Edward Carpenter.

The intermediate sex; a study of some transitional types of men and women online

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whispered to one another concerning those things of which all the school
obscenely talked.” - _Same case_, p. 73.

“At the age of twenty-one I began gradually to remark that I was not
somehow like my comrades, that I had no pleasure in male occupations,
that smoking, drinking, and card-playing gave me little satisfaction, and
that I had a real death-horror of a brothel. And, as a matter of fact, I
had never been in one, as on every occasion under some pretext or other
I have succeeded in stealing off. I now began to think about myself; I
felt myself frightfully desolate, miserable and unfortunate, and longed
for a friend of the same nature as myself - yet without dreaming that
there could be other such men. At the age of twenty-two I came to know a
young man who at last cleared up my mind about sexual inversion and those
affected with it, since he - an Urning, like myself - had fallen in love
with me. The scales fell from my eyes, and I bless the day which brought
light to me.… Towards woman in her sexual relation I feel a real horror,
which the exercise of all my strongest powers of imagination would not
avail to overcome; and indeed, I have never attempted to overcome it,
since I am quite persuaded of the fruitlessness of such an attempt,
which to me appears sinful and unnatural.” - KRAFFT-EBING, “Psychopathia
Sexualis,” 7th edition, “case” No. 122, p. 291. Stuttgart, 1892.

“I can no longer exist without men’s love; without such I must ever
remain at strife with myself.… If marriage between men existed I believe
I should not be afraid of a life-long union - a thing which with a woman
seems to be something impossible.… Since, however, this kind of love is
reckoned criminal, by its satisfaction I can be at harmony with myself
but never with the world, and necessarily in consequence must ever be
somewhat out of tune; and all the more so because my character is open,
and I hate lies of all kinds. This torment, to have always to conceal
everything, has forced me to confess my anomaly to a few friends,
of whose understanding and reticence I am sure. Although oftentimes
my condition seems to me sad enough, by reason of the difficulty of
satisfaction and the general contempt of manly love, yet I am often just
a little proud on account of having these anomalous feelings. Naturally,
I shall never marry - but this seems to me by no means a misfortune,
although I am fond of family life, and up to now have passed my time only
among my own relations. I live in the hope that later I shall have a
permanent loved one; such indeed I must have, else would the future seem
gray and drear, and every object which folk usually pursue - honour, high
position, etc. - only vain and unattractive.

“Should this hope not be fulfilled, I know that I should be unable,
permanently and with pleasure, to give myself to my calling, and that I
should be capable of setting aside everything in order to gain the love
of a man. I feel no longer any moral scruples on account of my anomalous
leaning, and generally have never been troubled because I felt myself
drawn to youths.… Up to now it has only seemed to me bad and immoral to
do that which is injurious to another, or which I would not wish done to
myself, and in this respect I can say that I try as much as possible not
to infringe on the rights of others, and am capable of being violently
roused by any injustice done to others.” - _Ibid_, p. 249, “case” No. 110
(official in a factory, age 31).

“My thoughts are by no means exclusively of the body or morbidly sensual.
How often at the sight of a handsome youth does a deeply enthusiastic
mood come upon me, and I offer a prayer, so to speak, in the glorious
words of Heine - ”Du bist wie eine Blume, so hold, so schön, so rein“.…
Never has a young man yet guessed my love for him, I have never corrupted
or damaged the morals of one, but for many have I here and there smoothed
their pathway; and then I stick at no trouble and make sacrifices such as
I can only make for them.

“When thus I have a chance to have a loved friend near me, to teach, to
support and help, when my unconfest love finds a loving response (though
naturally not sexual), then all the unclean images fade more and more
from my mind. Then does my love become almost platonic, and lifts itself
up - only to sink again in the mire, when it is deprived of its proper

“For the rest, I am - and I can say it without boasting - not one of the
worst of men. Mentally more sensitive than most average folk, I take
interest in everything that moves mankind. I am kindly-disposed, tender,
and easily moved to pity, can do no injury to any animal, certainly not
to a human being, but on the contrary am active in a human-friendly way,
where and however I can.

“Though then before my own conscience I cannot reproach myself, and
though I must certainly reject the judgment of the world about us, yet I
suffer greatly. In very truth I have injured no one; and I hold my love
in its nobler activity for just as holy as that of normally disposed
men, but under the unhappy fate that allows us neither sufferance nor
recognition, I suffer often more than my life can bear.” - _Ibid_, p. 268,
“case” No. 114.

“To depict all the misery, all the unfortunate situations, the constant
dread of being found out in one’s peculiarity and of becoming impossible
in society - to give an idea of all this is truly more than pen or words
can compass. The very thought, so soon as it arises, of losing one’s
social existence and of being rejected by everybody is more torment
than can be imagined. In such a case, everything, everything would be
forgotten that one had ever done in the way of good; in the consciousness
of his lofty morality every normally disposed man would puff himself up,
however frivolously he might really have acted in the matter of his love.
I know many such normal folk whose unworthy conception of their love is
indeed hard for me to understand.” - _Ibid_, p. 269.

“The torturing images of betrayed love prevent my sleeping, so that I
am forced, now and again, to have recourse to chloral. My dreams are
only a continuation of actual life, and just as painful. How all this
will end I really know not; but I suppose these root-emotions must take
their own course.… The only reasonable end of the struggle is Death.” - A.
MOLL, “Conträre Sexualempfindung,” 2nd edition, p. 123 (quotation from a

“Weary and worn, I have passed through every tempest of anguish and
despair. Years of the most racking mental agony have gone over my head
without killing me. Through the long night watches I have heard the
unceasing hours toll. Sleep has never been thought of by me, but I have
lain on my bed trying to read some book, or have knelt by my bedside
and endeavoured to raise my heart and spirit in prayer for succour
or forgiveness. At last, unable to hold out any longer, with mouth
tight-closed and knitted brow the Charmer has deadened my senses for one
or two brief hours; but only that I may wake to a stronger and clearer
perception of my hopeless condition.

“How the days have got on I know not. How I can have lived so long
through such misery I know not. But torture like this is cruelly slow,
whilst it is sure. It is the nature of youth to be long-enduring where
Love is put to the test and a kind of occasional flicker - a kind of
mocking semblance of hope, as like to hope as the rushing meteor is to
the enduring sun - helps to support the load of misery, and so to prolong
it. I am hundreds of years old in this my wretchedness of every moment.
I cannot battle against Love and crush it out - never! God has implanted
the necessity of the sentiment in my heart; it is scarce possible not to
ask oneself why has He implanted so divine an element in my nature, which
is doomed to die unsatisfied, which is destined in the end to be my very
death?” - _From a manuscript left to the Author by an Urning._

H. ELLIS, in Appendix D. of his book on “Sexual Inversion,” speaks at
some length on the School-friendships of girls: what they call “Flames”
and “Raves”; of love at first sight; romance; courtship; meetings despite
all obstacles; long letters; jealousy; the writing the beloved’s name
everywhere, etc. These alliances are sometimes sexual, but oftener not
so - though full of “psychic erethism.”

In the same Appendix he quotes a woman of thirty-three, who writes, “At
fourteen I had my first case of love, but it was with a girl. It was
insane, intense love, but had the same quality and sensations as my first
love with a man at eighteen. In neither case was the object idealized:
I was perfectly aware of their faults; nevertheless, my whole being was
lost, immersed, in their existence. The first lasted two years, the
second seven years. No love has since been so intense, but now these two
persons, though living, are no more to me than the veriest stranger.”

Another woman of thirty-five writes, “Girls between the ages of fourteen
and eighteen at college or girls’ schools often fall in love with the
same sex. This is not friendship. The loved one is older, more advanced,
more charming or beautiful. When I was a freshman in college I knew
at least thirty girls who were in love with a senior. Some sought her
because it was the fashion, but I knew that my own homage and that of
many others was sincere and passionate. I loved her because she was
brilliant and utterly indifferent to the love shown her. She was not
pretty, though at the time we thought her beautiful. One of her adorers,
on being slighted, was ill for two weeks. On her return she was speaking
to me when the object of our admiration came into the room. The shock was
too great, and she fainted. When I reached the senior year I was the
recipient of languishing glances, original verses, roses, and passionate
letters written at midnight and three in the morning.”

“Passionate friendships among girls, from the most innocent to the most
elaborate excursions in the direction of Lesbos, are extremely common
in theatres, both among actresses, and even more among chorus and
ballet-girls.” - HAVELOCK ELLIS, “Sexual Inversion,” p. 130.

“The love of homosexual women is often very passionate, as is that of
Urnings. Just like these, the former often feel themselves blessed when
they love happily. Nevertheless, to many of them, as to the Urning, is
the circumstance very painful that in consequence of their antipathy to
the touch of the male they are not in the position to found a family.
Sometimes, when the love of a homosexual woman is not responded to,
serious disturbances of the nerve-system may ensue, leading even to
paroxysms of fury.” - A. MOLL, _op. cit._, p. 338.

“It is noteworthy how many inverted women have, with more or less fraud,
been married to the woman of their choice, the couple living happily
together for long periods. I know of one case, probably unique, in
which the ceremony was gone through without any deception on any side;
a congenitally inverted English woman of distinguished intellectual
ability, now dead, was attached to the wife of a clergyman, who, in full
cognisance of all the facts of the case, privately married the two ladies
in his own church.” - HAVELOCK ELLIS, _op. cit._, p. 146, footnote.

“Seven or eight girls, we are told (in Montaigne’s ‘Journal du Voyage
en Italie,’ 1350), belonging to Chaumont, resolved to dress and to work
as men; one of these came to Vitry to work as a weaver, and was looked
upon as a well-conditioned young man, and liked by everyone. At Vitry
she became betrothed to a woman, but, a quarrel arising, no marriage
took place. Afterwards, ‘she fell in love with a woman whom she married,
and with whom she lived for four or five months, to the wife’s great
contentment, it is said; but having been recognised by some one from
Chaumont, and brought to justice, she was condemned to be hanged. She
said she would even prefer this to living again as a girl, and was hanged
for using illicit inventions to supply the defects of her sex’.” - _Ibid_,
p. 119.

“It is evident that there must be some radical causes for the frequency
of homosexuality among prostitutes. One such cause doubtless lies in
the character of the prostitute’s relations with men; these relations
are of a professional character, and, as the business element becomes
emphasized, the possibility of sexual satisfaction diminishes; at
the best also there lacks the sense of social equality, the feeling
of possession, and scope for the exercise of feminine affection and
devotion.” - _Ibid_, p. 149.

“Among the inscribed prostitutes of Berlin there are without doubt a
great number who honour the love of women. I am told from well-informed
sources, that about twenty-five per cent. of the prostitutes of Berlin
have relations with other women.” - A. MOLL, _op. cit._, p. 331.

“Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (born in 1825 near Aurich), who for many years
expounded and defended homosexual love, and whose views are said to have
had some influence in drawing Westphal’s attention to the matter, was a
Hanoverian legal official (Amts-assessor), himself sexually inverted.
From 1864 onward, at first under the name of ‘Numa Numantius,’ and
subsequently under his own name, Ulrichs published in various parts of
Germany a long series of works dealing with this question, and made
various attempts to obtain a revision of the legal position of the sexual
invert in Germany.

“Although not a writer whose psychological views can carry much
scientific weight, Ulrichs appears to have been a man of most brilliant
ability, and his knowledge is said to have been of almost universal
extent; he was not only well-versed in his own special subjects of
jurisprudence and theology, but in many branches of natural science,
as well as in archæology; he was also regarded by many as the best
Latinist of his time. In 1880 he left Germany and settled in Naples, and
afterwards at Aquila in the Abruzzi, whence he issued a Latin periodical.
He died in 1895.” - HAVELOCK ELLIS, _op. cit._, p. 33.

Ulrichs enters into an elaborate classification of human types, with a
corresponding nomenclature, which, though somewhat ponderous, has been of
use. Among males, for instance, he distinguishes the quite normal man,
whom he calls “Dioning,” from the invert, whom he calls “Urning.” Among
Urnings, again, he distinguishes (1) those who are thoroughly manly in
appearance and in mental habit and character (“Mannlings”), and who tend
to love softer and younger specimens of their own sex; (2) those who are
effeminate in appearance and cast of mind (“Weiblings”), and who love
rougher and older men; and (3) those who are of a medium type (“Zwischen
Urnings”) and love young men. Then again there is the “Urano-dioning,”
who is born with a capacity of love in both directions, _i.e._, for
women and for men. He is generally of the manly type. And besides these,
some sub-species, like the “Uraniaster,” who is a normal man who has
contracted the Urning habit, and the “Virilised Urning,” who is an Urning
who has contracted the normal habit, though this is not really natural to
him! The whole may be set out in a table as follows: -

{ (_a_) Normal Man or Dioning - called Uraniaster when
{ he acquires Urning tendencies.
The { {1. Mannling.
Human { {2. Zwischen-Urning.
Male { (_b_) Urning {3. Weibling.
{ {4. Also called Virilised Urning when he
{ { acquires the normal habit.
{ (_c_) Urano-dioning.

If we add to this a corresponding table for the female we shall have an
idea of the complication of Ulrichs’ system! Yet, complex as it is, and
whatever criticisms we may make upon it, we must allow that it does not
exceed the complexity of the real facts of Nature. (See K. H. ULRICHS’
“Memnon,” ch. iii.-v.)

Krafft-Ebing’s analysis of the subject is fully as elaborate as that
of Ulrichs. It is given by J. A. SYMONDS in the form of a table, as
follows: -

{ { Persistent.
{ Acquired { Episodical.
Sexual { { Psychic Hermaphrodites.
Inversion { {
{ { { Male Habitus (Mannlings).
{ Congenital { Urnings { Female Habitus (Weiblings).
{ {
{ { Androgyni.

And Symonds continues: - “What is the rational explanation of the facts
presented to us by the analysis which I have formulated in this table,
cannot as yet be thoroughly determined. We do not know enough about the
law of sex in human beings to advance a theory. Krafft-Ebing and writers
of his school are at present inclined to refer them all to diseases of
the nervous centres, inherited, congenital, excited by early habits of
self-abuse. The inadequacy of this method I have already attempted to
set forth; and I have also called attention to the fact that it does not
sufficiently account for the phenomena known to us through history and
through every-day experience.” [It should be noted that in later editions
of his book Krafft-Ebing considerably modifies the view that these
sex-variations all indicate disease.] - “A Problem in Modern Ethics,” p.

Moll, speaking of the act so commonly credited to Urnings (sodomy),
says: - “The common assumption is that the intercourse of Urnings consists
in this. But it is a great error to suppose that this act is so frequent
among them.” - A. MOLL, _op. cit._, p. 139.

And Krafft-Ebing also speaks of it as rare among true Urnings,
though not uncommon among old roués and debauchees of more normal
temperament. - “Psychopathia Sexualis,” 7th edition, p. 258.

“The Urning denies not only the ‘unnaturalness’ of his leanings, but also
their pathological character; he protests against comparison with the
lame and the deaf. The occasional coincidence of sexual inversion with
other really morbid conditions settles nothing, nor is the reminder that
it is antagonistic to the purpose of race-propagation a proof; for who
can assure us that Nature has intended all people for race-propagation?
Even to the worker-bee Nature has not granted this function, although in
her stunted female sex-organs there exists an undeniable indication or
suggestion of sex-feeling.” - A. MOLL, _op. cit._, p. 271. (From a letter
by a sixty year old Urning.)

“Homosexuality, therefore, might be described as an abnormal variety
of the sex-impulse, but hardly as a morbid variety. If you like, it
might be termed an arrest of development or a kind of reversion. And
this is quite in accord with the fact that the best experts in the
subject have so far not discovered more psychic abnormalities among
homosexuals than among heterosexuals - nor more degeneracy or signs of
degeneracy.” - Consulting-Physician Dr. PAUL NAECKE, in _Der Tag_, 26th
Oct., 1907.

“As a result of these considerations Ulrichs concludes that there is no
real ground for the persecution of Urnings except such as may be found in
the repugnance felt by the vast numerical majority for an insignificant
minority. The majority encourages matrimony, condones seduction,
sanctions prostitution, legalises divorce, in the interest of its own
sexual proclivities. It makes temporary or permanent unions illegal for
the minority whose inversion of instinct it abhors. And this persecution,
in the popular mind at any rate, is justified, like many other
inequitable acts of prejudice or ignorance, by theological assumptions
and the so-called mandates of revelation.” - “A Problem in Modern Ethics,”
p. 83.

“We understand by ‘homosexual’ a person who feels himself drawn to
individuals of the same sex by feelings of real love. Whether or not he
acts in accordance with this homosexual feeling is, from the scientific
standpoint, beside the question. Just as there are normal folk who live
chastely, so there are homosexual persons whose love bears a distinctly
psychic, ideal and ‘platonic’ character.…

“The feminine impress, in the case of homosexual men, is in general best
indicated by the presence of greater sensitiveness and receptivity,
also by the dominance of the emotional life, by a strong artistic
sense, especially in the direction of music, often too by a tendency to
mysticism, and by various inclinations and habits feminine in the good or
less good sense of the word. This blending of temperament, however, does
not make the homosexual as such a less worthy person. He is indeed not of
the same nature as the heterosexual, but he is of equal worth.” - Dr M.
HIRSCHFELD’S evidence as medical specialist in the Moltké-Harden trial.

“One serious objection to recognising and tolerating sexual inversion
has always been that it tends to check the population. This was a sound
political and social argument in the time of Moses, when a small militant
tribe needed to multiply to the full extent of its procreative capacity.
It is by no means so valid in our age, when the habitable portions of
the globe are rapidly becoming overcrowded. Moreover, we must bear in
mind that society under the existing order sanctions female prostitution,
whereby men and women, though normally procreative, are sterilized to an
indefinite extent.” - J. A. SYMONDS, “A Problem in Modern Ethics,” p. 82.

“Before Justinian, both Constantine and Theodosius passed laws against
sexual inversion, committing the offenders to ‘avenging flames.’ But
these statutes were not rigidly enforced, and modern opinion on the
subject may be said to flow from Justinian’s legislation. Opinion, in
matters of custom and manners, always follows law. Though Imperial
edicts could not eradicate a passion which is inherent in human
nature, they had the effect of stereotyping extreme punishments in all
the codes of Christian nations, and of creating a permanent social
antipathy.” - _Ibid_, p. 13.

“Our modern attitude is sometimes traced back to the Jewish Law and
its survival in St. Paul’s opinion on this matter. But the Jewish Law
itself had a foundation. Wherever the enlargement of the population
becomes a strongly-felt social need - as it was among the Jews in their
exaltation of family life, and as it was when the European populations
were constituted - there homosexuality has been regarded as a crime, even
punishable with death.… It was in the fourth century at Rome that the
strong modern opposition to it was formulated in law. The Roman race
had long been decaying; sexual perversions of all kinds flourished;
the population was dwindling. At the same time Christianity with its
Judaic-Pauline antagonism to homosexuality was rapidly spreading. The
statesmen of the day, anxious to quicken the failing pulses of national
life, utilised this powerful Christian feeling. Constantine, Theodosius,
Valentinian, all passed laws against homosexuality - the last, at all
events, ordaining as a penalty the _vindices flammæ_.” HAVELOCK ELLIS,
_op. cit._, p. 206.

“At the present time, shoemakers, who make shoes to measure, deal more
rationally with individuals than our teachers and school-masters do, in
their application to moral principles. The sexually intermediate forms
of individuals are treated exactly as if they were good examples of the
ideal male or female types. There is wanted an ‘orthopædic’ treatment of
the soul, instead of the torture caused by the application of ready-made
conventional shapes. The present system stamps out much that is original,
uproots much that is truly natural, and distorts much into artificial and
unnatural forms.” - O. WEININGER, “Sex and Character,” ch. v.

“What is new in my view is that according to it homosexuality cannot be
regarded as an atavism or as due to arrested embryonic development, or to
incomplete differentiation of sex; it cannot be regarded as an anomaly
of rare occurrence interpolating itself in customary complete separation
of the sexes. Homosexuality is merely the sexual condition of those
intermediate sexual forms that stretch from one ideal sexual condition
to the other ideal sexual condition. In my view, all actual organisms
have both homosexuality and heterosexuality.” - O. WEININGER, “Sex and
Character,” ch. iv.

“How is it then that in our age reputed so philanthropic, whole classes
of men, on account of inborn mental abnormalities, are marked down and

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Online LibraryEdward CarpenterThe intermediate sex; a study of some transitional types of men and women → online text (page 8 of 9)