Comparative Literature and Culture 2125A/B Chapter Notes -Paroxysmal Attack, Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, Sexual Intercourse

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SEXUAL INITIATION
in a sense, woman’s sexual initiation, like man’s begins in earliest childhood
erotic experiences of the young girl are not simply an extension of her former sexual activities;
very often they are unexpected and disagreeable
all the young girl’s problems are epitomized in sharp and urgent form
psychiatrists all agree on the extreme importance of a woman’s first erotic experiences: their
repercussions are felt throughout the rest of her life
for a man, the transition from childish sexuality to maturity is relatively simple: erotic pleasure is
objectified
erection is the expression of this need himself remains at the center of this activity
woman’s eroticism is much more complex and it reflects the complexity of the feminine
situation
clitorid orgasm, like that of the male, is a kind of detumescence which is accomplished in a
quasi-mechanical manner
We still speak of taking a girl’s virginity, her flower, or breaking her maidenhead. This
defloration is not the gradually accomplished outcome of a continuous evolution, it is an abrupt
rupture with the past, the beginning of a new cycle
The female may be conscious of the intrusion of an object into the vagin,e particularly if vaginal
muscles are tightened, but the satisfaction so obtained is probably related more to muscle tonus
than it is to erotic nerve stimulation
Vaginal pleasure exists
The new erotic cycle inaugurated by the first copulation requires for its establishment a kind of
montage or rearrangement in the nervous system
Anatomic destiny is thus profoundly different in man and woman, and no less different is their
moral and social situation. Patriarchal civilization dedicated women to chastity, it recognized
more or less openly the right of the male to sexual freedom, while woman was restricted to
marriage
The nature of marriage, as well as the existence of prostitutes, is the proof: woman gives
herself, man pays her and takes her
So for the lover and act of love is conquest, victory
It is sometimes held on the contrary that women is impure because she has dirty dishcharges
and that she pollutes the male
Man is ruler in the world he holds that the violence of his desires is a sign of his sovereignty; a
man of great erotic capacity is said to be strong, potent epithets that imply activity and
transcendence
The erotic attitude for the female is very complex at the moment when she faces the male for
the first time
The truth is that virginal desire is not expressed as a precise need the virgin does not know
exactly what she wants
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