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Museums of Sex and Erotica

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Museums of Sex and Erotica

There are so many nooks, crannies and mysteries that lie unexplored in the streets of the neighborhoods we pass through as travellers and locals. They can be tucked away or in plain sight and somehow we don’t see them until we have cause to go looking or otherwise stumble across their path.

While under the auspices of sex and erotica, these specialty museums and temporary exhibitions aim to fulfill lofty historical, social and educational goals and reveal to ourselves more about what makes us human.

LONDON

Secretum
British Museum, London
From as early as 1830, the museum employed Cupboard 55 to shield its ‘naughty bits’ away from sensitive eyes. As expected, the majority of the pieces depicted genitalia and fornication in various forms. Beginning in the 1960’s the bulk of the items were integrated into the appropriate curatorial spaces within the museum, with a few display-sensitive pieces left behind. The cupboard is not open to the public, but may be viewed by prior arrangement.

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear
Victoria & Albert Museum, until March 2017

This exhibition explores the intimate relationship between underwear and fashion and its role in moulding the body to a fashionable ideal, with cut, fit, fabric and decoration revealing issues of gender, sex and morality.

Highlights include:

  • The first woman’s bathing thong, created in response to nude bathing laws in California
  • Queen Victoria’s mother’s pantaloons
  • Kim Kardashian’s butt lifters
  • More than 200 examples of underwear for men and women, from the home-made to the luxurious
  • Corsets of varying ages

Note: Lingerie retailer Rigby & Peller hold a Royal Warrant as provider of lingerie to the Royal household. When in London, stop by for a fitting that’s fit for a queen.

NEW YORK CITY

Museum of Sex (MoSex)
233 Fifth Avenue
Ages: 18+

You can read about it, you can think about it, you can sleep on it. But the only real way to experience MoSex is to see it for yourself.

The mission of the Museum of Sex is to preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality. The museum produces exhibitions, publications and programs that bring the best of current scholarship on sex and sexuality to the widest possible audiences and is committed to encouraging public enlightenment, discourse and engagement.

It consists of a research library (books), a media library (moving pictures, film and stills) and a permanent collection (art, photography, clothing and costumes, technological inventions and historical ephemera.

Open every day

MIAMI BEACH

World Erotic Art Museum Miami
1205 Washington

WEAM is the only museum in the United States devoted to all mediums of erotic art.

At 12,000 square feet, it houses the private art collection of local collector and patron, Naomi Wilzig (1934 – 2015), nearly 4,000 works of international art dating form 300 BCE to the present.

Artists include:

Rembrandt | Lautrec | Fendi | Rodin | Picasso | Dali | Icart | Klimt | Bellmer | Bruning | Wunderlich | Masson | Chimot | Vertes | Dubout | Zach | Mapplethorpe | Quintance | Cocteau | Pal Fried | T.. Mose | Young | Miro | Newton | Sorayama | Ungerer | Brady | Botero | Britt | Resenberg | Manna

Open everyday except Tuesday

SAN FRANCISCO

Center for Sex & Culture
1349 Mission Street

The Mission of the Center for Sex & Culture is to provide judgment-free education, cultural events, a library/media archive, and other resources to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum; and to research and disseminate factual information, framing and informing issues of public policy and public health.

and nearby…

Good Vibrations Antique Vibrator Museum
1620 Polk Street

The Good Vibrations Antique Vibrator Museum is a San Francisco Landmark and attracts a peeked curiosity from visiting tourists and Bay Area residents alike. Lead by Staff Sexologist Dr. Carol Queen, Antique Vibrator History Tours cover the invention and functions of early vibrators, and displays our beautiful vintage exhibits.

Docent Tours: Every 3rd Sunday at 3:00pm

 

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