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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

sensation of supreme comfort. Here began the idyll! I was subjected to a 

furious tempest of kisses and caresses which quite stunned me and made me 

ask myself the reason of such a new and unforeseen affection. I 

ingenuously inquired the reason, and the reply was: 'I love you; you 

struck me immediately I saw you, because you are so beautiful and so 

white, and because it makes me happy and _soothes_ me when I can pass my 

hands through your hair and kiss your plump, white face. I need a soul and 

a body.' This seemed to me the language of a superior person, for I could 

not grasp all its importance. As on the occasion when she first embraced 

me, I looked at her in astonishment and could not for the moment respond 

to a new fury of caresses and kisses. I felt that they were not like the 

kisses of my mamma, my papa, my brother, and other companions; they gave 

me unknown sensations; the contact of those moist and fleshy lips 

disturbed me. Then came the exchange of letters and the usual rights and 

duties of 'flames.' When we met in the presence of others we were only to 

greet each other simply, for 'flames' were strictly prohibited. I obeyed 

because I liked her, but also because I was afraid of her Othello-like 

jealousy. She would suffocate me, even bite me, when I played, joyously 

and thoughtlessly, with others, and woe to me if I failed to call her when 

I was combing my hair. She liked to see me with my hair down and would 

rest her head on my shoulder, especially if I were partially undressed. I 

let her do as she liked, and she would scold me severely because I was 

never first in longing for her, running to meet her, and kissing her. But 

at the same time the thought of losing her, the thought that perhaps one 

day she would shower her caresses on others, secretly wounded my heart. 

But I never told her this! One day, however, when with the head-mistress 

gazing at a beautiful landscape, I was suddenly overwhelmed with sadness 

and burst out crying. The head-mistress inquired what was the matter, and 

throwing myself in her arms I sobbed: 'I love her, and I shall die if she 

leaves off loving me!' She smiled, and the smile went through my heart. I 

saw at once how silly I was, and what a wrong road my companion was on. 

From that day I could no longer endure my 'flame.' The separation was 

absolute; I courageously bore bites and insults, even scratches on my 

face, followed by long complaints and complete prostration. I thought it 

would be mean to accuse her, but I invented a pretext for having the 

number of my bed changed. This was because she would dress quietly and 

come to pass hours by my bed, resting her head on the pillow. She said she 

wished to smell the perfume of my health and freshness. This continual 

turbulent desire had now nauseated me, and I wished to avoid it 

altogether. Later I heard that she had formed a relationship which was not 

blessed by any sacred rite." 

 

Notwithstanding the Platonic character of the correspondences, Obici and 

Marchesini remark, there is really a substratum of emotional sexuality 

beneath it, and it is this which finds its expression in the indecorous 

conversations already referred to. The "flame" is a _love-fiction, a play 

of sexual love_. This characteristic comes out in the frequently romantic 

names, of men and women, invented to sign the letters. 

 

Even in the letters themselves, however, the element of sexual 

impressionability may be traced. "On Friday we went to a service at San 

B.," writes one who was in an institution directed by nuns, "but 

unfortunately I saw M.L. at a window when I thought she was at A. and I 

was in a nervous state the whole time. Imagine that that dear woman was at 

the window with bare arms, and, as it seemed to me, in her chemise." No 

doubt a similar impression might have been made on a girl living in her 

own family. But it is certain that the imaginative coloring tends to be 

more lively in those living in colleges and shut off from that varied and 

innocent observation which renders those outside colleges freer and more 

unprejudiced. On a boy who is free to see as many women as he chooses a 

woman's face cannot make such an impression as on a boy who lives in a 

college and who is liable to be, as it were, electrified if he sees any 


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