Main  Contacts  
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

(_Eryngium maritimum_), or sea holly, which also had an erotic 

reputation in Elizabethan times, may well have acquired it in the 

same way. Many other vegetables have a similar reputation, which 

they still retain. Thus onions are regarded as aphrodisiacal, and 

were so regarded by the Greeks, as we learn from Aristophanes. It 

is noteworthy that Marro, a reliable observer, has found that in 

Italy, both in prisons and asylums, lascivious people are fond of 

onions (_La Puberta_, p. 297), and it may perhaps be worth while 

to recall the observation of Serieux that in a woman in whom the 

sexual instinct only awoke in middle age there was a horror of 

leeks. In some countries, and especially in Belgium, celery is 

popularly looked upon as a sexual stimulant. Various condiments, 

again, have the same reputation, perhaps because they are hot and 

because sexual desire is regarded, rightly enough, as a kind of 

heat. Fish--skate, for instance, and notably oysters and other 

shellfish--are very widely regarded as aphrodisiacs, and Kisch 

attributes this property to caviar. It is probable that all these 

and other foods which have obtained this reputation, in so far as 

they have any action whatever on the sexual appetite, only 

possess it by virtue of their generally nutritious and 

stimulating qualities, and not by the presence of any special 

principle having a selective action on the sexual sphere. A 

beefsteak is probably as powerful a sexual stimulant as any food; 

a nutritious food, however, which is at the same time easily 

digestible, and thus requiring less expenditure of energy for its 

absorption, may well exert a specially rapid and conspicuous 

stimulant effect. But it is not possible to draw a line, and, as 

Aquinas long since said, if we wish to maintain ourselves in a 

state of purity we shall fear even an immoderate use of bread and 

water. 

 

More definitely aphrodisiacal effects are produced by drugs, and 

especially by drugs which in large doses are poisons. The 

aphrodisiac with the widest popular reputation is cantharides, 

but its sexually exciting effects are merely an accidental result 

of its action in causing inflammation of the genito-urinary 

passage, and it is both an uncertain and a dangerous result, 

except in skillful hands and when administered in small doses. 

Nux vomica (with its alkaloid strychnia), by virtue of its 

special action on the spinal cord, has a notably pronounced 

effect in heightening the irritability of the spinal ejaculatory 

center, though it by no means necessarily exerts any 

strengthening influence. Alcohol exerts a sexually exciting 

effect, but in a different manner; it produces little stimulation 

of the cord and, indeed, even paralyzes the lumbar sexual center 

in large doses, but it has an influence on the peripheral 

nerve-endings and on the skin, and also on the cerebral centers, 

tending to arouse desire and to diminish inhibition. In this 

latter way, as Adler remarks, it may, in small doses, under some 

circumstances, be beneficial in men with an excessive 


Page 3 from 6:  Back   1   2  [3]  4   5   6   Forward