everted, perhaps thick[158];
Tardieu remarked that the typically erotic woman has thick red lips. This
corresponds with the characteristic type of the satyr in classic statues
as in later paintings; his lips are always thick and everted. Fullness,
redness, and eversion of the lips are correlated with good breathing, the
absence of anæmia, laughter, a well-fleshed face.

    This kind of mouth indicates, perhaps, not so much a congenitally
    erotic temperament, as an abandonment to impulse. The opposite
    type of mouth--with inverted, thin, and retracted lips--would
    appear to be found with especial frequency in persons who
    habitually repress their impulses on moral grounds. Any kind of
    effort to restrain involuntary muscular action may lead to
    retraction of the lips: the effort to overcome anger or fear, or
    even the resistance to a strong desire to urinate or defecate. In
    religious young men, however, it becomes habitual and fixed. I
    recall a small band of medical students, gathered together from a
    large medical school, who were accustomed to meet together for
    prayer and Bible-reading; the majority showed this type of mouth
    to a very marked degree: pale faces, with drawn, retracted lips.
    It may be termed the Christian or pious _facies_. It is much less
    frequently seen in religious women (unless of masculine type),
    doubtless because religion for women is in a much less degree
    than for men a moral discipline.

    It may be added that an interesting form of this contraction of
    the lips, and one that is not purely repressive, is that which
    indicates the state of muscular tension associated with the
    impulse to guard and protect. In this form the contracted mouth
    is the index of tenderness, and is characteristic of the mother
    who is watching over the infant she is suckling at her breast. I
    have observed precisely the same expression in the face of a boy
    of 14 with a large congenital scrotal hernia; when the tumor was
    being examined his lower lip became retracted, well marked lines
    appearing from the angles downwards, though the upper lip
    retained its normal expression It was precisely the tender look
    we may see in the faces of mothers who are watching anxiously
    over their offspring, and the emotion is evidently the same in
    both cases: solicitude for a sensitive and tenderly guarded

The degree of pigmentation is clearly correlated with sexual vigor. "In
general," Heusinger laid down, in 1823, "the quantity of pigment is
proportional to the functional effectiveness of the genital organs." This
connection is so profound that it may be traced very widely throughout the
organic world.

The connection between pigmentation and sexual activity is very ancient.
Even leaving out of account the wedding apparel of animals, nearly always
gorgeous in scales and plumage and hair, the sexual orifice shows a more
or less marked tendency to pigmentation during the breeding season from
fishes upward, while in mammals the darker pigmentation of this region is
a constant phenomenon in sexually mature individuals.[159]

In the human species both the negative standard of castration and the
positive standard of puberty alike indicate a correlation of this kind.
Those individuals in whom puberty never fully develops and who are
consequently said to be affected by infantilism, reveal a relative absence
of pigment in the sexual centers which are normally pigmented to a high
degree.[160] Among those Asiatic races who extirpate the ovaries in young
girls the skin remains white in the perineum, round the anus, and in the
armpits.[161] Even in mature women who undergo ovariotomy, as Kepler
found, the pigmentation of the nipples and areola disappears, as well as
of the perineum and anus, the skin taking on a remarkable whiteness.

Normally the sexual centers, and in a high degree the genital orifice,
represent the maximum of pigmentation, and under some circumstances this
is clearly visible even in infancy. Thus babies of mixed black and white
blood may show no traces of negro ancestry at birth, but there will always
be increased pigmentation about the external genitalia.[162] The linea
fusca, which reaches from the pubes to the navel and occasionally to the
ensiform cartilage, is a line of sexual pigmentation sometimes regarded as
characteristic of pregnancy, but as Andersen, of Copenhagen, has found by
the examination of several hundred children of both sexes, it exists in a
slight form in about 75 per cent. of young girls, and in almost as large a
proportion of boys. But there is no doubt that it tends to increase with
age as well as to become marked at pregnancy. At puberty there is a
general tendency to changes in pigmentation; thus Godin found that in 28
per cent, adolescent changes occurred in the eyes and hair at this period,
the hair becoming darker, though the eyes sometimes become lighter. Ammon,
in his investigation of conscripts at the age of 20 (_post_, p. 196),
discovered the significant fact that the eyes and hair darken _pari passu_
with sexual development. In women, during menstruation, there is a general
tendency to pigmentation; this is especially obvious around the eyes, and
in some cases black rings of true pigment form in this position. Even the
skin of the negro women of Loango sometimes becomes a few shades darker
during menstruation.[163] During pregnancy this tendency to pigmentation
reaches its climax. Pregnancy constantly gives rise to pigmentation of the
face, the neck, the nipples, the abdomen, and this is especially marked in

This association of pigmentation and sexual aptitudes has been recognized
in the popular lore of some peoples. Thus the Sicilians, who admire brown
skin and have no liking either for a fair skin or light hair, believe that
a white woman is incapable of responding to love. It is the brown woman
who feels love; as it is said in Sicilian dialect: "Fimmina scura, fimmina

    The dependence of pigmentation upon the sexual system is shown by
    the fact that irritation of the genital organs by disease will
    frequently suffice to produce a high degree of pigmentation. This
    may the neck, the trunk, the hands. Simpson long since noted that
    uterine irritation apart from pregnancy may produce pigmentation
    of the areolæ of the nipples (_Obstetric Works_, vol. i, p. 345).
    Engelmann discussed the subject and gave cases, "The
    Hystero-Neuroses," pp. 124-139, in _Gynæcological Transactions_,
    vol. xii, 1887; and a summary of a memoir by Fouquet on this
    subject in _La Gynécologie_, February, 1903, will be found in
    _British Medical Journal_, March 28, 1903,

Of all physical traits vigor of the hairy system has most frequently
perhaps been regarded as the index of vigorous sexuality. In this matter
modern medical observations are at one with popular belief and ancient
physiognomical assertions.[165] The negative test of castration and the
positive test of puberty point in the same direction.

It is at puberty that all the hair on the body, except that on the head,
begins to develop; indeed, the very word "puberty" has reference to this
growth as the most obvious sign of the whole process. When castration
takes place at an early age all this development of pubescent hair is
arrested. When the primary sexual organs are undeveloped the sexual hair
is also undeveloped, as in a case, recorded by Plant,[166] of a girl with
rudimentary uterus and ovaries who had little or no axillary and pubic
hair, although the hair of the head was long and strong.[167]

    The pseudo-Michael Scot among the _Signa mulieris calidæ naturæ
    et quæ coit libenter_ stated that her hair, both on the head and
    body, is thick and coarse and crisp, and Della Porta, the
    greatest of the physiognomists, said that thickness of hair in
    women meant wantonness. Venette, in his _Generation de l'Homme_,
    remarked that men who have much hair on the body are most
    amorous. At a more recent period Roubaud has said that pubic hair
    in its quantity, color and curliness is an index of genital
    energy. A poor pilous system, on the other hand, Roubaud regarded
    as a probable though not an irrefragable proof of sexual
    frigidity in women. "In the cold woman the pilous system is
    remarkable for the languor of its vitality; the hairs are fair,
    delicate, scarce and smooth, while in ardent natures there are
    little curly tufts about the temples." (_Traité de
    l'Impuissance_, pp. 124, 523.) Martineau declared (_Leçons sur
    les Déformations Vulvaires_, p. 40) that "the more developed the
    genital organs the more abundant the hair covering them;
    abundance of hair appears to be in relation to the perfect
    development of the organs." Tardieu described the typically
    erotic woman as very hairy.

    Bergh found that among 2200 young Danish prostitutes those who
    showed an unusual extension and amount of pubic hair included
    several women who were believed to be libidinous in a very high
    degree. (Bergh, "Symbolæ," etc., _Hospitalstidende_, August,
    1894.) Moraglia, again, in Italy, in describing various women,
    mostly prostitutes, of unusually strong sexual proclivities,
    repeatedly notes very thick hair, with down on the face.
    (_Archivio di Psichiatria_, vol. xvi, fasc. iv-v.)

    Marro, also, in Italy found that abundance of hair and down is
    especially marked in women who are guilty of infanticide (as also
    Pasini has found), though criminal women generally, in his
    experience, tend to have abnormally abundant hair. (_Caratteri
    del Delinquenti_, cap. XXII.) Lombroso finds that prostitutes
    generally tend to be hairy (_Donna Delinquente_, p. 320.)

    A lad of 14, guilty of numerous crimes of violence having a
    sexual source, is described by Arthur Macdonald in America as
    having hair on the chest as well as all over the pubes. (A.
    Macdonald, _Archives de L'Anthropologie Criminelle_, January,
    1893, p. 55.) The association of hairiness with abnormal
    sexuality in the weak-minded has been noted at Bicêtre
    (_Recherches Cliniques sur l'Epilepsie_, vol. xix, pp. 69, 77.)

    Hypertrichosis universalis, a general hairiness of body, has been
    described by Cascella in a woman with very strong sexual desires,
    who eventually became insane. (_Revista Mensile di Psichiatria_,
    1903, p. 408.) Bucknill and Tuke give the case of a religiously
    minded girl, with very strong and repressed sexual desires, who
    became insane; the only abnormal feature in her physical
    development was the marked growth of hair over the body.

    Brantôme refers to a great lady known to him whose body was very
    hairy, and quotes a saying to the effect that hairy people are
    either rich or wanton; the lady in question, he adds, was both.
    (Brantôme, _Vie des Dames Galantes_, Discours II.)

    De Sade, whose writings are now regarded as a treasure house of
    true observations in the domain of sexual psychology, makes the
    Rodin of _Justine_ dark, with much hair and thick eyebrows, while
    his very sexual sister is described as dark, thin and very hairy.
    (Dühren, _Der Marquis de Sade_, third edition, p. 440.)

    A correspondent who has always taken a special interest in the
    condition as regards hairiness of the women to whom he has been
    attracted, has sent me notes concerning a series of 12 women. It
    may be gathered from these notes that 5 women were neither
    markedly sexual nor markedly hairy (either as regards head or
    pubes), 6 cases both hairy and sexual, 1 was sexual and not
    hairy, none were hairy and not sexual. My correspondent remarks:
    "There may be women with scanty pubic hair possessing very strong
    sexual emotions. My own experience is quite the opposite." He has
    also independently reached the conclusion, arrived at by many
    medical observers and clearly suggested by some of the facts here
    brought together, that profuse hair frequently denotes a neurotic

    It may be added that Mirabeau, as we learn from an anecdote told
    by an eyewitness and recorded by Legouvé, had a very hairy chest,
    while the same is recorded of Restif de la Bretonne.

It is a very ancient and popular belief that if a hairy man is not sensual
he is strong: _vir pilosus aut libidinosus aut fortis_. The Greeks
insisted on the hairy nates of Hercules, and Ninon de l'Enclos, when the
great Condé shared her bed without touching her, remarked, on seeing his
hairy body: "Ah, Monseigneur, que vous devez être fort!" It may be doubted
whether there is any exact parallelism between muscular strength and
hairiness, for strength is largely a matter of training, but there can be
no doubt that hairiness really tends to be associated with a generally
vigorous development of the body.

Although the observations concerning hairiness of body as an index of
vigor, whether sexual or only generally physical, are so ancient, until
recent years no attempts have been made to demonstrate on a large scale
whether there is actually a correlation between hairiness and sexual or
general development of the body. Some importance, therefore, attaches to
Ammon's careful observations of many thousand conscripts in Baden. These
observations fully justify this ancient belief, since they show that on
the one hand the size of the testicles, and on the other hand girth of
chest and stature, are correlated with hairiness of body.

    Ammon's observations were made on nearly 4000 conscripts of the
    age of 20. From the point of view of the hairy system he divided
    them, into four classes:--

    I. To which 6.1 per cent, of the men belonged, with smooth

    II. Including 25.3 per cent., only slight hairiness.

    III. 53.8 per cent., more developed hairy system, but belly,
    breast and back smooth.

    IV. 14.7 per cent., hair all over body.

    V. 0.1 per cent., extreme cases of hairiness.

    The beardless were 12.1 per cent., those with no axillary hair 9
    per cent., those with no hair on pubis 0.4 per cent. This
    corresponds with the fact that hair appears first on the pubis
    and last on the chin.

    In the first class 69 per cent, were beardless, 54 per cent,
    without any axillary hair and 6 per cent, without pubic hair. In
    the second class 24 per cent, were beardless, 17 per cent,
    without axillary hair. In the third class 3 per cent, were
    beardless and 3 per cent without axillary hair.

    Below puberty the diameter of testicles is below 14 millimeters.
    There were 13 conscripts having a testicular diameter of less
    than 14 millimeters. These infantile individuals all belonged to
    the first three classes and mostly to the first. The average
    testicular diameter in the first class was nearly 24 millimeters,
    and progressively rose in the succeeding classes to over 26
    millimeters in the fourth.

    While there was not much difference in height, the first class
    was the shortest, the fourth the tallest. The fourth class also
    showed the greatest chest perimeter. The cephalic index of all
    classes was 84. (O. Ammon, "L'Infantilisme et le Feminisme au
    Conseil de Révision," _L'Anthropologie_, May-June, 1896.)

We thus see that it is quite justifiable to admit a type of person who
possesses a more than average aptitude for detumescence. Such persons are
more likely to be short than tall; they will show a full development of
the secondary sexual characters; the voice will tend to be deep and the
eyes bright; the glandular activity of the skin will probably be marked,
the lips everted; there is a tendency to a more than average degree of
pigmentation, and there is frequently an abnormal prevalence of hair on
some parts of the body. While none of these signs, taken separately, can
be said to have any necessary connection with the sexual impulse, taken
altogether they indicate an organism that responds to the instinct of
detumescence with special aptitude or with marked energy. In these
respects observation, both scientific and popular, concords with the
probabilities suggested by the three standards in this matter which have
already been set forth.

No generalization, however, can here be set down in an absolute and
unqualified manner. There are definite reasons why this should be so.
There is, for instance, the highly important consideration that the sexual
impulse of the individual may be conspicuous in two quite distinct ways.
It may assume prominence because the individual possesses a highly
vigorous and well-nourished organism, or its prominence may be due to
mental irritation in a very morbid individual. In the latter
case--although occasionally the two sets of conditions are combined--most
of the signs we might expect in the former case may be absent. Indeed, the
sexual impulses which proceed from a morbid psychic irritability do not in
most cases indicate any special aptitude for detumescence at all; in that
largely lies their morbid character.

Again, just in the same way that the exaggerated impulse itself may either
be healthy or morbid, so the various characters which we have found to
possess some value as signs of the impulse may themselves either be
healthy or morbid. This is notably the case as regards an abnormal growth
of hair on the body, more especially when it appears on regions where
normally there is little or no hair. Such hypertrichosis is frequently
degenerative in character, though still often associated with the sexual
system. When, however, it is thus a degenerative character of sexual
nature, having its origin in some abnormal foetal condition or later
atrophy of the ovaries, it is no necessary indication of any aptitude for

    Idiots, more especially it would seem idiot girls, tend to show a
    highly developed hairy system. Thus Voisin, when investigating
    150 idiot and imbecile girls, found the hair long and thick and
    tending to occupy a large surface; one girl had hair on the
    areolæ of the mamma. (J. Voisin, "Conformation des organes
    génitaux chez les Idiots," _Annales d'Hygiène Publique_, June,
    1894.) It should be said that in idiot boys puberty is late, and
    the sexual organs as well as the sexual instinct frequently
    undeveloped, while in idiot girls there is no delay in puberty,
    and the sexual organs and instinct are frequently fully and even
    abnormally developed.

    Hegar has described an interesting case showing an association,
    of foetal origin, between sexual anomaly and abnormal hairness.
    In this case a girl of 16 had a uterus duplex, an infantile
    pelvis, very slight menstruation and undeveloped breasts. She was
    very hairy on the face, the anterior aspects of the chest and
    abdomen, the sexual regions, and the thighs, but not specially so
    on the rest of the body. The hairs were of lanugo-like character,
    but dark in color. (A. Hegar, _Beiträge zur Geburtshülfe und
    Gynäkologie_, vol. i, p. III, 1898.) Sometimes hiruties of the
    face and abdomen begin to appear during pregnancy, apparently
    from disease or degeneration of the ovaries. (A case is noted in
    _British Medical Journal_, August 2 and 16, pp. 375 and 436,
    1902.) Laycock many years ago referred to the popular belief that
    women who have hair on the upper lip seldom bear children, and
    regarded this opinion as "questionless founded on fact."
    (Laycock, _Nervous Diseases of Women_, p. 22.) When this is so,
    we may suppose that the abnormal hairy growth is associated with
    degeneration of the ovaries.

There is another factor which enters into this question and renders the
definition of a physical sexual type less precise than it would otherwise
be. The sexual instinct is common to all persons, and while it seems
probable that there is a type of person in whom sexual energies are
predominant, it would also appear that the people who otherwise show a
very high level of energy in life usually exhibit a more than average
degree of energy in matters of love. The predominantly sexual type, as we
have seen, tends to be associated with a high degree of pigmentation; the
person specially apt for detumescence inclines to belong to the dark
rather than to the purely fair group of the population. On the other hand,
the active, energetic, practical man, the man who is most apt for the
achievement of success in life, tends to belong to the fair rather than to
the dark type.[168] Thus we have a certain conflict of tendencies, and it
becomes possible to assert that while persons with pronounced aptitude for
sexual detumescence tend to be dark, persons whose pronounced energy in
sexual matters tends to ensure success are most likely to be fair.

    The tendency of the fair energetic type, the type of the northern
    European man, to sexuality may be connected with the fact that
    the violent and criminal man who commits sexual crimes tends to
    be fair even amid a dark population. Criminals on the whole would
    appear to tend to be dark rather than fair; but Marro found in
    Italy that the group of sexual offenders differed from all other
    groups of criminals in that their hair was predominantly fair.
    (_Caratteri del Delinquenti_, p. 374.) Ottolenghi, in the same
    way, in examining 100 sexual offenders, found that they showed 17
    per cent., of fair hair, though criminals generally (on a basis
    of nearly 2000) showed only 6 per cent., and normal persons
    (nearly 1000) 9 per cent. Similarly while the normal persons
    showed only 20 per cent. of blue eyes and criminals generally 36
    per cent., the sexual offenders showed 50 per cent. of blue eyes.
    (Ottolenghi, _Archivio di Psichiatria_, fasc. vi, 1888, p. 573.)
    Burton remarked (_Anatomy of Melancholy_, Part III, Section II,
    Mem. II, Subs. II) that in all ages most amorous young men have
    been yellow-haired, adding, "Synesius holds every effeminate
    fellow or adulterer is fair-haired." In folk-lore, it has been
    noted (Kryptadia, vol. ii, p. 258), red or yellow hair is
    sometimes regarded as a mark of sexuality.

    In harmony with this fairness, sexual offenders would appear to
    be more dolichocephalic than other criminals. In Italy Marro
    found the foreheads of sexual offenders to be narrow, and in
    California Drähms found that while murderers had an average
    cephalic index of 83.5, and thieves of 80.5, that of sexual
    offenders was 79.

    On the other hand, high cheek-bones and broad faces--a condition
    most usually found associated with brachycephaly--have sometimes
    been noted as associated with undue or violent sexuality. Marro
    noted the excess of prominent cheek-bones in sexual offenders,
    and in America it has been found that unchaste girls tend to have
    broad faces. (_Pedagogical Seminary_, December, 1896, pp. 231,

It will be seen that, when we take a comprehensive view of the facts and
considerations involved, it is possible to obtain a more definite and
coherent picture of the physical signs of a marked aptitude for
detumescence than has hitherto been usually supposed possible. But we also
see that while the _ensemble_ of these signs is probably fairly reliable
as an index of marked sexuality, the separate signs have no such definite
significance, and under some circumstances their significance may even be


[144] See Biérent, _La Puberté_; Marro, _La Pubertà_ (and enlarged French
translation, _La Puberté_), and portions of G.S. Hall's _Adolescence_;
also Havelock Ellis, _Man and Woman_ (fourth edition, revised and

[145] Adler, _Die Mangelhafte Geschlechtsempfindung des Weibes_, p. 174;
Moll, "Perverse Sexualempfindung, Psychische Impotenz und Ehe" (Section
II), in Senator and Kaminer, _Krankheiten und Ehe_.

[146] Roubaud, _Traité de l'Impuissance_, p. 524.

[147] Marro, _Caratteri del Delinquenti_, p. 374.

[148] Kryptadia, vol. ii, p. 258.

[149] Marro, _La Pubertà_, p. 196. In Italy, the sensuality of the lame is
the subject of proverbs.

[150] _Archivio di Psichiatria_, 1896, p. 515; Kryptadia, vol. vi, p. 212.

[151] Blumenbach, _Anthropological Treatises_, p. 248.

[152] Biérent, _La Puberté_, p. 148.

[153] Venturi, _Degenerazioni Psico-sessuali_, pp. 408-410.

[154] _Anatomy of Melancholy_, Part III, Section II, Mem. II, Sub. II.

[155] _British Gynæcological Journal_, February, 1887, p. 505.

[156] Power, _Lancet_, November 26, 1887.

[157] With regard to the sexual relationships of personal odor, see the
previous volume of these _Studies_, "Sexual Selection in Man," section on

[158] In European folk-lore thick lips in a woman are sometimes regarded
as a sign of sensuality, Kryptadia, vol. ii, p, 258.

[159] The direct dependence of sexual pigmentation on the primary sexual
glands is well illustrated by a true hermaphroditic adult finch exhibited
at the Academy of Sciences of Amsterdam (May 31, 1890); this bird had a
testis on the right side and an ovary on the left, and on the right side
its plumage was of the male's colors, on the left of the female's color.

[160] See. e.g., Papillault, _Bulletin Société d'Anthropologie_, 1899, p.

[161] Guinard, Art. "Castration," Richet's _Dictionnaire de Physiologie_.

[162] J. Whitridge Williams, _Obstetrics_, 1903, p. 132.

[163] _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1878, p. 19.

[164] C. Pitre, _Medicina Populare Siciliana_, p. 47. In England, from
notes sent to me by one correspondent, it would appear that the proportion
of dark and sexually apt women to fair and sexually apt women is as 3 to
1. The experience of others would doubtless give varying results, and in
any case the fallacies are numerous. See, in the previous volume of these
_Studies_, "Sexual Selection in Man," Section IV.

[165] In Japan the same belief would appear to be held. In a nude figure
representing the typical voluptuous woman by the Japanese painter Marugama
Okio (reproduced in Ploss's _Das Weib_) the pubic and axillary hair is
profuse, though usually sparse in Japan.

[166] _Centralblatt für Gynäkologie_, No. 9, 1896.

[167] It is important to remember that there is little correlation in this
matter between the hair of the head and the sexual hair, if not a certain
opposition. (See _ante_, p. 127.) According to one of the aphorisms of
Hippocrates, repeated by Buffon, eunuchs do not become bald, and Aristotle
seems to have believed that sexual intercourse is a cause of baldness in
men. (Laycock, _Nervous Diseases of Women_, p. 23.)

[168] For some of the evidence on this point, see Havelock Ellis, "The
Comparative Abilities of the Fair and the Dark," _Monthly Review_, August,
1901; cf. id., _A Study of British Genius_, Chapter X.


The Relationship of Maternal and Sexual Emotion--Conception and Loss of
Virginity--The Anciently Accepted Signs of This Condition--The Pervading
Effects of Pregnancy on the Organism--Pigmentation--The Blood and
Circulation--The Thyroid--Changes in the Nervous System--The Vomiting of
Pregnancy--The Longings of Pregnant Women--Maternal Impressions--Evidence
for and Against Their Validity--The Question Still Open--Imperfection of
Our Knowledge--The Significance of Pregnancy.

In analyzing the sexual impulse I have so far deliberately kept out of
view the maternal instinct. This is necessary, for the maternal instinct
is specific and distinct; it is directed to an aim which, however
intimately associated it may be with that of the sexual impulse proper,
can by no means be confounded with it. Yet the emotion of love, as it has
finally developed in the world, is not purely of sexual origin; it is
partly sexual, but it is also partly parental.[169]

In so far as it is parental it is certainly mainly maternal. There is a
drawing by Bronzino in the Louvre of a woman's head gazing tenderly down
at some invisible object; is it her child or her lover? Doubtless her
child, yet the expression is equally adequate to the emotion evoked by a
lover. If we were here specifically dealing with the emotion of love as a
complex whole, and not with the psychology of the sexual impulse, it would
certainly be necessary to discuss the maternal instinct and its associated
emotions. In any case it seems desirable to touch on the psychic state of
pregnancy, for we are here concerned not only with emotions very closely
connected with the sexual emotions in the narrower sense, but we here at
last approach that state which it is the object of the whole sexual
process to achieve.

In civilized life a period of weeks, months, even years, may elapse
between the establishment of sexual relations and the occurrence of
conception. Under primitive conditions the loss of the virginal condition
practically involves the pregnant condition, so that under primitive
conditions very little allowance is made for the state, so common among
civilized peoples, of the woman who is no longer a virgin, yet not about
to become a mother.

    There is some interest in noting the signs of loss of virginity
    chiefly relied upon by ancient authors. In doing this it is
    convenient to follow mainly the full summary of authorities given
    by Schurig in his _Barthenologia_ early in the eighteenth
    century. The ancient custom, known in classic times, of measuring
    the neck the day after marriage was frequently practiced to
    ascertain if a girl was or was not a virgin. There were various
    ways of doing this. One was to measure with a thread the
    circumference of the bride's neck before she went to bed on the
    bridal night. If in the morning the same thread would not go
    around her neck it was a sure sign that she had lost her
    virginity during the night; if not, she was still a virgin or had
    been deflowered at an earlier period. Catullus alluded to this
    custom, which still exists, or existed until lately, in the south
    of France. It is perfectly sound, for it rests on the intimate
    response by congestion of the thyroid gland to sexual excitement.
    (_Parthenologia_, p. 283; Biérent, _La Puberté_, p. 150; Havelock
    Ellis, _Man and Woman_, fourth edition, p. 267.)

    Some say, Schurig tells us, that the voice, which in the virgin
    is shrill, becomes rougher and deeper after the first coitus. He
    quotes Riolan's statement that it is certain that the voice of
    those who indulge in venery is changed. On that account the
    ancients bound down the penis of their singers, and Martial said
    that those who wish to preserve their voices should avoid coitus.
    Democritus who one day had greeted a girl as "maiden" on the
    following day addressed her as "woman," while in the same way it
    is said that Albertus Magnus, observing from his study a girl
    going for wine for her master, knew that she had had sexual
    intercourse by the way because on her return her voice had become
    deeper. Here, again, the ancient belief has a solid basis, for
    the voice and the larynx are really affected by sexual
    conditions. (_Parthenologia_, p. 286; Marro, _La Puberté_, p.
    303; Havelock Ellis, op. cit., pp. 271, 289.)

    Others, again, Schurig proceeds, have judged that the goaty smell
    given out in the armpits during the venereal act is also no
    uncertain sign of defloration, such odor being perceptible in
    those who use much venery, and not seldom in harlots and the
    newly married, while, as Hippocrates said, it is not perceived in
    boys and girls. (_Parthenologia_, p. 286; cf. the previous volume
    of these _Studies_, "Sexual Selection in Man," p. 64.)

    In virgins, Schurig remarks, the pubic hair is said to be long
    and not twisted, while in women accustomed to coitus it is
    crisper. But it is only after long and repeated coitus, some
    authors add, that the pubic hairs become crisp. Some recent
    observers, it may be remarked, have noted a connection between
    sexual excitation and the condition of the pubic hair in women.
    (Cf. the present volume, _ante_ p. 127.)

    A sign to which the old authors often attached much importance
    was furnished by the urinary stream. In the _De Secretis
    Mulierum_, wrongly attributed to Albertus Magnus, it is laid down
    that "the virgin urinates higher than the woman." Riolan, in his
    _Anthropographia_, discussing the ability of virgins to ejaculate
    urine to a height, states that Scaliger had observed women who
    were virgins emit urine in a high jet against a wall, but that
    married women could seldom do this. Bouaciolus also stated that
    the urine of virgins is emitted in a small stream to a distance
    with an acute hissing sound. (_Parthenologia_, p. 281.) A
    folk-lore belief in the reality of this influence is evidenced by
    the Picardy _conte_ referred to already (_ante_, p. 53), "La
    Princesse qui pisse au dessus les Meules." There is no doubt a
    tendency for the various stresses of sexual life to produce an
    influence in this direction, though they act far too slowly and
    uncertainly to be a reliable index to the presence or the absence
    of virginity.

    Another common ancient test of virginity by urination rests on a
    psychic basis, and appears in a variety of forms which are really
    all reducible to the same principle. Thus we are told in _De
    Secretis Mulierum_ that to ascertain if a girl is seduced she
    should be given to eat of powdered crocus flowers, and if she has
    been seduced she immediately urinates. We are here concerned with
    auto-suggestion, and it may well be believed that with nervous
    and credulous girls this test often revealed the truth.

    A further test of virginity discussed by Schurig is the presence
    of modesty of countenance. If a woman blushes her virtue is safe.
    In this way girls who have themselves had experience of the
    marriage bed are said to detect the virgin. The virgin's eyes are
    cast down and almost motionless, while she who has known a man
    has eyes that are bright and quick. But this sign is equivocal,
    says Schurig, for girls are different, and can simulate the
    modesty they do not feel. Yet this indication also rests on a
    fundamentally sound psychological basis. (See "The Evolution of
    Modesty," in the first volume of these _Studies_.)

    In his _Syllepsilogia_ (Section V, cap. I-II), published in 1731,
    Schurig discusses further the anciently recognized signs of
    pregnancy. The real or imaginary signs of pregnancy sought by
    various primitive peoples of the past and present are brought
    together by Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, bd. i, Chapter XXVII.

Both physically and psychically the occurrence of pregnancy is, however, a
distinct event. It marks the beginning of a continuous physical process,
which cannot fail to manifest psychic reactions. A great center of vital
activity--practically a new center, for only the germinal form of it in
menstruation had previously existed--has appeared and affects the whole
organism. "From the moment that the embryo takes possession of the woman,"
Robert Barnes puts it, "every drop of blood, every fiber, every organ, is

A woman artist once observed to Dr. Stratz, that as the final aim of a
woman is to become a mother and pregnancy is thus her blossoming time, a
beautiful woman ought to be most beautiful when she is pregnant. That is
so, Stratz replied, if her moment of greatest physical perfection
corresponds with the early months of pregnancy, for with the beginning of
pregnancy metabolism is increased, the color of the skin becomes more
lively and delicate, the breasts firmer.[171] Pregnancy may, indeed, often
become visible soon after conception by the brighter eye, the livelier
glance, resulting from greater vascular activity, though later, with the
increase of strain, the face may tend to become somewhat thin and
distorted. The hair, Barnes states, assumes a new vigor, even though it
may have been falling out before. The temperature rises; the weight
increases, even apart from the growth of the foetus. The efflorescence of
pregnancy shows itself, as in the blossoming and fecundated flower, by
increased pigmentation.[172] The nipples with their areolæ, and the
mid-line of the belly, become darker; brown flecks (lentigo) tend to
appear on the forehead, neck, arms, and body; while striæ--at first
blue-red, then a brilliant white--appear on the belly and thighs, though
these are scarcely normal, for they are not seen in women with very
elastic skins and are rare among peasants and savages.[173] The whole
carriage of the woman tends to become changed with the development of the
mighty seed of man planted within her; it simulates the carriage of pride
with the arched back and protruded abdomen.[174] The pregnant woman has
been lifted above the level of ordinary humanity to become the casket of
an inestimable jewel.

It is in the blood and the circulation that the earliest of the most
prominent symptoms of pregnancy are to be found. The ever increasing
development of this new focus of vascular activity involves an increased
vascular activity in the whole organism. This activity is present almost
from the first--a few days after the impregnation of the ovum--in the
breasts, and quickly becomes obvious to inspection and palpation. Before a
quite passive organ, the breast now rapidly increases in activity of
circulation and in size, while certain characteristic changes begin to
take place around the nipples.[175] As a result of the additional work
imposed upon it the heart tends to become slightly hypertrophied in order
to meet the additional strain; there may be some dilatation also.[176]

    The recent investigations of Stengel and Stanton tend to show
    that the increase of the heart's work during pregnancy is less
    considerable than has generally been supposed, and that beyond
    some enlargement and dilatation of the right ventricle there is
    not usually any hypertrophy of the heart.

The total quantity of blood is raised. While increased in quantity, the
blood appears on the whole to be somewhat depreciated in quality, though
on this point there are considerable differences of opinion. Thus, as
regards hæmoglobin, some investigators have found that the old idea as to
the poverty of hæmoglobin in pregnancy is quite unfounded; a few have even
found that the hæmoglobin is increased. Most authorities have found the
red cells diminished, though some only slightly, while the white cells,
and also the fibrin, are increased. But toward the end of pregnancy there
is a tendency, perhaps due to the establishment of compensation, for the
blood to revert to the normal condition.[177]

It would appear probable, however, that the vascular phenomena of
pregnancy are not altogether so simple as the above statement would imply.
The activity of various glands at this time--well illustrated by the
marked salivation which sometimes occurs--indicates that other modifying
forces are at work, and it has been suggested that the changes in the
maternal circulation during pregnancy may best be explained by the theory
that there are two opposing kinds of secretion poured into the blood in
unusual degree during pregnancy: one contracting the vessels, the other
dilating them, one or the other sometimes gaining the upper hand.
Suprarenal extract, when administered, has a vaso-constricting influence,
and thyroid extract a vasodilating influence; it may be surmised that
within the body these glands perform similar functions.[178]

The important part played by the thyroid gland is indicated by its marked
activity at the very beginning of pregnancy. We may probably associate the
general tendency to vasodilatation during early pregnancy with the
tendency to goitre; Freund found an increase of the thyroid in 45 per
cent. of 50 cases. The thyroid belongs to the same class of ductless
glands as the ovary, and, as Bland Sutton and others have insisted, the
analogies between the thyroid and the ovary are very numerous and
significant. It may be added that in recent years Armand Gautier has noted
the importance of the thyroid in elaborating nucleo-proteids containing
arsenic and iodine, which are poured into the circulation during
menstruation and pregnancy. The whole metabolism of the body is indeed
affected, and during the latter part of pregnancy study of the ingesta and
egesta has shown that a storage of nitrogen and even of water is taking
place.[179] The woman, as Pinard puts it, forms the child out of her own
flesh, not merely out of her food; the individual is being sacrificed to
the species.

The changes in the nervous system of the pregnant woman correspond to
those in the vascular system. There is the same increase of activity, a
heightening of tension. Bruno Wolff, from experiments on bitches,
concluded that the central nervous system in women is probably more easily
excited in the pregnant than in the non-pregnant state, though he was not
prepared to call this cerebral excitability "specific."[180] Direct
observations on pregnant women have shown, without doubt, a heightened
nervous irritability. Reflex action generally is increased. Neumann
investigated the knee-jerk in 500 women during pregnancy, labor, and the
puerperium, and in a large number found that there was a progressive
exaggeration with the advance of pregnancy, little or no change being
observed in the early months; sometimes when no change was observed during
pregnancy the knee-jerk still increased during labor, reaching its maximum
at the moment of the expulsion of the foetus; the return to the normal
condition took place gradually during the puerperium. Tridandani found in
pregnant women that though the superficial reflexes, with the exception of
the abdominal, were diminished, the deep and tendon reflexes were markedly
increased, especially that of the knee, these changes being more marked in
primiparæ than in multiparæ, and more pronounced as pregnancy advanced,
the normal condition returning with ten days after labor. Electrical
excitability was sensibly diminished.[181]

One of the first signs of high nervous tension is vomiting. As is well
known, this phenomenon commonly appears early in pregnancy, and it is by
many considered entirely physiological. Barnes regards it as a kind of
safety valve, a regulating function, letting off excessive tension and
maintaining equilibrium.[182] Vomiting is, however, a convulsion, and is
thus the simplest form of a kind of manifestation--to which the heightened
nervous tension of pregnancy easily lends itself--that finds its extreme
pathological form in eclampsia. In this connection it is of interest to
point out that the pregnant woman here manifests in the highest degree a
tendency which is marked in women generally, for the female sex, apart
altogether from pregnancy, is specially liable to convulsive

    There is some slight difference of opinion among authorities as
    to the precise nature and causation of the sickness of pregnancy.
    Barnes, Horrocks and others regard it as physiological; but many
    consider it pathological; this is, for instance, the opinion of
    Giles. Graily Hewitt attributed it to flexion of the gravid
    uterus, Kaltenbach to hysteria, and Zaborsky terms it a neurosis.
    Whitridge Williams considers that it may be (1) reflex, or (2)
    neurotic (when it is allied to hysteria and amenable to
    suggestion), or (3) toxæmic. It really appears to lie on the
    borderland between healthy and diseased manifestations. It is
    said to be unknown to farmers and veterinary surgeons. It appears
    to be little known among savages; it is comparatively infrequent
    among women of the lower social classes, and, as Giles has found,
    women who habitually menstruate in a painless and normal manner
    suffer comparatively little from the sickness of pregnancy.

    We owe a valuable study of the sickness of pregnancy to Giles,
    who analyzed the records of 300 cases. He concluded that about
    one-third of the pregnant women were free from sickness
    throughout pregnancy, 45 per cent. were free during the first
    three months. When sickness occurred it began in 70 per cent. of
    cases in the first month, and was most frequent during the second
    month. The duration varied from a few days to all through.
    Between the ages of 20 and 25 sickness was least frequent, and
    there was less sickness in the third than in any other pregnancy.
    (This corresponds with the conclusion of Matthews Duncan that 25
    is the most favorable age for pregnancy.) To some extent in
    agreement with Guéniot, Giles believes that the vomiting of
    pregnancy is "one form of manifestation of the high nervous
    irritability of pregnancy." This high nervous tension may
    overflow into other channels, into the vascular and excretory
    system, causing eclampsia; into the muscular system, causing
    chorea, or, expending itself in the brain, give rise to hysteria
    when mild or insanity when severe. But the vagi form a very ready
    channel for such overflow, and hence the frequency of sickness in
    pregnancy. There are thus three main factors in the causation of
    this phenomenon: (1) An increased nervous irritability; (2) a
    local source of irritation; (3) a ready efferent channel for
    nervous energy. (Arthur Giles, "Observations on the Etiology of
    the Sickness of Pregnancy," _Transactions Obstetrical Society of
    London_, vol. xxv, 1894.)

    Martin, who regards the phenomenon as normal, points out that
    when nausea and vomiting are absent or suddenly cease there is
    often reason to suspect something wrong, especially the death of
    the embryo. He also remarks that women who suffer from large
    varicose veins are seldom troubled by the nausea of pregnancy.
    (J.M.H. Martin, "The Vomiting of Pregnancy," _British Medical
    Journal_, December 10, 1904.) These observations may be connected
    with those of Evans (_American Gynæcological and Obstetrical
    Journal_, January, 1900), who attributes primary importance to
    the undoubtedly active factor of the irritation set up by the
    uterus, more especially the rhythmic uterine contractions;
    stimulation of the breasts produces active uterine contractions,
    and Evans found that examination of the breasts sufficed to bring
    on a severe attack of vomiting, while on another occasion this
    was produced by a vaginal examination. Evans believes that the
    purpose of these contractions is to facilitate the circulation of
    the blood through the large venous sinuses, the surcharging of
    the relatively stagnant pools with effete blood producing the
    irritation which leads to rhythmic contractions.

It is on the basis of the increased vascular and glandular activity and
the heightened nervous tension that the special psychic phenomena of
pregnancy develop. The best known, and perhaps the most characteristic of
these manifestations, is that known as "longings." By this term is meant
more or less irresistible desires for some special food or drink, which
may be digestible or indigestible, sometimes a substance which the woman
ordinarily likes, such as fruit, and occasionally one which, under
ordinary circumstances, she dislikes, as in one case known to me of a
young country woman who, when bearing her child, was always longing for
tobacco and never happy except when she could get a pipe to smoke,
although under ordinary circumstances, like other young women of her
class, she was without any desire to smoke. Occasionally the longings lead
to actions which are more unscrupulous than is common in the case of the
same person at other times; thus in one case known to me a young woman,
pregnant with her first child, insisted to her sister's horror on entering
a strawberry field and eating a quantity of fruit. These "longings" in
their extreme form may properly be considered as neurasthenic obsessions,
but in their simple and less pronounced forms they may well be normal and

    The old medical authors abound in narratives describing the
    longings of pregnant women for natural and unnatural foods. This
    affection was commonly called _pica_, sometimes _citra_ or
    _malatia_. Schurig, whose works are a comprehensive treasure
    house of ancient medical lore, devotes a long chapter (cap. II)
    of his _Chylologia_, published in 1725, to pica as manifested
    mainly, though not exclusively, in pregnant women. Some women, he
    tells us, have been compelled to eat all sorts of earthy
    substances, of which sand seems the most common, and one Italian
    woman when pregnant ate several pounds of sand with much
    satisfaction, following it up with a draught of her own urine.
    Lime, mud, chalk, charcoal, cinders, pitch are also the desired
    substances in other cases detailed. One pregnant woman must eat
    bread fresh from the oven in very large quantities, and a certain
    noble matron ate 140 sweet cakes in one day and night. Wheat and
    various kinds of corn as well as of vegetables were the foods
    desired by many longing women. One woman was responsible for 20
    pounds of pepper, another ate ginger in large quantities, a third
    kept mace under her pillow; cinnamon, salt, emulsion of almonds,
    treacle, mushrooms were desired by others. Cherries were longed
    for by one, and another ate 30 or 40 lemons in one night. Various
    kinds of fish--mullet, oysters, crabs, live eels, etc.--are
    mentioned, while other women have found delectation in lizards,
    frogs, spiders and flies, even scorpions, lice and fleas. A
    pregnant woman, aged 33, of sanguine temperament, ate a live fowl
    completely with intense satisfaction. Skin, wool, cotton, thread,
    linen, blotting paper have been desired, as well as more
    repulsive substances, such as nasal mucus and feces (eaten with
    bread). Vinegar, ice, and snow occur in other cases. One woman
    stilled a desire for human flesh by biting the nates of children
    or the arms of men. Metals are also swallowed, such as iron,
    silver, etc. One pregnant woman wished to throw eggs in her
    husband's face, and another to have her husband throw eggs in her

    In the next chapter of the same work Schurig describes cases of
    acute antipathy which may arise under the same circumstances
    (cap. III, "De Nausea seu Antipathia certorum ciborum"). The list
    includes bread, meat, fowls, fish, eels (a very common
    repulsion), crabs, milk, butter (very often), cheese (often),
    honey, sugar, salt, eggs, caviar, sulphur, apples (especially
    their odor), strawberries, mulberries, cinnamon, mace, capers,
    pepper, onions, mustard, beetroot, rice, mint, absinthe, roses
    (many pages are devoted to this antipathy), lilies, elder
    flowers, musk (which sometimes caused vomiting), amber, coffee,
    opiates, olive oil, vinegar, cats, frogs, spiders, wasps, swords.

    More recently Gould and Pyle (_Anomalies and Curiosities of
    Medicine_, p. 80) have briefly summarized some of the ancient and
    modern records concerning the longings of pregnant women.

Various theories are put forward concerning the causation of the longings
of pregnant women, but none of these seems to furnish by itself a complete
and adequate explanation of all cases. Thus it is said that the craving is
the expression of a natural instinct, the system of the pregnant woman
really requiring the food she longs for. It is quite probable that this is
so in many cases, but it is obviously not so in the majority of cases,
even when we confine ourselves to the longings for fairly natural foods,
while we know so little of the special needs of the organism during
pregnancy that the theory in any case is insusceptible of clear

Allied to this theory is the explanation that the longings are for things
that counteract the tendency to nausea and sickness. Giles, however, in
his valuable statistical study of the longings of a series of 300 pregnant
women, has shown that the percentage of women with longings is exactly the
same (33 per cent.) among women who had suffered at some time during
pregnancy from sickness as among the women who had not so suffered.
Moreover, Giles found that the period of sickness frequently bore no
relation to the time when there were cravings, and the patient often had
cravings after the sickness had ceased.

According to another theory these longings are mainly a matter of
auto-suggestion. The pregnant woman has received the tradition of such
longings, persuades herself that she has such a longing, and then becomes
convinced that, according to a popular belief, it will be bad for the
child if the longing is not gratified. Giles considers that this process
of auto-suggestion takes place "in a certain number, perhaps even in the
majority of cases."[184]

    The Duchess d'Abrantès, the wife of Marshal Junot, in her
    _Mémoires_ gives an amusing account of how in her first pregnancy
    a longing was apparently imposed upon her by the anxious
    solicitude of her own and her husband's relations. Though
    suffering from constant nausea and sickness, she had no longings.
    One day at dinner after the pregnancy had gone on for some months
    her mother suddenly put down her fork, exclaiming: "I have never
    asked you what longing you have!" She replied with truth that she
    had none, her days and her nights being occupied with suffering.
    "No _envie!_" said the mother, "such a thing was never heard of.
    I must speak to your mother-in-law." The two old ladies consulted
    anxiously and explained to the young mother how an unsatisfied
    longing might produce a monstrous child, and the husband also now
    began to ask her every day what she longed for. Her
    sister-in-law, moreover, brought her all sorts of stories of
    children born with appalling mother's marks due to this cause.
    She became frightened and began to wonder what she most wanted,
    but could think of nothing. At last, when eating a pastille
    flavored with pineapple, it occurred to her that pineapple is an
    excellent fruit, and one, moreover, which she had never seen, for
    at that time it was extremely rare. Thereupon she began to long
    for pineapple, and all the more when she was told that at that
    season they could not be obtained. She now began to feel that she
    must have pineapple or die, and her husband ran all over Paris,
    vainly offering twenty louis for a pineapple. At last he
    succeeded in obtaining one through the kindness of Mme.
    Bonaparte, and drove home furiously just as his wife, always
    talking of pineapples, had gone to bed. He entered the room with
    the pineapple, to the great satisfaction of the Duchess's mother.
    (In one of her own pregnancies, it appears, she longed in vain
    for cherries in January, and the child was born with a mark on
    her body resembling a cherry--in scientific terminology, a
    _nævus_.) The Duchess effusively thanked her husband and wished
    to eat of the fruit immediately, but her husband stopped her and
    said that Corvisart, the famous physician, had told him that she
    must on no account touch it at night, as it was extremely
    indigestible. She promised not to do so, and spent the night in
    caressing the pineapple. In the morning the husband came and cut
    up the fruit, presenting it to her in a porcelain bowl. Suddenly,
    however, there was a revulsion of feeling; she felt that she
    could not possibly eat pineapple; persuasion was useless; the
    fruit had to be taken away and the windows opened, for the very
    smell of it had become odious. The Duchess adds that henceforth,
    throughout her life, though still liking the flavor, she was only
    able to eat pineapple by doing a sort of violence to herself.
    (_Mémories de la Duchesse d'Abrantès_, vol. iii, Chapter VIII.)
    It should be added that, in old age, the Duchess d'Abrantès
    appears to have become insane.

The influence of suggestion must certainly be accepted as, at all events,
increasing and emphasizing the tendency to longings. It can scarcely,
however, be regarded as a radical and adequate explanation of the
phenomenon generally. If it is a matter of auto-suggestion due to a
tradition, then we should expect to find longings most frequent and most
pronounced in multiparous women, who are best acquainted with the
tradition and best able to experience all that is expected of a pregnant
woman. But, as a matter of fact, the women who have borne most children
are precisely those who are least likely to be affected by the longings
which tradition demands they should manifest. Giles has shown that
longings occur much more frequently in the first than in any subsequent
pregnancy; there is a regular decrease with the increase in number of
pregnancies until in women with ten or more children the longings scarcely
occur at all.

We must probably regard longings as based on a physiological and psychic
tendency which is of universal extension and almost or quite normal. They
are known throughout Europe and were known to the medical writers of
antiquity. Old Indian as well as old Jewish physicians recognized them.
They have been noted among many savage races to-day: among the Indians of
North and South America, among the peoples of the Nile and the Soudan, in
the Malay archipelago.[185] In Europe they are most common among the
women of the people, living simple and natural lives.[186]

The true normal relationship of the longings of pregnancy is with the
impulsive and often irresistible longings for food delicacies which are
apt to overcome children, and in girls often persist or revive through
adolescence and even beyond. Such sudden fits of greediness belong to
those kind of normal psychic manifestations which are on the verge of the
abnormal into which they occasionally pass. They may occur, however, in
healthy, well-bred, and well-behaved children who, under the stress of the
sudden craving, will, without compunction and apparently without
reflection, steal the food they long for or even steal from their parents
the money to buy it. The food thus seized by a well-nigh irresistible
craving is nearly always a fruit. Fruit is usually doled out to children
in small quantities as a luxury, but we are descended from primitive human
peoples and still more remote ape-like ancestors, by whom fruit was in its
season eaten copiously, and it is not surprising that when that season
comes round the child, more sensitive than the adult to primitive
influences, should sometimes experience the impulse of its ancestors with
overwhelming intensity, all the more so if, as is probable, the craving is
to some extent the expression of a physiological need.

    Sanford Bell, who has investigated the food impulses of children
    in America, finds that girls have a greater number of likes and
    dislikes in foods than boys of the same age, though at the same
    time they have less dislikes to some foods than boys. The
    proclivity for sweets and fruits shows itself as soon as a child
    begins to eat solids. The chief fruits liked are oranges,
    bananas, apples, peaches, and pears. This strong preference for
    fruits lasts till the age of 13 or 14, though relatively weaker
    from 10 to 13. In girls, however, Bell notes the significant fact
    from our present point of view that at mid-adolescence there is a
    revived taste for sweets and fruits. He believes that the growth
    of children in taste in foods recapitulates the experience of the
    race. (S. Bell, "An Introductory Study of the Psychology of
    Foods." _Pedagogical Seminary_, March, 1904.)

The heightened nervous impressionability of pregnancy would appear to
arouse into activity those primitive impulses which are liable to occur in
childhood and in the unmarried girl continue to the nubile age. It is a
significant fact that the longings of pregnant women are mainly for fruit,
and notably for so wholesome a fruit as the apple, which may very well
have a beneficial effect on the system of the pregnant woman. Giles, in
his tabulation of the foods longed for by 300 pregnant women, found that
the fruit group was by far the largest, furnishing 79 cases; apples were
far away at the head, occurring in 34 cases out of the 99 who had
longings, while oranges followed at a distance (with 13 cases), and in the
vegetable group tomatoes came first (with 6 cases). Several women declared
"I could have lived on apples," "I was eating apples all day," "I used to
sit up in bed eating apples."[187] Pregnant women appear seldom to long
for the possession of objects outside the edible class, and it seems
doubtful whether they have any special tendency to kleptomania. Pinard has
pointed out that neither Lasègue nor Lunier, in their studies of
kleptomania, have mentioned a single shop robbery committed by a pregnant
woman.[188] Brouardel has indeed found such cases, but the object stolen
was usually a food.

A further significant fact connecting the longings of pregnant women with
the longings of children is to be found in the fact that they occur mainly
in young women. We have, indeed, no tabulation of the ages of pregnant
women who have manifested longings, but Giles has clearly shown that these
chiefly occur in primiparæ, and steadily and rapidly decrease in each
successive pregnancy. This fact, otherwise somewhat difficult of
explanation, is natural if we look upon the longings of pregnancy as a
revival of those of childhood. It certainly indicates also that we can by
no means regard these longings as exclusively the expression of a
physiological craving, for in that case they would be liable to occur in
any pregnancy unless, indeed, it is argued that with each successive
pregnancy the woman becomes less sensitive to her own physiological state.

    There has been a frequent tendency, more especially among
    primitive peoples, to regard a pregnant woman's longings as
    something sacred and to be indulged, all the more, no doubt, as
    they are usually of a simple and harmless character. In the Black
    Forest, according to Ploss and Bartels, a pregnant woman may go
    freely into other people's gardens and take fruit, provided she
    eats it on the spot, and very similar privileges are accorded to
    her elsewhere. Old English opinion, as reflected, for instance,
    in Ben Jonson's plays (as Dr. Harriet C.B. Alexander has pointed
    out), regards the pregnant woman as not responsible for her
    longings, and Kiernan remarks ("Kleptomania and Collectivism,"
    _Alienist and Neurologist_, November, 1902) that this is in "a
    most natural and just view." In France at the Revolution a law of
    the 28th Germinal, in the year III, to some extent admitted the
    irresponsibility of the pregnant woman generally,--following the
    classic precedent, by which a woman could not be brought before a
    court of justice so long as she was pregnant,--but the Napoleonic
    code, never tender to women, abrogated this. Pinard does not
    consider that the longings of pregnant women are irresistible,
    and, consequently, regards the pregnant woman as responsible.
    This is probably the view most widely held. In any case these
    longings seldom come up for medico-legal consideration.

The phenomena of the longings of pregnancy are linked to the much more
obscure and dubious phenomena of the influence of maternal impressions on
the child within the womb. It is true, indeed, that there is no real
connection whatever between these two groups of manifestations, but they
have been so widely and for so long closely associated in the popular mind
that it is convenient to pass directly from one to the other. The same
name is sometimes given to the two manifestations; thus in France a
pregnant longing is an _envie_, while a mother's mark on the child is also
called an _envie_, because it is supposed to be due to the mother's
unsatisfied longing.

The conception of a "maternal impression" (the German _Versehen_) rests on
the belief that a powerful mental influence working on the mother's mind
may produce an impression, either general or definite, on the child she is
carrying. It makes a great deal of difference whether the effect of the
impression on the child is general, or definite and circumscribed. It is
not difficult to believe that a general effect--even, as Sir Arthur
Mitchell first gave good reason for believing, idiocy--may be produced on
the child by strong and prolonged emotional influence working on the
mother, because such general influence may be transmitted through a
deteriorated blood-stream. But it is impossible at present to understand
how a definite and limited influence working on the mother could produce a
definite and limited effect on the child, for there are no channels of
nervous communications for the passage of such influences. Our difficulty
in conceiving of the process must, however, be put aside if the fact
itself can be demonstrated by convincing evidence.

    In order to illustrate the nature of maternal impressions, I will
    summarize a few cases which I have collected from the best
    medical periodical literature during the past fifteen years. I
    have exercised no selection and in no way guarantee the
    authenticity of the alleged facts or the alleged explanation.
    They are merely examples to illustrate a class of cases published
    from time to time by medical observers in medical journals of
    high repute.

    Early in pregnancy a woman found her pet rabbit killed by a cat
    which had gnawed off the two forepaws, leaving ragged stumps; she
    was for a long time constantly thinking of this. Her child was
    born with deformed feet, one foot with only two toes, the other
    three, the os calcis in both feet being either absent or little
    developed. (G.B. Beale, Tottenham, _Lancet_, May 4, 1889).

    Three months and a half before birth of the child the father, a
    glazier, fell through the roof of a hothouse, severely cutting
    his right arm, so that he was lying in the infirmary for a long
    time, and it was doubtful whether the hand could be saved. The
    child was healthy, but on the flexor surface of the radial side
    of the right forearm just above the wrist--the same spot as the
    father's injury--there was a nævus the size of a sixpence. (W.
    Russell, Paisley, _Lancet_, May 11, 1889.)

    At the beginning of pregnancy a woman was greatly scared by being
    kicked over by a frightened cow she was milking; she hung on to
    the animal's teats, but thought she would be trampled to death,
    and was ill and nervous for weeks afterwards. The child was a
    monster, with a fleshy substance--seeming to be prolonged from
    the spinal cord and to represent the brain--projecting from the
    floor of the skull. Both doctor and nurse were struck by the
    resemblance to a cow's teats before they knew the woman's story,
    and this was told by the woman immediately after delivery and
    before she knew to what she had given birth. (A. Ross Paterson,
    Reversby, Lincolnshire, _Lancet_, September 29, 1889.)

    During the second month of pregnancy the mother was terrified by
    a bullock as she was returning from market. The child reached
    full term and was a well-developed male, stillborn. Its head
    "exactly resembled a miniature cow's head;" the occipital bone
    was absent, the parietals only slightly developed, the eyes were
    placed at the top of the frontal bone, which was quite flat, with
    each of its superior angles twisted into a rudimentary horn.
    (J.T. Hislop, Tavistock, Devon, _Lancet_, November 1, 1890.)

    When four months pregnant the mother, a multipara of 30, was
    startled by a black and white collie dog suddenly pushing against
    her and rushing out when she opened the door. This preyed on her
    mind, and she felt sure her child would be marked. The whole of
    the child's right thigh was encircled by a shining black mole,
    studded with white hairs; there was another mole on the spine of
    the left scapula. (C.F. Williamson, Horley, Surrey, _Lancet_,
    October 11, 1890.)

    A lady in comfortable circumstances, aged 24, not markedly
    emotional, with one child, in all respects healthy, early in her
    pregnancy saw a man begging whose arms and legs were "all doubled
    up." This gave her a shock, but she hoped no ill effects would
    follow. The child was an encephalous monster, with the
    extremities rigidly flexed and the fingers clenched, the feet
    almost sole to sole. In the next pregnancy she frequently passed
    a man who was a partial cripple, but she was not unduly
    depressed; the child was a counterpart of the last, except that
    the head was normal. The next child was strong and well formed.
    (C.W. Chapman, London, _Lancet_, October 18, 1890.)

    When the pregnant mother was working in a hayfield her husband
    threw at her a young hare he had found in the hay; it struck her
    on the cheek and neck. Her daughter has on the left cheek an
    oblong patch of soft dark hair, in color and character clearly
    resembling the fur of a very young hare. (A. Mackay, Port Appin,
    N.B., _Lancet_, December 19, 1891. The writer records also four
    other cases which have happened in his experience.)

    When the mother was pregnant her husband had to attend to a sow
    who could not give birth to her pigs; he bled her freely, cutting
    a notch out of both ears. His wife insisted on seeing the sow.
    The helix of each ear of her child at birth was gone, for nearly
    or quite half an inch, as if cut purposely. (R.P. Roons, _Medical
    World_, 1894.)

    A lady when pregnant was much interested in a story in which one
    of the characters had a supernumerary digit, and this often
    recurred to her mind. Her baby had a supernumerary digit on one
    hand. (J. Jenkyns, Aberdeen, _British Medical Journal_, March 2,
    1895. The writer also records another case.)

    When pregnant the mother saw in the forest a new-born fawn which
    was a double monstrosity. Her child was a similar double
    monstrosity (_cephalothora copagus_). (Hartmann, _Münchener
    Medicinisches Wochenschrift_, No. 9, 1895.)

    A well developed woman of 30, who had ten children in twelve
    years, in the third month of her tenth pregnancy saw a child run
    over by a street car, which crushed the upper and back part of
    its head. Her own child was anencephalic and acranial, with
    entire absence of vault of skull. (F.A. Stahl, _American Journal
    of Obstetrics_, April, 1896.)

    A healthy woman with no skin blemish had during her third
    pregnancy a violent appetite for sunfish. During or after the
    fourth month her husband, as a surprise, brought her some sunfish
    alive, placing them in a pail of water in the porch. She stumbled
    against the pail and the shock caused the fish to flap over the
    pail and come in violent contact with her leg. The cold wriggling
    fish produced a nervous shock, but she attached no importance to
    this. The child (a girl) had at birth a mark of bronze pigment
    resembling a fish with the head uppermost (photograph given) on
    the corresponding part of the same leg. Daughter's health good;
    throughout life she has had a strong craving for sunfish, which
    she has sometimes eaten till she has vomited from repletion.
    (C.F. Gardiner, Colorado Springs, _American Journal Obstetrics_,
    February, 1898.)

    The next case occurred in a bitch. A thoroughbred fox terrier
    bitch strayed and was discovered a day or two later with her
    right foreleg broken. The limb was set under chloroform with the
    help of Röntgen rays, and the dog made a good recovery. Several
    weeks later she gave birth to a puppy with a right foreleg that
    was ill-developed and minus the paw. (J. Booth, Cork, _British
    Medical Journal_, September 16, 1899.)

    Four months before the birth of her child a woman with four
    healthy children and no history of deformity in the family fell
    and cut her left wrist severely against a broken bowl; she had a
    great fright and shock. Her child, otherwise perfect, was born
    without left hand and wrist, the stump of arm terminating at
    lower end of radius and ulna. (G. Ainslie Johnston, Ambleside,
    _British Medical Journal_, April 18, 1903.)

The belief in the reality of the transference of strong mental or physical
impressions on the mother into physical changes in the child she is
bearing is very ancient and widespread. Most writers on the subject begin
with the book of Genesis and the astute device of Jacob in influencing the
color of his lambs by mental impressions on his ewes. But the belief
exists among even more primitive people than the early Hebrews, and in all
parts of the world.[189] Among the Greeks there is a trace of the belief
in Hippocrates, the first of the world's great physicians, while Soranus,
the most famous of ancient gynæcologists, states the matter in the most
precise manner, with instances in proof. The belief continued to persist
unquestioned throughout the Middle Ages. The first author who denied the
influence of maternal impressions altogether appears to have been the
famous anatomist, Realdus Columbus, who was a professor at Padua, Pisa,
and Rome at the beginning of the sixteenth century. In the same century,
however, another and not less famous Neapolitan, Della Porta, for the
first time formulated a definite theory of maternal impressions. A little
later, early in the seventeenth century, a philosophic physician at Padua,
Fortunatus Licetus, took up an intermediate position which still finds,
perhaps reasonably, a great many adherents. He recognized that a very
frequent cause of malformation in the child is to be found in morbid
antenatal conditions, but at the same time was not prepared to deny
absolutely and in every case the influence of maternal impression on such
conditions. Malebranche, the Platonic philosopher, allowed the greatest
extension to the power of the maternal imagination. In the eighteenth
century, however, the new spirit of free inquiry, of radical criticism,
and unfettered logic, led to a sceptical attitude toward this ancient
belief then flourishing vigorously.[190] In 1727, a few years after
Malebranche's death, James Blondel, a physician of extreme acuteness, who
had been born in Paris, was educated at Leyden, and practiced in London,
published the first methodical and thorough attack on the doctrine of
maternal impressions, _The Strength of Imagination of Pregnant Women
Examined_, and exercised his great ability in ridiculing it. Haller,
Roederer, and Sömmering followed in the steps of Blondel, and were either
sceptical or hostile to the ancient belief. Blumenbach, however, admitted
the influence of maternal impressions. Erasmus Darwin, as well as Goethe
in his _Wahlverwandtschaften_, even accepted the influence of paternal
impressions on the child. By the beginning of the nineteenth century the
majority of physicians were inclined to relegate maternal impressions to
the region of superstition. Yet the exceptions were of notable importance.
Burdach, when all deductions were made, still found it necessary to retain
the belief in maternal impressions, and Von Baer, the founder of
embryology, also accepted it, supported by a case, occurring in his own
sister, which he was able to investigate before the child's birth. L.W.T.
Bischoff, also, while submitting the doctrine to acute criticism, found it
impossible to reject maternal impressions absolutely, and he remarked that
the number of adherents to the doctrine was showing a tendency to increase
rather than diminish. Johannes Müller, the founder of modern physiology in
Germany, declared himself against it, and his influence long prevailed;
Valentin, Rudolf Wagner, and Emil du Bois-Reymond were on the same side.
On the other hand various eminent gynæcologists--Litzmann, Roth, Hennig,
etc.--have argued in favor of the reality of maternal impressions.[191]

The long conflict of opinion which has taken place over this opinion has
still left the matter unsettled. The acutest critics of the ancient
belief constantly conclude the discussion with an expression of doubt and
uncertainty. Even if the majority of authorities are inclined to reject
maternal impressions, the scientific eminence of those who accept them
makes a decisive opinion difficult. The arguments against such influence
are perfectly sound: (1) it is a primitive belief of unscientific origin;
(2) it is impossible to conceive how such influence can operate since
there is no nervous connection between mother and child; (3) comparatively
few cases have been submitted to severe critical investigation; (4) it is
absurd to ascribe developmental defects to influences which arise long
after the foetus had assumed its definite shape[192]; (5) in any case the
phenomenon must be rare, for William Hunter could not find a coincidence
between maternal impressions and foetal marks through a period of several
years, and Bischoff found no case in 11,000 deliveries. These statements
embody the whole of the argument against maternal impressions, yet it is
clear that they do not settle the matter. Edgar, in a manual of obstetrics
which is widely regarded as a standard work, states that this is "yet a
mooted question."[193] Ballantyne, again, in a discussion of this
influence at the Edinburgh Obstetrical Society, summarizing the result of
a year's inquiry, concluded that it is still "_sub judice_."[194] In a
subsequent discussion of the question he has somewhat modified his
opinion, and is inclined to deny that definite impressions on the pregnant
woman's mind can cause similar defects in the foetus; they are "accidental
coincidences," but he adds that a few of the cases are difficult to
explain away. At the same time he fully believes that prolonged and
strongly marked mental states of the mother may affect the development of
the foetus in her uterus, causing vascular and nutritive disturbances,
irregularities of development, and idiocy.[195]

    Whether and in how far mental impressions on the mother can
    produce definite mental and emotional disposition in the child is
    a special aspect of the question to which scarcely any inquiry
    has been devoted. So distinguished a biologist as Mr. A.W.
    Wallace has, however, called attention to this point, bringing
    forward evidence on the question and emphasizing the need of
    further investigation. "Such transmission of mental influence,"
    he remarks, "will hardly be held to be impossible or even very
    improbable," (A.W. Wallace, "Prenatal Influences on Character,"
    _Nature_, August 24, 1893.)

It has already been pointed out that a large number of cases of foetal
deformities, supposed to be due to maternal impressions, cannot possibly
be so caused because the impression took place at a period when the
development of the foetus must already have been decided. In this
connection, however, it must be noted that Dabney has observed a
relationship between the time of supposed mental impressions and the
nature of the actual defect which is of considerable significance as an
argument in favor of the influence of mental impressions. He tabulated 90
carefully reported cases from recent medical literature, and found that 21
of them were concerned with defects of structure of the lips and palate.
In all but 2 of these 21 the defect was referred to an impression
occurring within the first three months of pregnancy. This is an important
point as showing that the assigned cause really falls within a period when
a defect of development actually could produce the observed result,
although the person reporting the cases was in many instances manifestly
ignorant of the details of embryology and teratology. There was no such
preponderance of early impressions among the defects of skin and hair
which might well, so far as development is concerned, have been caused at
a later period; here, in 7 out of 15 cases, it was distinctly stated that
the impression was made later than the fourth month.[196]

It would seem, on the whole, that while the influence of maternal
impressions in producing definite effects on the child within the womb has
by no means been positively demonstrated, we are not entitled to reject it
with any positive assurance. Even if we accept it, however, it must
remain, for the present, an inexplicable fact; the _modus operandi_ we can
scarcely even guess at. General influences from the mother on the child we
can easily conceive of as conveyed by the mother's blood; we can even
suppose that the modified blood might act specifically on one particular
kind of tissue. We can, again, as suggested by Féré, very well believe
that the maternal emotions act upon the womb and produce various kinds and
degrees of pressure on the child within, so that the apparently active
movements of the foetus may be really consecutive on unconscious maternal
excitations.[197] We may also believe that, as suggested by John Thomson,
there are slight incoördinations _in utero_, a kind of developmental
neurosis, produced by some slight lack of harmony of whatever origin, and
leading to the production of malformations.[198] We know, finally, that,
as Féré and others have repeatedly demonstrated during recent years by
experiments on chickens, etc., very subtle agents, even odors, may
profoundly affect embryonic development and produce deformity. But how the
mother's psychic disposition can, apart from heredity, affect specifically
the physical conformation or even the psychic disposition of the child
within her womb must remain for the present an insoluble mystery, even if
we feel disposed to conclude that in some cases such action seems to be

    In comprehending such a connection, however at present
    undemonstrated, it may well be borne in mind that the
    relationship of the mother to the child within her womb is of a
    uniquely intimate character. It is of interest in this
    connection to quote some remarks by an able psychologist, Dr.
    Henry Rutgers Marshall; the remarks are not less interesting for
    being brought forward without any connection with the question of
    maternal impressions: "It is true that, so far as we know, the
    nervous system of the embryo never has a direct connection with
    the nervous system of the mother: nevertheless, as there is a
    reciprocity of reaction between the physical body of the mother
    and its embryonic parasite, the relation of the embryonic nervous
    system to the nervous system of the mother is not very far
    removed from the relation of the pre-eminent part of the nervous
    system of a man to some minor nervous system within his body
    which is to a marked extent dissociated from the whole neural

    "Correspondingly, then, and within the consciousness of the
    mother, there develops a new little minor consciousness which,
    although but lightly integrated with the mass of her
    consciousness, nevertheless has its part in her consciousness
    taken as a whole, much as the psychic correspondents of the
    action of the nerve which govern the secretions of the glands of
    the body have their part in her consciousness taken as a whole.

    "It is very much as if the optic ganglia developed fully in
    themselves, without any closer connection with the rest of the
    brain than existed at their first appearance. They would form a
    little complex nervous system almost but not quite apart from the
    brain system; and it would be difficult to deny them a
    consciousness of their own; which would indeed form part of the
    whole consciousness of the individual, but which would be in a
    manner self-dependent." It must, if this is so, be said that
    before birth, on the psychic side, the embryo's activities "form
    part of a complex consciousness which is that of the mother and
    embryo together." "Without subscribing to the strange stories of
    telepathy, of the solemn apparition of a person somewhere at the
    moment of his death a thousand miles away, of the unquiet ghost
    haunting the scenes of its bygone hopes and endeavors, one may
    ask" (with the author of the address in medicine at the Leicester
    gathering of the British Medical Association, _British Medical
    Journal_, July 29, 1905) "whether two brains cannot be so tuned
    in sympathy as to transmit and receive a subtile transfusion of
    mind without mediation of sense. Considering what is implied by
    the human brain with its countless millions of cells, its
    complexities of minute structure, its innumerable chemical
    compositions, and the condensed forces in its microscopic and
    ultramicroscopic elements--the whole a sort of microcosm of
    cosmic forces to which no conceivable compound of electric
    batteries is comparable; considering, again, that from an
    electric station waves of energy radiate through the viewless air
    to be caught up by a fit receiver a thousand miles distant, it is
    not inconceivable that the human brain may send off still more
    subtile waves to be accepted and interpreted by the fitly tuned
    receiving brain. Is it, after all, mere fancy that a mental
    atmosphere or effluence emanates from one person to affect
    another, either soothing sympathetically or irritating
    antipathically?" These remarks (like Dr. Marshall's) were made
    without reference to maternal impressions, but it may be pointed
    out that under no conceivable circumstance could we find a brain
    in so virginal and receptive a state as is the child's in the

On the whole we see that pregnancy induces a psychic state which is at
once, in healthy persons, one of full development and vigor, and at the
same time one which, especially in individuals who are slightly abnormal,
is apt to involve a state of strained or overstrained nervous tension and
to evoke various manifestations which are in many respects still
imperfectly understood. Even the specifically sexual emotions tend to be
heightened, more especially during the earlier period of pregnancy. In 24
cases of pregnancy in which the point was investigated by Harry Campbell,
sexual feeling was decidedly increased in 8, in one case (of a woman aged
31 who had had four children) being indeed only present during pregnancy,
when it was considerable; in only 7 cases was there diminution or
disappearance of sexual feeling.[199] Pregnancy may produce mental
depression;[200] but on the other hand it frequently leads to a change of
the most favorable character in the mental and general well-being. Some
women indeed are only well during pregnancy. It is remarkable that some
women who habitually suffer from various nervous troubles--neuralgias,
gastralgia, headache, insomnia--are only free from them at this moment.
This "paradox of gestation," as Vinay has termed it, is specially marked
in the hysterical and those suffering from slight nervous disorders, but
it is by no means universal, so that although it is possible, Vinay
states, to confirm the opinion of the ancients as to the beneficial
action of marriage on hysteria, that is only true of slight cases and
scarcely enables us to counsel marriage in hysteria.[201] Even a woman's
intelligence is sometimes heightened by pregnancy, and Tarnier, as quoted
by Vinay, knew many women whose intelligence, habitually somewhat obtuse,
has only risen to the normal level during pregnancy.[202] The pregnant
woman has reached the climax of womanhood; she has attained to that state
toward which the periodically recurring menstrual wave has been drifting
her at regular intervals throughout her sexual life[203]; she has achieved
that function for which her body has been constructed, and her mental and
emotional disposition adapted, through countless ages.

And yet, as we have seen, our ignorance of the changes effected by the
occurrence of this supremely important event--even on the physical
side--still remains profound. Pregnancy, even for us, the critical and
unprejudiced children of a civilized age, still remains, as for the
children of more primitive ages, a mystery. Conception itself is a mystery
for the primitive man, and may be produced by all sorts of subtle ways
apart from sexual connection, even by smelling a flower.[204] The pregnant
woman was surrounded by ceremonies, by reverence and fear, often shut up
in a place apart.[205] Her presence, her exhalations, were of extreme
potency; even in some parts of Europe to-day, as in the Walloon districts
of Belgium, a pregnant woman must not kiss a child for her breath is
dangerous, or urinate on plants for she will kill them.[206] The mystery
has somewhat changed its form; it still remains. The future of the race is
bound up with our efforts to fathom the mystery of pregnancy. "The early
days of human life," it has been truly said, "are entirely one with the
mother. On her manner of life--eating, drinking, sleeping, and
thinking--what greatness may not hang?"[207] Schopenhauer observed, with
misapplied horror, that there is nothing a woman is less modest about than
the state of pregnancy, while Weininger exclaims: "Never yet has a
pregnant woman given expression in any form--poem, memoirs, or
gynæcological monograph--to her sensations or feelings."[208] Yet when we
contemplate the mystery of pregnancy and all that it involves, how trivial
all such considerations become! We are here lifted into a region where our
highest intelligence can only lead us to adoration, for we are gazing at a
process in which the operations of Nature become one with the divine task
of Creation.


[169] See, e.g., Groos, _Æsthetische Genuss_, p. 249. "We have to admit,"
Groos observes, "the entrance of another instinct, the impulse to tend and
foster, so closely connected with the sexual life. It is seemingly due to
the co-operation of this impulse that the little female bird during
courtship is so often fed by the male like a young fledgling. In man
'love' from the biological standpoint is also an amalgamation of two
needs; when the tender need to protect and foster and serve is lacking the
emotion is not quite perfect. Heine's expression, 'With my mantle I
protect you from the storm,' has always seemed to me very characteristic."
Sometimes the sexual impulse may undergo a complete transformation in this
direction. "I believe there is really a tendency in women," a lady writes
in a letter, "to allow maternal feeling to take the place of sexual
feeling. Very often a woman's feeling for her husband becomes this (though
he may be twenty years older than herself); sometimes it does not,
remaining purely sex feeling. Sometimes it is for some other man she has
this curious self-obliterating maternal feeling. It is not necessarily
connected with sex intercourse. A prostitute, who has relations with
dozens of men, may have it for some feeble drunken fool, who perhaps goes
after other women. I once saw the change from sex feeling to mother
feeling, as I call it, come almost suddenly over a woman after she had
lived about four years with a man who was unfaithful to her. Then, when
all real sex feeling, the hatred of the woman he followed, the desire he
should give her love and tenderness, had all gone, came the other feeling,
and she said to me, 'You don't understand at all; he's only my little
baby; nothing he does can make any difference to me now.' As I grow older
and understand women's natures better, I can see almost at once which
relation it is a woman has to her husband, or any given man. It is this
feeling, and not sex passion, that keeps woman from being free." Not only
is there a sexual association in the impulse to foster and protect, there
would appear to be a similar element also in the response to that impulse.
Freud has especially insisted on the partly sexual character of the
child's feelings for those who care for it and tend it and satisfy its
needs. It is begun in earliest infancy; "whoever has seen the sated infant
sink back from the breast, to fall asleep with flushed cheeks and happy
smile, must say that the picture is adequate to the expression of the
sexual satisfaction of later life." The lips, moreover, are the earliest
erogenous zone. "There will, perhaps, be some opposition," Freud remarks
(_Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie_, pp. 36, 64), "to the
identification of the child's feelings of tenderness and appreciation for
those who tend it with sexual love, but I believe that exact psychological
analysis will place the identity beyond doubt. The relationship of the
child with the person who tends it is for it a continual source of sexual
excitement and satisfaction flowing from the erogenous zones, especially
since the fostering person--as a rule the mother--regards the child with
emotions which proceed from her sexual life; strokes it, kisses it, rocks
it, and very plainly treats it as a compensation for a fully valid sexual
object." Freud remarks that girls who retain the childish character of
their love for their parents to adult age are apt to make cold wives and
to be sexually anæsthetic.

[170] Esbach (in his _Thèse de Paris_, published in 1876) showed that even
the finger nails are affected in pregnancy and become measurably thinner.

[171] C.H. Stratz, _Die Schönheit des Weiblichen Körpers_, Chapter VI.

[172] Iron appears to be liberated in the maternal organism during
pregnancy, and Wychgel has shown (_Zeitschrift für Geburtshülfe und
Gynäkologie_, bd. xlvii, Heft II) that the pigment of pregnant women
contains iron, and that the amount of iron in the urine is increased.

[173] Vinay, _Maladies de la Grossesse_, Chapter VIII; K. Hennig,
"Exploratio Externa," _Comptes-rendus du XIIe. Congrès International de
Médècine_, vol. vi, Section XIII, pp. 144-166. A bibliography of the
literature concerning the physiology of pregnancy, extending to ten pages,
is appended by Pinard to his article "Grossesse," _Dictionnaire
Encyclopédique des Sciences Médicales_.

[174] Stratz, op. cit., Chapter XII.

[175] W.S.A. Griffith, "The Diagnosis of Pregnancy," _British Medical
Journal_, April 11, 1903.

[176] J. Mackenzie and H.O. Nicholson, "The Heart in Pregnancy," _British
Medical Journal_, October 8, 1904; Stengel and Stanton, "The Condition of
the Heart in Pregnancy," _Medical Record_, May 10, 1902 and _University
Pennsylvania Medical Bulletin_, Sept., 1904 (summarized in _British
Medical Journal_, August 16, 1902, and Sept. 23, 1905.)

[177] J. Henderson, "Maternal Blood at Term," _Journal of Obstetrics and
Gynæcology_, February, 1902; C. Douglas, "The Blood in Pregnant Women,"
_British Medical Journal_, March 26, 1904; W.L. Thompson, "The Blood in
Pregnancy," _Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin_, June, 1904.

[178] H.O. Nicholson, "Some Remarks on the Maternal Circulation in
Pregnancy," _British Medical Journal_, October 3, 1903.

[179] J. Morris Slemans, "Metabolism During Pregnancy," _Johns Hopkins
Hospital Reports_, vol. xii, 1904.

[180] B. Wolff, _Zentralblatt für Gynäkologie_, 1904, No. 26.

[181] Tridandani, _Annali di Ostetrica_, March, 1900.

[182] R. Barnes, "The Induction of Labor," _British Medical Journal_,
December 22, 1894.

[183] See, e.g., Havelock Ellis, _Man and Woman_, fourth edition, pp. 344,
et seq.

[184] Arthur Giles, "The Longings of Pregnant Women," _Transactions
Obstetrical Society of London_, vol. xxxv, 1893.

[185] Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, Chapter XXX.

[186] Thus, in Cornwall, "to be in the longing way" is a popular synonym
for pregnancy.

[187] The apple, wherever it is known, has nearly always been a sacred or
magic fruit (as J.F. Campbell shows, _Popular Tales of West Highlands_,
vol. I, p. lxxv. et seq.), and the fruit of the forbidden tree which
tempted Eve is always popularly imagined to be an apple. One may perhaps
refer in this connection to the fact that at Rome and elsewhere the
testicles have been called apples. I may add that we find a curious proof
of the recognition of the feminine love of apples in an old Portuguese
ballad, "Donna Guimar," in which a damsel puts on armour and goes to the
wars; her sex is suspected and as a test, she is taken into an orchard,
but Donna Guimar is too wary to fall into the trap, and turning away from
the apples plucks a citron.

[188] A. Pinard, Art. "Grossesse," _Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des
Sciences Médicales_, p. 138. On the subject of violent, criminal and
abnormal impulses during pregnancy, see Cumston, "Pregnancy and Crime,"
_American Journal Obstetrics_, December, 1903.

[189] See especially Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, vol. i, Chapter XXXI.
Ballantyne in his work on the pathology of the foetus adds Loango negroes,
the Eskimo and the ancient Japanese.

[190] In 1731 Schurig, in his _Syllepsilogia_, devoted more than a hundred
pages (cap. IX) to summarizing a vast number of curious cases of maternal
impressions leading to birth-marks of all kinds.

[191] J.W. Ballantyne has written an excellent history of the doctrine of
maternal impressions, reprinted in his _Manual of Antenatal Pathology: The
Embryo_, 1904, Chapter IX; he gives a bibliography of 381 items. In
Germany the history of the question has been written by Dr. Iwan Bloch
(under the pseudonym of Gerhard von Welsenburg), _Das Versehen der
Frauen_, 1899. Cf., in French, G. Variot, "Origine des Préjugés Populaires
sur les Envies," _Bulletin Société d'Anthropologie_, Paris, June 18, 1891.
Variot rejects the doctrine absolutely, Bloch accepts it, Ballantyne
speaks cautiously.

[192] J.G. Kiernan has shown how many of the alleged cases are negatived
by the failure to take this fact into consideration. (_Journal of American
Medical Association_, December 9, 1899.)

[193] J. Clifton Edgar, _The Practice of Obstetrics_, second edition,
1904, p. 296. In an important discussion of the question at the American
Gynæcological Society in 1886, introduced by Fordyce Barker, various
eminent gynæcologists declared in favor of the doctrine, more or less
cautiously. (_Transactions of the American Gynæcological Society_, vol.
xi, 1886, pp. 152-196.) Gould and Pyle, bringing forward some of the data
on the question (_Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine_, pp. 81, _et
seq._) state that the reality of the influence of maternal impressions
seems fully established. On the other side, see G.W. Cook, _American
Journal of Obstetrics_, September, 1889, and H.F. Lewis, ib., July, 1899.

[194] _Transactions Edinburgh Obstetrical Society_, vol. xvii, 1892.

[195] J.W. Ballantyne, _Manual of Antenatal Pathology: The Embryo_, p. 45.

[196] W.C. Dabney, "Maternal Impressions," Keating's _Cyclopædia of
Diseases of Children_, vol. i, 1889, pp. 191-216.

[197] Féré, _Sensation et Mouvement_, Chapter XIV, "Sur la Psychologie du

[198] J. Thomson, "Defective Co-ordination in Utero," _British Medical
Journal_, September 6, 1902.

[199] H. Campbell, _Nervous Organization of Man and Woman_, p. 206; cf.
Moll, _Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, bd. i, p. 264. Many
authorities, from Soranus of Ephesus onward, consider, however, that
sexual relations should cease during pregnancy, and certainly during the
later months. Cf. Brénot, _De l'influence de la copulation pendant la
grosseisse_, 1903.

[200] Bianchi terms this fairly common condition the neurasthenia of

[201] Vinay, _Traité des Maladies de la Grossesse_, 1894, pp. 51, 577;
Mongeri, "Nervenkrankungen und Schwangerschaft." _Allegemeine Zeitschrift
für Psychiatrie_, bd. LVIII, Heft 5. Haig remarks (_Uric Acid_, sixth
edition, p. 151) that during normal pregnancy diseases with excess of uric
acid in the blood (headaches, fits, mental depression, dyspepsia, asthma)
are absent, and considers that the common idea that women do not easily
take colds, fevers, etc., at this time is well founded.

[202] Founding his remarks on certain anatomical changes and on a
suggestion of Engel's, Donaldson observes: "It is impossible to escape the
conclusion that in women natural education is complete only with
maternity, which we know to effect some slight changes in the sympathetic
system and possibly the spinal cord, and which may be fairly laid under
suspicion of causing more structural modifications than are at present
recognized." H.H. Donaldson, _The Growth of the Brain_, p. 352.

[203] The state of menstruation is in many respects an approximation to
that of pregnancy; see, e.g., Edgar's _Practice of Obstetrics_, plates 6 6
and 7, showing the resemblance of the menstrual changes in the breasts and
the external sexual parts to the changes of pregnancy; cf. Havelock Ellis,
_Man and Woman_, fourth edition, Chapter XI, "The Functional Periodicity
of Woman."

[204] Thus the gypsies say of an unmarried woman who becomes pregnant,
"She has smelt the moon-flower"--a flower believed to grow on the
so-called moon-mountain and to possess the property of impregnating by its
smell. Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, bd. I, Chapter XXVII.

[205] This was a sound instinct, for it is now recognized as an extremely
important part of puericulture that a woman should rest at all events
during the latter part of pregnancy; see, e.g., Pinard, _Gazette des
Hôpitaux_, November 28, 1895, and _Annales de Gynécologie_, August, 1898.

[206] Ploss and Bartels, op. cit., Chapter XXIX; Kryptadia, vol. viii, p.

[207] Griffith Wilkin, _British Medical Journal_, April 8, 1905.

[208] Weininger, _Geschlecht und Charakter_, p. 107. I may remark that a
recent book, Ellis Meredith's _Heart of My Heart_, is devoted to a
seemingly autobiographical account of a pregnant woman's emotions and
ideas. The relations of maternity to intellectual work have been carefully
and impartially investigated by Adele Gerhard and Helena Simon, who seem
to conclude that the conflict between the inevitable claims of maternity
and the scarcely less inevitable claims of the intellectual life cannot be



    HISTORY I.--The following narrative has been written by a
    university man trained in psychology:--

    So far as I have been able to learn, none of my ancestors for at
    least three generations have suffered from any nervous or mental
    disease; and of those more remote I can learn nothing at all. It
    appears probable, then, that any peculiarities of my own sexual
    development must be explained by reference to the somewhat
    peculiar environment.

    I was the first child and was, naturally, somewhat spoiled--a
    process which tended to increase my natural tendency to
    sentimentality. On the other hand, I was shy and undemonstrative
    with all except my nearest relatives, and with them as well after
    my seventh or eighth year. And here it may be well to describe my
    "mental type," as this is probably the most important factor in
    determining the direction of one's mental development. Of mental
    types the "visual" is, of course, by far the most common, but in
    my own case visual imagery was never strong or vivid, and has
    constantly grown weaker. The dominant part has been played by
    tactual, muscular and organic sensations, placing me as one of
    the "tactual motor" type, with strong "verbal motor" and
    "organic" tendencies. In reading a novel I seldom have a mental
    picture of the character or situation, but easily imagine the
    sensations (except the visual) and feel something of the emotions
    described. When telling of any event I have a strong impulse to
    make the movements described and to gesticulate. I remember
    events in terms of movements and the words to be used in giving
    an account of them; and in thinking of any subject I can feel the
    movements of the larynx and, in a less degree, of the lips and
    tongue that would be involved in putting my thoughts into words.
    I am easily moved to emotion, even to sentimentality, but am
    seldom if ever deeply affected and am so averse to any display of
    my feelings that I have the reputation among my acquaintances of
    being cold, unfeeling and unemotional. I am naturally quiet and
    bashful to a degree, which has rendered all forms of social
    intercourse painful through much of my life, and this in spite of
    a real longing to associate with people on terms of intimacy. As
    a child I was sensitive and solitary; later I became morbid as
    well. In a character so constituted the feelings and impulses of
    the moment are likely to rule, and such has been my constant
    experience, though a large element of obstinacy in my character
    has kept me from appearing impulsive, and slight influences will
    bring about reactions which seem out of all proportion to their
    cause. For instance, I cannot, even now, read the more erotic of
    Boccaccio's stories without a good deal of sexual excitement and
    restlessness, which can be relieved only by vigorous exercise or

    The first ten years of my life were passed on a farm, most of the
    time without playmates or companions of my own age.

    As far back as I can remember I indulged in elaborate day-dreams
    in which I figured as the chief character along with a few others
    who were chiefly creatures of my imagination, but at times
    borrowed from reality. These others were always boys until I
    learned the proper function of the sexual organs, when girls
    usurped the whole stage in numbers beyond the limits of a Turkish
    harem. Even at school my day-dreams were scarcely interrupted,
    for my shyness and timidity made me very unpopular among my
    schoolmates, who tormented me after the fashion of small boys or
    neglected me, as the spirit moved them. To make matters worse, I
    was brought up under the "sheltered life system," kept carefully
    away from the "bad boys," which category included nearly all the
    youngsters of the community, and deluged with moral homilies and
    tirades on things religious until I was thoroughly convinced that
    goodness and discomfort, the right and the unpleasant, were
    strictly synonymous; and I was kept through much of the time
    facing the prospect of an early death, to be followed by the good
    old orthodox hell or the equal miseries of its gorgeous
    alternative. I may say in all seriousness that this is a
    conservative and unexaggerated account of one phase of my early
    life--the one, I think, that tended most strongly to make me
    introspective and morbid. Later on, when I was trying to abandon
    the habit of masturbation, this early training greatly increased
    the despair I felt at each successive failure.

    The first traces of sexual excitement that I can now recall
    occurred when I was about 4 years old. I had erections quite
    frequently and found a mild pleasure in fondling my genitals when
    these occurred, especially just after waking in the morning. I
    had no notion of an orgasm, and never succeeded in producing one
    until I was 13 years of age. In the summer of my sixth year I
    experienced pleasurable sensations in daubing my genitals with
    oil and then fondling or rubbing them, but I abandoned this
    amusement after getting some irritating substance into the
    meatus. A year later my mother warned me that playing with my
    penis would "make me very sick," but since experience had taught
    me that this was not true, my conviction that what was forbidden
    must necessarily be pleasant, sent me directly to my favorite
    retreat in the barn loft to experiment. Since, however, I failed,
    in spite of persistent effort, to produce any such pleasant
    results as I had expected, I soon gave up my attempts for other
    kinds of amusement.

    A few months after this, in midsummer, a very sensual servant
    girl began a series of attempts to satisfy herself sexually with
    my help. She came nearly every day into the loft where I was
    playing and did her best to initiate me into the mysteries of
    sexual relationships, but I proved a sorry pupil. She would rub
    my penis until it became erect and then, placing me upon her,
    would insert the penis in her vulva and make movements of her
    thighs and hips calculated to cause friction. At times she varied
    the program by lying upon me and embracing me passionately. I can
    remember distinctly her quick, gasping breath and convulsive
    movements. She generally ended the seance by persuading me to
    perform cunnilingus upon her. None of these performances were
    intelligible to me and I invariably protested against being
    compelled to leave my play to amuse her. Even her fondling of my
    genitals annoyed me; and, stranger still, I preferred satisfying
    her by cunnilingus to the attempts at coitus.

    It was nearly a year later that I experienced the first
    unmistakable manifestations of the sexual impulse--erections
    accompanied by lustful feeling and vague desires of whose proper
    satisfaction I had no notion whatever. It never occurred to me to
    associate my experiences with the servant girl with these new
    sensations. The peculiar fact about them was that they were
    generally occasioned by the infliction of pain upon animals. I do
    not remember how I first discovered that they could be evoked in
    this way, but I can clearly recollect many of my efforts to
    arouse this pleasurable excitement by abusing the dog or the
    cats, or by prodding the calves with a nail set in the end of a
    broom handle. I seldom manipulated my genitals at this time, and
    when I did it was for the purpose of causing sexual excitement
    rather than allaying it.

    During this same year I got my first idea of sexual intercourse
    by watching animals copulate; but my powers of observation must
    have been limited, for I supposed that the penis of the male
    entered the anus of the female. In watching the coitus of animals
    I experienced lively sexual excitement and lustful sensations,
    located not only in the genitals, but apparently in the anus as
    well. I often excited, myself by imagining myself playing the
    part of the female animal--a peculiar combination of passive
    pederasty and bestiality. A servant girl put me to right on the
    error of observation just mentioned, but neglected to apply the
    principle to human animals, and I remained for another year in
    complete ignorance of the structure of woman's sexual organs and
    of the intercourse between man and woman. In the meantime I
    cultivated my fancies of intercourse with animals, often still
    perversely imagining myself taking the part of the female; and
    the notion of such relationships gradually became so familiar as
    to seem possible and desirable. This is especially significant in
    view of later developments.

    Up to my eleventh or twelfth year the erotic element in my
    daydreaming varied with the seasons. In the summer it played a
    dominant part, while in the winter it was almost entirely absent,
    owing, it may be, to the fact that most of my time was spent
    indoors or on long, tiresome tramps to and from school, and the
    further fact that during the winter I saw but little of the
    animals which had acted as a stimulus to sexual excitement. So
    little was I troubled in winter and so ignorant was I of normal
    intercourse that sleeping with a cousin, a girl of about my own
    age (7 or 8 years), resulted in no addition to my knowledge of
    things sexual.

    It was early in my ninth year that I first learned something of
    the anatomical difference between man and woman and of the
    functions of the sexual organs in coitus. These were explained to
    me by a young male servant, who, however, told me nothing of
    conception or pregnancy. At first I was very little interested,
    as it did not immediately occur to me to associate my own erotic
    experiences with the matter of these revelations; but under the
    faithful tuition of my new instructor I soon began to desire
    normal coitus, and my interest in the sexual affairs of animals
    weakened accordingly. His teachings went still further, for he
    masturbated before me, then persuaded me to masturbate him, and
    finally practiced coitus inter femora upon me. He also tried to
    masturbate me, but was unable to produce an orgasm, though I
    found the experiment mildly pleasurable.

    Early in my eleventh year we left the farm and lived in the city
    for several months. In the meantime there had been no
    developments in my sexual life beyond what has already been
    indicated. In the city I found so much to interest and amuse me
    that I almost entirely forgot my erotic day-dreams and desires.
    Though my chief playmates were two girls of about my own age I
    never thought of attempting sexual intercourse with them, as I
    might easily have done, for they were much wiser and more
    experienced in these things than myself. Shortly before the end
    of our stay in town an older schoolmate explained to me as much
    of the process of reproduction as is usually known by a
    precocious youngster of 12 years, but I firmly refused to credit
    his statements. He adduced the fact of lactation in proof of the
    correctness of his views, but I had been too thoroughly steeped
    in supernaturalism to be very amenable to naturalistic evidence
    of this sort and remained obdurate. But the suggestion stayed
    with me and perplexed me not a little; when we returned to the
    farm I began to watch the reproductive process in animals.

    The following two years were decidedly unpleasant. I was growing
    rapidly and was sluggish, awkward and stupid. At school I was
    more unpopular than ever and seemed to have a positive genius
    for doing the wrong thing. On the rare occasions when my
    companions admitted me to their counsels I was a willing dupe and
    catspaw, with the result that I was much in trouble with my
    teachers. Being morbidly sensitive I suffered keenly under these
    circumstances and, as my health was not at all good, I often made
    of my frequent headaches excuses to stay at home, where I would
    lie abed brooding over my small troubles or, more often, dreaming
    erotic day-dreams and making repeated attempts to produce an
    orgasm. But though these efforts were accompanied by the most
    lustful thoughts and my imagination created situations of
    oriental extravagance, I was 13 years old when they first met
    with success. I remember the occasion very distinctly, the more
    so because I thought of it much and bitterly when shortly
    afterwards I tried to abandon a habit which the family "doctor
    book" assured me must result in every variety of damnation. At
    the moment, however, I was greatly surprised and gratified and
    tried at once to repeat the delightful sensation, but was unable
    to do so until the following day. From that time to the present I
    think I have masturbated an average of ten times per week, and
    this is certainly a very conservative estimate; for though up to
    my sixteenth year I could seldom produce an orgasm more than once
    a day I have often, during the last four or five years, produced
    it from four to seven times per day without difficulty and this
    for days and even weeks in succession. During these periods of
    excessive masturbation very little liquid was ejaculated and the
    pleasurable sensations were slight or entirely lacking.

    From the time when I began masturbating regularly practically my
    whole interest centered in things pertaining to sex. I read the
    chapters of the family "doctor book" which treated of sexual
    matters; my day-dreams were almost exclusively erotic; I sought
    opportunities to talk about sex-relationships with my
    schoolmates, with whom I was now slowly getting on better terms;
    I collected pictures of nude women, learned a great number of
    obscene stories, read such obscene books as I could obtain and
    even searched the dictionary for words having a sexual
    connotation. Up to my fifteenth year, when ejaculation of semen
    began, there was a strong sadistic coloring to my day-dreams.
    Through this period, too, my bashfulness in the presence of the
    opposite sex increased until it reached the point of absurdity.

    When fifteen years old I began to practice coitus inter femora on
    my brother and continued it intermittently for about two years.
    The experience was disappointing, for I had confidently expected
    a great increase of pleasure over masturbation in this act; and
    in casting about for some stronger stimulus I recurred to the
    forgotten idea of intercourse with animals. I promptly tried to
    put the idea to a test, but failed several times, and finally
    succeeded, only to find that the result fell far short of my
    expectations. Nevertheless I continued the practice irregularly
    for about three years--or rather through that part of the three
    years that I spent at home, for while I was at school opportunity
    for such indulgence was lacking. Long familiarity with the idea
    of intercourse with animals had made it impossible for me to feel
    the disgust with the practice which it inspires in most people;
    and even the perusal of Exodus xxii: 19 failed to make me abandon
    it. Firmly as I believed in the Mosaic law the supremacy of the
    sexual impulse was complete.

    As early as my sixteenth year I tried to abandon "self-abuse" in
    all its forms and have repeatedly made the same effort since that
    time but never with more than very partial success. On two or
    three occasions I have stopped for periods of several weeks, but
    only to begin again and indulge more recklessly than before. The
    deep depression which followed each failure, and often each act
    of masturbation, I attributed solely to the loss of semen,
    leaving out of account the fact that I expected to feel depressed
    and the utter discouragement and self-contempt which accompanied
    the sense of failure and weakness when, in the face of my
    resolution, I repeatedly gave way and yielded to the temptation
    to an act whose consequences I firmly believed must be ruinous. I
    am now convinced that by far the greater part of this depression
    was due to suggestion and the humiliating sense of defeat. And
    this feeling of moral impotence, this seeming helplessness
    against an overpowering impulse which, on the other hand, seemed
    so trivial when viewed without passion, eventually weakened my
    self-control to a degree guessed by no one but myself and sapped
    the foundations of my moral life in a way which I have constant
    occasion to deplore.

    The foregoing paragraphs give, I think, a fair idea of my
    condition when I left home for a boarding school at the beginning
    of my seventeenth year. From this time my experiences may be said
    to have run on in two distinct cycles--that of the summer months
    when I was at home, and that of the remainder of the year when I
    was at school. This fact will make some confusion and apparent
    inconsistency in the rest of this "history" unavoidable. When I
    left home I was shy, retiring, totally ignorant of social usage,
    without self-confidence, unambitious, dreamy, and subject to fits
    of melancholy. I masturbated at least once a day, though I was in
    almost constant rebellion against the habit. In my more idle
    moments I elaborated erotic day dreams in which there was a
    peculiar mixture of the purely sensual and the purely ideal
    element; which never fused in my experience, but held the field
    alternately or mingled somewhat in the manner of air and water.
    One person usually served as the object of my ideal attachment,
    another as the center round which I grouped my sensual dreams and

    At school I found more congenial companions than I had fallen in
    with elsewhere, and the necessary contact with people of both
    sexes gradually wore off some of the rougher corners and brought
    a measure of self-confidence. I had two or three incipient love
    affairs which my backwardness kept from growing serious. Out of
    this change of environment came a sense of expansion, of escape
    from self, which was distinctly pleasant. I still masturbated
    regularly, but no longer experienced the former depression except
    when at home during vacation. Relatively to the past, life was
    now so varied and interesting that I had less and less time for
    melancholy; and the discovery that I could lead my classes and
    hold my own in athletic sports seemed to indicate that my past
    fears had been exaggerated. Nevertheless I was never reconciled
    to the habit and often rebelled at the weakness that kept me its

    When I entered the university the effects of my useless struggle
    with the practice of masturbation were pretty well developed. I
    could no longer fix my attention steadily upon my work and found
    that only by "cribbing" and "bluffing" could I keep my place at
    the head of my classes. I was troubled not a little by the
    shoddiness of my work, and tried again and again during the
    course of the two years spent at this college to shake off the
    habit. At the university I was introduced gradually to a wider
    social circle and so far outgrew my bashfulness that I began to
    seek the society of the opposite sex assiduously. As I gained
    self-confidence I became reckless, getting at one time into
    serious trouble with the authorities which came near resulting in
    my expulsion. I became one of the more popular members of the
    clique to which I belonged--much to my surprise and even more to
    that of my acquaintances. The physical culture craze attacked me
    at this time and my pet ambition was the attainment of strength
    and agility. My bump of vanity also grew apace, but an unmeasured
    hatred of all kinds of foppishness kept me on the safe side of
    moderation in my dress and behavior.

    During my second year of university life I had two love affairs
    in the course of which I found that my interest in any particular
    member of the fair sex disappeared as soon as it was returned.
    The pursuit was fascinating enough, but I cared nothing at all
    for the prize when once it was within reach. I may add that the
    interest I had in the girls was purely ideal. While at this
    school I do not think I masturbated half as often as while at the
    preparatory school.

    When I left this college for ---- University I took with me a
    formidable catalogue of good resolutions, first among which was
    the determination to abandon all kinds of "self-abuse." I think I
    kept this one about a month. As I had gone from a comparatively
    small school to one of the largest of American universities the
    change was great and the revelations it brought me frequently
    humiliating. I was lonesome, home-sick, and my bump of
    self-esteem was woefully bruised; and not unnaturally I soon
    began to seek a partial solace in day-dreams and masturbation.
    After I had become somewhat adapted to my new environment I
    indulged less frequently in either, and from that time to the
    present I have masturbated very irregularly, sometimes but little
    and again to excess.

    Not long after I came to this place I met a young lady with whom
    I soon became quite intimate. For over a year our friendship was
    strictly platonic and then swung suddenly around to a sexual
    basis. We were ardent lovers for a few weeks, after which I tired
    of the game as I had before in other cases, and broke off all
    relations with her as abruptly as was possible. Since then I have
    almost wholly withdrawn from the society and companionship of
    women and have almost entirely lost whatever tact and assurance I
    once possessed in their company. Things pertaining to sexual life
    have interested me rather more than less, but have occupied my
    attention much less exclusively than before this episode. Though
    I have never intended to marry, my breaking off relations with
    this girl affected me much. At any rate it marked an abrupt
    change in the character of my sexual experiences. The sexual
    impulse seems to have lost its power to rouse me to action.
    Hitherto I had practiced masturbation always under protest, as it
    were--as the only available form of sexual satisfaction; while
    now I resigned myself to it as all that there was to hope for in
    that field. Of course I knew that a little effort or a little
    money would procure natural satisfaction of my sexual needs, but
    I also knew that I would never, under any ordinary circumstances,
    put forth the necessary effort, and fear of venereal disease has
    been more than enough to keep me away from houses of

    Some months ago I refrained from masturbation for a period of
    about six weeks and watched carefully for any change in my health
    or spirits, but noticed none at all. The only impulse to
    masturbate was occasioned by fits of restlessness accompanied by
    erections and a mildly pleasurable feeling of fullness in the
    penis and scrotum. I think that over 75 per cent, of my acts of
    masturbation are provoked by these fits of restlessness and are
    unaccompanied by fancy images, erotic thoughts, lustful desires,
    or marked pleasure. At other times the act is occasioned by
    erotic thoughts and images, and is accompanied by a considerable
    degree of lustful pleasure which, however, is never so intense as
    in my earlier experiences and has steadily decreased from the
    first. Usually the orgasm is accompanied by a strong contraction
    of all the voluntary muscles, particularly the extensors,
    followed by a slight giddiness and slight feeling of exhaustion.
    If repeated several times in the course of a single day the acts
    are followed by dullness and lassitude; otherwise the feeling of
    exhaustion passes away quickly and a sense of relief and quiet
    takes its place. So natural or rather habitual has this resort
    to masturbation as a means of relief from nervousness and
    restlessness become that the act is almost instinctive in its

    I am extremely sensitive to all kinds of sexual influences, and
    have an insatiable curiosity regarding everything that pertains
    to the sexual life of men or women. I am not, however, excited
    sexually by conversation about sexual facts and relationships, no
    matter what its nature, though in reading erotic literature my
    excitement is often intense.

    The tendency to day dream has never left me, but there are no
    longer any elaborate scenes or long-continued "stories," these
    having been replaced by vaguely imagined incidents which are
    usually broken off before they reach a satisfactory climax. They
    are always interrupted by the intrusion of other matters, usually
    of more practical interest; and the long-continued habit of
    satisfying myself by masturbation has made erotic dreams rather
    tantalizing than pleasurable. I dream very seldom at night--at
    least I can scarcely ever remember any dreams upon waking--and
    practically never of sexual relations. I have not had a nocturnal
    emission for over three years, and probably not more than
    twenty-five in my life.

    In my "love passages" with girls there has been no serious
    thought of coitus on my part, and I have never had intercourse
    with a woman--unless my early experiences with the servant girl
    be called such. Like all masturbators I always idealized "love"
    to the utter exclusion of all sensual cravings; and the notion
    that the physical act of coitus was something degrading and
    destructive of real love rather than its consummation was, of all
    prejudices I have ever formed, the most difficult to escape--a
    circumstance due, I suppose, to the fact that all I had ever been
    taught on the subject tended to the complete divorce of what was
    called "love" from what was stigmatized as a "base sensual
    desire." Judging from my own experience and observation I should
    say that "ideal love" is a mere surface feeling, bound to
    disappear as soon as it has gained its object by arousing a
    reciprocal interest on the part of the one to whom it is
    directed. So little did I "materialize" the objects of my "love"
    that I have never cared for kissing or the warm embraces in which
    lovers usually indulge. I have never kissed but one girl, and her
    with far too little enthusiasm to satisfy her. My last sweetheart
    was a very passionate girl, the warmth of whose embraces was
    somewhat torrid and, to me, both puzzling and annoying. The
    intensity of feeling which demanded such strenuous expression was
    beyond my knowledge of human nature. A somewhat peculiar
    circumstance in connection with these experiences is the fact
    that I often found myself trying to analyze my emotions with a
    purely psychological interest while playing the part of the
    intoxicated lover in his mistress's arms.

    There is but little left to say on the subject of my sexual
    development. During the last two or three years my knowledge of
    the facts of the sexual life has been very greatly increased,
    and I have become acquainted with phases of human nature which
    were wholly unknown to me before. The part played by things
    sexual in my life is still, I suppose, abnormally large; it is
    undoubtedly the largest single interest, though my outer life is
    determined almost wholly by other considerations.

    Of course I know nothing of the effect which long-continued
    masturbation may have had on my ability to perform normal coitus.
    I do not think I am subject to any kind of sexual perversion, for
    all my indulgence has been _faute de mieux_ and, at least since I
    began masturbation, all my desires and erotic day-dreams have had
    to do only with normal coitus. The mystery which surrounds the
    sexual act seems at times to be regaining its former influence
    and power of fascination. I have no doubt, however, but that I
    should be greatly disillusioned should I ever perform coitus; and
    I greatly regret that I have not been able to test this
    conviction and so round out and complete this "history."

    It may be worth while to say a word about my religious
    experiences, as, in many cases, they are closely bound up with
    the sexual impulse. I was never "converted," but on a dozen or
    more occasions approached the crisis more or less closely. The
    dominant emotion in these experiences was always fear, sometimes
    with anger and despair intermixed in varying proportions. A
    complete analysis of these experiences is, of course, impossible,
    but the various pleasurable feelings of which converts spoke in
    the revivals which I attended were a closed book to me. Following
    my revival-meeting experiences came a few days spent in a sort of
    moral exaltation during which I eschewed all my habits of which
    conventional morality disapproved, save masturbation, and felt no
    small satisfaction with my moral conditions. I became a
    first-rate Pharisee. Toward the women who had figured in my day
    dreams I suddenly conceived the chastest affection, resolutely
    smothering every sensual thought and fancy when thinking of them,
    and putting in place of these elements ideal love,
    self-sacrifice, knightly devotion--Sunday-school Garden-of-Eden
    pictures with a mediæval, romantic coloring. These day-dreams
    were always sexual, involving situations of extreme complexity
    and monumental silliness. Masturbation was always continued and
    usually with increased frequency. The end of these periods was
    always abrupt and much like awaking from a dream in which the
    dreamer has been behaving in a manner to arouse his own disgust.
    They were followed by feelings of sheepishness and self-contempt
    mingled with anger and a dislike of all things having to do with
    religion. My inability to pass the conversion crisis and a
    growing contempt for empty enthusiasm finally led me to a saner
    attitude toward religion, from which I passed easily into
    religious scepticism; and later the study of philosophy and
    science, and particularly of psychology, banished the last
    lingering remnant of faith in a supernatural agency and led me
    to the passion for facts and indifference to values which have
    caused me to be often called "dead to all morality."

    HISTORY II.--C.A., aged 25, unmarried; tutor, preparing to take
    Holy Orders:--

    My paternal ancestry (which is largely Huguenot) is noteworthy
    for its patriotism and its large families. My father, who died
    when I was a year old, is remembered for the singular uprightness
    and purity of his life from his earliest childhood. The
    photograph which I have shows him as possessed of a rare classic
    beauty of features. He was an ideal husband and father. At the
    time of his death he was a Master of Arts and a school principal.
    My mother is an extraordinarily neurotic woman, yet famed among
    her friends for her great domesticity, attachment to her
    husbands, and an almost abnormal love of babies. She has nobly
    borne the ill-treatment of her second husband, who for several
    years has been in a state of melancholia. My mother has been
    "highly-wrought" all her life, and has suffered intensely from
    fears of all kinds. As a young girl she was somnambulistic, and
    once fell down a stairhead during sleep. In spite of her bodily
    sufferings with indigestion, eye-strain, and depression she
    retains her youthfulness. She has slight powers of reasoning. She
    has had times of unconsciousness and rigidity, I have never heard
    any mention of epilepsy. She has a horror of showing prudishness
    in regard to the healthful manifestations of sex life, and is
    always praising examples of what she terms "a natural woman."

    I have heard that during my first year my mother detected my
    nurse in the act of putting a morphine powder on my tongue for
    the purpose of keeping me quiet. I was subject to convulsions at
    this period, and narrowly escaped a permanent hernia. My family
    tell me that from the beginning I was a well-developed and boyish
    boy, full of mischief, impulsive, good to look upon, unusually
    affectionate, beloved by all.

    In my third year I took pleasure in crawling under the bed with
    my boy-cousin who was nine months my senior, and after we had
    taken down our drawers, in kissing each other's nates. I do not
    remember which of us first thought of this pastime.

    At the age of 4 I gave myself a treat by gazing upward through a
    cellar window at the nates of a woman who was defecating from
    several feet above into a cesspool that lay beneath. It was
    during this summer also that I frightened myself by pulling back
    my prepuce far enough to disclose the purple glans, which I had
    never seen before. But this act gave me no desire to masturbate.

    When 5 years old, and living in a great city, I drew indecent
    pictures in company with a little girl and her younger brother.
    These pictures represented men in the act of urinating. The
    penes were drawn large, and the streams of urine plainly
    indicated. One afternoon I induced the boy to go to the
    bath-room, lie on his back, and allow me to perform _fellatio_ on
    him. I did not ask him to return the favor. I remember the
    curious tar-like smell of his clothing and the region about his
    genitals. It is possible that I gained my knowledge of _fellatio_
    from an unknown boy of 10, who had induced me, during the
    preceding summer to enter a sandy lot with him, watch him
    urinate, and then, kneeling before him, commit _fellatio_. A year
    later, as I was walking home in the rain to our summer cottage,
    with an open umbrella over my shoulder, a boy of 15, who was
    leaning against our fence, exhibited a large, erect penis, and
    when I had passed him urinated upon me and my umbrella. I never
    saw the boy again. I felt peculiarly insulted by his act. Back of
    the house there lived a 12-year-old boy who invited me to watch
    him defecate in the outdoor privy, and during the act told me a
    number of indecent stories and words which I cannot remember.

    About this time I fell in love with a little Jewish boy next
    door. Often I cried myself to sleep over the thought that perhaps
    he was lying on a sofa alone and crying with a stomach-ache. I
    longed to embrace him; and yet I saw little of him, and made
    little of him when I was with him.

    Living in a Western city a few months later, some girls of 12 and
    14 led me to their barn, where they dressed themselves in boys'
    clothing and made believe that they were cowboys. One of them
    told me to "shut my eyes, open my mouth, and get a surprise."
    When I opened my eyes once more a piece of hen-dung lay in my
    mouth. I have a vague remembrance of one of the girls asking me
    to enter a water-closet with her. She uttered some indelicate
    phrase, but I performed no act with her. In the house where I
    lived I once entered the bedroom of a half-grown girl while she
    was dressing. She knelt to kiss me innocently enough, and I, by a
    sudden impulse, ran my hand between her bare neck and her corset
    as far as I could reach. Apparently she took no notice of my
    movement. Although I did not masturbate, yet during this winter I
    experienced a tickling sensation about my genitals when I placed
    my hand beneath them as I lay on my stomach in bed. One evening I
    pulled up my night-dress and, holding my penis in my hand, I
    danced to and fro on the carpet. I imagined that I was one of a
    line of naked men and women who were advancing toward another
    similar line that faced them. I imagined myself as pleasurably
    coming in contact with my female partner who possessed male

    The following summer I lived in the woods. My next-door playmate
    was a little girl of my own age--6 years. She sat down before me
    in the barn and exposed her genitals. This was the first time I
    had seen female organs, or had thought for a moment that they
    differed from my own. In great perplexity I asked the little
    girl: "Has it been cut off?" She and I defecated in peach baskets
    that we found in the upper part of the barn.

    When I was 7 years old and back in the Eastern city I lived in
    the house of a physician. Alone with his 3-year-old daughter one
    day, I showed her my erect organ, and felt a delicious
    gratification when she stroked it with the words: "Nice! Nice!" I
    confessed my fault to my guardian that night after I had said my
    prayers. I had complained to my mother a year before of the
    inconvenience I found in my penis being "so long sometimes." She
    said that she would "see about having the end taken off." But I
    was never circumcised. Her words gave me the doubly unpleasant
    impression that my _glans_ was to be cut off.

    There came occasionally to the kitchen of Dr. W.'s house a
    foul-mouthed Irish laundress who used coarse language to me
    concerning urination. I loathed the woman, and yet one night I
    dreamed that I was embracing her naked form and rolling over and
    over with her on the bed; and in spite of my sight of female
    genitals a few months before, I thought of her as having organs
    of my own kind and size. At my first school I watched a
    red-haired boy of 12 expose the penis of a 7-year-old boy as he
    lay on his back in the bath-room. I do not remember that the
    sight gave me sexual pleasure.

    I spent the summer before I was 8 in a double house. The adopted
    daughter of our neighbor (a neurotic, retired physician) was a
    girl of 13 who had been taken from a poor laboring family. She
    got me to show her my parts, touched them, and asked whether I
    urinated from my scrotum. She also induced me to play with her
    genitals as we sat on a sofa in the twilight, and to spank her
    naked nates with the back of a hair-brush as she lay on a bed;
    but from none of these performances did I derive physical
    satisfaction. The girl E. and I took delight in "talking dirty
    secrets," as she expressed it. Her young cousin H. (nephew of her
    adopted mother) never heard me use the word "thing" without
    suggestively smiling. E. recalled the pleasant hours that she had
    spent with her cousin when they were in their night-gowns. She
    did not particularize these sexual relations. Under the
    board-walk the boy H. and I once defecated in bottles. Some
    little girls who lived opposite us pulled up their dresses one
    night and "dared" each other to dance out beyond the end of the
    house, in full view of the road. We boys merely looked on.

    I now fell passionately in love with a remarkably handsome little
    boy of my own age. I longed to kiss and hug him, but I did not
    dare to do so, for he was haughty and intolerant of my
    attentions. I even allowed him to stand with one foot on me and
    remark in a loud tone: "I am Conqueror!" I endured no end of
    petty insults and much ill-treatment from this boy. I reached the
    height of my passion on the night that he appeared at our
    cottage in a tight-fitting suit of pepper-and-salt. I gloried in
    his perfect legs and besought my guardian that she would buy me a
    similar suit of clothes.

    For the summer after I was 8 years old I lived in a cottage in a
    country town. The servant maid M. was a young girl of 16 who
    listened eagerly to my accounts of the "secrets" and actions in
    which the girl E. and I had taken delight a year before. I think
    that M. arranged a meeting between a little black-haired girl and
    me in order that we might take a walk and play sexually with each
    other. Just as we were starting on our walk one of my relatives
    said that I must not leave the yard.

    The little girl and I had see-sawed together and I had been
    interested in her legs as she rose in the air. (When I was 13
    years old and see-sawing at a picnic with a stout girl, the
    motion of the board and the sight of her straddled form filled me
    with longing to embrace her sexually.) One afternoon M. took me
    to the house of an acquaintance of hers. M's brother was in the
    room and made a number of unremembered remarks which struck me as
    being rather "free," and M. told me later that she and the girl
    once dressed as ballet dancers and danced before M.'s brother. I
    felt that he was lascivious. I was always remarkably intuitive.

    I fell in love with a handsome, stout, black-haired boy who lived
    on a farm; but he was not a "farmer's son" in the common sense of
    the word. I visited him for two or three days, and we slept with
    each other, to my boundless joy. For his freckled girl cousin I
    did not care the turn of my wrist, although she was a nice enough
    little thing. One night when we three lay on a bed in the dark,
    and neither of us boys had eyes or words for her, she silently
    left us. He and I never committed the slightest sexual fault. I
    left him with tears at the summer-end, and I often kissed his
    photograph during the following winter.

    In the flat-house where I began to live when I was 8 years old, I
    once practiced mutual tickling of a very slight character with a
    boy of my own age. We sat on chairs placed opposite to each other
    and we inserted our fingers through the openings in our trousers.
    Just as we were beginning to enjoy the titillation we were
    interrupted by the approach of one of my family who, however, was
    not quick enough to discover us. Down cellar I often saw the
    genitals of the janitor's little girls--they were fond of lifting
    their skirts and they did not wear drawers--but I had no desire
    to attempt conjunction. I once caught an older friend of mine (he
    was 13) in the act of leaving one of the girls. The pair had been
    in a coal-compartment. The boy was buttoning his trousers and I
    guessed what he had been doing. When I began to sleep alone in my
    tenth year I had no desire to masturbate, and was loath to do so
    by reason of ample warnings given me by my guardian and by the
    family physician. One afternoon a stunted friend of mine sat down
    in the back yard and astonished me by tying a piece of string to
    his penis. At a large private school which I now attended I made
    the acquaintance of the principal's son, and wondered why he had
    such a fancy for dressing his 5-year-old sister in boy's clothes.
    He closed the door on me while he was thus engaged. At my house
    we went to the bath-room together, and he showed me his
    circumcised and much-ridged penis. Neither of us made any mention
    of masturbating.

    At this period I fell slightly in love with a 5-year-old boy with
    intensely black eyes. I would kiss him whenever we were alone,
    but I had no wish to seduce him. I was always interested in
    watching the urination of younger children. When I was 5 years
    old I went on my knees to a strange little boy in order to
    whisper in his ear an inquiry as to whether he wanted to urinate.
    I experienced a pleasurable thrill when I was 10 years old in
    leading a small girl cousin to the outdoor privy, in helping her
    on and off the open seat, in buttoning and unbuttoning her
    drawers, and in gazing at her vulva.

    The summer before I was 10 I lived a wild life in the mountains.
    My companions were a negro girl, the two daughters of a
    clergyman, the two sons of a questionable woman hotel-keeper, and
    the daughter of the Irish scavenger. All of these children were
    extraordinarily sensual. Their leading pastime, from morning
    until night, was varying forms of indecency, with the supreme
    caress--which they termed "raising dickie"--as the most frequent
    enjoyment. The 5-year-old daughter of the scavenger explained to
    us how she had seen her father approaching her stout mother with
    an erect penis, the pair standing up before the lamplight during
    the act. This curly-headed, rosy-cheeked child handled her
    genitals so much that they were inflamed. I once saw her sitting
    in the road and rubbing dust against her vulva. I saw little of
    the elder daughter of the minister (she was 12 years old). She
    persuaded me to expose myself before her in the cellar of a
    partially-built house. In return for my favor she allowed me to
    look at her genitals. She did not ask for _conjunctio_. The two
    younger daughters were my intimates. With the middle one I was
    forever performing a weak conjunction that consisted in the
    laying of my member against her vulva. Notwithstanding all the
    entreaties of my little friend, I could not be persuaded to
    protrude my penis against her vagina; and not on one occasion can
    I remember obtaining an erection or extreme pleasure. Up in the
    garret she straddled slanting beams with her genitals exposed,
    and I followed her example. The negro girl and my little friend
    both urinated on a tent floor at my request. I did not fancy the
    odor of a girl's genitals, nor the appearance of the vulva when
    the labia were held apart.

    The following summer, when I was almost 11, I took a long walk
    one day with my old friend, the girl E. We entered a patch of
    woods and ate our lunch, but no sense of sexual drawing toward
    the girl came over me and she did not offer to entice me. I
    slept with her boy-cousin one night, and her neuropathic aunt, a
    retired lady physician, bothered us by repeatedly creeping into
    our room. I felt intuitively that she was watching to see whether
    we would commit mutual masturbation--which we had no thought of
    doing. Three years before I had opened the door of her bedroom
    suddenly and saw E.'s naked form. The physician had been
    examining her, E. told me later. My guardian also annoyed me by
    repeated warnings not to play with myself.

    Just before I turned 11 I was sent to a small and so-called
    "home" boarding-school. Eight of us lived in the smaller
    dormitory. The matron roomed downstairs. There was no resident
    master--a serious error. We small boys were told to strip one
    evening. We were then tied neck-to-neck and made to dance a
    "slave-dance," which was marked by no sexuality. A boy of 15, R.,
    one afternoon gave me the astonishing information that my father
    had taken a part in my procreation. Up to this moment I had known
    only of the maternal offices, information of which had been
    beautifully supplied to me by my guardian when I was 7 years old.
    At that time I talked freely about the coming of a baby brother
    in a distant city; I watched the construction of baby clothes; I
    named the newcomer, and I was momentarily disappointed when he
    proved to be a girl. This same R., a strong boy with a large
    penis, got into the custom of lying in bed with me just before
    lights were put out. He would read to himself and occasionally
    pause to pump his penis and make with his lips the sound of a
    laboring locomotive. I felt impelled to handle his organ, for I
    was fascinated by its size, and stiffness, and warmth. Rarely he
    would titillate my then small and unerect penis. R. never
    ejaculated when he was with me; hence not until my third year was
    I acquainted with the appearance of a flow of semen. Sometimes R.
    would stop during his dressing to manipulate his penis, but was
    such a picture of rosy health that I doubt whether he brought
    himself often to ejaculation. R. told me that he had been to a
    brothel where his genitals were examined to determine whether
    they were large enough and not diseased. He also related how he
    "played cow" with a girl of his own age, she consenting to
    perform _fellatio_ upon him. A dark-skinned, unwashed, pimpled
    but fairly vigorous boy of 16, with an irritable domineering
    manner, told me the delights of coitus with a girl in a
    bath-house, and I overheard his conversation with another "old"
    boy concerning the purchase of a girl in a big city for the sum
    of five dollars. No details were given.

    I will now pass to my third year, when I was 13 years old. A
    large, well-set-up boy of 16, A., became my idol. His toleration
    of my presence in his room filled me with endless love. When I
    lied about a matter in which he was concerned, his denunciation
    of me brought me to a state of shuddering and weeping
    unspeakable. When our relations were established again A.
    allowed me to creep into his bed after the lights were out, and
    there I passionately embraced him, but without performing any
    definite act. When I turned over on my side with my back to him
    he drew my prepuce back and forth until I experienced orgasm, but
    not ejaculation. I would return his favor by pumping his erect
    penis, but with no ejaculation on his part. He did not propose
    _fellatio_, and I did not think of it. One night when he was in
    my bed I began to masturbate very slightly, whereupon he laughed,
    saying: "So that is the way you amuse yourself!" As a matter of
    fact the habit was not fastened upon me. He always laughed when
    the rubbing of his finger on my exposed glans caused me to
    shrink. Another boy, H., now began to show me his erect penis and
    we practiced mutual manipulations. A. laughingly told me how me
    had caught H. in the act of masturbating as he stood in the
    bath-tub. A. told me a number of sexual stories--how he enjoyed
    coitus in the bushes with a girl on the way home from
    entertainments; how half a dozen boys and girls stripped in the
    basement of a church and performed coitus on the velvet chairs
    which stood behind the pulpit; and how he and a younger boy, who
    camped out together, played with each other's genitals. F., a boy
    of 11, was highly nervous, subject to timidity and tears on the
    slightest provocation, often morose, and under treatment for
    kidney trouble. His penis was erect whenever I saw him undress.
    He told me that a partially idiotic man taught F. and his
    companion how to masturbate. The man invited the boys to his tent
    and there pumped his organ until "some white stuff came out of
    it." F. also told me that an Indian princess in his part of the
    country would permit coitus for fifty cents. A. sometimes slept
    with F., and I could imagine their embraces. S., a secretive,
    handsome boy of 13, wetted his bed with urine every night. The
    only sign that he gave of an interest in sexuality was his
    laughing remark concerning the coupling of rose-bugs. Of his
    chum, my beloved C., I will speak later. My small room-mate
    handled himself only slightly. I never had a desire to lie with
    him, since I disliked him, nor with my first room-mate, a
    "chunky," fiery boy of 10, whose penis interested me merely
    because it was circumcised and almost always erect. His
    masturbation was also so slight as not to attract any particular
    attention. A lusty German boy, B., showed no signs of sexuality
    until his third year, when he laughed about his newly-appearing
    pubic hair, and told several of us openly of how he enjoyed to
    play "a drum-beat" on his penis before going to sleep. "I don't
    do it too much, though," he explained. He showed a mild curiosity
    when I gave him the resumé of a book on cohabitation which
    contained illustrations of the erect penis and the female organs.
    I had found this book in the woods and I read it eagerly during
    my third year.

    I came to the point of agreeing with A., who said: "Everyone is
    smutty." Indeed I lived in a lustful world, and yet my mind was
    bent also on books, and writing, and the outdoor world. I was
    overgrown and splendidly developed, with a medium-sized penis and
    a scant growth of pubic hair. My face wore a somewhat infantile
    expression. My mouth was a perfect "Cupid's bow," my hair thin
    and light. I was troubled about my snub-nose, which gave the boys
    a great deal of amusement. As a matter of fact I exaggerated its
    upward tendency out of my morbid self-consciousness and
    cowardice. My imagination was extraordinarily intense, as it had
    always been. I was sensitive to smells and sounds and colors and
    personalities, and to the subtle influence of the night. I was
    timid and easily moved to tears, but not from any physical
    weakness until after. At the lower house there was the boy Z.,
    famed for his large penis; and the older G., a boy of 15, who was
    the leader in sexuality at his dormitory. Z. showed me his penis
    and exposed his glans often enough, but we did not manipulate
    each other. G. told us to notice how large a space his penis
    occupied in his trousers, and laughed over Z.'s custom of
    masturbating by means of a narrow vase. G.'s special lover was a
    nervous boy of ten. It is remarkable that none of us mentioned
    _fellatio_ or _pædicatio_. These acts may have occurred at
    school, but not to my knowledge. We did not have much to say
    sexually about the girls. We heard rumors of a 16-year-old, V.,
    who had been sent away from school for coitus; and my first
    room-mate was said to have obtained _conjunctio_ with a girl
    under cover of the chapel shed. Once A. and I pointed a telescope
    at the open windows of the girls' dormitory, but we saw nothing
    to interest us. A day-scholar, J., a pale, nervous, bright boy of
    13, took me into the study of his uncle-physician and together we
    gloated over pictures of the sexual organs. A. was with us on one
    occasion. J. told me how he liked to roll over and over in bed
    with his hand placed under his scrotum. This act, he said, made
    him imagine that he was obtaining coitus. He advised me to slide
    my penis back and forth in the vagina whenever I should actually
    obtain coitus. In my room at school J. once drew an imaginary map
    of a bagnio, in which the water-closet was carefully displayed
    _en suite_ with the bedrooms. J. and I never masturbated
    together. Indeed, I cannot remember seeing his organ. A hulking
    boy of 16, who lived opposite the school-grounds, became intimate
    with J., and we three went on a walk up the railroad track. The
    big boy, W., tried to inflame my passions by telling me how he
    and J. had had coitus with a handsome black-haired widow in town,
    but I remained cold.

    During this year I fell in love with C., a popular, talkative,
    witty boy of my own age, or perhaps a year younger. He fancied me
    and we slept together one night under the most innocent
    circumstances. I never dreamed of having sexual relations with
    him, and yet I fairly burned with love for him. My stay at his
    beautiful home over Sunday while his parents were away was one
    long delight. We slept in each other's arms, but there was no
    sexuality. En route to C.'s home he pointed with a glove to a
    little working-girl, saying he would like to have intercourse
    with her, but this was the only remark of the kind that ever
    passed his lips in my presence. When undressed save for his
    undershirt, he laughingly held his unerect organ in his hand and
    made the motions of obtaining conjunction with an imaginary
    partner. Once we spoke of masturbation (I could recite the
    information of my good physician with a marvelous show of
    virtue), and C. remarked: "Yes, doing that makes boys crazy." C.
    finally grew tired of my deceptive, babyish nature and
    ultra-interest in books and puzzles, but I cherished an
    undiminished affection for him, and when he was detained at home
    for a fortnight with a broken arm, I wrote him a passionate
    letter, which I sobbed over and actually wetted with my tears.
    But the fervor of my passion died at the close of the year. I
    consider this unsullied friendship to be the only redeeming
    feature of my sensual days at school.

    Versed as I was in the warnings against masturbation, I found
    pleasure one afternoon when I was alone in slipping my penis
    through the open handle of a pair of scissors and in violently
    flapping my partially erect organ until a strange, sweet thrill
    crept over me from top to toe and a drop of clear liquid oozed
    from my member. But I gave up the manipulation with scissors,
    finding a greater satisfaction in masturbating while I was
    defecating or just after it. I either pumped my organ by slipping
    the prepuce back and forth, or I grasped the organ at its root
    and violently jerked it back and forth. I soon began to
    masturbate not only every time that I defecated, but also at
    night just before I went to sleep, and sometimes early in the
    morning. On the whole I preferred the jerking just described. I
    always brought about ejaculation after perhaps five minutes of
    violent exertion.

    My penis became chafed at the root, but I did not especially
    care. I remember the afternoon that I masturbated for the first
    time while I was defecating in the school water-closet. I cannot
    recall that at first I thought of coitus while I masturbated. On
    one occasion I masturbated over the _vase de nuit_ after a
    delightful afternoon of tobogganing exploration up and down the

    During this first year of abuse, I felt no ill effects
    whatsoever, although I realized, in an unthinking way, that I was
    doing wrong. But sexuality had assumed the proportion of a
    regular feature of our school life. It was difficult for me to
    place a "universal" view in its true perspective. I used to smile
    at the glazed, dull morning eye of poor H., who was a stunted boy
    of 15, and thus could not endure his losses so well as I could
    endure them. The qualms of conscience which I suffered were lost
    in my delight in my dawning sexual life. Sometimes I lay on my
    stomach in bed, and by placing my hand under my scrotum,
    according to the directions of J., brought up a pretty girl to
    mind. Just before Sunday school G., our chief reprobate, and the
    rest of us would hunt out what we considered to be nasty texts of
    Scripture. The chapter concerning the whoredoms of Aholah and
    Aholibah gave me an especial pleasure. T. mentioned the giggling
    that occurred at prayers in the lower dormitory when the details
    of Esau's birth were read out. A few days before G. was
    expelled--for exactly what cause I do not know--he told me of how
    greatly he enjoyed coitus on his grandmother's sofa with a girl
    of fifteen. When I went home on the boat for holidays I noted the
    large, black-haired penis of the strong boy of our school. He
    occupied a state-room with me, but made no sexual overtures.

    Since my twelfth year I had been wrapped up all summer long in a
    boy who was six months my senior. We slept together constantly,
    but not once did we think of obtaining mutual gratification. On
    the contrary, we held up high ideals to each other and frowned on
    masturbation. I took delight in saying that I never had handled
    myself, and never would do so. Even at the height of my
    "auto-erotic" period, I skillfully concealed my habits from all
    my boy friends. A neurotic solo choir boy friend once spoke of
    obtaining ejaculation, whereupon I expressed utter ignorance of
    such an act, little hypocrite that I was. This boy told how the
    house servants joked with him about coitus and made laughing
    lunges at his organs.

    But much as I loved my chum, my most passionate regard went out
    in my thirteenth year to N., a chubby, blue-eyed, choir-boy of
    12. He was a pretty boy to any eye. He was not gifted, except in
    water-sports, and anything but popular either with girls or with
    boys; yet I grew warm at the mention of his name. He did not care
    a fig for me. From first to last I had no consciousness of the
    sexual nature of my passion, and the thought of doing more than
    embrace and kiss him in an innocent manner never crossed my mind.
    For two summers I had nights of tossing on my bed (although I
    almost never was sleepless for any cause) when I would see his
    dear face and form, in and out of the swimming pool, or engaged
    perhaps in singing or in showing his beautiful teeth. I seldom
    was smitten with little girls, and I found myself embarrassed in
    their company after my ninth year; yet I thought well enough of
    their looks and ways to enjoy their company at dances. The girls
    liked me in a platonic way, for I was accounted a good, big,
    kind, blundering boy with a helping hand for the smallest fry.

    During the summer after I was 13, I imagined myself in the early
    morning, when I was half awake, as persuading my wife to have
    coitus with me. In the course of my spoken words I kept my hand
    under my scrotum.

    A plump girl-cousin of my own age was visiting at my uncle's
    during the summer after I was 13. With her I greatly desired to
    satisfy myself, but I could not be sure that my boy cousin (5
    years old) might not find us out, even though she should consent.
    Once when we three were in the hay-loft a wave of lust rolled
    over me, but I made no proposal. Night and gaslight greatly
    increased my _libido_. On one occasion my aunt had gone to the
    village for ice-cream, and L. and I were left alone in the
    dining-room. I took her on my lap and had a powerful erection. I
    almost asked her to play sexually with me in the barn, but
    instead I spoke of an imaginary girl, the first letters of whose
    successive names spelled an indecent word for coitus--a word
    known to almost every Anglo-Saxon child, I fear. L. laughed, but
    gave no sign of assent. For a neighboring girl of 15 I felt such
    a drawing that early in the morning I would roll on the floor
    with my erect organ in my hand in riotous imagining of coitus
    with her. I walked with her in the woods and sat at her feet, but
    although I felt instinctively that she would satisfy me without
    much persuasion, yet I _could not_ ask her. One night I started
    to church in order to walk home with her, and lead her (if
    possible) to a field where we might gratify ourselves (I picked
    out the exact grassy spot where we might lie); but when I was
    almost at the church door my "moral sense" (if that is what it
    was) rose and dragged me home again.

    During the swimming hour I watched the genitals of the boys,
    comparing them carefully in the most minute details. Circumcised
    organs affected me as being disagreeable, and men's hairy, coarse
    genitals I abhorred.

    When 13 I became acquainted with the new mail-boy at the inn. He
    was a city "street-boy," and got me into smoking cigarettes
    occasionally. I did not definitely take up smoking until I was
    16. He told me that a mason once offered him ten cents if he
    would masturbate the man in a cellar. The boy said that he
    refused. I slept a few times with an ill-favored boy of fine
    parentage. He was of my own age, and I had played with him in a
    natural way for several years, but my increasing sexual desires
    led me to mutually masturbate with him, and even unsuccessfully
    to attempt with him mutual pædicatio. On the morning after our
    nights of sensuality I felt "gone" and miserable, but not
    repentant. By afternoon I was myself again. My relations with G.
    were purely animal, for I disliked his jealous disposition, his
    horse-laugh, his features, his form, his withdrawn scrotum and
    his undersized penis. At home in the evening I often found myself
    inflamed with a mental picture of active _fellatio_ with him, but
    I never performed this act, so far as I remember.

    One of my great sexual desires was to walk along a fence on which
    a girl was seated. In order that I might feast my eyes on her
    pudenda she must not wear drawers.

    When I turned 14 I had been, from my unusual size, in long
    trousers for several months. I entered a private day-school and
    progressed brilliantly in my studies. I kept up masturbation
    almost daily, sometimes twice a day, both in the water closet and
    in bed. I can remember ejaculating before urination in the school
    _cabinet_. At night I often found myself longing for the return
    of my sister, seven years my junior, in order that I might
    embrace her in bed and fondle her genitals. I had done these
    things during my Christmas vacation of the year before. I mildly
    reproached myself for such incestuous desires, but they recurred
    continually. I dreamed little. And I cannot remember the
    character of my dreams. My waking _libido_ spent itself mostly in
    longings to embrace (without lustful acts) the forms of little
    boys of exquisite blonde beauty and thick hair. Narcissism may
    have been present, for in my twelfth year I had been told that at
    the age of 5 and 6 I was an extraordinarily beautiful little
    creature with long, lint-white hair. The preferable age was from
    6 to 9. My eye was alert on the streets for boys answering to
    this description, and a street boy with long, white hair so won
    my passion that I followed him to his home and asked his mother
    if he might call on me and "play some games." As I did not even
    know the boy's name and had never seen him before, I was
    wonderingly refused. I sought in vain to find the whereabouts of
    another long-haired street boy whom I burned to embrace and load
    with benefits. I had a boundless desire for such a boy as this to
    idolize me--to look into my face out of big eyes and lose himself
    in love for me--to call me by endearing pet names--of his own
    accord to throw his arms around my neck. This second actual boy
    disappeared from my horizon by presumably moving away from the
    vast city neighborhood. I took a fancy to a small boy at school,
    who possessed the requisite delicacy, timidity, and sweetness, if
    not the physical requisites, of my beau ideal. I walked with him
    in the park and planned to have him at the house; but the matter
    was not arranged. At boarding-school I had associated much with
    younger and weaker boys, and had been ridiculed much for my
    cowardice in sports, but at the city school I moved with my
    equals and won their recognition. Our gymnasium director was
    middle-aged and of an indolent disposition. He liked to recall
    his youthful erections and to answer my sexual queries too fully,
    and cheerfully volunteered information on brothels. Yet I doubt
    whether he had an evil purpose in conversing with me. I thought I
    should never dare or want to enter one. I always conjured up the
    picture of a row of naked women from whom I could take my pick,
    and the smell of the women I imagined to be identical with the
    smell of my big friend A. at boarding-school. When I was
    traveling down town on an elevated train one afternoon the
    brakeman asked me whether I had ever been in a brothel, and told
    me that disorderly houses abounded in my neighborhood. "I have
    had connection with women," said this red-haired young man,
    waving his hand in greeting to a woman who nodded at him from a
    window, "since I was 15 years old. Not long ago a fine-looking,
    young woman in black offered to pay all my expenses if I would
    live with her and connect with her."

    When a girl of perhaps 7, a distant cousin of mine, visited us
    for a few days, I gratified my lust by placing my hand under her
    genitals and swinging her to and fro. She giggled with pleasure.
    That summer I began to experience the evil effects of the
    masturbation which I had practiced daily for a year and a half.
    Pimples began to break out on my chin (my complexion up to this
    time had been white and delicate). The family ascribed my
    condition to digestive difficulties. In playing with the boys and
    girls I found myself seized with a terrible shyness and a
    tendency to look down and weep. I had lost all the courage I
    had--it had never been great--in the presence of a crowd of
    children. I was fairly at ease with a single companion. My
    self-consciousness was something more painful to me than I can
    convey in words. At home I wept in my room and cursed myself for
    a baby. I little realized the cause of my nervous collapse. Yet I
    had too robust a frame not to be able to sleep and to play hard.
    The sympathetic pleasure which I had found in swinging my
    girl-cousin to and fro I now doubled by letting a 7-year-old boy
    ride cock-horse on my feet. I experienced an erection during the
    process, and I almost induced ejaculation when I tickled the boy
    with my feet in the region of his genitals. To see his shrinking,
    giggling joy gave me an exquisite sexual thrill. I longed to
    sleep with the boy, but I was afraid of causing comment. At the
    new and large boarding school which I entered in the fall my most
    lustful dreams and ejaculations were concerned with standing this
    little boy on the footboard of a bed, taking down his
    knickerbockers, and performing _fellatio_ on him. But I dreamed
    also of natural coitus. I fell in love with the handsome,
    12-year-old son of the aged headmaster. The boy, O., sat next me
    at the table, and I never tired of gazing at him. It gave me a
    special sense of pleasure to look at him when he wore a certain
    flowing, scarlet, four-in-hand necktie. But O. was not attracted
    to me--for one thing I was in a disagreeably pimpled
    condition--and I could not induce him to linger in my room nor to
    sleep with me. My passion for O. did not diminish, and it rose to
    its supremacy on the evening when he appeared in our hallway (he
    roomed on the girls' side of the house and hinted at the sexual
    sights that he saw) in a costume of white satin, lace, and wings.
    He was ready for a costume party.

    I now masturbated less frequently, for I was beginning to
    appreciate the horrible consequences of my indulgence. I had
    frequent pollutions, with dreams. My day was one long agony of
    fear. How I dreaded to go to sleep in the same bed with my older
    chum, who never made any advances beyond embracing me passively
    _cum erectione_ while he was asleep. My day was one long agony of
    fear. At meal time my feet constantly writhed in agony for fear
    that the headmaster's grown up young ladies should make fun of
    me, or that my lack of facial composure and my inability to look
    people in the eye might be commented upon. I tingled with
    apprehension, especially in the region of my stomach. Every nerve
    was taut in the effort I made to appear composed. I masturbated
    with erections over nothing. Greek recitations were for me an
    _auto da fe_. My heart beat like a trip-hammer at the thought of
    getting up to recite, and once on my feet my voice shook and my
    mind wandered. I hated the thought of people behind me looking at
    me. I rarely summoned the courage to turn my head either one way
    or the other. I vastly admired the "bravery" of the small,
    15-year-old boy who recited so calmly and so well. I was too
    cowardly to play foot-ball and base-ball, and I dreaded even my
    favorite tennis because the spectators put me in a state of
    scared self-consciousness. Knowing my own condition, I was yet so
    blind to it most of the time, and such a Jekyll-and-Hyde, that I
    actually pitied a boy of 19 who was an eccentric and a scared
    victim of masturbation. But in spite of my neuropathic condition
    I developed intellectually. I do not touch upon this aspect of my
    life, however, because I am trying to limit myself strictly to
    sexual manifestations. At the present time I have not the courage
    to continue the narrative.

    HISTORY III.--The following narrative is written by a clergyman,
    age 40, unmarried:--

    My childhood and early boyhood were unmarked by sexual phenomena,
    beyond occasional erections, which commenced when about 5 years
    of age, without any exciting causes. These were accompanied by
    some degree of excitement, of the same nature as that which I
    experienced in later years. I was absolutely ignorant of sexual
    matters, but always had an idea that the essential difference
    between man and woman was to be found in the genital organs. This
    was sometimes a matter for thought and curiosity.

    Being for many years an only child I saw little of other
    children, and formed the habit of amusing myself with making
    things--boats, houses, etc.--and acquired a taste for science.
    When I could read I preferred biography, history, and poetry to
    anything else.

    When I was 13 years old and at a large school I heard for the
    first time of coitus, but very imperfectly. For a few days it
    filled my thoughts and mind, but feeling it was too engrossing a
    subject and one which took me off better things, I put it out of
    my mind. Later, another boy gave me a fuller description of the
    matter, and I began to have a great desire to know more and to be
    old enough to practice it. I also discovered that boys
    masturbated, and about a year after tried the experiment for
    myself. This vice was largely indulged in by my school-fellows.
    It never occurred to me that it was sinful, until I was nearly
    16, when I came across a passage in Kenns's _Manual of
    Schoolboys_, in which it was hinted such things were wrong
    morally and spiritually. Previously I had felt it was an
    indelicate and shameful thing, and bad for health. This last idea
    was held as a solemn fact by all my boy friends. Gradually
    religion began to exert an influence over my sexual nature,
    obtaining as years passed a greater and greater restraining
    power. It is simply impossible for me to write a history of my
    sexual development without also describing the action which
    Christianity has had in determining its growth. The two have been
    so intimately bound together that my life history would not be a
    faithful record of facts if I left religion out of it.

    At school I took part, with great keenness, in cricket and
    foot-ball, and was very ambitious to excel in everything in which
    I took an interest, but I always had other tastes as well, which
    were more precious to me, for example, the love for science,
    history, and poetry. Until I was past 16 years my desire was
    simply for coitus, girls and women attracted me only as affording
    the means of gratifying this desire; but when I was nearly 17 I
    began to regard girls as beautiful objects, apart from this, and
    to desire their love and companionship. At the same time it
    dawned upon me that life held much of joy in the love of women
    and in domestic life--so henceforth I regarded them in a higher
    and purer light, and apart from sexual gratification. In fact,
    from this period till I was over 20, this idea so dominated my
    whole being that the lower side of my nature was entirely held in
    subjection and abeyance by it. It was rather repulsive to think
    of girls as objects of lust. This state of mind was not brought
    about by any romantic attachment or through any acquaintance or
    through circumstances. I was living in great seclusion and had no
    girl friends. After this period the lower side of my nature woke
    up as a giant refreshed with wine, and I underwent for many years
    a constant struggle with my nature, in which religion always
    triumphed in the end. I never fell into fornication, though
    sometimes into the vice of masturbation. These outbursts of
    desire were periodic, about ten or fourteen days apart, and would
    last several days. I must record also the fact that from the time
    this awakening took place my ideal views of woman no longer
    seemed incompatible with sexual relations. I noticed that at
    about 27 there was a lessening of the desire, but that may have
    been due to overwork and consequent nervous exhaustion. I had a
    good deal of worry and studied daily for about eight hours. In
    any case the impulse was strongest during the years above
    mentioned. A little later in life, for a time, I became attached
    to a girl, and eventually engaged. I then observed, greatly to my
    sorrow and annoyance, that whenever I met this lady, or even
    thought of her, erections took place. This was particularly
    painful to me, as my thoughts were not of a lustful or impure
    character. Sometimes sitting by her at a religious service this
    would occur, when certainly my mind was far away from anything of
    the kind. That was the first woman ever kissed by me, except of
    course members of my immediate family circle. Later on my
    thoughts turned to marriage, and there was a great longing at
    times for this event to take place. However, as this attachment
    afterward became the great sorrow of my life for years, it needs
    no more comment. This closes one chapter of my history, and at
    present I do not propose to add another, as in a great measure it
    is only partly written. It may be well here to state that there
    has never been in me the slightest homosexual desire; in fact it
    has always appeared as a thing utterly inconceivable and
    disgustingly loathsome. I am fond of the society of both men and
    women, but on the whole prefer the latter. I have had several
    warm and intimate though platonic friendships, and get on
    exceedingly well with the other sex, although not a good-looking
    man. I have always been attracted to women by their spiritual or
    mental qualities, rather than by physical beauty, and feel
    strongly that the latter alone would never cause me to desire
    coitus. Unless there was an attraction other than that of the
    flesh, I should feel that I was following simply a brute
    instinct, and it would jar with my higher nature and cause
    revulsion. This was not the case in my earlier years to the same
    extent. I have often wondered whether the sexual impulse was
    strong in me or not, but if not, there is nothing in my physical
    state or family history to account for it. I am fairly cognizant
    with the lives of my ancestors, being descended from two old
    families. The sexual instinct was certainly not weak or abnormal
    in them. Personally, I am tall and healthy, well built, but
    sensitive and highly strung. Smell has never played any part in
    my life as a stimulant of sexual desire, and the mere thought of
    body odors would have a very decided effect in the opposite
    direction. Touch and sight appeal to me strongly, and of the two
    the former most.

    I am convinced, after many years careful thought, that sexual
    vice and perversion could be greatly reduced if the young were
    instructed in the elements of physiology as they bear on this
    question. Personally, had I been thus enlightened much sin would
    have been avoided in my schoolboy days, and a perverted view of
    sexual matters would never have arisen in my mind. It took years
    to overcome the feeling that all such things were unclean and
    defiling. Eventually light came to me through reading a passage
    in a tractate on the Creed by Rufinus. He was defending the
    doctrine, of the Incarnation against the pagan objection that it
    was an unclean and disgusting idea that God should enter the
    world through the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and he meets
    it by showing that God created the sexual organs, therefore the
    objection is invalid--otherwise God would not be clean or pure,
    having Himself designed them and their functions. This passage is
    slight in itself, but gave birth to a line of thought which has
    influenced me profoundly. I no longer regard sexual matters as
    disgusting and unholy, but as intensely sacred, being the outcome
    of the Divine Mind. Further, the Incarnation of the Saviour has
    not only sanctioned motherhood and all that is implied by it, but
    has eternally sanctified it as the means chosen for the
    manifestation of God to the world. I should not obtrude my
    theological conceptions, but for the fact that they have
    determined my life-history in that aspect.

    HISTORY IV.--When I was 9 years old a boy at the preparatory
    school, which I attended, showed me the act of masturbation,
    which he said he had practiced for a long time, and which he
    urged me to imitate, if I wished to become a father when I grew
    up, and married! Boy-like I believed him and tried, but the
    sensation obtained was not a pleasant one (I suppose that I was
    too rough with myself) and I desisted.

    When I was about 12 years old, a schoolfellow told me that he had
    seen his nurse copulating with the groom, and he and I used to
    haunt the woods in the hope that we might see an amorous couple
    so engaged, but without success. We often talked of the act, as
    to how it was done. Neither he nor I had any clear ideas on the
    subject, save as to the organs involved. I was about 15 when a
    maidservant of the house in which I was a boarder, came to my
    bedroom one night and taught me how to masturbate her. She said
    that this was a good thing for me to do, and warned me never to
    "play with myself" as it would kill me, or drive me mad. I told
    her that I had tried it, but could not bring on a pleasurable
    feeling, so she did it to me, and although I did not have an
    emission, I derived great pleasure from the act. She told me that
    it never did a boy any harm to let a girl play with his parts,
    and promised that if I would keep the secret, she would often do
    this for me. Naturally I promised to say nothing, and she often
    came up to my room. Later on she used to insert my penis into her
    vulva, while she was rubbing it, at the same time giving me a
    pigeon kiss. This _modus operandi_ was much appreciated by me.
    One night, after we had been together thus, I dreamt of her and
    her maneuvers and had my first emission. I was very proud of
    this, as I considered that I had at last attained to man's
    estate, and told her of it. She never allowed me to insert my
    penis into her vulva after that, alleging that she did not want
    to have a baby.

    I was about 16½ years old when I had my first real coitus, my
    partner in the act being a girl some two years older than I, who
    lived near us. I enjoyed the act very much, as she permitted, nay
    insisted on, emission _intra vaginam_, and told her that this was
    much nicer than my amours with the maidservant which of course I
    had confided to her. She laughed, and said: "Of course." We often
    copulated, as long as I was at home, and then I lost sight of
    her. Of all the women with whom I have had to do, save one, she
    had the most copious secretion of mucus, which in those days I
    believed was the woman's semen. Her thighs used to be wet with

    At the University I had regular relations with women of all
    sorts, rarely missing a week. Two of them were married women, one
    the wife of a solicitor, the other of a doctor. How proud I felt
    of my first intrigue with a married woman! I felt that I was
    really a man of the world now!

    But though my friends used to tell me all about their love
    affairs, and I longed to confide in them, I did not do so. This
    was because when I went up to the University, my uncle said that
    he would give me a word of advice and hoped that I would follow
    it--never to give away a woman, and never to refuse to respond to
    a woman's advances, whoever she were. To neglect this advice
    would, he said, be foolish, and to break the rules "damned
    ungentlemanly." I wish I had always followed advice proffered, as
    closely as I have followed this. One night, when I was somewhat
    disguised in liquor, as our grandfathers would have put it, I
    picked up a girl, who was a private prostitute, if the phrase be
    permissible. She declined copulation, and proposed other means of
    satisfaction. I insisted, being stubborn in my cups. Had I been
    sober I should have done as she suggested, for I have always made
    it a point to allow the woman to choose the method of
    gratification, and not to demand, or even suggest, anything
    myself. I like to please women, and I have always been curious as
    to their wants and desires, as revealed, without outside
    influence, by themselves. The result of my refusing all methods
    of gratification save the most ordinary was that the girl, who
    must have known that she was not all right, but shrank from
    saying so in so many words, gave me a gonorrhoea, which lasted
    nine weeks and much interfered with my amours, as I naturally
    declined to run the risk of infecting my partner, a risk which to
    my certain knowledge many a young fellow has run, with disastrous
    consequence to the confiding woman. As it was due to my tipsy
    obstinacy, I could not blame the girl, but resolved never to
    drink too much again, a resolve which I have kept, save once,
    unbroken. In those days we youngsters thought that it was manly
    to be able to carry one's liquor well, and did all in our power
    to attain to the seasoned head; but I considered that the risks
    entailed were too serious to be neglected.

    I was well on in my 26th year when I met a widow with whom I fell
    in love, with the result that I married her. She is a most
    sensible woman, and it was her intellectual gifts which were the
    attraction to me. In my amours intellect has never played a part.
    She has all along been cognizant of, and lenient to, my
    polygamous tendencies; for she recognizes the fact that whatever
    _fredaine_ I may have on hand makes not the slightest difference
    in my love and respect for her. Were she a more sensual woman,
    perhaps things would be different.

    In all I have had to do with 81 other women, of whose special
    characteristics I kept a careful note at the time. Twenty-six
    were normal women with whom my _liasons_ have lasted long, so I
    know more about them than I do about the other fifty-five, who
    were prostitutes, and with some of whom my dealings were but for
    an afternoon.

    The races represented have been these, for I have seen a bit of
    the world: English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh, French, German,
    Italian, Greek, Danish, Hungarian, Roumanian, Indian, and
    Japanese. Taking them all round, the only difference that I found
    between old and young women is that the older ones are less
    selfish, and more complaisant, and less inclined to resent one's
    being unable to attain to the height of their desire, for from
    time to time I have been unable to "come up to the scratch" after
    a heavy night's labor, or when I was afraid of being caught in
    the act of coition, a fear which, in my experience, acts as a
    stimulus to desire in women, unlike its action in men. Of all the
    women with whom I have had to do the nicest in every way have
    been the French women. The English women of the town drink too
    much, and are far too keen on getting as much money as they can
    for as little as they can, to please me. Were the London girls to
    recognize that men do not like a tipsy woman, and that where
    there is so much competition the person who is most skillful and
    most polite gets the most custom, the alien invasion in Regent
    street would soon come to an end.

    Of the fifty-five prostitutes: eighteen informed me that they
    were in the habit of masturbating; eight of their own free will,
    without asking for reward, did _fellatio_; six asked me to do
    _cunnilingus_, which I naturally declined to do; three proposed
    anal coitus. Of those who did _fellatio_, two (one French and one
    German) told me that they had taken to it because they had heard
    that human semen was an excellent remedy against consumption,
    which disease had carried off some of their relatives, and that
    they had gradually come to like doing it. All who told me that
    they masturbated, asked me whether I did so too, and two desired
    me to show them the act, one alleging that she liked to see a man
    do it; she had been married late in life, after a "stormy youth"
    and had had, she said, a large experience of the male sex. They
    all seemed to think that however much the practice of
    self-excitement might hurt a man, and all thought that it would
    hurt him, a woman might masturbate as often as she liked, failing
    better means of satisfaction, as she had no such loss of
    substance as a man.

    Of the twenty-six normal women, whom I knew more intimately than
    I did the fifty-five prostitutes, thirteen, without being
    questioned by me, blurted out the fact that they were habitual
    masturbators, apparently all required to think of the loved
    person to obtain full satisfaction. _Fellatio_ was proposed, and
    fully performed, by nine, of whom three experienced the orgasm as
    soon as they perceived that I had attained to it. All were more
    or less excited while doing it. One proposed anal coitus, "just
    to see what it was like;" and three proposed _cunnilingus_, one
    having been initiated by a girl friend, and one by her husband.
    The third had, I believe, evolved the act out of her own inner
    consciousness in her desire to experience pleasure with me. My
    relations with one of the twenty-six were confined to my
    masturbation of her, the while she did _fellatio_, as she said
    that she "had no feeling inside down there."

    With two exceptions my partings from these normal women have not
    been tragic and all whom I have met in after life (seven) have
    been very ready to resume relations with me, four of them having
    made the proposal themselves.

    One thing has struck me, and that is the, often great, difference
    that exists between what a woman's looks lead one to think she
    is, and what she is when one becomes her lover; the most sensual
    woman that I have met might have sat for her portrait as the
    Madonna, and she was the only one who took pleasure in hearing
    and relating "smoking-room stories," a form of amusement which,
    perhaps from their want of appreciation of humor and wit, women
    do not indulge in--at least in my experience.

    HISTORY V.--(A continuation of History III in Appendix B to the
    previous volume.)

    As I became better I commenced to dream of true love. I wondered,
    too, if my horrible past really could be lived down and a young
    woman come to love _me_. I took pleasure in reading love poems,
    especially Browning's, and illustrated some with little

    I was sitting in the stalls one night seeing a performance by a
    company of English actors when one of them played so badly that I
    thought to myself: "Why, hang it, I could play it better myself!"
    The next minute another thought followed: "Why not try?" I came
    out of the stalls the proverbial stage-struck youth. I was
    sitting in the same place another night when the young man next
    to me entered into conversation. By a strange coincidence he knew
    a few young men, amateurs, who were going to form a company, give
    up their situations and travel, if they could induce a few more
    to join them and put a little money in. I made an appointment for
    the following evening....

    There were lots of meetings in bedrooms and rehearsals between
    the beds, but ultimately I was told a school-room had been
    engaged and a professional actress, A.F. I went to the
    school-room and found all the boys there, and a young woman with
    a pale, rice-powder complexion. On introduction she gazed at me
    as if struck dumb. If she had been better-looking (I thought her
    vulgar and puffy) I would have been flattered. I was
    disappointed, but rather frightened (she had a stage presence) of
    her professional ability, especially when we commenced to
    rehearse. I had to make love to her, too, which embarrassed me.
    She had a good profile, I noticed, and would have been better
    looking, I thought, if she were in better condition, for she was
    young, about my own age, twenty-three or four. We were all
    young--enjoyed our rehearsals, and had lots of fun--but I did not
    respond to the advances A. was evidently making to me. Finally we
    started on our tour. As the weeks went on A.F., like the others,
    improved wonderfully in health and appearance. If we had had
    anything like houses it would have been a pleasant trip. My
    strangeness did not escape the notice of the boys altogether, for
    I was still a bit strange in mind and nerves--and deeply
    religious, bowing my head before each meal and reading my little
    Bible and prayer-book at odd times. I drank no alcohol. I spent a
    good deal of time by myself of with my faithful companion A., who
    was nearly always at my side, she and her appealing eyes. I was
    surprised to see how quickly she had improved; she looked quite
    attractive and ladylike some evenings at meals, but I only
    tolerated her. I was selfish and conceited.

    Things had been going on like this for a week--always playing to
    empty houses and our money lower and lower--when A. said to our
    other lady, Mrs. T., on a train in my presence: "I shall have to
    give him up, I suppose; he will have nothing to do with me." Mrs.
    T. said: "You give him up, do you?" and looked at me as if she
    were going to try her hand. A. said "Yes," and looked at me,
    smiling sadly. I don't know what motive prompted me--whether my
    vanity was alarmed at her threatened desertion or that she had
    really made some impression on me by her love, probably a little
    of both--but I said: "No, don't; come and sit down here," making
    way for her, and she joyfully came and nestled against me. From
    that time I ceased to treat her with ridicule, and kissed her at
    other times than when on the stage. I was subject still to black
    moods, and would not speak to her for hours sometimes, but she
    seemed content to walk with me and was infinitely patient. I had
    heard she was living with--if not married to--an actor. I asked
    her about him once, and she said she did not love him; she loved
    me and had never loved before. Her face had a touching sadness;
    her life had been unhappy and stormy, with no love and little
    rest in it. Her face, when she had lost her dissipated look and
    unhealthy pallor, was exquisite, delicate as a cameo. Love had
    improved her manners, too; she was more gentle and refined. I let
    things drift without thinking of the future, when one night
    after the performance--I was lying on the sofa and A. was sitting
    at my side, as usual--I suddenly thought, with the brutality that
    characterized me in these matters--"I will ask her to let me
    sleep with her." I still fought against any premonitory thought
    of self-abuse, but here, I thought to myself, is a chance of
    something better that will do me no harm and perhaps good. When
    she understood me she turned very red and walked away, shaking
    her head. But I let her understand that was the only way of
    retaining me, and finally, when they had all gone to bed, she
    gave herself to me, reluctantly and sadly; for she, too, had been
    drifting on without thinking of anything of this sort (she hated
    it at this time), but just living for her love of me, her first
    true love.

    Before this occurred, I must tell you, I had been so much better
    that I sometimes felt capable of doing anything, a sense of power
    and grasp of intellect which was combined with delicacy of
    feeling and sensitiveness to beauty, to skies and clouds and
    flowers. I seemed to be awakening to true manhood, to my true
    self. And at meals, it is worth recording, I commenced to have a
    distaste for meat.

    These glimpses of a better state of things left me on cohabiting
    with A., and for a time my gloom and black religious mania came
    on me once more. I now thought of my promise at confirmation, and
    it seemed to me I had offended beyond pardon. When we came to the
    next town, however, I openly slept with A. all night, leaving my
    own bed untouched. When we returned to Adelaide one of our party
    remarked: "The only man who had any success with the women on the
    tour was a Bible-reading, praying, and good, pious, confirmed

    A.'s nascent beauty and delicacy and improvement were gradually
    impaired, too. My own conduct became so morose at times that,
    besides increasing her misery, I offended the others, and
    bickerings ensued. I heard the other actress say "He's mad; that
    what's the matter." And I was so wrapped up in myself and my
    religious mania that I did not mind their thinking so.

    After the tour was over A. asked me to come and see her at her
    home, and as I missed her very much I went one night to tea. She
    had a room in her father's house to herself. A. was dressed in
    her best and we had an affectionate meeting. After tea I asked
    her if she were married to E. She said "No." Then I said: "Who
    are you married to?" She commenced to cry then, and told me
    something of her life, the saddest I ever heard. When only 17 she
    had been courted by a young man she did not care for, but who
    prevailed on her parents by pretending he had seduced her, but
    wished to marry her. Strange as it may seem, A. did not know what
    marriage meant, her mother being one of those silly women who
    don't like talking of these things and let their daughters grow
    up in ignorance, expecting they will learn from some one. In nine
    cases out of ten this happens, but A. was an exception. It was
    this, and the fact that she had not a particle of love for her
    husband, that gave her such a hatred of coition. When her mother
    saw the sheets the morning after the marriage she burst out
    crying; she did not like the young man and saw she had been

    A.'s husband soon showed his true character; he was in reality a
    gaol-bird. He beat her, drank, and even wanted her to go on the
    streets to earn money for him. She left him and went home; it was
    then she began her theatrical career by entering the ballet. At
    intervals her husband, drunk and desperate, would waylay and
    threaten her in the street. One day after a rehearsal he
    attempted to stab her. She got on in spite of all, being a born
    actress, and played small parts in traveling companies. Then E.,
    who had also gone on the stage, courted her and she listened to
    him, not because she cared for him, but he protected her and
    offered her a home. She joined him; but his drunkenness and
    sensuality were so gross that he ruined his health and he
    attempted to maltreat A. in a nameless way. And whenever she was
    in the family way he would leave her alone and half-conscious in
    the cellar for days. To add to her misery she had epileptic fits.
    Then sometimes they would be out of an engagement and starving.
    They had been so hungry as to steal raw potatoes out of a sack
    and eat them thus, having no fire. She would often have had
    engagements, but E. was jealous and would not let her act without
    him. And he beat her as her husband had done, and her health
    became undermined. It was just after one of the forced
    miscarriages that she joined our traveling company, and that
    accounted for her yellow and puffy appearance. E. was now away
    up-country with a circus, but was expected down any time. A. told
    me a good deal of all this, between her tears, while sitting at
    my feet, and her tone carried conviction. When I ought to have
    gone home I persuaded her to let me stay all night. We had been
    in bed some time when her mother knocked at the door and wanted
    to come in for something in a chest of drawers there. "Why don't
    you open the door, A.? Who have you got there? Hasn't that fellow
    gone?" A. was confused and told me to get under the bed, but I
    refused, and she covered me up with the bed clothes as well as
    she could and opened the door. She had hid my clothes, but missed
    one of my shoes, and her mother saw it. "Oh, A.," was all she
    said; "you've got that fellow in bed," and went out crying.
    "Well, Fred" (my stage name), "you've got me into a nice row," A.
    said. She gave me my breakfast in the morning and I walked out of
    the front door without being molested. Another night I entered
    her window by a ladder and stayed all night. In the middle of the
    night E. came home drunk. She would not let him in and told him
    she would have nothing more to do with him. He attempted to break
    in the door, when A. called to me, and hearing a man in the room
    he went away, saying, as he went downstairs: "Oh, A.! Oh, A.!"
    as if he thought she would not have done such a thing. He never
    molested us after that night.

    I think it was my intention, at first, to break off with A.
    gradually. I found, however, I could not keep away from her, and
    it commenced to be evident to me that a bachelor's life in
    lodgings again would be dreary and lonely. And all this time the
    fear that I had offended God troubled me more than I have said,
    and it occurred to me (there may have been a touch of sophistry
    in this, or not) that if I were a true husband to her for the
    future--stuck to her and worked for her for the rest of my
    days--perhaps it would find favor in God's sight and be an
    atonement for my sin. Had she been free I would have married her,
    I believe. But she began to be harassed by her mother and
    bothered about my incessantly coming there and staying all night.
    It ended in my telling her I would be a husband to her, and she
    came and lived with me at my lodgings. We had one room and our
    meals cost us sixpence each. Cheap as it was, it was a struggle
    for me to earn money at all. I remember feeling ill and anxious
    once, and sustaining myself by the thought of my father wheeling
    the heavy truck up the street when he married my mother. And I
    decided to wheel my truck, too.

    A. seemed happy and her love increased, if possible; at first,
    though, she must have found me a trying lover, for I made her
    kneel and pray with me two or three times a day, which she did
    with such a queer expression of face. Sometimes her feelings got
    the better of her, and she would say: "Oh, damn it, Fred, you are
    always praying." And then I would be shocked and she would be
    sorry.... Coitus was frequent; she commenced to like it now....

    A. was not looking well one evening when she came in, and lay
    down on the bed. Presently she commenced to make a strange noise,
    and I saw her eyes were closed and her hands clenched. "Ah," said
    the landlady, who came in to help me; "she has epileptic fits."
    When her convulsions were over she looked blankly at us, knitting
    her brows and evidently puzzling her poor brain to remember who
    we were. For many years it was my fate to see her looking at me
    thus, at first stony and estranged, like a dweller in another
    star, then half-recalling with extended hand, then forgetting
    again with hand to mouth, then the gradual dawn of memory and
    love, and final full recognition. "It's Fred, my Fred!" I never
    got used to it; it always moved me to tears.... It was not to be
    thought that we had no quarrels. I still had fits of bad temper,
    and sometimes they came into collision with A.'s temper. It hurt
    my vanity considerably to see how soon she relinquished the
    respectful, patient, spaniel-bearing she had when we were
    traveling. I said some cruel things to her and she retorted. One
    would have thought, to hear us, that all affection was over. But
    when the mood of rage wore itself out we would both be sorry and
    make it up with tears, and be very happy in spite of our poverty.

    I think it was lust that prevented me from striving to fulfill my
    ambitions. A. let me do anything I liked, at all times of day or
    night, although she seemed surprised at my proceedings sometimes,
    for it was becoming a fever of lubricity with me. She still
    thought only of her love. I remember her coming in one day,
    tired, pale, perspiring, and worried--we had hardly anything in
    the house and she had been to the theater ineffectually--and when
    her eyes lighted on me the whole expression of her face changed,
    softened and brightened at once, and she came and kissed me and
    said: "It is so strange, I was thinking all sorts of nasty things
    coming along, but as soon as I see my pet's face I feel happy--I
    don't care for anything--I would sooner share a crust with him
    than have all the money in the world!"

    I commenced to feel libidinous curiosity to examine her--this was
    mostly on Sundays--and she let me, blushing at first, but
    laughing. Then I would try new positions in coitus I had heard
    of. Still she did not enter into my mood.

    She was engaged at this time to play in a pantomime and I
    commenced to lead a miserable, jealous existence. I heard scandal
    about her, baseless enough, but in the diseased, nervous, anxious
    state I had brought myself to it nearly drove me mad. I would go
    with her sometimes to visit her mother, whom I began to like. Her
    brother I still saluted coldly. It caused me horror and jealousy
    to see A. kissing him and letting him tickle her. In my rage,
    when we came home, I even said that perhaps she would let him do
    something else, naming it brutally and coarsely. I remember her
    shame, astonishment, indignation and tears. If ever a man tried a
    woman's love I did. But she forgave me, even that.

    We went to live in a little cottage. It was in this cottage that
    A. first showed signs of lust, and in the diseased state of my
    mind, instead of regretting it, I encouraged her. She told me one
    day that the orgasm very often did not occur at the same time
    with her as with me, and that it would not unless I put my little
    finger into the anus. This her husband taught her, and she would
    rather have died than confess it to me when we first met. We
    would often devote our Sundays to having a picnic as we termed
    our lustful bouts, stimulating ourselves with wine. Her temper
    was not improved thereby (though her fits entirely stopped for a
    twelvemonth)--we had wordy warfares, but we made it up again
    always with tears. Nor did I allow myself to deteriorate without
    reactions and excursions into better things. I was always reading
    Emerson; it was he who rescued me from orthodox Christianity and
    taught me to trust in myself and in Nature. I have never ceased
    this struggle towards better things to this day. There, in a
    nutshell, is my life; I have always been defeated when
    temptation came, but I have never ceased to struggle. I
    determined to be more abstemious in sexual indulgence and asked
    her to help me. She agreed willingly, for she was easily led.
    Whenever we fell back again into excess it was my fault.

    At a theatrical performance we first met a Miss T., a young
    German who sang. She was about 25, with modest, quiet and
    engaging manners. A. and she became very friendly. I liked her;
    she was tall, dark and lithe, but had bad teeth.

    I had been ill and at this time A. and I had a quarrel, my temper
    suddenly breaking out in murderous frenzy. I called her names and
    finally put her outside the house, telling her to go to her
    mother. I suffered a very hell of remorse and misery. Everything
    in the quiet, lonely house reminded me of her, seemed fragrant of
    her; my anguish became so keen I could not stop in the house,
    though I was just as wretched walking about. I kept this up for
    two days, when I met her coming to look for me. One look was
    enough--"A.!" "Pet!" in broken sobs--and in tears we kissed and
    made it up. Miss T. was with her, and I greeted her, too, with
    happy tears in my eyes. Another time, when A. was giving way to
    _her_ temper, and one would have thought all love was dead, I
    said "Don't you love me then?" and the word alone was a talisman,
    her face changed, she held out her arms and began to sob
    quietly.... She accepted an offer to travel with a small
    theatrical company who were going up-country. She was not looking
    well when I left and after a time I received a telegram telling
    me to come to her at once as she was ill. Dreading all sorts of
    things I borrowed my fare and went to her. I knew nothing of
    women, of their point of view and different code of honor, and
    was very far from the attitude of Guy de Maupassant who said he
    liked women all the better for their charmingly deceitful ways.
    A. wanted to see me and had taken the surest means to ensure my
    coming. I was angry at first, but she looked so well and was so
    loving that I could not be angry long.

    One day when I was working the landlady came in and began talking
    about A. and her conduct before I came. She had gone into the
    actors' rooms at all hours, the woman said, and drank and been as
    bad as the rest in her conversation. It was the second time a
    married woman had run her down to me, and I commenced to think
    there might be something in it, and suffered all my mad jealousy
    over again. Not knowing the freedom actors and actresses allow
    themselves on tour, without there being necessarily anything in
    it, I worried till I thought I had nothing to do but die. And
    then one of the great struggles of my life occurred. Walking the
    country roads, I asked myself: "If it _is_ true, if she has been
    unfaithful, will you forgive her and help her to arrive at her
    best?" For a long time the answer was "No!" But perhaps my
    striving for unity with myself had done some good, and the final
    resolution was for forgiveness. I felt more peace of mind then,
    and when I told a dying consumptive lodger in the house what the
    landlady had said, he replied, "Don't you believe a word of it. I
    know she loves you!"....

    After an absence I found myself one evening in a town where A.
    was performing. I went round to the back and they told me she had
    gone to a room in the hotel to change for another part. I
    followed and entered the room, with a glass of spirits I found
    that an effeminate young actor was bringing to her. She was half
    undressed, her beautiful arms and shoulders bare. My arrival was
    unexpected and she looked at me surprised, I thought coldly, as I
    reproached her for not keeping a promise she had made to me to
    touch no alcohol during the tour, but soon her arms were round my
    neck. She cried like a child. She was bigger and handsomer and
    healthier. There was not only an increased strength and size, but
    an increased delicacy and sweetness; her eyes and brows were
    lovely; there was an indescribable bloom and fragrance on her,
    such as the sun leaves on a peach; the traveling, country air,
    and freedom from coitus (had I known it) had enabled her to
    arrive at her true self, not only a beautiful woman, but a woman
    of fascination, of wit, vivacity and universal _camaraderie_. Her
    face was like the dawn; all my fears and jealousy left me like a
    cloud that melts before the sun. I remember the look on her face
    as she embraced me in bed that night. It had just the very
    smallest touch of sensuality, but was more like some beautiful
    child's who is being caressed by one she loves; this divine,
    drowsy-eyed, adorable look I had never seen on her face
    before--nor have I since.

    We fell back into our old lustful ways. Later on A. became ill
    and the black devil of epilepsy returned. I became gloomy.... A
    restlessness and selfish brutality came over me; our love and
    peace were gone. I persuaded A. to go to Melbourne and look out
    for an engagement. The day before she was to sail we went to
    Glenelg for a trip. The sea air, as often happened, precipitated
    A.'s fits. We had gone down to the pier and A. said she felt bad.
    I just managed to support her to the hotel before she became
    stiff, and I made some impatient remark (for she nearly dragged
    me down) which she heard, not being quite unconscious and said
    half incoherently and very pitiably: "Be kind, oh, be kind!"
    repeating it after consciousness left her. Her heart had been
    breaking all day at the prospect of parting, and also, I expect,
    because I was so ready to part with her. That moment was a crisis
    in my life. I was in a murderous humor, but she looked so
    unutterably wretched that it seemed impossible to be anything but
    kind. I made myself speak lovingly to her, in moments of partial
    consciousness, hired a room, carried her up, and nursed her and
    petted her all night. The act of self-control, and forcing
    myself to be kind whatever I felt, became a habit in time, a sort
    of second nature.

    In a few days she sailed. When she had gone I was remorseful and
    mad with myself. How could I let her go by herself? I resolved to
    follow her as speedily as possible, and did so.

    If I remember rightly I came to the conclusion about this time
    that we ought not to have coition unless we felt great love for
    each other. It seemed to corroborate this to a certain extent
    that A. always seemed more electric and pleasant to the touch
    when we had connection for love and not for lust. Leave it to
    Nature, I would say to myself. I began to feel how much my
    struggles, efforts and temperate living had improved me. I had
    more self-respect, though something of the old self-consciousness
    was still left. I did not get better continuously, but in an
    up-and-down zigzag. I still had moods of rage approaching madness
    and periods of neurotic depression. Long walks decidedly helped
    to cure me, and the sea, sun, wind, clouds and trees colored my
    dreams at night very sweetly. I frequently dreamed I was walking
    in orchards or forests, and a deeper, slightly melancholy but
    potent savor, as of a diviner destiny, was on my soul.

    After a long absence, during which she had frequently been ill,
    A. joined me. I could see she was recovering from fits, which I
    began to realize that she had more frequently in absence from me,
    and also from drinking, perhaps. She was small and thin, but
    fresh and sweet as honey, and all signs of fits and tempers
    passed away from her face, so wonderful in its changes. I had
    become so healthy through my abstinence, temperance and long
    walks that our meeting was a new revelation to me of how
    delicate, fragrant and divine a convalescent woman may be. She
    was glad and surprised to see me looking so well, and if she put
    her hand on my arm I felt a joyous thrill. I was certainly a
    better man for abstaining and she a better woman and I determined
    not to have connection unless we were carried away by our love.
    As a matter of fact we did not give way to excess, though we were
    very loving. I tried to persuade myself that we had not gone back
    to our old ways, but I could not do so long.

    Miss T. put in an appearance every day. She did not look so
    innocent, but as it was no business of mine I did not trouble.
    She seemed more attached to A. than ever.... A. was still very
    loving with me, but it was an effort to me to keep up to her
    pitch, and when A. proposed to go to Melbourne with Miss T, to
    sell off the furniture before settling in Adelaide, I was rather
    glad of the opportunity of abstaining from coitus and of watching
    myself to see if I again improved. When A. and Miss T. came to
    see me before going down to the steamer, A. was nearly crying and
    Miss T., changed from the old welcome friend, was not only pale
    and anxious, but looked guilty as if she had some treachery in
    her mind; she could not meet my eye. I thought less of it then
    than afterwards. And once more I took long walks at night and
    rose early to catch the freshness of the mornings.

    Some time before this I had read a book advocating a vegetarian
    diet, and at this time I chanced to read Pater's beautiful "Denys
    L'Auxerrois," the imaginary portrait of a young vine-dresser, who
    was attractive beyond ordinary mortals and lived, until his fall
    and deterioration, on fruit and water. The words, "a natural
    simplicity in living" remained in my memory. I resolved to read
    more carefully the book on scientific diet. Who can say, I
    thought, what changes for the better may come to me if I live on
    a strictly scientific and natural diet?

    I fasted one whole day, and then had a breakfast of cherries, in
    the middle of the day a meal of fruit, and walking in the
    afternoon--a gray, rainy day--I felt so light, so different, and
    the gray sky looked so sweet and familiar, that I was reminded of
    the luminous visions of my boyhood. It was a distinct revelation.
    This Pan-like, almost Bacchic feeling, did not last, however, nor
    was I always able to maintain my new method of diet, though I
    tried to do so. I made the attempt, however, but I imagine I was
    more than usually run down. I would walk miles in the hope of
    feeling less restless. One holiday I walked down to Glenelg,
    having only had grapes for my dinner, and lying on the beach I
    looked through a strong binocular glass I had borrowed at the
    girls bathing. And the beauty of their faces in their frames of
    hair, of their arms, of their figures, seen through their wet
    clinging dresses, satisfied me and filled me with joy, gave me
    for a short time that peace and content--in harmony with the
    strong sunlight on the waves and the rhythmic surf on the
    shore--I was seeking. The summer evenings on the pier or along
    the beach had a peculiar savor; one felt the youth and beauty
    there even on dark nights, the air was fragrant with them, white
    dresses and summer hats disappearing down the beach or over the
    sand hills. It was easy--doubtless justifiable sometimes--to put
    a lewd construction on these disappearances; but I felt it need
    not have been so; that it was not necessary that youth and
    beauty, even the sexual act itself if led up to by love, should
    be a subject of giggling and sniggering. I always left the beach
    and its flitting summer dresses with a sigh.

    A., after writing once, ceased writing at all and once more her
    mother and I were left in a state of anxiety and suspense. At
    last I determined to go to Melbourne to look for her, the only
    clue I had being a remark in her letter that a certain actor was
    giving her an engagement. In Melbourne I could not find any
    traces of her for some days and what traces I did find of her
    were not calculated to allay my anxious fears. One hotel-keeper
    told me that some one of A's name had stayed there with another
    hussy (giving Miss T's stage name): "There were nice carryings on
    with the pair of them." I thought of Miss T's strange looks, but
    could not imagine what hold she had on A., for A. loved me, I
    knew. I seemed to be in an inextricable maze. I could settle to
    nothing and was thinking of applying to the police when I heard
    that the actor A. had mentioned had taken his company to the
    Gippsland lakes. I followed to Sale, found the actor and was told
    that A. was not there. "She slipped me at the last moment," he
    said, "and remained in Melbourne." I returned to my lodgings,
    with my anxiety and nervous restlessness increased tenfold. But
    suddenly my fear and restlessness left me like a cloud. I felt
    quiet, young, peaceful, able to enjoy the country, A. was
    doubtless all right and would be able to explain her silence. I
    undressed leisurely and happily, thinking of the stars.

    The next day, Sunday, I awoke refreshed and still at peace. After
    breakfast, hearing children's voices, I went out into the garden
    and there was a collision of souls who somehow were affinities. A
    young girl about twelve or younger with a fine presence and
    handsome face fixed her eyes on me for half a minute and then
    came and sat on my knee. She was one of those children I am
    accustomed to call "love-children," because they are so much
    brighter, healthier, larger and more loving than others. I always
    imagine more love went to their making. We fell in love and she
    said, stroking my beard, "Oh, you are pretty!" and I said, "And
    so are you!" We were so affectionate that the servant called the
    child away and I went for a walk, finding my little sweetheart
    waiting for me on my return. The touch of her hand was electric
    and her voice fresh and musical. I kissed her, but had become
    more self-conscious since the morning and wondered if her mother
    or the servant were looking, or even of they would appear. I was
    not so frank and natural as my little chum. I have often thought
    of her since. She had the breadth of forehead, the strength and
    yet lightness of limb, together with the hands and feet, not too
    small, that I always imagine the dwellers in Paradise will have.

    I returned to Melbourne and continued trying to find A. At the
    same time I commenced in earnest to live on fruit and brown bread
    only, and enjoyed better tone and health every day, so that it
    was a joy to walk down the street in the sun and exchange glances
    with passengers à la old Walt. One day in the Botanical Gardens
    veils seemed to be lifted off my eyes. I could look straight at
    the sun and taking my note of color from that golden light I
    turned my eyes on the flowers, the mown grass, the trees, and for
    the first time perceived what a heavenly color green is, what
    divine companions flowers are, and what a blue sky really means.
    For half an hour I was in Paradise, and to complete my joy Nature
    revealed to me a new and unexpected secret.

    I was lying on a bench, basking, and my silk shirt coming open
    the strong sun made its way to my breast and presently I felt a
    totally new sensation there. I had discovered the last joy of the
    skin. My skin, fed by healthy fruit-made blood, must have
    functioned normally under the excitation of the sun just then
    (for a brief space only, alas!). I cannot describe the joy, any
    more than I could describe the taste of a peach to one who has
    only eaten apples: it was satisfying, divine. I opened my shirt
    wider, but the feeling only spread faintly, and indeed this
    halcyon sunny hour terminated in a restlessness that sent me
    walking into town to look for A.

    At last I heard, not of A., but of Miss T. She was in a ballet. I
    went round during rehearsal and while waiting entered into
    conversation with a little chorus girl with a good face, who was
    sewing. On my telling her whom I was seeking she stopped sewing
    and looked at me quickly: "Oh, are you her husband? I know her.
    _I have seen them together_." She looked as if she were going to
    tell me something, but merely shook her old-fashioned head in a
    mournful, indescribable way, saying "Why don't you keep your wife
    with you?" I went to the door and presently saw Miss T. She tried
    to avoid me, I thought, and looked more vicious than ever, but
    after a minute's thought reluctantly told me where she and A.
    were staying. To hide my fears and suspicions I had assumed a
    careless demeanor, but I think I should have strangled her had
    she refused to tell me. I hastily went to the place indicated and
    going up the stairs (to the astonishment of the people) opened
    the door and found myself face to face with A.--but how changed!
    She had the hard, harlot, loveless look I detested. I felt for a
    few minutes that I did not love her, and she regarded me coldly
    too, but presently old habits reinstated themselves. She put out
    her hands, very pitiably, and then was sobbing in my arms. I
    could get nothing out of her but sobs, and to this day do not
    know where she spent all these weeks nor why she did not write.
    Miss T. came in after rehearsal, pale and hard-faced. I greeted
    her politely, but was watching her, trying to puzzle out why A.
    did not look as she usually did after long absence from coition.
    Miss T. took another room in the same house and was soon joined
    by another ballet girl, young and very pretty, who soon began to
    have fits. A. was always crying until Miss T. went away with her
    pretty friend. I knew nothing, could hardly be said to suspect
    anything definite, and yet I pitied that pretty girl whose eyes
    looked so helpless and appealing.

    I set to work again. But I continued to live on fruit and bread,
    and taking off my clothes I would stand up at the window in the
    sun. A lot of prostitutes, however, who lived at the back saw me
    and were scandalized or shocked or thought me mad. The landlady
    heard of it and spoke to A. So I had to desist from my glorious

    We slept on a single bed, and though I did my best to avoid
    coitus (I wanted to wait and think out some theory of it), A.,
    who knew nothing of this, wanted to resume our old habits, and
    finally I surrendered. But my sufferings next day were intense,
    and I had the sense of having fallen from some high estate. My
    thoughts were divided between two theories: one that our misery
    was caused by our diet, more or less; the other that we had
    fallen into some error as regards coitus, and this was becoming
    almost a certainty with me.

    There is one incident I think worthy of note which happened
    before the "fall" just mentioned and when I was living on fruit
    and in splendid health. At a performance I saw a girl on the
    stage with handsome legs in tights, and once as she straightened
    her leg the knee-cap going into position gave me such a strange
    and keen joy--of that quality I call divine or musical--that I
    was like one suddenly awakened to the divinity and beauty of the
    female form. The joy was so keen and yet peaceful, familiar, and
    subjective that I could not help comparing it to a happy chemical
    change in the tissues of my own brain. Like the unexpected
    functioning of my skin in the sun it was a sign of a partial
    return to a normal condition, another glimpse of Paradise.

    I stuck to my new diet and gained a fresh elation and joy in
    life. Gradually clothes became insupportable, and I went down to
    the beach as often as possible to take them off, and at nights,
    beside the patient and astonished A., I would lie naked. One
    evening, passing some grass, I looked over the fence like a gipsy
    and felt a longing to take off my clothes and sleep in the grass
    all night. It was of course impossible. And A. looked unhappily
    in my face; she began to think her mother, who now thought I was
    mad, must be right.

    That night I woke up and found myself having coition. I was angry
    and felt I had been put back in my progress, but a fever of lust
    now came over me. I would sit under the tap and let the cold
    water run over me to conquer the fever, but at the end of a week
    my hopes were frustrated and I even turned against my natural
    diet, on which I had made flesh. A., as I expected, went through
    her usual fits, and slowly recovered. (If we had connection only
    once she in about three weeks had a mild attack of fits; if we
    had coition more than once the fits were more severe.) I relapsed
    more than once and as a means of impressing my resolution for
    future abstinence I would walk for miles in the middle of
    pitch-black nights....

    Miss T. came over to Adelaide and as I knew nothing definite
    against her and heard that she was engaged, I thought perhaps my
    suspicions were unfounded and was friendly. But one day in town I
    saw her and A. on a tram going out to our cottage. Even then my
    suspicions might not have been awakened, but I saw Miss T. say
    something rapidly to A., and A. called out to me, "Will you be
    coming home soon?" And I answered "No." When the tram had gone on
    I found myself vaguely wondering what Miss T. wanted to know that
    for, for my perceptions were becoming acute enough to understand
    women's ways. In another minute I was walking rapidly home. When
    I came to the door it was locked. I knocked and knocked and no
    one came. I called out and threatened to kick in the door. Still
    no one came. Mad with rage I commenced to put my threat into
    execution, when the door was opened by Miss T., half-naked, in
    her petticoats, and pale as death, but no longer defiant. "So
    I've caught you, have I?" I _looked_, but could not trust myself
    to speak. Wondering why A. did not appear I went into the
    bedroom. She was lying on the bed, just as Miss T. had left her,
    on the verge of a fit, and on seeing me she held out her hands
    piteously, and when I stooped over her she whispered, "Send her
    away, send her away." Then she became unconscious and going into
    the next room I ordered Miss T. (who had managed to scramble on
    her dress) out of the house. I spoke scornfully as if addressing
    a dog, and she slinked out with a malignant but cowed look I hope
    never to see on a woman's face again. What they had been doing
    with their clothes off I do not know; women will rather die than
    confess. When A. had recovered from her fit she denied that there
    had been anything between them, and stuck to it doggedly, but
    with such a forlorn look I had not the heart to prosecute my

    For my part, all the efforts I had been making for so long seemed
    for a time to be in vain; for some weeks I sank into a sort of
    satyriasis, and even my anger against Miss T. turned to a
    prurient curiosity. At the same time I was not always able to
    adhere to my diet. But both as regards coition and diet I was
    still fighting, and on the whole successfully. My fits of temper,
    however, were excessive and my ennui became gloomy despair. One
    day I blasphemed on crossing the Park and spoke contemptuously of
    "God and his twopenny ha'penny revolving balls," referring to the
    planetary system. But for long walks I should have gone mad. A.
    was drinking in the intervals of her fits. I found half-empty
    bottles of wine hidden away. This did not improve my temper, and
    one day--this was when she was well and up--I struck her a heavy
    blow on the face, and she aimed a glass decanter at me. She went
    home to her mother and I lived alone in the cottage. I heard soon
    afterwards that her husband had come back and that they had made
    it up. Our parting was not, however, destined to be final.

    Even out of that month's sufferings I made capital. I was better
    after my tendency to lubricity, my gloom, rage, restlessness and
    degradation. They had been but the irritations of convalescence.


Abrantès, duchesse d'
Alexander, H.C.B.
Amatus Lusitanus
Aulnoy, Madame d'

Ballantyne, J.W.
Bancroft, H.H.
Barker, Fordyce
Barnes, R.
Beale, G.B.
Beck, J.R.
Bell, Sir C.
Bell, Sanford
Bischoff, T.L.W.
Bloch, J.
Blunt, J.J.
Bois, J.
Bois-Reymond, E. du
Booth, D.S.
Booth, J.
Bourke, J.G.
Brénier de Montmorand
Buckman, S.S.
Burton, Robert

Campbell, J.F.
Campbell, H.
Carpenter, E.
Chapman, C.W.
Chidley, W.
Cladel, J.
Clement, of Alexandria
Colman, W.S.
Columbus, R.
Cook, G.W.

Darwin, C.
Darwin, E.
Dearborn, G.
Dessoir, Max
Dickinson, R.L.
Donaldson, H.H.
Douglas, C.
Dühren, E.
Duncan, Matthews

East, A.
Edgar, Clifton
Ellis, Havelock

Flood, E.
Fothergill, Milner
Frazer, J.G.

Gardiner, C.F.
Gautier, A.
Gautier, T.
Gerhard, A.
Giles, A.
Goncourt, E. de
Graaf, de
Groos, K.

Hall, G. Stanley
Hamilton, A.
Hardy, Thomas
Hartland, E.S.
Henderson, J.
Hewitt, Graily
Hislop, J.T.
Howard, W.L.
Howitt, A.W.
Hughes, C.H.
Hunter, John
Hunter, William

Jacoby, P.
Jenkyns, J.
Johnston, G.A.
Johnston, Sir H.H.
Jonson, Ben

Kelly, H.
Kiernan, J.G.

Lamb, D.S.
Landes, L. de
Laurent, E.
Lawrence, Sir W.
Lucas, J.C.

Macdonald, A.
McKay, A.
Mackay, W.J.S.
Mackenzie, J.
Marandon de Montyel
Marshall, H.R.
Martin, J.M.H.
Meredith, Ellis
Middleton, T.
Mitchell, Sir A.
Morris, R.T.
Moulin, J. Mansell
Müller, J.
Mundé, P.

Neale, R.
Nicholson, H.O.
Nina Rodrigues


Park, Mungo
Paterson, A.R.
Paulus Æginetus
Pearse, W.H.
Pearson, Karl
Pitre, C.
Porta, Della

Régnier, H. de
Reinach, S.
Renooz, Céline
Restif de la Bretonne
Retterer, E.
Reynolds, A.R.
Rhys, J.
Robinson, Bryan
Robinson, Louis
Roons, R.P.
Rosse, Irving
Roth, W.
Routh, C.H.F.
Russell, W.

Sade, de
Salmon, W.
Scott, Colin
Scripture, E.W.
Silk, J.F.W.
Simon, H.
Simpson, Sir J.
Sims, Marion
Smith, Sir A.
Smith, Haywood
Stahl, F.A.
Stern, B.
Stevens, Vaughan
Sullivan, W.C.
Sutherland, W.D.
Sutton, Bland

Thompson, W.L.
Thomson, J.
Tourdes, G.

Varigny, H de
Variot, G.
Vinci, L. da
Voisin, J.

Wagner, R.
Walker, G.
Wallace, A.W.
Weininger, O.
West, J.P.
Wilhelm, Eugen
Wilkin, G.
Wilkinson, A.D.
Williams, J.W. Whitridge
Williamson, C.F.
Wolff, B.
Wollstonecraft, Mary




  coitus among
Acquired element in erotic symbolism
Acromegaly and sexual development
  aphrodisiac effects of
  in relation to scatologic symbolism
  as a form of erotic symbolism
Anæsthetics in relation to sexual excitement
Animal copulation,
  attraction of
  detumescence in
  coitus among
Antipathies of pregnant women
Anus in relation to pubic hair
  as an erogenous zone
  sexual organs of
  sexual congress in
  longings of women for
  penis in
  compared to lover
Associations of contiguity and resemblance in erotic symbolism
Australian method of sexual congress
  longings of pregnancy as

  glands of
Beard in relation to sexual development
  the objective element in
Bladder in relation to sexual excitement
Blood during pregnancy
Blood-pressure during detumescence
  and erotic temperament
  during pregnancy
Bromide as an anaphrodisiac
Bulbo-cavernous reflex

Camphor as an anaphrodisiac
  effects of
  results of
Celery as an aphrodisiac
  attracted to foot
  to scatology
  to copulation of animals
  to hair
  food impulses of
  foot-fetichism of
Circulatory conditions during coitus
  during pregnancy
  erotic fascination of
  the phenomena of
  the methods of
  ethnic variations in methods of
  respiratory and circulatory conditions during
  interruptus as a cause of vasomotor disturbance
  glandular activity during
  motor activity during
  psychic state during
  serious effects of
Congenital element in erotic symbolism
Contiguity in erotic symbolism,
  associations of
  religious and sexual

  the impulse to
  human sexual intercourse with
Dynamometric experiments during sexual excitement

Ejaculation, the mechanism of
Epilepsy and exhibitionism
  compared to coitus
  as a result of coitus
Erectility during coitus
Erogenous zone,
  anus as
  lips as
Erotic intoxication
Erotic temperament
Eryngo as an aphrodisiac
Ethnic variations in coitus
  sexual significance of foot among
  characteristics of
Exercise on sexual organs,
  influence of
Eyes during detumescence
  in relation to erotic temperament
  darker at puberty

Face during detumescence,
  expression of
Fæces as a drug
  the phenomena of
Feet as a sexual symbol,
  _see_ Shoe-fetichism.
  penis in
Fur as a fetich

Garments as fetiches
Genital organs as fetiches
Goat as a human sexual fetich
  sexual significance of foot among

Hair as a fetich
  despoilers of
  darkens at puberty
  in relation to erotic temperament
  in pregnancy
Hand as fetich
Heart during pregnancy
Homosexuality as a form of erotic symbolism
Hottentot apron
Hyperæsthesia, sexual
Hypertrichosis universalis

Ideal coprolagnia
Idiocy as result of maternal impressions
  sexual development of
Impregnation without rupture of hymen
  without conjunctions
Intellectual work,
  relation of pregnancy to

  labia majora in
  the expression of

Kiss, the
Kleptomania and pregnancy
Knee-jerk in pregnancy

Labia majora
Labia minora
Larynx in relation to sexual state
Linea fusca
  as an erogenous zone
  in relation to erotic temperament
Longings of pregnancy
  theories of
  as auto-suggestions
  physiological basis of
  relation to the longings of childhood

  in relation to shoe-fetichism
  in relation to scatalogic symbolism
  in relation to exhibitionism of nates
  as a form of erotic symbolism
Masturbation and pubic hair
  hypertrophy of clitoris ascribed to
  part played by clitoris in
  why some theologians permitted
  phenomena during
Maternal element in sexual love
Maternal impressions
Menstruation in relation to coitus
  metabolism during
  in relation to sickness of pregnancy
  compared to pregnancy
Mental state during pregnancy
Metabolism during pregnancy
Mixoscopic zoophilia
Modesty a supposed sign of virginity
Mohammedan method of sexual congress
Mole as a fetich
Mongol peoples,
  foot fetichism among various
Mons veneris
  foot-fetichism among
Motor activity during coitus
Mouth in relation to erotic temperament
Muscular movements during coitus

Nates in relation to coprolagnia
  in relation to exhibitionism
  in relation to erotic temperament
Negative fetich
  penis in
  labia majora in
  clitoris in
  labia minora in
  method of sexual congress among
Nervous system during pregnancy
Neurasthenia cordis vasomotoria
  pigmentation of
  symbolism of

Obsessions of scruple
  longings of pregnancy as
Obsessional exhibitionism
Odor an alleged sign of defloration
Onion as an aphrodisiac
Opium as an aphrodisiac
Ova and spermatozoa,
  union of
Ovarian extract, effects of
  function of
  analogy of with thyroid

Pain and erotic symbolism
Pelvic development and erotic temperament
Pelvic floor, variability of
Pelvic inclination
Phallic worship
Physiognomists and the erotic temperament
Pigmentation in relation to erotic temperament
  in pregnancy
  the supposed aphrodisiac effects of
  influence of
Pregnancy and pigmentation
  psychic state in
  sexual desire during
  relation of to intellectual work
  external genitals of
  stature of
Psychic exhibitionism
Psychic condition during coitus
  the phenomena of
  pigmentary changes at
Pubic hair

Quadrupedal method of coitus in man

  sexual tendencies of the
Reflex, bulbo-cavernous
Reflexes during pregnancy
Religious scatalogic symbolism
Resemblance in erotic symbolism,
  associations of
Respiration during coitus
Responsibility of pregnant women
Restif de la Bretonne's shoe-fetichism
  sexual significance of foot among
  methods of coitus among
Rue as an anaphrodisiac

Saint compared to lover
Salivation during coitus
Scatalogic symbolism
Scruple, obsessions of
Secretions of genital canal
  alleged female
  in coitus
  in female genital canal
  vital activity of
  artificial injection of
  constituents of
  as a stimulant
Sexual anæsthesia
Sexual conjugation
Sexual desire during pregnancy
Sexual organs
Sexual selection in relation to erotic symbolism
  in relation to external sexual organs
  the probable cause of the hymen
Shadow as a fetich
  sexual significance of
Shoe-fetichism frequency of
  normal basis of
  illustrated by Restif de la Bretonne
  prevalence of among Chinese, etc.
  former prevalence in Europe
  congenital basis of
  acquired element in
  favored by precocity
  relation to masochism
  illustrative cases of
  dynamic element in
Sickness of pregnancy
  sexual significance of
  condition of during coitus
  in relation to erotic temperament
  sexual pigmentation of
Slipper as a sexual symbol
  origin of the
  the term
  sexual attractiveness of foot in
Spermatozoa reach ova,
  how the
Sphygmanometer experiments during sexual excitement
Stature and erotic temperament
  aphrodisiac effects of
Suggestion in relation to longings of pregnancy
  nature of
  of sex in language

  alleged erotic
Testicular juices,
  effects of
  condition during sexual excitement
  during pregnancy
Ticklishness in relation to stuff-fetichisms
Tumescence in relation to detumescence

Unnatural offence,
  the term
  variability of female
  an erogenous zone
Urethrorrhoea ex libidine
Urinary stream,
  in relation to nymphæ
  an alleged index to virginity
Urine in religious rites
  possesses magical virtues
  in legends
  in medicine
  during coitus

Vasomotor conditions during coitus
  ancient diagnosis of
Virile reflex
  in relation to erotic temperament
  in relation to virginity
Vomiting of pregnancy

  origin of admiration for small

Yohimbin as an aphrodisiac

Zoophilia erotica
Zoophilia non-erotic

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