Object sexuality or objectum sexuality, is a sexual fetish focused on particular inanimate objects. Those individuals with this expressed preference may feel strong feelings of attraction, love, and commitment to certain items or structures of their fixation. For some, sexual or even close emotional relationships with humans are incomprehensible. Some object-sexual individuals also often believe in animism, and sense reciprocation based on the belief that objects have souls, intelligence, and feelings, and are able to communicate.
In 2009 Amy Marsh, a clinical sexologist, surveyed the twenty-one English-speaking members of Erika Eiffel's 40-strong OS Internationale about their experiences. About half reported autism spectrum disorders: six had been diagnosed, four were affected but not diagnosed, and three of the remaining nine reported having "some traits." According to Marsh, "The emotions and experiences reported by OS people correspond to general definitions of sexual orientation," such as that in an APA article "on sexual orientation and homosexuality ... [which] refers to sexual orientation as involving 'feelings and self concept.'"
In 2009 Erika Eiffel appeared on Good Morning America and the Tyra Banks Show with Amy Marsh to discuss her "marriage" to the Eiffel Tower and how her object love helped her become a world champion archer. Marsh shared the results of her survey and her belief that OS could be a genuine sexual orientation, and reasoned that there would be more OS individuals if childhood trauma were a factor.
In March 2012 Amanda Liberty told the Daily Mail that the Statue of Liberty "is my long-distance lover and I am blown away by how stunning she is. Other people might be shocked to think I can have romantic feelings for an object, but I am not the same as them." Three weeks later Reighner Deleighnie declared her love for a short marble statue of Adonis that she'd named "Hans". Two months after that, Canadian Val Theroux confessed that she flew every year from Kamloops to the UK to see an oak tree which she had fallen in love with.
Erika Eiffel, who adopted her surname after a 2007 "marriage" to the Eiffel Tower, founded OS Internationale, an educational website and international online community for those identifying or researching the condition to love objects.
There are examples of OS-like behavior in classic literature. In Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame,
[Quasimodo] loved [the bells], caressed them, talked to them, understood them. From the carillon in the steeple of the transept to the great bell over the doorway, they all shared his love.
Claude Frollo had made him the bell ringer of Notre-Dame, and to give the great bell in marriage to Quasimodo was to give Juliet to Romeo.
Another example of this type of behavior might be found between Pygmalion and his statue.
- In 2011 National Geographic did a special in the TV series Taboo.
- The character of Leigh Swift from the television comedy drama Boston Legal, is a self-proclaimed “objectophile”.
- In an episode of Nip/Tuck, Richard Burgi portrayed a plastic surgeon with an emotional attraction to furniture.
- In July 2010, The Music Theatre Company produced a musical stage play titled "Erika's Wall" telling the love story of Erika Eiffel and her long-time relationship with the Berlin Wall.
- A March 2012 segment of TLC's My Strange Addiction featured Nathaniel, a man emotionally and sexually attracted to his car. Nathaniel told Anderson Cooper that he was also attracted to jet skis and airplanes.
- Big Boi's 2012 solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, includes a song called Objectum Sexuality.
- Discovery Channel's Forbidden featured a Dutch man who professed his love for bicycles.
- Lavie Tidhar's short story, "The Woman Who Fell In Love With The Hungerford Bridge", published in Ambit Magazine, 2014, concerns a romance between a woman with Objectum Sexuality and London's Hungerford Bridge.
- "Objectum-Sexuality Internationale - Homepage for Objectum-Sexuals & Objectum Sexuality info with Objectum sexual history". Objectum-sexuality.org. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- "Gateway to the Berlin Wall: Objectum-sexuality and Animism".
- Marsh, Amy (2010-03-01). "Love Among the Objectum Sexuals". Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality Volume 13.
- N.B. There are only 20 responses, though the author claims 21 respondents.
- Snow, Kate; Brady, Janann (2009-04-08). "Woman Proves Love for Eiffel Tower With Commitment Ceremony".
- Baker, David (2012-03-04). "'I'm head over heels in love with the Statue of Liberty': Shop assistant has got a new flame!". Daily Mail (London).
- "I'm in love with a three-foot statue of Adonis: Carer, 40, spends every day with £400 moulding of the Greek god of desire she has dubbed 'Hans'". Daily Mail (London). 2012-03-23.
- Hanlon, Chris (2012-05-20). "Barking mad for a tree: Canadian mother who is in love with an Oak flies 7,000 miles every year so she can be with it". Daily Mail (London).
- Marsh, Amy. "People Who Love Objects". Carnal Nation. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- "Themusictheatrecompany.Org". Themusictheatrecompany.Org. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- "A Man in a Relationship with His Car". Anderson. February 10, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14.
- Caffrey, Dan (2012-12-12). "Big Boi's Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is Visionary Hip-Hop". Music Section (Time). Retrieved December 12, 2012.
- The OS Internationale website
- Interviews of Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer and Erika Eiffel
- Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauers website