k i s k a J i s m / w h o s e b o d y?

September 13, 2006, 12:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

From ‘The Psychology of Clothes’ by JC Fluegel.

A fascinating study of a conflict between exhibitionism and modesty has been made by Aurthur Schnitzer in his well-known novel, ‘Fraulein Else’.


In this study, the heroine is asked by an elderly roué to show herself to him naked, in return for some all important financial assistance which he is, on this condition prepared to give her father. Instead of granting his request in private, she throws off her cloak and reveals herself completely nude in a crowded public room of a large hotel committing suicide thereafter.

The poignancy of the emotional situation in this story lies in the fact that the request( to which the extreme urgency of her father’s necessity bids her accede, though utterly at variance with her traditions of modesty, is nevertheless one which makes a very strong appeal to her repressed exhibitionistic tendencies.

Such situations, in which ethical considerations at a higher level ally themselves with fundamental instinctive desires (this alliance being in the turn) opposed by all the deeper and more ingrained moral elements) , are among the most difficult we can be called upon to meet.

In the present case the conflict is solved in a manner that reveals very clearly the unconscious mechanism of ‘over determination’, in which antagonistic desires are gratified by one and the same act. By her exaggerated ‘over-reaction’ to the ‘immoral’ request,


Else creates a situation which permits of a much more satisfying indulgence in exhibitionism than the circumstances require –a situation which is , however, at the same time one of public shame so great as to make the continuance of life impossible.


2 Comments so far
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nice one…and i would like to join in

Comment by clyde


Comment by whosebody

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