Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Forty Fabulous Field Trip: Museum of Sex

Museum of Sex, NYC
I'd  never heard of the Museum of Sex in New York City until I discovered it on my iphone map this weekend, a mere block from our lunch destination - the famous Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.

As a dark-tressed, breaking-bad, forty-fabulous sex columnist, I consider it my professional duty to investigate all museum quality aspects of sex. If it's on exhibit in a museum, it's gotta be worth knowing, right?

So, as my patient husband waited in line for 45 minutes to order our Shackburgers, I walked up 5th Avenue, entered through the museum's chic gift store, bought a $16.75 ticket, and stepped into the dimly lit gallery.

Sorta kinky.
The stated mission of the Museum of Sex is "to preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality."

I expected to see exhibits about stuff like the erotic secrets of the ancient Greeks, the origin of the Kamasutra, and maybe some kinky, rubberized S&M contraptions. I expected the museum to be hot.

Alas, it was not.

The first floor exhibit was all video, showing how sex has been depicted in film over the last century. Most of it was ho-hum - rapturously emoting silent film stars, bloodthirsty vampires,  etc,  - although there were a few snippets of graphic porn and disturbing Japanese anime thrown in.

It's not all about size,  Mr. Roboto
"Respect the privacy of your fellow museum patrons." advised a discreet sign. No problem. I wasn't looking to make friends.

The second floor had some interesting pieces, such as life-size male and female sex dolls, sculptures crafted from colorful dildos, and a series entitled "Sex Lives of Robots"(see left.) Phallic symbols abounded.

The rest of the second floor was devoted to the history of the condom and the fight against sexually transmitted diseases. While educational, this exhibit didn't do much to promote sex in my book. The pictures of lesion-covered syphilis sufferers made an excellent case for abstinence.

I found some comic relief on the 3rd floor, which displayed the wide, wide world of sex in the animal kingdom. Guess what? Animals have homosexual, group and oral sex too. They even masturbate. But after watching a video of a poor little turtle trying to pleasure himself against a rock, I'd had enough.

Homosexual and group sex is common in
 the animal kingdom. Honestly, who cares?
The gift shop was fun, but overall, my visit to the Museum of Sex was rather anti-climactic.

Lunch at the Shake Shack, however, was delicious!

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