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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

obsession is a fascinated attraction to some object or idea 

which gives the subject a kind of emotional shock by its 

contrast to his habitual moods or ideas. The ordinary morbid 

obsession cannot usually be harmoniously co-ordinated with the 

other experiences of the subject's daily life, and shows, 

therefore, no tendency to become pleasurable. Sexual fetichisms, 

on the other hand, have a reservoir of agreeable emotion to draw 

on, and are thus able to acquire both stability and harmony. It 

will also be seen that no element of masochism is involved in 

Restif's fetichism, though the mistake has been frequently made 

of supposing that these two manifestations are usually or even 

necessarily allied. Restif wishes to subject the girl who 

attracts him, he has no wish to be subjected by her. He was 

especially dazzled by a young girl from another town, whose shoes 

were of a fashionable cut, with buckles, "and who was a charming 

person besides." She was delicate as a fairy, and rendered his 

thoughts unfaithful to the robust beauties of his native Sacy. 

"No doubt," he remarks, "because, being frail and weak myself, it 

seemed to me that it would be easier to subdue her." "This taste 

for the beauty of the feet," he continues, "was so powerful in me 

that it unfailingly aroused desire and would have made me 

overlook ugliness. It is excessive in all those who have it." He 

admired the foot as well as the shoe: "The factitious taste for 

the shoe is only a reflection of that for pretty feet. When I 

entered a house and saw the boots arranged in a row, as is the 

custom, I would tremble with pleasure; I blushed and lowered my 

eyes as if in the presence of the girls themselves. With this 

vivacity of feeling and a voluptuousness of ideas inconceivable 

at the age of 10 I still fled, with an involuntary impulse of 

modesty, from the girls I adored." 

 

We may clearly see how this combination of sensitive and 

precocious sexual ardor with extreme shyness, furnished the soil 

on which the germ of shoe-fetichism was able to gain a firm root 

and persist in some degree throughout a long life very largely 

given up to a pursuit of women, abnormal rather by its 

excessiveness than its perversity. A few years later, he tells 

us, he happened to see a pretty pair of shoes in a bootmaker's 

shop, and on hearing that they belonged to a girl whom at that 

time he reverently adored at a distance he blushed and nearly 

fainted. 

 

In 1749 he was for a time attracted to a young woman very much 

older than himself; he secretly carried away one of her slippers 

and kept it for a day; a little later he again took away a shoe 

of the same woman which had fascinated him when on her foot, and, 

he seems to imply, he used it to masturbate with. 

 

Perhaps the chief passion of Restif's life was his love for 

Colette Parangon. He was still a boy (1752), she was the young 

and virtuous wife of the printer whose apprentice Restif was and 

in whose house he lived. Madame Parangon, a charming woman, as 

she is described, was not happily married, and she evidently 


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