Intercourse is unique to the people who participate. That being said, stimulation and aesthetic appeal are unique to each person as well. So begins this column’s new focus: fetishes.
Several fetishes come to mind when I hear the word. Media introduces sexual taboos to our society — the love of feet, spanking, being treated like a child — as uncommon aphrodisiacs. But they go way deeper.
Has your significant other loved his or her car a little too much? Have you noticed a friend’s increased interest to spend time in the boiler room? Perhaps he or she is a mechanophiliac. You guessed it — these people love stimulation stemming from mechanical objects. The majority of people associate stimuli with bicycles, heavy machinery and robots geared to sexual need.
A rise in technological availability and growth in industrial machinery has even spurred a new category of sexuality known as technosexual, meaning having an affinity for technology or machinery. This comes as no surprise when, according to the Daily Mail, 59 percent of women are more interested in a geeky guy. But when does techno-sexual become mechanophillia?
Edward Smith, a mechanophiliac living in Washington, spoke to filmmakers in the 2008 documentary, “My Car is My Lover,” about various relationships with his cars. Smith has been practicing mechanhophilia since his early teen years and commented that, “I just loved cute cars right from the beginning, but over the years it got stronger.”
Smith continued speaking with the documentary producers. Smith wanted to make it clear that his intentions were pure and his actions were personal, saying, “I didn't fully understand it myself except that I know I'm not hurting anyone and I do not intend to.”
Mechanophilia is a personal choice, like other fetishes; however, it differs from society's variation of a normal aphrodisiac. The idea of a union between man and machine extends beyond recent stories like Smith’s.
For years science fiction authors have been spinning novels on the premise that man really loves machine. One of the earliest includes “The Eccentric Manifesto,” a collaborative writing by Russian authors, most prominently Leonid Trauberg, Sergei Yutkevich and Grigori Kozintsev.
The writings highlight the differences between society prior to the industrial revolution, as well as the aftermath. Each series of writing suggests that the coming mechanical age will bring a new relationship between man and machine.
This brings me to artificial intelligence (A.I.), which originated in mythology where gods could build magnificent machines like soldiers. A.I. resurfaced in the 1940s in response to a new age of computers. Later, the idea that man could be split with machine in a half-human, half-robot existence added inspiration to the science fiction genre.
Whereas science fiction novels are a far cry from mechanophilia, it surfaces recognition that love of machines spans beyond the pornographic representation of the fetish. People like Smith live with the fetish, finding daily happiness in the good care of vehicles and other machines.