To Carol Jeffrey
Dear Mrs. Jeffrey, 18 June 1958
I understand that you are worried by this peculiar fact that so many women are frigid.
I have noticed the same fact, and I must say I have been duly impressed by it.
I would never have expected such a frequency of the said phenomenon.
My colleagues in the field of psychotherapy have been busy, as you know, in explaining it out of their experience of the consulting room.
I have looked at the question from a somewhat different angle, although I have been concerned enough with such cases in my practice.
I have tried during my voyages abroad in exotic countries to gather as much information as possible, and I reached the conclusion that mostly orgasm is connected
with the expectation and even fear of conception, but in a not too inconsiderable number of cases orgasm is connected with a peculiar kind of relationship quite apart from the question of conception
One could characterize these two types of woman as the “married mothers” and as the “friends and concubines.”
The representatives of the latter class would be normally dissatisfied in marriage and vice versa. Thus far prostitution is a normal phenomenon,
which is perfectly visible in primitive tribes where marriage law is strict and its circumvention therefore a particular pleasure.
Nearly every wife has not only the opportunity but also the satisfaction of having illicit intercourse.
I myself have experienced such a telltale fact: a settlement of about 400 souls was thoroughly infected with syphilis within 3 weeks, after one woman of the tribe had gone to a distant market-place where she got infected.
When you looked at that tribe outwardly, you would have been impressed by its respectability. Partout comme chez nous!
That is what already St. Augustine-if I am right-said, that only three out of a hundred virgins entered marriage in the virginal state.
Marriage, statistically considered, increases the need of licentiousness, not only because matrimony gets stale, but also because of a certain psychic need which is associated with the hetaira-nature of the sex object.
It is unfortunately true that when you are wife and mother you can hardly be the hetaira too, just as it is the secret suffering of the hetaera that she is not a mother.
There are women who are not meant to bear physical children, but they are those that give rebirth to a man in a spiritual sense, which is a highly important function.
Man is a very paradoxical structure with two main trends, namely the biological and animal instincts of propagation and the cultural instinct of psychic development.
Therefore prostitution in not a few places has been an important constituent of religious service, viz. the institution of hierodules .
This is by no means a perversity but is continued in the still existing institution of the French “salon.”
This is an entirely refined affair of a highly social importance.
From my experience I can recommend to you an attitude towards sex which avoids prejudices as much as possible.
I forbid myself thinking in statistical numbers because it impairs your judgment.
I treat every case as individually as possible, as the solution of the problem is only possible in individual cases and never through general laws and methods.
Nowhere else than in these delicate matters does the Latin proverb quod licet Jovi non licet bovi come more into its own.
It remains eternally true!
What is healing medicine for the one is poison for the other.
Healthy and complete life is not to be attained by general principles and regulations, because it is always the individual who carries it.
The solution begins with oneself, and if you know how to do the thing in your own case, you know how to do it in another case.
There is no general principle that would be valid throughout, and the psychological statement is only true when you also can turn it round into its contrary.
Thus a kind of solution that would be simply impossible for myself may be just the right thing for somebody else.
I am not the arbiter mundi and I leave it to the Creator himself to start reflections about the varieties and the paradoxes of his creation.
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol II, Pages 454-456
Footnote 1. Toni Wolff (Studien zu C. G. Jungs Psychologie, 1959) developed a structural scheme of the feminine psyche, in which the mother and the hetaira are opposite
poles, the other two being the Amazon and the mediumistic type.