A1 Journal article (refereed)
Fictosexuality, Fictoromance, and Fictophilia : A Qualitative Study of Love and Desire for Fictional Characters (2021)

Karhulahti, V.-M., & Välisalo, T. (2021). Fictosexuality, Fictoromance, and Fictophilia : A Qualitative Study of Love and Desire for Fictional Characters. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, Article 575427. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.575427

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Karhulahti, Veli-Matti; Välisalo, Tanja

Journal or series: Frontiers in Psychology

eISSN: 1664-1078

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 11

Article number: 575427

Publisher: Frontiers Media

Place of Publication: Lausanne

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.575427

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73662


Fictosexuality, fictoromance, and fictophilia are terms that have recently become popular in online environments as indicators of strong and lasting feelings of love, infatuation, or desire for one or more fictional characters. This article explores the phenomenon by qualitative thematic analysis of 71 relevant online discussions. Five central themes emerge from the data: (1) fictophilic paradox, (2) fictophilic stigma, (3) fictophilic behaviors, (4) fictophilic asexuality, and (5) fictophilic supernormal stimuli. The findings are further discussed and ultimately compared to the long-term debates on human sexuality in relation to fictional characters in Japanese media psychology. Contexts for future conversation and research are suggested.

Keywords: fictional characters; media; sexuality (sexual orientation); social relations; relations; comics; game research; television series; televisions (devices); games; films

Free keywords: parasocial relationships; fictophilia; game characters; characters

Contributing organizations

Other organizations:

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-14-09 at 12:03