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SEXUAL PERIODICITY IN MEN.
BY F.H. PERRY-COSTE, B. Sc. (LOND.).
In a recent _brochure_ on the "Rhythm of the Pulse" I showed _inter
alia_ that the readings of the pulse, in both man and woman, if arranged
in lunar monthly periods, and averaged over several years, displayed a
clear, and sometimes very strongly marked and symmetrical, rhythm.
After pointing out that, in at any rate some cases, the male and female
pulse-curves, both monthly and annual, seemed to be converse to one
another, I added: "It is difficult to ignore the suggestion that in this
tracing of the monthly rhythm of the pulse we have a history of the
monthly function in women; and that, if so, the tracing of the male pulse
may eventually afford us some help in discovering a corresponding monthly
period in men: the existence of which has been suggested by Mr. Havelock
Ellis and Professor Stanley Hall, among other writers. Certainly the mere
fact that we can trace a clear monthly rhythm in man's pulse seems to
point strongly to the existence of a monthly physiological period in him
Obviously, however, it is only indirectly and by inference that we can
argue from a monthly rhythm of the pulse in men to a male sexual
periodicity; but I am now able to adduce more direct evidence that will
fairly demonstrate the existence of a sexual periodicity in men.
We will start from the fact that celibacy is profoundly unnatural,
and is, therefore, a physical--as well as an emotional and
intellectual--abnormality. This being so, it is entirety in accord with
all that we know of physiology that, when relief to the sexual secretory
system by Nature's means is denied, and when, in consequence, a certain
degree of tension or pressure has been attained, the system should relieve
itself by a spontaneous discharge--such discharge being, of course, in the
strict sense of the term, pathological, since it would never occur in any
animal that followed the strict law of its physical being without any
regard to other and higher laws of concern for its fellows.
Notoriously, that which we should have anticipated _a priori_ actually
occurs; for any unmarried man, who lives in strict chastity, periodically
experiences, while sleeping, a loss of seminal fluid--such phenomena being
popularly referred to as _wet dreams_.
During some eight or ten years I have carefully recorded the occurrence of
such discharges as I have experienced myself, and I have now accumulated
sufficient data to justify an attempt to formulate some provisional
In order to render these observations as serviceable as may be to students
of periodicity, I here repeat (at the request of Mr. Havelock Ellis) the
statement which was subjoined, for the same reasons, to my "Rhythm of the
Pulse." These observations upon myself were made between the ages of 20
and 33. I am about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, broad-shouldered, and weigh
about 10 stone 3 lbs. _net_--this weight being, I believe, about 7 lbs.
below the normal for my height. Also I have green-brown eyes, very
dark-brown hair, and a complexion that leads strangers frequently to
mistake me for a foreigner--this complexion being, perhaps, attributable
to some Huguenot blood, although on the maternal side I am, so far as all
information goes, pure English. I can stand a good deal of heat, enjoy
relaxing climates, am at once upset by "bracing" sea-air, hate the cold,
and sweat profusely after exercise. To this it will suffice to add that my
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