The Psychology of Sex- V.3
highly instructive in themselves, but also because they exhibit the nature of the
material on which my work is mainly founded.
I am indebted to many correspondents, medical and other, in various parts of the
world, for much valuable assistance. When they have permitted me to do so I have
usually mentioned their names in the text. This has not been possible in the case of
many women friends and correspondents, to whom, however, my debt is very great.
Nature has put upon women the greater part of the burden of sexual reproduction;
they have consequently become the supreme authorities on all matters in which the
sexual emotions come into question. Many circumstances, however, that are fairly
obvious, conspire to make it difficult for women to assert publicly the wisdom and
knowledge which, in matters of love, the experiences of life have brought to them.
The ladies who, in all earnestness and sincerity, write books on these questions are
often the last people to whom we should go as the representatives of their sex; those
who know most have written least. I can therefore but express again, as in previous
volumes I have expressed before, my deep gratitude to these anonymous
collaborators who have aided me in throwing light on a field of human life which is
of such primary social importance and is yet so dimly visible.
Lelant, Cornwall, England.
PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE.
Definition of Instinct—The Sexual Impulse a Factor of the Sexual Instinct—Theory
of the Sexual Impulse as an Impulse of Evacuation—The Evidence in Support of this
Theory Inadequate—The Sexual Impulse to Some Extent Independent of the Sexual
Glands—The Sexual Impulse in Castrated Animals and Men—The Sexual Impulse in
Castrated Women, After the Menopause, and in the Congenital Absence of the Sexual
Glands—The Internal Secretions—Analogy between the Sexual Relationship and
that of the Suckling Mother and her Child—The Theory of the Sexual Impulse as a
Reproductive Impulse—This Theory Untenable—Moll's Definition—The Impulse of
Detumescence—The Impulse of Contrectation—Modification of this Theory
Proposed—Its Relation to Darwin's Sexual Selection—The Essential Element in
Darwin's Conception—Summary of the History of the Doctrine of Sexual Selection.
Its Psychological Aspect—Sexual Selection a Part of Natural Selection—The
Fundamental Importance of Tumescence—Illustrated by the Phenomena of
Courtship in Animals and in Man—The Object of Courtship is to Produce Sexual
Tumescence—The Primitive Significance of Dancing in Animals and Man—Dancing
is a Potent Agent for Producing Tumescence—The Element of Truth in the
Comparison of the Sexual Impulse with an Evacuation, Especially of the Bladder—
Both Essentially Involve Nervous Explosions—Their Intimate and Sometimes
Vicarious Relationships—Analogy between Coitus and Epilepsy—Analogy of the