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HISTORY VII.--"My parentage is very sound and healthy. Both my
parents (who belong to the professional middle class) have good
general health; nor can I trace any marked abnormal or diseased
tendency, of mind or body, in any records of the family.
"Though of a strongly nervous temperament myself, and sensitive,
my health is good. I am not aware of any tendency to physical
disease. In early manhood, however, owing, I believe, to the
great emotional tension under which I lived, my nervous system
was a good deal shattered and exhausted. Mentally and morally my
nature is pretty well balanced, and I have never had any serious
perturbations in these departments.
"At the age of 8 or 9, and long before distinct sexual feelings
declared themselves, I felt a friendly attraction toward my own
sex, and this developed after the age of puberty into a
passionate sense of love, which, however, never found any
expression for itself till I was fully 20 years of age. I was a
day-boarder at school and heard little of school-talk on sex
subjects, was very reserved and modest besides; no elder person
or parent ever spoke to me on such matters; and the passion for
my own sex developed gradually, utterly uninfluenced from the
outside. I never even, during all this period, and till a good
deal later, learned the practice of masturbation. My own sexual
nature was a mystery to me. I found myself cut off from the
understanding of others, felt myself an outcast, and, with a
highly loving and clinging temperament, was intensely miserable.
I thought about my male friends--sometimes boys of my own age,
sometimes elder boys, and once even a master--during the day and
dreamed about them at night, but was too convinced that I was a
hopeless monstrosity ever to make any effectual advances. Later
on it was much the same, but gradually, though slowly, I came to
find that there were others like myself. I made a few special
friends, and at last it came to me occasionally to sleep with
them and to satisfy my imperious need by mutual embraces and
emissions. Before this happened, however, I was once or twice on
the brink of despair and madness with repressed passion and
"Meanwhile, from the first, my feeling, physically, toward the
female sex was one of indifference, and later on, with the more
special development of sex desires, one of positive repulsion.
Though having several female friends, whose society I like and to
whom I am sincerely attached, the thought of marriage or
cohabitation with any such has always been odious to me.
"As a boy I was attracted in general by boys rather older than
myself; after leaving school I still fell in love, in a romantic
vein, with comrades of my own standing. Now,--at the age of
37,--my ideal of love is a powerful, strongly built man, of my
own age or rather younger--preferably of the working class.
Though having solid sense and character, he need not be specially
intellectual. If endowed in the latter way, he must not be too
glib or refined. Anything effeminate in a man, or anything of the
cheap intellectual style, repels me very decisively.
"I have never had to do with actual pederasty, so called. My
chief desire in love is bodily nearness or contact, as to sleep
naked with a naked friend; the specially sexual, though urgent
enough, seems a secondary matter. Pederasty, either active or
passive, might seem in place to me with one I loved very
devotedly and who also loved me to that degree; but I think not
otherwise. I am an artist by temperament and choice, fond of all
beautiful things, especially the male human form; of active,
slight, muscular build; and sympathetic, but somewhat indecisive
character, though possessing self-control.
"I cannot regard my sexual feelings as unnatural or abnormal,
since they have disclosed themselves so perfectly naturally and
spontaneously within me. All that I have read in books or heard
spoken about the ordinary sexual love, its intensity and passion,
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