Sexual Psychology 101: Necrophilia

It’s exactly what it sounds like. During my first year of attending community college, being a fresh, young, innocent thang, I decided that taking a Sexual Psychology course with my friends would be a blast AND would conveniently fulfill a credit I needed. As expected, it was as awkward and hilarious as I thought it would be.  Week 2 is the one I remember best, however.

We had to write down a bunch of sex related topics on a piece of paper and have the professor choose one for us; we had to do some research and a presentation on the one he’d selected. I don’t even remember what I put down for the first four, but I was struggling with the fifth one. One of my friends, trying to be both funny AND helpful, said, “Maggie.. you should put down necrophilia”. I figured, why not? I had plenty of other great topics that were more likely to make interesting presentations.

And as you can already guess, when I got my list back, the professor had boldly encircled necrophilia. I’m pretty sure it’s because no one else wrote down anything close to THAT topic when they could just watch porn for “research”, so I had to take one for the team. (Interestingly enough, a few years later my college offered a porn studying class of some sort, so we’ve certainly come a long way in that department)

Here is what I learned during the fascinating, disturbing, and sickening evening I delved into the depths of my research.

The basics:

So necrophilia is a sexual paraphilia in which a person, usually male, gets sexually worked up at the sight of a dead body. Oh and also by having sex with it. The word derives from Greek; “necro” means “corpse” or “dead” and “philia” means “friendship”. While calling it friendship may sound kind of sweet and Sixth Sense-y, it’s not.


Hey buddy can I get a ride!?

Though some necrophiliacs will kill to gain access to a dead body, it’s actually not that common. Most will actually try to do the dirty with folks who’ve been dead for a bit. Unfortunately, that means that the people who have this fetish get jobs in the funeral industries, and that’s where they get their rocks off. Sorry to be the one to break that news to you. For those who try to control their urges and don’t have jobs dealing directly with the dead, they go to prostitutes and tell them to lie there motionless and emotionless, “playing dead” as they do the do. I wonder if they have to be good actresses for that?


Thanks K-Stew. That’ll work. 

History Lessons:

We all know how obsessed Ancient Egyptians were with their looks. After all, they’re credited for basically inventing makeup (highly appreciated!), getting regular haircuts and shaving, and keeping their grills fresh and clean (they also invented breath mints and toothpaste – again, super essential). Apparently they got to look so damn sexy that whenever a beautiful woman died, her family would wait about three or four days before giving her up to be embalmed. Why? Well because the embalmer would be seriously tempted to tap that.


Dang girl, did you lose some weight? You look fiiiine.

And finally. The story I will never forget, and neither will you.

So there was this German guy named Carl Tanzler (also known as Count Carl Von Cosel) who was a radio tech in Florida in the 30s. While working at the Marine Hospital in Key West, he met a woman named Elena Milagro “Helen” de Hoyos and eventually fell in love with her. Unfortunately, she ended up dying of tuberculosis some time later. And this is where it all begins.

Carl built a mausoleum for his dead love where he did everything in his power to keep her looking so fresh and so clean-clean. He dressed her up in fancy clothes and put jewelry on her. He used all kinds of oils and perfumes to hide and prevent signs of decomposition. He replaced her eyes with glass eyeballs and put a wig on her. Once her skin began to decompose, he replaced it with silk cloth soaked in some wax and plaster… oh and apparently he just drew her face back on top of that. Who could tell a difference right!? I know this because I found this photo of the real Helen in the state she was found, something that would’ve made my presentation even MORE awesome and creepier.


Is that Marc Jacobs you got on? 

Anyways, it gets better. He also put a phone in the mausoleum so he could call her up to talk to her and even serenade her (cute right?).  He also more than likely had sex with her (though this evidence was discovered much later in the 70s, years after the case was over). This also explains why when the public found out about what Carl had done, they were sympathetic and thought him a hopeless romantic. Again, this brings up more questions about Florida than I can address in this one post.

This went on for seven years. You read that right, SEVEN. Eventually, Elena’s sister heard of rumors that good ole Carl was having sex with her dead sister’s body. She went to his house and found whatever remained of her sister there. What an exciting day that must have been for the Hoyos family.

Carl was arrested but never convicted because the statute of limitations on the crime had run out at that point. A happy ending for Carl, not so much for Elena.

Before Elena’s body was buried at a secret location where creepy creepster Carl couldn’t find her, her plastered body was PUT ON DISPLAY at the Dean-Lopez Funeral Home where it was viewed by more than 6,000 people. As if she hadn’t been through enough already!?

So what have we learned from all this? That weird shit has been happening in Florida for years despite it seeming like a recent phenomenon.


5 responses to “Sexual Psychology 101: Necrophilia

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