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otherwise appear and perhaps two acts be needful, or, if I forgot
about it for a week, three acts running. That I did not abuse the
function the fact proves that every year I would forget about it
two to three times and have to resort to this drastic mode.
But there is quite a different headache that follows on
indulgence during convalescence or when the system is otherwise
much lowered. Railway traveling greatly accentuates the need with
me; also riding. Girls aroused no physical desire, though I
chiefly sought their society, and even after the genital tension
was so pronounced, up to 20, I was troubled by the fact that
women did not affect me sexually. About this time a buxom girl I
liked and who liked me vehemently laid her hand on my arm, in
trying to persuade me to give up shooting. The phallus leaped
simultaneously. That was my first _sexual_ experience--the proof
that the _nexus_ was established between the genital mechanism
and the complex of feeling we call sexual.
"_Age 24_. At this age I went to stay at a house where there were
two very pretty girls. I at once lost my heart to the elder,
L.B., as she did to me (strong constitution, but refined nature;
parents sound; brought up in the country; eleven months'
breast-milk). 'What a mother she will make,' I said to myself.
Now began a time of the spiritual and physical communion that I
had pictured to myself....
"I am 60 now; she is 57. We are still like lovers. No; not _like_
lovers; we _are_ lovers. Of course, I do not mean to imply that
sexual impressions have preponderated in our life, as they do in
this account. Quite the contrary. We are both strong and,
according to all accounts, unusually well preserved. We are very
temperate. Since 48 I notice a gradual decline of the erotic
propensity. It is now once in five or seven days. Since the
menopause her propensity has declined markedly, but it is not
extinct, and she delights as much as ever in my delight. She
began to menstruate at 12, was regular till 17; then got
chlorotic for a few months, soon recovered, though menstruation
was often irregular, but never painful. Sexual experience began
at 25. I have often wondered if a moderate self-gymnastic of the
faculty, in Venturi's sense, would not have educated her genital
sphere, and made her a still better comrade--excluded the periods
of irregularity and frigidity. The stage of latency was too
protracted. We often noticed that, when menstruation was due or
nearly so, prolonged love-sports at bedtime would be followed by
menstruation in the morning. We never were separated for longer
than three months, and on that occasion, menstruation being
delayed, she tried what masturbation would do to determine it,
and with a positive result. My need, though less, is as
imperative as ever. Seminal headaches--as I would call them--have
ceased since 50; the accumulation only produces muddleheadedness.
But I have not suffered accumulation over ten to at most twelve
days. The quantity of semen is also less. The sensibility of the
corpora has declined much; that of the glans is unimpaired.
Erection is good. Orgasm takes two to four minutes to provoke,
against forty to fifty seconds when young; it is in some respects
even more enjoyable--perhaps less intense, but much more
prolonged. I have no reaction from indulgence. But I never press
it; it always presses me. For overaccumulation, with headache or
muddleheadedness, the wifely hand is more efficacious than the
vulva. Even the most vivid dream of coitus fails to compass the
orgasm now. The peripheral stimulus is essential.
"In our case physical and psychical intensity of emotion have
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