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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

 

 

As early as my sixteenth year I tried to abandon "self-abuse" in 

all its forms and have repeatedly made the same effort since that 

time but never with more than very partial success. On two or 

three occasions I have stopped for periods of several weeks, but 

only to begin again and indulge more recklessly than before. The 

deep depression which followed each failure, and often each act 

of masturbation, I attributed solely to the loss of semen, 

leaving out of account the fact that I expected to feel depressed 

and the utter discouragement and self-contempt which accompanied 

the sense of failure and weakness when, in the face of my 

resolution, I repeatedly gave way and yielded to the temptation 

to an act whose consequences I firmly believed must be ruinous. I 

am now convinced that by far the greater part of this depression 

was due to suggestion and the humiliating sense of defeat. And 

this feeling of moral impotence, this seeming helplessness 

against an overpowering impulse which, on the other hand, seemed 

so trivial when viewed without passion, eventually weakened my 

self-control to a degree guessed by no one but myself and sapped 

the foundations of my moral life in a way which I have constant 

occasion to deplore. 

 

The foregoing paragraphs give, I think, a fair idea of my 

condition when I left home for a boarding school at the beginning 

of my seventeenth year. From this time my experiences may be said 

to have run on in two distinct cycles--that of the summer months 

when I was at home, and that of the remainder of the year when I 

was at school. This fact will make some confusion and apparent 

inconsistency in the rest of this "history" unavoidable. When I 

left home I was shy, retiring, totally ignorant of social usage, 

without self-confidence, unambitious, dreamy, and subject to fits 

of melancholy. I masturbated at least once a day, though I was in 

almost constant rebellion against the habit. In my more idle 

moments I elaborated erotic day dreams in which there was a 

peculiar mixture of the purely sensual and the purely ideal 

element; which never fused in my experience, but held the field 

alternately or mingled somewhat in the manner of air and water. 

One person usually served as the object of my ideal attachment, 

another as the center round which I grouped my sensual dreams and 

desires. 

 

At school I found more congenial companions than I had fallen in 

with elsewhere, and the necessary contact with people of both 

sexes gradually wore off some of the rougher corners and brought 

a measure of self-confidence. I had two or three incipient love 

affairs which my backwardness kept from growing serious. Out of 

this change of environment came a sense of expansion, of escape 

from self, which was distinctly pleasant. I still masturbated 

regularly, but no longer experienced the former depression except 

when at home during vacation. Relatively to the past, life was 

now so varied and interesting that I had less and less time for 

melancholy; and the discovery that I could lead my classes and 

hold my own in athletic sports seemed to indicate that my past 


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