Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957)
Reich was an Austrian medical doctor and psychoanalyst, whose teachings aimed to sexualize the masses in order to destroy man’s relationship with God, religious institutions, tradition, one’s parents as well as destroy the structural order of society.
Reich invented ‘orgasm theory’ and founded various sex clinics to carry out his sex work promoted by the motto “Free Sexuality Within an Egalitarian Society.” He joined the communist party and moved to Berlin in 1930 where he proceeded to open the German Association for Proletarian Sexual Politics (Sex-Pol), which was built on the premise that if you satisfy your sexual urges you will create paradise on earth. He gained many followers.
Reich was also a prominent member of the Frankfurt school. He fused the thinking of Marx with that of psychoanalysis and argued that the sexual repression of adolescents was a part of capitalist repression and could only be counteracted through a social revolution. In his mind, he saw children who were sexually active as important revolutionaries who could rebel against authority. Sexualisation was seen to liberate children and youth from the binds of family.
Reich was highly influential and one of the most important sexual revolutionaries. He had a direct influence on the ‘New Left’, and ‘counterculture’ and on the 1960s sexual revolution and is accredited with coining the term ‘Sexual Revolution’ in his 1936 publication of the same name.