The immense importance of feminine modesty in creating masculine passion must be fairly obvious. I may, however, quote the observations of two writers who have shown evidence of insight and knowledge regarding this matter.
Casanova describes how, when at Berne, he went to the baths, and was, according to custom, attended by a young girl, whom he selected from a group of bath attendants. She undressed him, proceeded to undress herself, and then entered the bath with him, and rubbed him thoroughly all over, the operation being performed in the most serious manner and without a word being spoken. When all was over, however, he perceived that the girl had expected him to make advances, and he proceeds to describe and discuss his own feelings of indifference under such circumstances. "Though without gazing on the girl's figure, I had seen enough to recognize that she had all that a man can desire to find in a woman: a beautiful face, lively and well-formed eyes, a beautiful mouth, with good teeth, a healthy complexion, well-developed breasts, and everything in harmony. It is true that I had felt that her hands could have been smoother, but I could only attribute this to hard work; moreover, my Swiss girl was only eighteen, and yet I remained entirely cold. What was the cause of this? That was the question that I asked myself."
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.
In considering the phenomena of sexual selection in a previous volume, 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.
In the past that fateful determination has usually been made helplessly, ignorantly, almost unconsciously. It has either been guided by an instinct which, on the whole, has worked out fairly well, or controlled by economic interests of the results of which so much cannot be said, or left to the risks of lower than bestial chances which can produce nothing but evil. In the future we cannot but have faith—for all the hope of humanity must rest on that faith—that a new guiding impulse, reinforcing natural instinct and becoming in time an inseparable accompaniment of it, will lead civilized man on his racial course. Just as in the past the race has, on the whole, been moulded by a natural, and in part sexual, selection, that was unconscious of itself and ignorant of the ends it made towards, so in the future the race will be moulded by deliberate selection, the creative energy of Nature becoming self-conscious in the civilized brain of man. This is not a faith which has its source in a vague hope. The problems of the individual life are linked on to the fate of the racial life, and again and again we shall find as we ponder the individual questions we are here concerned with, that at all points they ultimately converge towards this same racial end.
Since we have here, therefore, to follow out the sexual relationships of the individual as they bear on society, it will be convenient at this point to put aside the questions of ancestry and to accept the individual as, with hereditary constitution already determined, he lies in his mother's womb.
This book starts with an introduction to the boundary between secondary and tertiary sexual characters. The subsequent chapters examine some of the measurable sex differences in terms of metabolism, the viscera, the growth and body proportions, and the senses. Other chapters describe the anatomical distinction between sexes, including the pelvis and the head. A chapter highlights the phenomena of menstruation of women. The discussion then shifts to tertiary sexual character determinants, such as motion, unconscious state, emotion, and artistic and intellectual impulse. The final chapters tackle the issue of variational tendency in men and women. These chapters also provide a summary of what is known about sexual character distinction.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, and development biologists will find this book rewarding.
The nomenclature of the highly important form of sexual perversion with which we are here concerned is extremely varied, and most investigators have been much puzzled in coming to a conclusion as to the best, most exact, and at the same time most colorless names to apply to it.
The first in the field in modern times was Ulrichs who, as early as 1862, used the appellation "Uranian" (Uranier), based on the well-known myth in Plato's Banquet. Later he Germanized this term into "Urning" for the male, and "Urningin" for the female, and referred to the condition itself as "Urningtum." He also invented a number of other related terms on the same basis; some of these terms have had a considerable vogue, but they are too fanciful and high-strung to secure general acceptance. If used in other languages than German they certainly should not be used in their Germanized shape, and it is scarcely legitimate to use the term "Urning" in English. "Uranian" is more correct.
This volume is composed of 12 chapters, and starts with a survey on the maternal role in child's early knowledge about sex. The next chapters explore the principles of sex education, nakedness, sexual love, chastity, and sexual abstinence. Other chapters cover sex-related topics including the origin and development of prostitution, sexual morality, marriage, and the so-called ""art of love"". A chapter tackles the issue of acquiring venereal disease due to sexual malpractice and prostitution. The final chapter discusses the link between the art of love and the science of procreation.
This book will be of value to psychologists, teachers, parents, and the general readers who are interested the allied fields.
The chief stimuli which influence tumescence and thus direct sexual choice come chiefly—indeed, exclusively—through the four senses of touch, smell, hearing, and sight. All the phenomena of sexual selection, so far as they are based externally, act through these four senses. The reality of the influence thus exerted may be demonstrated statistically even in civilized man, and it has been shown that, as regards, for instance, eye-color, conjugal partners differ sensibly from the unmarried persons by whom they are surrounded. When, therefore, we are exploring the nature of the influence which stimuli, acting through the sensory channels, exert on the strength and direction of the sexual impulse, we are intimately concerned with the process by which the actual form and color, not alone of living things generally, but of our own species, have been shaped and are still being shaped. At the same time, it is probable, we are exploring the mystery which underlies all the subtle appreciations, all the emotional undertones, which are woven in the web of the whole world as it appeals to us through those sensory passages by which alone it can reach us. We are here approaching, therefore, a fundamental subject of unsurpassable importance, a subject which has not yet been accurately explored save at a few isolated points and one which it is therefore impossible to deal with fully and adequately. Yet it cannot be passed over, for it enters into the whole psychology of the sexual instinct.
A fairly satisfactory definition of instinct is that supplied by Dr. and Mrs. Peckham in the course of their study On the Instincts and Habits of Solitary Wasps. "Under the term 'instinct,'" they say, "we place all complex acts which are performed previous to experience and in a similar manner by all members of the same sex and race, leaving out as non-essential, at this time, the question of whether they are or are not accompanied by consciousness." This definition is quoted with approval by Lloyd Morgan, who modifies and further elaborates it (Animal Behavior, 1900, p. 21). "The distinction between instinctive and reflex behavior," he remarks, "turns in large degree on their relative complexity," and instinctive behavior, he concludes, may be said to comprise "those complex groups of co-ordinated acts which are, on their first occurrence, independent of experience; which tend to the well-being of the individual and the preservation of the race; which are due to the co-operation of external and internal stimuli; which are similarly performed by all the members of the same more or less restricted group of animals; but which are subject to variation, and to subsequent modification under the guidance of experience." Such a definition clearly justifies us in speaking of a "sexual instinct." It may be added that the various questions involved in the definition of the sexual instinct have been fully discussed by Moll in the early sections of his Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis.
Of recent years there has been a tendency to avoid the use of the term "instinct," or, at all events, to refrain from attaching any serious scientific sense to it. Loeb's influence has especially given force to this tendency. Thus, while Piéron, in an interesting discussion of the question ("Les Problèmes Actuels de l'Instinct," Revue Philosophique, Oct., 1908), thinks it would still be convenient to retain the term, giving it a philosophical meaning, Georges Bohn, who devotes a chapter to the notion of instinct (La Naissance de l'Intelligence, 1909), is strongly in favor of eliminating the word, as being merely a legacy of medieval theologians and metaphysicians, serving to conceal our ignorance or our lack of exact analysis.
A primeira edição integral em português do clássico de Havelock Ellis sobre homossexualidade.
No final do século XIX, Ellis teve a coragem de publicar abertamente um estudo detalhado e desapaixonado sobre a problemática da inversão sexual, que recentemente havia condenado Oscar Wilde à prisão e nos séculos anteriores classificara os culpados do "nefando pecado" como hereges e degenerados.
No 2º capítulo, Ellis identifica os principais autores, percursores do estudo da homossexualidade, fazendo breves resenha dos seus pontos de vista e das suas principais obras.
"Em 1894, Edward Carpenter publicou privadamente em Manchester um panfleto intitulado Homogenic Love, em que criticou várias teses correntes da psiquiatria sobre a inversão e alegou que as leis do amor homossexual são semelhantes às do amor heterossexual salientando, porém, que o primeiro possui uma aptidão especial para ser exaltado a um nível mais elevado e mais espiritual de camaradagem, desempenhando assim uma função social benéfica. Mais recentemente, em 1907, Edward Carpenter publicou um volume de artigos sobre a homossexualidade e os seus problemas, com o título The Intermediate Sex e mais tarde, em 1914, um estudo mais especializado sobre os invertidos na religião primitiva e na guerra, que intitulou de Intermediate Types among Primitive Folk."
De fundamental importância para os estudiosos do tema (sexólogos, antropólogos, médicos, psiquiatras), esta obra é acessível e interessante para todos os que queiram aprofundar o seu conhecimento sobre esta temática.
A INDEX ebooks publica a primeira edição integral em português do clássico de Havelock Ellis sobre homossexualidade. No final do século XIX, Ellis teve a coragem de publicar abertamente um estudo detalhado e desapaixonado sobre a problemática da inversão sexual, que recentemente havia condenado Oscar Wilde à prisão e nos séculos anteriores classificara os culpados do "nefando pecado" como hereges e degenerados.
No 3º capítulo, Ellis apresenta um grande número de casos reais de indivíduos homossexuais e bissexuais, muitas vezes relatados pelos próprios. Trata-se de um interessantíssimo retrato da homossexualidade no final do século XIX, rico de detalhes, esclarecedor mas, por vezes, emocionante e pungente, como no caso dos extratos seguintes:
"E a tragédia do nosso destino é que nós, cujas almas vibram apenas ao leve toque da mão de Eros, somos confrontados com o tabu mais feroz, que inibe muito do que poderia dar sentido às nossas vidas. Todos os outros tabus foram ultrapassados um por um. Será que também este, o último dos tabus, desaparecerá em breve? Sei de vidas assombradas por ele, enfraquecidas por ele, esmagadas por ele. Quanto tempo mais irão os moralistas ocidentais mutilar, estigmatizar e perseguir o que não compreendem?"
"Mas no que respeita à minha esperança de melhorar, ir para o Mercy ou para o Inferno vai dar ao mesmo. Sou totalmente incorrigível, completamente incurável e absolutamente insuportável. Em casa, cheguei a pensar que estava curado, mas foi um erro de que me apercebi quando me encontrei com Clifford na passada quinta-feira e fiquei pior que nunca no que se refere à minha paixão por ele. Só o Céu pode saber o quanto tenho tentado transformar-me numa criatura decente, mas a minha vileza é incontrolável e seria preferível, talvez, desistir e morrer".
No 5º capítulo, Ellis interpreta os casos que estudou em relação às diversas variáveis em análise: raça, hereditariedade, precocidade, atitude moral em relação à sua própria inversão, tal como no seguinte trecho:
"É muito raro encontrar um invertido que deseje alterar as suas preferências sexuais, mesmo quando considera a sua condição como mórbida e mesmo quando escolheu deliberadamente uma vida de castidade por causa da sua inversão. O homem invertido não vê, e não deseja ver, nenhum encanto sexual nas mulheres pois encontra todo o encanto do mundo concentrado nos homens. E uma mulher invertida escreve: 'Não posso conceber um destino mais triste que ser uma mulher, mas uma mulher comum reduzida à necessidade de amar um homem'!"
No 6º capítulo, Ellis analisa as diversas teorias da inversão sexual: adquirida vs congénita?, uma anomalia?, uma degeneração?, uma doença?, uma mutação?, e outras, mantendo o mesmo nível de riqueza de exemplos e fontes a que nos habituou nos capítulos anteriores.
Nas próprias palavras de Ellis: "O que é a inversão sexual? Será, como muitos nos querem fazer acreditar, um vício abominável, adquirido, destinado a ser suprimido pela prisão? ou será, como alguns afirmam, uma variedade benéfica do leque de emoções humanas que deve ser tolerada ou mesmo acarinhada?"