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The Function of the Orgasm: Sex-Economic Problems of Biological Energy (The Discovery of the Orgone, Vol. 1) Paperback – 1973


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Product Details

  • Series: Function of the Orgasm (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374502048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374502041
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wilhelm Reich, a native of Austria, was born in 1897. His many other works include Listen, Little Man!, Character Analysis, and The Mass Psychology of Fascism. He died in 1957.

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Customer Reviews

It's a great introduction to Reich's work and the entire novel draws heavily on his theory.
Robert Olsen
This book will open your mind to new ways of thinking about the relationships between our selves, our culture and our politics.
Michael J. Sax
The book focuses on the function of orgasm as an important PART of "healthy" love making.
"maarkos"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Sax on March 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is my first exposure to Reich, and what he has to say is more relevant today than ever. It's easy to be misled by the title and think its about having more sex, but nothing could be further than the truth. He explores the direct relationship between neuroses (and most of society is neurotic to varying degrees as a result of being raised in an authoritarian manner) and the inability to surrender completely to the the full bio-energetic pleasure of complete orgasm. If you have studied any Tantra you may be aware that what most of us call orgasm is only a genital sneeze, in terms of the possibility available. Thus, we are cut off from the totality of what we are and this is expressed in the energetics of our experience of orgasm, and ultimately, how we live our lives. He also explores the evolution of fascism under these constraints, and how it propogates itself through society. Frightening stuff, particularly in light of current world politics. All in all, a fascinating read, slowed only by old terminology. My only disappointment was the lack of exposition of his therapeutic techniques, other than it appears he is the first to use the breath in healing. This book will open your mind to new ways of thinking about the relationships between our selves, our culture and our politics.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Brian Forrest on March 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reich is one of the most misunderstood, attacked, and ignored psychiatrist/scientist in history. He was persecuted for his ground-breaking work on two continents: first in Europe, then in America.

Reich told us--the door is open and the way out of the trap is clearly marked, yet few people are either willing or able to follow the path to freedom.

The trap: our physic-somatic armoring from head to toe, the chronic neurosis and muscular tension we experience daily linked to our psychological states of fear, obsession, anxiety, depression, and on and on. Since a very early age our parents, society, and every repressive assault on our natural instincts has bound us up in a suit of armor that keeps us from ever fully knowing ourselves and experiencing true unbridled pleasure. For without the experience of true pleasure, we will never know true work: creative, meaningful, and self-regulating. Pleasure and work are two sides of the same coin--you cannot have one, without the other. Reich called this unbalanced state: the emotional plague, bringing about the worst perversions and atrocities imaginable to humankind.

The Function of The Orgasm is the cornerstone of Reich's research. It can be a tough read, but worth it. Those searching for who Reich was and what he did will find this book the core of that quest.
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81 of 87 people found the following review helpful By "maarkos" on September 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
The book focuses on the function of orgasm as an important PART of "healthy" love making. The issues discussed are timeless and at the same time not given the proper importance in our everyday life. Why? The author gives his opinion which is informed by the biological, psychological and social scientific domain.
Nothing to do with the endless numbers of books that come up when one puts in the keyword "orgasm" in any search machine...
It's not about trying to improve your orgasm or trying improve your sex-skills or trying to become that lover that will be able to seduce every female. On the contrary, based on the function of orgasm which is parallelised with that of relaxation it discusses how through, not trying, but SURRENDERING to the function of orgasm one can let go, may unblock muscular and character armouring in that experience, and perhaps unexpectedly but naturally come to a new way of perceiveing life.
Despite the fact that it may be necessary for the reader to be slightly familiar with Reich and his terminology (or psychoanalysis in general) I undoubtedly recomend it to someone who wonders why humanity looks blocked, stressed and cannot let matters go. Why humanity is afraid to surrender to nature and thus discover its function and power, instead of persistently trying to conquer it...
I am afraid I cannot resist to reply to a previous reviewer. Yes, one may say that this book briefly says "Make love, not war", like everyone college freshman says.
"Make love, not war". Simple stuff, nothing new, we know the possible biological, psychological and social threads that turn acts of love to acts of war and if we look around us we can see that humanity has turned this knowledge into lived-life, humanity's life is in harmony with nature...
I don't think so...
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Frederick II of Hohenstaufen on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Top 1000" reviewer Timothy W. Lieder wrote (see his uninformed review below) that he only read half of this book and that Reich recommended "more orgasms". I seriously doubt that Timothy W. Lieder even read a quarter of the book.

In fact, Reich never, ever, argued for MORE orgasms. Quite the opposite. Anybody even vaguely familiar with Reich's work understands that quality of discharge, not quantity, is sought. It seems best to ignore reviews written by those who haven't even read the book. You end up with distorted content.

Anyway, if you don't already have a copy of this book, you might as well stop reading this review and order it, read it, and come up with your own opinion.
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