There is a lot of research and study done to show that when one’s sexuality is repressed, it has a range of negative effects not only on the individual but on the whole society.
I have just finished reading “Tantric Pulsation – The Journey of Human Energy from Its Animal Roots to Its Spiritual Flowering” by Aneesha Dillon, where she writes:
“[…] Reich1 rejected his teacher’s thesis. While Freud saw sexual repression as necessary for civilization. Reich asserted that it is precisely this repression of sexual energy that prevents the creation of a truly civilized society in which people can be free from neurosis and naturally happy.
Searching for evidence to support his ideas. Reich was impressed by the report2 of a German anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, who in the 1920s spent several years studying matriarchal tribal societies on the Trobriand Islands of the Pacific.
On the basis of this report Reich wrote his own book “The Invasion of Compulsory Sex Morality“, comparing Trobriand and European cultures.
He noted that Trobriand children are free to explore their curiosity about sex, can examine each other’s genitals and play sexually as much as they like. Parents and other adults find these early sexual adventures natural and don’t interfere, extending to the children a general attitude of support and amused tolerance.
As teenagers, they develop more lasting relationships of a sexual nature, but these are not fixed or regulated by the parents. Each village has ‘bachelor’ houses where young couples can live together for as long as their love affairs last. These liaisons are not necessarily monogamous and there is an overall climate of individual freedom and experimentation. Sometimes, too, groups of teenagers venture to neighboring villages for parties involving sexual encounters.
For Reich, the vital issue is not that young people in Trobriand society can explore sexuality, which, he notes, also happens in Western societies, especially among the poorer classes. It is the attitude with which this exploration takes place that is the determining factor as far as individual happiness is concerned.
Among the Trobriand islanders there is no sex-negating morality, no guilt, no sense of shame, no idea that sexual exploration is somehow dirty or forbidden. There are no crippling and debasing attitudes towards love life.
As a result, there is no armoring3 of the sexual organs and no damage to the natural flow of sex energy. This allows young people to enjoy full satisfaction in sexual embrace, whereas in Western societies, even when sexual intercourse occurs, the partners cannot achieve satisfaction because of chronic tension around their sexual organs.
According to Reich, based on his clinical investigations, almost all the women and over half the men in Western societies are sexually disturbed and incapable of any real sexual satisfaction, due to repression and genital armoring. […]”
 Wilhelm Reich was an Austrian psychoanalyst, a student of Sigmund Freud, who developed Reichian therapy and many other revolutionary systems.
 The Sexual Life Of Savages In North-western Melanesia by Bronislaw Malinowski.
 armoring = personal suit of armor, defence mechanism, blockage, contraction. Reich developed a system to remove such armor to allow the energy to flow free again.
In “History and Tradition in Melanesian Anthropology” Margaret Jolly writes:
“[…] His [Malinowski’s] depictions of the sexual lives of Trobrianders from childhood to adulthood leave little doubt that these were “free and easy,” certainly by the standards of sexual morality in the Europe of his time. Infants’ early observations of adult sexuality, the casual inclusion of sexuality in children’s games, the elaboration of the arts of physical and magical attraction, and adolescents’ premarital preoccupations with lovemaking—no doubt all were shocking and titillating to the audience of his day. Although husbands and wives were supposed to be more circumspect than adolescent lovers (at least in public), the companionate ease and harmony of Trobriand marriage must have exerted an exotic allure to those Europeans whose marriages were characterized by greater formality and tension. […]”
Of course next comes the obvious question of how did the islanders deal with unwanted pregnancies. Aaron Swartz answers:
“It is speculated that the yams that form the basis of the island diet have a contraceptive agent in them (The Pill was originally made by looking at chemicals in wild yams), which conveniently explains quite a bit, including the low birthrate despite the high level of sexual activity.”
p. s. this is a work in progress, so if you have read other books that contribute to the idea that having healthy sexuality helps make a better society please suggest those in the comment section below and I will study and integrate those in this article. Thank you.
Tags: health, sexuality, society
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