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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

 

 

The image of the musical instrument constantly recurs to those 

who write of the art of love. Balzac's comparison of the 

unskilful husband to the orang-utan attempting to play the violin 

has already been quoted. Dr. Jules Guyot, in his serious and 

admirable little book, _Breviaire de l'Amour Experimental_, falls 

on to the same comparison: "There are an immense number of 

ignorant, selfish, and brutal men who give themselves no trouble 

to study the instrument which God has confided to them, and do 

not so much as suspect that it is necessary to study it in order 

to draw out its slightest chords.... Every direct contact, even 

with the clitoris, every attempt at coitus [when the feminine 

organism is not aroused], exercises a painful sensation, an 

instinctive repulsion, a feeling of disgust and aversion. Any 

man, any husband, who is ignorant of this fact, is ridiculous and 

contemptible. Any man, any husband, who, knowing it, dares to 

disregard it, has committed an outrage.... In the final 

combination of man and woman, the positive element, the husband, 

has the initiative and the responsibility for the conjugal life. 

He is the minstrel who will produce harmony or cacophony by his 

hand and his bow. The wife, from this point of view, is really 

the many-stringed instrument who will give out harmonious or 

discordant sounds, according as she is well or ill handled" 

(Guyot, _Breviaire_, pp. 99, 115, 138). 

 

That such love corresponds to the woman's need there cannot be 

any doubt. All developed women desire to be loved, says Ellen 

Key, not "en male" but "en artiste" (_Liebe und Ehe_, p. 92). 

"Only a man of whom she feels that he has also the artist's joy 

in her, and who shows this joy through his timid and delicate 

touch on her soul as on her body, can keep the woman of to-day. 

She will only belong to a man who continues to long for her even 

when he holds her locked in his arms. And when such a woman 

breaks out: 'You want me, but you cannot caress me, you cannot 

tell what I want,' then that man is judged." Love is indeed, as 

Remy de Gourmont remarks, a delicate art, for which, as for 

painting or music, only some are apt. 

 

It must not be supposed that the demand on the lover and husband to 

approach a woman in the same spirit, with the same consideration and 

skilful touch, as a musician takes up his instrument is merely a demand 

made by modern women who are probably neurotic or hysterical. No reader of 

these _Studies_ who has followed the discussions of courtship and of 

sexual selection in previous volumes can fail to realize that--although we 

have sought to befool ourselves by giving an illegitimate connotation to 

the word "brutal"--consideration and respect for the female is all but 

universal in the sexual relationships of the animals below man; it is only 

at the furthest remove from the "brutes," among civilized men, that sexual 

"brutality" is at all common, and even there it is chiefly the result of 

ignorance. If we go as low as the insects, who have been disciplined by 

no family life, and are generally counted as careless and wanton, we may 

sometimes find this attitude towards the female fully developed, and the 

extreme consideration of the male for the female whom yet he holds firmly 

beneath him, the tender preliminaries, the extremely gradual approach to 

the supreme sexual act, may well furnish an admirable lesson. 

 

This greater difficulty and delay on the part of women in responding to 

the erotic excitation of courtship is really very fundamental and--as has 


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