The beginning of menstruation (for some) came as a shock which may terminate the young girl's development to maturity. It forms a decisive turning-point in her life, as well as a definite symbol of puberty, the transition to sexual maturity. During puberty the genital glands start to work at full pressure, breasts and pelvis attain feminine roundness and fullness, the pubic hair begins to grow, the figure as a whole becomes feminine and more completed.
This almost physical transformation of the young girl is accompanied by emotional crisis. The appearance of menstruation and even before, the girl begins to take an interest in everything concerning love and romance... The normal girl falls in love, at this stage, with anyone and everyone, and frequently changes the object of her affection; now it is the teacher, man or woman, now the young or middle-aged man next door.
Love letters are exchanged and they arrange their first meeting. At this time even friendship assumes a tempestuous. The duration of the transition period varies from case to case, lasting from a few months to several years. Its outcome is the finished product, the sexually mature virgin.
From here the woman continues her development in a less turbulent manner. However, the foundations of her sexual attitude and sensitivity were laid in those decisive years of development up to puberty, and we have seen what brittle and inadequate foundations they are. Even more often they remain sub-conscious until years later, with marriage and sexual activity. The following will reveal how large a proportion of frigidity and other sexual disturbances in a woman.
We have seen that, long before the girl becomes sexually mature, desires of a vague and confused sort have sprung up, and promoted by the contradictory atmosphere with which sex is surrounded. By this we mean insistent reference to sex on the one hand (in the elements of culture), and rigid suppression of frankness and enlightenment on the part of society, parents, teachers and etc. Already the ground is prepared to make of sex a spicy, a forbidden subject instead of that easy spring which feeds refreshment and natural enjoyment.
Apart from her primary basic instinct, there is sex all around her, in the books she reads, the pictures she sees, theatre, cinema, song and dance, and now in the cyber. Sexual information came by directly and indirectly, sexual contact; mental and physical, she proceeds to guard and close up against this her body and mind. Because she blushes at as little as a prolonged handshake, because she must giggle at the slightest remark that may be interpreted as ambiguous, because at this point of awakening she is hypersensitive.
Where the girl physical constitution does not allow the physical body to stop growing and of the sexual instinct, sexual curiosity and unconscious sexual desire can be diverted by occupying time on the right interest. Example of swimming and plays tennis till she drops goes for long walks in the course of which her desires are deflected into an unnatural love of nature. Therefore a lofty interest is fostered and developed. Then there is also music that helps release themselves. The predominately erotic origin and character of modem jazz are commonly recognized. No wonder, then, that some sex-starved women are "mad" on music. No wonder either, that they swoon and have old-fashioned palpitations when listening to Beethoven, who was a great master of the art of delaying musical climax to the most tantalizing degree.
The intermediary stage between the relatively harmless and the less harmless release for the sex impulses is supplied by the modem industrialized form of platonic idol or film star worshipping. The dream and fantasy is as it were mass produced by the screen, the press, and advertising.
However, this trend already transgresses the harmless far more than one would suppose. Centred in a shadow image, the woman's desires by and by become too unreal for reality, concrete and tangible, ever to evince in her feeling and response. The Image stands guard with a fiery sword over the entrance to her soul, and with it, to her body, thus preventing her sensitiveness to the touch of reality. In the arms of her flesh and-blood lover, she will lack the capacity of giving herself, for all the time she will be thinking: "What would it have been like with --?" The real lover will always remain to her a substitute; an instrument, to put it crudely, for masturbation.
The longer the period of waiting and starvation of sexual desire, the longer ersatz-satisfaction is substituted and indulged in as a drug, the wider the gulf between imagination and reality will become. There are all too many of the type of woman in whom the repressive training has been only too "successful" by reason of, let us say, a sexually unhappy mother who dinned into the child's ear her martyrdom and the father's sex bestiality.
Grown up, the girl and woman will recoil from sexual contact completely, and let her days pass unfilled. It is after the menopause, when the normal woman's sex life is ended, that the "time of her life" sets in. Now she begins to mention at every possible opportunity the way men used to "go mad about her," whilst she, the pure would have none of them. Often a mysterious fiance will suddenly fill her conversation, the only man whom she, the much-desired, loved, but who unfortunately disappeared before his time, preferably through consumption; though sometimes he was stolen by another woman who ensnared him by means of the baser instincts.
With this we have arrived at the border line of pathological deflection. We have been able to survey step by step the consequences, of systematic sex suppression, from the harmless asexual type of sporting girl, to. The point of grave psychological disorder.