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it out by rough, thoughtless, and too impatient handling.
Revulsion set in with the pain of an exhausted and badly used
nervous system, and finding myself the slave of a passion, I
determined to endeavor to be its master.
"In conclusion, I should say that masturbation has proved itself
to be to me one of the blind turnings of my life's history, from
which I have gained much valuable experience."
The practice was, however, by no means thus dismissed. Some time
later the subject writes: "I have again restarted masturbation
for the relief of localized feelings. One morning I was engaged
in reading a very heavy volume which, for convenience sake, I
held in my lap, leaning back on my chair. I had become deep in
my study for an hour or so when I became aware of certain
feelings roused by the weight of the book. Being tempted to see
what would happen by such conduct, I shifted so that the edge of
the volume came in closer contact. The pleasurable feelings
increased, so I gave myself up to my emotions for some thirty
"Notwithstanding the intense pleasure I enjoyed for so long a
period, I maintain that it is wiser to refrain, and, although I
admit in the same breath that, by gentle treatment, such pleasure
may be harmless to the general health, it does lead to a desire
for solitude, which is not conducive to a happy frame of mind.
There is an accompanying reticence of speech concerning the
pleasure, which, therefore, appears to be unnatural, like the
eating of stolen fruit. After such an event, one seems to require
to fly to the woods, and to listen to the song of the birds, so
as to shake off after-effects."
In a letter dated some months later, she writes: "I think I have
risen above the masturbation habit." In the same letter the
writer remarks: "If I had consciously abnormal or unsatisfied
appetites I would satisfy them in the easiest and least harmful
Again, eighteen months later, she writes: "It is curious to note
that for months this habit is forgotten, but awakens sometimes to
self-assertion. If a feeling of pressure is felt in the head, and
a slight irritation elsewhere, and experience shows that the time
has come for pacification, exquisite pleasure can be enjoyed,
never more than twice a month, and sometimes less often."
OBSERVATION VI.--Unmarried, actively engaged in the practice of
her profession. Well-developed, feminine in contour, but boyish
in manner and movements; strong, though muscles small, and
healthy, with sound nervous system; never had anaemia. Thick brown
hair; pubic hair thick, and hair on toes and legs up to
umbilicus; it began to appear at the age of 10 (before pubic
hair) and continued until 18. A few stray hairs round nipples,
and much dark down on upper lip, as well as light down on arms
and hands. Hips, normal; nates, small; labia minora, large; and
clitoris, deeply hooded. Hymen thick, vagina, probably small.
Considerable pigmentation of parts. Menstruation began at 15, but
not regular till 17; is painless and scanty; the better the state
of health, the less it is. No change of sexual or other feelings
connected with it; it lasts one to three days.
"I believe," she writes, "my first experience of physical sex
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