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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

The various phenomena included in Roubaud's description of the condition 

during coitus may all be directly or indirectly reduced to two groups: the 

first circulatory and respiratory, the second motor. It is necessary to 

consider both these aspects of the process of detumescence in somewhat 

greater detail, although while it is most convenient to discuss them 

separately, it must be borne in mind that they are not really separable; 

the circulatory phenomena are in large measure a by-product of the 

involuntary motor process. 

 

With the approach of detumescence the respiration becomes shallow, rapid, 

and to some extent arrested. This characteristic of the breathing during 

sexual excitement is well recognized; so that in, for instance, the 

_Arabian Nights_, it is commonly noted of women when gazing at beautiful 

youths whose love they desired, that they ceased breathing.[109] It may be 

added that exactly the same tendency to superficial and arrested 

respiration takes place whenever there is any intense mental 

concentration, as in severe intellectual work.[110] 

 

The arrest of respiration tends to render the blood venous, and thus aids 

in stimulating the vasomotor centers, raising the blood-pressure in the 

body generally, and especially in the erectile tissues. High 

blood-pressure is one of the most marked features of the state of 

detumescence. The heart beats are stronger and quicker, the surface 

arteries are more visible, the conjunctivae become red. The precise degree 

of blood-pressure attained during coitus has been most accurately 

ascertained in the dog. In Bechterew's laboratory in St. Petersburg a 

manometer was introduced into the central end of the carotid artery of a 

bitch; a male dog was then introduced, and during coitus observations were 

made on the blood-pressure at the peripheral and central ends of the 

artery. It was found that there was a great general elevation of 

blood-pressure, intense hyperaemia of the brain, rapid alternations, during 

the act, of vasoconstriction and vasodilatation of the brain, with 

increase and diminution of the general arterial tension in relation with 

the various phases of the act, the greatest cerebral vasodilatation and 

hyperaemia coinciding with the moment following the intromission of the 

penis; the end of the act is followed by a considerable fall in the 

blood-pressure.[111] I am not acquainted with any precise observations on 

the blood-pressure in human subjects during detumescence, and there are 

obvious difficulties in the way of such observations. It is probable, 

however, that the conditions found would be substantially the same. This 

is indicated, so far as the very marked increase of blood-pressure is 

concerned, by some observations made by Vaschide and Vurpas with the 

sphygmanometer on a lady under the influence of sexual excitement. In this 

case there was a relationship of sympathy and friendly tenderness between 

the experimenter and the subject, Madame X, aged 25. Experimenter and 

subject talked sympathetically, and finally, we are told, while the latter 

still had her hands in the sphygmanometer, the former almost made a 

declaration of love. Madame X was greatly impressed, and afterward 

admitted that her emotions had been genuine and strong. The 

blood-pressure, which was in this subject habitually 65 millimeters, rose 


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