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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

the vulva and surrounding tissue are first demonstrated, and in 

those animals which suffer from a considerable discharge of blood 

the main portion of that discharge, if not the whole of it, will 

be evacuated before sexual intercourse is allowed." (W. Heape, 

"The 'Sexual Season' of Mammals," _Quarterly Journal of 

Microscopical Science_, vol. xliv, Part I, 1900. Estrus has since 

been fully discussed in Marshall's _Physiology of Reproduction_.) 

This description clearly brings out the fundamentally vascular 

character of the process I have termed "tumescence"; it must be 

added, however, that in man the nervous elements in the process 

tend to become more conspicuous, and more or less obliterate 

these primitive limitations of sexual desire. (See "Sexual 

Periodicity" in the first volume of these _Studies_.) 

 

Moll subsequently restated his position with reference to my 

somewhat different analysis of the sexual impulse, still 

maintaining his original view ("Analyse des Geschlechtstriebes," 

_Medizinische Klinik_, Nos. 12 and 13, 1905; also _Geschlecht und 

Gesellschaft_, vol. ii, Nos. 9 and 10). Numa Praetorius 

(_Jahrbuch fuer Sexeuelle Zwischenstufen_, 1904, p. 592) accepts 

contrectation, tumescence, and detumescence as all being stages 

in the same process, contrectation, which he defines as the 

sexual craving for a definite individual, coming first. Robert 

Mueller (_Sexualbiologie_, 1907, p. 37) criticises Moll much in 

the same sense as I have done and considers that contrectation 

and detumescence cannot be separated, but are two expressions of 

the same impulse; so also Max Katte, "Die Praeliminarien des 

Geschlechtsaktes," _Zeitschrift fuer Sexualwissenschaft_, Oct., 

1908, and G. Saint-Paul, _L'Homosexualite et les Types 

Homosexuels_, 1910, p. 390. 

 

While I regard Moll's analysis as a valuable contribution to the 

elucidation of the sexual impulse, I must repeat that I cannot 

regard it as final or completely adequate. As I understand the 

process, contrectation is an incident in the development of 

tumescence, an extremely important incident indeed, but not an 

absolutely fundamental and primitive part of it. It is equally an 

incident, highly important though not primitive and fundamental, 

of detumescence. Contrectation, from first to last; furnishes 

the best conditions for the exercise of the sexual process, but 

it is not an absolutely essential part of the process and in the 

early stages of zooelogical development it had no existence at 

all. Tumescence and detumescence are alike fundamental, 

primitive, and essential; in resting the sexual impulse on these 

necessarily connected processes we are basing ourselves on the 

solid bedrock of nature. 

 

Moreover, of the two processes, tumescence, which in time comes 

first, is by far the most important, and nearly the whole of 

sexual psychology is rooted in it. To assert, with Moll, that the 

sexual process may be analyzed into contrectation and 

detumescence alone is to omit the most essential part of the 

process. It is much the same as to analyze the mechanism of a gun 

into probable contact with the hand, and a more or less 

independent discharge, omitting all reference to the loading of 

the gun. The essential elements are the loading and the 

discharging. Contrectation is a part of loading, though not a 

necessary part, since the loading may be effected mechanically. 

But to understand the process of firing a gun and to comprehend 

the mechanism of the discharge, we must insist on the act of 

loading and not merely on the contact of the hand. So it is in 

analyzing the sexual impulse. Contrectation is indeed highly 

important, but it is important only in so far as it aids 


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