Sexual orientations and behaviors which seem unusual to mainstream society are often perfectly legitimate expressions of human sexuality, though they may seem rare, pathological, or even “wrong” to those who feel uncomfortable about them. However, our “feelings” and “understandings” of what is acceptable is often grounded in personal and social biases, not sexological research.
It is important for mental health and physical health clinicians and counselors to provide sex-positive, nonjudgmental support for anyone engaging in consensual behavior with human adults. However understanding relationships that involve spectrosexuality and objectum sexuality (just two examples) can be somewhat more challenging for many. Even so, such relationships deserve our attention and support.
In my career as a sexuality counselor and clinical sexologist, I have gained a broad understanding of human sexual (and asexual) behavior and desires. I am particularly concerned with providing research and understanding for the following two forms of “outlier” sexual orientations, so that people engaged in these relationships and behaviors feel just as supported and comfortable as people engaged in relationships which have wider acceptance.
Intimate Relationships with Non-Corporeal Beings
The above terms apply to human-spirit sex and intimacy. This is a fascinating topic explored by academics in such fields as religious studies and anthropology and by laypeople who write about occult practices. But aside from scant references to spectrophilia as “desire for sex with ghosts,” this sexual and intimate orientation is seldom addressed as an actual orientation in sexology/sex therapy circles. As I mentioned above, I am interested in supporting people who have had sexual and erotic experiences with non-corporeal beings (ghosts, deities, other spirits). Please read my blog post, Desire.
Please see my website for more information: Spiritu-Intimacy. This website is designed more for helping professionals and academics, though anyone will be able to find valuable information here.
NEW: Listen to this interview with Dr. Megan Rose, Caroline Kenner, Dr. Monica Moody, and Orion Foxwood. “Spectrosexuality: When a spirit is your spouse,” Audacious with Chion Wolf, PBS. April 2, 2022.
Objectum Sexuality – Human-Object Sex and Intimacy
“Love Among the Objectum Sexuals“, published in 2009.
The above article was based on a non-scientific survey of 20+ English speaking members of Objectum Sexuality Internationale. In the article, I suggested that the orientation toward objects could be an eroticized version of object personification synesthesia. I also noted the number of OS people who were on the autism spectrum, reporting either a diagnosis or feelings that they had significant traits.
This article resulted in appearances on Good Morning America, National Geographic Taboo (twice!), Tyra Banks, and Australia’s Channel 7 Sunday Night, as well as countless articles from around the world.
Ten years later, Judith Simner, James E.A. Hughes, and Noam Sagiv published in Nature Scientific Reports: Objectum sexuality: A sexual orientation linked with autism and synesthesia. My suggestion was correct. My paper is cited in this study. That was a happy day for me when I found this article!
Please feel free to email me at dr.amymarshsexologist at gmail.com if you wish to share your experiences, to know more, or to book an appointment.