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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

 

 

It will be observed that, as we might expect, these estimates tend to 

allow a greater interval in the earlier ages when erotic stimulation was 

probably less and erotic erethism probably rare, and to involve an 

increased frequency as we approach modern civilization. It will also be 

observed that variation occurs within fairly narrow limits. This is 

probably due to the fact that these law-givers were in all cases men. 

Women law-givers would certainly have shown a much greater tendency to 

variation, since the variations of the sexual impulse are greater in 

women.[390] Thus Zenobia required the approach of her husband once a 

month, provided that impregnation had not taken place the previous month, 

while another queen went very far to the other extreme, for we are told 

that the Queen of Aragon, after mature deliberation, ordained six times a 

day as the proper rule in a legitimate marriage.[391] 

 

It may be remarked, in passing, that the estimates of the proper 

frequency of sexual intercourse may always be taken to assume 

that there is a cessation during the menstrual period. This is 

especially the case as regards early periods of culture when 

intercourse at this time is usually regarded as either dangerous 

or sinful, or both. (This point has been discussed in the 

"Phenomena of Periodicity" in volume i of these _Studies_.) Under 

civilized conditions the inhibition is due to aesthetic reasons, 

the wife, even if she desires intercourse, feeling a repugnance 

to be approached at a time when she regards herself as 

"disgusting," and the husband easily sharing this attitude. It 

may, however, be pointed out that the aesthetic objection is very 

largely the result of the superstitious horror of water which is 

still widely felt at this time, and would, to some extent, 

disappear if a more scrupulous cleanliness were observed. It 

remains a good general rule to abstain from sexual intercourse 

during the menstrual period, but in some cases there may be 

adequate reason for breaking it. This is so when desire is 

specially strong at this time, or when intercourse is physically 

difficult at other times but easier during the relaxation of the 

parts caused by menstruation. It must be remembered also that the 

time when the menstrual flow is beginning to cease is probably, 

more than any other period of the month, the biologically proper 

time for sexual intercourse, since not only is intercourse 

easiest then, and also most gratifying to the female, but it 

affords the most favorable opportunity for securing 

fertilization. 

 

Schurig long since brought together evidence (_Parthenologia_, 

pp. 302 et seq.) showing that coitus is most easy during 

menstruation. Some of the Catholic theologians (like Sanchez, and 

later, Liguori), going against the popular opinion, have 

distinctly permitted intercourse during menstruation, though many 

earlier theologians regarded it as a mortal sin. From the 

medical side, Kossmann (Senator and Kaminer, _Health and Disease 

in Relation to Marriage_, vol. i, p. 249) advocates coitus not 

only at the end of menstruation, but even during the latter part 

of the period, as being the time when women most usually need it, 

the marked disagreeableness of temper often shown by women at 

this time, he says, being connected with the suppression, 

demanded by custom, of a natural desire. "It is almost always 

during menstruation that the first clouds appear on the 

matrimonial horizon." 

 

In modern times the physiologists and physicians who have expressed any 


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