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may desire to be forced, to be roughly forced, to be ravished away beyond
her own will. But all the time she only desires to be forced toward those
things which are essentially and profoundly agreeable to her. A man who
fails to realize this has made little progress in the art of love. "I like
being knocked about and made to do things I don't want to do," a woman
said, but she admitted, on being questioned, that she would not like to
have _much_ pain inflicted, and that she might not care to be made to do
important things she did not want to do. The story of Griselda's unbounded
submissiveness can scarcely be said to be psychologically right, though it
has its artistic rightness as an elaborate fantasia on this theme
justified by its conclusion.
This point is further illustrated by the following passage from a
letter written by a lady: "Submission to the man's will is still,
and always must be, the prelude to pleasure, and the association
of ideas will probably always produce this much misunderstood
instinct. Now, I find, indirectly from other women and directly
from my own experience, that, when the point in dispute is very
important and the man exerts his authority, the desire to get
one's own way completely obliterates the sexual feeling, while,
conversely, in small things the sexual feeling obliterates the
desire to have one's own way. Where the two are nearly equal a
conflict between them ensues, and I can stand aside and wonder
which will get the best of it, though I encourage the sexual
feeling when possible, as, if the other conquers, it leaves a
sense of great mental irritation and physical discomfort. A man
should command in small things, as in nine cases out of ten this
will produce excitement. He should _advise_ in large matters, or
he may find either that he is unable to enforce his orders or
that he produces a feeling of dislike and annoyance he was far
from intending. Women imagine men must be stronger than
themselves to excite their passion. I disagree. A passionate man
has the best chance, for in him the primitive instincts are
strong. The wish to subdue the female is one of them, and in
small things he will exert his authority to make her feel his
power, while she knows that on a question of real importance she
has a good chance of getting her own way by working on his
greater susceptibility. Perhaps an illustration will show what I
mean. I was listening to the band and a girl and her _fiance_
came up to occupy two seats near me. The girl sank into one seat,
but for some reason the man wished her to take the other. She
refused. He repeated his order twice, the second time so
peremptorily that she changed places, and I heard him say: 'I
don't think you heard what I said. I don't expect to give an
order three times.'
"This little scene interested me, and I afterward asked the girl
the following questions:--
"'Had you any reason for taking one chair more than the other?'
"'Did Mr. ----'s insistence on your changing give you any
"'Yes' (after a little hesitation).
"'I don't know.'
"'Would it have done so if you had particularly wished to sit in
that chair; if, for instance, you had had a boil on your cheek
and wished to turn that side away from him?'
"'No; certainly not. The worry of thinking he was looking at it
would have made me too cross to feel pleased.'
"Does this explain what I mean? The occasion, by the way, need
not be really important, but, as in this imaginary case of the
boil, if it _seems important_ to the woman, irritation will
outweigh the physical sensation."
I am well aware that in thus asserting a certain tendency in women to
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