Love and Buildings and Space Noodles

Boing Boing: Objectophiles who harbor passionate sexual love for buildings…

Cory Doctorow: Der Spiegel has an article on the theories of Volkmar Sigusch, a German researcher whose studies of “neo-sexuality” have led him to assemble case-studies of men and women who fall in deep, passionate, sexual love with objects, from the Berlin Wall and the Twin Towers to a toy steam engine.

Back in 1979, Eklöf tied the knot with the Berlin Wall and legally changed her name to mark the occasion (“Mauer” means “Wall” in German). Ever since she was eight years old, Sandy K. was hopelessly in love with New York’s Twin Towers. Neither of these two monumental lovers were known for being particularly talkative. Nor did they seem to be blessed with qualities of seduction. But to their admirers, the buildings were male, sexy and extremely desirable. For 25-year-old Sandy, the attraction to things is so overpowering, she confesses: “When it comes to love, I am only attracted to objects. I couldn’t imagine a love affair with a human being.”

This may sound weird, but I think that I know of someone just like this who seemed to have a very strong attachment to the Space Needle. Back when I was living and working in Seattle at a travel agency that was just a few blocks from the Seattle Center and the base of the Space Needle, we often got “tourons” who wandered in looking for travel deals after they had done the tourist thing at the Center. A woman in her thirties started coming in occasionally who would book herself and her travel partner/boyfriend at B and B properties on Queen Anne Hill, which overlooks the Seattle Center and has a great view of downtown Seattle. We’d go months and months without seeing her, and then she’d come in and book her stays… for her next trip to the city, several months later.

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Always, always, the B and B had to have a view of the Space Needle, or if it did not, it had to be in a part of Queen Anne that was convenient for walking to one of several parks with good views of “the Noodle.” After her second or third visit, we pieced together a story – the woman was from Sweden, and she told us that she was passionately devoted to the Space Needle, and was absolutely consumed with curiousity about its history and enthralled by what it represented (even now it still looks futuristic, yet in a pleasingly retro kind of way).

She had an elaborately detailed custom-embroidered leather letter jacket that had the original 60’s logo for the World’s Fair on the back, she collected all kinds of memorabilia (and outright kitsch) with the Space Needle on it, and she had a lot of different T-shirts and things that she wore on every visit to our office. She would spend a fair amount of time just gazing at it, and plan her entire stay around arriving at it, taking the elevator to the observation deck, and eating dinner in the restaurant.

Her boyfriend went along with it all with good humor – it may have been they were just enthusiastic fans of that kind of 60’s/Jetson’s design sensibility, and the forward-looking optimism of the era that it came from. But her attachment seemed to be more than that. I don’t know if she would have married the Space Needle, but she certainly acted like a woman with a crush when she came into the office and talked about how much she loved it.

The original article is in .

[tags]Twin Towers, Space Needle, BoingBoing[/tags]

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