Why Sex Knowledge is of Paramount Importance to Girls and Women--Reasons
Why a Misstep in a Girl Has More Serious Consequences than a Misstep in a
Boy--The Place Love Occupies in Woman's Life--Woman's Physical
Disabilities.
All are agreed--I mean all who are capable of thinking and have giventhe subject some thought--that for the welfare of the race and for hisown physical and mental welfare it is important that the boy be givensome sex instruction. All are not agreed as to the character of theinstruction, its extent, the age at which it should be begun and as towho the teacher should be--the father, the family physician, theschool teacher or a specially prepared book--but as to the necessityof sex knowledge for the boy there is now substantial agreement--amongthe conservatives as well as among the radicals.
No such agreement exists concerning sex knowledge for the girl. Manystill are the men and women--and not among the conservatives only--whoare strongly opposed to girls receiving any instruction in sexmatters. Some say that such instruction--except a few hygienic rulesabout menstruation--is unnecessary, because the sex instinct awakensin girls comparatively late, and it is time enough for them to learnabout such matters after they are married. Others fear that sexknowledge would destroy the mystery and romance of sex, and would robour maidens of their greatest charms--modesty and innocence. Stillothers fear that sex instruction would tend to awaken the sex instinctin our girls prematurely; would direct their thoughts to matters aboutwhich they would not think otherwise; and they argue that the warningsabout venereal disease, prostitution, etc., which are an integral partof sex instruction, tend to create a cynical, inimical attitudetowards the male sex, which may even result in hypochondriac ideas andantagonism to marriage.
I do not deny that there is a grain of truth in all the aboveobjections. Sex instruction does cause _some_ girls to think of sexmatters earlier than they otherwise would, and some girls have beenmade bitter and hypochondriac, and disgusted with the male sex. But itwould not be difficult to demonstrate that it was not sex instruction_per se_ that was responsible for these deplorable results; it was the_wrong_ kind of instruction that was to blame--it was the wrongemphasis, the lurid exaggerations that caused the mischief, and notthe truth. In other words, it is not sex information, it is sexmisinformation, that is pernicious. And, of course, to this everybodywill agree: rather than false information, better no information atall.
But if the information to be imparted be sane, honest and truthful,without exaggerating the evils and without laying undue emphasis onthe dark shadows of our sex life, then the results can be onlybeneficent. And the task I have put before myself in this book is togive our girls and women sane, square and honest information abouttheir sex organs and sex nature, information absolutely free fromluridness, on the one hand, and maudlin sentimentality, on the other.The female sex is in need of such information, much more so than isthe male sex. Yes, if boys, as is now universally agreed, are in needof sex instruction, then girls are much more in need of it. Why? Forseveral important reasons.
The first reason why sex instruction is even more important for girlsthan it is for boys is because a misstep in a girl has much moredisastrous consequences than it has in a boy. The disastrous resultsof a misstep in a boy are only physical in character; the results ofthe _same_ misstep in a girl may be physical, moral, social andeconomic. To speak more plainly. If a boy, through ignorance, rashlyindulges in illicit sexual relations, the worst consequence to him maybe infection with a venereal disease. But he is not consideredimmoral, he is not despised, he is not ostracized, he does not losehis social standing in the slightest degree, and when he is cured ofhis venereal disease he has no difficulty in getting married. He doesnot even have to conceal his past sexual history from his wife. But ifa girl makes a misstep the consequences to her are terrible indeed; itmay not only cost her her health and social standing, she may have topay with her very life. She runs the risk of venereal infection thesame as the boy does, but in addition she runs the risk of becomingpregnant, which in our present social system is a catastrophe indeed.To save herself from the disgrace of an illegitimate child she mayhave an abortion produced; the abortion may have no bad results, butit may, if performed bunglingly, leave her an invalid for life, or itmay kill her outright. If she is so unfortunate as to be unable to getanybody to produce an abortion, she gives birth to an illegitimatechild, which she is forced in most cases to put away in an institutionof some sort where she hopes and prays it may die soon--and, ingeneral, it does. If it does not die, she has for the rest of her lifea Damocles' sword hanging over her head, and she is in constant terrorlest her sin be found out. She does not permit herself to look for amate, but if she does get married, the specter of her antematrimonialexperience is constantly before her eyes. After years and years ofmarried life, the husband may divorce her if he finds out that she had"sinned" before she knew him. And unless the husband is a broad-mindedman and loves her truly and unless she made a clean breast ofeverything to him before marriage, her life is continuous torture. Buteven if the girl escaped pregnancy, the mere finding out that she hadan illicit experience deprives her of social standing, or makes her asocial outcast and entirely destroys or greatly minimizes her chancesof ever marrying and establishing a home of her own. She must remain alonely wanderer to the end of her days.
The enormous difference in the results of a misstep in a boy and agirl is clearly seen, and for this reason alone, if for no other, sexinstruction is of more importance to the girl than it is to the boy.
But there are other important reasons, and one of them is beautifullyand truthfully expressed by Byron in his two well-known lines.
Man's love is of man's life a thing apart, 'Tis woman's whole existence.
Yes, love is a woman's whole life.
Some modern women might object to this. They might say that this wastrue of the woman of the past, who was excluded from all other avenuesof human activity. The woman of the present day has other interestsbesides those of Love. But I claim that this is true of only a smallpercentage of women; and in even this small minority of women, social,scientific and artistic activities cannot take the place of love; nomatter how busy and successful these women may be, they will tell youif you enjoy their confidence that they are unhappy, if their lovelife is unsatisfactory. Nothing, nothing can fill the void made by thelack of love. The various activities may help to cover up the void, toprotect it from strange eyes, they cannot fill it. For essentiallywoman is made for love. Not exclusively, but essentially, and a womanwho has had no love in her life has been a failure. The few exceptionsthat may be mentioned only emphasize the rule.
But not only psychically is a woman's love and sex life more importantthan a man's, physically she is also much more cognizant of her sexand much more hampered by the manifestation of her sex nature thanman is. To take but one function, menstruation. From the age 13 or 14to the age of forty-five or fifty it is a monthly reminder to womanthat she is a woman, that she is a creature of sex; and, while to manywomen this periodically recurring function is only a source of someannoyance or discomfort, to a great number it is a cause of pain,headache, suffering, or complete disability. Man has no suchphenomenon to annoy him practically his whole life.
But more important are the results of love-union, of sex relations. Aman after a sexual relation is just as free as he was before. A woman,if the relation has resulted in a pregnancy, which is generally thecase, unless special pains are taken it should not so result, has ninetroublesome months before her, months of discomfort if not of actualsuffering; she then has an extremely trying and painful ordeal, thatof childbirth, and then there is another trying period, the period oflactation or of nursing and of bringing up the baby. The penalty seemsalmost too great.
And when the woman is on the point of ceasing to menstruate she doesnot do so smoothly and comfortably. She has to go through a periodcalled the menopause, which may last one or two years and which maybring discomforts and dangers of its own. Man does not have to gothrough such a distinct period of demarcation separating his sexualfrom his non-sexual life. Altogether it cannot be denied that woman ismuch more a slave of her sex nature than man is of his. Yes, Naturehas handicapped woman much more heavily than she has man.
In short, both in view of the fact that sexual ignorance with itspossible missteps has much more disastrous consequences for the girlthan it has for the boy, and in view of the fact that the sex instinctand its physical and psychic manifestations occupy a much moreimportant part in woman's life than they do in the life of man, weconsider the necessity of sex instruction much greater in the case ofwoman than in the case of man. I do not wish to be misunderstood asunderestimating the need of sex instruction for the male--only Iconsider the need even greater in the case of the female.

How does work sex organs :
It hardly need be stated here, for it is a matter of common knowledge,that the _primary_ purpose of sex in the human family is thereproduction of the race. In this respect, considered merely on itsmaterial, or animal side, mankind differs little from all other formsof animate life. As Whitman says, we see "everywhere sex, everywherethe urge of procreation." The flowers are possessed of this quality,and with them all vegetable forms. In the animal kingdom the same istrue. Always "male and female" is everything created.
And the chief facts in reproduction are practically the same whereverthe phenomena occur. Here, as everywhere else in the world, when anew life-form appears, it is always the result of the union of _two_forces, elements, germs or whatsoever. These two elements differin nature and in function, and each is incomplete and worthless byitself. It is only by the combining of the two that any new resultis obtained. It is this fact that has led to the most suggestive andbeautiful phrase "The duality of all unity in nature."
Many centuries ago an old Latin philosopher wrote the now celebratedphrase, _Omne ex ovo_, which, translated, means _everything is from anegg_. This is practically true of all life-forms. Their beginningis always from an ovum, or egg. In this respect, the reproduction ofhuman beings is the same as that of any other life-form.
Now in this process of producing a new life-form, the female is alwaysthe source of the egg, out of which the new creation is to come. Thisegg, however, is infertile of itself, and must be given life to, bymingling with its germ, an element which only the male can produceand supply. This element is technically known as a sperm, or aspermatozoa. Its function is to fertilize the dormant germ in theegg produced by the female, and thus to start a new and independentlife-form. This life-form, thus started, grows according to the lawsof its becoming more and more, until, at the expiration of a fixedperiod, which varies greatly in different animals, it becomes acomplete young individual, of the nature and kind of its parents.The fertilization of the ovum in the female is called conception;its growing state is called gestation, and its birth, on becoming aseparate being, is called parturition. In its growing condition, andbefore its birth, the new young life form is known as the foetus.
Now it is the fertilization of the ovum in the female (and from nowon, it is only of the male and female in the human family that mentionwill be made) by the male, in the woman, by the man, that is ofsupreme interest and importance to both the parties concerned inproducing this result. How this is brought about is substantially asfollows:
As already stated, the infertile ovum, or egg, is produced by thewoman. Such production begins at what is known as the age of puberty,or when the hair begins to grow upon the pubic parts of the femalebody. The time of the appearance of this phenomenon in feminine lifevaries from the age of nine or ten years to fifteen or sixteen. Theaverage, for most girls, is fourteen years of age. At this timethe formation of ova, or eggs, in the female body begins, and itcontinues, in most women, at regular intervals of once in twenty-eightdays, except during pregnancy and lactation, for a period of aboutthirty years. During all this time, under favorable conditions, it ispossible for the ovum produced by the woman to become fertilized, ifit can meet the sperm of the male.
In a general way, this meeting of the infertile ovum of the woman withthe sperm of the man can be brought about, as follows:
The ova are produced by the ovaries (the word ovaries means eggproducers) where they slowly develop from cells which originatein these glands. When they have reached maturity, or are ready forfertilization, they pass out of the ovaries and down into the womb, byway of the fallopian tubes. As already stated, such passage of the ovafrom the ovaries into the womb occurs every twenty-eight days, andit is accomplished by a more or less copious flow of blood, a sort ofhemorrhage, which carries the ova down through the fallopian tubes,and deposits them in the womb. This blood, after performing itsmission of carrying the ova down into the womb, escapes from thebody through the vaginal passage and is cared for by the wearing ofa bandage between the thighs. This flow of blood continues for aboutfive days, and is known as a menstrual flow; and this time in awoman's life is known as the menstrual period. It is so named becauseof the regularity of its recurrence, the word _mensa_ meaning a_month_. In common parlance, these periods are often spoke of as the"monthlies."
After the ovum has reached the womb it remains there for a period ofabout ten days, after which, if it is not fertilized during that time,it passes out of the womb into the vaginal passage, and so out of thebody. But if, at any time after it is ripe for fertilization, that is,from the time it begins its journey from the ovaries to the womb,and while it is in the womb, the ovum is met by the male sperm, it is_liable_ to become fertilized--conception is possible. These are factsof the _utmost importance_, to be thoroughly understood and kept wellin mind by all married people who would live happily together, as willbe hereafter shown.
So much regarding the female part of the meeting of the ovum and thesperm. The male part of this mutual act is as follows:
The sperm, or spermatozoa, originate in the testicles. Each sperm isan individual entity and _several thousands_ of them are producedand in readiness for use, _at each meeting_ of the male and femalegenerative organs; and if _any one_ of the countless number comes incontact with the unfertilized ovum in the womb, conception is _liable_to result.
These sperms are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye,but they are readily seen by the use of a microscope. In shape theymuch resemble tad-poles in their earliest stages.
At the base of the penis, well up in the man's body, there is a largegland which surrounds the penis like a thick ring, and which is calledthe prostate gland. It secretes a mucous fluid which looks much like,and is about the consistency of the white of an egg. Close to thisgland, and almost a part of it, is a sack, or pocket, into which themucous secretion from the prostate gland is poured, and where it iskept, ready for use, in performing its part of the germinal act.
Now it is the business of this mucous fluid, which comes from theprostate gland, to form a "carrying medium" for the spermatozoa whichoriginate in the testicles. There are small ducts leading from thetesticles into the pocket which contains the prostate fluid. These areknown as the seminal ducts, and through them the spermatozoa passfrom the testicles into the prostate pocket. Here they mingle with theprostate fluid, in which they can move about freely, and by means ofwhich they can be carried wherever this fluid goes. The combination ofprostate fluid and spermatozoa is called "semen."
Seen under a microscope, a single drop of semen reveals a multitude ofspermatozoa swimming about in the prostate-carrying medium. It is inthis form that the vitalizing male element meets the female infertileovum. This mass of live and moving germs is poured all around andabout the region in which the ovum lies waiting to be fertilized, andevery one of them seems to be "rushing about like mad" to find what itis sent to do, namely, to meet and fertilize the ovum. The manner ofdepositing the semen where it can come in contact with the ovum is asfollows:
In order that this mingling of the male and female sources of life maybe possible, it is necessary that there be a union of the male and thefemale generative organs. For such meeting, the penis is filled withblood, all its blood vessels being distended to their utmost capacity,till the organ becomes stout and hard, and several times its dormantsize, as has been already told. In this condition it is able topenetrate, to its utmost depths, the vaginal passage of the female,which is of a nature to perfectly contain the male organ in thisenlarged and rigid condition. Under such conditions, the penisis inserted into the widened and distended vaginal passage. Oncetogether, a mutual back and forth, or partly in and out movement, ofthe organs is begun and carried on by the man and woman, which actionfurther enlarges the parts and raises them to a still higher degreeof tension and excitement. It is supposed by some that this frictionalmovement of the parts develops an electrical current, which increasesin tension as the act is continued; and that it is the mission of thepubic hair, which is a non-conductor, to confine these currents to theparts in contact.
Now there are two other glands in these organs; one in the male andone in the female, which performs a most wonderful function in thispart of the sexual act. These are the "glans penis" in the male andthe "clitoris" in the female. The first is located at the apex of themale organ, and the other at the upper-middle and exterior part of thevulva. These glands are covered with a most delicate cuticle, andare filled with highly sensitive nerves. As the act progresses, theseglands become more and more sensitized, and nervously surcharged,until, as a climax, they finally cause a sort of nervous explosion ofthe organs involved. This climax is called an "orgasm" in scientificlanguage. Among most men and women it is spoken of as "spending."
On the part of the man, this orgasm causes the semen, which till thisinstant has remained in the prostate pocket, to be suddenly drivenout of this place of deposit, and thrown in jets, and with spasmodicforce, through the entire length of the penis, and, as it were, shotinto the vaginal passage and the uterine cavity, till the whole regionis literally deluged with the life-giving fluid. At the same time,the mouth of the womb opens wide; and into it pours, or rushes, this"father stuff," entirely surrounding and flooding the ovum, if it bein the womb. This is the climax of the sexual act, which is called"coitus," a word which means, going together.
With the myriads of spermatozoa swarming about it, if the vital partof the ovum comes in contact with some one of them, any one of which,brought into such contact, will fertilize it, conception results. Thewoman is then pregnant, and the period of gestation is begun.
This is a brief description of the act of coitus and of the means bywhich pregnancy takes place. It is, however, only a small part of thestory of the sex relations of husbands and wives; and, be it said, a_very_ small part of that, as will now be shown.
As has already been said, this use of the sex organs, merely toproduce progeny, and so insure a continuance of the race, is a qualitythat mankind shares with all the rest of the animal kingdom. In allessentials, so far as the material parts of the act are concerned, thebeginnings of the new life in the human family differ not a whit fromthat of any other mammals. In each case the ovum is produced by theovaries of the female, passes into the womb, is there met by the semenfrom the male, fertilized by the spermatozoa, and so the foetus getsits start. This is the universal means by which the beginnings of allanimal reproductive life takes place.
But there is another phase in the sex life of human beings, which is_entirely different_ from that of all other animals, and which musttherefore be considered beyond all that needs to be said regarding theact of coitus for reproductive purposes only. This we are now ready toconsider and study.
Now in all animals, except human beings, the act of coitus is onlypermitted by the female, (it would seem is only _possible_ for her)when the ovum is present in the womb and ready to be fertilized. _Atall other times, all female animals, except woman, are practicallysexless_. Their sexual organs are dormant, and _nothing can arousethem_ to activity. Not only do they fail to show any desire forcoitus, but if an attempt should be made to force it upon them, _theywould resist it_ to the utmost of their strength.
But when the ovum is present in the womb, these same female animalsare beside themselves with desire for coitus. They are then spoken ofas "in heat." And until they are satisfied, by meeting the male andprocuring from him the vitalizing fluid which will fertilize theirinfertile ovum; or, failing in this, until the ovum passes away fromthem, out of the womb, they know no rest. At such times they willrun all risks, incur all sorts of danger, do every possible thing tosecure pregnancy. The thousand-and-one ways which female animals useto make known to their male mates their sexual desire and needs, whenin heat, is a most interesting and wonderful story, a record made upof facts which would be well worth any student's knowing. But as allsuch knowledge can readily be procured from books which are within thereach of all, there is no need of noting the data here.
But now, _in woman, all these things are different!_ As a matter offact, the presence of the ovum in the womb of a normally made woman_makes little, and, in many cases, no difference whatever_ as regardsher status concerning the act of coitus! That is, women are never"in heat," in the same sense in which other female animals are. To besure, in some cases, though they are rare, some women are consciousof a greater desire for coitus just after the ceasing of the menstrualflow; that is, when the ovum is in the womb. But such cases are soinfrequent that they may well be counted atavistic, that is, of thenature of a tendency to return to a previous merely animal condition.For the most part, it is true of all normal women that the presence ofthe ovum in the womb makes little difference, one way or another, inregard to their desire for, or aversion to, the act of coitus.
Now the fact of this remarkable difference in the sex-status of womenand the same quality in all other female animals leads us to a greatnumber of interesting, not to say startling, conclusions, some ofwhich are as follows:
In the first place, the phenomenon clearly establishes the fact thatsex in the female human being _differs, pronouncedly_, from that ofall other female life. For, whereas, among all females except woman,coitus is _impossible_, except at certain times and seasons, amongwomen the act can not only be permitted, but is as much possible or_desired_ at one time as any other, regardless of the presence orabsence of the ovum in the womb. That is (and this point should benoted well by the reader) there is a _possibility_, on the part ofthe female humanity, for coitus, _under conditions that do not at allobtain in any other female animal life_.
This is a conclusion which is of such far-reaching importance that itslimits are but dimly recognized, even in the clear thinking of mostmarried people. The fact of such difference is known to them, andtheir practices in living conform to the conditions; but what it allmeans, they are entirely ignorant of, _and they never stop to thinkabout it_.
And yet, _right here is the very center and core of the real successor failure of married life_! Around this fact are grouped all thetroubles that come to husbands and wives. About it are gathered allthe joys and unspeakable delights of the happily married--the onlytruly married. It is these items which make a knowledge of the realconditions which exist, regarding this part of married life, of suchsupreme importance. If these conditions could be rightly understood,and the actions of husbands and wives could be brought to conform tothe laws which obtain under them, _the divorce courts would go out ofbusiness_, their occupation, like Othello's, would be "gone indeed."
The first conclusion, then, one that is forced upon the thoughtfulmind by the fact of this difference in the sex possibilities of womenand other female animals, is, as already stated, but which is hererepeated for emphasis, that coitus _can_ be engaged in _by women_ when_pregnancy_ is _not_ its purpose, on her part; and that _this neveroccurs in any other form of female life!_
In view of this fact, is it too much to raise the question whether ornot sex in woman is designed to fulfill any other purpose than that ofthe reproduction of the race? True it is, that the _only_ functionof sex in all other females is merely that of producing offspring--ofperpetuating its kind. Under no circumstances does it _ever_ serve_any_ other end, fulfill any other design. _There is no possibility ofits doing so_!
But one can help wondering if it is not true that, with the existenceof the _possibility_ of engaging in coitus _at will_, rather thanat the bidding of _instinct_ alone, there has also come a _new_ and_added_ function for the sex-natures that are capable of engagingin such before-unknown experiences? To a fair-minded person, suchconclusion seems not only logical, but irresistible! That is in viewof this conclusion, it naturally follows that sex in the human familyis _positively designed to fulfill a function that is entirely unknownto all other forms of animal life_. And from this, it is but a step tothe establishment of the fact that _sex exercise in the human familyserves a purpose other than that of reproduction_!
Now, this fact established, a whole world of new issues arises anddemands settlement. Among these, comes the supreme question: _What isthe nature of this new experience that has been conferred upon humanbeings, over and above what is vouchsafed to any other form of animallife? What purpose can it serve? How can it be properly exercised?What is right and what is wrong under these new possibilities_? Theseare some of the issues that _force_ themselves upon all thoughtfulpeople, _those who wish to do right under any and all circumstances inwhich they are placed_.
Of course, here as elsewhere, the unthinking, the happy-go-lucky andthe "don't-give-a-damn," can blunder along in almost any-old-way.But they can, and will, reap only the reward which always followsblundering and ignorance. In these days of scientific clear-thinking,we have come to understand that _salvation from sin comes by the wayof positive knowledge and not at the hands of either ignoranceor innocence_! If husbands and wives ever attain to the highestconditions of married life, it can only be after they _know andpractice, what is right in all their sex relations, both forreproductive purposes and in all other respects! Note that well_!
As things are now, especially in all civilized countries, andparticularly among Christian people, this _secondary_ function of sexin the human family, while blindly recognized as a fact, is none theless abused, to a most shameful degree. For ages, the whole situationhas been left in a condition of most deplorable, not to say damnable,ignorance; and no honest endeavor has been made to find out and actup to the truth in the premises. Husbands and wives have engaged incoitus _ad libitum_, utterly regardless of whether it was rightor wrong for them to do so! They have taken it for granted that_marriage_ conferred on them the _right_ to have sexual intercoursewhenever they chose, (especially when the man chose,) and they haveacted accordingly. This is especially true of men, and the practicehas been carried to such length that the right of a man to engage incoitus with his wife _has been established by law_, and the wife whorefuses to yield this "right" to her husband can be divorced by him,if she persists in such way of living! It is such a fact as this whichcaused Mr. Bernard Shaw to write: "Marriage is the most licentiousinstitution in all the world." And he might rightfully have added "itis also the most brutal," though it is an insult to the brute to sayit that way, for brutes are never guilty of _coitus under compulsion.But a husband can force his wife to submit to his sexual embraces, andshe has no legal right to say him nay!_ This doesn't seem quite right,does it?
Now there are several different ways of viewing this new and addedsexual possibility in the human family, namely, the act of coitus forother than reproductive purposes. The Catholic church has _always_counted it as a sin. Popes have issued edicts regarding it, andconclaves of Bishops have discussed it and passed resolutionsregarding it. There has always been a difference of opinion upon thesubject amongst these dignitaries and authorities, but they allagree in one respect, namely, that it is a _sin_. The only point ofdifference has been as to the extent or enormity of the sin! By someit has been reckoned as a "deadly sin," punishable by eternal hellfire, if not duly absolved before death; by others it has been heldto be only a "venial sin," one that must always be confessed to thepriest when coitus is engaged in, and which can be pardoned by thepractice of due penance. _But, always, it was a sin_!
The Protestant church has never issued edicts regarding this matter,but, for the most part, it has tacitly held to the Catholic teachingin _theory_, while universally _practicing_ the reverse, in actualmarried life. Protestants have looked upon it as a necessity, but havetaught that it was _regrettable_ that such was the case. They haveheld, with Paul, that, "it is better to marry than to burn." And mostof them have chosen the marriage horn of the dilemma.
Among some European nations, attempts have been made to make itimpossible for husbands and wives to cohabit except for reproductivepurposes. In one of these nations, padlocks were used for preventingthe act. A slit was made through the foreskin of the penis, andthrough this slit the ring of a padlock was passed, much as anear-ring is passed through the lobe of a lady's ear. The padlockwas made so large that it could not be introduced into the vaginalpassage, and so coitus was impossible when it was worn. It could onlybe removed by the magistrate into whose hands the regulation of thispart of the citizens' life was given. Specimens of these padlocks arestill to be seen in European museums.
Now the terribly immoral thing in all this way of living has alwaysbeen the fact that it _compelled_ people to continually _violate theirconsciences_, by _pretending_ to _believe_ one thing and constantly_practicing_ the reverse of their proclaimed belief. That is, it luredthem into _living a continual lie, and such can never be for the goodof the soul_! It goes without saying that the sooner this abominableway of living can be ended, the better it will be for all partiesconcerned--the individuals who are the victims of such falsehood, andthe communities of which they form a part.
From all this it follows that the first thing every new husband andwife _ought_ to do is to _settle clearly in their own minds the issueas to whether it is right or wrong for them to engage in coitus forany other than procreative purposes_. Having settled this point, oneway or the other, then _let them conscientiously act accordingly. Foronly so can they live righteous lives_!
In settling this point, so far as available authorities for the youngpeople to study and consider are concerned, these are all _against_coitus except for begetting of off-spring. All the "purity" writersand Purity Societies are ranged together on the negative side.Likewise are all the books of "advice to young wives and husbands,"especially those addressed to young _wives_.
Now all these "authorities" base their whole argument upon the purely_animal_ facts in the premises. Probably a certain Dr. C. is morelargely read for information on these matters than any other author,especially among young women. He has written a large, and fromthe view-point he takes, a very plausible volume; and it is veryextensively advertised, especially in papers which young women read.The result is that it has come to be almost a standard authority inthese affairs.
Dr. C.'s argument is, baldly, as follows:--(a) Among animals, theuniversal practice is a single act of coitus for each begetting ofoff-spring, (b) Human beings are animals, (c) Therefore, human beingsshould only engage in coitus for reproductive purposes.
To this syllogism he adds a corollary, which is, that, therefore, allsexual commerce in the human family, for any other than reproductivepurposes, is _wrong._ These are his texts, so to speak, and throughseveral hundred pages he preaches, _don't, don't, don't,_ sermons. Theentire volume is one of denial and prohibition. He proclaims the act,even for the one purpose he allows to be right, as low, and in itselfdegrading, to be engaged in only after "prayer and fasting" and"mortifying the flesh," and even then, in the most passionless, andonly done-because-it-has-to-be manner; as a mere matter of duty; to bepermitted by sufferance; joyless, disgusting in itself; a somethingto be avoided, even in thought, other than it is a necessity for thecontinuance of the race.
_It is from such data as this that thousands of "innocent" bridesannually make up their minds as to what is right or wrong in thematter of sexual intercourse._
In doing this, most of these young women are perfectly conscientious,and want to do the right thing, and there are two items in the countthat naturally lead them to accept Dr. C.'s teachings as correct. Thefirst is, that it coincides with all they have ever heard about suchmatters; the second, that the Doctor flavors all his text with areligious quality, of the alleged most sacred sort. He instancessaintly women who have lived the most ascetic lives, and whosereligious status was achieved because, and by means of, their perfectchastity. In fact, this word "chastity" (which he translates as entirerenunciation of the whole sex nature) becomes the test word of hiswhole treatise, and its practice is upheld as the true road to allgoodness and virtue.
Now, nearly all well-bred and cultivated young women are naturallyreligious (and not a word should be said against their being so) andthey are anxious to time their lives to everything that the highestreligious demands prescribe. It is, therefore, most natural that,being thus taught by an authority for which they have the highestregard, they enter marriage with the _fixed opinion_ in accordancewith their teaching. How could it be otherwise?
On the other hand, a few young husbands, indeed none but now and thena "goody-good" (who usually turns out to be the worst of the wholelot, in course of time), are willing to "stand for" any such theory,much less to live any such life as this theory would impose. These"don't care what the book says," and, from the manner of theirbringing up, from all they have learned or heard by hearing _men_ talkabout married life, (which is usually of the most vulgar sort) theyhave come to the conclusion that marriage confers upon the parties the_right_ to engage in sexual commerce at will; and, especially, thatthe husband has the _right_ to the body of his wife _whenever hechooses_. For, indeed, does not the law give him that right! And solong as one "keeps inside the law" what more could be asked! Yea,verily! What more could be asked?
So it is that _most brides and bridegrooms go to their marriage bedwith the most widely diverse views as to what is right and wrong inthe premises_--as to the life they will lead in their new estate. Theyoung wife is for "purity" and "chastity." The young husband, drivenby a passion which he has long held in thrall, in the belief that hecan now give the fullest vent to it, when he has got where such reliefis possible, is like an excited hound when it seizes its prey, whichhe fully believes he has the right to deal with as he pleases! Whatwonder that, in view of all these circumstances, the most extensiveobserver of marriage-bed phenomena should write: "_As a matter offact, nine young husbands in ten practically rape their brides attheir first sexual meeting." Could anything be more horrible, orcriminally wicked_? And it is all so needless! It is all the result ofignorance, of "innocence," and the worst of false teaching. The pityof it!
True, these unfortunate conditions are often modified by "mothernature," who inspires the bride with curiosity, which, in a measure,controls her in spite of her false teachings, and with passion, which,to a degree, will assert itself over and above all false modesty, herreligious scruples and her fear of pregnancy; and so she _may_ comethrough the ordeal of introduction to the act of coitus in a fairlysane condition of mind, even though she may have practically been_raped_! But, too often, the result of such first contact is _a shockto the bride from which she may not recover during all the subsequentyears of married life_! And "here is where the trouble lies," foruntold thousands of married men and women, all over the civilizedworld, to-day. And it might all be so different! It ought, _in everycase_, to be all so different! But if it ever does become different,_knowledge_ has got to take the place of "_innocence"_ on the part ofthe _bride_, and of _ignorance_ on the part of the _bridegroom_, bothof whom must be _taught_ to "_Know what they are about_" before theyengage in the sexual act, and be able to meet each other sanely,_righteously, lovingly,_ because they both _desire_ what each has togive to the other; in a way in which neither claims any _rights_, ormakes any _demands_ of the other--in a word, in _perfect concord_of agreement and action, of which mutual love is the inspirer, and_definite knowledge_ the directive agent.
Such a first meeting of bride and bridegroom will be no raping affair.There will be no shock in it, no dread, no shame or thought of shame;but as perfectly as two drops of water flow together and become one,the bodies and souls of the parties to the act will mingle in a unitythe most perfect and blissful that can ever be experienced by humanbeings in this world. This is no dream! It is a most blessed reality,which all normally made husbands and wives can attain to, if only theyare properly _taught and educated_, if only they will learn how toreach such blissful condition.
However, such greatly desired status is not to be had for the askingmerely. _Instinct can never bring it about; "innocence"_ will neveryield such a result; and _force_, or the declaration of a "_right_"in the premises will forever banish it to the realm of thenever-to-be-realized. It can only come as a result of clear-headedthinking, scientific investigation, honest study, wise and righteousaction under the given conditions; and, above all, _a love, each forthe other, that knows no bounds_. All these things _must_ obtain,_on the part of both parties concerned_, or the desired results can_never_ be attained.
Having said which, here shall follow some suggestions as to how suchestate may be reached by the readers of these pages.
But first, let us finish Dr. C., and all of his tribe--banish them fromall our reckoning in these matters, forever.
As already shown, this argument has not a leg to stand on. Thesewriters treat the whole situation as though men and women were _mereanimals! Men and women are far more than mere animals, and God hathmade them so_! And for these reasons we will have respect for men andwomen as _God has made them_, rather than as Dr. C. and the "purityleagues" say God _should_ have made them!
As a matter of fact, the secondary function of sex in the human familyis something _far above_ mere animality; it is something that mereanimals know nothing about, that they can never experience, or in anyway attain to, and these _fundamental differences_ in the premisesremove the whole issue from the realm of comparison with any forms orfunctions of mere animal life. As well reason that animals never eatcooked food, and so men ought never to eat cooked food (and there aresome people who do so reason, strange to say) or that animals donot wear clothes, and so men ought not to wear clothes--as well makethese, or a score more of comparisons, between the human race and mereanimals, as to try to compare them in the item of their sex functions.
In only the single fact that, on the physical plane merely, coitusfor the purpose of procreation is common to all animal life, mankindincluded, is there a point of comparison between humanity and thebrute creation. _Beyond that point there is nothing comparable betweenthe two_! As well say that because beasts can hear, therefore theycan comprehend and enjoy a Beethoven Sonata, or because they have eyesthey can delight in a picture by Corot!
This is only another way of saying that sex has functions and uses inthe human family that are entirely apart from the possibilities of allother animal life--functions as much above mere animality as music isabove mere physical hearing, as painting above mere physical sight.
These facts forever upset and overthrow all the theories of Dr. C. andCo., they entirely eliminate the whole bunch from any part or lot inthe issue on which they have essayed to speak with such authority,but whose main point, whose essential elements they have _entirelymisunderstood_, and hence have treated in a way that is wholly atvariance with the truth in the premises, and it is the truth that weare looking for.
Once more (for it is well to go to the bottom of this matter while weare about it) the honest truth is, that _it is the universal practiceof the human race for men and women to cohabit for other purposes thanreproduction, and it has always been so_, since men and women were menand women! It is true among the most savage and barbarous tribes ofthe earth, and it is more emphatically true of the highly civilizedpeople in all lands and climes. And is it reasonable to suppose thatsuch a universal phenomenon should _not_ have been intended to be asit is! As well say that appetite for food is a mistake, one that oughtto be eliminated!
Again, the experiences of men and women, all over the world, provethat, where this act is engaged in properly, according to the lawsthat obtain in the premises, _it conduces to the highest physical,mental, and spiritual well-being of the parties concerned_. Indeed, itis beyond doubt true that the men and women who have never known thismost perfect of all human experiences, have never reached the summitof human attainment, have never arrived at the perfection of manhoodand womanhood. Length of life, health of the highest sort, andhappiness, the most delectable--all come, these and more, to men andwomen by this route, _if it is rightly traveled_. Hell and damnationresult if that road is wrongly trod!
And that's what makes the manner of traveling it so important.

And now, having given these cautionary directions, the way is clearfor the making of definite statements and the giving of positiveinstruction.
Here, then, is a brief description of the sex organs in man and woman.At first, only the names of the parts will be given, with such slightcomments and explanations as are necessary for making this part of thesubject clear. A detailed setting forth of the functions and properexercise of these organs will be given later.
The sex organs in a male human being consists, broadly speaking, ofthe penis and the testicles. All these are located at the base of theabdomen, between the thighs and on the forward part of the body. Thepenis is a fleshy, muscular organ, filled with most sensitive nerves,and blood vessels that are capable of extension to a much greaterdegree than any of their similars in other parts of the body. In aquiescent, or unexcited condition, in the average man, this organ isfrom three to four inches long and about an inch or more in diameter.It hangs limp and pendent in this state, retired and in evidence notat all. In its excited, or tumescent condition (the word tumescentmeans swelled, and is the technical word for describing the erectcondition of the penis) it becomes enlarged and rigid, its size inthis state being, on an average, six or seven inches long, and froman inch-and-a-half to two inches in diameter. It is almost perfectlycylindrical, slightly thicker at the base than at its forward part.
The testicles are two kidney shaped glands, not far from the size ofa large hickory nut, and are contained in a sort of sack, or pocket,called the scrotum, which is made for their comfortable and safecarrying. The scrotum hangs directly between the thighs, at the baseof the penis, and in it are the testicles, suspended by vital cordsthat are suspended from the body above. The left testicle hangs alittle higher in the sack than the right, so that, in case the thighsare crowded together, one testicle will slip over the other, and sothe danger of crushing them will be avoided. This is one of the manyways which the Maker of the human body has devised to insure theproper preservation of the vital organs from harm, a fact whichshould inspire all human beings with profound reverence for this mostwonderful of all life forms, the beautiful human body, the "temple ofthe Holy Spirit."
The part of the body upon which the sex organs, male and female, arelocated is known as the pubic region. It is covered with hair, which,in both sexes, extends well up the lower belly. This is known as pubichair, and in general corresponds in quality and quantity to the hairupon the individual head, being coarse or fine, soft or bristly, tomatch, the head covering, in each case. This hair is usually more orless curly, and forms a covering an inch or more in depth over thewhole pubic region, extending back between the thighs slightly beyondthe rectum. In occasional cases this hair is straight and silky, andsometimes grows to great length, instances being known, in some women,where it has extended to the knees. A well-grown and abundant supplyof fine pubic hair is a possession highly prized by women, of whichthey are justly proud, though few of them would acknowledge the fact,even to themselves. None the less it is a fact.
The female sex organs, speaking generally also, are as follows: Thevulva, or outward portion of the parts; the vaginal passage; theuterus, or womb, and the ovaries. All but the first named lie withinthe body of the woman. The vulva is made up of several parts whichwill be named and described later. The vaginal passage is a tube, orcanal leading from the vulva to the womb. In length and diameter itcorresponds almost exactly with that of the penis, being six or seveninches in depth, and capable of a lateral extension which willreadily admit the entrance of the male organ when the two are broughttogether. The vaginal passage opens into, and terminates in theuterine, or womb cavity.
The womb is a pear shaped sack which is suspended in the womb cavityby cords and muscles from above. It hangs, neck downwards, and is, inits unimpregnated condition, about two and a half inches in diameterat its upper, or widest part, tapering to a thin neck at its lowerend. It is hard and muscular in its quiescent state, filled withdelicate and most sensitive nerves and capacious blood vessels. At itslower, or neck end, it opens directly into the vaginal passage.
The ovaries are two in number, and are situated on each side of, andabove the womb, in the region of the upper groins. They are small, fanshaped glands, and are connected with the uterus by small ducts whichare known as the fallopian tubes.
As already stated, the exterior parts of the body, in which the female sex organs are located, are covered with hair for their adornment andprotection.
Such in brief, are the male and female sex organs in human beings. Afurther description of them and their functions and proper use we arenow ready to consider.

A pious Christian once said to me: "I find it hard to reconcile sexwith the purity of Providence." He never could understand why Godarranged for sex anyway. Why something else might not have been done.Why children might not have come in some other fashion.
Look at the harm sex has involved. Most all the deviltry of historythat was not done for money was done for sex. And even the deviltrythat was done and is done for money had, and has sex back of it. Takesex out of man and you have something worth while. God must have beenshort of expedients when God, in sex, conceived sex. It certainlylooks as if the Divine fell down this time. As if infinity was atthe end of its tether. As if the adept creator for once was caughtnapping, or for once botched a job.
So we had my pious friend. And we had medievalism. And we had theascetics. And heaven knows what else. Too much sex some places. Toolittle sex other places. Some people swearing on and some swearingoff. The prostitute giving away that which was meant to be kept.The virgin keeping that which was meant to be given away. A forcecontending with a force. Drawing in opposite directions when theyshould be pulling together. Through it all, motherhood misunderstood.And fatherhood misunderstood. The body cheapened to the soul. And thesoul cheapened to the body. Every child being a slap in the face ofvirtue.
Have you ever tried to see what this came from and goes to? Thisphilosophy of vulgar denial? This philosophy of wallowing surrender?
The Christian stream has been polluted. It has gone dirty in the ageof hush. We are supposed to keep our mouths shut. We are not to givesex away. We breed youngsters in fatal ignorance. They are alwaysasking questions. But we don't answer their questions. The churchdon't answer them. Nor the state. Nor the schools. Not even mothersand fathers. Nobody who could answer answers them. But they don't gounanswered. They get answered. And they get answered wrong insteadof right. They get answered, smutched instead of washed. They getanswered blasphemously instead of reverently. They get answered sothat the body is suspected instead of being trusted.
A boy who knows nothing asks a boy who knows nothing. A girl who knowsnothing asks a girl who knows nothing. From nothing nothing comes. Menwho have been such boys know nothing. Women who have been such girlsknow nothing. From nothing nothing comes. They have become familiarwith sex circumstances. They are parents. They have done the bestthey knew how. But they never learned sex. They never realized itsfundamentals. They never went back to, or forward to it. They werelost in a wilderness. They existed without living. They took sex asthey took whiskey. They breathed an atmosphere of hush. They had gotpast the ascetics. But they had not got to be men and women. Theydidn't refuse sex. But though embracing its privileges, they stillseemed to regard it as something not to be gloried in. The leastsaid about it the soonest mended. Mothers and fathers would say tochildren: "You'll know about it soon enough." Teachers would say:"Ask your questions at home." Home would say: "What ever started youthinking about such things?"
The child goes about wondering. What's the matter with sex thateverybody's afraid to talk about it? What's the matter with my bodythat I dare not mention it? My body seems very beautiful to me. I liketo look at it. I like to feel it. I like to smell it. But I'm alwayshurried into my clothes. My body is so mysteriously precious I musttake care of it. But how am I to take care of it if I don't getacquainted with it?
I find that having a body has something to do with being a father anda mother. I want to be a father. I want to be a mother. But how canI be a father or mother if some one who knows doesn't tell me whatprecedes fatherhood and motherhood? I should prepare for it. How canI if all the books are closed? How can I if I am blanked every time Iexpress my curiosity? Is there no one anywhere who'll be honest withme?
If I look at sex right out of my own soul, it seems like somethingwhich God didn't fail with, but succeeded with. Like something notpolluted, but purified. Like something having everything, instead ofonly an occasional thing, to do with life. But the world shakes itshead. The world is nasty. But it puts on airs. The world has eaten.But the world says it's best to starve. Folks will say they've got tobe parents. But they say they will regret it. They say sex is here.They say we're up against its mandates or its passions. But let'sbe as decent as we can with the indecent. Let's not linger on itsmargins. Let's not overstay our dissipation. Sex is like eating. Whowould eat if he didn't have to? To say you enjoy a meal is carnal. Tosay that you derive some sense of ecstasy from paternal and maternaldesires is a confession of depravity. Sex at the best is a sin.
Sex at the best is like stepping down. That sex might be an ascent.That sex might be the only means of growth and expansion. You neversuppose that! You only assume perdition. You are afraid to assumeheaven. I may take pride in that which I may abstract from my anatomy.I must not allude to my body as frankly as to my soul. I must withdrawmy body from the public eye. From discussion. From its instinctiveavowals. Our bodies must be coffined. Treated as dead before they areborn. Regarded as conveniences. Not as essential entities. The body isonly for a little while. The soul is forever. But why is that littlewhile not as holy as forever? They don't say. They cavalierly settlethe case of the body against itself.
So it goes. Endless vivid portrayals could be made of the anomaloussituation. The more you look at the mess we've got sex into the worseit seems. _Someone's got to peach._ Someone's got to tell the truth.In a world of liars who are hushers? In a world of hushers who areliars? _Someone's got to tell the truth._ Someone's got to give sexits due. _You can't give spirit its due until you give sex its due._You can't accept one and cast aside one. They go together. They areinseparable.
You refer to body and soul as if you knew just where one stops and theother commences. Maybe neither stops and neither commences. Maybe theyare not two things but two names. Maybe when you put a body into agrave you put a soul there too. And maybe you put neither there. It'snot so easy to say.
I can't see anything in the things you call spiritual more marvelousthan what you call the physical birth of a baby from a mother. Maybeyou know all about it. I don't. I know nothing about it. To me it'smysterious. To me it's the supreme demonstration of the spiritual.
How that a baby comes from a man and a woman. I want that kept clean.It starts clean. Why do we corrupt it? You who disparage it corruptit. You ascetics anywhere. You libidinous roues anywhere. You corruptit. By your excesses. You who never say yes. You who never say no. Youcorrupt it.
You parents. You professors. You prudes. This is addressed to you.What have you got to say about it? You have tremblingly closed thequestion. I would coolly open it. You have rebuked God by silence. Iwould praise God by speech.

The fact of sexual need in man and animal is expressed in biology by theassumption of a "sexual impulse." This impulse is made analogous to theimpulse of taking nourishment, and to hunger. The sexual expressioncorresponding to hunger not being found colloquilly, science uses theexpression "libido."
Popular conception makes definite assumptions concerning the nature andqualities of this sexual impulse. It is supposed to be absent duringchildhood and to commence about the time of and in connection with thematuring process of puberty; it is supposed that it manifests itself inirresistible attractions exerted by one sex upon the other, and that itsaim is sexual union or at least such actions as would lead to union.
But we have every reason to see in these assumptions a veryuntrustworthy picture of reality. On closer examination they are foundto abound in errors, inaccuracies and hasty conclusions.
If we introduce two terms and call the person from whom the sexualattraction emanates the _sexual object_, and the action towards whichthe impulse strives the _sexual aim_, then the scientifically examinedexperience shows us many deviations in reference to both sexual objectand sexual aim, the relations of which to the accepted standard requirethorough investigation.