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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

distinctly emphasized, that the links that bind together the forms of 

erotic symbolism are not to be found in objects or even in acts, but in 

the underlying emotion. A feeling is the first condition of the symbol, a 

feeling which recalls, by a subtle and unconscious automatic association 

of resemblance or of contiguity, some former feeling. It is the similarity 

of emotion, instinctively apprehended, which links on a symbol only 

partially sexual, or even apparently not sexual at all, to the great 

central focus of sexual emotion, the great dominating force which brings 

the symbol its life-blood.[71] 

 

The cases of sexual hyperaesthesia, quoted at the beginning of this study, 

do but present in a morbidly comprehensive and sensitive form those 

possibilities of erotic symbolism which, in some degree, or at some 

period, are latent in most persons. They are genuinely instinctive and 

automatic, and have nothing in common with that fanciful and deliberate 

play of the intelligence around sexual imagery--not infrequently seen in 

abnormal and insane persons--which has no significance for sexual 

psychology. 

 

It is to the extreme individualization involved by the developments of 

erotic symbolism that the fetichist owes his morbid and perilous 

isolation. The lover who is influenced by all the elements of sexual 

selection is always supported by the fellow-feeling of a larger body of 

other human beings; he has behind him his species, his sex, his nation, or 

at the very least a fashion. Even the inverted lover in most cases is soon 

able to create around him an atmosphere constituted by persons whose 

ideals resemble his own. But it is not so with the erotic symbolist. He is 

nearly always alone. He is predisposed to isolation from the outset, for 

it would seem to be on a basis of excessive shyness and timidity that the 

manifestations of erotic symbolism are most likely to develop. When at 

length the symbolist realizes his own aspirations--which seem to him for 

the most part an altogether new phenomenon in the world--and at the same 

time realizes the wide degree in which they deviate from those of the rest 

of mankind, his natural secretiveness is still further reinforced. He 

stands alone. His most sacred ideals are for all those around him a 

childish absurdity, or a disgusting obscenity, possibly a matter calling 

for the intervention of the policeman. We have forgotten that all these 

impulses which to us seem so unnatural--this adoration of the foot and 

other despised parts of the body, this reverence for the excretory acts 

and products, the acceptance of congress with animals, the solemnity of 

self-exhibition--were all beliefs and practices which, to our remote 

forefathers, were bound up with the highest conceptions of life and the 

deepest ardors of religion. 

 

A man cannot, however, deviate at once so widely and so spontaneously in 

his impulses from the rest of the world in which he himself lives without 

possessing an aboriginally abnormal temperament. At the very least he 

exhibits a neuropathic sensitiveness to abnormal impressions. Not 

infrequently there is more than this, the distinct stigmata of 

degeneration, sometimes a certain degree of congenital feeble-mindedness 

or a tendency to insanity. 

 

Yet, regarded as a whole, and notwithstanding the frequency with which 


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