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entertain feelings of great affection toward my wife. We are well
suited to one another; she is a woman of character and
intelligence; she looks after my home well, is a sensible and
devoted mother, and understands me. I have never met a woman I
would have sooner married. We have many tastes and likings in
common, and--what is not possible with most women--I can, as a
rule, speak to her about my feelings and find a listener who
"On the other hand, all passion and sentiment have died out. It
seems to me that this is inevitable. Perhaps it is a good thing
this should be so. If men and women remained in the state of
erotic excitement they are in when they marry, the business and
work of the world would go hang. Unfortunately, in my case this
very erotic excitement is the chief thing in life that appeals to
"The factors that in my case have produced this death of passion
and sentiment are as follows:--
"1. Familiarity. When one is continually in the company of a
person all novelty dies out. In the case of husband and wife, the
husband sees his wife every day; at all times and seasons;
dressed, undressed; ill; good tempered, bad tempered. He sees her
wash and perform other functions; he sees her naked whenever he
likes; he can have intercourse with her whenever he feels
inclined. How can love (as I use the expression--i.e., sexual
"2. Satiety. I am of a 'hot,' sensual disposition, inclined to
excess, as far as my health and nerves are concerned. The
appetite gets jaded.
"3. Absence of strong sexual reciprocity on the part of my wife.
I have referred to this above. She likes intercourse, but she is
never outwardly demonstrative. She has naturally a chaste mind.
She never is guilty of those little indecencies which affect some
men a great deal. She does not like talking of these things; and
she tells me that if I died, she would never want to have
intercourse again with anyone. At times, especially recently, she
has even asked me to have intercourse with her, or to masturbate
her; but it is seldom that the orgasm occurs contemporaneously.
In this respect she is different from other women I knew, in whom
the mere fact that the orgasm was occurring in me at once
produced it in them. At the same time I doubt whether even strong
sexual reciprocity would have retained my passion for long.
"4. During the early years of our married life money worries
caused at times disagreements, reproaches and quarrels. Passion
and sentiment are fragile and cannot stand these things.
"5. The fact that I had already had other women diminished the
feeling of awe with which many regard the sexual act and the
violation of sexual conventions.
"6. Loss of beauty. Loss of figure is, I fear, inseparable from
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