[Dash of SAS] Sex on display: The Museum of Sex

Ana P. Santos
From the swanky gray building swathed in dripping bubble gum pink paint to its almost floor-to-ceiling windows — everything about the Museum of Sex, or the MoSex for short, is an invitation to enter

ANA P. SANTOSNew York, USA – The sign at the exhibit entrance reads: “Please do not touch, lick or mount any of the exhibits.” It sounds like a wildly presumptuous assumption to make, but here at the Museum of Sex, it serves as both forewarning and welcome.

From the swanky gray building swathed in dripping bubble gum pink paint to its almost floor-to-ceiling windows— everything about the Museum of Sex, or the MoSex for short, is an invitation to enter.

Actually, before getting to the actual exhibit, you’ll have to feel your way through the sea of temptation that is the Museum Gift Shop. Most every sex gadget or pleasure amplifier is here — from condoms, to books, to pasta shaped like breasts and penises to delight your palette.

For some good proper sex, you can choose to buy a box of Sir Richard’s Condoms. The letter (yes, a letter!) at the back of the box reads: “Dear Sir or Madam, what you hold in your hand contains the world’s finest condoms…go ahead and try them not necessarily in this store, but in the privacy of your home or in a public place where you will most unlikely get caught. The company promises the discerning buyer that for every condom purchased, it will donate a condom to someone in a developing country. To complete the cycle of propriety and politesse, bedside Sir Richard’s box are hand towels labeled as ‘cum rags.’ In this corner of the museum, you have everything you need to remind you of your bedside manners.”

And if there’s something for the nice, there is also something for the naughty like the black sex paddles or flogging sticks inscribed with “ouch,” “slut” or “love.” Each word thoughtfully spelled out in reverse to ensure that they remain perfectly legible when they leave their mark. 

Naughty and nice

The naughty and the nice will surely appreciate the Numbing Oral Sex Mints to ensure that you don’t gag (that would not be very polite) or swallow, at least involuntarily.

The variety, the abundance of items in this candy store of pleasure, doesn’t tickle your imagination; it seduces your senses with its potion of humor, wit, and playfulness where sex is the very blatant additive.

The assault on your senses continues when you walk in the first exhibit room where you are greeted by muffled moans. This is actually a film exhibit that chronicles the history of pornography from its simple beginnings in “grind houses” (the etymology of “bump and grind,” perhaps) to its splintering into other genres like “celebrity porn” which once brought shame to Pamela Anderson Lee and Rob Lowe, but later brought fame to Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.

TV screens show in a timeline fashion how sex scenes in movies started from subtle and implied because of The Motion Picture Production Code — also known as The Moral Code that was then in place. Later, the Moral Code was replaced with the implementation of the movie grading scale as we know it today, (Example: G, PG, R) which has affected the way that movies are made and produced.

Animal sex and how desire has gone viral

It’s mating season on the next floor where animal statues depicting various states of copulation are found. There are furry pandas in a loving pose and there are embracing monkeys and affectionate dolphins all enjoying the bonding and connection of sex.

A statue of the monkey standing tall and upright is the lone solitary figure in this part of the museum. He is described as a “male bonobo soliciting sex for sugarcane.”

The museum ends with a digital display and analysis of how desire has gone viral. Sex, pornography and erotic literature can be viewed, seen and read through every communication touch point from your computer screen to mobile phone.

Our phones have gone from rudimentary communication devices to private sex messaging (also known as “sexting”) centers, cheaper production tools have made “amateur porn” possible and the Internet has offered us an avenue to view it and just about any kind of proclivity just by typing in our chosen key words.

As you walk past the last display, you are back to where you started, the museum gift shop. Your entrance tickets are also good for a drink at the museum bar located at the basement. And what better way to end this museum tour than with a cocktail and a wicked saying wrapped inside the dirty fortune cookies sold at the museum gift shop? – Rappler.com


The Museum of Sex is on 233 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY, USA. It’s online: http://www.museumofsex.com/

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