Orgastic Potency, De-Armoring, Sexual Pleasure, and Joy in Life

Published: Feb 23, 2024
Edited by: Team TB

Woman experiencing sexual gratification

Wilhelm Reich (1897 – 1957), an Austrian physician and psychoanalyst, and the “Godfather” of Somatic Therapy and Body Psychotherapy, developed a particular view on the relationship between Vital Life Energy (which he called Orgone Energy), health, and the human sexual orgasm.

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Reich claimed that Orgone is the driving Life Force, the Universal Cosmic Energy present in all animate and inanimate beings. Although not unambiguously clear, the word Orgone seems to have been created by Reich as a combination of org-asm and oz-one.

In any case, Orgone is closely associated with sexual energy, that is, with libido, which according to Reich is a tangible, bioelectric energy. He considered sexual energy or libido the primary energetic force of life, in fact being a form or expression of Orgone.

The repression of libido in our early childhood, that is, the repression of our sexual feelings and Life Force Energy — forced upon us by our parents, family and society — creates a build-up of tension in the body, because our libido is not allowed to be fully experienced, expressed, and released.

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This unreleased tension is thought to be the root of physical and emotional-psychological diseases and discomforts, for instance visible as neuroses (defined as “nervous anxieties” and “mental illnesses”), sexual dysfunction, and self-denial of sexual pleasure.

Furthermore, Reich claimed that a person’s sexual repression leads to unsatisfactory sexual intercourse and unfulfilling sex lives, which also expresses itself in not being able to experience a full, sexually gratifying orgasm. Hence, Reich called this Orgastic Impotence (or Orgastic Impotency).

The effect of emotional and sexual repression in a person is the creation of a so-called Character Armor and accompanying Body Armor, which causes blockages, constrictions and subsequent deficiencies of Orgone Energy in the body, adding to the possible range of physical and emotional illnesses.

By contrast, Orgastic Potency (or Orgastic Potence) belongs to a person who’s psychologically free of neurosis and anxieties, free from the Character and Body Armor, and free from restrictive morality imposed by a mechanistic and authoritarian society. Such a person is healthy and has the natural ability to love, experience a gratifying sex life, and maintain a stable, balanced energy level within his body and mind.

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One needs to understand that — according to Reich — a complete, full and ecstatic sexual orgasm is the natural, necessary expression and canalization of our creative Life Energy, that is, of our libido. This Life Energy (Orgone or Life Force) needs to flow uninhibitedly through our bodies, and express itself freely on a physical and emotional level. If not so, one becomes psychologically and physically ill.

To reacquire health and renewed pleasure and joy in life, Reich developed a specific type of Body Psychotherapy, called Vegetotherapy, which aims at Body De-Armoring (sometimes rather called Sexual De-Armoring or Emotional De-Armoring).

Body De-Armoring would release both the Body Armor and Character Armor of a person, which again would heal physical and emotional tensions and trauma. In addition, Talk Therapy (Psychotherapy) could be meaningful to further help patients to heal emotionally, and integrate the effects and results of De-Armoring therapy in the patient’s life.

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