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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 144 pages of information about The Four Epochs of Woman's Life; a study in hygiene.

CHAPTER VIII.

 Sexual INSINCT in women.

   Sexual Instinct in Women; Excessive Coitus; Causes of Sexual
   Excitability.

  “Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
   Is the best gift of heaven.”

—­Armstrong.

Sexual Instinct in Women.—­ After careful observation of the sexes in the married state, it is found that the sexual appetence is less in women than it is in men.  Much of this difference in sexual appetence is doubtless due to the chastity of their lives, coupled with and resulting from the difference of education.  The girl is taught repression, and the boy expression; that girls must be chaste; that chastity for boys is impossible.

According to the intensity of the sexual instinct women have been divided into three classes:  A larger number than is supposed have little or no sexual feeling.  Second, those who are subject to strong passion; this class is larger than the first, but small as compared with the whole of their sex.  Third, those in whom the sexual appetite is moderate; this class comprises the vast majority of women.

And, even granting to woman more pleasure in sexual indulgence than usually comes to her by largest allowance, it is safe to say that in nine cases out of ten maternity, with its early pains and later cares, greatly lessens her power of enjoyment; and that for the larger part of her married life she is either positively distressed by the apparently necessary demands of her husband upon her, and irresponsive to them, or kept to a cheerful response by a self-abnegation and regard for his comfort, not to say fear of his moral aberration, which is a positive drain upon her health and strength.

Excessive Coitus.—­ Those who are most frequently found to suffer from venereal excesses are the newly married; especially if they have weak constitutions and excitable temperaments.  A great deal of mischief is done by two persons of unequal constitutions being matched together; the husband may exhaust the wife or vice versa, the weaker party being constantly tempted to exceed their strength.  In all sexual matters there must be a consideration for others.  It is not so much from selfishness as from ignorance that such a mistake is made.  The ignorance comes from a lamentable morbid delicacy which prevails on all sexual matters, and which prevents all open and rational conversation on them, even between those who have the most intimate knowledge of each other.

When the conjugal act is repeated too often, the man will become gradually conscious of diminished strength, diminished nerve force, and diminished mental powers.  Excess weakens a man’s energies, and enervates and effeminates him.  Moreover, it renders him liable to an infinity of diseases and a readier victim to death.

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