The relation of love to pain is one of the most difficult problemsby@havelock

The relation of love to pain is one of the most difficult problems

by Havelock EllisApril 6th, 2023
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The Chief Key to the Relationship between Love and Pain to be Found in Animal Courtship—Courtship a Source of Combativity and of Cruelty—Human Play in the Light of Animal Courtship—The Frequency of Crimes Against the Person in Adolescence—Marriage by Capture and its Psychological Basis—Man's Pleasure in Exerting Force and Woman's Pleasure in Experiencing it—Resemblance of Love to Pain even in Outward Expression—The Love-bite—In what Sense Pain may be Pleasurable—The Natural Contradiction in the Emotional Attitude of Women Toward Men—Relative Insensibility to Pain of the Organic Sexual Sphere in Women—The Significance of the Use of the Ampallang and Similar Appliances in Coitus—The Sexual Subjection of Women to Men in Part Explainable as the Necessary Condition for Sexual Pleasure. The relation of love to pain is one of the most difficult problems, and yet one of the most fundamental, in the whole range of sexual psychology. Why is it that love inflicts, and even seeks to inflict, pain? Why is it that love suffers pain, and even seeks to suffer it? In answering that question, it seems to me, we have to take an apparently circuitous route, sometimes going beyond the ostensible limits of sex altogether; but if we can succeed in answering it we shall have come very near one of the great mysteries of love. At the same time we shall have made clear the normal basis on which rest the extreme aberrations of love.
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Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 by Havelock Ellis is part of the HackerNoon Books Series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here. Love and Pain - I


The Chief Key to the Relationship between Love and Pain to be Found in Animal Courtship—Courtship a Source of Combativity and of Cruelty—Human Play in the Light of Animal Courtship—The Frequency of Crimes Against the Person in Adolescence—Marriage by Capture and its Psychological Basis—Man's Pleasure in Exerting Force and Woman's Pleasure in Experiencing it—Resemblance of Love to Pain even in Outward Expression—The Love-bite—In what Sense Pain may be Pleasurable—The Natural Contradiction in the Emotional Attitude of Women Toward Men—Relative Insensibility to Pain of the Organic Sexual Sphere in Women—The Significance of the Use of the Ampallang and Similar Appliances in Coitus—The Sexual Subjection of Women to Men in Part Explainable as the Necessary Condition for Sexual Pleasure.

The relation of love to pain is one of the most difficult problems, and yet one of the most fundamental, in the whole range of sexual psychology. Why is it that love inflicts, and even seeks to inflict, pain? Why is it that love suffers pain, and even seeks to suffer it? In answering that question, it seems to me, we have to take an apparently circuitous route, sometimes going beyond the ostensible limits of sex altogether; but if we can succeed in answering it we shall have come very near one of the great mysteries of love. At the same time we shall have made clear the normal basis on which rest the extreme aberrations of love.

The chief key to the relationship of love to pain is to be found by returning to the consideration of the essential phenomena of courtship in the animal world generally. Courtship is a play, a game; even its combats are often, to a large extent, mock-combats; but the process behind it is one of terrible earnestness, and the play may at any moment become deadly. Courtship tends to involve a mock-combat between males for the possession of the female which may at any time become a real combat; it is a pursuit of the female by the male which may at any time become a kind of persecution; so that, as Colin Scott remarks, "Courting may be looked upon as a refined and delicate form of combat." The note of courtship, more especially among mammals, is very easily forced, and as soon as we force it we reach pain.[61] The intimate and inevitable association in the animal world of combat—of the fighting and hunting impulses—with the process of courtship alone suffices to bring love into close connection with pain.

Among mammals the male wins the female very largely by the display of force. The infliction of pain must inevitably be a frequent indirect result of the exertion of power. It is even more than this; the infliction of pain by the male on the female may itself be a gratification of the impulse to exert force. This tendency has always to be held in check, for it is of the essence of courtship that the male should win the female, and she can only be won by the promise of pleasure. The tendency of the male to inflict pain must be restrained, so far as the female is concerned, by the consideration of what is pleasing to her. Yet, the more carefully we study the essential elements of courtship, the clearer it becomes that, playful as these manifestations may seem on the surface, in every direction they are verging on pain. It is so among animals generally; it is so in man among savages. "It is precisely the alliance of pleasure and pain," wrote the physiologist Burdach, "which constitutes the voluptuous emotion."

Nor is this emotional attitude entirely confined to the male. The female also in courtship delights to arouse to the highest degree in the male the desire for her favors and to withhold those favors from him, thus finding on her part also the enjoyment of power in cruelty. "One's cruelty is one's power," Millament says in Congreve's Way of the World, "and when one parts with one's cruelty one parts with one's power."

At the outset, then, the impulse to inflict pain is brought into courtship, and at the same time rendered a pleasurable idea to the female, because with primitive man, as well as among his immediate ancestors, the victor in love has been the bravest and strongest rather than the most beautiful or the most skilful. Until he can fight he is not reckoned a man and he cannot hope to win a woman. Among the African Masai a man is not supposed to marry until he has blooded his spear, and in a very different part of the world, among the Dyaks of Borneo, there can be little doubt that the chief incentive to head-hunting is the desire to please the women, the possession of a head decapitated by himself being an excellent way of winning a maiden's favor.[62] Such instances are too well known to need multiplication here, and they survive in civilization, for, even among ourselves, although courtship is now chiefly ruled by quite other considerations, most women are in some degree emotionally affected by strength and courage. But the direct result of this is that a group of phenomena with which cruelty and the infliction of pain must inevitably be more or less allied is brought within the sphere of courtship and rendered agreeable to women. Here, indeed, we have the source of that love of cruelty which some have found so marked in women. This is a phase of courtship which helps us to understand how it is that, as we shall see, the idea of pain, having become associated with sexual emotion, may be pleasurable to women.

Thus, in order to understand the connection between love and pain, we have once more to return to the consideration, under a somewhat new aspect, of the fundamental elements in the sexual impulse. In discussing the "Evolution of Modesty" we found that the primary part of the female in courtship is the playful, yet serious, assumption of the rôle of a hunted animal who lures on the pursuer, not with the object of escaping, but with the object of being finally caught. In considering the "Analysis of the Sexual Impulse" we found that the primary part of the male in courtship is by the display of his energy and skill to capture the female or to arouse in her an emotional condition which leads her to surrender herself to him, this process itself at the same time heightening his own excitement. In the playing of these two different parts is attained in both male and female that charging of nervous energy, that degree of vascular tumescence, necessary for adequate discharge and detumescence in an explosion by which sperm-cells and germ-cells are brought together for the propagation of the race. We are now concerned with the necessary interplay of the differing male and female rôles in courtship, and with their accidental emotional by-products. Both male and female are instinctively seeking the same end of sexual union at the moment of highest excitement. There cannot, therefore, be real conflict.[63] But there is the semblance of a conflict, an apparent clash of aim, an appearance of cruelty. Moreover,—and this is a significant moment in the process from our present point of view,—when there are rivals for the possession of one female there is always a possibility of actual combat, so tending to introduce an element of real violence, of undisguised cruelty, which the male inflicts on his rival and which the female views with satisfaction and delight in the prowess of the successful claimant. Here we are brought close to the zoölogical root of the connection between love and pain.[64]

In his admirable work on play in man Groos has fully discussed the plays of combat (Kampfspiele), which begin to develop even in childhood and assume full activity during adolescence; and he points out that, while the impulse to such play certainly has a wider biological significance, it still possesses a relationship to the sexual life and to the rivalries of animals in courtship which must not be forgotten.[65]

Nor is it only in play that the connection between love and combativity may still be traced. With the epoch of the first sexual relationship, Marro points out, awakes the instinct of cruelty, which prompts the youth to acts which are sometimes in absolute contrast to his previous conduct, and leads him to be careless of the lives of others as well as of his own life.[66] Marro presents a diagram showing how crimes against the person in Italy rise rapidly from the age of 16 to 20 and reach a climax between 21 and 25. In Paris, Gamier states, crimes of blood are six times more frequent in adolescents (aged 16 to 20) than in adults. It is the same elsewhere.[67] This tendency to criminal violence during the age-period of courtship is a by-product of the sexual impulse, a kind of tertiary sexual character.

In the process of what is commonly termed "marriage by capture" we have a method of courtship which closely resembles the most typical form of animal courtship, and is yet found in all but the highest and most artificial stages of human society. It may not be true that, as MacLennan and others have argued, almost every race of man has passed through an actual stage of marriage by capture, but the phenomena in question have certainly been extremely widespread and exist in popular custom even among the highest races today. George Sand has presented a charming picture of such a custom, existing in France, in her Mare au Diable. Farther away, among the Kirghiz, the young woman is pursued by all her lovers, but she is armed with a formidable whip, which she does not hesitate to use if overtaken by a lover to whom she is not favorable. Among the Malays, according to early travelers, courtship is carried on in the water in canoes with double-bladed paddles; or, if no water is near, the damsel, stripped naked of all but a waistband, is given a certain start and runs off on foot followed by her lover. Vaughan Stevens in 1896 reported that this performance is merely a sport; but Skeat and Blagden, in their more recent and very elaborate investigations in the Malay States, find that it is a rite.

Even if we regard "marriage by capture" as simply a primitive human institution stimulated by tribal exigencies and early social conditions, yet, when we recall its widespread and persistent character, its close resemblance to the most general method of courtship among animals, and the emotional tendencies which still persist even in the most civilized men and women, we have to recognize that we are in presence of a real psychological impulse which cannot fail in its exercise to introduce some element of pain into love.

There are, however, two fundamentally different theories concerning "marriage by capture." According to the first, that of MacLennan, which, until recently, has been very widely accepted, and to which Professor Tylor has given the weight of his authority, there has really been in primitive society a recognized stage in which marriages were effected by the capture of the wife. Such a state of things MacLennan regarded as once world-wide. There can be no doubt that women very frequently have been captured in this way among primitive peoples. Nor, indeed, has the custom been confined to savages. In Europe we find that even up to comparatively recent times the abduction of women was not only very common, but was often more or less recognized. In England it was not until Henry VII's time that the violent seizure of a woman was made a criminal offense, and even then the statute was limited to women possessed of lands and goods. A man might still carry off a girl provided she was not an heiress; but even the abduction of heiresses continued to be common, and in Ireland remained so until the end of the eighteenth century. But it is not so clear that such raids and abductions, even when not of a genuinely hostile character, have ever been a recognized and constant method of marriage.

According to the second set of theories, the capture is not real, but simulated, and may be accounted for by psychological reasons. Fustel de Coulanges, in La Cité Antique,[68] discussing simulated marriage by capture among the Romans, mentioned the view that it was "a symbol of the young girl's modesty," but himself regarded it as an act of force to symbolize the husband's power. He was possibly alluding to Herbert Spencer, who suggested a psychological explanation of the apparent prevalence of marriage by capture based on the supposition that, capturing a wife being a proof of bravery, such a method of obtaining a wife would be practised by the strongest men and be admired, while, on the other hand, he considered that "female coyness" was "an important factor" in constituting the more formal kinds of marriage by capture ceremonial.[69] Westermarck, while accepting true marriage by capture, considers that Spencer's statement "can scarcely be disproved."[70] In his valuable study of certain aspects of primitive marriage Crawley, developing the explanation rejected by Fustel de Coulanges, regards the fundamental fact to be the modesty of women, which has to be neutralized, and this is done by "a ceremonial use of force, which is half real and half make-believe." Thus the manifestations are not survivals, but "arising in a natural way from normal human feelings. It is not the tribe from which the bride is abducted, nor, primarily, her family and kindred, but her sex"; and her "sexual characters of timidity, bashfulness, and passivity are sympathetically overcome by make-believe representations of male characteristic actions."[71]

It is not necessary for the present purpose that either of these two opposing theories concerning the origin of the customs and feelings we are here concerned with should be definitely rejected. Whichever theory is adopted, the fundamental psychic element which here alone concerns us still exists intact.[72] It may be pointed out, however, that we probably have to accept two groups of such phenomena: one, seldom or never existing as the sole form of marriage, in which the capture is real; and another in which the "capture" is more or less ceremonial or playful. The two groups coexist among the Turcomans, as described by Vambery, who are constantly capturing and enslaving the Persians of both sexes, and, side by side with this, have a marriage ceremonial of mock-capture of entirely playful character. At the same time the two groups sometimes overlap, as is indicated by cases in which, while the "capture" appears to be ceremonial, the girl is still allowed to escape altogether if she wishes. The difficulty of disentangling the two groups is shown by the fact that so careful an investigator as Westermarck cites cases of real capture and mock-capture together without attempting to distinguish between them. From our present point of view it is quite unnecessary to attempt such a distinction. Whether the capture is simulated or real, the man is still playing the masculine and aggressive part proper to the male; the woman is still playing the feminine and defensive part proper to the female. The universal prevalence of these phenomena is due to the fact that manifestations of this kind, real or pretended, afford each sex the very best opportunity for playing its proper part in courtship, and so, even when the force is real, must always gratify a profound instinct.

It is not necessary to quote examples of marriage by capture from the numerous and easily accessible books on the evolution of marriage. (Sir A. B. Ellis, adopting MacLennan's standpoint, presented a concise statement of the facts in an article on "Survivals from Marriage by Capture," Popular Science Monthly, 1891, p. 207.) It may, however, be worth while to bring together from scattered sources a few of the facts concerning the phenomena in this group and their accompanying emotional state, more especially as they bear on the association of love with force, inflicted or suffered.

In New Caledonia, Foley remarks, the successful coquette goes off with her lover into the bush. "It usually happens that, when she is successful, she returns from her expedition, tumbled, beaten, scratched, even bitten on the nape and shoulders, her wounds thus bearing witness to the quadrupedal attitude she has assumed amid the foliage." (Foley, Bulletin de la Société d'Anthropologie, Paris, November 6, 1879.)

Of the natives of New South Wales, Turnbull remarked at the beginning of the nineteenth century that "their mode of courtship is not without its singularity. When a young man sees a female to his fancy he informs her she must accompany him home; the lady refuses; he not only enforces compliance with threats but blows; thus the gallant, according to the custom, never fails to gain the victory, and bears off the willing, though struggling pugilist. The colonists for some time entertained the idea that the women were compelled and forced away against their inclinations; but the young ladies informed them that this mode of gallantry was the custom, and perfectly to their taste," (J. Turnbull, A Voyage Round the World, 1813, p. 98; cf. Brough Smyth, Aborigines of Victoria, 1878, vol. i, p. 81.)

As regards capture of women among Central Australian tribes, Spencer and Gillen remark: "We have never in any of these central tribes met with any such thing, and the clubbing part of the story may be dismissed, so far as the central area of the continent is concerned. To the casual observer what looks like a capture (we are, of course, only speaking of these tribes) is in reality an elopement, in which the woman is an aiding and abetting party." (Northern Tribes of Central Australia. p. 32.)

"The New Zealand method of courtship and matrimony is a most extraordinary one. A man sees a woman whom he fancies he should like for a wife; he asks the consent of her father, or, if an orphan, of her nearest relative, which, if he obtain, he carries his intended off by force, she resisting with all her strength, and, as the New Zealand girls are generally fairly robust, sometimes a dreadful struggle takes place; both are soon stripped to the skin and it is sometimes the work of hours to remove the fair prize a hundred yards. It sometimes happens that she secures her retreat into her father's house, and the lover loses all chance of ever obtaining her." (A. Earle, Narratives of Residence in New Zealand, 1832, p. 244.)

Among the Eskimos (probably near Smith Sound) "there is no marriage ceremony further than that the boy is required to carry off his bride by main force, for even among these blubber-eating people the woman only saves her modesty by a show of resistance, although she knows years beforehand that her destiny is sealed and that she is to become the wife of the man from whose embraces, when the nuptial day comes, she is obliged by the inexorable law of public opinion to free herself, if possible, by kicking and screaming with might and main until she is safely landed in the hut of her future lord, when she gives up the combat very cheerfully and takes possession of her new abode. The betrothal often takes place at a very early period of life and at very dissimilar ages." Marriage only takes place when the lover has killed his first seal; this is the test of manhood and maturity. (J. J. Hayes, Open Polar Sea, 1867, p. 432.)

Marriage by "capture" is common in war and raiding in central Africa. "The women, as a rule," Johnston says, "make no very great resistance on these occasions. It is almost like playing a game. A woman is surprised as she goes to get water at the stream, or when she is on the way to or from the plantation. The man has only got to show her she is cornered and that escape is not easy or pleasant and she submits to be carried off. As a general rule, they seem to accept very cheerfully these abrupt changes in their matrimonial existence." (Sir H. H. Johnston, British Central Africa, p. 412.)

Among the wild tribes of the Malay Peninsula in one form of wedding rite the bridegroom is required to run seven times around an artificial mound decorated with flowers and the emblem of the people's religion. In the event of the bridegroom failing to catch the bride the marriage has to be postponed. Among the Orang Laut, or sea-gipsies, the pursuit sometimes takes the form of a canoe-race; the woman is given a good start and must be overtaken before she has gone a certain distance. (W. W. Skeat, Journal Anthropological Institute, Jan.-June, 1902, p. 134; Skeat and Blagden, Pagan Races of the Malay, vol. ii, p. 69 et seq., fully discuss the ceremony around the mound.)

"Calmuck women ride better than the men. A male Calmuck on horseback looks as if he was intoxicated, and likely to fall off every instant, though he never loses his seat; but the women sit with more ease, and ride with extraordinary skill. The ceremony of marriage among the Calmucks is performed on horseback. A girl is first mounted, who rides off at full speed. Her lover pursues, and if he overtakes her she becomes his wife and the marriage is consummated upon the spot, after which she returns with him to his tent. But it sometimes happens that the woman does not wish to marry the person by whom she is pursued, in which case she will not suffer him to overtake her; and we were assured that no instance occurs of a Calmuck girl being thus caught, unless she has a partiality for her pursuer. If she dislikes him, she rides, to use the language of English sportsmen, 'neck or nothing,' until she has completely escaped or until the pursuer's horse is tired out, leaving her at liberty to return, to be afterward chased by some more favored admirer." (E. D. Clarke, Travels, 1810, vol. i, p. 333.)

Among the Bedouins marriage is arranged between the lover and the girl's father, often without consulting the girl herself. "Among the Arabs of Sinai the young maid comes home in the evening with the cattle. At a short distance from the camp she is met by the future spouse and a couple of his young friends and carried off by force to her father's tent. If she entertains any suspicion of their designs she defends herself with stones, and often inflicts wounds on the young men, even though she does not dislike the lover, for, according to custom, the more she struggles, bites, kicks, cries, and strikes, the more she is applauded ever after by her own companions." After being taken to her father's tent, where a man's cloak is thrown over her by one of the bridegroom's relations, she is dressed in garments provided by her future husband, and placed on a camel, "still continuing to struggle in a most unruly manner, and held by the bridegroom's friends on both sides." She is then placed in a recess of the husband's tent. Here the marriage is finally consummated, "the bride still continuing to cry very loudly. It sometimes happens that the husband is obliged to tie his bride, and even to beat her, before she can be induced to comply with his desires." If, however, she really does not like her husband, she is perfectly free to leave him next morning, and her father is obliged to receive her back whether he wishes to or not. It is not considered proper for a widow or divorced woman to make any resistance on being married. (J. L. Burckhardt, Notes on the Bedouins and Wahábys, 1830, p. 149 et seq.)

Among the Turcomans forays for capturing and enslaving their Persian neighbors were once habitual. Vambery describes their "marriage ceremonial when the young maiden, attired in bridal costume, mounts a high-bred courser, taking on her lap the carcass of a lamb or goat, and setting off at full gallop, followed by the bridegroom and other young men of the party, also on horseback; she is always to strive, by adroit turns, etc., to avoid her pursuers, that no one approach near enough to snatch from her the burden on her lap. This game, called kökbüri (green wolf), is in use among all the nomads of central Asia." (A. Vambery, Travels in Central Asia, 1864, p. 323.)

In China, a missionary describes how, when he was called upon to marry the daughter of a Chinese Christian brought up in native customs, he was compelled to wait several hours, as the bride refused to get up and dress until long after the time appointed for the wedding ceremony, and then only by force. "Extreme reluctance and dislike and fear are the true marks of a happy and lively wedding." (A. E. Moule, New China and Old, p. 128.)

It is interesting to find that in the Indian art of love a kind of mock-combat, accompanied by striking, is a recognized and normal method of heightening tumescence. Vatsyayana has a chapter "On Various Manners of Striking," and he approves of the man striking the woman on the back, belly, flanks, and buttocks, before and during coitus, as a kind of play, increasing as sexual excitement increases, which the woman, with cries and groans, pretends to bid the man to stop. It is mentioned that, especially in southern India, various instruments (scissors, needles, etc.) are used in striking, but this practice is condemned as barbarous and dangerous. (Kama Sutra, French translation, iii, chapter v.)

In the story of Aladdin, in the Arabian Nights, the bride is undressed by the mother and the other women, who place her in the bridegroom's bed "as if by force, and, according to the custom of the newly married, she pretends to resist, twisting herself in every direction, and seeking to escape from their hands." (Les Mille Nuits, tr. Mardrus, vol. xi, p. 253.)

It is said that in those parts of Germany where preliminary Probenächte before formal marriage are the rule it is not uncommon for a young woman before finally giving herself to a man to provoke him to a physical struggle. If she proves stronger she dismisses him; if he is stronger she yields herself willingly. (W. Henz, "Probenächte," Sexual-Probleme, Oct., 1910, p. 743.)

Among the South Slavs of Servia and Bulgaria, according to Krauss, it is the custom to win a woman by seizing her by the ankle and bringing her to the ground by force. This method of wooing is to the taste of the woman, and they are refractory to any other method. The custom of beating or being beaten before coitus is also found among the South Slavs. (Κρυπτάδια, vol. vi, p. 209.)

In earlier days violent courtship was viewed with approval in the European world, even among aristocratic circles. Thus in the medieval Lai de Graélent of Marie de France this Breton knight is represented as very chaste, possessing a high ideal of love and able to withstand the wiles of women. One day when he is hunting in a forest he comes upon a naked damsel bathing, together with her handmaidens. Overcome by her beauty, he seizes her clothes in case she should be alarmed, but is persuaded to hand them to her; then he proceeds to make love to her. She replies that his love is an insult to a woman of her high lineage. Finding her so proud, Graélent sees that his prayers are in vain. He drags her by force into the depth of the forest, has his will of her, and begs her very gently not to be angry, promising to love her loyally and never to leave her. The damsel saw that he was a good knight, courteous, and wise. She thought within herself that if she were to leave him she would never find a better friend.

Brantôme mentions a lady who confessed that she liked to be "half-forced" by her husband, and he remarks that a woman who is "a little difficult and resists" gives more pleasure also to her lover than one who yields at once, just as a hard-fought battle is a more notable triumph than an easily won victory. (Brantôme, Vie des Dames Galantes, discours i.) Restif de la Bretonne, again, whose experience was extensive, wrote in his Anti-Justine that "all women of strong temperament like a sort of brutality in sexual intercourse and its accessories."

Ovid had said that a little force is pleasing to a woman, and that she is grateful to the ravisher against whom she struggles (Ars Amatoria, lib. i). One of Janet's patients (Raymond and Janet, Les Obsessions et la Psychasthénie, vol. ii, p. 406) complained that her husband was too good, too devoted. "He does not know how to make me suffer a little. One cannot love anyone who does not make one suffer a little." Another hysterical woman (a silk fetichist, frigid with men) had dreams of men and animals abusing her: "I cried with pain and was happy at the same time." (Clérambault, Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle, June, 1908, p. 442.)

It has been said that among Slavs of the lower class the wives feel hurt if they are not beaten by their husbands. Paullinus, in the seventeenth century, remarked that Russian women are never more pleased and happy than when beaten by their husbands, and regard such treatment as proof of love. (See, e.g., C. F. von Schlichtegroll, Sacher-Masoch und der Masochismus, p. 69.) Krafft-Ebing believes that this is true at the present day, and adds that it is the same in Hungary, a Hungarian official having informed him that the peasant women of the Somogyer Comitate do not think they are loved by their husbands until they have received the first box on the ear. (Krafft-Ebing, Psychopathia Sexualis, English translation of the tenth edition, p. 188.) I may add that a Russian proverb says "Love your wife like your soul and beat her like your shuba" (overcoat); and, according to another Russian proverb, "a dear one's blows hurt not long." At the same time it has been remarked that the domination of men by women is peculiarly frequent among the Slav peoples. (V. Schlichtegroll, op. cit., p. 23.) Cellini, in an interesting passage in his Life (book ii, chapters xxxiv-xxxv), describes his own brutal treatment of his model Caterina, who was also his mistress, and the pleasure which, to his surprise, she took in it. Dr. Simon Forman, also, the astrologist, tells in his Autobiography (p. 7) how, as a young and puny apprentice to a hosier, he was beaten, scolded, and badly treated by the servant girl, but after some years of this treatment he turned on her, beat her black and blue, and ever after "Mary would do for him all that she could."

That it is a sign of love for a man to beat his sweetheart, and a sign much appreciated by women, is illustrated by the episode of Cariharta and Repolido, in "Rinconete and Cortadillo," one of Cervantes's Exemplary Novels. The Indian women of South America feel in the same way, and Mantegazza when traveling in Bolivia found that they complained when they were not beaten by their husbands, and that a girl was proud when she could say "He loves me greatly, for he often beats me." (Fisiologia della Donna, chapter xiii.) The same feeling evidently existed in classic antiquity, for we find Lucian, in his "Dialogues of Courtesans," makes a woman say: "He who has not rained blows on his mistress and torn her hair and her garments is not yet in love," while Ovid advises lovers sometimes to be angry with their sweethearts and to tear their dresses.

Among the Italian Camorrista, according to Russo, wives are very badly treated. Expression is given to this fact in the popular songs. But the women only feel themselves tenderly loved when they are badly treated by their husbands; the man who does not beat them they look upon as a fool. It is the same in the east end of London. "If anyone has doubts as to the brutalities practised on women by men," writes a London magistrate, "let him visit the London Hospital on a Saturday night. Very terrible sights will meet his eye. Sometimes as many as twelve or fourteen women may be seen seated in the receiving room, waiting for their bruised and bleeding faces and bodies to be attended to. In nine cases out of ten the injuries have been inflicted by brutal and perhaps drunken husbands. The nurses tell me, however, that any remarks they may make reflecting on the aggressors are received with great indignation by the wretched sufferers. They positively will not hear a single word against the cowardly ruffians. 'Sometimes,' said a nurse to me, 'when I have told a woman that her husband is a brute, she has drawn herself up and replied: "You mind your own business, miss. We find the rates and taxes, and the likes of you are paid out of 'em to wait on us."'" (Montagu Williams, Round London, p. 79.)

"The prostitute really loves her souteneur, notwithstanding all the persecutions he inflicts on her. Their torments only increase the devotion of the poor slaves to their 'Alphonses.' Parent-Duchâtelet wrote that he had seen them come to the hospital with their eyes out of their heads, faces bleeding, and bodies torn by the blows of their drunken lovers, but as soon as they were healed they went back to them. Police-officers tell us that it is very difficult to make a prostitute confess anything concerning her souteneur. Thus, Rosa L., whom her 'Alphonse' had often threatened to kill, even putting the knife to her throat, would say nothing, and denied everything when the magistrate questioned her. Maria R., with her face marked by a terrible scar produced by her souteneur, still carefully preserved many years afterward the portrait of the aggressor, and when we asked her to explain her affection she replied: 'But he wounded me because he loved me.' The souteneur's brutality only increases the ill-treated woman's love; the humiliation and slavery in which the woman's soul is drowned feed her love." (Niceforo, Il Gergo, etc., 1897, p. 128.)

In a modern novel written in autobiographic form by a young Australian lady the heroine is represented as striking her betrothed with a whip when he merely attempts to kiss her. Later on her behavior so stings him that his self-control breaks down and he seizes her fiercely by the arms. For the first time she realizes that he loves her. "I laughed a joyous little laugh, saying 'Hal, we are quits'; when on disrobing for the night I discovered on my soft white shoulders and arms—so susceptible to bruises—many marks, and black. It had been a very happy day for me." (Miles Franklin, My Brilliant Career.)

It is in large measure the existence of this feeling of attraction for violence which accounts for the love-letters received by men who are accused of crimes of violence. Thus in one instance, in Chicago (as Dr. Kiernan writes to me), "a man arrested for conspiracy to commit abortion, and also suspected of being a sadist, received many proposals of marriage and other less modest expressions of affection from unknown women. To judge by the signatures, these women belonged to the Germans and Slavs rather than to the Anglo-Celts."

Neuropathic or degenerative conditions sometimes serve to accentuate or reveal ancestral traits that are very ancient in the race. Under such conditions the tendency to find pleasure in subjection and pain, which is often faintly traceable even in normal civilized women, may become more pronounced. This may be seen in a case described in some detail in the Archivio di Psichiatria. The subject was a young lady of 19, of noble Italian birth, but born in Tunis. On the maternal side there is a somewhat neurotic heredity, and she is herself subject to attacks of hystero-epileptoid character. She was very carefully, but strictly, educated; she knows several languages, possesses marked intellectual aptitudes, and is greatly interested in social and political questions, in which she takes the socialistic and revolutionary side. She has an attractive and sympathetic personality; in complexion she is dark, with dark eyes and very dark and abundant hair; the fine down on the upper lip and lower parts of the cheeks is also much developed; the jaw is large, the head acrocephalic, and the external genital organs of normal size, but rather asymmetric. Ever since she was a child she has loved to work and dream in solitude. Her dreams have always been of love, since menstruation began as early as the age of 10, and accompanied by strong sexual feelings, though at that age these feelings remained vague and indefinite; but in them the desire for pleasure was always accompanied by the desire for pain, the desire to bite and destroy something, and, as it were, to annihilate herself. She experienced great relief after periods of "erotic rumination," and if this rumination took place at night she would sometimes masturbate, the contact of the bedclothes, she said, giving her the illusion of a man. In time this vague longing for the male gave place to more definite desires for a man who would love her, and, as she imagined, strike her. Eventually she formed secret relationships with two or three lovers in succession, each of these relationships being, however, discovered by her family and leading to ineffectual attempts at suicide. But the association of pain with love, which had developed spontaneously in her solitary dreams, continued in her actual relations with her lovers. During coitus she would bite and squeeze her arms until the nails penetrated the flesh. When her lover asked her why at the moment of coitus she would vigorously repel him, she replied: "Because I want to be possessed by force, to be hurt, suffocated, to be thrown down in a struggle." At another time she said: "I want a man with all his vitality, so that he can torture and kill my body." We seem to see here clearly the ancient biological character of animal courtship, the desire of the female to be violently subjugated by the male. In this case it was united to sensitiveness to the sexual domination of an intellectual man, and the subject also sought to stimulate her lovers' intellectual tastes. (Archivio di Psichiatria, vol. xx, fasc. 5-6, p. 528.)

This association between love and pain still persists even among the most normal civilized men and women possessing well-developed sexual impulses. The masculine tendency to delight in domination, the feminine tendency to delight in submission, still maintain the ancient traditions when the male animal pursued the female. The phenomena of "marriage by capture," in its real and its simulated forms, have been traced to various causes. But it has to be remembered that these causes could only have been operative in the presence of a favorable emotional aptitude, constituted by the zoölogical history of our race and still traceable even today. To exert power, as psychologists well recognize, is one of our most primary impulses, and it always tends to be manifested in the attitude of a man toward the woman he loves.[73]

It might be possible to maintain that the primitive element of more or less latent cruelty in courtship tends to be more rather than less marked in civilized man. In civilization the opportunity of dissipating the surplus energy of the courtship process by inflicting pain on rivals usually has to be inhibited; thus the woman to be wooed tends to become the recipient of the whole of this energy, both in its pleasure-giving and its pain-giving aspects. Moreover, the natural process of courtship, as it exists among animals and usually among the lower human races, tends to become disguised and distorted in civilization, as well by economic conditions as by conventional social conditions and even ethical prescription. It becomes forgotten that the woman's pleasure is an essential element in the process of courtship. A woman is often reduced to seek a man for the sake of maintenance; she is taught that pleasure is sinful or shameful, that sex-matters are disgusting, and that it is a woman's duty, and also her best policy, to be in subjection to her husband. Thus, various external checks which normally inhibit any passing over of masculine sexual energy into cruelty are liable to be removed.

We have to admit that a certain pleasure in manifesting his power over a woman by inflicting pain upon her is an outcome and survival of the primitive process of courtship, and an almost or quite normal constituent of the sexual impulse in man. But it must be at once added that in the normal well-balanced and well-conditioned man this constituent of the sexual impulse, when present, is always held in check. When the normal man inflicts, or feels the impulse to inflict, some degree of physical pain on the woman he loves he can scarcely be said to be moved by cruelty. He feels, more or less obscurely, that the pain he inflicts, or desires to inflict, is really a part of his love, and that, moreover, it is not really resented by the woman on whom it is exercised. His feeling is by no means always according to knowledge, but it has to be taken into account as an essential part of his emotional state. The physical force, the teasing and bullying, which he may be moved to exert under the stress of sexual excitement, are, he usually more or less unconsciously persuades himself, not really unwelcome to the object of his love.[74] Moreover, we have to bear in mind the fact—a very significant fact from more than one point of view—that the normal manifestations of a woman's sexual pleasure are exceedingly like those of pain. "The outward expressions of pain," as a lady very truly writes,—"tears, cries, etc.,—which are laid stress on to prove the cruelty of the person who inflicts it, are not so different from those of a woman in the ecstasy of passion, when she implores the man to desist, though that is really the last thing she desires."[75] If a man is convinced that he is causing real and unmitigated pain, he becomes repentant at once. If this is not the case he must either be regarded as a radically abnormal person or as carried away by passion to a point of temporary insanity.

The intimate connection of love with pain, its tendency to approach cruelty, is seen in one of the most widespread of the occasional and non-essential manifestations of strong sexual emotion, especially in women, the tendency to bite. We may find references to love-bites in the literature of ancient as well as of modern times, in the East as well as in the West. Plautus, Catullus, Propertius, Horace, Ovid, Petronius, and other Latin writers refer to bites as associated with kisses and usually on the lips. Plutarch says that Flora, the mistress of Cnæus Pompey, in commending her lover remarked that he was so lovable that she could never leave him without giving him a bite. In the Arabic Perfumed Garden there are many references to love-bites, while in the Indian Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana a chapter is devoted to this subject. Biting in love is also common among the South Slavs.[76] The phenomenon is indeed sufficiently familiar to enable Heine, in one of his Romancero, to describe those marks by which the ancient chronicler states that Edith Swanneck recognized Harold, after the Battle of Hastings, as the scars of the bites she had once given him.

It would be fanciful to trace this tendency back to that process of devouring to which sexual congress has, in the primitive stages of its evolution, been reduced. But we may probably find one of the germs of the love-bite in the attitude of many mammals during or before coitus; in attaining a firm grip of the female it is not uncommon (as may be observed in the donkey) for the male to seize the female's neck between his teeth. The horse sometimes bites the mare before coitus and it is said that among the Arabs when a mare is not apt for coitus she is sent to pasture with a small ardent horse, who excites her by playing with her and biting her.[77] It may be noted, also, that dogs often show their affection for their masters by gentle bites. Children also, as Stanley Hall has pointed out, are similarly fond of biting.

Perhaps a still more important factor is the element of combat in tumescence, since the primitive conditions associated with tumescence provide a reservoir of emotions which are constantly drawn on even in the sexual excitement of individuals belonging to civilization. The tendency to show affection by biting is, indeed, commoner among women than among men and not only in civilization. It has been noted among idiot girls as well as among the women of various savage races. It may thus be that the conservative instincts of women have preserved a primitive tendency that at its origin marked the male more than the female. But in any case the tendency to bite at the climax of sexual excitement is so common and widespread that it must be regarded, when occurring in women, as coming within the normal range of variation in such manifestations. The gradations are of wide extent; while in its slight forms it is more or less normal and is one of the origins of the kiss,[78] in its extreme forms it tends to become one of the most violent and antisocial of sexual aberrations.

A correspondent writes regarding his experience of biting and being bitten: "I have often felt inclination to bite a woman I love, even when not in coitus or even excited. (I like doing so also with my little boy, playfully, as a cat and kittens.) There seem to be several reasons for this: (1) the muscular effect relieves me; (2) I imagine I am giving the woman pleasure; (3) I seem to attain to a more intimate possession of the loved one. I cannot remember when I first felt desire to be bitten in coitus, or whether the idea was first suggested to me. I was initiated into pinching by a French prostitute who once pinched my nates in coitus, no doubt as a matter of business; it heightened my pleasure, perhaps by stimulating muscular movement. It does not occur to me to ask to be pinched when I am very much excited already, but only at an earlier stage, no doubt with the object of promoting excitement. Apart altogether from sexual excitement, being pinched is unpleasant to me. It has not seemed to me that women usually like to be bitten. One or two women have bitten and sucked my flesh. (The latter does not affect me.) I like being bitten, partly for the same reason as I like being pinched, because if spontaneous it is a sign of my partner's amorousness and the biting never seems too hard. Women do not usually seem to like being bitten, though there are exceptions; 'I should like to bite you and I should like you to bite me,' said one woman; I did so hard, in coitus, and she did not flinch." "She is particularly anxious to eat me alive," another correspondent writes, "and nothing gives her greater satisfaction than to tear open my clothes and fasten her teeth into my flesh until I yell for mercy. My experience has generally been, however," the same correspondent continues, "that the cruelty is unconscious. A woman just grows mad with the desire to squeeze or bite something, with a complete unconsciousness of what result it will produce in the victim. She is astonished when she sees the result and will hardly believe she has done it." It is unnecessary to accumulate evidence of a tendency which is sufficiently common to be fairly well known, but one or two quotations may be presented to show its wide distribution. In the Kama Sutra we read: "If she is very exalted, and if in the exaltation of her passionate transports she begins a sort of combat, then she takes her lover by the hair, draws his head to hers, kisses his lower lip, and then in her delirium bites him all over his body, shutting her eyes"; it is added that with the marks of such bites lovers can remind each other of their affections, and that such love will last for ages. In Japan the maiden of Ainu race feels the same impulse. A. H. Savage Landor (Alone with the Hairy Ainu, 1893, p. 140) says of an Ainu girl: "Loving and biting went together with her. She could not do the one without the other. As we sat on a stone in the twilight she began by gently biting my fingers without hurting me, as affectionate dogs do to their masters. She then bit my arm, then my shoulder, and when she had worked herself up into a passion she put her arms around my neck and bit my cheeks. It was undoubtedly a curious way of making love, and, when I had been bitten all over, and was pretty tired of the new sensation, we retired to our respective homes. Kissing, apparently, was an unknown art to her."

The significance of biting, and the close relationship which, as will have to be pointed out later, it reveals to other phenomena, may be illustrated by some observations which have been made by Alonzi on the peasant women of Sicily. "The women of the people," he remarks, "especially in the districts where crimes of blood are prevalent, give vent to their affection for their little ones by kissing and sucking them on the neck and arms till they make them cry convulsively; all the while they say: 'How sweet you are! I will bite you, I will gnaw you all over,' exhibiting every appearance of great pleasure. If a child commits some slight fault they do not resort to simple blows, but pursue it through the street and bite it on the face, ears, and arms until the blood flows. At such moments the face of even a beautiful woman is transformed, with injected eyes, gnashing teeth, and convulsive tremors. Among both men and women a very common threat is 'I will drink your blood.' It is told on ocular evidence that a man who had murdered another in a quarrel licked the hot blood from the victim's hand." (G. Alonzi, Archivio di Psichiatria, vol. vi, fasc. 4.) A few years ago a nurse girl in New York was sentenced to prison for cruelty to the baby in her charge. The mother had frequently noticed that the child was in pain and at last discovered the marks of teeth on its legs. The girl admitted that she had bitten the child because that action gave her intense pleasure. (Alienist and Neurologist, August, 1901, p. 558.) In the light of such observations as these we may understand a morbid perversion of affection such as was recorded in the London police news some years ago (1894). A man of 30 was charged with ill-treating his wife's illegitimate daughter, aged 3, during a period of many months; her lips, eyes, and hands were bitten and bruised from sucking, and sometimes her pinafore was covered with blood. "Defendant admitted he had bitten the child because he loved it."

It is not surprising that such phenomena as these should sometimes be the stimulant and accompaniment to the sexual act. Ferriani thus reports such a case in the words of the young man's mistress: "Certainly he is a strange, maddish youth, though he is fond of me and spends money on me when he has any. He likes much sexual intercourse, but, to tell the truth, he has worn out my patience, for before our embraces there are always struggles which become assaults. He tells me he has no pleasure except when he sees me crying on account of his bites and vigorous pinching. Lately, just before going with me, when I was groaning with pleasure, he threw himself on me and at the moment of emission furiously bit my right cheek till the blood came. Then he kissed me and begged my pardon, but would do it again if the wish took him." (L. Ferriani, Archivio di Psicopatie Sessuale, vol. i, fasc. 7 and 8, 1896, p. 107.)

In morbid cases biting may even become a substitute for coitus. Thus, Moll (Die Konträre Sexualempfindung, second edition, p. 323) records the case of a hysterical woman who was sexually anesthetic, though she greatly loved her husband. It was her chief delight to bite him till the blood flowed, and she was content if, instead of coitus, he bit her and she him, though she was grieved if she inflicted much pain. In other still more morbid cases the fear of inflicting pain is more or less abolished.

An idealized view of the impulse of love to bite and devour is presented in the following passage from a letter by a lady who associates this impulse with the idea of the Last Supper: "Your remarks about the Lord's Supper in 'Whitman' make it natural to me to tell you my thoughts about that 'central sacrament of Christianity.' I cannot tell many people because they misunderstand, and a clergyman, a very great friend of mine, when I once told what I thought and felt, said I was carnal. He did not understand the divinity and intensity of human love as I understand it. Well, when one loves anyone very much,—a child, a woman, or a man,—one loves everything belonging to him: the things he wears, still more his hands, and his face, every bit of his body. We always want to have all, or part, of him as part of ourselves. Hence the expression: I could devour you, I love you so. In some such warm, devouring way Jesus Christ, I have always felt, loved each and every human creature. So it was that he took this mystery of food, which by eating became part of ourselves, as the symbol of the most intense human love, the most intense Divine love. Some day, perhaps, love will be so understood by all that this sacrament will cease to be a superstition, a bone of contention, an 'article' of the church, and become, in all simplicity, a symbol of pure love."

While in men it is possible to trace a tendency to inflict pain, or the simulacrum of pain, on the women they love, it is still easier to trace in women a delight in experiencing physical pain when inflicted by a lover, and an eagerness to accept subjection to his will. Such a tendency is certainly normal. To abandon herself to her lover, to be able to rely on his physical strength and mental resourcefulness, to be swept out of herself and beyond the control of her own will, to drift idly in delicious submission to another and stronger will—this is one of the commonest aspirations in a young woman's intimate love-dreams. In our own age these aspirations most often only find their expression in such dreams. In ages when life was more nakedly lived, and emotion more openly expressed, it was easier to trace this impulse. In the thirteenth century we have found Marie de France—a French poetess living in England who has been credited with "an exquisite sense of the generosities and delicacy of the heart," and whose work was certainly highly appreciated in the best circles and among the most cultivated class of her day—describing as a perfect, wise, and courteous knight a man who practically commits a rape on a woman who has refused to have anything to do with him, and, in so acting, he wins her entire love. The savage beauty of New Caledonia furnishes no better illustration of the fascination of force, for she, at all events, has done her best to court the violence she undergoes. In Middleton's Spanish Gypsy we find exactly the same episode, and the unhappy Portuguese nun wrote: "Love me for ever and make me suffer still more." To find in literature more attenuated examples of the same tendency is easy. Shakespeare, whose observation so little escaped, has seldom depicted the adult passion of a grown woman, but in the play which he has mainly devoted to this subject he makes Cleopatra refer to "amorous pinches," and she says in the end: "The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch, which hurts and is desired." "I think the Sabine woman enjoyed being carried off like that," a woman remarked in front of Rubens's "Rape of the Sabines," confessing that such a method of love-making appealed strongly to herself, and it is probable that the majority of women would be prepared to echo that remark.

It may be argued that pain cannot give pleasure, and that when what would usually be pain is felt as pleasure it cannot be regarded as pain at all. It must be admitted that the emotional state is often somewhat complex. Moreover, women by no means always agree in the statement of their experience. It is noteworthy, however, that even when the pleasurableness of pain in love is denied it is still admitted that, under some circumstances, pain, or the idea of pain, is felt as pleasurable. I am indebted to a lady for a somewhat elaborate discussion of this subject, which I may here quote at length: "As regards physical pain, though the idea of it is sometimes exciting, I think the reality is the reverse. A very slight amount of pain destroys my pleasure completely. This was the case with me for fully a month after marriage, and since. When pain has occasionally been associated with passion, pleasure has been sensibly diminished. I can imagine that, when there is a want of sensitiveness so that the tender kiss or caress might fail to give pleasure, more forcible methods are desired; but in that case what would be pain to a sensitive person would be only a pleasant excitement, and it could not be truly said that such obtuse persons liked pain, though they might appear to do so. I cannot think that anyone enjoys what is pain to them, if only from the fact that it detracts and divides the attention. This, however, is only my own idea drawn from my own negative experience. No woman has ever told me that she would like to have pain inflicted on her. On the other hand, the desire to inflict pain seems almost universal among men. I have only met one man in whom I have never at any time been able to detect it. At the same time most men shrink from putting their ideas into practice. A friend of my husband finds his chief pleasure in imagining women hurt and ill-treated, but is too tender-hearted ever to inflict pain on them in reality, even when they are willing to submit to it. Perhaps a woman's readiness to submit to pain to please a man may sometimes be taken for pleasure in it. Even when women like the idea of pain, I fancy it is only because it implies subjection to the man, from association with the fact that physical pleasure must necessarily be preceded by submission to his will."

In a subsequent communication this lady enlarged and perhaps somewhat modified her statements on this point:—

"I don't think that what I said to you was quite correct. Actual pain gives me no pleasure, yet the idea of pain does, if inflicted by way of discipline and for the ultimate good of the person suffering it. This is essential. For instance, I once read a poem in which the devil and the lost souls in hell were represented as recognizing that they could not be good except under torture, but that while suffering the purifying actions of the flames of hell they so realized the beauty of holiness that they submitted willingly to their agony and praised God for the sternness of his judgment. This poem gave me decided physical pleasure, yet I know that if my hand were held in a fire for five minutes I should feel nothing but the pain of the burning. To get the feeling of pleasure, too, I must, for the moment, revert to my old religious beliefs and my old notion that mere suffering has an elevating influence; one's emotions are greatly modified by one's beliefs. When I was about fifteen I invented a game which I played with a younger sister, in which we were supposed to be going through a process of discipline and preparation for heaven after death. Each person was supposed to enter this state on dying and to pass successively into the charge of different angels named after the special virtues it was their function to instill. The last angel was that of Love, who governed solely by the quality whose name he bore. In the lower stages, we were under an angel called Severity who prepared us by extreme harshness and by exacting implicit obedience to arbitrary orders for the acquirement of later virtues. Our duties were to superintend the weather, paint the sunrise and sunset, etc., the constant work involved exercising us in patience and submission. The physical pleasure came in in inventing and recounting to each other our day's work and the penalties and hardships we had been subjected to. We never told each other that we got any physical pleasure out of this, and I cannot therefore be sure that my sister did so; I only imagine she did because she entered so heartily into the spirit of the game. I could get as much pleasure by imagining myself the angel and inflicting the pain, under the conditions mentioned; but my sister did not like this so much, as she then had no companion in subjection. I could not, however, thus reverse my feelings in regard to a man, as it would appear to me unnatural, and, besides, the greater physical strength is essential in the superior position. I can, however, by imagining myself a man, sometimes get pleasure in conceiving myself as educating and disciplining a woman by severe measures. There is, however, no real cruelty in this idea, as I always imagine her liking it.

"I only get pleasure in the idea of a woman submitting herself to pain and harshness from the man she loves when the following conditions are fulfilled: 1. She must be absolutely sure of the man's love. 2. She must have perfect confidence in his judgment. 3. The pain must be deliberately inflicted, not accidental. 4. It must be inflicted in kindness and for her own improvement, not in anger or with any revengeful feelings, as that would spoil one's ideal of the man. 5. The pain must not be excessive and must be what when we were children we used to call a 'tidy' pain; i.e., there must be no mutilation, cutting, etc. 6. Last, one would have to feel very sure of one's own influence over the man. So much for the idea. As I have never suffered pain under a combination of all these conditions, I have no right to say that I should or should not experience pleasure from its infliction in reality."

Another lady writes: "I quite agree that the idea of pain may be pleasurable, but must be associated with something to be gained by it. My experience is that it [coitus] does often hurt for a few moments, but that passes and the rest is easy; so that the little hurt is nothing terrible, but all the same annoying if only for the sake of a few minutes' pleasure, which is not long enough. I do not know how my experience compares with other women's, but I feel sure that in my case the time needed is longer than usual, and the longer the better, always, with me. As to liking pain—no, I do not really like it, although I can tolerate pain very well, of any kind; but I like to feel force and strength; this is usual, I think, women being—or supposed to be—passive in love. I have not found that 'pain at once kills pleasure.'"

Again, another lady briefly states that, for her, pain has a mental fascination, and that such pain as she has had she has liked, but that, if it had been any stronger, pleasure would have been destroyed.

The evidence thus seems to point, with various shades of gradation, to the conclusion that the idea or even the reality of pain in sexual emotion is welcomed by women, provided that this element of pain is of small amount and subordinate to the pleasure which is to follow it. Unless coitus is fundamentally pleasure the element of pain must necessarily be unmitigated pain, and a craving for pain unassociated with a greater satisfaction to follow it cannot be regarded as normal.

In this connection I may refer to a suggestive chapter on "The Enjoyment of Pain" in Hirn's Origins of Art. "If we take into account," says Hirn, "the powerful stimulating effect which is produced by acute pain, we may easily understand why people submit to momentary unpleasantness for the sake of enjoying the subsequent excitement. This motive leads to the deliberate creation, not only of pain-sensations, but also of emotions in which pain enters as an element. The violent activity which is involved in the reaction against fear, and still more in that against anger, affords us a sensation of pleasurable excitement which is well worth the cost of the passing unpleasantness. It is, moreover, notorious that some persons have developed a peculiar art of making the initial pain of anger so transient that they can enjoy the active elements in it with almost undivided delight. Such an accomplishment is far more difficult in the case of sorrow.... The creation of pain-sensations may be explained as a desperate device for enhancing the intensity of the emotional state."

The relation of pain and pleasure to emotion has been thoroughly discussed, I may add, by H. R. Marshall in his Pain, Pleasure, and Æsthetics. He contends that pleasure and pain are "general qualities, one of which must, and either of which may, belong to any fixed element of consciousness." "Pleasure," he considers, "is experienced whenever the physical activity coincident with the psychic state to which the pleasure is attached involves the use of surplus stored force." We can see, therefore, how, if pain acts as a stimulant to emotion, it becomes the servant of pleasure by supplying it with surplus stored force.

This problem of pain is thus one of psychic dynamics. If we realize this we shall begin to understand the place of cruelty in life. "One ought to learn anew about cruelty," said Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil, 229), "and open one's eyes. Almost everything that we call 'higher culture' is based upon the spiritualizing and intensifying of cruelty.... Then, to be sure, we must put aside teaching the blundering psychology of former times, which could only teach with regard to cruelty that it originated at the sight of the suffering of others; there is an abundant, superabundant enjoyment even in one's own suffering, in causing one's own suffering." The element of paradox disappears from this statement if we realize that it is not a question of "cruelty," but of the dynamics of pain.

Camille Bos in a suggestive essay ("Du Plaisir de la Douleur," Revue Philosophique, July, 1902) finds the explanation of the mystery in that complexity of the phenomena to which I have already referred. Both pain and pleasure are complex feelings, the resultant of various components, and we name that resultant in accordance with the nature of the strongest component. "Thus we give to a complexus a name which strictly belongs only to one of its factors, and in pain all is not painful." When pain becomes a desired end Camille Bos regards the desire as due to three causes: (1) the pain contrasts with and revives a pleasure which custom threatens to dull; (2) the pain by preceding the pleasure accentuates the positive character of the latter; (3) pain momentarily raises the lowered level of sensibility and restores to the organism for a brief period the faculty of enjoyment it had lost.

It must therefore be said that, in so far as pain is pleasurable, it is so only in so far as it is recognized as a prelude to pleasure, or else when it is an actual stimulus to the nerves conveying the sensation of pleasure. The nymphomaniac who experienced an orgasm at the moment when the knife passed through her clitoris (as recorded by Mantegazza) and the prostitute who experienced keen pleasure when the surgeon removed vegetations from her vulva (as recorded by Féré) took no pleasure in pain, but in one case the intense craving for strong sexual emotion, and in the other the long-blunted nerves of pleasure, welcomed the abnormally strong impulse; and the pain of the incision, if felt at all, was immediately swallowed up in the sensation of pleasure. Moll remarks (Konträre Sexualempfindung, third edition, p. 278) that even in man a trace of physical pain may be normally combined with sexual pleasure, when the vagina contracts on the penis at the moment of ejaculation, the pain, when not too severe, being almost immediately felt as pleasure. That there is no pleasure in the actual pain, even in masochism, is indicated by the following statement which Krafft-Ebing gives as representing the experiences of a masochist (Psychopathia Sexualis English translation, p. 201): "The relation is not of such a nature that what causes physical pain is simply perceived as physical pleasure, for the person in a state of masochistic ecstasy feels no pain, either because by reason of his emotional state (like that of the soldier in battle) the physical effect on his cutaneous nerves is not apperceived, or because (as with religious martyrs and enthusiasts) in the preoccupation of consciousness with sexual emotion the idea of maltreatment remains merely a symbol, without its quality of pain. To a certain extent there is overcompensation of physical pain in psychic pleasure, and only the excess remains in consciousness as psychic lust. This also undergoes an increase, since, either through reflex spinal influence or through a peculiar coloring in the sensorium of sensory impressions, a kind of hallucination of bodily pleasure takes place, with a vague localization of the objectively projected sensation. In the self-torture of religious enthusiasts (fakirs, howling dervishes, religious flagellants) there is an analogous state, only with a difference in the quality of pleasurable feeling. Here the conception of martyrdom is also apperceived without its pain, for consciousness is filled with the pleasurably colored idea of serving God, atoning for sins, deserving Heaven, etc., through martyrdom." This statement cannot be said to clear up the matter entirely; but it is fairly evident that, when a woman says that she finds pleasure in the pain inflicted by a lover, she means that under the special circumstances she finds pleasure in treatment which would at other times be felt as pain, or else that the slight real pain experienced is so quickly followed by overwhelming pleasure that in memory the pain itself seems to have been pleasure and may even be regarded as the symbol of pleasure.

There is a special peculiarity of physical pain, which may be well borne in mind in considering the phenomena now before us, for it helps to account for the tolerance with which the idea of pain is regarded. I refer to the great ease with which physical pain is forgotten, a fact well known to all mothers, or to all who have been present at the birth of a child. As Professor von Tschisch points out ("Der Schmerz," Zeitschrift für Psychologie und Physiologie der Sinnesorgane, Bd. xxvi, ht. 1 and 2, 1901), memory can only preserve impressions as a whole; physical pain consists of a sensation and of a feeling. But memory cannot easily reproduce the definite sensation of the pain, and thus the whole memory is disintegrated and speedily forgotten. It is quite otherwise with moral suffering, which persists in memory and has far more influence on conduct. No one wishes to suffer moral pain or has any pleasure even in the idea of suffering it.

It is the presence of this essential tendency which leads to a certain apparent contradiction in a woman's emotions. On the one hand, rooted in the maternal instinct, we find pity, tenderness, and compassion; on the other hand, rooted in the sexual instinct, we find a delight in roughness, violence, pain, and danger, sometimes in herself, sometimes also in others. The one impulse craves something innocent and helpless, to cherish and protect; the other delights in the spectacle of recklessness, audacity, sometimes even effrontery.[79] A woman is not perfectly happy in her lover unless he can give at least some satisfaction to each of these two opposite longings.

The psychological satisfaction which women tend to feel in a certain degree of pain in love is strictly co-ordinated with a physical fact. Women possess a minor degree of sensibility in the sexual region. This fact must not be misunderstood. On the one hand, it by no means begs the question as to whether women's sensibility generally is greater or less than that of men; this is a disputed question and the evidence is still somewhat conflicting.[80] On the other hand, it also by no means involves a less degree of specific sexual pleasure in women, for the tactile sensibility of the sexual organs is no index to the specific sexual sensibility of those organs when in a state of tumescence. The real significance of the less tactile sensibility of the genital region in women is to be found in parturition and the special liability of the sexual region in women to injury.[81] The women who are less sensitive in this respect would be better able and more willing to endure the risks of childbirth, and would therefore tend to supplant those who were more sensitive. But, as a by-product of this less degree of sensibility, we have a condition in which physical irritation amounting even to pain may become to normal women in the state of extreme tumescence a source of pleasurable excitement, such as it would rarely be to normal men.

To Calmann appear to be due the first carefully made observations showing the minor sensibility of the genital tract in women. (Adolf Calmann, "Sensibilitütsprufungen am weiblicken Genitale nach forensichen Gesichtspunkten," Archiv für Gynäkologie, 1898, p. 454.) He investigated the vagina, urethra, and anus in eighteen women and found a great lack of sensibility, least marked in anus, and most marked in vagina. [This distribution of the insensitiveness alone indicates that it is due, as I have suggested, to natural selection.] Sometimes a finger in the vagina could not be felt at all. One woman, when a catheter was introduced into the anus, said it might be the vagina or urethra, but was certainly not the anus. (Calmann remarks that he was careful to put his questions in an intelligible form.) The women were only conscious of the urine being drawn off when they heard the familiar sound of the stream or when the bladder was very full; if the sound of the stream was deadened by a towel they were quite unconscious that the bladder had been emptied. [In confirmation of this statement I have noticed that in a lady whose distended bladder it was necessary to empty by the catheter shortly before the birth of her first child—but who had, indeed, been partly under the influence of chloroform—there was no consciousness of the artificial relief; she merely remarked that she thought she could now relieve herself.] There was some sense of temperature, but sense of locality, tactile sense, and judgment of size were often widely erroneous. It is significant that virgins were just as insensitive as married women or those who had had children. Calmann's experiments appear to be confirmed by the experiments of Marco Treves, of Turin, on the thermoesthesiometry of mucous membranes, as reported to the Turin International Congress of Physiology (and briefly noted in Nature, November 21, 1901). Treves found that the sensitivity of mucous membranes is always less than that of the skin. The mucosa of the urethra and of the cervix uteri was quite incapable of heat and cold sensations, and even the cautery excited only slight, and that painful, sensation.

In further illustration of this point reference may be made to the not infrequent cases in which the whole process of parturition and the enormous distention of tissues which it involves proceed throughout in an almost or quite painless manner. It is sufficient to refer to two cases reported in Paris by Macé and briefly summarized in the British Medical Journal, May 25, 1901. In the first the patient was a primipara 20 years of age, and, until the dilatation of the cervix was complete and efforts at expulsion had commenced, the uterine contractions were quite painless. In the second case, the mother, aged 25, a tripara, had previously had very rapid labors; she awoke in the middle of the night without pains, but during micturition the fetal head appeared at the vulva, and was soon born.

Further illustration may be found in those cases in which severe inflammatory processes may take place in the genital canal without being noticed. Thus, Maxwell reports the case of a young Chinese woman, certainly quite normal, in whom after the birth of her first child the vagina became almost obliterated, yet beyond slight occasional pain she noticed nothing wrong until the husband found that penetration was impossible (British Medical Journal, January 11, 1902, p. 78). The insensitiveness of the vagina and its contrast, in this respect, with the penis—though we are justified in regarding the penis as being, like organs of special sense, relatively deficient in general sensibility—are vividly presented in such an incident as the following, reported a few years ago in America by Dr. G. W. Allen in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal: A man came under observation with an edematous, inflamed penis. The wife, the night previous, on advice of friends, had injected pure carbolic acid into the vagina just previous to coitus. The husband, ignorant of the fact, experienced untoward burning and smarting during and after coitus, but thought little of it, and soon fell asleep. The next morning there were large blisters on the penis, but it was no longer painful. When seen by Dr. Allen the prepuce was retracted and edematous, the whole penis was much swollen, and there were large, perfectly raw surfaces on either side of the glans.

In this connection we may well bring into line a remarkable group of phenomena concerning which much evidence has now accumulated. I refer to the use of various appliances, fixed in or around the penis, whether permanently or temporarily during coitus, such appliance being employed at the woman's instigation and solely in order to heighten her excitement in congress. These appliances have their great center among the Indonesian peoples (in Borneo, Java, Sumatra, the Malay peninsula, the Philippines, etc.), thence extending in a modified form through China, to become, it appears, considerably prevalent in Russia; I have also a note of their appearance in India. They have another widely diffused center, through which, however, they are more sparsely scattered, among the American Indians of the northern and more especially of the southern continents. Amerigo Vespucci and other early travelers noted the existence of some of these appliances, and since Miklucho-Macleay carefully described them as used in Borneo[82] their existence has been generally recognized. They are usually regarded merely as ethnological curiosities. As such they would not concern us here. Their real significance for us is that they illustrate the comparative insensitiveness of the genital canal in women, while at the same time they show that a certain amount of what we cannot but regard as painful stimulation is craved by women, in order to heighten tumescence and increase sexual pleasure, even though it can only by procured by artificial methods. It is, of course, possible to argue that in these cases we are not concerned with pain at all, but with a strong stimulation that is felt as purely pleasurable. There can be no doubt, however, that in the absence of sexual excitement this stimulation would be felt as purely painful, and—in the light of our previous discussion—we may, perhaps, fairly regard it as a painful stimulation which is craved, not because it is itself pleasurable, but because it heightens the highly pleasurable state of tumescence.

Borneo, the geographical center of the Indonesian world, appears also to be the district in which these instruments are most popular. The ampallang, palang, kambion, or sprit-sail yard, as it is variously termed, is a little rod of bone or metal nearly two inches in length, rounded at the ends, and used by the Kyans and Dyaks of Borneo. Before coitus it is inserted into a transverse orifice in the penis, made by a painful and somewhat dangerous operation and kept open by a quill. Two or more of these instruments are occasionally worn. Sometimes little brushes are attached to each end of the instrument. Another instrument, used by the Dyaks, but said to have been borrowed from the Malays, is the palang anus, which is a ring or collar of plaited palm-fiber, furnished with a pair of stiffish horns of the same wiry material; it is worn on the neck of the glans and fits tight to the skin so as not to slip off. (Brooke Low, "The Natives of Borneo," Journal of the Anthropological Institute, August and November, 1892, p. 45; the ampallang and similar instruments are described by Ploss and Bartels, Das Weib, Bd. i, chapter xvii; also in Untrodden Fields of Anthropology, by a French army surgeon, 1898, vol. ii, pp. 135-141; also Mantegazza, Gli Amori degli Uomini, French translation, p. 83 et seq.) Riedel informed Miklucho-Macleay that in the Celebes the Alfurus fasten the eyelids of goats with the eyelashes round the corona of the glans penis, and in Java a piece of goatskin is used in a similar way, so as to form a hairy sheath (Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 1876, pp. 22-25), while among the Batta, of Sumatra, Hagen found that small stones are inserted by an incision under the skin of the penis (Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 1891, ht. 3, p. 351).

In the Malay peninsula Stevens found instruments somewhat similar to the ampallang still in use among some tribes, and among others formerly in use. He thinks they were brought from Borneo. (H. V. Stevens, Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 1896, ht. 4, p. 181.) Bloch, who brings forward other examples of similar devices (Beiträge zur Ætiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis, pp. 56-58), considers that the Australian mica operation may thus in part be explained.

Such instruments are not, however, entirely unknown in Europe. In France, in the eighteenth century, it appears that rings, sometimes set with hard knobs, and called "aides," were occasionally used by men to heighten the pleasure of women in intercourse. (Dühren, Marquis de Sade, 1901, p. 130.) In Russia, according to Weissenberg, of Elizabethsgrad, it is not uncommon to use elastic rings set with little teeth; these rings are fastened around the base of the glans. (Weissenberg, Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 1893, ht. 2, p. 135.) This instrument must have been brought to Russia from the East, for Burton (in the notes to his Arabian Nights) mentions a precisely similar instrument as in use in China. Somewhat similar is the "Chinese hedgehog," a wreath of fine, soft feathers with the quills solidly fastened by silver wire to a ring of the same metal, which is slipped over the glans. In South America the Araucanians of Argentina use a little horsehair brush fastened around the penis; one of these is in the museum at La Plata; it is said the custom may have been borrowed from the Patagonians; these instruments, called geskels, are made by the women and the workmanship is very delicate. (Lehmann-Nitsche, Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 1900, ht. 6, p. 491.) It is noteworthy that a somewhat similar tuft of horsehair is also worn in Borneo. (Breitenstein, 21 Jahre in India, 1899, pt. i, p. 227.) Most of the accounts state that the women attach great importance to the gratification afforded by such instruments. In Borneo a modest woman symbolically indicates to her lover the exact length of the ampallang she would prefer by leaving at a particular spot a cigarette of that length. Miklucho-Macleay considers that these instruments were invented by women. Brooke Low remarks that "no woman once habituated to its use will ever dream of permitting her bedfellow to discontinue the practice of wearing it," and Stevens states that at one time no woman would marry a man who was not furnished with such an apparatus. It may be added that a very similar appliance may be found in European countries (especially Germany) in the use of a condom furnished with irregularities, or a frill, in order to increase the woman's excitement. It is not impossible to find evidence that, in European countries, even in the absence of such instruments, the craving which they gratify still exists in women. Thus, Mauriac tells of a patient with vegetations on the glans who delayed treatment because his mistress liked him so best (art. "Végétations," Dictionnaire de Médecine et Chirurgie pratique).

It may seem that such impulses and such devices to gratify them are altogether unnatural. This is not so. They have a zoölogical basis and in many animals are embodied in the anatomical structure. Many rodents, ruminants, and some of the carnivora show natural developments of the penis closely resembling some of those artificially adopted by man. Thus the guinea-pigs possess two horny styles attached to the penis, while the glans of the penis is covered with sharp spines. Some of the Caviidæ also have two sharp, horny saws at the side of the penis. The cat, the rhinoceros, the tapir, and other animals possess projecting structures on the penis, and some species of ruminants, such as the sheep, the giraffe, and many antelopes, have, attached to the penis, long filiform processes through which the urethra passes. (F. H. A. Marshall, The Physiology of Reproduction, pp. 246-248.)

We find, even in creatures so delicate and ethereal as the butterflies, a whole armory of keen weapons for use in coitus. These were described in detail in an elaborate and fully illustrated memoir by P. H. Gosse ("On the Clasping Organs Ancillary to Generation in Certain Groups of the Lepidoptera," Transactions of the Linnæan Society, second series, vol. ii, Zoölogy, 1882). These organs, which Gosse terms harpes (or grappling irons), are found in the Papilionidæ and are very beautiful and varied, taking the forms of projecting claws, hooks, pikes, swords, knobs, and strange combinations of these, commonly brought to a keen edge and then cut into sharp teeth.

It is probable that all these structures serve to excite the sexual apparatus of the female and to promote tumescence.

To the careless observer there may seem to be something vicious or perverted in such manifestations in man. That opinion becomes very doubtful when we consider how these tendencies occur in people living under natural conditions in widely separated parts of the world. It becomes still further untenable if we are justified in believing that the ancestors of men possessed projecting epithelial appendages attached to the penis, and if we accept the discovery by Friedenthal of the rudiment of these appendages on the penis of the human fetus at an early stage (Friedenthal, "Sonderformen der menschlichen Leibesbildung," Sexual-Probleme, Feb., 1912, p. 129). In this case human ingenuity would merely be seeking to supply an organ which nature has ceased to furnish, although it is still in some cases needed, especially among peoples whose aptitude for erethism has remained at, or fallen to, a subhuman level.

At first sight the connection between love and pain—the tendency of men to delight in inflicting it and women in suffering it—seems strange and inexplicable. It seems amazing that a tender and even independent woman should maintain a passionate attachment to a man who subjects her to physical and moral insults, and that a strong man, often intelligent, reasonable, and even kind-hearted, should desire to subject to such insults a woman whom he loves passionately and who has given him every final proof of her own passion. In understanding such cases we have to remember that it is only within limits that a woman really enjoys the pain, discomfort, or subjection to which she submits. A little pain which the man knows he can himself soothe, a little pain which the woman gladly accepts as the sign and forerunner of pleasure—this degree of pain comes within the normal limits of love and is rooted, as we have seen, in the experience of the race. But when it is carried beyond these limits, though it may still be tolerated because of the support it receives from its biological basis, it is no longer enjoyed. The natural note has been too violently struck, and the rhythm of love has ceased to be perfect. A woman may desire to be forced, to be roughly forced, to be ravished away beyond her own will. But all the time she only desires to be forced toward those things which are essentially and profoundly agreeable to her. A man who fails to realize this has made little progress in the art of love. "I like being knocked about and made to do things I don't want to do," a woman said, but she admitted, on being questioned, that she would not like to have much pain inflicted, and that she might not care to be made to do important things she did not want to do. The story of Griselda's unbounded submissiveness can scarcely be said to be psychologically right, though it has its artistic rightness as an elaborate fantasia on this theme justified by its conclusion.

This point is further illustrated by the following passage from a letter written by a lady: "Submission to the man's will is still, and always must be, the prelude to pleasure, and the association of ideas will probably always produce this much misunderstood instinct. Now, I find, indirectly from other women and directly from my own experience, that, when the point in dispute is very important and the man exerts his authority, the desire to get one's own way completely obliterates the sexual feeling, while, conversely, in small things the sexual feeling obliterates the desire to have one's own way. Where the two are nearly equal a conflict between them ensues, and I can stand aside and wonder which will get the best of it, though I encourage the sexual feeling when possible, as, if the other conquers, it leaves a sense of great mental irritation and physical discomfort. A man should command in small things, as in nine cases out of ten this will produce excitement. He should advise in large matters, or he may find either that he is unable to enforce his orders or that he produces a feeling of dislike and annoyance he was far from intending. Women imagine men must be stronger than themselves to excite their passion. I disagree. A passionate man has the best chance, for in him the primitive instincts are strong. The wish to subdue the female is one of them, and in small things he will exert his authority to make her feel his power, while she knows that on a question of real importance she has a good chance of getting her own way by working on his greater susceptibility. Perhaps an illustration will show what I mean. I was listening to the band and a girl and her fiancé came up to occupy two seats near me. The girl sank into one seat, but for some reason the man wished her to take the other. She refused. He repeated his order twice, the second time so peremptorily that she changed places, and I heard him say: 'I don't think you heard what I said. I don't expect to give an order three times.'

"This little scene interested me, and I afterward asked the girl the following questions:—

"'Had you any reason for taking one chair more than the other?'


"'Did Mr. ——'s insistence on your changing give you any pleasure?'

"'Yes' (after a little hesitation).


"'I don't know.'

"'Would it have done so if you had particularly wished to sit in that chair; if, for instance, you had had a boil on your cheek and wished to turn that side away from him?'

"'No; certainly not. The worry of thinking he was looking at it would have made me too cross to feel pleased.'

"Does this explain what I mean? The occasion, by the way, need not be really important, but, as in this imaginary case of the boil, if it seems important to the woman, irritation will outweigh the physical sensation."

I am well aware that in thus asserting a certain tendency in women to delight in suffering pain—however careful and qualified the position I have taken—many estimable people will cry out that I am degrading a whole sex and generally supporting the "subjection of women." But the day for academic discussion concerning the "subjection of women" has gone by. The tendency I have sought to make clear is too well established by the experience of normal and typical women—however numerous the exceptions may be—to be called in question. I would point out to those who would deprecate the influence of such facts in relation to social progress that nothing is gained by regarding women as simply men of smaller growth. They are not so; they have the laws of their own nature; their development must be along their own lines, and not along masculine lines. It is as true now as in Bacon's day that we only learn to command nature by obeying her. To ignore facts is to court disappointment in our measure of progress. The particular fact with which we have here come in contact is very vital and radical, and most subtle in its influence. It is foolish to ignore it; we must allow for its existence. We can neither attain a sane view of life nor a sane social legislation of life unless we possess a just and accurate knowledge of the fundamental instincts upon which life is built.

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