ERIKA EIFFEL IS a world-class archer who has been a guest on ABC News’ Good Morning America and The Tyra Banks’ Show. She is the subject of dozens of magazine and newspaper articles, and documentaries have been made about her life. Although her archery career is undoubtedly awe-inspiring, the majority of press she’s received has had very little to do with her athletic achievements—rather, Eiffel is famous because she is an objectum-sexual (OS).
Objectum-sexually oriented people are attracted to—and fall in love with—objects. Eiffel, who married the Eiffel Tower in a ceremony in 2007, has become a spokesperson for this little-known and often highly misunderstood sexuality. From her home in Berlin, she manages OS Internationale, an educational website that also serves as a community for objectum-sexuals all over the world. Eiffel corresponded with the Fulcrum via email to answer our questions about life as an objectum-sexual.
The Fulcrum: Can you define in your own words what objectum-sexuality is?
Eiffel: OS can be defined as the innate feelings of inclination to develop significant relationships with objects.
At what age did you realize you were not sexually oriented toward other people, but were attracted to objects instead?
I never came to a realization that I was OS, because I have always been this way. The only realization was that I was different from others—not that I was OS—and this happened in my teen years.
When did you share your sexuality with friends and family? How did they react?
I never shared my OS with anyone in early days, because it was apparent that being different was wrong. My OS was discovered by my family, and the reaction from my mother was so negative and hurtful that I went underground as a matter of self preservation.
When did you fall in love for the first time?
Love differs depending on age and what you are looking to get from the loving relationship. A young teen in love is going to define love differently than an older person. So to say I was in love at 14 may seem crazy, and many may say it is not possible to know love so young.
However, at that time, I will defend that I was very much in love with a Bridge in my hometown. This Bridge changed my life and jump-started a deeper part of my heart, though I didn’t realize how deep until my beloved was destroyed in a flood. To know love sometimes means losing the one who provoked the love. The pain validated my love but no one around me would validate my pain.
It is my understanding that objectum-sexual people are able to determine whether or not an object reciprocates their love. Can you explain how this is so?
Most OS people have a sense about the object they love. Means of comprehension and communication differ between OS people. We are researching the relationship between synesthesia (cross-sensory perception) and OS. For me, communication is non-auditory. I pick up on energy exchanges with my object loves, which are transferred through different mediums.
The most obvious way for people to see the reciprocation is to how these objects have propelled me with positive momentum in my life, the person these objects have helped me become, the happiness that I have in my life because of my deep love I share with objects.
Are you in close contact with any other objectum-sexual people?
Yes, I discovered a small German community in 2003 and have since founded OS Internationale, a community for those who develop significant relationships with objects. We number over 200 people and we are growing with the raising of more awareness. My best friend of 15 years is also OS.
Are you currently in a relationship?
Yes, I am in a relationship with the Berlin Wall. The Wall is seen as merely a communist icon; however, I see the Berlin Wall as a kindred spirit. The Wall was an object horribly detested for doing what a Wall does as I was hated for doing what I do … loving objects. That is the glue that keeps us together.
Though not as fantastic and accepted as my relationship with the Eiffel Tower, I have found our relationship to be more pure. My relationship with the Eiffel Tower was clearly not as strong and the media destroyed us with their sensationalistic take and sexualization of something that was harmless and beautiful.
Have you ever ended a relationship?
Yes, I ended my relationship with the Berlin Wall to wed the Eiffel Tower. It was my hope that I could snuff out my feelings for the Wall (respecting there was another OS person who loved the Berlin Wall) and settle for life with my long-term love of Bridges, whom the Eiffel Tower represents. I realize now the error of my heart as I live in Berlin and not in Paris. Since then the woman in love with the Wall has become like family to me and there is no animosity.
What do you feel are the biggest misconceptions about your orientation?
Media has raised most of the misconceptions that exist and that was in part my failure for being too naïve. In earlier British media, they exploited my story and made OS people appear as fetishists, products of trauma, mentally disturbed, and sexually indiscreet.
Perhaps there is something that causes people to be OS, just as people said about homosexuality until it was accepted as a legitimate orientation. However, I know from my own experience and from knowing so many OS people, we are not a product.
There are a percentage of OS people who have Asperger’s syndrome and this may be a factor in developing relationships with objects due to inherent social inabilities; however, there are many who are animists and have what would be considered very mainstream lifestyles. There is a misconception that OS people have no friends and sit alone at home and pine away after the neighbour’s garden fence. I have a great circle of friends and I party on the weekends like everyone else. The only difference is I am orientated toward objects and not people.
Also, media has raised the misconception that society needs to fear OS people being indiscreet in public places. OS people are very reluctant to threaten their relationship by being overt with PDA. This is simply an unnecessary fear. Media made me look like I was getting busy with the Eiffel Tower, resulting in shock waves that an OS person would be so open without regard. They edited and falsely narrated a scene where I was sitting on a truss to appear as though I was being sexual in front of tourists, despite the fact filming took place before the Tower was open to the public and I was just sitting with the Eiffel Tower.