This section is from the book "Handbook Of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science", by Henry S. Munro. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science.
The sexual instinct is a phenomenon that has both its physiological and psychological manifestations. In no phase of human conduct do we see the influence of personality upon personality so markedly exhibited as in the sexual relations between man and woman. The love of the normal man is awakened and nourished by essential and natural qualities in woman - beauty, gayety, vivacity, healthy normal love, and devotion - and he values domesticity as well as knowledge; helpful, sympathetic co-operation in his life's duties, as well as physical attractiveness; and in all of the relations of life her influence upon him is as a psychophysiological depressant if she is unhappy, exacting, quarrelsome, and constantly exhibiting psychoneurotic manifestations. The influence of the personality of the man upon wife, or the wife upon husband, determines one's conscious sensations - pleasant or disagreeable, as the case may be - and no factor in human life so contributes to health, happiness, and success, and all that goes to make life worth while in the world, as the influence exerted by the personality of the individual upon his or her companion in the marriage relation.
Sensations that are pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or disagreeable, stimulating or depressing, play a most important role in the mental as well as the bodily manifestations of man. Those sensations that arise from an association that produces effects upon mind and body that are pleasant, agreeable, and stimulating to the organism encourage all bodily functions, stimulate the activities of the mind, and increase the capacity of the individual for mental and physical work, thus evoking health, love, life, and happiness.
Sensations that are unpleasant, disagreeable, and depressing cause mental depression, despondency, and nervous irritability. Such an influence may result in actual pain, and cause a marked inhibition of mental and physical capacities.
Self-preservation is the first law of nature, and therefore it is only in accordance with the constitution of the human organization to perceive as pleasant, agreeable, and stimulating everything favoring itself, as expressed in bodily functions or in mental activity, for all helpful sensations encourage health, success in business pursuits, and happiness as a natural consequence.
Agreeable sensations do much more to contribute to the happiness of man than is generally supposed. They carry with them ideas, feelings, and beliefs that constitute luck, joy, happiness, love, and sympathy. They soothe and satisfy the cravings of the normal human organization, and predispose to active and useful endeavor in the great every-day world.
Disagreeable sensations, on the other hand, are positive psychophysiological depressants. They depress and inhibit the functions of the entire organization, cause nervous and mental irritability, make the individual miserable and unhappy, and rob life of its zest and enthusiasm.
The necessary requisites for a happy and permanent sexual relation concern the entire personality, psychic and physical, in which educational qualifications, mental attributes, acquisitions, and temperament, likes and dislikes, are of equal importance to bodily qualities. The natural attraction of sex to sex, present in the sexual act, is more influenced by psychic qualities - and all that is implied in the word "congeniality" - than by the physiological expression of the desire to gratify sexual passion by orgasm.
Many marriage relations are entered into only from sensual intoxication, as the result of constant association of the opposite sexes, without considering whether psychic qualities exist which make a marriage relation for life possible. Such marriages are often the burial ground for happiness and joy, as well as for a useful life in the business world.
The different developments of character and faults in the parties to a marriage relation, usually as the result of education and environment in early life, frequently cause the disharmony which proves destructive to the home life.
Thus Nystrom has well said: "One thing is certain - viz., that not the most obviously wise legislation concerning marriage, nor the most rigid superintendence, is able to create happiness of mar-ried people, safety of children, and happy homes. Love alone can do this, and where it is absent a union is false and marriage is unworthy oppression, which ruins character, and all prattle of infidelity is without inner deeper import."
True love, mutual sympathy, and respect are the fundamental conditions for the happy marital union of two well-developed individuals. This embraces comradeship, understanding, mutual interest, sympathy, loyalty, and all that contributes to the happiness, success, and development of the entire personality.
The sexual relation is only an incident in the life of the parties to a union where the fundamental conditions above enumerated exist, and it is then only one of the numerous ties which unite and hold man and wife together.
In many cases, on the other hand, the sexual act is the only link that binds in the marital relation, and such a relationship is not the same as love. It may be performed as the result of habit, without love or sympathy, in response to the physiological demands of the animal nature, carrying with it no gratification for one party and is a humiliation for the other. Such a relation is devoid of devotion, and thus the main element of sexual life is lacking, and has in it not one element worthy of the participation of a self-respecting being. Sickness, suicide, divorce, or the most unhappy state of existence is the consequence. Many such marriage relations are in existence. The man is willing to surrender his happiness, success, convictions, ideals - his very life - for the sake of the conservation of a home, where the children who are born as the result of his unhappy union may be reared and educated. Such men are martyrs, for the unhappiness they are forced to conceal is worse than the most malignant cancer constantly preying upon life. Of the ten or twelve thousand suicides per annum in the United States, many that are reported as caused by "business complications" are the result of an unhappy domestic union.