Love among the Objectum Sexuals

By Marsh, Amy | Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Annual 2010 | Go to article overview

Love among the Objectum Sexuals


Marsh, Amy, Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality


INTRODUCTION

Objectum sexuals or objectophiles experience a range of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to objects, often forgoing or dispensing with human romantic or sexual intimacy. Thanks to a glut of media coverage but a dearth of intelligent inquiry, objectum sexuality (OS) currently serves as a kind of ready made sexual sideshow, isolated from the "big top" of mainstream human sexual behavior. The lives of Erika Eiffel, Eija-Ritta Eklof Berliner-Mauer and other objectophiles have been chronicled by journalists who inevitably find themselves torn between straining to understand or simply exploiting the entertainment value of details which the public finds unusual or titillating.

It is important to know some history of the objectum sexuality community. In the early 1970's, Eija-Ritta Eklof Berliner-Mauer, resident of a village in North Sweden, coined the term "objectum-sexuality." She married the Berlin wall in 1979, gaining the first media attention for this orientation. In 1996 she created the first website dedicated to objectum sexuality, followed by an internet discussion group in 1999.

In 2002, Oliver Arndt, from Germany, created a large and active network called Objektophilie.

In 2006, Erika Eiffel, a world champion archer, travelled to Europe to meet Eija-Ritta and Oliver. She came out to the public as an objectum sexual that same year and held a commitment ceremony with the Eiffel Tower in 2007. As she continued to travel and meet other objectum sexuals, Erika subsequently founded Objectum-Sexuality Internationale and created a new website and international forum of discussion for this community.

Eija-Ritta Berliner-Mauer, Erika Eiffel and Amy Wolfe were featured in a British "Strangelove" documentary (Married to the Eiffel Tower), which has since been repudiated by OS-Internationale as having sensationalized OS. Erika Eiffel has also appeared on Good Morning America (In Love with the Eiffel Tower), the Tyra Banks Show, and other American, European and Japanese media. In spite of her willingness to discuss her own story and the general features of objectum sexuality, her appearance in the media is invariably followed by a torrent of abusive and insulting comments which "go viral" on websites (including YouTube) and blogs. Other OS people who have encountered the media share similar experiences. In spite of numerous negative experiences with public ridicule or irresponsible actions of journalists, it seems that some OS advocates, including Erika, are willing to endure quite a lot in exchange for opportunities to inform the public through media.

With the exception of the author, "experts" who are approached by journalists for comments on objectum sexuality have generally assume a pathology or history of sexual trauma and/or categorize OS as a paraphilia or fetish. Experts continue to make these comments without actual data or contact with the OS community.

LITERATURE

To date, there are no published studies of objectum sexuals or objectum sexuality, though at least one other researcher is close to publishing her work. Jennifer Terry, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Women's Studies and Coordinator of the Queer Studies Program at the University of California, Irvine, presented on objectum sexuality at the Re-Thinking Sex--Gender and Sexualities Studies conference at University of Pennsylvania in March, 2009. Her research, titled "Loving Objects", is due to be published in 2010, in the first issue of Trans-Humanities.

I have read a copy of an earlier draft, titled Objectum-Sexuality, which Dr. Terry sent to Erika Eiffel for comment and Ms. Eiffel forwarded to me. Dr. Terry invokes Gayle Rubin's essay, Thinking Sex (1984), and observes public reaction to objectum sexuality as an example of conservative repression in "a world increasingly preoccupied with security--emotional, economic and territorial." By analyzing documentaries, news articles, videos and blogs about objectum sexuality, as well as published statements of objectum sexuals, Dr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Love among the Objectum Sexuals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.