Monday, 26 November 2012

What's So Controversial About Love?

I picked up a random magazine this morning to read on my way to work.

An article about a lady called Erika Eiffel caught my attention. More specifically,  her condition called Inanimate Attachment or in other words, love of objects.

 Erika became well known in 2007 when she fell in love with the Eiffel Tower and after 3 years of frequent visits, going for weeks at a time and spending all day touching the tower, she ‘married’  the tower in a commitment ceremony before 10 of her closest friends.  She is founder of OS Internationale, an organization for those who develop significant relationships with inanimate objects. She has been featured as a spokesperson and advocate in a wide variety of publications, and on radio talk shows and television programs and has an entry in Wikipedia.
People with Inanimate Attachment, and who are called objectum sexual or OS, form romantic relationships with inanimate objects. Instead of boyfriends and girlfriends their partners are things, bridges, walls, buildings, cars and so on.
Objectum sexuals are animists, who believe everything in the world has a spirit and a soul. The OS International website reports that one third of OS people have been diagnosed with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, disorder whose sufferers often struggle to form human relationships. However, OS people are full functioning members of society rather than introverts and can connect with people although choose objects themselves. Some are even married with kids.
An OS person would be classified as a fetishist if one sought treatment. However, according to OSI, objectum-sexuality is not a fetish; while a fetishist must have their desired object present as a catalyst to achieve sexual gratification, the OS love for the object is not based on a habitual psychosexual response.  It is the object that captivates OS person on many more levels besides sexual arousal.  Fetishists do not see the object as animate as OS people do and therefore do not commence to develop a loving relationship with the object.
The Eiffel Tower is not first or the only love of Erika Eiffel. It has been reported she fell in love with marching drums and became so skilled that she ended up playing in the inauguration ceremony of George Bush.  Her love for a F-15 Fighter jet won her a $250,000 scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy, and her love for Lance, a bow, helped her to become a World Class archer. Eiffel has said she doesn't have Asperger's syndrome, nor does she believe her chaotic childhood - shuffling between foster homes before she was adopted-  contributed to OS.
I thought the topic was interesting and chatted about it with colleagues over a cup of coffee at the office. After the initial curiosity and perhaps surprised comments and various different point of views, we all agreed that it does not matter what your sexual orientation is; hetero, homo or objectum.
What matters instead is that the relationship works for you and is appropriate for you in your life.
Ms Eiffel’s love for her bow brought her to the World Class level in athletics, driven purely by the spiritual connection with her equipment. Wouldn’t we all want such a spiritual connection with the object of our affections, - man, female or an 'it'?