Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What is Forniphilia?

(image used with permission from BDSM-Gear.com)
Have you ever had a partner, or perhaps a friend, kneel on the floor while you use them as a footstool?  It's  not a terribly unusual behavior if you really stop and think about it.

For instance, I've observed children taking part in this activity in both a Doctor's and a Dentist's office.  The children were quite innocent in their play, and their own Mother's didn't even seem to take note in their unselfconscious child's play, at least not unless they notice me observing the kids at play.

It seems that if a stranger notices the kids using each other as footstools, it's suddenly a bit embarrassing for Mom.  The children are quickly scolded and put back into chairs.

Using someone as a footstool is a mild but pretty good example of a BDSM activity known as Forniphilia.

I'm not really surprised to find children playing games of this sort.  A good number of individuals who partake in bondage activities with their partners can recount childhood games of "Cowboys and Indians" or something very similar.  Activities where taking captives, or being taken captive, were a significant part of the game.

Why should something like Forniphilia be any different?

Here's the definition and etymology of the word as provided at House of Gord:
Forniphilia: the art of human furniture
forni- f. Old French furnir f.
Roman, fornire; to furnish -philia f.
Greek philos; love of, fondness for
According to the ubiquitous Wikipedia:
Human furniture (or Forniphilia) is a form of bondage and sexual objectification in which a person's body is incorporated into a chair, table, cabinet or other piece of furniture. The term was originally coined by Jeff Gord.
Forniphilia is an extreme form of bondage because the subject usually is tightly bound and expected to stay immobile for a prolonged period of time. They are often gagged (see Forniphilic gag) and/or placed in position where there is a danger of being smothered. Proper safety requires frequent checks of the submissive's well-being.
For the sake of clarity, and to be 100% correct, Forniphilia doesn't have to qualify as extreme in any manner.  Like a great number of BDSM activities, the intensity level of the play is easily determined by the participants, and options ranging from very mild to quite extreme are all available.

In my many years of perusing porn, I've seen a great number of examples of submissives being used as furniture, and only a relatively small percentage of them actually include bondage I'd classify as extreme.  Illustrations, usually pen or pencil drawings, depicting more extreme versions of human furniture, do seem to be more common in my experience, but often such illustrations are extreme to the point of being a bit unrealistic.

The most extreme depicted activities, whatever medium from which they were created, do tend to be very intense for the submissive, both physically and psychologically.  So, it needs to be said that caution, not to mention a slow and careful testing of limits, is always suggested before any BDSM activities advance to anything approaching a strong intensity.

If the sound of all this is exciting to you, but it's not anything you ever knew had a name, or you always thought you were the only one who had such demented desires, then you will want to learn more.  Here's a taste of what we've found researching it for ourselves here at Spiritual BDSM.com:

Getting started, www.forniphilia.info sounds like a good place for the uninitiated to begin.  Here's the site's introduction:
Welcome to forniphilia.info
We offer information and discussion relating to this new bondage fetish of Human Furniture.
The act of turning a woman into nothing more than a piece of functional furniture is the ultimate goal for many bondage enthusiast. Often completely immobile the woman finds that she is at least useful to her owner, perhaps performing the role of a table, chair or even hatstand.
Many find this type of sexual objectification highly erotic, especially if the subject is in someway vulnerable, perhaps her mouth or pussy are exposed. Knowing she cannot move she can only hope she will be of some use. Awaiting use, she is forced to wait and obey until needed.
(unknown source)
It's a good enough beginning, if you can ignore the sexism of the assumption that only women can be used as furniture, but unfortunately that's really all that's there.  The only other content is the obligatory warning about some forms of Forniphilia being dangerous, and a request that others share their forniphilia resources, images, and experiences.  For what it's worth, we will attempt to contact that site's webmaster to let them know about the resources we've gathered here on the topic.

Much more extensive and complete in it's content is what I call the - House of Gord Guide to Forniphilia.  It includes four nice pages of questions and answers in the form of a nice FAQ.  It's as good a resource as we've currently found on this topic.  Here's the table of contents for the Gord Forniphilia FAQ.

Contents
1. What is forniphilia?
2. What are some known forniphilic creations?
3. How do I find such a woman?
4. How do I get my wife interested? I love bondage but she doesn't want to know.
5. How long can a woman be left as an item of furniture?
6. What safety precautions should be taken in the design and production of human furniture?
7. Where can I discuss forniphilia with others?
8. My girlfriend has claustrophobia, but likes bondage, and wants to try forniphilia type bondage. How can I work around that?
9. What are the best type of gags, and how long can they be left on?
10. What sort of padding is best for these furniture items?
11. How may I contribute to this FAQ?
12. About this FAQ.
Pretty neat, and it is free content.  Just so you are aware, the House of Gord is itself a Pay site devoted to what they call "ultra bondage" which obviously can include human furniture content and much more.


And we'd be remiss if we didn't also inform our readers about another pay site called "Decorative Girls" where, as you might imagine, human furniture is a major theme.  If Forniphilia is what rocks your world, click the banner to be transported to what might just be some kind of heaven on earth . . .


And yes, we've been re-blogging a fair number of forniphilia themed photos over on Tumblr today.  We'll share links to those here too:

Harpist
Floor Chair
Glass Table
Menagerie
Wine w/ Friends
Decorative Girls Mini Sampler
Shame and Ecstasy
Hentai

Here are two links to media coverage of Forniphilia, although be warned they see and portray Forniphilia in a negative manner:

Forniphilia | Women As Doormats and Other Art Furniture
Is Forniphilia Essentially Women's Sex-Slave Work?

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