Human furniture is furniture in which a person’s body is used as a tray, foot stool, chair, table, cabinet or other item. In some cases a sculpture of a human body is used. Forniphilia is the practice of creating human furniture. Examples of human furniture have appeared in modern art and in pornography.
A model used as human furniture may be nude or semi-nude to add to the erotic or aesthetic appeal. A classic example of the depiction of forniphilia as art is the set of three sculptures Hatstand, Table and Chair made in 1969 by British pop artist Allen Jones which show semi-naked white women in the roles of furniture. In 2012, Allen Jones’ art sparked a feminist protest when it was auctioned at Sotheby’s.
Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard created a sculpture called Chair which has the same shape as the Allen Jones’ chair except being black. In 2014 Dasha Zhukova, the partner of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, sparked a controversy after appearing in a photograph on Melgaard’s chair. Dasha apologized for this photo by saying that she “utterly abhor[s] racism, and would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by this image”.
The Japanase fetish artist Namio Harukawa depicted voluptuous women, who dominated and used men as human furniture.
The term forniphilia was coined by bondage artist Jeff Gord who specialized in the subgenre and maintained the website “House of Gord” on the subject. Forniphilia as a form of bondage usually involves the subject being tightly bound and expected to stay immobile for a prolonged period. Gord said that the maximum period he used depended on the bondage techniques involved but it did not generally exceed two hours. Gord also warned that the dangers inherent in fornophilia meant that it should only be carried out by experts. Gord used gags in some of his creations. A forniphilic gag is a type of gag that has the primary purpose of sexual objectification or erotic humiliation. Proper safety requires frequent checks of the submissive’s well-being.