Fifth Estate # 60, August 15-September 4, 1968

photo, Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969
Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969 at a benefit for Open City. Photo: Alan Gotkin.

QUESTION: My lover and I heard a record on KMPX-FM one evening while in bed, about beating and biting one another as a way to come to sexual satisfaction.

We practiced along with the record and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would beat on his back and he bit me all over. particularly around my armpits and breasts. It was very reciprocal and so pleasing we felt we should tell our friends. But since then we have been rejected as weirdoes.

I refuse to believe there can be anything the matter with such pleasure. The emotion is so strong I fail to see how any couple who want love in their sex can ignore this. Am I right?

ANSWER: The record you refer to is taken from the Kama Sutra, an ancient Indian love manual which explicitly and charmingly details the ways of love.

If your friends have known the experience of tears turned to laughter or love become hate, they should understand how you can enjoy the activities described in your letter. One of the factors in achieving sexual satisfaction is the attainment of a high level of excitation. Since you can feel reasonably certain your lover will not cannibalize you and he knows you won’t bludgeon him. the excitement caused by the sensations of biting and hitting is not accompanied by fear, (which is usually a turn-off). Unless rending of flesh occurs. this kind of excitement often enhances the normally pleasurable feelings of sexual intercourse.

Of course there are many ways of achieving sexual satisfaction. If you were as narrow-minded as your friends, you might find their sexual practice to be very weird. Fixed patterns of love-making could be considered an aberration.

QUESTION: I am a girl of 18 with a sexual hang-up. I want to share a beautiful, gentle relationship with my boyfriend and also feel loved by him. Yet, there are times when I would like to be brutally and cruelly balled. But not by my boyfriend!

I have visions of being tied to bedposts and having men (all types) coming in and taking turns on me and doing whatever. Is this normal and what can I do about it?

ANSWER: A part-time coed, whom I suspected daydreamed only of chocolate cake, told me recently that her favorite sexual fantasy was making love while floating in water. Another student, inspired by her panoramic view of San Francisco, fantasized about making love while floating through the air. Both fantasies could be realized. The first by determined swimmers and the second by swift high-jumpers. gutsy skydivers, or bored astronauts.

Fantasies of sexual masochism occur in both sexes but are more common in women. In fact, a certain amount of masochism is normal in females. Why this should be so is unclear. Perhaps it has to do with woman’s sexual role (taking in rather than putting in).

Fellini’s “hero” in 8-1/2 had vivid sexual fantasies and in one sequence told his mistress to act the part of a prostitute. Some psychiatrists would advise you and your boyfriend to act out between you the fantasies you desired. Most would tell you to seek psychiatric aid if you felt you were about to make this fantasy come true (especially by advertising in the classified section). A course of psychotherapy might enable you to better understand your unconscious motivations.

QUESTION: What are the implications of balling four guys consecutively in the course of one afternoon (physically and psychologically)? And what are the signs of nymphomania?

ANSWER: Women are so constructed that they are physically capable of far more sexual activity than are men. No physical harm would be expected from the situation you describe unless one of the men had a communicable disease. Of course, the risk of contracting a venereal disease increases directly with the number of one’s contacts.

Psychological implications of varied sexual situations depend entirely on the personalities of those involved, for example, one of those four guys might freak out. In Masters and Johnson’s study, Human Sexual Response, every one of 312 males questioned expressed some concerns about “excessive” masturbation. One man who masturbated once a month thought once or twice a week was excessive. Another who masturbated 2-3 times a day thought 5 or 6 times a day might lead to a “case of nerves”. Not one thought his own pattern was abnormal.

Dorland’s Medical Dictionary (23rd Edition) defines nymphomania as “exaggerated sexual desire in a female”. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary refers to “morbid and uncontrollable sexual desire in a female”. I think I understand the phrase “sexual desire in a female” but find it hard to quantitate “exaggerated” and am not sure what “morbid” means in this connection.

My conclusion is that “nymphomania” means more sexual activity than is considered proper by the woman-hater using the term.
Dr. Schoenfeld welcomes your questions. Write to him c/o The Fifth Estate.