Adult Sexual Behavior
Most women have the mistaken idea that the sexual nature of all normal
females is relatively the same as their own. They have heard or have read of the
highly passionate type and have assumed, by relying on gossip or the treatment
of sex in romantic novels, that the phrase "highly passionate" describes a woman
who is something of a rarity and above normal in her emotions. This, of course,
is not true. If a woman is correctly described as "over passionate," we may
consider her abnormal; the word "over" indicates that she is beyond the border
line. The word "highly," however, has its own meaning, and is employed to
describe a woman who is unusually passionate but not abnormally so. It must be
remembered, also, that what the inexperienced may regard as unusual, the
experienced look upon as quite ordinary.
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Consequently, the most that can be assumed of a woman who is correctly referred
to as "highly passionate" is that she comprises a member of the minority. But
minorities can vary in size, and such a woman is the member of a very large
minority, constituting perhaps, thirty to forty per cent of all normally sexed
women; the rest are below her in the emotional scale, but also well within the
confines of normalcy.
Since "frigidity" and "nymphomania" can be regarded as outside the boundaries of
normalcy, it is clear that there is a large range in between where the behavior
of women may vary considerably and still fall within the limits of normalcy.
This chapter and the five following are, perhaps, the most important in the
book, because an understanding of them will enable a woman to suspect her sexual
possibilities, enlighten her and her husband as to how she may be more properly
accommodated, and enable her to grasp what is probably the basis of much
unrealized sexual dissatisfaction and general irritability. It will also suggest
to the husband the possibility that he may be neglecting to fulfill the sexual
requirements of his wife or develop her capacities to their fullest extent.
Because it is impossible to know with certainty the precise manner in which to
treat a delicate problem unless a similar one has been handled successfully in
the past, no man of limited experience or of unobserving habits has the ability
to recognize the peculiarities which distinguish one woman from another and to
treat her in the manner suitable to her nature. Nor is it expected that every
normal man will have either the opportunity or the desire to associate with a
variety of women and, through repeated contact, come to recognize the
temperament of every individual woman.
Consequently, a husband with limited pre-marital associations who may have had,
by coincidence, relationships only with women of high emotional levels, may
regard a wife who is more reserved and subdued in her passion as bordering on
frigidity; whereas, in fact, such a woman, if properly conditioned, may in other
respects be every bit as passionate as the easily aroused. Unfortunately, the
husband, being unaware of this and judging all women by his limited experience,
will, unless otherwise informed, be dissatisfied with his marital sex life,
while his wife, though ignorant of the reason, knows only that sex relationships
leave her disturbed or else completely indifferent. The result is sexual
incompatibility, producing either constant marital dissatisfaction or ultimate
philandering leading to divorce.
Since it is not possible for every man to acquire either a broad, or indeed any,
pre-marital experience, what is the solution? How can a wedded couple, or those
about to wed, acquire at least a practical and sound approach to this problem
without pre-marital experiment, which was a method advocated some twenty-five
years ago and which, deservingly, caused widespread controversy. The following
pages aim to satisfy that need.
Sexual normalcy has very definite bounds. A. sexually normal woman, regardless
of the depth of her passion, which can be considerable, has the capacity to be
completely satisfied during a single relationship. She neither requires nor has
the urge for repeated intimacies following the period of abatement; she does not
crave them more frequently than at normal intervals, and she does not require an
undue length of time for gratification. There are, indeed, abnormal women who
enjoy and occasionally desire relationship three, four, and five times a day.
They are prepared and willing at almost any time and can experience violent
orgasms in every intimacy. We are not, of course, referring to prostitutes, who
do not achieve orgasm with every man with whom they indulge, although there are
nymphomaniacs who have taken up the occupation, not for financial gain, because
some have come from wealthy families, but solely for the need of sexual
There is also the other type of oversexed woman, otherwise respectable, who,
although having the capacity for satisfaction, nevertheless experiences at
intervals such uncontrollable desire that she will solicit the first man she
meets. This, of course, no normal woman, even one capable of the most extreme
abandon during sex relationships, could ever bring herself to do or ever has the
impulse to do.
The only purpose in touching upon the matter of over-sexedness is to reassure
many normal women who, in their relationships with their husbands, may hold
themselves in check because they feel that complete abandonment to their
impulses is a sign of depravity. It is intended to convince these women that
their desires are perfectly normal as long as they are confined to any method of
sexual gratification covered in these chapters. It is emphasized for such women
that, unless they are victims of the abnormalities described, including
frigidity—a complete lack of desire for sexual intimacy with any man—then they
are perfectly normal regardless of the expression their passions may take.
Naturally, this does not include the perversions of sadism or masochism. Sadism
is that form of sexual perversion in which the victim obtains gratification by
imposing pain upon the partner by whipping or spanking, for example, while
masochism is the direct opposite and involves gratification by subjection to the
pain of whipping or spanking, to use the same illustration. There is no point in
developing this phase further. It is psychopathic, thoroughly abnormal, and
belongs only in a work devoted to the sick.
A final word of clarification on what has been said earlier in this section may
be necessary, lest it be misconstrued. The impression may have been received
that the desire or capacity for repeated intercourse is invariably an
abnormality. This is not true. During the honeymoon period, repeated sex
relations are the rule rather than the exception. The couple may enjoy
themselves before going to sleep, before arising, and even once or twice during
the day. This may go on steadily or diminishingly during their two weeks of
happy relaxation or even longer, depending upon the length of the honeymoon and
the healing of the bride's tenderness in the vaginal region.
However, this excess, and excess it is, would automatically and eventually abate
of its own accord, but circumstances conspire to hasten the decline. Following
the "glittering weeks," as the Germans call the honeymoon, the husband's
business obligations interfere. He is away during the day, which eliminates any
siesta intimacy, and is much to groggy and rushed in the morning to concentrate
upon anything but reaching the office by nine o'clock. Outside of Saturday,
Sunday, and holidays, he has only the evening, which for a time he may utilize
as formerly. But even these occasions reduce themselves to three, two, and even
one or less a week. That is the sex graph of our married lives.
Then there are other irregular intervals when, due to various factors, a man or
woman may have the desire for repeated intercourse. However, these instances
occur so infrequently as to involve not the slightest suggestion of abnormalcy.
Even in these cases, a minimum fifteen-minute interval is required while the
couple regenerate desire; this is mentioned because it frequently happens that a
woman, immediately upon the completion of an intercourse abatement period of a
minute or so which characterizes male reaction to the orgasm, will say, "I want
you more than ever, now."
This is, by no means, to be construed as the wish of the female for a repeated
intercourse, even though immediate continuation would be such for the male. This
desire on the woman's part results entirely from the fact that she was not
completely satisfied and requires still further gratification. For her, it is
not a repeated intercourse, but simply a continuation of the original one during
which her husband disappointed her. Based solely, then, upon the limitations
contained is this chapter, an individual can see that normal sexual behavior
enjoys wide latitude, and that abnormality in this respect touches but few.