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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

I now turn to a very much more serious and elaborate attempt to define the 

constitution of the sexual impulse, that of Moll. He finds that it is made 

up of two separate components, each of which may be looked upon as an 

uncontrollable impulse.[19] One of these is that by which the tension of 

the sexual organs is spasmodically relieved; this he calls the _impulse of 

detumescence_,[20] and he regards it as primary, resembling the impulse to 

empty a full bladder. The other impulse is the "instinct to approach, 

touch, and kiss another person, usually of the opposite sex"; this he 

terms the _impulse of contrectation_, and he includes under this head not 

only the tendency to general physical contact, but also the psychic 

inclination to become generally interested in a person of the opposite 

sex. Each of these primary impulses Moll regards as forming a constituent 

of the sexual instinct in both men and women. It seems to me undoubtedly 

true that these two impulses do correspond to the essential phenomena. The 

awkward and unsatisfactory part of Moll's analysis is the relation of the 

one to the other. It is true that he traces both impulses back to the 

sexual glands, that of detumescence directly, that of contrectation 

indirectly; but evidently he does not regard them as intimately related to 

each other; he insists on the fact that they may exist apart from each 

other, that they do not appear synchronously in youth: the contrectation 

impulse he regards as secondary; it is, he states, an indirect result of 

the sexual glands, "only to be understood by the developmental history of 

these glands and the object which they subserve"; that is to say, that it 

is connected with the rise of the sexual method of reproduction and the 

desirability of the mingling of the two sexes in procreation, while the 

impulse of detumescence arose before the sexual method of reproduction had 

appeared; thus the contrectation impulse was propagated by natural 

selection together with the sexual method of reproduction. The impulse of 

contrectation is secondary, and Moll even regards it as a secondary sexual 

character. 

 

While, therefore, this analysis seems to include all the phenomena and to 

be worthy of very careful study as a serious and elaborate attempt to 

present an adequate psychological definition of the sexual impulse, it 

scarcely seems to me that we can accept it in precisely the form in which 

Moll presents it. I believe, however, that by analyzing the process a 

little more minutely we shall find that these two constituents of the 

sexual impulse are really much more intimately associated than at the 

first glance appears, and that we need by no means go back to the time 

when the sexual method of reproduction arose to explain the significance 

of the phenomena which Moll includes under the term contrectation. 

 

To discover the true significance of the phenomena in men it is necessary 

to observe carefully the phenomena of love-making not only among men, but 

among animals, in which the impulse of contrectation plays a very large 

part, and involves an enormous expenditure of energy. Darwin was the first 

to present a comprehensive view of, at all events a certain group of, the 

phenomena of contrectation in animals; on his interpretation of those 

phenomena he founded his famous theory of sexual selection. We are not 

primarily concerned with that theory; but the facts on which Darwin based 

his theory lie at the very roots of our subject, and we are bound to 

consider their psychological significance. In the first place, since these 

phenomena are specially associated with Darwin's name, it may not be out 

of place to ask what Darwin himself considered to be their psychological 

significance. It is a somewhat important question, even for those who are 

mainly concerned with the validity of the theory which Darwin established 

on those facts, but so far as I know it has not hitherto been asked. I 

find that a careful perusal of the _Descent of Man_ reveals the presence 


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