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forgotten that the physical and psychic qualities associated with
and largely dependent on the ability to experience the impulse of
detumescence, while essential to the perfect man, involve many
egoistic, aggressive and acquisitive characteristics which are of
little intellectual value, and at the same time inimical to many
We have a further standard--positive this time rather than negative--to
aid us in determining the erotic temperament: the phenomena of puberty.
The efflorescence of puberty is essentially the manifestation of the
ability to experience detumescence. It is therefore reasonable to suppose
that the individuals in whom the special phenomena of puberty develop most
markedly are those in whom detumescence is likely to be most vigorous. If
such is the case we should expect to find the erotic temperament marked by
developed larynx and deep voice, a considerable degree of pigmentary
development in hair and skin, and a marked tendency to hairiness; while
in women there should be a pronounced growth of the breasts and
There is yet another standard by which we may measure the individual's
aptitude for detumescence: the presence of those activities which are most
prominently brought into play during the process of detumescence. The
individual, that is to say, who is organically most apt to manifest the
physiological activities which mainly make up the process of detumescence,
is most likely to be of pronounced erotic temperament.
"Erotic persons are of motor type," remark Vaschide and Vurpas, "and we
may say generally that nearly all persons of motor type are erotic." The
state of detumescence is one of motor and muscular energy and of great
vascular activity, so that habitual energy of motor response and an active
circulation may reasonably be taken to indicate an aptitude for the
manifestation of detumescence.
These three types may be said, therefore, to furnish us valuable though
somewhat general indications. The individual who is farthest removed from
the castrated type, who presents in fullest degree the characters which
begin to emerge at the period of puberty, and who reveals a physiological
aptitude for the vigorous manifestation of those activities which are
called into action during detumescence, is most likely to be of erotic
temperament. The most cautious description of the characteristics of this
temperament given by modern scientific writers, unlike the more detailed
and hazardous descriptions of the early physiognomists, will be found to
be fairly true to the standards thus presented to us.
The man of sexual type, according to Bierent (_La Puberte_, p.
148), is hairy, dark and deep-voiced.
"The men most liable to satyriasis," Bouchereau states (art.
"Satyriasis," _Dictionnaire Encyclopedique des Sciences
Medicales_), "are those with vigorous nervous system, developed
muscles, abundant hair on body, dark complexion, and white
Mantegazza, in his _Fisiologia del Piacere_, thus describes the
sexual temperament: "Individuals of nervous temperament, those
with fine and brown skins, rounded forms, large lips and very
prominent larynx enjoy in general much more than those with
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