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Table of contents
PREFACE
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.1
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.2
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.3
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.4
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.4
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.6
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.7
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.8
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.9
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.10
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.11
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.4
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.1
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.2
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.3
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.1
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.2
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.3
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.5
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.6
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.1
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.2
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.3
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.4
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.5
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.6
PROSTITUTION-7.1
PROSTITUTION-7.2
PROSTITUTION-7.3
PROSTITUTION-7.4
PROSTITUTION-7.5
PROSTITUTION-7.6
PROSTITUTION-7.7
PROSTITUTION-7.8
PROSTITUTION-7.9
PROSTITUTION-7.10
PROSTITUTION-7.11
PROSTITUTION-7.12
PROSTITUTION-7.13
PROSTITUTION-7.14
PROSTITUTION-7.15
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2

circumspect that though he be almost all bare, yet they will not 

buy him unless the saddle and all the harness be taken off, lest 

under these coverings be hid some gall or sore. And yet, in 

choosing a wife, which shall be either pleasure or displeasure to 

them all their life after, they be so reckless that all the 

residue of the woman's body being covered with clothes, they 

estimate her scarcely by one handsbreadth (for they can see no 

more but her face) and so join her to them, not without great 

jeopardy of evil agreeing together, if anything in her body 

afterward should chance to offend or mislike them. Verily, so 

foul deformity may be hid under these coverings that it may quite 

alienate and take away the man's mind from his wife, when it 

shall not be lawful for their bodies to be separate again. If 

such deformity happen by any chance after the marriage is 

consummate and finished, well, there is no remedy but patience. 

But it were well done that a law were made whereby all such 

deceits were eschewed and avoided beforehand." 

 

The clear conception of what may be called the spiritual value of 

nakedness--by no means from More's point of view, but as a part 

of natural hygiene in the widest sense, and as a high and special 

aspect of the purifying and ennobling function of beauty--is of 

much later date. It is not clearly expressed until the time of 

the Romantic movement at the beginning of the nineteenth century. 

We have it admirably set forth in Senancour's _De l'Amour_ (first 

edition, 1806; fourth and enlarged edition, 1834), which still 

remains one of the best books on the morality of love. After 

remarking that nakedness by no means abolishes modesty, he 

proceeds to advocate occasional partial or complete nudity. "Let 

us suppose," he remarks, somewhat in the spirit of Plato, "a 

country in which at certain general festivals the women should be 

absolutely free to be nearly or even quite naked. Swimming, 

waltzing, walking, those who thought good to do so might remain 

unclothed in the presence of men. No doubt the illusions of love 

would be little known, and passion would see a diminution of its 

transports. But is it passion that in general ennobles human 

affairs? We need honest attachments and delicate delights, and 

all these we may obtain while still preserving our 

common-sense.... Such nakedness would demand corresponding 

institutions, strong and simple, and a great respect for those 

conventions which belong to all times" (Senancour, _De l'Amour_, 

vol. i, p. 314). 

 

From that time onwards references to the value and desirability 

of nakedness become more and more frequent in all civilized 

countries, sometimes mingled with sarcastic allusions to the 

false conventions we have inherited in this matter. Thus Thoreau 

writes in his journal on June 12, 1852, as he looks at boys 

bathing in the river: "The color of their bodies in the sun at a 

distance is pleasing. I hear the sound of their sport borne over 

the water. As yet we have not man in Nature. What a singular fact 

for an angel visitant to this earth to carry back in his 

note-book, that men were forbidden to expose their bodies under 

the severest penalties." 

 

Iwan Bloch, in Chapter VII of his _Sexual Life of Our Time_, 

discusses this question of nakedness from the modern point of 

view, and concludes: "A natural conception of nakedness: that is 

the watchword of the future. All the hygienic, aesthetic, and 


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