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Maria from the film Metropolis, on display at the Robot Hall of Fame

Mechanophilia (or Mechaphilia)[1] is a paraphilia involving a sexual attraction to machines such as bicycles,[2] motor vehicles,[3] helicopters[4] and aeroplanes.[5]

This is treated as a crime in some nations, such as the United Kingdom,[2] with perpetrators being placed on a sex-offenders' register after prosecution.[6] Motorcycles are often portrayed as sexualized fetish objects to those who desire them.[7]

Art, culture and design[edit]

Mechanophilia has been used to describe important works of the early modernists, including in the Eccentric Manifesto (1922),[8] written by Leonid Trauberg, Sergei Yutkevich, Grigori Kozintsev and others[9][10] – members of the Factory of the Eccentric Actor, a modernist avant-garde movement that spanned Russian futurism and constructivism.

The term has entered into the realms of science fiction and popular fiction.[11]

Scientifically, in Biophilia – The Human Bond with Other Species by Edward O. Wilson, Wilson is quoted describing mechanophilia, the love of machines, as "a special case of biophilia",[12] whereas psychologists such as Erich Fromm would see it as a form of necrophilia.[13]

Designers such as Francis Picabia and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti have been said to have exploited the sexual attraction of automobiles.[14]

Culturally, critics have described it as "all pervading" within contemporary Western society and that it seems to overwhelm our society and all too often our better judgement.[15] Although not all such uses are sexual in intent, the terms are also used for specifically erotogenic fixation on machinery[16] and taken to its extreme in hard core pornography as Fucking Machines.[17] This mainly involves women being sexually penetrated by machines for male consumption,[18] which are seen as being the limits of current sexual biopolitics.[19]

Arse Elektronika, an annual conference organized by the Austrian arts-and-philosophy collective monochrom, has propagated a DIY/feminist approach to sex machines.[20]

Authors have drawn a connection between mechanophilia and masculine militarisation, citing the works of animator Yasuo Ōtsuka and Studio Ghibli.[21]

In 2008, an American named Edward Smith admitted to 'having sex' with 1000 cars.[22][23]

In 2013, a British man was caught having sex with his Land Rover in public.[24]


  • My Car is My Lover (2008)[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ceilán, Cynthia (2008). Weirdly Beloved – Tales of Strange Bedfellows, Odd Couplings, and Love Gone Bad. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press. ISBN 978-1-59921-403-0.
  2. ^ a b Alleyne, Richard (26 October 2007). "Man Who Had Sex with Bike in Court". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  3. ^ [1] Archived February 6, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Staff (21 May 2008). "Man Admits Having Sex with 1,000 Cars – A Man Who Claims To Have Had Sex with 1,000 Cars Has Defended His 'Romantic' Feelings Towards Vehicles". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  5. ^ Browne, Ray Broadus (c. 1981). Objects of Special Devotion – Fetishism in Popular Culture. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press. ISBN 978-0-87972-191-6.
  6. ^ Hickey, Eric W. (2005). Sex Crimes and Paraphilia. Prentice Hall. p. 91. ISBN 0-13-170350-1.
  7. ^ Thompson, Steven L. (January 2000). "The Arts of the Motorcycle: Biology, Culture, and Aesthetics in Technological Choice". Technology and Culture. Volume 41, Number 1. pp. 99–115.
  8. ^ "Eccentric Manifesto". Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  9. ^ Mishra, Michael (2008). A Shostakovich Companion. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. p. 446. ISBN 978-0-313-30503-0.
  10. ^ Kolocotroni, Vassiliki; Goldman, Jane; Taxidou, Olga (1998). Modernism – An Anthology of Sources and Documents. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-45073-5.
  11. ^ Broderick, Damien (2009). Unleashing the Strange – Twenty-First Century Science Fiction Literature, part of the I. O. Evans Studies in the Philosophy & Criticism of Literature, Number 47. San Bernardino, California: Borgo Press. ISBN 978-1-4344-5723-3.
  12. ^ Castricano, Jodey (2008). Animal Subjects – An Ethical Reader in a Posthuman World, part of Cultural Studies, 8. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. ISBN 978-0-88920-512-3.
  13. ^ Miller, Alan (1999). Environmental Problem Solving – Psychosocial Barriers to Adaptive Change, part of the Springer Series on Environmental Management. New York City: Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-98499-5.
  14. ^ McDonagh, Deana; et al. (2004). Design and Emotion – The Experience of Everyday Things. London: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-30363-7.
  15. ^ Heller, Steven; Meggs, Philip B. (2001). Texts on Type – Critical Writings on Typography. Allworth Press. ISBN 978-1-58115-082-7.
  16. ^ Roberts, Mark S. (Autumn 1996). "Wired – Schreber as Machine, Technophobe, and Virtualist". TDR – The Drama Review. Vol. 40. No. 3. pp. 31–46. ISSN 1054-2043. OCLC 485115324.
  17. ^ Berger, Arthur Asa (1997). The Postmodern Presence – Readings on Postmodernism in American Culture and Society. Walnut Creek, California; London: AltaMira Press. ISBN 978-0-7619-8980-6.
  18. ^ Bonik, M.; Schaale, A. (2005). The Naked Truth – Internet Eroticism. Institute of Network Culture. ISBN 978-90-78146-03-2[clarification needed]
  19. ^ Loza, Susana (October 2001). "Sampling (Hetero)sexuality – Diva-ness and Discipline in Electronic Dance Music". Popular Music. Cambridge University Press. Volume 20. Number 3. pp. 349–357. ISSN 0261-1430. OCLC 486294262.
  20. ^ "Arse Elektronika". Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  21. ^ Lamarre, Thomas (2009). The Anime Machine – A Media Theory of Animation. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-5154-2.
  22. ^ "Man admits having sex with 1,000 cars". The Daily Telegraph. 2008-05-21. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  23. ^ "Man had sex with 1000 cars". GoWeirdFacts. 2014-02-02. 
  24. ^ "Having sex with Land Rover". GoWeirdFacts. 2013-09-13. 
  25. ^ [2] Archived December 13, 2009 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading[edit]