the radical healing power of
creating real sensation
liberating arousal from mental machinations
Knowingly or unknowingly, many of us habitual suffer from under-stimulation. Whether we realize it or not, or bother to do anything about it, sense deprivation negatively impacts both the mind and the body, preventing us from functioning at optimum level.
Scientific studies abound proving that chronic deprivation of mental and physical stimuli underpins the onset of a host of physiological as well as psychiatric conditions, including: depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, addictions, cancer, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances… the list goes on.
Wilhelm Reich the author of ‘The Function of Orgasm’ was amongst the most brilliant second-generation psychoanalysts that trained directly under Sigmund Freud. Throughout his controversial career specializing in the treatment of mental health disorders, Reich stood firm on the contentious premise that ‘the sexual act should be devoid of fantasies, which are in themselves a running away’, a form of hiding from the reality of our sexual nature.
Reich also unconventionally emphasized that during the act of masturbation, arousal must not be gained via fantasies. Whether this arousal be incited via fantasizing about heterosexual or homosexual genital union, Reich insisted it all ‘psychopathic’ in origin and therefore problematic.
‘In the genital embrace, there should be no fantasies.’
‘sadistic, masochistic, homosexual, or otherwise perverse fantasies, either in masturbation or sexual intercourse, are indications of serious emotional disturbance.’
As a pioneer of sexual research, Reich dedicated decades of his professional career to defining the effects, habitually short-circuiting and divorcing reality, had on both the body and mind. Extensive research proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that conjuring fantasy and allowing it to stand in the place of actual physical stimulation, did indeed negatively impact the body and the mind’s electrical circuitry system.
With hundreds of his patients, Reich demonstrated over and over that sexual energy was a real energy which required adequate and regular discharge in order for a person to avoid the build-up of debilitating tension. Through reason and observation, Reich concluded that if and when repression occurred, or reoccurred with one of his human test cases, the energy that was held back in muscular contraction caused significant (armouring) of the senses.
When the contraction of the musculature became restricted, it immobilized the body and became the primary foundation on which an array of neuroses, were manufactured and multiplied, manifesting as both psychiatric as well as physiologic disease. In the majority of cases, this armouring of the senses, made full orgasmic discharge impossible. In other words, armouring took over the whole house and ruled it as its conquered, annexed kingdom.
Reich also bumped up against the establishment by asserting that sexual suppression is an essential instrument in the production of economic enslavement
“Thus, sexual suppression in the infant and the adolescent is not as psychoanalysis in agreement with traditional and erroneous concepts of education, contend - the prerequisite of cultural development, sociality, diligence and cleanliness; it is the exact opposite.”
- Wilhelm Reich