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for a human being to love more than one other human being at the same
time. We must show that the love of the modern educated and esthetic
man and woman is an exceedingly complex feeling, and that a man may
deeply and sincerely love one woman for certain qualities and just as
deeply and sincerely love another woman for certain other qualities.
Of course, love cannot be measured by the yard or bushel, nor can it
be weighed on the most delicate chemical balance. And it may be
impossible to determine whether he loves both women exactly alike or
he loves one woman more than the other. But that one love does not
exclude another, that it may even intensify the other love, that is
certain, and is the opinion of every advanced sexologist.
Max Nordau, a man of high and austere ideals, a man whom nobody will
accuse of a tendency to licentiousness, says in his Conventional Lies:
"It may sound very shocking, yet I must say it: we can even love
_several_ individuals at the same time, with nearly equal tenderness,
and we do not necessarily lie when we assure each one of our passion.
No matter how deeply we may be in love with a certain individual, we
_do not cease_ to be susceptible to the influence of the entire sex."
And Iwan Bloch, than whom no greater investigator in the field of
sexology ever lived, asks the question: "Is it possible for any one to
be _simultaneously_ in love with several individuals?" And he
immediately says: "I answer this question with an unconditional
'yes.'" And he says further: "It is precisely the extraordinary
manifold spiritual differentiation of modern civilized humanity that
gives rise to the possibility of such a simultaneous love for two
individuals. Our spiritual nature exhibits the most varied coloring.
It is difficult always to find the corresponding complements in one
Prof. Robert Michels says: "It is Nature's will that the normal male
should feel a continuous and powerful sexual attraction towards a
considerable number of women.... In the male the stimuli capable of
arousing sexual excitement (this term is not to be understood here in
the grossly physical sense) are so extraordinarily manifold, so widely
differentiated that it is quite impossible for one single woman to
possess them all."
Prof. von Ehrenfels wittily remarks that if it were a moral precept
that a man should never have intercourse _more them once in his life_
with any particular woman, this would correspond far better with the
nature of the normal male and would cost him far less will-power than
is needed by him in order to live up to the conventional demands of
And Havelock Ellis cautiously says: "A certain degree of variation is
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