|• Main||• Contacts|
otherwise quite free from it. This is most apt to occur in young
women even in waking life. In men it is probably extremely rare.
The erotic dream seems to differ flagrantly from the vesical
dream, in that it occurs in adult life, and is with difficulty
brought under control. The contrast is, however, very
superficial. When we remember that sexual activity only begins
normally at puberty, we realize that the youth of twenty is, in
the matter of sexual control, scarcely much older than in the
matter of vesical control he was at the age of six. Moreover, if
we were habitually, from our earliest years, to go to bed with a
full bladder, as the chaste man goes to bed with unrelieved
sexual system, it would be fully as difficult to gain vesical
control during sleep as it now is to gain sexual control.
Ultimately, such sexual control is attained; after the age of
forty, it seems that erotic dreams with emission become more and
more rare; either the dream occurs without actual emission,
exactly as dreams of urination occur in adults with full bladder,
or else the organic stress, with or without dreams, serves to
awaken the sleeper before any emission has occurred. But this
stage is not easily or completely attained. St. Augustine, even
at the period when he wrote his _Confessions_, mentions, as a
matter of course, that sexual dreams "not merely arouse pleasure,
but gain the consent of the will." (X. 41.) Not infrequently
there is a struggle in sleep, just as the hypnotic subject may
resist suggestions; thus, a lady of thirty-five dreamed a sexual
dream, and awoke without excitement; again she fell asleep, and
had another dream of sexual character, but resisted the tendency
to excitement, and again awoke; finally, she fell asleep and had
a third sexual dream, which was this time accompanied by the
orgasm. (This has recently been described also by Naecke, who
terms it _pollutio interrupta, Neurologisches Centralblatt_, Oct.
16, 1909; the corresponding voluntary process in the waking state
is described by Rohleder and termed _masturbatio interrupta,
Zeitschrift fuer Sexualwissenschaft_, Aug., 1908.) The factors
involved in the acquirement of vesical and sexual control during
sleep are the same, but the conditions are somewhat different.
There is a very intimate connection between the vesical and the
sexual spheres, as I have elsewhere pointed out (see e.g. in the
third volume of these _Studies_, "Analysis of the Sexual
Impulse"). This connection is psychic as well as organic. Both in
men and women, a full bladder tends to develop erotic dreams.
(See e.g. K.A. Scherner, _Das Leben des Traums_, 1861, pp. 187 et
seq.; Spitta also points out the connection between vesical and
erotic dreams, _Die Schlaf und Traumzustaende_, 2d ed., 1882, pp.
250 et seq.) Raymond and Janet state (_Les Obscessions_, vol. ii,
p. 135) that nocturnal incontinence of urine, accompanied by
dreams of urination, may be replaced at puberty by masturbation.
In the reverse direction, Freud believes (_Monatsschrift fuer
Psychiatrie_, Bd. XVIII, p. 433) that masturbation plays a large
part in causing the bed-wetting of children who have passed the
age when that usually ceases, and he even finds that children are
Page 5 from 6: Back 1 2 3 4  6 Forward