Friday, May 11, 2012

From Cleckley's "Mask of Sanity."

You can download the whole book here at no charge.
This excerpt covers the promiscuous behavior of my mother the Barbarian

Entanglements which go out of their way to mock ordinary human sensibility or what might be called basic decency are prevalent in a psychopath's sexual careers. To casually "make" or "lay" the best friend's husband and to involve a husband's uncle or one of his business associates in a particularly messy triangular or quadrilateral situation are typical acts. Such opportunities, when available, seem not to repel but specifically to attract the psychopath. Neither distinct appeal of the sex object nor any formulated serious malignity toward those cuckolded or otherwise outraged seems to be a major factor in such choices. There is more to suggest a mildly prankish impulse such as might lead the ordinary man to violate small pedantic technicalities or dead and preposterous bits of formality as a demonstration of their triviality.
Sexual exploits often seem chosen almost purposively to put the subject himself, as well as others, in positions of sharp indignity and distastefulness. The psychopath who goes through legal matrimony with the whore he has picked up for the evening furnishes a clear example. And so does the well-born woman who submits to several men in rapid succession, none of whom takes the least trouble to conceal his contempt for her. I have seen psychopaths who seriously attempted to seduce sisters, son-in-laws, and even their actual mothers. One boasted to his wife in glowing detail of his erotic feats with her mother and with his own. His excellent talents at lying lead me to doubt the truth of his claims. I have little doubt, however, that he would have hesitated to carry out all that he boasted of if the ladies had allowed him to proceed.
Beneath his outwardly gracious manner toward women and his general suavity
and social charms, the male psychopath (or part psychopath) nearly always shows an underlying predilection for obscenity, an astonishingly ambivalent attitude in which the amorous and excretory functions seem to be confused. He sometimes gives the impression that an impulse to smear his partner
symbolically, and even to wallow in sordidness himself, is more fundamental than a directly erotic aim, itself hardly more to him than a sort of concomitant and slightly glorified back scratching.
You really ought to download this book. It's free and it's very good. Here is how it starts:

A millionaire notable for his eccentricity had an older and better balanced brother
who, on numerous fitting occasions, exercised strong persuasion to bring him under
psychiatric care.  On receiving word that this wiser brother had been deserted
immediately after the nuptial night by a famous lady of the theatre (on whom he had
just settled a large fortune) and that the bride, furthermore, had, during the brief
pseudoconnubial episode, remained stubbornly encased in tights, the younger hastened
to dispatch this succinct and unanswerable telegram:

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