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Genital stagnation was a term coined by psychologist Wilhelm Reich to describe what happens when people do not enjoy regular sexual interaction and stimulation. Inspired by the work of Sigmund Freud, Reich warned of the health problems he believed would occur as a result of genital stagnation when addressing the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society in 1923.
According to Wilhelm Reich, genital stagnation was likely to lead to emotional problems, heart complaints, excessive perspiration, hot flashes, chills, trembling, dizziness, diarrhea, and on occasion, increased salivation.
He added that women and adolescents were particularly at risk of the complications which can come from genital stagnation since their sexuality was repressed by society until marriage.
Reich suggested that plentiful orgasms were the key to reversing the effects of genital stagnation. He called for a sexual revolution which would help all people feel comfortable expressing their sexuality.
Modern scientists have found no evidence that a lack of sexual activity can lead to any of the medical or emotional concerns Reich outlined.