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Table of contents
PREFACE
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.1
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.2
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.3
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.4
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.4
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.6
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.7
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.8
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.9
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.10
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.11
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.4
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.1
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.2
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.3
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.1
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.2
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.3
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.5
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.6
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.1
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.2
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.3
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.4
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.5
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.6
PROSTITUTION-7.1
PROSTITUTION-7.2
PROSTITUTION-7.3
PROSTITUTION-7.4
PROSTITUTION-7.5
PROSTITUTION-7.6
PROSTITUTION-7.7
PROSTITUTION-7.8
PROSTITUTION-7.9
PROSTITUTION-7.10
PROSTITUTION-7.11
PROSTITUTION-7.12
PROSTITUTION-7.13
PROSTITUTION-7.14
PROSTITUTION-7.15
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2

courtship. In man it is only modified because in man sexual needs are not 

entirely concentrated in reproduction, but more or less penetrate the 

whole of life. 

 

While from the point of view of society, as from that of Nature, the end 

and object of the sexual impulse is procreation, and nothing beyond 

procreation, that is by no means true for the individual, whose main 

object it must be to fulfil himself harmoniously with that due regard for 

others which the art of living demands. Even if sexual relationships had 

no connection with procreation whatever--as some Central Australian tribes 

believe--they would still be justifiable, and are, indeed, an 

indispensable aid to the best moral development of the individual, for it 

is only in so intimate a relationship as that of sex that the finest 

graces and aptitudes of life have full scope. Even the saints cannot 

forego the sexual side of life. The best and most accomplished saints from 

Jerome to Tolstoy--even the exquisite Francis of Assisi--had stored up in 

their past all the experiences that go to the complete realization of 

life, and if it were not so they would have been the less saints. 

 

The element of positive virtue thus only enters when the control of the 

sexual impulse has passed beyond the stage of rigid and sterile abstinence 

and has become not merely a deliberate refusal of what is evil in sex, but 

a deliberate acceptance of what is good. It is only at that moment that 

such control becomes a real part of the great art of living. For the art 

of living, like any other art, is not compatible with rigidity, but lies 

in the weaving of a perpetual harmony between refusing and accepting, 

between giving and taking.[106] 

 

The future, it is clear, belongs ultimately to those who are slowly 

building up sounder traditions into the structure of life. The "problem of 

sexual abstinence" will more and more sink into insignificance. There 

remain the great solid fact of love, the great solid fact of chastity. 

Those are eternal. Between them there is nothing but harmony. The 

development of one involves the development of the other. 

 

It has been necessary to treat seriously this problem of "sexual 

abstinence" because we have behind us the traditions of two thousand years 

based on certain ideals of sexual law and sexual license, together with 

the long effort to build up practices more or less conditioned by those 

ideals. We cannot immediately escape from these traditions even when we 

question their validity for ourselves. We have not only to recognize their 

existence, but also to accept the fact that for some time to come they 

must still to a considerable extent control the thoughts and even in some 

degree the actions of existing communities. 

 

It is undoubtedly deplorable. It involves the introduction of an 

artificiality into a real natural order. Love is real and positive; 

chastity is real and positive. But sexual abstinence is unreal and 

negative, in the strict sense perhaps impossible. The underlying feelings 

of all those who have emphasized its importance is that a physiological 

process can be good or bad according as it is or is not carried out under 

certain arbitrary external conditions, which render it licit or illicit. 

An act of sexual intercourse under the name of "marriage" is beneficial; 

the very same act, under the name of "incontinence," is pernicious. No 

physiological process, and still less any spiritual process, can bear such 

restriction. It is as much as to say that a meal becomes good or bad, 

digestible or indigestible, according as a grace is or is not pronounced 

before the eating of it. 

 

It is deplorable because, such a conception being essentially unreal, an 


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