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Table of contents
PREFACE
INTRODUCTION-1.1
INTRODUCTION-1.2
INTRODUCTION-1.3
INTRODUCTION-1.4
INTRODUCTION-1.5
INTRODUCTION-1.6
INTRODUCTION-1.7
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2
THE STUDY OF SEXUAL INVERSION
SEXUAL INVERSION IN MEN-1
SEXUAL INVERSION IN MEN-2
SEXUAL INVERSION IN MEN-3
HISTORY-1-2-3-4
HISTORY-5
HISTORY-6
HISTORY-7-8
HISTORY-9
HISTORY-10-11-12
HISTORY-13-14
HISTORY-15
HISTORY-16-17-18-19
HISTORY-20
HISTORY-21 (begin)
HISTORY-21 (end)
HISTORY-22-23-24
HISTORY-25
HISTORY-26
HISTORY-27
HISTORY-28-29-30-31-32
HISTORY-33
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-1
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-2
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-3
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-4
HISTORY-34-35-36-37
HISTORY-38
HISTORY-39.1
HISTORY-39.2
HISTORY-39.3
HISTORY-39.4
FOOTNOTES
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-1
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-2
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-3
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-4
FOOTNOTES
THE THEORY OF SEXUAL INVERSION-1
THE THEORY OF SEXUAL INVERSION-2
THE THEORY OF SEXUAL INVERSION-3
CONCLUSIONS-1
CONCLUSIONS-2
CONCLUSIONS-3
CONCLUSIONS-4
FOOTNOTES
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B-1
APPENDIX B-2-3-4
INDEX OF AUTHORS

fortunately, may be gradually resolved into a comedy or a farce." 

 

Many letters are written in the course of these relationships; Obici and 

Marchesini have been able to read over 300 such letters which had been 

carefully preserved by the receivers and which, indeed, formed the chief 

material for their study. These letters clearly show that the "flame" most 

usually arises from a physical sympathy, an admiration of beauty and 

elegance. The letters written in this "flame" relationship are full of 

passion; they appear to be often written during periods of physical 

excitement and psychic erethism, and may be considered, Obici and 

Marchesini remark, a form of intellectual onanism, of which the writers 

afterward feel remorse and shame as of a physically dishonorable act. In 

reference to the underlying connection of these feelings with the sexual 

impulse, one of the lady collaborators writes: "I can say that a girl who 

is in love with a man never experiences 'flame' emotions for a companion." 

 

Obici and Marchesini thus summarize the differential character of "flames" 

as distinguished from ordinary friendships: "(1) the extraordinary 

frequency with which, even by means of subterfuges, the lovers exchange 

letters; (2) the anxiety to see and talk to each other, to press each 

other's hands, to embrace and kiss; (3) the long conversations and the 

very long reveries; (4) persistent jealousy, with its manifold arts and 

usual results; (5) exaltation of the beloved's qualities; (6) the habit of 

writing the beloved's name everywhere; (7) absence of envy for the loved 

one's qualities; (8) the lover's abnegation in conquering all obstacles to 

the manifestations of her love; (9) the vanity with which some respond to 

'flame' declarations; (10) the consciousness of doing a prohibited thing; 

(11) the pleasure of conquest, of which the trophies (letters, etc.) are 

preserved." 

 

The difference between a "flame" and a friendship is very well marked in 

the absolute exclusiveness of the former, whence arises the possibility 

of jealousy. At the same time friendship and love are here woven together. 

The letters are chaste (a few exceptions among so many letters not 

affecting this general rule), and the purity of the flame relationship is 

also shown by the fact that it is usually between boarders and day-pupils, 

girls in different classes and different rooms, and seldom between those 

who are living in close proximity to each other. "Certainly," writes one 

of the lady collaborators, "the first sensual manifestations develop in 

girls with physical excitement pure and simple, but (at all events, I 

would wish to believe it) the majority of college-girls find sufficient 

satisfaction in being as near as possible to the beloved person (of 

whichever sex), in mutual admiration and in kissing, or, very frequently, 

in conversation that is by no means moral, though usually very 

metaphorical. The object of such conversation is to discover the most 

important mysteries of human nature, the why and the wherefore; it deals 

with natural necessities, which the girl feels and has an intuition of, 

but as yet knows nothing definite about. Such conversations are the order 

of the day in schools and in colleges and specially revolve around 

procreation, the most difficult mystery of all. They are a heap of 

stupidities." This lady had only known of one definitely homosexual 

relationship during the whole of her college-life; the couple in question 

were little liked and had no other "flames." The chief general sexual 

manifestations, this lady concludes, which she had noted among her 

companions was a constant preoccupation with sexual mysteries and the 

necessity of talking about them perpetually. 

 

Another lady collaborator who had lived in a Normal school had had 

somewhat wider experiences. She entered at the age of 14 and experienced 

the usual loneliness and unhappiness of a new pupil. One day as she was 

standing pensive and alone in a corner of the room, a companion--one who 

on her arrival had been charged to show her over the college--ran up to 

her, "embracing me, closing by mouth with a kiss, and softly caressing my 

hair. I gazed at her in astonishment, but experienced a delicious 


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