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smell as the sense of imagination, this need not surprise us. That
Shakespeare, for instance, ranked this sense very high indeed is shown by
various passages in his works and notably by Sonnet LIV: "O, how much more
doth beauty beauteous seem?"--in which he implicitly places the attraction
of odor on at least as high a level as that of vision.
A neurasthenic sensitiveness to odors, specially sexual odors, is
frequently accompanied by lack of sexual vigor. In this way we may account
for the numerous cases in which old men in whom sexual desire survives the
loss of virile powers--probably somewhat abnormal persons at the
outset--find satisfaction in sexual odors. Here, also, we have the basis
for olfactory fetichism. In such fetichism the odor of the woman alone,
whoever she may be and however unattractive she may be, suffices to
furnish complete sexual satisfaction. In many, although not all, of those
cases in which articles of women's clothing become the object of
fetichistic attraction, there is certainly an olfactory element due to the
personal odor attaching to the garments.
Olfactory influences play a certain part in various sexually
abnormal tendencies and practices which do not proceed from an
exclusively olfactory fascination. Thus, _cunnilingus_ and
_fellatio_ derive part of their attraction, more especially in
some individuals, from a predilection for the odors of the sexual
parts. (See, e.g., Moll, _Untersuchungen ueber die Libido
Sexualis_, bd. 1, p. 134.) In many cases smell plays no part in
the attraction; "I enjoy _cunnilingus_, if I like the girl very
much," a correspondent writes, "_in spite_ of the smell." We may
associate this impulse with the prevalence of these practices
among sexual inverts, in whom olfactory attractions are often
specially marked. Those individuals, also, who are sexually
affected by the urinary and alvine excretions ("_renifleurs_,"
"_stereoraires_," etc.) are largely, though not necessarily
altogether, moved by olfactory impressions. The attraction was,
however, exclusively olfactory in the case of the young woman
recorded by Moraglia (_Archivio di Psichiatria_, 1892, p. 267),
who was irresistibly excited by the odor of the fermented urine
of men, and possibly also in the case narrated to Moraglia by
Prof. L. Bianchi (ib. p. 568), in which a wife required flatus
from her husband.
The sexual pleasure derived from partial strangulation (discussed
in the study of "Love and Pain" in a previous volume) may be
associated with heightened olfactory sexual excitation. Dr.
Kiernan, who points this out to me, has investigated a few
neuropathic patients who like to have their necks squeezed, as
they express it, and finds that in the majority the olfactory
sensibility is thus intensified.
Even in ordinary normal persons, however, there can be no doubt that
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