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Havelock Ellis - Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5

Havelock Ellis - Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5

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STUDIES IN THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX, VOLUME VErotic SymbolismThe Mechanism of DetumescenceThe Psychic State in PregnancybyHAVELOCK ELLIS1927PREFACE.In this volume the terminal phenomena of the sexual process are discussed,before an attempt is finally made, in the concluding volume, to considerthe bearings of the psychology of sex on that part of morals which may becalled "social hygiene."Under "Erotic Symbolism" I include practically all the aberrations of thesexual instinct, although some of these have seemed of sufficientimportance for separate discussion in previous volumes. It is highlyprobable that many readers will consider that the name scarcely sufficesto cover manifestations so numerous and so varied. The term "sexualequivalents" will seem preferable to some. While, however, it may be fullyadmitted that these perversions are "sexual equivalents"--or at all eventsequivalents of the normal sexual impulse--that term is merely adescriptive label which tells us nothing of the phenomena. "SexualSymbolism" gives us the key to the process, the key that makes all theseperversions intelligible. In all of them--very clearly in some, as inshoe-fetichism; more obscurely in others, as in exhibitionism--it has comeabout by causes congenital, acquired, or both, that some object or classof objects, some act or group of acts, has acquired a dynamic power over
 
the psycho-physical mechanism of the sexual process, deflecting it fromits normal adjustment to the whole of a beloved person of the oppositesex. There has been a transmutation of values, and certain objects,certain acts, have acquired an emotional value which for the normal personthey do not possess. Such objects and acts are properly, it seems to me,termed symbols, and that term embodies the only justification that in mostcases these manifestations can legitimately claim."The Mechanism of Detumescence" brings us at last to the final climax forwhich the earlier and more prolonged stage of tumescence, which hasoccupied us so often in these _Studies_, is the elaborate preliminary."The art of love," a clever woman novelist has written, "is the art ofpreparation." That "preparation" is, on the physiological side, theproduction of tumescence, and all courtship is concerned in building uptumescence. But the final conjugation of two individuals in an explosionof detumescence, thus slowly brought about, though it is largely aninvoluntary act, is still not without its psychological implications andconsequences; and it is therefore a matter for regret that so little isyet known about it. The one physiological act in which two individuals arelifted out of all ends that center in self and become the instrument ofthose higher forces which fashion the species, can never be an act to beslurred over as trivial or unworthy of study.In the brief study of "The Psychic State in Pregnancy" we at last touchthe point at which the whole complex process of sex reaches its goal. Awoman with a child in her womb is the everlasting miracle which all theromance of love, all the cunning devices of tumescence and detumescence,have been invented to make manifest. The psychic state of the woman whothus occupies the supreme position which life has to offer cannot fail tobe of exceeding interest from many points of view, and not least becausethe maternal instinct is one of the elements even of love between thesexes. But the psychology of pregnancy is full of involved problems, andhere again, as so often in the wide field we have traversed, we stand atthe threshold of a door it is not yet given us to pass.HAVELOCK ELLIS.Carbis Water, Lelant, Cornwall.
 
CONTENTS.EROTIC SYMBOLISM.I.The Definition of Erotic Symbolism. Symbolism of Act and Symbolism ofObject. Erotic Fetichism. Wide Extension of the Symbols of Sex. TheImmense Variety of Possible Erotic Fetiches. The Normal Foundations ofErotic Symbolism. Classification of the Phenomena. The Tendency toIdealize the Defects of a Beloved Person. Stendhal's "Crystallization".II.Foot-fetichism and Shoe-fetichism. Wide Prevalence and Normal Basis.Restif de la Bretonne. The Foot a Normal Focus of Sexual Attraction AmongSome Peoples. The Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Spaniards, etc. The CongenitalPredisposition in Erotic Symbolism. The Influence of Early Association andEmotional Shock. Shoe-fetichism in Relation to Masochism. The TwoPhenomena Independent Though Allied. The Desire to be Trodden On. TheFascination of Physical Constraint. The Symbolism of Self-inflicted Pain.The Dynamic Element in Erotic Symbolism. The Symbolism of Garments.III.Scatalogic Symbolism. Urolagnia. Coprolagnia. The Ascetic Attitude Towardsthe Flesh. Normal Basis of Scatalogic Symbolism. Scatalogic ConceptionsAmong Primitive Peoples. Urine as a Primitive Holy Water. Sacredness ofAnimal Excreta. Scatalogy in Folk-lore. The Obscene as Derived from theMythological. The Immature Sexual Impulse Tends to Manifest Itself inScatalogic Forms. The Basis of Physiological Connection Between theUrinary and Genital Spheres. Urinary Fetichism Sometimes Normal inAnimals. The Urolagnia of Masochists. The Scatalogy of Saints. UrolagniaMore Often a Symbolism of Act Than a Symbolism of Object. OnlyOccasionally an Olfactory Fetichism. Comparative Rarity of Coprolagnia.Influence of Nates Fetichism as a Transition to Coprolagnia, IdealCoprolagnia. Olfactory Coprolagnia. Urolagnia and Coprolagnia as Symbolsof Coitus.IV.

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