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Fictophilia Mental Health

A condition known as fictophilia makes a person experience strong desires, romantic feelings, and sexual attraction for a fictional character. It differs from basic admiration and resembles real-world infatuation more.


What is Fictosexual? Fictosexual Meaning

There have been cases where people, sometimes humorously and other times more seriously, profess a strong attraction to a fictional character. It turns out that there is a name for this phenomenon, and a surprisingly large number of individuals experience it.

A disorder called fictophilia (Fictophilia Mental Health) causes someone to feel romantic feelings, intense cravings, and even sexual attraction for a fictional figure. It is distinct from simple appreciation and more like real-world infatuation. Although it is a strange idea, it is not difficult to comprehend given the wide variety of gorgeous individuals in the fictitious world.

Fictophilia is most prevalent among fans of anime. Most men and women are drawn to and almost worship anime characters (loving cartoon characters). The anime men are expertly portrayed and crafted to be perfect personas that appeal to a wide audience which brings people to have a fictional crush.

Despite being fully aware of the characters’ fictional status and the parasocial nature of their relationship, the person may still feel uncomfortable because of their affection for the characters because they cannot engage with them like they can with real people.

There hasn’t been much research on fictosexuality. However, new attachment studies (Erikson, 2018) mention that attachment objects may also be made up. Most parasocial attachment studies have not specifically looked into the parasocial traits exhibited by fictional characters.

Is Fictophilia a Mental Illness?

Although fictosexuality is not a diagnosable mental condition or disorder, its stigma still exists. Because of the relationship’s perceived sexual nature and the idea that there is something wrong with fictosexuals, people are both captivated by and critical of fictophilia disorder. Recent studies have shown that fictophiles frequently face stigma, which could be lessened by peer support.

Fictophilia Psychology

It is occasionally compared to or confused with aegosexuality (where people only experience sexual attraction or desire for someone when they have an emotional connection with another person) or demisexuality (someone who seldom feels sexual attraction to other people). Grey asexuality, or greysexuality, is the term used to describe people who only sometimes or weakly experience sexual attraction. The concept that sexuality isn’t black or white is supported by graysexuals, who fall between the asexual and allosexual categories.

One requirement of a “fetish” or sexual fantasy is that the object of one’s attraction must only be a fictitious character, not a real person. The bond to the character frequently transcends sexual fantasies and may not even be sexual; fictosexuals can get romantically attracted to characters (love and sexuality). Fictosexuality emerges as an adult version of pretend play, similar to what Vygotsky saw in the non-aggressive imaginative play of schoolchildren and adolescents. It’s vital to understand that fictosexuality varies on the person’s orientation and is not always “straight” or LGBTQ+.

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Although fictosexuality is not a diagnosable mental condition or disorder, the stigma attached to it still exists. 

fictophilia mental health
Although fictosexuality is not a diagnosable mental condition or disorder, the stigma attached to it still exists.

Why Am I Only Attracted To Anime Characters?

Graysexuality is closely related to fictosexuality, which is seen as a subset of asexuality. Fictosexuals can undoubtedly relate to people of various orientations. Some fictosexuals identify as bifictosexuals, which means they are drawn to both male and female characters, or as aro/ace fictosexuals, which means they are romantically, asexually, and fictosexual.

The person is completely aware of the characters’ fictional status and the relationship’s parasocial nature. Yet, their sentiments toward the characters may make them uncomfortable because they cannot engage with them as they do with others.

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Identification-Based Parasocial Relationships

When viewers attempt to identify with a character they like, parasocial ties based on identification are created. It’s a goal of fiction to create likable characters or fictional crushes. They frequently possess the characteristics and features we strive for in ourselves. They appear to be leading lives that we would like to lead.

People, especially those with low self-esteem, might sort of “take” these attributes into themselves by identifying with these personalities. It aids them in becoming their ideal selves.

You’ve probably observed that you frequently act like a favorite character when you watch them. You unconsciously observe their habits. Usually, the effect is transient. Then you discover a new favorite character, which you duplicate.

Some people may repeatedly watch a show to sustain their new image because the effect of this “personality theft” is transient. An easy outcome of this is media addiction.

There is nothing wrong with looking up to and using fictional figures as role models. They teach us a lot, and they can positively influence our personalities. In reality, our personalities are made up of various character traits.

When viewers attempt to identify with a character they like, parasocial ties based on identification are created. It's a goal of fiction to create likable characters or fictional crushes.

fictophilia mental health
When viewers attempt to identify with a character they like, parasocial ties based on identification are created. It’s a goal of fiction to create likable characters or fictional crushes.

However, it may be an issue if you become overly fixated on a single character. It can be a sign that you don’t have the self-confidence to rely on yourself. You’re probably utilizing a made-up identity to support your personality.

Children and teenagers lack self-confidence. They are, therefore, much more inclined to develop an obsession with imaginary characters. They must have the Superman statues and the Batman costumes because they are still developing their identities. Adults who act this way come across as stupid, infantile, and lacking self-awareness.

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Relational Parasocial Relationships

When media consumers think they are dating a fictional figure, they engage in parasocial relationships. A “strong and enduring sensation of love desire for a fictional character” is referred to as fictiophilia. We all identify with these characters somewhat, but this goes beyond that.

Why would someone fall for a fictitious character? Mass media is just another way to communicate with individuals in the brain. Finding suitable partners is one of social interaction’s main objectives. Because fictional characters frequently possess appealing qualities, people often seek these qualities in prospective partners.

They fall in love with these seemingly ideal characters as a result. Naturally, they are designed to look flawless. These fictitious characters’ excellent qualities are frequently overstated. Because we are multifaceted, it is rare for us to categorize people as either good or bad neatly.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that the mainstream garbage that most people enjoy eating paints an extremely skewed picture of the human psyche. The intricacies, inconsistencies, and moral quandaries within the human psyche are captured in this material in all its varied manifestations.

The Reality of Fictophilia

Fictophilia is more than just having stupid crushes, despite what we might think. Since it uses real human emotion and evokes strong emotions, there have even been several attempts to marry fictional characters. This has also had some success in Japan, and it is legal everywhere in the world.

The Warning Signs

Since fictophilia is not a widely understood topic, most individuals cannot recognize it when it occurs. How can you tell if your fictitious attraction is more than simply a crush, then? You first go to great lengths to find out as much as you can about that character. In extreme circumstances, you may even memorize the smallest aspect of someone, such as their personal history or wardrobe. That is another red flag when they have occupied the majority, if not all, of your digital area. Your gallery is filled with their images, and you have accounts just for them.

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Blurred Lines

People who have fictophilia experience human feelings toward their imaginary obsession. Because of this, people frequently can’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy, and the traits of their fictitious crush end up dictating their preferences for a human mate. They strive to be near them as possible by looking for comparable qualities in other potential loves because they cannot be with them physically.

Meaning of Fictional Character

What does a fictional character mean? A fictitious character is a made-up person or object appearing in a story, like a book or a movie. Fictional characters may be based on real-life individuals, legends, acquaintances, or figures from previous works of literature. Your audience will feel more connected to you if your characters are well-written, and fandoms might even develop.

Characters from comic books and cartoons like Batman, Captain America, Mickey Mouse, Pinocchio, and Spider-Man can be recognized just by looking at them. The reader’s imagination is required for memorable book characters, even though these characters frequently inspire TV, film, and video game adaptations.

These well-known fictional figures can be role models, such as Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, played by Jennifer Lawrence, or Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, played by Kit Harrington. Other characters like Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer are adored for their peculiarities.

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