Humans have a tendency to want to collect things and then look at them, no matter how odd the collection might be. Iceland has a museum dedicated to different animal penises. Travellers in Massachusetts can tour the Museum of Bad Art. New Delhi has the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets. College students from around the world pay homage at the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka. Ando-san is inventor of Cup-O-Noodles. Of course there is one type of museum we can all share at least a little knowledge of…Sex Museums.
It should be noted that “sex” museums flourished in the sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll 60s and 70s. They first caught on in Europe, were public nudity wasn’t a big thing, and then moved on to America. There were dozens of them around the world. The 1990s and the Internet brought about a subtle change. Firstly, attitudes toward sex were changing. It was no longer viewed as something “dirty.” Also, the Internet offered plenty of sites you could visit for free to see things you had to sneak into earlier. Sex museums decided to tie their future to something that’s been around since drew pictures on cave walls with pieces of charcoal; erotic art.
Most sex museums became “Museums of Erotic Art.” There are flourishing worldwide. It made economic sense. No many had to be paid for live performers. There were almost 50 centuries of erotic art out there. And, having the word “Art” in your name helped with a few zoning commissions. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Let’s take a look at what’s in the beholder’s eye when it comes to erotic art.
Museum of Sex; 233 5th Avenue, New York, New York
MoSex, as the locals call it, opened in 2002. It’s mission statement is, “”to preserve and present the history, evolution, and cultural significance of human sexuality. In its exhibitions, programs and publications.” Exhibits have been “2500 Years of Chinese Erotic Obsession,” The Evolution of The American Pinup Photography,” and an online exhibit of “U.S. Patent Office Sex Inventions.” Over thee years the museum has doubled in size and now includes an aphrodisiac-themed café.
Musée de l’érotisme, 72 Boulevard de Clichy, Paris, France
The Museum of Eroticism is a little more hard-core than New York’s Museum of Sex. It is a five-story museum featuring erotic art from around the world. One entire floor is dedicated to maison closes, legal brothels of the 19th and 20th Centuries. It is here that the film Polisson et Galipettes (Rascals and Somersaults) is shown. It is a collection of hard-core pornographic shorts extending all the way back to the silent film era.
Jeju Loveland, 680-26, Yeon-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, Korea
The Koreans raised the ante by conceptualizing sex museum as theme park. Jeju Island lies in the Strait of Korea, about 70 miles off the southern coast of the mainland. For 9,000 Wan (about $8.25 USD) adult visitors can tour the park and hotel. Abundant statuary is devoted to penises and labia. There are also interactive exhibits were visitors can control mechanical people as the puppets make love. There is instruction on “self-pleasuring.” There is also a vast collection of erotica from around the world. Best of all, there’s a daycare center where you can dump the kids for the day.