The Museum of Sex

Sowerby & Luff write…

The Museum of Sex opened in New York in 2002 and, despite its provocative title, claims to offer a studied, historical look at the history of sex in our culture. We put fresh batteries into Roland and took him along, so we could make audio notes as we went.

Sex and the Moving Image seemed to be the main exhibit. It claimed to trace the way sex and sexual imagery have impacted film, television and advertising through the ages. In reality, it was a big dark room filled with TV screens showing hard core pornography. There’s nothing quite like watching Paris Hilton performing felatio, while surrounded by elderly Japanese tourists eating sandwiches.

It’s funny how people are prepared to watch or listen to sexual content, as long as it’s not actually wrapped up as porn. Our podcast has always been labelled “Explicit” on iTunes, and tens of thousands of respectable people, who would never dream of going into a shop and buying porn, download it every week and listen to us swearing like a couple of troopers and talking about everything from nipple clamps to anal sex. But because we’re packaged as comedy, it doesn’t really count as filth. Talking dirty is ideal content for an iPod. After all, no-one else knows what you’re listening to.

We moved onwards into the sex museum’s Geography of the Erotic Imagination exhibition, featuring pony play, furries, peeing and sploshing – a truly eye-opening tour of various sexual fantasies from around the world.
“Would you like to dress up like a pony for me?” I asked Georgina.
“Nay,” she said.
“How about a furry? I could get one of those Bugs Bunny suits for you.”
“If you’re so keen, you dress as a rabbit,” she said.

“Sploshing” is shorthand for various wet and messy fetishes whereby participants become aroused when substances are deliberately and generously applied to their naked skin. “Messy” substances can include whipped cream, mud, shaving foam, custard, pudding, chocolate sauce, or simply “gunge”. Tiswas has a lot to answer for.

This area also included the activity of directing high pressure water jets at the genitalia.
“We could try that,” I suggested.
“I suppose it would save you having to bathe,” said Georgina.
“Perhaps we could call the New York Fire Department to give us a hand,” I said.

The erotic roadmap continued on the next floor with odours, textures, and sensations. We were invited to feel a piece of latex, followed by a piece of rubber, and then had an opportunity to touch the breasts and nether regions of a very expensive, life-sized sex doll.
“Oh, for heavens sake, Brian, leave it alone,” said Georgina. “You’ve been there for twenty minutes!”

Macrophilia was next – a bizarre exhibit which went to great lengths to tell the story of a man whose fantasy was to be captured and forced into sex by a giant, 50 foot tall women. There were numerous images of a tiny little man being crushed underfoot by a huge female, and I couldn’t help wondering how he could ever satisfy her, in that his entire body was barely the size of her vagina.
Georgina’s favourite exhibit was the sex machines. Huge, industrial-sized devices, run by electric motors, designed for mechanical pleasure.
“Do you think it’s one of those that’s been waking us up every morning?” asked Georgina.

Feeders and Gainers was the last thing we looked at in the museum, a section dedicated to people who deliberately fatten up their partners, before having sex with them. Georgina stood looking at this exhibit for a very long time.
“Lets go eat,” I said.

Moments later, we found ourselves in a pizza restaurant in the Flatiron District. Pizza is a very different animal in New York City. They seem to be prepared to put anything on top of one. Georgina stared at a spectacular, two foot diameter thin crust in the window that appeared to have on it every kind of meat known to modern man.
This was a pizza with beef, fish, pepperoni, ham, pork, seafood, sausage, bacon, hot dogs, lamb chops and what looked like an entire portion of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
“We’ll have that one,” said Georgina.
An hour later we were still trying to get through the second slice, and when we asked for the rest to be put in a box to take it away, we found that the whole thing was too heavy to carry out of the restaurant.

We headed back to Brooklyn. That afternoon, still musing about the tiny man and the 50 foot woman, I fell into a deep sleep, and dreamt that Georgina had clawed her way to the top of the Empire State Building, and spent the entire day swatting aircraft with a giant slice of pizza.