Sexual Neuroses

Anything that disturbs the sexual sphere in either sex, no matter how

trivial it may be, becomes a source of worry and depression quite

beyond its real importance. It is not unusual for men and women to

become so worried over some trifling affection of their sexual organs

that they become convinced that serious pathological conditions are

developing and that there is little hope of anything like a complete

cure. This is particularly true of young patients, but holds also for

those of older years. Slight discomforts are exaggerated into nagging

aches and pains which produce extreme depression of spirits.

It is important, then, for the physician to recognize this and to

treat the patient's mind by reassurance while conducting whatever

other therapeutics may be required. There is danger always in these

cases of either making too little or too much of the affection. If too

much is made of it, an unfavorable influence is produced in the

patient's mind and the discouragement leads to so much inhibition or

even actual physical disturbance that the affection will not improve.

If too little is made of it, patients get discouraged and are prone to

think that the physician does not understand their cases. Then they go

to the advertising specialist in men's diseases who works upon their

fears and makes them feel much worse than before, though in the end he

may lift the cloud of anxiety from their minds and pretend to have

cured them. He always leaves them, however, with the impression that

something serious has been the matter, and this acts as a nightmare

and a source of dread in after time.

In men the unfavorable suggestions occur particularly as a consequence

of affections of the external organs. In women the same suggestions

are likely to make themselves felt with regard to the internal genital

organs. We all recognize the exaggeration of feeling and even physical

reaction that takes place with regard to slight sexual ailments in the

male, because it is easy to recognize just exactly what pathological

conditions are present and how trivial they may be and yet produce

serious depression and all kinds of symptoms, reflexly referred to

many other organs. There is a tendency to listen to the complaints

from women more seriously because the actual pathological condition

cannot be determined and there is always the fear that some serious

affection may be at work. It must not be forgotten, however, that the

complaints of pains and aches, the disturbance of sleep, of digestion

and of the intestinal function, the mental and physical lassitude and

the over-reaction to irritation which occur in both sexes as a

consequence of sexual affections may be due entirely to mental

solicitude and not to any real pathological change.

Trivial Afflictions--Varicocele.--It is curious what a little thing

will sometimes set off the explosion of a train of sexual symptoms.

Every physician has probably had some young man come to him with the

look and the tone that there was something the matter that he knew was

serious and would affect all his after life. The patient then goes on

to say that he wants to know all and is brave enough to face it, and,

though he has lost sleep for two or three nights and is not looking

well for the present moment because his health has been disturbed by

the loss of sleep, still he has the strength to know the worst and it

is to be told him and he will bravely battle on in spite of the

suffering that must come. Or he will submit to a serious operation if

it is necessary for his relief. With a prelude like this, the

inexperienced physician might expect strangulated hernia or some

preliminary symptoms of brain tumor, but what he usually finds is a

varicocele, and a small one at that. By chance the patient has

discovered it and slept none the following night, went round in an

agony of dread next day meaning to go to a physician, but too fearful

to be told the worst, losing another night's sleep and then finally

coming to a friend to be told all the ill that is in store for him.

There is no need for alarm in these cases; they merely illustrate the

role of the mind disturbing the body. Nearly one-fourth of the male

world carries its varicocele around with it and never bothers

about it. A few sensitive individuals are annoyed by a sense of weight

and a feeling of distention from congestion in connection with it. In

a few, because of special pathological conditions or congenital

defects, the varicocele becomes so large that it has to be supported

by a special bandage. In people who ride horseback, in athletes, and

those who indulge in severe exercise, this sort of a bandage may be

necessary or at least may make the wearer more comfortable even in

slighter forms of the affection. Severe cases may be much relieved by


On first discovery of his varicocele nearly every young man, because

of concentration of attention on it, is so much annoyed that he thinks

he must wear a bandage. After a time, however, he often finds that the

bandage itself is a source of more annoyance than the varicocele, and

then he learns to forget it and its feelings--and that is all about


I have dwelt on this succession of events that takes place so often

with regard to varicocele, because it is typical of the effect that an

affection of the sexual organs has upon the mind. It exerts an

unfavorable influence entirely disproportionate to the physical cause

that is at work. If, as sometimes happens, a young man hesitates to

confide in some one capable of undeceiving him with regard to the

supposed significance of his affection, he may work himself into a

decided nervous condition and lose much weight before he discovers his

mistake. This physical running down confirms his exaggerated notion of

the significance of the affection. He is sure that it constitutes the

reason why he is losing weight and declining in health and he rather

congratulates himself on the fact that he discovered the cause so

shortly before the serious effects began.

If under these conditions he places himself in the hands of any of the

men who advertise themselves as curing "men's diseases," or as

relieving the "awful" symptoms that are likely to follow varicocele,

instead of being reassured he will be told that he has come just in

time and that while his cure will require a long time and will cost a

great deal of money, yet it can surely be effected. In nothing can men

or women be more easily imposed upon than with regard to affections

involving their sex organs. They lose their power of judgment and

their control over their feelings and so plunge sometimes into

profound depression. Every year we have a number of suicides among

young men, the most important element in whose depression is due to

unrelieved occupation of mind with the thought that they are suffering

from some incurable sexual disease which will unsex them, and that

even death is to be preferred to the alternative of being recognized

generally--as they are sure they will be--as sexual defectives.

As a rule, these young men are suffering from only some slight ailment

that could be easily cured if they were frank about their state of

mind and described their symptoms to a reputable physician. Oftener

than not their supposed ailment is something so common as to be of no

significance, so far as any serious results may possibly be

anticipated, and their only real ailment is the mental condition which

has developed because of concentration of mind on this one phase of

organic life and the consequent inevitable exaggeration of symptoms

and feelings. It is sometimes not easy to disabuse them of their

unfortunate notions, but there is probably no set of cases in medicine

where psychotherapeutics means more than it does with regard to the

curious neurotic and psychic conditions which develop in those

who are suffering from any sexual ailment, real or imaginary.

Long Prepuce.--Much has been said in recent years about the influence

of a long prepuce in the male in producing various reflexes the

effects of which may be seen in serious disturbance of even distant

organs. The kidneys are sometimes said to be thus reflexly affected,

and occasionally the digestion and the bowels--even, sometimes, mental

processes are said to be influenced unfavorably by the diffusion of

reflexes from the irritation consequent upon this sensitive structure

being too long. A whole system of nosology exists in some minds due to

an over-long prepuce. There are, of course, cases in which

circumcision should be performed. There is a larger number of others,

however, in which the redundant prepuce is neither adherent nor

constricted and is only slightly longer than it should be.

Occasionally something arouses the attention of the possessor of the

redundant tissue and he gets the idea that it is the source of reflex

irritation even for distant parts of his organism. It is an

interesting study in suggestion to see how symptoms develop in various

organs as a consequence of the cultivation of this thought. Urination

becomes frequent, the patient even wakes at night to urinate and the

urine, as in many neuroses, becomes more abundant and of lower

specific gravity--the typical nervous urine of the hysterical, and

there may be much worry and emotional disturbance.

These symptoms, however, are not effects of the long prepuce, but are

results of the neurotic influence of concentration of mind on it. It

will often be advisable, in young men particularly, to have

circumcision performed, but in most cases this is unnecessary, and if

the patient can be made to understand how the symptoms have developed

he will learn a precious lesson in not interfering with his functions

by over-attention to them. Of course, there are many surgeons who will

continue to hold, as they seem to now, that nature was quite at fault

in the production of this organ and that it should be removed in

nearly every human being. The majority of men, however, have lived

their lives quite well and happily without such intervention and there

are certain inconveniences attached to the condition which remains

after operation that may in their way be quite as bothersome as the

symptoms due to the long foreskin.

Psychic Impotence.--An important sexual neurosis, at least in the eyes

of sufferers from it, is what physicians have come to know as psychic

impotence. Young married men, because of over-anxiety with regard to

themselves for a number of reasons, but without any physical factor to

disturb them, find it impossible to complete the sexual act. Naturally

this creates a serious disturbance of mind. The patient will either

hurry to a physician at some place on his wedding tour, or his wedding

tour will be shortened and he will return to consult a friend. He

presents a lively picture of despair. He has not been sleeping, his

appetite is disturbed, he feels lassitude and weakness, and if he has

a lively imagination he is inclined to think that the fatal

termination of some serious nervous disease of which he has heard, and

which is accompanied by the symptom of sexual impotence, is impending

over him. His condition is quite pitiable, though largely imaginary.

Reassurance.--The treatment of the condition is not so difficult as

it might seem if the patient has a reasonable confidence in his

physician. If he goes to an advertising "specialist," as

occasionally happens, because he concludes that the ordinary physician

cannot know all the details of these intricately complex nervous

diseases, he is sure to suffer severely in general health before cure

is obtained. His morbid ideas will be fostered because he is ready to

pay any amount of money in order to stop the progress of the presumed

serious disease. An investigation of these "specialists" in New York,

made a few years ago by a committee of the New York County Medical

Society, showed to what an extent the terrors of these unfortunate

patients are exploited for monetary reasons.

A physician of even a little experience in these matters, however,

recognizes at once the entirely neurotic character of the case and by

reassurance soon enables the young man to dispel many of his worst

terrors. His general health can be regulated, his constipation, which

so frequently exists, is relieved, and he can be told, what is very

true, that the excitement consequent upon the preparations for his

wedding and the exhaustion due to the overwork so frequently necessary

in order to enable him to take the time off for his wedding journey,

have made him so nervously irritable that the ordinary mechanism of

the sexual act, which is extremely delicate and requires nice

co-ordination for proper function, has been disturbed. Just as soon as

this fatigue and the over-excitement of mind consequent upon the

unfortunate experience are mitigated his potency will return. This

assurance can be given almost at once.

His fears, however, will delay his recovery. His dread of incapacity

will become an obsession. Probably the most effective means of

treating this is to forbid him to attempt the sexual act for a

definite length of time, say two or three weeks. This must be

impressed upon him. There is a good reason for insisting that he shall

not irritate his already excited sexual system by such attempts.

Usually at the end of a week or ten days he will come back with a

smiling look of confidence in himself and his physician, to confess

that he has violated the injunction, but that he was not disappointed

as before.

Subconscious Obsession.--In most of these cases the young men have

been victims of sex habits of some kind or of drug addictions, and

they have heard that occasionally individuals who have had such

experiences may suffer from sexual impotence later in life. This is a

strong suggestion to them and in some cases becomes a haunting

obsession, and produces the unfavorable effect upon the organism. It

is necessary to remove this obsession before a cure can be effected.

The patient's confidence must be obtained and the physician's

personality and persuasive powers used to change his point of view.

Occasionally I have seen cases in which the patients themselves seem

to be scarcely aware of this strong suggestion or obsession at work in

them. It seemed to be more or less subconscious. An idea with regard

to the evil effects of the old habit had been implanted and remained

in their minds, occasionally making itself felt but more often

apparently lying dormant. In these cases it is important that the

physician should make this underlying factor clear to the patient. In

some of these cases hypnosis is necessary. Usually the hypnoidal

condition, with suggestions in the waking state, is all that is

necessary and ordinary suggestions will often effect the purpose


Organic Impotence.--Certain forms of sexual impotence are really

preliminary signs of serious organic nervous disease. Sometimes it is

the first symptom of paresis or of locomotor ataxia. Oftener it

is a very early symptom of syphilitic spinal myelitis. In practically

all of these cases, however, there is a history of syphilis and the

presence of this should always be a warning not to think of functional

or psychic impotence until the possible influence of the syphilis

itself or of some of the parasyphilitic diseases is thoroughly

excluded. Unfortunately, not a few people who have had syphilis are

nervous and anxious about themselves and by their very anticipation of

possible developments may auto-suggest themselves into a state in

which these symptoms will develop. It is cases of neurasthenia that

develop after secondary syphilis in persons who have been studying

syphilis and its possible effects, which present the most difficult

problems in diagnosis that come to the nerve specialist. Many

simulated symptoms are unconsciously developed and this makes

differential diagnosis extremely hard. As a rule, the psychic

impotence is merely functional and patients need reassurance more than

anything else.

Nocturnal Emissions.--One of the sexual neuroses that gives rise to a

high degree of solicitude centers around the question of involuntary

seminal emissions. Young men who are living normal healthy lives and

who are in robust health with no indulgence of sexuality are likely to

experience more or less regular involuntary emissions. If for any

reason they become nervous or anxious about their sexual functions,

especially at times when they are under much mental strain, these

phenomena of emptying the seminal vesicles may occur rather

frequently. If they have been reading some of the literature, or

hearing some of the exaggerated notions that are often expressed with

regard to the evil effects that may come from this, they are likely to

suffer much mental anxiety over it. Occasionally they lose sleep,

frequently they feel so wearied and worried the day after the

occurrence as to be disturbed at their work, sometimes they are sure

they are so tired that they are unable to fulfill their ordinary

duties, and I suppose every physician has known young men who were

even sure that the loss of the seminal fluid was seriously interfering

with health, hampering many physical functions and bringing them to an

untimely grave. They had no appetite and in consequence of not eating

enough they were constipated and then a whole round of physical

troubles, headache, lassitude, over-fatigue, to which they are almost

sure to add loss or disturbance of memory, began to annoy them.

In those cases it is not the physical effect of any loss of seminal

fluid that is the disturbing factor of their health, but their worry

over the losses. Just as soon as their minds can be taken off the

subject, the supposed physical effects begin to disappear. So long as

the solicitude continues the emissions themselves increase in number

and the condition is made worse. These patients must be taught that in

every normal healthy man in whom there is no regular occasion for the

emptying of the seminal vesicles, nature provides for an evacuation

about every ten days or two weeks. In some it is more frequent than

this. In those who are much indoors and in whom oxidation processes

are low this emptying takes place more frequently. In those who lead a

sedentary life with the consumption of much proteid food the same

thing seems to be true. Any anxiety about it is sure to cause frequent

repetition of the evacuation processes. Over-solicitude about the

bladder will have just the same effect. If the patient will take his

mind off the subject, will eat normally, will get out in the air more

than before, tiring himself thoroughly if he is young and

vigorous, and will not allow the sexual side of his being to be

excited by stories or pictures, plays or voluntary thoughts, his

affliction will soon disappear.

Prophylaxis.--Certain directions are helpful and by occupying the

patient's mind will overcome certain physical factors that underlie

the affection. It is important that the bladder should not be allowed

to be full, above all, not to be over-distended at night. Some care

should be exercised in not taking too much to drink shortly before

going to bed and the bladder should be faithfully emptied before

retiring. The weight of a large amount of urine in the bladder

pressing down upon the seminal vesicles situated below and behind it

causes them to contract rather easily. This is particularly true if

the patient sleeps on his back and occasionally in certain

over-irritable patients for a time at least an arrangement may have to

be made by means of small pillows that will prevent him from sleeping

on his back. On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that too

great abstinence from fluid will cause the urine to be more

concentrated and this will irritate the bladder and either wake the

patient up at night, which of itself is undesirable, or else will

cause congestion in the prostatic region which will irritate the

seminal vesicles to the point of evacuation. While five or six glasses

of water a day should be taken besides the ordinary fluid taken at

meals, the only regulation necessary is of the amount of fluid taken

in the evening after the last meal, that is, if more than three hours

intervene before retiring for the night.

Besides the physical conditions in the bladder, an accumulation of

fecal material in the rectum may cause irritation of the seminal

vesicles. It is important, moreover, to remember that thoroughly free

movements of the bowels, by preventing to a great extent the

reabsorption of material from the intestines which may prove irritant

when excreted through the kidneys and when present in the bladder, is

of itself an excellent therapeutic measure in cases of irritability of

the genital organs. The setting of the patient's mind to thinking

about his rectum, his bowels, and his bladder instead of his genital

tract is an excellent psychotherapeutic measure that will soon bear


The consumption of various foods, condiments and drinks enters into

the underlying condition which produces frequent emissions. We have

already suggested that the use of a large amount of proteid materials,

especially in people who live a sedentary life, often predisposes to

this condition. An abundance of the carbohydrates, however, by

supplying more heat than is necessary may have a like effect. Certain

spices seem to predispose to irritability of the sexual system. Red

pepper has always seemed to those who saw much of these cases to be

particularly at fault. Mustard, curries, peppers generally, however,

and even other spices seem to have a corresponding effect. As a rule,

young folks suffering from this disturbance or from the tendency to

eroticism in other ways should be warned about this irritation of

spices. In neurotic individuals tea and especially coffee has the same

effect. Probably this is only an indirect influence of tea upon the

nerve centers, making them more irritable, but coffee, by raising the

blood pressure, seems to have a direct unfavorable effect.

All alcoholic drinks are contraindicated in these cases and must be

forbidden. Certain of them seem to be more harmful than others.

According to French tradition warm wine or mulled ale as it is used in

England is especially likely to excite sexuality. Warm alcoholic

drinks of any kind are absorbed more rapidly than are cool drinks,

which is the main reason in modern times for having these liquids

cooled so that they will not be absorbed too rapidly and disturb the

equilibrium. Champagne also has, by tradition, a special effect,

sometimes said to be due to the increased hyperemia of the stomach

induced by the carbonic acid gas and the consequent more rapid


The prohibition of spices and alcoholic drinks has a good effect in

itself. It acts constantly as a suggestion to the necessity for care

and guard over one's self. Besides the exercise of self-denial

necessary to keep away from the use of such substances, especially

under present social conditions, is of itself a good training that

strengthens the will against certain tendencies to indulgence in

sexual thoughts which predispose to the frequent emptying of the

seminal vesicles.

Erotic Dreams.--Very often these nocturnal seminal emissions are

associated with erotic dreams. Patients are inclined to attribute the

occurrence of these dreams to some fault of their own or to consider

that they are at least in some way responsible for them. This thought

often becomes a source of serious worry, making their condition worse.

A study of this question has convinced me that in most cases there is

practically no responsibility in the matter. Pressure on the seminal

vesicles by an over-full bladder, or a distended rectum, leads to the

production of nervous stimuli around which the erotic dream-ideas

gather. A straightforward explanation of this will relieve many

patients' minds, and keep them from bothering about the subject in

such a way as to make their genital tract even more sensitive than it

is because of their concentration of attention on it.

Sexual Mental Troubles.--In our generation sex occupies a great deal

of attention. Sexual tendencies are emphasized by suggestive reading

of all kinds and by forced attention to sex matters. Most of the

successful novels deal with the so-called sex problem, our plays are

to a great extent sex problem plays and our newspapers are full of sex

crimes and sexual divagations of many kinds. This acts as a strong

incitement to sexuality and represents exactly the opposite of what

nature intended in the matter. As a consequence, all the tendencies to

over-solicitude with regard to sexual affections and all that

instability of mind and over-reaction to all forms of irritation that

comes in the midst of sexual excitation are noted. This seriously

disturbs the minds of many patients and makes their health as well as

their morals worse than they should be. The neurotic conditions seen

in those who occupy their leisure with erotic subjects are fostered by

this unfortunate over-attention to sexual matters. For general

prophylaxis the physician needs to throw all the weight of his

influence toward the correction of unfortunate tendencies in our

present-day life and healthier subjects of thought should be


We often hear it said in our time that the great fact of life is sex.

Indeed, this has been insisted on ad nauseam in recent years. There

is no doubt that without the sex element the race would not continue

under the present dispensation. If sexual feelings did not mean so

much to the generality of men and women it is doubtful whether

marriage would be the success that it is, though so much is said

nowadays about its failure. The analogy with all the beings lower in

the scale than man shows how imperative and prominent in life

this instinct is and how much it signifies. Those who insist so much,

however, on sex as the one great fact of life seem to forget that

there are many other natural functions of quite as much importance to

the individual at least, if not to the race. Without eating neither

the individual nor the race could go on. Neither would the race go on

without eliminating waste products. If there is one thing that our

consideration of the problems of psychotherapy has made clear it is

that whenever any of these animal facts of life is made much of and

occupies attention to the exclusion of higher ideas, there is sure to

be trouble. It matters not how apparently automatic and completely

spontaneous a function may be, if exaggerated attention is given to

it, it is sure to be disturbed in its functions and cause serious

troubles in the organism.

There is no need further to illustrate this with regard to such

physiological necessities as feeding and excretion. At present the

world is much occupied with sex problems because, unfortunately, its

attention has been focused on this subject. Physicians, particularly

if they are paying attention to nervous patients, are likely to know

many individuals who have food problems, diet problems, digestion

problems, bowel problems, and many others of similar nature because

they have been focusing their attention on these functions of their


The most distinguished psychiatrist of our generation, certainly the

man whose works have done most to open up new vistas for us in mental

diseases and who has added not only new knowledge but new

possibilities of development, visited this country not long since and

said, "Oh! here in America you are sex mad." He added, "I knew that we

were madly following sex problems in Europe, but I thought that in

this country, with so many other things to occupy the minds of men and

women, you were not bothered so much with sex problems." What he said

represents the impression of nearly every thoughtful foreigner who is

surprised to find that wealth and luxury have brought to us this same

degenerate interest in things sexual that occupies the so-called upper

classes and their imitators in Europe.

Livy, the Roman historian, said long ago, "Whenever women become

ashamed of the things they should not be ashamed of, it will not be

long before they will begin not to be ashamed of the things they

should be ashamed of." Whenever in history men and women have occupied

themselves, not with the rearing of families, but with the suppression

of families to as great an extent as possible, sex problems have

always become emphasized. The woman who is a mother, and especially

many times a mother, usually has no trouble at all about sex problems

and no tendency to have "affinities." With her there is usually no

question of sex as the central factor of life nor of any other of the

curious nonsense that has been talked about this matter as the result

of giving sex a place of importance that it does not deserve. Until

there is a reform in this matter we can look for many "neurotic,

erotic and tommy-rotic" tendencies, as they have been called, due to

over-attention to one set of organs. Any organic system in the body

would be disturbed by such attention, but the sexual system is

particularly susceptible to suggestion.

The state of affairs thus emphasized is the result of interfering with

an animal instinct. It will make itself felt properly and secure the

due exercises of function if allowed to pursue the even tenor of its

way under reasonable control, but if it is fostered, thought

about, discussed, excited in various ways, pampered by indulgence and

perversion, it runs away with nature. The gourmet who constantly

thinks about food, plans new modes of exciting the appetite, studies

savors and odors in order to satisfy a palate that has been

artificially stimulated, gets a certain animal enjoyment out of his

food that other people do not; but he usually overeats, loses his

appetite, and with it any real satisfaction in eating, and suffers

from indigestion as a consequence of indulgence, so that the suffering

much more than compensates for any slight additional pleasure that he

has enjoyed. Besides, man is an essentially intellectual being, and

occupation with the things of sense, that will manage themselves very

well if let alone, takes up just so much of the precious time that

should be devoted to other things to attain that satisfaction that

makes life well worth living. Sexuality cultivated with the degree of

attention that certain people devote to feeding, becomes a pest, ruins

intellectual effort, hurts initiative, leads to the most serious

disappointments in life and is the most fruitful cause of despondency

and suicide that we have besides being the origin of many social evils

that still further complicate life.

One great modern nation has debauched its literature to such an extent

that probably the major portion of its books treat of sex and sex

problems. Practically all of its esthetic expression has been

seriously hurt by the same fault. Its painting, its sculpture, its

dramatics, its art of all kinds, have all gone the same road. The

result is seen in the lowered moral fiber of its people. A recent

census report showed that the nation has reduced some 20,000 in

numbers and that this was only the beginning of the race suicide. They

have been thinking, talking, writing, painting, chiseling, acting sex

problems, but in the only phase of life in which sex really counts it

has been so pushed into the background or perverted that there it is

failing utterly to accomplish its one legitimate purpose. The younger

generation as they grow up are given the idea that they are missing

the most wonderful thing in life unless they have memorable sex

experiences. These experiences must be varied in order to satisfy the

artificial appetite that has been created. As a consequence, family

life and the real meaning of love and the affection of man for woman

rooted in the depths of their nature is spoiled by mere animal passion

and its passing expression.

Nature's own attitude with regard to over-attention to sex matters

must not be forgotten. The purely sexual organs have been pushed into

the background to as great an extent as possible and are intimately

associated in both sexes with one of the two ugly excretory functions,

urination, and placed in close relationship with the structures which

subtend the other--defecation. Evidently nature intended that they

should be the subject of as little attention as possible.

Unfortunately, the paying of attention to them to any great extent

lessens somewhat of the disgust naturally aroused by the excretory

functions with which they are associated. Nature has provided as far

as possible for deterrence from over-interest. One might expect that

cleanliness and the cultivation of the feelings of refinement would

serve as auxiliaries in the repression of sex indulgence. The lessons

of history are that usually the great bathing nations have been most

sexually divagant. Among the Greeks and the Romans the ugliest sex

habits and proclivities found a place--among peoples who devoted

themselves to the cleanliness of the body. The classes who bathe

most are often those with the strongest tendency to sexuality.

Refinement instead of lessening the tendency to sexual indulgence

rather increases it.

Education and the development of intellectuality, far from being a

barrier to sexual divagations, seem to predispose to the exaggeration

of the significance of sex in life, unless the individual has a

well-balanced character or has been thoroughly grounded in ethical

principles. The ugly stories of Greek love at a time when the Greeks

were at the climax of culture, as well as what we know about the

relations of the freedmen to their masters among the Romans during the

classical period, is all confirmed by the revelations of corresponding

tendencies in recent generations among the intellectual classes even

at the universities. Development of mind apparently does not

neutralize to any extent these sexual tendencies. Evidently the rule

of life for health's sake must be to push sexuality as much into the

background of the mind as nature has put the sex organs in the human

body. Reason does not protect knowledge but increases suggestion. Only

absorbing occupation of mind with other subjects that will bring about

neglect of these functions, as of all other physiological functions,

leaving them to nature, serves to keep them in their proper place and


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