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Table of contents
PREFACE
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-1.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-1.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.4
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.5
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.4
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.5
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-4.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-4.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-4.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-5.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-5.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-5.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-6
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.3
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.4
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.3
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.4
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-3.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-3.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-4.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-4.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-4.3
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-1
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-2
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-3
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-4
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-1.1
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-1.2
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-2.1
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-2.2
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-3-4
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-5.1
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-5.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

symbolism, now become fetichistic, or symbolic in a bad sense, is 

at least an exercise of the increasing representative power of 

man, upon which so much of his advancement has depended, while it 

also served to express and help to purify his most perennial 

emotion." (Colin Scott, "Sex and Art," _American Journal of 

Psychology_, vol. vii, No. 2, p. 189.) 

 

In the study of "Love and Pain" in a previous volume, the analysis of the 

large and complex mass of sexual phenomena which are associated with pain, 

gradually resolved them to a considerable extent into a special case of 

erotic symbolism; pain or restraint, whether inflicted on or by the loved 

person, becomes, by a psychic process that is usually unconscious, the 

symbol of the sexual mechanism, and hence arouses the same emotions as 

that mechanism normally arouses. We may now attempt to deal more broadly 

and comprehensively with the normal and abnormal aspects of erotic 

symbolism in some of their most typical and least mixed forms. 

 

"When our human imagination seeks to animate artificial things," Huysmans 

writes in _La-bas_, "it is compelled to reproduce the movements of animals 

in the act of propagation. Look at machines, at the play of pistons in the 

cylinders; they are Romeos of steel in Juliets of cast-iron." And not only 

in the work of man's hands but throughout Nature we find sexual symbols 

which are the less deniable since, for the most part, they make not the 

slightest appeal to even the most morbid human imagination. Language is 

full of metaphorical symbols of sex which constantly tend to lose their 

poetic symbolism and to become commonplace. Semen is but seed, and for the 

Latins especially the whole process of human sex, as well as the male and 

female organs, constantly presented itself in symbols derived from 

agricultural and horticultural life. The testicles were beans (_fabae_) and 

fruit or apples (_poma_ and _mala_); the penis was a tree (_arbor_), or a 

stalk (_thyrsus_), or a root (_radix_), or a sickle (_falx_), or a 

ploughshare (_vomer_). The semen, again, was dew (_ros_). The labia majora 

or minora were wings (_alae_); the vulva and vagina were a field (_ager_ 

and _campus_), or a ploughed furrow (_sulcus_), or a vineyard (_vinea_), 

or a fountain (_fons_), while the pudendal hair was herbage 

(_plantaria_).[4] In other languages it is not difficult to trace similar 

and even identical imagery applied to sexual organs and sexual acts. Thus 

it is noteworthy that Shakespeare more than once applies the term 

"ploughed" to a woman who has had sexual intercourse. The Talmud calls the 

labia minora the doors, the labia majora hinges, and the clitoris the key. 

The Greeks appear not only to have found in the myrtle-berry, the fruit of 

a plant sacred to Venus, the image of the clitoris, but also in the rose 

an image of the feminine labia; in the poetic literature of many 

countries, indeed, this imagery of the rose may be traced in a more or 

less veiled manner.[5] 

 

The widespread symbolism of sex arose in the theories and conceptions of 

primitive peoples concerning the function of generation and its nearest 

analogies in Nature; it was continued for the sake of the vigorous and 


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