Agalmatophilia (from Ancient Greek ἄγαλμα (ágalma) 'statue', and φιλία (philía) 'love') is a paraphilia involving sexual attraction to a statue, doll, mannequin, or other similar figurative object. The attraction may include a desire for actual sexual contact with the object, a fantasy of having sexual (or non-sexual) encounters with an animate or inanimate instance of the preferred object, the act of watching encounters between such objects, or sexual pleasure gained from thoughts of being transformed or transforming another into the preferred object. Agalmatophilia overlaps Pygmalionism, the love for an object of one's own creation, named after the myth of Pygmalion.[1] Agalmatophilia is a form of object sexuality. English poet Edmund Spenser wrote of Pygmalionism in some of his works.[2]

Clinical study

Agalmatophilia is a twentieth-century term for a medicalization of statue-eroticization widely attested in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century legal medicine.[3] Actual historical cases are few. Krafft-Ebing recorded in 1877 the case of a gardener falling in love with a statue of the Venus de Milo and being discovered attempting coitus with it.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Ellis, 1927.
  2. ^ Gregerson, L.; Barton, A.; Orgel, S. (1995). The Reformation of the Subject: Spenser, Milton, and the English Protestant Epic. Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture. Cambridge University Press. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-521-46277-8. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  3. ^ Janssen, Diederik F (2020-06-30). "From Libidines nefandæ to sexual perversions". History of Psychiatry. 31 (4): 421–439. doi:10.1177/0957154X20937254. ISSN 0957-154X. PMC 7534020. PMID 32605397.
  4. ^ Kick, 2005.
  • Alexandre, Elisabeth (2005). Des poupées et des hommes. Enquête sur l'amour artificiel (Dolls and Men - Investigation into Artificial Love). La Musardine. ISBN 2-84271-252-8.
  • Dorfman, Elena (2005). Still Lovers. Channel Photographics. ISBN 0-9766708-1-X.
  • Ellis, Havelock (1927). Studies in the Psychology of Sex. "Volume V: Erotic Symbolism; The Mechanism of Detumescence; The Psychic State in Pregnancy". ISBN 1-4375-0927-4.
  • Gross, Kenneth (1992). The Dream of the Moving Statue. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-2702-9.
  • Kick, Russ (2005). Everything You Know about Sex Is Wrong. The Disinformation Company. ISBN 1-932857-17-6.
  • Krafft-Ebing, Richard von (1906). Psychopathia Sexualis, with Special Reference to the Antipathic Sexual Instinct: A Medico-Forensic Study. ISBN 1-55970-425-X.
  • Plumb, Suzie (Editor) (2005). Guys and Dolls: Art, Science, Fashion and relationships. Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery & Museums. ISBN 0-948723-57-2.
  • Scobie A, Taylor J. (January 1975). Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences: Vol 11, Issue 1: "Agalmatophilia, the statue syndrome." Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Simmons, Laurence (2006). Freud's Italian Journey. Rodopi. ISBN 90-420-2011-3.
  • Wenk, Silke (1989). "Pygmalions Wahlverwandtschaften. Die Rekonstruktion des Schöpfermythos im nachfaschistischen Deutschland" IN: Konstruktionen von Männlichkeit und Weiblichkeit in Kunst und Kunstgeschichte. Berlin.
  • White, M. J. (November 1978). Journal of Sex Research; Vol. 14, Issue 4: "The Statue Syndrome: Perversion? Fantasy? Anecdote?".