An Absence of
Moderation Makes It Impossible to Have
Pitirim A. Sorokin
sexuality is one of the main sources of neuroses and functional psychoses.
Mental disorders may be caused through chronic and excessive consumption of
alcohol which usually accompanies promiscuity, or through syphilis and other
venereal diseases contracted through illicit relations.
More important, however, are the mental disturbances
directly resulting from libertinism. Constitutional factors involving sexual
excesses play a significant role in the development of manic-depressive,
schizophrenic, and paranoid disorders. Furthermore, intense inner conflicts,
violent emotions, and continuous mental strains and shocks result from the lack
of integration of biological drives, emotions, wishes, ideas, moral
commandments, and social values of the promiscuous.
In the integrated personality, the “higher self” with
its moral and aesthetic values controls the lower “ego” and the animal drives.
The inner world of the individual and his overt behavior are one orderly whole,
free from major conflicts and contradictory motivations and actions, free from
a multitude of tensions and stresses. Such a person enjoys peace of mind; he
follows a clear-cut line of conduct determined by his system of values and his
moral norms of ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shalt not’. He is insulated against most
internal and external disintegrative influences. However trying and painful the
strains of life, he bears them valiantly. Temptations to actions that
contradict his code are unhesitatingly rejected, while calls to actions that
are in accord with his “holy of holies” are joyfully accepted and, to a large
In contrast, the inner world and the actions of the
libertine are a chaos. Lust dominates his thinking and feeling, and controls
his overt behavior. Because his is an organism in a state of biological
disequilibrium, he cannot control its processes for his well-being, nor can he resist
the innumerable external forces incessantly bombarding it.His potential ‘self’ and ‘rational ego’ do
not effectively exercise their function of directing the organism.His personality is undeveloped. His ego is
shot through and through by innumerable tensions and conflicts; of his
biological drives, one against the other, especially the preponderant sex
drives against other urges; of the fragments of values and motivations with
each other and with the biological drives; of his ‘self’ with his ‘ego’. He is
tormented by feelings of guilt and remorse. His conflicting emotions and
passions are continuously excited. He is a house divided against himself, whose
various parts are at incessant war with one another. In such a condition he
cannot achieve real peace of mind, and his malfunctioning organism and his
splintered personality make him an easy prey for neuroses and functional
The environment and mode of living of sex gluttons are
saturated with intense strains, red-hot emotions, deadly conflicts. Their
pursuit of pleasure necessitates continuous outbursts of lust, jealousy,
anxiety, envy, fear, doubt, insecurity, hate. The hunt for new thrills is
inseparable from these passions, which spring up now and then between sex
partners and almost always between the profligate and the persons and groups
whose vital interests are violated by his transgressions.
The slightest adverse event in the environment of the
sex gluttons can precipitate a series of disintegrative personality changes.
Disappointment, suspicion, failure, frustration, as well as the vulgarity,
ugliness, and disease of their environment can precipitate neuroses and even
The above article is
part of the book “The American Sex
Revolution”, by Pitirim A.
Sorokin, 186 pages, 1956, which is available at the associated websites. See
pp. 62-64. The text was published as an independent item
in the associated websites on 27 December 2021. It is also part of the
September 2021 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 7-8.