Adam McOmber

From Psychopathia Sexualis, Doctor Krafft-Ebing.
Vienna, Austria 1886.


Case 135.

V. was very talented. He learned easily and had a most excellent religious education. At a young age, he began to masturbate without instruction. Later in life, he recognized the danger of this practice and fought with some success against it.

Soon after, he began to rave about male statuary....

Imagine then a ruin. White pillars against a pale dusk. We are in Rome, Palatine Hill. Here is Flavius, done in marble. Note his musculature: swollen pectorals, firm abdominis. His cock, uncircumcised. Flaccid shaft curled against full testes, a thatch of pubic hair. Flavius has no head, no face. It doesn't matter. We can invent such a thing for him. Adonian curls, high forehead, aquiline nose. There is a cleft in his chin. His lips are full, nearly pouting. You see? Imagine brushing up against him in a darkened hall. We excuse ourselves, politely. We nearly continue on our way. Then we realize just how lovely—how ancient. We take Flavius to our bed. His alabaster flesh is hard and cold. His body is so heavy it nearly breaks the frame. Imagine kissing those stony lips. Rubbing our own cocks against his timeworn beauty. Flavius speaks to us. His voice is an echo, his throat some two thousand years old. We don't know Latin. Yet still we understand. Flavius doesn't love us. He can barely perceive us at all. But he will do this thing we've asked of him. When he ejaculates, his semen is a fine powder.


Case 137.

Homosexual feeling, perverse in origin (sexual excitation by men's boots). Patient dreamed of handsome jockeys wearing shining boots. Servant's boots affected him. Men of his own position, wearing ever so fine boots, were of absolute indifference. In the society of ladies, he has been reserved; dancing always tires him....

He collapses at yet another gala. Gas lit dance floor in a gilded hall. Stringed instruments play a waltz. All around him, boots of every stripe: Dealer and Jodhpur and Paddock. Tight fitting, ankle-high. The smell of leather. The smell of polish. Red Hessian with golden tassels, fronds brushing his upturned face. Woolen Valenki. Top Boots. Black Billy Boots, handsome and vital. He likes a painted wooden heel, a scuffed sole. He imagines men walking for miles. He drags himself across the dance floor, wanting to slide his tongue up a boot shaft, investigate the delicate stitchery, dislodge a bit of dirt. He wants to kiss the backstay, the mule ears, the toe box. There is something otherworldly here. He knows this is embarrassing. That's the point, isn't it?


Case 146.

Two persons in Vienna are examples. One is a barber who calls himself "French Laura"; the other is a butcher who calls himself "Helen...."

Good day to you! Good day. (Fans flutter lightly against chests). This is a knitting circle in which no knitting is done. Instead of needles we have cocks. Instead of yarn we have our slippery orifices. Aunt Patricia has baked yet another of her delicious cakes. We remark on it with enthusiasm. There is time for gossip then. Vicki has been up to her notorious tricks. And you mustn't start us talking about Anne. We adjust our skirts and ask about the new charitable concerns. We support the Cripple's Home, The Temporary House for Lost Dogs and, of course, The Female Society. What items will we donate this year to the jumble sale? We can spare nearly everything. And then there is cycling. It's ever so popular these days. All the women in the park, pedaling about: Fanny and Ruth and Florence. But those uncomfortable leather bicycle seats. They have bruised us! Speaking of uncomfortable: here comes the duchess now. Look at her, will you? Just look at her.


Case 149.

He never felt nausea at the penis of others....

The causes of nausea: Perambulators. Light novels. Hoop skirts. Bourgeois work ethic. Portraiture. The Resurrection. The language of flowers. The children's hour. Quakers. Realism. Naturalism. Strindberg. Strindberg! Allspice pudding. Unfashionable clubs. Muttonchops.


Case 170.

The hypnotic suggestions are as follows:

  1. I abhor onanism. It makes me weak, miserable.
  2. I no longer have a lustful inclination toward men. A man's love of other men is against religion, nature and law...

Stop. (We place our hand over the doctor's mouth, silencing). We will finish this. Who are we to speak? We are all of them—every one. Begin again:

  1. I will not imagine a quiet hillside in the country where men can be together unhindered. I will not imagine these men taking off their shirts in the tall grass, revealing the sort of pastoral physiques that shepherds once had. I will not imagine these men kissing one another on the mouth, on the chest. I will not imagine them unlacing their tight brown trousers. I will not imagine them building houses there on the hillside where they can live amongst one another. I will not imagine how they don't pray to any gods. I will not imagine how they talk at night around great fires, faces bright, telling old stories, holding hands.