How the Sexual Revolution Came to America

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Christopher Turner talks about science, sex, and postwar America. In Adventures in the Orgasmatron: How the Sexual Revolution Came to America, Turner tells the story of the orgone box—which was thought to elevate one’s “orgastic potential”—and its creator, Wilhelm Reich, a psychoanalyst and disaffected disciple of Freud who brought his theories of sexual energy to America during World War II.


Christopher Turner

Comments [2]

Bergen J. Ludman from Bloomfield, NJ

(For Leonard Lopate): I just caught the tail end of your piece about the beginnings of the "sexual revolution."
As a young summer camper at Camp Mitigwa in Rangely, Maine in the early fifties, our camp was located on one side of Dodge Pond. On the other side of the Pond was a big old mansion atop a hill.
The place was called the Orgone Institute. The "Institute" was posessed (as, possibly, was the occupant) by Dr. Wilhelm Reich.
During a storm, the lightning would seem to strike the Institute much more often than on the Camp's side of the lake.
Every now and then, the camp truck would deliver us to Rangely to see a movie. Dr. Reich was not too happy to see (and hear) a rowdy bunch of 'tweenagers in the theatre.
I understand that his "Orgone Accumulator" was, basically, a casket lined with steel wool.

Jun. 28 2011 01:16 PM

Patti Smith's take on this subject can be heard in her song, "Birdland."

Jun. 28 2011 12:53 PM

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