|• Main||• Contacts|
HISTORY VIII.--"When I was about 8 years old" (states the lady
who is the subject of the present observation) "I remember that,
with several other children, we used to play in an old garden at
being father and mother, unfastening our drawers and bringing the
sexual parts together, as we imagined married people to do, but
no sexual feelings were aroused, nor did the boys have
erections." When about 10 years old she became conscious of a
pleasurable sensation associated with the smell of leather, which
has ever since persisted. At that age she was sometimes left to
wait in the office of a wholesale business house full of
leather-bound ledgers. She did not then notice the sensation
particularly, and was certainly not conscious of any connection
with sexual emotion. Menstruation was established at 131/2 years.
Distinct sexual feelings were first observed a few months later.
"The first feelings of love which I ever felt were at the age of
14 for a nice, manly boy of my own age, who often came to our
house. He liked me, but was not in love with me. It was very
seldom that he would sit by me and hold my hand, as I wished him.
This went on till I was about 17, when he went to the university.
After his first term he came back and was then attracted to me;
but, though I loved him very much, I was too proud to show it.
When he tried to kiss me, I resisted, though I longed for it.
Thinking I was greatly offended, he apologized, which only made
me angry. All these years I was worshiping at his shrine and
mixed him up with all my ideas of life." Whenever she was near
him she experienced physical sensations, with moistening of the
vulva. This continued till she was about 20, but the object of
these emotions never again attempted any advances.
At 19 she became engaged to someone else. At the beginning she
was physically indifferent to her lover, but when he first kissed
her she became greatly excited. The engagement, however, was soon
broken off from absence of strong affection on either side and
chiefly, it would seem, from the cooling of the lover's ardor.
She thinks he would have been more strongly attached to her if
she had been colder to him, or pretended to be, instead of
responding with simplicity and frankness.
During the next few years little occurred. She was working hard,
and her amusements would mostly, she says, be regarded as rather
childish. She was extremely fond of dancing, and she was always
pleased when anyone paid her attention. She was frequently
conscious of sexual feelings, sometimes tormented by them, and
she regarded this as something to be ashamed of. The constant
longing for love was affected little or not at all by hard work.
"At about this time I was very fond of abandoning myself to
day-dreams. I was very glad if I could get everyone out of the
house and lie on an easy chair or the bed. I liked especially to
read poetry, all the more if I did not quite understand it. This
would lead me on to all sorts of dreams of love, which, however,
never went beyond the preliminaries of actual love--as that was
all I then knew of love." The only climax to her dream of love
was founded on a piece of information volunteered by a married
woman many years earlier, when she was about 12. This
lady--evidently agreeing with Rousseau (who in _Emile_ commended
the mother's reply to the child's query whence babies come, "Les
femmes les pissent, mon enfant, avec des grands douleurs") that
the unknown should first be explained to the young in terms of
the known--told her that the husband micturated into the wife.
She therefore used to imagine a lover who would bear her away
into a forest and do this on her as she lay at the foot of a
tree. (At a later date she accidentally discovered that a full
Page 1 from 5:  2 3 4 5 Forward