Object sexuality or objectophilia is a form of paraphilia focused on particular inanimate objects. Individuals with this disorder may have 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.'"
OS awareness and advocacy
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 if childhood trauma were a factor, that there would be more OS individuals. Eiffel, who had 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.
Amanda Liberty told the Daily Mail in March 2012 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".
Marsh sees 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.
In popular culture
- In 2007 Erika Eiffel married the Eiffel Tower
- In 2010 Woman's Day magazine listed ten romances between people and things. Those listed 'things' including the Berlin Wall, a fairground ride, a body pillow, a Nintendo video game character, a Volkswagen Beetle, the World Trade Center, a steam locomotive, an iBook and a metal processing system.
- In 2011, National Geographic Channel did a special on this topic in the TV series Taboo.
- 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.
- In 2013 an Australian woman, Jodi Rose, married the Le Pont du Diable Bridge in France.
- Discovery Channel's Forbidden featured a Dutch man who professed his love for bicycles.
- In 2016 a man was refused permission to marry his computer.
Film and television
- The character of Leigh Swift from the television comedy drama Boston Legal (2004–2008), is a self-proclaimed "objectophile".
- The character of Ted Mosby from the popular television series How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014) is accused of being an "objectophiliac" in a flashback with "Empy" (the Empire State Building).
- In "Allegra Caldarello," a 2009 episode of Nip/Tuck, Richard Burgi portrays a plastic surgeon with an emotional attraction to furniture.
- The BBC TV continuing drama series Casualty features an autumn 2015 episode titled "Objectum Sexual." The plot of the episode is built around a sexually inexperienced female who has fallen in love with a condemned building, soon to be destroyed. As the episode ends, the character, having been admitted with superficial injuries, declares her new love was for Holby City Hospital.
- The fashion designer from the Netflix original series Lunatics (2019) described himself as an "objectophile" that confessed his love to a cash register, which he called Karen.
- The 1980s comic book series V for Vendetta strongly implies that main antagonist Adam Susan is sexually attracted to a supercomputer named "Fate".
- Lavie Tidhar's short story, "The Woman Who Fell In Love With The Hungerford Bridge", published in Ambit Magazine in 2014, concerns a romance between a woman with objectum sexuality and London's Hungerford Bridge.
- Big Boi's 2012 solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, includes a song called "Objectum Sexuality."
- Keys N Krates's video for the song "Save Me," featuring Katy B, focuses on this particular sexuality.
- Marsh, Amy (2010-03-01). "Love Among the Objectum Sexuals". Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality. 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.
- "Inanimate attachment: Love objects". The Globe and Mail. Aug 21, 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
- Woman Proves Love for Eiffel Tower With Commitment Ceremony, ABC News, April 8, 2009
- "10 Romances Between People and…Things". 12 April 2010.
- "A Man in a Relationship with His Car". Anderson. February 10, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14.
- "Jodi Rose bridges differences to marry Le Pont du Diable Bridge in France". 6 July 2013.
- "Man sues Utah County clerk for refusing to issue license to marry computer". 29 June 2016.
- Caffrey, Dan (2012-12-12). "Big Boi's Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is Visionary Hip-Hop". Music Section. Time. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
- Matthew Meadow (3 August 2015). "Keys N Krates - Save Me". YourEDM. Retrieved 5 September 2015.