Ursusagalmatophilia, also known as plushophilia, is a type of fetish that involves an attraction to teddy bears. It is not commonly discussed, but the prevalence of the fetish is increasing due to the increasing acceptance of non-traditional sexual preferences.
The term "ursusagalmatophilia" comes from two Latin words: ursus (bear) and agalmatophilia (worship of statues). The term was first coined in a research article by sexologist Dr. Omer Bessam in 2016.
People with this fetish are typically attracted to cuddly or cute stuffed animals and stuffed animals, rather than those that are more realistic or anatomically correct. While some may be turned on by hugging, cuddling or caressing a stuffed animal, others may prefer to masturbate while using one as a prop or visual stimulus. Some people may even become aroused just by looking at pictures of their favorite stuffed animals or by fantasizing about them.
Ursusagalmatophiles often have a strong emotional attachment to their stuffed animals and can form deep bonds with them. They can find comfort in having them around and use them as companions when they feel lonely or stressed. Ursusagalmatophiles usually take very good care of their beloved objects and treat them almost like real pets – dressing them in clothes, naming them, talking to them and taking pictures with them.
The exact causes of ursus agalmatophilia are unknown, but it is thought that people who have had traumatic experiences in childhood – such as abuse or neglect – may be more likely to develop this type of fetish as they seek comfort through the tenderness that is associated with stuffed animals. Similarly, individuals who grew up without siblings or individuals who have had difficulty forming meaningful relationships in adulthood may instead find comfort in platonic physical contact with stuffed animals.