We next come to some other superstitions about sex which need some discussion. They are (a) the duration of sexual intercourse should be about half an hour or so. If it is less, it means that you are partially impotent and a future case of dementia praecox. (b) It is very difficult, if not impossible, to satisfy the sex- cravings of a woman. (c) Semen is the most valuable fluid in the body. A drop of it is equivalent to many thousands of drops of blood and , (d) Wet dreams are symptoms of a serious sexual disorder.
I have already dealt with (c) in connection with discussions about masturbation (9in the previous issue of this journal) where the “loss” idea of semen is given a great deal of prominence in the public mind. I have shown that the belief is untrue; neither have I any idea how people can compare semen with blood because one is quite different from the other as regards function and physical and chemical properties, not can I guess how they can arrive at mathematical figures in comparing one with the other.
As regards (d), the mechanism is the same as that of masturbation. Just as masturbation is practically universal at a certain age, so are wet dreams. Wet-dreams are not symptoms of a serious sexual disorder. They are perfectly normal. Sex urge, like hunger, if not appeased, accumulates. In masturbation the urge is partially satisfied and the individual does it himself when the urge is too strong for him.
If due to his fears he refuses still, nature takes this up and discharges his dammed-up libidos through wet-dreams. Nature gives him what he denies himself. Wet-dreams are evidences of a normal hetero-sexual tendencies of a man. I shall look with uneasy apprehension about the mental stability of a man who says that he has never masturbates, has never had any wet-dreams or did not indulge in sexual intercourse with a woman.
Let us now take up the belief (a) about the duration of sexual intercourse. No body seems to know what is the normal duration sexual intercourse. Without enquiring about it, they manufacture a superstition and when they find that their own cases do not conform with their superstitions they begin worrying about it and continue to worry so long as they live and in their old age bequeath the superstition to the younger generation as a valuable legacy.
It is the greatest source of worry and anxiety in a mans mind- the belief that the duration of sex-act should be more than what it actually is. The universality of this belief originated probably from the wise to prolong the physical pleasure of seminal orgasm, the ideal being that the unendurable pleasure may be indefinitely prolonged.
Unfortunately, from the very characteristic of sensations, this is not possible. Any pleasurable sensation, if indulged in for too long a time, loses its pleasurable quality and may even become painful. This is one of the properties of sensation and you cannot alter it. You can increase the time but you do so at the expense of the intensity of pleasurable feeling.
If you try to prolong the duration of sexual intercourse, you can do so and there are means of doing it, most which are unhealthy and injurious; but you do it at the expense of the satisfaction which is your due and which is the only motive of sex-act. You miss your aim and get something else which you do not require.
I have found that most men mistake that persons who can withhold the discharge of semen persons who can withhold the discharge of semen for a long time during sexual intercourse are men who are strong, virtuous and fortunate; men who ought to be envied and in comparison with whom we ought to feel sorry for ourselves. I should strongly recommend a course of treatment for persons recommend a course of treatment for persons who suffer form a long duration of sexual intercourse. It is an early symptoms of a mental disorder-sometimes of a very serious type.
Well! What is the normal duration of coitus ? 2-5 minutes apparently, more or less. There is nothing to worry about if it is slightly less. In fact, the duration of coitus varies within wide limits in a normal healthy individual. A period of sexual abstinence naturally increases the sexual hunger and consequently the duration of coitus becomes much less when the abstainer comes in contact with the woman for the first time.
It is a source of perpetual wonder to me why people should get frightened and begin tearing their hairs and beards and go running to doctors like demented persons for this ordinary phenomenon, the explanation of which is so simple.
But there are persons, abnormal ones evidently, who really have a much longer duration of sex-act, varying from half an hour to as much an hour or so. They believe, like most such means women can be conquered as if women need conquering through sex. They occasionally boast for such conquests afterwards and keep a record of them, just as Don Juan did. A Don Juan type of personality is certainly a diseased personality. Such persons later other symptoms of mental disease. The self-drumming and boasting about women-conquests are defence reactions of the mind against other hidden tendencies.
It will be idle in these series of popular articles to go into the mechanisms of these defence reactions. Suffice it to say that in some cases where these defences can no longer check the strength of the hidden wishes, the latter break through them and some grave symptoms of a serious mental disorder.
A prolonged duration of sexual intercourse is the outcome of a want of sufficient amount of heterosexual sex-urge in a man. A person who plays too long with his without eating it, has evidently no appetite for food. A man who takes too-long for sex- act has evidently no attraction for a woman. I wonder what is there to boast in it. A castrated fellow cannot boast that has no testis.
In fact, Havelock Ellis cites Jager and Moll, who assert that in castrated men the duration erection is longer than in normal persons (1) H. Ellis,– Analysis of the Sexual Impulse, 1913, p, 10. A long duration of coitus is not to be taken as a sign of virility; on the contrary it appears that it is a sign of weakness of libido rather than its strength.
It is interesting to note in this connection that some of the cases who come for treatment for other symptoms, but who has this characteristic as well, get well by suitable analytic treatment and when they get well, their duration of sexual intercourse comes within normals limits.
Hitherto I have been discussing coitus from the standpoint of the male alone. In the next article I propose to discuss it from the standpoint of the female who show certain differences in this respect, a knowledge of which is necessary for the respect, adjustment between the husband and the wife. A great deal of misconception is present in the mind of every man in respect of sexuality about which we still do not know enough. But what little we do know is important and a little knowledge of it will go a long way towards improving the relations between a man and a woman.