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Essay: Objectum Sexuality

by Erika Eiffel on 21 June 2012

Erika Eiffel, Objectum Sexuality activist and partner of the Eiffel Tower, draws on Luci Schroder's Fashion Fetish film to explain human-object love.

Erika Eiffel, Objectum Sexuality activist and partner of the Eiffel Tower, draws on Luci Schroder's Fashion Fetish film to explain human-object love.

Obsession, addiction, affliction... is this really how they see us? This repetitive pondering, standing before society’s mirror… it taunts. Our reflection is that of two arguing forms - the imperfect lines that trace my humanness and your faultless symmetry joined awkwardly where supple curves meet your planed surfaces. They, the critics of all things diverse, view our disjointed puzzle pieces with uncomfortable yet inquisitive sensations, looking away with contempt, yet peering over their shoulder in envy at the same time.

The nerve that we touch exists because they too have succumbed to the varying degrees of innate desires that drew me to your form, your function, and to your needs. Yet, they do not have this essential need for you and therefore cast away their devalued longings. So it is now that we challenge them and call into question the manner of relationships and the credibility of love between humans and objects.

It cannot be disputed that we all possess relationships with objects in our daily lives, from heirlooms to devices that enhance our quality of living.

It cannot be disputed that we all possess relationships with objects in our daily lives, from heirlooms to devices that enhance our quality of living. The level to which a person becomes intertwined with an object is where controversy rests. It is legitimate to reap the benefits of an object’s intended function. Yet, although we imbue our own personal desires within the objects we make, we are not socially permitted to fall into love with our creations.

We craft what we want, what we need. Some recipes have given rise to objects that possess particular ingredients. They create a construction with sustainable properties that meet the needs and desires of certain people, and therefore sparks a dynamic hierarchy of object attraction. We call these people, like me, objectum-sexuals. And like other orientations our Latin designation implies as such, highlighting that we are inclined to develop significant relationships with objects.

The stark contrast between me and my beloved is viewed as an artistic and merely evocative relationship when the observer is devoid of the knowledge of our partnership. Attuned to the fetish acceptance where objects are merely a tool to enhancing gratification, scantily clad women are at will to drape themselves seductively over machinery and power the marketing industry. In light of awareness, the imagery of my form wrapped in an embrace with steel trusswork conjures up miscreant thoughts and raises protest.

Still from 'Love is a State of Mind', a fashion film by Luci Schroder (2012)

My reflection with an object was accepted or perhaps tolerated as a sexual method until love played the protagonist. Now, there is a shocked realisation akin to discovering that the meat you were eating was not chicken, followed by wariness that any affection toward objects may be anything more than just a fetish attraction. The aversion rests not with the sexual activities between humans and objects, rather the reality that people have and can find real love in a relationship with an object - that people can find happiness in a way that is so different from what others know. The sexual aspect is simply the easiest and quickest element to critique.

Now, the awareness of objectum-sexuality challenges and changes the perception of all things fetish, blurring the lines, despite the distinct differences in the types relationships towards the objects of affection. One cannot distinguish when exposed purely to the physical relationship. Now as more designers and artists capitalise on the creative value of people and objects crossing boundaries, they are calling into question more than they may have intended and forcing people to look closer at the differences. In doing so, the reflection of my love for objects may soon cast off the associations with obsession, affliction, and addiction and be seen for the true and harmless relationship that it is.

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