Is it really ethical to view a persons sexuality as freakshow fodder?
Objectum Sexuals: Are we too quick to judge?
It is vital to be open about how people define their sexuality. However, Objectum Sexuality, a physical and romantic attachment to inanimate objects, is for many people more than just a little difficult to relate to. Inanimate objects are often brought into the bedroom as a means of foreplay but in itself is not usually the source of lust and is made sexual only by the context of the two (or more) human beings in the bed. Many women, and increasingly men, use sex toys. What is unusual about Objectum Sexuality however is the belief held by a person that there is a reciprocal, often meaningful, relationship between them and their not too chatty lover, whether that be a roller coaster or the exhaust pipe of a Ford Fiesta.
Objectum Sexuality is more than just a kooky fetish. The feelings reported by Eija-Riitta-Mauer when her husband The Berlin Wall was knocked down (“mutilated” in her words) can only be described as grief stricken. Mauer could not even bear to go back to see the wrecked remains of her long term lover. She wrote later about her pain on her website: “with the emotional bonds, deep love, good memories together with him… The only way to survive is to block this terrible event”. Objectum Sexuals attribute gender and personality traits to their beloveds, they suffer through shitty break ups and feel keenly the pain of a disintegrating relationship. Clearly this goes beyond the basic pursuit of deriving physical pleasure. These people are making an emotional and complex commitment that forms a significant part of their identity. In other words, this is not a fetish but a fully fledged sexual orientation. Is it therefore accurate, or indeed fair, that we subject them to the same sort of light hearted media coverage that we do the man who enjoys having his face farted on?
Sociologist Amy Marsh laments what she views as “a glut of media coverage but a dearth of intelligent inquiry” used by Journalists when exploring the world of Objectum Sexuals which replaces scientific data with sensationalism (apologies in advance Amy…). Documentaries such as Strangelove: Married to the Eiffel Tower have became infamous pub chat fodder, to be endlessly shown in the fuzzier hours of Channel 5. The image of a knickerless Erica Eiffel proudly straddling her wife, the Eiffel Tower, whilst bewildered tourists look on will be forever etched into the public collective memory, and mine for that matter. Weddings where human beings profess their undying devotion to a household objects such as a pillow have become typical tabloid splash, usually accompanied by an unflattering photo of the person in question beaming besides their 100% Egyptian cotton bride. Are such portrayals giving an accurate balanced insight or are they more like Objectum Sexual versions of Keeping Up With The Kardashians? Marsh argues that this sort of media coverage is exploitative and is detrimental to genuine public education about Objectum Sexuality. She believes that this has ultimately led to the cyber bullying and further rejection of the Objectum Sexual community.
Some Psychologists have been a little too quick to link these “sufferers” to a childhood
trauma, a loner disposition or a place on the autistic spectrum. However, Marsh is strongly opposed to this frankly lazy form of diagnosis often spouted by Rent-a-TV –Experts. There is not nearly enough data or evidence to support their opinions, which are misleadingly presented as facts. There is also a distinct lack of contact with the Objectum Sexual community when conducting this so-called research. Sexologist Volkmar Sigusch is satisfied that the Objectophile condition proves his idea that modern humans are drifting into a state of asexuality in an age of advanced technology. It is certainly an interesting, albeit slightly depressing, hypothesis and if it is correct then we should expect a rise in the amount of Objectum Sexual’s “coming out” in the future. However, this idea is based on the shaky assumption that Objectum Sexuality is a new phenomenon which is pretty unlikely. Look at Pygmalion, for example, the character from Greek mythology who fell head over heels for the stone cold flesh of his statue lover.
Ultimately, if a person is happy with their sexuality, if it plays a positive and enriching role in their life and if they are not harming anybody then who are we to judge? Leo Tolstoy once wrote that “there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts”. Perhaps it is easy to forget this is a world where we are quick to categorise relationships, and everyone else who does not fit within our ideal of one. Sigusch certainly doesn’t see Objectum Sexuality as a social problem stating that: “The Objectophiles aren’t hurting anyone. They’re not abusing or traumatising anyone. Who else can you say that about?”. A slightly pessimistic perspective from the Sexologist perhaps, but maybe he has a point. Perhaps we can learn a little something from Objectum Sexuals.
It is admittedly quite difficult to imagine, for example, what an Objectum Sexual nightclub might look like (Although you’d probably have to nail the bar stools firmly to the floor). Maybe however there could one day be an Objectum Sexual tinder where the user swipes through page after page of scantily clad bridges? Whatever is next for them as a community, perhaps we as a society should be more supportive and understanding of Objectum Sexuals, without trying to cure or categorise them.