SANE SEX LIFE AND SANE SEX LIVING
SOME THINGS THAT ALL SANE PEOPLE OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT SEX NATURE AND SEX FUNCTIONING; ITS PLACE IN THE ECONOMY OF LIFE, ITS PROPER TRAINING AND RIGHTEOUS EXERCISE
H.W. LONG, M.D.
EUGENICS PUBLISHING CO., INC.
MADE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
TO MY FELLOW-MEMBERS OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION INTO WHOSE HANDS THIS BOOK MAY COME, AND TO ALL WHO MAY READ IT UNDER THEIR DIRECTION, THIS VOLUME IS MOST SINCERELY DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR.
NOTE TO THE READER
IN ORDER TO GAIN A CORRECT IMPRESSION OF THE BOOK, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT IT BE READ FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END WITHOUT ANY SKIPPING WHATSOEVER. ONCE READ, IT CAN BE RE-READ, HERE AND THERE, AS THE READER MAY DESIRE. BUT FOR A FIRST READING, IT IS THE EARNEST WISH OF THE AUTHOR THAT EVERY WORD BE READ, FOR IN NO OTHER WAY CAN THE PURPOSE OF THE BOOK BE REALIZED.
As we have moved down the ages, now and then, from the religious teacher, the statesman, the inventor, the social worker, or from the doctor, surgeon, or sexologist, there has been a "vox clamantis in deserto." Usually these voices have fallen on unheeding ears; but again and again some delver in books, some student of men, some inspired, self-effacing, or altruistic one has taken up the cry; and at last unthinking, unheeding, superficial, self-satisfied humanity has turned to listen.
Aristotle by the sure inductive method learned and taught much, concerning the sex relations of men and women, that it would profit us today to heed. Balzac, Luther, Michelet, Spencer, and later, at our very doors, Krafft-Ebbing, Forel, Bloch, Ellis, Freud, Hall, and scores of others have added their voices. All these have seen whither we were drifting, and have made vigorous protests according to their lights. Many of these protests should have been heard, but were not, and only now are just beginning to be heeded. Such pioneers in the field of proper, healthful, ethical, religious, sane daily sex living, have been Sturgis and Malchow, who talked earnestly to an unheeding profession of these things, and now, I have the honor to write an introductory word to a book in this field, that is sane, wise, practical, entirely truthful, and unspeakably necessary.
I can endorse the teachings in Dr. Long's book more fully because I have, for nearly a quarter of a century, been holding similar views, and dispensing similar, though perhaps less explicit, information. I know from long observation that the teaching is wholesome and necessary, and that the results are universally uplifting. Such teachings improve health, prolong life, and promote virtue, adding to the happiness and lessening the burdens of men, on the one hand; on the other, reducing their crimes and vices. A book like this would have proved invaluable to me on my entrance to the married state; but had I had it, I might not have been forced to acquire the knowledge which enables me now to state with all solemnity, that I personally know hundreds of couples whose lives were wrecked for lack of such knowledge, and that I more intimately know hundreds of others to whom verbal teaching along the lines he has laid down, has brought happiness, health and goodness.
Dr. Long advances no theories; neither do I. He has found by studying himself and other people, a sane and salutary way of sex living, and fearlessly has prescribed this to a limited circle for a long time. I congratulate him for his perspicacity, temerity, and wisdom. He offers no apology, and there is no occasion for any. He says, "All has been set down in love, by a lover, for the sake of lovers yet to be, in the hope of helping them on toward a divine consummation." That is, he has developed these ideas at home, and then spread them abroad, or, he has found them abroad and brought them home; and they worked.
I also speak somewhat ex experientia and have some intimate personal knowledge of many of these things. Therefore, I advocate his doctrine, the more readily, and maintain that humanity needs these ideas as much today as when M. Jules Lemaitre wrote his late introduction to Michelet's L'Amour. He said: "Il ne parait pas, apres quarante ans passes, que les choses aillent mieux, ni que le livre de Michelet ait rien perdu de son a-propos." Twenty years more have elapsed and things have not yet become much better. Frank sex talks like Dr. Long's teaching are as a-propos today as was Michelet's book when it was written, or when, after forty years had passed M. Lemaitre wrote his introduction.
Idealism is right, and we all approve it; so much so, that many of us cannot see that ultra-idealism, extremism in right, (it is foolish to attempt to attain anything better than the best) may be wrong. Undoubtedly, entire devotion to the material and physical, is also wrong; but we never must lose sight of the palpable fact that, unless we have a proper, stable, natural, well-regulated physical or material foundation, we must fall short of all ideals. Proper physical adjustments enable the realization of realizable ideals. Unrealizable ideals are chimeras pursued into futurity, while a world that should be human and happy waits in vice and misery. I gather that Dr. Long believes that reducing this vice and misery, and increasing human happiness and improving health are suitable works with which to companion a faith in the Arbiter of our destinies.
If thus he develops his idea of the integrity of the universe, I agree with him fully. His book, since it delineates the numerous details of a normal sex life, can be sold, thanks to our prudish public, only to the profession. I believe it should go to the larger public as it has gone formerly to his smaller community.
In spite of imperfect ideals the Orient has endured, while we of the Occident are fast becoming decadent. We, by learning something of the art of love, and of the natural life of married people, from the Hindoos, may perpetuate our civilization. They, by adopting the best of our transcendentalism, may reach higher development than we yet have attained.
The time has come for a book like this to command the attention of medical men, since now an awakened public demands from them, as the conservers of life and the directors of physiological living, explicit directions in everything pertaining to the physician's calling, not omitting the intimate, intricate, long taboo and disdained details of sex life and procreation.
W.F. ROBIE, M.D.
By Dr. W.F. Robie, author of "The Art of Love"
Need for facts about sex and love—Present ignorance of sex relations—Sex information improves health, prolongs life, promotes virtue, adds to happiness—Frank talks needed—This book describes details of normal sex life, describes art of love, gives explicit instructions pertaining to intimacies of sex life.
Answers problems of sex life in the delicate relations of marriage—Most people too timid to reveal reasons for their sexual difficulties—Knowledge in a book less embarrassing to gain—Never before could people find facts they wanted to know most—This book prepared especially to help husbands and wives to live wholesome sex lives—Gives them facts all married people should know—Explains how to use that information to make marriage a success—Especially valuable for newlyweds if read on honeymoon—Those now married who do not get on well together will find in this book relief from suffering and woe.
Wrong teachings about sex—Children brought up in ignorance on sex matters—No information given by parents, schools, churches—But children will find out even if they go to wrong sources—Some one must tell the truth—This book does it.
THE ARGUMENT AND THE INFORMATION
Until recently it was a crime to give knowledge concerning sex relations—Sex knowledge denied through selfishness or prudery—This is wrong because sex is of highest importance to human beings—Ills, crimes, misfortunes are result when people are forced to be ignorant of knowledge they need—Condemned to suffer tortures when they might enjoy delights—Sex is clean and natural—At last sex knowledge may be given freely—Advice in this book gained from personal and professional experience.
THE CORRECT MENTAL ATTITUDE
Definite information now given which will help husbands and wives to find perpetual and increasing happiness all their lives—Duty of brides and grooms to acquaint themselves with each other's sexual needs—No man or woman should be ashamed of the sexual make-up—They should be proud of their sexual functions and virility—Read the book without shame or shock—Gaining honest truth about these matters is most essential to life.
THE SEX ORGANS
Male sex organs are penis and testicles—Size and form of penis when at rest and during sexual excitement—Position of testicles—Why one teste is larger—Pubic regions in men and women.
Female sex organs are vulva, vaginal passage, womb, and ovaries—Length of vaginal passage compared with distended penis—Size and formation of womb—Position of ovaries.
FUNCTION OF THE SEX ORGANS
Primary purpose of sex in the human race—Life is the result of union of two forces—Birth the same in human beings as in other forms of life—Process of conception in female—How female ovum is fertilized by male—When puberty begins and ends in women.
Menstruation, its cause and meaning—When ovum may be impregnated—Origin of sperm in man—Purpose of prostate gland—What semen is—For birth of new life union of male and female sex organs necessary—Glans penis in man and clitoris in woman are "exciting" focal points—Climax of coitus.
Use of sexual organs to produce offspring same in mankind as in animals—One way in which human beings differ from animals in sex relations—Coitus possible in animals only in "rutting" season—In human beings coitus enjoyable at any time—What this difference means to happiness—The basis of real success in marriage—Married people can reach highest conditions of wedlock when they know and practice what is right in sex—No "rights" conferred in sex relations through the ceremony of marriage.
Different views of sexual relations for purpose of happiness—Padlocks to prevent exercise of sexual functions—Effect of falsehoods about sex relations—Innocent brides and goody-good husbands—Differences of opinion by brides and grooms lead to terrible wrongs on marriage night—False teaching often results in the "rape of the wedding night"—How definite knowledge prevents this shock to bride and makes for perfect bliss—The second kind of coitus reserved only for human beings can bring highest physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
THE ACT OF COITUS
Coitus consists of four parts or acts—Where ninety-nine one-hundredths of all married troubles begin—Usually husband's fault due to ignorance or carelessness.
First part of act of coitus—Difference between men and women in time needed for sexual readiness—Women usually slower—Prostatic flow and pre-coital secretion—Coitus harmful when either partner not fully ready for sexual union—Taking time most important feature—Special information for newlyweds—Woman's fear of "something new" and of pregnancy—Husband should not insist upon "rights"—Evils which follow this wrong attitude—True marriage based on mutual love—Key to married happiness—Married love needs continual care by husband and wife—Instructions for performing first part of act of coitus.
Second part of act of coitus—Many positions possible—Best position—Instructions for performing second part of act of coitus.
Third part of act of coitus—A common mistake made by many wives, especially young brides—Need for complete freedom on part of woman—Length of time required—Skill and intensity needed by husband and wife—Instructions for performing third part of act of coitus.
Fourth and final part of act of coitus—When done correctly greatest of all human experiences—What happens to the man—What occurs in the woman—No connection with possibility of pregnancy—Designed by nature especially for woman's satisfaction and pleasure—Special instruction for husband and wife—Review of all the four parts of the act of coitus.
THE FIRST UNION
Special conditions which must be considered when bride is to have first sexual congress—Her state of mind—Need for better acquaintance—What both bride and groom should know about the woman's sex organs; where located, parts, how constructed, sensitivity—How shape and size of mouth indicate shape and size of woman's sex organs.
The hymen or "maidenhead"—Meaning of its presence or absence—How it may be removed without danger or pain—First union should be accomplished by mutual desire and effort—Chances of conception in coitus—Desire for children.
The right to have children when wanted—A matter of choice—Difference between infanticide, abortion and prevention of pregnancy—How husband and wife can tell when there is no danger of impregnation—A rule of coitus which should never be violated—What information about pregnancy may be gained from menstrual period—Most women have two weeks of "free time" each month—Freedom from fear an accomplishment which adds to happiness of marriage.
THE ART OF LOVE
Must be learned and mastered because partners in marriage often not matched physically or psychically—Ordinary cases of physical mismatching—Difference in size of sex organs may produce unfortunate results—How to discover physical mismatching—How to correct it—Instructions for overcoming physical mismatching.
Psychical mismatching—Differences between men and women cause for great dissatisfaction if not known and corrected—Instructions for correcting psychical mismatching if husband is at fault; if wife is at fault—Extending time of first part of coitus—Inducing pre-coital flow in woman—Essential that first part of coitus be continued until woman is ready for second part—Necessity for husband to know ways to extend time of third part of coitus—"Keeping the cap on"—What wife can do to correct physical and psychical mismatching.
Sex stimulation is right and wholesome—Instructions if normal sex relations are impossible—Special information on sex stimulation for brides and grooms—Valuable addition to sex knowledge.
A mental and spiritual love embrace—Fulfillment of courting—Specially valuable during time when woman is not "free"—Value of sexual stimulation if not carried to excess.
Frequency of coitus—Men who wear themselves out—Women who wear out their husbands—Mismatching in sexual temperament and desire—How to correct it—Women who are anesthetic to sexual desire, and how to overcome it—Impotence in men.
How late in life can coitus be practiced with benefit to health—Danger of withholding sex functioning—Sex organs able to function until late in life—Sexual desires in women after "change in life"—Proof that Art of Love must be learned and that it can bring lifelong happiness.
Need for keeping body clean, sexual reaction—Parts of body woman should be specially careful to keep clean—Portion of body man should be specially careful to clean—Effect of mouth and armpit odors.
Complete home with children supreme attainment of life—Begetting children should be deliberate choice by parents—Proper time for begetting children—Danger of waiting too long to have children—When first child should be born—At what age of parents should children be born.
Is coitus wise during pregnancy—How the Art of Love provides for this time—Passions of women during period of pregnancy—Criminal for husband to compel coitus upon wife unless desired by her.
Book written with purpose of helping lover on towards divine consummation—Two final instructions—Become master of the Art of Love—Learn science of Procreation.
About married people who cannot have children—A guide to happiness—Chief facts of true marriage.
To Members of the Medical Profession into Whose Hands This Book May Come:
The following pages are more in the nature of a manuscript, or heart-to-heart talk between those who have mutual confidence in each other, than of a technical, or strictly scientific treatise of the subject in hand; and I cannot do better, for all parties concerned, than to explain, just here in the beginning, how this came about, and why I have concluded to leave the copy practically as it was originally written.
In common with nearly all members of our profession who are engaged in the general practice of medicine, I have had numbers of married men and women, husbands and wives, patients and otherwise, who have come to me for counsel and advice regarding matters which pertain to their sex-life, as that problem presented itself to them personally. As we all know, many of the most serious and complicated cases we have to deal with have their origins in these delicate relations which so often exist among wedded people, of all classes and varieties.
For a number of years I did what I could for these patrons of mine, by way of confidential talks and the like, my experience in this regard probably being about on a par with that of my medical brethren who are engaged in the same kind of work. It is needless to say that I found, as you have doubtless found under the same conditions, many obstacles to prevent satisfactory results, by this method of procedure. My patients were often so reticent, or timid and shame-faced, that it was frequently difficult to get at the real facts in their cases, and, as we all know, many of these would, for these and other reasons, conceal more than they revealed, thereby keeping out of evidence the most vital and significant items in their individual cases. All these things, of course, tended to make bad matters worse, or resulted in nothing that was really worth while.
After some years of this sort of experience, and meditating much on the situation, I came to the conclusion that a very large percentage of all this trouble which I and my patrons had to go up against, was almost entirely the result of ignorance on the part of those who came to consult me; and because knowledge is always the antidote for not knowing, I came to the conclusion that, if it were possible to "put these people wise" where they were now so uninformed, I might at once save them from a deal of harm and myself from much trouble and annoyance.
Further than this, I remembered once hearing a wise man say that often "what cannot be said may be sung"; and I realized that it is equally true that much which would be awkward, or embarrassing, if said to a person, face to face, might be got to them in writing with impunity. This I found to be especially true of my women patients, some of whom might become suspicious of a wrong intent from the things said in a private conversation, when they would have no such fears or doubts if they read the same words from a printed page. It was these considerations which first suggested to me the writing of the following pages.
Still other reasons why I did as I did were as follows: You see, at once, if you stop to think about it, that the writing out of the knowledge I proposed to impart was really a matter of necessity for me, because of the saving of time which would thereby be secured. To get any results that would be worth while in these matters, I would be required to tell about ever so many things concerning which they were totally ignorant; and to tell about ever so many things, by word of mouth, to each individual patient, takes time—ever so much time, if the work is well done, and it had better not be done at all if it is not well done. So I really was forced to write out what I wanted to teach these patients of mine.
And let me say further that I was compelled to write these things out for my people as I have written them, because, in all the range of literature on this vital subject, I knew of nothing which would tell them just what it seemed to me they ought to be told, and what they ought to know.
And so it was that I wrote the manuscript which is now printed in the following pages. I did not write it at first just as it now stands, because experience showed me, from time to time, where my first efforts could be modified and improved. So what is here presented is the result of many practical demonstrations of the real working value of what the manuscript contains.
My method of using the copy has been something as follows: As I have already suggested, what I have written has been prepared for the sole and express purpose of helping husbands and wives to live sane and wholesome sex-lives—to give them the requisite knowledge for so doing; knowledge of themselves and of each other as sexual beings; the correct ideas regarding such right manner of living; to disabuse their minds of wrong sex-teaching, or no teaching at all, of ignorance, or prudery, or carelessness, or lust—in a word, to get to them the things that all sane married people ought to know, and to help them to practice these things, to the best of their several abilities.
(Perhaps I ought to say that there is not a line of what I have written that deals with the subject of venereal diseases, any of them. This field is already so well covered by a literature especially devoted to this subject that it needs no word of mine to make it as satisfactory as possible, as far as discoveries regarding the same have progressed. My attempt is toward making marriage more of a success than it now is, under existing conditions; and we all know that there is a limitless field for exploration and exploitation right there.)
Speaking somewhat generally, I have found what I have written to be of special value to two classes of my patrons: First, to the "newly-weds"; and, second, to those who have been married for a longer or shorter period, and who "have not got on well together." A word or two regarding each of these:
It is a wise old saying that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," and in no other experience of life is this so true as in the ills to which married people are peculiarly subject. Many a newly wedded couple have wrecked the possibilities of happiness of a life time on their "honeymoon trip"; and it is a matter of common knowledge to the members of our profession that the great majority of brides are practically raped on their entrance into the married relation. Further than this, we all know that these things are as they are chiefly because of the ignorance of the parties concerned, rather than because they deliberately meant to do wrong. They were left to travel, alone and unguided, over what was to them an unknown way, one that was beset with pitfalls and precipices, and where dangers lurked in every forward step they took. It is to these that I have found what I have written to be a great help at the time of their utmost need; and the thanks I have received from such parties have been beyond the power of words to express.
As to just when it is best to put this information into the hands of young married people, my experience has varied with the personality of the parties concerned. In some cases I have put the copy into their hands some time before their marriage; in others, not till some time thereafter; but, as a rule, I have got the best results by putting the manuscript into their hands just at the time of their marriage, and in most of these cases the greatest success has come from their reading it together during their honeymoon. However, this is a matter on which I do not care to advise, and regarding which each practitioner must act to the best of his own judgment.
Once more: Because it is not safe to assume that young married people are already possessed of the details of the essential knowledge which they ought to possess, and because such details are the very heart of the whole matter, I have made these details as simple and explicit as possible, more so than might seem necessary to the professional reader. But my experience has proven that I was wise in this regard, as these very details have saved the day in more than one case, as the parties who have reported to me, after having read what I have written, have frequently testified. Sometimes a bride and groom would keep the copy for a few days only, giving it but a single reading; but, as a rule, they have been anxious to retain it for some time, and to read it again and again, especially some parts of it, till they were well posted on all that it contains. I found, too, that those who had received help from the reading of the manuscript were glad to tell others of their friends of the benefits they had received, and that thus there was a constantly widening circle.
Of course, not all young married people are capable of reading this book with profit to themselves or anyone else; but many of them are, and these ought to have the privilege of doing so. Your own good sense and experience will determine who these latter are, and these you can favor as they deserve. It is because of this situation that this book can only be used professionally that it needs the guiding hand of an expert physician to insure its reaching only those who can be benefited by its reading.
As to the other class of readers, those who have not got on well in the marriage relation (and we all know that the name of these is legion) my experience in getting to them what I have written has been quite varied; but, on the whole, the results have been good—many times they have been most excellent. Of course, it is harder to correct errors than to prevent them; but as most of the errors I have had to deal with among this class of patients have been made through ignorance rather than otherwise, I have found that the establishment of knowledge in the premises has generally brought relief where before was only suffering and woe.
Another way in which I have found the copy to be of the greatest value with these cases of unsatisfactory marital relations is the fact that, often, by the parties reading the copy together they have come to a mutual understanding by so doing, and have established a modus vivendi which could not have been attained in any other way. When such parties see their doctor singly, either of them, a prejudiced view is very apt to result, and they would seldom, if ever, come together to consult a physician regarding their troubles. But the reading of the book together makes a condition of affairs which is very apt to work out for the best interests of all parties concerned. Certainly, this is true, that in no case has the reading of the book made bad matters worse, and in many cases, (indeed in nearly all of them) it has been of untold value and benefit to the readers.
And because these things are so, because what I have written has proved its worth in so many cases, I have finally concluded to give the copy a larger field in which it may be used by other members of the profession besides myself. I confide it to my fellow-members in the profession feeling sure that they will use it among their patients with wisdom and discretion; and my hope is that their so doing may yield for them and theirs the most excellent results which have come to me and mine, on these lines, in the years that have gone by.
Perhaps I ought to say that the somewhat unique typography of the book, the large percentage of italics, and not a few capitalized words that appear in the pages, comes from a duplication of the copy I have used with my patients. I wrote the original copy in this way for the sake of giving special emphasis to special points for my readers, and the results attained I believe were very largely due to the typographically emphatic form of the book. Appearing in type in this way, it gives a sort of personal touch to what is thus presented to the eye of the reader, and the tendency of this is to establish a heart-to-heart relation between the author and the reader which could not be attained in any other way.
All through the copy I have avoided the use of technical words, never using such a term without explaining its meaning in plain English in the words that immediately follow it. I found this an absolute necessity in writing so that the lay reader could understand, in saying things that would produce results.
I might say, also, that the "Introduction" to the real subject matter of the book, I found necessary to write as it is largely to get my readers into a proper mental attitude for a reasonable recognition and understanding of what follows it. There are so many wrong teachings and biased ideas in the premises that these had to be counteracted or removed, to a degree, at least, before the rest of the copy could be rightly read. My experience is, that the preface, as it stands, has been the means of putting the readers of the book into a right mental attitude for its successful study and consideration. For the good of the cause it is written to serve, and for help to those who need help in the most sacred and significant affairs of their lives, may the book go on its way, if not rejoicing in itself, yet causing rejoicing in the lives and hearts of all who read what its pages contain.
SANE SEX LIFE AND SANE SEX LIVING
AN EXPLANATORY INTRODUCTION
A pious Christian once said to me: "I find it hard to reconcile sex with the purity of Providence." He never could understand why God arranged for sex anyway. Why something else might not have been done. Why children might not have come in some other fashion.
Look at the harm sex has involved. Most all the deviltry of history that was not done for money was done for sex. And even the deviltry that was done and is done for money had, and has sex back of it. Take sex out of man and you have something worth while. God must have been short of expedients when God, in sex, conceived sex. It certainly looks as if the Divine fell down this time. As if infinity was at the end of its tether. As if the adept creator for once was caught napping, or for once botched a job.
So we had my pious friend. And we had medievalism. And we had the ascetics. And heaven knows what else. Too much sex some places. Too little sex other places. Some people swearing on and some swearing off. The prostitute giving away that which was meant to be kept. The virgin keeping that which was meant to be given away. A force contending with a force. Drawing in opposite directions when they should be pulling together. Through it all, motherhood misunderstood. And fatherhood misunderstood. The body cheapened to the soul. And the soul cheapened to the body. Every child being a slap in the face of virtue.
Have you ever tried to see what this came from and goes to? This philosophy of vulgar denial? This philosophy of wallowing surrender?
The Christian stream has been polluted. It has gone dirty in the age of hush. We are supposed to keep our mouths shut. We are not to give sex away. We breed youngsters in fatal ignorance. They are always asking questions. But we don't answer their questions. The church don't answer them. Nor the state. Nor the schools. Not even mothers and fathers. Nobody who could answer answers them. But they don't go unanswered. They get answered. And they get answered wrong instead of right. They get answered, smutched instead of washed. They get answered blasphemously instead of reverently. They get answered so that the body is suspected instead of being trusted.
A boy who knows nothing asks a boy who knows nothing. A girl who knows nothing asks a girl who knows nothing. From nothing nothing comes. Men who have been such boys know nothing. Women who have been such girls know nothing. From nothing nothing comes. They have become familiar with sex circumstances. They are parents. They have done the best they knew how. But they never learned sex. They never realized its fundamentals. They never went back to, or forward to it. They were lost in a wilderness. They existed without living. They took sex as they took whiskey. They breathed an atmosphere of hush. They had got past the ascetics. But they had not got to be men and women. They didn't refuse sex. But though embracing its privileges, they still seemed to regard it as something not to be gloried in. The least said about it the soonest mended. Mothers and fathers would say to children: "You'll know about it soon enough." Teachers would say: "Ask your questions at home." Home would say: "What ever started you thinking about such things?"
The child goes about wondering. What's the matter with sex that everybody's afraid to talk about it? What's the matter with my body that I dare not mention it? My body seems very beautiful to me. I like to look at it. I like to feel it. I like to smell it. But I'm always hurried into my clothes. My body is so mysteriously precious I must take care of it. But how am I to take care of it if I don't get acquainted with it?
I find that having a body has something to do with being a father and a mother. I want to be a father. I want to be a mother. But how can I be a father or mother if some one who knows doesn't tell me what precedes fatherhood and motherhood? I should prepare for it. How can I if all the books are closed? How can I if I am blanked every time I express my curiosity? Is there no one anywhere who'll be honest with me?
If I look at sex right out of my own soul, it seems like something which God didn't fail with, but succeeded with. Like something not polluted, but purified. Like something having everything, instead of only an occasional thing, to do with life. But the world shakes its head. The world is nasty. But it puts on airs. The world has eaten. But the world says it's best to starve. Folks will say they've got to be parents. But they say they will regret it. They say sex is here. They say we're up against its mandates or its passions. But let's be as decent as we can with the indecent. Let's not linger on its margins. Let's not overstay our dissipation. Sex is like eating. Who would eat if he didn't have to? To say you enjoy a meal is carnal. To say that you derive some sense of ecstasy from paternal and maternal desires is a confession of depravity. Sex at the best is a sin.
Sex at the best is like stepping down. That sex might be an ascent. That sex might be the only means of growth and expansion. You never suppose that! You only assume perdition. You are afraid to assume heaven. I may take pride in that which I may abstract from my anatomy. I must not allude to my body as frankly as to my soul. I must withdraw my body from the public eye. From discussion. From its instinctive avowals. Our bodies must be coffined. Treated as dead before they are born. Regarded as conveniences. Not as essential entities. The body is only for a little while. The soul is forever. But why is that little while not as holy as forever? They don't say. They cavalierly settle the case of the body against itself.
So it goes. Endless vivid portrayals could be made of the anomalous situation. The more you look at the mess we've got sex into the worse it seems. Someone's got to peach. Someone's got to tell the truth. In a world of liars who are hushers? In a world of hushers who are liars? Someone's got to tell the truth. Someone's got to give sex its due. You can't give spirit its due until you give sex its due. You can't accept one and cast aside one. They go together. They are inseparable.
You refer to body and soul as if you knew just where one stops and the other commences. Maybe neither stops and neither commences. Maybe they are not two things but two names. Maybe when you put a body into a grave you put a soul there too. And maybe you put neither there. It's not so easy to say.
I can't see anything in the things you call spiritual more marvelous than what you call the physical birth of a baby from a mother. Maybe you know all about it. I don't. I know nothing about it. To me it's mysterious. To me it's the supreme demonstration of the spiritual.
How that a baby comes from a man and a woman. I want that kept clean. It starts clean. Why do we corrupt it? You who disparage it corrupt it. You ascetics anywhere. You libidinous roues anywhere. You corrupt it. By your excesses. You who never say yes. You who never say no. You corrupt it.
You parents. You professors. You prudes. This is addressed to you. What have you got to say about it? You have tremblingly closed the question. I would coolly open it. You have rebuked God by silence. I would praise God by speech.
THE ARGUMENT AND THE INFORMATION
No apology is offered for what is said in the following pages, but a brief explanation is virtually necessary to make clear, from the outset, the reasons why it has been written.
It is one of the chief characteristics of the human race that the knowledge acquired by one generation can be passed on to the generations that follow; and that, in this way, progress in the betterment of life's results and the adaptation of means to ends can make a steady and reliable advance.
Such a method of evolution and growth is not possible in the vegetable or animal kingdom, where instinct is the only means for the transmission of acquired knowledge. It is this feature that differentiates man from all other created beings.
But here is a curious fact: In one realm of human experiences, in all Christian civilized countries, it has been considered wrong, even in some cases being counted a criminal offense, punishable by fine and imprisonment, for anyone to make any record of, or transmit to anyone else, any knowledge that may have been acquired regarding sex relations in the human family.
To be sure, there has been preserved, from time to time, a body of professional knowledge of this sort, made and prepared by physicians, but confined strictly to that class of people. No attempt has been made to disseminate such knowledge among those who most need it—the common people. On the contrary, every possible effort is put forth to keep such knowledge from them. This is wholly at variance with the practice regarding all other forms of human knowledge, which is to spread, as widely as possible, all known data that have so far been obtained.
There is not space, in this small volume, for pointing out the reasons for this anomalous condition of affairs, but the chief cause of its status, past and present, is grounded on two sources: The first of these is a brutal selfishness which has come over to modern times from a savage past; the second is a sort of pious prudery.
The result of these causes has been to make the whole subject of sex in the human family, with its functions and mission in human affairs, together with its proper training, discipline and exercise—to make all these things tabu, something to be ashamed of and ignored as much as possible, and all the knowledge regarding them that one generation has been permitted to transmit to those who come after, may be summed up in these words, namely "Thou shalt not."
Now it goes without saying that, in the very nature of things, all this is just as bad as it can possibly be. For, of all phenomena with which the human race has to do, that of the highest importance, so far as the well-being of the race is concerned, is that which has to do with sex in men and women. A large percentage of all the physical ailments in mankind and womenkind arise from errors in sexual life, and these are but trifles compared with the mental and spiritual disasters which come upon humanity from the same source. It is probably true that more than one-half of all the crimes that are committed in the civilized world are more or less directly connected with sex affairs, and there is no so common a cause for insanity as sex aberrations.
And nearly all these ills, crimes and misfortunes arise because of ignorance in the matter of sex in which the rank and file of the race are forced to live. Few of these ever acquire any positive and definite knowledge in the premises, and if they do learn anything for sure, they keep it to themselves, inspired to do so by a false belief regarding the rightful transmission of such knowledge; or, by a false modesty, or prudery, they are kept from telling to anyone else what they have discovered or found to be the truth in these matters. And so the people stumble along in ignorance of these vital affairs in life, generation after generation, repeating the errors of their predecessors, and no positive progress being made as the years go by. Because of this state of affairs millions of human beings die every generation, and other millions suffer the tortures of the damned while they live, when they should enjoy the delights of the elect, and would do so if they only knew the actual facts in the case, and would act in accordance with the knowledge that ought to be made theirs.
But there are not wanting signs of the times that there will slowly come a change in these conditions. The fact is that the intelligent world is beginning to emerge from a condition of conformity to the say-so of some one supposed to speak with authority, and to come into a realm of obedience only to a law that has a scientific basis of actual knowledge for its foundation.
For untold ages the sex relations of the human family have been directed and determined by the clergy and by their teachings and pronunciamentos regarding what was fit and right. There is no need of saying hard things about such a fact; nevertheless, it is true that, for the most part, all the dicta of these men have originated amongst those who knew nothing of the scientific conditions regarding the subject on which they issue their mandates. So did the blind lead the blind, and the ditches of the past years are filled to overflowing with the dead bodies and souls of men and women, who, for this cause, have fallen therein.
This must not always be! It is neither wise nor right that the essential matters of human life should always remain a stumbling block and a rock of offense for the children of men. We are coming to see that sex is no more unclean and to be denied a scientific knowledge of, than any other part of the human body—the eye, the ear or whatsoever. Furthermore, the rank and file are beginning to clamor for a knowledge of these matters for themselves. This is shown by the frequency of articles that deal with sex in many of the best newspapers and magazines in the civilized world, and by similar discussions in the literature, the works and scientific books that now go into the hands of the common people. It also shows in the attempts that are occasionally being made to introduce the subject of sexual hygiene into our public schools and other educational institutions. "The world do move!"
It is for these reasons—because it is right to transfer to you and to those who come after, the sex knowledge that has been acquired by the author, by reading scientific and professional literature upon the subject, by conference with men and women who know, and by personal and professional experience, that what follows is written.
THE CORRECT MENTAL ATTITUDE
So much by way of general remarks regarding the subject in hand. It is more the especial purpose of what follows, however, to treat of the matter of marriage in particular, to say something definite to young husbands and wives that shall be of real benefit to them, not only by way of starting them out right in the new and untried way upon which they have entered, but to help them to make that way a realm of perpetual and ever increasing joy to both parties concerned, throughout its entire course, their whole lives long.
Be it said, then, first, that it is the duty of every bride and groom, before they engage in sexual commerce with each other, to acquaint themselves thoroughly with the anatomy and physiology of the sex organs of human beings, both male and female, and to make the acquirement of such knowledge as dispassionate and matter-of-fact an affair as though they were studying the nature, construction and functions of the stomach, or the digestive processes entire, or the nature and use of any of the other bodily organs. "Clear and clean am I within and without; clear and clean is every scrap and part of me, and no part shall be held more sacred or preferred above another. For divine am I, and all I am, or contain."
Now the normal young man or woman would do just this, would pursue a study of sex in this way, were it not for the fact that they have been taught, time out of mind, that to do this is immodest, not to say indecent or positively wicked. They have longed to be possessed of such knowledge, all their lives; in most cases more than any other form of wisdom that it was possible for them to make their own. But its acquirement has been placed beyond their possible reach, and it is only by the most clandestine and often nasty means that they have attained what little they know. But the quotation made in the last paragraph, sounds the key note of what is right in this matter, and the first effort made by the reader of these pages should be to establish in himself or herself the condition of mind which these lines embody.
And it had better be said, right here, that for most young people this will be found to be no easy thing to do. Nor should the reader feel ashamed or chagrined, or at odds with himself or herself if he or she finds such condition of affairs existing in his or her case. For it is nothing for which they are to blame. It is a misfortune and not a fault. It is only the result of inherited and inculcated (the word inculcated means kicked in) ideas to which all "well bred" youths have been subjected for centuries; the idea being that the closer they were kept in the realm of innocence, which is only another name for ignorance, the better "bred" they are. And to pry one's self loose, to break or tear one's self away from such a mental view and condition as heredity and such years of rigorous restraint have developed, is no small task. Indeed, it often takes months, and sometimes years, wholly to rid one's self of these deep seated and powerful, wrong views and prejudices.
Remember this: that to the pure all things are pure. But do not make the mistake of thinking that this much abused sentence means that purity means emptiness! It does no such thing. On the contrary, it means fullness, to perfection. It means that one should be possessed of the right kind of stuff, and that the stuff should be of supreme quality. So, in studying to obtain a knowledge of sex organs and sex functions, in the human family, the reader should not try to divest himself or herself of all sex-passion and desire; but, on the contrary, to make these of a sort of which he or she can be proud, rather than ashamed of, rejoice in, rather than suffer from.
So, then, let the reader of these lines, first, get a correct mental attitude toward what is about to be said. Banish all prurient curiosity, put aside all thought of shame or shock, (these two will be hardest for young women to overcome, because of their training in false modesty and prudishness) and endeavor to approach the subject in a reverent, open-eyed, conscientious spirit, as one who wishes, above everything else, to know the honest truth in these most essential matters that pertain to human life. Get into this frame of mind, and keep in it, and what is here written will be read with both pleasure and profit.
Once more, for we must make haste slowly in these delicate affairs, if the reader should find himself or herself unduly excited, or perhaps shocked, while reading some parts of what is here written, so that the heart beats too fast, or the hand trembles, it may be well to suspend the reading for a time, divert the mind into other channels for a while, and resume the reading after one has regained poise and mastery of one's self. That is, "keep your head" while you read these lessons, and you will be all right.
THE SEX ORGANS
And now, having given these cautionary directions, the way is clear for the making of definite statements and the giving of positive instruction.
Here, then, is a brief description of the sex organs in man and woman. At first, only the names of the parts will be given, with such slight comments and explanations as are necessary for making this part of the subject clear. A detailed setting forth of the functions and proper exercise of these organs will be given later.
The sex organs in a male human being consists, broadly speaking, of the penis and the testicles. All these are located at the base of the abdomen, between the thighs and on the forward part of the body. The penis is a fleshy, muscular organ, filled with most sensitive nerves, and blood vessels that are capable of extension to a much greater degree than any of their similars in other parts of the body. In a quiescent, or unexcited condition, in the average man, this organ is from three to four inches long and about an inch or more in diameter. It hangs limp and pendent in this state, retired and in evidence not at all. In its excited, or tumescent condition (the word tumescent means swelled, and is the technical word for describing the erect condition of the penis) it becomes enlarged and rigid, its size in this state being, on an average, six or seven inches long, and from an inch-and-a-half to two inches in diameter. It is almost perfectly cylindrical, slightly thicker at the base than at its forward part.
The testicles are two kidney shaped glands, not far from the size of a large hickory nut, and are contained in a sort of sack, or pocket, called the scrotum, which is made for their comfortable and safe carrying. The scrotum hangs directly between the thighs, at the base of the penis, and in it are the testicles, suspended by vital cords that are suspended from the body above. The left testicle hangs a little higher in the sack than the right, so that, in case the thighs are crowded together, one testicle will slip over the other, and so the danger of crushing them will be avoided. This is one of the many ways which the Maker of the human body has devised to insure the proper preservation of the vital organs from harm, a fact which should inspire all human beings with profound reverence for this most wonderful of all life forms, the beautiful human body, the "temple of the Holy Spirit."
The part of the body upon which the sex organs, male and female, are located is known as the pubic region. It is covered with hair, which, in both sexes, extends well up the lower belly. This is known as pubic hair, and in general corresponds in quality and quantity to the hair upon the individual head, being coarse or fine, soft or bristly, to match, the head covering, in each case. This hair is usually more or less curly, and forms a covering an inch or more in depth over the whole pubic region, extending back between the thighs slightly beyond the rectum. In occasional cases this hair is straight and silky, and sometimes grows to great length, instances being known, in some women, where it has extended to the knees. A well-grown and abundant supply of fine pubic hair is a possession highly prized by women, of which they are justly proud, though few of them would acknowledge the fact, even to themselves. None the less it is a fact.
The female sex organs, speaking generally also, are as follows: The vulva, or outward portion of the parts; the vaginal passage; the uterus, or womb, and the ovaries. All but the first named lie within the body of the woman. The vulva is made up of several parts which will be named and described later. The vaginal passage is a tube, or canal leading from the vulva to the womb. In length and diameter it corresponds almost exactly with that of the penis, being six or seven inches in depth, and capable of a lateral extension which will readily admit the entrance of the male organ when the two are brought together. The vaginal passage opens into, and terminates in the uterine, or womb cavity.
The womb is a pear shaped sack which is suspended in the womb cavity by cords and muscles from above. It hangs, neck downwards, and is, in its unimpregnated condition, about two and a half inches in diameter at its upper, or widest part, tapering to a thin neck at its lower end. It is hard and muscular in its quiescent state, filled with delicate and most sensitive nerves and capacious blood vessels. At its lower, or neck end, it opens directly into the vaginal passage.
The ovaries are two in number, and are situated on each side of, and above the womb, in the region of the upper groins. They are small, fan shaped glands, and are connected with the uterus by small ducts which are known as the fallopian tubes.
As already stated, the exterior parts of the body, in which the female sex organs are located, are covered with hair for their adornment and protection.
Such in brief, are the male and female sex organs in human beings. A further description of them and their functions and proper use we are now ready to consider.
THE FUNCTION OF THE SEX ORGANS
It hardly need be stated here, for it is a matter of common knowledge, that the primary purpose of sex in the human family is the reproduction of the race. In this respect, considered merely on its material, or animal side, mankind differs little from all other forms of animate life. As Whitman says, we see "everywhere sex, everywhere the urge of procreation." The flowers are possessed of this quality, and with them all vegetable forms. In the animal kingdom the same is true. Always "male and female" is everything created.
And the chief facts in reproduction are practically the same wherever the phenomena occur. Here, as everywhere else in the world, when a new life-form appears, it is always the result of the union of two forces, elements, germs or whatsoever. These two elements differ in nature and in function, and each is incomplete and worthless by itself. It is only by the combining of the two that any new result is obtained. It is this fact that has led to the most suggestive and beautiful phrase "The duality of all unity in nature."
Many centuries ago an old Latin philosopher wrote the now celebrated phrase, Omne ex ovo, which, translated, means everything is from an egg. This is practically true of all life-forms. Their beginning is always from an ovum, or egg. In this respect, the reproduction of human beings is the same as that of any other life-form.
Now in this process of producing a new life-form, the female is always the source of the egg, out of which the new creation is to come. This egg, however, is infertile of itself, and must be given life to, by mingling with its germ, an element which only the male can produce and supply. This element is technically known as a sperm, or a spermatozoa. Its function is to fertilize the dormant germ in the egg produced by the female, and thus to start a new and independent life-form. This life-form, thus started, grows according to the laws of its becoming more and more, until, at the expiration of a fixed period, which varies greatly in different animals, it becomes a complete young individual, of the nature and kind of its parents. The fertilization of the ovum in the female is called conception; its growing state is called gestation, and its birth, on becoming a separate being, is called parturition. In its growing condition, and before its birth, the new young life form is known as the foetus.
Now it is the fertilization of the ovum in the female (and from now on, it is only of the male and female in the human family that mention will be made) by the male, in the woman, by the man, that is of supreme interest and importance to both the parties concerned in producing this result. How this is brought about is substantially as follows:
As already stated, the infertile ovum, or egg, is produced by the woman. Such production begins at what is known as the age of puberty, or when the hair begins to grow upon the pubic parts of the female body. The time of the appearance of this phenomenon in feminine life varies from the age of nine or ten years to fifteen or sixteen. The average, for most girls, is fourteen years of age. At this time the formation of ova, or eggs, in the female body begins, and it continues, in most women, at regular intervals of once in twenty-eight days, except during pregnancy and lactation, for a period of about thirty years. During all this time, under favorable conditions, it is possible for the ovum produced by the woman to become fertilized, if it can meet the sperm of the male.
In a general way, this meeting of the infertile ovum of the woman with the sperm of the man can be brought about, as follows:
The ova are produced by the ovaries (the word ovaries means egg producers) where they slowly develop from cells which originate in these glands. When they have reached maturity, or are ready for fertilization, they pass out of the ovaries and down into the womb, by way of the fallopian tubes. As already stated, such passage of the ova from the ovaries into the womb occurs every twenty-eight days, and it is accomplished by a more or less copious flow of blood, a sort of hemorrhage, which carries the ova down through the fallopian tubes, and deposits them in the womb. This blood, after performing its mission of carrying the ova down into the womb, escapes from the body through the vaginal passage and is cared for by the wearing of a bandage between the thighs. This flow of blood continues for about five days, and is known as a menstrual flow; and this time in a woman's life is known as the menstrual period. It is so named because of the regularity of its recurrence, the word mensa meaning a month. In common parlance, these periods are often spoke of as the "monthlies."
After the ovum has reached the womb it remains there for a period of about ten days, after which, if it is not fertilized during that time, it passes out of the womb into the vaginal passage, and so out of the body. But if, at any time after it is ripe for fertilization, that is, from the time it begins its journey from the ovaries to the womb, and while it is in the womb, the ovum is met by the male sperm, it is liable to become fertilized—conception is possible. These are facts of the utmost importance, to be thoroughly understood and kept well in mind by all married people who would live happily together, as will be hereafter shown.
So much regarding the female part of the meeting of the ovum and the sperm. The male part of this mutual act is as follows:
The sperm, or spermatozoa, originate in the testicles. Each sperm is an individual entity and several thousands of them are produced and in readiness for use, at each meeting of the male and female generative organs; and if any one of the countless number comes in contact with the unfertilized ovum in the womb, conception is liable to result.
These sperms are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye, but they are readily seen by the use of a microscope. In shape they much resemble tad-poles in their earliest stages.
At the base of the penis, well up in the man's body, there is a large gland which surrounds the penis like a thick ring, and which is called the prostate gland. It secretes a mucous fluid which looks much like, and is about the consistency of the white of an egg. Close to this gland, and almost a part of it, is a sack, or pocket, into which the mucous secretion from the prostate gland is poured, and where it is kept, ready for use, in performing its part of the germinal act.
Now it is the business of this mucous fluid, which comes from the prostate gland, to form a "carrying medium" for the spermatozoa which originate in the testicles. There are small ducts leading from the testicles into the pocket which contains the prostate fluid. These are known as the seminal ducts, and through them the spermatozoa pass from the testicles into the prostate pocket. Here they mingle with the prostate fluid, in which they can move about freely, and by means of which they can be carried wherever this fluid goes. The combination of prostate fluid and spermatozoa is called "semen."
Seen under a microscope, a single drop of semen reveals a multitude of spermatozoa swimming about in the prostate-carrying medium. It is in this form that the vitalizing male element meets the female infertile ovum. This mass of live and moving germs is poured all around and about the region in which the ovum lies waiting to be fertilized, and every one of them seems to be "rushing about like mad" to find what it is sent to do, namely, to meet and fertilize the ovum. The manner of depositing the semen where it can come in contact with the ovum is as follows:
In order that this mingling of the male and female sources of life may be possible, it is necessary that there be a union of the male and the female generative organs. For such meeting, the penis is filled with blood, all its blood vessels being distended to their utmost capacity, till the organ becomes stout and hard, and several times its dormant size, as has been already told. In this condition it is able to penetrate, to its utmost depths, the vaginal passage of the female, which is of a nature to perfectly contain the male organ in this enlarged and rigid condition. Under such conditions, the penis is inserted into the widened and distended vaginal passage. Once together, a mutual back and forth, or partly in and out movement, of the organs is begun and carried on by the man and woman, which action further enlarges the parts and raises them to a still higher degree of tension and excitement. It is supposed by some that this frictional movement of the parts develops an electrical current, which increases in tension as the act is continued; and that it is the mission of the pubic hair, which is a non-conductor, to confine these currents to the parts in contact.
Now there are two other glands in these organs; one in the male and one in the female, which performs a most wonderful function in this part of the sexual act. These are the "glans penis" in the male and the "clitoris" in the female. The first is located at the apex of the male organ, and the other at the upper-middle and exterior part of the vulva. These glands are covered with a most delicate cuticle, and are filled with highly sensitive nerves. As the act progresses, these glands become more and more sensitized, and nervously surcharged, until, as a climax, they finally cause a sort of nervous explosion of the organs involved. This climax is called an "orgasm" in scientific language. Among most men and women it is spoken of as "spending."
On the part of the man, this orgasm causes the semen, which till this instant has remained in the prostate pocket, to be suddenly driven out of this place of deposit, and thrown in jets, and with spasmodic force, through the entire length of the penis, and, as it were, shot into the vaginal passage and the uterine cavity, till the whole region is literally deluged with the life-giving fluid. At the same time, the mouth of the womb opens wide; and into it pours, or rushes, this "father stuff," entirely surrounding and flooding the ovum, if it be in the womb. This is the climax of the sexual act, which is called "coitus," a word which means, going together.
With the myriads of spermatozoa swarming about it, if the vital part of the ovum comes in contact with some one of them, any one of which, brought into such contact, will fertilize it, conception results. The woman is then pregnant, and the period of gestation is begun.
This is a brief description of the act of coitus and of the means by which pregnancy takes place. It is, however, only a small part of the story of the sex relations of husbands and wives; and, be it said, a very small part of that, as will now be shown.
As has already been said, this use of the sex organs, merely to produce progeny, and so insure a continuance of the race, is a quality that mankind shares with all the rest of the animal kingdom. In all essentials, so far as the material parts of the act are concerned, the beginnings of the new life in the human family differ not a whit from that of any other mammals. In each case the ovum is produced by the ovaries of the female, passes into the womb, is there met by the semen from the male, fertilized by the spermatozoa, and so the foetus gets its start. This is the universal means by which the beginnings of all animal reproductive life takes place.
But there is another phase in the sex life of human beings, which is entirely different from that of all other animals, and which must therefore be considered beyond all that needs to be said regarding the act of coitus for reproductive purposes only. This we are now ready to consider and study.
Now in all animals, except human beings, the act of coitus is only permitted by the female, (it would seem is only possible for her) when the ovum is present in the womb and ready to be fertilized. At all other times, all female animals, except woman, are practically sexless. Their sexual organs are dormant, and nothing can arouse them to activity. Not only do they fail to show any desire for coitus, but if an attempt should be made to force it upon them, they would resist it to the utmost of their strength.
But when the ovum is present in the womb, these same female animals are beside themselves with desire for coitus. They are then spoken of as "in heat." And until they are satisfied, by meeting the male and procuring from him the vitalizing fluid which will fertilize their infertile ovum; or, failing in this, until the ovum passes away from them, out of the womb, they know no rest. At such times they will run all risks, incur all sorts of danger, do every possible thing to secure pregnancy. The thousand-and-one ways which female animals use to make known to their male mates their sexual desire and needs, when in heat, is a most interesting and wonderful story, a record made up of facts which would be well worth any student's knowing. But as all such knowledge can readily be procured from books which are within the reach of all, there is no need of noting the data here.
But now, in woman, all these things are different! As a matter of fact, the presence of the ovum in the womb of a normally made woman makes little, and, in many cases, no difference whatever as regards her status concerning the act of coitus! That is, women are never "in heat," in the same sense in which other female animals are. To be sure, in some cases, though they are rare, some women are conscious of a greater desire for coitus just after the ceasing of the menstrual flow; that is, when the ovum is in the womb. But such cases are so infrequent that they may well be counted atavistic, that is, of the nature of a tendency to return to a previous merely animal condition. For the most part, it is true of all normal women that the presence of the ovum in the womb makes little difference, one way or another, in regard to their desire for, or aversion to, the act of coitus.
Now the fact of this remarkable difference in the sex-status of women and the same quality in all other female animals leads us to a great number of interesting, not to say startling, conclusions, some of which are as follows:
In the first place, the phenomenon clearly establishes the fact that sex in the female human being differs, pronouncedly, from that of all other female life. For, whereas, among all females except woman, coitus is impossible, except at certain times and seasons, among women the act can not only be permitted, but is as much possible or desired at one time as any other, regardless of the presence or absence of the ovum in the womb. That is (and this point should be noted well by the reader) there is a possibility, on the part of the female humanity, for coitus, under conditions that do not at all obtain in any other female animal life.
This is a conclusion which is of such far-reaching importance that its limits are but dimly recognized, even in the clear thinking of most married people. The fact of such difference is known to them, and their practices in living conform to the conditions; but what it all means, they are entirely ignorant of, and they never stop to think about it.
And yet, right here is the very center and core of the real success or failure of married life! Around this fact are grouped all the troubles that come to husbands and wives. About it are gathered all the joys and unspeakable delights of the happily married—the only truly married. It is these items which make a knowledge of the real conditions which exist, regarding this part of married life, of such supreme importance. If these conditions could be rightly understood, and the actions of husbands and wives could be brought to conform to the laws which obtain under them, the divorce courts would go out of business, their occupation, like Othello's, would be "gone indeed."
The first conclusion, then, one that is forced upon the thoughtful mind by the fact of this difference in the sex possibilities of women and other female animals, is, as already stated, but which is here repeated for emphasis, that coitus can be engaged in by women when pregnancy is not its purpose, on her part; and that this never occurs in any other form of female life!
In view of this fact, is it too much to raise the question whether or not sex in woman is designed to fulfill any other purpose than that of the reproduction of the race? True it is, that the only function of sex in all other females is merely that of producing offspring—of perpetuating its kind. Under no circumstances does it ever serve any other end, fulfill any other design. There is no possibility of its doing so!
But one can help wondering if it is not true that, with the existence of the possibility of engaging in coitus at will, rather than at the bidding of instinct alone, there has also come a new and added function for the sex-natures that are capable of engaging in such before-unknown experiences? To a fair-minded person, such conclusion seems not only logical, but irresistible! That is in view of this conclusion, it naturally follows that sex in the human family is positively designed to fulfill a function that is entirely unknown to all other forms of animal life. And from this, it is but a step to the establishment of the fact that sex exercise in the human family serves a purpose other than that of reproduction!
Now, this fact established, a whole world of new issues arises and demands settlement. Among these, comes the supreme question: What is the nature of this new experience that has been conferred upon human beings, over and above what is vouchsafed to any other form of animal life? What purpose can it serve? How can it be properly exercised? What is right and what is wrong under these new possibilities? These are some of the issues that force themselves upon all thoughtful people, those who wish to do right under any and all circumstances in which they are placed.
Of course, here as elsewhere, the unthinking, the happy-go-lucky and the "don't-give-a-damn," can blunder along in almost any-old-way. But they can, and will, reap only the reward which always follows blundering and ignorance. In these days of scientific clear-thinking, we have come to understand that salvation from sin comes by the way of positive knowledge and not at the hands of either ignorance or innocence! If husbands and wives ever attain to the highest conditions of married life, it can only be after they know and practice, what is right in all their sex relations, both for reproductive purposes and in all other respects! Note that well!
As things are now, especially in all civilized countries, and particularly among Christian people, this secondary function of sex in the human family, while blindly recognized as a fact, is none the less abused, to a most shameful degree. For ages, the whole situation has been left in a condition of most deplorable, not to say damnable, ignorance; and no honest endeavor has been made to find out and act up to the truth in the premises. Husbands and wives have engaged in coitus ad libitum, utterly regardless of whether it was right or wrong for them to do so! They have taken it for granted that marriage conferred on them the right to have sexual intercourse whenever they chose, (especially when the man chose,) and they have acted accordingly. This is especially true of men, and the practice has been carried to such length that the right of a man to engage in coitus with his wife has been established by law, and the wife who refuses to yield this "right" to her husband can be divorced by him, if she persists in such way of living! It is such a fact as this which caused Mr. Bernard Shaw to write: "Marriage is the most licentious institution in all the world." And he might rightfully have added "it is also the most brutal," though it is an insult to the brute to say it that way, for brutes are never guilty of coitus under compulsion. But a husband can force his wife to submit to his sexual embraces, and she has no legal right to say him nay! This doesn't seem quite right, does it?
Now there are several different ways of viewing this new and added sexual possibility in the human family, namely, the act of coitus for other than reproductive purposes. The Catholic church has always counted it as a sin. Popes have issued edicts regarding it, and conclaves of Bishops have discussed it and passed resolutions regarding it. There has always been a difference of opinion upon the subject amongst these dignitaries and authorities, but they all agree in one respect, namely, that it is a sin. The only point of difference has been as to the extent or enormity of the sin! By some it has been reckoned as a "deadly sin," punishable by eternal hell fire, if not duly absolved before death; by others it has been held to be only a "venial sin," one that must always be confessed to the priest when coitus is engaged in, and which can be pardoned by the practice of due penance. But, always, it was a sin!
The Protestant church has never issued edicts regarding this matter, but, for the most part, it has tacitly held to the Catholic teaching in theory, while universally practicing the reverse, in actual married life. Protestants have looked upon it as a necessity, but have taught that it was regrettable that such was the case. They have held, with Paul, that, "it is better to marry than to burn." And most of them have chosen the marriage horn of the dilemma.
Among some European nations, attempts have been made to make it impossible for husbands and wives to cohabit except for reproductive purposes. In one of these nations, padlocks were used for preventing the act. A slit was made through the foreskin of the penis, and through this slit the ring of a padlock was passed, much as an ear-ring is passed through the lobe of a lady's ear. The padlock was made so large that it could not be introduced into the vaginal passage, and so coitus was impossible when it was worn. It could only be removed by the magistrate into whose hands the regulation of this part of the citizens' life was given. Specimens of these padlocks are still to be seen in European museums.
Now the terribly immoral thing in all this way of living has always been the fact that it compelled people to continually violate their consciences, by pretending to believe one thing and constantly practicing the reverse of their proclaimed belief. That is, it lured them into living a continual lie, and such can never be for the good of the soul! It goes without saying that the sooner this abominable way of living can be ended, the better it will be for all parties concerned—the individuals who are the victims of such falsehood, and the communities of which they form a part.
From all this it follows that the first thing every new husband and wife ought to do is to settle clearly in their own minds the issue as to whether it is right or wrong for them to engage in coitus for any other than procreative purposes. Having settled this point, one way or the other, then let them conscientiously act accordingly. For only so can they live righteous lives!
In settling this point, so far as available authorities for the young people to study and consider are concerned, these are all against coitus except for begetting of off-spring. All the "purity" writers and Purity Societies are ranged together on the negative side. Likewise are all the books of "advice to young wives and husbands," especially those addressed to young wives.
Now all these "authorities" base their whole argument upon the purely animal facts in the premises. Probably a certain Dr. C. is more largely read for information on these matters than any other author, especially among young women. He has written a large, and from the view-point he takes, a very plausible volume; and it is very extensively advertised, especially in papers which young women read. The result is that it has come to be almost a standard authority in these affairs.
Dr. C.'s argument is, baldly, as follows:—(a) Among animals, the universal practice is a single act of coitus for each begetting of off-spring, (b) Human beings are animals, (c) Therefore, human beings should only engage in coitus for reproductive purposes.
To this syllogism he adds a corollary, which is, that, therefore, all sexual commerce in the human family, for any other than reproductive purposes, is wrong. These are his texts, so to speak, and through several hundred pages he preaches, don't, don't, don't, sermons. The entire volume is one of denial and prohibition. He proclaims the act, even for the one purpose he allows to be right, as low, and in itself degrading, to be engaged in only after "prayer and fasting" and "mortifying the flesh," and even then, in the most passionless, and only done-because-it-has-to-be manner; as a mere matter of duty; to be permitted by sufferance; joyless, disgusting in itself; a something to be avoided, even in thought, other than it is a necessity for the continuance of the race.
It is from such data as this that thousands of "innocent" brides annually make up their minds as to what is right or wrong in the matter of sexual intercourse.
In doing this, most of these young women are perfectly conscientious, and want to do the right thing, and there are two items in the count that naturally lead them to accept Dr. C.'s teachings as correct. The first is, that it coincides with all they have ever heard about such matters; the second, that the Doctor flavors all his text with a religious quality, of the alleged most sacred sort. He instances saintly women who have lived the most ascetic lives, and whose religious status was achieved because, and by means of, their perfect chastity. In fact, this word "chastity" (which he translates as entire renunciation of the whole sex nature) becomes the test word of his whole treatise, and its practice is upheld as the true road to all goodness and virtue.
Now, nearly all well-bred and cultivated young women are naturally religious (and not a word should be said against their being so) and they are anxious to time their lives to everything that the highest religious demands prescribe. It is, therefore, most natural that, being thus taught by an authority for which they have the highest regard, they enter marriage with the fixed opinion in accordance with their teaching. How could it be otherwise?
On the other hand, a few young husbands, indeed none but now and then a "goody-good" (who usually turns out to be the worst of the whole lot, in course of time), are willing to "stand for" any such theory, much less to live any such life as this theory would impose. These "don't care what the book says," and, from the manner of their bringing up, from all they have learned or heard by hearing men talk about married life, (which is usually of the most vulgar sort) they have come to the conclusion that marriage confers upon the parties the right to engage in sexual commerce at will; and, especially, that the husband has the right to the body of his wife whenever he chooses. For, indeed, does not the law give him that right! And so long as one "keeps inside the law" what more could be asked! Yea, verily! What more could be asked?
So it is that most brides and bridegrooms go to their marriage bed with the most widely diverse views as to what is right and wrong in the premises—as to the life they will lead in their new estate. The young wife is for "purity" and "chastity." The young husband, driven by a passion which he has long held in thrall, in the belief that he can now give the fullest vent to it, when he has got where such relief is possible, is like an excited hound when it seizes its prey, which he fully believes he has the right to deal with as he pleases! What wonder that, in view of all these circumstances, the most extensive observer of marriage-bed phenomena should write: "As a matter of fact, nine young husbands in ten practically rape their brides at their first sexual meeting." Could anything be more horrible, or criminally wicked? And it is all so needless! It is all the result of ignorance, of "innocence," and the worst of false teaching. The pity of it!
True, these unfortunate conditions are often modified by "mother nature," who inspires the bride with curiosity, which, in a measure, controls her in spite of her false teachings, and with passion, which, to a degree, will assert itself over and above all false modesty, her religious scruples and her fear of pregnancy; and so she may come through the ordeal of introduction to the act of coitus in a fairly sane condition of mind, even though she may have practically been raped! But, too often, the result of such first contact is a shock to the bride from which she may not recover during all the subsequent years of married life! And "here is where the trouble lies," for untold thousands of married men and women, all over the civilized world, to-day. And it might all be so different! It ought, in every case, to be all so different! But if it ever does become different, knowledge has got to take the place of "innocence" on the part of the bride, and of ignorance on the part of the bridegroom, both of whom must be taught to "Know what they are about" before they engage in the sexual act, and be able to meet each other sanely, righteously, lovingly, because they both desire what each has to give to the other; in a way in which neither claims any rights, or makes any demands of the other—in a word, in perfect concord of agreement and action, of which mutual love is the inspirer, and definite knowledge the directive agent.