The term forniphilia comes from the Old French term furnir, meaning to furnish, and the Greek word philos, a love or attraction for. People of any gender can participate in forniphilia, although turning women into furniture is the most common practice.
Erotic fetish performance artist Jeff Gord says he coined the term forniphilia in 1998 after observing his House of Gord webmaster, Aaron Bradley, performing it. However, the history of forniphilia predates this. British pop artist Allen Jones made his Hatstand, Table, and Chair sculptures in 1969. In an obvious nod to forniphilia, it features women dressed in corsets, gloves, and boots posing as the different furniture pieces.
Creating a human table from a submissive partner on all fours is one of the most common forms of forniphilia. The dominant may use the partner’s straight back as the table’s surface or lay a flat material, such as a piece of wood or glass, on top of them. Alternatively, the submissive could lie on their back and hold up the flat material with their hands and knees. A partner on all fours may also become a footstool for their dominant to rest their feet on at the end of a hard day. A submissive may also be bound as a chair for their dominant partner or a friend to sit in. A standing submissive can also become a hat stand or coat rack.
Forniphilia is an extreme BDSM activity as subjects are often tightly bound and expected to remain still for extended periods of time while they function as furniture.
Due to the way dominants position their submissives for forniphilia, it is sometimes called human furniture or furniture play.