The full sub-title is as follows: "A Scientific Treatise on Sex, its Nature and Function, and it s
Influence on Art, Science, Architecture, and Religion — with Special Reference to Sex Worship and Symbolism." Quoted from the author's "Preface," pp. vii-viii.
"Years ago, it was my good fortune to have the opportunity to examine and read a collection of curious books on sex matters. As I read, I made notations of many facts that I wished to remember, and I also annexed references to the sources from which I had acquired the knowledge. Many of these memoranda, if they were short, were literal copies; longer ones were abridged, others were merely paraphrased; all of them were written partly with word and phrase signs, such as stenographers used, to make the work as little as possible.
Then, at my leisure I made clean copy of this material, arranging it according to subject matter, with numbered references to the book in which I had the original material. This latter book was destroyed during the cyclone of 1896, together with many other of my books, by becoming watersoaked and illegible by water coming into a bookcase from damage to the roof immediately over it. I could not now say which of the facts stated were literal quotations, or from what authors, and which were passages original with me, or freely paraphrased by me. I have attempted to place quotation marks wherever I could remember that the matter was a quotation, but I may have failed to properly mark other passages as quotations; I speak of this to disclaim any conscious or intentional plagiarism, if such plagiarism should have occurred, for I have freely used matter written by others if they said anything in an exceptionally good manner.
The material, prior to 1896, was mainly from the private library referred to above, which was sold, I was told, to an eastern collector of erotica, after the owner's death. But any reference to the subject found elsewhere, in current literature, in encyclopedias, histories, magazines, novels, newspapers, etc., was also used and much of the matter was contributed by friends who were aware that I was gathering this material . For example, the picture
of the burning of a negro at Texarkana in 1892 (see page 340) was sent me by a member of the State Board of Pharmacy of Texas at that time.
I am sorry that the accident of the cyclone prevents me from giving due credit to everyone and every source of information I consulted, but it does not. affect the information itself. When "Psychopathia Sexualis" by Krafft-Ebing, and similar works by Moll, Lombroso, etc ., appeared in print, I, at the request of some of my professional friends prepared a series of lectures for them, showing that sexual "perversions," described in these works as insanities, were in reality deliberate vices, the results of vicious teachings which had come to us by transmission and teachings from the Greek and Roman schools in which slaves were trained in libidinous arts, to make them more valuable to luxuryloving purchasers, their masters and mistresses. But of this matter little or none is used in this book, which does not pretend to
treat of that phase of sexual life and sexual practices.
Recently I was asked to write my studies on sex for publication, in order that the work might not be lost. As the views on these subjects have materially changed among the learned among the public since the time when the collection of this information was first begun, I consented, and this book is the result.
The facts gathered about phallic religion led me to doubt whether this was ever a religion from all other religions apart it appeared to inc to be merely a phase in the evolution of all religions.
Nor was it a real worship of the generative organs, but rather a use of representations of the phallus and yoni as symbols for certain religious ideas which were embodied in nature-worship.
Mankind, when it gave expression to its first dawnings of religious thoughts, wove a fabric of myths and theories about religion, the warp of which ran through from earliest historical times to our own days as threads of the warp of philosophies and theories about sex, male, female, love, passion, lust, desire, procreation, offspring, etc.; while the succeeding ages and civilizations wove into this warp the woof of the individual religions, the myths and fables of gods and goddesses, so that the whole fabric of beliefs, though at first coarse and poor, became more refined as mankind itself advanced, by a process of revelation which consisted in a gradual unfolding of truths in the consciousness and consciences of innumerable thinkers, until our present religions were produced, and which process of revelation is still going on and will continue until all that is fantastic, irrational, unbelievable, is eradicated from our faiths."