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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

It is important to remember, however, that while erotic symbolism becomes 

fantastic and abnormal in its extreme manifestations, it is in its 

essence absolutely normal. It is only in the very grossest forms of sexual 

desire that it is altogether absent. Stendhal described the mental side of 

the process of tumescence as a crystallization, a process whereby certain 

features of the beloved person present points around which the emotions 

held in solution in the lover's mind may concentrate and deposit 

themselves in dazzling brilliance. This process inevitably tends to take 

place around all those features and objects associated with the beloved 

person which have most deeply impressed the lover's mind, and the more 

sensitive and imaginative and emotional he is the more certainly will such 

features and objects crystallize into erotic symbols. "Devotion and love," 

wrote Mary Wollstonecraft, "may be allowed to hallow the garments as well 

as the person, for the lover must want fancy who has not a sort of sacred 

respect for the glove or slipper of his mistress. He would not confound 

them with vulgar things of the same kind." And nearly two centuries 

earlier Burton, who had gathered together so much of the ancient lore of 

love, clearly asserted the entirely normal character of erotic symbolism. 

"Not one of a thousand falls in love," he declares, "but there is some 

peculiar part or other which pleaseth most, and inflames him above the 

rest.... If he gets any remnant of hers, a busk-point, a feather of her 

fan, a shoe-tie, a lace, a ring, a bracelet of hair, he wears it for a 

favor on his arm, in his hat, finger, or next his heart; as Laodamia did 

by Protesilaus, when he went to war, sit at home with his picture before 

her: a garter or a bracelet of hers is more precious than any Saint's 

Relique, he lays it up in his casket (O blessed Relique) and every day 

will kiss it: if in her presence his eye is never off her, and drink he 

will where she drank, if it be possible, in that very place," etc.[9] 

 

Burton's accuracy in describing the ways of lovers in his century 

is shown by a passage in Hamilton's _Memoires de Gramont_. Miss 

Price, one of the beauties of Charles II's court, and Dongan were 

tenderly attached to each other; when the latter died he left 

behind a casket full of all possible sorts of love-tokens 

pertaining to his mistress, including, among other things, "all 

kinds of hair." And as regards France, Burton's contemporary, 

Howell, wrote in 1627 in his _Familiar Letters_ concerning the 

repulse of the English at Rhe: "A captain told me that when they 

were rifling the dead bodies of the French gentlemen after the 

first invasion they found that many of them had their mistresses' 

favors tied about their genitories." 

 

Schurig (_Spermatologia_, p. 357) at the beginning of the 

eighteenth century knew a Belgian lady who, when her dearly loved 

husband died, secretly cut off his penis and treasured it as a 

sacred relic in a silver casket. She eventually powdered it, he 

adds, and found it an efficacious medicine for herself and 

others. An earlier example, of a lady at the French court who 

embalmed and perfumed the genital organs of her dead husband, 


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