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finished I had heard nothing. Remember, I felt no shame on the
matter--none at all. I was simply bored. This I attribute to two
things: first, my preponderating interest in the romantic side of
things; secondly (and this bears with it a strong moral), _the
feeling that the knowledge lay always within my grasp kept me
from that curiosity which so oft consumes those who think it is
hidden away from them_.
"The changes of puberty came naturally and without startling me.
Even the fact of emissions--which took place during sleep at
intervals, unaccompanied by dreams or by any physical prostration
afterward--has left on my memory no recollection of surprise; I
knew it to be somehow connected with generation, but I had no
physical trouble, and I am quite sure I did not bother further
about it. The best possible proof of this lies in the fact that
my memory is a blank on the matter. At the age of 21 (I take this
from a diary, so I know it is correct) I was still ignorant as to
intrinsic fact. Then I pulled myself together and felt it was
really time I learned the actual details of the matter. I went to
a clever friend of mine and asked him to tell me all about it. He
expressed himself astounded at my not knowing; and he had very
great shyness about telling me. In fact, I had to drag facts out
of him by a real cross-examination, during which he persistently
marveled at my ignorance. Though he had a great deal of false
shame about the matter, I had none at all. His revelations
considerably surprised me, because I had no idea that there was
actual intromission. When I came to reflect on what I had learned
the fact of this close physical intimacy appealed to me as being
quite poetic and beautiful between two lovers; and I have had no
reason since to change my opinion.
"_Summary._--1. Romantic interest in girls and women commencing
early and remaining persistently.
"2. Knowledge before puberty of the fact that this interest was
based on the all-important process of reproduction.
"3. Absence of further physical curiosity even at puberty itself.
"4. Knowledge ultimately acquired without shock.
"The physical in sex has never been any bother to me, neither
have I bothered about it. I have recognized it, frankly, and
don't see why I shouldn't, but my unashamed recognition has
probably been because the merely physical is less absorbing to me
than to most. Mental and emotional interest in passion has
absorbed me greatly, but the merely physical has sunk into what
I call its natural place of subordination. Nature is kind. It is
our 'conspiracy of silence' which tends to emphasize physical
HISTORY VII.--G.D., who is a doctor and a man of science, writes:
"There is a strong history of gout on the paternal side. No
history of alcohol, tubercle, brain trouble, or of the
arthropathies. There is some reason to believe that two of my
maternal aunts were sexually frigid, and perhaps this was true to
a less extent of my mother, who had a contracted pelvis,
necessitating the induction of labor at the eighth month of
"About the age of 7 a German nursery governess, B., took charge
of me, and I soon became devoted to her. I was then a delicate
child, and used to suffer frequently from nightmare, waking up
screaming and covered with sweat. When this happened, B. would
sometimes take me into her bed and soothe me with kisses, etc.
These I returned, and can remember that I was particularly fond
of kissing her breasts.
"About this time a girl cousin, A., about a year older than
myself, was one of my most frequent playmates. I endeavored to
monopolize her company and attention, and on this account often
came to blows with C., a cousin rather younger than myself, who
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