“The material and moral ruin of the community is readily brought about by debauchery, adultery, and luxury.
Greece, the Roman Empire, and France under Louis XIV and XV, are striking examples of this assertion. In
such periods of civic and moral decline the most monstrous excesses of sexual life may be observed; these,
however, can always be traced to the psychopathological or neuropathological conditions of the nation
Richard von Krafft-Ebing,
Krafft-Ebing: “Sexual feeling is really the root of all ethics, and no doubt of aestheticism and religion.”
of sexuality: not only the physical sensations, but the urges, the desires, the obsessions.
Compare to religious ecstasies:
“…the gratification of the sensual appetite promises a boon which far surpasses all other conceivable pleasures,
and faith has in store a bliss that endures forever,” (p.11)
In sex as in religion, self-sacrifice and even self-destruction may be seen as apt penance for shortcomings. Pain
ATYPICAL SEXUAL VARIATIONS
What is "normal?"
- to the side of
American Psychiatric Association: "Atypical patterns of sexual arousal or behavior that become problematic in
the eyes of the individual or society, such as fetishism or exhibitionism"
"... recurrent, intense sexual urges, fantasies, or behaviors that involve unusual objects, activities, or situations
and cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of
The urges must have been acted upon
feel urgent, compelling, and virtually irresistible.