There is a sexual hie which, from its feebleness and brevity, may properly be called spinal, rather than cerebral. It is usually the fruit of precocity, is spasmodic, fluttering, easily excited, just as easily satisfied, and commonly lapses into impotency at an early age. It is the bridge which connects congenital anesthesia with the acquired form; and is well exemplified in Case 8, in Archiv fur Psychialrie, vii, as quoted by Krafft-Ebing.1 A young student, of nineteen, had masturbated from his fifteenth year—eccentric after puberty, read Jean Paul almost exclusively, was romantic, and wasted his time. Complete absence of sexual feeling. Once indulged in intercourse; experienced no pleasure; thought it absurd; did not repeat it; made it the subject of a philosophical essay, however, in which he argued that both it and masturbation were justifiable acts. Attempted suicide, and was afterward committed to an asylum.
Whether such cases of sexual anesthesia are due to simple aspcnnia, or congenital absence of desire, the instance recorded by Maschka, and others by Ultzmann* show that they are sufficiently numerous to figure in our modern divorce courts. Maschka's case is that of a woman, who pled for divorce on the ground of her husband's impotence, he never having had intercourse with her. The husband was somewhat weak, mentally; but was physically vigorous. He declared he never had a complete erection, nor flow of semen, and that he was totally indifferent about women.*