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My Secret Life, Volumes I. to III. 1888 Edition   By:

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By An Anonymous Author

Amsterdam 1888

Privately Printed For Subscribers.

This first reprint of "My Secret Life" is for private distribution among connoisseur collectors. It is strictly limited to four hundred and seventy five copies, all of which have been subscribed for prior to publication.


In 18 my oldest friend died. We had been at school and college together, and our intimacy had never been broken. I was trustee for his wife and executor at his death. He died of a lingering illness, during which his hopes of living were alternately raised, and depressed. Two years before he died, he gave me a huge parcel carefully tied up and sealed. Take care of, but don't open this he said: if I get better, return it to me, if I die, let no mortal eye but yours see it, and burn it.

His widow died a year after him. I had well nigh forgoten this packet which I had had full three years, when looking for some title deeds I came cross it, and opened it, as it was my duty to do. Its contents astonished me. The more I read it, the more marvellous it seemed. I pondered long on the meaning of his instructions when he gave it to me, and kept the manuscript some years, hesitating what to do with it.

At length I came to the conclusion knowing his idiosyncracy well, that his fear was only lest any one should know who the writer was; and feeling that it would be sinful to destroy such a history, I copied the manuscript and destroyed the original. He died relationless.

No one now can trace the author, no names are mentioned in the book, though they were given freely in the margin of his manuscript, and I alone know to whom the initials refer. If I have done harm in printing it, I have done none to him, have indeed only carried out his evident intention, and given to a few a secret history, which bears the impress of truth on every page, a contribution to psychology.


I began these memoirs when about twenty five years old, having from youth kept a diary of some sort, which perhaps from habit made me think of recording my inner and secret life.

When I began it, I had scarcely read a baudy book, none of which excepting "Fanny Hill" appeared to me to be truthful, that did, and it does so still; the others telling of recherche eroticisms, or of inordinate copulative powers, of the strange twists, tricks, and fancies, of matured voluptuousness, and philosophical lewedness, seemed to my comparative ignorance, as baudy imaginings, or lying inventions, not worthy of belief; although I now know by experience, that they may be true enough, however eccentric, and improbable, they may appear to the uninitiated.

Fanny Hill was a woman's experience. Written perhaps by a woman, where was a man's, written with equal truth? That book has no baudy word in it; but baudy acts need the baudy ejaculations; the erotic, full flavored expressions, which even the chastest indulge in, when lust, or love, is in its full tide of performance. So I determined to write my private life freely as to fact, and in the spirit of the lustful acts done by me, or witnessed; it is written therefore with absolute truth, and without any regard whatever for what the world calls decency. Decency and voluptuousness in its fullest acceptance, cannot exist together, one would kill the other; the poetry of copulation I have only experienced with a few women, which however neither prevented them, nor me from calling a spade, a spade.

I began it for my amusement; when many years had been chronicled I tired of it and ceased. Some ten years afterwards I met a woman, with whom, or with those she helped me do; I did, said, saw, and heard, well nigh everything a man and woman could do with their genitals, and began to narrate those events, when quite fresh in my memory, a great variety of incidents extending over four years or more. Then I lost sight of her, and my amorous amusements for a while were simpler, but that part of my history was complete... Continue reading book >>

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