REALITY SANDWICH IS PSYCHEDELIC CULTURE

Wet Dreams: Semen out of Place (SOOP)

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

“The body in the mirror forces me to turn and face it. And I look at my body, which is under sentence of death. It is lean, hard, and cold, the incarnation of a mystery” (James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room, 222). 

“The orgasmic sexual experience brings its own revelation. The hard and explosive phallic achievement becomes in an instant the soft, vulnerable tears of the penis. Both are fully male. Both are deeply grounded in men’s bodily reality” (James Nelson 1988: 111). 

Cultural and religious histories of body fluids like semen are part of an almost obsessive academic engagement with the body. There is now a whole industry of research and scholarship on blood, bones, fat, tears, sex, gender, race, every aspect of the body we can think of. The body is back online, and it is appearing more and more unstable, fluid, and transformable. As the source and product of so many disciplines, the body and its fluids engage in an endless process of becoming. 

I’ve only had a couple of wet dreams in my life, and they were pretty positive experiences. During puberty, wet dreams  can be the long awated sign of manhood, and later on they can be a sign of a healthy, erotic dream life. If you can remember your dreams, you know that a dream orgasm is different than a waking one.

And yet, as I began research on the history of wet dreams I quickly ran into antagonistic perspectives that feared them. Abrahmic and  Vedic traditions say wet dreams are occasions for shame and remorse.  Private fluids, like private parts, are “publicly accomplished” (Aho, 2002: x), and always lie at the center of religious discourse.  This is why body emissions provide a starting point for discussing the material dimension of religion, and why I decided to write this short cultural history of wet dreams.

The white, pearly, oily semen, because of these sensual qualities and its connection to the male body, was generally understood as life-force, soul, and legacy. Egyptian myths like The Tale of Two Brothers (the world’s “oldest fairy tale”)  make semen the reincarnating soul of god and men. In the Contendings of Horus and Seth, the eye of Horus is literally his semen leaving Seth’s head! 

This semen-eye-soul confusion engendered misogynistic pride in men, but it also created anxiety: leaking semen was deadly. Semen was believed to originate in the head, and “by expelling their semen, living creatures did not just evacuate a surplus fluid, they deprived themselves of elements that were valuable for their own existence” (Foucault 1990: 130).  The ancient belief, promoted by doctors, that semen was in the white eyeballs and bones meant that excessive ejaculation leads to blindness and a weak spine. Wet dreams specifically could even cause death, or worse, emasculation. Holiday and Hassard (2001: 6): “Since women are already cast as having uncontrollable bodies, this allows for a degree of flexibility in embodiment; on the other hand, the controlled bodies of men prohibit any slippage.” With nocturnal emissions the male body becomes disobedient (Plato calls the genitals in general “disobedient”), which was particularly disturbing for medieval Christian monks and theologians. Medical authorities, such as the eleventh-century author Constantine the African, explicitly link frequent nocturnal emissions with a colder, moister, weaker, more feminized seed. 

David Brakke (1995), in “The Problematization of Nocturnal Emissions in early Christian Syria, Egypt, and Gaul,” reveals how, as the Christian church grew, the anxieties that male leaders expressed about nocturnal emissions became increasingly internalized, both in social and personal terms. For example, Saint Augustine admits in his late fourth century Confessions that nocturnal emissions create “a great gap between myself and myself,” or between his body and his will (Brown: 406; Krondorfer 2009: 82-84).  For Augustine, wet dreams “spoke to all men, and of one thing alone—of a fatal deposit of concupiscence left there by Adam’s fall (Confessions 10.30.42: 797). The mythic Fall of Man is compressed into cold, slimy morning semen found on the body (and all the feelings that slime down there evokes).

On top of that, all medieval monasteries were places where wet dreams were forbidden. It therefore became a hidden experience and source of profound shame. The movement of the body from corporeality to transcendence and communal acceptance appeared to be blocked by the materiality and cultural significance of semen. It’s ok if it’s in the testicles and reabsorbed into the body. But if it is outside the body, it is Douglisian “dirty,”  matter-out-of-place. 

     Late fifth century Christian monk Apa Moses (aka Moses of Adydos) declared that three uncontrolled semen emissions a year, without sexual fantasies, would be what a good monk might expect. But as Augustine confessed, even the most devout monks cannot stop the body from leaking semen/life-force. God alone can do that. Speaking to John Cassian at the end of the fourth century, Apa Chaderemon “expatiated lovingly on the gift of God, bestowed on the few who enjoyed freedom from sexual fantasies in dreams associated with nocturnal emissions” (Brown: 231). Wet dreams were the last link on the “cruel chain which only God could unloose” (Brown 406).   

     Brakke looks at two passages in the Septuagint that address the problem of seminal emissions apart from intercourse. In Leviticus 15.16-18, God tells Moses and Aaron that all body fluids are unclean, and that a man who has had an emission of semen must bathe himself and also wash everything made of cloth or skin with which the semen came in contact. The man himself is unclean, (that is, unable to eat holy foods (Brakke: 422), and unable to read scripture or pray (Steinberg: 911)) until evening. Deuteronomy 23.11-12 speaks specifically of a man defiled by his nocturnal emission and requires that he leave the war camp until evening, at which time he must bathe and then may return. Deuteronomy 23:14 says semen will cause God to turn away and not protect you or your people.

     Scripture is clear: nocturnal emissions, masturbation, (Deut. 23:10-12; Lev. 15:16-17), and rape (Deut. 22:23-26) are all polluting (although battlefield ”marriage” is permitted). Aho: “After all, ancient Israel was a patriarchal society, and each of these acts entails seminal discharge into objects that might confuse or frustrate male lineage. But if that is true, why does even marital sex render both partners ”unclean until evening” (Lev. 15:18)? Is it perhaps because the womb harbors frightening, enchanting, supernaturally charged things: menstrual blood (nidda) (Lev. 15:19-30) and living beings (Lev. 12:l-8)? Whatever the reason, even to gaze on the naked female form (or for that matter on that of the adult male) was viewed as an occasion of uncleanliness in ancient Israel (Ex.  20:26; Lev. 18:8)” (2002: 29). In the Gemara, Rabbi Johana is quoted as saying, “Whoever emits semen nonprocreatively deserves capital punishment”  (Biale 1997: 56).

     Within Judaism, uncontrollable emissions are compared to menstrual blood (Biale 1997: 28-29), which is so unclean that Leviticus 15: 29-30 says women, on the eighth day after discharging ends, “shall take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and bring them to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the priest shall offer the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for her before the Lord for the discharge of her uncleanness.” This is for just being a healthy, flowing female body. 

     Theology Professor Gerald Loughlin: “Thus the priestly concern with purity became an obsession with the body’s porosity, with the ejaculations and seepages of its fluids, which could cross the borders of skin and country. Human flesh is always traversing and transgressing boundaries; its fluids seeping out, its skin touching other skins, its limbs entangling aliens – human and divine. It leaves one land and enters another, traveling from one book to the next, and, above all, it slips beyond the scrolls on which it was first written, beyond the pages of its inception, to live in the imaginations of those traditions we call religions, and, beyond them, in the cultures they once wrote and still write” (2007:116). Wet dreams and other uncontrollable flows contribute to group concepts of purity. Jansen and Dreson, in their essay Fluid Matters (Houtmand and Meyer: 2012) say: “The impurity caused by all bodily excretions—not only the blood of menstruation, childbirth, disease, or violence, but also semen, vaginal fluids, urine, excretions, vomit, and pus—must be washed away and then ritually cleansed. Through this ritual, the anomalous impurity strengthens and affirms what is pure” (Houtmand and Meyer: 219).

     David Rosenberg tells us  that the Kabbala is obsessed with failed sex, especially the spilling of semen in sleep and masturbation, “which is attributed to our unconscious intercourse with Lilith…” (Rosenberg: 18). Onan dies after spilling his seed (Gen 38), however anxieties around seminal emissions were also energized by a belief that semen itself was sentient, and if spilled it gave birth to demons. In Greek Mythology, Athena’s serpent-human child, Erichthonius, was born from spilled seed. In the Jewish midrash, Adam and Eve spend 150 years in abstinence, accidentally feeding semen to succubi who gave birth to demons (Graves and Patai: 98). “To lure Adam out of his abstinence [and to bring forth Seth], God plants in him the lust for Eve and tells him to lie with her, undertaking that he would remove their temptation to wild and indecent lust. This promise He kept” (ibid 98). Another midrashim proclaims that the beings made from Adam’s 150 years of spilled seed became the rebellious generation of the flood and Egypt. Only Seth’s seed is good, born from love, and it becomes Noah, the new Adam. Unfortuantley, this line degenerates into war and genocide shortly after the flood anyway.

    Interestingly, spilled semen can sometimes create superior men because they are made from pure masculinity. A strange bit of logic escapes from one Rabbi: “These drops produce the highest souls because they are derived from pure masculinity. The problem is that they have no female vessel and are thus taken by demonic females (Lilith or Na’amah)…” (Magid: 61). The prophet Ezekiel is called “ben Adam,” or the true son of Adam precisely because he is the product of Adam’s spilled seed (Magid: 59). “The notion of spilled seed as creating superior souls is also discussed in the soul origin of the ten martyrs of rabbinic literature as rooted in the seed emitted from the fingertips of Joseph during Potifar’s seduction” (Magid: 252). The Alphabet of Ben Sira opens with the miraculous birth of Ben Sira, which, like that of two other saintly figures, Rav Zera and Rav Papa, is said to have occurred from spilled seed (Biale 1997: 56).  The text condemns masturbation, and Jeremiah rebukes the wicked men of Ephraim, “but it is as a result of masturbation that Ben Sira is born. ‘Wasted seed,’ it turns out, may have a miraculously procreative fate” (Biale: 83). Wetness in this sense is also a positive attribute. Since only when a man can ejaculate semen is he fertile, the Bible proudly proclaims of Moses, who died at 120, that “his wetness had not abandoned him”(Deut. 34 :7; Biale 2007: 34).

     Nevertheless, sera le-vatala is polluting.  Brakke: “Jews took these passages seriously throughout the ancient period. The Qumran community [dead sea scrolls], probably through analogy with the purification described in Exodus 19.10-15, extended the impurity caused by a nocturnal emission from one to three days: after bathing and laundering on the first day, the man could enter the ordinary city; after doing so on the third day, the Temple City (Brakke: 422).  The rabbis, in contrast, retained the biblical period of one day, during which the man was unclean in the first degree, and thus the Mishna portrayed the high priest as staying up all night before Yom Kippur to avoid having a nocturnal emission.” 

     The second century Roman physician Soranus of Ephesus, whose teachings were preserved by Caelius Aurelianus in the fifth century in his books, On Acute Diseases and On Chronic Diseases (Aurelianus: 958; Brakke: 423) says that a nocturnal emission is not itself a disease, but could lead to one, such as epilepsy, insanity, or another illness in which the body “suffers agitation and is shaken” (Aurelianus: 958; Brakke: 423). The conceptual links between wet dreams and such diseases as epilepsy were most likely the dissipation of virility represented by the discharge of semen and the loss of rational control represented by “agitation” (dangers associated with all orgasms)”…“The immediate cause of the nocturnal emission was a dream image, which was itself the result either of prolonged sexual desire or of prolonged sexual continence. Because nocturnal emission could develop into a worse problem, the doctor suggested remedial action of two kinds. First, the patient’s mental images had to be turned away from sex to other interests, “for the patient’s sensations in waking life readily give rise to dream images in which the movements resemble actuality… Second, the patient’s body, evidently too hot and moist, had to be made cold and dry. This could be accomplished in a variety of ways-placing a lead plate on the groin, injecting “cold” juices into the urethra-but particularly by prescribing a cold, drying diet. These two notions-the connection between dream images and what one sees while awake, and the need for drying and cooling measures-found their way, along with other medical “facts,” into the arguments of Christians, both those who considered emissions defiling and those who did not” (Brakke: 423-424).

     Fasting was a possible solution. The History of the Monks in Egypt includes the teaching of Dioscorus in which he reminds monks that nocturnal emissions of semen “can be reduced by means of fasting: by controlling the intake of food one reduces the buildup of “matter,” or seminal fluid, in the body” (Shaw: 17).  Cassian also recognized the role of diet in the occurrence of nocturnal emissions. He refers to the notion that excess nutrition leads to a buildup of bodily humors, including semen” (Shaw: 115).  Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica, states that seminal discharge can result from excessive food (II, 153, 2). “It is clear that a nocturnal orgasm is never a sin in itself, though sometimes it is the result of a preceding sin” (II, 154).

     What happens if you are an athlete and cannot fast? Within A History of Celibacy (Abbot: 2001) we find Indian wrestlers, pahalwans, who practice brahamacharya because they need to store up semen and its other version, milk. This makes them stronger and more beautiful, with bigger breasts and shinier skin.  In ancient India, “excessive ejaculation leads to various morbidities and premature death. By contrast, the heroic ascetic who retains his seed is the most manly and virile of men and enjoys robust health, tremendous physical energy, and mental alertness, and he also develops supernatural powers (siddhi). Those who practice celibacy and other acts of austerity accumulate an energy called tapas, which literally means ‘heat’” (Powers: 79). Arnold Schwarzeneggaer, in Pumping Iron (1977), says that when he fills his muscles with blood in the gym it feels like he is ejaculating. Muhammad Ali reportedly would abstain from sexual intercourse six weeks prior to a fight (Abbott 214). Mike Tyson abstained from sex for five years in order to build up his career, and he blames a boxing defeat in 1990 on too much sex before the match (Miller 2001: 19). Napolean Hill, in his famous book “Think and Grow Rich” dedicates a whole chapter to “sexual transmutation.”

     The notion of storing up semen to increase one’s masculinity is exemplified in the Indian myth of Candra, the moon god, who has twenty-eight wives. They are manifested as the stars that make up the naksatras, lunar mansions through which the moon passes on its journey through the sky during the waxing and waning phases. On each night, Candra has sex with one of his wives and looses his semen to such an extent that he almost disappears. His vital essence (rasa) is depleted, and so he has to perform a soma sacrifice in order to replenish himself. Soma is the ritual beverage of the Vedic sacrifices and is linked with semen, specifically the “semen of the cosmic horse.”  It is also the substance of the moon, which is associated with semen because of its silver-white color (Powers: 79).

     According to classical Indian medical theory, one portion of semen requires sixty portions of blood to produce (Tissot says forty ounces of blood to one ounce of semen (Abbott: 200), and so it is considered precious. From a Peretae gnostic perspective, semen is holy spirit fed to the body via the spinal column: Christ. “Peratic doctrine—associated with Ophitic doctrine—speculated on the snake-like nature of the spinal column, which carried semen from the brain to the genital organs and performed the same role as the Son, linking matter to the Father” (Mastrocinque: 138). Herdt speaks of Sambia boys: “The secret reality of depletion is difficult if not insufferable, and it has resulted in many compromises in defending one’s personal fund of semen, especially regarding women. Regulation of heterosexual intercourse is a primary defense. But another is also vital: adult men practice secret, customary ingestions of white tree sap in the forest. Men say that this tree sap “replaces” ejaculated semen “lost” through heterosexual intercourse. So men regularly drink tree sap after coitus in order to replenish maleness. Interestingly enough, though, most bachelors— although they worry over semen depletion—do not replace semen lost through premarital boy-inseminating. Only with marriage are those personal anxieties reinforced through the institutionalized practice of tree sap ingestion” (Herdt 1981: 248–51, 2003: 88).

     Some early Christian communities expressed the mirror opposite of this dominating culture and believed the “Gospel of Philip” which taught that ejaculating into a vagina was polluting, and begetting children was a sin (Pan 26.5.2; Williams 180). Instead they would gather their semen and eat it.

 

Spermatorrhea

The male anxiety over wet dreams echoed all the way up into the 19th century. Spermatorrhea,” (in India it was called Dhat Syndrom, see Edwards 1983), was a catch-all term coined in the mid 19th century for the deadly problem of semen-leaking. Western European and American physicians discovered, described, diagnosed, and treated this condition, caused by illicit or excessive sexual activity such as masturbation, wet dreams, and sex more than once a week (Acton: 146). Spermatorrhea was thought to cause anxiety, nervousness, lassitude, impotency, insanity, and even death. Ellen Rosenman goes as far as to write that during the Victorian era “Semen was pathologized as the symbol of everything that is alarming about the body.” The male body’s inability to contain itself despite a conscious intention to not leak led to surgical treatments such as cauterization and the infamous “spermatorrhea ring” that cuts into the penis when it swells in arousal.

The influential Victorian physician, William Acton, in his most popular work The Functions and Disorders of the Reproductive Organs, calls nocturnal emissions “pollutions” (Acton: 103). First published in 1857, an eighth edition came out in Philadelphia in 1894. Acton coins the term “wet dreams” and says they can be a “safety valve” and are even healthful “in persons who do not take enough exercise” (103), but he also speaks frankly about wet dreams as being undesirable and dangerous, and as controllable as masturbation and bedwetting. To the patients who complain that they cannot control their dreams, Acton declares: “This is only partially true. Those who have studied the connection between thoughts during waking hours and dreams during sleep, know that they are closely connected….” (Acton: 107; Marcus 24). He generally recommends a change in diet to blander foods, and not to drink anything after eight o’clock.  However, cauterization is his number one recommendation because “both theory and actual practice point it out, in my opinion, as the best means for checking the tendency. As soon as the excessive morbid sensibility of the canal of the urethra has disappeared, the will can assert its force…” (113). One can also take a little opiate enemata before bed to help cure the more severe cases of nocturnal emission (113). Cauterization is dripping silver nitrate into the urethra to destroy its sensitivity. “Cauterization may indeed remove morbid irritability from the urethra, and in cases where the emissions arise from this local cause, there is reason to hope that the reflex action on the cord or on the brain may cease” (Acton: 111).

     Acton also recommends more mindful dreaming,  “which Tissot [Samuel-Auguste, Vatican physician and author of L’Onanisme] recommended as far back as 1790…” A man should resolve before bed to wake up “the very instant the image of a woman or any libidinous idea presents itself to ones imagination” (Acton 112). Tissot, in L’Onanisme, argues that semen was an ‘Essential Oil of the animal liquors…the rectified spirit… The loss of an ounce of this humor would weaken more than the loss of forty ounces of blood”, and when lost from the body in great amounts, would cause “a perceptible reduction of strength, of memory and even of reason, blurred vision, all the nervous disorders, all types of gout and rheumatism, weakening of the organs of generation, blood in urine, disturbance of the appetite, headaches and a great number of other disorders”. Tissot’s writings were quickly translated into English and went into five edition by 1781.

In “Body Doubles”, Rosenman (2003) argues that spermatorrhea’s fictiveness is exactly what makes it important not as an example of primitive medicine but as a revealing cultural phenomenon. “It is, as Stephen Heath says, “one of the diseases which . . . [although they have] nothing to do with the actual diseases of the period (the typhus fever of the slums of the new industrial cities, for example), are strictly Victorian,” imagined into existence to embody historically specific anxieties” (365). “In its medical and moral pathologizing of sexual experience, spermatorrhea is a prime example of Foucault’s scientia sexualis, with its authoritative scientific discourse, its monitory case studies and shameful confessions, and its categories of deviance” (Rosenman: 365).

     This fear of expending or losing one’s power may be they reason why “to spend” was the chief English colloquial expression for the orgasm until the end of the nineteenth century (Marcus: 22).  Spinoza (1632-1677), in his Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, wrote that “…after the enjoyment of sensual pleasure is past, the greatest sadness follows” (Dijn; 21). Not only sadness, but also selective amnesia. Acton: “It is an undeniable fact that in many individuals any excess in sexual indulgence, or even a nocturnal emission, will be followed the next day by a temporary loss of memory” (Acton: 149).

 

Slime and Flow

Anxiety over wet dreams may be caused by the transiency of body fluids in general. Semen reflects the ambiguity of the human condition, the life-death and the milk-poison of our bodies. Anna Meigs: “The disgust and fear which North Americans experience when confronting body emissions derives primarily from a perception of them as waste, as substances cut off from the vitality of the body and subject to imminent decay. We experience sexual fluids, faeces, urine, sweat, blood as substances well on the road to decay if not already decaying, as things which are dying, separated from that which can make them live. Being actually or potentially contaminated, these emissions are feared as contaminating, as having the power to cause an ill-defined sickening. Our instinctive recoil from contact with other persons’ emissions reflects our fear of their decaying power” (1978: 312).  “In Scripture it is always called shichvat zera (literally: flow of seed)” (Steinberg: 909). 

Body fluids attest to the permeability of the body, its necessary dependence on an outside, “its liability to collapse into this outside (this is what death implies), to the perilous divisions between the body’s inside and its outside” (Grosz 1994: 193). Grosz explains that body fluids attest to a certain irreducible dirt or disgust, a horror of the unknown or the unspecifiable that permeates, lurks, lingers, and at times leaks out of the body, a testimony of the fraudulence or impossibility of the clean and proper . They resist the determination that marks solids, for they are without any shape or form of their own. They are engulfing, difficult to be rid of; any separation from them is not a matter of certainty, as it may be in the case of solids. Body fluids flow, they seep, they infiltrate; their control is a matter of vigilance, never guaranteed. (Grosz 1994: 193 4) Grosz, Douglas and Kristeva all conceptualise fluids as borderline states, as liminal, and as disruptive of the solidity of things, entities, and objects (Grosz 1994: 195).

  Grosz ( 2000, 4): “corporeality…allows itself cultural location, gives itself up to cultural inscription, provides a ‘surface’ for cultural writing—that is, how the biological induces the cultural rather than inhibits it”.   

Martin Luther and Charles Kingsley will use celibacy to emasculate Catholicism and promote their own muscular version of Christianity. However, in India celibacy and bhramacharya make a man more masculine and sexualized. Another reasons monks retain their seed is the belief that loss of semen results in weakness and premature death. There is an interesting technique used for reclaiming lost seed. “Some Indic sources assert that it is possible to reclaim lost seed…If a man wishes to engage in sexual intercourse with a woman but does not want her to conceive, during the encounter he should place his mouth over hers, exhale, and say, “With power, with semen, I reclaim the semen from you.”  Through this the potency of the semen returns to him, and she is deprived of it. The text also states that it is possible to recover the virile essence of semen that has been inadvertently shed on the ground by touching it and praying: ‘That semen of mine which was today spilled on the earth, or has flowed to plants or to water, I reclaim that semen. Let virility return to me, and energy and strength. Let the fire be put in its right place, on the fire altar” (Powers: 131).

     Powers (2009: 131): “I have not seen any Buddhist texts that contain similar techniques for reclaiming shed semen or the vital energy lost through ejaculation. The Buddhist literature generally appears to regard semen as gone forever once it emerges from the penis, and so monks are urged to guard the doors of the senses and cultivate meditations designed to eliminate lust. Nocturnal emissions are not considered offenses against the monastic code, but several discussions in Buddhist literature link them to residual feelings of sensual desire, and monks who attain a state of complete dispassion are generally thought to eliminate the possibility of inadvertent ejaculation, even in dreams.” Thus images of the Buddha, like images of the Christ, are men who can retain semen and are free from wet dreams. Buddha is free from all dreams.

     Celibacy, seminal retention, castration and Spermatorrhea all come from male-centered cultures and religions. Saving seed/oil/money from spilling and anxiety around nocturnal emissions were also entangled in the cross-cultural need to distinguish dry men from wet women. 

This need for gender differentiation may be why men’s body fluids are an under-examined topic. 

Semen as a fluid  is a potent symbol for life and male power and is also a symbol for death and decay. Also, unlike water, blood, and urine, semen is precious, rare like diamonds. The tiny amount quickly changes and then dries up. It is thus an ambiguous substance capable of eliciting reactions of pleasure and fascination as well as fear and disgust. Angel and demon, “eternity in hell for five second of bliss.”  

 

Bibliogrpahy

 

Abbot, Elizebeth 2001. A History of Celibacy. Da Capo Press.

Acton, William. 1958. A practical treatise on diseases of the urinary and generative organs. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: J.B.Lippincott & Co.

Atler, Joseph 1992. The Wrestler’s Body: Identity and Ideology in North India. University of California Press. Los Angeles.

Balthasar, Hans Urs 1979. Heart of the World. Ignatious Press, San Francisco.

Atreya, Shanti Prakash. 1973. “Brahmacharya” [Celibacy]. Bharatiya Kushti 11, no. 1, 2, 3: 21–30.

David, Biale .1997. Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America. University of California Press, Berkeley.

2007. Blood and Belief: The circulation of a Symbol between Jews and Christians. University of California Press; Berkeley.  

Brakke, David. “The Problematization of Nocturnal Emissions in early Christian Syria, Egypt, and Gaul,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 3.4 (1995): 419-60

Brown, Peter. 1988. The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press)

Caelius Aurelianus, On Chronic Diseases 5.7 (ed. And trans. I. E. Drabkin, Chicago University Press, 1950).

Cassian, John, 1997. John Cassian: The Conferences. Newman Press. New Jersey.

De Dijn, Herman. 1996. Spinoza: The Way to Wisdom. Purdue University Research Foundation.

Edwards, James. 1983 “Semen Anxiety in South Asian Cultures: Cultural and Transcultural Significance.” Medical Anthropology, Summer: 51–67.

Elliott, D. 1999. Fallen bodies: pollution, sexuality, and demonology in the Middle Ages, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press.

Fagan, Peter. 2004 Sexual disorders: Perspectives on Diagnosis and Treatement. The Johns Hopkins University Press. MD.

Feldman, Emanual; Wolowelsky, Joel (ed) 1997. Jewish Law and The New Reproductive Technologies. KTAV?

Foucault, M. 1990. The use of Pleasure. Vintage Books.

Gathorne-Hardy, Johnathan. 1998. Sex the Measure of all things: A life of Alfred C. Kinsey. Indiana University Press.

Graves, Robert; Patai, Raphael . 1966. Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis, McGraw-Hill: New York.

Green, Jonathon. 2005. Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang. Weidenfeld and Nicolson: London.

Grosz, E 1994, Volatile Bodies: Towards a Corporeal Feminism, Indiana

University Press, Bloomington.

Herdt, Gilbert 2003. Secrecy and Cultural Reality: Utopian Ideologies of the New Guinea Men’s House. University of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor.

Holliday, Ruth, Hassard, John (ed), 2001. Contested Bodies. Routledge: New York.

Houtmand, Dick; Meyer, Birgit, (ed) 2012. Things: Religion and the Question of Materiality, Fordham University Press.

Jung, Carl G. Psychology and Alchemy (1944]. Translated from the German by R. E C. Hull. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980.

Kakar, Sudir 1982. Shamans, Mystics and Doctors. New Delhi: Oxford University Press

Lallemand, M. 1866. A Practical Treaties on the Causes, symptoms and treatment of Spermatorrhea. Henry C. Lea, Sherman and Co. Printers.

Loughlin, Gerald et al. 2007. Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body. Blackwell.

Magid, Shaul 2008. From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the interpretation of scripture in Lurianic Kabbala. Indiana University Press: Bloomington.

Mason, Michael. 1994. The Making of Victorian Sexuality. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

Mastrocinque, Attilio. 2005. From Jewish Magic to Gnosticism. Mohr. Siebeck, Germany.

McBeth, Helen (ed). 1997, 2006. Food Preferences and Taste: Continuity and Change. Berghan Books.

McDonald, Heather. 2001. Blood, Bones and Spirit: Aboriginal Christianity in an East Kimberley Town. Melbourne University Press: Victoria.

Miller, Toby 2001. Sportsex. Temple University Press.

Moore, Lisa: 2007. Sperm Counts: Overcome by Man’s Most Precious Fluid. New York University Press, New York.  

Mukharji, Projit. 2011. Nationalizing the Body: The Medical Market, Print and Daktari Medicine. Anthem Press, UK.

Nelson, James. 1988. The Intimate Connection: Male Sexuality, Masculine Spirituality. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.

Newhauser, Reichard (ed). 2007. The Seven Deadly Sins: From Communities to Individuals. Brill: The Netherlands.

Noland, Carrie. 2009. Agency and Embodiment: Performing Gestures, Producing Culture. Harvard University Press.

Powers, John. 2009. A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinty, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

Rosenman, Ellen, 2003 “Body Doubles: The Spermatoreahea Panic” Journal of the History of Sexuality 12.3 (2003) 365-399

2003b. Unauthorized Pleasures: Accounts of Victorian Erotic Experience. Cornell University Press.

Rosemberg, David 2000. Dreams of Being Eaten Alive: The Literary Core of the Kabbalah. Harmony Books.

Sauerteig, Lutz; Davidson, Roger. 2009. Shaping Sexual Knowledge: A Cultural History of Sex Education in Twentieth Century Europe. Routledge: London.

Schaffer, Talia (1994). A Wilde Desire Took Me: the homoerotic history of Dracula“. ELH 61(2), 381-425.

Sha, Teresa. 1998. The Burden of the Flesh: Fasting and Sexuality in Early Christianity. Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis.

Shan-Chien-P’i-P’o-Sha: A Chinese Version by Sanghabhadra of Samantapasadika, trans. P. V. Bapat and A. Hirakawa (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1970)

Srivastava, Sanjay (ed) 2004. Sexual Sites, Seminal Attitudes: Sexualities, Masculnities and Culture in South Asia. Sage Publications, New Delhi

Steinberg, Avraham 2003. The Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics. Feldheim Publishers: Jerusalem.

Solomon, Norman 2006. Historical Dictionary of Judaism Second Edition. Scarecrow Press, Lanham, MD.

Williams, Linda. 1989. Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the “Frenzy of the Visible”. University of California Press: Berkeley.

Williams, Michael Allen. 1996. Rethinking “Gnosticism”: An argument for dismantaling a dubious Category, Princeton University Press: New Jersey.

Wolfson, Elliot R 2002. “Divine Suffering and the Hermeneutics of Reading: Philosophical Reflections on Lurianic Mythology.” In Suffering Religion, ed. R. Gibbs and E. R. Wolfson. London: Routledge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!