Main  Contacts  
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

 

 

The chastity that is regarded by the moralist of to-day as a virtue has 

its worth by no means in its abstinence. It is not, in St. Theresa's 

words, the virtue of the tortoise which withdraws its limbs under its 

carapace. It is a virtue because it is a discipline in self-control, 

because it helps to fortify the character and will, and because it is 

directly favorable to the cultivation of the most beautiful, exalted, and 

effective sexual life. So viewed, chastity may be opposed to the demands 

of debased mediaeval Catholicism, but it is in harmony with the demands of 

our civilized life to-day, and by no means at variance with the 

requirements of Nature. 

 

There is always an analogy between the instinct of reproduction and the 

instinct of nutrition. In the matter of eating it is the influence of 

science, of physiology, which has finally put aside an exaggerated 

asceticism, and made eating "pure." The same process, as James Hinton well 

pointed out, has been made possible in the sexual relationships; "science 

has in its hands the key to purity."[85] 

 

Many influences have, however, worked together to favor an insistence on 

chastity. There has, in the first place, been an inevitable reaction 

against the sexual facility which had come to be regarded as natural. Such 

facility was found to have no moral value, for it tended to relaxation of 

moral fibre and was unfavorable to the finest sexual satisfaction. It 

could not even claim to be natural in any broad sense of the word, for, in 

Nature generally, sexual gratification tends to be rare and difficult.[86] 

Courtship is arduous and long, the season of love is strictly delimited, 

pregnancy interrupts sexual relationships. Even among savages, so long as 

they have been untainted by civilization, virility is usually maintained 

by a fine asceticism; the endurance of hardship, self-control and 

restraint, tempered by rare orgies, constitute a discipline which covers 

the sexual as well as every other department of savage life. To preserve 

the same virility in civilized life, it may well be felt, we must 

deliberately cultivate a virtue which under savage conditions of life is 

natural.[87] 

 

The influence of Nietzsche, direct and indirect, has been on the side of 

the virtue of chastity in its modern sense. The command: "Be hard," as 

Nietzsche used it, was not so much an injunction to an unfeeling 

indifference towards others as an appeal for a more strenuous attitude 

towards one's self, the cultivation of a self-control able to gather up 

and hold in the forces of the soul for expenditure on deliberately 

accepted ends. "A relative chastity," he wrote, "a fundamental and wise 

foresight in the face of erotic things, even in thought, is part of a fine 

reasonableness in life, even in richly endowed and complete natures."[88] 

In this matter Nietzsche is a typical representative of the modern 

movement for the restoration of chastity to its proper place as a real and 

beneficial virtue, and not a mere empty convention. Such a movement could 

not fail to make itself felt, for all that favors facility and luxurious 

softness in sexual matters is quickly felt to degrade character as well as 

to diminish the finest erotic satisfaction. For erotic satisfaction, in 

its highest planes, is only possible when we have secured for the sexual 

impulse a high degree of what Colin Scott calls "irradiation," that is to 

say a wide diffusion through the whole of the psychic organism. And that 

can only be attained by placing impediments in the way of the swift and 

direct gratification of sexual desire, by compelling it to increase its 

force, to take long circuits, to charge the whole organism so highly that 


Page 1 from 4: [1]  2   3   4   Forward