Pleasure Anxiety

Pleasure Anxiety

by Leslee Hughes, Body Mind Psychotherapist, Sydney, New South Wales

Copyright 2010

People who are brought up with a negative attitude towards life and sex usually acquire a pleasure anxiety; the fear of pleasure is the fear of pain not only in the physical pain but psychological pain of loss, frustration and humiliation.

In the course of growing up we overcome these pains by suppressing our sadness, our fear and our anger. In the process we diminish our capacity for love, joy and PLEASURE. Feelings are suppressed by chronic muscular spasticity’s by deadening ourselves to pain.

This anxiety is always felt as the first manifestation of pain, when a response in life is positive, feelings flow outward and one will speak of feeling pleasure, when the response is negative and there is no rhythmic flow of feeling he will describe the situation as unpleasant or painful. But since the experience of pleasure or pain is determined by what happens in the body, any inner disturbance that blocks the flow of feelings will give rise to the experience of pain.

Sexual anxiety is caused by the external frustration of instinctual gratification and internally anchored by the fear of the dammed up energy, sexual anxiety leads to orgasm anxiety, which is the ego’s fear of the overpowering excitation of the genital system due to the estrangement from the experience of pleasure.


The neurosis originates in a conflict between instinctual sexual need and the threat of being punished by a patriarchal, authoritarian society for engaging in sexual activities. Orgasm anxiety constitutes the core of the universal, biologically anchored pleasure anxiety.

It is usually expressed as a general anxiety about every form of vegetative sensation and excitation and the perception of such excitations and sensations.

The pleasure of living and the pleasure of the orgasm are identical. Extreme orgasm anxiety forms the basis of the general fear of life. Orgasm anxiety is often experienced as a fear of death and fear of dying.

How does Pleasure Anxiety manifest in the Body?

Pleasure anxiety manifests in the body as a general anxiety about every form of vegetative sensation and excitation or the perception of such excitations and sensation.

There is a great fear of the overpowering orgiastic, genital excitation which has a major effect on sexual performance or pleasure. Many men may experience difficulty in maintaining an erection during the sexual act or suffer from premature ejaculations. The penis may completely lose its role as a penetrating pleasure organ.

Women on the other hand may become frigid, have a dry vagina, reductions of sexual feelings or complete lack of feelings whatsoever in the vagina. There are a myriad of ways that a man’s or women’s sexuality could be affected by pleasure anxiety.

In general when suffering pleasure anxiety there will be a contraction from the world and pleasure, people will experience anxiety, the sympathetic nervous system will come into play and operates in the direction of contraction and as a result the body will respond in many ways.

Most of the organs of the body will associate with shrinking, closing up away from the world and toward the self. Wilhelm Reich in his book “Function Of The Orgasm”

Listed some of the ways our bodies will respond to this state.

Cardiovascular Hypertension

The peripheral blood vessels are chronically contracted and thus restricted in pulsatory movement, high blood pressure, tachycardia, arteriosclerosis and many other forms of heart disease.

Muscular Rheumatism

Is particularly common in the musculature of the neck (stiff necked and obstinate) and between the shoulder blades, in the lower part of the body are muscles which retract the pelvis and thus produces Lordosis. Chronic retraction of the pelvis has the function of suppressing genital excitation also the deep and superficial adductors of the upper thighs which keep the legs pressed together, and cuts us off from genital excitation.

Pulmonary Emphysema, Peptic Ulcers, Spasms of Annular Muscles

Spastic attacks at the entrance to the stomach, cardio-spasm and at the exit of the stomach, pylorospasm.

Chronic constipation - as a result of the cessation or reduction of the tension – charge function in the intestines.

Hemorrhoids - As a result of a chronic spasm of the anal sphincter.

Vaginismus – The expression of a contraction of the annular musculature of the vagina.

  1. Blood Diseases

Such as chlorosis and other forms of anaemia are forms of sympatheticotonic diseases.

  1. Cancer

Tissue asphyxiation in cancer (co2 excess), causes chronic restriction of exhalation due to sympathericotonia. Organs whose respiration is chronically impaired and the bio – energetic charge reduced are more susceptible to cancer producing stimuli than organs with good respiration.

I feel that in this modern society we have an epidemic proportion of “pleasure anxiety” in the world at large. Sexual dysfunction, illness, suppression at the hand of authorities is rampant.  I would look to a future of freedom of spirit for each and every person walking this planet and only then could we be truly allowed to be our authentic selves free from the shackles of the past and open to pure pleasure!

Leslee Hughes is an experienced Body Mind Psychotherapist who works in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Tel: 02 43893105

Mobile: 0407 934499



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