Health

The Real Reason People Have Sex With Objects

People are attracted to all sorts of characteristics, traits, and features.

For some, attraction is more than feeling drawn to another human being. Certain people, who identify as objectum sexuals (OS), say they are attracted to inanimate objects and sometimes even marry them. This is considered objectophilia.

A well-known objectum sexual is a woman who calls herself Erika Eiffel. The subject of the 2008 documentary "Strange Love: Married to the Eiffel Tower," she "married" the Paris landmark in a commitment ceremony nearly 10 years ago.

"[The Eiffel Tower's] structure is just amazing," she told ABC News in 2009. "You know, she's got subtle, subtle curves, you know. I just, it's almost like I heard her crying out, saying, 'Somebody, notice me. Somebody, really notice me. Here I am in the crowd crying out, somebody, somebody, hear my voice.'"

Last year, however, she told VICE that she ended her relationship with the Eiffel Tower and is now in a relationship with a crane. She said Eiffel Tower staffers wanted nothing to do with her after the documentary was released in France and that she "just had to withdraw." The documentary includes a scene with her straddling the Eiffel Tower and apparently experiencing a moment of passion.

The characteristics of objectum sexuality.

There hasn't been much research conducted on OS, but in 2009, sexologist Amy Marsh surveyed 21 people who consider themselves OS and found that five were diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, one had been diagnosed as autistic, and four identified as having Asperger’s Syndrome but were not diagnosed with the condition.

"I can tell you that what I'm finding is not much history of sexual abuse, and actually not much in the way of psychiatric diagnoses either," Marsh told ABC News. "I'm finding they're very happy, and they don't want to change. I am also finding out that quite a few of them have a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome or autism, but not everybody."

Eiffel, however, told ABC News that she does not have Asperger's syndrome and doesn't think her stressful childhood history in foster care is the reason for her attraction to objects.

Chair

Dorothea Hover-Kramer, a psychotherapist who died in 2013, told New York Daily News in 2013 that objectum sexuals may fall in love with objects because they struggle to connect with people.

"Normally we form attachments to other people and to pets," Hover-Kramer said. "But sometimes people can get very attached to their jewelry or to their home. So it's out there. The attachment to inanimate objects is definitely a distortion of more normal bonding."

Why some people want to have sex with dolls.

Sex doll

Peter Kanaris, Ph.D. who has a doctorate in clinical and school psychology, recently spoke with Broadly about people who have sexual relationships with sex dolls. As noted by Broadly, sex dolls can be manufactured in such a way that some believe that sex dolls feel nearly identical to the bodies of human women. Some men have exclusive relationships with life-size dolls, and this can give them an opportunity to engage in a sex act without receiving feedback or a personal connection, according to Kanaris.

"[Dolls] provide an opportunity for the person to project feelings onto," he said.

Dolls can also be beneficial for those who are shy, self-conscious about their sexual experience or lack thereof, or lacking in access to real life partners, Kanaris explained. Even so, these individuals could be missing out on the "richness and totality of what relationships with other people may offer," he said.

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