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preoccupation with physiological acts which, by associations of contiguity
and still more of resemblance, have gained the virtue of stimulating in
slight cases, and replacing in more extreme cases, the normal
preoccupation with the central physiological act itself. We have seen that
there are various considerations which amply suffice to furnish a basis
for such associations. And when we reflect that in the popular mind, and
to some extent in actual fact, the sexual act itself is, like urination
and defecation, an excretory act, we can understand that the true
excretory acts may easily become symbols of the pseudo-excretory act. It
is, indeed, in the muscular release of accumulated pressures and tensions,
involved by the act of liberating the stored-up excretion, that we have
the closest simulacrum of the tumescence and detumescence of the sexual
In this way the erotic symbolism of urolagnia and coprolagnia is
completely analogous with that dynamic symbolism of the clinging and
swinging garments which Herrick has so accurately described, with the
complex symbolism of flagellation and its play of the rod against the
blushing and trembling nates, with the symbols of sexual strain and stress
which are embodied in the foot and the act of treading.
 Fuchs (_Das Erotische Element In der Karikatur_, p. 26),
distinguishing sharply between the "erotic" and the "obscene," reserves
the latter term exclusively for the representation of excretory organs and
acts. He considers that this is etymologically the most exact usage.
However that may be, it seems to me that, in any case, "obscene" has
become so vague a term that it is now impracticable to give it a
restricted and precise sense.
 In this connection we may profitably contemplate the hand and recall
the vast gamut of functions, sacred and profane, which that organ
exercises. Many savages strictly reserve the left hand to the lowlier
purposes of life; but in civilization that is not considered necessary,
and it may be wholesome for some of us to meditate on the more humble uses
of the same hand which is raised in the supreme gesture of benediction and
which men have often counted it a privilege to kiss.
 See, e.g., Morselli, _Una Causa di Nullita del Matrimonio_, 1902, p.
 Fere, _Comptes-Rendus Societe de Biologie_, July 23, 1904.
 Transactions of the International Medical Congress, Moscow, vol. iv,
p. 19. A similar symbolism may be traced in many of the cases in which the
focus of modesty becomes in modest women centered in the excretory sphere
and sometimes exaggerated to the extent of obsession. It must not be
supposed, however, that every obsession in this sphere has a symbolical
value of an erotic kind. In the case, for instance, which has been
recorded by Raymond and Janet (_Les Obsessions_, vol. ii, p. 306) of a
woman who spent much of her time in the endeavor to urinate perfectly,
always feeling that she failed in some respect, the obsession seems to
have risen fortuitously on a somewhat neurotic basis without reference to
the sexual life.
 _Anatomy of Melancholy_, Part III, Section II, Mem. III, Subs. I.
 It may be remarked here that while the eating of excrement (apart
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