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Table of contents
PREFACE
TOUCH-1
TOUCH-2
TOUCH-3 (begin)
TOUCH-3 (end)
TOUCH-4 (begin)
TOUCH-4 (end)
SMELL-1
SMELL-2
SMELL-3.1
SMELL-3.2
SMELL-3.3
SMELL-3.4
SMELL-3.5
SMELL-4 (begin)
SMELL-4 (end)
SMELL-5
HEARING-1
HEARING-2
HEARING-3
VISION-1.1
VISION-1.2
VISION-1.3
VISION-2.1
VISION-2.2
VISION-2.3
VISION-2.4
VISION-3
VISION-4
VISION-5
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

the messages it sends to the brain. This is the reason, why it is, of all 

the senses, the least intellectual and the least aesthetic; it is also the 

reason why it is, of all the senses, the most-profoundly emotional. 

"Touch," wrote Bain in his _Emotions and Will_, "is both the alpha and the 

omega of affection," and he insisted on the special significance in this 

connection of "tenderness"--a characteristic emotional quality of 

affection which is directly founded on sensations of touch. If tenderness 

is the alpha of affection, even between the sexes, its omega is to be 

found in the sexual embrace, which may be said to be a method of 

obtaining, through a specialized organization of the skin, the most 

exquisite and intense sensations of touch. 

 

"We believe nothing is so exciting to the instinct or mere 

passions as the presence of the hand or those tactile caresses 

which mark affection," states the anonymous author of an article 

on "Woman in her Psychological Relations," in the _Journal of 

Psychological Medicine_, 1851. "They are the most general stimuli 

in lower animals. The first recourse in difficulty or danger, and 

the primary solace in anguish, for woman is the bosom of her 

husband or her lover. She seeks solace and protection and repose 

on that part of the body where she herself places the objects of 

her own affection. Woman appears to have the same instinctive 

impulse in this respect all over the world." 

 

It is because the sexual orgasm is founded on a special adaptation and 

intensification of touch sensations that the sense of touch generally is 

to be regarded as occupying the very first place in reference to the 

sexual emotions. Fere, Mantegazza, Penta, and most other writers on this 

question are here agreed. Touch sensations constitute a vast gamut for the 

expression of affection, with at one end the note of minimum personal 

affection in the brief and limited touch involved by the conventional 

hand-shake and the conventional kiss, and at the other end the final and 

intimate contact in which passion finds the supreme satisfaction of its 

most profound desire. The intermediate region has its great significance 

for us because it offers a field in which affection has its full scope, 

but in which every road may possibly lead to the goal of sexual love. It 

is the intimacy of touch contacts, their inevitable approach to the 

threshold of sexual emotion, which leads to a jealous and instinctive 

parsimony in the contact of skin and skin and to the tendency with the 

increased sensitiveness of the nervous system involved by civilization to 

restrain even the conventional touch manifestation of ordinary affection 

and esteem. In China fathers leave off kissing their daughters while they 

are still young children. In England the kiss as an ordinary greeting 

between men and women--a custom inherited from classic and early Christian 


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