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Studies in the Psychology of Sex-Auto-Eroticism


STUDIES? ? IN THE? ? PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX
VOLUME I
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY? THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL
PERIODICITY? AUTO-EROTISM
BY
HAVELOCK ELLIS
THIRD EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED
1927
GENERAL PREFACE.
The origin of these Studies dates from many years back. As a youth I was faced, as
others are, by the problem of sex. Living partly in an Australian city where the ways
of life were plainly seen, partly in the solitude of the bush, I was free both to
contemplate and to meditate many things. A resolve slowly grew up within me: one
main part of my life-work should be to make clear the problems of sex.
That was more than twenty years ago. Since then I can honestly say that in all that I
have done that resolve has never been very far fro m my thoughts. I have always
been slowly working up to this central problem; and in a book published some three
years ago—Man and Woman: a Study of Human Secondary Sexual Characters—I put
forward what was, in my own eyes, an introduction to the study of th e primary
questions of sexual psychology.
Now that I have at length reached the time for beginning to publish my results, these
results scarcely seem to me large. As a youth, I had hoped to settle problems for
those who came after; now I am quietly content if I do little more than state them.
For even that, I now think, is much; it is at least the half of knowledge. In this
particular field the evil of ignorance is magnified by our efforts to suppress that
which never can be suppressed, though in the effort of suppression it may become
perverted. I have at least tried to find out what are the facts, among normal people
as well as among abnormal people; for, while it seems to me that the physician's
training is necessary in order to ascertain the facts, the p hysician for the most part
only obtains the abnormal facts, which alone bring little light. I have tried to get at
the facts, and, having got at the facts, to look them simply and squarely in the face. If
I cannot perhaps turn the lock myself, I bring the key which can alone in the end
rightly open the door: the key of sincerity. That is my one panacea: sincerity.
I know that many of my friends, people on whose side I, too, am to be found, retort
with another word: reticence. It is a mistake, they say, to try to uncover these things;
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