Agalmatophilia (from the Greek agalma 'statue', and philos 'friend') is the sexual attraction to a statue, doll, mannequin or other similar figurative object. The attraction may include the desire for actual sexual contact with the objects, a fantasy of having sexual (or non-sexual) encounters with the animate or inanimate instances of the preferred objects, the act of watching encounters between the objects themselves, or sexual pleasure gained from thoughts of being transformed or transforming another into the preferred object. Agalmatophilia may also encompass Pygmalionism (from the myth of Pygmalion) which describes a state of love for an object of one's own creation.
Agalmatophilia became a subject of clinical study with the publication of Richard von Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis. Ebbing recorded the case in 1877 of a gardener falling in love with a statue of the Venus de Milo and being discovered while attempting coitus with it.
An important fantasy for some individuals is being transformed into the preferred object (such as a statue) and experiencing an associated state of immobility or paralysis. Such fantasies may be extended to roleplaying, and the self-coined term used by fetishists who enjoy being transformed appears to be "rubber doll" or "latex doll".
A number of famous art photographers have extensively featured sexualised life-sized dolls in their work, such as: Hans Bellmer, Bernard Faucon, Helmut Newton, Morton Bartlett, Katan Amano, Kishin Shinoyama, and Ryoichi Yoshida.
Agalmatophilia features prominently in Luis Bunuel's ''L'Âge d'or'' and in Tarsem Singh's 2000 thriller movie The Cell. The movie centres on a serial killer named Carl Stargher who drowns his victims (all young women) and then bleaches their bodies so they resemble dolls. He then masturbates while hanging himself above them. Later on in the movie there is a scene taking place inside his mind in which a psychiatrist finds a collection of grotesque, doll-like, corpse-like women inside display cases depicting scenes, while attached to crude machinery that jerks them about in sadomasochistic sexual poses; how the killer perceives his victims.
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