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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

definite protest against them. 

 

Even men of science accepted these conceptions and are, indeed, only now 

beginning to emancipate themselves from such ancient superstitions. R. de 

Graef in the Preface to his famous treatise on the generative organs of 

women, _De Mulierum Organis Generatione Inservientibus_, dedicated to 

Cosmo III de Medici in 1672, considered it necessary to apologize for the 

subject of his work. Even a century later, Linnaeus in his great work, _The 

System of Nature_, dismissed as "abominable" the exact study of the female 

genitals, although he admitted the scientific interest of such 

investigations. And if men of science have found it difficult to attain an 

objective vision of women we cannot be surprised that medieval and still 

more ancient conceptions have often been subtly mingled with the views of 

philosophical and semi-philosophical writers.[47] 

 

We may regard as a special variety of the ascetic view of sex,--for the 

ascetics, as we see, freely but not quite legitimately, based their 

asceticism largely on aesthetic considerations,--that insistence on the 

proximity of the sexual to the excretory centres which found expression in 

the early Church in Augustine's depreciatory assertion: "Inter faeces et 

urinam nascimur," and still persists among many who by no means always 

associate it with religious asceticism.[48] "As a result of what 

ridiculous economy, and of what Mephistophilian irony," asks Tarde,[49] 

"has Nature imagined that a function so lofty, so worthy of the poetic and 

philosophical hymns which have celebrated it, only deserved to have its 

exclusive organ shared with that of the vilest corporal functions?" 

 

It may, however, be pointed out that this view of the matter, however 

unconsciously, is itself the outcome of the ascetic depreciation of the 

body. From a scientific point of view, the metabolic processes of the 

body from one end to the other, whether regarded chemically or 

psychologically, are all interwoven and all of equal dignity. We cannot 

separate out any particular chemical or biological process and declare: 

This is vile. Even what we call excrement still stores up the stuff of our 

lives. Eating has to some persons seemed a disgusting process. But yet it 

has been possible to say, with Thoreau, that "the gods have really 

intended that men should feed divinely, as themselves, on their own nectar 

and ambrosia.... I have felt that eating became a sacrament, a method of 

communion, an ecstatic exercise, and a sitting at the communion table of 

the world." 

 

The sacraments of Nature are in this way everywhere woven into the texture 

of men's and women's bodies. Lips good to kiss with are indeed first of 

all chiefly good to eat and drink with. So accumulated and overlapped have 

the centres of force become in the long course of development, that the 

mucous membranes of the natural orifices, through the sensitiveness gained 

in their own offices, all become agents to thrill the soul in the contact 

of love; it is idle to discriminate high or low, pure or impure; all alike 

are sanctified already by the extreme unction of Nature. The nose receives 

the breath of life; the vagina receives the water of life. Ultimately the 

worth and loveliness of life must be measured by the worth and loveliness 

for us of the instruments of life. The swelling breasts are such divinely 

gracious insignia of womanhood because of the potential child that hangs 

at them and sucks; the large curves of the hips are so voluptuous because 

of the potential child they clasp within them; there can be no division 

here, we cannot cut the roots from the tree. The supreme function of 


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