Skip to main content

Full text of "Three contributions to the sexual theory"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 

/ T 








A. A. BRILL, Ph.B., M.D., 






• • • 
• • • • 

• • 
"• • • • 

• • • 




Edited by 

Nombers Issued 

I. OafUnes of Pssrchiatry. By Wm. A. White, M.D. 

a. Studies in Paranoia. 

By Drs. N. Gierlich and M. Friedman 

3. The Psychology of Dementia Praecoz. 

By Dr. C. 6. Jung. 

4. Selected Papers on Hysteria and other Psychoneuroses. 

By Prof. Sigmund Freud. 

5. Wassermann Reaction in Psjrchiatry. 

By Dr. Felix Plant. 

6. Epidemic Poliomyelitis. New York Epidemic, 1907. 

7. Three Contributions to Sexual Theory. 

By Prof. Sigmund Freud. 

• • • 

• • • 

* • •• • • 

• • • • 

• • ••• • 

• • • 

• * 
• * 
• ■ • 

» • • 

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 
Publishing Company, New York 




4. ^^'TV ^ 





I. The Sexual Aberrations i 

II. The Infantile Sexuality 34 

III. The Transformation of Puberty 59 





Although the author is fully aware of the gaps and obscurities 
contained in this small volume, he has, nevertheless, resisted a 
temptation to add to it the results obtained from the investiga- 
tions of the last five years, fearing that thus its unified and docu- 
mentary character would be destroyed. He accordingly repro- 
duces the original text with but slight modifications, contenting 
himself with the addition of a few footnotes. For the rest, it is 
his ardent wish that this book may speedily become antiquated — 
to the end that the new material brought forward in it may be 
universally accepted, while the shortcomings it displays may give 
place to juster views. 

Vienna, December, 1909. 


The somewhat famous " Three Essays " which Dr. Brill is 
here bringing to the attention of an English -reading public, 
occupy — brief as they are — an important position among the 
achievements of their author, a great investigator and pioneer in 
an important line. It is not claimed that the facts here gathered 
are altogether new. The subject of the sexual instinct and its 
aberrations has long been before the scientific world and the 
names of many effective toilers in this vast field are known to 
every student. When one passes beyond the strict domains of 
science and considers what is reported of the sexual life in folk- 
lore and art-lore and the history of primitive culture and in 
romance, the sources of information are immense. Freud has 
made considerable additions to this stock of knowledge, but he 
has done also something of far greater consequence than this. 
He has worked out, with incredible penetration, the part which 
this instinct plays in every phase of human life and in the devel- 
opment of human character, and has been able to establish on a 
firm footing the remarkable thesis that psychoneurotic illnesses 
never occur with a perfectly normal sexual life. Other sorts of 
emotions contribute to the result, but some abnormality of the 
sexual life is always present, as the cause of especially insistent 
emotions and repressions. 

The instincts with which every child is born furnish desires or 
cravings which must be dealt with in some fashion. They may 
be refined ("sublimated"), so far as is necessary and desirable, 
into energies of other sorts — as happens readily with the play- 
instinct — or they may remain as the source of perversions and 
inversions, and of cravings of new sorts substituted for those 
of the more primitive kinds under the pressure of a conventional 



civilization. The symptoms of the functional psychoi 
represent, after a fashion, one of these inadequate attempts to 
find a substitute for the imperative cravings born of the sexual 
instincts, and their form often depends, in part at least, on the 
peculiarities of the sexual life in infancy and early childhood. 
It is Freud's service to have investigated this inadequately chron- 
icled period of existence with extraordinary acumen. In so doing 
he made it plain that the "perversions" and "inversions" which 
reappear later under such striking shapes, belong to the normal 
sexual life of the young child and are seen, in veiled forms, in 
ahnost every case of nervous illness. 

It cannot too often be repeated that these discoveries represent 
no fanciful deductions, but are the outcome of rigidly careful 
observations which any one who will sufficiently prepare himself 
can verify. Critics fret over the amount of "sexuaUty" that 
Freud finds evidence of in the histories of his patients, and assume 
that he puts it there. But such criticisms are evidences of mis- 
understandings and proofs of ignorance. 

Freud had learned that the amnesias of hypnosis and of hysteria 
were not absolute but relative and that in covering the lost memo- 
ries, much more, of unexpected sort, was often found. Others, 
too, had gone as far as this, and stopped. But this investigator 
determined that nothing but the absolute impossibility of going 
further should make him cease from urging his patients into an 
inexorable scrutiny of the unconscious regions of their memories 
and thoughts, such as never had beenmade before. Everyspecies 
of forgetfulness, even the forgetfulness of childhood's years, was 
made to yield its hidden stores of knowledge ; dreams, even though 
apparently absurd, were found to be interpreters of a varied class 
of thoughts, active, although repressed as out of harmony with 
the selected life of consciousness ; layer after layer, new sets of 
motives underlying motives were laid bare, and each patient's 
interest was strongly enlisted in the task of learning to know 
himself in order more truly and wisely to " sublimate " himself. 


Gradually other workers joined patiently in this laborious under- 
taking, which now stands, for those who have taken pains to com- 
prehend it, as by far the most important movement in psycho- 

It must, however, be recognized that these essays, of which Dr. 
Brill has given a translation that cannot but be timely, concerns 
a subject which is not only important but unpopular. Few physi- 
cians read the works of v. KrafTt-Ebing, Magnus Hirschfeld, 
Moll, and others of hke sort. The remarkable volumes of Have- 
lock Ellis were refused publication in his native England. The 
sentiments which inspired this hostile attitude towards the study 
of the sexual life are still active, though growing steadily less 
common. One may easily believe that if the facts which Freud's 
truth-seeking researches forced him to recognize and to publish 
had not been of an unpopular sort, his rich and abundant contri- 
butions to observational psychology, to the significance of dreams, 
to the etiology and therapeutics of the p sych on eu roses, to the 
interpretation of mythology, would have won for him, by uni- 
versal acclaim, the same recognition among all physicians that 
he has received from a rapidly increasing band of followers and 

May Dr. Brill's translation help toward this end. 

There are two further points on which some comments should 
be made. The first is this, that those who conscientiously desire 
to learn all that they can from Freud's remarkable contributions 
should not be content to read anyone of them alone. His various 
publications, such as "The Selected Papers on Hysteria and 
Other Psychoneuroses,"^ " The Interpretation of Dreams," " The 
Psych opathology of Everyday Life," "Wit and its Relation to 
the Unconscious,"* the analysis of the case of the little boy 

' Translated by A. A. Brill, Nervous and Mental Disease, Monograph 
Scries, No. 4. 
' Translations of these books in preparation. 


called Hans, the study of Leonardo da Vinci, and the various 
short essays in the two Sammlungen kleiner Schriften, not only 
all hang together, but supplement each other to a remarkable 
extent. Unless a course of study such as this is undertaken many 
critics may think various statements and inferences in this volume 
to be far fetched or find them too obscure for comprehension. 

The other point is the following: One frequently hears the 
psychoanalytic method referred to as if it was customary for 
those practicing it to exploit the sexual experiences of their 
patients and nothing more, and the insistence on the details of 
the sexual life, presented in this book, is likely to emphasize that 
notion. But the fact is, as every thoughtful inquirer is aware, 
that the whole progress of civilization, whether in the individual 
or the race, consists largely in a "sublimation" of infantile in- 
stincts, and especially certain portions of the sexual instinct, to 
other ends than those which they seemed designed to serve. Art 
and poetry are fed on this fuel and the evolution of character 
and mental force is largely of the same origin. All the forms 
which this sublimation, or the abortive attempts at sublimation, ■ 
may take in any given case, should come out in the course of a 
thorough psychoanalysis. It is not the sexual hfe alone, but every 
interest and every motive, that must be inquired into by the physi- 
cian who is seeking to obtain all the data about the patient, neces- 
sary for his reeducation and his cure. But all the thoughts and 
emotions and desires and motives which appear in the man or 
woman of adult years were once crudely represented in the 
obscure instincts of the infant, and among these instincts those 
which were concerned directly or indirectly with the sexual emo- 
tions, in a wide sense, are certain to be found in every case to 
have been the most important for the end-result. 

James J. Putnam. 
Boston, August 23, 1910. 



The fact of sexual need in man and animal is expressed in 
biology by the assumption of a " sexual impulse." This impulse 
is made analogous to the impulse of taking nourishment, and to 
hunger. The sexual expression corresponding to hunger not 
being found colloquially, science uses the expression " libido."^ 

Popular conception assumes very different ideas concerning 
the nature and qualities of this sexual impulse. It is supposed 
to be absent during childhood and to commence about the time 
of and in connection with the maturing process of puberty ; it is 
supposed that it manifests itself in irresistible attractions exerted 
by one sex upon the other, and that its aim is sexual union or at 
least such actions as would lead to union. 

But we have every reason to see in these assumptions a very 
untrustworthy picture of reality. On closer examination they 
are found to abound in errors, inaccuracies and hasty conclusions. 
If we introduce two terms and call the person from whom the 
sexual attraction emanates the sexual object, and the action 
towards which the impulse strives the sexual aim, then the scien- 
tifically examined experience shows us many deviations in refer- 

'The facts contained in the first "Contribution" have been gathered 
from the familiar publications of KrafEt-Ebing, Moll, Moebius, Havelock 
Ellis, Schrenk-Notzing, Lowenfeld, Eulenberg, J. Bloch, and M. Hirsch- 
feld, and from the later works published in the " Jahrbuch fiir aexuelle 
Zwischenstufen." As these publications also mention the other literature 
bearing on this subject I may forbear giving detailed references. 

The conclusions reached through the investigation of sexual inverts 
are all based on the reports of J. Sadger and on my own experience. 

'For general use the word "libido" is best translated by "craving." 
(Prof. James J. Putnam, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. IV, 6.) 


ence to both sexual object and sexual aim, the relations of which 
to the accepted standard require thorough investigation. 

I. Deviation in Reference to the Sexual Object 

The popular theory of the sexual impulse corresponds closely 
to the poetic fable of dividing the person into two halves — ^man 
and woman — who strive to become reunited through love. It is 
therefore very surprising to hear that there are men for whom 
the sexual object is not woman but man, and that there are women 
for whom it is not man but woman. Such persons are called 
contrary sexuals, or better, inverts ; that is, these form the actuali- 
ities of inversion. They exist in very considerable numbers, 
although their definite ascertainment is subject to difficulties.' 

A. Inversion 

The Behavior of Inverts. — ^The above-mentioned persons be- 
have in many ways quite differently. 

(a) They are absolutely inverted ; i. e., their sexual object must 
be always of the same sex, while the opposite sex can never be to 
them an object of sexual longing, but leaves them indifferent or 
may even evoke sexual repugnance. As men they are unable, on 
account of this repugnance, to perform the normal sexual act or 
miss all pleasure in its performance. 

(&) They are amphigenously inverted (psychosexually herma- 
phroditic) ; L e,, their sexual object may belong indifferently to 
either the same or to the other sex. The inversion lacks the char- 
acter of exclusiveness. 

(c) They are occasionally inverted ; i. e., under certain external 
conditions, chief among which are the inaccessibility of the normal 
sexual object and imitation, they are able to take as the sexual 
object a person of the same sex and thus find sexual gratification. 

' For the difficulties entailed in the attempt to ascertain the proportional 
number of inverts compare the work of M. Hirschfeld in the Jahrbuch 
fur sexuelle Zwischenstufen, 1904. 


The inverted also manifest a manifold behavior in their judg- 
ment about the peculiarities of their sexual impulse. Some take 
the inversion as a matter of course, just as the normal looking 
at his libido does, firmly demanding the same rights as the nor- 
mal. Others, however, strive against the fact of their inversion 
and perceive in it a morbid compulsion.* 

Other variations concern the relations of time. The charac- 
teristics of the inversion in any individual may date back as far 
as his memory goes, or they may become manifest to him at a 
definite period before or after puberty.' The character is either 
retained throughout life, or it occasionally recedes or represents 
an episode on the road to normal development. A periodical 
fluctuation between the normal and the inverted sexual object 
has also been observed. Of special interest are those cases in 
which the libido changes, taking on the character of inversion 
after a painful experience with the normal sexual object. 

These different categories of variation generally exist indepen- 
dently of one another. In the most extreme cases it can regu- 
larly be assumed that the inversion has existed at all times and 
that the person feels contented with his peculiar state. 

Many authors will hesitate to gather into a unit all the cases 
enumerated here and will prefer to emphasize the exceptional 
rather than the customary groups, a view which corresponds with 
their preferred judgment of inversions. But no matter what 
divisions may be set up, it cannot be overlooked that all transi- 

* Such a striving against the compulsion to inversion favors cures by 
suggestion or psychoanalysis. 

'Many have justly emphasized the fact that the autobiographic state- 
ments of inverts, as to the time of the appearance of their tendency to in- 
version, are untrustworthy as they may have repressed from memory any 
evidences of heterosexual feelings. 

Psychoanalysis has confirmed this suspicion in all cases of inversion 
accessible, and has decidedly changed their anamnesis by tilling up the 
infantile amnesias. 


tions are abundantly met with, so that as it were, the formation 
of series forcibly obtrudes itself. 

Conception of Inversion. — ^The first attention bestowed upon 
inversion gave rise to the conception that it was a congenital 
sign of nervous degeneration. This harmonized with the fact 
that doctors first met it among the nervous, or among persons 
giving such an impression. There are two elements which should 
be considered independently in this conception : the congenitality, 
and the degeneration. 

Degeneration. — ^This term degeneration is open to the objec- 
tions which may be urged against the promiscuous use of this 
word in general. It has in fact become customary to designate 
all morbid manifestations not of traumatic or infectious origin 
as degenerative. Indeed, Magnan's classification of degenerates 
makes it conceivable that the highest general configuration of 
nervous accomplishment need not exclude the application of the 
concept of degeneration. Under the circumstances it is a ques- 
tion what use and what new content the meaning of " degenera- 
tion" still possesses. It would seem more appropriate not to 
speak of degeneration: (i) Where there are not many marked 
deviations from the normal; (2) where the capabilities and the 
capacity to exist do not in general appear markedly impaired.* 

That the inverted are not degenerates in this qualified sense 
can be seen from the following facts : 

1. The inversion is found among persons who otherwise show 
no marked deviation from the normal. 

2. It is found also among persons whose capabilities are not 

*With what reserve the diagnosis of degeneration should be made and 
what slight practical significance can be attributed to it can be gathered 
from the discussions of Moebius (Ueber Entartung; Grenzfragen des 
Nerven- und Seelenlebens, No. Ill, 1900). He says: "If we review the 
wide sphere of degeneration upon which we have here turned some 
light w« can conclude without further ado that it is really of little value 
to diagnose degeneration." 


disturbed, who on the contrary are distinguished by especially 
high intellectual development and ethical cuhureJ 

3. If one disregards the patients of one's own practice and 
strives to comprehend a wider field of experience, he will in two 
directions encounter facts which will prevent him from assuming 
inversions as a degenerative sign, 

(a) It must he considered tliat inversion was a frequent mani- 
festation among the ancient nations at the height of their culture. 
It was an institution endowed with important functions. (6) It 
is found to be unusually prevalent among savages and primitive 
races, whereas the term degeneration is generally limited to higher 
civilization (I. Bloch). Even among the most civilized nations 
of Europe, climate and race have a most powerful influence on 
the distribution of, and attitude toward, inversion.* 

Innateness, — Only for the first and most extreme class of 
inverts, as can be imagined, has innateness been claimed, and this 
from their own assurance that at no time in their life has their 
sexual impulse followed a different course. The fact of the exist- 
ence of two other classes, especially of the third, speaks against 
the assumption of its being congenital. Hence, the propensity of 
those holding this view to separate the group of absolute inverts 
from the others results in the abandonment of the general con- 
ception of inversion. Accordingly in a number of cases the 
inversion would be of a congenital character, while in others it 
might originate from other causes. 

' We must agree with the spokesman o£ " Uranism " that some of the 
most prominent men known have been inverts and perhaps absolute 

* In the conception of inversion the pathological features have been 
separated from the anthropological. For this credit is due to J. Bloch 
(Beitrage zur Xtiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis, 2 Tetle, 1902-3) who 
has also brought into prominence the existence of inversion in the old 
civilized nations. 


In contradistinction to this conception is that which assumes 
inversion to be an acquired character of the sexual impulse. It 
is based on the following facts, (i) In many inverts (even abso- 
lute ones) an early effective sexual impression can be demon- 
strated, as a result of which the homosexual inclination devel- 
oped. (2) In many others outer favoring and inhibiting influ- 
ences of life can be demonstrated, which in earlier or later life 
led to a fixation of the inversion — among which are exclusive 
relations with the same sex, companionship in war, detention in 
prison, dangers of hetero-sexual intercourse, celibacy, sexual 
weakness, etc. (3) Hypnotic suggestion may remove the inver- 
sion, which would be surprising in that of a congenital character. 

In view of all this, the existence of congenital inversion can 
certainly be questioned. The objection may be made to it that 
a more accurate examination of those claimed to be congenitally 
inverted will probably show a determination of the direction of 
the libido by a definite experience of early childhood, which has 
not, indeed, been retained in the conscious memory of the person, 
but which can he brought back to memory by proper influences 
(Havelock Ellis). According to that author inversion can be 
designated only as a frequent variation of the sexual desire which 
may be determined by a number of external circumstances of life. 

The apparent certainty thus reached is, however, overthrown 
by the retort that manifestly there are many persons who have 
experienced even in their early youth those very sexual influences, 
such as seduction, mutual onanism, without becoming inverts, or 
without constantly remaining so. Hence, one is forced to assume 
that the alternative between congenital and acquired inversion is 
either incomplete or does not cover the circumstances present in 

Explanation of Inversion. — ^TJhie nature of inversion is ex- 
plained by neither the assumption that it is congenital or that it 
is acquired. In the first case, we need to be told what there is 


in it of the congenital, unless we are satisfied with the roughest 
explanation, namely, that a person brings along a congenital 
sexual desire connected with a definite sexual object. In the 
second case it is a question whether the manifold accidental influ- 
ences suffice to explain the acquisition unless there is something 
in the individual to meet them half way. The negation of this 
last factor is inadmissible according to our former conclusions. 

The Relation of Bisexuality. — Since the time of Frank Lyds- 
ton, Kieman, and Chevalier, a new stream of thought has been 
introduced for the explanation of the possibility of sexual inver- 
sion. This contains a new contradiction to the popular belief 
which assumes that a human being is either a man or a woman. 
Science shows cases in which the sexual characteristic appears 
blurred and thus the sexual distinction is made difficult, espe- 
cially on an anatomical basis. The genitals of such persons unite 
the male and female characteristics (hermaphroditism). In rare 
cases both parts of the sexual apparatus are well developed (true 
hermaphroditism), but usually both are stunted.' 

The importance of these abnormalities lies in the fact that they 
unexpectedly facilitate the understanding of the normal forma- 
tion. A certain degree of anatomical hermaphroditism really 
belongs to the normal. In no normally formed male or female 
are traces of the apparatus of the other sex lacking; these either 
continue functionless as rudimentary organs, or they are trans- 
formed for the purpose of assuming other functions. 

The conception which we gather from this long known anatom- 
ical fact is the original predisposition to bisexuality, which in the 
course of development has changed to monosexuality, leaving 
slight remnants of the stunted sex. 

'Compare the last detailed discussion of somatic hermaphroditism 
(TarufiS, Hermaphroditism us und ZeugTinpmfahigkeit, German edit, by 
R. Tevischcr, 1903), and the works of Neugebauer in many volumes of 
the Jahrbuch fiir sexueile Zwiaehenstufen. 


It was natural to transfer this concq>tion to the psychic sphere 
and to conceive the inversion in its aberrations as an expression 
of psychic hermaphroditism. In order to bring the question to a 
decision, it was only necessary to have one other circumstance, 
viz., a regular concurrence of the inversion with the psychic and 
somatic signs of hermaphroditism. 

But the expectation thus formed was not realized. The rela- 
tions between the assumed psychical and the demonstrable ana- 
tomical androgyny should never be conceived as being so close. 
There is frequently found in the inverted a diminution of the 


sexual impulse (H. Ellis) and a slight anatomical stunting of the 
organs. This, however, is found frequently but by no means 
regularly or preponderately. Thus we must recognize that inver- 
sion and somatic hermaphroditism are totally independent of each 

Great value has also been placed on the so-called secondary and 
tertiary sex characteristics, and their aggregate occurrence in the 
inverted has been emphasized (H. Ellis). There is much truth 
in this but it should not be forgotten that the secondary and ter- 
tiary sex characteristics very frequently manifest themselves in 
the other sex, thus indicating androgyny without, however, in- 
volving changes in the sexual object in the sense of an inversion. 

Psychic hermaphroditism would gain in substantiality if par- 
allel with the inversion of the sexual object there should be at 
least a change in the other psychic qualities, such as in the im- 
pulses and distinguishing traits characteristic of the other sex. 
But such inversion of character can be expected with some regu- 
larity only in inverted women; in men the most perfect psychic 
manliness may be united with the inversion. If one firmly 
adheres to the hypothesis of a psychic hermaphroditism, one must 
add that in certain spheres its manifestations allow the recogni- 
tion of only a very slight contrary determination. The same also 
holds true in the somatic androg)my. According to Halban, the 


appearance of individual stunted organs and secondary sex char- 
acter are quite independent of each other.'" 

A spokesman of the masculine inverts stated the bisexual 
theory in its crudest form in the following words : " It is a female 
brain in a male body." But we do not know the characteristics 
of a " female brain." The substitution of the anatomical for the 
psychological is as frivolous as it is unjustified. The attempted 
explanation by v. KrafFt-Ebing seems to be more precisely formu- 
lated than that of Ulrich but does not essentially differ from it. 
V. Krafft-Ebing thinks that the bisexual predisposition gives to 
the individual male and female brain cells as well as somatic 
sexual organs. These centers develop first towards puberty 
mostly under the influence of the independent sex glands. We 
can, however, say the same of the male and female " centers " as 
of the male and female brains; and moreover, we do not even 
know whether we can assume for the sexual functions separate 
brain locations (" centers ") such as we may assume for language. 
After this discussion, two thoughts, as it were, remain; first, 
that a bisexual predisposition is to be presumed for the inversion 
also, only we do not know wherein it exists beyond the anatomical 
formations; and, second, that we are dealing with disturbances 
which are experienced by the sexual impulse during its devel- 

"J. Halban, "Die Entstehung der Geschlechts Charaktere," Arch, fur 
Gynakologie, Bd. 70, 1903. See also there the literature on the subject 

"According to a report in Vol. 6 of the Jahrbuch f. sexuelle Zwischen- 
stufen, E. Gley is supposed to have betn the first to mention bisexuality aa 
an explanation of inversion. He published a paper ^Les Aberrations de 
I'instinet Sexuel) in the Revue Philosophique as early as January, iSS^ 
It is moreover noteworthy that the majority of authors who trace the 
inversion to bisexuality assutne this factor not only for the inverts but 
also for those who have developed normally, and justly interpret the 
inversion as a result of a disturbance in development. Among these 
authors are Chevalier {Inversion Sexuelle, 1893), and v. Krafft-Ebing 
(" Zur Erlflarung der kontrarcn Sexualempfindung," Jahrbiicher f. Psy- 


The Seznal Object of Inverts. — ^The theory of psychic henna- 
phroditism presupposed that the sexual object of the inverted is 
the reverse of the nonnaL The inverted man, Uke the woman, 
succumbs to the charms emanating from manly qualities of body 
and mind ; he f eeb himself like a woman and seeks a man. 

But however true this may be for a great number of inverts it 
by no means indicates the general character of inversion. There 
is no doubt that a great part of the male inverted have retained 
the psychic character of virility, that proportionately they show 
but little the secondary characters of the other sex, and that they 
really look for real feminine psychic features in their sexual 
object If that were not so it would be incomprehensible why 
masculine prostitution, in offering itself to inverts, copies in all its 
exterior, to-day as in antiquity, the dress and attitudes of woman. 
This imitation would otherwise be an insult to the ideal of the 
inverts. Among the Gredcs, where the most manly men were 
found among inverts, it is quite obvious that it was not the mas- 
culine character of the boy which kindled the love of man, but it 
was his physical resemblance to woman as well as his feminine 
psychic qualities, such as shyness, demureness, and the need of 

chiatrie u. Nervenheilkimde, XII) who states that there are a number of 
observations " from which at least the virtual and continued existence of 
this second center (of the underlying sex) results." A Dr. Arduin (Die 
Frauenfrage und die sexuellen Zwischenstufen, 2d voL of the Jahrboch f. 
sexuelle Zwischenstufen, 1900) states that "in every man there exist 
male and female elements." See also the same JahrtMich, Bd. I, iSgg 
("Die objektive Diagnose der Homosexualitat " by M. Hirschfeld, pp. 
8-9). In the determination of sex, as far as heterosexual persons are 
concerned some are disproportionately more strongly developed than 
others. G. Herman is firm in hi^ belief " that in every woman there are 
male, and in every man there are female germs and qualities" ((genesis, 
das Gesetz der Zeugung, 9 Bd., Libido und Manie, 1903). As recently as 
1906 has W. Fliess (Der Ablauf des Ld)ens) claimed ownership of the 
idea of bisexuality (in the sense of double sex). 



instruction and help. As soon as the boy himself became a man 
he ceased to be a sexual object for men and in turn became a 
lover of boys. The sexual object in this case as in many others 
is therefore not of the like sex, but it unites both sex characters, 
a compromise between the impulses striving for the man and for 
the woman, but firmly conditioned by the masculinity of body 
(the genitals). ^^ 

The conditions in the woman are more definite ; here the active 
inverts, with special frequency, show the somatic and psychic 
characters of man and desire femininity in their sexual object; 
though even here greater variation will be found on more inti- 
mate investigation. 

The Sexual Aim of Inverts. — The important fact to bear in 
mind is that no uniformity of the sexual aim can be attributed 

" Ahhough psychoanalysis 
the origin of 
genesis and has es 
cases examined w( 
their childhood a 
woman (usually o 
themselves with thi 

yet given us a full explanation for 
aled the psychic mechanism of its 
tntially enriched the problems in question. In all the 
have ascertained that the later inverts go through in 
hase of very intense but short-lived fixation on the 
the mother) and after overcoming it they identify 
woman and take themselves as the sexual object; that 
is, following narcissism they look for young men resemWing themselves 
in person who shall love them as their mother has loved them. We- 
have, moreover, frequently found that alleged inverts are by no means 
indifferent to the charms of women, but the excitation evoked by the 
woman is always transferred to a male ohjecl. They thus repeat through 
lite the mechanism which gave origin to their inversion. Their obsessive 
striving for the man proves to be determined by their restless flight from 
the woman. It must l>e remembered, however, that until now only one 
type of inversion has been subjected to psychoanalysis, viz., that of per- 
sons with a general stunted sexual activity, the remnant of which mani- 
fested itself as inversion. The problem of inversion is very complex and 
embraces many diversi- types of sexual activity and development. No- 
lionally it should be strictly distinguished whether the i 
the sex character of the object or of the subject. 


to inversion. Intercourse per anum in men by no means goes 
with inversion; masturbation is just as frequently the exclusive 
aim; and the limitation of the sexual aim to mere effusion of 
feelings is here even more frequent than in hetero-sexual love. 
In women, too, the sexual aims of the inverted are manifold, 
among which contact with the mucous membrane of the mouth 
seems to be preferred. 

Conclusion. — Though from the material on hand we are by no 
means in a position satisfactorily to explain the origin of inver- 
sion, we can say that through this investigation we have obtained 
an insight which can become of greater significance to us than 
the solution of the above problem. Our attention is called to the 
fact that we have assumed a too close connection between the 
sexual impulse and the sexual object. The experience gained 
from the so called abnormal cases teaches us that there exists 
between the sexual impulse and the sexual object a connection 
which we are in danger of overlooking in the imiformity of 
normal states where the impulse seems to bring with it the object. 
We are thus instructed to fix our attention upon this connection 
between the impulse and the object. The sexual impulse is prob- 
ably entirely independent of its object and does not depend on the 
stimuli of the same for its origin. 

B. The Sexually Immature and Animals as Sexual Objects 

Whereas those sexual inverts whose sexual object does not 
belong to the normally adapted sex appear to the observer as a 
collective number of perhaps otherwise normal individuals, the 
persons who choose for their sexual object the sexually immature 
(children) are apparently from the first sporadic aberrations. 
Only exceptionally are children the exclusive sexual objects. 
They are mostly drawn into this role by a faint-hearted and impo- 
tent individual who makes use of such substitutes, or when an 


impulsive urgent desire cannot at the time secure the proper 
object. Still it throws some light on the nature of the sexual 
impulse, that it should suffer such great variation and deprecia- 
tion of its object, a thing which hunger, adhering more energet- 
ically to its object, would allow only in the most extreme cases. 
The same may be said of sexual relations with animals— a thing 
not at all rare among farmers — where the sexual attraction goes 
beyond the limits of the species. 

For esthetic reasons one would fain attribute this and other 
excessive aberrations of the sexual desire to the insane, but this 
cannot be done. Experience teaches that among the latter no 
disturbances of the sexual impulse can be found other than those 
observed among the sane, or among whole races and classes. 
Thus we find with gruesome frequency sexual abuse of children 
by teachers and servants merely because they have the best oppor- 
tunities for it. The insane present the aforesaid aberration only 
in a somewhat intensified form ; or what is of special significance 
is the fact that the aberration becomes exclusive and takes the 
place of the normal sexual grati6cation. 

This very remarkable relation of sexual variations ranging 
from the normal to the insane gives material for reflection. It 
seems to me that the explanatory fact would show that the im- 
pulses of the sexual life belong to those which even normally are 
most poorly controlled by the higher psychic activities. He who 
is in any way psychically abnormal, be it in social or ethical 
conditions, is, according to my experience, regularly so in his 
sexual life. But many are abnormal in their sexual life who in 
every other respect correspond to the average; they have fol- 
lowed the human cultural development but sexuality remains as 
their weak point. 

As a general result of these discussions we come to see that, 
under numerous conditions and among a surprising number of 
individuals, the nature and value of the sexual object steps into 


the background. There is something else in the sexual impulse 
which is the essential and constant.^* 

2. Deviation in Reference to the Sexual Aim 

The union of the genitals in the characteristic act of copulation 
is taken as the normal sexual aim. It serves to loosen the sexual 
tension and temporarily to quench the sexual desire (gratification 
analogous to satiation of hunger). Yet even in the most normal 
sexual process those additions are distinguishable, the develop- 
ment of which leads to the aberrations described as perversions. 
Thus certain intermediary relations to the sexual object connected 
with copulation, such as touching and looking, are recognized as 
preliminary to the sexual aim. These activities are on the one 
hand themselves connected with pleasure and on the other hand 
they enhance the excitement which persists until the definite 
sexual aim is reached. One definite kind of contiguity, consisting 
of mutual approximation of the mucous membranes of the lips 
in the form of a kiss, has among the most civilized nations received 
a sexual value, though the parts of the body concerned do not 
belong to the sexual apparatus but form the entrance to the diges- 
tive tract. This therefore supplies the factors which allow us 
to bring the perversions into relation with the normal sexual life, 
and which are available also for their classification. The perver- 
sions are either (a) anatomical transgressions of the bodily 
regions destined for the sexual union, or (&) a lingering at the 
intermediary relations to the sexual object which should normally 
be rapidly passed on the way to the definite sexual aim. 

" The most pronounced difference between the sexual life (Liebesleben) 
of antiquity and ours lies in the fact that the ancients placed the emphasis 
on the impulse itself, while we put it on its object. The ancients extolled 
the impulse and were ready to ennoble through it even an inferior object^ 
lyhile we disparage the activity of the impulse as such and only counten- 
ance it on account of the merits of the object 



(a) Analomical Transgression 

Overcstimation of the Sexual Object. — The psychic estima- 
tion in which the sexual object as a wish-aim of the sexual impulse 
participates, is only in the rarest cases limited to the genitals ; 
generally it embraces the whole body and tends to include all 
sensations emanating from the sexual object. The same over- 
estimation spreads over the psychic sphere and manifests itself as 
a logical blinding (diminished judgment) in the face of the psy- 
chic attainments and perfections of the sexual object, as well as a 
blind obedience to the judgments issuing from the latter. The 
full faith of love thus becomes an important, if not the most 
primordial source of authority.'* 

It is this sexual over-valuation, which is at such variance with 
the limitation of the sexual aim to the union of the genitals only, 
that assists other parts of the body to participate as sexual aims. 
In the development of this most manifold anatomical over- 
estimation there is an unmistakable desire towards variation, a 
thing denominated by Hoche as "excitement-hunger" (Reiz- 

Sexual Utilization of the Mucous Membrane of the Lips and 
Mouth. — The significance of the factor of sexual over-estimation 

" I must mention here that the blind obedience evinced by the hypno- 
tized subject to the hypnotist causes me to think that the nature of l^p- 
nosis is to be found in the unconscious fixation of the libido on the person 
of the hjTinotiser (by means of the masocliistic component of the sexual 
impulse) . 

Ferenczi connects this character of sugg:estibility with the "parent com- 
plex" (Jahrbuch fur Psychoanalytische urd Psychopathologische For- 
schungen, I, igog). 

"Further investigations lead to the conclusion that I. Bloch has ovA- 
estimated the factor of excitement -hunger (Reizhunger). The various 
roads upon which the libido moves behave to each other from the very 
beginning like communicating pipes; the factor of collateral streaming 
must also be considered. 


can be best studied in the man, in whom alone the sexual life is 
accessible to investigation, whereas in the woman it is veiled in 
impenetrable darkness, partly in consequence of cultural stunting 
and partly on account of the conventional reticence and dishon- 
esty of women. 

The emplo)rment of the mouth as a sexual organ is considered 
as a perversion if the lips (tongue) of the one are brought into 
contact with the genitals of the other, but not when the mucous 
membrane of the lips of both touch each other. In the latter 
exception we find the connection with the normal. He who 
abhors the former as perversions, though these since antiquity 
have been common practices among mankind, yields to a distinct 
feeling of loathing which protects him from adopting such sexual 
aims. The limit of such loathing is frequently purely conven- 
tional; he who kisses fervently the lips of a pretty girl will per- 
haps be able to use her tooth brush only with a sense of loathing, 
though there is no reason to assume that his own oral cavity for 
which he entertains no loathing is cleaner than that of the girl. 
Our attention is here called to the factor of loathing which stands 
in the way of the libidinous over-estimation of the sexual aim, 
but which may in turn be vanquished by the libido. In the loath- 
ing we may observe one of the forces which have brought about 
the limitations of the sexual aim. As a rule these forces halt at 
the genitals; there is, however, no doubt that even the genitals 
of the other sex themselves may be an object of loathing. Sudh 
behavior is characteristic of all hysterics, especially women. The 
power of the sexual impulse by preference occupies itself with 
the overcoming of this loathing (see below). 

Sexual Utilization of the Anal Opening. — It is even more 
obvious than in the former case that it is the loathing which 
stamps as a perversion the use of the anus as a sexual aim. But 
it should not be interpreted as espousing a cause when I observe 
that the basis of this loathing — ^namely, that this part of the body 



serves for the excretion and comes in contact with the loathsome 
excrement — i( not more plausible than the basis which hysterical 
girls have for the disgust which they entertain for the male genital 
because it serves for urination. 

The sexual role of the mucous membrane of the anus is by no 
means limited to intercourse between men; its preference has 
nothing characteristic of the inverted feeling. On the contrary, 
it seems that the pedicatio of the man owes its role to the analogy 
with the act in the woman, whereas among inverts it is mutual 
masturbation which is the most common sexual aim. 

The Significance of Other Parts of the Body. — Sexual in- 
fringement on the other parts of the body, in all its variations, 
offers nothing new; it adds nothing to our knowledge of the 
sexual impulse which herein only announces its intention to 
occupy the sexual object in every way. Besides the sexual over- 
valuation, a second factor may be mentioned among the anatom- 
ical transgressions which is generally unknown. Certain parts 
of the body, like the mucous membrane of the mouth and anus, 
which repeatedly appear in such practices, lay claim as it were 
to be considered and treated as genitals. We shall hear how this 
claim is Justified by the development of the sexual impulse, and 
how it is fulfilled in the symptomatology of certain morbid 

Unfit Substitutes for the Sexual Object. Fetichism.— We 
are especially impressed by those cases in which for the normal 
sexual object is substituted another which is related to it but 
which is totally unfit for the normal sexual aim. According to 
the scheme of the introduction we should have done better to 
mention this most interesting group of aberrations of the sexual 
impulse among the deviations in reference to the sexual object, 
but we have deferred mention of these until we became acquainted 
with the factor of sexual over-estimation, upon which these 


manifestations, connected with the relinquishing of the sextial 
aim, depend. 

The substitution for the sexual object is in general a part of 
the body but little adapted for sexual purposes, such as the foot, 
or hair, or an inanimate object which is in demonstrable relation 
with the sexual person, and mostly with the sexuality of the same 
(fragments of clothing, white underwear). This substitution is 
not unjustly compared with the fetich in which the savage sees 

. iht embodiment of his god. 

-^' ' ihe transition to the cases of fetichism, with a renunciation of 
the normal sexual aim or with a perverted sexual aim, is formed 
by cases in which a fetichistic determination is demanded in the 
sexual object if the sexual aim is to be attained (definite color of 
hair, clothing, even physical blemishes). No other variation of 
the sexual impulse verging on the pathological is so clear to us in 
every respect as this one, in spite of the peculiarity occasioned by 
its manifestations. A certain diminution in the striving for the 
normal sexual aim may be presupposed in all these cases (execu- 
tive weakness of the sexual apparatus). The connection with 
the normal is occasioned by the psychologically necessary over- 
estimation of the sexual object, which inevitably encroaches upon 
everything associatively related to it (sexual object). A certain 
degree of such fetichism therefore regularly belongs to the nor- 
mal, especially during those stages of wooing when the normal 
sexual aim seems inaccessible or its realization deferred. 

"Get me a handkerchief from her bosom — b, garter of my love." 

— ^Faust. 

The case becomes pathological only when the striving for the 
fetich fixes itself beyond such determinations and takes the place 
of the normal sexual aim; or again, when the fetich disengages 
itself from the person concerned and itself becomes a sexual 
object. These are the general determinations for the transition 
of mere variations of the sexual impulse into pathological 


The persistent influence of a sexual impress mostly received in 
early childhood often shows itself in the selection of a fetich, as 
Binet first asserted, and as was later proven by many illustra- 
tions, — a thing which may be placed parallel to the proverbial 
attachment to a first love in the normal ("On revient toujours a 
ses premiers amours"). Such a connection is especially seen in 
i with only fetichistic determinations of the sexual object. 
The significance of early sexual impressions will be met again 
in other places. 

In other cases it was mostly a symbolic thought association, 
unconscious to the person concerned, which led to the substitution 
of the object by means of a fetich. The paths of these connec- 
tions can not always be definitely demonstrated. The foot is a 
very primitive sexual symbol already found in myths." Fur is 
used as a fetich probably on account of its association with the 
hairiness of the mons veneris. Such symbolism seems often to 
depend on sexual experiences in childhood." 

(b) Fixation of Precursory Sexual Aims 
The Appearance of Newer Intentions. — All the outer and 
inner determinations which impede or hold at a distance the 
attainment of the normal sexual aim, such as impotence, costli- 
ness of the sexual object, and dangers of the sexual act, will con- 

" The shoe or slipper is accordingly a symbol for the female genital. 

" Psychoanalysis has filled up the ga.p in the understanding of fetich- 
isms by showing that the selection of the fetich depends on a coprophilic 
smell-desire which has been lost by repression. Feet and hair are strong 
smelling objects which are raised to fetiches after the renouncing of the 
now unpleasant sensation of smell. Accordingly, only the filthy and ilU 
smelling foot is the sexual object in the perversion which corresponds to 
the fool felichism. Another contribution to the explanation of the fetich- 
istic preference of the foot is found in the Infantile Sexual Theories (see 
later). The foot replaces the penis which is so much missed in the 


ceivably strengthen the inclination to linger at the preparatory 
acts and to form them into new sexual aims which may take the 
place of the normal. On closer investigation it is always seen 
that the ostensibly most peculiar of these new intentions have 
already been indicated in the normal sexual act. 

Touching and Looking. — ^At least a certain amount of touch- 
ing is indispensable for a person in order to attain the normal 
sexual aim. It is also generally known that the touching of the 
skin of the sexual object causes much pleasure and produces a 
supply of new excitement. Hence, the lingering at the touching 
can hardly be considered a perversion if the sexual act is pro- 
ceeded with. 

The same holds true with looking which is analogous to touch- 
ing. The manner in which the libidinous excitement is fre- 
quently awakened is by the optical impression, and selection takes 
account of this circumstance by making the sexual object a thing 
' of beauty. The covering of the body, which keeps abreast with 
civilization, serves to arouse sexual inquisitiveness, which always 
strives to restore for itself the sexual object by uncovering the 
hidden parts. This can be turned into the artistic ("sublima- 
tion") if the interest is turned from the genitals to the form of 
the body. The tendency to linger at this intermediary sexual 
aim of the sexually accentuated looking is found to a certain 
degree in most normals; indeed it gives them the possibility of 
directing a certain amount of their libido to a higher artistic aim. 
On the other hand, the fondness for looking becomes a perver- 
sion (a) when it limits itself entirely to the genitals; (6) when it 
becomes connected with the overcoming of loathing (voyeurs 
and onlookers at the ftmctions of excretion) ; and (c) when in- 
stead of preparing for the normal sexual aim it suppresses it. 
The latter, if I may draw conclusions from a single analysis, is 
in a most pronounced way true of exhibitionists, who expose 
their genitals so as in turn to bring to view the genitals of others. 

In the perversion which consists in striving to look and be 


looked at we are confronted with a very remarkable character 
which will occupy us even more intensively in the following aber- 
ration. The sexual aim is here present in twofold formation, 
in an active and a passive form. 

The force which is opposed to the peeping mania and through 
which it is eventually abolished is shame (like the former 
loathing) . 

Sadism and Masochism. — The desire to cause pain to the 
sexual object and its opposite, the most frequent and most sig- 
nificant of all perversions, was designated in its two forms by 
V. Krafft-Ebing as sadism or the active form, and masochism or 
the passive form. Other authors prefer the narrower term algo- 
lagnia which emphasizes the pleasure in pain and cruelty, 
whereas the terms selected by v. Krafft-Ebing place the pleasure 
secured in all kinds of humility and submission in the foreground. 

The roots of active algolagnia, sadism, can be readily demon- 
strable in the normal. The sexuality of most men shows a taint 
of aggression, it is a propensity to subdue, the biological signifi- 
cance of which lies in the necessity of overcoming the resistance 
of the se-xual object by actions other than mere courting. Sadism 
would then correspond to an aggressive component of the sexual 
impulse which has become independent and exaggerated and has 
been brought to the foreground by displacement. 

The origin of at least one of the roots of masochism is just as 
certain. It originates from the sexual over- estimation as a nec- 
essary psychic sequence of the selection of a sexual object. The 
pain which is here overcome ranks with the loathing and shame 
which were the resistances opposed to the libido. 

That cruelty and sexual impulse are most intimately connected 
is beyond doubt taught by the history of civihzation, but in the 
explanation of this connection no one has gone beyond the accen- 
tuation of the aggressive factors of the libido. The aggression 
which is mixed with the sexual impulse is according to some 
authors a remnant of cannibalistic lust, a participation on the part 


of the acquisition apparatus (Bemachtigungsapparatus) which 
served also for the gratification of the great wants of the other, 
ontogenetically the older impulse. It has also been claimed that 
every pain contains in itself the possibility of a pleasurable sen- 
sation. Let us be satisfied with the impression that the explana- 
tion of this perversion is by no means satisfactory and that it is 
possible that many psychic efforts unite themselves into one effect. 

The most striking peculiarity of this perversion lies in the fact 
that its active and passive forms are regularly encountered 
together in the same person. He who experiences pleasure by 
causing pain to others in sexual relations is also able to expe- 
rience the pain emanating from sexual relations as pleasure. A 
sadist is simultaneously a masochist, though either the active or 
the passive side of the perversion may be more strongly developed 
and thus represent his preponderate sexual activity.*' 

We thus see that certain perverted propensities regularly ap- 
pear in contrasting pairs, a thing which, in view of the material 
to be produced later, must claim great theoretical value. It is 
furthermore clear that the existence of the contrast, sadism and 
masochism, can not r*eadily be attributed to the mixture of aggres- 
sion. On the other hand it may be attempted to connect such 
simultaneously existing contrasts with the united contrast of male 
and female in bisexuality. 

3. General Statements Applicable to all Perversions 

Variation and Disease. — The physicians who at first studied 
the perversions in pronounced cases and under peculiar condi- 
tions were naturally inclined to attribute to them the character of 
a morbid or degenerative sign similar to the inversions. This 

"Instead of substantiating this statement by many examples I will 
merely cite Havelock Ellis (The Sexual Impulse, 1903) : " All known 
cases of sadism and masochism, even those cited by v. Krafft-Ebing, 
always show (as has already been shown by Colin, Scott, and F€t€) traces 
of both groups of manifestations in the same individual." 



view, however, is easier to refute in this than in the former case. 
Everyday experience has shown that most of these transgressions, 
at least the milder ones, are seldom wanting as components in the 
sexual life of normals who look upon them as upon other inti- 
macies. Wherever the conditions are favorable such a perver- 
sion may for a long time be substituted by a normal person for 
the normal sexual aim or it may be placed near it. In no normal 
person does the normal sexual aim lack some designable perverse 
element, and this universality suffices in itself to prove the inex- 
pediency of an opprobrious application of the name perversion. 
In the realm of the sexual life one is sure to meet with excep- 
tional difficulties which are at present really unsolvable, if one 
wishes to draw a sharp line between the mere variations within 
physiological limits and morbid symptoms. 

Nevertheless, the quality of the new sexual aim in some of 
these perversions is such as to require special notice. Some of 
the perversions are in content so distant from the normal that 
we cannot help calling them " morbid," especially those in which 
the sexual impulse, in overcoming the resistances {shame, loathing, 
fear, and pain) has brought about surprising results {licking of 
feces and violation of cadavers). Yet even in these cases one 
ought not to feel certain of regularly finding among the perpe- 
trators persons of pronounced abnormalities or insane minds. 
We can not lose sight of the fact that persons who otherwise 
behave normally are recorded as sick in the realm of the sexual 
life where they are dominated by the most unbridled of all im- 
pulses. On the other hand, a manifest abnormality in any other 
relation in life generally shows an undercurrent of abnormal 
sexual behavior. 

In the majority of cases we are able to find the morbid char- 
acter of the perversion not in the content of the new sexual aim 
but in its relation to the normal. It is morbid if the perversion 
does not appear beside the normal (sexual aim and sexual object), 
where favorable circumstances promote it and unfavorable im- 



pede the normal, or if it has under all circumstances repressed 
and supplanted the normal ; the exclusiveness and fixation of the 

perversion justifies us in considering it a morbid symptom. 

The Psychic Participation in the Perversions. — Perhaps 
even in the most abominable perversions we must recognize the 
most prolific psychic participation for the transformation of the 
sexual impulse. In these cases a piece of psychic work has been 
accomplished in which, in spite of its gruesome success, the value 
of an ideahzation of the impulse can not be disputed. The 
omnipotence of love nowhere perhaps shows itself stronger than 
in this one of her aberrations. The highest and the lowest every- 
where in sexuality hang most intimately together. ("From 
heaven through the world to hell.") 

Two Results. — In the study of perversions we have gained an 
insight into the fact that the sexual impulse has to struggle against 
certain psychic forces, resistances, among which shame and loath- 
ing are most prominent. We may presume that these forces are 
employed to confine the impulse within the accepted normal limits, 
and if they have become developed in the individual before the - 
sexual impulse has attained its full strength, it is really they 
which have directed in the course of development. 

We have furthermore remarked that some of the examined 
perversions can be comprehended only by assuming the union of 
many motives. If they are amenable to analysis — disintegrat- 
tion — they must he of a composite nature. This may give us a 
hint that the sexual impulse itself may not be something simple, 
that it may on the contrary be composed of many components 
which detach themselves to form perversions. Our clinical 
observation thus calls our attention to fusions which have for- 
feited their expression in the uniform normal behavior. 

4. The Sexual Impulse in Neurotics 

Psychoanalysis. — A proper contribution to the knowledge of 

the sexual impulse in persons who are at least related to the 



normal can be gained only from one source, and is accessible 
only by one definite path. There is only one way to obtain a 
thorough and unerring solution of problems in the sexual life of 
so-called psychoneurotics (hysteria, obsessions, the wrongly- 
named neurasthenia, and probably also paranoia), and that is by 
subjecting them to the psychoanalytic investigations propounded 
by J. Breuer and myself in 1893, which we called the " cathartic " 

I must repeat what I have said in my published work, that these 
psychoneu roses, as far as my experience goes, are based on sexual 
motive powers. I do not mean that the energy of the sexual 
impulse contributes to the forces supporting the morbid mani- 
festations (symptoms), but I wish distinctly to maintain that 
this supplies the only constant and the most important source of 
energy in the neurosis, so that the sexual life of such persons 
manifests itself either exclusively, preponderately, or partially in 
these symptoms. As I have already stated in different places, 
the symptoms are the sexual activities of the patient. The proof 
for this assertion I have obtained from the psychoanalysis of 
hysterics and other neurotics during a period of fifteen years, the 
results of which I hope to give later in a detailed account. 

The psychoanalysis removes the symptoms of hysteria on the 
supposition that they are the substitutes — the transcriptions- as it 
were — for a series of emotionally accentuated psychic processes,, 
wishes, and desires, to which a passage for their discharge through 
the conscious psychic activities hfts been cut off by a special 
process (repression). These thought formations which are re- 
strained in the state of the unconscious strive for expression, that 
is, for discharge, in conformity to their affective value, and find 
such in hysteria through a process of conversion into somatic 
phenomena — the hysterical symptoms. If, lege atiis, and with 
the aid of a special technique, retrogressive transformations of 
the symptoms into the affectful and conscious thoughts can be 
affected, it then becomes possible to get the most accurate infor- 


mation about the nature and origin of these previously uncon- 
scious psychic formations. 

Results of Psychoanalysis. — In this manner it has been dis- 
covered that the S)rmptoms represent the equivalent for the striv- 
ings which received their strength from the source of the sexual 
impulse. This fully concurs with what we know of the char- 
acter of hysterics, which we have taken as models for all psycho- 
neurotics, before it has become diseased, and with what we know 
concerning the causes of the disease. The hysterical character 
evinces a part of sexual repression which reaches beyond the 
normal limits, an exaggeration of the resistances against the 
sexual impulse which we know as shame and loathing. It is an 
instinctive flight from intellectual occupation with the sexual 
problem, the consequence of which in pronounced cases is a com- 
plete sexual ignorance, which is preserved till the age of sexual 
maturity is attained.** 

This feature so characteristic of hysteria is not seldom con- 
cealed in crude observation by the existence of the second con- 
stitutional factor of hysteria, namely, the enormous development 
of the sexual craving. But the psychological analysis will always 
reveal it and solves the very contradictory enigma of hysteria by 
proving the existence of the contrasting pair, an immense sexual 
desire and a very exaggerated sexual rejection. 

The provocation of the disease in hysterically predisposed per- 
sons is brought about if in consequence of their progressive 
maturity or external conditions of life they are earnestly con- 
fronted with the real sexual demand. Between the pressure of 
the craving and the opposition of the sexual rejection an outlet 
for the disease results, which does not remove the conflict but 
seeks to elude it by transforming the libidinous strivings into 

^Studien uber Hysterie, 18^5, J. Breuer tells of the patient on whom 
he first practiced the cathartic method: *'The sexual moment was sur- 
prisingly undeveloped." 




symptoms. It is an exception only in appearance if a hysterical 
person, say a man, becomes subject to some banal emotional dis- 
turbance, to a conflict in the center of which there is no sexual 
interest. The psychoanalysis will regularly show that it is the 
sexual components of the conflict which make the disease possible 
by withdrawing the psychic processes from normal adjustment. 

Neurosis and Perversion. — A great part of the opposition to 
my assertion is explained by the fact that the sexuality from 
which I deduce the psychoneurotic symptoms is thought of as 
coincident with the normal sexual impulse. But the psycho- 
analysis teaches us better than this. It shows that the symptoms 
do not by any means result at the expense only of the so called 
normal sexual impulse (at least not exclusively or preponder- 
ately), but they represent the converted expression of impulses 
which in a broader sense might be designated as perverse if they 
could manifest themselves directly in phantasies and acts without 
deviating from consciousness. The symptoms are therefore par- 
tially formed at the cost of abnormal sexuality. The neurosis is, 
so to say, the negative of the perversion." 

The sexual impulse of the psychoneurotic shows all the aber- 
rations which we have studied as variations of the normal and as 
manifestations of morbid sexual life. 

(o) In all the neurotics without exception we find feelings of 
inversion in the unconscious psychic life, fixation of libido on 
persons of the same sex. It is impossible, without a deep and 
searching discussion, adequately to appreciate the significance of 
this factor for the formation of the picture of the disease; I can 
only assert that the unconscious propensity to inversion is never 

"The well-known fancies of perverts which under favorable conditions 
are changed into contrivances, the delusional fears of paianoiacs which 
are in a hostile manner projected on others, and the unconscious fancies 
of hysterics which are discovered in their symptoms by psychoanalysis, 
agree as to content in the minutest details. 


wanting and is particularly of immense service in explaining male 

(b) All the inclinations to anatomical transgression can be 
demonstrated in psychoneurotics in the unconscious and as symp- 
tom-creators. Of special frequency and intensity are those which 
impart to the mouth and the mucous membrane of the anus the 
role of genitals. 

(c) The partial desires which usually appear in contrasting 
pairs play a very prominent role among the symptom-creators in 
the psychoneuroses. We have learned to know them as carriers 
of new sexual aims, such as peeping mania, exhibitionism, and the 
actively and passively formed impulses of cruelty. The contri- 
bution of the last is indispensable for the understanding of the 
morbid nature of the symptoms ; it almost regularly controls some 
portion of the social behavior of the patient. The transformation 
of love into hatred, of tenderness into hostility, which is charac- 
teristic of a large number of neurotic cases and apparently of all 
cases of paranoia, takes place by means of the union of cruelty 
with the libido. 

The interest in these deductions is heightened on account of 
certain peculiar circumstances, as follows : 

a. There is nothing in the unconscious streams of thought in 
the neuroses which would correspond to an inclination towards 
fetichism; a circumstance which throws light on the psycholog- 
ical peculiarity of this well understood perversion. 

p. Wherever any such impulse is found in the unconscious 
which can be paired with a contrasting one, it can regularly be 
demonstrated that the latter, too, is effective. Every active per- 

"A psychoneurosis very often associates itself with a manifest inver- 
sion in which the heterosexual feeling becomes subjected to complete 
repression. — It is but just to state that the necessity of a general recog- 
nition of the tendency to inversion in psychoneurotics was first imparted 
to me personally by Wilh. Fliess, of Berlin, after I had myself discovered 
it in some cases. 


version is here accompanied by its passive opponent. He who in 
the unconscious is an exhibitionist is at the same time a voyeur, 
he who suffers from sadistic feelings as a result of repression will 
also show another reinforcement of the symptoms from the source 
of masochistic tendencies. The perfect concurrence with the 
behavior of the corresponding positive perversions is certainly 
very noteworthy. In the picture of the disease, however, the 
preponderant role is played by either one or the other of the 
opposing tendencies. 

y. In a pronounced case of psychoneurosis we seldom find the 
development of one single perverted impulse; usually there are 
many and regularly there are traces of all perversions. The in- 
dividual impulse, however, on account of its intensity, is inde- 
pendent of the development of the others, but the study of the 
positive perversions gives us the accurate opponent to it. 

Paetial Impulses and Erogenous Zones 
Keeping in mind what we have learned from the examination 
of the positive and negative perversions, it becomes quite obvious 
that they can be referred to a number of "partial impulses," 
which are not, however, primary but are subject to further anal- 
ysis. In a non-sexual " impulse " originating from impulses of 
motor sources we can distinguish a contribution from a stimulus- 
receiving organ, such as the skin, mucous membrane, and sensory 
organs. This we shall here designate as an erogenous zone; it 
is that organ the stimulus of which bestows on the impulse the 
sexual character. In the perversions which claim sexual signifi- 
cance for the oral cavity and the anal opening the part played 
by the erogenous zone is quite obvious. It behaves in every way 
like a part of the sexual apparatus. In hysteria these parts of 
the body, as well as their tracks of mucous membrane, become 
the seat of new sensations and innervating changes in a manner 
similar to the real genitals when under the excitement of normal 
sexual processes. 


The significance of the erogenous zones in the psychoneuroses, 
as additional apparatus and substitutes for the genitals, appears 
to be most prominent in hysteria though that does not signify that 
it is of lesser validity in the other morbid forms. It is not so 
recognizable in compulsion neurosis and paranoia because here 
the symptom formation takes place in regions of the psychic 
apparatus which lie at a great distance from the central locations 
for bodily control. The more remarkable thing in the compul- 
sion neurosis is the significance of the impulses which create new 
sexual aims and appear independently of the erogenous zones. 
Nevertheless, the eye corresponds to an erogenous zone in the 
looking and exhibition mania, while the skin takes on the same 
part in the pain and cruelty components of the sexual impulse. 
The skin, which in special parts of the body becomes differen- 
tiated as sensory organs and modified by the mucous membrane, 
is the erogenous zone, leaT'e^ojf^jv." 

Explanation of the Manifest Preponderance of Sexual 
Perversions in the Psychoneuroses 
The sexuality of psychoneurotics has perhaps been placed in a 
false light by the above discussions. It appears that the sexual 
behavior of the psychoneurotic approaches in predisposition to 
the pervert and deviates by just so much from the normal. 
Nevertheless, it is very possible that the constitutional disposition 
of these patients besides containing an immense amount of sexual 
repression and a predominant force of sexual impulse also pos- 
sesses an unusual tendency to perversions in the broadest sense. 
However, an examination of milder cases shows that the last 
assumption is not an absolute requisite, or at least that in pro- 

"One should here think of Moll's assertion, who divides the sexual im- 
pulse into the impulses o! contrectation and detumescence. Contrecfation 
signifies a desire to touch the skin. !n one of his cases Strohmayer has 
very correctly found the origin of obsessive reproaches in suppressed 
sadistic feelings. 


noimcing judgment on the morbid effects one ought to discount 
the effect of this latter factor. In most psychoneurotics the dis- 
ease first appears after puberty following the demands of the 
normal sexual life, but against this the repression directs itself. 
Or the disease comes on later, owing to the fact that the libido 
is unable to attain normal sexual gratification. In both cases the 
libido behaves like a stream the principal bed of which is dammed ; 
it fills the collateral roads which until now perhaps have been 
empty. Thus the manifestly great {though to be sure negative) 
tendency to perversion in psychoneurotics may be collaterally 
conditioned ; at any rate, it is certainly collaterally increased. 
The fact of the matter is that the sexual repression has to be 
added as an inner moment to such external ones as limitation of 
freedom, inaccessibility to the normal sexual object, dangers of 
the normal sexual act, etc., which cause the origin of perversions 
in individuals who might have otherwise remained normal. 

In individual cases of neurosis the behavior may be different; 
now the congenital force of the tendency to perversion may be 
more decisive and at other times more influence may be exerted 
by the collateral increase of the same through the deviation of 
the libido from the normal sexual aim and object. It would be 
unjust to construe a contrast where a cooperation exists. The 
greatest effect will always be brought about in a neurosis if there 
is a collaboration of constitution and experience working in the 
same direction. A pronounced constitution may perhaps be able 
to dispense with the assistance of impressions, while a profound 
disturbance in life may perhaps bring on a neurosis even in an 
average constitution. These views similarly hold true in the 
etiological significance of the congenital and the accidental expe- 
riences in other spheres. 

If, however, preference is given to the assumption that an 
especially formed tendency to perversions is characteristic of the 
psychoneurotic constitution, there is a prospect of being able to 
distinguish a multiformity of such constitutions in accordance 



with the congenital preponderance of this or that erogenous zone, 
or of this or that partial impulse. Whether there is a special 
relationship between the perverted predisposition and the selec- 
tion of the morbid picture has not, like many other things in this 
realm, been investigated. 

Reference to the Injantilism of Sexuality 
By demonstrating the perverted feelings as sjmiptomatic for- 
mations in psychoneurotics, we have enormously increased the 
number of persons who can be added to the perverts. This is 
not only because neurotics represent a very large proportion of 
humanity, but we must consider also that the neuroses in all 
their gradations run in an uninterrupted series to the normal 
state. Moebius was quite justified in saying that we are all some- 
what hysterical. Hence, the very wide dissemination of perver- 
sions urged us to assume that the predisposition to perversions is 
no rare peculiarity but must fonn a part of the normally accepted 

We have heard that it is a question whether perversions should 
be referred to congenital determinations or whether they origi- 
nate from accidental experiences, just as Binet showed in fetich- 
isms. Now we are confronted with the conclusion that there is 
indeed something congenital at the basis of perversions, but it is 
something which is congenital in all persons, which as a predis- 
position may fluctuate in intensity and is brought into prominence 
by influences of life. We deal here with congenital roots in the 
constitution of the sexual impulse which in one series of cases 
develop into real carriers of sexual activity (perverts) ; while in 
other cases they undergo an insufficient suppression (repression), 
so that as morbid symptoms they are enabled to attract to them- 
selves in a round-about way a considerable part of the sexual 
energy ; while again in favorable cases between the two extremes 
they cause the origin of the normal sexual life through effective 
limitations and other elaborations. 


But we must also remember that the assumed constitution 
which shows the roots of all perversions will be demonstrable 
only in the child^ though all impulses can be manifested in it only 
in moderate intensity. If we are led to suppose that neurotics 
conserve the infantile state of their sexuality or return to it, our 
interest must then turn to the sexual life of the child, and we will 
then follow the play of influences which control the processes of 
development of the infantile sexuality up to its termination in a 
perversion, a neurosis, or a normal sexual life. 



It is a part of popular belief about the sexual impulse that it 
is absent in childhood and that it first appears in the period of 
life known as puberty. This, though an obvious error, is a 
serious one in its consequences and is chiefly due to our present 
ignorance of the fundamental principles of the sexual life. A 
comprehensive study of the sexual manifestations of childhood 
would probably reveal to us the existence of the essential fea- 
tures of the sexual impulse, and would make us acquainted with 
its development and its composition from various sources. 

The Neglect of the Infantile. — ^It is remarkable that those 
writers who endeavor to explain the qualities and reactions of 
the adult individual have given so much more attention to the 
ancestral period than to the period of the individual's own exist- 
ence — ^that is, they have attributed more influence to heredity 
than to childhood. As a matter of fact, it might well be supposed 
that the influence of the latter period would be easier to under- 
stand, and that it would be entitled to more consideration than 
heredity. To be sure, one occasionally finds in medical literature 
notes on the premature sexual activities of small children, about 
erections and masturbation and even actions resembling coitus, 
but these are referred to merely as exceptional occurrences, as 
curiosities, or as deterring examples of premature perversity. 
No author has to my knowledge recognized the lawfulness of the 
sexual impulse in childhood, and in the numerous writings on the 
development of the child the chapter on " Sexual Development " 
is usually passed over.^ 

*This assertion on revision seamed even to myself so bold that I de- 
cided to test its correctness by again reviewing the literature. The result 



Infantile Anuiesia. — This remarkable negligence is due partly 

to conventional considerations, which influence the writers on 
account of their own bringing up, and partly to a psychic phe- 
nomenon which has thus far remained unexplained. I refer to 

of this second review did not warrant any change in my original statement I 
The scientific elaboration of the physical as well as the psychic phenomena 
of the infantile sexuality is still in its initial stages. One author (S. Bell, 
" A Preliminary Study of the Emotions of Love Between the Sexes," 
American Journal of Psychology, XIII, 1902) says: "I know of no scien- 
tist who has given a careful analysis of the emotion as it is seen in the 
adolescent," The only attention given to somatic sexual manifestations 
occurring before the age of puberty was in connection with degenerative 
manifestations, and these were referred 10 as a sign of degeneration. A 
chapter on the sexual life of children is not lo be found in all the repre- 
sentative psychologies of this age which I have read. Among these works 
I can mention the following: Preyer; Baldwin (The Development of the 
Mind in the Child and in the Race, 1898) ; Perez (L'enfant de 3-? ans, 
1894) ; Striimpel (Die padagogische Pathologie, iSgg) ; Karl Groos (Das 
Seelenleben des Kindes, 1904) ; Th. Heller (Grundriss der Heilpadagogic, 
1904); Sully (Observations Concerning Childhood, 1897). The best im- 
pression of the present situation of this sphere can he obtained from the 
journal Die Kinderfehler (issued since 1896). On the other hand one 
gains the impression that the existence of love in childhood is in no need 
of demonstration. Perez (!. c.) speaks for it; K, Groos (Die Spiele der 
Menschen, 1899) states that some children are very early subject lo sexual 
emotions, and show a desire to touch the other sex (p. 336) ; S. Bell 
observed the earliest appearance of sex-love in a child during the middle 
part of its third year. See also Havelock Ellis, The Sexual Impulse, 
Appendix II. 

The above-mentioned judgment concerning the literature of infantile 
sexuality no longer holds true since the appearance of the great and im- 
portant work of G. Stanley Hall (Adolescence, Its Psychology and its 
Relation to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, 
and Education, 2 vols., New York, 1908). The recent book of A. Moll, 
Das Sexualleben des Kindes, Berlin, igocj, offers no occasion for such a 
modification. See, on the other hand, Bleuler, Sexuelle abnormitaten der 
Kinder (Jahrbuch der Schweiierischen Gesellschaft fiir Schulgesund- 
heitspfiege, IX, 1908). 



; f 

■ ¥. 

the peculiar amnesia which veils from most people (not from 
all!) the first years of their childhood, usually the first six or 
eight years. So far it has not occurred to us that this amnesia 
ought to surprise us, though we have in fact good reasons for sur- 
prise. ^,, For we are informed that in those years from which we 
later obtain nothing except a few incomprehensible memory frag- 
ments, we have vividly reacted to impressions, that we have mani- 
fested pain and pleasure like any human being, that we have 
evinced love, jealousy, and other passions as they then aflfected 
us ; indeed we are told that we have uttered remarks which proved 
to grown-ups that we possessed understanding and a budding 
power of judgment. Still we know nothing of all this when we 
become older. Why does our memory lag behind all our other 
psychic activities? We really have reason to believe that at no 
time of life are we more capable of impressions and reproductions 
than during the years of childhood* 

On the other hand we must assume, or we may convince our- 
selves through psychological observations on others, that the very 
impressions which we have forgotten have nevertheless left the 
deepest traces in our psychic life, and acted as determinants for 
our whole future development. We conclude therefore that we 
do not deal with a real forgetting of infantile impressions but 
rather with an amnesia similar to that observed in neurotics for 
later experiences, the nature of which consists in their being 
detained from consciousness (repression). But what forces bring 
about this repression of the infantile impressions? He who can 
solve this riddle will also explain hysterical amnesia. 

We shall not, however, hesitate to assert that the existence of 
the infantile amnesia gives us a new point of comparison be- 
tween the psychic states of the child and those of the psycho- 
neurotic. We have already encountered another point of com- 

'I have attempted to solve the problems presented by the earliest in- 
fantile recollections in a paper, " Uber Deckerinnerungen " (Monats- 
schrift fur Psychiatrie und Neurologie, VI, iSgp). 




parison when confronted by the fact that the sexuality of the 
psychoneurotic preserves the infantile character or has returned 
to it. May there not be an ultimate connection between the 
infantile and the hysterical amnesias ? 

The connection between the infantile and the hysterical am- 
nesias is really more than a mere play of wit. The hysterical 
amnesia which serves the repression can only be explained by the 
fact that the individual already possesses a sum of recollections 
which have been withdrawn from conscious disposal and which 
by associative connection now seize that which is acted upon by 
the repelling forces of the repression emanating from conscious- 
ness. We may say that without infantile amnesia there would 
be no hysterica! amnesia. 

I believe that the infantile amnesia which causes the individual 
to look upon his childhood as if it were a prehistoric time and 
conceals from him the beginning of bis own sexual life — that this 
amnesia is responsible for the fact that one does not usually 
attribute any value to the infantile period in the development of 
the sexual life. One single observer cannot fill the gap which 
has been thus produced in our knowledge. As early as 1896 I 
had already emphasized the significance of childhood for the 
origin of certain important phenomena connected with the sexual 
life, and since then I have not ceased to put into the foreground 
the importance of the infantile factor for sexuality. 

The Sexual Latency Period of Childhood and its 
The extraordinary frequent discoveries of apparently abnormal 
and exceptional sexual manifestations in childhood, as well as 
the discovery of infantile reminiscences in neurotics, which were 
hitherto unconscious, allow us to sketch the following picture of 
the sexual behavior of childhood.' 

'The use of the latter material is justified by the fact that the age of 
childhood of those who are later neurotics need not necessarily differ 
from that of those who are later nonnal. 


It seems certain that the newborn child brings with it the germs 
of sexual feelings which continue to develop for some time and 
then succumb to a progressive suppression, which is in turn 
broken through by the proper advances of the sexual development 
and which can be checked by individual idiosyncrasies. Nothing 
definite is known concerning the lawfulness and periodicity of 
this oscillating course of development. It seems, however, that 
the sexual life of the child mostly manifests itself in the third 
I or fourth year in some form accessible to observation.* 

The Sexual Inhibition. — It is during this period of total or 
at least partial latency that the psychic forces develop which 
later act as inhibitions on the sexual life, and narrow its direc- 

Ition like dams. These psychic forces are loathing, shame, and 
moral and esthetic ideation masses. We may gain the impression 
that the erection of these dams in the civilized child is the work 
of education; and surely education contributes much to it. In 
[ reality, however, this development is organically determined and 
can occasionally be produced without the help of education. In- 
deed education remains properly within its assigned realm only 
if it strictly follows the path sketched for it by the organic deter- 
minant and impresses it somewhat cleaner and deeper. 

Reaction Formation and Sublimation. — What are the means 
that accomplish these very important constructions so significant 
for the later personal culture and normality? They are prob- 
ably brought about at the cost of the infantile sexuality itself, 
the influx of which has not stopped even in this latency period — 

*An anatomic analogy to the behavior of the infantile sexual function 
formulated by me is perhaps given by Bayer (Deutsches Archiv fiir Uin- 
ische Medizin, Bd. 73) who claims that the internal genitals (uterus) 
are regularly larger in newborn than in older children. However Hal- 
ban's conception, that after birth there is also an involution of the other 
parts of the sexual apparatus, has not been verified. According to Halban 
(Zeitschrift fiir Geburtshilfe U. Gynakologie, LHI, 1904) this process of 
involution ends after a few weeks of extra-uterine life. 




the energy of which indeed has been turned away either wholly 
or partially from sexual utilization and conducted to other aims. 
The historians of civilization seem to be unanimous in the opin- | 
ion that such deviation of sexual motive powers from sexual aims 
to new aims, a process which merits the name of sublimation,ha.s 
furnished powerful components for all cultural accomplishments. | 
We will therefore add that the same process acts in the devel- 
opment of every individual, and that it begins to act in the sexual 
latency period." 

We can also venture an opinion about the mechanisms of such 
sublimation. The sexual feelings of these infantile years on the 
one hand could not be utilizable, since the procreating functions 
are postponed, — this is the chief character of the latency period; 
on the other hand, they would in themselves be perverse, as they 
would emanate from erogenous zones and would be born of im- 
pulses which in the individual's course of development could only 
evoke a feeling of displeasure. They therefore awaken contrary 
forces (feelings of reaction), which in order to suppress such 
displeasure, build up the above mentioned psychic dams : loathing, 
shame, and morality. 

The Emergence of the Latency Period. — Without deluding 
ourselves as to the hypothetical nature and deficient clearness of 
our understanding regarding the infantile period of latency and 
delay, we will return to reality and state that such a utilization 
of the infantile sexuality represents an ideal bringing up from 
which the development of the individual usually deviates in some 
measure and often very considerably. A portion of the sexual 
manifestation occasionally breaks through which has withdrawn 
from sublimation, or a sexual activity remains throughout the 
whole duration of the latency period until the reinforced breaking 
through of the sexual impulse in puberty. In so far as they have 
paid any attention to infantile sexuality the educators behave as 
"The expression "sexual latency period" (sexuelle latenz-periode ") 
I have borrowed from W. Fliess. 


if they shared our views concerning the formation of the moral 
forces of defence at the cost of sexuahty, and as if they knew 
that sexual activity makes the child uneducable ; for the educa- 
tors consider all sexual manifestations of the child as an "evil" 
in the face of which little can he accomplished. We have, how- 
ever, every reason for directing our attention to those phenomena 
so much feared by the educators, for we expect to find in them 
the solution of the primitive formation of the sexual impulse. 

The Manifestations of the Infantile Sexuality 

For reasons which we shall discuss later we will take as a 

model of the infantile sexual manifestations thumbsucking 

(pleasure-sucking), to which the Hungarian pediatrist, Lindner, 

has devoted an excellent essay.' 

Thumbsucking. — Thumbsucking, which manifests itself in the 
nursing baby and which may be continued tilt maturity or through- 
out life, consists in a rhythmic repetition of sucking contact with 
the mouth (the lips), wherein the purpose of taking nourishment 
is excluded. A part of the lip itself, the tongue, which is another 
preferable skin region within reach, and even the big toe — may 
be taken as objects for sucking. Simultaneously, there is also a 
desire to grasp things, which manifests itself in a rhythmical 
pulling of the ear lobe and which may cause the child to grasp 
a part of another person (generally the ear) for the same pur- 
pose. The pleasure-sucking is connected with an entire exhaus- 
tion of attention and leads to sleep or even to a motor reaction 
in the form of an orgasm.^ Plea sure -sucking is often combined 
with a rubbing contact with certain sensitive parts of the body, 
such as the breast and external genitals. It is by this road that 
many children go from thumb-sucking to masturbation. 

'Jahrbuch fiir Kinderlieilkunde, N. F., XIV. 1879. 

' This already shows what holds true for the whole life, namely that 
sexual gratification is the best hypnotic. Most nervous insomnias are 
traced to lack of sexual gratilication. It is also known that unscrupulous 
nurses calm crying children to sleep by stroking their genitals. 



No investigator has yet doubted the sexual nature of this 
action* Still, the best theories based on the observations of 
adults leave us in the lurch in the face of this manifestation of 
infantile sexual activity. If we think of Moll's division of the 
sexual impulse, the detumescence and contrectation impulses, vre 
find that the first factor is here out of question, and that the 
second can be recognized only with difficulty, as Moll later appar- 
ently describes this also as a detumescence impulse directed 
against other persons. 

Autoerotism. — It is our duty here to arrange this state of 
affairs differently. Let us insist that the most striking character 
of this sexual activity is that the impulse is not directed against 
other persons but that it gratifies itself on its own body ; to use ' 
the happy term invented by Havelock Ellis, we will say that it { 
is autoerotic," 

It is, moreover, clear that the action of the thumbsucking child ] 
is determined by the fact that it seeks a pleasure which has already , 
been experienced and is now remembered. Through the rhythmic 
sucking on a portion of the skin or mucous membrane it finds the 
gratification in the simplest way. It is also easy to conjecture 
on what occasions the child first experienced this pleasure which 
it now strives to renew. The first and most important activity 
in the child's life, the sucking from the mother's breast (or its 
substitute), must have acquainted it with this pleasure. We 
would say that the child's lips behaved like an erogenous zone, 
and that the excitement through th« warm stream of milk was 
really the cause of the pleasurable sensation. To be sure, the 
gratification of the erogenous zone was at first united with the 
gratification of taking nourishment. Hewho sees a satiated child 
sink back from the mother's breast, and merge into sleep with 

'A recent exception is Moll (Das Sexualleben des Kindes). 
* Ellis spoils, however, the sense of his invented term by comprising 
under the phenomena o£ autoerotism the whole of hysteria and masturba- 


reddened cheeks and blissful smile, will have to admit that this 
picture remains as a guide for the expression of sexual gratifica- 
tion in later life. But the desire for repetition of the sexual 
gratification is separated from the desire for taking nourishment ; 
a separation which becomes unavoidable with the appearance of 
the teeth when the nourishment is no longer sucked in but 
chewed. The child does not make use of a strange object for 
sucking but prefers its own skin because it is more convenient, 
because it thus makes itself independent of the outer world 
which it cannot yet control, and because in this way it creates 
for itself, as it were, a second, even if an inferior, erogenous 
zone. The inferiority of this second region urges it later to seek 
the same parts, the lips of another person. (" It is a pity that 
I cannot kiss myself," might be attributed to it.) 

Not all children suck their thumbs. It may be assumed that 
it is found only in children in whom the erogenous significance of 
the lip-zone is constitutionally reenforced. Qiildren in whom this 
is retained are habitual kissers as adults and show a tendency to 
perverse kissing, or as men they have a marked desire for drink- 
ing and smoking. But if repression comes into play they expe- 
rience disgust for eating and evince hysterical vomiting. By 
virtue of the community of the lip-zone the repression encroaches 
upon the impulse of nourishment. Many of my female patients 
showing disturbances in eating, such as hysterical globus, chok- 
ing sensations, and vomiting, have been energetic thumbsuckers 
during infancy. 

In the thumbsucking or pleasure-sucking we have already been 
able to observe the two essential characters of one infantile 
sexual manifestation. This manifestation does not yet know any 
sexual object, it is autoerotic and its sexual aim is under the con- 
trol of an erogenous zone. Let us assume for the present that 
these characters also hold true for most of the other activities 
of the infantile sexual impulse. 



The Sexual Aim of the Infantile Sexuality 
The Characters of the Erogenous Zones. — From the example 
of thumbsucking we may gather a great many points useful for 
the distinguishing of an erogenous zone. It is a portion of skin 
or mucous membrane in which the stimuli produce a feeling of 
pleasure of definite quality. There is no doubt that the pleasure- 
producing stimuli are governed by special determinants which we 
do not know. The rhythmic characters must play some part in 
them and this strongly suggests an analogy to tickling. It does 
not, however, appear so certain whether the character of the 
pleasurable feeling evoked by the stimulus can be designated as 
" peculiar," and in what part of this peculiarity the sexual factor 
exists. Psychology is still groping in the dark when it concerns 
matters of pleasure and pain, and the most cautious assumption 
is therefore the most advisable. We may perhaps later come 
upon reasons which seem to support the peculiar quality of the 
sensation of pleasure. 

The erogenous quality may adhere most notably to definite 
regions of the body. As is shown by the example of thumb- 
sucking, there are predestined erogenous zones. But the same- 
example also shows that any other region of skin or mucous mem- 
brane may assume the function of an erogenous zone; it must 
therefore carry along a certain adaptabihty. The production of 
the sensation of pleasure therefore depends more on the quality 
of the stimulus than on the nature of the bodily region. The 
thumbsucking child looks around on his body and selects any por- 
tion of it for pleasure -sucking, and becoming accustomed to it, 
he then prefers it. If he accidentally strikes upon a predestined 
region, such as breast, nipple or genitals, it naturally has the pref- 
erence. A quite analogous tendency to displacement is again 
found in the symptomatology of hysteria. In this neurosis the 
repression mostly concerns the genital zones proper ; these in 
turn transmit their excitation to the other erogenous zones, usually 
dormant in mature life, which then behave exactly like genitals. 


But besides this, just as in thumbsucking, any other region of the 
body may become endowed with the excitation of the genitals and 
raised to an erogenous zone. Erogenous and hysterogenous zones ^ 
show the same characters.*® 

The Infantile Sexual AinL — ^The sexual aim of the infantile 
impulse consists in the production of g^tification through the 
proper excitation of this or that selected erogenous zone. In 
order to leave a desire for its repetition this gratification must 
have been previously experienced, and we may be sure that nature 
has devised definite means so as not to leave this occurrence to 
mere chance. The arrangement which has fulfilled this purpose 
for the lip-zone we have already discussed ; it is the simultaneous 
connection of this part of the body with the taking of nourish- 
ment. We shall also meet other similar mechanisms as sources 
of sexuality. The state of desire for repetition of gratification 
can be recognized through a peculiar feeling of tension which in 
itself is rather of a painful character, and through a centrally- 
determined feeling of itching or sensitiveness which is projected 
into the peripheral erogenous zone. The sexual aim may there- 
fore be formulated as follows: the chief object is to substitute 
for the projected feeling of sensitiveness in the erogenous zone 
that outer stimulus which removes the feeling of sensitiveness 
by evoking the feeling of gratification. This external stimulus 
consists usually in a manifestation which is analogous to sucking. 

It is in full accord with our physiological knowledge if the 
desire happens to be awakened also peripherally through an 
actual change in the erogenous zone. The action is only to some 
extent strange, as one stimulus for its suppression seems to want 
another applied to the same place. 

"The biological problems connected with the formation of the ero- 
genous zones are discussed by Alfred Adler in his Studien uber Minder- 
wertigkeit von Organen, Wien, 1907. 

the infantile sexuality 4s 

The Masturbatic Sexuax Manifestations" 
It is a matter of great satisfaction to know that there is nothing 
further of greater importance to learn about the sexual activity 
of the child after the impulse of one erogenous zone has become 
comprehensible to us. The most pronounced differences are 
found in the action necessary for the gratification, which consists 
in sucking for the lip-zone and which must be replaced by other 
muscular actions according to the situation and nature of the 
other zones. 

The Activity of the Anal Zone. — Like the lip zone the anal 
zone is, through its position, adapted to conduct the sexuality 
to the other functions of the body. It should be assumed that 
the erogenous significance of this region of the body was origi- 
nally very large. Through psychoanalysis one finds, not without 
surprise, the many transformations that are normally undertaken 
with the usual excitations emanating from here, and that this 
zone often retains for life a considerable fragment of genital irri- 
tability." The intestinal catarrhs so frequent during infancy 
produce intensive irritations in this zone, and we often hear it 
said that intestinal catarrh at this delicate age causes " nervous- 
ness." In later neurotic diseases they exert a definite influence 
on the symptomatic expression of the neurosis, piacing at its dis- 
posal the whole sum of intestinal disturbances. Considering the 
erogenous significance of the anal zone which has been retained 
at least in transformation, one should not laugh at the hemor- 
rhoidal influences to which the old medical literature attached so 
much weight in the explanation of neurotic states. 

Children utilizing the erogenous sensitiveness of the anal zone 
can be recognized by their holding back of fecal masses until 
through accumulation there result violent muscular contractions ; 

" Compare here the very comprehensive but confusing literature oa 
onanism, e. g., Rohleder, Die Masturbation, 1899. 

" Compare here the essay on " Charakter und Analerotic " in the Sunm- 
lung kleinec Schriflen zur Neurosenlehre, Zweite Folge, 1909. 


the passage of these masses through the anus is apt to produce a 
marked irritation on the mucus membrane. Besides the pain this 
must produce also a sensation of pleasure. One of the surest 
premonitions of later eccentricity or nervousness is when an in- 
fant obstinately refuses to empty his bowel when placed on the 
chamber by the nurse and reserves this function at its own 
pleasure. It does not concern him that he will soil his bed; all 
he cares for is not to lose the subsidiary pleasure while defecat- 
ing. The educators have again the right inkling when they des- 
ignate children who withhold these functions as bad. 

The retention of fecal masses, which is at first intentional in 
order to utilize them, as it were, for masturbatic excitation of the 
anal zone, is at least one of the roots of constipation so frequent 
in neuropaths. The whole significance of the anal zone is mir- 
rored in the fact that there are but few neurotics who have not 
their special scatologic customs, ceremonies, etc., which they 
retain with cautious secrecy. 

Real masturbatic irritation of the anal zone by means of the 
fingers, evoked through either centrally or peripherally supported 
itching, is not at all rare in older children. 

The Activity of the Genital Zone. — ^Among the erogenous 
zones of the child's body there is one which certainly does not 
play the main role, and which cannot be the carrier of earliest 
sexual feeling — which, however, is destined for great things in 
the later life. In both male and female it is connected with the 
voiding of urine (penis, clitoris), and in the former it is enclosed 
in a sack of mucous membrane, probably in order not to miss 
the irritations caused by the secretions which may arouse the 
sexual excitement at an early age. The sexual activities of this 
erogenous zone, which belongs to the real genitals, are the begin- 
ning of the later normal sexual life. 

Owing to the anatomical position, the overflowing of secre- 
tions, the washing and rubbing of the body, and to certain acci- 
dental excitements (the wandering of intestinal worms in the 



girl), it happens that tlie pleasurable feeling which these parts of 
the body are capable of producing makes itself noticeable to the 
child even during the sucking age, and thus awakens desire for 
its repetition. When we review all the actual arrangements, 
and bear in mind that the measures for cleanhness have the same 
effect as the uncleanhness itself, we can then scarcely mistake 
nature's intention, which is to establish the future primacy of 
these erogenous zones for the sexual activity through the infan- 
tile onanism from which hardly an individual escapes. The 
action removing the stimulus and setting free the gratification 
consists in a rubbing contiguity with the hand or in a certain 
previously- formed pressure reflex effected by the closure of the 
thighs. The latter procedure seems to be the more primitive and 
is by far the more common in girls. The preference for the hand 
in boys already indicates what an important part of the male 
sexual activity will be accomplished in the future by the acquisi- 
tion impulse (Bemachtigungstrieb). 

The infantile onanism seems to disappear with the onset of the 
latency period, but it may continue uninterruptedly till puberty 
and thus represent the first marked deviation from the develop- 
ment desirable for civilized man. At some time during child- 
hood after the nursing period, the sexual impulse of the genitals 
reawakens and continues active for some time until it is again 
suppressed, or it may continue without interruption. The pos- 
sible relations are very diverse and can only be elucidated through 
a more precise analysis of individual cases. The details, how- 
ever, of this second infantile sexual activity leave behind the 
profoundest (unconscious) impressions in the person's memory; 
if the individual remains healthy they determine his character 
and if he becomes sick after puberty they determine the symp- 
tomatology of his neurosis. In the latter case it is found that 
this sexual period is forgotten and the conscious reminiscences 
pointing to them are displaced ; I have already mentioned that I 



would like to connect the normal infantile amnesia with this 
infantile sexual activity. By psychoanalytic investigation it is 
possible to bring to consciousness the forgotten material, and 
thereby to remove a compulsion which emanates from the uncon- 
scious psychic material. 

The Return of the Infantile Masturbation. — The sexual ex- 
citation of the infantile period returns during childhood (we have 
not yet succeeded in establishing definite periods), either as a 
centrally determined tickling sensation demanding onanistic grati- 
fication, or as a pollution- like process which, analogous to the 
pollution of maturity, may attain gratification without the aid of 
any action. The latter case is more frequent in girls and in the 
second half of childhood ; its determinants are not well under- 
stood, but it often, though not regularly seems to have as a basis 
a period of early active onanism. The symptomatology of this 
sexual manifestation is poor ; the genital apparatus is still unde- 
veloped and all signs are therefore displayed by the urinary appa- 
ratus which is, so to say, the guardian of the genital appa- 
ratus. Most of the so-called bladder disturbances of this period 
are of a sexual nature; whenever the enuresis nocturna does not 
represent an epileptic attack it corresponds to a pollution. 

The return of the sexual activity is determined by inner and 
outer causes which can be conjectured from the formation of the 
symptoms of neurotic diseases and definitely revealed by psycho- 
analytic investigations. The internal causes will be discussed 
later; the accidental outer causes attain at this time a great and 
permanent significance. As the first outer cause we have the 
influence of seduction which prematurely treats the child as a 
sexual object ; under conditions favoring impressions this teaches 
the child the gratification of the genital zones, and thus usually 
forces it to repeat this gratification in onanism. Such influences 
can come from adults or other children. I cannot admit that I 
over-estimated its frequency or its significance in my contribu- 



tions to the etiology of hysteria/' though I did not know then 
that normal individuals may have the same experiences in their 
childhood, and hence placed a higher value on seductions than 
on the factors found in the sexual constitution and development." 
It is quite obvious that no seduction is necessary to awaken the 
sexual life of the child, that such an awakening may come on 
spontaneously from inner sources. 

Polymotphous-pcrverse Disposition. — It is instructive to know 
that under the influence of seduction the child may become 
polymorphous-perverse and may be misled into all sorts of trans- 
gressions. This goes to show that it carries along the adaptation 
for them in its disposition. The formation of such perversions 
meets but slight resistance because the psychic dams against sexual 
excesses, such as shame, loathing and morality — which depend on 
the age of the child — are not yet erected or are only in the process 
of formation. In this respect the child perhaps does not behave 
differently from the average uncivilized woman in whom the ■ 
same polymorphous -perverse disposition exists. Such a woman 
may remain sexually normal under usual conditions, but under 
the guidance of a clever seducer she will find pleasure in every 
perversion, and will retain the same as her sexual activity. The 
same polymorphous or infantile disposition fits the prostitute for 
her professional activity, and in the enormous number of prosti- 

" Freud, Selected Papers on Hysteria & Other Psych on eu roses, trans- 
lated by A. A. Briil, Ph.B., M.D. ; N. Y. Jour. Nerv, & Menl. Dis, Pub. 
Co. Nervous and Mental Disease Monograph, Series No. 4. 

" Havelock Ellis in an appendix to his study on the Sexual Impulse, 
1903, gives a number of autobiographic reports of normal persons treat- 
ing' their first sexual feelings in childhood and the causes of the same. 
These reports naturally show the deficiency due to infantile amnesia; they 
do not cover the prehistoric time in the sexual life and therefore must 
be supplemented by psychoanalysis of individuals who became neurotic. 
Notwithstanding this these reports are valuable in more than one respect, 
and information of 2 similar nature has urged me to modify my etiological 
assumption as mentioned in the text. 




tutes and of women to whom we must attribute an adaptation for 
prostitution, even if they do not follow this calling, it is abso- 
lutely impossible not to recognize in their uniform disposition 
for all perversions the universal and primitive human. 

Partial Impulses. — For the rest, the influence of seduction 
does not aid us in unravelling the original relations of the sexual 
impulse, hut rather confuses our understanding of the same, inas- 
much as it prematurely supplies the child with the sexual object 
at a time when the infantile sexual impulse does not yet evince 
any desire for it. We must admit, however, that the infantile 
sexual life, though mainly under the control of erogenous zones, 
'; also shows components in which from the very beginning other 
' ' persons are regarded as sexual objects. Among these we have 
■ the impulses for looking and showing, and for cruelty, which 
manifest themselves somewhat independently of the erogenous 
zones and which only later enter into intimate relationship with 
the sexual life; hut along with the erogenous sexual activity they 
are noticeable even in the infantile years as separate and inde- 
pendent strivings. The little child is above all shameless, and 
during its early years it sometimes evinces pleasure in displaying 
its body and especially its sexual organs. A counterpart to this 
desire which is to be considered as perverse, the curiosity to see 
other persons' genitals, probably appears first in the later years 
of childhood when the hindrance of the feeling of shame has 
already reached a certain development. Under the influence of 
seduction the looking perversion may attain great importance for 
the sexual life of the child. Still, from my investigations of the 
childhood years of normal and neurotic patients, I must conclude 
that the impulse for looking can appear in the child as a spon- 
taneous sexual manifestation. Small children, whose attention 
has once been directed to their own genitals — usually by mastur- 
bation — are wont to progress in this direction without outside 
interference, and to develop a vivid interest in the genitals of 
their playmates. As the occasion for the gratification of such 



curiosity is generally afforded during the gratification of both 
excrementitious needs, such children become voyeurs and are 
zealous spectators at the voiding of urine and feces of others. 
After this tendency has been repressed, the curiosity to see the 
genitals of others (one's own or those of the other sex), remains 
as a tormenting desire which in some neurotic cases furnishes the 
strongest motive power for the formation of symptoms. 

The cruelty component of the sexual impulse develops in the 
child with still greater independence of those sexual activities 
which are connected with erogenous zones. Cruelty is especially 
near the childish character, since the inhibition which restrains 
the acquisition impulse through the influence of others — that is, 
the capacity for sympathy — develops comparatively late. As we 
know, a thorough psychological analysis of this impulse has not 
as yet been successfully accomplished; we may assume that the 
cruel feelings emanate from sources which are actually indepen- 
dent of sexuality but with which an early connection is formed 
through an anastomosis near the origins of both. But observa- 
tion shows that relations exist between the sexual development 
and the looking and cruelty impulses which restrict the pre- 
tended independence of both impulses. Children who are dis- i 
tinguished for evincing especial cruelty to animals and playmates 
may be justly suspected of intensive and premature sexual activity 
in the erogenous zones ; and in a simultaneous prematurity of all 
sexual impulses, the erogenous sexual activity surely seems to be 
primary. The absence of the barrier of sympathy carries with it 
the danger that the connections between cruelty and the erogenous 
impulses formed in childhood cannot be broken in later life. 

An erogenous source of the passive impulse for cruelty (maso- 
chism) is found in the painful irritation of the gluteal region 
which is familiar to all educators since the confessions of J. J. 
Rousseau. This has justly caused them to demand that physical 
punishment, which usually concerns this part of the body, should 


be withheld from all children in whom the libido might be forced 
into collateral roads by the later demands of cultural education." 

The Sources of the Infantile Sexuality 

In our effort to follow up the origins of the sexual impulse, we 

have thus far found that the sexual excitement originates (o) 

in an imitation of a gratification which has been experienced in 

conjunction with other organic processes; (b) through the appro- 

"The above-mentioned assertions concerning the infantile sexuality were 
justified in 1905, in the main through the results of psychoanalytic in- 
vestigations in adults. Direct observation of the child could not at the 
time be utilized to its full extent and resulted only in individual indi- 
cations and valuable confirmations. Since then it has become pos»ble 
through the analysis of some cases of nervous disease in the delicate 
age of childhood to gain a direct understanding of the infantile psychosex- 
uality (Jahrbuch tiir psychoanalytische und psych opathische Forschungen, 
Bd. I, 2, igotj). I can point with satisfaction to the fact that direct ob- 
1 has fully confirmed the conclusion drawn from psychoanalysis, 
and thus furnishes good evidence for the reliability of the latter method 
of investigation. 

Moreover the "Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy" (Jahr- 
buch, Bd. I) has taught us something new for which psychoanalysis had 
not prepared us to wit, that sexual symbolism, the representation of the 
sexual by non-sexual objects and relations— reaches back into the years 
when the child is first learning to master the language. My attention 
has also been directed to a deficiency in the above-cited statement which 
for the sake of clearness described any conceivable separation between 
the two phases of autoerotism an.d object love as a temporal separation. 
From the cited analysis (as well as from the above-mentioned work of 
Bell) we learn that children from three to five are capable of evincing a 
very strong object- selection which is accompanied by strong affects. 

Another amplification of our knowledge of the sexual life of children 
not hitherto mentioned in the text is found in the infantile sexual in- 
vestigations (compare the paper " Concerning Infantile Sexual Theories," 
in the Sammlung kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, iwdte Folge). 
This paper treats of the theories held by the children themselves, the im- 
portance of these theories for later neuroses, the fate of these childish 
itigations, and their relations to the development of the infantile mind. 



priate peripheral stimulation of erogenous zones; (c) and as an 
expression of some " impulse," like the looking and cruelty im- 
pulses, the origin of which we do not yet fully understand. The 
psychoanalytic investigation of later life which leads back to child- 
hood and the contemporary observation of the child itself cooper- 
ate to reveal to us still other regularly-flowing sources of the 
sexual excitement. The observation of childhood has the disad- 
vantage of treating easily misunderstood material, while psycho- 
analysis is made difficult by the fact that it can reach its objects 
and conclusions only by great detours; still the united efforts of 
both methods achieve a sufficient degree of positive understanding. 

In investigating the erogenous zones we have already found 
that these skin regions merely show the special exaggeration of 
a form of sensitiveness which is to a certain degree found over 
the whole surface of the skin. It will therefore not surprise us 
to learn that certain forms of general sensitiveness in the skin 
can be ascribed to very distinct erogenous action. Among these 
we will above all mention the temperature sensitiveness ; this will 
perhaps prepare us for the understanding of the therapeutic 
effects of warm baths. 

Mechanical Excitation. — We must, moreover, describe here 
the production of sexual excitation by means of rhythmic mechan- 
ical shaking of the body. There are three kinds of exciting influ- 
ences: those acting on the sensory apparatus of the vestibular 
nerves, those acting on the skin, and those acting on the deep 
parts, such as the muscles and joints. The sexual excitation 
produced by these influences seems to be of a pleasurable nature — 
a problem to which we will direct our attention later — and that 
the pleasure is produced by mechanical stimulation is proved by 
the fact that children are so fond of play involving passive mo- 
tion, like swinging or flying in the air, and repeatedly demapd its 
repetition." As we know, rocking is regularly used in putting 
"Some persons can recall that the contact of the moving air in swinging 
caused them direct sexual pleasure in the genitals. 



to sleep restless children. The shaking sensation experienced in 
wagons and railroad trains exerts such a fascinating influence on 
older children, that all boys, at least at one time in their lives, want 
to become conductors and drivers. They are wont to ascribe to 
railroad activities an extraordinary and mysterious interest, and 
during the age of phantastic activity (shortly before puberty) 
they utilize these as a nucleus for exquisite sexual symbolisms. 
The desire to connect railroad travelling with sexuality appar- 
ently originates from the pleasurable character of the sensation 
of motion. When the repression later sets in and changes so 
many of the childish likes into their opposites, these same persons 
niL}^ lUiJ* ' as adolescents and adults then react to the rocking and rolling 
with nausea and become terribly exhausted by a railroad journey, 
or they show a tendency to attacks of anxiety during the journey, 
and by becoming obsessed with railroad phobia they protect them- 
selves against a repetition of the painful experiences. 

This also fits in with the not as yet understood fact that the 
concurrence of fear with mechanical shaking produces the sever- 
est hysterical forms of traumatic neurosis. It may at least be 
assumed that inasmuch as even a shght intensity of these influ- 
ences becomes a source of sexual excitement, the action of an 
excessive amount of the same will produce a profound disorder in 
the sexual mechanism. 

Muscular Activity. — It is well known that the child has need 
for strong muscular activity, from the gratification of which it 
draws extraordinary pleasure. Whether this pleasure has any- 
thing to do with sexuality, whether it includes in itself sexual 
gratification, or can become a cause of sexual excitement, all 
these problems may be solved by critical reflection, which will no 
doubt also be directed toward the statements made above, namely, 
that the sensations of passive motion are of a sexual nature or 
produce sexual excitement. The fact remains, however, that a 
number of persons report that they experienced the first signs 
of excitement in their genitals during fighting or wrestling with 

*■ J, <ift***t\t.<'<f'^^-^ ^ — 



playmates, in which situation, besides the general muscular exer- 
tion, there is an intensive contact with the opponent's skin which 
also becomes effective. The desire for muscular contest with a 
definite person, like the desire for word contest in later years, 
is a good sign that the object selection has been directed upon 
this person. "Was sich liebt, das neckt sich."" In the promo- 
tion of sexual excitement through muscular activity we might 
recognize one of the sources of the sadistic impulse. The infan- 
tile connection between fighting and sexual excitement acts in 
many persons as a future determinant for the preferred course of ' 
their sexual impulse." 

Affective Processes. — The other sources of sexual excitement 
in the child are open to less doubt. Through simultaneous obser- 
vations, as well as through later investigations, it is easy to ascer- 
tain that all more intensive affective processes, even excitements 
of a terrifying nature, encroach upon sexuality; this can at all 
events furnish us with a contribution to the understanding of the 
pathogenic action of such emotions. In the school child, fear of 
a coming examination or exertion expended in the solution of a 
difficult task can become significant for the breaking through of 
sexual manifestations as well as for his relations to the school, 
inasmuch as under such excitements a sensation often occurs 
urging him to touch the genitals, or leading to a pollution-like 
process with all its disagreeable consequences. The behavior of 
children at school, which is so often mysterious to the teacher, 
ought surely to be considered in relation with their germinating 
sexuality- The sexually-exciting influence of some painful affects, 

" " Those who love each other tease tach other." 

"The analyses of neurotic disturbances of walking and of agoraphobia 
remove all doubt as to the sexual nature of the pleasure of motion. As 
everybody knows modern cultural education utilizes sports to a great ex- 
tent in order to turn away the youth from sexual activity; it would be 
more proper to say that it replaces the sexua! pleasure by motion pleasure, 
and forces the sexual activity back upon one of its autoerotic components. 



such as fear, shuddering, and horror, is felt by a great many 
people throughout life and readily explains why so many seek 
opportunities to experience such sensations, provided that certain 
accessory circtmistances (as in fiction, reading, the theater) sup- 
press the earnestness of the painful feeling. 

If we might assume that the same erogenous action also 
reaches the intensive painful feelings, especially if the pain be 
toned down or held at a distance by a subsidiary determination, 
this relation would then contain the main roots of the masochistic- 
sadistic impulse, into the manifold composition of which we are 
gaining a gradual insight. 

Intellectual Work. — Finally, it is evident that mental appli- 
cation or the concentration of attention on an intellectual accom- 
plishment will result, especially often in youthful persons, but 
in older persons as well, in a simultaneous sexual excitement, 
which may be looked upon as the only justified basis for the 
otherwise so doubtful etiology of nervous disturbances from 
mental " overwork." 

If we now, in conclusion, review the evidences and indications 
of the sources of the infantile sexual excitement, which have been 
reported neither completely nor exhaustively, we may lay down 
the following general laws as suggested or established. It seems 
to be provided in the most generous manner that the process of 
sexual excitement — ^the nature of which certainly remains quite 
mysterious to us — should be set in motion. The factor making 
this provision in a more or less direct way is the excitation of the 
sensible surfaces of the skin and sensory organs, while the most 
indirect exciting influences are exerted on certain parts which are 
designated as erogenous zones. The criterion in all these sources 
of sexual excitement is really the quality of the stimuli, though 
the factor of intensity (in pain) is not entirely unimportant. But 
in addition to this there are arrangements in the organism which 
cause the origin of the sexual excitement as a subsidiary action 
in a large number of inner processes as soon as the intensity of 



these processes has risen above certain quantitative limits. What 
we have designated as the partial impulses of sexuality are either 
directly derived from these inner sources of sexual excitation or 
composed of contributions from such sources and from erogenous 
zones. It is possible that nothing of any considerable significance 
occurs in the organism that does not contribute its components to 
the excitement of the sexual impulse. 

It seems to me at present impossible to shed more hght and 
certainty on these general propositions, and for this I hold two 
factors responsible; first, the novelty of this manner of investi- 
gation, and secondly, the fact that the nature of the sexual excite- 
ment is entirely unfamiliar to us. Nevertheless, I will not forbear 
speaking about two points which promise to open wide prospects 
in the future. 

Diverse Sexual Constitutions. — (o) We have considered above 
the possibiUty of establishing the manifold character of congenital 
sexual constitutions through the diverse formation of the eroge- 
nous zones ; we may now attempt to do the same in dealing with 
the indirect sources of sexual excitement. We may assume that, 
although these different sources furnish contributions in all indi- 
viduals, they are not all equally strong in all persons; and that 
a further contribution to the differentiation of the diverse sexual 
constitution will be found in the preferred developments of the 
individual sources of sexual excitement. 

The Roads of Opposite Influences. — (6) Since we are now- 
dropping the figurative manner of expression hitherto employed, 
by which we spoke of sources of sexual excitement, we may now 
assume that all the connecting ways leading from other functions 
to sexuality must also be passable in the reverse direction. For 
example, if the lip zone, the common possession of both func- 
tions, is responsible for the fact that the sexual gratification origi- 
nates during the taking of nourishment, the same factor offers 
also an explanation for the disturbances in the taking of nourish- 
ment if the erogenous functions of the common zone are dis- 


turbed. As soon as we know that concentration of attention may 
produce sexual excitement, it is quite natural to assume that 
acting on the same road, but in a contrary direction, the state of 
sexual excitement will be able to influence the availability of the 
voluntary attention. A good part of the symptomatology of the 
neuroses which I trace to disturbance of sexual processes mani- 
fests itself in other non-sexual bodily functions, and this hitherto 
incomprehensible action becomes less mysterious if it only repre- 
sents the counterpart of the influences controlling the production 
of the sexual excitement. 

However the same roads through which sexual disturbances 
encroach upon the other functions of the body must in health 
be supposed to serve another important function. It must be 
through these roads that the attraction of the sexual motive 
powers to other than sexual aims, the sublimation of sexuality, 
is accomplished. We must conclude with the admission that very 
little is definitely known concerning the roads beyond the fact 
that they exist, and that they are probably passable in both 


With the beginning of puberty the changes set in which trans- 
form the infantile sexual life into its definite normal form. Hith- 
erto the sexual impulse has been preponderately autoerotic; it 
now finds the sexual object. Thws far it has manifested itself 
in single impulses and in erogenous zones seeking a certain 
pleasure as a single sexual aim. A new sexual aim now appears 
for the production of which all partial impulses cooperate, while 
the erogenous zones subordinate themselves under the primacy 
of the genital zone. As the new sexual aim assigns very different 
functions to the two sexes their sexua! developments now part 
company. The sexual development of the man is more con- 
sistent and easier to understand, while in the woman there even 
appears a form of regression. The normality of the sexual life 
is guaranteed only by the exact concurrence of the two streams 
directed to the sexual object and sexual aim. It is like the 
piercing of a tunnel from opposite sides. 

The new sexual aim in the man consists in the discharging of 
the sexual products ; it is not markedly different from the former 
sexual aim in its manner of obtaining pleasure; on the contrary, 
the highest amount of pleasure is connected with this final act in 
the sexual process. The sexual impulse now enters into the ser- 
vice of the function of propagation; it becomes, so to say, altru- 
istic. If this transfonnation is to succeed its process must be 
adjusted to the original dispositions and all the peculiarities of 
the impulses. 

Just as on every other occasion where new connections and 
compositions are to be formed in complicated mechanisms, here, 


too, there is a possibility of morbid disturbance if the new order 
of things does not take place. 

The Primacy of the Genital Zones and the Fore-pleasure 

From the course of development as described we can clearly 
see the issue and the end aim. The intermediary transitions are 
still quite obscure and many a riddle will have to be solved in 

The most striking process of puberty has been selected as its 
most characteristic; it is the manifest growth of the external 
genitals which have shown a relative inhibition of growth during 
the latency period of childhood. Simultaneously the inner geni- 
tals develop to such an extent as to be able to furnish sexual 
products for the reception and formation of a new living being. 
A most complicated apparatus is thus formed which waits to be 

This apparatus can be set in motion by stimuli, and observa- 
tion teaches that the stimuli can affect it in three ways : from the 
outer world through the familiar erogenous zones ; from the inner 
organic world by ways still to be investigated; and from the 
psychic life, which merely represents a depository of external 
impressions and a receptacle of inner excitations. The same 
result follows in all three cases, namely, a state which can be 
designated as "sexual excitation" and which manifests itself in 
psychic and somatic signs. The psychic sign consists in a pecu- 
liar feeling of tension of a most urgent character, and among 
the manifold somatic signs the many changes in the genitals stand 
first. They have a definite meaning, that of readiness ; they con- 
stitute a preparation for the sexual act (the erection of the penis 
and the glandular activity of the vagina). 

The Sexual Tension. — The character of the tension of sexual 
excitation is connected with a problem the solution of which 
would be difficult but important for the conception of the sexual 
process. Despite all divergence of opinion regarding it in psy- 


chology, I must firmly maintain that a feeling of tension must 
carry with it the character of displeasure. For me it is conclu- I 
sive that such a feehng carries with it the impulse to alter the 
psychic situation, and acts incitingly, which is quite contrary 
to the nature of perceived pleasure. But if we ascribe the ten- i 
sion of the sexual excitation to the feelings of displeasure we 
encounter the fact that it is undoubtedly pleasurably perceived. 
The tension produced by sexual excitation is everywhere accom- 
panied by pleasure ; even in the preparatory changes of the geni- I 
tals there is a distinct feeling of satisfaction. What relation is 
therebetween this unpleasant tension and this feeling of pleasure? 
Everything relating to the problem of pleasure and pain touches 
one of the weakest spots of present-day psychology. We shall 
try if possible to learn something from the determinations of the 
case in question and to avoid encroaching on the problem as a 
whole. Let us first glance at the manner in which the erogenous 
zones adjust themselves to the new order of things. An impor- 
tant role devolves upon them in the preparation of the sexual 
excitation. The eye which is very remote from the sexual object, 
is most often in position, during the relations of object wooing, 
to become attracted by that particular quality of excitation, the 
motive of which we designate as beauty in the sexual object. 
The excellencies of the sexual object are therefore also called 
" attractions." This excitation is on the one hand already con- 
nected with pleasure, and on the other hand it either results in 
an increase of the sexual excitation or in an evocation of the 
same where it is still wanting. The effect is the same if the 
excitation of another erogenous zone, e. g., the touching hand, 
is added to it. There is on the one hand the feeling of pleasure 
which soon becomes enhanced by the pleasure from the prepara- 
tory changes, and on the other hand there is a further increase 
of the sexual tension which soon changes into a most distinct 
feeling of displeasure if it cannot proceed to more pleasure. 
Another case will perhaps be clearer ; let us, for example, take 



the case where an erogenous zone, like a woman's breast, is 
excited by touching in a person who is not sexually excited at 
the time. This touching in itself evokes a feeling of pleasure, 
but nothing is better adapted to awaken sexual excitement which 
demands a greater portion of pleasure. How it happens that the 
perceived pleasure evokes the desire for greater pleasure, that 
is the real problem. 

Fore-pleasure Mechanism. — But the role which devolves upon 
the erogenous zones is clear. What applies to one applies to all. 
They are all utilized to furnish a certain amount of pleasure 
through their own proper excitation, which increases the tension, 
and which is in turn destined to produce the necessary motor 
energy in order to bring to a conclusion the sexual act. The last 
part but one of this act is again a suitable excitation of an eroge- 
notis zone ; i. e., the genital zone proper of the glans penis is 
excited by the object most fit for it. the mucous membrane of the 
vagina, and through the pleasure furnished by this excitation it 
now produces reflexly the motor energy which conveys to the 
surface the sexual substance. This last pleasure is highest in 
its intensity, and differs from the earliest ones in its mechanism. 
It is altogether produced through discharge and it is altogether 
a pleasure of gratification; the tension of the libido temporarily 
dies away with it. 

It does not seem to me unauthorized to fix by name the dis- 
tinction in the nature of these pleasures, the one through the 
excitation of the erogenous zones, and the other through the 
discharge of the sexual substance. In contradistinction to the 
end-pleasure, or pleasure of gratification of sexual activity, we 
can properly designate the first as fore-pleasure. The fore- 
pleasure is then the same as that furnished by the infantile sexual 
impulse, though on a reduced scale ; while the end-pleasure is new 
and is probably connected with determinations which first appear 
in puberty. The formula for the new function of the erogenous 
zones reads as follows: they are utilized for the purpose of 


making possible the production of the greater pleasure of grati- 
fication by means of the fore-pleasure which is gained from them 
as in infantile life. 

I have recently been able to elucidate another example from a 
quite different realm of the psychic life, in which likewise a 
greater feeling of pleasure is achieved by means of a lesser feel- 
ing of pleasure which acts as an alluring premium. We had 
there also the opportunity of entering more deeply into the nature 
of pleasure.' 

Dangers of the Fore-pleasure.— -However the connection of 
fore-pleasure with the infantile life is strengthened by the patho- 
genic role which may devolve upon it. The mechanism shelter- 
ing the fore-pleasure may result in a danger for the attainment of 
the normal sexual aim. This occurs if it happens that there is | 
too much fore-pleasure and too little tension on any part of the 
preparatory sexual process. The motive power for the further 
continuation of the sexual process then escapes, the whole road 
becomes shortened, and the preparatory action in question takes 
the place of the normal sexual aim. Experience shows that such 
a hurtful case is determined by the fact that the erogenous zone 
concerned or the corresponding partial impulse has already con- 
tributed an unusual amount of pleasure in infantile life. If other 
factors favoring fixation are added a compulsion readily results 
for the later hfe which prevents the fore-pleasure from arrang- 
ing itself into a new combination. Indeed, the mechanism of 
many perversions is of such a nature; they merely represent a 
lingering at a preparatory act of the sexual process. 

The failure of the function of the sexual mechanism through 
the fault of the fore-pleasure is generally avoided if the primacy 
of the genital zones has also already been sketched out in infan- 
tile life. The preparations of the second half of childhood (from 
' See my work " Der Witz und seine Bezichung zum Unbewussten " : 
" The fore-pleasure gained by the technique of wit is utilized for the pur- 
pose of setting free a greater pleasure by the removal of inner inhibitions." 


the eighth year to puberty) really seem to favor this. During 
these years the genital zones behave almost as at the age of 

maturity; they are the seat of exciting sensations and of prepara- 
tory changes if any kind of pleasure is experienced through the 
gratification of other erogenous zones; although this effect re- 
mains aimless, ». e., it contributes nothing towards the continua- 
tion of the sexual process. Besides the pleasure of gratification 
a certain amount of sexual tension appears even in infancy, 
though it is less constant and less abundant. We can now under- 
stand also why in the discussion of the sources of sexuality we 
had a perfectly good reason for saying that the process in ques- 
tion acts as sexual gratification as well as sexual excitement. We 
note that on our way towards the truth we have at first enor- 
mously exaggerated the distinctions between the infantile and 
the mature sexual life, and we therefore supplement what has 
been said with a correction. The infantile manifestations of 
sexuality determine not only the deviations from the normal 
sexual life but also the normal formations of the same. 

The Problem of Sexu.^l Excitement 
It remained to us above entirely unexplained whence the sexual 
tension comes which originates simuhaneously with the gratifi- 
cation of erogenous zones and what is its nature. The obvious 
supposition that this tension originates in some way from the 
pleasure itself is not only improbable in itself but untenable, inas- 
much as during the greatest pleasure which is connected with the 
voiding of sexual substance there is no production of tension but 
rather a removal of all tension. Hence, pleasure and sexual ten- 
sion can be only indirectly connected. 

The Role of the Sexual Substance. — Aside from the fact that 
only the discharge of the sexual substance can normally put an 
end to the sexual excitement, there are other essential facts which 
bring the sexual tension into relation with the sexual products. 
In a hfe of continence the sexual activity is wont to discharge 


the sexual substance at night during pleasurable dream halluci- 
nations of a sexua! act, this discharge coming at changing but 
not at entirely capricious intervals ; and the following tnterpreta- j 
tion of this process — the nocturnal pollution — can hardly be re- 
jected, viz., that the sexual tension which brings about a substi- 
tute for the sexual act by the short hallucinatory road is a function 
of the accumulated semen in the reservoirs for the sexual prod- 
ucts. Experiences with the exhaustibility of the sexual mech- 
anism speak for the same thing. Where there is no stock of 
semen it is not only impossible to accomplish the sexual act, but 
there is also a lack of excitability in the erogenous zones, the 
suitable excitation of which can evoke no pleasure. We thus 
discover incidentally that a certain amount of sexual tension is 
itself necessary for the excitability of the erogenous zones. 

One is thus forced to the assumption, which if I am not mis- 
taken is quite generally adopted, that the accumulation of sexual 
substance produces and maintains the sexual tension. The pres- 
sure of these products on the walls of their receptacles acts as 
an excitant on the spinal center, the state of which is then per- 
ceived by the higher centers which then produce in consciousness 
the familiar feeling of tension. If the excitation of erogenous 
zones increases the sexual tension, it can only be due to the fact 
that the erogenous zones are connected with these centers by pre- 
viously formed anatomical connections. They increase there the 
tone of the excitation, and with sufficient sexual tension they set 
in motion the sexual act, and with insufficient tension they merely 
stimulate a production of the sexual substance. 

The weakness of the theory which one finds adopted, e. g., in 
V. KrafTt-Ebing's description of the sexual process, lies in the 
fact that it has been formed for the sexual activity of the mature 
man and pays too little heed to three kinds of relations which 
should also have been elucidated. We refer to the relations as 
found in the child, in the woman, and in the castrated male. In 


none of the three cases can we speak of an accumulation of sexual 
products in the same sense as in the man, which naturally renders 
difficult the general application of this scheme; still it may be 
admitted without any further ado that ways can be found to 
justify the subordination of even these cases. At all events one 
should be cautious about burdening the factor of accumulation 
of sexual products with actions which it seems incapable of 

Overestunation of the Internal Genitals. — ^That sexual excite- 
ment can be to a considerable extent independent of the produc- 
tion of sexual substance seems to be shown by. observations on 
castrated males, in whom the libido sometimes escapes the injury 
caused by the operation, although the opposite behavior, which 
is really the motive for the operation, is usually the rule. It is 
therefore not at all surprising, as C. Rieger puts it, that the loss 
of the male germ glands in maturer age should exert no new 
influence on the psychic life of the individual. The germ glands 
are really not the sexuality, and the experience with castrated 
males only verifies what we had long before learned from the 
removal of the ovaries, namely, that it is impossible to do away 
with the sexual character by removing the germ glands. To be 
sure, castration performed at a delicate age, before puberty, comes 
nearer to this aim, but it would seem in this case that besides the 
loss of the sexual glands we must also consider the inhibition of 
devel(4>ment and other factors which are connected with that loss. 

CSiemical Theories. — ^The truth remains, however, that we are 
unable to give any information about the nature of the sexual 
excitement for the reason that we do not know with what organ 
or organs sexuality is connected, since we have seen that the 
sexual glands have been overestimated in this significance. Since 
surprising discoveries have taught us the important role of the 
thyroid gland in sexuality, we may assume that the knowledge 
of the essential factors of sexuality are still withheld from us. 
One who feels the need of filling up the large gap in our knowl- 


edge with a preliminary assumption may formulate for himself 
the following theory based on the active substances found in the 
thyroid. Through the adapted excitement of erogenous zones, 
as well as through other conditions under which sexual excite- 
ment originates, a material which is universally distributed in the 
organism becomes disintegrated, the decomposing products of 
which supply a specific stimulus to the organs of reproduction 
or to the spina! center connected with them. Such a transforma- 
tion of a toxic stimulus in a particular organic stimulus we are 
already familiar with from other toxic products introduced into 
the body from without. To treat, if only hypothetically, the 
complexities of the pure toxic and the physiologic stimulations 
which result in the sexual processes is not now our appropriate 
task. To be sure, I attach no value to this special assumption j 
and I shall be quite ready to give it up in favor of another, pro- 
vided its original character, the emphasis on the sexual chemism, 
were preserved. For this apparently arbitrary statement is sup- 
ported by a fact which, though little heeded, is most noteworthy.^ 
The neuroses which can be traced only to disturbances of the 
sexual life show the greatest chnical resemblance to the phe- 
nomena of intoxication and abstinence which result through 
the habitual introduction of pleasure-producing poisonous sub- 
stances (alkaloids). 

Differentiation Between Man and Woman 
It is known that the sharp differentiation of tlie male and 
female character originates at puberty, and it is the resulting 
difference which, more than any other factor, decisively influ- 
ences the later development of personality. To be sure, the male 
and female dispositions are easily recognizable even in infantile 
life; thus the development of sexual inhibitions (shame, loathing, 
sympathy, etc.) ensues earlier and with less resistance in the 
little girl than in the little boy. The tendency to sexual repres- 
sion certainly seems much greater, and where partial impulses 




)RY ^^1 

be passive ^^H 
ines is the ^^| 

of sexuality are noticed they show a preference for the j: 
form. But the autoerotic activity of the erogenous zones i 
same in both sexes, and it is. this agreement that removes the pos- 
sibility of a sex differentiation in childhood as it appears after 
puberty. In respect to the autoerotic and masturbatic sexual 
manifestations, it may be asserted that the sexuality of the little | 
girl has entirely a male character. Indeed, if one could give a 
more definite content to the terms " masculine and feminine," one 
might advance the opinion that the libido is regularly and lawfully 
of a masculine nature, be it in the man or in the woman; and if I 
we cotisider its object, this may be either the man or the tvoman. 

Since becoming acquainted with the aspect of bisexuality I 1 
hold this factor as here decisive, and I believe that without taking 
into account the factor of bisexiiahty it will hardly be possible 
to understand the actually observed sexual manifestations in man 
and woman. 

The Leading Zones in Man and Woman. — Further than this 
I can only add the following. The chief erogenous zone in the 
female child is the clitoris, which is homologous to the male penis. 
All I have been able to discover concerning masturbation in little 
girls concerned the clitoris and not those other external genitals 
which are so important for the later sexual functions. With few 
exceptions I myself doubt whether the female child can be seduced 
to anything but clitoris masturbation. The frequent spontaneous 
discharges of sexual excitement in little girls manifest themselves 
in a twitching of the clitoris, and the frequent erections of the I 
same enable the girl to understand correctly even without : 
instruction the sexual manifestations of the other sex ; they simply I 
transfer to the boys the sensations of their own sexual processes. 

If one wishes to understand how the little girl becomes a I 
woman, he must follow up the further destinies of this clitoris ' 
excitation. Puberty, which brings to the boy a great advance of 
libido, distinguishes itself in the girl by a new wave of repression 
which especially concerns the clitoris sexuality. It is a part ol i 


the male sexual life that merges into repression. The reenforce- 
ment of the sexual inhibitions produced in the woman by the 
repression of puberty causes a stimulus in the libido of the man 
and forces it to increase its capacity; with the height of the 
libido there is a rise in the overestimation of the sexual, which 
can be present in its full force only when the woman refuses and 
denies her sexuality. If the sexual act is finally submitted to 
and the clitoris becomes excited its role is then to conduct the 
excitement to the adjacent female parts, and in this it acts like 
a chip of pine wood which is utilized to set fire to the harder 
wood. It often takes some time for this transference to be 
accomplished, during which the young wife remains anesthetic. 
This anesthesia may becomepermanent if the clitoris zone refuses 
to give up its excitabihty; a condition brought on by abundant 
activities in infantile life. It is known that anesthesia in women 
is often only apparent and local. They are anesthetic at the 
vaginal entrance but not at all unexcitable through the clitoris or 
even through other zones. Besides these erogenous causes of 
anesthesia there are also psychic causes likewise determined by 
the repression. 

If the transference of the erogenous excitability from the 
clitoris to the vagina has succeeded, the woman has thus changed 
her leading zone for the future sexual activity; the man on the 
other hand retains his from childhood. The main determinants 
for the woman's preference for the neuroses, especially for hys- 
teria, lie in this change of the leading zone as well as in the repres- 
sion of puberty. These determinants are therefore most inti- 
mately connected with the nature of femininity. 

The Object-finding 

While the primacy of the genital zones is being established 

through the processes of puberty, and the erected penis in the 

man imperiously points towards the new sexual aim, i. e., towards 

the penetration of a cavity which excites the genital zone, the 



object-finding, for which also preparations have been made since 
early childhood, becomes consummated on the psychic side. 
While the very incipient sexual gratifications are still connected 
with the taking of nourishment, the sexual impulse has a sexual 
object outside its own body in his mother's breast. This object 
it loses later, perhaps at the very time when it becomes possible 
for the child to form a general picture of the person to whom the 
organ granting him the gratification belongs. The sexual im- 
pulse later regularly becomes autoerotic, and only after over- 
coming the latency period is there a resumption of the original 
relation. It is not without good reason that the suckling of the 
child from its mother's breast has become a model for every 
amour. The object-finding is really a re-finding. 

The Sexual Object of the Nursing Period. — However, even 
after the separation of the sexual activity from the taking of 
nourishment, there still remains from this first and most impor- 
tant of all sexual relations an important share, which prepares the 
object selection and assists in reestablishing the lost happiness. 
Throughout the latency period the child learns to love other per- 
sons who assist it in its helplessness and gratify its wants; all 
this follows the model and is a continuation of the child's infan- 
tile relations to his wet nurse. One may perhaps hesitate to 
identify the tender feelings and esteem of the child for his foster- 
parents with sexual love; I beheve, however, that a more thor- 
ough psychological investigation will establish this identity beyond 
any doubt. The intercourse between the child and its foster- 
parents is for the former an inexhaustible source of sexual exci- 
tation and gratification of erogenous zones, especially since the 
parents — or as a rule the mother — supplies the child with feelings 
which originate from her own sexual life; she pats it, kisses it, 
and rocks it, plainly taking it as a substitute for a full-valued 
sexual object.' The mother would probably be terrified if it 
■Those to whom this conception appears "wicked" may read Havelock 
Ellis's treatise on the relations between mother and child which expresses 
almost the same ideas (The Sexual Impulse, p. i6). 



were explained to her that all her tenderness awakens the sexual 
impulse of her child and prepares its future intensity. She con- 
siders her actions as asexually "pure" love, for she carefully 
avoids causing more irritation to the genitals of the child than is 
indispensable in caring for the body. But as we know the sexual 
impulse is not awakened by the excitation of genital zones alone. 
What we call tenderness will some day surely manifest its influ- 
ence on the genital zones also. If the mother better understood 
the high signi6cance of the sexual impulse for the whole psychic 
life and for all ethical and psychic activities, the enlightenment 
would spare her all reproaches. By teacliing the child to love she 
only fulfills her function; for the child should become a fit man 
with energetic sexual needs, and accomplish in life all that the 
impulse urges the man to do. Of course, too much parental ten- ' 
demess becomes harmful because it accelerates the sexual matur- 
ity, and also because it " spoils " the child and makes it unfit to 
temporarily renounce love or be satisfied with a smaller amount 
of love in later life. One of the surest premonitions of later ner- 
vousness is the fact that the child shows itself insatiable in its 
demands for parental tenderness ; on the other hand, neuropathic 
parents, who usually display a botmdless tenderness, often with 
their caressing awaken in the child a disposition for neurotic dis- 
eases. This example at least shows that neuropathic parents have 
nearer ways than inheritance by which they can transfer their 
disturbances to their children. 

Infantile Fear. — The children themselves behave from their 
early childhood as if their attachment to their foster-parents 
were of the nature of sexual love. The fear of children is origi- 
nally nothing but an expression for the fact that they miss the 
beloved person. They therefore meet every stranger with fear, - 
they are afraid of the dark because they cannot see the beloved 
person, and are calmed if they can grasp that person's hand. The 
effect of childish fears and of the terrifying stories told by nurses 
is overestimated if one blames the latter for producing the fear 




in children. Children who are predisposed to fear absorb these 
stories, which make no impression whatever upon others; and 
only such children are predisposed to fear whose sexual impulse 
is excessive or prematurely developed, or has become pretentious 
through pampering. The child behaves here like the adult, that 
is, it changes its libido into fear when it cannot bring it to grati- 
fication, and the grown-up who becomes neurotic on account of 
ungratified libido behaves in his anxietj- like a child; he fears 
when he is alone, i. e., without a person of whose love he believes 
himself sure, and who can calm his fears by means of the most 
childish measures.' 

Incest Barriers. — If the tenderness of the parents for the 
child has luckily failed to awaken the sexual impulse of the child 
prematurely, i. e,, before the physical determinations for puberty 
appear, and if that awakening has not gone so far as to cause 
an unmistakable breaking through of the psychic excitement into 
the genital system, it can then fulfill its task and direct the child 
at the age of maturity in the selection of the sexual object. It 
would, of course, be most natural for the child to select as the 
sexual object that person whom it has loved since childhood with, 
so to speak, a suppressed libido. But owing to the delay of sexual 
maturity time has been gained for the erection beside the sexual 
inhibitions of the incest barrier, that moral prescription which 
explicitly excludes from the object selection the beloved person 
of infancy or blood relation. The observance of this barrier is 
I ; above all a demand of cultural society which must guard against 
M the absorption by the family of those interests which it needs for 
I ■ For the explanation of the origin of the infantile fear I am indebted 

to a three-year-old boy whom I once heard calling from a dark room : 
" Aunt, talk to me, I am afraid because it is dark." " How will that 
help you," answered the aunt ; " you cannot see anyhow." " That's 
nothing," answered the child; "If some one talks then it becomes light." 

" answered the child; "If s 
— He was, as we see, not afraid of the darkness but be wi 
he missed the person he loved, and he could promise t 
Boon as he was assured of her presence. 

: afraid because 
calm down as 



the production of higher social units. Society, therefore, uses 
every means to loosen those family ties in every individual, espe- 
cially in the boy, which are authoritative in childhood only. 

The object selection, however, is first accomplished in the 
imagination, and the sexual life of the maturing youth has hardly 
any escape except indulgence in phantasies or ideas which are not 
destined to be brought to execution. In the phantasies of all 
persons the infantile inclinations, now reenforced by somatic 
emphasis, reappear, and among them one finds in lawful fre- 
quency and in first place the sexual feeling of the child for the 
parents. This has usually already been differentiated by the 
sexual attraction, the attraction of the son for the mother and 
of the daughter for the father.' Simultaneously with the over- 
coming and rejection of these distinctly incestuous phantasies 
there occurs one of the most important as well as one of the 
most painful psychic accomplishments of puberty; it is the break- 
ing away from the parental authority, through which alone is 
formed that opposition between the new and old generations 
which is so important for cultural progress. Many persons are 
detained at every station in the course of development through 
which the individual must pass ; and accordingly there are persons 
who never overcome the parental authority and never, or very 
imperfectly, withdraw their affection from their parents. They 
are mostly girls, who, to the delight of their parents, retain their f 
full infantile love far beyond puberty, and it is instructive to find 
that in their married life these girls are incapable of fulfilling 
their duties to their husbands. They make cold wives and remain 
sexually anesthetic. This shows that the apparently non-sexual 
love for the parents and the sexual love are nourished from the 
same source, ». e., that the first merely corresponds to an infantile 
fixation of the libido. 
The nearer we come to the deeper disturbances of the psycho- 
* Compare the description ronceming the inevitable relation in the 
(Edipus fable (Traumdeutung, 2d edition, p. 185). 



sexual development the more easily we can recognize the evident 
significance of the incestuous object-selection. As a result of 
sexual rejection there remains in the unconscious of the psycho- 
neurotic a great part or the whole of the psychosexual activity for 
object finding. Girls with an excessive need for affection and 
an equal horror for the real demands of the sexual life, experience 
an uncontrollable temptation on the one hand to realize in hfe 
the ideal of the asexual love and on the other hand to conceal their 
libido under an affection which they may manifest without self 
reproach; this they do by clinging for life to the infantile attrac- 
tion for their parents or brothers or sisters which has been 
repressed in puberty. With the help of the symptoms and other 
morbid manifestations, psychoanalysis can trace their unconscious 
thoughts and translate them into the conscious, and thus easily 
show to such persons that they are in love with their consan- 
guinous relations in the popular meaning of the term. Likewise 
when a once healthy person merges into disease after an unhappy 
love affair, the mechanism of the disease can distinctly be ex- 
plained as a return of his libido to the persons preferred in his 

The After Effects of the Infantile Object Selection.— Even 
those who have happily eluded the incestuous fixation of their 
libido have not completely escaped its influence. It is a distinct 
echo of this phase of development that the first serious love of 
the young man is often for a mature woman and that of the girl 
for an older man equipped with authority — i. e., for persons who 
can revive in them the picture of the mother and father. Gener- 
ally speaking object selection unquestionably takes place by fol- 
lowing more freely these prototypes. The man seeks above all 
the memory picture of his mother as it has dominated him since 
the beginning of childhood ; this is quite consistent with the fact 
that the mother, if still living, strives against this, her renewal, 
and meets it with hostility. In view of this significance of the 
mfantile relation to the parents for the later selection of the 



sexual object, it is easy to understand that every disturbance of 
this infantile relation brings to a head the most serious results 
for the sexual life after puberty. Jealousy of the lover, too, 
never lacks the infantile sources or at least the infantile reinforce- 
ment. Quarrels between parents and unhappy marital relations} 
between the same determine the severest predispositions for dis- 
turbed sexual development or neurotic diseases in the children. 

The infantile desire for the parents is, to be sure, the most 
important, but not the only trace revived in puberty which points 
the way to the object selection. Other dispositions of the same 
origin permit the man, still supported by his infancy, to develop 
more than one single sexual series and to form different determi- 
nations for the object selection. 

Prevention of Inversion. — One of the resulting tasks in the 
object selection consists in not missing the opposite sex. This, 
as we know, is not solved without some diiKculty. The first feel- 
ings after puberty often enough go astray, though not with any 
permanent injury. Dessoir has justly called attention to the 
lawfulness betrayed in the enthusiastic friendships formed by 
boys and girls with their own sex. The greatest force which 
guards against a permanent inversion of the sexual object is 
surely the attraction exerted by the opposite sex characters on 
each other. For this we can give no explanation in connection 
with this discussion. This factor, however, does not in itself 
suffice to exclude the inversion ; besides this there are surely- 
many other supporting factors. Above all, there is the authorita- 
tive inhibition of society ; experience shows that where the inver- 
sion is not considered a crime it fully corresponds to the sexual 
inclinations of many persons. Moreover, it may be assumed 
that in the man the infantile memories of the mother's tenderness 
as well as that of other females who cared for him as a child, 
energetically assists in directing his selection to the woman ; while 
the girl, besides merging into a period of repression at the onset 
of puberty, is detained from the love for the same sex through 


the incitements of the competitor. The bringing up of boys by 
male persons (slaves in the ancient times) seems to favor homo- 
sexuality; the frequency of inversion in the present day nobility 
is probably explained by their employment of male servants, and 
by the scant care that mothers of that class give to their children. 
It happens in some hysterics that one of the parents has disap- 
peared (through death, divorce, or estrangement), thus permitting 
the remaining parent to absorb all the love of the child, and in 
this way estabhshing the determinations for the sex of the person 
to be selected later as the sexual object; thus a permanent inver- 
sion is made possible. 

It is now time to attempt a summarization. We have started 
from the aberrations of the sexual impulse in reference to its 
object and aim and have encountered the question whether these 
originate from a congenital predisposition, or whether they are 
acquired in consequence of influences from hfe. The answer to 
this question was reached through an examination of the relations 
of the sexual life of psychoneurotics, a numerous group not very 
remote from the normal. This examination has been made 
through psychoanalytic investigations. We have thus found that 
a tendency to all perversions might be demonstrated in these 
persons in the form of unconscious forces revealing themselves 
as symptom creators, and we could say that the neurosis is, as it 
were, the negative of the perversion. In view of the now recog- 
nized great diffusion of tendencies to perversion the idea forced 
itself upon us that the disposition to perversions is the primitive 
and universal disposition of the human sexual impulse, from 
which the normal sexual behavior develops in consequence of 
organic changes and psychic inhibitions in the course of maturity. 
We hope to be able to demonstrate the original disposition in the 
infantile life; among the forces restraining the direction of the 
fiexual impulse we have mentioned shame, loathing and sympathy. 



and the social constructions of morality and authority. We have 
thus been forced to perceive in every fixed aberration from the 
normal sexual life a fragment of inhibited development and in- 
fantilism. The significance of the variations of the primitive 
dispositions had to be put into the foreground, but between them 
and the influences of life we had to assume a relation of coopera- 
tion and not of opposition. On the other hand, as the primitive 
disposition must be a complex one, the sexual impulse itself 
appeared to us as something composed of many factors, which in 
the perversions becomes separated, as it were, into its compo- 
nents. The perversions thus prove themselves to be on the one 
hand inhibitions, and on the other dissociations from the normal 
development. Both conceptions became united in the assump* 
tion that the sexual impulse of the adult originates through the 
comprehension of the diverse feelings of the infantile Hfe into 
one unit and one aspiration with one single aim. 

We also added an explanation for the preponderance of perver- 
sive tendencies in the psychoneurotics by recognizing in these 
tendencies collateral fillings of side branches caused by the shift- 
ing of the main river bed through repression, and we then turned 
our examination to the sexual life of the infantile period. We 
found it deplorable that the existence of a sexual life in infancy 
has been disputed, and that the sexual manifestations which have 
been often observed in children have been described as abnormal 
occurrences. It rather seemed to us that the child brings along into 
the world germs of sexual activity and that even while taking 
nourishment it at the same time also enjoys a sexual gratification 
which it then seeks to again procure for itself through the familiar 
activity of " thumbsucking." The sexual activity of the child, 
however, does not develop in the same measure as its other func- 
tions, but merges first into the so-called latency period. The 
production of sexual excitation by no means ceases at this period 
but continues and furnishes a stock of energy, the greater part of 
which is utilized for aims other than sexual; namely, on the one 


hand for the delivery of sexual components for social feelings, 
and on the other hand (by means of repression and reaction 
formation) for the erection of the future sexual barriers. Ac- 
cordingly, the forces which are destined to hold the sexual impulse 
in certain tracks are built up in infancy at the expense of the 
greater part of the perverse sexual feelings and with the assist- 
ance of the bringing up. Another part of the infantile sexual 
manifestations escapes this utilization and may manifest itself as 
sexual activity. It can then be discovered that the sexual excita- 
tion of the child flows from diverse sources. Above all gratifi- 
cations originate through the adapted sensible excitation of 
so-called erogenous zones. For these probably any skin region 
or sensory organ may serve; but there are certain distinguished 
erogenous zones the excitation of which by certain organic mech- 
anisms is assured from the beginning. Moreover, sexual excita- 
tion originates in the organism, as it were, as a by-product in a 
great number of processes, as soon as they attain a certain inten- 
sity ; this especially takes place in all strong emotional excitements 
even if they be of a painful nature. The excitations from all 
these sources do not yet unite, but they pursue their aim indi- 
vidually — this aim consisting merely in the gaining of a certain 
pleasure. The sexual impulse of childhood is therefore object- 
less or autoerotic. 

Still during infancy the erogenous zone of the genitals begins 
to make itself noticeable, either by the fact that like any other 
erogenous zone it furnishes gratification through a suitable sen- 
sible stimulus or because in some incomprehensible way the 
gratification from other sources causes at the same time the sexual 
excitement which has a special connection with the genital zone. 
We found cause to regret that a sufficient explanation of the 
relations between sexual gratification and sexual excitement, as 
well as between the activity of the genital zone and the remaining 
sources of sexuality, was not to be attained. 

We were unable to state what amount of sexual activity in 


childhood might be designated as normal — as activity which is 
not carried on at the expense of further development. The char- 
acter of the sexual manifestation showed itself to be preponder- 
ately masturbatic. We, moreover, verified from experience the 
belief that the external influences of seduction might produce 
premature breaches in the latency period leading as far as the 
suppression of the same, and that the sexual impulse of the child 
really shows itself to be polymorphous perverse; furthermore, 
that every such premature sexual activity impairs the educability 
of the child. 

Despite the incompleteness of our examinations of the infantile 
sexual life we were subsequently forced to attempt to study the 
serious changes produced by the appearance of puberty. We 
selected two of the same as criteria, namely, the subordination of 
all other sources of the sexual feeling to the primacy of the 
genital zones, and the process of object finding. The first is 
accomplished through the mechanism of utilizing the fore- 
pleasure, whereby all other independent sexual acts which are 
connected with pleasure and excitement become preparatory acts 
for the new sexual aim, the voiding of the sexual products, the 
attainment of which under enormous pleasure puts an end to the 
sexual feeling. At the same time we had to consider the differ- 
entiation of the sexual nature of man and woman, and we found 
that in order to become a woman a new repression is required 
which abolishes a piece of infantile masculinity, and prepares the 
woman for the change of the leading genital zones. Lastly, we 
found the object selection, tracing it through infancy to its revival 
in puberty; we also found indications of sexual inclinations on 
the part of the child for the parents and foster-parents, which, 
however, were turned away from these persons to others resem- 
bling them by the incest barriers ■which had been erected in the 
meantime. Let us finally add that during the transition period 
of puberty the somatic and psychic processes of development pro- 
ceed side by side, but separately, until the normally acquired 



unification in the function of love has been established by the 
breaking through of an intensive psychic feeling of love for the 
innervation of the genitals. 

The Factors Disturbing the Development. — As we have 
already shown by different examples, every step on this long road 
of development may become a point of fixation and every joint 
in this complicated structure may afford opportunity for a disso- 
ciation of the sexual impulse. It still remains for us to review 
the various inner and outer factors which disturb the develop- 
ment, and to mention the part of the mechanism affected by the 
disturbance emanating from them. The factors which we men- 
tion here in a series cannot, of course, all be in themselves of 
equal validity and we must expect to meet with difficulties in the 
assigning to the individual factors their due importance. 

Constitution and Heredity. — In the first place, we must men- 
tion here the congenital variation in the sexual constitution, upon 
which the greatest weight probably falls, but the existence of 
which, as may be easily understood, can be established only 
through its later manifestations and even then not always with 
great certainty. We understand by it a preponderance of one 
or another of the manifold sources of the sexual feeling, and we 
believe that such a difference of disposition must always come to 
expression in the final result, even if it should remain within 
normal limits. Of course, we can also imagine certain variations 
of the original disposition that even without further aid must 
necessarily lead to the formation of an abnormal sexual life. 
We can call these "degenerative" and consider them as an ex- 
pression of hereditary deterioration. In this connection I have 
to report a remarkable fact. In more than half of the severe 
cases of hysteria, compulsion neuroses, etc., which I have treated 
by psychotherapy, I have succeeded in positively demonstrating 
that their fathers have gone through an attack of syphilis before 
marriage ; they have either suffered from tabes or general paresis, 
or there was a definite history of lues. I expressly add that the 


children who were later neurotic showed absolutely no signs of 
hereditary lues, so that the abnormal sexual constitution was to 
be considered as the last off-shoot of the luetic heredity. As far 
as it is now from my thoughts to put down a descent from syphi- 
litic parents as a regular and indispensable etiological determina- 
tion of the neuropathic constitution, I nevertheless maintain that 
the coincidence observed by me is not accidental and not without 

The hereditary relations of the positive perverts are not so well 
known because they know how to avoid inquiry. Still there is 
reason to believe that the same holds true in the perversions as 
in the neuroses. We often find perversions and psych on eu roses 
in the different sexes of the same family, so distributed that the 
male members, or one of them, is a positive pervert, while the 
females, following the repressive tendencies of their sex, are 
negative perverts or hysterics. This is a good example of the 
substantial relations between the two disturbances which I have 

It cannot, however, be maintained that our notion of the struc- 
ture of the sexual life is rendered finally complete by the addition 
of the diverse components of the sexual constitution. On the 
contrary, qualifications continue to appear and new possibilities 
result, depending upon the fate experienced by the sexual streams 
originating from the individual sources. This further elabora- 
tion is evidently the final and decisive one and the constitution 
described as uniform may lead to three final issues. If all the 
dispositions assumed to be abnormal retain their relative propor- 
tion, and are strengthened with maturity, the ultimate result can 
only be a perverse sexual life. The analysis of such abnormally 
constituted dispositions has not yet been thoroughly undertaken, 
but we already know cases that can be readily explained in the 
light of these theories. Authors believe, for example, that a 
whole series of fixation perversions must necessarily have had 


as their basis a congenital weakness of the sexual impulse. The 
statement seems to me untenable in this form, but it becomes 
ingenious if it refers to a constitutional weakness of one factor 
in the sexual impulse, namely, the genital zone, which later in the 
interests of propagation accepts as a function the sum of the indi- 
vidual sexual activities. In this case the summation which is 
demanded in puberty must fail and the strongest of the other 
sexual components continues its activity as a perversion. 

Repression. — ^Another issue results if in the course of develop- 
ment certain powerful components experience a repression — which 
we must carefully note is not a suspension. The excitations in 
question are produced as usual but are prevented from attaining 
their aim by psychic hindrances, and are driven off into many 
other paths until they express themselves in a symptom. The 
result can be an almost normal sexual life — usually a limited 
one — ^but with the addition of a psychoneurotic disease. It is 
these cases that become so familiar to us through the psycho- 
analytic investigation of neurotics. The sexual life of such per- 
sons begins like that of perverts, a considerable part of their 
childhood is filled up with perverse sexual activity which occa- 
sionally extends far beyond the period of maturity, but owing to 
inner reasons a repressive change then results — usually before 
puberty, but now and then even much later — ^and from this point 
on without any extinction of the old feelings there appears a 
neurosis instead of a perversion. One may recall here the say- 
ing, "Junge Hure, alte Betschwester," — only here youth has 
turned out to be much too short. The relieving of the perver- 
sion by the neurosis in the life of the same person, as well as the 
above mentioned distribution of perversion and hysteria in dif- 
erent persons of the same family must be placed side by side with 
the fact that the neurosis is the negative of the perversion. 

Sublimation. — The third issue in abnormal constitutional dis- 
positions is made possible by the process of "sublimation," 



through which the powerful excitations from individual sources 
of sexuality are discharged and utilized in other spheres, so that 
a considerable increase of psychic capacity results from an, in 
itself dangerous, predisposition. This forms one of the sources 
of artistic activity, and, according as such sublimation is complete 
or incomplete, the analysis of the character of highly gifted, espe- 
cially of artistically disposed persons, will show any proportionate 
blending between productive abilityj perversion, and neurosis. A 
sub-species of sublimation is the suppression through reaction- 
formation, whicli, as we have found, begins even in the latency 
period of infancy, only to continue throughout life in favorable 
cases. What we call the character of a person is built up to a 
great extent from the material of sexual excitations; it is com- 
posed of impulses fixed since infancy and won through sublima- 
tion, and of such constructions as are destined to suppress effect- 
ually those perverse feelings which are recognized as useless. 
The general perverse sexual disposition of childhood can there- 
fore be esteemed as a source of a number of our virtues, insofar 
as it incites their creation through the formation of reactions." 
Accidental Experiences. — All other influences lose in signifi- 
cance when compared with the sexual discharges, repressions, 
and sublimation; the inner determinations for the last two proc- 
esses are totally unknown to us. He who includes repressions 
and sublimations among constitutional predispositions, and con- 
siders them as the living manifestations of the same, has surely 
the right to maintain that the final structure of the sexual life is 
above all the result of the congenital constitution. No intelligent 

' That keen observer of human nature E. Zola, describes in his book La ' 
Joie de vivre, a girl who in cheerful self renunciation offers all she has 
in possession or expectation, her fortune and her life's hopes to those 
she loves without thought of return. The childhood of this giri was 
dominated by an insatiable desire for love which whenever she was de- 
preciated caused her to merge into a fit of cruelty. 


person, however, will dispute that in such a cooperation of factors 
there is also room for the modifying influences of accidental 
factors derived from experience in childhood and later on. We 
may now continue with our task of enumerating the factors which 
have become known to us as influential for the sexual develop- 
ment, whether they be active forces or merely manifestations of 
the same. 

Prematurity. — Such a factor is the spontaneous sexual pre- 
maturity which can he definitely demonstrated at least in the 
etiology of the neuroses, though in itself it is as little adequate 
for causation as the other factors. It manifests itself in a break- 
ing through, shortening, or suspending of the infantile latency 
period and becomes a cause of disturbances inasmuch as it pro- 
vokes sexual manifestations which, either on account of the 
unready state of the sexual inhibitions or because of the undevel- 
oped state of the genital system, can only carry along the char- 
acter of perversions. These tendencies to perversion may either 
remain as such, or after the repression sets in they may become 
motive powers for neurotic symptoms ; at all events, the sexual 
prematurity renders difficult the desirable later control of the 
sexual impulse by the higher psychic influences, and enhances 
the compulsive-like character which even without this prema- 
turity would be claimed by the psychic representatives of the 
impulse. Sexual prematurity often runs parallel with premature 
intellectual development ; it is found as such in the infantile his- 
tory of the most distinguished and most productive individuals, 
and in such connection it does not seem to act as pathogenically 
as when appearing isolated. 

Adhesion. — The significance of all premature sexual mani- 
festations is enhanced by a psychic factor of unknown origin 
which at present can be put down only as a psychological pre- 
liminary. I believe that it is the heightened adhesion of fixedness 
of these impressions of the sexual hfe which in later neurotics. 


as well as in perverts, must be added for the completion of the 
other facts; for the same premature sexual manifestations in 
other persons cannot impress themselves deeply enough to repeat 
themselves compulsively and to succeed in prescribing the way 
for the sexual impulse throughout later life. Perhaps a part of 
the explanation for this adhesion lies in another psychic factor 
which we cannot miss in the causation of the neuroses, namely, 
in the preponderance which in the psychic life falls to the share 
of memory traces as compared with recent impressions. This 
factor is apparently independent of intellectual development and 
grows with the growth of personal culture. In contrast to this 
the savage has been characterized as "the unfortunate child of 
the moment.'" Owing to the oppositional relation existing be- 
tween culture and the free development of sexuality, the results 
of which may be traced far into the formation of our life, the 
problem how the sexual life of the child evolves is of very little 
importance for the later life in the lower stages of culture and 
civilization, and of very great importance in the higher. 

Fixation. — The influence of the psychic factors just mentioned 
favored the development of the accidentally experienced impulses 
of the infantile sexuality. The latter (especially in the form of 
seductions through other children or through adults) produce the 
material which, with the help of the former, may become fixed 
as a permanent disturbance. A considerable number of the 
deviations from the normal sexual life observed later have been 
thus established in neurotics and perverts from the beginning 
through the impressions received during the alleged sexually free 
period of childhood. The causation may thus be divided into the 
responsiveness of the constitution, the prematurity, the quahty 
of heightened adhesion, and the accidental excitement of the 
sexual impulse through outside influence. 

*It is possible that the heightened adhesion is only the result of a. special 
latic sexual manifestation of former years. 


The unsatisfactory conclusion which must result from an inves- 
tigation of the disturbances of the sexual life is due to the fact 
that we as yet know too little concerning the biological processes 
in which the nature of sexuality consists to form from our isolated 
examinations a satisfactory theory for the explanation of either 
the normal or the pathological. 


Aberrations, sexual i 

Accidental experiences 83 

Activity, muscular 54 

Adhesion 84 

Affective processes 55 

Affects, painful 55 

After effects infantile selection 74 

Aim, deviation in 14 

Algolagnia 21 

Amphigenously inverted 2 

Amnesia 35 

Anal activity 45 

object 16 

Anatomical transgression 15 

Androgyny 8 

Animals as objects 12 

Autoerotism 41 

Barriers to incest 72, 

Behavior of Inverts 2 

Bisexuality 7 

Body, other parts 17 

Cathartic method 25 

Qiemical theories 66 

Qiildhood latency 37 

Children as objects 12 

Conception of inversion 3 

Conclusions regarding inversion ; 12 

Constitution and heredity 80 

Constitutions, sexual 57 

Cruelty 51 

Degeneration 4 

7 87 


Development factors 80 

Duration in object 2 

Deviation in sexual aim 14 

Disturbances of development 80 

Differentiation of man and woman 67 

Emergency of latency 39 

Erogenous zones 29, 43 

Qiaracter of 43 

Excitation, mechanical 53 

Excitement, hunger 15 

Sexual 64 

Experiences, accidental 83 

Fear, infantile 70 

Fetichism 17 

Fixation 85 

Fixation of anus 19 

Forepleasure 60 

dangers 63 

mechanism 62 

Genitals, internal 66 

Genital zone 46 

Genital zone primacy 60 

Heredity and constitution 80 

Hermaphroditism, psychic 8 

Hunger, excitement 15 

Impulse in neurotic 24 

Impulses, partial 29, 50 

Incest barriers 72 

Infantile amnesia 35 

after effects 74 

fear 71 

masturbation 48 

neglect 34 

sexuality 34 


Infantile sexual aim 44 

sexuality, sources 52 

Infantilism, sexual 32 

Influences, opposite 57 

Inhibition 38 

Innateness 5 

Intellectual work 56 

Intentions, newer 19 

Internal genitals 66 

Inversion 2 

conception of 4 

explanation of 6 

prevention of 75 

Invert behavior 2 

Latency ^. 37 

period 39 

Libido I 

Looking 20 

Man and woman 67 

leading zones 68 

Masochism 21 

Masturbation 45 

infantile 48 

Mechanical excitation , 53 

Muscular activity 54 

Narcissism 11 

Neurosis and perversions 27 

Neurotics, impulse in 24 

Nursing period 70 

Object deviation 2 

finding 69 

Onanism 47 

Opposite influence 57 

Overestimation of object 15 


Partial impulses 29, 50 

Perverse, polymorphous 49 

Perversion 16 

Perversions and neurosis 2,7 

general statement 22 

morbid 23 

psychic participation 24 

why in psychoneuroses 30 

Polymorphous perverse disposition 49 

Prematurity 84 

Psychic hermaphroditism 8 

participation in perversions 24 

Psychoanalysis 24 

Psychoanalysis, results of 26 

Psychoneuroses, perversions in 30 

Puberty transformations 59 

Reaction formation 38 

Repression 82 

Sadism 21 

Sexual aberrations i 

aim in inverts ii 

constitution 57 

excitement 64 

impulse in neurotics 24 

infantilism 32 

inhibition 38 

latency 37 

object in inverts 10 

object nursing 70 

substance 64 

tension 60 

utilization of mucous membranes 15 

Sexually immature objects 12 

Sexuality, infantile 34 

Sublimation 38, 82 

Substance, sexual 66 



Substitutions, unfit vj 

Summary 76 

Tension, sexual ^ 60 

Theories, chemical 66 

Thumbsucking 40 

Touching . . .• 20 

Transformation, puberty 50 

Transgression, anatomical 15 

Unfit substitutions Vj 

Variation and disease 22 

Woman and man 67 

leading zones 68 

Work, intellectual 56 

Zones, erogenous, in man 68 

in woman 68 



This book should be returned on or before 
tlie date last stamped below. 

1.1V T. 

«ftY2 11168 

;C i^ l3Ji* 

>PR5 ^9f 

JAN J 196) 

%2 5 tan 

AUG 3il9f 

OCT 3 1 196 

NOV 2 3 196 


JUL 2 7 19& 


BPB 2 9 «