It is a fair inference, although unsupported, so far as I am aware, by any previous testimony, that what we call congenital homosexuality is really a development, in most cases, rather than a primal condition;1 being a concomitant of, and most probably preceded by, an utter absence of sexual sensibility for the opposite sex, yet not necessarily with a synchronous love of the same sex. When we invade the realm of instinctive beginnings, we shall find ourselves on very misty and uncertain ground; but, if Lamarck's conclusion be correct, that habit is the outgrowth of a primal need, we are in a fair position to trace homosexuality to the two apparent factors in its causation—sexual need, and absence of normal sexual desire.
1 For a comparison of views on this interesting subject, the reader is respectfully referred to the works of Tardieu, Hofmann, Magnan, Shaw and Ferris, Krafft-Ebing, Chevalier, Lombroso, Tamassia, Brouardel, Havelock Ellis and Lacassagne, as fairly representing the best class of thinkers along sexual lines.
1 Archiv f. Psychiatric, tl, 73.
In defence of the proposition assumed, it is proper to point out that, in homosexuality, there is no weakening of the sexual instinct, no enfeeble-ment of will, no failure of desire; the impulse simply takes the wrong road; following that road, however, with an intensity quite equal to, if indeed not greater than, the normal.
Such intensity is shown, not only in the radically changed mode of feeling, manners, dress, calling and character, of the individual, but in so complete a modification of the very aspect and facial expression, as to suggest, not so much the departure from an old type, as the formation of a neiv one. In this respect I am inclined to differ, somewhat, from Westphal's definition of the abnormality as "a congenital reversal of the sexual feeling, with consciousness of the abnormality of the manifestation;"1 most of the cases of homosexuality coming under my personal observation displaying such belief in, and identification with, the sex assumed as to constitute a very complete psychical actuality,
Krafft-Ebing has endeavored to associate this peculiar condition with functional degeneration, and a partial manifestation of a neuropsychopathic habit which is in most cases hereditary;1 showing slight divergence, though in a way different from my own, from Westphal's view; who, while admitting his inability to decide whether the symptoms are of neuropathic or psychopathic origin, still holds fast to the idea of congeni tali ty in every case.
While not denying the truth of the latter idea, so much as our ability to prore it, I shall, for convenience, still continue to use the term "congenital invert," just as I purpose using the name urning, to designate those homosexual inverts having desire for their own sex exclusively; although I am not entirely in sympathy with Ulrichs's somewhat fanciful classification.
But, however views may differ as to its beginning, it cannot be denied that the sexual life of these individuals manifests itself at an abnormally early period; not infrequently the perverse tendency exhibiting itself in acts and feelings quite outside the real sexual sphere. There is, for instance, in many cases a marked and greatly exaggerated development of the psychical character; exhibiting itself in religious mysticism, artistic aptitude, love of poetry, romance, and frequently that intellectual genius which approaches dementia, which Lombroso so ably defines,1 and to which Dry-den 'b immortal couplet so graphically applies:
Coexistent with the numerous psychical hallucinations of contrary sexual feeling, will be frequently found such actual neuroses as hysteria, neurasthenia and the several epileptoid conditions which have been thought, as a rule, to have their root in heredity; at least, until the recent revolution against Lombroso's pet theory has given the current of scientific thought a wholly contrary direction as to the influence of prenatal conditions on psychical phenomena.
1 Lot. ext., p. 225. 1 "The Man of Genius."
1 The remark of Aristotle, nullum magnum ingenium sine mixturu dementia, hears out the same view; and that the sexual passion is not wholly destitute of a similar dementia is supported by the statement of Joseph us, that a celebrated Roman prodigal gave a hundred sesterces for a single night with Lais of Corinth; and that of Gel-litis, ducenta drachmarum millia pro unicA nocte, which represented the price paid by Mundus for a similar season with the divine Paulina. (Joseph. Antiq. Jud., lib. 18, 4; Gellius, n, 8.) On the insanity of genius, see also Moreau, "Psychologic Morbide;" Lelut, "Demon de Socrate;" and Nisbet, "The Insanity of Genius," London, 1891.
"Great wits to lunacy are near allied, And thin partitions do their bounds divide."
The somatic1 character of contrary sexual feeling is shown by the fact that the dream of the male uming has always for its object a male companion; while the dream of the normal man, which brings sexual passion, erection and ejaculation through a mental picture of a beautiful, voluptuous, or much loved woman—so real that the very acts, movements and pleasurable sensations of intercourse are unconsciously reproduced—is never known to the invert.
So the female finds her satisfaction only with a female; but it must not be assumed that the invert's pleasure is the less intense on that account, in either case; facts being abundant to prove that, before the sexual neurasthenia culminates in weakness, and irritability of the ejaculation-center, in the male uming especially, enjoyment is sometimes abnormally intense, and only marred by the social and legal barriers which stand in the way of its open indulgence.
As I shall find occasion frequently to make use of this word "urning," a reproduction here of Ulrichs's classification, from which it is derived, may not be out of place;*
1 It is necessary to remark that both here and elsewhere I use this word in its medical sense, as meaning what pertains to the entire organism, both mental and physical.
1 See " Memnon," etc., Karl II. Ulrichs, Schleiz, 1868; also H. Ellis, loc. eit., n, 228.
We aee in this diagram only three distinctions necessary to observe— the dioning, normal man; the timing, abnormal man; and the hermaphrodite, bisexual man ; the same rule, only reversed, applying to women. So far as the present work is concerned the second individual of the group only need be remembered.