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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

self-righteousness which often marks the sexually abstinent. 

 

If we turn to Freud's penetrating and suggestive study of the problem of 

sexual abstinence in relation to "civilized" sexual morality, we find 

that, though he makes no reference to the analogy with abstinence from 

food, his words would for the most part have an equal application to both 

cases. "The task of subduing so powerful an instinct as the sexual 

impulse, otherwise than by giving it satisfaction," he writes, "is one 

which may employ the whole strength of a man. Subjugation through 

sublimation, by guiding the sexual forces into higher civilizational 

paths, may succeed with a minority, and even with these only for a time, 

least easily during the years of ardent youthful energy. Most others 

become neurotic or otherwise come to grief. Experience shows that the 

majority of people constituting our society are constitutionally unequal 

to the task of abstinence. We say, indeed, that the struggle with this 

powerful impulse and the emphasis the struggle involves on the ethical and 

aesthetic forces in the soul's life 'steels' the character, and for a few 

favorably organized natures this is true; it must also be acknowledged 

that the differentiation of individual character so marked in our time 

only becomes possible through sexual limitations. But in by far the 

majority of cases the struggle with sensuality uses up the available 

energy of character, and this at the very time when the young man needs 

all his strength in order to win his place in the world."[97] 

 

When we have put the problem on this negative basis of abstinence it is 

difficult to see how we can dispute the justice of Freud's conclusions. 

They hold good equally for abstinence from food and abstinence from sexual 

love. When we have placed the problem on a more positive basis, and are 

able to invoke the more active and fruitful motives of asceticism and 

chastity this unfortunate fight against a natural impulse is abolished. If 

chastity is an ideal of the harmonious play of all the organic impulses of 

the soul and body, if asceticism, properly understood, is the athletic 

striving for a worthy object which causes, for the time, an indifference 

to the gratification of sexual impulses, we are on wholesome and natural 

ground, and there is no waste of energy in fruitless striving for a 

negative end, whether imposed artificially from without, as it usually is, 

or voluntarily chosen by the individual himself. 

 

For there is really no complete analogy between sexual desire and hunger, 

between abstinence from sexual relations and abstinence from food. When we 

put them both on the basis of abstinence we put them on a basis which 

covers the impulse for food but only half covers the impulse for sexual 

love. We confer no pleasure and no service on our food when we eat it. But 

the half of sexual love, perhaps the most important and ennobling half, 

lies in what we give and not in what we take. To reduce this question to 

the low level of abstinence, is not only to centre it in a merely negative 

denial but to make it a solely self-regarding question. Instead of asking: 

How can I bring joy and strength to another? we only ask: How can I 

preserve my empty virtue? 

 

Therefore it is that from whatever aspect we consider the 

question,--whether in view of the flagrant contradiction between the 

authorities who have discussed this question, or of the illegitimate 

mingling here of moral and physiological considerations, or of the merely 

negative and indeed unnatural character of the "virtue" thus set up, or of 

the failure involved to grasp the ennoblingly altruistic and mutual side 


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