Sane Sex Life and Sane Sex Living
Part 1 out of 3
Produced by Michael Ciesielski, Melissa Er-Raqabi, Joshua Hutchinson
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
SANE SEX LIFE AND SANE SEX LIVING
SOME THINGS THAT ALL SANE PEOPLE OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT SEX NATURE AND
SEX FUNCTIONING; ITS PLACE IN THE ECONOMY OF LIFE, ITS PROPER TRAINING
AND RIGHTEOUS EXERCISE
H.W. LONG, M.D.
EUGENICS PUBLISHING CO., INC.
MADE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
TO MY FELLOW-MEMBERS OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION INTO WHOSE HANDS THIS
BOOK MAY COME, AND TO ALL WHO MAY READ IT UNDER THEIR DIRECTION, THIS
VOLUME IS MOST SINCERELY DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR.
NOTE TO THE READER
IN ORDER TO GAIN A CORRECT IMPRESSION OF THE BOOK, IT IS ESSENTIAL
THAT IT BE READ FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END WITHOUT ANY SKIPPING
WHATSOEVER. ONCE READ, IT CAN BE RE-READ, HERE AND THERE, AS THE
READER MAY DESIRE. BUT FOR A FIRST READING, IT IS THE EARNEST WISH
OF THE AUTHOR THAT EVERY WORD BE READ, FOR IN NO OTHER WAY CAN THE
PURPOSE OF THE BOOK BE REALIZED.
As we have moved down the ages, now and then, from the religious
teacher, the statesman, the inventor, the social worker, or from the
doctor, surgeon, or sexologist, there has been a "_vox clamantis in
deserto_." Usually these voices have fallen on unheeding ears; but
again and again some delver in books, some student of men, some
inspired, self-effacing, or altruistic one has taken up the cry; and
at last unthinking, unheeding, superficial, self-satisfied humanity
has turned to listen.
Aristotle by the sure inductive method learned and taught much,
concerning the sex relations of men and women, that it would profit
us today to heed. Balzac, Luther, Michelet, Spencer, and later, at
our very doors, Krafft-Ebbing, Forel, Bloch, Ellis, Freud, Hall, and
scores of others have added their voices. All these have seen whither
we were drifting, and have made vigorous protests according to their
lights. Many of these protests should have been heard, but were not,
and only now are just beginning to be heeded. Such pioneers in the
field of proper, healthful, ethical, religious, sane daily sex living,
have been Sturgis and Malchow, who talked earnestly to an unheeding
profession of these things, and now, I have the honor to write
an introductory word to a book in this field, that is sane, wise,
practical, entirely truthful, and unspeakably necessary.
I can endorse the teachings in Dr. Long's book more fully because I
have, for nearly a quarter of a century, been holding similar views,
and dispensing similar, though perhaps less explicit, information.
I know from long observation that the teaching is wholesome and
necessary, and that the results are universally uplifting. Such
teachings improve health, prolong life, and promote virtue, adding to
the happiness and lessening the burdens of men, on the one hand; on
the other, reducing their crimes and vices. A book like this would
have proved invaluable to me on my entrance to the married state; but
had I had it, I might not have been forced to acquire the knowledge
which enables me now to state with all solemnity, that I personally
know hundreds of couples whose lives were wrecked for lack of such
knowledge, and that I more intimately know hundreds of others to
whom verbal teaching along the lines he has laid down, has brought
happiness, health and goodness.
Dr. Long advances no theories; neither do I. He has found by studying
himself and other people, a sane and salutary way of sex living, and
fearlessly has prescribed this to a limited circle for a long time. I
congratulate him for his perspicacity, temerity, and wisdom. He offers
no apology, and there is no occasion for any. He says, "All has been
set down in love, by a lover, for the sake of lovers yet to be, in the
hope of helping them on toward a divine consummation." That is, he has
developed these ideas at home, and then spread them abroad, or, he has
found them abroad and brought them home; and they worked.
I also speak somewhat _ex experientia_ and have some intimate personal
knowledge of many of these things. Therefore, I advocate his doctrine,
the more readily, and maintain that humanity needs these ideas as
much today as when M. Jules Lemaitre wrote his late introduction to
Michelet's _L'Amour_. He said: "_Il ne parait pas, apres quarante ans
passes, que les choses aillent mieux, ni que le livre de Michelet
ait rien perdu de son a-propos_." Twenty years more have elapsed
and things have not yet become much better. Frank sex talks like Dr.
Long's teaching are as a-propos today as was Michelet's book when it
was written, or when, after forty years had passed M. Lemaitre wrote
Idealism is right, and we all approve it; so much so, that many of us
cannot see that ultra-idealism, extremism in right, (it is foolish
to attempt to attain anything better than the best) may be wrong.
Undoubtedly, entire devotion to the material and physical, is also
wrong; but we never must lose sight of the palpable fact that, unless
we have a proper, stable, natural, well-regulated physical or
material foundation, we must fall short of all ideals. Proper physical
adjustments enable the realization of realizable ideals. Unrealizable
ideals are chimeras pursued into futurity, while a world that should
be human and happy waits in vice and misery. I gather that Dr. Long
believes that reducing this vice and misery, and increasing human
happiness and improving health are suitable works with which to
companion a faith in the Arbiter of our destinies.
If thus he develops his idea of the integrity of the universe, I agree
with him fully. His book, since it delineates the numerous details of
a normal sex life, can be sold, thanks to our prudish public, only to
the profession. I believe it should go to the larger public as it has
gone formerly to his smaller community.
In spite of imperfect ideals the Orient has endured, while we of the
Occident are fast becoming decadent. We, by learning something of
the art of love, and of the natural life of married people, from the
Hindoos, may perpetuate our civilization. They, by adopting the best
of our transcendentalism, may reach higher development than we yet
The time has come for a book like this to command the attention of
medical men, since now an awakened public demands from them, as the
conservers of life and the directors of physiological living, explicit
directions in everything pertaining to the physician's calling, not
omitting the intimate, intricate, long taboo and disdained details of
sex life and procreation.
W.F. ROBIE, M.D.
By Dr. W.F. Robie, author of "The Art of Love"
Need for facts about sex and love--Present ignorance of sex
relations--Sex information improves health, prolongs life, promotes
virtue, adds to happiness--Frank talks needed--This book describes
details of normal sex life, describes art of love, gives explicit
instructions pertaining to intimacies of sex life.
Answers problems of sex life in the delicate relations of
marriage--Most people too timid to reveal reasons for their sexual
difficulties--Knowledge in a book less embarrassing to gain--Never
before could people find facts they wanted to know most--This book
prepared especially to help husbands and wives to live wholesome sex
lives--Gives them facts all married people should know--Explains
how to use that information to make marriage a success--Especially
valuable for newlyweds if read on honeymoon--Those now married who do
not get on well together will find in this book relief from suffering
Wrong teachings about sex--Children brought up in ignorance on sex
matters--No information given by parents, schools, churches--But
children will find out even if they go to wrong sources--Some one must
tell the truth--This book does it.
THE ARGUMENT AND THE INFORMATION
Until recently it was a crime to give knowledge concerning sex
relations--Sex knowledge denied through selfishness or prudery--This
is wrong because sex is of highest importance to human beings--Ills,
crimes, misfortunes are result when people are forced to be ignorant
of knowledge they need--Condemned to suffer tortures when they might
enjoy delights--Sex is clean and natural--At last sex knowledge may
be given freely--Advice in this book gained from personal and
THE CORRECT MENTAL ATTITUDE
Definite information now given which will help husbands and wives
to find perpetual and increasing happiness all their lives--Duty of
brides and grooms to acquaint themselves with each other's sexual
needs--No man or woman should be ashamed of the sexual make-up--They
should be proud of their sexual functions and virility--Read the book
without shame or shock--Gaining honest truth about these matters is
most essential to life.
THE SEX ORGANS
Male sex organs are penis and testicles--Size and form of penis when
at rest and during sexual excitement--Position of testicles--Why one
teste is larger--Pubic regions in men and women.
Female sex organs are vulva, vaginal passage, womb, and
ovaries--Length of vaginal passage compared with distended penis--Size
and formation of womb--Position of ovaries.
FUNCTION OF THE SEX ORGANS
Primary purpose of sex in the human race--Life is the result of union
of two forces--Birth the same in human beings as in other forms of
life--Process of conception in female--How female ovum is fertilized
by male--When puberty begins and ends in women.
Menstruation, its cause and meaning--When ovum may be
impregnated--Origin of sperm in man--Purpose of prostate gland--What
semen is--For birth of new life union of male and female sex organs
necessary--Glans penis in man and clitoris in woman are "exciting"
focal points--Climax of coitus.
Use of sexual organs to produce offspring same in mankind as in
animals--One way in which human beings differ from animals in sex
relations--Coitus possible in animals only in "rutting" season--In
human beings coitus enjoyable at any time--What this difference means
to happiness--The basis of real success in marriage--Married people
can reach highest conditions of wedlock when they know and practice
what is right in sex--No "rights" conferred in sex relations through
the ceremony of marriage.
Different views of sexual relations for purpose of happiness--Padlocks
to prevent exercise of sexual functions--Effect of falsehoods about
sex relations--Innocent brides and goody-good husbands--Differences
of opinion by brides and grooms lead to terrible wrongs on marriage
night--False teaching often results in the "rape of the wedding
night"--How definite knowledge prevents this shock to bride and makes
for perfect bliss--The second kind of coitus reserved only for human
beings can bring highest physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
THE ACT OF COITUS
Coitus consists of four parts or acts--Where ninety-nine
one-hundredths of all married troubles begin--Usually husband's fault
due to ignorance or carelessness.
First part of act of coitus--Difference between men and women in time
needed for sexual readiness--Women usually slower--Prostatic flow
and pre-coital secretion--Coitus harmful when either partner not fully
ready for sexual union--Taking time most important feature--Special
information for newlyweds--Woman's fear of "something new" and of
pregnancy--Husband should not insist upon "rights"--Evils which
follow this wrong attitude--True marriage based on mutual love--Key
to married happiness--Married love needs continual care by husband and
wife--Instructions for performing first part of act of coitus.
Second part of act of coitus--Many positions possible--Best
position--Instructions for performing second part of act of coitus.
Third part of act of coitus--A common mistake made by many wives,
especially young brides--Need for complete freedom on part of
woman--Length of time required--Skill and intensity needed by husband
and wife--Instructions for performing third part of act of coitus.
Fourth and final part of act of coitus--When done correctly greatest
of all human experiences--What happens to the man--What occurs in the
woman--No connection with possibility of pregnancy--Designed by nature
especially for woman's satisfaction and pleasure--Special instruction
for husband and wife--Review of all the four parts of the act of
THE FIRST UNION
Special conditions which must be considered when bride is to
have first sexual congress--Her state of mind--Need for better
acquaintance--What both bride and groom should know about the woman's
sex organs; where located, parts, how constructed, sensitivity--How
shape and size of mouth indicate shape and size of woman's sex organs.
The hymen or "maidenhead"--Meaning of its presence or absence--How
it may be removed without danger or pain--First union should be
accomplished by mutual desire and effort--Chances of conception in
coitus--Desire for children.
The right to have children when wanted--A matter of choice--Difference
between infanticide, abortion and prevention of pregnancy--How husband
and wife can tell when there is no danger of impregnation--A rule
of coitus which should never be violated--What information about
pregnancy may be gained from menstrual period--Most women have two
weeks of "free time" each month--Freedom from fear an accomplishment
which adds to happiness of marriage.
THE ART OF LOVE
Must be learned and mastered because partners in marriage often
not matched physically or psychically--Ordinary cases of physical
mismatching--Difference in size of sex organs may produce unfortunate
results--How to discover physical mismatching--How to correct
it--Instructions for overcoming physical mismatching.
Psychical mismatching--Differences between men and women cause for
great dissatisfaction if not known and corrected--Instructions for
correcting psychical mismatching if husband is at fault; if wife is
at fault--Extending time of first part of coitus--Inducing pre-coital
flow in woman--Essential that first part of coitus be continued until
woman is ready for second part--Necessity for husband to know ways to
extend time of third part of coitus--"Keeping the cap on"--What wife
can do to correct physical and psychical mismatching.
Sex stimulation is right and wholesome--Instructions if normal sex
relations are impossible--Special information on sex stimulation for
brides and grooms--Valuable addition to sex knowledge.
A mental and spiritual love embrace--Fulfillment of
courting--Specially valuable during time when woman is not
"free"--Value of sexual stimulation if not carried to excess.
Frequency of coitus--Men who wear themselves out--Women who wear out
their husbands--Mismatching in sexual temperament and desire--How
to correct it--Women who are anesthetic to sexual desire, and how to
overcome it--Impotence in men.
How late in life can coitus be practiced with benefit to
health--Danger of withholding sex functioning--Sex organs able to
function until late in life--Sexual desires in women after "change in
life"--Proof that Art of Love must be learned and that it can bring
Need for keeping body clean, sexual reaction--Parts of body woman
should be specially careful to keep clean--Portion of body man should
be specially careful to clean--Effect of mouth and armpit odors.
Complete home with children supreme attainment of life--Begetting
children should be deliberate choice by parents--Proper time for
begetting children--Danger of waiting too long to have children--When
first child should be born--At what age of parents should children be
Is coitus wise during pregnancy--How the Art of Love provides for
this time--Passions of women during period of pregnancy--Criminal for
husband to compel coitus upon wife unless desired by her.
Book written with purpose of helping lover on towards divine
consummation--Two final instructions--Become master of the Art of
Love--Learn science of Procreation.
About married people who cannot have children--A guide to
happiness--Chief facts of true marriage.
_To Members of the Medical Profession into Whose Hands This Book May
The following pages are more in the nature of a manuscript, or
heart-to-heart talk between those who have mutual confidence in each
other, than of a technical, or strictly scientific treatise of the
subject in hand; and I cannot do better, for all parties concerned,
than to explain, just here in the beginning, how this came about,
and why I have concluded to leave the copy practically as it was
In common with nearly all members of our profession who are engaged
in the general practice of medicine, I have had numbers of married men
and women, husbands and wives, patients and otherwise, who have come
to me for counsel and advice regarding matters which pertain to their
sex-life, as that problem presented itself to them personally. As we
all know, many of the most serious and complicated cases we have to
deal with have their origins in these delicate relations which so
often exist among wedded people, of all classes and varieties.
For a number of years I did what I could for these patrons of mine, by
way of confidential talks and the like, my experience in this regard
probably being about on a par with that of my medical brethren who are
engaged in the same kind of work. It is needless to say that I found,
as you have doubtless found under the same conditions, many obstacles
to prevent satisfactory results, by this method of procedure. My
patients were often so reticent, or timid and shame-faced, that it was
frequently difficult to get at the real facts in their cases, and, as
we all know, many of these would, for these and other reasons, conceal
more than they revealed, thereby keeping out of evidence the most
vital and significant items in their individual cases. All these
things, of course, tended to make bad matters worse, or resulted in
nothing that was really worth while.
After some years of this sort of experience, and meditating much on
the situation, I came to the conclusion that a very large percentage
of all this trouble which I and my patrons had to go up against, was
almost entirely the result of ignorance on the part of those who came
to consult me; and because knowledge is always the antidote for not
knowing, I came to the conclusion that, if it were possible to "put
these people wise" where they were now so uninformed, I might at
once save them from a deal of harm and myself from much trouble and
Further than this, I remembered once hearing a wise man say that often
"what cannot be said may be sung"; and I realized that it is equally
true that much which would be awkward, or embarrassing, if said to a
person, face to face, might be got to them in writing with impunity.
This I found to be especially true of my women patients, some of whom
might become suspicious of a wrong intent from the things said in a
private conversation, when they would have no such fears or doubts
if they read the same words from a printed page. It was these
considerations which first suggested to me the writing of the
Still other reasons why I did as I did were as follows: You see,
at once, if you stop to think about it, that the writing out of the
knowledge I proposed to impart was really a matter of necessity for
me, because of the _saving of time_ which would thereby be secured. To
get any results that would be worth while in these matters, I would be
required to tell about ever so many things concerning which they were
totally ignorant; and to tell about ever so many things, by word of
mouth, to each individual patient, _takes time_--ever so much time, if
the work is well done, and it had better not be done at all if it is
not well done. So I really was forced to write out what I wanted to
teach these patients of mine.
And let me say further that I was compelled to write these things out
for my people as I have written them, because, in all the range of
literature on this vital subject, I knew of nothing which would tell
them just what it seemed to me they ought to be told, and what they
ought to know.
And so it was that I wrote the manuscript which is now printed in the
following pages. I did not write it at first just as it now stands,
because experience showed me, from time to time, where my first
efforts could be modified and improved. So what is here presented is
the result of many practical demonstrations of the real working value
of what the manuscript contains.
My method of using the copy has been something as follows: As I have
already suggested, what I have written has been prepared for the sole
and express purpose of helping husbands and wives to live sane and
wholesome sex-lives--to give them the requisite knowledge for so
doing; knowledge of themselves and of each other as sexual beings; the
correct ideas regarding such right manner of living; to disabuse their
minds of wrong sex-teaching, or no teaching at all, of ignorance,
or prudery, or carelessness, or lust--in a word, to get to them the
things that all sane married people ought to know, and to help them to
practice these things, to the best of their several abilities.
(Perhaps I ought to say that there is not a line of what I have
written that deals with the subject of venereal diseases, any of
them. This field is already so well covered by a literature especially
devoted to this subject that it needs no word of mine to make it as
satisfactory as possible, as far as discoveries regarding the same
have progressed. My attempt is toward making marriage more of a
success than it now is, under existing conditions; and we all know
that there is a limitless field for exploration and exploitation right
Speaking somewhat generally, I have found what I have written to be
of special value to two classes of my patrons: First, to the
"newly-weds"; and, second, to those who have been married for a longer
or shorter period, and who "have not got on well together." A word or
two regarding each of these:
It is a wise old saying that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound
of cure," and in no other experience of life is this so true as in
the ills to which married people are peculiarly subject. Many a newly
wedded couple have wrecked the possibilities of happiness of a life
time on their "honeymoon trip"; and it is a matter of common knowledge
to the members of our profession that the great majority of brides are
practically raped on their entrance into the married relation. Further
than this, we all know that these things are as they are chiefly
because of the ignorance of the parties concerned, rather than because
they deliberately meant to do wrong. They were left to travel, alone
and unguided, over what was to them an unknown way, one that was
beset with pitfalls and precipices, and where dangers lurked in every
forward step they took. It is to these that I have found what I have
written to be a great help at the time of their utmost need; and the
thanks I have received from such parties have been beyond the power of
words to express.
As to just when it is best to put this information into the hands of
young married people, my experience has varied with the personality
of the parties concerned. In some cases I have put the copy into their
hands some time before their marriage; in others, not till some time
thereafter; but, as a rule, I have got the best results by putting the
manuscript into their hands just at the time of their marriage, and in
most of these cases the greatest success has come from their reading
it together during their honeymoon. However, this is a matter on which
I do not care to advise, and regarding which each practitioner must
act to the best of his own judgment.
Once more: Because it is not safe to assume that young married people
are already possessed of the _details_ of the essential knowledge
which they ought to possess, and because such _details_ are the _very
heart_ of the whole matter, I have made these details as simple
and explicit as possible, more so than might seem necessary to the
professional reader. But my experience has proven that I was wise in
this regard, as these very details have saved the day in more than one
case, as the parties who have reported to me, after having read what
I have written, have frequently testified. Sometimes a bride and
groom would keep the copy for a few days only, giving it but a single
reading; but, as a rule, they have been anxious to retain it for some
time, and to read it again and again, especially some parts of it,
till they were well posted on all that it contains. I found, too, that
those who had received help from the reading of the manuscript
were glad to tell others of their friends of the benefits they had
received, and that thus there was a constantly widening circle.
Of course, not all young married people are capable of reading this
book with profit to themselves or anyone else; but many of them are,
and these ought to have the privilege of doing so. Your own good sense
and experience will determine who these latter are, and these you can
favor as they deserve. It is because of this situation that this book
can only be used professionally that it needs the guiding hand of
an expert physician to insure its reaching only those who can be
benefited by its reading.
As to the other class of readers, those who have not got on well
in the marriage relation (and we all know that the name of these is
legion) my experience in getting to them what I have written has been
quite varied; but, on the whole, the results have been good--many
times they have been most excellent. Of course, it is harder to
correct errors than to prevent them; but as most of the errors I have
had to deal with among this class of patients have been made through
ignorance rather than otherwise, I have found that the establishment
of knowledge in the premises has generally brought relief where before
was only suffering and woe.
Another way in which I have found the copy to be of the greatest value
with these cases of unsatisfactory marital relations is the fact that,
often, by the parties _reading the copy together_ they have come to
a mutual understanding by so doing, and have established a _modus
vivendi_ which could not have been attained in any other way. When
such parties see their doctor singly, either of them, a prejudiced
view is very apt to result, and they would seldom, if ever, come
together to consult a physician regarding their troubles. But the
_reading of the book together_ makes a condition of affairs which is
very apt to work out for the best interests of all parties concerned.
Certainly, this is true, that in no case has the reading of the book
made bad matters worse, and in many cases, (indeed in nearly all of
them) it has been of untold value and benefit to the readers.
And because these things are so, because what I have written has
proved its worth in so many cases, I have finally concluded to give
the copy a larger field in which it may be used by other members of
the profession besides myself. I confide it to my fellow-members in
the profession feeling sure that they will use it among their patients
with wisdom and discretion; and my hope is that their so doing may
yield for them and theirs the most excellent results which have come
to me and mine, on these lines, in the years that have gone by.
Perhaps I ought to say that the somewhat unique typography of the
book, the large percentage of italics, and not a few capitalized words
that appear in the pages, comes from a duplication of the copy I have
used with my patients. I wrote the original copy in this way for the
sake of giving special emphasis to special points for my readers,
and the results attained I believe were very largely due to the
typographically emphatic form of the book. Appearing in type in this
way, it gives a sort of personal touch to what is thus presented to
the eye of the reader, and the tendency of this is to establish a
heart-to-heart relation between the author and the reader which could
not be attained in any other way.
All through the copy I have avoided the use of technical words, never
using such a term without explaining its meaning in plain English
in the words that immediately follow it. I found this an absolute
necessity in writing so that the lay reader could understand, in
saying things that would produce results.
I might say, also, that the "Introduction" to the real subject matter
of the book, I found necessary to write as it is largely to get my
readers into a proper _mental attitude_ for a reasonable recognition
and understanding of what follows it. There are so many wrong
teachings and biased ideas in the premises that these had to be
counteracted or removed, to a degree, at least, before the rest of the
copy could be rightly read. My experience is, that the preface, as it
stands, has been the means of putting the readers of the book into a
right mental attitude for its successful study and consideration. For
the good of the cause it is written to serve, and for help to those
who need help in the most sacred and significant affairs of their
lives, may the book go on its way, if not rejoicing in itself, yet
causing rejoicing in the lives and hearts of all who read what its
SANE SEX LIFE AND SANE SEX LIVING
AN EXPLANATORY INTRODUCTION
A pious Christian once said to me: "I find it hard to reconcile sex
with the purity of Providence." He never could understand why God
arranged for sex anyway. Why something else might not have been done.
Why children might not have come in some other fashion.
Look at the harm sex has involved. Most all the deviltry of history
that was not done for money was done for sex. And even the deviltry
that was done and is done for money had, and has sex back of it. Take
sex out of man and you have something worth while. God must have been
short of expedients when God, in sex, conceived sex. It certainly
looks as if the Divine fell down this time. As if infinity was at
the end of its tether. As if the adept creator for once was caught
napping, or for once botched a job.
So we had my pious friend. And we had medievalism. And we had the
ascetics. And heaven knows what else. Too much sex some places. Too
little sex other places. Some people swearing on and some swearing
off. The prostitute giving away that which was meant to be kept.
The virgin keeping that which was meant to be given away. A force
contending with a force. Drawing in opposite directions when they
should be pulling together. Through it all, motherhood misunderstood.
And fatherhood misunderstood. The body cheapened to the soul. And the
soul cheapened to the body. Every child being a slap in the face of
Have you ever tried to see what this came from and goes to? This
philosophy of vulgar denial? This philosophy of wallowing surrender?
The Christian stream has been polluted. It has gone dirty in the age
of hush. We are supposed to keep our mouths shut. We are not to give
sex away. We breed youngsters in fatal ignorance. They are always
asking questions. But we don't answer their questions. The church
don't answer them. Nor the state. Nor the schools. Not even mothers
and fathers. Nobody who could answer answers them. But they don't go
unanswered. They get answered. And they get answered wrong instead
of right. They get answered, smutched instead of washed. They get
answered blasphemously instead of reverently. They get answered so
that the body is suspected instead of being trusted.
A boy who knows nothing asks a boy who knows nothing. A girl who knows
nothing asks a girl who knows nothing. From nothing nothing comes. Men
who have been such boys know nothing. Women who have been such girls
know nothing. From nothing nothing comes. They have become familiar
with sex circumstances. They are parents. They have done the best
they knew how. But they never learned sex. They never realized its
fundamentals. They never went back to, or forward to it. They were
lost in a wilderness. They existed without living. They took sex as
they took whiskey. They breathed an atmosphere of hush. They had got
past the ascetics. But they had not got to be men and women. They
didn't refuse sex. But though embracing its privileges, they still
seemed to regard it as something not to be gloried in. The least
said about it the soonest mended. Mothers and fathers would say to
children: "You'll know about it soon enough." Teachers would say:
"Ask your questions at home." Home would say: "What ever started you
thinking about such things?"
The child goes about wondering. What's the matter with sex that
everybody's afraid to talk about it? What's the matter with my body
that I dare not mention it? My body seems very beautiful to me. I like
to look at it. I like to feel it. I like to smell it. But I'm always
hurried into my clothes. My body is so mysteriously precious I must
take care of it. But how am I to take care of it if I don't get
acquainted with it?
I find that having a body has something to do with being a father and
a mother. I want to be a father. I want to be a mother. But how can
I be a father or mother if some one who knows doesn't tell me what
precedes fatherhood and motherhood? I should prepare for it. How can
I if all the books are closed? How can I if I am blanked every time I
express my curiosity? Is there no one anywhere who'll be honest with
If I look at sex right out of my own soul, it seems like something
which God didn't fail with, but succeeded with. Like something not
polluted, but purified. Like something having everything, instead of
only an occasional thing, to do with life. But the world shakes its
head. The world is nasty. But it puts on airs. The world has eaten.
But the world says it's best to starve. Folks will say they've got to
be parents. But they say they will regret it. They say sex is here.
They say we're up against its mandates or its passions. But let's
be as decent as we can with the indecent. Let's not linger on its
margins. Let's not overstay our dissipation. Sex is like eating. Who
would eat if he didn't have to? To say you enjoy a meal is carnal. To
say that you derive some sense of ecstasy from paternal and maternal
desires is a confession of depravity. Sex at the best is a sin.
Sex at the best is like stepping down. That sex might be an ascent.
That sex might be the only means of growth and expansion. You never
suppose that! You only assume perdition. You are afraid to assume
heaven. I may take pride in that which I may abstract from my anatomy.
I must not allude to my body as frankly as to my soul. I must withdraw
my body from the public eye. From discussion. From its instinctive
avowals. Our bodies must be coffined. Treated as dead before they are
born. Regarded as conveniences. Not as essential entities. The body is
only for a little while. The soul is forever. But why is that little
while not as holy as forever? They don't say. They cavalierly settle
the case of the body against itself.
So it goes. Endless vivid portrayals could be made of the anomalous
situation. The more you look at the mess we've got sex into the worse
it seems. _Someone's got to peach._ Someone's got to tell the truth.
In a world of liars who are hushers? In a world of hushers who are
liars? _Someone's got to tell the truth._ Someone's got to give sex
its due. _You can't give spirit its due until you give sex its due._
You can't accept one and cast aside one. They go together. They are
You refer to body and soul as if you knew just where one stops and the
other commences. Maybe neither stops and neither commences. Maybe they
are not two things but two names. Maybe when you put a body into a
grave you put a soul there too. And maybe you put neither there. It's
not so easy to say.
I can't see anything in the things you call spiritual more marvelous
than what you call the physical birth of a baby from a mother. Maybe
you know all about it. I don't. I know nothing about it. To me it's
mysterious. To me it's the supreme demonstration of the spiritual.
How that a baby comes from a man and a woman. I want that kept clean.
It starts clean. Why do we corrupt it? You who disparage it corrupt
it. You ascetics anywhere. You libidinous roues anywhere. You corrupt
it. By your excesses. You who never say yes. You who never say no. You
You parents. You professors. You prudes. This is addressed to you.
What have you got to say about it? You have tremblingly closed the
question. I would coolly open it. You have rebuked God by silence. I
would praise God by speech.
THE ARGUMENT AND THE INFORMATION
No apology is offered for what is said in the following pages, but
a brief explanation is virtually necessary to make clear, from the
outset, the reasons why it has been written.
It is one of the chief characteristics of the human race that
the knowledge acquired by one generation can be passed on to the
generations that follow; and that, in this way, progress in the
betterment of life's results and the adaptation of means to ends can
make a steady and reliable advance.
Such a method of evolution and growth is not possible in the vegetable
or animal kingdom, where _instinct_ is the only means for the
transmission of acquired knowledge. It is this feature that
differentiates man from all other created beings.
But here is a curious fact: In one realm of human experiences, in all
Christian civilized countries, it has been considered wrong, even in
some cases being counted a criminal offense, punishable by fine and
imprisonment, for anyone to make any record of, or transmit to
anyone else, any knowledge that may have been acquired regarding sex
relations in the human family.
To be sure, there has been preserved, from time to time, a body
of _professional_ knowledge of this sort, made and prepared by
physicians, but _confined strictly to that class of people_. No
attempt has been made to disseminate such knowledge among those who
most need it--the common people. On the contrary, every possible
effort is put forth to keep such knowledge from them. This is wholly
at variance with the practice regarding all other forms of human
knowledge, which is to spread, as widely as possible, all known data
that have so far been obtained.
There is not space, in this small volume, for pointing out the reasons
for this anomalous condition of affairs, but the chief cause of its
status, past and present, is grounded on two sources: The first of
these is a brutal selfishness which has come over to modern times from
a savage past; the second is a sort of pious prudery.
The result of these causes has been to make the whole subject of sex
in the human family, with its functions and mission in human affairs,
together with its proper training, discipline and exercise--to make
all these things _tabu_, something to be ashamed of and ignored
as much as possible, and all the knowledge regarding them that one
generation has been permitted to transmit to those who come after, may
be summed up in these words, namely "_Thou shalt not_."
Now it goes without saying that, in the very nature of things, _all_
this is just as bad as it can possibly be. For, of all phenomena with
which the human race has to do, that of the highest importance, so far
as the well-being of the race is concerned, is that which has to do
with sex in men and women. A large percentage of all the physical
ailments in mankind and womenkind arise from errors in sexual life,
and these are but trifles compared with the mental and spiritual
disasters which come upon humanity from the same source. It is
probably true that more than one-half of all the crimes that are
committed in the civilized world are more or less directly connected
with sex affairs, and there is no so common a cause for insanity as
And nearly all these ills, crimes and misfortunes arise because of
_ignorance_ in the matter of sex in which the rank and file of the
race are forced to live. Few of these ever acquire any positive and
definite knowledge in the premises, and if they do learn anything
for sure, _they keep it to themselves_, inspired to do so by a false
belief regarding the rightful transmission of such knowledge; or, by
a false modesty, or prudery, they are kept from telling to anyone else
what they have discovered or found to be the truth in these matters.
And so the people stumble along in ignorance of these vital affairs
in life, generation after generation, repeating the errors of their
predecessors, and no positive progress being made as the years go by.
Because of this state of affairs millions of human beings die every
generation, and other millions suffer the tortures of the damned while
they live, when they should enjoy the delights of the elect, and would
do so if they only knew the actual facts in the case, and would act in
accordance with the knowledge that ought to be made theirs.
But there are not wanting signs of the times that there will slowly
come a change in these conditions. The fact is that the intelligent
world is beginning to emerge from a condition of conformity to the
say-so of some one supposed to speak with authority, and to come into
a realm of obedience only to a law that has a scientific basis of
actual knowledge for its foundation.
For untold ages the sex relations of the human family have been
directed and determined by the clergy and by _their_ teachings and
pronunciamentos regarding what was fit and right. There is no need of
saying hard things about such a fact; nevertheless, it is true that,
for the most part, all the dicta of these men have originated amongst
those who knew nothing of the _scientific_ conditions regarding the
subject on which they issue their mandates. So did the blind lead the
blind, and the ditches of the past years are filled to overflowing
with the dead bodies and souls of men and women, who, for this cause,
have fallen therein.
This must not always be! It is neither wise nor right that the
essential matters of human life should always remain a stumbling block
and a rock of offense for the children of men. We are coming to see
that sex is no more unclean and to be denied a scientific knowledge
of, than any other part of the human body--the eye, the ear or
whatsoever. Furthermore, the rank and file are beginning to clamor
for a knowledge of these matters for themselves. This is shown by
the frequency of articles that deal with sex in many of the best
newspapers and magazines in the civilized world, and by similar
discussions in the literature, the works and scientific books that now
go into the hands of the common people. It also shows in the attempts
that are occasionally being made to introduce the subject of sexual
hygiene into our public schools and other educational institutions.
"The world do move!"
It is for these reasons--because it is right to transfer to you and to
those who come after, the sex knowledge that has been acquired by the
author, by reading scientific and professional literature upon the
subject, by conference with men and women who know, and by personal
and professional experience, that what follows is written.
THE CORRECT MENTAL ATTITUDE
So much by way of general remarks regarding the subject in hand. It
is more the especial purpose of what follows, however, to treat of the
matter of marriage in particular, _to say something definite to young
husbands and wives that shall be of real benefit to them_, not only by
way of starting them out right in the new and untried way upon which
they have entered, but to help them to make that way a realm
of perpetual and ever increasing joy to both parties concerned,
throughout its entire course, their whole lives long.
Be it said, then, first, that it is the duty of every bride and groom,
before they engage in sexual commerce with each other, to acquaint
themselves thoroughly with the anatomy and physiology of the sex
organs of human beings, both male and female, and to make the
acquirement of such knowledge as dispassionate and matter-of-fact
an affair as though they were studying the nature, construction and
functions of the stomach, or the digestive processes entire, or the
nature and use of any of the other bodily organs. "Clear and clean am
I within and without; clear and clean is every scrap and part of me,
and no part shall be held more sacred or preferred above another. For
divine am I, and all I am, or contain."
Now the normal young man or woman would do just this, would pursue a
study of sex in this way, were it not for the fact that they have
been taught, time out of mind, that to do this is immodest, not to
say indecent or positively wicked. They have longed to be possessed
of such knowledge, all their lives; in most cases more than any other
form of wisdom that it was possible for them to make their own. But
its acquirement has been placed beyond their possible reach, and it
is only by the most clandestine and often nasty means that they have
attained what little they know. But the quotation made in the last
paragraph, sounds the key note of what is _right_ in this matter,
and the first effort made by the reader of these pages should be to
establish in himself or herself the _condition of mind which these
And it had better be said, right here, that for most young people this
will be found to be no _easy_ thing to do. Nor should the reader feel
ashamed or chagrined, or at odds with himself or herself if he or she
finds such condition of affairs existing in his or her case. For it
is nothing for which they are to blame. It is a misfortune and not
a fault. It is only the result of inherited and inculcated (the word
inculcated means _kicked in_) ideas to which all "well bred" youths
have been subjected for centuries; the idea being that the closer they
were kept in the realm of innocence, which is only another name for
ignorance, the better "bred" they are. And to pry one's self loose, to
break or tear one's self away from such a mental view and condition
as heredity and such years of rigorous restraint have developed, is no
small task. Indeed, it often takes months, and sometimes years, wholly
to rid one's self of these deep seated and powerful, wrong views and
Remember this: that _to the pure all things are pure._ But do not
make the mistake of thinking that this much abused sentence means that
purity means _emptiness_! It does no such thing. On the contrary,
it means _fullness_, to _perfection_. It means that one should be
possessed of the right kind of stuff, and that the stuff should be of
supreme quality. So, in studying to obtain a knowledge of sex organs
and sex functions, in the human family, the reader should not try to
divest himself or herself of all sex-passion and desire; but, on the
contrary, to make these of a sort of which he or she can be _proud_,
rather than _ashamed_ of, rejoice in, rather than suffer from.
So, then, let the reader of these lines, first, get a correct _mental
attitude_ toward what is about to be said. Banish all prurient
curiosity, put aside all thought of shame or shock, (these two will
be hardest for young women to overcome, because of their training in
false modesty and prudishness) and endeavor to approach the subject in
a reverent, open-eyed, conscientious spirit, as one who wishes, above
everything else, to know the honest truth in these most essential
matters that pertain to human life. Get into this frame of mind, and
_keep in it_, and what is here written will be read with both pleasure
Once more, for we must make haste slowly in these delicate affairs, if
the reader should find himself or herself unduly excited, or perhaps
shocked, while reading some parts of what is here written, so that the
heart beats too fast, or the hand trembles, it may be well to suspend
the reading for a time, divert the mind into other channels for a
while, and resume the reading after one has regained poise and mastery
of one's self. That is, "_keep your head_" while you read these
lessons, and you will be all right.
THE SEX ORGANS
And now, having given these cautionary directions, the way is clear
for the making of definite statements and the giving of positive
Here, then, is a brief description of the sex organs in man and woman.
At first, only the names of the parts will be given, with such slight
comments and explanations as are necessary for making this part of the
subject clear. A detailed setting forth of the functions and proper
exercise of these organs will be given later.
The sex organs in a male human being consists, broadly speaking, of
the penis and the testicles. All these are located at the base of the
abdomen, between the thighs and on the forward part of the body. The
penis is a fleshy, muscular organ, filled with most sensitive nerves,
and blood vessels that are capable of extension to a much greater
degree than any of their similars in other parts of the body. In a
quiescent, or unexcited condition, in the average man, this organ is
from three to four inches long and about an inch or more in diameter.
It hangs limp and pendent in this state, retired and in evidence not
at all. In its excited, or tumescent condition (the word tumescent
means swelled, and is the technical word for describing the erect
condition of the penis) it becomes enlarged and rigid, its size in
this state being, on an average, six or seven inches long, and from
an inch-and-a-half to two inches in diameter. It is almost perfectly
cylindrical, slightly thicker at the base than at its forward part.
The testicles are two kidney shaped glands, not far from the size of
a large hickory nut, and are contained in a sort of sack, or pocket,
called the scrotum, which is made for their comfortable and safe
carrying. The scrotum hangs directly between the thighs, at the base
of the penis, and in it are the testicles, suspended by vital cords
that are suspended from the body above. The left testicle hangs a
little higher in the sack than the right, so that, in case the thighs
are crowded together, one testicle will slip over the other, and so
the danger of crushing them will be avoided. This is one of the many
ways which the Maker of the human body has devised to insure the
proper preservation of the vital organs from harm, a fact which
should inspire all human beings with profound reverence for this most
wonderful of all life forms, the beautiful human body, the "temple of
the Holy Spirit."
The part of the body upon which the sex organs, male and female, are
located is known as the pubic region. It is covered with hair, which,
in both sexes, extends well up the lower belly. This is known as pubic
hair, and in general corresponds in quality and quantity to the hair
upon the individual head, being coarse or fine, soft or bristly, to
match, the head covering, in each case. This hair is usually more or
less curly, and forms a covering an inch or more in depth over the
whole pubic region, extending back between the thighs slightly beyond
the rectum. In occasional cases this hair is straight and silky, and
sometimes grows to great length, instances being known, in some women,
where it has extended to the knees. A well-grown and abundant supply
of fine pubic hair is a possession highly prized by women, of which
they are justly proud, though few of them would acknowledge the fact,
even to themselves. None the less it is a fact.
The female sex organs, speaking generally also, are as follows: The
vulva, or outward portion of the parts; the vaginal passage; the
uterus, or womb, and the ovaries. All but the first named lie within
the body of the woman. The vulva is made up of several parts which
will be named and described later. The vaginal passage is a tube, or
canal leading from the vulva to the womb. In length and diameter it
corresponds almost exactly with that of the penis, being six or seven
inches in depth, and capable of a lateral extension which will
readily admit the entrance of the male organ when the two are brought
together. The vaginal passage opens into, and terminates in the
uterine, or womb cavity.
The womb is a pear shaped sack which is suspended in the womb cavity
by cords and muscles from above. It hangs, neck downwards, and is, in
its unimpregnated condition, about two and a half inches in diameter
at its upper, or widest part, tapering to a thin neck at its lower
end. It is hard and muscular in its quiescent state, filled with
delicate and most sensitive nerves and capacious blood vessels. At its
lower, or neck end, it opens directly into the vaginal passage.
The ovaries are two in number, and are situated on each side of, and
above the womb, in the region of the upper groins. They are small, fan
shaped glands, and are connected with the uterus by small ducts which
are known as the fallopian tubes.
As already stated, the exterior parts of the body, in which the female
sex organs are located, are covered with hair for their adornment and
Such in brief, are the male and female sex organs in human beings. A
further description of them and their functions and proper use we are
now ready to consider.
THE FUNCTION OF THE SEX ORGANS
It hardly need be stated here, for it is a matter of common knowledge,
that the _primary_ purpose of sex in the human family is the
reproduction of the race. In this respect, considered merely on its
material, or animal side, mankind differs little from all other forms
of animate life. As Whitman says, we see "everywhere sex, everywhere
the urge of procreation." The flowers are possessed of this quality,
and with them all vegetable forms. In the animal kingdom the same is
true. Always "male and female" is everything created.
And the chief facts in reproduction are practically the same wherever
the phenomena occur. Here, as everywhere else in the world, when a
new life-form appears, it is always the result of the union of _two_
forces, elements, germs or whatsoever. These two elements differ
in nature and in function, and each is incomplete and worthless by
itself. It is only by the combining of the two that any new result
is obtained. It is this fact that has led to the most suggestive and
beautiful phrase "The duality of all unity in nature."
Many centuries ago an old Latin philosopher wrote the now celebrated
phrase, _Omne ex ovo_, which, translated, means _everything is from an
egg_. This is practically true of all life-forms. Their beginning
is always from an ovum, or egg. In this respect, the reproduction of
human beings is the same as that of any other life-form.
Now in this process of producing a new life-form, the female is always
the source of the egg, out of which the new creation is to come. This
egg, however, is infertile of itself, and must be given life to, by
mingling with its germ, an element which only the male can produce
and supply. This element is technically known as a sperm, or a
spermatozoa. Its function is to fertilize the dormant germ in the
egg produced by the female, and thus to start a new and independent
life-form. This life-form, thus started, grows according to the laws
of its becoming more and more, until, at the expiration of a fixed
period, which varies greatly in different animals, it becomes a
complete young individual, of the nature and kind of its parents.
The fertilization of the ovum in the female is called conception;
its growing state is called gestation, and its birth, on becoming a
separate being, is called parturition. In its growing condition, and
before its birth, the new young life form is known as the foetus.
Now it is the fertilization of the ovum in the female (and from now
on, it is only of the male and female in the human family that mention
will be made) by the male, in the woman, by the man, that is of
supreme interest and importance to both the parties concerned in
producing this result. How this is brought about is substantially as
As already stated, the infertile ovum, or egg, is produced by the
woman. Such production begins at what is known as the age of puberty,
or when the hair begins to grow upon the pubic parts of the female
body. The time of the appearance of this phenomenon in feminine life
varies from the age of nine or ten years to fifteen or sixteen. The
average, for most girls, is fourteen years of age. At this time
the formation of ova, or eggs, in the female body begins, and it
continues, in most women, at regular intervals of once in twenty-eight
days, except during pregnancy and lactation, for a period of about
thirty years. During all this time, under favorable conditions, it is
possible for the ovum produced by the woman to become fertilized, if
it can meet the sperm of the male.
In a general way, this meeting of the infertile ovum of the woman with
the sperm of the man can be brought about, as follows:
The ova are produced by the ovaries (the word ovaries means egg
producers) where they slowly develop from cells which originate
in these glands. When they have reached maturity, or are ready for
fertilization, they pass out of the ovaries and down into the womb, by
way of the fallopian tubes. As already stated, such passage of the ova
from the ovaries into the womb occurs every twenty-eight days, and
it is accomplished by a more or less copious flow of blood, a sort of
hemorrhage, which carries the ova down through the fallopian tubes,
and deposits them in the womb. This blood, after performing its
mission of carrying the ova down into the womb, escapes from the
body through the vaginal passage and is cared for by the wearing of
a bandage between the thighs. This flow of blood continues for about
five days, and is known as a menstrual flow; and this time in a
woman's life is known as the menstrual period. It is so named because
of the regularity of its recurrence, the word _mensa_ meaning a
_month_. In common parlance, these periods are often spoke of as the
After the ovum has reached the womb it remains there for a period of
about ten days, after which, if it is not fertilized during that time,
it passes out of the womb into the vaginal passage, and so out of the
body. But if, at any time after it is ripe for fertilization, that is,
from the time it begins its journey from the ovaries to the womb,
and while it is in the womb, the ovum is met by the male sperm, it is
_liable_ to become fertilized--conception is possible. These are facts
of the _utmost importance_, to be thoroughly understood and kept well
in mind by all married people who would live happily together, as will
be hereafter shown.
So much regarding the female part of the meeting of the ovum and the
sperm. The male part of this mutual act is as follows:
The sperm, or spermatozoa, originate in the testicles. Each sperm is
an individual entity and _several thousands_ of them are produced
and in readiness for use, _at each meeting_ of the male and female
generative organs; and if _any one_ of the countless number comes in
contact with the unfertilized ovum in the womb, conception is _liable_
These sperms are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye,
but they are readily seen by the use of a microscope. In shape they
much resemble tad-poles in their earliest stages.
At the base of the penis, well up in the man's body, there is a large
gland which surrounds the penis like a thick ring, and which is called
the prostate gland. It secretes a mucous fluid which looks much like,
and is about the consistency of the white of an egg. Close to this
gland, and almost a part of it, is a sack, or pocket, into which the
mucous secretion from the prostate gland is poured, and where it is
kept, ready for use, in performing its part of the germinal act.
Now it is the business of this mucous fluid, which comes from the
prostate gland, to form a "carrying medium" for the spermatozoa which
originate in the testicles. There are small ducts leading from the
testicles into the pocket which contains the prostate fluid. These are
known as the seminal ducts, and through them the spermatozoa pass
from the testicles into the prostate pocket. Here they mingle with the
prostate fluid, in which they can move about freely, and by means of
which they can be carried wherever this fluid goes. The combination of
prostate fluid and spermatozoa is called "semen."
Seen under a microscope, a single drop of semen reveals a multitude of
spermatozoa swimming about in the prostate-carrying medium. It is in
this form that the vitalizing male element meets the female infertile
ovum. This mass of live and moving germs is poured all around and
about the region in which the ovum lies waiting to be fertilized, and
every one of them seems to be "rushing about like mad" to find what it
is sent to do, namely, to meet and fertilize the ovum. The manner of
depositing the semen where it can come in contact with the ovum is as
In order that this mingling of the male and female sources of life may
be possible, it is necessary that there be a union of the male and the
female generative organs. For such meeting, the penis is filled with
blood, all its blood vessels being distended to their utmost capacity,
till the organ becomes stout and hard, and several times its dormant
size, as has been already told. In this condition it is able to
penetrate, to its utmost depths, the vaginal passage of the female,
which is of a nature to perfectly contain the male organ in this
enlarged and rigid condition. Under such conditions, the penis
is inserted into the widened and distended vaginal passage. Once
together, a mutual back and forth, or partly in and out movement, of
the organs is begun and carried on by the man and woman, which action
further enlarges the parts and raises them to a still higher degree
of tension and excitement. It is supposed by some that this frictional
movement of the parts develops an electrical current, which increases
in tension as the act is continued; and that it is the mission of the
pubic hair, which is a non-conductor, to confine these currents to the
parts in contact.
Now there are two other glands in these organs; one in the male and
one in the female, which performs a most wonderful function in this
part of the sexual act. These are the "glans penis" in the male and
the "clitoris" in the female. The first is located at the apex of the
male organ, and the other at the upper-middle and exterior part of the
vulva. These glands are covered with a most delicate cuticle, and
are filled with highly sensitive nerves. As the act progresses, these
glands become more and more sensitized, and nervously surcharged,
until, as a climax, they finally cause a sort of nervous explosion of
the organs involved. This climax is called an "orgasm" in scientific
language. Among most men and women it is spoken of as "spending."
On the part of the man, this orgasm causes the semen, which till this
instant has remained in the prostate pocket, to be suddenly driven
out of this place of deposit, and thrown in jets, and with spasmodic
force, through the entire length of the penis, and, as it were, shot
into the vaginal passage and the uterine cavity, till the whole region
is literally deluged with the life-giving fluid. At the same time,
the mouth of the womb opens wide; and into it pours, or rushes, this
"father stuff," entirely surrounding and flooding the ovum, if it be
in the womb. This is the climax of the sexual act, which is called
"coitus," a word which means, going together.
With the myriads of spermatozoa swarming about it, if the vital part
of the ovum comes in contact with some one of them, any one of which,
brought into such contact, will fertilize it, conception results. The
woman is then pregnant, and the period of gestation is begun.
This is a brief description of the act of coitus and of the means by
which pregnancy takes place. It is, however, only a small part of the
story of the sex relations of husbands and wives; and, be it said, a
_very_ small part of that, as will now be shown.
As has already been said, this use of the sex organs, merely to
produce progeny, and so insure a continuance of the race, is a quality
that mankind shares with all the rest of the animal kingdom. In all
essentials, so far as the material parts of the act are concerned, the
beginnings of the new life in the human family differ not a whit from
that of any other mammals. In each case the ovum is produced by the
ovaries of the female, passes into the womb, is there met by the semen
from the male, fertilized by the spermatozoa, and so the foetus gets
its start. This is the universal means by which the beginnings of all
animal reproductive life takes place.
But there is another phase in the sex life of human beings, which is
_entirely different_ from that of all other animals, and which must
therefore be considered beyond all that needs to be said regarding the
act of coitus for reproductive purposes only. This we are now ready to
consider and study.
Now in all animals, except human beings, the act of coitus is only
permitted by the female, (it would seem is only _possible_ for her)
when the ovum is present in the womb and ready to be fertilized. _At
all other times, all female animals, except woman, are practically
sexless_. Their sexual organs are dormant, and _nothing can arouse
them_ to activity. Not only do they fail to show any desire for
coitus, but if an attempt should be made to force it upon them, _they
would resist it_ to the utmost of their strength.
But when the ovum is present in the womb, these same female animals
are beside themselves with desire for coitus. They are then spoken of
as "in heat." And until they are satisfied, by meeting the male and
procuring from him the vitalizing fluid which will fertilize their
infertile ovum; or, failing in this, until the ovum passes away from
them, out of the womb, they know no rest. At such times they will
run all risks, incur all sorts of danger, do every possible thing to
secure pregnancy. The thousand-and-one ways which female animals use
to make known to their male mates their sexual desire and needs, when
in heat, is a most interesting and wonderful story, a record made up
of facts which would be well worth any student's knowing. But as all
such knowledge can readily be procured from books which are within the
reach of all, there is no need of noting the data here.
But now, _in woman, all these things are different!_ As a matter of
fact, the presence of the ovum in the womb of a normally made woman
_makes little, and, in many cases, no difference whatever_ as regards
her status concerning the act of coitus! That is, women are never
"in heat," in the same sense in which other female animals are. To be
sure, in some cases, though they are rare, some women are conscious
of a greater desire for coitus just after the ceasing of the menstrual
flow; that is, when the ovum is in the womb. But such cases are so
infrequent that they may well be counted atavistic, that is, of the
nature of a tendency to return to a previous merely animal condition.
For the most part, it is true of all normal women that the presence of
the ovum in the womb makes little difference, one way or another, in
regard to their desire for, or aversion to, the act of coitus.
Now the fact of this remarkable difference in the sex-status of women
and the same quality in all other female animals leads us to a great
number of interesting, not to say startling, conclusions, some of
which are as follows:
In the first place, the phenomenon clearly establishes the fact that
sex in the female human being _differs, pronouncedly_, from that of
all other female life. For, whereas, among all females except woman,
coitus is _impossible_, except at certain times and seasons, among
women the act can not only be permitted, but is as much possible or
_desired_ at one time as any other, regardless of the presence or
absence of the ovum in the womb. That is (and this point should be
noted well by the reader) there is a _possibility_, on the part of
the female humanity, for coitus, _under conditions that do not at all
obtain in any other female animal life_.
This is a conclusion which is of such far-reaching importance that its
limits are but dimly recognized, even in the clear thinking of most
married people. The fact of such difference is known to them, and
their practices in living conform to the conditions; but what it all
means, they are entirely ignorant of, _and they never stop to think
And yet, _right here is the very center and core of the real success
or failure of married life_! Around this fact are grouped all the
troubles that come to husbands and wives. About it are gathered all
the joys and unspeakable delights of the happily married--the only
truly married. It is these items which make a knowledge of the real
conditions which exist, regarding this part of married life, of such
supreme importance. If these conditions could be rightly understood,
and the actions of husbands and wives could be brought to conform to
the laws which obtain under them, _the divorce courts would go out of
business_, their occupation, like Othello's, would be "gone indeed."
The first conclusion, then, one that is forced upon the thoughtful
mind by the fact of this difference in the sex possibilities of women
and other female animals, is, as already stated, but which is here
repeated for emphasis, that coitus _can_ be engaged in _by women_ when
_pregnancy_ is _not_ its purpose, on her part; and that _this never
occurs in any other form of female life!_
In view of this fact, is it too much to raise the question whether or
not sex in woman is designed to fulfill any other purpose than that of
the reproduction of the race? True it is, that the _only_ function
of sex in all other females is merely that of producing offspring--of
perpetuating its kind. Under no circumstances does it _ever_ serve
_any_ other end, fulfill any other design. _There is no possibility of
its doing so_!
But one can help wondering if it is not true that, with the existence
of the _possibility_ of engaging in coitus _at will_, rather than
at the bidding of _instinct_ alone, there has also come a _new_ and
_added_ function for the sex-natures that are capable of engaging
in such before-unknown experiences? To a fair-minded person, such
conclusion seems not only logical, but irresistible! That is in view
of this conclusion, it naturally follows that sex in the human family
is _positively designed to fulfill a function that is entirely unknown
to all other forms of animal life_. And from this, it is but a step to
the establishment of the fact that _sex exercise in the human family
serves a purpose other than that of reproduction_!
Now, this fact established, a whole world of new issues arises and
demands settlement. Among these, comes the supreme question: _What is
the nature of this new experience that has been conferred upon human
beings, over and above what is vouchsafed to any other form of animal
life? What purpose can it serve? How can it be properly exercised?
What is right and what is wrong under these new possibilities_? These
are some of the issues that _force_ themselves upon all thoughtful
people, _those who wish to do right under any and all circumstances in
which they are placed_.
Of course, here as elsewhere, the unthinking, the happy-go-lucky and
the "don't-give-a-damn," can blunder along in almost any-old-way.
But they can, and will, reap only the reward which always follows
blundering and ignorance. In these days of scientific clear-thinking,
we have come to understand that _salvation from sin comes by the way
of positive knowledge and not at the hands of either ignorance
or innocence_! If husbands and wives ever attain to the highest
conditions of married life, it can only be after they _know and
practice, what is right in all their sex relations, both for
reproductive purposes and in all other respects! Note that well_!
As things are now, especially in all civilized countries, and
particularly among Christian people, this _secondary_ function of sex
in the human family, while blindly recognized as a fact, is none the
less abused, to a most shameful degree. For ages, the whole situation
has been left in a condition of most deplorable, not to say damnable,
ignorance; and no honest endeavor has been made to find out and act
up to the truth in the premises. Husbands and wives have engaged in
coitus _ad libitum_, utterly regardless of whether it was right
or wrong for them to do so! They have taken it for granted that
_marriage_ conferred on them the _right_ to have sexual intercourse
whenever they chose, (especially when the man chose,) and they have
acted accordingly. This is especially true of men, and the practice
has been carried to such length that the right of a man to engage in
coitus with his wife _has been established by law_, and the wife who
refuses to yield this "right" to her husband can be divorced by him,
if she persists in such way of living! It is such a fact as this which
caused Mr. Bernard Shaw to write: "Marriage is the most licentious
institution in all the world." And he might rightfully have added "it
is also the most brutal," though it is an insult to the brute to say
it that way, for brutes are never guilty of _coitus under compulsion.
But a husband can force his wife to submit to his sexual embraces, and
she has no legal right to say him nay!_ This doesn't seem quite right,
Now there are several different ways of viewing this new and added
sexual possibility in the human family, namely, the act of coitus for
other than reproductive purposes. The Catholic church has _always_
counted it as a sin. Popes have issued edicts regarding it, and
conclaves of Bishops have discussed it and passed resolutions
regarding it. There has always been a difference of opinion upon the
subject amongst these dignitaries and authorities, but they all
agree in one respect, namely, that it is a _sin_. The only point of
difference has been as to the extent or enormity of the sin! By some
it has been reckoned as a "deadly sin," punishable by eternal hell
fire, if not duly absolved before death; by others it has been held
to be only a "venial sin," one that must always be confessed to the
priest when coitus is engaged in, and which can be pardoned by the
practice of due penance. _But, always, it was a sin_!
The Protestant church has never issued edicts regarding this matter,
but, for the most part, it has tacitly held to the Catholic teaching
in _theory_, while universally _practicing_ the reverse, in actual
married life. Protestants have looked upon it as a necessity, but have
taught that it was _regrettable_ that such was the case. They have
held, with Paul, that, "it is better to marry than to burn." And most
of them have chosen the marriage horn of the dilemma.
Among some European nations, attempts have been made to make it
impossible for husbands and wives to cohabit except for reproductive
purposes. In one of these nations, padlocks were used for preventing
the act. A slit was made through the foreskin of the penis, and
through this slit the ring of a padlock was passed, much as an
ear-ring is passed through the lobe of a lady's ear. The padlock
was made so large that it could not be introduced into the vaginal
passage, and so coitus was impossible when it was worn. It could only
be removed by the magistrate into whose hands the regulation of this
part of the citizens' life was given. Specimens of these padlocks are
still to be seen in European museums.
Now the terribly immoral thing in all this way of living has always
been the fact that it _compelled_ people to continually _violate their
consciences_, by _pretending_ to _believe_ one thing and constantly
_practicing_ the reverse of their proclaimed belief. That is, it lured
them into _living a continual lie, and such can never be for the good
of the soul_! It goes without saying that the sooner this abominable
way of living can be ended, the better it will be for all parties
concerned--the individuals who are the victims of such falsehood, and
the communities of which they form a part.
From all this it follows that the first thing every new husband and
wife _ought_ to do is to _settle clearly in their own minds the issue
as to whether it is right or wrong for them to engage in coitus for
any other than procreative purposes_. Having settled this point, one
way or the other, then _let them conscientiously act accordingly. For
only so can they live righteous lives_!
In settling this point, so far as available authorities for the young
people to study and consider are concerned, these are all _against_
coitus except for begetting of off-spring. All the "purity" writers
and Purity Societies are ranged together on the negative side.
Likewise are all the books of "advice to young wives and husbands,"
especially those addressed to young _wives_.
Now all these "authorities" base their whole argument upon the purely
_animal_ facts in the premises. Probably a certain Dr. C. is more
largely read for information on these matters than any other author,
especially among young women. He has written a large, and from
the view-point he takes, a very plausible volume; and it is very
extensively advertised, especially in papers which young women read.
The result is that it has come to be almost a standard authority in
Dr. C.'s argument is, baldly, as follows:--(a) Among animals, the
universal practice is a single act of coitus for each begetting of
off-spring, (b) Human beings are animals, (c) Therefore, human beings
should only engage in coitus for reproductive purposes.
To this syllogism he adds a corollary, which is, that, therefore, all
sexual commerce in the human family, for any other than reproductive
purposes, is _wrong._ These are his texts, so to speak, and through
several hundred pages he preaches, _don't, don't, don't,_ sermons. The
entire volume is one of denial and prohibition. He proclaims the act,
even for the one purpose he allows to be right, as low, and in itself
degrading, to be engaged in only after "prayer and fasting" and
"mortifying the flesh," and even then, in the most passionless, and
only done-because-it-has-to-be manner; as a mere matter of duty; to be
permitted by sufferance; joyless, disgusting in itself; a something
to be avoided, even in thought, other than it is a necessity for the
continuance of the race.
_It is from such data as this that thousands of "innocent" brides
annually make up their minds as to what is right or wrong in the
matter of sexual intercourse._
In doing this, most of these young women are perfectly conscientious,
and want to do the right thing, and there are two items in the count
that naturally lead them to accept Dr. C.'s teachings as correct. The
first is, that it coincides with all they have ever heard about such
matters; the second, that the Doctor flavors all his text with a
religious quality, of the alleged most sacred sort. He instances
saintly women who have lived the most ascetic lives, and whose
religious status was achieved because, and by means of, their perfect
chastity. In fact, this word "chastity" (which he translates as entire
renunciation of the whole sex nature) becomes the test word of his
whole treatise, and its practice is upheld as the true road to all
goodness and virtue.
Now, nearly all well-bred and cultivated young women are naturally
religious (and not a word should be said against their being so) and
they are anxious to time their lives to everything that the highest
religious demands prescribe. It is, therefore, most natural that,
being thus taught by an authority for which they have the highest
regard, they enter marriage with the _fixed opinion_ in accordance
with their teaching. How could it be otherwise?
On the other hand, a few young husbands, indeed none but now and then
a "goody-good" (who usually turns out to be the worst of the whole
lot, in course of time), are willing to "stand for" any such theory,
much less to live any such life as this theory would impose. These
"don't care what the book says," and, from the manner of their
bringing up, from all they have learned or heard by hearing _men_ talk
about married life, (which is usually of the most vulgar sort) they
have come to the conclusion that marriage confers upon the parties the
_right_ to engage in sexual commerce at will; and, especially, that
the husband has the _right_ to the body of his wife _whenever he
chooses_. For, indeed, does not the law give him that right! And so
long as one "keeps inside the law" what more could be asked! Yea,
verily! What more could be asked?
So it is that _most brides and bridegrooms go to their marriage bed
with the most widely diverse views as to what is right and wrong in
the premises_--as to the life they will lead in their new estate. The
young wife is for "purity" and "chastity." The young husband, driven
by a passion which he has long held in thrall, in the belief that he
can now give the fullest vent to it, when he has got where such relief
is possible, is like an excited hound when it seizes its prey, which
he fully believes he has the right to deal with as he pleases! What
wonder that, in view of all these circumstances, the most extensive
observer of marriage-bed phenomena should write: "_As a matter of
fact, nine young husbands in ten practically rape their brides at
their first sexual meeting." Could anything be more horrible, or
criminally wicked_? And it is all so needless! It is all the result of
ignorance, of "innocence," and the worst of false teaching. The pity
True, these unfortunate conditions are often modified by "mother
nature," who inspires the bride with curiosity, which, in a measure,
controls her in spite of her false teachings, and with passion, which,
to a degree, will assert itself over and above all false modesty, her
religious scruples and her fear of pregnancy; and so she _may_ come
through the ordeal of introduction to the act of coitus in a fairly
sane condition of mind, even though she may have practically been
_raped_! But, too often, the result of such first contact is _a shock
to the bride from which she may not recover during all the subsequent
years of married life_! And "here is where the trouble lies," for
untold thousands of married men and women, all over the civilized
world, to-day. And it might all be so different! It ought, _in every
case_, to be all so different! But if it ever does become different,
_knowledge_ has got to take the place of "_innocence"_ on the part of
the _bride_, and of _ignorance_ on the part of the _bridegroom_, both
of whom must be _taught_ to "_Know what they are about_" before they
engage in the sexual act, and be able to meet each other sanely,
_righteously, lovingly,_ because they both _desire_ what each has to
give to the other; in a way in which neither claims any _rights_, or
makes any _demands_ of the other--in a word, in _perfect concord_
of agreement and action, of which mutual love is the inspirer, and
_definite knowledge_ the directive agent.
Such a first meeting of bride and bridegroom will be no raping affair.
There will be no shock in it, no dread, no shame or thought of shame;
but as perfectly as two drops of water flow together and become one,
the bodies and souls of the parties to the act will mingle in a unity
the most perfect and blissful that can ever be experienced by human
beings in this world. This is no dream! It is a most blessed reality,
which all normally made husbands and wives can attain to, if only they
are properly _taught and educated_, if only they will learn how to
reach such blissful condition.
However, such greatly desired status is not to be had for the asking
merely. _Instinct can never bring it about; "innocence"_ will never
yield such a result; and _force_, or the declaration of a "_right_"
in the premises will forever banish it to the realm of the
never-to-be-realized. It can only come as a result of clear-headed
thinking, scientific investigation, honest study, wise and righteous
action under the given conditions; and, above all, _a love, each for
the other, that knows no bounds_. All these things _must_ obtain,
_on the part of both parties concerned_, or the desired results can
_never_ be attained.
Having said which, here shall follow some suggestions as to how such
estate may be reached by the readers of these pages.
But first, let us finish Dr. C., and all of his tribe--banish them from
all our reckoning in these matters, forever.
As already shown, this argument has not a leg to stand on. These
writers treat the whole situation as though men and women were _mere
animals! Men and women are far more than mere animals, and God hath
made them so_! And for these reasons we will have respect for men and
women as _God has made them_, rather than as Dr. C. and the "purity
leagues" say God _should_ have made them!
As a matter of fact, the secondary function of sex in the human family
is something _far above_ mere animality; it is something that mere
animals know nothing about, that they can never experience, or in any
way attain to, and these _fundamental differences_ in the premises
remove the whole issue from the realm of comparison with any forms or
functions of mere animal life. As well reason that animals never eat
cooked food, and so men ought never to eat cooked food (and there are
some people who do so reason, strange to say) or that animals do
not wear clothes, and so men ought not to wear clothes--as well make
these, or a score more of comparisons, between the human race and mere
animals, as to try to compare them in the item of their sex functions.
In only the single fact that, on the physical plane merely, coitus
for the purpose of procreation is common to all animal life, mankind
included, is there a point of comparison between humanity and the
brute creation. _Beyond that point there is nothing comparable between
the two_! As well say that because beasts can hear, therefore they
can comprehend and enjoy a Beethoven Sonata, or because they have eyes
they can delight in a picture by Corot!
This is only another way of saying that sex has functions and uses in
the human family that are entirely apart from the possibilities of all
other animal life--functions as much above mere animality as music is
above mere physical hearing, as painting above mere physical sight.
These facts forever upset and overthrow all the theories of Dr. C. and
Co., they entirely eliminate the whole bunch from any part or lot in
the issue on which they have essayed to speak with such authority,
but whose main point, whose essential elements they have _entirely
misunderstood_, and hence have treated in a way that is wholly at
variance with the truth in the premises, and it is the truth that we
are looking for.
Once more (for it is well to go to the bottom of this matter while we
are about it) the honest truth is, that _it is the universal practice
of the human race for men and women to cohabit for other purposes than
reproduction, and it has always been so_, since men and women were men
and women! It is true among the most savage and barbarous tribes of
the earth, and it is more emphatically true of the highly civilized
people in all lands and climes. And is it reasonable to suppose that
such a universal phenomenon should _not_ have been intended to be as
it is! As well say that appetite for food is a mistake, one that ought
to be eliminated!
Again, the experiences of men and women, all over the world, prove
that, where this act is engaged in properly, according to the laws
that obtain in the premises, _it conduces to the highest physical,
mental, and spiritual well-being of the parties concerned_. Indeed, it
is beyond doubt true that the men and women who have never known this
most perfect of all human experiences, have never reached the summit
of human attainment, have never arrived at the perfection of manhood
and womanhood. Length of life, health of the highest sort, and
happiness, the most delectable--all come, these and more, to men and
women by this route, _if it is rightly traveled_. Hell and damnation
result if that road is wrongly trod!
And that's what makes the manner of traveling it so important.
THE ACT OF COITUS
Strictly speaking, the act of coitus should be considered as composed
of four parts, or acts, of one common play, or drama. Not that there
is a sharp line of demarcation between each act or part, for the
_four_ really blend into _one_ composite whole, when taken together,
seriatim; but there are _four phases_ of the act which may well be
studied separately, in making a detailed review of a sexual meeting of
a man and a woman.
These four parts are: _first_, the preparation for the act; _second_,
the _union_ of the organs; _third_, the motion of the organs;
_fourth_, the orgasm.
In what immediately follows, these _four_ stages of the act of coitus
will be studied and traced in detail, with the utmost care, in the
hope that such pursuit may result in the best possible good to the
Regarding the _first_ part of the act, let it be said that here, above
all other situations in the world "_haste makes waste_." _Put that
down as the most fundamental fact in this whole affair!_ Right here is
where ninety-nine one-hundredths of all the troubles of married life
begin! And the fault, right here, is usually (though not always) with
the husband! But he doesn't mean to be bad. Not once in a thousand
times does he deliberately purpose to do wrong. He is simply the
victim of undirected and ungoverned passion, and of an _ignorance_
which results in stupid blundering, or carelessness, or
thoughtlessness. What such a husband practically does is to rush
blindly and furiously along a way he knows nothing of, but which he
has been led to think he has a _right_ to travel _when and how he
will_! The ordinary figure of a "bull in a china shop" can but faintly
describe the smashing and grinding to powder of the most delicate
situation that can occur in all human experiences, that result from
such action as this. Ideals that have touched heaven are tumbled from
their lofty places and ruthlessly crushed to atoms; hopes that were
beyond the power of words to express go out in despair; dreams become
a hideous nightmare; and love, which was as pure as crystal waters, is
muddied, befouled, and made into a cesspool! _And all this because of
ignorance_ or careless hurrying, of making haste where the utmost of
time, caution and intelligent care should have obtained!
As has already been explained, when the act of coitus is to be
engaged in, the sex organs of both the man and the woman undergo great
changes. Blood rushes to all these parts, in copious quantities,
till they become gorged. The result is that the penis is enlarged to
several times its dormant size, and the vulva and vagina should,
and will, under right conditions, undergo similar changes and
_But there is usually a great difference in the length of time it
takes for these changes to take place in men and women_. On the part
of the man, as soon as his passion is aroused to any considerable
extent, the penis at once makes itself ready for action. It
"tumesces," or swells itself hard, almost instantly; and, so far as
its mere physical stoutness is concerned, is as ready to enter the
vagina then as ever, even if it has to force itself in.
On the other hand, the tumescence of the parts in women is usually,
(especially as girls are reared) not infrequently, a matter of
considerable time, not infrequently several minutes, and now and then,
of _half-an-hour or more_! This is not always so, for in some very
passionate women they are ready for action almost instantly. Indeed,
there are some women whose sex organs tumesce if they (the women) even
touch a man--any man--and occasionally a case occurs where a woman
will experience an orgasm if her clothing brushes against a man! Such
cases are, of course, abnormal. But, _for the most part_, it is true
that women are _much slower_ in making ready for the sexual act than
Again, as the organs become ready for the act, nature has provided a
most wonderful means for bringing about their easy and happy union.
Both the male and female organs secrete and emit, or pour out, a sort
of lubricating fluid which covers and sometimes almost floods the
parts. This is a clear and limpid substance, that looks much like the
white of an egg, and is much like the saliva that is secreted in
the mouth, only it is a thicker substance. Chemically, it is almost
identical with saliva. That generated by the man is called "prostatic
flow;" that produced by the woman "pre-coital secretion."
Now, if time is given for this fluid to be secreted and exuded, all
the parts become covered or saturated with it, and they are admirably
equipped for easy union. The glans penis is then covered with the
slippery fluid, and the vulva and all the walls of the vagina are
laved with the substance. At the same time, the vaginal walls have
widened and grown soft, and all the parts of the vulva (which are yet
to be named and described in detail) are in like condition. The result
is that, though the penis be what might at first seem of such size as
to make its entrance into the vagina impossible, as a matter of fact,
such entrance is perfectly easy, when the parts are fully ready to be
joined. _But not before or otherwise!_
So here is where the trouble comes. If the husband is in haste, if he
does not wait for the wife to become ready to meet him; if he forces
his large, hard penis into the vagina before either is fully ready
for such union--when there is no prostatic fluid on its glans, and the
vagina is shrunken and its walls are dry--if coitus is engaged in in
this way, it is perfectly easy to see that _only disaster can result_!
The woman is hurt, sometimes most cruelly, and the man in reality gets
only a beastly gratification from the act. _Of all bad things in all
the world, such manner of coition is the worst_!
And so, in this _first_ part of the act, the one foremost thought to
remember and observe is, _take plenty of time!_
There is another reason why, on the part of woman, this time should
be extended, especially when she is a bride and inexperienced in these
matters, and that is, that her "innocence," and all her education,
make her feel that she is _doing wrong_, or at least permitting a
wrong thing to be done, and this holds back the proper growth of her
passion, hinders the tumescence of her sex organs, delays the flow
of the precoital secretion, and so keeps her from becoming properly
prepared for her share of the mutual act.
Again, her fear of pregnancy may still further retard her coming into
a proper condition. Indeed, this last is the almost common cause for
her failing to be in readiness for meeting her husband. All of
which items must be taken into account by both husband and wife,
and intelligently, lovingly dealt with, if the best results for both
parties are attained.
As regards the item of possible pregnancy, special note will be made
of this feature later on. It is here placed in abeyance for the time
being, because its consideration can be better provided for after some
other points have been studied.
Now the one easily understood (and as easily practiced as understood)
direction as to what to do by way of preparation for the act of coitus
is: _do as lovers do when they are "courting."_ And everybody knows
what that is! And note this--that _nobody ever hurries when they are
courting!_ They delay, they protract, they dilly-dally, they "fool
around," they pet each other in all sorts of possible and impossible
ways. They kiss each other--"long and passionate kisses, they again
and again give and receive"--they hug each other, nestle into each
other's arms--in a word, they "play together" in a thousand-and-one
ways which the "goody-goods" declare to be wrong, and the cold-blooded
call nonsense or foolishness, but which all _lovers_ know is an
_unspeakable delight_ ("unspeakable" is the word, for who wants to
_talk_ when these blissful experiences are going on!).
Now, these things, and the likes of these things, in limitless supply,
should always precede the act of coitus. It is right there that this
part of the first act of this wonderful four-act drama or play should
be wrought out, and if they are omitted or disregarded, the play
will end in _tragedy, with all the leading actors left dead upon the
Now the chief, if not the only, reason why this part of the supreme
act of married life is not always preluded in this way is found in
the _false view_ of what the _marriage ceremony means_, and a wrong
impression as to what it confers upon the parties who say "yes" to
its prescriptions. That is, the common idea is, that the taking of
"marriage vows" bestows certain _rights_ and imposes certain _duties_
upon the new husband and wife. It is thought that such ceremony makes
certain acts _right_ which would _otherwise_ be _wrong_, and that it
establishes the _right_ to engage in such acts, _with or without any
further consultation or consent in the premises_. It makes love a
matter of _contract_, a something _bound by promise and pledge rather
than a free and unfettered effusion of the soul_.
The result of this is that, whereas, before the marriage ceremony both
the man and woman take the utmost care to do everything in their power
to increase, magnify, and retain each other's love, after they
have been granted a "license," and the minister has put their hands
together and prayed over them--after this, they both think they have
a "_cinch_" on each other, that they are bound together by a bond that
cannot be broken, a tie so strong that it will need no further looking
after, but which will "stay put" of its own accord, and which
may therefore be let to shift for itself from the hour of its
pronouncement! Nothing _could be further from the truth than this is_.
And yet it is a common feeling and belief among young married people!
Nor is it any wonder that this should be so. The very form of the
marriage ceremony and contract tends to make it so. The fact that
marriage originated as a form of slavery, and that much of its
original status yet remains--all these things tend to establish these
wrong ideas regarding the estate, in the minds of the parties to it.
Nor are the evils that come from such wrong view of marriage all
confined to one side of the house. On the contrary, they are
about evenly divided between husbands and wives, witness a few
illustrations, as follows:
A couple had been married about a year. They had no children, nor
were there prospects of any. The husband was beginning to spend his
evenings away from home, leaving his wife alone. One evening, as he
was making ready to go out, his wife said: "What makes you go out
evenings now, and leave me alone! You didn't use to do it!" And the
"Why, you don't do anything to make it interesting for me now! You
used to put on your prettiest clothes when I came to see you, fixed
up your hair bewitchingly, had a smile for me that wouldn't come off,
would sing for me, read to me, sit on my lap and pet me and kiss me,
and now you never do anything of the kind." And before he could say
more, the wife responded: "_Oh, but we are married now, and it's your
duty to stay with me!_"
What wonder that the husband went out of the house, slamming the door
after him! The wonder is that he ever came back.
Again: A woman who was a graduate of a famous Eastern College and
who had taught for a number of years, who was from one of the "first
families" in the east, and was counted as a lady of the highest
culture and refinement, finally married a Western business man. On
their bridal night, as they were retiring, the man laid his hand on
the woman's bare shoulder, and she threw it off, and said: "Don't
be disgusting! I married you because I was tired of taking care of
myself, or of having my relatives take care of me. You are worth fifty
thousand dollars, and one-third of all that was made mine just as soon
as the preacher got through his closing prayer, and you can't help
it! That's the truth, and we are married, and you can make the best of
These are both truthful tales, nor are they the only ones of the sort
that could be told.
On the other hand, these are matched with acts of ignorant and
careless young husbands, who do dastardly deeds to their brides
because they think _the law_ and the _contract_ give them the right!
There is no need to go into details. The whole evil is revealed by the
words of the woman just quoted: "_Oh, but we are married now_."
These records, and all like them, lead to the remark that _marriage
confers no rights, to either the bride or the bridegroom, in the
highest meaning of the word_. So far as its outward and formal
observance is concerned, marriage is merely a sort of protection for
society which has grown up through the years, and which is probably
for the best, for the present, things being as they are. But it should
be well understood that it can _never_ lead to _true happiness_ if it
is viewed and utilized _merely_ on its _legal and formal side. True
marriage is based on mutual love; and mutual love can never be traded
upon, or made an item of formal agreement and contract._ People may
contract to live together and to cohabit, and they may faithfully
carry out their agreements; _but this is not marriage_! It is simply
_legalized prostitution, bargain and sale, for a consideration. It is
blasphemy to call it by the sacred name of marriage!_
Truly does Tennyson say: "Free love will not be bound." Indeed it
cannot be! It must remain forever free if it stays at all. And if the
parties to it try to bind it, the more chains, fastenings, pledges
and agreements they put upon it, the sooner and quicker will it escape
from all its holdings and fly away and _stay away_!
And so, to come back to where we left off (for we said there should be
no hurrying or haste here) let married people understand that the key
to married happiness is _to keep on "courting" each other_. Indeed,
to make courting continually grow to more and more. During the whole
extent of married life, never neglect, much less forget to be lovers,
and to show, _by all your acts_, that you are lovers, and great shall
be your reward. Don't ask how to do this! You know how, well enough.
And be careful _not_ to do anything that a careful lover ought not
to do! This direction should be heeded by both husband and wife. Make
yourself beautiful for your husband, Oh, wife, and keep yourself so.
As between the public, or your friends, or society, give them what of
yourself you can spare, after you have given to your lover all that
you can bestow upon him, or he can wish you to bestow. Don't give
to everybody and everything else, church, society, work, children,
friends, or what-so-ever--don't give _all_ of yourself to these, and
let your husband "take what there is left." Don't do that, as you
value your married success and happiness! Don't say: "Oh, but we are
married now," and let it go at that!
The beautiful and delicate flowers of married love need to be watched
and tended with the most skilful care, _continually_, by both husband
and wife. Treated in this way, they will not only be fragrant and
lovely through all the years of wedded life; but as, one by one, the
blossoms shed their petals and change their forms so that luscious
fruits may come in turn--as these changes take place, new, more
beautiful and more fragrant flowers will continue to the very end of
the longest married life. Don't ever forget this, or doubt it, as you
hope for happiness in the marriage state! Mind what is here said, and
act accordingly _all the time_--days, nights and Sundays.
Now if these truths are thoroughly inculcated, "kicked in" so firmly
and deeply that they will never "jar loose" or get away, we will move
So, then, the _first_ part of _every_ act of coitus should always be a
_courting_ act, in which there should be _no haste_, but in which the
parties should "_make delays_," as John Burroughs says.
And this should be added: that, for married lovers, courting has a far
wider range of possibilities than it has for the unmarried. Previous
to marriage, there are conventionalities and clothes in the way! After
that, neither of these need be in evidence, and this makes a lot of
difference, and all in favor of the best results, if rightly used,
and made the most of. One hardly need to go into details here, (though
this may be done later on in this writing). If the lovers will be as
free with each other unclothed as clothed; if they will utterly ignore
all conventionalities, and do with and for each other anything and
everything that their _impulses_ and _inclinations_ suggest, or
their desires prompt; if they will, _with the utmost abandon_ give
themselves up to petting each other in every possible way that _mother
nature_ has put within their reach; if they will hug and kiss and
"spoon" and "play with each other" just as they want to do--if they
will do this, and not _hurry_ about it--then, in due course, they
will successfully execute the _first act_ of the great play they are
performing; the sex organs will become fully ready for the union they
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