The distinctive event to the man in the act of intercourse is the orgasm, accompanied by serninal ejaculation. This phenomenon depends on a gen-ito-spinal center, situated, as some think,1 at the level of the fourth lumbar vertebra. Being a reflex center, its stimulation naturally follows that of the sensory nerves of the glans penis, as soon as the secretion of semen has reached a point sufficient to stimulate the ejaculation-center, the nerve responding and emission taking place.
The climax of the physical act consists in a spasmodic contraction of the bulbo-cavernosus muscle, due to the influence just described, which forces the semen along the urethra and from the mouth of the penis, thus completing the second stage of the sexual act; the third and last stage being that period of delightful lassitude and languor which follows the sexual excitement, and in which both beings—for the woman also has passed through an equally voluptuous experience—lie in one another's arms, in the sexual analepsis, until the recuperated powers of nature fit them for a repetition of the delightful but exhausting process.
The sexual impulse is not the same in all persons. Those of sanguine temperaments are voluptuous, romantic, and given to fetichism. By fetichism is meant that peculiar tendency of a lover to worship or love instead of trying to prostitute decent women. The priestesses of Isbtar—the Kadi&htu, or "holy ones"—were prostitutes; as were also the Sibylline priestesses of Libya, Delphi, Ciimm, Samoa, Marpessa, Ancyra and Tiburtis; but it is a fact of history that prostitution, "for revenue only," is peculiarly a vice of civilization,' sexual profligacy among nearly all savage and semi-savage peoples being rather associated with religious, tribal, or superstitious observances; as at the great Tammuz festival among the Babylonians, for instance, where appeals through it were made to Nature, the great mother, to manifest her generative functions and to strengthen and favor those of man. (Vid. Gêrard-Varet, "L'Ignorance et l'Irréflexion," Paria, IS99; Jaatrow, "Religion of Babylonia," pp. 485, 511 )
1 KraSt-Ebing, loc. cit., p. 33. See, also, Foster, "Text-book of Physiology." his mistress's hair, foot, stocking, or some other part of her body or clothing. That exaggerated state of the normal sexual feeling which made the knight of the Middle Ages drink Tokay from his lady's slipper, carry her colors on his lance, or a lock of her hair in his bosom; and which, making a fetich of female beauty, stands today as the most threatening factor in our modem system of jury-trial, as it relates to female criminals. It is hard to make such a man convict a female criminal, if she be attractive, for any crime, however flagrant; and if the law could be so amended as to put the power of passing on such cases into the hands of judges, intelligent and experienced, society would be better protected.*
Those of a bilious temperament are strongly erotic, furious in their sexual passion, sadists, sometimes, who associate pain with love, and who do not hesitate to commit crime in the accomplishment of their lustful purpose. With this class of persons, however, the erotic fire burns out almost as quickly as it is kindled, the love-passion becoming exhausted in a far shorter time than with those opposite temperaments previously mentioned.
1 Modern jurists complain bitterly of the difficulty experienced in the administration of justice, through this mawkish sentimentality, wherever the crime of a woman is in-volved. Pure erotism, masquerading under the high-sounding titles of "American manhood," "manly chivalry," etc., is defeating, day by day, the ends of justice, to the extent of giving rise to a not unfounded suspicion, in some minds, that women are being systematically employed by designing lovers to commit crimes which they dare not commit themselves, but which women may commit with comparative impunity; going forth from the courtroom not only free, but with a popular notoriety which is shamelessly made use of in many cases for purposes of personal profit. These are no unfounded statements, but matters of judicial record.