chapter  9
14 Pages

Wilhelm Reich's theory of sexuality

ByNICK TOTTON

It has been said more than once that Wilhelm Reich's work recapitulates the earlier theories of Otto Gross. In fact the German radical writer Franz Jung described Reich in easy-to-understand German as `eine direkte Kopie von Otto Gross's (Jung 1996: 491; quoted in Sheppard 1997: 242). In what follows I will explore the ways in which this is partially true, and the important ways in which it is not. My main focus will be on identifying what is radical and interesting in Reich's ideas about sexuality, and separating this out from what is surprisingly conservative and banal.