The next is a case marked by the highly neurotic tinge of romantic idealism, which, as I have before shown, is so frequent a psychological concomitant of homosexuality. He is undoubtedly a normal invert; his first sexual impulses having been directed, at thirteen years of age, to the male sex. He masturbated at twelve; but, in spite of his later and most heroic attempts, women have always been impossible and inaccessible to him.
His impulse took the form of desire for boys about his own age; whom, having no opportunity to approach, he used to follow about the streets, and in the squares, practising, when it was possible to do so unobserved, private masturbation while looking at them. He never dreamed of oral or rectal intercourse; his desire being bodily contact, embracing, mutual manustupration with his lover, and kissing, or being kissed upon, the genitals, or podex.
His idealism was so strong, however, that he could never bring himself to the more degraded act of masturbation in the presence of or near a young man, the psychological pleasure of imagining bodily contact with the latter being always greater than that involved in the material act. He believes that, under different social conditions, he would have been capable of great, noble, and self-sacrificing love; deep impatience seizing him at sight of a beautiful young man, and leading him to feel the sentiment embodied in the sweet words of Heine—
"Du bist wie eine Blume, so hold, so schön, ho rein," etc.1
1 "Thou art like any flower, so sweet, so beautiful, so pure," etc.
"I have never independently," he remarks, "revealed my love to a young man; but when I have an opportunity to have such a beloved friend, to educate, protect and help me, if my recognized love find a (normal homosexual) return, then all my disgusting mental imagery grows less and less intense; then my love becomes almost platonic, and ennobled, and the fine thought of Scheffel passes through my mind—
'*' Grau wie der Himmel, steht vor mir die Welt, Doch wend' es sich zum Guten oder Bösen, Du, lieber Freund, in Treuen denk' ich Deinl'etc 1
1" Lowering like the heavens, frowns the world on me, Yet blest or cursed will be the fate I meet. With trusting heart, dear friend, I think of thee!' etc.
" When I have nothing to reproach myself with in my own conscience, and yet, myself in opposition to the judgment of the world, I suffer very much. I have done no one harm; I am brighter, mentally, than the average man; easily moved to pity, and incapable of doing any animal, much less a human being, an injury; I consider my love, in its noblest activity, to be quite as holy as that of a normal man; and yet, with the unhappy lot which impatience and ignorance cast upon us, I suffer even to the extent of being tired of life." 3
* Kraflt-Ebing, he. cit., p. 6Q, et seq., condensed.
In all large cities there are coteries of these inverts. In Vienna, according to Krafft-Ebing, they call themselves "sisters," in other places "aunts," the same writer stating that two very masculine public prostitutes, in the city named, who lived in perverse sexual relations with each other, had informed a correspondent that the name "uncle" was applied to women of a similar character.*
* In American homosexual argot, female inverts, or leshtan lovers, are known euphemistically as "bulldykera," whatever that may mean: at least that is their sobriquet in the "Red Light" district of Philadelphia.
During the "vice crusade" in the city of Philadelphia, begun in 1904, under the auspices of the Law and Order Society, in which & number of dens of homosexual as well as heterosexual vice were raided by the police, and their inmates arraigned in court, I was privileged to come into exceptionally close contact with a number of the former. The males lived in houses, mostly in the notorious "Red Light" district, precisely as did the female prostitutes, being visited by their male patrons and lovers from without, and indulging their homosexual passions, it must in strict justice be admitted, on a far more idealistic and less venal basis than that found in the average female brothel.
Social disorders, alcoholic intoxication, profanity, brawling and nocturnal orgies, according to police reports, were far less matters of public complaint in these than in the other types of bawdy house; the indulgence carried on in them being apparently a matter of love, rather than lucre, and as a rule conducted within strict lines of, at least, external social propriety.
These young men, corresponding in many cases very closely to the feminine type, in features, forms and manners, are variously known to their patrons and outsiders, according to their different professions, as "tasters," "fruit," "lady-men," and "Dolly Vardens," whose intercourse is had by orastupration; and "brownies," when the rectal method is employed.
I was unable to ascertain the derivation of the latter term; but it recalls an apropos anecdote. A number of gentlemen were discussing the merits of various poets, and thinking to chaff an Irishman present, whose literary attainments were not of the highest, one of the gentlemen remarked to him—"I used to admire Shelly and Keats very much; but here lately I have fallen in love with Browning. I think Browning delightful, don't you?"
"Faith, it may be deloightful, but it's a dom dhirty practice," was the startling and unexpected response.
The arts of coquetry employed by these male prostitutes are interesting as showing great mental alertness in selecting those articles of dress, ornament, perfumes, etc., peculiarly attractive to their brother pederasts. Their imitation of feminine peculiarities in walk, rolling of the hips, and swaying of the body, is, of course, natural to them as normal inverts; but they display along with these a keen knowledge of other means of exciting the sexual cupidity of their class, keeping the mouth dripping tcith saliva, and frequently cultivating the beard about the buccal orifice, in imitation of the hair on the female genitals.
Coffingnon divides these inverts into three distinct classes—amateurs, entreieneurs, and souteneurs} The first are debauched persons of good position and fortune, normally inverted, who are forced by social conventions to guard themselves against exposure in the gratification of their homosexual desires, and who visit the male houses of prostitution by stealth. The entreieneurs are hardened sinners, who keep their mate mistresses openly; and the souteneurs are pederasts who, in the fashion of female prostitutes, keep a "pimp," or solicitor, for the purpose of enticing customers.
Sometimes they live in bands, or communities, contract formal marriages with each other, preceded by regular betrothals, and introductions of the "bride" to the wedding-chamber, just as is customary among certain races at a regular wedding; and in their social capacity they often give balls and public functions which, like that annually held by them in Philadelphia, in a large hall on Washington Avenue, are exceedingly interesting from a moral and sociological, as well as medical point of view. One which I attended—pray believe me, wholly in pursuit of material for this work-was very largely patronized by the general public; and, as it was a counterpart in every particular of that described in the Berlin National of February, 1884, and quoted by Krafft-Ebing,1 I shall conclude with its substance this section on male homosexuality, in what I have ventured to term its normal aspects.
"For the 'Grand Vienna Mask Ball'—so ran the notice—the sale of tickets was rigorous. They wished to be exclusive. We entered the hall about midnight. The graceful dancing was to the strains of a fine orchestra. Thick tobacco smoke veiled the lights, and only through its folds could we obtain a passing glimpse of the dancers. Masks were in the majority, and black coats and ball-gowms seen only here and there.
" But what is this? The lady in rose tarletan who has just now passed us has a lighted cigar in her mouth, puffing like a trooper, and wears a small, blonde beard, nicely pointed. And yet she is talking with a very d/coUetlS angel in tricots, who stands with bare arms folded behind her, also smoking.
"The two voices are intensely masculine, as is also the conversation, the latter being about the 'd—d tobacco smoke that vitiates the air.' Plainly, two men in feminine attire. A conventional clown leans against a pillar, in soft conversation with a ballet-dancer, his arm around her faultless waist.
" She has a blonde, Titus head, sharply cut profile, and apparently voluptuous form. The brilliant ear-rings, necklace, with a medallion, and full, round shoulders and arms, do not permit a doubt of her genuineness, until she suddenly disengages herself from the embracing arm, and moves away, yawning, and remarking in a deep bass voice—' Emile, I declare you are too tiresome tonight t'"
" Ye gods, the ballet-dancer is also a man.
" Suspicious, now, we begin to look about. Is the world topsy turvy? Here goes, or rather trips, a man—no, no man at all, even though he has a carefully jtrained mustache; for his hair is curled, his face painted, his eyebrows blackened, and he wears ear-rings, an elegant black gown, an enormous bouquet, reaching from his shoulder to his breast, bracelets on his wrists, and his white gloved hands toy negligently with a beautiful feather fan.
"Ah, how he turns and lisps, and trips and flirts. And yet, kindly Nature made this doll a man! He is a salesman in a great millinery store, and the ballet-dancer is his chum behind the counter.
"At a little corner table there seems to be a select social circle. Several elderly gentlemen press around a group of décoüeüé ladies, who sit over their glasses of wine, and, in the spirit of fun, make jokes that are far from delicate. Horrors! Who are these ladies?
"'Ladies?' laughs my knowing friend; 'well, the one on the right, with brown hair and the short skirt, is called 'Buttericke;' he's a hairdresser. The second, the blonde, in singer's costume, with the necklace of pearls, is known as' Miss Ella.' He's a ladies' tailor. The third is' Miss Lottie.'
"' What!' I said, 'that person a man? That waist, that bust, those classic arms I Why the whole air and person are feminine 1'
" 'But belonging to a man, nevertheless. 'Lottie' takes pleasure in deceiving men about his sex, as long as possible. He is singing a song now that wouldn't sound well in a drawing-room; but, you notice, the voice is one that many a soprano might envy. He is a bookkeeper; and has entered so completely into the female role that he appears in the street in female dress, exclusively, and only sleeps in an embroidered night-gown.'
" To my astonishment, I now discover acquaintances on all sides. My shoemaker, whom I never should have taken for a woman-hater, is a troubadour, with sword and plume; and his Leonora, in the costume of a bride, sells me my cigars every morning.
"There is my collar and cuff merchant, also, moving about in the very questionable garb of a festive Bacchus; and the gaudily bedecked Diana beside him I recognize as the waiter in a beer restaurant. The real' ladies' of the ball cannot be described here. They associate only with one another, and avoid the women-hating men; and the latter are quite exclusive, amusing themselves with themselves, and utterly ignoring the charms of women."