This important side-track, by which woman succeeded in evading man’s strength and establishing herself in power, has not been given due consideration by historians. From the moment when the woman detached herself from the crowd, an individual finished product, offering delights which could not be obtained by force, but only by flattery, the reign of love’s priestesses was inaugurated. It was a development of far-reaching importance in the history of civilization—only by the circuitous route of the art of love could woman again assert authority, and this she did by asserting herself at the very point at which she would remain beholden to a man’s mercy. She had discovered the might of lust, the secret of the art of love, the daemonic power of a passion artificially aroused and never satiated. The force tints unchained was thenceforth to count among the most tremendous of the world’s forces and at moments to have power even over life and death. The deliberate spellbinding of man’s senses was to have a magical effect upon him, opening up an infinitely wider range of sensation and spurring him on as if impelled by an inspired dream.
—ALEXANDER VON GLEICHEN-RUSSWURM, THE WORLD’S LURE