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Table of contents
CONTENTS
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-1
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-2
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-3
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-4
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-5
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-6
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-7
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-8
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-9
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-10
FOOTNOTES
LOVE AND PAIN-1.1
LOVE AND PAIN-1.2
LOVE AND PAIN-1.3
LOVE AND PAIN-1.4
LOVE AND PAIN-1.5
LOVE AND PAIN-1.6
LOVE AND PAIN-2.1
LOVE AND PAIN-2.2
LOVE AND PAIN-2.3
LOVE AND PAIN-2.4
LOVE AND PAIN-3.1
LOVE AND PAIN-3.2
LOVE AND PAIN-3.3
LOVE AND PAIN-3.4
LOVE AND PAIN-4
LOVE AND PAIN-5.1
LOVE AND PAIN-5.2
LOVE AND PAIN-6.1
LOVE AND PAIN-6.2
LOVE AND PAIN-7
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.1
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.2
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.3
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.4
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.5
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.6
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-2.1
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-2.2
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-2.3
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-3
APPENDIX A-1
APPENDIX A-2-3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3-4-5-6-7
APPENDIX B HISTORY-8-9-10
APPENDIX B HISTORY-11-12
APPENDIX B HISTORY-13
APPENDIX B HISTORY-14-15
APPENDIX B HISTORY-16
APPENDIX B HISTORY-17
APPENDIX B HISTORY-18
APPENDIX B HISTORY-19
INDEX OF AUTHORS

IV. 

 

The Impulse to Strangle the Object of Sexual Desire--The Wish to be 

Strangled--Respiratory Disturbance the Essential Element in this Group of 

Phenomena--The Part Played by Respiratory Excitement in the Process of 

Courtship--Swinging and Suspension--The Attraction Exerted by the Idea of 

being Chained and Fettered. 

 

 

There is another impulse which it may be worth while to consider briefly 

here, for the sake of the light it throws on the relationship between love 

and pain. I allude to the impulse to strangle the object of sexual desire, 

and to the corresponding craving to be strangled. Cases have been recorded 

in which this impulse was so powerful that men have actually strangled 

women at the moment of coitus.[120] Such cases are rare; but, as a mere 

idea, the thought of strangling a woman appears to be not infrequently 

associated with sexual emotion. We must probably regard it as, in the 

main,--with whatever subsidiary elements,--an aspect of that physical 

seizure, domination, and forcible embrace of the female which is one of 

the primitive elements of courtship.[121] 

 

The corresponding idea--the pleasurable connection of the thought of being 

strangled with sexual emotion--appears to occur still more frequently, 

perhaps especially in women. Here we seem to have, as in the case of 

whipping, a combination of a physical with a psychic element. Not only is 

the idea attractive, but, as a matter of fact, strangulation, suffocation, 

or any arrest of respiration, even when carried to the extent of producing 

death, may actually provoke emission, as is observed after death by 

hanging.[122] It is noteworthy that, as Eulenburg remarks, the method of 

treating diseases of the spinal cord by suspension--a method much in vogue 

a few years ago--often produced sexual excitement.[123] In brothels, it is 

said, some of the clients desire to be suspended vertically by a cord 

furnished with pads.[124] A playful attempt to throttle her on the part of 

her lover is often felt by a woman as pleasurable, though it may not 

necessarily produce definite sexual excitement. Sometimes, however, this 

feeling becomes so strong that it must be regarded as an actual 

perversion, and I have been told of a woman who is indifferent to the 

ordinary sexual embrace; her chief longing is to be throttled, and she 

will do anything to have her neck squeezed by her lover till her eyeballs 

bulge.[125] 

 

"I think if I could be left my present feelings," a lady writes, 

"and be changed into a male imbecile,--that is, given a man's 

strength, but deprived, to a large extent, of reasoning power,--I 

might very likely act in the apparently cruel way they do. And 

this partly because many of their actions appeal to me on the 

passive side. The idea of being _strangled_ by a person I love 

does. The great sensitiveness of one's throat and neck come in 

here as well as the loss of breath. Once when I was about to be 

separated from a man I cared for I put his hands on my throat and 

implored him to kill me. It was a moment of madness, which helps 

me to understand the feelings of a person always insane. Even now 

that I am cool and collected I know that if I were deeply in love 

with a man who I thought was going to kill me, especially in that 

way, I would make no effort to save myself beforehand, though, of 

course, in the final moments nature would assert herself without 

my volition. What makes the horror of such cases in insanity is 

the fact of the love being left out. But I think I find no 

greater difficulty in picturing the mental attitude of a sadistic 

lunatic than that of a normal man who gets pleasure out of women 

for whom he has no love." 

 

The imagined pleasure of being strangled by a lover brings us to a group 

of feelings which would seem to be not unconnected with respiratory 

elements. I refer to the pleasurable excitement experienced by some in 


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