Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf

The Philosophy of the Orgasm

(German title: Philosophie des Orgasmus)
ca. 245 pages
Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf

Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf

Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, born in 1962, studied Music and Philosophy. He is a composer with wide-ranging work in all genres and the author of numerous books. He is the editor of the magazine Musik & Ästhetik and is Professor of Composition at the College of Music and Theatre in Leipzig.

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On the most beautiful of feelings

The first philosophical contemplation of the orgasm

»The orgasm is the blank space of negative philosophy.«


When on the quest for the loveliest of moments, one swiftly alights on the climax of climaxes: orgasm. Although a long-running theme in the media, sexual fulfilment is no simple matter. It is biological and cultural, sensual and symbolic, of the body and the mind, emotional and communicative. As well as being feminine and masculine, therefore deeply human. In it natural history and evolution rub shoulders with the great tales of human happiness, of emancipated society, a mature culture of love and a liberated gender relationship: in short, a good life.

In this book, wonder at orgasm dons a philosophy that connects the science of art, literature, film and music, intellectual discourse with everyday experience and the political with the utopia of a passionate and fulfilling happiness.


»Mahnkopf traces the phenomenon [of the orgasm]. And in terms of sexual liberation, which for him not only means individual happiness, but, above all, a promise of happiness to society as a whole. Mahnkopf’s ideas of sexual liberation are therefore exciting, as they imply freedom from psychological as well as physical obstacles, and an openness towards the experience of lust and eroticism – and not the misunderstood form of sexual liberation which equates freedom with vulgarity.« DIE WELT