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condition is far from absolutely sound. Its usual results, under favorable
circumstances, are entirely beneficial. In men there normally supervenes,
together with the relief from the prolonged tension of tumescence, with
the muscular repose and falling blood-pressure, a sense of profound
satisfaction, a glow of diffused well-being, perhaps an agreeable
lassitude, occasionally also a sense of mental liberation from an
overmastering obsession. Under reasonably happy circumstances there is no
pain, or exhaustion, or sadness, or emotional revulsion. The happy lover's
attitude toward his partner is not expressed by the well-known Sonnet
(CXXIX) of Shakespeare:--
"Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated."
He feels rather with Boccaccio that the kissed mouth loses not its charm,
"Bocca baciata non perde ventura."
In women the results of detumescence are the same, except that the
tendency to lassitude is not marked unless the act has been several times
repeated; there is a sensation of repose and self-assurance, and often an
accession of free and joyous energy. After completely satisfactory
detumescence she may experience a feeling as of intoxication, lasting for
several hours, an intoxication that is followed by no evil reaction.
Such, so far as our present vague and imperfect knowledge extends, are the
main features in the process of detumescence. In the future, without
doubt, we shall learn to know more precisely a process which has been so
supremely important in the life of man and of his ancestors.
 The elements furnished by the sense of touch in sexual selection have
been discussed in the first section of the previous volume of these
 See Appendix A. "The Origins of the Kiss," in the previous volume.
 See, e.g., Art. "Erection," by Retterer, in Richet's _Dictionnaire
de Physiologie_, vol. v.
 Guibaut, _Traite Clinique des Maladies des Femmes_, p. 242. Adler
discusses the sexual secretions in women and their significance, _Die
Mangelhafte Geschlechtsempfindung des Weibes_, pp. 19-26.
 In some parts of the world this is further aided by artificial
means. Thus it is stated by Riedel (as quoted by Ploss and Bartels) that
in the Gorong Archipelago the bridegroom, before the first coitus, anoints
the bride's pudenda with an ointment containing opium, musk, etc. I have
been told of an English bride who was instructed by her mother to use a
candle for the same purpose.
 _Parthenologia_, pp. 302, et seq.
 The connection of this mucous flow with sexual emotion was discussed
early in the eighteenth century by Schurig in his _Gynaecologia_, pp. 8-11;
it is frequently passed over by more modern writers.
 The drawing is reproduced by Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, vol. i,
Chapter XVII; many facts bearing on the ethnography of coitus are brought
together in this chapter.
 Onanoff (Paris Societe de Biologie, May 3, 1890) proposed the name
of bulbo-cavernous reflex for the smart contraction of the ischio-and
bulbo-cavernosus muscles (erector penis and accelerator urinae) produced by
mechanical excitation of the glans. This reflex is clinically elicited by
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