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investigate the psychological nature of these phenomena and to decide
precisely what their attitude should be toward them.
I do not purpose to enter into a thorough discussion of all the aspects of
auto-erotism. That would involve a very extensive study indeed. I wish to
consider briefly certain salient points concerning auto-erotic phenomena,
especially their prevalence, their nature, and their moral, physical, and
other effects. I base my study partly on the facts and opinions which
during the last thirty years have been scattered through the periodical
and other medical literature of Europe and America, and partly on the
experience of individuals, especially of fairly normal individuals.
Among animals in isolation, and sometimes in freedom--though this can less
often be observed--it is well known that various forms of spontaneous
solitary sexual excitement occur. Horses when leading a lazy life may be
observed flapping the penis until some degree of emission takes place.
Welsh ponies, I learn from a man who has had much experience with these
animals, habitually produce erections and emissions in their stalls; they
do not bring their hind quarters up during this process, and they close
their eyes, which does not take place when they have congress with mares.
The same informant observed that bulls and goats produce emissions by
using their forelegs as a stimulus, bringing up their hind quarters, and
mares rub themselves against objects. I am informed by a gentleman who is
a recognized authority on goats, that they sometimes take the penis into
the mouth and produce actual orgasm, thus practicing auto-fellatio. As
regards ferrets, the Rev. H. Northcote states: "I am informed by a
gentleman who has had considerable experience of ferrets, that if the
bitch, when in heat, cannot obtain a dog she pines and becomes ill. If a
smooth pebble is introduced into the hutch, she will masturbate upon it,
thus preserving her normal health for one season. But if this artificial
substitute is given to her a second season, she will not, as formerly, be
content with it."
Stags in the rutting season, when they have no partners, rub themselves
against trees to produce ejaculation. Sheep masturbate; as also do camels,
pressing themselves down against convenient objects; and elephants
compress the penis between the hind legs to obtain emissions.
Blumenbach observed a bear act somewhat similarly on seeing other bears
coupling, and hyenas, according to Ploss and Bartels, have been seen
practicing mutual masturbation by licking each other's genitals. Mammary
masturbation, remarks Fere, is found in certain female and even male
animals, like the dog and the cat. Apes are much given to
masturbation, even in freedom, according to the evidence of good
observers; for while no female apes are celibates, many of the males are
obliged to lead a life of celibacy. Male monkeys use the hand in
masturbation, to rub and shake the penis.
In the human species these phenomena are by no means found in civilization
alone. To whatever extent masturbation may have been developed by the
conditions of European life, which carry to the utmost extreme the
concomitant stimulation, and repression of the sexual emotions, it is far
from being, as Mantegazza has declared it to be, one of the moral
characteristics of Europeans. It is found among the people of nearly
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