Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m far from a prude. I’m known to, at times, offer two full entendres and sometimes I’ll even throw in a third… if you know what I mean. And, I’m a convert to the formative effects of regularly putting yourself in uncomfortable situations.
But, this place kept even my cheeks a bit rosy and my pulse rate and breathing a smidge erratic and, of course, that’s exactly the point! The Museum of Sex is designed from the moment you enter as a daunting test your personal public taboos. You enter through the gift shop, which of course features all the finest in “self-help” literature AND apparatus.
Even here, in what is most appropriately termed a lobby, the lonesome wanton merchandise encourages almost anyone to take at least a baby step beyond his comfort zone. With eyes darting about in avoidance of carnal penetration from anything too unsettling, most walk giggling toward the cashier to purchase their tickets.
For a short time, there’s a Halloween exhibit that features sculptures entitled “Lovers from the Hereafter.” Better just show you a picture.
And from there, you begin your official tour with a little something to get the blood pumping. “Action” explores sex in film, from early silent pictures, to so-called stag films and into more modern imagery such as the burgeoning hard-core pornography industry and the same delight offered in celebrity form by the growing “celebrity sex tape” phenomenon.
You then visit a number of permanent exhibitions and perhaps most interestingly, the newest exhibit “Obscene Diary.” Described as “the rich sexual documentation of one remarkable individual” named Samuel Steward, the exhibit highlights Steward’s amazing self documentation. The exhibit includes a detailed catalogue of every partner and each sex act with photos, diary entries and explicit drawings. But most impressive, upon his passing, a self-described “stud file” that includes note cards with shorthand musings of the specifics of each sexual dalliance.