To Sherlock Holmes, she is always  woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes, she eclipses and predominates  whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it,  perfect reasoning and observing machine that  world has seen, but as  lover, he would have placed himself in  false position.