In his book The Function of the Orgasm, written in 1940, Wilhelm Reich addresses the concept of Fascist Irrationalism with the following: “In our sexual education, we are not faced with the alternative of sexual activity versus abstinence, but with alternative of natural and healthy sexuality versus perverse and neurotic sexuality.”
Healthy sexuality is reflection and measure of healthy psychological structure. Those who may be familiar with orgonomic theories know that sexual health and orgastic potency are the standard for measuring emotional health, in general. The distortion of normal sexuality, especially among the young, also distorts his or her character structure and leads to armoring. This relationship of health and sexuality is foundational in Reich’s writing.
In our sexual education, we are not faced with the alternative of sexual activity versus abstinence, but with alternative of natural and healthy sexuality versus perverse and neurotic sexuality.
During the spring and summer of both 1928 and 1929, Reich engaged in a kind of “community psychiatry.” Reich’s group addressed topics related to sex. Reich addressed the adolescents and men; the gynecologist met with the women; Lia talked with the children. Upon request, the gynecologist prescribed, supplied, or fit contraceptive devices.
Other times the group went door-to-door, distributing pamphlets filled with information about sexual health. Most of these activities, were, of course at the time illegal, and more than once the group was chased away by the police. On a few occasions the team were arrested on a spurious charges. One such arrest followed a report that children had boarded the van, and had thus been “corrupted” by contact with pamphlets containing information about sexual health, and also contraceptive devices.
Charges against the group were usually dismissed, more of a nuisance than a grievous situation. Sharaf, in his biography of Reich, writes, “the problem of unwanted pregnancies could only be met by progressive sex legislation, in other words, the legislation of birth control and abortion, the kind of legislation the Christian socialist always opposed. In their turn, the social democratic leaders avoided these issues.”
Unfortunately, the social and cultural values endemic to most contemporary cultures still favor sexual oppression of their youth. The same prevailing mindset discourages sexual embrace and satisfaction, which leads later in life to a characterological distortion that manifests itself in different ways, including but not limited to, sadism and destructive behavior. Because of the constructs of armoring, those who are prevented from achieving sexual happiness and satisfaction eventually turn against those concepts and become enemy of any ideals of sexual happiness and satisfaction. It becomes the typical reaction of sexually frustrated people to fight healthy people over their attempts toward sexual health and happiness.
Reich writes, “This reaction is unparalleled in hate and bitterness. There is nothing in the world which, in a mute and murderous way, is capable of causing so much human suffering.” In applied psychiatric orgone therapy, we eyewitness the decrease of rage and anger in patients at the time when they acquire the ability to obtain natural sexual pleasure. The people who had experienced natural sexual pleasure manifest mildness and kindness, a striking contrast with those who have not had such a genital satisfaction and consequently had developed sadistic character traits.
Those who are prevented from achieving sexual happiness and satisfaction eventually turn against those concepts and become enemy of any ideals of sexual happiness and satisfaction.
At the root, such characterologically distorted and armored people become incapable of giving. They always ask something back for their deeds. Happiness of others are never enough reward for them, let alone their sexual happiness, which in fact irritates and angers them. Behind the superficial strict moralistic attitude, they developed pornographic fantasies and become eager to watch the sexual embraces of others.
The sadistic destructiveness of our times is the result of the prevalent inhibition of natural love life.
In one of her interviews, she stated she was not speaking about her own sex life, but for women in general, especially those who are disadvantaged and were having unwanted pregnancies. Whether or not she had had known Wilhelm Reich and his work or not, Ms. Fluke was actually advocating for better sexual health in the same way Dr. Reich did 85 years ago, in 1927. She perhaps knew that when there is even the thought of unwanted pregnancy in a woman’s mind, she will never be fully able to enjoy intimacy, and as such, the sexual health of the woman and her partner will suffer.
Ms. Sandra Fluke appeared before congress and advocated for insurance companies to reimburse birth control pills.
Like Reich, Fluke encountered immediate hostility the following month when she was attacked verbally by Rush Limbaugh, a right wing talk show host, for three consecutive days. Limbaugh asked, “What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes in front of a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her slut, right? It makes her prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.”
The next day, Mr. Limbaugh said, “She’s having so much sex, she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and tax payers to pay her to have sex. What does it make us? We are the pimps.” Then on Thursday, “If we are going to pay for this, do we want something in return, Ms. Fluke? That would be the videos of all these sex put online so we can see what we are getting for our money.”
Like Reich, Fluke encountered immediate hostility the following month when she was attacked verbally by Rush Limbaugh, a right wing talk show host, for three consecutive days.
It becomes the typical reaction of sexually frustrated people to fight healthy people over their attempts toward sexual health and happiness.
If medical disciplines assumed responsibility to comprehend and describe the significance of sexuality in human organism to its fullest, today we wouldn’t have the déjà vu of 1927.