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indeed, be remarked here that I never knew a woman sexually till
my marriage; and with the one exception mentioned I do not recall
any instance of conduct on my part toward a woman which could be
described as giving her an impulse downhill.
"On the psychic side my sexual emotions awoke in early childhood;
and though my love affairs as a boy were not frequent and were
kept to myself, they attained a considerable degree of emotional
power. Leaving out of account the precocious movements of the
sexual instinct to which I have already referred as colored by
psychic algolagnia, I may say that somewhat later, from the age
of puberty and onward, I had three or four love affairs, devoid
of any algolagnic tendency, and considerably more developed on
the psychic and emotional, than on the physical, side. In fact,
my experience has been that when deeply in love, when the mind is
full of the love ecstasy, the physical element of sexuality is
kept--doubtless only temporarily--in abeyance.
"To return now to the subject of masturbation. Here befell the
chief moral struggle of my early life; and no terms that I have
at command will adequately describe the stress of it.
"A casual remark heard one day as I was arriving at puberty
convinced me that there must be truth in the vague schoolboy
theory that masturbation was _weakening_. It was to the effect
that the evil results of masturbation practiced in boyhood would
manifest themselves in later life. I then realized that I must
relinquish masturbation, and I set myself to fight it; but with
grave misgivings that, owing to the early age at which I had
formed the habit, I had already done myself serious harm.
"Before many weeks had passed, I had formed a resolution to
abstain, which I kept thereafter without--so far as I
remember--more than one conscious lapse into my former habit.
Here it must be said at once that, so far as touches my own
experience of a struggle of this kind, the religious factor is of
primary importance as strengthening and sustaining the moral
effort which has to be made. I am writing an account of my
sexual, not my spiritual, experiences; but I should not only be
untrue to my convictions, but unable to give an accurate and
penetrating survey of the development of my sex life, unless I
were clearly to state that it was to a large extent on that life
that my strongest and most valuable religious experiences
arose. It is to the endeavor to discipline the sexual
instinct, and to grapple with the difficulties and anxieties of
the sex life, that I owe what I possess of spiritual religion, of
the consciousness that my life has been brought into contact with
Divine love and power.
"My early habits, after they were broken off, left me none the
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