Jesse Bering cites the once-common condition called agalmatophilia, or attraction to statues, as an example of how a sexual kink evolves over the centuries:
Pliny the Elder wrote of a man who fell in love with a statue of the goddess Aphrodite, “hiding by night embraced it [so] that a stain betrays his lustful act.” Meanwhile, Athenacus, a Greek writer who gained prominence in the late 2nd century A.D. during the Roman reign of Marcus Aurelius, offers an especially vivid account about a certain Cleisophus of Selymbria:
… who fell in love with the statue in Parian marble at Samos, locked himself up in the temple, thinking he should be able to have intercourse with it; and since he found that impossible on account of the frigidity and resistance of the stone, he then and there desisted from that desire, and placing before him a small piece of flesh he satisfied his desire with that. …
The agalmatophiles’ descendents are those today whose desires are reserved for artificial females (or males) in the form of realistic life-size dolls (pediophilia, from the Greek pedio, doll; not to be confused with pedophilia). There should also be little doubt that a virtual explosion in the ranks of the robotophiles is right around the corner. In other words, we may have lost agalmatophilia from the colorful roster of paraphilias, but advances in technology mean that we’ve since gained everything from latex fetishism to mechanophilic arousal by automobiles to the electrophile’s sexual dependence on electric currents.
(Photo by Flickr user bredgur)