Not your grandma’s museum

While I realize that spring break is long past, for this column I decided to share some of my adventures during that wonderful time. My spring break was spent in New York City with the wonderful Alpha Psi Omega. And while there I checked something off my bucket list and visited the National Sex Museum. My trusty roommates (who I love for always being willing to adventure with me like this) accompanied me and upon paying the small ticket price we embarked into the clean white stairwell.

At first I was super nervous (which is definitely not my style) due to the amounts of very graphic pictures that are involved in the first exhibit. It described what Americans include in our searches for porn the most, listing up to 200 categories in the order of their popularity. The most searched one was “youth” which was followed with a very long explanation that I will paraphrase. We as a country yearn to always be younger and this need translates into feeling younger by watching younger people in our adult videos. 

The next exhibit that I visited talked about the history of sex and how it has reached the status that it has in our culture. This was probably my favorite because of the educational side of it. I saw my first chastity belt meant for males, which was terrifying and comedic at the same time. There was also an old poster from the 1800s that cautioned against masturbatory activities and had “before” and “after” illustrations. Looking at this poster, you might think that touching yourself led you to become a gorilla or a caveman. This exhibit also included the evolution of sex toys, which was eye-opening, to say the least. However, going into details like this without crossing the PG-13 rating of this column is impossible. Shoot me an email if you’d like to know more.

One other exhibit that merits some discussion was the one that showed the different mating habits of various animals. I always thought that animal sex would be fairly straightforward, as most things governed by nature are. However, I was mistaken. Panda bears that are born in captivity struggle to breed for many reasons, the main being that they don’t inherently know how to have sex. In fact many zoos have to show “panda porn” so that pandas know what to do. That is the very definition of lame. A few other weird animal facts include how sea cucumbers eventually chew off their own sex organs, how several monkeys have sex to end arguments and how dolphins have same-sex relations often. This exhibit was complete with statues and pictures, which just added to the combined hilarity and horror.

Overall I adored this museum. I highly recommend it if anyone is in New York City and looking for a quirky way to spend the day. There is even a restaurant in the basement that serves aphrodisiac foods and drinks, all of which are delicious. Definitely check it out.

 

Libby Trammell is majoring in human development and family studies. She can be emailed at [email protected]