Psychopathia Sexualis, by Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing M.D. is a fascinating historical document. First published in Germany in 1886 the book attempts to catalogue and illuminate every manner of “sexual perversion” bubbling just under the surface of the 19th century. On the one hand reading through its pages is a melancholy sort of affair. This was a time when masturbation was a dirt path straight to the lake of fire, a time when if your own tastes stretched beyond monogamous “missionary work” you would likely be viewed as a tainted psycopath begotten by maniacs; if you also happen to be a woman… well, head directly to the assylum, do not pass go, do not even think about sexual fullfilment. On the other hand because of this rather narrow view of human sexuality much of what is characterized as sexual deviancy in the book seems downright cuddly and sweet in our filthy 21st century world, where a shampoo commercial might present more outwardly explicit sexuality than a 19th century woman’s entire adult existence.

Below the fold you will find 8 case studies which I’ve culled from the hundreds, presented for your education, possible discomfiting recognition, and, of course, your smug amusement (yeah, like you don’t have some, uh, “problematic” shit going on in the sex centers of your noggin.) Enjoy.

wow. incredible. thanks for this!

The sole, soul sentence reminds me of act 1 scene 1 of Julius Caesar when the cobbler smarts off as being a mender of souls/soles

posted on 11.25 at 06:19 AMachilles3

Evidently Crumb took a stab at this same subject as well. Via ecolocator at Sensible Erection.

posted on 11.26 at 06:45 PMjmorrison

*“congress” was my comment verification word - is this serendipity? :)

posted on 12.08 at 09:56 AMell

Krafft-Ebing readers may also enjoy the voluminous works of Havelock Ellis, crammed with similiar “case profiles” culled from the medical texts of the day .  He claims Kierkegaard was an extreme masturbator:

At times Ellis is very lucid and insightful.  At other times, he spews garbled 19th Century pseudoscientific garbeldygook with the best o’em.

“According to Ellis in My Life, his friends were much amused at his being considered an expert on sex considering the fact that he suffered from impotence until the age of 60, when he discovered that he was able to become aroused by the sight of a woman urinating. Ellis named the interest in urination “Undinism” but it is now more commonly called Urolagnia.”

Don’t let that dissuade you.  He’s worth a read.

posted on 12.15 at 12:12 AM.

Sexuality before 1900 was something quite weird for most of the people because the church was very powerful then and its influence classified many sexual interactions as perversions so it is needless to say that such a discussion would probably never end.

posted on 05.12 at 04:11 PMNarconon Vista Bay

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