Objectum Sexuality
Objectum sexuality, or also known as object sexuality or OS, is an orientation to love objects. Individuals experiencing object sexuality have emotional, romantic, affectionate, spiritual, and sexual relationships with objects (Marsh 2010). As with other orientations (i.e. hetero or homo), object sexuality begins, for humans, at the start of puberty with an awareness that they do not relate to peers due to their feelings with objects. They believe that all objects are living and have a soul, along with “being reservoirs of that most elusive of properties: life (Clemens, & Pettman, 2004).” It was found that most objectum sexuals are primarily female, with fewer men favoring this orientation. For the men who are objectum sexual, they refer to themselves mechasexuals. Mechasexuals have a sexual preference for machines and form a sub category for objectum sexuals. Objectum sexuals are usually attracted to transportation vehicles, small and large structures, landmarks, appliances, sporting goods, and statues. In order to show that they love an object they will take pictures, make models, create different forms of arts, among other things (“Objectum-sexuality internationale,” 2008). For members of this sexual orientation, it is important that they flatten the hierarchy that places humans at the top, animals further down and then the “dead matter” at the bottom (Clemens, & Pettman, 2004).Objectum sexuals usually feel outcaste and a sense of helplessness that they can’t change what comes naturally to them. In addition, objectum sexuals experience a lack of understanding from their friends, families, co-workers, and society.

It’s important to note that there has been minimal research on objectum sexuals. As of 2011, only two published studies on Objectum sexual exist and only a few individuals can be considered “experts” on this topic. Most of the information on the topic comes from a group of Objectum sexuals who have complied information and have answered questions.

History
When Eija-Ritta Berliner-Mauer, famous for marrying the Berlin Wall, was younger she wanted to educate people about her orientation and decided to prepare an information sheet explaining her sexuality. In the early 1970’s Eija-Ritta and her two close friends, Lars and Frank, created a term for their love to objects; Objectum Sexuality. (“Objectum-Sexuality internationale,” 2008)

Intimacy with objects
Perhaps the most commonly asked question of Objectum sexual is: “Do you have sex?” The answer, most often, is yes. Objectum sexuals do make it clear that sometimes sex is not always present for personal reasons. It is important to note that for objectum sexuals, the term “sex” connotes vastly different experiences than that of other, more common, orientations. Instead, objectum sexuals prefer the word intimacy. The intimacy they experience with their objects utilizes senses like smell, touch, hearing, and sight (“The object of, 2009”). These relationships with objects can be polyamorous, meaning that they can be in love with more than one object usually triggered by structure, location, or function.

Marsh Spectrum of Human/Object Intimacy
The Marsh Spectrum of Human/Object Intimacy was created by Dr. Amy Marsh, a sexologist and hypnotherapist, who is one of the few experts on Objectum sexuality. The spectrum describes human and object interactions beginning with the intense object interactions, moving to interest in objects, and ending with the orientation toward objects. These interactions range from casual sex toy use, to fetish paraphilia type behavior, and ending with objectum intimacy. Objectum intimacy is defined as a full object relationship. A person who is dealing with objectum intimacy has object fantasies, a developed sense of the object’s personality, emotional and romantic attachment, spiritual connection, and has no interest in human sex partners (Marsh, 2010).

Causes
Most medical experts are skeptical or not familiar with objectum sexuality, however, a few do suggest that object sexuality is a type of paraphilia, a type of sexual disorder (“The object of,” 2009). Medical experts claim that objectum sexuality has been linked with Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome was found to afflict a growing percentage of individuals with Objectum sexual orientation. Another inference from some experts is that individuals suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome relate better to certain objects than with people due to their impaired social functioning.

Another possible explanation of this orientation is sexual trauma. However, in most cases, objectum sexual tendencies predate the sexual trauma. Another potential cause, for a small number of Objectum sexuals, is gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is the feeling of discontent for individuals unsatisfied with the biological sex with which they were born. The hypothesis behind gender dysphoria as a cause is that when one loves an object which obviously has no set gender; it calls into question their gender.

A third potential cause is Synesthesia. Synesthesia is a condition where one sense is simultaneously perceived by one or more additional senses. Objectum sexuals, the idea that additional senses respond to one sensation such as seeing color in words or tasting when hearing certain sounds has an effect on the way they view and contextualize their relationships with objects.
A final potential cause is Animism. Animism is not a psychological condition, but rather a belief that objects have a life and soul that can be communicated through the sharing of energy (Bellows, 2010). The most common communication device is that of ‘telepathy” which is controversial in its own regard. (“Objectum-Sexuality internationale,” 2008)

People
Eija-Ritta Berliner-Mauer was born on March 20, 1954. She currently resides in the town of Liden in Northern Sweden . Mauer is perhaps
eiffeltower700_29244s.jpg
Erika Eiffel and the Eiffel Tower during their commitment ceremony
most famous for marrying the Berlin Wall on June 17, 1979.


A world class archerand martial artist, Erika Eiffel came out to the world
as an objectum sexual proclaiming her love for the Berlin Wall, iron bridges, a fighter plane , a nd her bow named Lance . Soon after co ming ou t, Eiffel married the Eiffel tower on April 8 , 2007. Looking for support and discussion, Eiffel founded Object um S exuality International and started a new international forum in February 2008.

Oliver Arndt is an artist from Essen, Germany. Arndt started the largest network of Objectum sexuals in Germany in 2002. Currently, Arndt continues to educate the public about Objectum sexuals (“Objectum-Sexuality internationale,” 2008).

Objectum Sexuals Online
Eija-Ritta Berliner-Mauer started the first website for Objectum sexuals in 1996 providing service in four languages. The website consisted of a personal account of her life and also information on Objectum sexuals. In 1999, Mauer launched the first internet group about objectum sexuality that allowed anyone who was interested in discussing objectum sexuality to contribute. Unfortunately, the website failed shortly after its founding due to increased spam from internet communities believing the website to be a joke. The website remained dormant until 2002 when it was launched with a registration system that filtered spam and unwanted visitors through an approval process.

In addition to Mauer’s site there is a large internet community open to the public called “OS International” that contains information and frequently asked questions. The logo of the site is a red fence that was chosen because “fences exist throughout society. We put them up to protect ourselves but not to shut people out. One can look over a fence and see what’s on the other side. If the grass is indeed greener or not... this we decide for ourselves (“Objectum-Sexuality internationale,” 2008).” While Objectum sexual can have a difficult time in society, the internet provides a refuge full of support groups and chat rooms where people can share their experiences and offer assistance.

In the media
Recently, Objectum sexual have become a popular topic within pop culture, viral videos and blogs. Listed below is media coverage on objectum sexuals in the United States:
  • February 24, 2009 - Objectum Sexuality was shown in the medical drama Nip/ Tuck. A plastic surgeon was hired to replace Dr. Troy and in the episode it is revealed to the audience that he is objectum sexua
  • April 8, 2009 - Erika Eiffel was featured on ABC News Good Morning America. First time in the United States, where someone addresses objectum sexuals.
  • October 2, 2009 – Erika Eiffel and objectum sexuality is featured on the Tyra Banks Show
  • March 2, 2010- Dr. Amy Marsh publishes her article, “Love among the Objectum Sexuals.”

References:
Bellows, M.G. (2010). Nat geo amazing!: 100 people, places, and things that will wow you. National Geographic.

Clemens, J., & Pettman, D. (2004). Avoiding the subject: media, culture, and the object. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Marsh, A. (2010). Love among the objectum sexuals. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, 13. Retrieved from http://www.ejhs.org/volume13/ObjSexuals.htm

Objectum- sexuality internationale. (2008, March 3). Retrieved from http://www.objectum-sexuality.org

The object of her affection [Television series episode]. (2009, April, 8). In (Executive producer), ABC News Good Morning America. New York: ABC