This fifth volume in Colin Wilson’s “Outsider Cycle” was published in Britain by Arthur Barker on 10 May 1963 and in the US by G. P. Putnam’s Sons the following month. The book is

… concerned mainly with the post-Freudian revolt against a totally analytical approach, and with raising the question of whether the methods of Gestalt psychology and of Husserl’s phenomenology can be applied to the psychology of sex.

(Wilson, 1970a, p. 14) In an introductory note, Wilson explains that he is planning a “new existentialism” arguing that the “old existentialism” has recently died (around 1950, he estimates): “Before the end of this volume, I shall try to explain why I consider sex to be a valid approach to a new existentialism” (ibid., p. 14). He reveals that he is simultaneously writing a book entitled Outline of a New Existentialism. This obviously became his Beyond the Outsider: The Philosophy of the Future, (the “Outsider Cycle”, book 6), published in 1965, because in a contemporary interview with The Yorkshire Post he describes Origins as: “… a Siamese twin of another book, Beyond the Outsider, which was about my New Existentialism” (Wilson, 1963, n.k.). Howard F. Dossor explains:

10… Wilson saw that the way forward for Existentialism lay in the application of that essential characteristic of consciousness that Husserl had called intentionality. Since imagination was a powerful form of applied intentionality, and since the most dramatic and powerful form of imagination in modern man seemed to be demonstrated in his sexuality, a treatment of sex was unavoidable. It was, in fact, so critical that it could not be contained within a single chapter of the book on the New Existentialism and thus the book of the origins of sex was necessary.

(Dossor, 1990, p. 118) Chapter One is entitled “A general discussion of sexual aberration”:

The most obvious statement about the sexual impulse is that here is a point where man and “nature” have two different aims. The aim of nature appears to be procreation. The aim of the individual is to achieve the fullest possible satisfaction in the sexual orgasm.

(op. cit., p. 18) “A perversion,” says Wilson, “is usually defined as ‘an unnatural act’ … but where nature has separated its own purposes from man’s as widely as in the case of sex, how are we to judge what is natural?” Tolstoy felt that “… the only normal sex is sex directed specifically to producing children” (ibid., p. 19) but the objection to this is that it is “… defining abnormality in terms of the end rather than the means” (ibid., p. 20) and surely, Wilson argues, it is the means by which an orgasm is procured that counts when judging “abnormality”.