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after the age of 30, when he was without male comradeship.
The nocturnal emissions, after he had abandoned self-abuse,
became very frequent and exhausting. They were medically treated
by tonics such as quinine and strychnine. He thinks this
treatment exaggerated his neurosis.
All this time, no kind of sexual feeling for girls made itself
felt. He could not understand what his schoolfellows found in
women, or the stories they told about wantonness and delight of
His old dreams about the sailors had disappeared. But now he
enjoyed visions of beautiful young men and exquisite statues; he
often shed tears when he thought of them. These dreams persisted
for years. But another kind gradually usurped their place to some
extent. These second visions took the form of the large, erect
organs of naked young grooms or peasants. These gross visions
offended his taste and hurt him, though, at the same time, they
evoked a strong, active desire for possession; he took a strange,
poetic pleasure in the ideal form. But the seminal losses which
accompanied both kinds of dreams were a perpetual source of
misery to him.
There is no doubt that at this time--that is, between the
fifteenth and seventeenth years--a homosexual diathesis had
become established. He never frequented loose women, though he
sometimes thought that would be the best way of combating his
growing inclination for males. And he thinks that he might have
brought himself to indulge freely in purely sexual pleasure with
women if he made their first acquaintance in a male costume, as
_debardeuses, Cherubino_, court-pages, young halberdiers, as it
is only when so clothed that women on the stage or in the
ball-room have excited him.
His ideal of morality and fear of venereal infection, more than
physical incapacity, kept him what is called chaste. He never
dreamed of women, never sought their society, never felt the
slightest sexual excitement in their presence, never idealized
them. Esthetically, he thought them far less beautiful than men.
Statues and pictures of naked women had no attraction for him,
while all objects of art which represented handsome males deeply
It was in his eighteenth year that an event occurred which he
regards as decisive in his development. He read Plato. A new
world opened, and he felt that his own nature had been revealed.
Next year he formed a passionate, but pure, friendship with a boy
of 15. Personal contact with the boy caused erection, extreme
agitation, and aching pleasure, but not ejaculation. Through four
years he never saw the boy naked or touched him pruriently. Only
twice he kissed him. He says that these two kisses were the most
perfect joys he ever felt.
His father now became seriously anxious both about his health and
his reputation. He warned him of the social and legal dangers
attending his temperament. But he did not encourage him to try
coitus with women. He himself thinks that his own sense of danger
might have made this method successful, or that, at all events,
the habit of intercourse with women might have lessened neurosis
and diverted his mind to some extent from homosexual thoughts.
A period of great pain and anxiety now opened for him. But his
neurasthenia increased; he suffered from insomnia, obscure
cerebral discomfort, stammering, chronic conjunctivitis,
inability to concentrate his attention, and dejection. Meanwhile
his homosexual emotions strengthened, and assumed a more sensual
character. He abstained from indulging them, as also from
onanism, but he was often forced, with shame and reluctance, to
frequent places--baths, urinaries, and so forth--where there were
opportunities of seeing naked men.
Having no passion for women, it was easy to avoid them. Yet they
inspired him with no exact horror. He used to dream of finding an
exit from his painful situation by cohabitation with some coarse,
boyish girl of the people; but his dread of syphilis stood in the
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