Paranoia-erotica exhibits itself in abnormal activity of the sexual sphere; developing, chiefly, from central sexual excitement, as a sequel to sexual abuse, and usually in persons psychically degenerate. In both religious and sexual paranoia, the excitation expresses itself, not so much in direct sexual gratification as in admiration of a person of the opposite sex who is pleasing aesthetically.1 Thus, the paranoiac will often fall in love with a portrait, or a statue; and cases are recorded where the forms have been slept with, to the accompaniment of erotic dreams, and with voluptuous sexual embraces.
This pygmalionism,1 as Ellis happily calls the love of pictures and statuary, so frequent among men that the poets, Heine and Lucian, and many eminent scientists, such as Eulenberg and Tarnowsky, accord considerable space to it, I have ventured to include under the head of Paranoia, as seemingly the most appropriate place.
Youths have masturbated before statues, even before that of the Virgin, as we are informed by the manuals of confessors; and Tarnowsky records the case of a young man who was arrested in St. Petersburg for paying nocturnal visits to the statue of one of the nymphs, in a gentleman's garden.*
I would also class as paranoides those young men, and women, who are unduly susceptible to the influence of lewd pictures, and other forms of pornographic stimuli appealing to the sight alone.1
Moll terms the phenomenon of finding sexual pleasure in witnessing the sexual act between others, which closely resembles the passion for lewd pictures, mixoscopy, and gives considerable space to an effort to establish its relation to masochism; but, if Krafft-Ebing's definition of paranoia-erotica be correct, that ordinary sexual methods are not necessary to its gratification, I fail to conceive of any classification under which to place it more appropriate than the present.
Lucian tells (Dial. Amorum) of a young man who fell in love with a portrait of Venus in her temple, coming every morning to the latter, and staying all day, to feast his eyes on it. Apelles became enamored of the'picture of Cam pas pe which he had just painted (Pliny 33,10); as did Zeuxia with that of Helen; and other similar incidente are mentioned in the present text. But the most poetic account of pygmalionism I have met with is that of Florilegus, a writer of the 11th century, who tells of a young gentleman of Rome who, the day he was married, while playing in the tennis-court, slipped his ring upon the finger of a statue of Venus. When he had finished his game he went to get his ring, but Venus had closed her finger on it, and he could not remove it. That n ight, when he came to perform his nuptial duties, the goddess interposed between him and his wife, uri felt by the latter, and continued to do so every night until he was finally delivered of her presence by the magician, P&lumbus. The lattergave him a letter, addressed to Saturn, telling him to stand at a certain place, at a certain hour, when the old god would appear to him. He did so, and received from the deity a command to Venus to deliver back his ring, which the goddess finally did. The same legend is recorded in Phlegon's tract, " De Rebus Mirabifibus." * "The Sexual Instinct," Eng. Ed., p. 85.
1 Those young men, and even young women, who make such "art galleries " of their sleeping-rooms, and they arc far from few, may be justly suspected of a paranoiac taint.
Whore-houses are so constructed in Paris, New York, and London, as to accommodate patrons who desire only to look on; and it is remarkable the number of persons who apparently find delight in simply witnessing the sexual act between others. One gentleman informed me that when in Paris he made frequent use of these hidden peep-holes, always finding sexual pleasure and ejaculation, the first of the very highest order, in watching men and women copulating; and that his pleasure was always conditioned by that of the other man.1
Once, when the woman was remarkably beautiful of form, and the man unusually "heavily hung," and vigorous, he says he was so excited, and his pleasure so intense, in watching the deliberate in-and-out movements, the convulsive wrapping of the girl's legs about the man, and the enormous size of the latter's penis, that he almost fainted.
An amusing confession, bearing upon the same point, was recently made to the present author by a gentleman farmer of his acquaintance. The first time he ever saw a stallion covering a mare he was so overcome with sexual excitation in watching the proceeding that he started hurriedly for the house, intending to repeat the performance with his wife. In his haste to get upstairs, however, he unfortunately slipped, and had his laudable ambition disagreeably dampened by landing in a tub of wash-water on the floor below. The gentleman pleads for secrecy on quite obvious grounds.
Coffignon remarks that persons frequently hide at night in the bushes of the Champs Elys£es in the hope of witnessing, like the "voyeurs" in the brothels, this interesting act; and Ellis records that he came across, during a country walk in England, an elderly man with a field-glass, ensconced behind a bush, intently watching the movements of a pair of young lovers, reclining upon the grass some distance away. It is difficult to trace in such acts any evidence of the masochism which some writers claim for them; but not at all difficult to detect that psychical aberration which falls within the sphere of paranoia, and which is further dwelt upon in Blocb's Beitrage zur AZtiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis.
1 Such cases as that recorded in Genesis xrx, 33, whore a daughter is impregnated by her father, while the latter is asleep, would seem, in the light of experiences here recorded, as well as others elsewhere hinted at in this work, to be far less fabulous than commonly supposed. The mind alone is quite capable of producing both erection and ejaculation; and it is fairly possible for such impregnations to take place in the guise of a voluptuous dream, although the matter would require very delicate handling on the part of the lady.
Indeed, I cannot help seeing in the phenomena the completest correspondence with those which Krafft-Ebing ascribes to paranoia; in which, he states, that love for the opposite sex, weak and purely mental, due to long-continued masturbation, or to any other cause which may debilitate the sexual-centre, is manifested under the guise of virtuous admiration, while accompanied with great lasciviousness and sexual perversion.1
This view of the anomaly is well borne out by the case of Kussner, with which I shall conclude this brief notice of the subject,
A married woman of thirty had, by means of sweetmeats and money, enticed a boy of five into her room. She played with him, handled his genitals, and finally attempted intercourse. She was a teacher, who bad been betrayed, and had since given herself to prostitution, teaching, in a manner not contemplated by the poet, in this case at least, "the young idea how to shoot." Her explanation of the immoral act contains the paranoiac feature for which it is cited.
She had delusions of persecution, thought she was under the secret influence of her seducer, and impelled by him to perverse sexual acts. She thought he had put the boy in her way to tempt her. Coarse sensuality could not be attributed as a motive for the crime, as she was in almost constant intercourse with men, and the satisfaction of her sexual needs would have been quite easy in a natural way.*