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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

together before the sexual act (Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, 

Bd. i, Ch. XVII). The civilized man, however, has come to regard 

his stomach as the most important of his organs, and he utters 

his conventional grace, not before love, but only before food. 

Even the degraded ritual vestiges of the religious recognition of 

coitus are difficult to find in Europe. We may perhaps detect it 

among the Spaniards, with their tenacious instinct for ritual, in 

the solemn etiquette with which, in the seventeenth century, it 

was customary, according to Madame d'Aulnoy, for the King to 

enter the bedchamber of the Queen: "He has on his slippers, his 

black mantle over his shoulder, his shield on one arm, a bottle 

hanging by a cord over the other arm (this bottle is not to drink 

from, but for a quite opposite purpose, which you will guess). 

With all this the King must also have his great sword in one hand 

and a dark lantern in the other. In this way he must enter, 

alone, the Queen's chamber" (Madame d'Aulnoy, _Relation du Voyage 

d'Espagne_, 1692, vol. iii, p. 221). 

 

In discussing the art of love it is necessary to give a primary place to 

the central fact of coitus, on account of the ignorance that widely 

prevails concerning it, and the unfortunate prejudices which in their 

fungous broods flourish in the noisome obscurity around it. The traditions 

of the Christian Church, which overspread the whole of Europe, and set up 

for worship a Divine Virgin and her Divine Son, both of whom it 

elaborately disengaged from personal contact with sexuality effectually 

crushed any attempt to find a sacred and avowable ideal in married love. 

Even the Church's own efforts to elevate matrimony were negatived by its 

own ideals. That influence depresses our civilization even to-day. When 

Walt Whitman wrote his "Children of Adam" he was giving imperfect 

expression to conceptions of the religious nature of sexual love which 

have existed wholesomely and naturally in all parts of the world, but had 

not yet penetrated the darkness of Christendom where they still seemed 

strange and new, if not terrible. And the refusal to recognize the 

solemnity of sex had involved the placing of a pall of blackness and 

disrepute on the supreme sexual act itself. It was shut out from the 

sunshine and excluded from the sphere of worship. 

 

The sexual act is important from the point of view of erotic art, not only 

from the ignorance and prejudices which surround it, but also because it 

has a real value even in regard to the psychic side of married life. 

"These organs," according to the oft-quoted saying of the old French 

physician, Ambrose Pare, "make peace in the household." How this comes 

about we see illustrated from time to time in Pepys's Diary. At the same 

time, it is scarcely necessary to say, after all that has gone before, 

that this ancient source of domestic peace tends to be indefinitely 

complicated by the infinite variety in erotic needs, which become ever 

more pronounced with the growth of civilization.[408] 

 

 

The art of love is, indeed, only beginning with the establishment of 

sexual intercourse. In the adjustment of that relationship all the forces 

of nature are so strongly engaged that under completely favorable 

conditions--which indeed very rarely occur in our civilization--the 

knowledge of the art and a possible skill in its exercise come almost of 

themselves. The real test of the artist in love is in the skill to carry 

it beyond the period when the interests of nature, having been really or 

seemingly secured, begin to slacken. The whole art of love, it has been 


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