Hello Sexy People!
Happy New Year! While we spent a lot of time reviewing the diverse sex museums in North and South America, the Americas are not the only part of the world in which to find sex-related museums. Rather, there are numerous institutions dotted throughout Europe and Asia. Let’s dive in together into the world of wonderful, fascinating sex museums! Here we go…
In particular, Amsterdam is home to three different sex-related museums: Sex Museum Amsterdam, Red Light Secrets/Museum of Prostitution, and the Erotic Museum.
Claiming the title as the world’s first and oldest sex museum is Sex Museum Amsterdam, which opened in 1985. Situated in a busy part of central Amsterdam, the museum’s full name is Sex Museum – The Temple of Venus, with a figure of Venus at the entrance. Within the building, each room sports a different name such as Mata Hari, Marquis de Sade, Rudolf Valentino, Oscar Wilde, Marquise de Pompadour, and the exhibits utilize an old fashioned multimedia approach in their display. Can’t make it to Amsterdam anytime soon? A virtual tour is available on their website.
On a more specific level, the Red Light Secrets, Museum of Prostitution bills itself as the world’s first museum of prostitution. Housed in a famous brothel, the museum gives voice to the stories and secrets of those who practice “the world’s oldest profession”. They also tout the opportunity to sit behind a red-lighted window and experience what it feels like to be watched from the streets.
And, in this same vein, the Erotic Museum focuses on Amsterdam’s erotic history. In addition to its collection of paintings, prints and other objects, the museum is home to La Galerie Provocatrice (Sexy Art Gallery) that links artists, new media, press and people from all over the world together in pursuit of a common interest in erotica and its artistic expression. It also has a full floor dedicated to sadomasochism.
Spain’s entry on the sex museum list is the Barcelona Erotica Museum, which opened in 1997. Found in the popular La Rambla neighborhood, this museum bills itself as offering, “an extensive historical and cultural record of the influence of eroticism in mankind from the beginning of time.” Its collection includes various cultural items such as pages from the Kama Sutra, an assortment of floggers, an array of fetishwear, and photography featuring nude models.
Opened in 2004, Russia’s MusEros Museum of Erotica is situated in St. Petersburg, and reportedly was home to the preserved penis of Rasputin among its various artifacts at one point. This was either never true or is no longer the case. Regardless, the museum houses five rooms including the History Room, Modern Hall, Erotic Culture Room, 3D Multimedia Hall, and the Exhibition Hall.
Also within Russia is the Tochka-G Museum of Erotic Art, which debuted in 2011 and is fittingly named for the G spot. This is another museum dedicated to erotica from across time periods, with contemporary displays more focused on sexual-political commentary.
More mechanical in nature? In Prague (Czech Republic), one can find the Sex Machines Museum, which is considered to be the only museum in the world devoted to showcasing sex machines. In this regard, the museum includes “an exposition of mechanical erotic appliances, the purpose of which is to bring pleasure and allow extraordinary and unusual positions during intercourse”. Open since 2001, the museum is situated in an historic 17th century building, with the exhibit spread out over three floors, totaling 350 items, which also include art, erotic films and erotic clothing.
Germany’s entry to this list is its Erotic Art Museum near the in Hamburg, which opened in 1992 in the red-light district of Reeperbahn. According to Trip Advisor, “this museum takes a more intellectual look at sex, featuring an international collection of erotic artifacts from throughout history.”
The Icelandic Phallological Museum is located in Reykjavík, Iceland and is home to the world’s largest display of penises and penile parts. As of early 2020 the museum moved to a new location, three times the size of the original one to accommodate the growing collection. It now holds well over 300 penises from more than 100 species of mammal. Additionally, the museum holds 22 penises from creatures and peoples of Icelandic folklore.
On Jeju Island in South Korea, one can find Jeju Loveland. This outdoor sculpture park has been in existence since 2004 and has 140 sculptures of people in various sexual positions on display, along with sex education films. Interestingly, the island became popular with Korean couples as a honeymoon destination after the Korean War. With the emphasis on arranged marriages, the island also became a center of sex education. The park was created by 20 artists who graduated from Honglk University in Seoul.
Located nearby the sculpture park, the Museum of Sex and Health is more educational in nature. The indoor exhibits seek to “shed a light on the topic of sex, which is locked away in the dark … to ensure that people will see sex as something bright and healthy.” The exhibition can be divided among Education, Culture, Fantasy, and a Gallery. Lonely Planet praises it for: “its inclusivity in covering usually taboo subjects in Korea, such as homosexuality.”
Japan is known for its ‘Hihoukan’, the euphemistic expression used for sex museums that translates as “House of Hidden Treasures”. Many of these have since closed, but the Atami Hihoukan is considered to be the best among them. Situated in an area well regarded for its hot springs, the museum draws tourists who are there on holiday. It has three levels of exhibits covering a range of topics and objects. Interactive displays include a “carnival-like shooting game that blows up a Can-Can dancer’s dress when the bullseye is hit, a wind machine that when cranked, blows a life-sized Marilyn Monroe’s dress up ala “The Seven Year Itch”, and a giant penis ride you can climb on …”
NB: Quite a number of museums listed in this Wikipedia article have since closed.
Thank you, dear authentically-you-reader, for taking time to lean into sex positivity, your sexual exploration, as well as honoring your own fetishes and sexual interests by reading this article. I so completely honor you living your life, being unapologetically YOU, owning your sexual self, loving your body (did you masturbate today – if not, want to?), and thus giving yourself permission to lean into pleasure.
Why? Because SEX IS FUN and PLEASURE IS GOOD FOR YOU! By you honoring your own sexual freedom – being the warrior/goddess/[insert name of choice] that you are, you help give others permission to do the same. So much YES!!! Own it. Live it. Love it. Most importantly, love yourself.
Until next time …
With love and gratitude,
Kitty Chambliss, PCC, CPC, ELI-MP
Founder, Loving Without Boundaries
P.S. HUGE thanks to Tracy for her research and expert writing ability. Love you! xo
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