“”The Great Wall of China’s attractive, but he’s too thick – my husband is sexier.”
So says Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer, whose surname translates to English as “Berlin Wall.”
The Telegraph resurrected Frau Berliner-Mauer’s fascinating case of objectum-sexual in a news of the weird article: Woman “married” to Berlin Wall for 29 years. Overall, this is an article worthy of The Onion, but apparently the Wall’s
spouse widow occasionally makes the rounds discussing her fetish.
Having recently polished off Mary Roach’s Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex (I’ll review this marvelous book soon – I promise!), my scientific-spidey sense was set off by this article and the condition known as objectophilia.
Insatiably curious bonobo that I am, I brachiated around a bit in Google and found this thread (WARNING – no graphic photos but proceed with caution) I am OBJECTUM-SEXUAL with the very first post originating from Frau Berliner-Mauer who also provides a link to her home page. She thus exposes this psychological condition to the harsh prurient light of day. Another woman has come out and discussed her relationship with the Eiffel Tower, which is the subject of a documentary to be broadcast in the UK tomorrow (June 4).
Human sexuality is — to the least — complex, but one wonders what sort of neural-behavioral crosstalk has been affected so that someone is sexually aroused by an object? Those with objectophilia believe in animism, that is, inanimate objects have feelings and are able to communicate. I am reminded here of Paul Bloom’s hypothesis that belief in the supernatural — and possibly by extension, animism — is an accident of cognitive function (see Is God an Accident?). Is such a cognitive accident responsible for lusting after a kitchen appliance or an imposing architectural feature?
Shoe festishists are pretty mundane compared to some of those who are classified as having objectum-sexual. Although the veracity of the aforementioned thread’s content is up for grabs, objectum-sexual is a real condition. The love objects mentioned in the thread are rather varied: hockey sticks, a laminated wood floor, a piccolo, and a toaster (maybe) among them.
Maybe my Bosch dishwasher really is flirting with me!
**A pant-hoot to Ms. Myxomycetes for calling the Telegraph article to my attention.