You’re Cordially Invited to an Objectophile’s Wedding
A British woman plans to marry her duvet cover this weekend, joining the ranks of others who’ve tied the knot with inanimate objects.
Better clear your schedule for this Sunday: You’ve got a wedding to attend. It takes place at Rougemont Gardens in Devon, England, and any member of the public is welcome to attend. If you’ve ever wanted to be a bridesmaid, flower girl, or groom at a stranger’s wedding, now’s your chance.
But what makes this nuptial truly unique is the special couple it will unite: a woman and her duvet cover. That’s right, a 49-year-old British woman named Pascale Sellick will tie the knot — figuratively and possibly literally, depending on her sense of humor — with her blanket on February 10.
As she told the Mirror last month, “My duvet is the longest, strongest, most intimate and reliable relationship I have ever had. That’s because it has always been there for me and gives me great hugs.”
Not much is known about the Brit who sports teal-colored dreadlocks and seems to have an affinity for unicorns and ladybugs. Almost a month before her nuptials, she posted a short narrated film to YouTube announcing the event and affirming her love for the household object. In it, she lolls around on a gray duvet wearing a unicorn-shaped shower cap and leopard-print pajamas.
Sellick’s partner-to-be does not have a name, and it’s also not entirely clear which blanket she is marrying either. Though she filmed the YouTube video with the gray duvet cover, there’s a photo of her on Instagram with a white one decorated with red hearts. She captioned it, “So excited about my upcoming duvet wedding!” Sellick also brought the heart-printed blanket for her interview on the CBS program, This Morning.
But though she’s made TV appearances and had dozens of articles written about her, the Brit has been notably demure about the particulars of her relationship. What we do know is that they “met [...] a long, long time ago” and that it’s not the only blanket she owns. “I’ve had other duvets before, but I’ve always been loyal,” she said on This Morning. “This one is special.”
It has great emotional value to her, and provides her with strength and support.
“It gives me warmth [and] comfort. It’s always there for me in times of happiness [and] in times of sadness. I can rely on my duvet.”
Sellick is in love with an inanimate object. You could also say, Sellick has objectum sexuality. Eija-Riitta Eklöf, a Swedish woman who wed the Berlin Wall on June 17, 1979, is credited with coining the term used to describe those who have strong feelings of attraction, love, and commitment to items. Also known as objectophiles or OS individuals, Eklöf helped spread awareness of their orientation and created community around it by hand-coding numerous websites, public forums, and members-only chat rooms throughout the 1990s-2000s.
Since then, OS individuals around the world have come-out, and many of them have publicly wed their true loves. A former soldier who lives in San Francisco, California married the Eiffel Tower in 2015. A Korean man wed his favorite body pillow and a 20-year-old in Florida exchanged vows with her favorite game: Tetris. There’ve also been weddings to pizzas, train stations, cell phones, chandeliers, and trees.
Relationships between OS individuals and their true loves can be sexual, but are just as often solely emotional. That’s how it is for Sellick and her duvet. “It’s definitely not a sexual thing,” she said. “It’s a close friendship.”
A lot of objectophiles are also accepting of open relationships. Then again, when you’re married to a large, multi-purpose thing — like a building or a tourist attraction — you can’t really control who has access to it and who doesn’t. In addition to her duvet Sellick has a (human) boyfriend named Johnny, and she has no qualms letting him use her betrothed.
“Of course he shares my duvet. My duvet is not jealous.”
There’s not a lot of research behind object sexuality, but at least one report made a connection between people with autism and the fetish. It found that those who are on the spectrum are more likely to develop objectophilia, and that marriage is often seen as the pinnacle act of devotion in such relationships.
Not that any of them are legal. Objectophilia weddings are more ceremonial and personal in nature. Governments don’t recognize these sorts of unions and won’t issue marriage licenses for them. Still, that hasn’t stopped some OS individuals from applying for them — or suing once they were denied.
That’s what a Utah man who wanted to marry his computer did after he was refused a marriage license by a county clerk in 2016. Chris Sevier argued that he was being discriminated against as a sexual minority, and pointed to same-sex marriages as an indicator that the legal definition had shifted.
“Imagine if you had to have a certain degree of love to get a marriage license?” Sevier told the Daily Herald. “How could you possibly measure that? But the position is, yeah, I love an inanimate object and want that object to be my spouse to the same extent a man wants to marry a man.”
Sellick’s intent with her marriage to her duvet is less charged, more whimsical. Of course, it has to do with solidifying true romance, but she said it’s also a reminder to look inward.
“Around Valentine’s Day, people can sometimes feel a bit lonely. So [the wedding] is like, actually, take some time for self-care and self-worth.”
Anna Fitzgerald, Sellick’s wedding planner, piggybacked on the idea of finding love and comfort within.
“It’s about loneliness in society,” she said on This Morning. “And I think there’s a lot of loneliness in society but people don’t feel comfortable to admit it. But actually that’s why artists are great. Because we’re usually good fun and we can bring a lighthearted message but get the message across.”
Interested in attending? Make sure you dress the part. Sellick will be wearing a nightgown and has requested guests dress similarly in pajamas, onesies, robes, and slippers.
Also, don’t forget to B.Y.O.B. — and no, we’re not talking about booze.