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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

Romans. Ovid mentions it (_Ars Amatoria_, III, 777-8), 

recommending it to little women, and saying that Andromache was 

too tall to practice it with Hector. Aristophanes refers to it, 

and there are Greek epigrams in which women boast of their skill 

in riding their lovers. It has sometimes been viewed with a 

certain disfavor because it seems to confer a superiority on the 

woman. "Cursed be he," according to a Mohammedan saying, "who 

maketh woman heaven and man earth." 

 

Of special interest is the wide prevalence of an attitude in 

coitus recalling that which prevails among quadrupeds. The 

frequency with which on the walls of Pompeii coitus is 

represented with the woman bending forward and her partner 

approaching her posteriorly has led to the belief that this 

attitude was formerly very common in Southern Italy. However that 

may be, it is certainly normal at the present day among various 

more or less primitive peoples in whom the vulva is often placed 

somewhat posteriorly. It is thus among the Soudanese, as also, in 

an altogether different part of the world, among the Eskimo 

Innuit and Koniags. The New Caledonians, according to Foley, 

cohabit in the quadrupedal manner, and so also the Papuans of New 

Guinea (Bongu), according to Vahness. The same custom is also 

found in Australia, where, however other postures are also 

adopted. In Europe the quadrupedal posture would seem to prevail 

among some of the South Slavs, notably the Dalmatians. (The 

different methods of coitus practiced by the South Slavs are 

described in Kryptadia vol. vi, pp. 220, et seq.) 

 

This method of coitus was recommended by Lucretius (lib. iv) and 

also advised by Paulus AEginetus as favorable to conception. (The 

opinions of various early physicians are quoted by Schurig, 

_Spermatologia_, 1720, pp. 232, et seq.). It seems to be a 

position that is not infrequently agreeable to women, a fact 

which may be brought into connection with the remarks of Adler 

already quoted (p. 131) concerning the comparative lack of 

adjustment of the feminine organs to the obverse position. It is 

noteworthy that in the days of witchcraft hysterical women 

constantly believed that they had had intercourse with the Devil 

in this manner. This circumstance, indeed, probably aided in the 

very marked disfavor in which coitus _a posteriori_ fell after 

the decay of classic influences. The mediaeval physicians 

described it as _mos diabolicus_ and mistakenly supposed that it 

produced abortion (Hyrtl, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 87). The 

theologians, needless to say, were opposed to the _mos 

diabolicus_, and already in the Anglo-Saxon Penitential of 

Theodore, at the end of the seventh century, 40 days' penance is 

prescribed for this method of coitus. 

 

From the frequency with which they have been adopted by various 

peoples as national customs, most of the postures in coitus here 

referred to must be said to come within the normal range of 

variation. It is a mistake to regard them as vicious perversions. 

 

 

Up to the point to which we have so far considered it, the process of 


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