Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3

Havelock Ellis
Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume

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Title: Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 (of 6)
Author: Havelock Ellis
Release Date: October 8, 2004 [eBook #13612]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed
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Analysis of the Sexual Impulse Love and Pain The Sexual Impulse in Women


This volume has been thoroughly revised for the present edition and considerably
enlarged throughout, in order to render it more accurate and more illustrative, while
bringing it fairly up to date with reference to scientific investigation. Numerous histories
have also been added to the Appendix.
It has not been found necessary to modify the main doctrines set forth ten years ago. At
the same time, however, it may be mentioned, as regards the first study in the volume,
that our knowledge of the physiological mechanism of the sexual instinct has been
revolutionized during recent years. This is due to the investigations that have been made,
and the deductions that have been built up, concerning the part played by hormones, or
internal secretions of the ductless glands, in the physical production of the sexual instinct
and the secondary sexual characters. The conception of the psychology of the sexual
impulse here set forth, while correlated to terms of a physical process of tumescence and
detumescence, may be said to be independent of the ultimate physiological origins of that
process. But we cannot fail to realize the bearing of physiological chemistry in this field;
and the doctrine of internal secretions, since it may throw light on many complex
problems presented by the sexual instinct, is full of interest for us.
June, 1913.

The present volume of Studies deals with some of the most essential problems of sexual
psychology. The Analysis of the Sexual Impulse is fundamental. Unless we comprehend
the exact process which is being worked out beneath the shifting and multifold
phenomena presented to us we can never hope to grasp in their true relations any of the
normal or abnormal manifestations of this instinct. I do not claim that the conception of
the process here stated is novel or original. Indeed, even since I began to work it out
some years ago, various investigators in these fields, especially in Germany, have
deprived it of any novelty it might otherwise have possessed, while at the same time
aiding me in reaching a more precise statement. This is to me a cause of satisfaction. On
so fundamental a matter I should have been sorry to find myself tending to a peculiar and
individual standpoint. It is a source of gratification to me that the positions I have reached
are those toward which current intelligent and scientific opinions are tending. Any
originality in my study of this problem can only lie in the bringing together of elements
from somewhat diverse fields. I shall be content if it is found that I have attained a fairly
balanced, general, and judicial statement of these main factors in the sexual instinct.
In the study of Love and Pain I have discussed the sources of those aberrations which are
commonly called, not altogether happily, "sadism" and "masochism." Here we are
brought before the most extreme and perhaps the most widely known group of sexual
perversions. I have considered them from the medico-legal standpoint, because that has
already been done by other writers whose works are accessible. I have preferred to show
how these aberrations may be explained; how they may be linked on to normal and
fundamental aspects of the sexual impulse; and, indeed, in their elementary forms, may
themselves be regarded as normal. In some degree they are present, in every case, at

some point of sexual development; their threads are subtly woven in and out of the whole
psychological process of sex. I have made no attempt to reduce their complexity to a
simplicity that would be fallacious. I hope that my attempt to unravel these long and
tangled threads will be found to make them fairly clear.
In the third study, on The Sexual Impulse in Women, we approach a practical question of
applied sexual psychology, and a question of the
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