mental health

Object sexuality; a brief look

dying-gaul-hellenistic-sculpture

So yesterday, I came across a quite interesting documentary describing stories of people who are emotionally and sexually attracted to objects. I’m a psychology graduate and I have come across with a variety of unusual and extraordinary things regarding people’s preferences and likes but this was something that not only interested me and surprised me but also filled me with some thoughts and concerns that I would like to share.

Object sexuality or objectophilia is a form of sexuality focused in particular inanimate objects. These people with this expressed preference may feel strong feelings of attraction, love and commitment to certain items or captures of the fixation. Such individuals rarely (if ever) have sex or form any kind of romanitc relationship with other humans and they develop strong emotional fixations to the object or structure. Unlike sexual fetichism, the object or structure is viewed as an equal partner in the relationship and is not used to enhance or facilitate sexual behavior. Some objectophiles even believe that their feelings are reciprocated by the object of their desire.

It is estimated that only a very small amount of people in the world  are emotionally and sexually attracted to objects and the vast majority of them are women. These individuals are able to form relationships with a variety of objects, (they don’t believe in monogamy), they are having complete sexual relationhips with their loved ones and quite often they express their intimacy and love in public through kissing, hugging, cuddling, or just talking to the loved object. It is also quite common, to have a miniature sculpture or a small part of the object that carry it almost everywhere with them, especially in cases that the loved object is very big or located far away or both, as is the case of Erika LaBrie who “married” the Eiffel Tower in 2007 (and now calls herself Erika Eiffel).

If you ask these people why they are attracted to objects they often are unable to explain it and usually report that this is an attraction that used to have since they were children or teenagers. A quite common background for these individuals thought, is a negative child environment with adverse experiences, commonly abuse or neglect. However, this is not exclusive as objectophilia is a quite rare condition and only a small amount of people who suffered child abuse or neglect have developed sexual attraction for objects. Research in objectophilia is quite new and psychologists have yet a long way to address the predisposing and risk factors for this special preferance.

From my personal view, and as one mother of an odject sexual woman reported in a try  to explain this unusual preference of her daughter,   forming a relationship with an object instead of a person may be a way to protect and isolate yourself from future hurt. An inanimate object cannot hurt you, cannot offend you, cannot argue back, cannot disagree and cannot do anything that you do not like or find unpleasant. The process and the development of your relationship is entirelly up to your control. In your fantasies and imagination you can form the perfect romantic relationship, with the most attractive and strong partner, that will be always and foverer there for you. Nothing can change this, except you. And the best part, the other strong and attractive partner has the same romantic and sexual feelings towards you, the same passion and willingness to be together. The ultimate relationship happiness.

Of course this may not be the case for every object sexual.  Human personality and mind is quite complicated and different drives and feelings exist in every and each of us. And despite how unusual and uncomprehensive may be for some (including me) to understant how someone can spent his entire life being sexually and emotionally connected with objects instead of people, we should show respect and approval for people with different preferences and needs, even if they seem to be so far away from our own preferences and needs. At least,  as Germal sexologist Sigusch stated;  “The objectophiles aren’t hurting anyone. They’re not abusing or traumatizing other people. Who else can you say that about?”

 

 

 

mental health

How relating with pets help us to improve our mental health and happiness

Every time I am coming in touch with a domestic animal I can feel it right away. I am feeling an innate deep joy, a feeling of happiness and I am becoming more relaxed and calm. Most importantly, I am feeling being in the present. My furry friend has the ability to constanlty keep my mind in “the here and now “, distracting me for any worries and thoughts about the past or future. I consider this to be the best benefit that relating with animals can offer.

Most of people have seem to report the same or similar feeling when interacting with a pet. Studies have consistently found that interacting with pets can benefit people in a variety of ways resulting in an improved mental and physical health.

  • Pets can help you reduce depression and make you happier. Stroking, cuddling, sitting next to or play with your pet can boost your brain to release oxytocin that reduces blood pressure and lowers cortisol. This results in feeling more relaxed, lessens anxiety and stress and improves feelings of happiness and joy.
  • Pets decrease isolation and enhance social skills and social interactions. Mainly when owning a dog, you have to get him out to parks t least one time a day. Studies have shown that people who are out with a pet are more approachable and it’s easier for them to start a conversation and meet new people. It’s more likely too that they will expand their social network and meet again with other pet owners to arrange walks, play dates or just meet again at the same park.
  • Moreover, pets consist a motivation for exersice. If gym, classes and jogging feel boring for you, running out and playing with your pet, usually your dog, is an activity that you do not only try to avoi but also makes you feel happy, joyful and energetic.
  • Pets give a daily purpose. When deciding that you want to add a new furry friend at your family the amount of responsibilities you gain are quite many however, taking care and petting your animal is also very rewarding. Knowing that you have a pet that its survival is entirely up to you gives you a purpose to get up from bed every morning and start living.
  • Pets offer companionship and reduce loniless and boredom. When at home, it is quite often that you may feel lonely and bored. If you own a pet you will constantly have someone next to you, willing to spent time with you, making you have fun and spent a joyful time with.
  • Finally pets help you live at the present and be always at here and now. When interacting with your furry friend, your mind is destructed from every other exogenous thought, your worries are blocked , and your focus is at the present moment not at the past or the future. Pets help you be mindful and the benefits of this are well known for both physical and mental health.

To sum up, owning a pet can proved to be very beneficial and enhance your happiness and well being. However, pets come with a lot of responsibilities and owning a pet just for the benefits it offers to your health is not efficient neither for you or your pet. The good news though, are that even if your daily routines do not allow you to own a pet you can still find ways to benefit from their interactions. Regular visits to friends and family members with pets, simple visits to parks where owners walk their dogs, petsit or dogwalk in your spare time (voluntary or not-you can do this as a spare job) or even volunteering for organizations and charities that help animals can all give you a way to interact and spent time with these adorable friends.