Space oddity: A beginner’s guide to exophilia

Exophilia refers those individuals who derive sexual pleasure and arousal from extraterrestrial, robotic, supernatural, or otherwise non-human life forms (although I ought to point out that the only academic reference to exophilia is in Dr. Anil Aggrawal’s 2009 book Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices which defines exophilia as “a fetish for the bizarre and unusual”). In many ways, these types of sexual preferences could be described as totally impractical as the chances of making love to a ghost/spirit (i.e., spectrophilia), aliens, demi-gods, and/or a robot are arguably negligible. Although the sexual focus is non-human, the shape of the desired from is typically humanoid but would not include those people who are sexually attracted to statues, dolls and/or mannequins (i.e., agalmatophilia).

Online sources claim that the overwhelming majority of exophiles never claim to have had sex with an alien but are sexually excited and aroused by the thought of doing so. I was surprised about own many alien fetish sex sites are out there which partly shows how popular this type of paraphilic and/or fetishistic interest is. An online essay on alien sex by “Necromagickal” notes that:

“The only ‘official’ reports of sex between humans and aliens derive from the lore of alien abductions. The first credited abduction sex story came from 1957 in Brazil. Antonio Boas was plowing the fields of his family farm when a UFO showed up. He was taken inside and prepped to meet a fair-haired alien”.

Most recently, in January 2011, news reports surfaced that a male Chinese farmer called Meng Zhaoguo claimed to have had mid-air sex with for 40 minutes with a levitating alien. Meng said “she was three metres tall, had 12 fingers and braided leg hair”. According to Meng, the inter-galactic coupling actually took place in 1994 in Heilongjiang’s Wuchang when a female humanoid visited him. He told the China Daily newspaper that “I didn’t believe in aliens before I actually met them. Seeing is believing”. He then passed a lie detector test conducted by the police. He also claimed that the aliens told him that the offspring of the sexual union would appear 60 years after they had sex.

Obviously I don’t believe these incidents (or any other alien abduction stories) but I do know that others believe in aliens (and that they regularly visit earth) and that there are some people who genuinely believe that they have been abducted by alien life forms, and that they have had sex with them (either with their consent or against their will). In a 2001 book Extra-terrestrial Sex Fetish by “Supervert”, he argues that:

“Exophilia should be understood as an abnormal desire for that which is outside earth…It is characterized by arousal in the presence of aliens or, less directly, representations of aliens…The exophile is rarely apprehended in the very act of satisfying his fetish. Evidently the reason for this is not the scarcity of exophiles but the lack of extraterrestrials themselves”

Supervert also makes the logical (and arguably obvious) points that because exophiles are never caught having alien sex, it suggests that either: (i) aliens don’t exist, (ii) aliens don’t make contact with anyone on earth, and (iii) if aliens do come into contact with humans they avoid those with exophilic tendencies (based on the fact that stories that are reported online or in the tabloid press always feature people having sex with aliens against their will).

Exophiles can only express their sexual interest in aliens directly. Therefore, one of the major ‘soft signs’ of exophilia would naturally include “an undue interest in science fiction”. Clearly, the overwhelming majority of sci-fi lovers (myself included) do not display any exophilic tendencies. However, Supervert makes a number of unsubstantiated claims about exophiles. These include the claims that exophiles:

“Frequently fixate on certain characters or situations from novels or films. [Exophiles] may oblige [their] sexual partners to recreate, in the spirit of a psychodrama, key scenes from an episode of Star Trek. [They] may also, by way of compensation, develop fixations on actors or actresses associated with aliens in films: on Drew Barrymore, for her role in ET the Extraterrestrial, or Sigourney Weaver, for her admittedly erotic scenes in the Alien trilogy…Fixations can extend beyond the world of science fiction to include real-world personalities closely associated with outer space. For example, an exophile might develop a homosexual attraction for a prominent scientist such as Carl Sagan or a famous astronaut such as Neil Armstrong”.

Some of the claims made by Supervert appear to have little evidence – empirical or anecdotal. For instance, it is claimed that some exophiles use their telescopes for anal stimulation and that some exophiles incite astronomy club members to perform group masturbation. Supervert does mention one case to support his claims. One (unnamed) exophile was said to have:

“Confessed to a sexual obsession with astronaut Christa McAuliffe, a schoolteacher killed in the explosion of the space shuttle ‘Challenger’ in 1986. [The exophile] would arouse himself with fantasies of the woman doing a striptease with her spacesuit and then watch a videotape of the seventy-three second shuttle flight, naturally timing his climactic release to the sudden bursting of the vehicle in the sky”.

This anecdote – even if true – doesn’t even sound like an exophile to me. Bizarre? Yes. Depraved? Possibly. Exophilic? No. Supervert argues that the case described is an exophile and that the behaviour described is a “compensatory mechanism” for the fact that they are unable to have sex with an alien! According to Supervert:

“The exophile does not truly desire congress with rockets or astronauts but with extraterrestrials. However, precisely the seeming impossibility of this desire makes the exophile unique even among fetishists…If, as psychological theory proclaims, the fetish is a substitute for normal sexual relations, such that the fetishist prefers a shoe to a vagina, the exophile must make a substitution for a substitute…The exophile thus finds himself two generations away from gratification”.

While I can see the logic in such an argument, surely the substitute for the substitute for an exophile would be getting a human to dress up and/or pretend to be an alien (rather than becoming sexually aroused by something that an alien might come into contact with such as an astronaut)?

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Aggrawal A. (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Disclose TV (2011). Farmer claims he had sex with alien, then passes lie detector. January 24. Located at:

Necromagickal (undated). Alien sex. Girls and Corpses. Located at:

Supervert (2001). Extra-terrestrial Sex Fetish (self-published book). Available at:

About drmarkgriffiths

Professor MARK GRIFFITHS, BSc, PhD, CPsychol, PGDipHE, FBPsS, FRSA, AcSS. Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Behavioural Addiction at the Nottingham Trent University, and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He is internationally known for his work into gambling and gaming addictions and has won many awards including the American 1994 John Rosecrance Research Prize for “outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of gambling research”, the 1998 European CELEJ Prize for best paper on gambling, the 2003 Canadian International Excellence Award for “outstanding contributions to the prevention of problem gambling and the practice of responsible gambling” and a North American 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions To The Field Of Youth Gambling “in recognition of his dedication, leadership, and pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling”. His most recent award is the 2013 Lifetime Research Award from the US National Council on Problem Gambling. He has published over 600 research papers, four books, over 130 book chapters, and over 1000 other articles. He has served on numerous national and international committees (e.g. BPS Council, BPS Social Psychology Section, Society for the Study of Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous General Services Board, National Council on Gambling etc.) and is a former National Chair of Gamcare. He also does a lot of freelance journalism and has appeared on over 2000 radio and television programmes since 1988. In 2004 he was awarded the Joseph Lister Prize for Social Sciences by the British Association for the Advancement of Science for being one of the UK’s “outstanding scientific communicators”. His awards also include the 2006 Excellence in the Teaching of Psychology Award by the British Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society Fellowship Award for “exceptional contributions to psychology”.

Posted on July 1, 2012, in Case Studies, Mania, Obsession, Paraphilia, Popular Culture, Psychology, Sex, Sex addiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. The music group Simple Plan has a song called “My Alien” which should be of interest to exophiles, although based on their other songs I’m inclined they meant this more as a bit of silly fun than as an exophilic fantasy. Sample lyrics: “She’s got two arms to hold me / Four legs to wrap around me / She’s not your typical girlfriend / My alien.”

    • And how could I forget Katy Perry? The lyrics to “E.T.” may be metaphorical, but they’re pretty darn exoerotic: “Wanna be your victim / Ready for abduction / Boy, you’re an alien / Your touch so foreign / It’s supernatural / Extraterrestial.”

  2. I scooped this article to I added a picture and am asking your permission to have done that. Great post!

  1. Pingback: Au doux pays de la paraphilie-ET//Téléphone//Passion#12 | * Ma vie n'est pas un roman

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