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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

condition is far from absolutely sound. Its usual results, under favorable 

circumstances, are entirely beneficial. In men there normally supervenes, 

together with the relief from the prolonged tension of tumescence, with 

the muscular repose and falling blood-pressure,[127] a sense of profound 

satisfaction, a glow of diffused well-being,[128] perhaps an agreeable 

lassitude, occasionally also a sense of mental liberation from an 

overmastering obsession. Under reasonably happy circumstances there is no 

pain, or exhaustion, or sadness, or emotional revulsion. The happy lover's 

attitude toward his partner is not expressed by the well-known Sonnet 

(CXXIX) of Shakespeare:-- 

 

"Past reason hunted, and no sooner had 

Past reason hated." 

 

He feels rather with Boccaccio that the kissed mouth loses not its charm, 

 

"Bocca baciata non perde ventura." 

 

In women the results of detumescence are the same, except that the 

tendency to lassitude is not marked unless the act has been several times 

repeated; there is a sensation of repose and self-assurance, and often an 

accession of free and joyous energy. After completely satisfactory 

detumescence she may experience a feeling as of intoxication, lasting for 

several hours, an intoxication that is followed by no evil reaction. 

 

Such, so far as our present vague and imperfect knowledge extends, are the 

main features in the process of detumescence. In the future, without 

doubt, we shall learn to know more precisely a process which has been so 

supremely important in the life of man and of his ancestors. 

 

 

FOOTNOTES: 

 

[98] The elements furnished by the sense of touch in sexual selection have 

been discussed in the first section of the previous volume of these 

_Studies_. 

 

[99] See Appendix A. "The Origins of the Kiss," in the previous volume. 

 

[100] See, e.g., Art. "Erection," by Retterer, in Richet's _Dictionnaire 

de Physiologie_, vol. v. 

 

[101] Guibaut, _Traite Clinique des Maladies des Femmes_, p. 242. Adler 

discusses the sexual secretions in women and their significance, _Die 

Mangelhafte Geschlechtsempfindung des Weibes_, pp. 19-26. 

 

[102] In some parts of the world this is further aided by artificial 

means. Thus it is stated by Riedel (as quoted by Ploss and Bartels) that 

in the Gorong Archipelago the bridegroom, before the first coitus, anoints 

the bride's pudenda with an ointment containing opium, musk, etc. I have 

been told of an English bride who was instructed by her mother to use a 

candle for the same purpose. 

 

[103] _Parthenologia_, pp. 302, et seq. 

 

[104] The connection of this mucous flow with sexual emotion was discussed 

early in the eighteenth century by Schurig in his _Gynaecologia_, pp. 8-11; 

it is frequently passed over by more modern writers. 

 

[105] The drawing is reproduced by Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, vol. i, 

Chapter XVII; many facts bearing on the ethnography of coitus are brought 

together in this chapter. 

 

[106] Onanoff (Paris Societe de Biologie, May 3, 1890) proposed the name 

of bulbo-cavernous reflex for the smart contraction of the ischio-and 

bulbo-cavernosus muscles (erector penis and accelerator urinae) produced by 

mechanical excitation of the glans. This reflex is clinically elicited by 


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