I think of myself as a fairly well-educated person, if any graduate of the American system of education can actually make that claim, and I like to think that I have a fairly robust vocabulary for a man my age, so it was with no small amount of discomfort that I had to ask what the word spectrophilia meant upon hearing it yesterday for the first time in my life. Spectrophilia, for those of you who are now as ignorant as I was yesterday, is a sexual attraction to ghosts, goblins, spirits of the decidedly not Scotch variety, and other phenomena of the paranormal. I did not know this was a thing until yesterday, although I suppose I should not be surprised that such an obsession exists. Kraft-Ebbing was very detailed in its analysis of 19th century sexual obsessions and as time marches on I presume that the need to find new ways to obsess about sex must march on as well. After all, buggering bunnies, like Putin's foreign policy, is so 1875 that it isn't even funny anymore. And nowadays we have cute vampires for the teenaged girls to thrill to and zombies for the teenaged boys to mow down with their Xboxes, so an attraction to metaphysical phenomena seems only the logical next step in the progression leading to robot sex and Bolshevism. I do, however, wonder why someone needed to coin a new word in order to describe this sort of thing. When I was a boy, back when dinosaurs and Richard Nixon walked the earth, everyone called having sex with someone who wasn't there masturbation. It still seems like a perfectly serviceable word to me, so I wonder why they, whoever they are, had to change it. Spectrophilia sounds more like the name of a lousy 80's glam rock band than an improbable perversion, or at least I think so; your mileage may vary.
Labels: animal attacks, baked goods, ghosts, Grover Cleveland, Roberta Vasquez, sex, words