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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

expressive terminology which it furnished both for daily life and for 

literature; its final survivals were cultivated because they furnished a 

delicately aesthetic method of approaching matters which a growing 

refinement of sentiment made it difficult for lovers and poets to approach 

in a more crude and direct manner. Its existence is of interest to us now 

because it shows the objective validity of the basis on which erotic 

symbolism, as we have here to understand it, develops. But from first to 

last it is a distinct phenomenon, having a more or less reasoned and 

intellectual basis, and it scarcely serves in any degree to feed the 

sexual impulse. Erotic symbolism is not intellectual but emotional in its 

origin; it starts into being, obscurely, with but a dim consciousness or 

for the most part none at all, either suddenly from the shock of some 

usually youthful experience, or more gradually through an instinctive 

brooding on those things which are most intimately associated with a 

sexually desirable person. 

 

The kind of soil on which the germs of erotic symbolism may 

develop is well seen in cases of sexual hyperaesthesia. In such 

cases all the emotionally sexual analogies and resemblances, 

which in erotic symbolism are fixed and organized, may be traced 

in vague and passing forms, a single hyperaesthetic individual 

perhaps presenting a great variety of germinal symbolisms. 

 

Thus it has been recorded of an Italian nun (whose sister became 

a prostitute) that from the age of 8 she had desire for coitus, 

from the age of 10 masturbated, and later had homosexual 

feelings, that the same feelings and practices continued after 

she had taken the veil, though from time to time they assumed 

religious equivalents. The mere contact, indeed, of a priest's 

hand, the news of the presentation of an ecclesiastic she had 

known to a bishopric, the sight of an ape, the contemplation of 

the crucified Christ, the figure of a toy, the picture of a 

demon, the act of defecation in the children entrusted to her 

care (whom, on this account, and against the regulations, she 

would accompany to the closets), especially the sight and the 

mere recollection of flies in sexual connection--all these things 

sufficed to produce in her a powerful orgasm. (_Archivio di 

Psichiatria_, 1902, fasc. II-III, p. 338.) 

 

A boy of 15 (given to masturbation), studied by Macdonald in 

America, was similarly hyperaesthetic to the symbols of sexual 

emotion. "I like amusing myself with my comrades," he told 

Macdonald, "rolling ourselves into a ball, which gives one a 

funny kind of warmth. I have a special pleasure in talking about 

some things. It is the same when the governess kisses me on 

saying good night or when I lean against her breast. I have that 

sensation, too, when I see some of the pictures in the comic 

papers, but only in those representing a woman, as when a young 

man skating trips up a girl so that her clothes are raised a 

little. When I read how a man saved a young girl from drowning, 

so that they swam together, I had the same sensation. Looking at 

the statues of women in the museum produces the same effect, or 


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