What’s your fetish: Objects

Shay Rego

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the following column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the views of The Collegian or its editorial board.

Fetishes may seem like a taboo subject, but they’re much more common than we may think. Fetishism is defined as a form of sexual behavior in which gratification is linked to an abnormal object, activity, part of the body, etc. 


College students’ curiosity and sexual exploration can increase curiosity in fetishism. From a sample of college students in a study conducted by Harvard, 22% said they were interested in fetishes, and 43% of students said they have or believe they have a fetish.

There are many different categories that span the fetishism criteria, and each category has multiple subcategories within it. Many fetishes can overlap with other fetishes. For now, I will discuss the fetish of objects and its various subcategories, from the familiar to the rare.

This goes beyond the simple sexual pleasure from objects like a dildo. This is about the uncommon attraction to very specific objects. Some of the object fetishes go so far beyond a normal sexual fetish without any medical explanation that doctors have deemed them psychological conditions. Many subcategories of object fetishisms will overlap with other fetishism categories as well.

Smoking fetishism

A smoking fetish is defined by being sexually attracted to another person who smokes or receiving pleasure from personally smoking. Thinking of it abstractly might not make any sense, but this is another fetish that’s normalized and slipped into our daily lives. 

Think of movies, for example, that glorify this habit. Many older movies will usually have one or both of the partners engage in post-sex smoking, where they smoke a cigarette in bed after intercourse. Smoking after sex is thought to heighten that person’s afterglow. Even ads partake is sexualizing smoking, especially among women.

This doesn’t just apply to cigarette smoke. Living in Colorado, a lot of people smoke. There are men who admit that they think a woman who smokes weed is sexy. Marijuana smoking is definitely a turn-on for stoners everywhere, as it’s something else they can engage in with their partner.


Cars parked in Old Town, Fort Collins, Aug. 28, 2018.
(The Collegian file photo)

Mechanophilia is defined as the love or sexual attraction to machines,

such as cars, helicopters and ships. While some jurisdictions in some nations consider it a crime, it’s more or less socially frowned upon. Activities could including masturbating inside or outside of the car, using the gear stick as a dildo or using the tailpipe as a hole for penetration.

It’s theorized that some people are sexually attracted to machines due to the engineering aspect of the object or the product of the machine, such as the noise it makes. The documentary “My Car Is My Lover” is a real-life example showing a man and his love for his car. 


Agalmatophilia is defined as the sexual attraction to statues, dolls, mannequins and similar figure-like objects. It can manifest anywhere from actual intercourse with a statue to simply having sexual arousal from the thoughts or companionship of a statue-like object.


Psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing was once considered the first to academically document a case of agalmatophilia and write “Psychopathia Sexualis,” which discusses agalmatophilia in-depth, including the reason for statue attraction. However, since then, Krafft-Ebing’s work has been debunked and is said to have “no properly documented instance of agalmatophilia.”

The Journal of Sex Research considers it a psychological condition. However, a normalized form of agalmatophilia is the use of sex dolls, such as blow-up dolls, which is a whole subcategory of fetishism that also overlaps with role-playing


Pyrophilia is defined as the sexual arousal from fire and fire-starting activities. This doesn’t entail someone attempting to have sex with fire. Rather, this is about obtaining sexual arousal from participating in the act of setting things aflame. It could also be the witnessing of or participating in an active fire or fire aftermath, which a person uses as grounds for a sexual component in their desires.

According to researcher Z. Mistolerová, pyrophilia is considered another condition without a standardized treatment. This erotic focus correlates to and often rises from people with pyromania.


Colorado State University has over 4,500 trees on its Fort Collins campus. The most trees are in The Oval and are the American Elms. There are 100 trees surrounding and lining The Oval. (Asia Kalcevic | The Collegian)

Ever heard of the term “tree hugger” before? Dendrophilia is the sexual arousal derived from trees or simply the “love of trees.” This can range anywhere from the simple love and respect for trees and the sincere desire to care for them to legitimate sexual attraction to trees. An image of a tree may be seen as phallic to some.

Some may simply get pleasure out of having intercourse with their partner in nature and enjoying the energy of the trees. Others may receive sexual stimulation by having physical contact with trees, plants or foliage. It’s unclear whether or not this attraction refers to all trees or a specific kind of tree, as there are no case studies on the subject, only personal anecdotes.

This is one article in many of a series dedicated to fetishisms.

Shay Rego can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @shay_rego.