So many things in today’s society determine who is allowed to marry whom. Being able to marry whoever you want is still a new and constantly evolving concept in the modern world. And now, not only “who” is an important question, but “what” too. Objectum sexuality is a relatively new term to describe exactly what comes into play, and for those who identify with this sexual orientation, it redefines what love and marriage look like.
Objectum sexuality is a term used for those who are attracted to inanimate objects, on a romantic, sexual or emotional level. The term itself, however, is not new; it first appeared in the 1970s to identify a woman whose strong feelings for the Berlin Wall prompted her to marry the concrete barrier. However, it wasn’t until Erika Eiffel ‘married’ the Eiffel Tower in 2007 and appeared on talk shows in 2009 that the strong attraction to inanimate things became known around the world.
Objectum sexuality is also, but not always, associated with a belief in animism. Animism, in anthropology, is defined as a religious or spiritual belief that nearly every aspect of life – from nature to words to time to human creations – all possess some form of spiritual essence. In addition, Amy Marsh, a sexologist, has done many surveys since she met Eiffel and has conducted many studies to show that most people who are attracted to objects have autistic traits or are on the autism spectrum. , but not all of them.
In 2008, the documentary “Married at the Eiffel Tower” was released, exploiting both Eiffel and those who identify with object sexuality. With Marsh’s help, Eiffel was able to reach out to the public and talk more about what it means to identify with sexual orientation. Eiffel has appeared on shows such as “Good Morning America” and “The Tyra Banks Show”, and is now known in the community as an advocate.
Eiffel “married” the world-famous landmark in a commitment ceremony and changed her surname. Eiffel explained that when she first saw the Paris landmark, she felt an instant attraction, as many others do in their own object relationships. The famous tower is however not the first inanimate object to be related to Eiffel. Eiffel also formed relationships with her Japanese sword, fighter jet, crane she operates and an archery bow named Lance, which she says helped her become a world-class archer. . Eiffel also had a relationship with the Berlin Wall prior to her marriage to the Eiffel Tower.
Eiffel isn’t the only woman to have had a relationship with the Berlin Wall either. In 1979, a Swedish woman named Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer held a commitment ceremony and took the wall’s name. This moment is also considered the first documented case of objectum sexuality. Berliner-Mauer is also the woman who would have named sexual orientation in order to give a name to what she feels.
Some have noted that this new sexuality could instead be a disorder. Medical experts have classified it as a form of paraphilia, a condition in which a person has unusual sexual interests. However, after researching the community, Marsh argues otherwise.
National Geographic’s “Taboo” documentary series covered a story about Eiffel and his love for the Berlin Wall starring Edward Smith, who loves cars. By mixing the two, the program has fostered misconceptions about the term and the relationships of those who identify with objectum sexuality. By talking about feelings of love and admiration for objects in the same breath as those who only feel sexual desire for objects, the documentary created a false sense of equivalence. In reality, as lawyers have insisted over the years, the difference between the two is immense.
Carol Santa Fe, another person from the Objectum Sexuality (OS) community, married Santa Fe Station in 2015 after the two had been lovers for 36 years. Santa Fe said the station is a woman named Diadra. Linda DurCharme met Bruce, a ferris wheel in 1982, but didn’t marry the merry-go-round until 2012 after a reunion. A woman who married a serpent in an East Indian state is considered OS because her ceremony did not take place with the serpent present but a brass replica instead. Although these are just a few of the known cases of OS relationships, many are still undocumented.
When we consider where people come from, laws are also taken into account. Many weddings and ceremonies held for these people and their selected object are not always legally binding – take Santa Fe for example. In other regions, however, other individuals and their OS marriages are recognized by their culture. The woman who married the serpent was accepted as it was believed the union would bring good fortune – as a result, 2,000 people showed up to celebrate. Another man named Chang Hsi-hsum, who married a Barbie doll, believed his deceased wife’s soul resided in the doll and so her family gave their blessing.
With Berliner-Mauer’s help, Eiffel was able to become the face of the objectum sexuality community. Eiffel and Berliner-Mauer founded OS Internationale to help spread information and support the community. Eiffel is no longer married to the French monument but still defends her community from the stigma that comes with it. Marsh always receives media inquiries regarding the OS community and when asked for information about an OS individual, Marsh directs them to OS International. However, the community is now much more cautious and aware of how the media can exploit the lives of individuals in the OS community – perhaps rightly so.