Reichian Character Structures #3.4 Masculine Aggressive

Rigid subtype, Female


  • Something to take from this whole series is an understanding of the significance of egoic strength, known in Freudian psychology as aggression. This aggression is not a negative thing. It merely refers to the degree to which we can move out into the world, getting our needs met, and protecting our boundaries.
  • Our level of egoic strength, or aggression, is largely determined by the level of pregenital wounding. That’s to say, invasion or withdrawal wounding happening from conception to around 12 – 18 months, when the genital phase begins.
  • The Orals and Endurers have a high level of pregenital wounding. The ego was either crippled, in the case of the Oral. Or crushed, in the case of the Endurer. Their aggression is simply way too low for them to function very effectively in the world.
  • With these two Rigid subtypes – the passive feminine male and the masculine aggressive female – we see people who have pregenital wounding, but it has not been so severe as to completely dominate their personality. Their egos have been damaged, but not completely crippled or crushed. They have then been subjected to genital stage wounding. The combination of both has created their distinctive character structure.
  • This character type (#3.4) has a degree of invasion wound in the pregenital stage. That’s to say their underlying condition is that of an Endurer.

Appearance & Behaviour:

  • Masculine features. There may be above average body hair on the face and legs. More developed musculature. Set, determined jaw.
  • Likely to be highly competitive, especially towards men. 
  • They may be overtly sexual, but if so will only be using their sexuality to feed their ego and gain power, not through sexual desire itself.
  • They will likely struggle to really enjoy sex.
  • They are strongly head dominated.
  • Their inner world will likely be dominated by anxiety – and they will feed on the adrenaline buzz this creates.


  • To understand this character type, it’s important to recognise the difference in how men and women develop in early infancy. This table contrasts the two:

Pregenital phase0-18 monthsGenital phase18 months on
Male – attentiondirected towards motherdirected towards mother
Male – sexualityin penisin penis
Female – attentiondirected towards motherdirected toward father
Female – sexualityin clitorisin vagina

What’s important to note is that whilst, in the male, both direction of attention and sexual development remain the same with the advent of the genital phase, in the woman both are different. With the onset of the genital phase so her attention shifts towards the father and other males around. At the same time, the bioenergetic charge in her genital region moves from the clitoris to the vagina. 

  • This character will usually have experienced a considerable degree of rejection of her infant sexuality, usually from the father. Attention and love will often only have been given as a reward for achievement by the father, not in appreciation of her femininity. This prevents the vagina from becoming adequately charged for her femininity to properly develop. 
  • As in 3.3, energy is drawn up into the head, away from the genitals.
  • The head, neck and shoulders become rigid, and the energy in the clitoris feels masculine, lacking the receptive quality of the vagina.
  • From here, more masculine development takes place, both physically and psychologically. Stronger arms, abdomen and musculature generally. Increased body hair. Driven and competitive attitude, esp around men.
  • Her sexuality is seen as simply a tool to attract and control men, though she may fantasise about finding one strong enough for her to submit to. 
  • Because of the lack of charge in the vagina, orgasms are invariably clitoral only and thus not so satisfying.


  • Will need to learn the value of femininity, and to develop feminine, receptive qualities.
  • Expressing anger against the father, or men, will be especially useful.
  • Tantric exercises like dearmouring may bring more energy into the vagina.
  • Strengthening the legs and increasing grounding generally will help bring more energy and feeling into the body.

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