At the age of fourteen the subject was initiated into the joys of sexual intercourse by a young lady with blonde ringlets; who, to escape detection more easily, should anyone enter the room, was in the habit of wearing her usual clothing while accommodating him. She wore gaiters, a corset and a silk dress; and, later in life, to awaken this mans sexual desire every woman had to have blonde ringlets, gaiters and a silk dress.
Many of these articles of clothing, owing to their private use, or the part with which they come in contact, are of course peculiarly fitted to awaken sexual associations. Hammond records a number of cases in which the petticoat, corset, stocking and other undergarments, were made the objects of fetichistic impulses; and Diez, one in which a young man could not resist the impulse to tear female clothing, always enjoying sexual pleasure and ejaculation in the act.1 This, however, might possibly be better classed as a case of sadism with inanimate objects.
Charcot and Magnan tell of a young man who, at fifteen, was sexually attracted by aprons hung out to dry. He used to bind one about himself and masturbate behind it; and could not see an apron on either man or woman thereafter without repeating the act.1 Krafft-Ebing reports a parallel case of wet-skirt fetichism, where the patient, at thirteen years of age, had his first feeling of youthful lust from looking at a wet dress, hanging from a line. Dry clothing did not affect him, but the sight of a woman lifting her wet skirt, on a rainy day, drove him almost frantic with sexual desire.
Cases of handkerchief fetichism are very numerous; that of linen, velvet, fur, etc., less so;1 which, as might be expected, on account of the close relationship between the shoe and the feminine body, the former has always been prominent as an object of fetichiam. Indeed, I am of the opinion that few men are not to some extent affected by it; the masculine pleasure derived from looking at a small, handsomely shaped lady's foot, in the street, along with certain masochistic possibilities involved, being due probably as much to abstract fetichism as to the association of the foot with the sexual parts. In the following case there is quite an apparent connection between the shoe and sexual excitation.
' As a fur fetichist Sacher-Masoch was himself probably chief. He remarked of a beautiful woman, "I should like to see her in furs;" and of one not so attractiveŚ" I could not imagine her in furs." His writing paper bore the figure of a woman in "Russian Bovar costume, her cloak lined with ermine, and brandishing a scourge; a species of doraphilia which bccuis to have clung to him all through life, and to have been associated with his grossest sexual imaginations. Raphael in "Fomarina," and Rubens in "Helene Faurment," made costly furs the frame and foil of female beauty; but to what extent, if any, the fetichistic idea prevailed over the aesthetic, is at best a matter of conjecture. Carl Vogt ventures the suggestion that fur-fetichism may be an atavistic retrogression to the hairy delights of our ancestors; an opinion which I quote for what it is worth; but as the cretin feels an impulse to touch "whatever pleases him, and the soft sfAJuesS nt fini' fur lniriR almost universally pleasing, the act of stroking a cat's buck, which is pleasant to most of us, may, as Krafft-Ebing remarks, be widely separated from any sexual feeling.
A young man was brought to the very verge of sexual intercourse by a French governess; the act itself, for some reason, not being permitted, intensely exciting mutual masturbation being the only result. In this situation his attention was directed to the woman's exquisitely shaped boots, which made a very profound impression upon him. From this he began to have an interest in ladies' boots in general, and went about the streets watching them. This kind of fetichism gaining on him, he had the governess touch his penis one day with her shoe, the act immediately producing violent sexual excitement and ejaculation.
Afterward, this became a regular means of gratification; or, when he had voluptuous dream pollutions, it was always with a pair of women's shoes. He was, and is, absolutely indifferent to a woman's naked foot.1
The following, also, is clearly fetichistic. At school the mistress's shoes excited a boy intensely, and one day he could not refrain from grasping them. The act caused him great sexual pleasure, and, in spite of punishment, he could not resist repeating it. Finally it was recognized that there must be some abnormal motive in operation, and he was sent to a male teacher. Here he reveled in remembrances of shoe-scenes with his former schoolmistress; having erections, orgasms, and, after his fourteenth year, ejaculations. Masturbating at the time, he always did it while thinking of a woman's shoe; and, finding it to increase his pleasure, he came finally to masturbating with the shoe itself. Nothing else about a woman excited him, and he regarded the normal act with absolute horror.*
Still more remarkable is the following case of night-cap fetichism, with which I shall dismiss the subject: A man remembers that his first erection, at the age of five, was caused by seeing an aged relative put on his nightcap. The same thing occurred later, when he saw an elderly woman in her night-cap; and for years afterward, merely thinking of an old man, or woman, in a night-cap was sufficient to produce an erection, while, if he could touch the cap itself, he had an immediate ejaculation. He was not a masturbator, and had never been sexually active until his thirty-second year, when he married a charming young girl with whom he had fallen in love. On his first night with the bride he was cold and impotent; until, by a happy inspiration, he called up a picture of the ugly old woman in her night-cap, when erection came at once, and he was enabled to discharge his newly assumed duty, we are led to hope, "with neatness and despatch."
If the captious reader object that I quit this section on fetichism with a somewhat "fishy" and incredible case, I can only reproachfully refer him to our worthy friends, and professional colleagues, Messrs. Charcot and Magnan, from whom it is quoted.1 I am frank to say, however, in endorsement of such an objection, that I have found the kind of "nightcap" I am in the habit of using myself of considerably more efficacy along the lines alluded to.