For The Love Of…Inanimate Objects?

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People claim to love a new pair of shoes, but what happens when someone actually loves an inanimate object and wants to marry it?

amusement_park_ride

Photo: SahamJ on Flickr

An amusement park ride enjoyed by patrons.

What does it meant to really love something? Someone? The word love is thrown around fairly often in our culture. “Oh, man I loved that movie. It had my favorite actor in it” or “I just love my new shoes. I got them on sale.”

But what if the connotation of love for an inanimate object, a thing really conveyed a sense of romantic love, the type of love (and often associated feelings of lust, trust, respect, attraction, etc) usually reserved for a partner of the very animate and, if legality is respected, human variety.

It seems that some people have the ability to be attracted to and indeed in love with inanimate objects, things that others might pass by or admire for the architecture or function of the thing.

Loving A Inanimate Object

Jezebel recently profiled a woman named Amy Wolfe, a 33 year old unemployed church organist, who is planning to marry the amusement park ride she’s been in a relationship with for 10 years, the Pennsylvania fairground ride 1001 Nacht.

I think many people’s first instinct might be to simply label these individuals, largely females if the story selection indicates the average person experiencing this disorder, as crazy. Indeed there is a given disorder name for the attraction to an object: objectum sexuality.

Amy not only feels an attraction to her park ride but a sexual attraction and intention to marry the ride in addition to spending time watching video footage of the ride, perhaps akin to pornography for her.

Of the ride, she says:

“I love him as much as women love their husbands and know we’ll be together forever,”  of the ride that she claims to have a “sexual and mental” connection with.

Often in sexuality research and education, it takes effort to be open and understanding about the wide spectrum of human sexuality. Our standards generally revolve around the concept of consent (and why sex with people unable to give it is wrong and considered sexual violence), but how should we tackle love and sexual attraction to an inanimate object like the Eiffel Tower or an amusement park ride?

Jezebel’s previous blog about objectum sexuality contains a few interesting clips of people who claim to be in love with inanimate objects. You can watch the videos here on the Jezebel website.

Natalie Ingraham (M.P.H.)

is a recent graduate of Indiana University and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology at University of California San Francisco.
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