The Intersexes: A History of Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life/Appendix C


Uranianism in the United States of North America.

For English-reading students of homosexuality there is relatively little literary material specializing aspects and statistics of homosexualism in the United States. This is somewhat singular, as important explorers or commentators in the similisexual instinct have been American; including Hammond, Crawford, Hamilton, and others. As to popular literature in the vernacular, to aid the American Uranian to understand his own case, or to understand conditions of similisexualism in other countries, this is still eminently lacking. The topic of similisexuality is tabu in the United States and in Canada, except through observations by and for medical students and physicians. In North America the notions of similisexual instincts are ludicrously (or pitiably) incorrect.among intelligent laity, as a rule. Homosexualism is generally regarded as a "diseased," and "abnormal" state of the individual; as relatively a "rare" matter; as a moral, religious and anti-natural offense of the foulest sort among masculine adults; as inevitably part of complete or partial "degeneracy". The North American, of native Anglo-Saxon descent and type, is usually as ignorant scientifically before whatever in philarrenism comes to his notice, if he be layman or even physician, as is—the Englishman. In the United States, some useful German literature circulates, hazardously and sparsely; and not with any real currency in social life. Even in order to own works of a medico-psychiatric sort, as the "Psychopathia Sexualis" of Dr. von Krafft-Ebing, or Dr. Moll's "Conträre Sexualität," or Dr. Hirschfeld's studies, the vdlumes must be procured strictly on a physician's certificate!

Nevertheless of the enormous diffusion of Uranianism and of similisexual intercourse in the United States of America and in Canada, no possible doubt can exist, if the intelligent observer has resided there and has moved about in various social grades and circles of the larger cities. In the American, of East or West, there is a fusion of racial types and propensities not so immediately the case with his British cousin, who is more a type of pure long-transmitted Anglo-Saxon blood. In North Americans, the bloods of the Latin, Anglo-Saxon the Teutonic, the Scandinavian, the Slavic, the Magyar, and many other races blend to-day—more or less. sexualism is of the mixture. The, enormous purely, or fractionally, Germanic population of Eastern or Western districts and cities has a special bearing on similisexualism in North America. The wide agricultural "West," a welter of old races, representatives quite fresh from their European homes, is pervaded with uranian tendencies. In the Southern States, the Creole type is not lacking the impulse, in spite of all its heterosexuality. The American negro has ever been similisexual, though the easy morality of the negro female is a is counteractive. The North American Indian has also always inclined to practical homosexualism, as we learn from such valuable studies as the "Narrations" of the early Jesuits, and the modern observations of such writers on the topic as Karsch.

The latin, or aboriginal uranianism of Mexico, Central America, of South America and of the West-Indian Archipelago has been noted in the pages of our study.

Reverting to large cities of chiefly an American population (so far as their really yet exists an "American race") no matter how suppressed is the homosexual topic, they are centers of uranianism. One finds the same practicalities as in Berlin, or Paris, or Vienna, except that there is far less generally an open male prostitution of civilian sort, and only in certain centers any military prostitution. Also we note that allusions to scandals, crimes, legal incidents connected with homosexuality are far less frequently printed that,in Europe. There are blackmail-affairs and other scandals, tragedies or comedies, of Uranian sort. But they are not reported in the press as in Germany, or Italy or France, etc. In fact they seem to be the only personal scandals shunned by American journals.

The small military-element in most American cities, the difficulty and legal danger of making practical uses of resorts of many sorts for homosexual rendezvous, the fact that the American soldier is much better paid than any European one, much remove transatlantic military life from activity in prostitution.

Heredity, race-instinct, æsthetic sensitiveness, and the temperament—nervous and imaginative—of the high-class American tend to make him similisexual; or to experiment in the instinct, even when no hereditary impulse exists. This is not the case or cause with the Englishman, though it is somewhat such with the Keltic Breton. Again, the failure legally to regulate female prostitution in the United States increases the dread of diseases and makes the inclination to homosexuality more direct.

The thousand-and-one homosexual ties in social life—of all grades—between high-natured, respectable and moral types of American young men, or between types lower in the intellectual and ethical scale, are to be traced everywhere. A special observer of youthful homosexuality in America has stated that the practices of uranian boys in school and so on are in his opinion "nowhere quite so general" as in the United States; and that, in his judgment, such youthful habits are "more racially mischievous than in England" owing to the highly neurotic types of American lads. This latter theory is interesting.

Certain smart clubs are well-known for their homosexual atmospheres, in New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis, and other centers. Resorts in the way of steam-baths and restaurants are plentifully known—to the initiated. With many such resorts there is no police-interference, though their proceedings and patronage, night by night, day by day, are perfectly plain. A special factor in homosexual uses of vapour-bath establishments (in larger cities) is the fact that in America these are kept open, and much patronized, during all night-hours, and first morning ones; indeed some are never closed at all; in many examples a double staff of attendants being employed. In most such baths, each client has always a separate dressing-room, usually with a couch. What "goes on" is under the guests own lock and key, and without surveillance. New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Philadelphia, are "homosexual capitals."

A distinguished European singer (homosexual) who has several times visited the United States, and is now familiar with every part of it, states that he "has never been in any country where the uranian element, was so widely-distributed, and averaged such highclass moral and intellectual types as in North America." A homosexual actor of Continental fame, not only for talent but beauty, has declared that after an exceptionally large experience in 'attentions,' no other male public has ever so often written to him, or otherwise sought contact socially with him through homosexual passion for him, as the American homosexuals.

The frequency of social scandals connected with homosexualism in America has been mentioned. The married Uranian is constantly encountered in America. But perhaps because the "marriage of convenience," the "loveless marriage," is far less frequent in the United-States than in British or Continental European society, as also because the American woman seems—as of race—less sexually ardent, scandals connecting uranianism and marriage are not plentiful. As to the Uraniad, and her prevalence in the United States, the physicians who have studied her statistics and phases incline to the dictum that she is rather less frequently met, owing to the peculiar nervous organization of the American woman, who seems often almost wholly without sexual desires "—asexual." Her constitutional chastity, and habits of non-residence with her husband during long portions of the year (especially when she is abroad and he at home, or vice-versa) as also her tardy marriage, indicate this temper. But of course the uraniad tendency is often encouraged by conditions of absenteeism.