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THE SEX INSTINCT
Universality of the Sex Instinct--Not Responsible for Our Thoughts
THE sex instinct, which runs all through nature from the lowest animal
to the highest, is the inborn impulse, craving or desire which one sex
has for the other: the male for the female and the female for the
male. This instinct, this desire for the opposite sex, which is born
with us and which manifests itself at a very early age, is not
anything to be ashamed of. There is nothing disgraceful, nothing
sinful in it. It is a normal, natural, healthy instinct, implanted in
us by nature for various reasons, and absolutely indispensable for the
perpetuation of the race. If there were anything to be ashamed of, it
would be the lack of this sex instinct, for without it the race would
quickly die out.
=Not Responsible for Thoughts and Feelings.= It is necessary to
impress this point, because many girls and women, whose minds have
been perverted by a vicious so-called morality, worry themselves to
illness, brood and become hypochondriac because they think they have
committed a grievous sin in experiencing a desire for sexual relations
or for the embrace of a certain man. Altogether it is necessary to
impress upon the growing girl, when the occasion presents itself, that
a thought or a feeling can never be sinful. An action may be, but a
thought or a feeling cannot. Why? Because we are not responsible for
our thoughts and feelings; they are not under our control. Though it
does not mean that when they do arise we are to give them full sway.
We should attempt to combat them and drive them away, but there is
nothing to be ashamed of, because for their origin we are not
=Responsible for Actions.= Our actions are under our control, to a
certain extent at least, and if we do a bad or injurious act, we have
committed a sin and are morally responsible. The _desire_ for the
sexual act is no more sinful than the desire for food is when one is
hungry. But the performance of the act may, under certain
circumstances, be as sinful as the eating of food which the hungry man
obtained by robbing another fellow-being, just as poor as himself.
I am not preaching to you. But I am not an extremist nor a hypocrite.
I am advocating neither asceticism nor licentiousness. One is as bad,
or almost as bad, as the other.
What I am trying to do is to inculcate in your minds, if possible, a
sane, well-balanced view of all things sexual.
For I believe that wrong, perverted views of the physiology and
hygiene of the sex act and of sex morality, that is, the proper
relationship of the sexes, are responsible for untold misery, for
incalculable suffering. Both sexes suffer, but the female sex suffers
more. The woman always pays more. This is due to her natural
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