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III. Sexual Intermediates in General[1]

An androgyne is a human possessing the male primary sexual determinants, ordinarily undersized and not erectile in contact cum femina [with a woman] with no trace of the female conformation of these organs but usually with feminine earmarks in the rest of the body. His psyche, tastes, and manners are more or less conspicuously feminine. On the sexual side of life the ultra-androgyne desires so far as possible to pass for a woman. The ultra-androgyne always feels himself to be a female and is always attracted only toward the ultra-virile or the tremendously virile as a male around his own age. But when he becomes older (still under thirty), almost without exception prefers the society of such ultra-men to that of the best-favored women. Ultra-androgynes are women with male pudenda. They ordinarily pass their lives as men in masculine attire of rather loud color and design. But those of some social standing are prone to disappear for short periods from their everyday circle while on a female-impersonation spree, often in feminine apparel.

In the female sex the androgyne’s counterpart is known as a gynander. In only the rarest instances are an androgyne and a gynander mutually attractive so that marriage is possible.

Uncultured androgynes let their idiosyncrasy become common knowledge in their everyday circle. But the cultured, realizing that their sexually normal associates are subject to fits of temporary insanity on witnessing any evidence of androgynism in another and bitterly persecutes any individual so unfortunate as to betray the earmarks of androgynism, seeks to hide their idiosyncrasy from their every-day circle. They, like the present author, are thus driven to live a double life.

I have resided in nearly every city of the United States and Europe of over 200,000 inhabitants. I have lived for years in millionaires’ families, but only for months in Bowery lodging houses. I spent an average of an evening a week for six years in New York’s Underworld. I have explored the Underworld in many other cities, “knocked up against” an unusual array of atavic and atypic individuals. I estimate that about one adult possessor of male pudenda out of every three hundred is predominantly female psychically, feels more at home in feminine apparel, and instinctively impersonates a female when the sexual period comes on provided he can find occasion. If occasion is lacking he is likely to suffer a brain-storm. Opportunity for a female-impersonation spree now and then is likely to be necessary for his efficiency in his everyday tasks.

But androgynism, as well as its counterpart, gynandrism, exists in all degrees. I myself happen to be a rather extreme type of androgyne.

In addition to the ultra–androgynes who are distinguished by, among other things, horror feminae, the male psychic hermaphrodites of whom Oscar Wilde was a type, number around one out of every three hundred adult possessors of male pudenda. Psychic hermaphrodites are instances of only mild androgynism. Pseudo-hermaphrodites, on the other hand, constitute the limit toward which androgynism and gynandrism tend, and the meeting point of the two phenomena.

The ultra-gynanders and the female psychic hermaphrodites probably constitute each about one out of every three hundred adult possessors of female pudenda.

The method of ultra-androgynes is ordinarily fellatio or pathic in paedicatio; of the mildly androgynous, often the active role in paedicatio or inter femora [sexual relations by inserting the penis between the thighs of a partner]; of both types of gynanders, manustupration [masturbation by hand] on the beloved or cunnilingus [oral stimulation performed on a woman] but sometimes the (I believe very rare) use of an artificial priapudendum [dildo].

Hitherto the civilized world has attributed sexual intermediacy to moral degradation, made outcasts of its victims when found out, and even imprisoned those possessing male pudenda. In former centuries, the “high-brows” burnt the unfortunates at the stake or buried them alive just as today the benighted savages of Africa, animated by horror and loathing, bury alive as soon as born, an albino infant. Only since the latter part of the nineteenth century a handful of sexologists have been bold enough to proclaim that intermediates are often victims of birth and irresponsible for their idiosyncrasy.

But the vast majority of even the medical profession are still, in 1921 lifting up their pharisaical hands in holy horror and saying: “The subject is too nauseating to be investigated! Better that tens of thousands of these intermediates pine in prison, be persecuted until they rid the world of their unwelcome presence through suicide, or be murdered by some prude merely on the ground of the latter’s nausea, than that we decent men should have our own stomachs turned even for a second!”

An intermediate can reach as high a level ethically and religiously as the sexually normal. Except on the sexual side of life the intermediate is like all other people. And on this one side which, exclusive of those thoughts, ordinarily claims only a small fraction of the men’s, women’s, or intermediate’s time, it is not a whit more immoral or irreligious to live in the manner ordained for “him-her” by Destiny than for the normally sexed to live as ordained for them. The latter have no right to prohibit to the intermediate what they permit themselves. That is: following instinct except solely to the end of childbirth.

The claim that intermediates constitute a horrible menace to the perpetuation of the race and on this ground alone it is right for the normal very vast majority to smother out their lives is, as I have shown in detail in myAutobiography of an Androgyne, an absolutely false premise. From the dawn of history intermediates have existed in about the same proportion as today and yet the human race has vastly multiplied. Perhaps without exception only those individuals enter the ranks of the intermediates who are thereto foreordained from birth.

Notes

  1. Manuscript pp. numbered 15-17.