For something that's so crucial to the survival of our species, human sexuality still has a lot of taboos surrounding it, and many so-called sex museums are more like roadside attractions that focus on shock value and eliciting chuckles. However, there are a few museums around the world that provide a more earnest look at sexuality and its various aspects, while still keeping things fun. Here are but a few.
New York City’s Museum of Sex, or MoSex, provides a serious look at sexuality without taking itself too seriously. The exhibits and events here focus on “advocating open discourse surrounding sex and sexuality.” You’ll find everything from erotic art to sexy artifacts, such as latex and leather products, elaborate sex toys, and more. There’s even an interactive VR experience around a virtual pole dance — not to mention, events that include dance classes and lectures on the convergence of vibrators and technology.
Although not exactly a sex museum in the strict sense of the word, The Icelandic Phallological Museum in Reykjavik comes pretty close. It’s entirely devoted to penises, housing everything from gargantuan whale penises to donated human penises. The most Icelandic part of this museum is its large collection of folkloric phalluses, allegedly from the likes of changelings, trolls, and mermen.
3. Love Castle, Gyeongju, South Korea
If you happen to find yourself in the South Korean city of Gyeongju, wander into the Love Castle, the least-serious museum on this list. Most of the pieces on display here are more silly than sexy (think cheesy clay panoramas depicting naughty scenes and anthropomorphized cartoon images of genitals), though there are quite a few older art prints and sculptures focusing on coital acts. And like all good museums, there’s a gift shop, but this one is full of colorful dildos and flavored lubes.
4. Leather Archives & Museum, Chicago
Established in 1991, Chicago’s Leather Archives & Museum features eight galleries devoted to all things BDSM, from dungeon fixtures, such as whips and chains, to more academic artifacts on kink subculture. There’s also a huge collection of photos and memorabilia related to Fakir Musafar, an artist and primitivist known for his devotion to body piercing, scarification, and flesh hooks suspension.
With a large number of strip clubs and affordable beer, Prague has long been a popular destination for debauchery, so it’s fitting that the Czech capital also hosts one of Europe’s more unusual sex museums: the adults-only Sex Machines Museum. Situated right in Old Town, this three-floor museum features masturbatory devices, including manually operated vibrators, sex-related ephemera, and chastity belts. There’s also an old-timey cinema with some of the earliest existing examples of pornographic films.
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