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I knew that in relations with others she was spending the
greatest effort in following a course that I urged on her, and
was doing what I thought right in spite of the most painful
pressure on her to do wrong; and that she needed all the support
and comfort I could give her. It seemed to me, after our
conversation, that the right path for me lay not in giving way to
fears and scruples, but in giving my friend straightforwardly all
the love I could and all the kinds of love I could. I decided to
keep my eyes open for danger, but meanwhile to go on.
"We were living alone together at the time, and thenceforward we
did as we liked doing. As soon as we could, we moved to a bed
where we could sleep together all night. In the day when no one
was there we sat as close together as we wished, which was very
close. We kissed each other as often as we wanted to kiss each
other, which was very many times a day.
"The results of this, so far as I can see, have been wholly good.
We love each other warmly, but no temptation to nastiness has
ever come, and I cannot see now that it is at all likely to come.
With custom, the localized physical excitement has practically
disappeared, and I am no longer obsessed by imagined embraces.
The spiritual side of our affection seems to have grown steadily
stronger and more profitable since the physical side has, been
allowed to take its natural place."
A class in which homosexuality, while fairly distinct, is only slightly
marked, is formed by the women to whom the actively inverted woman is most
attracted. These women differ, in the first place, from the normal, or
average, woman in that they are not repelled or disgusted by lover-like
advances from persons of their own sex. They are not usually attractive to
the average man, though to this rule there are many exceptions. Their
faces may be plain or ill-made, but not seldom they possess good figures:
a point which is apt to carry more weight with the inverted woman than
beauty of face. Their sexual impulses are seldom well marked, but they are
of strongly affectionate nature. On the whole, they are women who are not
very robust and well developed, physically or nervously, and who are not
well adapted for child-bearing, but who still possess many excellent
qualities, and they are always womanly. One may, perhaps, say that they
are the pick of the women whom the average man would pass by. No doubt,
this is often the reason why they are open to homosexual advances, but I
do not think it is the sole reason. So far as they may be said to
constitute a class, they seem to possess a genuine, though not precisely
sexual, preference for women over men, and it is this coldness, rather
than lack of charm, which often renders men rather indifferent to them.
The actively inverted woman usually differs from the woman of the class
just mentioned in one fairly essential character: a more or less distinct
trace of masculinity. She may not be, and frequently is not, what would be
called a "mannish" woman, for the latter may imitate men on grounds of
taste and habit unconnected with sexual perversion, while in the inverted
woman the masculine traits are part of an organic instinct which she by no
means always wishes to accentuate. The inverted woman's masculine element
may, in the least degree, consist only in the fact that she makes advances
to the woman to whom she is attracted and treats all men in a cool,
direct manner, which may not exclude comradeship, but which excludes every
sexual relationship, whether of passion or merely of coquetry. Usually the
inverted woman feels absolute indifference toward men, and not seldom
repulsion. And this feeling, as a rule, is instinctively reciprocated by
men. At the same time bisexual women are at least as common as bisexual
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