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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

relationship of a man and a woman at the climax of the sexual act. Even 

this close analogy, however, fails to cover all the facts of the sexual 

life. 

 

A very different view is presented to us in the definition of the sexual 

instinct as a reproductive impulse, a desire for offspring. Hegar, 

Eulenburg, Naecke, and Loewenfeld have accepted this as, at all events, a 

partial definition.[18] No one, indeed, would argue that it is a complete 

definition, although a few writers appear to have asserted that it is so 

sometimes as regards the sexual impulse in women. There is, however, 

considerable mental confusion in the attempt to set up such a definition. 

If we define an instinct as an action adapted to an end which is not 

present to consciousness, then it is quite true that the sexual instinct 

is an instinct of reproduction. But we do not adequately define the sexual 

instinct by merely stating its ultimate object. We might as well say that 

the impulse by which young animals seize food is "an instinct of 

nutrition." The object of reproduction certainly constitutes no part of 

the sexual impulse whatever in any animal apart from man, and it reveals a 

lack of the most elementary sense of biological continuity to assert that 

in man so fundamental and involuntary a process can suddenly be 

revolutionized. That the sexual impulse is very often associated with a 

strong desire for offspring there can be no doubt, and in women the 

longing for a child--that is to say, the longing to fulfill those 

functions for which their bodies are constituted--may become so urgent and 

imperative that we may regard it as scarcely less imperative than the 

sexual impulse. But it is not the sexual impulse, though intimately 

associated with it, and though it explains it. A reproductive instinct 

might be found in parthenogenetic animals, but would be meaningless, 

because useless, in organisms propagating by sexual union. A woman may not 

want a lover, but may yet want a child. This merely means that her 

maternal instincts have been aroused, while her sexual instincts are still 

latent. A desire for reproduction, as soon as that desire becomes 

instinctive, necessarily takes on the form of the sexual impulse, for 

there is no other instinctive mechanism by which it can possibly express 

itself. A "reproductive instinct," apart from the sexual instinct and 

apart from the maternal instinct, cannot be admitted; it would be an 

absurdity. Even in women in whom the maternal instincts are strong, it may 

generally be observed that, although before a woman is in love, and also 

during the later stages of her love, the conscious desire for a child may 

be strong, during the time when sexual passion is at its highest the 

thought of offspring, under normally happy conditions, tends to recede 

into the background. Reproduction is the natural end and object of the 

sexual instinct, but the statement that it is part of the contents of the 

sexual impulse, or can in any way be used to define that impulse, must be 

dismissed as altogether inacceptable. Indeed, although the term 

"reproductive instinct" is frequently used, it is seldom used in a sense 

that we need take seriously; it is vaguely employed as a euphemism by 

those who wish to veil the facts of the sexual life; it is more precisely 

employed mainly by those who are unconsciously dominated by a 

superstitious repugnance to sex. 

 

 

 

 


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