Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 534 pages of information about Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3.

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

[161] Op. cit., p. 164.

[162] Havelock Ellis, “Madame de Warens,” The Venture, 1903.

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

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

[165] Differences in the Nervous Organization of Man and Woman, 1891; chapter xiii, “Sexual Instinct in Men and Women Compared.”

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

[167] Geoffrey Mortimer, Chapters on Human Love, 1898, ch. xvi.

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

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