Sex, Lies, and Revolution: The Socialist Roots of the ‘Sex-Positive’ Movement

Wilhelm Reich, the socialist revolutionary behind "sex-positive," "sexual revolution," the "orgone accumulator" and the UFO-killing "cloudbuster."

By Tom Gilson Published on March 8, 2023

My mind is reeling. It’s my own fault, maybe, for taking a few minutes to read through Twitter this morning. These days the only way to keep your head from spinning is to stick it in the sand. What I am about to share is disturbing. Unfortunately It’s also the world we live in, where the word du jour is “sex-positive,” and where we must call out the word what it is: malicious, harmful, evil, and a lie — a lie with explicitly socialist roots.

Three quick snippets will make both your head spin and your stomach turn. (No links here. I could source all this for you, but I don’t recommend you even go looking in these dark places.)

  • A writer defends “drag queen story hour” by saying drag performances aren’t necessarily sexual, they have no real effect on children, and the real damage comes from conservatives making such a big deal over sex.
  • A medical website says the first risk factor for endometriosis is being AFAB: “assigned female at birth.”
  • A woman-ish person (it’s hard to tell for sure) calling herself a sex therapist wants a “sex-positive” world where women may willingly submit to anesthesia, for what can only be called unconscious prostitution.

Who’s Confused Here?

Confused? I hope so. You should be. Except the confusion is theirs, not yours.

For starters, there’s something indecently inconsistent about a social movement calling for “sex-positive” while denying girls’ and women’s sex, calling them “AFAB” instead.

Anyone in the medical community using that term is displaying idiocy. Think of it: Even someone who’s fully on support of so-called “trans rights” should still be embarrassed to say that one’s risk of uterine disease depends on the “assignment” she received. That’s granting way too much power to the ink on that birth certificate! It’s also denying pretty much everything a doctor should know about biological reality.

“Sex-Positive” is Relationship-Negative

The whole trans phenomenon is as sex-negative as it could possibly be. Still, there’s a growing social movement calling itself  “sex-positive,” and complaining about us conservatives getting in the way. Fine. I’ll block that door all day long. I’d park a tank in front of the gate if it would stop it. It’s a lie, and a deadly one.

Our so-called “sex-therapist” above shows us in the plainest possible language that “sex-positive” is relationship-negative. It’s just fine, she says, if two persons are there, except one of them really isn’t (being … anestheized and all). Her body, yes, her person, no.

This is evil. Let that sink in. It is evil. As evil often does, it masquerades under a happy-clappy name like “positive.” But nothing can possibly be sex-positive if it’s relationship-negative. It’s flying under a name that is the Orwellian opposite of its reality. This impulse destroys true sex and it’s killing relationships. On one level or another, it threatens to kill us all.

Meanwhile the sexual libertines ask why conservatives make such a big deal out of sex. As if they don’t?

But we need not go to such extremes to find this false “sex-positivity” invading our land. It’s rampant enough in hookup culture.

Hookup Culture: Scorn and Pity

The author (I will not tell you her name) of a book on 101 “acceptable moments for hooking up” says you can do it “for the last slice of pizza,” or, “if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow.” It’s appropriate, she says, if you really can’t wait any longer (she used different words, which I won’t repeat), or “in honor of the scientific method, or to test a hypothesis.”

Every one of those “moments” stinks, but it’s the last one that gets me most. It’s cold, clinical, machine-like. No relationship required.

Tom Wolfe chronicled campus hookup culture a couple decades ago, telling how expectations have changed, so that “third base is going all the way, home plate is being introduced by name.” Names come last, if at all. No actual persons need show up. Just their bodies.

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I don’t know whether to hold this in scorn or in pity, so I’m opting for both. Hookup ideology gets nothing but scorn. Its activist advocates should be made to pay for the damage they’ve caused. They will, if they don’t turn around. May Jesus Christ save them from that fate. The everyday individuals involved deserve some pity. I think they’re looking for something meaningful, which I affirm; but they’re looking for it in the worst possible place. This “sex-positive” experience of theirs is relationship-empty, relationship-negative, and guaranteed to disappoint them.

A relationship (I use the word loosely) of shared flesh is one thing. A relationship of shared history, shared commitment, shared stories, shared family, shared projects, shared disappointments, shared victories, shared years together is something else entirely. Especially if it comes with shared trust, which has a lot to do with who we share the rest of our intimacies with.

Where “Sex-Positive” Comes From: The “Socialist Restructuring of Mankind”

That’s how God intended intimacy to be, and it is good. Very good. Hookup sex, like pornography, prostitution, and other so-called “thrills” is the ultimate in “you don’t know what you’re missing.”

Empty sex is not positive sex. We get an idea what sex-positive really means from the man who coined the term, Wilhelm Reich, the same Frankfurt School member who coined the term “sexual revolution.”

He issued a call for that revolution in a 1945 book whose later editions actually bear that title, “The Sexual Revolution.” The title he first gave it is far more telling. The main title, Die Sexualität im Kulturkampf, could mean “Sex and Social Struggle.” More literally it translates to Sexuality in the Culture War. The subtitle leaves even less room for doubt: zur sozialistischen Umstrukturierung des Menschen is, For the Socialist Restructuring of Mankind.

Making Morality the Negative

Reich complained of a “sex-negative social order” in which those who are “sexually disturbed” are those who get less pleasure out of the act. These people “are better able to submit to the demands of lifelong monogamy,” he says, but, “Their fidelity … is not based on sexual gratification but on moral inhibitions.”

“Sex-positive” isn’t just another lie. It’s politically manipulative deceit, and it’s doing unbelievable harm.

Don’t miss the rhetorical twist there. “Gratification” implies an openness to experience, a positive, expansive embrace. “Inhibitions” implies a narrow, closed-off rebuke. He gives a mild nod of approval to monogamy, but only while it lasts. He missed the wild, yet bounded freedom that can only come through a relationship of lifelong, committed, exclusive love.

The Lie That Kills

That’s not all he missed, truth be told. No mention of Wilhelm Reich is complete without at least a glance at his more universally acknowledged insanities: his magic healing sex box the “orgone accumulator,” and his hole-in-the-sky drilling cloudbuster, originally invented to end droughts, but useful as well for shooting down alien spaceships.

Reich wanted “a social movement” that would “replace the sex negation of today by general sex affirmation.” He thought such a society would reduce neuroses and “no longer produce conflict” of various kinds. How’s that working for us, now that we’ve given it try? How are we doing with depression, anxiety, and suicide rates? What about conflict? How great is it for so many, many children who miss growing up in real families, with a father and mother who believe in love so much, they’ll even love each other?

“Sex-positive” isn’t just another lie. It’s politically manipulative deceit, and it’s doing unbelievable harm. Don’t fall for the lie. Stand guard over your family and loved ones, too. Let them know the truth. Don’t let them be taken in, either.


Tom Gilson (@TomGilsonAuthor) is a senior editor with The Stream and the author or editor of six books, including the highly acclaimed Too Good To Be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality.

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