The Intersexes: A History of Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life/Chapter VII


The Uranian and Uraniad in Their Earliest Youth: The Inborn Similisexual as Boy and as Girl: Types and Biographies.

Parental Desires
and Pre-Natal

The Uranian and the Uraniad, especially of the higher grades, constantly seem reflexes of pre-natal influences. Their instinct is inborn. The mother's imagination and wish, quite likely sub-conscious, during her pregnancy here can come into plain coincidence with the vita sexualis of her offspring. The similisexualism of the father is repeated in the child. Or, sometimes over passing a generation, referring the boy or girl back to a remoter ancestor, the mystery of atavism is before us. The organic sex of unborn infants we know as not determined for a considerable period of gestation. Nature herself seems to hesitate, to postpone. The boy comes into the world not obviously affected in his sex as to any virile trait, born with a boy's body and a boy's mind; but unluckily for him endowed with the sexual impulses of a girl. Or the girl, blamelessly feminine in her physique, must go through life yearning for sexual union with a woman. Victims of pre-natal obsession, they may too easily mature, burdened with the intersexual Ego, bewildered as to themselves, at cross-purposes with their environments, occupations, society, moral sentiments, religious notions, with the laws, and all chances of relief.

The Warning to
the Married.

The practical warning to married people is strong in such a history. No effort should ever be made to "influence" by any mental processes the sex of the coming child. How far this is practical is still an uncertainty, in spite of the theories of the learned or of the charlatan. But there is no disputing recurrent heredity in similisexualism. One of the first duties of a woman especially is to avoid any strenuous thought as to the sex of her unborn offspring. Her refraining may save it unspeakable misery, shame, and failure in life.

Transmitted Simi-

Not less imperative, while frequently involving a melancholy sacrifice, is the caution to the Uranian who wishes to marry, be it for one reason or another. The chances of his transmission of similisexualism are many. If the similisexual impulses are inborn, it is safest (if often a most unwilling conclusion) to regard them as ineradicable, more or less, even when early taken in care by the watchful parent. If a man believes that in "the blood, the bone, the soul of his breed", even if not obviously in himself, the similisexual instinct has been active, he should question his right to marry. His son or daughter may suffer what he has escaped. If he do not forego marriage, then he may wisely avoid offspring. Or, as the least of compromises, the parents must double their vigilance in the nursery and schoolroom. The maternal opportunities for watchfulness and for counteraction are less lasting. Of this topic more will be said in other chapters of this book. A striking study of inherited similisexualism in a young lad, occurs in the "Psychopathia Sexualis" of Krafft-Ebing (eleventh edition, p. 266) too long to quote here.

Difficulty of De-
tecting Youthful

Unless the Parent has clear ideas of similisexual traits and habits, the sharpest eye can fail to notice them in the child. A boy or girl assumes "the mask" with curious precocity. Children are loyal to each other, as they are secretive, in sex-secrets. Similisexual practices among little boys and girls, to say nothing of larger ones, are concealed, by instinct. Fathers and mothers should not wish to be spies and martinets. As for the parent's deputy, the school-teacher, governess, tutor or housemaster, whether in the family or at a boarding-school, he or she is even more hampered. One of the most mischievous skeletons in the family-closet and boarding-school dormitory, is the similisexual one. The pederastic tutor himself may be the enemy in the camp.

A vast proportion of active and passive onanism and masturbation both in schools and at home, is due to inborn similisexualism, not to merely a temporary and ignorant instinct. Sometimes the fraternal home-life of two lads, or of two sisters, fosters the sentiment and practices, from day to day. In Hungary a special paragraph of the law recognizes this fact.

Uranianism when
not Obviously
is often Early

Of course, the uranistic instinct often cannot be traced to hereditary sources. Its origin is too remote or too obscure. Perhaps some other current of nature has deflected the juvenile psychos. The instinct is communicated swiftly, not seldom ineradicably, from boy to boy, from girl to girl. But the question recurs if complete, rooted similisexuality is ever quite extraneously implanted in a man or woman.

Instance of
Strong Youthful
Uranianism with
Early Sexual

The following example of early Uranianism is from the letter of an English professional man, written to the authour.

"It was not until I was past thirty, and had met some German literature on the topic, that I knew how early my homosexual nature had declared itself. The first matter that I recall was that as a very little boy I was never sensitive to the caresses of women, nor liked to be with them. On the other hand, I do not remember when I had not a sort of sexual interest in handsome boys and men, and in pictures of them; liked to be caressed by men. Once, when I was about eight, my nurse and a female friend and myself one afternoon were passing a photographer's shop. We stopped and looked at the likenesses. I was struck by that of a handsome man, and spoke of it. My nurse said, "Oh, but a little gentleman should never waste his time admiring another gentleman. He must always admire the ladies". I answered with much decision, and I know feeling what I said—"But I think that a gentleman is always a great deal handsomer than any kind of a lady!" I proceeded to argue my statement out from the pictures, much to the amusement of the young women. My nurse had a lover, a line looking young butcher. His caresses, when we met, used to excite me sexually very much. All this before puberty. In school, I felt great admirations for certain handsome fellow-scholars. Their type was invariably blond, with a rather large (but not coarse) body, and with very clear, white skins. One such lad, from Surrey, exercised a remarkable influence on me, though I was careful not to let him or any one else notice it. I used to follow him with my eyes, for quarter-hours at a time. His least signs of friendliness put me into an intense nervous happiness. Often I could not sleep till late at night, just for thinking of this C—. At the parties for lads and girls, to which I was asked, the girls seemed to me of no mortal interest, while I used to note eagerly every trait and type of good looks or enhancement—a becoming cravat, a well fitted suit in my boy-friends. A thirteen, I decided that I would cut out of any illustrated journals and books that I could discover, the pictures of every handsome man, or boy, that they contained. This resolution I carried out with great secrecy, hiding my collection as if it had been so much counterfeit coin! It was a pleasure that increased very swiftly. In fact, this "gallery" not only was an outcome of early homosexualism but added fuel to the fire. For, with advancing puberty, such illustrations became powerfully stimulative to sexual feelings. Especially as I began to add pictures of male statues to it, having procured some fine old Exhibition catalogues, by a boyish thievery that might have got me into trouble! I remember one afternoon, looking at this remarkable assemblage of "types", and being then stimulated for the first time to solitary masturbation, by a sort of irresistible impulse. Hitherto when alone I had not had done this. I may add that though I could have collected feminine types quite as easily and numerously, I never had any interest in them. I always let them pass, or tore them up disdainfully. There was in our neighborhood a certain remarkably good-looking young Hebrew merchant, who came into a business-post there. His good looks took deep hold on me. I used to haunt the large shop where he was employed. One day, I walked after him along the street. He happened to notice it, and presently spoke good-naturedly to me. The chat upset me with pleasure and sexual excitement for the next few days. It led to the young Hebrew's taking a decided interest in me, the more as I was a robust, handsome, eager lad, and as he must have seen how I-was sentimentally drawn to him. He asked me to call at his lodgings. I hid this invitation from the members of my family, and did not tell friends of it. I went to my new acquaintance's home (he lived in an attractive lodging near my father's house) and what did I do, the very first time of so going, but take with me my picture-gallery of male subjects of all sorts—from criminals to classic marbles! My new friend looked over them with me, saying that he too "was interested" in such pictures. He questioned me cleverly, to see how far he could rely on my discretion. After we had finished looking at the pictures, he gradually "led the situation up" to our beginning, then and there, sexual relations of the most passionate sort. I was fully potent at fourteen. This affair I have always regarded as the turning point (though if I could have turned in the other direction at all, I doubt) that made me homosexual forever. With my friend I continued "relations", meeting him at least once a fortnight, for a full year, without any damage to my health. I loved him intensely. He was an "active" type, and I was at that time passive; for matter of that am still quite such. Nobody ever suspected us, even after my family had noticed that I knew the young man well … When I was nearly sixteen, after several other episodes, I fell into a violent sexual passion for a young sea-captain that used to visit some neighbours, when on his leave. This sentiment did me real mischief for a year. It was not suspected by its object, nor could it have been in the least relished by him …, I will add that the physical type I have defined always has remained "the" one most appealing to me … At twenty, when I was at X— University, I had an awkward experience by being sexually attractive to a pretty young married woman, the relative of a friend. She once lost control of herself, enough vainly to attempt my seduction, But I had by this time a complete hatred of the idea of having to do with any woman in that way. I was engaged in regular sexual intimacy with a college-mate, and also with a young coachman, employed in a family some miles distant … I had never been able to think of a woman as a sexual partner, except with a vague dread. But at this time I did not realize that such a feeling of horror would be an obstacle to my marrying, a plan that I did not give up till some years later; at least not completely and knowing why … I have not mentioned that in school 1 used to fall into queer "states" of what I think now was a sort of premature sexualism, when I was reading of the manly beauty of warriors, or when close male friendships were talked about, or if I read a book that turned on such a relation. I have mentioned my affair with my young Jewish friend as my first really "serious" incident of. the sort. It was such only in a relative sense; there had been two or three mates of mine at school that, if homosexual permanently or not so, were then on the usual "schoolboy" terms of physical intimacy with me. With one of them, a brother of the handsome G— mentioned, I was accustomed to masturbate chiefly because he looked so much like his relative. He could stir up all sort of romantic thoughts in me. This was my real reason for caring for it with him, rather than some others … I have forgotten to mention an incident when I was not more than seven or eight, that has always appeared to me striking, as hinting that "we are born so Several older people were once talking, in my presence about a neighbour's young son who had committed suicide because of his rejection by a young lady of the vicinity. There was a pause, and I, whom nobody had thought of as attending, exclaimed. "What a fool! To kill himself for love of a girl!" There was a general burst of surprise and annoyance at my being so near. But soon somebody asked—"For what sort of other love, T—, do you think a young man should kill himself?" Without an instant's hesitation I answered, "Because he loved some man who hated him! That would be good reason, I think!" At this notion the company smiled, and made some fun of its romantic suggestion. The observation passed, without reflections as to what sort of a nature might be shaping in my stout little frame … I remember to have had no other "sexual convictions" in my life. The instinct was inborn—I could never have got it from any outside source, so rooted it was it in me from my first youth." …

Two Leading
Types of Uranian

Two types of Uranian boyhood prevail. The child being in this the father of the man, as in other foreshadowings. One is the physically delicate youth, graceful, spiritual, and dreamy, highly impressionable. To this type also belong often detail of uncertain health, of shunning the ruder sports of lads, of indifference or dislike to the society of noisy male playmates; along with a proportionate relish for playing with girls, dressing in girls' clothing, and a natural ease of comporting oneself in it. A boy should never be permitted to "dress up" in female apparel, nor a girl allowed to travesty herself as a boy. To such a delicate boy-type, pertains, the love of quiet, of solitude, tastes tor reading and for arts, admiration of what is beautiful rather than what is rudely grand and heroic, and of intellect, not action. Above all, in such young Uranians occurs vivid appreciation of adult male beauty, the charm of mature male society, when the man concerned is gentle of temperament and gifted. These latter traits are more or less recurrent in heterosexual youths. But they arrive at a proper proportion in normal lads as virile maturity advances and they do not have that sentimental tinge in normal boys that they possess in the young Uranian. This Uranian frequently matures to "passive" sexuality.

The second type of young Uranian has nothing feminine in his tastes. He is, on the contrary, averse to girlish interests in life. He, indeed, passionately attaches himself to friends. He perhaps is wholly careless of other relationships. Often he is noticed as concentrating his sentimental nature, so far as it is revealed, on one or another intimacy with a boy, no matter what be the masculinity of his general equipment. At least, this is frequently a trait in him. But in his case, as in that of the relatively feminine youth, there is the superseding sense of the beauty of the male physique and male character, indifference to girlish charms, and inner responsiveness to what is manly attractiveness. Perhaps it is all hid; reserved by the lad with great pains. Naturally, this type is far less easy to separate from the normal-natured lad growing up into a quite dionistic nature. But often it is strong "active" Uranianism, under a vigorously boyish veil.

Some years ago, appeared m England a little tale "Tim" (anonymous) gracefully written, giving subtly a minute study of psychic Uranianism between two school-lads of these diverse types.

from Ulrichs.

An Austrian Uranian wrote to Karl Emil Ulrichs as follows, concerning his boyish similisexualism, as an inborn instinct.

"I was fourteen years old when I first felt love. My brother was a cadet in the hussars. Once upon a time, I had to go to get a leave of absence for him from the Rittmeister, an officer that I did not know. He proved to be a handsome, rather sombre-looking man of remarkable physique; about thirty years old, with a moustache and with blond hair. As he talked with me, it seemed to me that his voice had the ring of metal. He asked me in a friendly way to sit down, and sat beside me. While he talked with me so kindly, I began to find him less sombre in expression. But that look of his "went through" me. I could not stand it. As he touched my hand, my whole body began to tremble, and when he sat closer by me, my teeth fairly began to chatter—from a sort of delight and terror together. At last he kissed me, and why I was so frightened. Then it came over me! I threw myself upon his breast, weeping. Each kiss that he gave me went like a shot through bone and marrow. From that instant my heart was full of him, as my divinity. My only thought was of him. With him the joy of love flowered-out for me. That was the hour of my "Rosenliebe." …

Instance: Very
Strong Juvenile
Uranianism, Psy-
chic and Psychical.

A pertinent example of boyish uranianism is this, which is furnished me by a French physician: the subject of the memorandum being however, an American sculptor, a distinguished member of the profession on the Continent.

"I doubt if many homosexual "victims" have come more directly than I have by their instincts in that direction, or have more plainly felt them from early boyhood. My father was of German-English blood. I once overheard him conversing with a friend on the general subject of homosexuality, in a confidential interview. He was of a plainness of speech in the talk that has made me certain that not only he, but my grandfather also, were homosexual, to a considerable degree, notwithstanding their pleasant married lives … But this conviction did not come to my ears till long after my own tendency was clear."

"I often wonder if more precocious "examples" of homosexualism occur. I was really precocious in many matters. For one detail, nobody ever "taught" me to read, nor could say how I had, even learned my letters. I could and did read any ordinary English book easily and correctly for most part, when I was less than six years old. When I was eight, I was as far advanced in general information as most boys of fifteen. I was fully prepared for college at seventeen, having also then a vast amount of general knowledge not common to boys of such age. But my sexual feelings, which were exclusively homosexual from the first moment that I remember anything in the way of admiration were remarkably developed, when I was in first youth. I hid them from the first. I remember how when I was about six years old, I used to feel drawn with an intense interest to handsome men in our family-circle, or to handsome lads; to one especially, who was much at our house with my older brother. At the same time, I did not like to be "petted" by women, nor at all welcomed their society, however pretty and friendly. I also took strong pleasure in looking at pictures in which men were the subject. I was a very nervous, high-strong youngster; used to fall into violent tempers, etc".

"The first incident that I remember in which my premature homosexualism was unmistakably shown, came when I was less than seven years old. It is curious enough to be specially mentioned. I usually slept by myself, in a little room ajoining my brother S—'s room; that is to say, after I was no longer in the nursery, with a female attendant. One day there came to visit my brother S— (who was about fifteen) a schoolmate from the same boarding-school that S— attended. This guest, young A—, was a very handsome boy, about seventeen. (He grew up to be a particularly good-looking young man of twenty-four, at which age he was drowned in the Hudson.) This lad occupied my brother S—'s room during his week's stay. S— slept in another part of the house. From the first moment that I saw G—, he had what I now see was a most extraordinary "sexual attraction" for my little self. I fairly "fell in love" with him. For the first time, I began to take definite interest in the idea of seeing a nude male body. For, A— became the special object of this instinctively homosexual passion. I had to go to bed considerably earlier than A—, or my brother; the two often did not come to A—'s room till I was asleep, or should have been so. Also my brother's presence hindered my curiosity, night and morning. But I soon became adroit, and was nervously wakeful enough to get the better of such difficulties. The sight of A— as he undressed, even before I first saw him quite naked (in the way I shall describe) made me violently "excited" in my mind; though I do not at this time remember how far, at so early an age, there was a physical effect of the kind. (I was capable of strong erectio at eleven.) One morning, very early, I woke up, and just as if I had thought of nothing else all night, almost at once I slipped out of my bed, and stole into the room where A— was sleeping. Trembling I approached his bedside, and looked at him. A— did not wake, being a sound sleeper. For some time I gazed in an indescribable interest, pleasure and excitement at his face and his exposed bust and outstretched sturdy, long legs; for he had partly thrown off the coverlets in his sleep. Becoming bolder, as A— did not wake, I yielded to an irresistible wish, even at risk of arousing him. I gently turned down the sheet, and for the first time looked, with a perfect fever of interest and desire too, at A—'s well-developed genitals. For the first time I really could see, and "study", if so I may speak, such organs, and especially the admired A—'s. With this came a boldness, a sexual fire to my young nature that I well recall, and which led me to a sheer audacity, a strange evidence of my inborn feeling. I saw that A— slept like a log, and that he was not likely to be disturbed if I touched him. So I slipped into bed by his side. Without caring for consequences, too excited with sexual desire (at seven years!) to "mind" much the situation if I should waken A— by accident, dexterously I came nearer and nearer to a contact with him, laid my head against him, and then I began gently with' him pen. in os, without disturbing him. This continued several minutes. A— did not waken, but gradually was excited. I do not know what would have ended the situation, had not a sudden noise in the hallway terrified me, and sent me flying back to my own little bed. As it happened, A— was obliged to leave my brother that day. He did so, to my profound regret. I remember how I kissed him and, as he had taken a fancy to me, how he embraced and kissed me, at leave-taking. I did not see him for many months. But when next A— came to our house, the situation was for me far more explicit. I had grown older, and was considerably more mature in my precocious homosexualism. This time, A— slept in the same room. My brother, was also there, but in another bed. I slept now with one of the two, now with the other, as my room was wanted for my cousin. A— at this time disclosed himself to me as a homosexual boy, of strong maturity in the trait. He made his advances early, when we were sleeping together. I gave myself up in delight to his passion which, as you may guess, was fully ejaculative, as he was so old a lad; and we were mutually intimate sexually, then, and often later in his short life. His death deeply affected me."

"I will add that I am sure that my brother was homosexual. But I do not know how far so as to his friend A—. I never had opportunity to determine this, though I remember how I tried to do so. But my brother was in homosexual relations with many other friends, in his school-days and later, as I came to know when going through his letters and other memoranda by him, found after his death, when I was about twenty-five."

"So much for my earliest episodes of this sort. I come now to an incident of another bearing, when I was at Brussels, in 18…"

The remainder of the instance is not appropriate to the present chapter.

Instance from
Ulrichs: Psychic

An interesting delineation of boyish uranianism occurs in the little work "Memnon" of Ulrichs. It is, in part, as follows:

"The first pure and true longing for love awoke in me when I was not yet ten. The object of it was one Eduard d'H—, a schoolmate two or three years older than I, when at the Aurich Gymnasium. He was a class higher than I; he being in the fourth form, and I in the fifth. Our parents were strangers to each other. I was not thrown with him. His beauty of person charmed me. He was not athletic in his type, but in the bloom of youth, almost pale in face, with fine-cut, beautiful features. all that, there was absolutely nothing girlish about him … A certain longing, never felt before, drew me to him, not however with a trace of sensual feeling. My tenth birthday came, and I took the notion to ask him to spend it with me. But four days before it, my father died, and so that invitation never was given. It was, in fact, only thus that Eduard and I remained separated. Once he accompanied me from Aurich to my home in the country near by, at Westerfeld. When I left East-Friesland, a year later, he wrote a page in my album. I cared more for that page than for all the others. After our parting, I liked well merely to think of him. When I had exercises in "letter-writing" in school, I preferred to begin them. "Dear Eduard!" I could not find any other name so beautiful."

"Why was all this? I did not know. A feeling that I had never known before had come over me. Later this sort of sentiment grew to passion, but not more inwardly such. Eduard d' H—'s very features, only little weakened by time, still unforgotten, are ever in my mind. I shall never forget him" …

Another Instance:

Of a further development of his uranianistie sentiment, the same homosexual autobiographist writes thus:

"I was fifteen years, ten-and-a-half months old, when the first nocturnal signs announced my entrance into manhood. There had never been any sexual occurence, either uranistic or other, till then. The incident mentioned was quite normal. But much earlier had awakened in me certain gentle longings, partly indefinite, an objectless glow. At this same period however, such feelings were separated, never aroused by one and the same young man. These sensuous though "objectless" flashes of feeling often had troubled me in my lonely hours. There was no use in fighting them. They first became changed to the following actual aspects when I was past fourteen, and was a student in Detmold. An architectonic supplement to the plates in Normand's "Orders of Architectural Columns" wakened me, through the figure of a Greek god, or hero—in the nude. The image, a hundred times banished from my soul, came back a hundred times. My sub-conscious uranianism was roused" …

"And next this came. If I studied in my little room, or if I was going to bed, there would recur, suddenly and often, the idea—"If a soldier would only suddenly clamber into my room, by that window there". And then my fancy would picture a handsome soldier, of twenty-two or twenty-three years; and then something would burn within me like a fire. But even then such a fancy was without; definite sexual object. Somewhat later, only, it tended toward special satisfaction. I had never had had any relation with any soldier … had never spoken to a soldier. While in the case of the architectural picture, the sight of the unclad male sexuality had excited me greatly, the idea of nudity in this soldier-fantasy was remote. It was a condition of mind which … existed without an exterior effect. I had never read of man-to-man sexual love, nor ever heard of such a thing. I did not know that it existed. It was a state of demand for sensual love and for the pain of love, but attached to no definite object. I was not in the same situation as had been my more fortunate friend in Vienna, who was of my age, for his story of the Hussar officer had proved more kindly; whereas in mine mere imagination juggled with me. If my soldier-fancy had become life, and had met me in flesh and blood, I would also, have "trembled with delight".

"Not till two or three years later did I come really into touch with a soldier. On a journey, I was alone in the vehicle with the driver. The driver permitted a young soldier to ride part of the way with us. I accordingly sat alone with the young man in the carriage, very close to him. The nearness of physical touch roused strong sensual emotions in me. But there was no special, final goal for them in my mind. It was merely a matter of vague wishing that I could lay my hand on his thigh. I felt the pains of Tantalus because this desire was not gratified".

Another In-

An Hungarian Uranian, thirty-two years of age, in an official position, and of entirely masculine type outwardly, wrote this of his own boyish predisposition:

"From first youth my sexual inclination for the male was felt. I had an unlimited horror of normal relations, with women. I have often made vain attempts at it. But with the merest sexual touch of a male physique I have complete satisfaction. My night-dreams, from earliest youth, have depicted only male shapes to me. O, had I only known of Uranianism sooner! I have suffered for seventeen years unspeakably" …

The "Byron"
Description of
Boyish Uranian-

Although Lord Byron is little known as one among the world's vast array of homosexual men, and has passed into social history for a normal—or abnormal—Don Juan of Don Juans, the inner life of the great romantic poet was strongly tinged by homosexual relations with several special male friends. This is shown early and late in his career. Both psychically and physically, the history of it is conclusive; but it is considerably reserved. Many of the chapters of it never have been even near to publicity, probably never are to be so. Of the prose references to Byron's boyish "friendships that were passions", as he styles them in his letters, diaries, etc., we need not here speak. But a curious versified allusion to the topic has been at least ascribed to the poet. In 1866, appeared in London the poem "Don Leon", as being an authentic fragment of Byronic verse, but not published till that date. The lines have not the young Byron's diction, fire or fancy. But if they be at all from his hand, it is not impossible to ascribe them to his hesitant muse, and to place their composition as among those miscellaneous first poems (several of them homosexual) which Byron put together as a collection for the year 1811, out of which series the young poet withdrew certain pieces either by his own or by other counsel. The title given the lines. "Don Leon" suggests per se some indifferent imitator; they have the quality of an immature or second-rate verse-writer, on a stereotyped model. Nevertheless, the allusion contained in them is in key with Byron's childish days at Newstead Abbey; and the poet's intimate biographers have alluded to it. Byron met, soon after his mother had removed with him to Newstead, a young village lad, and became almost inseparable from this humble friend, day by day. Byron continued the intimacy even after he had less opportunity, by being sent to Harrow. The poetical description tallies with this juvenile acquaintance that in its time filled such a place in Byron's lonely boyish life at home, and in his precociously sensitive—if then so immature—heart: they even convey with some elegance the quality of one boy's homosexual love for another;

"Then say, was I or Nature in the wrong?
If, yet a boy, one inclination strong
In wayward fancies, domineered my soul,
And bade complete defiance to control?
Among the yeomen's sons on my estate,
A gentle boy would on my mansion wait …
Full well I know, though decency forbad
The same caresses to a rustic lad,
Love, love it was that made my eyes delight
To have his person ever in my sight …
Of humble birth was he, patrician I,
And yet this youth was my idolatry!
Oh, how I loved to press his cheek to min !
How fondly would my arms his waist entwine!
'Twas like a philter poured into my veins …

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   What lights this fire?
Maids, and not boys, are wont to move desire,
Else 'twere illicit love! O sad mishap!
But what prompts Nature then to set the trap?
Why night and day does his sweet image float
Before my eyes? Or wherefore do I dote
On that dear face, with ardour so intense?
Why truckles reason to concupiscence?
Though Law cries "Hold!" yet Passion onward draws.
'Twas Nature gave us passions, Reason laws.
Whence spring these inclinations, rank and strong,
And harming no one? Wherefore call them wrong?
How many captains, famed for deeds of arms,
Have found their solace in a minion's arms?
Say why, when great Epaminondas died,
Was Cephidorus buried by his side?
Or why should Plutarch with eulogiums cite
That chieftain's love for his young catamite,
And we be forced his doctrine to decry,
Or drink the bitter cup of infamy?" …

Many a mature man not suspected, by friend or foe, of such a sexual emotion as that in the foregoing lines, Byronic or not, can echo their confession, looking back on past boyhood.

School-life and

School-life, even when not in a boarding-school, frequently is highly developing to similisexual sentiments. There is no easy method of counteracting this tendency. To work against it too directly means the injury of the free, childish companionship, damage of wholesome, juvenile confidentiality and loyalty, and a check on the expansion of a lad's character by intimacy with his mates. The sexual danger must remain side by side with the good, in our educational systems. Naturally the kind of school-life that is led by the boy at home is not so provocative of the similisexual instincts. 'The English public-school, the French lycée, the German 'Gymnasium,' the monastic school for young lads, offer genial atmospheres for it. But even the school-life which throws young lads together for only stated daytime hours is a lively factor.

Most Boarding-
Schools Unavoid-
ably the Forcing-
Houses of Boyish

Indeed the general categories of schools for lads of all ages, including impressionable æsthetic natures of tender years, are the seedling-houses of uranistic impulses. The types of young Uranians mentioned above concentrate themselves on the school-friendships of this time. These become real passions. The sexual relations that spring out of them are not merely misdirected boyish impulses, as one is so often told. They are unities rooted in the elementary temperaments of many of the lads. As the boy grows up, the instinct may keep him a pederastic homosexualist for all his life, or he may experience its mutations toward mere idealism. But, first and last, it is likely to be the same aesthetic passion for masculine beauty of body, in preference over the feminine; a sense of the psychic superiority of the male, a "drawing" toward him, as the expression of sexual desirableness; of personal charm, trustworthiness, and "completeness". From the first days that the lad looks into the world, distinguishes a man from a woman, a boy from a girl, the youthful Uranian makes his choice instinctively. He knows where his heart leads. Professor Kuno Fischer gives a striking reference to this quality of school-friendships in his allusion to the famous Karlschule, at Stuttgart. Many Englishmen could duplicate such reminiscences.

Common Among
Schoolbys, as
Among Adults.

Sometimes the sexual relation of young lads is not mutually uranistic, but (as in riper years) a dionistic lad is drawn to an uranistic mate. He grows bound to him; is sexually intimate with him, while puzzled or ashamed. Such young Dionians when maturer, often lose all taste for similisexual intercourse, look back on it with consternation and disgust. Unfortunately the really uranistic partner undergoes no such change. The first abandonments to a male love, the first physical expressions of it will have been subtly educative. The gout of it is forever fixed.

A Sign of Early
Uranianistic Na-
ture: Friendships
of Too Sentiment-
al a Warmth.

Indications of passional, abnormal friendships ships between boys as boys, and girls as are worth precautions. Friendships which seem to take a strong nervous hold of the boy's character, to dominate his psychic life, to possess a distinctively sentimental colouring, are to be discouraged by the parents and guardians, however sympathetic they may be to such intimacies on general grounds. Diversion, separation, diplomatic obstacles, should be utilized. Especially so, when the lads are of the weaker, more idealistic classes described. There is small use in explicitly reasoning on the topic with a boy; not more than there is use in such a course with the adult Uranian. One meets only denials and evasions of all sorts; a deeper self-inclusiveness. The curious and painful topic of juvenile suicide is by no means unconnected with precocious similisexual instincts. In a German city, a year ago, a lad of fourteen hanged himself. It was found that he had committed the act, not on account of a failure in his school-examinations (as was mentioned) but because he had lost the intimacy of another lad, homosexual as himself, and was "too miserable" without it. A young English boy, not fifteen, attempted suicide at a summer-resort recently, leaving behind him a note for a mate, which said that the death of a young tutor in his school with whom, as was presently discovered, he had had sexual relations, "made life a blank" to him. "I loved him and he loved me and, I cannot live without him".

Further instances;

I cite from a comunication that is made to me by a friend, whose term was long in an English public school, of the first class, in fact, till his University matriculation:

"Of homosexualism at X—, I can say that it was never failing, on all sides. While in many instances, especially between older boys with younger ones, there may have been the only mere temporary substitution of such intercourse for the more normal kind, still I know plenty of examples where the sentiment never has been lost by the parties as they grew older. I can count now a dozen such that we all knew of … We laughed among ourselves, never taking them as a real disgrace, no matter what we said or would have said, "outside". We had two regular marriages, between well-grown boys, partly in fun, as caricatures of a Roman wedding-ceremony, partly in earnest. One of those "matches" has never been interrupted, both the men being homosexual and living in together in X—. (Of course no suspicions of their relation being what it is.) Our Latin tutor, Mr. Z— was homosexual. He had no conscience about it, no responsibility. He seduced several lads during my stay at X—. As to one of his later intimacies, with the present Lord S—, who was then a remarkably beautiful boy of seventeen or eighteen, we all had a regular, tolerant sort of understanding … At the time of the Cleveland Street Scandal in London, you will remember how prominently the name of T— occurred. Nobody who had ever been at our School with him would ever be surprised at his share in such an affair".

Instance of Per-
manency of the

The foregoing writer alludes to tracing in the matured mend the schoolboy-similisexual. The following extract is in the same connection, the writer being a dionistic pederast … "Since the days of my youth, I have had to carry about with me—my secret. How often has my heart been so heavy and troubled!—but I dared not trust anybody. I find my highest, purest pleasure in sight of a beautiful boy. Sexual connection with a young man, on the other hand, gives me a shudder. I cannot understand how anybody can tolerate the mere idea of that. Nevertheless, something ever impels me toward a blooming lad, far more than to a girl, although I also feel sexual desire for the latter. For girls I have now and then been in a state of enthusiasm, but never so sensitively as for a boy. I grow indifferent in course of time to the girls I may have loved. I seldom think of them later, and then without any special interest. On the other hand, a boy that I have loved is unforgettable. Women find me good-looking. I have received many a love-letter … I never dance, and I have not the least desire to marry. The only thing that disturbs my illusion is when the the handsome boy grows older, so that the beard develops; then my passion lessens … I am fascinated only by quite young, graceful, girlish lads, not muscular or robust, and only if of clean and pure mind. How often would I like to press such a boy to my heart, to cover his pure eyes with hot kisses. But I cannot!" …

The Tutor an Ura-
nistic Influence.

An appreciable influence in developing Uranism is the fact that the tutor to whom the boy is committed may be an Uranian of pederastic inclinations. With all sympathy for his nature, there is too often a conscienceless failure to his trust. But the tutor's situation can be terribly trying to self-control. Sensitive to boyish beauty of mind and body, a twentieth-century instructor of lads can fall in love with them as ardently as any Greek academician. But in these days such an "unnatural" sentiment easily can be social ruin. Not only does the unhappy Uranian nourish the instinct in similisexual youth; he undoes himself by the surrender to it. Particularly in monastic gymnasiums and boarding-schools, directed by a celibate clergy, many of them young priests, is the atmosphere of uranism latent, whether in type delicately esthetic or rankly gross. The school-study of classic literature has a close connection with boyish similisexualism. To explain honestly many episodes in the best poets and historians of Grece and Rome is to teach homosexuality, unavoidably. Close companionships out of the classroom between impressionable lads and their tutors; sociable hours in the teacher's apartments; quiet excursions with lads into the country, beget many romantically pédérastie ties. Painful tragedies occasionally spring out of them. Criminal statistics annually are filled with the stories of educators, secular aud clerical, guilty of debauching of boys; by no means always in satisfaction of brutal and vulgar sexualism, but carried along by aesthetic uranianism; sometimes with despairing moral contest. When an intimacy is not known to the outer world, but takes a calm mutual course between lad and guardian, the latter may change colour in the boy's nature and in his concepts of sexual love, as he outgrows his "derived" uranistic tendencies; or it can bring grave consequences if he remains homosexual.

Instance of Ura-
nistic Struggle on
the Part of a

I have following from a teacher in a Continental institution for lads, a secular one. "No words can tell what I have suffered, morally and physically, through my passion for generous-minded, high-natured and beautiful lads. I was in continual warfare with the sense that I must not betray myself; not only because at that time I did not understand homosexual love and natural right to the emotion, but because of feeling strongly, as a sexual and moral duty, that I must avoid encouraging such ideas in any boy's nature. I was very often greatly troubled. I had two or three such passions. One, for a lad named D— nearly drove me insane … My position in a large public-school, a homosexual and boy-loving teacher, attractive to his charge, sometimes is terrible now … During the latter part of my stay in W—, I gave up the moral contest several times, detesting myself for my weakness, overcome by love, But I allowed myself what relations came from the surrender only when I was sure that the boy was plainly of the same temperament, was eager to be the object of my passion, and would be perfectly secretive. Even this qualified liberty led to several intimacies … I call God to witness that always, then as now, it is the spiritual traits of the youth that mostly draw me to him … The most violent affair of this sort, my love for L—K— led me to consider suicide, and for a time interrupted my whole life … Even now, when the physical passion for beautiful and noble boys has passed from my nature, so that my interest and admiration is intellectual, I shudder to think of those six years in W—. The nervous cost to my life was permanent".

Instance: School-
boy Impression-
ic and Helpful

The ensuing is from a correspondent, now a man of mature years.

"Among first influences to strengthen my uranistic instincts, were four years at the E— school. I was a handsome lad, full of all sorts of romantic notions. My Greek tutor was one of the most winning men that I have ever met. At about thirty years of age, he was of unusual attractiveness; athletic, robust, elegant, with beautiful features. I simply fell in love with him! The sentiment was a real misery. I did not dare to let Mr. Z— see it. I was tormented with hopes, fears, and bitter jealousy also of one other schoolmate for whom Mr. Z— appeared to care specially. This "rival" was much more clever than I … In my second school-year when I was fourteen, to my great joy two things occurred. My rival (who never knew himself such, I am sure) went away. At the same time, I found that Mr. Z— was disposed to become more interested in me. At length, the passion on my side came to my open confession. It was made in a burst of angry feeling, because of Mr. Z—'s stirring, up my jealousy of the boy who had gone away. It happened one afternoon as we were alone, and Mr. Z— was giving me help in a lesson. To this day I remember with gratitude the tact, the careful preservation of my self-respect and innocence of mind, with which Mr. Z— (who was not at all homosexual, though perfectly intelligent in the tendency) met my confession. He calmed me, and managed to give the sentiment at once a less disturbing course for me. We became close friends. There was never any further real unhappiness for me. I overcame the sexual element in my feeling for him, without loss of warm affection or intellectual drawing to him. Unfortunately such a change was exceptional. It did not lessen the passionate sexual colour of episodes in which other men were the objects of my regard" …

A French fiction (wholly such?) "Les Pervertis", by a precocious young French authour, Ferri-Pisani, is so special and doubtless true, a picture of homosexualism in a great Paris lycée that it may well become a classic in its type.

Instance: Homicid-
al Jealousy.

A mysterious attempt at murder, and therewith a suicide, on the part of a trusted servant, under circumstance pointing to homosexual relations with his young master, occurred in a well-known New-York family, in the autumn of 1907. It is mentioned more at length in another connection of this study.

Similisexual Lads
given to Conceal-
ed Sentimental
Passions for
Actors, Singers,

The uranistic youth is prone to sentimental passions for men on the stage. In a study already cited, "Hellenische Liebe in der Gegenwart," by the late Otto de Joux, the authour tells the story of a boy of thirteen, the son of a high official, who fell violently in love with a certain operatic barytone, a man of distinguished beauty when on the stage. The boy contrived to begin and to keep up a most eloquent love-correspondence with the singer, under a female name. He wrote in his diary. "Only once, once, to be kissed by those cherry red lips, to be clasped in those strong arms, to be allowed to rest on that marble-hard bosom! what unspeakable bliss it must be … He sings heroic roles and he is himself a hero. Oh, my Conte di Luna! why are you so unattainable, as far out of my reach as your name-sake? Have you no idea that I love you,—you, my only beloved until death?" The reader perhaps may fancy that one meets here the sentimentalism of a feeble-framed, morbid-natured lad. Not so, for the diarist was a rugged young Uranian, who grew up to be a marine-officer of distinction and is to day a virile type of humanity. But his inborn uranianism is intense, under the mask.

University Life
and Uranianism.

Though the Uranian busy in college-life is not in earliest youth, yet he is not mature enough to make consideration of his temperament impertinent to this chapter. Universities, the world around, are centers of similisexual attraction and of 'relations' between fine-natured young college-men. Under such sexual circumstances often begin those absorbing and exclusive intimacies for life, not much understood as more than long and remarkable "friendships". The influence of hellenic and Latin literature and classic social aspects, the virile daily ambient, athletics as a great element of modern university life,—all promote the sentiment, are an element of the problem. Oxford and Cambridge, Heidelberg and Jena, Harvard and Princeton, Vienna and Berlin, Bologna and Padua, the chronicles of their homosexualism between the young men populating them give much significance to this phase.

cals and Youthful

The homosexual influences of certain kinds of university theatricals, nowadays so popular and artistic, are not trivial, especially because of the present tendency to neglect dignified drama in favour of burlesques, operettas, musical farces, parodies, and so. These demand that young men play trivial female roles, in female costume, as imitatively as they possibly can. The more perfectly a young undergraduate, beardless and graceful, can assume a womanish personality as a "chorus-girl", or soubrette, in public, so much the more is he praised. "You cannot tell him from a girl, when he is on the stage" … "I am the prettiest ballet-girl that ever you saw in a theater!" … These are common sayings when talk is of the college-performance in rehearsal, or just given in some town-theater, to smart audiences. Stage-dancing by young men in female dress, has been made a "feature" by promoters and patrons of "college-shows". Undergraduates have acquired national reputations for grace in short skirts, and for female softness of contours highly attractive to audiences. Curious bits of inner college-history hinge on the admirations that result. Here is one such confession:

"I had never felt any clear sexual emotion for another man till one Spring, when we rehearsed and gave in X—a musical farce, under fashionable patronage, for the benefit of our University boat-club. I had always been athletic, and had not thought much of my looks; certainly not as being femininely attractive. I had the part of "a beautiful princess" in this piece. What with the talk of the "régisseur" and the dresser and of my chums, and the constant fuss made over my dancing, I took the rôle more and more seriously. There was a great deal in the papers about my "wonderful female beauty" in the costume, my producing the "perfect illusion of a lovely girl", and such stuff. We had several costume-rehearsals, and we gave the piece six or seven times. Soon after the rehearsals in dress came, I began to notice how some of my classmates, even the most masculine, began to "fall in love" with me when en scène Some of them showed the same sentiment afterward. I found it amusing. One evening the feeling of "bisexuality" was strong in me; the half-womanish instinct was roused. I saw a certain H— plainly in a state of suppressed sexual excitement. So I deliberately seduced him. From that night, we had frequent intercourse of the kind. It was partly under a veil of fun, but it was not mere jest—no! really I was for the time a woman, in my sexual nature, and H— was my victim. The relation lasted long after all the play-giving was past. Nor was A— the only instance of my giving way to the same feeling. To tell the truth I became demoralized by my own adaptability to appear femimine! Another homosexual student became quite mad about me. I had a long sexual intrigue with him. An older (senior class) chum became sexually my slave … It passed out of my life, after I left the University. Now we all are married, except the homosexual friend last referred to. But I learned a lesson from it. I have never allowed my young son, now at X— College, to take part in theatricals; whether plays by Plautus or operas by Sullivan".

In the columns of the "New York Tribune" some ten years ago appeared a strong American communication on this same topic, intimating the homosexual side of it. There is also an article in the "North American Review" of the same time, discussing such questionable aspects of smart college histrionics, that have no connection with a really literary element of university life.

Another In-

An Uranian of a distinguished American family, a man of line intellectual and moral attributes, at one time married but separated from his wife (on discovering how vain was a marriage-relation to effect his "cure") narrates thus his experience as an undergraduate, with a chum engaged in amateur-theatricals:

"My first irresistible love-affair of a homosexual kind was the outgrowth of a friendship with a chum in the University. J— was wonderfully clever at different "female roles" in our college farces and operettas. I had not appreciated his "bisexual" sort of beauty, till he was made a "flower-girl" in a burlesque, richly staged, that we gave in the B— Theater. J—'s photographs were sold all over the town, everybody talked of him. Then I realized how like a lovely, if rather robust, girl he was; and the feeling of sexual desire began to mount. I began to make more of our intimacy, and soon I found that the emotion I speak of continued when we were in ordinary conditions of life together. J— was a dionistic type, but I may as well confess I succeeded in bringing him to my wish. The effects of that sexual passion and its continuance for a year between us have been a part of my whole after-life as a homosexual! I think J— outgrew it. But I did not. J— was my idol for a long time. There was no other bond between us; intellectually we had not much in common. I know of a dozen other undergraduates, and of one professor, who were all more or less in love with J—, some of them to any degree of "success" with him, One such intimacy gave me miserable hours … In the same dramatic society were half a dozen homosexual intimacies. The fact that the men concerned were some of them splendidly athletic did not count; unless (as I sometimes think) it assisted the sentiment".

Artistic and
Aesthetic Sensi-
tiveness of the
Young Uranian.

The youthful "aesthetic temperament" is generally one that must be peculiarly watched and guided. The possession of much musical susceptibility should be a danger-signal. Not painting nor sculpture nor literature can act on a young similisexual Ego as does its musicality. Also should be observed the tendency to admire only male performers in the circus, when the admiration seems specially physical; and the passionate interest in handsome actors, singers and soldiers, etc.

Superior Scholar-
ship by Young

The young Uranian's mind in school or other educational training is likely to be brilliant, though his quickness of intelligence does not generally extend to more abstract tasks, such as mathematics—not to formulas and intangibilities, rather than concrete topics. He is frequently a quick linguist, a good geographer, and a precocious literary worker. On the other hand, his equipment sometimes is annulled by an indolence that no rod will cure; all the more irritating because it is a mysterious failure of will, not of wish.

Precocity in what
is Unmoral or

In all grades of Uranian youth; in school or not, including boys not necessarily of decadent type and origin, a propensity toward general moral weakness is met with painful frequency; if along with many redeeming traits. This class contrast, sharply with the high-natured type. A large proportion of brilliant and well-born young Uranians are innate liars, cowards. cheats, mischief-makers and shifty young characters. The Uranian lad of really undergrade social tissue is especially often a thorough mauvais sujet. The boy-murderer, expert thief in his teens, and so on, are likely to be similisexual lads. This sort, side by side, with the finest instances of noble and pure characters in the young uranian sex, in its manliest, most sensitive morality.

Feminine simili-
in Early
Youth; the Youth-
ful Uraniad.

This study, as has been said, concentrates itself on male aspects of similisexualism. Only secondarily can it set forth aspects of the Uraniad's sexual life and nature. So much of them are mere translations of the masculine into feminine terminology that separate discussions of the two intersexes seem superfluous. The present chapter is a particular example of this. Almost every phase of the boy-uranian, whether at home or in school, and college, finds its parallel in the Uraniad, in her early environment. Like the Uranian, the Uraniad is constantly an inborn, precociously intersexual existence. Her nature as a little girl, at home, in the nursery and schoolroom or away at school, often pulsates with an irresistible directness. The present tendency to educate young women in colleges for "girls only", promotes feminine similisexuality. American and English girl-colleges are famous cultivators of the passions that belong to the Uraniad. Often a mature Uraniad looks back over a long life, in which not for one moment since her first friendships, her earliest "teens", her college intimacies, has she been other than a woman-loving woman. Possibly she finds that a long life has been saddened by the possession of precocious sexual impulses which she has neither dared to disclose, nor even now has begun to understand; in which her university-life, with its encouragements to masculine ways of thought, feeling, dress and sentimentalisms, has been a potent factor.

Is Early Uranism

Inborn Uranianism in a youth, and real and inborn Uraniadism in a girl (the latter's outlook less decisively) cannot be "cured". If genuine, it defies "remedial" processes. Acquired similisexualism of a superficial quality frequently passes away in women under matrimonial influences, maternal emotions and other alterants. The parent, the tutor, the mature friend of an Uranian boy can help the lad to grow up with his similisexual instincts in reasonable physical and moral restraint. Intelligence and tact can define the course to prevent the boy from becoming as a homosexual man, what so many grow up to be—degenerates, criminals and victims. But beyond such solicitous, tactful help to a lad no results can be achieved, in nine cases in ten,—except illusions and failures.

Parents Approv-
ing Juvenile Ura-

And interesting and unconventional aspect of the parental problem as to a homosexual boy (and, to some extent, to the youthful Uraniad) is the fact that fathers and mothers sometimes express themselves as much preferring that their son should be, and should grow up, homosexual; provided that the 'relations' consequent be happy, tranquillizing, elevating and idealistic; concentrating the lad on special; 'love-friendships' of the kind; and acting as an outlet of his juvenile sexualism that protects him from being the victim of those debasements, diseases and other mischiefs that are so largely part of a boy's early heterosexual experiences. Several well-known psychiaters have met this conviction. Its results obviously depend too much on the individual cases to be easy of brief consideration and résumé here.